Tag Archives: abstinence

Sober for 19 days

Today was the 19th day of my freedom from alcohol. Till a few days ago I used to say “dry” but now I prefer the word “free”. Being sober is being free.

I stopped drinking 19 days ago. I went to a psychiatrist and he prescribed me some medication, to help me get over my anxiety, during my withdrawal stage. It helped. The medication managed to get over the first few days of acute withdrawal.

The biggest problem, during those first few days, was that I couldn’t take a break from my normal routine. I had to function normally at work. I own my own company. It’s a small startup, so I don’t get to take too many holidays. I have taken advantage of being the boss, and slacked off quite a bit during the past few days, to take out some quiet time for myself.

I joined a gym. Its been about a week now. I haven’t missed a day. I usually go in the mornings. The mornings feel so peaceful. I have been pushing myself. trying to channelize my negativity into my workouts, pushing myself harder and harder.

Exercise has helped a lot. It takes away my demons. It drains me. Empties me out. For a few hours after I come from the gym, the endorphins in my system, keep me in a good mood.

I stopped writing in this blog for a while. I kept giving up alcohol and kept relapsing. This time will be different. This time is the last time.

I will try to be regular on this blog. Put down a few thoughts everyday. All part of my therapy.


Day 8 – First week is over

Today was day 8. It has been a very difficult week. but I have made it so far. The meds have helped. My family has also been quite supportive. There have been many times in the last few days that I’ve almost slipped back.

The 6th day was the worst. Went to meet a client in a nightclub! He owns the nightclub. We went to meet him because we were pitching for his business. I own a digital marketing agency. I was sitting there taking him through the presentation, talking about the benefits of digital marketing and how we would make his business more profitable and all I could think of was the bottles behind the bar!

Once the meeting was over, he showed me his bar, which has a unique design (it’s made of beer bottles – I mean the whole bar is made of empty beer bottles) and invited me for a drink. I don’t know how I did it but I politely refused, telling him that I was getting late for another meeting. A very close call.

The craving is still there, as strong as ever. Probably not as strong as the 2nd or 3rd day but it is still there lingering like a malignant growth at the back of my mind. It is not possible to ignore it. I just have to keep telling myself that this is natural. I can fight it. I will fight it this time.

I’ve been avoiding my drinking buddies. Making excuses, not taking their phone calls. I have know a few of them for several years now. A few I’ve known since my childhood. I know that if I go out with them, all these 8 days of hard work will just go poof. I won’t be able to resist the temptation. I am not that strong. Maybe I will lose some friends but if they are really my friends – they will understand.

Day 5 – so far so good

Today was day 5 of my journey to sobriety. It was difficult but I made it through. The pills are helping. They make me sleepy and slow to respond. But they also take the edge away. The craving is still there. It’s always there. As soon as I think of alcohol, my mind tries to make up excuses. My mind keeps telling me that I am okay. I have made it through the past few days and one drink will not matter. But i know where that road leads. I have been down that road too many times. Once I start I won’t stop, till something bad happens. After that it will be the same old vicious circle once again.

I have been very busy at work. Running a company is many times more difficult than working as an employee. Too many things to worry about. Salaries, deadlines, clients etc etc… Someone or the other is always there, asking for advice, asking for help, or just asking. It’s very stressful. The thought of the bottle of whisky is so tempting. My busy schedule keeps me distracted, but the thought still lingers in the back of my mind somewhere.

When I go out for meetings and pass a wine shop, I always look. It would be so easy to just stop the car and…

In the evenings I watch movies, play games on my phone, drink lots of juice, read books. Anything to keep myself distracted. It’s working. Every day is another victory, every day is one step closer.

Being dry (I won’t use the word sober yet) has given me a new perspective on the people around me and my surroundings – some of it is good and some of it is bad. I am not sure how much of all this is influenced by my craving for alcohol. But I am not going to sit here and analyse it too much. I am dry and I have been dry for 5 days now. That’s all that matters.

Day 3 – yet again

I haven’t written in here for a long time. I’ve been struggling with my alcoholism – not too successfully. It all goes round and round. A viscous circle. I give up for 2-3 days and start again.

I have started visiting a Doctor. Finally took that step. ​Today was day 3 of my latest attempt to give up drinking. I was very agitated and couldn’t work. Wasn’t feeling too well, so took half the day off and came home and slept. It’s probably the sleep meds that my doc has prescribed for me. Mskes me very droesy. But overall yoday was better than yesterday. 

I watched a movie on my wife’s laptop. Some bank robbery action movie – not sure I even remember the name, but I think it was Mauraders. Pretty good. Smh action movie with an interesting story. my type of movie. Liked it. Kept me distracted.

The next few days will be challenges. I think I have taken it too far. I feel quite sick. I just hope it’s not too late. I am scared to go do tests, afraid that it is too late, that I’ve done irreparable damage to my body. 

If you are reading this please leave your thoughts and comments. My battle against alcoholism has been a long one,  one with a lot of defeats and setbacks. But I am trying the best within my abilities to fight it. 

Feeling sleepy now. Will try to keep posting in the next few days. Good night.

Day 9 – still sober thanks to LifeRing

Today is day 9 of being sober. This is the longest I have been sober for a long time. It feels great. It feels like a fog has lifted and I can breathe freely once again. In fact the very air around me smells different. The world around me seems different, a better place. Every day I notice things that I have not noticed in a long time. The first few days were difficult and my struggle is far from over, but now I know I can do it. There is hope.

