Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Reflection Time

I found a travel notebook in which I had recorded my thoughts and feelings when I first gave up drinking alcohol. It was quite revealing, even to me, even considering I only wrote it 2 1/2 years ago. How things have changed. I include it here to serve as a reminder to us all about how difficult the early days were and to reassure newbies that they are not alone with their jumbled thoughts.

It's day 5 and I have a dilemma. It's 4pm and I'm in an outdoor bar alone. It is the 3rd day of our holiday in this all inclusive, idyllic setting and my resolve is wavering. As I drink my tea and eat both the danish pastries I chose, I'm contemplating the night ahead and my options.

We're meeting for drinks in the hotel lobby at 6pm before our reservation at the a la carte restaurant at 7pm. There will opportunity, if not expectation, that booze will be had and I agree that everything is in place for an evening where copious drink flows continually. What better way to get it started than right now with a couple before I go to shower and change? After all, this is exactly the type of nights I usually arrange and that's exactly what I would do as they begin.

I want to, yet I don't. These two feelings are not compatible. No compromise is possible. Either I do or I don't and if I do, I have to live with my feelings about that decision tomorrow. It's hard.

l continue the debate, awaiting some magical solution to appear that will suddenly make it alright for me to drink tonight and start stopping again tomorrow. I consider drinking for the remainder of the holiday and to start stopping again once back home. I worry whether that would be easier or harder  than it is proving right now. I wonder why I feel as if I'm 'wasting' my holiday by not drinking alcohol?

Before I reach any decision I note time has moved on. My 'me-time' is nearly over and I'm expected by my family back at the hotel room shortly. My indecision and passivity has made the decision for me. I won't drink tonight because it's true; I usually always do that exact same thing. This means there will be many other opportunities in my life for me to pick up drinking again, if that's what I decide. I'll stay sober tonight, just tonight and if it is truly awful I can always drink tomorrow night if I still want to. Plus, I've wasted this opportunity to start early and maximise the amount I can drink. It will be at least another half to three-quarters of an hour before we are at the bar and get served. The drinks are small too, I've noticed. Overall, I'll be as well not bothering.

I make this deal with myself hoping that tomorrow morning will be the same as today: where I'll wake up full of the joys of being hangover free, having scored a mental victory, and that I will remember the feeling again when wine o'clock returns again.

Disappointed by, yet resigned to my plan, I go and get changed for dinner.


  1. Oh, I wish I had kept a journal!
    But I do know, I had so many of those jumbled thoughts, too.
    It was so tiring!
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. I keep one for a while and I was clearly paranoid and depressed.
      I wonder how I even managed. Perhaps the real me hid it enough to function.

  2. Thank you for that glimpse of early sobriety. The indecision. The questioning. Sigh.

  3. Walking the tightrope, "awaiting some magical solution to appear that will suddenly make it alright for me to drink" - always hoping that one morning I will wake up and be back in Kansas - or not an alcoholic. But it never came. * sigh * (thanks Anne)


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