Concrete goals



“You have to celebrate the successes. You’ve come such a long way.” So said a wonderful friend this morning when I admitted to her I’d had a slip. A bigger than normal slip, a four day slip. This one I might call a relapse as it ended with me drinking stealthily in the kitchen. Not hiding it exactly, but, yes, kind of.

Monday night, no reason or excuse other than the wine was in the fridge. Days of the week cease to matter once you’re in the grip of a drinking phase. That I can cope, still managing domestic tasks during and also the day after only makes it worse. Makes it seem less problematic, less invasive.

But the descent is steep, should the emergency plan fail there would be no stopping until the inevitable crash. But the rope seems to be holding. I have my toolkit handy and I am ready once again to start at the beginning. This is the beginning, the shameful sharing. Putting it out there I know is not to everyone’s taste but for me it diminishes the shame somehow. The loneliness of tackling mental health and addiction can be excruciating. By sharing I take back the power, I make the decisions.

Another great friend shared with me that it takes an addict an average of seven attempts – real, committed attempts – before they succeed in overcoming the demon. This is six for me I think. I am going to try and achieve a below average score!

My top three tools for the next week will be

  1. Get back to yoga – every damn day even if some days I have to crawl to my mat, click a button and allow myself to be baby-stepped through a meditation.
  2. Get more sleep – bed by 10pm latest, none of the internet surfing and browsing, allowing my monkey mind to flit from page to page of the labyrinth.
  3. Plan and prepare food well ahead of suppertime. My absolute worst time of day is, I suspect, the same time as everyone else’s. That end of day fatigue, the deep sigh once all of the running about is done. The loneliness of the kitchen sometimes as the domestic drudge has to be attended to again. Some cooking after lunchtime with a good podcast leaving the evening kitchen time minimal. Then I will take ten minutes to myself before rejoining my family feeling replenished. (Remember this is a goal – as I wrote that I laughed and laughed but without a plan I will certainly fail…)

So here’s to concrete goals, baby steps and sixth attempts.

calvin and hobbes sleep

5 responses »

  1. Julia, I so admire your resolve after just four days. I used my slips to disappear for years, and then decades. As you said, days of the week (and then the number of years) don’t matter anymore when you’re drinking. I applaud your bravery for being so forthright. And if seven tries is average, I am such an overachiever! More like hundreds in my case. But I could function, and therefore minimize, the real damage done.
    I am sending you good thoughts. ; )


  2. Loved this sweetie. Lots I can totally relate to. Hope you are having a better week. Much love . Ps you write so well and with such heart and compassion xxxx

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. You are not alone.. I’m in a similar situation myself booze wise.. Have you read This Naked Mind by Annie Grace? Has helped me tremendously … And part of my current ‘toolkit’ is to keep a window open on my iPhone to re read your ‘doing it for my boys’ post whenever I have a thought about drinking… So you are helping me everyday 😉


  4. Hi Lucy, sorry it’s taken me such a long time to reply to your lovely comment. Honestly, that is the best thing to hear that my ‘oversharing’ is helpful in any way. I have just done a week, yay! I did read Annie Grace’s book and it made so much sense. I perhaps expected too much from it though – I believed her when she said that after finishing it I wouldn’t even want to drink. I don’t of course, logically, but find the cravings are still horribly present and I am still having to work harder than she seemed to. I wish I could be one of those people who just ‘switch off’ the need to drink, make a decision and stick to it. Hey ho, I suppose it’s different for all of us.

    One thing I have found to be of huge huge help was taking a Hip Sobriety course. I think it’s six or eight weeks and requires a certain level of commitment. But afterwards you have access to all the resources for life and I have found the group of friends I have made on FB to be invaluable – I’m actually not sure I would have got this far without them. Definitely worth a look!

    I hope you had a good weekend, managed to get through it at the very least and that you have met this week strong and full of determination. Feel free to PM me on facebook if you’d like, always nice to have a buddy. xxx


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