It feels weird writing “day 1, day 2..” when it has been the better part of the last 5 weeks that I haven’t been drinking or smoking. However, the past 5 weeks looked more like this:
2 weeks sober & smokeless (this included 2 flights, 2 birthday dinners, Thanksgiving family dinner, and lots of other triggers)
1 day relapse (this was a “planned” relapse for me – an evening where the boyfriend was out, where I “rewarded” myself for being so good the past 2 weeks)
3 days sober & smokeless
1 day relapse
1 week sober & smokeless (this included a 50th birthday party with our large group of heavy drinker friends and the boyfriend getting completely smashed and mad at me for not drinking *sigh*)
1 week relapse (this included 3 flights, one of which I didn’t drink on, a road trip by myself, and a few evenings out in a new city where the boyfriend ordered drinks for me and I thought that I could do it as it was in a new, different setting. Out of that whole week, only one evening was a write off and that was the first day of the week, after I dropped the boyfriend off at the airport and I could go home, smoke and drink away the anger and resentment towards him that had built up over the past week sober.)
Two nights ago, the night before my “day 1” was only one glass of wine – the remnants of a bottle that I had amazingly not drained and I had hidden away. I was by myself that night and it was a sad farewell to that familiar taste and smell, and a promise to myself that I can and will do this journey. That “one glass” was in itself a huge, huge step for me, as was the “only a couple of drinks an evening” the week before.
On the evening that my boyfriend got smashed and mad at me, I had told him that I was going to do this. That I wasn’t just “quitting drinking while I quit smoking because drinking was a trigger for smoking for me” as I have been telling everyone, but that I needed, NEEDED to quit drinking, and that I have known for a long time that my drinking was a problem. Oh, he knows it was too, but he is the type that likes to tell people how they should be doing something – “you should quit smoking cold turkey, I don’t know why you need to go on the patch. Just quit cold turkey”, “You don’t need to quit drinking, you just need to cut back. Limit yourself to one or two drinks” and when I stayed firm on what I had to do, and how I was going to do it then it turned into a pity party for him “What about me? I guess you expect ME to quit drinking!” (No, I said, I don’t.), “Why can’t you just limit yourself – I want to be able to make dinner together while you have a glass of wine and I have a beer” (I can’t limit myself, I told him, not to mention that we have never done that anyway?). It went on, his little pity party and his attempting to reason with me and explain to me why I should keep drinking in moderation, to benefit him or to appease him; I’m not sure which. It was then that I made another promise to myself – I will give him one year. I’m going to assume that the way he’s behaving is a knee jerk reaction to something that feels beyond his control. He’s probably scared – he knows me as mainly a happy, funny drunk who has been drunk pretty much every single night of the 2 1/2 yrs that we have been together. He also though, has not been there for me for anything that I’ve been through over the past few years. The death of my father? I paid for his trip out west with me for the funeral and he spent the entire time texting his ex wife telling her how beautiful she was. When my niece was diagnosed with cancer? He wasn’t there for me. Ex wife issues again. Time and again, over and over… it was so much easier for me to withdraw, drink, forget for the evening what I was going through. Time and again, over and over.