I woke up this morning feeling agitated. When I was drinking I felt constantly on edge and early mornings were one of the worst times of day. I had usually had an unsettled night and as I came to in the morning feelings of dread and despair would rush over me.
Now I sleep well and wake refreshed. I look forward to each new day. But not today.
I was talking to my friend at work. She is one of only a few people who know that I have given up drinking. She does not know the full story although I think she has a pretty good idea. I said I was feeling anxious and she asked why I thought that was. I answered honestly that I didn’t know, perhaps I was just tired and out of sorts.
We talked about our plans for the weekend. I told her that Mr So is out at a school governors meeting tonight and one of my daughters has a friend sleeping over. Tomorrow Mr So is on a course all day and I will be at home with one of our daughters while the other one is out.
This is unusual. Usually Mr So and I spend Friday evening and Saturday together with whichever of our daughters also happens to be around.
In the past Mr So being out for the evening would have been an opportunity to drink as much as I wanted without having to go to all the trouble and inconvenience of hiding bottles and concentrating on trying not to slur my speech. I am ashamed to say that my daughter having a friend over would not have changed this one jot. It would actually have smoothed my drinking path by keeping my daughters out of the way and happily occupied.
Saturdays with no Mr So would have followed a similar pattern. Usually there would be a small amount of wine left from the night before which I would drink in the morning. Then I would have some shopping delivered early afternoon which would include several bottles of wine, one of which I would crack open whilst unpacking the shopping – after all it was the weekend! Everyone drinks at weekend don’t they ?
Then I would probably wait until 5.00pm when it would be time for a drink. By the time Mr So got home I would be quite drunk and by that time even if I had started the day resolved to drink sensibly, I would know I had failed and on that basis might as well keep right on drinking.
As I was talking to my friend I realised that it was the prospect of this evening and tomorrow which was making me anxious. Thinking through what would have happened in the past, even though I have no intention of repeating events, was triggery. Just knowing that my anxiety wasn’t irrational made me feel better. And thinking it through made sense.
So I made watertight plans for this evening. I planned what I would drink and bought fresh lemons and limes and some ice. I planned a healthy supper and some time to myself. As I sit here writing I still feel anxious but I know why and that’s ok. I also know that in the morning I will be pleased with myself and I will feel stronger. I have invited a friend over tomorrow afternoon and in the morning I am going to make a cake with my daughter. I have a plan, I will stay busy and tomorrow will be good.