I had a beer, it didn’t work, life goes on

27 Jun

9:30 am

I just wanted to check in to say that I am well.

I had a beer. It didn’t work. Life goes on.

Yeah. And, I really want to explore this idea of getting sober–or, a long period of sobriety–as actually changing your brain. I mean, I had a beer because…I guess my obsessing over “what will it be like?” was just getting out of control. I just wanted to see what it was like. AND, I really couldn’t do this thing, and be in this place, without having the local beer (it’s like, a thing here, a very memorable part of the experience of this place, is having the local beer).

You know what? Just like with the “non-alcoholic” beer I accidentally drank (it was a while ago, maybe last December?), it just did not feel good. I felt cloudy-headed, more or less. It was hard to make conversation. I felt somewhat dizzy, and like I just wanted to go to sleep. No high, no buzz. In essence, it just didn’t work.

So, while this is a good thing, right…I also felt a little disappointed. WHAT? It’s really, really not an option anymore? I had the same effect with caffeine after I had a series of panic attacks back in 2005. I used to be a coffee FIEND, but, after a couple panic attacks brought on by coffee (after a night of binge drinking), I simply could NOT drink it anymore. I went from feeling awesome on coffee to feeling…static-brained. I just don’t drink it anymore because it doesn’t work–it makes me feel bad instead of good.

On the other hand, my little experiment was a GREAT thing. In the past several days or so, I’ve basically let go of the idea of what this place WAS to me–of “enjoying” it more while drunk on the local beer. I don’t need it. It’s a new day. It’s time to move on. And, because alcohol doesn’t seem to even work anymore–it makes me feel bad instead of good–I truly have to move on.

And, it makes me wonder: why are we drilling into people this “fear” of drinking again? I mean, I’m not saying don’t gather a ton of sober days under your belt first (like, years). What I’m saying is, we don’t have to live in fear of relapse. Maybe, just maybe, it won’t “work” for us the way it used to? Maybe we truly do have to move on, and embrace another way of coping and living? I haven’t had a cup of regular coffee since 2005. Sure, it sucked, and sure, I miss it every time I smell a pot brewing, but…I simply cannot drink it! It doesn’t work. Life goes on.

It feels good to know. I can somewhat let go of the obsession, this idea that drinking–no matter how far away I get from my last drink–is the fix I want and need.

(All is well here. Communal living is teaching me to open up again, and I’m being reminded of all that I do have–and, how far I’ve come in how comfortable I am with myself. It’s been a great week, and I’ve got three left. I’ll write more soon!)

38 Responses to “I had a beer, it didn’t work, life goes on”

  1. carrythemessage June 27, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Well I am glad it didn’t “work”, DDD. Some of us don’t necessarily *fear* relapse, but just know in our hearts that once we pick up, it’s going to get ugly, and we may not come back like you did. I know for me, if I had a beer, it would kickstart my craving like nobody’s business and I would be pounding back a 30-pounder of vodka in no time. Then try to stop me! lol.

    But I am very happy that you stopped at the one and decided it didn’t do anything. I think when we have sober living for a while (like you), the relapse drinking is no longer fun. Any person I know who drank after some sober time has said the same thing – it wasn’t fun. It’s always that kind of miserable drinking. The one that brings back all that guilt and shame and stuff. and some then drink to erase those feelings…and they’re off to the races.

    Your honesty here is admirable…thank you for sharing this. I am sure this is going to help a lot of folks who think that they are missing something. one step back, two steps forward now, eh?

    Big Canadian hugs to ya πŸ™‚


    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      Thanks, Paul! πŸ™‚

      All great points here. I do think that everyone has to discover what works and how they can live in sobriety. But, YES, to your point about it simply bringing back all the bad memories–it did. In a way, deep down. Like, I am just different now. I don’t want to be that person. And, I don’t WANT to be drunk! Which struck me as THE most bizarre thing during the 15 minutes that I was drinking. I didn’t want to be drunk.

      Yes, of course, I am now curious about wine. Of course, I knew that this would happen–opening that door again. BUT, I have to remember that even one glass might make me feel anxious, or crazy–and like I told someone else in a comment, I just cannot deal anymore with those altered realities…

      You know, it kind of felt like my “sober force field” had been dented. Not punctured, by any means, but dented a little. Like, those images of planets making dents in the gravitational field. I honestly just felt…dirty. Lame. Hole-y. Like that old person. And, I simply like being The One In Control now.

      As I type this, a group of fellow volunteers is making a huge ruckus outside–they’re downing bottles. All I can think is, good luck with your hangover tomorrow! (I’ve had a LOT of them where I am, and it is hot, and being dehydrated here and having no hangover fixes is NOT FUN.) BUT…it sounds like they’re having fun and a part of me…still wants that. A very, very, very small part. The other part is fine being “the dork.”

