This is day 47 for me and I almost didn’t make it past Day 46. I am challenged by overload right now and a bit of denial seeping in. With that, I have a bit of boredom and a bit of rebelliousness. I also want everyone to just go away. Just this aching inside of me and running irritation that everyone should just go away. I am also scared of what sobriety might reveal to me as I start looking forward to doing the 12-step work, finding a sponsor and doing inventory. WHAT WILL SOBRIETY BRING TO ME? (next blog)
But for sanity sake, a review of the “built in forgetters” is what I decided to focus on and remember (no pun intended) of something I have learned about in early sobriety. I tried to find some resources on the subject and was able to narrow it down to the link in the quotes. In summary, my understanding and my experience is that when I want to drink and my head and cravings get the best of me I “forget” what it is like for me to be going from 1 glass of wine or beer instantly to several and fast. What a mess. I don’t even claim to be a HOT MESS, even though we use that as a “cute expression” when someone is messy but still I guess, kind of cute and endearing. That would be kidding myself because there is nothing hot about a drunk, slurring mom, wife, neighbor, friend. The line in the except page that to me makes the most sense of defining a built-in forgetter is “the recovering addict begins to think they are recovered, cured, and no longer recovering. They begin to forget all the misery that came with their active addition and seem to remember only the good times.” Sadly, I cannot recall ANY good times. Even the times I thought were good WERE bad. 25 years ago I began a drinking life and none of it recalls to me as good. I was pretty much abusing alcohol to get drunk.
In early sobriety I have to remind myself that when I have that sneaky voice and feeling overcome me that I want to just say “fuck it” or as I like to say “have a case” (of the fuck-its) I have to keep moving toward tomorrow. I don’t necessarily try to purposefully go back to a place of bad or bring myself back to a situation of embarrassment but I try to feel it. This is super difficult because my heart, gut and head are tied together in this mix inside of me. I crave the feeling and my mind has not healed. Recovery does take a day by day look at what is at the present important versus the what if. What IF I tested the waters again? Scary thought and it can be haunting.
So, how to get rid of the built-in forgetters? Do the work. Keep doing the work that helps to remind oneself what is happening with the sober journey. Today, I listen to podcasts and learn through others. I write down my gratitude of the day. How to live with the physical anxiety; I am riding through it and with it. It sucks. I have a constant panic in my gut but someday it will go away. Maybe this tiny feeling is my built-in reminder for now and that is the best I can get today.
Urban Dictionary Definition: HOT MESS: An attractive person, generally female, that repeatedly engages in situations which could negatively impact his or her social, mental, societal, and legal reputation. Examples include, repeated and excessive alcohol and/or drug consumption, a habit of being ejected from drinking establishments, a general disregard for the law concerning public safety, petty theft from convenience stores/supermarkets, and a voice that is about 3 decibels louder than everyone else.
You: You know, I love her to death but she’s such a hot mess when she drinks