16 Days sober


A short while ago I had a major relapse. By ‘relapse’ I mean I drank half a litre of vodka, took a lot of pills and landed myself in hospital. So I was back to square one with the whole sobriety effort.

I’ve been sober for just over two weeks. I’ve even resisted the always alluring Lorazepam. I don’t feel especially pleased with myself. I still want to drink every day. I still spend a lot of time fantasising about oblivion.

What’s the healthy alternative to getting wasted? Nothing else has that mellowing effect, there is no other emotional anesthetic. I’m told to take Lorazepam when I feel like getting drunk, but that has the effect of making me feel quite stoned or just sending me to sleep. Aside from being impractical, I don’t really want to displace the problem. I don’t see how replacing alcohol with benzos is a sensible solution.

I’m doing therapy and mindfulness. I’m working. I see friends and I do sport. I walk for hours every day. I’m trying everything everyone says works. While these things can make me feel briefly calmer, or more positive, none of it offers me the chance to escape from myself. Not even for a moment. It’s so claustrophobic being trapped with your thoughts, hating what goes through your own head and not being able to get any peace.

I can’t even have a break when I go to bed. My dreams are frightening, anxious, stressful. I dream of violence, loss and humiliation. I wake up panicked and sweating, or my wife wakes me because I’m crying in my sleep.

Who could blame me for wanting to shut that all down for a while?  I know alcohol doesn’t make me happier, but I also know that after a few drinks everything slows down a bit. The crappy thoughts are still there, but they are just a little easier to tolerate.



4 Comments Add yours

  1. I had a very close family member who was an alcoholic. I know he would be sober for years and then relapse. I think 22 years being the longest time sober. Have you found a support group so you can talk to others that are in the same situation as you are? I have heard they are quite helpful. Admitting you relapsed is a big part of healing. Hang in there and before you know it you will be 6 months sober.


    1. Thanks. Yes I have a few friends who are also in recovery and they are really supportive. We support each other. I tried AA but it didn’t suit me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mollie Hunt says:

    Go to a meeting. Or ten meetings. Or a hundred meetings. At one of those, someone will say something that may change your life. It’s nearly impossible to cut alcohol out of your life without moving on to a better life. AA/ Al-anon worked for me – I am now the person I want to be. (44 years drinking/using; 8 years sober and at peace) I let a shitload of resentments go, allowed myself to be happy for no reason, quit worrying about things I have no control over. So just for today, you might try another meeting. They are all different so chances are one will suit you better than another. Nice people, strong coffee, a place to be for an hour not drinking. One second at a time.


    1. Laura Black says:

      Thanks. I know it works for some people, but the format really doesn’t suit me. It isn’t just the religious stuff either. Our local meetings are very shaming, they are all about admitting what an awful person you are and there are very few people there in a similar place to me. They’ve all been sober for decades and make me feel a bit like a lesser human being because I’m not there yet. I’m continuing to do therapy and get support from friends who don’t judge me or blame me. I’ve been sober 5 weeks tomorrow.


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