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And Then There Were Some…

I decided to blog because I thought it would help in theory to know that people could read about it and thus I would stand accountable.

I just never thought anyone actually would….

Lo and behold, I awoke to find 13 twitter followers for @unpickledblog and 15 hits on this page.  I stood in the kitchen and wept with unexpected relief. Help is on the way…I can be anonymous without being alone.

To give credit where enormous credit is due, I have told one person. The right person, this time. And I told her the whole truth, which made a big difference.  She was surprised but supportive, and totally understanding of the dynamic that would make secrecy necessary.  If people don’t know how much you drink, they can’t imagine how badly you need to stop.

My friend’s surprise was enough to confirm my suspicions that I needed to stop. That and the fact that she said, “I can see how you need to get control of this”. It was enough to get me through the first day, but I knew from past experience it would take more to keep going.

As a professional musician, I have many times walked out on stage and felt relieved to see an audience.  There is always that worry that an event wasn’t well publicized, or that even the people who bought tickets won’t show up. A performance is always better with a nice audience, and I guess I expected that blog readers and twitters followers would be similar.

I was wrong.

It is a thousand time better than that – because this isn’t a performance, and folks aren’t following for entertainment. They are here to help, to care, to cheer, to encourage.

I thought “followers” might be a helpful concept, but I never realized how WONDERFUL it would be to feel their support.  My heartfelt, joyous thanks to every person who takes a moment to read this. You are getting me through this day.

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About UnPickled

I am learning to walk without the crutch of alcohol. As I begin I am 1 day sober. Gulp. I drank in private and hope to quit just as privately. The purpose of this blog is to help make me accountable - just by following you will give me enormous support and encouragement.

Posted on March 23, 2011, in Getting Sober. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. I gave a fake email, because I wanted to post without possibly giving away my identity. I am on day three, although I have known it for while, I am a problem drinker who has more than once tried the moderation thing to no avail. I know the signs, because I am the daughter of and alcoholic whom passed away from substance use. I have fooled myself for far too long in thinking I could manage this because I have been a high functioning binge drinker. I have tried and succeeded at a couple of 30-days wine and beer free, but those only served as tolerance resets. I would then gradually go up from moderation to binge drinking one to two days on weekend, then slowly creep up to 4 days, which is most days of the week. I’m tired of feeling crappy and anxious, this past weekend my anxiety felt the worse it has in a long time. Today I started feeling much better, the fog lifted and anxiety finally went away couple hours ago, but feeling down and out has not. I have been dealing with wavering motivation and dread losing the motivation to continue. So I decided to post this comment to hold myself accountable and take the first step in reaching out, albeit in secret. Thank you so much for this blog, you have no idea how (or maybe you do) how many people’s lives you are helping.

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  2. Well this a first for me. I am drinking every day 4-8 beers. This feels normal. However i have to get up at 5 am every morning and when i arrive at work i do look hungover. I live alone and although I do have a good spirit my heart is low. My dog is dying and Christmas stuff is driving me crazy. For the first time there is someone who feels attracted to me. I am so nervous that I can’t behave normally e.g.. go to the pub etc. i just need to get home to have a beer and be with my dog. My dog will be gone soon and then perhaps i will not feel so down. However I still need the beer. I feel like this is my last chance at romance. I just think what will be will be but the fact that i am on this site is a start.

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  3. I love how you call them “normies”. I tried explaining why I couldn’t have “just one” glass of wine to a friend of mine recently. Sometimes I can have just one. But normally I have one, then one more, then just a splash more. Pretty soon the bottle of wine is empty. It sounds like a great idea for us to open another bottle over dinner and keep this conversation flowing. We’re having such a good time and then….the next day I’ve said things I don’t mean or maybe turned into a bit of a gossip. It doesn’t really bring out the best, after the first glass or two. And it isn’t always some kind of disaster, which my friend and many others seem to expect when I say “alcoholic”. What a stigma. One glass of wine could happen seventeen times, a hundred time even, before that one drinking binge night throws a wrench in the mix. After I’ve tried moderation and managed to navigate 95% of the time without incident, it comes down to something I heard in AA. “Bad things didn’t happen every time I got drunk, but every bad thing in my life happened when I’ve been drinking.” My friend still doesn’t get it, but I don’t really mind because I found you and this blog. And you all speak my language! Hooray, I don’t feel all alone:) Thanks again!

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  4. I really thought I was alone in so many of the things I’ve felt, and here you are writing all about it! You give me courage to keep doing what is right, and maybe one day telling the people in my life the real reason behind quitting the sauce. Thanks so much for putting it all out there.

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    • Isn’t is just a huge relief to know that you are not alone? There are SO MANY others out there just like you, me, and the friends of this blog, who saw the need for change and set out to make it happen. I am glad you found your way here! Strength in numbers!

