Doldrums

IMG_20170126_122503_973.jpgIt’s day 74 today.. and I’ve been inspired to post today by SWMum,  who’s on day 77 and seems to be in a similar place to me.

For the last week or so, I’ve been feeling inexplicably low, lacking in joy, in fact downright nihilistic. I have a much longed-for week off work, with nothing planned apart from relaxing, however even this has failed to inspire me. If anything, it’s adding to my irritation, as various mildly rubbish events have been steadily encroaching on this time off, so that what should have been nearly a week and a half, has turned into effectively two x 6 hour slots of time off. With a fucking cold, to boot.

The “me” of two weeks ago would have been positive about this, not let it get me down, would have found a bright side somewhere, and enjoyed moments of real happiness. The “me” of now is just plain hacked off, and even sitting with my feet up and a muffin the size of my head is failing to inspire me.

I’ve had a few thoughts of drinking this week too, which have annoyed me. (But,  hey, EVERYTHING is annoying me). This could be because it’s my first bit of proper time off sober – I would usually have made this as an excuse to drink a lot of “treats”. And because Mr Red is also off, we would have planned in time to “escape” to cosy pubs and drink way too much. It’s been preying on my mind, I’m just not having rebellious, let-my-hair-down fun and my brain is trying to tell me it’s because there’s an absence of booze.

So, seasoned sober folk – d’you think this is the dreaded PAWS? Will I feel bouncy ever again? I shall now lie face-down in my Victoria Sponge Muffin, and await your thoughts..

Red xx

 

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35 thoughts on “Doldrums”

  1. Absolutely it is PAWS and it will pass. So sorry you are feeling that way but it is a sign of healing. Your brain is rebalancing your chemistry. I read somewhere that somewhere in your first 100 days your brain does a check in with you like – are you really doing this because I am going to go ahead and repair (adjust for no alcohol coming in on a daily basis) if so. That adjustment creates some real down days but ultimately it evens out. I rarely have those days now (day 300 or so). Take good care of yourself, acknowledge you feel crappy and just grit your teeth through it. You will feel better soon! Plan something special for yourself this week if you can

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    1. Ooh – thankyou Kelly! This is really good info, and I feel better when I have a reason/explanation for things! It’s so distinct from the way I felt a couple of weeks ago. It’s great to hear your perspective from 300 🙂 Red xx

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  2. Hi Red! Sorry you’re feeling crap. I think part of this is detox, and part is learning to regulate your feelings, but most of it is just being human. I have various mood seasons: depression, anxiety, blahs. They come and go because we are humans and that’s how we work. The tricky part is when they occur, telling your lizard brain “this does not last, it will be fine.” Also, I do not generally partake in let-your-down fun. First, because I didn’t really have hair to release. 2nd, because through sobriety I’ve come to realize that that type of fun is often forced by alcohol and I really want to be doing other things. Anyhooo! You’re doing great!!!

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    1. Thanks my dear! You’re right, life has its ups and downs. There’s a fair bit of me saying “pull your frickin socks up girl, just suck it up” to myself. I’ve a tendency to be a bit more whiney on here than IRL as this blog is mostly about feelings etc. Damn my lizard brain! I hope all is good in your world – more posts plz 🙂 Red xx

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  3. I so agree with Kelly! I read the same thing about the “check-in.” It’s a last ditch effort for your poor brain to grab what it’s learned to expect — temporary but debilitating fixes for the damage that’s been done. And because it is the “lizard” brain, the call is visceral in the same way hunger and thirst are. It calls out desperately, so it feels like this longing that you just can’t put your finger on. Instead, you project the dissatisfaction onto your life, your spouse, your kids, your muffin — whatever is closest at hand.

    Don’t go there! Very soon, your brain begins to once again manufacture it’s own feel-good process — one without the brain damage and debilitating depression that goes with drinking.

    I believe this lizard brain operates from inside a local pub. It’s calling to you like a reptilian bartender with a roofie, just waiting to anesthetize you once again. (Graphic, I know, but I’ve had two cups of strong coffee.)

    You will be SO happy you survived this “test.” Is there any way to walk or exercise or go to yoga? That is a super quick fix that comes with added benefits. Also, just realizing what is happening give you power in the situation. You can tolerate it and even revel in it when you know that you are overpowering (finally!) the destructive forces trying to pull you back under.

