Relapse (or is it a blip?)

So, I fucked up last night.

Well actually, I’m not sure I’d say it was a fuck up. The cravings started like CRAZY in the late afternoon. I don’t know about other people, but urge surfing often does not work for me. It felt like the cravings came in waves that got stronger and stronger until finally, as the husband was bathing the kids, I drove ten minutes into town to buy wine. Of course, I drank it all.

Honestly, the only thing keeping me from going sooner to buy the wine was knowing that I’d have to write to you all about it! I considered not admitting it. I considered shutting down the whole blog. In the end I decided that someone else reading this might need to know that it’s freaking hard for other people too.

I have the shittiest hangover today, worse than normal. The brain fog is insane. I’m lightheaded. I’m nauseous. I was at work this morning and I struggled to string together a well-worded sentence. This one task I was working on took at least three times longer than it needed to. I feel annoyed with myself but also not too upset because I fought those cravings so hard for so many hours.

I just wish I knew WHY some days are so much harder. I wish there was a way to pre-steel myself for the tough days so I’m not on high alert every day because that’s just exhausting.

The learning from this (because there has to be a learning or it was just a big waste) is that in the past I’d probably say “fuck it” and drink tonight too and maybe the next few nights but this time, I’m not doing that. I’m going to dust myself off, remember how crappy I feel right now for as long as possible and get another 6 days under my belt.

28 thoughts on “Relapse (or is it a blip?)

  1. Well done for sharing instead of closing down the blog – that’s a big deal! When I 1st stopped I had horrible cravings at wine o’clock and would go through all sorts until I read about addictive voice recognition aka the wine witch. Once I separated out the part of me saying drink or your life’s not worth living as ‘other’ then I would tell her where to go and realised that I didn’t want her making all my life decisions which were usually of the fuck it variety! Also nice other drinks help, chocolate or other treats, do something different at that time so break the habit etc etc. I don’t crave at teatime at all now – I only ever want alcohol if I’m struggling emotionally – plan tonight and be kind to yourself lots of love 💞💞

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  2. By knowing that this is an experience you can learn from and use to motivate you to go again shows huge self-awareness & resilience 😊 I remember starting to drink after 20 days and I got myself stuck in a cycle for a month before I started doing sober spring. It’s bloody hard, but it’s worth it & we’re all here to support you! You got this 💜

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    1. Thanks, Paige! I’ve been trying on sobriety for a year and half and this is the most hopeful I’ve felt (with this blog and all of you having my back). 100 Days! I can do it! 💪

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  3. Yes, just get back on the horse. No biggie. My secret for surviving the first 6 weeks of 100 days was massive amounts of licorice on those horrible craving days. Writing about it on the blog as it is happening. And going to bed as early as I need to. Anything you need to do to get through it is ok. And trust that no one ever regrets not drinking in the morning. You can do it! 🤗

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  4. It’s hard as hell, just keep trying. Blogging really helps, anything other than drinking helps. I read a ton of books and the Allen Carr stuck with me. I’m not an AA meeting but you could try some on line ones. Any type of support network check out.

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  5. I definitely learned a lot along the way as I know you will. Reviewing the scene and looking at what triggered me to consume mass quantities started me looking ahead at being prepared with other options. Like you said shake it off, learn from it, and move forward👍

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  6. To relapse or lapse … that is the question.

    Firstly, you have done the best thing staying accountable on here. No one judges and we all know just how tough this is. You have the right approach for sure.
    I agree with Mikey above .. it’s done and sobriety is about honesty and self awareness. Life throws things up that when you are drinking you bury and avoid dealing with. Sobriety means you have to deal with all of those emotions and not hide away. It’s fucking hard to sit with them some days. But unless you do sit with them, you won’t know that they pass and you won’t discover the tools you have to cope. You can do this. Work our what emotions and feelings you are not liking. What is it you are attempting to numb and drown out? Those feelings will still be there when the alcohol is gone .. just even harder to deal with hungover!!

