No More U-Turns

My life coach (C.) and my sober coach (Belle) would say (are saying) that I need more supports. Because, if I’m able to stay sober for days or weeks at a time (which I have), and then some other self inside my head  (the wine witch, goblin, wolfie…I need a metaphor that really fits for me) convinces me that maybe I’ve blown this all out of proportion and I can moderate if I really try…so I try..and I fail…then I don’t have enough supports.

“Don’t try harder, try differently,” says Belle. Yesterday, my life coach (lovingly) said it too. That I need more community. She said belonging and acceptance are so important — primal needs — that it’s damn near impossible to do anything that feels like I’m going to lose that fundamental need. That’s why it is so critical to have sober community.

Sigh. Yep.

My online community has been amazing, when I’ve stayed engaged. But maybe I do need to try SMART meetings or AA again. Yeah, I’m resisting it, but I’m also hearing my coaches (and Einstein) loud and clear: I can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. I consistently get to a certain point where I start to feel good (or bad) several weeks in, and the fecking wine harpy — yaaass, HARPY — whispers that I really can live a balanced life with red wine if I try harder. If I just commit. If I just show some discipline.

Yeah, right. We all know how that story ends.

Change takes time, and my coach assures me this is a completely normal process. She sent me this:

Stages of change - addiction

So, I’m starting again and I’m adding more supports. My coach said, “Add an unreasonable level of support.” Meetings several times a week? Ugh. OK, I’ll look into it. I found an all-women meeting tomorrow I’ll try. Blog every single day for the next 100 days? Yes. Even if it’s just a couple of lines. And I’ll email Belle twice a day for the first 30 days. And I’ll read her book and other blogs every day. And podcasts. And set up the sober coaching calls I paid for months ago. And I’ll put sleep as a top priority. And make sure I’m getting sober treats every day. And I’m going to start exercising more than just my rowing, but walking/running with my dog too. And I’m not going to go to any events where I don’t feel completely solid for at least the next six weeks or more. We’ll see. And I’m going to take 5-10 minutes every morning to breathe and meditate and ground myself for the day. AND I’m going to get a sun lamp and try some light therapy, because I don’t think the dark Seattle winter days are doing me (or my mood) any favors (we just broke a record for Winter with the most rain ever on record. nice.). I’d like to avoid anti-depressants, so we’ll see. And if I need to get into bed at 8pm to just get to the next day, I WILL. And I’m going to put dating on a pause because it’s just too triggering. Mr. Right can wait 100+ days until I’m feeling ready.

And I’ll try to be kind to myself and through this process. It’s really hard.

Because I remember last time I went weeks sober and was finally beginning to see glimpses of the bliss, and how amazing that felt. I was finally enjoying evenings without alcohol and it was so great. I wasn’t bored anymore. I felt (gasp!) happy. I want that life.  I really do. I will make it to 100 days this time. I will blog every single day no matter what, for better or worse! I admit it: I’m scared for some reason, but I want to change my life. I want the better life I know is possible. Thanks for being out there, going through this with me. It matters.

No more U-turns.

Rachel. Day 1.

p.s. It’s a bit embarrassing to look back at older posts and hear myself saying the same things, over and over. Ah the addict’s brain. Fecking wine harpy. I keep trying. I keep trying. We all know how hard this is, how manipulative the harpy can be.

I’m adding more supports this time. She can suck it.


26 thoughts on “No More U-Turns

  1. “Don’t try harder, try differently” – that sounds like some excellent advice! And it sounds like you are a really smart lady making some really smart decisions for yourself too. I hope the extra support helps everything click into place for you this time xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You can do it, Rachel! It sounds like you have the right supports in place, now it’s just a matter of using them and choosing not to drink this minute, hour, day, week etc. Some days are harder than others, but you can get through it! That’s what we all are here for! Keep posting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kristin! Yes…many supports and I’m not going to be shy about using them this time. I’m a little nervous about the meetings being too intense and making me want to drink (which is what happened last time I went to two AA meetings), but I’m more prepared for that possibility this time and no matter what, I won’t drink this time. I’m going to an all-women meeting tomorrow I’ve not been to before, and if I hate it, I’ll just rush back home and blog or go exercise or go to bed — or all of them! 🙂


    • Thank you, Anne. Yes, it’s time to build my in-person community. I just watched a bunch of videos for the SMART recovery program too. They were pretty goofy (someone get them a decent videographer!), but I do like some of their non-12-step methods. I’ll check them out too. The last AA meetings I went to were so unsettling — hard addicts who had been living out of their cars and such — that I left thinking these weren’t “my people” at all. I’ve heard I just need to keep trying and find a group that feels comfortable. I’ll try. 🙂 (Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.”)


