Day 56: Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

I have been sober for eight weeks now.  I’m very happy about this number. 🙂

Although eight weeks is not a personal best for me since I took off nearly six months in 2016, I can tell you that these eight weeks have been much easier for me this time around.  Why?  Probably a combination of needing it more and doing it better.

One part for sure though is this – I don’t think about wine.  At all.  Well almost. of course, those thoughts creep in, sometimes out of nowhere. But I very intentionally try to avoid them. And I certainly don’t talk about them. In fact, I’d like to give you some examples of the thoughts I try to avoid, but then I’d have to let those thoughts in, and I can’t do that because I’m avoiding them! Hah!

OK, for the sake of this post, I will make an exception.

Here are some examples:

  • I like to listen to sober audios.  But when they turn to the topic of  bad behaviors around drinking – such as taking wine to bed with us, I quick hit “next” and listen to something else.  You see, I loved doing those bad behaviors.
  • The husband has cabin fever and suggests a quick trip someplace warm.  My brain says – oh drinks with tiny umbrellas!  And I turn my head the other way and think about warm sunshine and sandy beaches instead.
  • Facebook memes for “wine-o-clock”? – scroll faster!

You get the idea.

You see, the last time around, I made a big mistake.  I spent a lot of time in my first hundred days contemplating, debating, ruminating, and then discussing – how was it and what would I do after the 100 days were over.  I was constantly asking myself (and occasionally the husband too) – is this life better? is it good enough? can I live without wine?  do I miss it? how much do I miss it?  what about romantic dinners? what about vacations? what about holidays?  is all of this worth it? am I boring this way? am I nicer? how am I? 

Oh. My. God.

And then on days when it seemed too easy – why is it so easy? what does it mean? don’t I miss it? let’s think about it and see if I miss it! 

What?!  Yes, I would sit and think about drinking wine to test it out and see how it made me feel.  After 20+ years of drinking, I thought I should do this after 20 days sober.  What was I thinking.

You see, here’s the thing. Of course my brain still loves wine.  Of course if I think about it right now it will be appealing. That’s the whole point of taking a good long break.  To undo those thought patterns and create new ones. To rewire some of that circuitry. But I don’t think the rewiring can happen if we continue to obsess over drinking – what we miss about it, whether or not we will drink again, when that might be, etc. I think we (I) need to intentionally think about other things.

So that’s what I do. I avoid. I turn and look the other way.  I think about something else.

In a way it seems counterintuitive, the wrong thing, like avoiding a problem instead of trying to solve it. But, for now at least, it’s working pretty well. I think there will be plenty of time in the future to think about drinking, just like there’s plenty of time in the future to drink.  But maybe if I wait long enough and avoid all of it long enough, my brain will find other things to enjoy, even love. And I won’t want to drink, or even think about it.

So right now – avoiding –  is what I’m doing.

Happy Tuesday,

Jen

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Day 56: Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

  1. You are replacing those old thoughts with new ones.
    It takes time. Those old grooves have 20 years….

    There is nothing wrong with distraction. With consciously choosing to focus your attention on something else. That’s conscious change.

    Avoid away.
    Ps. Sunny vacations are awesome without booze. You actually relax.

    Liked by 1 person

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