      Hugs back at you! πŸ™‚

  2. jenisthesoberist June 27, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    I don’t think drinking is the same for everyone necessarily, but the fear of drinking again in brought on by the experiences of many…people with drinking problems often follow in a certain pattern of behavior. So, in my mind, the fear is real and should be real because having a beer would likely lead to another and another, even if they initially didn’t give me the “buzz” I was looking for. I have done it with cigarettes in the past, which is another substance that I am easily addicted to. “Ew, this tastes terrible, but let me try that again to make sure.”

    I think some of it is physical- the way our brains are wired- and some of it is mental. So for you to have this experience and move on from it sounds like it might be a good thing mentally in the way of healing, but it might not be for someone else. It could end rather badly for someone else, such as myself.

    Anyway, I admire your honesty and the courage to face these difficult questions head on. Sending you a big hug!!

    • justanewme June 27, 2014 at 10:06 am #

      “this tastes terrible, but let me try that again to make sure.” True AND funny.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

      Thanks, Jen, all good points! Yeah…everyone is VERY different, and has to find/discover what works and what doesn’t. Hugs right back! πŸ™‚

  3. Marilyn Spiller June 27, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    After eleven months of sobriety, I’m actually TERRIFIED of trying a glass of white wine. I see myself – WAKE UP THE KRACKEN! – swilling bottles, eating people and sinking ships…

    Your post is food for thought..

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 27, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

      LOL. For sure. I am more afraid of feeling…crazy. Anxious. Confused. Of blacking out after one glass! I don’t know how it works, but I know my brain has changed in how it responds to alcohol. Congrats, btw! And, I would say, eh, just don’t drink. You’re just starting to get some solid time under your belt, why ruin it???

  4. fern June 27, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Refreshingly honest. I can feel a new acceptance in your post. I have come to realize that I can no longer go back to the world where drinking helped me. It wasn’t the solution. I’m on the path of finding new coping skills and it is hard to be in-between right now but I have hope that something’s gonna give.

    Hugs to you,


    • Karen Suzy June 27, 2014 at 11:10 am #

      Yes, your little experiment is a great thing! For me being newly sober, it is great to hear! Because, I wonder after being sober for a while, how I will do if I try to have another glass of wine. Hopefully, I won’t bother to even try. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 27, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

      Yes, it will, Fern!!! Hang in there. It will click–and then the flood of “wow, I don’t really want or need to drink anymore” comes. For me, drinking the beer allowed me to see that I actually don’t want to be drunk anymore. I felt…dirty, in a weird way. I felt like my “sober force field” had been dented–and I didn’t like it. Aside from it simply not working, and me feeling confused and not buzzed… Yes, I am now curious about wine (my love), but…I am actually more afraid. I am VERY sensitive, and cannot deal with anymore panic attacks, or altered realities. I just can’t deal anymore. I like being on this plane, all the time. How’s that for change? Hang in there, Fern… Hugs right back!

  5. Denise D June 27, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I have occasionally wondered would it would be like to have another drink (I’ve been sober a little over a year.). I’ve never once heard someone say she went back and it was great and she’s now able to drink “normally.” My body went through withdrawal when I stopped drinking– I can’t imagine how crappy it would taste now.

    I like what someone posted above– One step back, 2 steps forward. So true!! Now at least you aren’t wondering what it would be like to drink again. Proud of you for making the choice to stick w sobriety!!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 27, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      Thank you for this! Yeah, I don’t know what it would be like for someone to start drinking again after having gone through an actual physical withdrawal after quitting. Mine was more psychological. BUT, I do think my brain has changed when it comes to its response to alcohol. And, a big part is, I don’t want to be drunk. I found that out when I drank that beer. I like socializing BETTER now sober!

      • Denise D June 30, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

        It was the worst!! But honestly, the hangovers I’d get when I drank were worse. I remind myself of that every time I’m tempted to pick up the bottle now. In my 20’s, i would have to be pretty drunk to get sick or get hungover. In my 30’s, it would take literally one or two drinks, and I’d feel awful for 24-48 hrs. It was definitely a sign that my body was rejecting alcohol. I
        Enjoy socialising so much more minus the booze too!

  6. Sober Courage by Maggie Shores June 27, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    Wow! Interesting. And thank you for sharing. I guess maybe I am one of those hard core alcoholics. Lol! I know one would lead to more, because in my 4 years of on and off, trying to get sober, that’s exacy what happened. Even after one drink, the cravings returned and the mental obsession started whirling in my mind.

