Bridge over the River Wine

I’m on the iPad – must really buy myself that keyboard – so this will be brief. I’ll save the anecdote about my Friday night, during which a lady with a microphone literally exhorted me to drink wine, try the delicious cider, loosen up – for tomorrow. Tonight I just want to say that every night for the past four nights has been pretty much a struggle. The forever thing is kicking in. I’m thinking about wine at ten am. About opening a bottle and drinking it all, sip after sip, glass after glass, sinking into mindless pleasure. Sofa, blanket, salted pistachios, Pinot Gris.

I’m not going to drink it. And I’m certainly not kidding myself that I can moderate. Mostly I just keep thinking why did I decide to give up now, why couldn’t I have put it off for another year?

Because here is the truth about getting sober. There is never, ever, any going back. The days when I could drink and enjoy it are over. Any drinking I do from now would be done in guilt and shame. The days of innocence are long over, they’ve been over for years. But this is more than that. If I drink again, then the days of knowing I can stop if I want to are also over. If I drink again, each sip will be bitter with regret.

So I’m done. There’s no way back.

But this weekend, I wish I’d waited before I burned the bridge.

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9 thoughts on “Bridge over the River Wine

  1. Been there. It gets better. There will be a time when you don’t even miss it. At least, that came for me and I think a lot of other people too. It’s sad and it’s normal to grieve. You lost a very important part of your life, even if it was destructive. Sending you big hugs!

    • Thanks so much, Rebecca. It feels awfully pathetic to complain about: waaah, poor me, having to stop drinking poison even though I hadn’t yet fucked up my intimate relationships and permanently damaged a vital organ or two. But yes, grief is exactly what I’m feeling, thank you for articulating that. Chocolate and a weepy book, I think!

  2. as I have said elsewhere the parallels with grief are very strong. these feelings will fade. hang in there. and looking forward to the lady with microphone anecdote! If it helps I use a mental image of me kicking such pushers in the shins and then standing laughing triumphantly on their fallen, writhing body. whilst outwardly smiling sweetly, naturally. because heaven forbid WE rock the boat. or make anyone else feel uncomfortable. oh, for the balls to say politely, “Actually, I’m a recovering alcoholic so I think I’ll pass on that?” sigh. keep going!

  3. I hear you! That thought crosses my mind too but the frequency and strength of it lessens with time. You’re doing great and we’re all here with you. Got room on the sofa? I love salted pistachios too 😉 xx

  4. You’re so right about there being no going back. I tried, but I couldn’t just undo what I knew about feeling better sober. But I still occasionally get that weird feeling, “why couldn’t I have waited until…?” Yesterday I was biking past a lovely pizzeria, you know the ones with thin crust and so on, and I wished I had thought to go there before I quit, so I could have pizza with wine. (As if it wouldn’t be just as good with sparking water!) Which then made me laugh at myself–I thought, oh yes, I could have made a list of places to eat and things to drink, and maybe even done a few months touring in a European wine tour! Not likely. It seems silly, but I’m with you. Those thoughts are tough. But they pass, and I find they happen much less frequently than they used to, and they have less staying power when they do kick in. Take care. xo

  5. Day 28 for. Me today. Thank you for sharing. You are right, it is a struggle at times. I got invited to a wine tasting party this Friday and said ” I gave up wine for lent but can I come and bring my pellegrino?” I am not sure when I will be comfortable stating the truth so for today, that my story. You are so right about the fun of drinking being gone. A drink would be initially nice but then the shame and guilt would set in. A few weeks back I had a whole day of just total sadness, crying, etc. staying sober is overall better but it is a process and us alcoholics who like to be ‘comfortable’ find it tough. Thanks for your courage in sharing your story.

  6. Echoing above that it does get easier, but not for a while yet and so we just have to stay sober and Know deep inside that better days are coming and we don’t have to do Day 1 ever again. There’s a lot of Peace in knowing that kernel of truth. The days of carefree are gone when we realize that addiction controls us and not the reverse; then we quit and we know we’ve done right. As do those who love us and want to see us live long lives. Hang in there, we’re pulling for you.

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