Nostalgia, not cravings

1 Nov

11:12 pm

I wanted to drink last night. Why? I have this thing that says, I can’t go out and not drink. I can’t hang sober. And, most importantly, I can’t get my “sexy cop” or “sexy nurse” or “sexy unicorn” on WITHOUT WINE. I just can’t do it yet.

I felt sad last night, too. I felt sad that I wasn’t in the big city I used to live in, that I wasn’t dressing up like I used to, that I wasn’t going out to marvel at the bazillion costumes on the streets; that I was here, at home, not able to care, unwilling to even try to pull a costume together.

It wasn’t Wolfie, though, because I didn’t actually want to drink. (OK, maybe I did, but it wasn’t a huge craving.) I just wanted what I used to have, which always happened to include wine! The number of things that I no longer do that coincide with me no longer drinking–well, that’s the rub. I changed a LOT in getting sober, including my job, my location, my friends, and my relationship status. And, in getting sober itself, well, you guys know, you change everything within all those sub-categories! So, sometimes I can’t quite parse out what, exactly, I feel and need to focus on from the mess of thoughts.

No, it wasn’t Wolfie-boy. It was nostalgia. For what I had, and for what I now don’t have.

So, I spent the night feeling sad, and then pouted, and then just went to bed. But, you know what? I got a pumpkin today. And, I wasn’t hung over. And, it’s been a hugely productive past few weeks as a freelance writer. I feel like my renewed focus and enthusiasm to work has been building–and, the past week or so, it just sort of popped! For instance, it seems that all of the sudden, I am pitching, not caring what editors think about me (they don’t), have started having days when the story ideas just keep coming (or, rather, I’ve stopped killing them before they have the chance to bloom in my head).

In fact, Belle was right on about something changing around 8 to 10 months–it happened to me, too. Somewhere around 9 months, things just changed.

I guess I sort of stopped automatically linking wine with relief. Stopped wanting it whenever my energy flagged, or my mood swung, or an editor rejected me, or someone was following me too close in my car, or the sun went behind the clouds. I mean, I still do have thoughts of wine–especially when I am feeling nostalgic and I want what “was” and not what “is”–but I don’t really feel the pull anymore to drink when shit hits the fan. As I wrote on Lilly’s blog the other day, it’s almost like “drinking is not fun” has become a fact, one that is simply impossible to deny. Drinking is not fun–fact. I have other options, like going to bed, or sitting there with a grimace, or watching tv and sighing, or petting the dogs, or going for a 15-minute run and then coming back to my desk and NOT GIVING UP. This idea that drinking is the answer, this emotional pull–it’s gone. And I never thought it would happen, honestly. I thought I would have to battle this pull forever, however niggling. I still do have cravings, but the urge to drink as reaction seems to have disappeared. Bigger fish to fry, Wolfie-fuckhead. SEE YA!

On that note, I am going to go and carve my pumpkin now. Maybe I should give it a wolf’s face? Happy All Saints’ Day, friends!

8 Responses to “Nostalgia, not cravings”

  1. furtheron November 2, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I used to do a daily gratitude list in the early days. Everyday I wrote “I haven’t had a drink today” then one day almost exactly 9 months in I wrote “I haven’t WANTED a drink today” huge shift. That was the day my recovery took on a completely different feel. On longer hanging on but making real progress.

  2. changingcoursenow November 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Nice post today. I understand the nostalgia feeling vs. the craving. It’s not physical anymore, but it still lives a little bit in the back of my head. You’ve made a lot of changes in your life all at once. Be gentle with yourself. Hugs!

  3. Former Escape Artist November 3, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    Wow! I’ve been wanting to blog about Halloween too. Being a college student, I miss all the festivities. Dressing up, girls looking sexier than usual, and just the overall atmosphere. So – I went to a college party of about 200 people and just felt like an alien there. Everyone was drinking real hard while I was stone cold sober.

  4. Lilly November 3, 2013 at 1:04 am #

    I can’t tell you how hopeful that is to hear because (obviously) I am still struggling with that – with this nostalgic idea that it would somehow provide fun and relief and escape when really I know that, mostly anyway, it would not and it would not make me happy. But the pining is still there. I loved what you wrote on my blog and it made me feel like I can keep hanging in there waiting for that shift and trusting it will come because others who’ve gone before me say it will and such things have later proved to be true for me too in the past when I’ve just hung in there.

    Can completely understand re the Halloween nostalgia. I felt a bit the same. Sad I wasn’t out there partying and that I didn’t even really care to be. But that old trick of fastforwarding through what would have likely happened if I had helped.

