and you know what, it’s ok.
I relapsed on Monday. It was not an amazing experience, as some of you might have guessed. I had romanticized alcohol for so long. I would reminisce over all the qualities a glass of wine had. The sweet taste of Zinfandel, the effervescent splendor of champagne and the dry tannic kick of merlot, all of these were daily thoughts. I wanted a glass of wine, well let’s not kid ourselves – a bottle at least. I wanted a bottle at the end of a stressful day because I deserved it after what I put up with at work. I wanted a bottle on a beautiful, warm, sunny Sunday afternoon because, well how else was I going to relax and enjoy this day? I wanted a bottle when I was happy – to celebrate my happiness of course. I wanted a bottle when I was feeling down and out of sorts, the wine would help wash away my tears. Wine would listen to my woes without complaining, without interrupting. I wanted a bottle of wine to be more creative with my writing, because (of course) that is what all the greats did. One excuse after another.
I now realized that when these thoughts entered my mind, I didn’t try and combat them. I would just wish for the day I could drink again. I believe this was my downfall. I so desperately wanted to drink – “just one last time,” I would tell myself, that I indulged in these thoughts.
I now realize that I became lazy with my recovery. I didn’t want to go through the steps in AA and I am not sure if I really want to, but I know it wouldn’t hurt. I realize as well that I didn’t make my sobriety a priority. Work, boyfriend, friends, writing – they all came first, which doesn’t work in recovery. I believe it always has to be a priority. If you lose focus, your sobriety is gone in a blink of an eye.
So, here I am, ready to pull out my toolbox, blow off the dust and start taking out my handy dandy tools.
What are three things I can use out of my toolbox to hold onto my sobriety? Three simple things that can help me through the rough patches and always ensure that my sobriety comes first.
- Read/ write – I love this one so of course, it is first. I can read a book when I am feeling frazzled and out of control. The beautiful thing about a book is you can escape your reality for a little while, disappear into another world filled with magic, love, adventure, where ever you want to go, just pick up a book and take off! I want to concentrate a lot of my reading on sobriety blogs. I want to read other people’s adventures through their own sobriety as well as receive tips and advice on a topic not a lot of people feel free to talk about in public. I want to get more involved in the online sobriety world, researching, writing, commenting and feeling support from people I may never meet, but know exactly what I am going through. Two of my favorite blogs to follow are below.
I love recovery cafe – https://iloverecovery.com/
A place where you can find topics on alcoholism, spirituality, Poetry, Health and so much more. Filled with many different contributors, I am sure you will find articles that you relate to.
Tired of thinking about drinking – http://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/
A woman discusses her journey through recovery with hilarity and honesty. There is so much I find myself relating to in this blog, it’s worth a read!
- AA meetings
Whether I am feeling like AA is working for me, being surrounded by people who understand the difficulty of recovery and are there to be of service is never a bad idea. I have made some good friends in AA who were there for me when I relapsed. Who told me that everything would be okay. It felt wonderful to hear that from people who have relapsed themselves and could relate.
Also, there is always at least one share that I can relate to when I go to an AA meeting. I, myself am a little more ambivalent when it comes to sharing. I begin to shake and lose my train of thought, but you don’t have to share (obviously). Haha. When someone shares, they are inviting you into their lives, to hear their struggles and what they did to overcome them. Some shares are more for the people sharing, they need to let out anger, sadness, and resentment but even then, there is something I can relate to personally. The difficulties of sobriety, the fears of relapsing, these connect us to each other and bring people together who would probably never affiliate with each other outside the rooms.
- Doing one thing that is nice for me
Whether it be a hot bath, painting my nails, going out for a walk or buying that delicious, warm gooey chocolate filled croissant, I need to make sure I do something nice to and for myself. I find that I often ignore my own needs and worry about others first. Well, this causes me a lot of wasted resentment and often becomes the fuel to my alcoholic thoughts. If I put myself first at least one time a day, well I am then putting my sobriety first as well.
Some nice things I want to do for myself this week:
- Learn to cook a new dish
- Paint my nails
- Go to a book store and get lost in it
- Get a haircut
- Make myself a delicious and nutritious shake for breakfast each morning.
I am ok with starting over in my sobriety. I am no longer angry with myself and I am lucky I was not harmful to myself or anyone else that night. I am happy I have been given the chance to start over and do it right this time! 😊