Sobriety – day 12 (again) – White knuckling. Strength is where you find it.

Last night was a bit tough for me. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I don’t like to blog when I’m in the middle of intense feeling, or even journal for that matter. When I later read the journal entries written by an impassioned me, I find my thoughts to be disjointed and irrational. I need a little time and space to sus out why I was feeling what I was feeling. Sometimes a little space and perspective helps. For this reason, almost all of what I write will be “after the fact” and not real-time. Lucky for the reader. 😊  

First, I need to be honest about a couple things.

One. I have two bottles of Prosecco in my wine rack and one left-over can of hard seltzer – you know the one that rhymes with Might Flaw. I bought the Prosecco bottles just the other day. I won’t tell the story of how the bottles  got there (that is for another blog post about shame around sobriety), but for now, I will say that they ARE there.

Two. I have realized that one of my drinking-triggers is boredom. Another is being alone. I feel really terrible about that. I am an only-child (save step-siblings), GenX-er – you know the kids that were just bored and had to fucking sit with it and be okay with it? Yeah, that’s me. I drink when I am bored and alone. No great trauma plagues my mind (although there are many), I’m just bored and lonely… Woe is me.  I’m not just a little ashamed of this – but being honest and seeing ourselves for who we are and what drives and motivates us is the only way to self-realization, right?

Okay, on to last night.

I could have worked out. I could have worked on my side hustle. I could have worked in my garden. Hell, I could have worked on actual work projects. I did none of those things. Maybe it’s my dopamine / serotonin receptors rebooting, maybe I’m just wore out – but I have been overly exhausted for the past 5 days. Literally, all I want is sleep. But sleep is dream filled and I wake often. Anyone else go though this early on? What is this? Hormones? Neurotransmitters firing back up? I have no idea but the thought of doing anything other than sitting on the couch last night was way beyond my capacity.

So, I sat. I was angry.  I was frustrated. I questioned why I was doing this. I wanted that Prosecco that I KNEW was on the wine rack, just waiting for me.  In the back of my mind, I did realize that that “one” would turn to into “one bottle” – also, it wasn’t cold… so my mind moved on to the compromise, the hard seltzer.  There it was, sitting in the fridge drawer, cold. Ready for me. There was only one, so I would have to stop there, right?  I mean, who would know? And I could have just the one and go to sleep. Might help me sleep soundly, even. All the same old lies.

I belong to a group online (through facebook) and wrote a quick post about how I was struggling. So many people were kind and responsive. “You can do it!” “I believe in you!” They were so ready to encourage this stranger to just hold on a few more hours. I am so impressed with their kindness. They said – hold on – go to bed early, eat chocolate, sleep will come- and it will be a new day. I didn’t call on any of my friends for support. I even talked to a few and didn’t share that I was struggling. I reached out to strangers. Not because my friends and loved ones don’t care, but because I think they can’t understand. They can’t relate. Having someone who has had to white knuckle through an evening to keep from drinking say that I can do it is encouraging in a way that well-meaning friends and family cannot be. If I had talked to any of my people about how I was feeling, they would have supported me – told me the same thing that the strangers did, but during that time, I needed experience to guide me. Experience to say “I’ve been there and if I can, you can… You got this, girl.”

So, I white knuckled it. I left the Prosecco securely nestled in its cubicle in the wine rack. I left the seltzer sleeping soundly in its refrigerator drawer.  

I drank N/A beer (4 to be exact) ate too many pieces of dark chocolate covered pineapple and went to bed at 9:30 pm.

But I held on. It’s a new day. And it does feel amazing. I really hope that one day, someone struggling with white knuckles will read this and hold on too. Or maybe I will re-visit this post, when and if I need to white knuckle-it again. Seeing that I have done it once means I can certainly do it again. Either way, I am glad I did. Glad I wrote this down. 

I’m thankful to my little online tribe. They pulled me through last night. If you are interested, the group is called “One Year No Beer.”  It’s an interesting way to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol.

Thanks for being a sounding board, Blog-friends.

Much love. Stay Healthy. Stay Sober.

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Published by soberover40

I'm a professional, a mom, an entrepreneur, unrepentant bibliophile, and a lover of all things in nature. Oh yeah, and I may have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol...

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