It should come as no surprise to anyone that since my last post, I have resumed drinking. I believe I had been on day 2 of a goal of 10 days with no drinking. I was on a walk, listening to a Bubble Hour podcast and I felt an anxiety deep inside me. I felt the same anxiety when I came home from my walk and started reading The Sober Revolution: Women Calling Time on Wine O’Clock. Both had been intended to motivate and inspire me, but instead I felt sick and scared. And I was hungry and tired. (Who was it in the sober blogosphere that said not to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired?) I was supposed to go to a friend’s house after dinner for tea with another friend, and while I ate dinner I poured and drank two very large glasses of wine. I did it defiantly, and I regretted it instantly.
When I left to meet my friends, it was humid out, with spontaneous outbursts of heavy rain; public transportation was a mess owing to street construction; and I felt heavy and thick-headed as I made my way there. My stomach burned painfully, I felt bloated and uncomfortable, and the whole evening (which should have been fun, which I had been looking forward to because of its sober nature) was miserable.
I have had a drink every day since then. Some days I’ve had a lot, and some days only a glass, but not a day has gone by where I haven’t had some form of alcohol (usually wine).
It is 3:20 am. I am unable to sleep. I woke up about an hour ago, a little sweaty and a lot scared. Again. This is not the first time I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with the feeling of dread in my pit of my stomach. I have vowed countless times, “I’m not going to drink tonight” or “I’m not going to drink for the week” or “I’m not going to drink for the next three days.” And I’ve never once made it to the end of the day.
I’ve been given some incredible professional opportunities lately. The kind that only come along once, and if you blow it, they don’t come along again. The work I do is mental, and requires sharp eyes, a refreshed brain, and loads of concentration. I need to sleep well. I need to maximize the hours in my day (i.e., make use of after-dinner hours, when normally I’m in a wine fog on the couch). I need to exercise daily and eat well to keep myself healthy, both of which take time (i.e., time I’d normally spend in a wine fog on the couch). I want to succeed. This is my chance to prove myself.
Yet I’m dangerously close to blowing it. I’m drinking wine daily. I’m putting off tasks because I’m tired or hangover. When I get anxious and stressed, as I inevitably do, I’m turning to my old pal cab sauv rather than exercising and clearing my mind in a healthy way. I’m wasting precious time thinking about drinking, drinking, and recovering from drinking. Even if it’s only two glasses with dinner, it still means I’m unproductive for the rest of the evening. It still means that I’m not doing laundry, prepping breakfast or lunch for the next day, going to the gym (or heck, even packing my gym bag). I personally believe that success in life, particularly in times of tight time management, requires advance planning and preparation; I’m more likely to dress nicely at work, complete my list of tasks, hit the gym, and eat well if I’ve done the legwork the day before. But even though that legwork only takes an hour or so, I’m still not doing it because I’m “relaxing” in a way that renders me useless.
And sleep. I know that drinking ruins my sleep pattern. I am desperate for a solid eight hours. I am desperate for deep, healing restorative sleep, the kind I haven’t experienced in weeks. I could weep for it.
I don’t want to commit to 100 days of not drinking, or 30 days, or 10 days. The only day I want to commit to is today. I would like to not drink today. This is my plea and my prayer.