Day 5 from the Pit

Some people might call me a high bottom alcoholic, but I know different. Even now, just five days in, dark images from the past are showing themselves, unbidden.

Why so soon? This process ­­— the bubbling up of raw emotion and regret —used to take some time. But given my many attempts to quit drinking, it has become condensed somehow, as if I’m running out of time to get things right. Only yesterday, something triggered a dim memory, and suddenly grief blindsided me, pulling me under so quickly that I felt a visceral seizing up in my chest. It hurt, and the thought came to me: This is why I drank.

I never feel like this while drinking. Nothing makes it through the sulfur haze that fogs my brain. It was shocking to feel again so physically, and I had no recourse but to wait for its passing.

From this dark place, I decided that blogging wouldn’t work for me. Who was I kidding? The world didn’t need another blog, at least not from me. I had nothing to offer. I had written one post and had no responses. I knew that it was unreasonable to feel this way, but it didn’t matter. It signaled failure to me, with an added twinge of rejection – something I wasn’t willing to experience. I felt like the words had been wasted, drifting out somewhere in the atmosphere, dissipating in a swirl of mist, meaningless.

I decided to delete my one embarrassing post and close down the site. Unless … unless within the hour, (I bargained with whatever angel, ghost, or deity might be listening), unless within the hour, one person responded. I would consider it a sign.

Later, walking back to my computer, I allowed myself just a wisp of hope. I snapped up the screen … and there it was.

One response. One perfect response.

Somebody out there heard me.

24 thoughts on “Day 5 from the Pit

  1. It is very lovely to get comments – every one is like a hug I reckon. But I do always write first and foremost to myself, to keep myself honest and to stay on top of my thoughts. Because my brain is a dangerous place.. I can easily lead myself to get hooked on things that are not good for me (like booze!!) .. try to think of your blog like a lovely letter to yourself every day that you write.. you are writing to get yourself sober and lift yourself up again to a place where you feel strong and amazing…I know that will happen!! Look forward to following along. Will add you to my Blog List at Mrs D Is Going Without if you are happy with that..? Mrs D xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just finished your book! Amazing timing. I really loved it. The idea of a blog had never occurred to me until I read the book. Although I am just getting started, I love reading other people’s blogs. I was a little skeptical at first, but you can make friends over the internet, it seems. I will learn how to add other blogs now. Thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Mrs. D! I am going to try the love letter approach in my next blog. I don’t even write love letters to people I love, so it will be a challenge. I love that approach, though. The part about keeping honest is huge. I am so good at rationalizing. Please do add me to your blog list. I look forward to your next post. ; )

      — S


  2. your phrase ‘as if I was running out of time to get things right’ is haunting… that urgency is incredibly valuable in early sobriety. seize it, ride it out of where you are to where you want to go. my experiences is that it can take you places that you never dreamed of. good luck! Prim x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you , Miss Meg. I had these exact same thoughts 30 years ago!! It’s amazing how the decades can slip by almost without noticing. It really is a “now or never” for me.


  3. It is a good fight, isn’t it? I need to not let this be a reason to go out for a week, or a month, or another year. Thanks for the encouragement. Just when I thought I had it “over with.” It really is cunning, baffling, and powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can identify. I too decided to blog about my own journey; that first and simple response was my own signal to keep going. It’s hard fighting this battle, especially when everyone around you is convinced that alcohol isn’t a problem and that anyone who’s decided to remove it from their life is simply extreme. I don’t understand how we, as a society, have allowed booze to take such a prominent role in our lives. We managed to shame the tobacco industry and yet we are still glorifying happy hour and boozy brunches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so true! It really is like a sacred cow. I just read “Naked Mind: Controlling Alcohol, and she really goes into the industry and how they make drinking feel like something you have to do or your abnormal. It’s like counter-shame — it’s aimed at people who don’t drink. Thanks for responding. It does make me feel like I am not in this battle alone. ; )


  5. “Only yesterday, something triggered a dim memory, and suddenly grief blindsided me, pulling me under so quickly that I felt a visceral seizing up in my chest. It hurt, and the thought came to me: This is why I drank.”

