Saturday, July 28, 2018

7/28/18 Bad Day

Yesterday was not good.  My son has promised he would go on a hike with me. In my mind it was a reward for completing my IOP and getting all of my housework done. In his mind it was never a "for sure" thing. I waited for him to finally wake up only for him to say he didn't want to/couldn't bc he had too much to do and he was too tired.

My day just went off the rails. I was very disappointed which turned into being mad at him. Then, when outside, a neighbor said, "Want to get together for a beer later this afternoon?" which turned into me feeling sorry for myself bc I couldn't which turned into me getting really anxious about our upcoming vacation in which I can't drink. When he left to have lunch with a friend, I just sat in my room and cried. Then I binge watched Intervention. I did nothing all day and just felt really down in the dumps.

I even went as far as thinking, "My son doesn't even seem to care how disappointed I am. Maybe I will just have a beer and then he will know how upset he made me." How terrible is that! To make my son feel guilty for me having a beer! I couldn't believe I even thought this. That addictive voice is so selfish and conniving!

I am not going to lie - the thought of just letting go of all this silly sober stuff and having a beer with my friend and then being able to drink on vacation made me feel better. When I allowed myself to go to that mental place of justifying drinking, I really did feel my mood lift.

I also think the thought of my first sober vacation is really weighing on me. I drove to the airport on Wednesday and my thoughts went from excited bc next week I will be driving here to get on a plane for vacation to super excited bc my mind immediately went to being able to drink to disappointment that I can't drink (like I felt my shoulders slump) to worry and anxiety about having a sober vacation. All of these thoughts were out of my control and just flooded over me.

I didn't let myself stay in that place for too long for the fear of it sticking. I tried to "think it all the way through". If I had a beer with my friend, I would wake up tomorrow morning so mad at myself. I would think about the fact that it really didn't do that much for me and it wasn't worth how mad I would be the next day. It would also really increase my anxiety about vacation. I would be thinking things like, "Well I already screwed up. I might as well wait until after vacation to start again. It will be fine. My family might be a little disappointed in me, but they will get over it.  I will show them that I can do it after vacation." Those voices become so strong they are sometimes hard to resist. I read that these voices are the hallmark of an addiction. Proof I am addicted to alcohol.

I also tried to think about the saying, "Life on life's terms." I don't really understand that saying but I think it might mean "ya, so you are having a bad day, your son bailed on you...everyone has bad days - you don't need a drug to make you feel better - that makes you a drug addict - it will pass - it is just a bad day - hopefully tomorrow will be better. Drinking may help you feel better in the moment bc you are feeding your addiction, but most certainly will not help you be free from shame and disappointment in yourself. Drinking is not the answer to making a bad day better as it makes your tomorrow worse. Also, you need to have this sober vacation.  This is the perfect time to do it. You are only with your family - no drinking friends - who are supportive of your sobriety and will be super proud of you. Also, you may just have a relaxing, fun sober time. You will be so proud of yourself and it will be another really big milestone in your recovery"

I got over being mad at my son - like 10 hours later. I was really honest with my dh. He asked what would make me feel better. My immediate response was, "a beer." This made me think that the one disappointment in my day was really just getting my addiction becoming active and giving me an excuse. 

I didn't snap out of it - I just binge watched Big Brother and went to bed. I feel better today, but still not great. 


  1. Days like that suck, and it's hard to not have alcohol to get through them. Really feeling your feelings, getting upset, and sitting with the discomfort is tough. I do think it gets easier with practice and longer term sobriety - it's not that you won't have bad days, but you'll be used to dealing with them head on, and won't crave alcohol. All the work you've done around recognizing your addicted voice ("oh, I'm not that bad - I just need to moderate") is really important - now you know that voice isn't rational, it's dangerous and can't be trusted. Also, kudos to thinking through the drink - really thinking about the consequences of drinking is the number one thing that got me through cravings in the early days.

    Is there anyone in your group you can call when you have days like this? When you're feeling bad and thinking about drinking, texting or calling a sober friend is SO valuable.

    Have you thought about the sober tools you'll use when you're on vacation? I'm worried for you, since vacations have been hard for you in the past.

    Anyway, so impressed by your progress! It's been so inspiring to see how much your thinking has grown since you started going to treatment. Keep on pushing on!

    1. Good thoughts here.
      Do you have a sober buddy? Have you looked into sober supports where you are travelling? Have you asked your husband to have a sober holiday with you?
      All things to consider. Leaving your comfort zone...

  2. It might be worth focusing on having a relaxing and fun vacation, rather than a restrictive sober vacation where you can’t drink.

    The truth is you have chosen to not drink anymore because it’s made your life unmanageable. It’s not adding anything, and it had become a risk that it could take more.

    That’s a self confident and compassionate choice.

    As for your son...resentment is a dangerous thing for and addict. It leads us to wanting to drink the poison and hope some else dies. That’s where the self awareness you are building serves you. You did not choose to drink and blame your son. Because you are no longer allowing others to rule your life.

    It’s ok to be disappointed, but he is not responsible for your happiness. You are.

    This is a perfect example f a day that would have led you to drinking in the past. Instead you took care of yourself. It sucks, but that’s life.

    Great job. Keep thinking of all the great aspects of your vacation thatyou will enjoy because you don’t drink. It’s not easy, but it’s trying yourself to see the joy.


  3. I went on vacation to Maui in January. It was my first truly sober vacation. I had some of the same thoughts you are having, but I did not drink...and I had a great vacation. It was lovely to wake up in paradise every morning feeling great and ready to get out the door for a run. It was moderately annoying listening to people order their drinks at the pool, but I didn't dwell on it and those feelings didn't last. My husband and I used to enjoy sitting on the deck with a cocktail while we watched the sun set. This time I found out sunsets are still beautiful in Maui without a drink. And dinner tasted better without my senses dulled. Instead of focusing on what you can't have (that drink) try to find some things to get excited about that you can do because you didn't getting up in the morning for a run or yoga or hike. Plan it out and research where you will go in advance so you can look forward to it. Then go on your vacation and enjoy those things!

  4. Good advice above.
    Vacations are for me now. The first one I was pouty, but then I realized how better they were without all the hangovers!
    Learning to let go of resentments is super important. I can't control others, so I can only control what I do, think or feel.