Cleaning and complaining

I’ve been in bad mood these past few days. I feel really, really annoyed about not being able to drink. The pink clouds have gone. Although I’ve been focused on the 100 day challenge, in the back of my mind I’ve always wanted this to be a more permanent decision. Suddenly, the idea of not drinking ever again is depressing.

The weather is great and the rest of the world is sunbathing in beer gardens. I hate them. I turn on the TV and everyone is opening bottles of white wine. Two friends got married last weekend and Facebook is awash with pictures of them clutching glasses of champagne.

As someone who doesn’t have a boyfriend, never mind a potential husband, maybe it is a little ridiculous to worry about how I won’t be able to have champagne on my big day. And with my logical hat on, I know that being sober would not stop me having a magical wedding. But still.

I keep thinking – was my drinking really that bad? Cos it definitely wasn’t as bad as some people’s. I have what you might call a high bottom. I never got caught drink driving, I never lost a job and I never ended up in a police station. I just quietly got shit faced on my own.

It occurred to me today that if you told me I could never eat chocolate again I’d be pretty gutted. I love the stuff. I’m not addicted to chocolate but I’d really miss it. I’d probably think about it a lot and obsess about it. Therefore, the fact that I have wine on the brain doesn’t necessarily mean that I have a problem. Right?

I guess the difference between my passion for chocolate and my passion for alcohol is that chocolate has never caused me any problems. I have never called in sick at work, passed out on the sofa or done things I don’t remember after eating too much chocolate. I have never started eating chocolate and found myself unable to stop. I’ve never stumbled around looking for a late night chocolate shop.These are the kind of random, swirly, angry thoughts I’ve been having this week. Big old pity party for one. Turns out anger makes me pretty good at cleaning though. Over the past few days I’ve spent hours on my hands and knees, scrubbing the floor of my balcony, after I realised the wood floor was actually supposed to be light brown and not black. I meant to do that last summer. I also meant to buy patio furniture but never got round to it. But I’ve finally got it all done. A few days ago everything was dirty and green tinged. Now it’s all shiny and clean and my new red patio furniture looks pretty ace. It’ll be a great place to drink wine I mean, it’ll be a great place to drink Virgin Mojitos. 

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12 thoughts on “Cleaning and complaining

  1. karenperrycreates June 1, 2013 at 12:16 am Reply

    I had a high bottom too. It makes it hard for me to remember sometimes why I quit but I’ve never once regretted the decision. When I find myself romanticizing drinking or wishing I could be a “normal” drinker, I remind myself of all the reasons why I can’t drink. I like your chocolate analogy.

    • soberjournalist June 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm Reply

      Thanks. I think I just need to get over the fact that I can’t be a normal drinker! I know I can’t drink like other people, and when I do, the short term perceieved pleasure is not worth the guilt and chaos that follows. Just got to keep remembering that…

  2. Tom Stringham June 1, 2013 at 12:41 am Reply

    Great post. Quitting alcohol is harder than most drugs, partly because society hasn’t turned against it.You’re going up against not only your own craving, but also against the incredible forces promoting alcohol use in society. Props to you for doing this challenge; I wish you all the best.

  3. Amy June 1, 2013 at 12:52 am Reply

    All those fun parts look so fun. But then you don’t see the hangover the next day. Or the embarrassment, or the stuff that makes drinking suck. And then look at you- clear eyed with chocolate on your chin. The ups and downs can be so…..up and fucking down. Hang in there.

    • soberjournalist June 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm Reply

      You’re right. I know I can’t do those things without it ending in disaster. It’s just sometimes I wish I had the ability to drink like a normal person … but seen as that’s not going to happen I better carry on doing this.

  4. soberrella June 1, 2013 at 10:52 am Reply

    You are doing so well. Keep it up. I am so happy for you and I want so much to do what your doing.

  5. Mrs D June 1, 2013 at 11:43 pm Reply

    Hang in there indeed. I love this post. I remember the exact same phase and all I could see on the tele was people enjoying wine and my brain was exploding with the knowledge that I was attempting to never drink ever again. Never again???!! WTF? We have to dig deep to remember all the very good valid reasons why we don’t want or need to drink ever again, and dig deep to realise that alcohol doesn’t have the power to make any event better… those champagne glasses at the wedding might well have been filled with sparkling grape juice! Who knows. And as Amy says.. what those images don’t show is the hangover, or the guilt, or the vomit, or the sloppy talk, or the droopy eyelids. Cleaning! My method of dealing with cravings too. You are doing great .. just keep on keeping on and I promise (to use a well-worn cliche) .. this too shall pass….

  6. christinawoods June 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm Reply

    The never ever ever again is still hard to accept on my side also. I have similar thoughts: Ahhh I m not that bad compared to some others, or I dont drink that often. But as you very well said “between my passion for chocolate and my passion for alcohol is that chocolate has never caused me any problems” chocolate abuse is never responsible of blackouts! Great post! Hang in there.

  7. khaireideerslayers June 4, 2013 at 9:24 am Reply

    I don’t know how I missed this post on my dashboard but OMG I felt like you had taken the words right out of my mouth! I have spent what must be *hours* in between aa meetings thinking, yeahhhh but am I really an alcoholic? I even went through the same mental pattern as you, of: if I was never allowed [insert something innocuous that I like] again I would definitely feel the same annoyance and craving for it as I am for alcohol.
    Maybe it’s just perfectly natural.
    With chocolate, for me, I know that I am still looking for comfort from it, or a sugar rush, or something other than just something to feed my body. Most of the time when I eat it i’m not even hungry! Like I can’t see myself getting that upset about never being allowed spinach again. I think I just can’t stop looking for things that *change the way I feel*. But I’m letting that go for now as, like you say, it seems to be replacing one compulsion which was ruining my life (not in a jail / homelessness / destitution way, but in the way that it was destroying my ability to get along with myself) with another which is relatively innocent.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know you are not alone! I don’t have any answers to anything but it does feel reassuring to me that I am not the only one that has had these thoughts. In fact it reaffirms to me that it was just my brain looking for an easy way out of having to accept that alcohol is not the magic solution I always assumed / hoped it was.
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday and some peace and quiet! Lots of love X

  8. sobermagpie October 6, 2013 at 2:13 am Reply

    Reblogged this on sobermagpie and commented:
    This exactly how I feel after a couple of weeks off the booze…….am I really that bad……now I have to answer…..YES I AM. Thank you soo much for honest andvaluable insights soberjournalist. Much love x

  9. sobermalarky November 25, 2013 at 12:04 am Reply

    I got married sober in June. We kept it absolutely tiny and mostly secret (the wedding that is) We went for bowling and shakes with 4 friends after, I didn’t tell anyone they couldn’t drink but not one of them did. Afterwards we drove to a stone circle in brilliant sunshine and pledged to the Universe. It was not what most people expect of a wedding but it was the proudest day of my life. If you want it, one day you’ll have the wedding you need, on the terms you need, and drink will be the furthest thing from your mind, I guarantee it.

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