Alcohol in the house when you are sober

On Friday night I hosted a dinner party for business associates of my husband that I did not know, but knew they weren’t big drinkers (one of them is going through chemo). So I wasn’t super worried about it. I have alcohol in my house my husband still drinks. The other factor is I have not isolated myself, ie stopped going places that serves alcohol. I know people that won’t even go into the Starbucks that serves beer. Please also remember at the beginning of my sobriety, I was very careful where I would go (IE I would not sit on a patio on a hot summers day with everyone around me drinking a chardonnay) but at this stage of my journey I know could could care less about booze.

The two things I have not had in my house and won’t have in my house since I got sober is wine and this drink called Hey Y’all. Both were my drink of choice.

So as many of you know when hosting a dinner party, it’s not just the dinner prep, its the tidying of the house, putting away the crap on the front hallway table that’s accumulated (running gear mainly) dusting the built in shelves in the living room that the couch doesn’t face and honestly I’m not sure when I last dusted them, cleaning the main bathroom, cleaning up the plant that Billy (my cat) knocked over in the process while I was cleaning, all the little things that go with prepping a dinner party. By the time dinner was well underway, I was tired and quite hungry.

I had not been there to greet our guests, I headed back into the kitchen though to serve dinner, and low and behold one of our guests had brought me a bottle of wine and it was just sitting on the counter just sitting on the counter like so many times before. Unopened, just sitting staring at me. A cold shiver ran down the back of my neck. I served dinner.

Now I’ve been around wine, people drinking it doesn’t bother me, just NOT in my house.

My husband and I rarely talk about my not drinking or my reasons what led up to me not wanting to drink, when I told him I need to quit drinking his first reaction was you need to quit smoking you don’t have a drinking problem.

When we went to clean up after the guests left (omg dinner party are the best when people are not getting shit faced, cleaning up at 930pm) I looked at my husband and looked at the bottle and I said this gives me shivers. He’s like why not take it to our tenants downstairs, then I said something else, and he said it’s still early take it down NOW. I put my flip flops on and zipped downstairs and handed a nice bottle of wine to the couple, who were thrilled.

Moral of this story, you can be strong in your sobriety, you can keep alcohol in your house, you can go out with friends who drink. DO NOT keep your drink or drug of choice (nicotine is my drug of choice) in your house. Why tempt fate.

How to deal with the booze bitch (AKA Cravings)

When that itch is overwhelming you know what I’m talking about, the time right after work, when you just want the day to be over, but maybe you’ve strung a few days together like I used to.  I was never an every day, drinker but Thursday would roll around and I’d want alcohol.  Or I stayed sober on the weekend due to being with  family  or school events or those normal drinkers so I’d want to unwind.  Well good news is they do diminish the cravings over time but you need to get in the time, now how in the fuck do we do that with the devil yelling in your ear “drink you deserve it”;

Here’s some ideas that I use to combat cravings (I detest the word “sober tools”, that seems to be floating around)

  1. Have a routine – I say 3 things I am grateful for before I get out of bed,  go exercise, shower, have a protein shake, & eat.  When I have a rest day and I don’t those are the days that were most likely for me to drink.  Have a routine whatever your routine is but do it daily.
  2. Exercise – yep go do anything, walk, jog, crawl, lunge, do a jane fonda workout at home on a vhs that your mom had yep just exercise for 30 mins.
  3. Drink Tea or Water or anything but alcohol, I’m not a fan of pop but if it helps kill a craving have a fucking pop. One pop now and again, won’t make you have a fight with your spouse, or spend all your money in a pub & fall down,  but drinking may lead to that nightmare (or worse).
  4. Eat NOW – get your blood sugar up.  Usually my cravings would start when I’d look at the clock and it was 4pm and I only had an apple that day, or a coffee.  EAT.
  5. Stay away from the liquor store/grocery store where there is alcohol.  I know seems stupid to mention that but don’t go shopping where there’s alcohol when you are craving.
  6. Go to a coffee shop or somewhere they don’t serve booze.  Do not take your wallet just enough money to buy a coffee and a treat.
  7. Drive/walk/bike a different way home, if the craving strikes you as you are heading home.
  8. Chew Gum (I love this one, I’m a huge gum fan)
  9. Breathe- 4 breaths in through the nostrils, then one long breath out of the nostrils for 1-2 minutes (try it, it really does help)
  10. Crawl into bed  (yes your bed can be your best friend and sanctuary)
  11. If you have kids and can’t crawl into bed take them to the park or a bakery again anywhere that doesn’t serve alcohol – do not take any money with you other than a nominal amount to buy a treat
  12. If you don’t have in person support reach out, Go to an AA meeting or find an online resource group.  I like  Recovery 2.0 on Facebook hosted by Tommy Rosen or  the internet has: In the rooms or Hello Sunday Morning,  both great resources (and free)
  13. 13. Scream – it feels good. Just don’t scare your kids/pets or neighbours but get it out. Go sit in the car and yell.  I was out for a run the other day in the pouring rain and no one around and I yelled and then cried (musta look like quite a sight by the time I got home) somewhere between drowned rat and snotty nose kid.

If you have any other suggestions please comment, I’m so happy to have others help others & find new ideas!!

 

xoxo Christina