Begin With a Single Step
I received this email last week. It describes the very early days of sobriety so honestly. I don’t think anyone of us cannot relate to this stage and I could almost feel it as I was reading it. With the owners permission, I am sharing it here, because it might really help someone else going thru this to know that they are not alone!
“Yesterday was day one and when I woke up I felt like vomiting and very on the edge. I was sweating alot but kept my symptoms hidden from my family. I kept looking at the time and took it from minute to minute. I had a hard time sleeping but managed to sleep about 6 hours which is good.
Today I haven’t felt sick but am anxious a bit, however it’s not consuming and manageable. I still have an urge to drink and realize I will for a long time but the thought of alcohol makes me nauseous actually. I have a light headache and my senses of sound are hyper right now.
Alot better today which to me is surprising because I’m a 25 year drinker mostly starting at cocktail hour to 2300 hours, which lately graduated to a beer in the morning to about 6 before noon. That’s when I knew I had to cut it out as the daytime drinks are a no go for me.
It’s around the time right now when I would typically start and as I write this I’m can feel the urge again.
You’re the only one I’ve told that I’m doing this and that alcohol is a problem and has been for years. I’ve realized now the risky and compromising positions that it has put me in the past. In short, I did a real honest inventory of memories where I’ve been embarrassed or risky by my behavior.
One month ago my wife and my two toddler aged kids and myself went to a pub that I frequented when I was single years back. We had breakfast and I quietly felt this overwhelming sense of loneliness and darkness. It was because I was remembering my alcohol fueled days of one night stands and constant drinking. It brought back alot of memories that I didn’t like.
I got married which probably saved my life probably. Since then I’ve been functional in the sense I’ll put them back after my wife goes to bed and pass out whilst rising in the morning to going about my day albeit with a head ache and a hangover. I was used to the hangover.
Admitting to my wife, family and friends will bring on shame. I’m doing this in quiet and the funny thing is none will notice I bet which is a testament to my functionality while drunk and how secretive I was. It will be at the first dinner party that I don’t drown 4 martinis and become the center of attention. I don’t care though, I’d rather be boring that deal with the aftermath of not remembering what I said etc.
As I said, it was the slip into the day drinking that tipped the scale. No more for me, it’s done.
Last night I had a terrible headache and sweating pretty bad . When I would have been on my 5th Martini (usually a full glass full of vodka) I decided to pour myself 2 fingers of vodka to help the headache. I sipped it ( half a shot ) over the course of 2 hours. I then went to bed. Just to ease the symptoms somewhat.
I don’t view it as a failure, in fact it reassured me that I made it last 2 hours and didn’t have more and went to bed. Today I won’t do it again and see how I make out. I’m confident in my resolve right now.
What I have noticed is when I go to bed there is a passage of time. Before I wouldn’t remember going to bed but I’d wake up usually way too early and can’t get back to sleep. I never dreamed or recalled dreaming. Last two nights I’ve had vivid dreams all night and I remember them.
This morning I woke up with no hangover however I have a headache for sure and still edgy however the urge to vomit has passed.
I’m feeling good strong and confident. Talking g to you has helped and please don’t feel like you have to respond to every email as I know your probably busy. In the meantime my wife will notice and I’m going to have to at one point explain to her why the change.
I’m not sure I will be able to return to one glass or wine at dinner but that’s something down the road because for now and perhaps the rest of my life alcohol has a hold over me and it needs to go.”
I remember these day very clearly! And the super vivid dreams too. Ugh. Scary and surreal, right? That’s your body trying to reset back to normal, that’s why they feel so real. Alcohol is a depressant so it depresses all your senses. Now they are feeling like 1000x more acute. If you are at this very early stage, don’t give up! There is no shame in getting better! Keep going, just push on thru, and let soberiety change youre life, becasue it most deifintely will! I promise!
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar.
You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.