So day 133 and I am still in a very strong sober place. It is safe to say I have nearly no thoughts about drinking at all.... until I get smacked upside the head with a massive one. Completely off guard and unawares I get a wallop of a craving(?) craving is not exactly it, a self destructive thought more like.
For example I am walking around the grocery store and I am feeling good, borderline great, and thinking of all that I have achieved recently; done more painting and decorating in 6 weeks than I have in 9 years, building work coming along great, mood has been up and down but I am in control, I am morphing into a very positive determined person, I am eating differently (ie not gorging on carbs 24/7) and have lost 8-12lbs, daughter doing ok, dogs happy and healthy, different outlook on life etc etc. All good stuff. Then........ Vodka on sale for a stupidly low price and on a promotional display, voice chirps up "oooh I'd love to drink all that, all alone, bag of ice. Bliss" That was it, no struggling to decide if I want to do it or if I should or shouldn't, it is not going to happen and I know that but the thought just came like a flash into my brain.
What a wonderful gift that thought is, I real bone fide gift. That thought just as it stands shows me there is no illusions of a sophisticated glass of Rioja or a martini out with the girls after work, it is about seclusion, isolation, numbing and addiction. A connoisseur doesn't look at a bottle of wine delighting in the fact they are going to guzzle it all down, they sip it. Having that clear realisation and then coupling it with how I would feel the next morning along with memories of my last time drinking was a fabulous reminder of why I don't want to ever go back down that road again. Well apart from the part of me that does, the part that despite everything pointing in the opposite direction, that this time it would be different. My mind occasionally plays out little vignettes of scenarios where I could start drinking again, all horrific and upsetting but in the distorted addict corner of my mind, all good reasons to drink again. Even more worryingly, there is a subtle knowledge that if I started drinking again, it might be til death. Yep there is a part of me that thinks if I start again there is NO stopping and it could be the undoing of me. This fortunately sparks off a list of things I would miss out on in life, fully enjoying my daughter's wedding, or grandkids, maybe even meeting a partner, travelling when I retire etc.
Once you have reached a stage with drinking where you realise you are drinking too much or you know in your heart of hearts that if you open the bottle you are drinking the whole bottle, the only way from then on is further down. This thought is a great lifeline to me but might be a bitter pill to others. I just know I am lucky where I am right now, that I got off the elevator when I did. If I get on again, I might be on for longer than I intend and the next bottom will be a lot further down.
Thankfully I don't have to do that and I am very happy in the place I am now. I still have weeks of crippling, sheer exhaustion when I can barely make it out of bed but interspersed with that are weeks or pure energy where I tackle those lost, forgotten areas of the house drinking forgot. My house is coming on leaps and bounds and the metaphorical cleaning out the closets is doing wonders for my home and my mind. I am moving forward and seeing great progress and in 6 days I will have passed my previous record of 138 days.
I am still having Groundhog Day but now in a more positive way. It's predictable that I wake up with no hangover, it's predictable that even on my most tired of days I get something productive done, it's predictable I don't have to lie and pretend that I feel ok terrified someone will see through my facade. My life is a little bit dull to those looking in but to me it is fantastic compared to what it was before and I feel it is only going to continue to get better.