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A Little Honesty

I opened the sobriety tracker app on my phone in order to update this blog with my current “score”. With wide eyes and trembling hands, I tell you this: the number I see there is utterly startling. I am looking at it as if it’s a forgein word rather than a straightforward number because it doesn’t make sense to me.

525.

525?

Yes, 525.

Days. That’s a lot of days. A lot of sober days and nights and hours and minutes. It’s a lot of weekends, family gatherings, trips to the grocery store, loads of laundry, and bottle drives for my son’s football team.

Since quitting, I have made it through weddings and vacations and awards banquets and book clubs. My sober state feels comfortable and normal, but it still takes constant effort.

525. It’s such a big number – it feels like it should have more significance or weight. When you are struggling through day 3, you just want to make it to day 4. At some point I put my head down and stopped counting. I just kept plowing and here I am.

Let me tell you some things I’ve been keeping to myself. Come inside my unpickled head and explore the terrain on Day 525. These are the things that I don’t tell to people around me, but I know you will understand.

Confession A: It pisses me off when someone drinks one of my “special drinks”……

My head nearly spun right around when I walked into the lake cottage and saw my 11-year-old nephew slurping a can of grapefruit San Pelligrino. Those were for me! I tried to fight the panic rising in my chest – what was I going to drink if I ran out fo those? It could be a very long vacation…..

Once I was passing by a neighbour’s house just as the (normally calm) mother was screaming at her (normally adorable) kids: “Don’t touch my f–king stuff. How many times do I have to tell you not to touch my F–KING STUFF!!?” Now, hey – no judgement – we have all snapped our twig on occassion and had moments we pray no one overheard through an open window. But that instance has stuck with me. I don’t want to be that person.

I try not to be possessive. I try to keep the fridge and pantry stocked with enough to share. I try to pick drinks that won’t appeal to the kids (and keep other things that they prefer). [Note: the one sure thing NO ONE wanted to drink was Chinotto. Including me. What the hell is that…..?]

But honestly, on a hot day when my husband cracks the last can of Pelligrino for himself, when he has a fridge full of beer in the garage, there is a brief moment when I want to wig out at him. Then I remember that it is better for him to not have a beer anyway, and that I am a big girl who does not have temper tantrums, and I carry on.

For that teensy little moment, though , I think of all my sober brothers and sisters and I know that you would understand. I think of you and give you a little wink.

Confession: I want to tell people that I am sober, but I don’t….

It’s kind of like telling people when you have your period. It might help them understand what’s going on for you, but then it’s just awkward and you realize they don’t really want/need to know that much about you. I wish everyone in recovery had a yellow dot on their nose that only other addicts could see. That would be super helpful. Otherwise, I keep it on the downlow and don’t talk about it much – except here, anonymously.

Confession: It bothers me when the folks who DO know I’m sober ask if I am ever going to drink again…

I know they don’t mean it to be, but it is insulting.  I answer patiently, “All I know is this – right now, I don’t want a glass of wine, I want a whole bottle of wine. So probably I need to stick with not drinking at all for now.” In truth, it feels like they are asking, “Is all this really necessary?”

The answer is “yes”. And screw off.

Confession: I have a lot of anger to muck through.

All of those feelings I tried to suppress with alcohol seem to bubble up and need dealing with. Little by little I am being freed. I am not afraid of facing difficult things anymore. I try to stop the inner rants and the pity-party invitations that happen when you go through all the details of how someone has hurt you. Instead I have been sweeping up the things that feed my anger and use them to create a statement of truth. I did this just today – I was stewing over a recent betrayal by someone in my family I stopped and said to myself, “This person is weak and selfish. Stop expect her to behave differentlly.”

Confession: Some moments of weakness are just plain hilarious.

I was at a formal gala and my patience was wearing thin. I was ready to go home but had to schmooze the room for another 30 minutes before I could sneak away. Everyone had had lots to drink by this time, and the smell of alcohol was heavy in the air.