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  5. So glad I found your blog and going through each one of them from the beginning…some people read the bible in the mornings and evenings I read your blogs. I was AF for 42 days this summer and never felt better mentally and physically but still thought I could take that trip to Italy in September and go back to enjoying one glass of wine…well we know that turned into more than I wanted to drink again and continued for a few months. SOOOO December 1st was Day 1…today is Day 5 and I have not told any family members or friends. I am seeing a therapist who I have seen for years and she is the only one who knows for know. Like you I want many more days/months under my belt. Went to a ladies Christmas event yesterday with much champagne and wine flowing and I sipped my water walked away feeling so good. Thank you for your blog 🙂

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    • A lot of us try (and fail at) moderation before realizing that it just isn’t worth the risk and heartache. Sometimes, failed attempt(s) at moderation is what it takes to really understand the reality of our relationship with alcohol, and the level of committment required to effect change. I am so excited for you! Be good to yourself and enjoy Christmas with the full presence of your body and mind. What a gift!

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      • I’ve just had exactly this conversation with my husband. I braved it and admitted to him that I needed to stop drinking and he said ‘it’s all about moderation’. It’s fine for him to say that. Last night he stopped after one glass of wine and two beers. I carried on on my own beer after beer after beer until 2 a.m. I can’t do moderation. I wish I could. I’d like more than anything to enjoy a sociable drink with my husband and then stop when he does. I don’t know what happens to my brain that won’t accept the cup of tea he offers after he puts his glass in the sink. I always think ‘just one more’. But it’s never just one more.

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        • It is really hard for “normies” to understand the impossibility of moderation for us. Kind of like how I can’t understand why my one friend can’t clap in time to a rhythm. “What do you mean you can’t find the beat?” to me is like “What do you mean you can’t have just one or two?” to a normal drinker. Our brains just work completely differently. You don’t have to convince your husband though. The important thing is convincing yourself and surrounding yourself with the support you need to make it happen. Keep me posted on your progress!

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        • One day at a time

          Just reading through old posts. I can hardly remember writing some of these. Day 70 today!

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  6. I’m so glad I found your blog. I googled “miserable trying to quit drinking” and found your blog. Funny, I’m on day three praying for day four and I’m keeping it a secret for now too but in a way it makes me feel lonely. My two best friends, my sister and my boyfriend, are/were my drinking partners. I dont think they want to quit. It’s frustrating to say the least. I’m tired of drinking everyday. I’m tired of feeing out of control when everyone around me thinks I’m in total control. I sure have enjoyed going to bed clear headed and waking up refreshed.

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    • I am dying to know – have you told anyone yet? It really does help. I hope and pray you carry on! You can do it. You deserve this strong, quiet peace for yourself – if your itty-bitty-shitty-committee starts saying “you deserve a drink” answer it back with that: “Maybe, but I deserve peace even MORE!”

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  7. I love that thought – it can never hurt NOT to drink. (I wish the same was true for doing sit-ups!) I am really starting to see the situation just as you described it – that I can’t handle alcohol the way most people do. Robin, thank you for the encouragement. Hearing from others is what is making a difference this time. I am strong but the connection with people like you, Amy (above comment), and other folks nice enough to offer feedback is like spinach for Popeye! Doot doot – out come my muscles and I can be stronger! Ey ey!

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    • You’re recovery is as important as mine and his and Hers etc etc, we are all the same 🙂 I love reading your blogs. I see myself in a lot of them! X

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      • I am happy to hear that I’m finding the “humanity” in all of this – the parts we share. I also hope to find the humour, because honestly it feels a little like Lucille Ball painting herself into a corner and crying “Riiiiickieeeeee!” Thank you for reading and commenting. Don’t be scared to call me out if I’m off-base, either! Cheers (with coffee mugs)

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      • I agree!! And I see myself in a lot of the comments. It’s scary and comforting at the same time.

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  8. I recognize sooooo much of your story…it is so much of the story I have to tell as well. I am so glad you are making this journey. You are so brave to make it, write about it and share it.

    There will be easy and hard times, but you made the hardest step, the first step, and you won’t ever REGRET making that choice. Take each day as it’s own, and lean on people. We are out here to help, you are not alone. Stephanie Wilder-Taylor (babyonbored.blogspot.com) told me, it can never hurt NOT to drink, nothing bad can ever come from it. And I always remember that when it comes to myself, my husband and my kids. Being sober for all of us is always a good thing, because I cannot handle alcohol like other people.

    You should be so proud of yourself! 🙂

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  9. And YOU are getting the rest of us through this day. We all need support. Thank you for your honesty and your shares on here

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    • Thanks, Amy. Isn’t it funny how each of thinks we are unique (and in so many ways we are), yet we soldier alone through experiences that turn out to be common? It’s freeing and humbling to reach out connect with others. I appreciate hearing from you!

      Like

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