Thinking about wine

This week I’ve had wine on the brain.      

I’m not actually craving it. I just keep thinking about it. A lot. It’s as if I’m running along a narrow path, feeling good because I’m happy and still sober, but every now and then a big fat wine thought blocks the way. I have to jump over it, or kick it out the way to carry on going.

When I pause to think about each wine related thought logically, I realise I don’t want or need a drink. I think about all the things I learnt at the alcohol seminar last week and I remind myself that alcohol has NO benefits.

But still these thoughts keep popping into my head, sent there by some well-trained muscle. Maybe part of my brain is a few weeks behind the rest of it. Long, stressful day at work? Brain: Pick up some white wine on the way home. That’ll be nice. Me: I’m not drinking any more. Brain: Oh yeah. Forgot about that. 

I was watching EastEnders the other day (shouldn’t really admit to watching such rubbish) and Sharon and Tanya were having a proper heart to heart over a bottle of wine. Instantly I felt a twinge and my first thought was: Oh poor me, I’ll never be able to do that again. The days of gossiping with my friends are over.

When I put my logical hat back on I can see that this is not true. I like catching up with my friends because I like them. They like me. We are interested in each others lives. That won’t change. It’s just my twisted, pickled brain that thinks taking away the wine takes away everything, like it’s some kind of magic ingredient.     

Constantly working through all of these thoughts and emotions is hard work. (Yeah I know, first world problems). Actually, just thinking is quite hard work, because when you drink you don’t have to bother with thinking all that much. Maybe I’m just out of the habit. Maybe I just need to keep ploughing on.


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6 thoughts on “Thinking about wine

  1. khaireideerslayers April 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm Reply

    Definitely agree with you that all the *thinking* is kind of exhausting! Keep panicking, thinking, oh god, but how am i ever going to just switch off again….? I actually had to have a stern word with myself the other day for romanticising blackouts as a nice little brain rest. how insane is that?? when i think of all the millions of brain cells each time must have anihalated Im horrified. but theres my alcoholic brain… so sneaky and deluded! Keep it up, you’re doing a good thing xx

    • soberjournalist April 24, 2013 at 11:15 pm Reply

      A brain rest! i know exactly what you mean. It’s so easy to look back through rose tinted glasses. Easy to forget about all the times I woke up at 4am worried about what I’d done a few hours before… How are you getting on living with housemates who drink? x

  2. anathu April 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm Reply

    Hey, well done for overcoming the roadblocks. Tonight I had a nice chat and gossip with a friend I normally drink wine with. I said to her that she can bring wine for herself if she wants but she was happy drinking tea with me as she is one of those who can take it or leave it. It was lovely and reassuring that we talked just as much and had just as much fun even without the wine! x

    • soberjournalist April 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm Reply

      That’s great! Good for you. And you will be able to remember everything you said in the morning! x

  3. Mary LA April 25, 2013 at 9:40 am Reply

    In my first year I spent a lot of time paying attention to what was going on in my thoughts and emotions — in part because it was all so new, unfamiliar and so uncomfortable.

    You might try talking back to the craving the next time one comes up. Just ask,’ What do we really want here?’ Then run through various options: the taste, the sound of alcohol being poured, the anticipation, the relief of the first mouthful, the little euphoric lift at the end of the first glass. The promise of it. The illusion.

    And what are you craving after that? Because the craving is in itself an insatiable hungry ghost. You want more euphoria, more glasses of liquor, more drunkenness. What you get is always unsatisfying, the sensation of losing control, the mood going into a downward slump, the regret about having had anything to drink, the old pattern of too much and nothing helping any longer. Having to start counting days all over again in the morning because drinking changes nothing. If you have one problem, drinking just gives you another problem. That is where any craving that is indulged will end up. The cravings are empty at core, no substance. What we crave and yearn for doesn’t exist in a glass.

    Remember too that the cravings will gradually ease off and fade the longer you stay sober. Good luck!

    • carrythemessage April 26, 2013 at 5:26 am Reply

      Of course you’re thinking about alcohol. We’re alcoholics. We used to think about booze all the time. That’s the mental obsession…that’s what alcoholics *do*…and drink of course..ha ha. If you weren’t thinking about alcohol early in your recovery, then I would question your qualifying as an alcoholic! It’s natural, in other words, to be thinking about it, even if you don’t want to drink. I don’t think so much about alcohol as I do recovery these days, and what I need to do and can do, to stay sober and happy.

      I really like what Mary said above…the thought, the illusion of that first drink is just a temporary slaking that never gets quenched. It’s absolutely true. There is more to it than that cork popping our, or whatever ritual we enjoy. The idea that alcohol enhances life is something that we need to smash. Maybe it works for others, but for us…nah. Never again. Hadn’t done it in a long time. But we keep searching for that perfect moment where all is right in the universe…and we overshoot the mark all the time.

      Keep ploughing on…


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