Feeling “Wobbly”

Putting my program back into full swing as a good friend of mine who is sober shared that she had very recently picked up. Twice. When I asked her how it went, she replied, “…fine – really no big deal.” There were no shame-filled horror stories of antics she deeply regretted in the light of the next morning. None of that. We both were quietly perplexed and continued our hike. The conversations that have happened since her admission of drinking, while illuminating, have been not been helpful to my own sobriety. She has been investigating with a interventionist friend whether or not she really is an “alcoholic” or whether she was spiritually bankrupt and her life became unmanageble which led to some self-medicating with booze. Diving into the big book, she has come to the understanding that she is probably not an “alcoholic” after all.

One guess where my mind took all of this. Yup. Am I? Am I not? Am I? Am I not? I have a reluctance to attend my own recovery meetings right now as the gossip and BS that goes around those circles has been heating up of late. Damn drama. Also, I do not want to do the whole “birthday” thing as my two year date draws near. I want to mark the date by doing something awesome, healthy, celebratory. Not digging up the old stories and sharing them in a basement room. Super tired of identifying as someone who is still engaging in a behaviour that I am not: Hi my name is Shine and I am an alcoholic… feels wrong. Feels stuck. Feels like I have moved my life forward without wine but the group requires me to be that old version of myself when I am asked to share. None of this is required in the original program by the way. All of it is “stuff” people have added and it does not fit for me.

The problem is that since we have returned from our travels, many of the components of my program have fallen to the wayside. My yoga = sporadic. My meditation = sporadic. My posting here = not happening. My recovery meetings = not happening. And so not surprisingly, I am feeling wobbly, fragile. And then the discussions with my sober buddy…

On Friday night, with the house to myself, I gave myself the green light to drink if that is what I wanted to do. An experiment to gather data. My stomach actually rolled with nausea at the thought. My body’s vote is a clear “no thanks.” My mind keeps looping back to the idea though. I was so frustrated by the addict voice that I shared with my husband and another friend what was going on and cried. And then I walked my dog in the woods. I sat in meditation for 27 minutes. When I got to the ski hill, I did a Yoga Nidra for Recovery session. I changed my mantra from “I am thriving in my sobriety” to “I am grateful for my sobriety.” My new mantra became the focus of my bedtime yoga practice. And this morning I write this post. Doing the things that have given me my sober days so far. I am wobbly. Recognizing that, I am recommitting to my program. I have built this amazing life without my dependence on wine and I do NOT want to go back to where I was. Here is what I said to my friend yesterday as I ended my participation in that conversation:

“…I don’t need to argue labels and agonize over whether I am truly an alcoholic or not. Whether I have the allergy or not. Whether the craving sets in and how far I will take it or not. I only need to ask myself whether alcohol added value to my life, or took value away. Did it help me become the best version of myself or someone I could hardly stand? And when I think on the honest answers to those two inquiries I KNOW that picking up would be the very worst choice for myself…”

So I share this not to discourage. There are still some tough times. But I face my own truth and rally. So for right now, I will head out into nature and ski – that is my church this Sunday morning. And then I will walk my dog, meditate, do some yoga and most of all I will be grateful for my sobriety.

Published by: shineshine100

I am a woman who realized that alcohol was taking the joy and vibrancy out of my life. It was an old, fickle friend who turned on me. I needed to let the habit go. Simple but not easy. This blog and the connections I made here helped. A lot. And for that I will always be grateful. Without wine, I have created a beautiful and deeply meaningful life. I am now a certified recovery coach helping others create their own beautiful lives... Thanks for stopping by!

Categories Uncategorized22 Comments

22 thoughts on “Feeling “Wobbly””

  1. Oh my goodness I loved this and I was so happy to read your blog again. The thought of YOU drinking makes ME want to cry , bizarre I know but having thrown away 6 brilliant sober months myself I know that you would regret, regret, regret. You are so right about not labelling it, rehashing it, flagellating yourself over it, you are just doing it. I am happy you stayed strong and selfishly I am happy you took the time to share with all of us the processes behind that. I wish you continued strength and happiness..

  2. Comparison is the thief of happiness.
    Step back. Look at yourself. You are an amazing, sober woman with a good life and peace of mind. Be confident in your choice.

