Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Our lovely neighbour Mike told me that relocating was one of the hardest things to do, and that leaving a community was like a grief.  The lady at the school office gave me a sympathy look and made a sad noise when I told her we were leaving and that made me feel like crying.  I was pissed off about that because I'd had a good couple of days before that and she's never been my favourite person anyway because she's quite often grumpy and rude.  But in that moment she was kind to me and all the sadness came back again.

Yesterday was another hard day actually, I moved around my community really struggling, talking to my sons kind teachers, talking to all the lovely mums, arranging playdates and sleepovers, talking to my neighbours.

I think I'm always going to look back at this move and say 'that was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do'.

I had my first ever drinking dream the other night, and have been regularly imagining drinking and feeling how nice it would be to be able to have wine in the evenings for fun and to help deal with these really strong negative emotions.  I'm just so deeply sad and really grumpy.  These next 5 weeks aren't going to be fun AT ALL.

Yes I know that no-one has died or gotten cancer and that we're so lucky to have each other in this family and I'm so lucky to have so many great friends here that I'll always know (in some form) and that we'll be totally fine in the new city and all of that.  I know all of that.  But this is not nice.  I'm just being honest, that's all.

I really am trying very hard to dig deep and really trying to think positively but I've also got no choice but to be real about these hard negative emotions because they are very powerful and I live sober now and am having to learn new coping strategies to deal with them.

Why is it good to feel and show these negative emotions?  What benefit is it going to have for me going ahead in life?  I suppose I'll be proud that I did this without drinking.  But will doing this sober make it easier to process the change in the months ahead?  I don't know. 

Would wine make these emotions easier to handle? Yes I think it would. I think I'd enjoy blurring my feelings in the evening and being slightly detached from them during the day if I was hungover.  And I think if I was drinking regularly (and probably quite heavily) now I'd be better able to be more cheery and flippant about the move, a bit more heartless perhaps about what I'm leaving behind.

But I don't drink alcohol any more, I never will again.  So here I am grumpy and sad, dreading the next 5 weeks but getting through one goddam sober day at a time.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. TheNoiseAndHaste here: Mrs. D, this just sounds horrible. One thing I remembered that I happened as a precursor to my wine-containing-Risotto-making sort of near relapse was that I started having drinking dreams over and over in the weeks before that happened. I think it's really great that you're writing about your drinking dreams and writing about how grumpy and discontented and sad you are. That kind of sharing is essential, I believe, in staying honest with yourself about the drinking.

  2. Hi it's Christy from runningonsober. Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you. I went through a move about 2 years ago and I drank through it, in fact, I drank even more after the move because of the fear of not knowing anyone, the stress of unpacking, etc etc. I can't say it made anything easier though, I just had to deal with all the crap hungover. But like we said, some days are just trickier than others, aren't they? On those days, I just think, "do whatever you must do, just don't drink."

  3. Yes, drinking dreams can be a sign of inner disturbance. Did you feel immensely relieved when you woke up and realised it was only a dream?

    Here's a piece of AA wisdom 'there is no problem so bad that a drink won't make it 10 times worse'

    The disease progresses inside us even when we are not drinking. We do not relapse back to an earlier state, we jump immediately to a far worse state than before. It won't help, it will screw the move up big time.

    Keep it in the day. Trite but true. I realised on holiday recently that I was pacing my sobriety to the end of the holiday. Starting to think 'Now if I get through this without drinking I deserve a drink when I get home!'

    No. I had to realise that each day was the only day I had. It's not like a diet when you think you can relax a bit when the weight is lost, or have a day off during the process.

    And yes, doing it sober will make it easier to process in the future.

  4. I have found I am attaching more quickly and strongly to people these days, I used to wonder around asking myself what was wrong with me, why didn't I seem to form the close friendships others did.

    My drinking really escalated when I lost my mom and then again when I divorced and had to "share" custody of my kids. I drank to detach. I drank until I was almost totally detached.

    I'm so grateful I lost that detachment when I quit drinking. I'm so glad that I once again care deeply for people and allow them to care deeply for me.

    Hang in there, that grief you are feeling will keeps you attached to the people you are leaving behind and that is a good thing.

  5. The flipside of how drinking numbs the bad emotions is that it also puts up a barrier to the good emotions, too. Drinking would not help your move!!

    I've moved a LOT in my life, so I've rarely had to give up a large, tight-knit community, because it's rare for me to live in one place long enough for such a community to develop around me. I can't really imagine what you feel like right now.

    But I do know that moving to a new place brings good stuff, too: the opportunity to meet new, amazing people (because, frankly, there are amazing people EVERYWHERE), the chance to try new things, to see new places, it even gives you a chance to try out a new persona (for example, no one at the new place will know that you're an ex-drinker, so the questions and attitudes will be different).

    If you numb yourself to the bad emoitions, you'll also be making it more difficult to experience the good ones. It may not seem like a fair trade at first, and it's a lot that you're giving up, but I promise that after a few years, you will have new friends and routines and experiences that you wouldn't trade for the world.

  6. Do not minimize what you are feeling right now. You may not have cancer or be going through a divorce but what you are doing is HARD and you should allow yourself that feeling of grief - grieve all that you are giving up. It's normal. SO DO IT.

    Feeling the way you do right now and allowing yourself to actually feel those emotions and work through them is also "normal" and healthy and really - it's what the rest of the world does on a daily basis. It's just harder for us because its new and we're used to having a little help.

    But that help only screws up the rest of our lives! I know you're feeling like it would be so easy to do this just until you get to where you're going and then you'll find a group and quit again AND I've only got 7 1/2 months and no one should be expected to go through all of this with only that much time sober AND I'll be able to do this again AND no one would blame me AND AND AND.

    You can't bullshit a bullshitter.

    Honestly that will be your choice. But think hard and long about your decision and if you decide to stay sober - go get some help to help you get through this time. Find an AA meeting near where you are and just go and sit. It might help.

    Or email me and I'll talk you off the ledge.

    Lots of love,

  7. I read all the comments above listening to The Beatles "Blackbird" over and over and it made me cry a bit.

    You are an inspiration and always have been so treat this movement as just another challenge.

    We AL want to see you through and appreciate your strength.
    for helping me when I needed it.

  8. Stay strong! Think of how proud you will be of yourself when you look back and can say you got through this without alcohol. I understand how you feel about stating the truth of how you feel...don't feel like you are complaining. Moving is very difficult. It's good that you are voicing your group leader last week said the same to me, that it's healthy to voice everything, because a lot of it is the addiction coming out and you need to talk about it! xoxo

  9. Someone at a meeting once shared that being sober doesn't mean life won't be hard. It just means we don't have to suffer from our drinking. I don't know if that made me feel better when I first heard it, but months later it does. I vividly remember the pain I caused myself from my drinking. Any un-numbed stress I feel now pales in comparison to the hell I put myself through. Stress is also eventually passes and then I feel a little bit stronger.

    Anyway, I read your most recent post first, and very happy to see you're feeling better after a much needed break with the family :)