Everything is going well. I’m happy and enjoying my sober life. I haven’t had any cravings and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. However, I know this can change so I will never get complacent. I’m just enjoying this happy, calm feeling while it lasts.
Back in January 2016 when I was still drinking, I took a year’s career break from my job. I wasn’t coping very well at work. I was stressed and anxious all the time. I thought that if I could only just leave work then my life (and my drinking) would be better. Work knew nothing of my drink problem or any problem for that matter and they agreed to keep my job open until I returned.
I thought leaving work was the answer to all my problems. Boy was I wrong. My drinking escalated! I was drinking more and more wine and vodka; starting earlier and earlier. I was sneakier. I hid how much I drank and I hid my empty bottles. I was still depressed and just as anxious. I felt guilty all the time and I was truly ashamed of my behaviour.
It took until April 2016 before I finally managed to stop. I honestly think I scared myself into stopping. I remember crying in the bathroom asking myself. “Who drinks like this everyday?”, “Even when they don’t want too?” “Who hides their empties, sneaks’ drinks?”, “who keeps a vodka bottle in the boot of their car so they can sneakily top up the bottle in the house?” Then it hit me. An Alcoholic does that!
I realised then that all my previous attempts at stopping in the past only led me to drink more. Even though I didn’t want to, I realised the only thing I could do was to stop drinking permanently or eventually I’d lose everything, my job, my husband, my children, my own life.
Anyhoo, through writing, reading and commenting on other people’s blogs, reading books, listening to podcasts, eating way too much chocolate, talking and more recently going to AA meetings. I have maintained my sobriety thus far. My life is 110% better now.
And now it is time to go back to work. My year is up next week. I wasn’t sure I would ever go back to work. There were times early in my sobriety I couldn’t even consider it.. However, I feel stronger now. It just shows that we should never force our journey. Things will happen naturally.
I have reduced my hours at work to hopefully find a better balance. I’m looking forward to socialising with colleagues. Not for drinks though! I know I will find work challenging at times and it may even be a trigger. I’m viewing it like one of my final ‘sober firsts’. It may be hard at first but I know myself better now. I have tools to help me cope. such as, my family, you guys and AA. There are many different ways to handle stuff life throws at you and drinking is definitely NOT one of them.
So, wish me luck for next week as I return to work with nervous anticipation. x