Eight months sober – a reflection

Posted: August 21, 2013 in Me and alcohol

I would never have thought I would have got to 8 months sober, but I have done it. One day at a time. Reminding myself each day when I wake up that I am an alcoholic.

Because I am not a vodka on the cornflakes alcoholic, it was easy to deny for many years that I was an alcoholic. Because my yard stick for alcoholism was my child’s view of what I saw about my step-dad’s and my mother’s alcoholism (a little toot before work, midnight vomiting), I could slot myself into a perhaps-I-have-abit-of-a-problem, but-not-alcoholic category.

I thought a life without alcohol would be like having a leg amputated. The first 90 or so days were the most difficult. I was sensitive to alcohol in all of my environments. Wine adverts on restaurant windows jumped out at me when I’d driven past hundreds of times with no such jumping out of wine labels. I’d never noticed actors in soapies drinking before. Now  I did.

Going to dinner or socialising around friends who were drinking was very difficult (this is when I took up smoking again which really really helped instead of sitting there like a virgin lemon. Bring on the smoking !)

What has helped me is knowing the following about alcoholism:

it doesn’t matter how much I drink, it is how I drink it (fast and on an empty stomach thank you very much)

if I drink more than I intended (hell yes!), I may be an alcoholic

if I crave more alcohol once I start drinking, I am an alcoholic.

A misconception of mine was that if I were a true alcoholic, I would list after alcohol all day, every day and be a rehab candidate. This was not my experience. Yes, on a Friday morning I would look forward to my Friday night binge, but I wasn’t waking up thinking about it on Tuesday or Wednesday. I did get pissed now and then in the week when the opportunity came up, but I didn’t actively pursue it (but sometimes a bottle of wine fell down my throat during the week. you know how that happens).

My obsession or craving for alcohol only really kicked in once the first drop was past my lips and I could usually hold out for the weekend.

Towards the end of my drinking (after Porra being embarrassed about my drunkenness and/or passing out once too often), Porra kept an eagle eye on my abnormal drinking and I would have to pace myself in front of him. I remember eyeing out other diners wine glasses to check where they were in their consumption so I could speed up (hopefully, but never – I was always far ahead) or slow down (white knuckle it through that me dears).

Porra accepted a consumption of three big glasses of wine at dinner. And that was it. Time to stop now Diddy.

He has no understanding on the need to continue guzzling.

After 3 glasses, I would get slightly slurry in speech and Porra would moan. My only choice then would be to shut up and say the bare minimum for the rest of the evening lest Porra supersonic hearing picked up some slurrrr burbling in my voice.

Walking from the car to the house was always monitored closely by Porra. Any wobbles were duly commented on and a black mark against my piss cat status made.

But being an alcoholic I would get sneaky. Some pearls of sneakiness being

….drinking more by putting more wine in my coffee cup when we got home from dinner

….., taking slugs of neat rum from his prized bottle of Captain Morgan rum when he was upstairs (it always amazed me his bottle of rum lasted him a whole damn year !)

…….going to visit the granny next door (with some lame excuse to Porra) who always always offered a wee glass of wine (so I would relieve her of a bottle of wine).

……….encouraging my family to have dessert or more food so I could drag out supper and get more vino down my gullet

On reflection – I do not regret going sober for one minute.

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Comments
  1. fern says:

    I understand what you are saying. It’s not how much I drink but how I drink.

    I like your blog.

  2. congrats on eight months! And thank you for sharing what you wrote…I was that vodka and cornflakes guy (minus the cornflakes) and man did it get messy quickly. I can relate to what you wrote about the warning signs, or at least the landmarks of what it is like to be alcoholic. Add in the self-loathing, low or no self-esteem, perfectionism, and all the other lovely things that come along for the ride (or actually propel the ride – booze is just the vehicle) and it’s a whole lot of pain. ugh.

    We alkies cannot drink, period. Those days are done (unless we feel like getting more into a pickle and getting dealt out some more pain). And I am glad that those days are done, to be honest.

    Eight months is great – I started to feel a little bit more human around then, and was starting to see the benefits of recovery. So great on ya! Wonderful stuff 🙂

    Blessings,
    Paul

    • diddy says:

      Thanks for the congrats Paul 🙂
      I didn’t realise all my crazy head stuff (perfectionism, fear of people, obsessiveness, control freak, irritable, restless and discontentedness) were all alcoholic traits !
      I am also an adult child of alcoholics and that program says that ACOA’s take on the characteristics of alcoholics without not necessarily taking a drink themselves, but they can become alcoholics too.
      Sometimes I thought everyone’s brain worked like mine and other times I felt completely bat crazy and on my own planet.
      Thanks for popping past my blog.
      D
      xxxx

      • I don’t have the experience of being a Child, but my sponsor does. He tells me about some of the work they do in that program and it sounds quite thorough and insightful / illuminating. I have done a little bit of reading on ACOA and Alanon, and it does help me a little bit in taking another look into alcoholism and it’s affects. Anyway, congrats again 🙂

        Paul

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