Agitated

My Friday night started out fine but, without any real reason, has gone to shit. 

Today was the longest day in a week of very long days. There is a lot of uncertainty and pressure at work. I have a number of family members in crisis. And I have a bad attitude. 

I don’t want to write this blog post, or watch the Olympics with my kids, or read a book.

Instead, I want to turn OFF. I want the voices from the week to stop chatting it up in my head. I want to stop thinking about what I didn’t get done. I want to stop thinking, full stop.

I want everything to go quiet and hazy. 

Can that even happen without alcohol? Is “quiet and hazy” even a healthy, recovery-focused goal?

My wine was my OFF switch. And while I don’t necessarily want a glass of wine tonight, I do want an OFF switch equivalent. Ideally, it would be something as reliable as wine was, back in the day (55 whole days ago). This is how it used to go:

The first glass is the cocktail equivalent of flicking the lights: a non-threatening signal that closing time is coming and the chattering committee in my head needed to pack it up for the night.

With the second glass, the message is more direct: “Your presence is no longer required. Get Out.”

With the third glass, well, that’s the beauty of a third glass of wine, right? It was just me and the wine. And nobody else. I was OFF.

I need to find a reliable, wine-equivalent OFF switch.

Any suggestions? (And please know that I hate baths. They don’t work for me as a reliever of stress or anything else.)

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10 thoughts on “Agitated

  1. This is hard. Really hard. It is a powerful moment though because this is where you start to break the back of the addiction by not giving into the discomfort; by not taking refuge in a habitual means of escape. I promise you that you can say all those things to the chattering in your head when you’re sober. The great thing is that you won’t wake up hungover tomorrow. It will pass. Sending you a ((hug)).

  2. There isn’t one. We learn to live with pressures at work and family members in crisis and bad attitudes. Just be with it. It’ll pass. Bedtime will come. Tomorrow will roll around, and the next day and the next.. time passes.. things resolve, or develop or whatever it is that ‘things’ do.. it’s just sober living… you gotta take the crunchy with the smooth (to quote Clarence to Alabama in True Romance).. and it gets easier. I love what iamsobernow wrote above.. this is a powerful moment, you are breaking the habit to reach for an escape.. ya just gotta sit with it.. go to bed early with a good book! Take care xxx

  3. Boy, do I know exactly, but exactly, what you mean. I know it so well that I can even feel it, just reading your words. And that moment, that longing, that need to escape- well, that’s why we got hooked in the first place. From the, ahem, not-so-grand vantage point of a little over 100 days: I agree with Mrs. D, it does get easier. My stuck-in-the-moment, help-I-need-to-get-out-of-here-right-now strategies include all sorts of distractors. Going to bed amazingly early is really helpful
    – that Tomorrow is Another Day stuff. And mind games- not the sucky emotional ones, lol- but crossword puzzles, video games, iPhone games. They take my mind on a little trip away from my Right Now Suffering. Make a list of the things you LIKE to do, that take no effort and feel like re-chargers; mindless shopping? Cooking? reading? (anything you did NOT do in the evenings while drinking). Choose random things from this menu when the pressure feels really intense. And be sure to have some lovely things, hot or cold, to drink. For me, I gained nearly 10 pound in these first 100 days- there were times when nothing could distract me from the thought of drinking other than chocolate or potato chips. And I told myself that was find for those first 100 days, and am now back to healthier eating.

    I do feel your pain, I have been walking though it myself so recently, and still do on some nights. Remember that 55 days is absolutely AWESOME!!! and keep going!!!

  4. plus drinking just makes all the reasons you want to switch off worse – harder to deal with in the long run, because now you are ho and taxed, lacking in sleep … this taking the long view and knowing how even more pissed off I would be ho plus dealing with difficult life matters has kept me at almost 6months. that said, this weekend is a hard one and bloody hard one – going with the tack that with each sober event accomplished I will get stronger, better able to cope ..

  5. Thank you for such great, honest replies. And thank you to Lucy over at Hangover Free Life. She shared an article written by Russell Brand. He writes about his addiction and people in his life struggling to stay clean. The piece ends with him calling his sponsor on the phone:

    “The ringing stops, then the dry mouthed nocturnal mumble: “Hello. You all right mate?”
    He picks up.
    And for another day, thank God, I don’t have to.”

    That’s how I feel about the sober blogging community. You guys pick up. And for another day, thank God, I don’t have to.

  6. I’m really sorry you had a rough time. I’m sorry I haven’t been around here much either. How did you cope in the end? I’m just working my way through all the posts I’ve missed. I know that you don’t like baths but when I had a really shitty day last week I took myself off upstairs. Had a bubble bath with some expensive smellies I’d been given for Christmas, put on a brand new pair of pyjamas I’d just received from my sister, made myself a fancy hot chocolate, and watched a movie in bed. It was pure bliss. In fact, I’m looking forward to doing it again. I’ll hold out for another shitty day though – don’t want it to become the norm x

  7. We are close on our numbers of days into this sobriety gig and finding your blog was very timely. I haven’t been writing so much about sobriety as I have my own thoughts in general, but decided I needed to get my agitation down on paper. Thanks for the prompt and I look forward to following your journey.
    http://insidemusings.blogspot.com

  8. Having just consumed a botte of wine for all the reasons you describe, I empathise. I am stopping and starting – a week without here, a fortnight there – but cannot seem to stiop. Have cut down a great deal yet still vulnerable to the desire to exit and escape a somewhat lonely and stressful life as a working single mum – hence the impulse purchase of the bottle that goes in one sitting, despite a week or two of hard won sobriety. I drink alone, while reparing my son’s dinner and getting him ready for bed, often amidst an isolation so great that I cannot deny it being a key factor in why I use wine to numb the heart ache

    • oh, Jackie. I know exactly how you feel. My husband is in the military. He was deployed for months and months, many times over. I really formalized my relationship with wine during his absences. While I am not officially a single parent, I know intimately the isolation and loneliness of solo parenting. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope to hear from you again.

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