Day One of Sobriety

Today is day one of my sobriety journey. That was a lot easier to say at 9 am than it is now, at 5 pm.

Yesterday was my 31st birthday so you can pretty clearly imagine how I’m feeling. I stopped eating gluten a few months ago and now my hangovers don’t involve headaches, but I’m still lethargic and having heat flashes. I’m way too young for that shit.

I haven’t done much of anything today, just mindlessly surfed the net and now I have nothing to show for my day. Oh, and it’s Friday. The Friday of my birthday weekend doesn’t seem like the best time to quit drinking. But I’m doing it. For one year.

I told my boyfriend this morning that I’m going AF for a year and he couldn’t believe it. “That’s so long,” he said. “Why don’t you aim for something shorter, like a month?”

He’s my biggest enabler. Before we lived together I could resist going to the liquor store and that was that. But he regularly keeps us stocked. Not that I have to drink whatever is in the house. Right now I’m pet sitting for a friend and she has a major bar stash and I don’t feel inclined to drink from it at all.

It doesn’t make sense. Then again, so much of alcohol doesn’t make sense.

So why am I doing this? My life isn’t in danger or at risk of falling utterly apart. I’m actually fairly successful at what I do. But I’ve got big dreams and alcohol is standing in my way. And I’m a binge drinker, so I suppose some of the more rigid sober folks would insist that actually, my life is in danger.

Yesterday I had seven drinks. I never learned how to drink “properly”. I didn’t have my first drink until I was 18 and then we were doing shots and wine bongs, drinking to get drunk. I regularly drank until I puked. But it wasn’t that often, maybe a couple times a month.

Then my estranged father came back into my life. He was a big drinker himself and realized that booze loosened me up for heartfelt conversations, as it does. He started taking me to the bar 5 or 6 nights a week. I drank until I puked and/or blacked out every single night.

Obviously, that wasn’t a solid foundation for a relationship and I moved out. I might have been fine if I hadn’t started working in the restaurant industry. At one restaurant I worked at we had wine tastings before our shift- and I’m not talking about a sip, we were drinking full glasses of wine- and the owner would give us shots throughout the night and let us taste test her new drink creations. Plus, at the end of the night, we got at least one free drink, too. And I couldn’t not stay for my end of night drink, right?

But more often than not the bartender would repeatedly top up my “one” glass and that would be me for the rest of the night. I drove home drunk so many times. It’s embarrassing. The owner of the restaurant would let me drive, we all did, but she’d say that if I got pulled over I better not tell them where I was coming from.

That was during college. Now I don’t drink like that every night. Most nights I’d say that I don’t. I would like to say that I have it under control. But considering how I’m feeling today, that’s not honestly true.

I work for myself, so I was able to take today off from most of my work. But also, I work for myself and if I want my business to be the most successful, I can’t keep doing this shit. That’s why I’m doing this. I want a grander, more fun life. And I want to lose weight.

Most of the time I drink because I’m bored. I’ve broken the habit of drinking because of stress, which is majorly good. I’m trying to get used to being bored. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I’m just not used to it. If that’s going to happen though, I also need to take a break from technology. Social media keeps me in this limbo between being bored and feeling like I’m a part of something and that is fucking depressing.

In a month I’m going away to visit family for a couple of months and I don’t think I’ll have WiFi. That’s exactly what I need. Plus, my family doesn’t drink a lot. So that will help out too. They’d very conservative so they’d probably give me a hard time, or at the very least some judgmental looks if I were to drink. But it doesn’t matter because for one year I will not have a drink. I can do this.

Next year I want to take a vacation to Portugal, so I should learn Portuguese. Hopefully, that will help alleviate some boredom, but it won’t keep me off my phone, unfortunately. I deleted Facebook from my phone, but I can’t delete Instagram because I use it to market my business. And it is so easy to slide out of professional use and into mindless scrolling. Maybe two phones are the answer and I can schedule times to use Instagram.

Honestly, I feel like social media is just as addictive and harmful as alcohol. They both numb. And they do not go well together. I have some examples that really make me question how well I thought I was doing. Very embarrassing moments.

I’ve done sober challenges before, so I know what I’m up against. Basically, the next month is probably going to be super shitty. Especially the next week or so. I’m not looking forward to that at all. Ugh. I feel so nauseous.

So far I think I’ve had like 4 diet cokes today. I’m using those to satisfy my craving for something sweet. It’s 5:18. I’m in such a brain fog. I have to take this dog for a walk at some point and that’s honestly one of the last things I want to do even though I could probably use the exercise and the longer I spent walking the less time I’d have to worry about not drinking. Though yesterday (the one and only time I have to say) I poured my drink into a to-go cup and took it on the walk with me. Really, self? Yep. That happened.

Pros of taking a walk: fresh air, exercise, not boring. Cons: I have to get up and get dressed, I’ll see people, poop.

So obviously I’m going to go for a walk, but I am not going to be happy about it. In the meantime, I guess I’ll start learning Portuguese.

~Poppy

Day Two