    I know by now that every one is different and every one has to find out for themself what the really want. That’s said, I am really glad you’re back and that you had this great revelation that alcohol just doesn’t work anymore!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 27, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

      Yes, everyone is VERY different. Everyone has different brains, and different physiologies! Well…it wasn’t a great revelation, it just IS. I don’t feel the buzz when I drink, I just feel…confused and stupor-like. I think it’s because I drank to blackout SO often toward the end, it just sort of wore my drinking brain out. Like with my caffeine abuse, I literally short-circuited my brain. Your body will take care of itself, in one way or another. πŸ™‚

  7. Former Escape Artist June 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    It’s all part of recovery – discovering what works for you and what doesn’t. Almost two years ago I also started drinking again. I never got drunk. Limit was one beer per hour after the first 2. I was able to do it, but didn’t enjoy it.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

      Thanks for this. I’m glad to hear others have tried drinking again, or drinking in moderation. And, that you didn’t enjoy it! I mean, it simply doesn’t get me buzzed, at least not the two times I’ve drunk since I quit. It’s like, the buzz part of it is gone. I just feel…confused–as if I’ve bypassed the loopy-fun stage and gone directly to confused-blackout stage.

  8. Kirst June 28, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    I have a similar experience though slightly different.

    I hurt my ankle badly a few months ago and my sis in law had something called Arnica drops. Arnica is a herbal/traditional medicine which I had heard of and she also had some cream to rub in. I wasn’t sure if it was a homeopathic solution, which I know is usually in alcohol, but I searched the bottle and couldn’t find it anywhere and presumed that they have to put it on the bottle if there is alcohol.

    I took 15 drops of this stuff and then 15 more 10 minutes later. 5 minutes after the second lot I startd feeling very, very strange. My face was flushing, I couldn’t focus on the conversation, I felt tired and confused and , well, drunk. But not good drunk, scary, take me to he hospital I think something is really wrong drunk. I drank litres of water and tea and finally at the end of the night as I lay in bed feeling sick and headachey and absolutely rotten I looked up the dropson the net and sure enough there was alcohol. Not just a bit – a solution of 62% ethanol!!!!! No wondrer I felt the effects – even a couple of teaspoons of that level of alcohol would have to have an effect on someone who hadn’t drunk in 7 months.

    This is a long way of saying that it was a good thing to have happened because I hated it. I hated feeling out of control, the fuzzy feeling in my brain, the detachment from my situation – just hated it. There was no relaxing, or unwinding or destressing as I used to with alcohol. I hated feeling drunk – it was fabulous! I am really resolved in my decision to not drink but knowing that I really don’t enjoy it is just another reason in a long list of ‘cons’ for me not to drink.

    Just remember – you don’t need to try it again to make sure you don’t like it, lol πŸ™‚


  9. poetsanswine June 28, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    Hi drunky drunk girl. I feel you. I gave up drinking for a hundred days in January and then started right back up and now I’m at day 1 again (well, actually Day 2!). EVEN THOUGH, that first couple of days of drinking just didn’t feel “right.” I pushed right on through and then was drinking as much as over. Good luck to you where you are. This is my first official comment on a sober blog. WOW.

    • Denise D June 30, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

      Good for you for having the courage to start again!! You should be very proud of yourself!!

      • poetsanswine June 30, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

        Thanks! I feel so much better already. THIS is the way I want to live.

  10. changingcoursenow June 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Thanks for this post DDG. I remember you mentioning the hangovers you’ve had in the past at this volunteer site. Hopefully this experience is much more pleasant and rewarding for you! Glad you stopped at just one…

  11. konalora June 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Great post,it’s like when I quit smoking it’s like ewww ,next I’m not missing anything.I have so many things I used to think I loved but know I was being obsessive about.If anything my brain views a awesome I have tendency to go head over heels for and my brain lights up like a Christmas tree.shopping,drinking,cookbooks are a few of my over the top thinking.

  12. Mrs D July 1, 2014 at 3:21 am #

    Oooh sounds like a tough crowd. Thanks for begin so honest.. I am not fearful for you..I think you know what you’re doing.. Hope this trip goes well..! Stay lovely xxx

  13. losedabooze July 1, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    I’m just coming back to read and join back in for some sober time… and still on that fence about sober for good… reading this definitely is food for thought. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Rebecca A. Watson July 2, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    Thanks for being so honest πŸ™‚ You rock! Like others said about, we are all different and I’d hope I’d be like you, “Oh this didn’t work” but I think I’d be more like what Paul described, feeling guilty and anxious and then drinking to numb those feelings. I feel the same about smoking. Someone told me this line: One puff away from a pack a day. That’s me with smoking, I know for sure. With booze? Who knows but I’d rather not find out. I’m just stoked that you’re able to walk away from this and say “I don’t WANT to be drunk,” which is a huge revelation in my opinion. I’m glad your experiment worked well for you πŸ™‚ Hope you’re enjoying your time there. Excited to hear more about it.