    Go Red Team! You can do this, you superhero you.

    xoxo

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    1. Haha – thankyou and love the idea of the reptilian bartender 😉 I will pass this test. You’re so right about acknowledging and overpowering it, just getting it out on here has lifted things a bit.. as does hearing from all you lovely sober peeps! Red xx

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  4. It’s just the ebbs and flow of life.
    At Aa 90 days is a big deal, and it is a shaky time for many people. The shine of sobriety perhaps begins to wear off and the reality of life creeps in.

    Don’t drink. It won’t help!

    Allow yourself some down time. It is completely ok to grieve the loss of your familiar memories of cozy pubs and mindless days. And then find something different. Try a cozy coffee shop. A spa. And afternoon movie.

    I remember for a while Craig and I loved grocery shopping on Friday night. There are few people there. And it just seemed surreal to be sober and buying milk. It made us laugh.

    Be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge how far you have come. Bask in a hangover free morning.

    You are on the right path.

    Anne

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    1. Thanks Anne! I like the idea of you both giggling round the grocery store.. I do get a peversely enjoyment out of mooching in quiet supermarkets ;-). It is ebb and flow. I need to get used to this along with the up feelings, instead of just the numb!! Red xx

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  5. Hi Red! 74 days is awesome,way to go! I had a terrible time around that time, sad, angry, confused, restless, asking myself over and over “whyyy am I doing this?!” Today I’m at 93 days and having a really great day so far (have been in a fog lately, but today feels a lot clearer). Just such a roller coaster, these past 3 months! Hang in there kiddo!

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  6. Oh red! I know it’s not the right thing to say but I’m so glad someone is feeling the same way!!! We have come so far and it feels really unfair to be feeling this pants.. onwards and upwards!! xxx

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  7. Cupboard over there full of spines – help yourself – they come in a variety of colours. As I was saying to someone this week, life throws lemons at you – duck!! I thought I was owed something for giving up drinking but afraid not. I think I am bipolar as I get euphoric highs and then depressive lows but after lurking around here for many months now and reading the guardian on saturday (thats a newspaper for transatlantic torturers – sorry – Americans) I have realised that everyone feels pretty much the same. Any day above ground is a good one as they say. Does that help Red? Doubt it but at least you have a muffin and a week off. I am stuffing nuts like an insane fucking squirrel – not helping my waistline battle. Should have gone to a bar with colleagues tonight – its Chinese New Year and also missed Burn’s night supper yesterday – what the fuck chinese and scots – any excuse for a piss up – time was, I would have done both but I’ll feel even more self-righteous tomorrow. Anyway, got to look forward to my 5 hour drive home tomorrow and have to leave time to look up nihifuckinglistic!! Be good, almost at the 100 and its all uphill from there, hah ha!!

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    1. Haha – the not so subtle sub-text there is “pull yourself together, woman!”. Yes, I think I’m just adjusting to the new “normal” – after 26 years of numbing every negative emotion, it’s a bit of a shock to get on the rollercoaster. . And to think, the pre-drinking, teenage me loved nothing more than a day at Alton Towers, repeatedly going on the biggest adrenaline-rush of a ride possible. Thrill junkie, much?
      The Burns night/Chinese NY thing is making me laugh – it’s so transparent, all these excuses to go out on the lash! Good luck with the grotty drive home tomorrow, and go steady on the nuts!
      Red xx

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  8. Hey Red, I see you got plenty of advice already. The 90 days is a ‘real thing’ its anything from 70-90 ish days where your brain just wants to double check that you haven’t overreacted completely. Just ride it out. I’m on 66 days and same thing happening over here

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  9. Hey Red
    I think it could have also to do with January, miserable month of weather and no sun. Think of it this way, you could be sitting there with a hangover, a banging head and queasy stomach, feeling an awful miserable hangover. That large muffin would not have helped. I miss the highs too, the disconnect and being transported into a soft fuzzy world. BUT that soft fuzzy world in a cozy pub only lasts for maybe 20 mis and then you realize you have had 6 drinks and you are going to feel like shit tomorrow and nothing will make you better but more booze and everyday is the same.
    You can do it Dear Red, that field of bunnies awaits you and when you get there, make sure to tell me that the field of bunnies is fucking amazing. Justonemore told me they died of old age-lol!!!
    TWTUK

