I’m reaching the end of my 300s and my peaceableness with sobriety shifted quite a bit over the past 100 days. In my 320s I was still feeling like I’d jumped the fence but didn’t know where to go or what to do and so was crouched next to the fence waiting. Contentedly waiting for sure, but it was not a relaxed state, alcohol relationship-wise.
Now at day 396 I don’t feel that way anymore. Not sure how I would describe what I do feel, but it’s less of a preoccupation with beer and that whole habit. When the thought crosses my mind (which is often!), I stand there and sense the utter peacefulness that is my experience of my body and mind these days. And think, why would I send a herd of shouting, hockey-playing 12-year-olds; hungry, napless 2-year-olds; shrieking smoke alarms; rotting potatoes; and backed-up sewer pipes in there.
I remain grateful to see comments by other people on this path who aren’t all “everything’s fine and figured out!” at one year. I was very susceptible to that mindset many times in the past, and let my guard down. (It’s entirely possible that hardly anyone out there is all “everything’s fine and figured out!” at the one year mark, that I invented that idea and then amplified that message when I saw it out there.) (It’s of course also fine for people at a year to say “everything’s fine and figured out!” and/or for that to actually be the case. god bless us all.)
I’m sitting at a picnic table in a city park that I discovered during the family gathering I recently survived. Been waking up early lately, and since the sunrise is getting later I can catch it. This is how I always used to live, as a teenager, getting up during the quiet, real hours before the world starts impinging. It’s a little hard to manage/coordinate at the moment because it clashes with one of my other pleasures which is watching 22 or 33 minutes of a Netflix show with my partner and my cat at night. But it’s okay, and it’s giving me a bit of additional anchor in my days these days.
Happy nine months sober to me on August 13. I’d been feeling super squirrelly about beer for a few weeks, seemingly prompted by an upcoming event that used to be a highlight of the year and have beer as an intrinsic element: the Minnesota State Fair. I’ve typed about this before. I love that thing, immersing myself in the flow of several hundred thousand human beings, viewing the beautiful vegetables, seeing what flower species is in the flower room that day (hoping for orchids), admiring the line-up of honey jars and trying to find the queen in the observation hives (I have bees but almost never see the queens), looking to see what objects Minnesota has knitted, baked, spun, quilted, canned, sewn, painted, crocheted, sculpted, embroidered, or seed-arted. And getting progressively more tipsy as the evening wears on, stopping at my familiar beer dispensaries all along the way. (Did you used to be able to drink a pint of craft beer while meandering the fair? I don’t think you used to be able to drink a pint of craft beer while meandering the fair. This whole alcohol-everywhere trend started just in time for me to fall into it.)
Today’s one of those Monday holidays which I spent the middle of at the introvert’s nightmare — potluck full of people I don’t really know, and more importantly don’t really care to get to know (BA humbug!) held in honor of a loud mouth bore who happens to be moving to Denver. But I got to talk bees and saplings and implements for working clay soil, then escaped, and then made my way to a big grocery store that has a Starbucks/seating area where I will drink my half calf heavy cream whipped cream sober treat and plug in my earphones and sink into work on the laptop.
This large grocery store has a liquor section and Wolfie thought that after the coffee we could perhaps go over there and pick up something to continue celebrating day 200. Er yeah, maybe, what??
I can feel when it’s been too long since I wrote here. I have just a few “maintenance” activities that seem to keep me grounded and far from alcohol, and this typing is one of them. I find these days that I don’t have (don’t take the) time to really think thoroughly through thoughts on drinking. Since this is going to be the case for the foreseeable future, here we are. ! Gonna keep showing up.
The wedding went FINE. The pre-wedding dinner thingie went fine, too (all except me finding myself in someone’s bathroom without my reading glasses (I mean, who… ?!) and encountering, when I stood up after the peeing was finished, a bidet mechanism instead of the regular flush button. Rather, the flush button was there but was disconnected, and one’s only option was to use a couple of dials with words on them that were at the very least not legible to me but I think also half worn off, so reading glasses wouldn’t have helped). I mean, I didn’t drink nor was I tempted to. I enjoyed watching the mountain sky fade into its sunset, feeling kind of like I was back in my childhood home.