  15. Lisa Neumann July 2, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    “It feels good to know. I can somewhat let go of the obsession, this idea that drinking–no matter how far away I get from my last drink–is the fix I want and need.” … my all-time favorite line. And amen to that my friend. My last drink was more than 10 years ago. There are still days I want to escape being me. I don’t. It didn’t work. Life goes on. Powerful, powerful post you have here. Sending love and other stuff like that. Me

  16. furtheron July 9, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    I have a fear and an expectation about relapse. I spent a long time and loads of energy trying to drink normally before I gave up. The realisation that actually I couldn’t drink safely and accepting that was the beginning of recovery for me. So the expectation is that if I start drinking it will go badly wrong sooner or later – normally sooner… I proved this beyond all reasonable doubt before I finally stopped. The fear? If I did relapse could I ever get back to sobriety again? Day by day I just choose not to have to face that fear

  17. sotguy July 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Hi DDG,

    Just wanted to randomly say thanks for your blog. Your writing rocks – you’ve got the gift of talking through these struggles and still bring out a wry grin… even when the whole thing sucks. Anyway, for what it’s worth, you can add me to the list of people you’ve helped inspire to drop the booze. Looking forward to my next couple days! πŸ˜‰

  18. thatdrunkgirl July 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    Thinking of you! Your blog was a HUGE motivator for me deciding to get sober as well and made me decide to start my own. 26 days today! So thank you. Hope you’re doing well & I hope you start posting more often πŸ™‚

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

      Aww, that’s awesome! I’m so happy to hear it! YES, I have been away on a volun-tour trip, but will be home tomorrow. LOTS of posts coming soon… Hugs to you. πŸ™‚

  19. sassysober1 July 16, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Noticed it has been a bit since you’ve blogged. Hope all is well.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

      Thanks for checking in! YES, I have been away on a volun-tour trip, but am coming home tomorrow! Will def post again very soon… πŸ™‚

  20. Lilly July 17, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    *poke poke* Now that I’m back after a break when I did do some not-so-fab drinking I am worried by your silence, especially in light of your last post. Hopefully you are still just busy. *poke poke* xxx

  21. Lilly July 17, 2014 at 12:44 am #

    Oh just saw your above comment. Oh good, someone else successfully poked you already, sorry. Look forward to hearing about how the rest of the voluntouring was. xx

  22. Charlotte July 17, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Just come across your blog and its great -thanks for sharing – a great read! Lots to think about!

  23. Bridget July 30, 2014 at 3:11 am #

    My original quit date was Jan. 19. I loved it because it was my son’s 10th birthday and helped me realize how time flies, and how much time I could lose if I continued to drink. It was tough in the beginning but I grew to really- really like it. Accept for the obsessing…did I really really have a problem? Could I moderate? I never really really tried- I just knew it was time to stop. It was a light switch moment.

    Six months later I decided to try on my moderation muscles…I admit I liked it. The wine was weird at first, but I got over that pretty quickly. Definitely, made me crave cigarettes instantly. I stopped at 3 after secretly allowing myself two. Of course topping off the glass confuses the issue.

    Honestly, I felt a little disappointed in myself after all the hard work. I also felt bad that I was disappointing my husband. After a few sips I let it go and had a “fun” time. Until I got into bed and couldn’t sleep- dehydrated and head achy. Then i emailed Belle- the sober fairy God Mother. I wanted permission to not get on the long relapse train you read about. I wanted to go back to sober and did for the rest of weekend.

    Until tonight-I had a glass of white wine. I couldn’t believe how really bad it was. I used to love that cheap crap. It was so bad but then I topped off my glass several times. I didn’t like the fuzzy buzzy feeling either. Initially I actually craved my mocktail, but continued to drink the wine.

    Now I’m up with another bout of insomnia. Second time in six months.

    My obsession wasn’t so much a fear of relapsing, as it was wondering if I really really had a problem with alcohol. If I really really couldn’t moderate. I still don’t know.

    I do know this…I really liked being sober most of the time. I know it’s good for me in all areas of my life. In my heart, I feel I’ll end up in the same sober place if I start tomorrow or in ten years. I know I really don’t want to get out of hand but likely will If I continue. I know that I need some sober friends.

    Should I go to a meeting? Should I consider myself alcoholic instead of “almost alcoholic”? Is that the piece I need to just be sober?

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