I was speaking to a rather shy fellow, a supplier to my business who was chattier than usual thanks to the red wine he was drinking. I could smell it on his breath as he spoke and as he gestured with his wineglass little fumes of alcohol tickled my nose. I realized I wasn’t listening to his story at all, but focussing on the wine. Suddenly I envisioned myself grabbing his face with both hands and licking the red wine off his lips and teeth! It was so ridiculous that I started to laugh out loud, which only made him think his story was all the more entertaining. I excused myself and went home, still chuckling at the insanity of it all.

Confession: You keep me going

I love getting the email that says, “You have a new comment” or “You have a new follower”. I love hearing from you, love knowing that this blog has helped you, and love being on this journey together. I couldn’t do this without you. Thank you for your friendship, encouragement, your love, advice, questions, and support.

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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 August 26, 2012, in Getting Sober and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 65 Comments.

  1. I am not counting the days. I don’t know whether this is good or bad, but it is somewhere around 3 months. Like some others, I tried giving up in fits and starts but this time is for good. I am really seeing things in a different light. The decision to stop altogether has made this possible. Alcohol has caused so much damage in my family of origin, for that reason alone, if I want to be different from them in thought and deed, then it has to be absolute.

    Premature death and illness also have a great deal to do with it. I don’t want that to be me. It is not easy at all when the significant other still has his own stash. I wish he could join me since his health is in more peril than mine. I have gastro issues that for a couple years the pain was very much lessened by a shot or two. So I would look forward all day to when I would be blissfully without pain. Little did I know it was perpetuating the intestinal irritation.

    One thing I would like to discuss if anyone is up to it, hyperactivity and its link to alcoholism.
    When under the influence, one is often on a high and feels like one can accomplish anything. I noticed though the quality of the activity is reduced. It’s like going around in circles and dissipating energy. In other words, the highs are higher and lows are lower.

    I really would like to come to a place of serenity without being on an emotional rollercoaster.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am on day 3, yikes! I really appreciate and am inspired by your journey thus far. I am reading each of your stories from day one. Thank you! I relate to pretty much everything you have shared. Unlike you, however, I have resided on rock bottom for far too long. I have felt like Frodo bearing the ring. Again, thank you. ❤

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  3. Hi, I am new to all this. Just day 2. I do feel sadness and anger about the loss of my good friend wine.I feel so cranky. This blog is wonderful, any suggestions to keep upbeat and happy will be appreciated. Thank all of you. I want to do this alone for now.

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  4. I am a sober musican. I played a gig last night in a club with a bar. The backstage was stocked with booze. I brought my own tonic and san pelligrino blood orange, and kind of hid it, only to find someone found the tonic and drank some. I too, at first was, dont effing touch my special drink. I have to be in a bar for six hours! Its my thing. Them I realized perhaps one of the ther guys who maybe drinks too much was following my example, and i was kind of stoked.

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  5. Hi Unpickled, I stumbled across your blog today while Googling “sadness when giving up alcohol” and I’m so glad I did. I’m also a “lone ranger” in my quest to quit drinking permanently and currently on day 43. Yay me. I’ve been binge drinking regularly for 25 years, despite being an intuition, spiritual and wellbeing counsellor. (Oh the guilt and shame).
    And yay You! Your blog is intelligent, warm, heartfelt and I can really relate to it. (Although I am probably more like your friend whose “boyfriend was the life of the party but knocked her senseless from time to time”.)
    You elude to something in this blog which you haven’t gone into it in great depth and I have a question about it (for you or anyone else reading this). Six weeks into my abstinence and I feel like I am going through a massive grieving process. I find myself crying ALL THE TIME. I find myself crying for all of the huge mistakes I’ve made, all of the opportunities and time I’ve lost, all of the self-destruction I’ve wreaked, all of the relationships I’ve lost (even the ones which I weren’t lost as a result of my addiction. Strangely enough, I am definitely not depressed and I am actually feeling stronger and more powerful than I’ve felt in a very long time. As long as I can remember! In some ways I feel like my heart is opening and all of my barriers to life are starting to come down. It is wonderful but at the same time I feel incredibly sad. Is this something other people have experienced?