    I hope your friend is ok. I’m sure some of us could drink some. And that, for me, it would bring depression, anxiety and self loathing back. Those are things I work very hard to overcome.

    You are doing the right thing. Surround yourself with support. Take care of yourself. Write.

    Anniversaries are always shaky.

    Life is best live with a clear head and heart. By everyone. Not just alcoholics.

    Stillness and peace


  3. My relapse was “no big deal” too for about a month…. Then all hell broke loose again.
    Hope your friend is okay and it’s good to hear your strength and re-commitment to your program.
    It’s not easy but it is sooo much better to be sober. I am newly sober again after my relapse that lasted almost 6 months. So glad to be back.
    Wishing you good things!

    1. Yeah – that is likely what would happen with me too. I would wake up one day and be back in that dark place, drinking daily and not engaging in the things that I love anymore because I don’t have the energy or the motivation…..

  4. I’m sorry it’s been a rough time for you. I really like your answer to your friend. I have, twice, after long stretches of being sober, decided that I probably didn’t have such a big problem with drinking, and having decided that, I started to drink again. It wasn’t a big deal at first, and no one terrible thing ever happened, but I realized after a while that drinking just drags me back to a dark place that I don’t want to be anymore. Now I see that a person can decide not to drink not because of some binary “alcoholic” or “not alcoholic” category that applies, but because drinking is hard on the mind and body and, for me, I don’t need to drag myself down that way. There’s so much in life that’s great, and I lose touch with all that when I drink. Anyway, it sounds like you’re doing all the right things to get through. Sending you cyber hugs! xo

    1. Thanks for the hugs… And you are so right that even if something terrible does not occur – its the murky, blurry, numbing out that absolutely demotivates me. Who needs it????

  5. That’s a beautiful answer. Every so often the question of “was I broken, and I am now fixed?” plays out in my mind. It’s good to be reminded that the question is irrelevant. x

  6. Wow – your post resonated with me. I am only on Day 8, but yesterday I was at war with myself. Should I? Should I not? My SHOULD NOT won and today I am so grateful. I wrote done two things from your post “Does it help me become the best version of me” My answer “ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!”, Does it add value? Answer: While the first sip and the feeling going through my veins feels good, everything after that is awful. And I can get that very same (positive) feeling by running my heart out, meditating, or sitting in the healing poses of yoga….all much better. Thank you for your raw honesty. It helped!

    1. I am so glad it helped. We need to be connecting with others who “get it” and know how hard it is to keep the addict voice/thoughts at bay and think a new thought. You are early days – tough and doable. Well done! I know I have never, not once regretted a day I spent sober. BUT I have regretted hundreds of days spent boozing it up…

  7. I’m very happy to read your post – I was worried about you since you hadn’t posted in a while. I too hate labels and I know in my heart of hearts that if I picked up a glass of wine tonight that I would soon be up to a bottle a day again. No thank you – I enjoy my walks, my yoga practice and just having a clear head and feeling all the feelings! I love the answer to your friend and I love your mantra. Take real good care of yourself.

  8. i am also in the program, and also coming up on 2 years. i have heard that it gets hard around 2 years- you have learned to be sober, but you have not learned to live, yet. i hope you stay strong- keep coming back! don’t let anyone else’s bullshit keep you from working your program, what ever you need your program to be right now- and, of course, it works if you work it, whatever ‘it’ is 🙂 never quit quitting.

  9. It’s funny what can make us shaky. An AA’er recently suggested that I’m not a *real* alcoholic because I got sober without the 12 Steps (therefore hadn’t become “truly” powerless). Now that’s just silly, but in her world view that’s how it works and if that rigidity keeps her sober, I’ll keep my arguments to myself. But…am I….did I need to….what if she’s right….all swirled in my head. I have to keep reminding myself that even the word “alcoholic” isn’t a real medical diagnosis, it’s a term the program coined to fit it’s own perspective, and it does help a lot of people to think that way. If we were talking about cigarettes instead of booze, we wouldn’t agonize over some fine line of addiction (binary, as Thirstystill said so perfectly) – we know smoking is bad for the health and smoking cigarettes with any regularity = addiction, and everyone is better off not smoking. Why do we make it so much more complicated with alcohol? Abstinence is easier, in the end. Freedom is sweet. Congrats on your milestone.

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