I found a notebook where I had started to document our attempts to take a break from alcohol – a whole year ago. It’s another example for anyone starting out, how important it is to write stuff down, recognize your patterns, recognize what a tricky trap alcohol can be. It certainly is eye opening for me to sum up this past year:
Starting last fall, after a chaotic summer of celebration (we combined our households in June, buying a new house, selling hubs’ house, and preparing mine to be a rental – SO much work!!) we agreed we’d been drinking too much. In October, we agreed to keep drinking to twice per week. It was so much harder than we’d imagined!
So for November, we decided to do one month sober. This seemed like SUCH a big deal!! Failed on Day 6, our Wed. with no kids, we even went to the gym but “somehow ended up justifying alcohol” as my notes say. We tried to start over but only made it about another week when I decided it was cold and dark and I really wanted to drink with my girlfriends. Totally regretted it.
December – decided to “cut back” to 1-2 times per week over the holidays, then start again in Jan. This month is full of “UGH” entries where I wasn’t going to drink, but did anyway, and regretted it. I remember being terribly hung over x-mas morning when the kids got all their santa presents and feeling guilty about it.
January – Made it 8 nights before caving due to some stress surrounding ex spouses. Then another week AF until we had a long annoying discussion about why are we doing this until we were so fed up talking about it we just decided to drink. Spiraled into drinking the rest of the month.
Feb. – 3rd attempt at doing an alcohol free month! I believe we made it at least 14 days, my notes stop on Valentine’s Day, but not much longer. I remember having a long discussion with hubs that a month wasn’t really long enough for this experiment and what’s the point if we’re going to drink in Mexico at the beginning of March?
March – went to Mexico the 5th – 8th. It was fabulous but I did regret how much we drank and returned that Monday feeling gross and drained. We’d been hearing more about Covid since the beginning of the month but were not too concerned. Until the stock market crashed right when we got home – by midweek people were stocking up on supplies, they cancelled all schools over that weekend, it all happened so fast.
March / April / May were full of fear and confusion, no attempts to stop drinking. At one point early on we thought they might close liquor stores and hubs went out and got a huge stash – including TWO 1.75 litre bottles of booze which I saw and thought “uh oh”. Because I have known for a long time it’s dangerous for me to have that amount in the house – I’d always limit myself to only a half pint. I drank it all probably by the end of May, along with plenty of beer. I remember being so hungover and regretful on Mother’s Day in mid May, sad that I couldn’t enjoy the day with my kids more.
Then in August I started this blog, so the rest is here. But to sum it up, I can’t even remember – we have “started over” like 4 times since then? Never making it past about 10 days.
We have a full week ahead with hubs b-day, Halloween, then the election…. but after that, I am more determined than ever to take a long break from alcohol.