    Keep going. One day at a time. Stay connected here
    Claire xxx

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    1. I’m going to have to do some more work figuring out what the trigger was yesterday. It’s usually pretty clear for me but yesterday was a real head scratcher. I know I have a lot of stuffed emotions around a strict religious upbringing and that’s been bubbling up lately so I might have to dig into that….

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  7. You are so amazing for writing this. I’m so glad you didn’t shut down the blog. You are helping so much with your bravery and honesty. I can really resonate with this. A couple books that helped me with the split-brain struggle (do I drink, no I won’t, maybe just tonight, nonono, I’ll be ok…) Allan Carr’s Easy Way to Control Alcohol and Holly Witaker’s Quit Like a Woman. (We Are the Luckies and The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober are all great, too) Allan Carr’s books are especially good at deconstructing why we do this to ourselves and how to change our mindset so we stop. It’s like a flip switched off for me. I couldn’t fight off the cravings and then I could. It took some detangling through. And that was just my experience. I’m not saying it’s easy- I have to wake up early to build a buffer around myself strong enough to protect me, but so far it’s working.

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    1. I love this, thank you! Allen Carr was the first one I read when I started realizing I had a problem (actually linked through a post on Holly’s site – her book is on my hit list too!). I sure hope my experience is like yours. I once quit sugar for a year and a half and after a while it was a complete non-issue. Maybe booze will be the same for me!

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  8. There are two schools of thought on relapse or “slip”. Twelve Step groups say start all over while treatment programs say differently – it doesn’t matter. The point is, we drank. Sobriety is about being truthful with yourself about what’s going on and learning new ways to adjust to life without drinking. For instance, if I’m mad, I don’t put on a happy face while inside I’m burning to get someone back for what they said to me. I start to ask myself questions – why do I think a drink is going to solve the problem? Being truthful with yourself is probably the hardest part of sobriety. We can lie to ourselves without anyone else every knowing. But that mole hill will turn into a mountain quickly if we let it. Right now, let the fog clear. This is what I tell others: The past is written in stone; it can’t be changed. The future hasn’t happened; nor does it ever happen like we imagine. You have just today. Don’t beat yourself up. But you do have to get brutally honest with yourself, “Am I done drinking?” Perhaps I’ll share my story of when I got sober the first and second times. Why did I got back to the drink? Here is some honesty you may not know – you’re actually helping me not take a drink! I’ll post the link in a few.

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    1. Thanks so so much for this, Mikey. I would love to read more about your story. I think I’d feel disingenuous not restarting my count so I’ll call today Day 1 again. And heck yes on the lying to myself. I do it waaaay too often.

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  9. again, I’m really admirative of the attitude. I think coming here and writing about it + avoiding the all or nothing “fuck it” mentality to choose instead to dust yourself off and keep going is the BEST thing you can do. (ps. urge surfing is SO hard, I agree. My daily meditation practice is the only thing that made it bearable for me. I think. Have you ever given it a go?). In any case, congrats on still being here with us 🙂 That’s definitely something to be proud of! xxx Anne

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    1. Meditation is like sobriety for me – LOVE it when I do it and know it’s so good for me, but still weirdly hard! If you’re saying it helped you with the urges though, I’m going to get more serious about it. I don’t want another day like today.

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      1. I totally understand. i can only speak from my own experience, but overall after almost 2 years of daily practice, my ability to deal with cravings and urges of ALL kinds has greaaaaatly improved. Mostly because previously I would stay stuck in the “oh no, this is going to last forever, the only way out of this is giving in or eternal torture”. Whereas now I am more able to remember to breathe and trust that it will pass if I stop resisting and just accept that there is an urge. Of course it’s still a work in progress, but incomparably better. Long story short, meditation has become a way of life, like brushing my teeth, and that made all the difference. xxx Anne

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