Cravings, part II

On day 33 I had a different experience of the “seize.” I received a stressful email from a client. I was in a strange city and was juggling buses and noisy streets on a hot afternoon. It would have been the ideal time to head for a bar and down two or three cold beers in an attempt to counteract the stress. Counteract it. As in a reversal, a U turn, a return from a bad place. This time, though, I looked at the situation and recognized that adding alcohol to my stress would be adding another layer of stress onto the first one. For the first time, I saw the stresses as arranged in series and not as cancelling one another out. Continue reading

When the cravings seize me

That desperation to drink, usually around 3 or 4 p.m., I call the seize. It’s an unbearable tightening, a contraction of seemingly my whole being, centered in my chest. I want to record a description of it here since it seems to be slipping away. It hasn’t come in a month. But I know it will again and I don’t want to have forgotten its power.

During my last big effort to quit drinking, in early December, I went for about 10 days and then one Saturday I felt pushed to the wall. Continue reading

Desensitization: The wine aisle

This morning at the grocery store I walked slowly down the wine aisle. And the beer aisle. Then the wine aisle again.

I figured it was safe, because 5:24 a.m. is about the least likely time of day for me to have any urge to drink. At that hour I’m firmly in the grip of my other self-medicating liquid: my dark, intense, half-caff, heavy-cream-infused coffee. Continue reading

Walking away from alcohol

Hello, world.

I created this blog on day 20 of no alcohol and now it’s 25. I’ve been reading blogs about people’s sobriety journeys for several months now, and it’s been clarifying some things for me, helping to put me in a quitting frame of mind.

Four days ago I found myself thinking about relapse, as a concept, and wondering where to put that concern. I’m well aware that this addict/impulse isn’t going to go away soon, if ever. It’s cold, taller than wide, and hard; and burning at the same time. It’s been muted for three weeks, but I’m under no illusions that it’s gone. I don’t want to let my guard too down, and at the same time I don’t want to preoccupy myself excessively or let this become the center of my attention. Continue reading