Is this it? Was that a Relapse?

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**There may be TRIGGERS in this post for my sober followers, so if you don’t want to read about alcohol consumption after sobriety, you may want to stop now.**

On Friday I will be 4 years sober. FOUR YEARS.

Or will I? Can I even say that considering I had about 4oz of Tequila Rose this weekend?

I’ve been struggling so hard these last few months (really at least a year and a half) on feeling like I don’t want to do this anymore. I am not even sure I can put it into words without it sounding like horrible rationalizing, but because I want to be real and I really need to get it off my damn chest, I’m going to try.

So.. Sunday. Let’s start here.

I was at a party. It was pretty low key. No one pushing alcohol, but I knew only 2-3 people out of about 50. There wasn’t really anyone who knows I’m sober. We were having a great time, and my friend was discussing her drink. I’m not even sure how it happened, but she asked if I wanted to try it. I considered it for a second, and said “Sure” and just like that, I took a tiny sip of alcohol and went back to staring at the fire. My heart was pounding, and my thoughts were running wild. I waited for the world to stop and crash in on itself, or someone to come and smack me or something, but nothing happened. The world kept on spinning. I don’t blame my new friend. She didn’t know me back when I made this choice, and honestly, it’s not a thing I discuss that much anymore because it’s never come up ((we usually hang out with our kids).. It was a harmless question to her I could have said no.  I just didn’t.

Later I would drink a bit more. I don’t think I had more than 4oz, but it was alcohol nonetheless. There was no buzz. I didn’t even feel that bad about it. But now, when I sit here thinking about what would have been my  four year sober-versary  on Friday, I think “Was that a relapse?” “if I don’t drink anything else, can I just keep counting my numbers?” and “I didn’t even feel anything and made the conscious effort not to drink anything else.. I can keep going, right?”

And this is the vortex in which I get caught. I still struggle to think that I had a problem in the first place. My dad almost died, and I had been drinking a good bit with my friends, and it seemed like a good place in my life to stop for a while and get my bearings. I never said it’d be forever, but I had no REAL idea what my plans were either.

There have been so many times I have admitted out loud that the only reason I was still going was because my daily number had grown so big, and that I’d let everyone else down. It wasn’t about me anymore. I mean, my Dad and I quit together. I had to keep doing it for him, right?

And it’s not like I had any grand plans for quitting drinking, or I want to run right out and get a bottle of wine, and this is where it gets so hard to explain and I don’t want to sound like I’m romanticizing, or rationalizing. I miss being able to have a glass of wine with dinner, or having a drink or two at a party. In my younger days it was all about BARS! I’m not there anymore.  I miss being able to do something I want to do. To make the decision for myself, and do it.  I honestly feel like I do it out of obligation at this point. I think of the plenty of times I went out and had two drinks and went home. I  could do it. It has a lot do with the people I was drinking with too. I feel like I talked myself into a bigger problem than I actually had to get people to respect my choice to be sober. That’s honestly what it comes down to. I feel burdened to a decision I made for myself 4 years ago.

On the other hand, my sobriety set me apart from everyone else. It seemed to earn me respect, and I latched onto that and it was the catalyst that kept everything going. I like feeling like I’m doing something good. It came at a good time in my life, and I finally got my shit together. A hard reset. Now I’m married with a daughter who is my entire world. Life is good, and I want nothing to change that.

I can’t take back anything I do from here on out. I feel like that tiny amount of alcohol brought me to where I am right now, in this moment. Thinking and wondering if I’m making a terrible decision.

Thus here I am at the crossroads baring my soul to a blog, and not quite sure what I am feeling in the grand scheme of things. I guess I can just live my life and see what comes across my lap and see how I react in that situation. I don’t know what else I can do.

 

 

 

 

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8 responses »

  1. You own nothing to no one.
    It sounds like you feel sobriety is a weight – an obligation to your dad…an expectation or babe of honour among friends.
    What about you? What part is just for you? Do you enjoy the clarity? The freedoms? The knowledge you can drive?
    Do you have other, better coping skills?

    4 years is a long time, but life is long! We need to be willing to try new things, even if they aren’t always the status quo.

    Know yourself. Decide from your heart. And be willing to ask for help (professional, family, friends) if needed.

    Hug. Your honesty and openness are very inspiring and I wish you well.

    Anne

    • Thank you for your comment. I’ve been worried I was going to be put up at the stake for my post, but so far nothing. I honestly don’t know what part of it is for me anymore. I made a lot of positive changes in my life over these four years. I value my life so much more now because of what I was able to do when I wasn’t out being single and drinking all the time. I know too, that because so much has changed, if I do choose to drink from here on out, it will be vastly different from how it was. I’ve been analyzing my feelings very closely and thinking about EVERYTHING. I am in no rush to drink. I have zero plans to do so right now. I just want to have a choice of an opportunity would present itself.

      • I think those are important thoughts.
        I will just say, personally, I feel That as much as I have grown, shoved long standing problems and found better mental health, drinking is not a mindful activity and puts all that at risk.

        It is insidious and obsessive.

        Protect yourself. Your happiness is what matters.

  2. I am at 17 days sober today and just read your post, because I am feeling really crappy and trying to search out other sober folks’ journeys. My first thought after reading your post, as a newly sober gal were, I NEVER want to go back to day one again. I’m really close to my day one and it’s all very raw to me. Since I’ve been cramming my head with info about being sober, let me ask you some of the things I think would be asked of me. Why do you want to have alcohol? Should you revisit what you were feeling when you stopped? Do you agree with the notion that no one needs alcohol to have fun? Could you be feeling stressed and your boozer brain is reminding you of numbing out? Why do you feel left out when you are not drinking at a party? It sort of sounds like you feel like you did this “quitting thing”, it was a goal of yours, and you proudly reached it, so now what? For me personally, I am looking at this as a new lifestyle. I’ve had enough alcohol for 7 lifetimes and want experience life now without it. I personally think there is a tremendous amount pressure we get to use alcohol. It comes from marketing, society as a whole, and just everywhere. It’s the only drug you get questioned about for quitting!! You are my hero for what you accomplished! Take care of yourself and hugs from me!

  3. Hey! Love this post–it means you’re questioning, and that is a very good thing. Testing the waters is the only way you’ll ever know where you want to go. I know people who have gone back to drinking. I know people who haven’t. I personally have tried drinking since getting sober, and it didn’t work for me. That was the single most helpful thing I’ve done for…not just my sobriety, but my sanity. And my personal growth. Only you can tell if alcohol is something you’re going to abuse again, or if you’ve “matured out of” your alcoholic drinking, or maybe you were a binge drinker at heart. Only you can tell if you can take or leave the buzz, or if it makes you feel better or worse. I think such a long period of sobriety at such a young age has definitely given you the perspective and well, clarity, to make VERY informed choices around booze. Anyway, I’m rambling, but really, this is all up to you! xx

    • Thank you for this. You summed up pretty much how I feel. Like I said, no plans right now. It does scare me a bit to potentially give up four years in the off chance I somehow do go back to where i was, but I think that’s normal of anyone to worry when you’ve spent 4 years not doing something. I’ve been thinking a LOT, so if I do drink, it’s not something I take lightly. I’ve been thinking through every aspect of this. But yes, after four years, I feel that I’m ready to try and see what happens.

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