Was expecting initial non-drinking period to comprise of gloomy angst-filled days mourning the fact that the “good times” are over. In fact I feel fine. No physical signs of withdrawal – just a vague restlessness at times. A feeling that something is missing – which indeed it is. Books I am reading emphasise that instead of self-deprivation it’s better to focus on the “freedom” that is gained. A good analogy is the “prison” which one has walked out of – the door remains open and it’s possible to return at any time. Modern thinking seems to be moving away from the “one day at a time” and “X days sober” – away from “willpower” and being branded an “alcoholic” even after many years of sobriety. After all ex-smokers are not called “smokeholics”. Also interesting is that alcohol is the only drug that one has to justify not taking. Perhaps because 80% of people drink? In fact I think I am currently residing somewhere called the “pink cloud land of sobriety”. One hates to be smug but this non-drinking lark seems pretty easy so far. Of course that could all change in a heartbeat.
The “pink cloud” is an AA term for the high that drinkers experience when they quit – at least it seems we are still entitled to some highs 😉 It’s a honeymoon in sobriety. That would explain the excitement I feel when I wake up to yet another AF (alcohol free) day. Of course the trouble with honeymoons is that the bliss is temporary so I must find ways to prolong it. Getting fabulous support from this blog. Apart from loyal bloggees from previous blogs now have a whole new online gang from brilliant website www.soberistas.com. Also great support from the men in my life – Husband, Son and Brother (thanks guys!). Friend Mandy called in astonishment when she saw my blog and announced that she is joining me as my “sobersister” – “if you can do it then so can I!” she said. Still trying to figure out if that is a compliment – or not. My favourite reaction was on Facebook from Noleen.. “What!?!?!?! – I am shocked, impressed, sad, weepy, proud and a little depressed. So many emotions! I need a drink!” Here is a picture with myself and Noleen “on the bubbly” during a recent week-end away.
Have navigated two restaurant dinners this week. First one with some new friends. I guzzled a bottle of fizzy water while everybody else hit the vino. Had a myriad of excuses ready but in fact nobody seemed to notice… Second dinner was with a girlfriend who announced that as she could “take it or leave it” she would also become my “sobersister”. Tried soda water and Bitters as an apero (yawn) followed by yet more fizzy water. Not easy when delicious pork belly was crying out for several huge glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon. Just finished reading Alastair Campbell’s tribute to Charles Kennedy in UK Sunday Times. He maintains that anyone who has had a troubled relationship with alcohol knows that this is the way you must think of it – as a relationship. Some days you are in control of it; others you are not. For the moment I seem to be in control.