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    • Hi “Aunty” – thanks for your comment and kind words and CONGRATULATIONS on your bravery and willingness to embark on such an important journey. Regarding your question, I would say yes, absolutely I cried a lot in mourning for my dear friend and companion (wine) and also had many tears as you describe that seemed to relate to the vulnerability required to truly seek recovery. I would even say I was a little pissed off that all the efforts I had put in to controlling everything were not paying off. And maybe some of those tears were just pure, sweet relief to be off of the rollercoaster. Over time, the tears have been replaced with quiet, comfortable reflection and – full disclosure – the occassional panic attack. You have spent lots of time using alcohol to allow yourself to not feel – maybe you are just playing catch up with all the emotions you had on hold. In any case, the “weepies” do seem to be temporary and part of the healing. Please stay in touch and update your progress. xo, UnP

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      • Thank you so much for replying. All of these explanations make a lot of sense to me and funnily enough, even today I feel more centered and much calmer again. The “weepies” seem to have stopped and I’m sure it’s because I expressed said vulnerabilities! I will definitely stay in touch and look forward to reading more of your blog entries. Warm regards, Aunty

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  6. Veritas without vino

    Unpickled I have just found your blog through sober journalist and both have blown me away.This is about my hundredth time in five years of getting off the booze.I have the drive to succeed in a career I hate and get up and on it as the mad party girl even when I feel horrific. So why has this been so impossible?

    Did dry January 2013 and this was my longest period without alcohol for 11 years.31 and at 5’1 a very heavy drinker for my size and stature.To be honest the number of units I was drinking is not my main worry..it’s the blackouts, anxiety, guilt, beating myself up and pretending everything is ok,that I’m strong,sassy,can handle my booze. Whilst its bleeding obvious to myself and likely those around me that I cant.That deep down my vulnerable self is screaming I’ve had enough. Stop the vino-go-round. I want to get off.

    So today is Day 5.I have been feeling ill.And I mean really ill.However I’ve decided to do it properly this time.Which I don’t think I did in January. Do my sober homework.try and learn to practice self care.And finding these blogs has been Amazing!! Whilst I’ve tried AA it’s too easy to compare rather than identify.The truths here on these blogs however can’t be hidden from.

    Thank you so much.I will return every day and may even consider starting one of my own.

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  7. Thanks for this site. I am an almost 40 mom of 5 with a professional career. I am really health conscious- I am a vegan and exercise and all that. But, I struggle everyday. I developed an anxiety/panic disorder when I was in my early teens and in my late teens turned to alcohol to cope with it and the insomnia that came with it. Minus the pregnancies and several months of nursing my children, I have drank alcohol on a nightly basis (5 or so beers- up to 8 or 9 on special occasions). I have thought about going to AA, but live in a very small town and run into people I know everywhere.

    I do not have cravings through the day. It is more of a “routine” thing that when it comes to dinner time, I want to drink. When I do manage to go a couple of weeks without it, I feel so good. Even one day without drinking I feel so much better and different. I still struggle with anxiety now, but when I go a bit without alcohol, I feel so good and clear and in control. But somehow I keep slipping back into the nightly “routine”. The anxiety attacks are getting worse so I know I must stop the alcohol immediately.

    Thanks for this blog. hoping it will give me the little extra push that I need

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  8. Thank you for these posts. I’m on day one. It sucks. But you are helping. It helps so much, just knowing you are here.

