If you don’t pick up a drink, you can’t get drunk

Early morning of Day 5 of sobriety. I slept well for the first time in almost a week. DH had given me some natural, over-the-counter sleeping tabs and perhaps that was the reason. Perhaps it was the prayer that I made to God to please give me a rest, to let my mind quieten and body to fall into a deep slumber. Whichever it was, I am grateful. However, I haven’t woken up feeling good. In fact, I have woken up feeling really grumpy and extremely weepy.

I did what I always do when I feel like that. I phoned DH, who had left early to go the gym before work, and picked a fight. He wasn’t impressed. “Why are you so irritable”, he asked, “you slept so well”. “This isn’t easy, you know,” I yelled “it’s alright for you.” He wasn’t in the mood to be charitable. “Look, I am driving, trying to hear you on speaker phone. Can we do this later?” Fine. Immediately, tears welled up in me.
Our eldest DD came to me. She was off on a school conference – an overnight stay at a university. I offered to drive her to school. “No, it’s okay. Some friends and I are meeting at the bus stop, and then walking up to school. Bye, see you tomorrow.” In an instance, she was gone. My baby all grown up and independent. I was no longer needed. My life was changing and I didn’t like it. My head kept saying that this is a good thing, but my heart, my heart seemed to be breaking. It was all going to be different now. Eldest DD would be leaving home at the end of the year, and I wouldn’t have my friend, wine, to comfort me through the loss. However would I cope?
I attended my second AA meeting last night. It was good. Same format as before, different people speaking. Each one a success story, just for today. I began to talk to other people of myself today. I feel different from everyone as I have been a part of AA since being a teenager. As soon as i mentioned my dad had been sober for 27 years, people looked at me in awe. They looked at me as if I had an inbuilt mentor. I am not sure if I liked that. I wanted this to be my journey, not be in the shadow of my dad who had made a success of his sobriety. Part of my problem is that I have always felt like I have never matched up. I wanted this to be different. But avoiding the fact that my dad has been sober all those years would be being dishonest – it is an integral part of my journey to this point. Honesty is a big thing in AA. Being honest with yourself is a huge part of your recovery. Most alcoholics have found dishonesty, either subtle or obvious, a big part of their problem.
I feel like a child. Like I have been caught doing something wrong, that I shouldn’t have been doing; that I know I shouldn’t have been doing and now I am having to pay the price. I am petrified people finding out and saying, “We knew it, I told you so” I just no longer want to be judged. AA gives me that non-judgemental forum I have so long craved. When the meetings end, I don’t want to leave, despite feeling light headed and sick in the pit of my stomach. God, I hope that feeling goes.
I was urged to attend 30 meetings in 30 days. It is impossible for me to do as I have lectures until 9pm a couple of times a week, but I have resolved to go to four a week. That means I have to attend one tonight. It means I have to go on my own. I am petrified. My third meeting and I am flying solo. AA members are meant to have sponsors. I am not sure how to go about getting one. Do I ask for one? Does someone approach me and say, “Hey, would you like a sponsor?” I feel a bit lost. I will perhaps try to hand this one over to my higher power (am also struggling with the higher power thing, but another post on that one) and see what comes along, but it is nerve-racking.
I feel overwhelmed by everything. I am struggling coming to terms with never being able to drink, with the fact that I have no control over alcohol. I have always been in control of everything (HA HA, yeah, right!). A woman approached me last night. She said to me to try not to think of it as not being in control of alcohol for the rest of my life. She said to think of it as being in control of one drink, one day at a time. She said that if I choose to not pick up the first drink, that one drink, then I can’t get drunk. It was as simple as that, she said. One drink, just for today. It sounded simple enough. Why then, dear God, am I feeling so wretched?
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