How many Day 1’s have I had? Have I really lost count? If I sit and have a word with myself in the mirror, being brutally honest and not fooling myself with all the talk of the day 1’s where I failed, I’ve had two Day 1’s.
My first was on 11 December 2014. I’d been to an AA meeting the night before. It wasn’t my first AA meeting. I’d been going to those meetings every day for the best part of two months. I’d turn up half cut, often with a bottle of orange Lucozade topped up with vodka to drink during the smoke break, and I’d sit in a haze, listening as best I could to the reading and the shares.
Folk would always try and talk to me; they’d say nice things. They’d try and share their stories and try to save me from myself, only I wasn’t interested. I refused to believe that these folk didn’t take an odd drink here and there. I couldn’t allow myself to comprehend that these people hadn’t taken a sip of booze for months and years. If I allowed myself to believe, then I had to accept that I didn’t need my bottle of Lucozade. I had to accept that I could live a life without poison.
After that meeting someone tapped me on my shoulder. They looked at me and my bottle and just said “It doesn’t have to be this way”. I shrugged, said goodbye, and walked home, finishing off my juice and then continued to finish off the bottle I’d hidden at home. Only those words kept swimming around my head.
I came to on the sofa, fully clothed, still with my coat and boots on, and my dog licking my face like a thing possessed. It was about 5:30am, and something clicked in my head on that Thursday morning. Those words were still in my head, and I sat bolt upright and shouted out loud “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE”.
Some may call it an epiphany; I call it my first day 1. Somehow I knew that I wasn’t going to drink. Somehow the need to take my first sip of poison was gone. I felt physically knackered. Let’s face it I was, but I didn’t need to add vodka to my Gaviscon that morning. The acid reflux was there but the craving for a drink was gone.
I rode on for 14 months on that Day 1, still doing meetings, still reading my books. It wasn’t plain sailing, and for 12 months I can hand on heart say I didn’t want a drink, but those last two months…if only I knew that my first relapse happened two months before I even took a drink.
The inevitable happened. I didn’t have the tools to recognise the warning signs. I’d worked on the not drinking part however I wasn’t emotionally intelligent to even know I had to work on me. I drank, and not a little drink. I drank to oblivion, I drank to blackout, I drank myself back to where I started.
I never went back to the daily top up drinker I was, and every time I missed out on a day of drinking, I called it Day 1. Those days would mount up to a few days, weeks, even months sometimes. Only I wasn’t being honest with myself. I was trying to fool my own head, only I knew. I knew that none of those hundreds of days were day 1’s. I knew deep in my soul that I would drink again. I had started to chase that feeling I’d had in December 2014, only it never came, and I was caught on a merry-go-round, chasing something that wasn’t there.
I never stopped trying. Oh lord did I try! If someone had said paint your nipples black and dance around a bonfire, I would try it, but nothing seemed to work for me. Not only was I drinking, but I’d
also gone back to the state of mind where I couldn’t believe there was a solution, a better way of life.
My second Day 1 was on 17 August 2021. I’d had my first consultation call for Bee Sober Coaching the night before. It was my next thing to try, and in glorious fashion I turned up on that call blootered. I couldn’t tell you what was said on that call. My head had gone to la-la land. All I can remember was we were going to have another chat the next day.
Once again, I came too fully clothed. This time in bed and no profuse dog licking involved, however something clicked again. Of course, I felt putrid, my body was battered, only my head felt clear again. Somehow, I woke up knowing I wasn’t going to drink.
I have spent years chasing the feeling of a first. I’m not sure I was ever chasing something that was there. It’s a bit like the first time you drive without an instructor in the car. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating and it’s scary, but only for that first time.
I have no idea how many pretend day 1’s I’ve had, but I’m glad I’ve had them. Each one has brought me here, to a place where I’m moving on, working on my sobriety, working on me this time, and instead of constantly chasing a dream I’m beginning to live it.
Article Source: Bee Sober Member Jan Mac
BEE A MEMBER
The opposite of addiction is connection
At Bee Sober you will discover tools and tips to keep you motivated. You will be surrounded by like-minded people who will inspire, and encourage you to live your best life.
Join Jan and the rest of the Bee Sober tribe right here!