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  9. Anonymous For Now

    Yep yep YEP YEP YEP! All of the above. ::: Nodding vigorously :::

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  10. I just found a great book called Almost Alcoholic. It is a great book about people with tendencies towards alcohol abuse who should quit. BUT the book (and it’s authors) concede not every person who has issues with alcohol is an alcoholic. (You still need to quit, but not through AA) It is so refreshing to read someone from the medical and psychiatric community come to this conclusion. Finally! Here is the book info:
    Almost Alcoholic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Drinking a Problem? (The Almost Effect) by Ph.D. Joseph Nowinski PhD and M.D. Robert Doyle MD (Mar 27, 2012)

    Myself? I just joined AA and have found great support there. However, the book was a great read anyway.
    I too can so relate to the comment : “All I know is this – right now, I don’t want a glass of wine, I want a whole bottle of wine. So probably I need to stick with not drinking at all for now.” I am 14 days sober today. 🙂

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  11. So I finished Allen Carr’s book in one day yesterday. I needed an extra push in the right direction. I am so done with saying sorry every day for something stupid I said the night before. I want to be a better person and I’m so sick of the shame. I have finally figured out that there will always be an opportunity to throw away the sobriety I am working for. I just have to keep moving forward. Thank you to all of you. I visit this site lots if times during the day and it helps so much. Take care everyone!!

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  12. Trying to get the courage for day one. Over the past 6 months my longest stretch has been 4 days. Does anyone suggest an inspirational book that helped them.

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    • Good for you – you deserve to be happy! There’s a book called “The Art of Extreme Self Care” that is about making hard decisions to improve your life. It’s not about drinking, but about changing how you see yourself. There are tons of great books and blogs on sobriety, as well. I’m reading Dr Drew’s book about rehab right now and finding it great. AA’s Big Book is full of stories and insights. Or visit http://www.smartrecovery.org to download some free worksheets. And http://www.cryingoutnow.com will connect you with many many personal stories. Stay in touch. Stay well. Stay sober and stay cool.

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    • Caroline Knapp’s memoir, “Drinking: A Love Story”. Good luck with your journey!

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  13. Wow, I just found your blog today and I read almost the entire thing. For the past 8 years I’ve drank about 1 bottle of wine almost every night (less in the first years, more in the recent). For about 7 years I’ve wanted to quit, and have several times for a day here, a few there, 62 days once 3.5 years ago, but I have always convinced myself that “just one night drinking again will quell my craving and then I’ll stop again.” Well one night ALWAYS turned into weeks and weeks “off the wagon” and the whole cycle would start over.

    Like another commenter above, I am fit, I run marathons, do triathlons, eat a healthy diet, I have a career, am married and am raising two wonderful young boys. This is something I feel has been holding me back though and is detrimental to my otherwise healthy lifestyle.

    Well, today I happen to be “one day sober.” I found this blog while looking for inspiration on the internet. The main thing I’m really looking for right now is how to make this time quitting successful, while I never have been in the past. After 7 years of quitting unsuccessfully, I’m not confident. Advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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    • JohnT…

      you said advice from anyone, and since i came on here hoping (and sadly, not getting) a new post from ms. unpickled, you got me.
      I do this a day at a time….I have the same amount of time sober as this blogger..21 months and change. I also drank every day. mostly wine, and wanted to quit for a long time but kept convincing myself I could do it alone, and that proved impossible. I am healthy, work, have son, a good life, and i had all of that while I was drinking too. It’s hard for us high-functioning types to quit, or believe that we are powerless over that first drink. Hard to think we are powerless over anything, but I am convinced, now, that it is that very first drink that gets me drunk, because once I have it I am off, there is no telling what will occur, how much I’ll drink. So I just don’t have that one drink,I make that choice, each and every day. I don’t think past each day in terms of drinking. That sounds simplistic…it is. It is very simplistic and so much easier and less time consuming than trying to figure out what or how much to drink each day. Or how NOT to.

      I did not do this alone, I went to AA. It has helped me immeasurably..given me a plan of action to go along with the daily choice of not drinking. I have met many remarkable people who just can’t control their drinking, and every time I go to a meeting I hear my story. I am also an atheist, and I throw that in because the whole Higher Power thing really turned me off and almost kept me from the rooms. I am grateful I did it anyways, i was desperate enough to let go of that and listen for the similarities rather than the differences.

      That is my experience, others have theirs. If you really want to quit, and get lots of great support, I strongly suggest you at least try a few AA meetings.

      Maybe that will be the thing that “makes this time quitting successful”. You won’t know unless you try.

      I’ll be hoping for the best for you.