A major factor in my sobriety has been an email list I stumbled upon a few days ago – the LifeRing Safe List or LSRSafe. It’s an email list with very nice people who really care without being judgemental or condescending. After struggling for so long with alcoholism I have finally realised that I cannot do this alone. I need to reach out to other people, people like me, people who have gone through what I have gone though, people who understand. The people on this list welcomed me into the group and listened to me. Thier replies proved that they really care and understand my pain. I am lucky to have found them. They are my support group. My LifeRing.

What I like best about LifeRing is that, it’s secular. There is no Big Book thumping, 12 steps, higher power and God. I have nothing against the AA, and in fact for the last couple days I have been attending AA meetings. Attending the AA meetings reinforced something that I already knew, that the AA program is not for me. The people I met in the AA meetings were nice but there is too much insistence on God and higher power. I just don’t agree with the AA philosophy that we are totally powerless and we cannot be sober unless we surrender ourselves completely to God.

Having made the decision to be sober and come through the hell of the first few days alone, I just can’t accept the fact that I am powerless. Someone in the LifeRing email list posted in one of his emails: “I can say I’m powerless over alcohol once I take the first drink, but I have the power not to do that, provided I participate with others and stay continually reminded of the misery that awaits me should I do so.” These words say it better than I can say it myself.

Being sober for 9 days does not make me an authority on sobriety but I have been trying to be sober for several months now and I think this has taught me a bit about failure and relapse. I think alcoholics relapse because they do not have a support structure. They do not have a group of people rooting for them. Having a support group makes me accountable. It is not just me alone. There are people counting on me. I do not want to drink that first drink because I do not want to let them down.

One of the many things I liked about the LifeRing email group is that they encourage you to post as often as you need to. I have been on email groups before (not alcohol recovery groups, but other ones) and frequent posting is usually discouraged. On this group, they encourage people to post frequently. They understand that the first days, weeks and even months of sobriety are difficult and recovering alcoholics need to reach out and share thier problems. Another thing I like about this group is that conflict of any sort is discouraged. Recovering alcoholics are fragile and conflict can be disastrous. The list is lightly moderated but flame wars and negative comments are not tolerated.

I probably won’t go to the AA meetings anymore. I have found something better for me. AA doesn’t work for me.

Things that make the alcohol cravings worse

I was in an online support chatroom and someone told me about the things that I should avoid during my quest to get sober. They can be remembered by the acronym H.A.L.T. which stands for Hunger, Anger, Loneliness and Tiredness. Someone else added Boredom too, but that doesn’t sound right as a part of the acronym.

I have been trying to avoid these and it’s working. In my case, I think the more dangerous ones are Anger, Loneliness and Boredom.

To overcome Boredom, I can find something to do, some hobby. However it’s been so long that I have associated alcohol to every pastime of mine, I don’t know how long it will be before I can enjoy anything without alcohol. I cant think of a trip, or a party or even watching a movie without getting drunk. I will need to re-learn how to enjoy simple things in life, without depending on Alcohol. Knowing that alcohol has just been a crutch and in the last few years it has not given me any real pleasure, will probably help.

Loneliness will be more difficult. I have driven away everyone from my life except for my immediate family – my wife and two sons. I have no friends or extended family left. I will have to start with my family and build up my circle of friends once again.

Anger will probably be my worst enemy. I need to stop being angry with the world. After all I have not been the most likeable person. I have done terrible things and hurt a lot of people, so why should the world be nice to me? I need to keep telling myself that I am in control of my anger and not others. I allow myself to get angry and I can control it.

Someone once told me that there are three factors which make us  Angry. Expectation, Aversion and Ignorance. Expectation is when we expect something from others and these expectations are not met. Aversion is when we dislike something in others. Ignorance is when we are not aware of all the facts and we let our biases and life experiences to overcome our self control.

I think the first two are the worst – Expectation and Aversion. If I can understand why I get angry, I can avoid anger. I hope this works.

Withdrawal symptoms

It’s day 2 of my new life. I am starting to feel the withdrawal symptoms.

I am getting tremors in my hands and I can feel a buzzing sensation in the back of my head. The tremors are quite mild and I read somewhere that they go away in a couple of months. In my case the tremors will probably stay, since I smoke so heavily. My smoking has increased since yesterday. I think I am unconsciously smoking so much to compensate and take the edge of the withdrawals.

I wonder what’s causing the buzzing sensation in the back of my head. Could it be elevated blood pressure?

I joined a alcoholic and addiction support site yesterday. It’s called SmartRecovery.org. It’s got quite a bit of information and some useful support materials. I hung around in the text chatrooms and found the users quite friendly and helpful. Maybe I’ll ask them about the buzzing in the back of my head.

My muscles are cramping up. This is due to calcium deficiency. Alcohol inhibits the body’s capacity to absorb calcium. That’s probably why I had those fractures in my hands and feet a few months ago. I got some calcium tablets. Maybe these will help.

The physical withdrawals are not too bad. The mental withdrawal symptoms are much worse. I feel agitated and angry most of the time. There are mood swings and depression. I keep reminding myself that these are just withdrawal symptoms of my alcoholism and things will get better. But it’s not easy. I keep thinking of drinking. It would be so easy to go out and get some alcohol. It would feel so good to go and get drunk. But I know I can’t. There’s too much to lose. I need to get my life back.

It’s all in my mind. My alcoholic mind which tries to fool me. To manipulate me. I have to fight it. When I let my guard down, my mind tells me that it’s okay to have a drink. One small drink or two will not matter. But I have been down that road before. It never stops at one drink. One is too many, and a thousand isn’t enough. If I go out tonight and have that drink, which my mind tells me is perfectly okay to have, I will be back at square one. Next thing I know I will be binging again. It cannot continue. It has to stop here.

I am an alcoholic. I will always be an alcoholic, all my life and I can never drink again.