Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Protective Shell

This isn't my first rodeo.  I've "quit drinking" before.  A few times.  What's different about this time is the terminology.  Before, when things got out of hand, I'd admit that I was a "problem drinker" or that I "drink too much sometimes", or one of my personal favs "I occasionally have alcohol issues".  Each of these labels implies that there is a temporary problem with an eventual fix.

Finally, I'm able to admit that this is not a temporary problem.  There is no fix out there for me that will let me drink again.

So how does this change things?  A million ways...both good and terrifying.  Before, I'd tell people that was just taking a break.  I'd still go out occasionally, but I'd just drink soda water with lime.  I'd sit at a dinner party, and itch for when ever my "time out" would end.  One month, two... Then, I'd reintroduce myself with my old friend, and all would be well.  Until it wasn't.

Now, I know that this isn't just a "time out".  It is a FOREVER thing.  I can't just tough it out for a few months.  I can NEVER drink again.  If I do, I know that it is only a matter of time before the nightmare resumes.  Before something really goes wrong.

This concept scares me so much that I just want to crawl back into bed.  To hide from everything, everyone.  It is a naked anxiety.  Mortifying, terrifying.  Unlike anything else I've experienced.  I'm a housewife, and usually kept pretty busy during the day.  I've barely moved from the couch the last few days.

I realize that I'm putting up a shell, and I also realize that I can't act like this forever.  It's just that I'm only four days in to this....and it is so raw.  I'm hoping to slowly incorporate the world back into my new life as a recovering alcoholic. I'm going to go on a long walk today.  We'll see how that goes.  Its just one foot in front of the other.


  1. I saw your post via Crying Out Now, and they really resonated with me; I've been where you are, too many times.

    Blessings upon you, and strength.

  2. Hello Hope,
    I'm also a few days into this (again). Your story sounds very much like mine. Support is critical to us in early sobriety, as I'm sure you already know from your experience. As sisters in sobriety, we are all in this together. I offer my support to you in this journey together. Please feel free to visit my blog at http://sobermesilly.wordpress.com.

  3. Thank you so much for reading and reaching out. This is such an isolating thing, the support really really helps. I hope that I can help in any way to you both. Thanks again, and God Bless!


  4. Congratulations. And I think you putting this out here on your blog and your story on Crying Out Now, will really help you. There's something about the accountability and public forum that really helps. You can do it. Really, you can.

  5. wishing you courage, strength and new laughs. rooting for you

  6. I'm rooting for you too, to stop living with the anxiety and shame and self-loathing. It can be done! One foot in front of the other. ♥

  7. The first days are so hard! Don't worry about the shell or the couch time...be gentle with yourself and give it time. You won't be on the couch forever; detox takes time and a ton of energy to get through. My first few sober weeks I wanted to go to bed at 7pm...

    Over time it got better.

    As the others have said - I have found the online support essential to my recovery, both for the accountability and for the support. I'm here if you need any support - www.theactofreturningtonormal.com