      AND WHERE ARE YOU UNPICKLED?? I hope you check in soon 🙂

      michele

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      • I’m here, Michele. I’m still sober and I’m listening and learning. And guess what?! It just so happens that I’ve arranged time to be home alone tonight and post a blog about “what happened next” in my amazing Unpickled life. You’ll hear from me soon. Thank you for responding to John – let’s hear from more if you out there, including me momentarily.

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    • Good morning and congratulations on Day One. Welcome to Day Two. You’ve made up your mind and its a decision you’ll need to remember and enforce daily, hourly, urge by urge but eventually you’ll ride out the worst bits and it’s a very sweet life here on the sober side. One of my main motivators is the example I’ve set for my sons and I know they’re proud of me for making this change. Whatever a parent does becomes their children’s “normal”. You’re setting an honorable standard. Thank you for sharing your story and please do stay in touch. Tell us what you’ve encountered and learned along the way – good and bad. Make a plan for New Year’s Eve – be prepared so it doesn’t sideline you! I’m cheering for you

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    • Congratulations on your one day sober (more by now)! I was also a bottle of wine a night person. Funny how I readily convinced myself that was a normal serving size. I’m also a gym and exercise person, I’ll be interested to hear how this affects your training/workouts. Good luck!

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  14. We miss you, how Coe you are not blogging much anymore.

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  15. I love your blog. I turned to it when I quit drinking eight months ago. i was drinking a bottle of wine a night when I stopped, and it was compulsive. I had zero alcohol in the first five months, but have had two beer and a glass of wine in the last three months (all separate occasions and all socially) and with no desire to have more than a single drink. I didn’t even enjoy the taste, actually. I am wondering if I could be a very moderate social drinker now, or if it is a slippery slope. My partner has a single glass of wine with dinner every evening, and it does not tempt me in the least to join him…

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    • How did you manage through the holiday season? My thoughts on transitioning to a social drinker is this – some people are able to do this. The reason I don’t even want to try is becasue I fear that I might be able to control my drinking socially while life is going smoothly, but when things get rough (and there are always hard times in life – you can’t avoid it) there’s always the chance of slipping into old patterns of comfort. I know I am someone who can become addicted. I know it’s horribly hard to get un-addicted. To me, the risks outweigh the benefits. What are your thoughts?

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      • I just read this entry and have to say I have tried the “social drinking” experiment, only to find sliding back into old habits way too easy. Unfortunately it seems to be “all or nothing” when it comes to alcohol for me. I was the same way with cigarettes. I had friends who could socially smoke, but not me! I quit smoking 20+ years ago and still dream about it. I also now dream that I’ve been drinking. They’re not pleasant dreams – more of those weird, “Okay, now how did I get drunk?” kind of dreams. I’m still battling the urge to drink. The mornings sober are feeling good enough to counter balance the unease in the evening.

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  16. Congrats!

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  17. I found this forum by accident. I thought I was the only one quitting secretly. I’m on day 97. When I read your comment about wigging out on the kid drinking your special drink I laughed out loud. I found ginger drinks bottled like Heinekin beer, it’s a great camouflage. I caught my dad drinking one like it was no big deal. I wanted to react like he just shot my dog. I find a lot of ease in your threads. Thank you for sharing with us. I most certainly appreciate it.

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    • You are definitely not alone! My biggest shock has been how many many people there are just like you and me. It’s a message that needs to get out there. (You don’t have to hit rock bottom, its possible to quit on your own, at least for some.) Congratulations on 3+ months! That’s huge. Especially with your sense of humor still intact 🙂

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  18. Great blog. I do hope all is well with you and that you start blogging again soon.