    I totally get this. My last attempt at getting sober was slightly before Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving was a little upsetting because my parents decided they wanted to do their “own thing”. A little background: My brother lives out of state. As far as immediate family is concerned, it’s them and me. I was hurt. Really hurt. They know Thanksgiving is a big deal to me. It’s the one holiday that isn’t about “stuff”. The holiday has always been important to our family. Suddenly, they didn’t want to spend it with me. Fortunately, I had an invitation from my future mother-in-law, but that didn’t take away the sting of my own parents not wanting to spend the holiday with me. Thanksgiving came and went and it was wonderful. I didn’t even feel like drinking. Then the weekend came and I spoke with my brother. I told him how they’d hurt my feelings and dredged those feelings back up again. He listened to me. I got out a good cry. That should have been fine. I had someone who understood! But, no. I drank that very day, completely dismissing the 7+ days of sobriety I had going. Without so much as a hesitation.

    This is definitely why I drink. But…it can’t be any more. Even though drinking numbs the bad feelings, I’ve discovered that it numbs the good ones too. I feel love and happiness so much deeper when I’m sober. They knock me off my feet, but in a good way! If I want those deep, genuine GOOD feelings, then I need to be able to withstand the hurtful ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No wonder we drank. It becomes the perfect solution for not feeling pain. It makes everything brighter, for a while. When I think about that, I can forgive myself for drinking too much for too long. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and takes some work to get out of.
      What is so good in the long run is that you can eventually disconnect that path in your brain that says “pain = drink.” Now when I have an awful feeling or flashback, I know it will pass, and I don’t automatically want a drink. I don’t even think about it in the same way. But I spent years in the “in between” stage, where I was always struggling to quit drinking. This is so hard! It’s so much harder to be constantly going through the worst part of quitting without waiting long enough to get the benefits. Had I known how much better things would get, I would have quit years ago. I never needed that shit. I was fine the way I was. It lied to me and made me weak. I never want to give a substance that power of me again.

      Thank you so much for commenting. It keeps me motivated. ; )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In hindsight, many relationships and moments of “bonding” that we had while drinking now seem counterfeit. To experience true depth of feelings is a real wake-up call to the smoke and mirrors alcohol puts up in our lives. I know there are moments of pain and regret and sorrow coming my way, but I really look forward to the joy and happiness that also awaits me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Me too! And to real friendships instead of the counterfeit ones. It’s amazing how many of those just fell away with the drinking. I used to avoid people who didn’t drink. What would we talk about? Now I can talk to someone without categorizing them as drinker or non-drinker. I can really listen to them. Have you ever noticed that we are on stage while drinking? We grab the microphone every chance we get.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing what can happen over the course of a year. I started my journey last February, too. Different journey than yours, but I think a journey is a journey…you can swap out details, but the emotions are the same. I was in a dark hole last February, drowning in guilt, shame, insecurity…and I wrote my way out of it. Not on here, though. In my journals. WAY to heavy for a blog! You are strong and brave💪🏻

    Anyway, just thought I’d see where you started out at, and that brought me here….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do that to! Especially in the beginning of my blogging experience, I would always read the first few entries of someone’s blog. The difference is so amazing. It’s hard to believe we are the same people, isn’t it? I still can get thrown off track when experiencing guilt, shame, or insecurity, but it is nothing like what I felt while exacerbating the whole thing by drinking. My overall health is so improved that I can hardly relate to my own early blogs.

      I also have two big boxes of journals. Save yours for your memoir. ❤️


  7. Your last line got me! I’m all teared up about needing one person to hear you, thinking your story is just one of many out there thus not worth telling. It is worth telling. Even for the silent witnesses who whisper “me too” as they read your story, it is worth it. Thanks for sharing. Stay strong. I’m here to stay strong as I start my sober journey again myself after a few months out.

    I Will Start With Water

    Liked by 1 person

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