My Angelic April: Day 21

So I am at the three week stage. Think I need to congratulate myself. Well done Laverne!! It almost seems too easy at times with the slide into complacency far too accessible. It’s kind of strange that in 9 days time my abstinence period will be over. So what is going to happen? At the stroke of midnight on the 1st of May will I crack open a bottle of red and toast myself? What would be the point in that? It does scare me the thought of drinking alcohol again because if I am completely truthful with myself I know once I got the taste and feeling of it again that I get greedy and can’t show restraint like I wish I could. It goes back to the choice and decision making again. My concern is my decision making skills can be very much impaired when under the influence of alcohol. Drinking affects people in different ways but I usually get a “let’s party!” and “throw caution to the wind” feeling which results in the need for a bigger buzz and so I drink more and kid myself that I am
in control. I am not in control. Alcohol is in control.

I found this useful website in the last days leading up to my abstinence from a university in the states. On their website there was a whole section dedicated to students who felt that drink was becoming an issue for them. It has lots of advice regarding chronic and acute or binge drinking and although aimed towards their student population it works the same for the likes of me too. It was there that the 30 days abstinence was suggested. It has a page to each day with advice, information, inspiring quotes and is very truthful and accessible. When I wake up I read the page for that day and find it spurs me on. It does talk a lot about complacency and how it is easy to lose your motivation to continue with the decision to not drink. Too much confidence is a trap. After a while the craving lessens and I sometimes think, ‘hey what’s the big deal?’ I know that to drink just now would open up the trapdoor and falling through would be inevitable. I’ve spoken a lot about choices and decisions lately and thinking about my drinking as a simple choice helps me see with more clarity that the decision I make is mine and mine alone. I have forever blamed stress, unhappy marriage, difficult family stuff as reasons for drinking too much. It’s the blame culture. It’s easier to lay the blame at someone else’s door and relinquish responsibility. It’s out of my control! I had no choice! I needed it! Sometimes when still married I would drink anything in the house- beer, wine, spirits ( all three) to get drunk so as to deal with the hostile marriage. I thought, ‘Yeah! This’ll piss him off’ and all it did was make me confused, out of control, forgetful and weaker. Then in the morning I’d feel so knackered I couldn’t be bothered carry the argument on or couldn’t actually remember most of it. I was unhappy, very unhappy but getting drunk was only making me feel worse.

The habit stuck with me and then after binges I found myself blaming it on my past and worried about the future but never living or seeing the here and now. I am working a lot on the present. Using a little of the mindfulness practises that I have learnt from my friend Dri and have read about I am focussing on my life more in the moment. I like it even though it can be hard.

Day by day, minute by minute.

I read a quote today which really resonated with me:

” I know the solution. When we have a world of only now with no shadows of yesterdays or clouds of tomorrow, then saying what we can do will work.”

– Goldie Ivener

The decision is mine.

Nighty night x

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