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  19. I just “fell” onto your blog; I love it. I love the responses and knowing that I’m not alone. I did a 550 day a few years ago and felt great. Stupidly, fell back into the system thinking I could handle “it.” I love/hate my happy hour, usually from 4-6 p.m.; amazing how much wine I can now fill it with. Am yet again aware of what’s going on; am finding millions of reasons to continue – but can’t handle much longer. I will keep reading this blog and all responses – will keep me strong! xxoo

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  20. 582 days today, according to my calculator and our shared sobriety date.
    Damn!
    You write beautifully and I love your blog and you write every 6 months!
    Glad I caught this one tho…..
    Glad to not be drinking a bottle or 3 with you!

    michele

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  21. “All I know is this – right now, I don’t want a glass of wine, I want a whole bottle of wine. So probably I need to stick with not drinking at all for now.”

    Great, great way to put it.

    I remember going to get a bottle of wine for a movie at home with a pretty girl; she got a white wine, I got red. When we went back to my apartment and opened them, she asked, ‘Where are the glasses?’ And I looked at her stupidly and said, ‘What for?’

    I’ll get to the ‘I need to stick with not drinking’ part one day, probably soon. But I’m not looking forward to it yet.

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  22. Terrific blog. I can so relate to the way you describe yourself, and your relationship with alcohol. I haven’t had any awful consequences, I have a high-powered career, loving husband, etc, etc. and I also love wine. The whole bottle- not one glass. Congrats on 525+ days. I decided to quit 1.5 years ago, and I regularly go 2, 3, 4 and even 6 weeks at a time without alcohol, but can’t ever seem to push past 60 days. I start feeling good, and then I start romanticizing drinking, then I start to get very bummed out by the thought of NEVER enjoying a glass of red wine (or 4) with a meal on vacation in the Italian countryside, and then I drink. I hope to break this cycle soon- I’m just not sure how to do it!

    Thanks for sharing your journey with everyone.

    S.S.

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    • SS…
      I so identify with the “never” drinking again.
      I can only tell you how the cycle was broken for me, and that was by not thinking about that Italian trip, the years ahead. Each and every day I get up and make a commitment to not drink THAT day. My friend always says “I can always get frickin trashed tomorrow..” and that resonates for me.
      And as to Italy, or paris or wherever….are you there. Right now? Then don’t worry about it, let it be. I will deal with sitting in a Paris cafe the day I AM…until then I stick with that commitment to myself every day.

      And if you don’t cave, it just keeps getting easier..promise!

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  23. I am so laughing at this! I just went to the store to get some non-alcoholic drinks for myself, and all I could think was ‘I have to buy him something or he’ll drink mine even though he has beer’! How funny!!! And the anger…yeah. Scary how much alcohol can numb that, and even scarier when it is freed.

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  24. Thank you so much for your blog! Real inspiration! I’ve just embarked on the same journey and hope to finally achieve my goal, which is one day, not long from now, being able to say: ‘I don’t drink’…

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  25. only found ur blog today.day 2 for me and so my head is racing in thoughts.congrats on 525 days keep up the great work

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  26. After 525+ days, you seem to be less focused on not drinking/blogging and just on the new normal. Sounds good. I am on day 16 and just recently found and am enjoying reading and rereading your blog. I can relate to your posts, and since i have a work conference coming up, read your sober conference descriptions with interest. I am glad you are still doing well and quitting without aa is possible. Like you, my main issue is not having a stop button once i start. If i just don’t have the first drink, i am fine. I have an abnormal physical reaction to alcohol; if i drink it, i go beserk and want to drink all the alcohol in the room. Frankly, if I got hives and a bad rash on my face instead, that would be less embarassing than acting like a drunken idiot in public. Puts things in perspective. Lol.

    I hope you will blog again (and that you don’t delete what is already here). It helps to read others stories.

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    • I so relate to the “once I start” torture. I’m sick of the regrets and the I’m sorrys the next morning. Hope all is well with everyone. I look forward to checking this blog as much as I need to.

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  27. Still trying to figure it all out – drink every night and have for 3 years. 3-7 drinks a night. Run everyday, swim mornings and work and have a fantastic family. Feel like I can’t stop – is that what I should be looking at? I assume I’m a HFA but am still having a hard time labeling myself. Very consfused and sad…

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    • Whoa, are we twins? Is this some weird ” Back to the Future” style view of myself 18 months ago? I don’t know if you re a hfa but you are definitely drinking an unhealthy amount and since you in and swim you clearly care about your health. May I suggest you go to http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/ and take the quiz? Seeing how your pattern is categorized may be all the incentive you need to start making some changes. Keep me posted!