    Likewise, today I heard that friends were out having martinis til 3:30am last night and god I felt so envious and left out, *sigh*, like I am missing all the fun. But the hangover today certainly would not have been fun and while I didn’t have the most amazingly fun day today I enjoyed getting a lot accomplished and feeling good and calm. I guess we have to a) really pursue and appreciate other ways to get our fun on and b) remember that 95% of drinking had actually stopped being fun. Oh and maybe c) accept that the loss of those more wild fun times is, in fact, actually a loss to some degree however positively we try and spin it BUT it is a worthwhile trade off for all the other good things that sobriety brings.

    Trust me, I’m still struggling with this one though!

    As always your posts inspire me.

    Lilly xo

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 3, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Wow, your three points are exactly what I basically think about every day, because weighing the option of drinking still rests in the back of my mind (that is why it’s weird to say that I don’t have cravings anymore, but I do have “the option”).

      I would say that, looking back at all my emails and texts and running and chasing I did (especially when I was living in NYC)–man, it was just SO over the top. Too much bullshit, drama, energy on the wrong things. WAY too much taking offense at all the wrong things, overanalyzing, being, in general, critical and mean. That’s all gone now that I’ve got the wine out of my system; it was making me a mess inside. So, no, I actually don’t envy my friends drinking all night. I really can say that I could leave that. But, yes, finding out what is “a break” for us, what is fun, and making sure we get that in, is crucial to remaining sane and strong against the cravings, I’ve found. And, yes, remembering that 99% of drinking is just not fun/not that much *more* fun than if you were doing the same thing, sober. It’s all in your head, and that’s disappointing to realize, in a way–was ANYONE ever coming out to see you, or was it always to drink first? And, your point #c: it has been a grieving process for me, in a way, letting go of that “old me” and those “old times.” I’ve tried to envision myself back there, and…while I feel “mom”-y, and sometimes like the “dork” or the “narc,” I can’t see any truly good outcome from me going back to being drunky-drunk. Plus, like you said, the tradeoff of being “lame” is everything that we have now–which keeps getting stronger and more focused and better!

      Thank you for YOUR posts, and comments, especially… 🙂 And, yes, just keep going. Your body will begin to really help you out in the next several months (meaning, you put in the work, now you get to reap the benefits!)… HUGS. xx

  5. jenisthesoberist November 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    I felt nostalgic about Halloween, too. A few years ago I was out with my husband dressed up, party hopping, and life was SO different than it is now. I feel so dang responsible these days! Sobriety is a mixed bag for sure. I kind of love waking up early on the weekends and getting stuff done, but I see college kids walking around our town in the morning and feel slightly jealous of those carefree days. I skipped a Halloween party last night because I wasn’t ready to deal with it sober. I have decided to stop feeling guilty about skipping social events, and only go to things that I really feel comfortable with and genuinely want to go to. Hopefully my friends will understand, and if they don’t…oh well. Harsh maybe, but I have to re-prioritize in order to make this a lasting change. And I might NEVER feel comfortable going to a drunken Halloween party again. We shall see. Luckily some of my friends are changing their attitudes towards drinking and partying as a natural part of growing up, so they aren’t getting as crazy as they used to.

    Anyway, it is really good to hear that things get easier if I just keep going down this path. I HAVE to keep going down this path because booze and I do not agree whatsoever, so any light at the end of a tunnel is fantastic. Thanks for that. 🙂

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      Jen,
      I so totally felt–still feel–the same way about social events: I just don’t go if I don’t want to. I stopped doing most social stuff at first, which wasn’t all that healthy, but it was the only way I could stay sober. Out of sight, out of mind. Sober bubble stuff.

      Now, though, it’s easier, it’s come around, and I don’t really think twice anymore about going to a dinner, sitting at a bar (not my fave, but not “horrible” like it used to be), going to a party sober. What I still can’t get amped up for is going out Just To Drink, or, Just To Get Loose, b/c, well, I *can’t* do that anymore. This is a mentality that I’d like to shed, but for now, it’s there and I just have to go with the flow and wait. Wait for it to change. Be patient and stop judging myself!

      And, yes, it DOES get easier, as long as we just don’t force ourselves to do what doesn’t feel right; everyone’s sober journey it 100% authentic, personal. Just do what feels right, and believe me, one day you’ll be like, I don’t drink like I don’t (usually) walk around in a three-piece suit. Some people do, and it looks weird and makes them look silly, but whatever. Moving on. What’s next? Where am I going now? Paris? Africa? With all the $$$ I’m saving on NOT buying wine (three-piece suits), I could book a round-the-world ticket!

      HUGS! xx

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