  3. WOOHOOO!!!! We have the same sober coach. Welcome back to Team 100! Great to meet a fellow member. It’s done wonders for me. Nothing else has worked. Hope you get the same benefits as I do! Sounds like you are doing some great things for yourself and more support always = better, even though I know it scares us boozers half to death to ask for help. But you’re doing it, girl! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, thank you! I MEAN IT THIS TIME, but hell, I’ve meant it every time, and somewhere along the line the WINE HARPY starts flapping her hellish wings around my head and I’m convinced I can or want to moderate. I keep thinking about Belle saying, “No one WANTS to quit.” And about how she quit — after many years of failed attempts — because she was so tired of drinking and thinking about drinking ALL THE DAMNED TIME. Oh, how I get that. Team 100 — here we go! Thanks for speaking up, CommotioCordis. I’m going to fully lean on all my supports this time, and your being there helps!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m here for you! Trust me… listen to the lessons and podcasts. Respond to them daily. It’s like forced journaling, where you HAVE to face up to and talk about your feelings. Use those calls. And take her advice! I floundered for a bit first, I was resistant about treatsa replacement drink, and this and that, wah wah wah. I still wanted to do it my way. And then I drank again. Duh. After THAT shit show I decided what the hell and went all in, and since then, the program’s been a lifesaver. You can do this. We can do this. We are worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL – Love this.
        And forced journaling and facing the feelings. Yes…that sure has been informative. I will say that I don’t fear the boredom anymore. Somewhere over the last six months the world has opened up to me again and I have plenty of ways to fill my time without booze. When I first started the quitting process, the BOREDOM was agonizing. That’s gone now. Phew.

        I’ve been listening to the podcasts and having replacement drinks (I pee constantly. Sometimes I think I might as well conduct my life on the toilet.) and other things, but not all of it. I’ve drifted, and I haven’t necessarily taken all of her advice — meaning, I haven’t always learned from her learnings without having to learn it myself. Now I’m going to do all of it. ALL OF IT.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ohhh girl. I understand! Sometimes we just gotta touch the fire to make SURE it’s hot. 😉 I am one of the biggest offenders! The important thing is that we learn from it and move on. 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Rachel, I love your post – your voice, your determination, your plan, your past, your now, and your future. Gah! All so great! I can’t wait to read your posts every day. So glad you are reaching out and working to connect with people. You are so strong. You can do this!!! *flex* Luff, -HM.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. p.s. My therapist sat with me every week or two in the contemplation/preparation stages for two-plus years. She would talk about the stages clearly and openly. I really appreciated it because there was never any pressure to undertake making a change (sobriety). Her perspective allowed me to see time arc away from me and not feel so much pressure to act Right Now. And eventually, in my own time, I did. Woot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi HM! Oh yes, I remember talking to my therapist, oh, probably 10 years ago at least, wondering out loud if I drink too much. Yep. She didn’t talk about the stages though. My life coach said “sounds like you are still in the negotiating stage,” which would make sense considering all the times I’ve tried again to moderate, or thought I didn’t want *that* life — the life of sobriety. But I’m not negotiating anymore. It’s pretty simple: I feel bad when I drink (physically and emotionally), I think about it ALL the time, and I’m not getting the things I want to get done in my life. Sure, I have a “high bottom,” but almost all the shit, embarrassment, regret in my past I can trace back to the bottle.
      It’s so awesome to see you keep going and going, no matter what. You’re laying the path, showing the way, for chicks like me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Rachel, thanks for sharing your journey. Your successes and temporary set backs. When I read blogs where they only share their successes, I think, what the hell is wrong with me?!?!? It’s reassuring to hear that other people have set backs, too. But they get up and press forward. I really like what Belle said, don’t try harder, try differently. I’ve been doing much better with my sobriety than I have done in the past. But I did have a couple drinks over the last 3 or 4 days. It’s easy to be too hard on myself or just want to say screw it. One blogger so eloquently puts it, “quitting is fucking hard!”. Yes, yes it it. But people have done it. They are doing it. And I will do it as well.
    Thanks again and here is to your day two, and many more sober days to come.

    Liked by 1 person

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