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  28. 525 days?! Congrats! And I don’t want to take anything away from you for achieving that, but it tells me that over a year into sobriety and you’re still counting the days. I can’t face that. I love facing diet/food challenges, and just did a 21 day fast – no food, just water/tea/coffee. No alcohol there either. No problem, but I knew I’d get to return to my old friend. It’s a struggle, but I manage to stay sober during the work-week. I have no problem not drinking during working hours, but I don’t sleep well when I indulge. So… I only drink Friday, Saturday and Sunday and usually restrict that just to the evenings. Then – I drink to the point of forgetting and blackouts. I’ve adjusted my habits over the years to meet my needs. Like your drinking days, unpickled, even if I indulge on a weeknight, I never drink during work hours. I think I’m where you were when you quit. I recognize I have an issue. But looking forward to where I’ll celebrate several hundred days?! I don’t think so. I like your writing, I enjoy your insights, I just can’t face saying ‘never again’.

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    • Funny you have so much discipline and self-control but then things go to hell on the weekends. It’s like you can stuff your monsters into a garbage can and sit on the lid for a while but then you give them a weekend pass. What’s up with that? My guess, and I’m no expert so this is only based on my experience, is that the weekends will start creeping into the week. That in time maybe Thursday is close enough to Friday that you decide to be nice to the monster because you trust it and give it an extra day out of the can. At any rate, if you wanted to try quitting you could just dangle the carrot indefinitely and simply say, “Maybe I’ll drink tomorrow, but just for today I’ll stay sober.”

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      • Oh, the weekend to weeknight creep definitely happens. And sometimes it happens as early as Tuesday or Wednesday and then I know my week is shot. I get it back in order the following Monday. Maybe I’ll try the carrot approach. Seeing as it’s Monday morning, I’m really feeling the need.

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      • Goddamned fucking shit! The Monday through Thursday abstinence is working less and less. I’m writing this with a healthy buzz. I held off tonight until 9 p.m. I feel fucking great and sad at the same time. And meanwhile, since I wrote this last post, I’ve started a business and it’s taking off. And it’s a healthy food product, so I’m playing the healthy food angle and getting shit-faced 6 days a week. Or 7. And getting press. Fraud. Maybe I should sell used cars.

        You wrote this in a more recent post: “I had a similar realization when alcohol started gaining momentum in my life – trying to moderate was like pulling a handbrake on a runaway train. ” That hit me, as I’ve had this weird recurring dream over the last couple of years (and I hate discussing dreams – but your comment seems relevant). In the dream, I’m in my old Jeep and for some reason I’m going backwards down a steep hill. Now, most cars are set-up so when you hit the brakes most of the braking effort goes to the front wheels – it’s a more efficient stopping method. However, if you’re going in reverse, that major braking action still focusses on the front wheels which in this case are now at the rear and provide very little stopping power. So the dream gets scary in that I can’t stop the Jeep…. Hmmm.

        Goddamn it.

        Like

        • Wow, I need to stay off the bottle(s) tonight. Could you do me a favor and change my name on my prior comment to just my first name? I didn’t realize WordPress filled in all my data automatically. Thank you!

          I’m just so angry to think that I need to quit….

          Like

          • Fixed. How are you doing, David?

            Like

            • Thanks Jean. I’m doing all right. I didn’t drink yesterday. And I haven’t today, but I’m really wanting to. I’m going to have dinner though and then go work until well past midnight – so I should be able to make it through today without a drink too.

              Like

  29. Fantastic, I identify with all that you say! I wish I could write like you. So pleased to see you back here. I worry about people when they stop blogging.

    Congratulations!

    Like

  30. I’ve got a home recipient for chinotto. Put some coke and and a few coins in a glass. Shake vigourisly and let sit for for two days. You then have the perfect chinotto, and it’s going to be a drink no one else will touch. Glad youve posted again!