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  10. Hi Red!
    Awesome advice.
    January is almost over, thank goodness, and I for one am going to celebrate it being GONE!
    What everyone said was good.
    My life is different now, and I did have to learn how to have sober fun.
    At first I felt sad, and then I challenged myself to find fun ways on the weekends.
    Now my Friday nights are out to dinner or a walk with hubs.
    (Hard to do with the little ones.)
    The cool thing is, I see so many people outside on Friday and Sat. nights.
    So I know we aren’t the only ones not sitting in a bar!
    Hubs still owes me a sober dancing time, so I will have to bug him about that.
    All that being said, it is still hard at times.
    I hope you feel better soon, and thank you for your wonderful support!
    xo
    Wendy

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  11. Boo, I remember how devastated I was when my pink cloud deflated. Seems as though you have a ton of suggestions I personally love No lights No lycra- is there one near you? Its basically a few hundred people turning up totally sober to a completely dark building (ours is an old church) to bust out their badass dance moves for a couple of hours – beauty is its so dark no one can see you… It is my go-to when I feel like I need to unleash 🙂 also v. Good calorie burner haha hope you feel amazing soon x

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  12. Hello lovely Red! Everyone’s said it brilliantly above. It’s PAWS. It’ll pass. It’s one of those obstacles just before you get to the field of bunnies. The original ones may have copped it, but you know what they say about breeding like rabbits….. Baby bunnies await you 🐰 ❤

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    1. Haha – thanks SM – baby bunnies will be even more worth it 😉 I’m powering through despite my brain telling me a lot at the mo that life ain’t fun without booze. I know that’s a lie however. I think better weather will help – I’ve just remembered that I always feel awful and low in January, so it’s probably SAD and PAWs too!! Blimey 😉 Red xx

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  13. Hi Red – this isn’t really a comment to your particular post but after reading all the comments I thought this would be a good opportunity to thank you and all of the other bloggers in the comment – I am so grateful for all of your blogs, I read them every day and am so inspired by all of you. I am working on getting that damn Day One (and beyond) and your blogs help keep me sane each day.
    Have a great day, everyone!
    xo

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    1. Hi Alice – I’m so glad to hear that reading sober blogs is helping you – and mine too, that feels really nice!! – I find blogging a huge help I must say. There is no way I’d have got to 76 days sober without the support of all these lovely people!! As for day 1 – there’s no time like the present! Start a blog yourself (if you haven’t already), it’s great for staying accountable and we’ll all cheer you on! Red xx

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  14. I have just gone back to my old posts and my day 79 was very very similar experience to this including the last paragraph asking “old timers” for advice the way you said “seasoned sober folk”. You are doing great Red and all this navel gazing is a way of learning to sit with ourselves and feel the bloody feelings. It is PAWS, it is normal, it is something we must all go through, it is depressing and it is frustrating when all we want to do is bounce off the walls with joy. I think many of us assume that others are having fun and living happy healthy joyful lives 365 days a year and that is far from the truth. The only reason these moods are so visceral for us is that we have been so tied up in the cycle of thinking about drinking, actually drinking, recovering from drinking, worrying about drinking, accepting drinking and back to drinking again. There was never any time to think about other things but if we did start to delve too deep, well by the second glass those thoughts were forgotten or elaborately solved by ‘miraculous drinking thinking’ which makes everything seem so doable tomorrow.
    All this is just to say, sorry to have to tell you this but, well….. you’re normal! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you are going to have to be a bit normal and mainstream until you can fashion a new rebellious let your hair down sober Red, you will find her but right now you are in the chrysalis stage of your transformation and you have to be completely unmade before you can be reformed into the new dazzling free butterfly that is in your future.
    Keep going strong buddy you really are doing fantastically well.
    Ginger

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    1. Aww Ginger – thankyou for your words of wisdom, and how I love the idea of being transformed into a butterfly! ! You’re so right – I used to just drown everything out with wine, it’s taking some getting used to, this feeling it all malarkey 😉 Red xx

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  15. Hi Red – so sorry you’ve been having a rough time – gosh it’s all been said. And I reiterate it all. The field of bunnies – is still well alive and kicking – I’m still in it. You’ll get there and you’ll feel amazing. I had a blah day the other day – and it felt soooo weird – because since I reached the field of bunnies – my blah days are so much less frequent. Having said that I will still get my normal life grumbles along with the best of them (kids or hubby or work pushing my buttons), but when I get those days – so much easier to cope with. And I find it so much easier to push through the blah and be grateful for all my many blessings in life. Please keep on keeping on – I promise you it’s worth it. And thanks for keeping your posts coming – you have an awesomely witty way of putting things – and all of your lovely readers comments and your replies still help me in my sober venture. You’ve got this girl. xxx

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