It’s hard to corral away time to write here. But I need to stay present. So here’s a Monday hello.
I have so many balls in the air. Slipping behind on some client work, have to do the first spring bee hive check (at least a couple of weeks late on that), have have have to get my partner’s taxes done (this is not even 2020 🙂 ), need to build modular fences for the raised bed to replace the ugly ones from last year and to have something to stretch the insect cloth over to protect my kalesies from the pretty but evil cabbage moths, need to get a roofer to patch the hole in the roof that’s causing the peeling paint on my apartment ceiling in home #2. And so on. Writing about sobriety takes a back seat.
Three digits. Themselves a little reward. Thank GOD to be here (in the secular sense).
In an email to Belle this morning, I Freudian-typo’ed, “I NEVER WANT TO DO THE FIRST 100 YEARS EVER AGAIN.”
Thank you for being here.
Have a good one!
I’m in Wyoming for a family reunion. Been looking forward to this for months! My dad lives in a tiny town up in the mountains, and I grew up in a bigger town a couple of hours away out on the plains. The wide open. But I’m up here now, and I love the shade, the pine trees, the creek flowing by this little cabin where my partner and I are staying for the next three days.
Day 55 of no alcohol.
Half the family hardly drinks at all Continue reading
I’m formulating a new image of those cravey afternoons. I’ve actually had almost none this time around (day 50 today!), for which I’m grateful. Continue reading
On Friday, day 130, I was taunted and tormented by cravings all afternoon, unlike anything I’ve felt since the first couple of weeks without alcohol back in November/December. And I am home alone for a few days. Oh, ugh.
While I sincerely appreciate the little cravings for their reminder that my mind-(and body-)set can change in an instant — going from contented, grateful, and finding it impossible that anyone with years of sobriety under their belt would ever go back — the big constant flashback rattling ones I can do without. Ugh.
I was Continue reading
I’m at day 116 and have both pulled past the constant awkwardness (as though I’ve been holding my body/mind/heart in a funny position for weeks) and, more recently, stopped paying as much attention to the number of days since my last beer. But I do still look over at that number every couple of days. It matters. At the moment it is a very strong deterrent to drinking, because boy do I not want to zap back to single digits. I love my triple digits and hope to stay here for a long, long time.
I am also aware that old habits are dying Continue reading
Today is day 49 for me, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I got a run at 2017. That wasn’t the plan — I just quit (again) on November 21 and god damn it, it finally stuck (again).
I’m in an interesting space. Getting past the first 10 days is so lovely. But I remained preoccupied, and then reaching 30 brought more great relief. I think this is the first time I’ve hit 30 days since the first time I quit in spring of 2015. (I feel so ashamed to admit that. I know I “shouldn’t.” But damn it I do. I promised myself I’d be honest on this blog, so there it is.) But I’ve stayed preoccupied in a low-grade way. Not craving, exactly, but wanting. I have a low-grade missing of my IPAs. A gentle nervousness Continue reading
I’ve come to see quitting alcohol not as a thing in itself, but as an element in the larger human project of quieting ourselves and calming our logistics in order to reveal our deeper connections — to ourselves and our surroundings.
For people with problems with alcohol dependency, quitting alcohol is essential. It’s such an insanely powerful introducer-of-chaos and numbing tool. But peace is not found in the absence of alcohol. It’s found when we find our own way to access the quiet, joyful, unworried self inside who knows we’re safe. Intrinsically safe and whole. Continue reading
Good morning, people. Once again I find myself so fully occupied with life logistics that the stream of blog posts I draft in my head goes untyped. But I think of this little cyberspace of mine and I’m reading what other bloggers in the sobercybersphere write and I have a lot to say about what I’m reading and experiencing. But that’s for another day.
The Washington Post had a very nice article today called “For Women Heavy Drinking Has Been Normalized” about the social phenomenon we’re seeing Continue reading
I feel really happy these days about my alcohol-free Fridays. Such a nicer way to live. I am sure the occasional twisted craving will strike at random times on future days (maybe even tomorrow), but for now all is quiet and calm.
Happy Friday, everyone.