    Like

  31. I can’t believe I JUST found your blog! AWESOME. I can’t wait to read more… -DDG

    Like

  32. Great post. I still find it annoying when people question my sobriety(coming up on 3 years in November). I try to remember usually someone who is uncomfortable about me not drinking may have issues themselves, but seriously, get over it. Wish you would update more…..I love your writing. BTW congrats on your many many sober days!!! AWESOME 🙂

    Like

  33. I love this realistic view of what sobriety will be like long term. I’m get angry/annoyed with myself for some of these very things; and I am much earlier in my journey than you. I guess I need to expect that they will continue? lol I really think remembering this post will help me. Sometimes I feel like I should be “fixed” like when you take your car to a repair shop. You drop it off with a problem, you pick it up and the problem is fixed! Too bad it doesn’t work that way…a people repair shop would rock.

    Like

  34. Your blogs helped get me started on my journey. I’ve stumbled and fell and crawled but I get back up and keep getting back on the path. I will continue to do so until I get it right. Thank you for your truths.

    Like

  35. my good god, i check your blog every day to see if you’ve updated because like many others, it’s you who got me started on this trip (day 58 today). and to see a new post from you today, well it’s just made my day 🙂 I’ve been watching for news from you for so long that i figured you’d moved on to other things, and then here you are 🙂 you’re not imaginary. you speak! it’s like my cat just talked! i’m so excited/surprised!

    … and when people ask why i’m not drinking, i’ve been telling one of two stories (and both are partly true, and entirely plausible). One, that i’m on a diet and i’m not drinking again until i lose 20 pounds. That usually deflects attention nicely. Who wants to talk about my middle-age-spread? The second option is to say something slightly tongue-in-cheek and yet true, that i’m doing a one-year self-discipline challenge, where i’m changing one big area of my life every 30 days for a year. The first was to give up booze. The second month was to up my running to 5 days a week, etc. The third will be to increase my income or empty my inbox daily (or whatever). This usually then turns into a conversation about what we’d like to change about ourselves (and stops being specifically about wine)…

    Like

  36. NothingVentured

    Thanks so much for the new post and congratulations on the huge number! I’m struggling right now to have more than 10 sober days in a row and it was helpful to read some of your inner thoughts – and by the way, have you tried the Blood Orange San Pellegrino? It’s my favorite and I thought I was the only one to have a ‘special drink’!!

    Like

  37. You are a fantastic writer, it’s infused with honesty, humor, beautiful analogies and metaphors. Everything you say totally resonates with me and this blog is really helping me on my journey, I’m only on day 2 so it’s a long road a head. Thanks for this. A quick question what sobriety app do you use?

    Like

  38. Nice to hear from you. It was you and Mrs D that got me going and here I am at 94 days (i think – already the counting is getting sloppy). So great to hear all is well and to get the benefits of your 525 day wisdom!

    Like

  39. Incredible post. Congratulations on 525 days! I can’t even imagine…..I found your blog 18 days ago, the day I woke up and decided I was done. I started on your first day and read straight thru. You gave me such hope and helped me understand I was doing the right thing. Then from your blog I found Mrs. D and read hers straight thru. It was like the two of you were holding my hand during that first week. Then I found Belle from Mrs. D’s blog and she helped me realize I needed to stop simply reading and enter this wonderful community. And now Cleo and Cricket have entered my world. So I thank you Unpickled for being there at the start of my journey and for your honest and very real post today. You continue to give me hope……csmissy

    Like

  40. This is a brilliant post – I love it! I get very pissed off when someone drinks my special non-alcoholic drinks too. And I think that’s great advice about not telling people because it makes things awkward. I’m sick of discussing my sobriety with drinkers, them joining in on a ‘alcohol is nasty’ conversation while supping on a nice cider. I just end up feeling like a lonely non-drinking dickhead. Good analogy re it being like not telling someone when you’ve got your period. I think of my sobriety like an invisible cloak of warmth and comfort. Only I know it’s there. xxx

    Like

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