280 days sober – And all I want is a cold beer – Still learning to control alcohol cravings
Can you control alcohol cravings?
I’m not shy to say it. I’m still learning to control alcohol cravings. And I’d bet a few hundred Rands (not dollars guys!) that even recovering addicts would definitely feel the same. Triggers don’t go away, so it makes sense that the coping strategies would still be a problem, right?
So much has happened after my last update on where I was on my sobriety journey.
To name a few:
- featured in the Cape Times.
- I recorded my first Youtube video! Have a look below!
- I was also approached by KIS Furniture – an e-commerce platform for architects, interior designers and consumers that sources affordable, high quality and trending items for all your interior needs. It is an honour to work with them and I can’t wait to share more as the journey evolves and unfolds.
And through all of this, there were major things that happened behind the scenes. A friend asked me if I just wake up in the morning and paint?
I have three young kids, (11, 4 and 5 years old). And it is also the week of the two younger ones’ birthdays this week. Yes, this week. My husband’s birthday was on the 2nd May, then it the baby Gabriel (4th May) and then the middle one on the 6th May. That means: party packs and cakes/cupcakes arranging. Buying the stuff. Going into the shop. Dealing with moody cashiers.
Pack the actual party packs. Blow up balloons.
We also had to have the sex talk with my eldest as it was brought up in school. I liked the important facts that the teacher brought up like molestation. It became easier for me to speak about it – as I was molested when I was 7 years old. Anyway- I’m sure you can imagine all the emotions that brought up.
There’s more stuff?
Besides trying to manage the social media presence, I have been trying to establish this new sober and strong Yvette. I don’t think people understand the complexities of fixing and re-establishing relationships, even in marriage, of being mentally ill vs being in remission.
It great, you’re healthy and now you want to fly. But guess what: you have a partner and children who now need to get to know the real YOU.
It’s extremely complicated and just thinking about it makes me tired. And emotional.
I’ve been so tearful. Being sober and off most of the medication means that I FEEL EVERYTHING.
Example: I heard the policemen, ambulances and traffic cops drive past the apartment earlier. They were taking part in some sort of parade and I stood outside and watched. I looked at the ocean and listened to the waves crashing on the rocks. And I imagined how proud some of those men and women must feel- being a public servant. Yes, that not be their real thoughts or feelings but with my imagination, I stirred up emotions within me.
Yes, I get emotional for crap- but if I had to tell you everything and I mean everything, you’d understand that those are just the symptoms of a much bigger problem. I think those details should be left for my memoir!
I’ve said something similar in my previous blog post. I believe this still rings true.
I realized that it wasn’t the alcohol I was addicted to, it was the coping strategy.
And as I drove home from getting the balloons and gifts, I listened to old songs that reminded me of so much pain I still sit with.
I came to the realization that I’m not struggling with alcohol, I’m struggling with feelings.
There is so much to lose – including me
The thing is, I can’t afford to lose momentum now. I can’t afford to lose myself now either.
If I have to be honest, I’ll say this: I don’t want to give up my new found freedom in being immersed in the real Yvette.
I find her fascinating and brave and ambitious and it’s because of that I have sought therapy again. Thankfully, my therapist from the West Coast also moved to a town nearby so we can continue our journey.
Note to self – it’s normal
I want to say this (and this is more of a note-to-self kind of thing):
It is normal to walk past the bottle store and taste the cold white wine on your tongue.
What’s also normal is to think about that bottle of Brandy in your cupboard at random times for no apparent reason.
Most importantly, it is absolutely normal to crave the state you find yourself in – that sense of carefree and freedom – when you’ve had that drink. Whether it’s the first or fifth drink- that very special and misleading state where you think all is fine and you’re in control.
But, it’s not fine and you’re not in control.
One of my best friends, my sponsor and badass businesswomen mentors, Lynne Huysamen keeps me grounded and reminds me that this feeling and these bad days will pass. And I really do love her and appreciate her wisdom and support.
She isn’t sharing new info. In fact, you know it’ll pass. But it doesn’t always feel like it. Just like a depressive episode- a moment drags on forever.
So yesterday I celebrated that I am sober 280 days. I celebrated because the booze won’t help me get through this stuff anyway. And I allowed myself to crave that beer and crave being numb.
I’ve been judging myself for so long. I think I’ll just show myself some love and understanding and care.
Do you struggle as a recovering alcoholic and crave booze or the yearning to just escape the weight of intense feelings?
This isn’t a how-to-guide on how to control alcohol cravings and I believe that will differ person to person. But I do believe that we can learn from the lessons of why we crave from one another.
I wish you peace and an indescribable joy <3