It seems a bit strange starting my sobriety diary on day 11 and part of me is a little annoyed with myself for not having had the get up and go to start properly documenting on day 1.
However, I did share snippets on my instagram account before day 1 and every day since then, so some of my thoughts are there.
Although it is true that during these first vulnerable days and weeks of recovery it is important to really focus on staying sober and not on writing or trying anything new/stressful, I also know that this is a strong part of my personality.
I am someone who gets hyperfocused on one thing at a time and for me to succeed at whatever task I have set myself, it needs to stay that way.
Ironically, distractions are what tend to make me fail but distractions from drinking are exactly what I need in these initial days of recovery.
In this instance, the distractions have had to be mundane, normal, without too much meaning or risk of disappointment.
It’s much like a breakup.
I am wallowing and being kind to myself.
Eating Ice cream and binge watching Netflix in the evenings and pottering around doing the housework and ‘existing’ during the day.
Simple tasks, nothing too difficult that has the potential to go wrong, stress me out and make my recovery harder.
Life has a way of sending you those challenges anyway and I certainly have had some these past few days, so there is no need for me to set myself up for even more potentially stressful situations by taking on anything too hard.
Sobriety is hard.
Sobriety is my monumental task right now.
That is where my focus, rightly, lies.
Sitting on the spongy brown carpet, legs crossed, allowing my ankle bones to sink into the fibers I periodically type away at my keyboard.
In my peripheral vision I can see my boys lounging on the floor past the screen of my laptop playing Uncharted 4 on the Playstation.
As I said, I really have a problem with distractions throwing me off my game.
‘I am so crap at writing, what’s the point?’ I slump back onto the sofa cushion behind me and let out a defeated sigh.
I have recently come to realise that negative self talk is what perpetuates the problem.
Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram there are countless memes of quotes saying just that and I have always looked at them as corny, meaningless things that people say in the hopes of appearing profound and wise.
My Dad’s cynicism rubbed off on me a little.
Although you may be reading this and thinking ‘Of course, this is basic psychology!’ that doesn’t stop it from being difficult.
I have tried and tried to make an effort with positive affirmations before and I never stick with it long enough for it to make a difference, which then confirms the idea that it doesn’t work.
But I can see that I am capable of great things now that I have managed to remain sober for 11 days.
It doesn’t sound like much to those who don’t have a drinking problem but for those who do, even lasting one or two days takes a huge amount of emotional strength and determination.
I have been telling myself that I can’t for so long that I didn’t even see the point in trying, so I was constantly setting myself up to fail.
In fact, if I look back at my life, I’ve been telling myself that I’m not good enough since I can remember and my subconscious made a mission out of proving it to me.
I’ve never finished anything really.
I throw myself into things, genuinely believing that this will be the thing that I’m good at, this is what I am supposed to do but then, however small, something goes wrong and I flip right round to believing that I can’t again.
It has got to the point where I get an idea… but don’t even bother starting.
Doomed to live in limbo.
In this mediocre existence, never quite good enough at anything, never quite achieving anything… just waiting for the days to pass and for my purpose to arrive.
I peer up again, switching my gaze from my computer screen to my boys’ legs kicking in the air like pre-teens in the 80’s chatting on the phone, twiddling the cord.
Parenting is all about leading by example.
A piece of me will go with them into adulthood, it’s just the way things work.
I need to change their story, and the only way that I can do that is by changing mine.
They know about my giving up alcohol.
For the past year there have been a few times that I, in a misguided moment of determination, have proclaimed, ‘This is my last bottle!’ for them to say to me in the Tesco wine Isle the next day… ‘I thought you said you weren’t drinking anymore?’.
They don’t know the extent of it but they have seen me struggle with this monster and if I don’t get my shit together and actively choose sobriety, I fear that will mark their future as adults, taking my penchant for failure, or worse, my alcoholism with them.
Alternatively, if they see me set my mind to something and overcome a huge challenge… they will take my determination and the will to do the things they set their minds to.
Choosing sobriety is a personal choice, a necessary one in many cases, but it’s also a choice you make for those you love.
On a personal note, I now see that I can achieve the things I set my mind to and I think this will give me the gumption to push through other tasks I find difficult in the future and reach my full potential.
If I can give up alcohol in the face of a huge and terrifying monster, threatening me in my head day in, day out… then I can do anything.
I can, because I am capable and I am good enough.
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Tired again 😂 Can't wait for this insomnia to bugger off, I am going to make some real efforts to curb it tonight.. hot bath at 9pm, lemon and green tea and switching off all electronics. I know it can be done, so I'm going to try and force myself into good sleeping habits. I am trying to write on my blog but I have a severe case of writers block at the moment. Maybe I just need to give myself more time. . #recovery #mindfullness #simpleliving #mentalhealth #minimalism #addiction #alcoholism #alcoholic #recoveringalcoholic #recoveringaddict #aa #12steps #sober #sobriety #sobermum #soberoctober #soberissexy #soberlife #cleanandsober #writersblock #inspiration #insomnia #sleep #tired #writer #blog #soberblog #sobrietyblog #soberaf #boss