Thick Sludgy Mud (warning: laboured metaphors within)

Thursday 7 Aug, 2014, 6:14am by Mrs D 74 comments

That’s how I think of early sobriety. You’ve jumped off the Boozy Cliff into a ginormous field of Thick Sludgy Mud and you have to wade your way through it to get to Peaceful Sobriety Island.

It’s hard bloody work. Your brain freaks the fuck out that you’ve taken away it’s beloved drug … you brain also keeps bombarding you with all these hard-wired messages that alcohol is a necessary part of life, the golden ticket to fun and a harmless liquid to be imbibed at will. Most likely your friends and family will also (subtly  or overtly) bombard you with those messages, as will clever advertisers.

So you’re fighting against your own brain and the entire world (it feels like) and you’re stuck in Thick Sludgy Mud of early sobriety feeling raw, emotional, drained, obsessed, confused… aaarrrggghhh! Jeepers it’s no worry so many people stop-and-start all the time.

But this is why we need all of the folks in recovery hanging out happily on Peaceful Sobriety Island to stand up and wave out. “Keep Going!!” we cry… “keep going, you can do it, you’re doing so great, go gently, treat yourself kindly, keep going.. it’s going to be ok, look at us we’re over here never touching alcohol ever and we’re feeling great!!!!”.

I’m doing one of those double arm waves as I shout out.

I’ve been dancing around this online recovery world for nearly 3 years now talking to people in all stages of recovery, commenting on blogs, responding to emails etc, and those are the lines I most often type out. They may seem trite and overused but they’re the simple powerful truth.

Keep Going.

You can do it.

You’re doing so great.

Go gently.

Treat yourself kindly.

Keep Going.

It’s going to be ok, look at us, we’re over here never touching alcohol ever and we’re feeling great.

This is why I’m hoping lots of people already in recovery join Living Sober to help promote Peaceful Sobriety Island (I warned you I’d be labouring metaphors in this post…!).. because those of you either still on Boozy Cliff or stuck in the Thick Sludgy Mud of early sobriety need to know that these are places you can get out of. They are stages that can be overcome. They will pass.

So long as you keep moving ahead.

Love, Mrs D xxx

74 comments

  1. Thank you for this blog post. It really encouraged me and I love it. I think it’s so true – how hard it is to get through the thick sludgy mud – but that group on that island… that group can make all the difference! I just recently had an experience where I reached out and, for the first time, I shared my story. I barely got a response and it was crushing. After 10 days in the mud and seeing only a few sporadic faces on the island, I turned around. It was this experience that made me realize how much I NEED the support of the right community. I need that island! I won’t give up on trying to find it! Thank you for lifting me up today!

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    1. Hi @Free I am also 10 days in, well I actually told myself i was going to stop six weeks ago but have been struggling at the weekends, However I have been battling on and off for years… I totally agree it’s so important to get the right support in the early days, this week I sat down with a very clear and constructive argument and explained to all my friends and family (a brave move) that I NEED to do this and I really want their support…. Those that agree to help and give you positive re-enforcement about your decision are the ones worth holding onto. If you know in your heart of hearts this is the right decision for you, coming out and telling those close to you will really help not only because they will be able to help keep you on the straight and narrow but also because you will be able to sort the wheat from the chaff and figure out who is worth taking with you on your journey. If they really love you they will support your decision, and there’s always us lot here online when you want some objectivity…. Anyway stick at it, listen to your heart and intuition the clarity will come just work through the messy bit one day at a time. Also above all else the one person you need love from is you so go easy on yourself and break it down into manageable chunks x

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  2. Funny, I don’t know if it just because it is my drink of choice, but wine seems to be the drink many of us struggle with. I would drink Chardonnay, nothing else, and wouldn’t even bother with anything else. What is it with wine?

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    1. I noticed that, too. I wonder if there’s some chemical component that makes women feel particularly euphoric (for a little while) like chocolate. That was easier for me to give up than my Cabernet

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  3. Great metaphors! I am still wading through the mud and muck but on clear days I can see the island and you all waving and I am looking forward to being there! Viatoday (Day 86)

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  4. Help.
    I can’t seem to get off of the Boozy Cliff. I certainly have a lot of excuses and reasons to drink right now. I am looking for others who have quit under similar circumstances. I want to hear that I can do this despite those reasons and excuses. I do know that it would be better to have my feelings without numbing them, yet……
    Separated, divorce in progress. (That is a roller coaster.)
    My sister passed away last week. (I am broken hearted)
    I really want off of this cliff. Every day I sadly reset my counter. Yesterday was especially difficult. I don’t know what about yesterday put me in such a dark place. I didn’t bother fighting the urge for a margarita. (Wine is my main problem but that margarita with Mexican food is alluring as well.) And I followed that with wine once I got home.
    It is morning here. My daughter is on her way here from Europe. (Yep, I’m in the US). One of the 1st things she wants is Mexican food and a margarita. Trying to figure out what I would order if I weren’t drinking and what I would say to her-maybe, “one of us needs to be able to drive home.” I don’t know.

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    1. It’s a mind shift. I negotiate with myself. Sometimes continuously. No one stops me drinking. And it can come down to second by second, minute by minute. Yes, I’ll have a glass please, hold on, one second no. Hold on to your pain, wrap your arms around yourself and watch The Life of Brian. I know Mrs D is proud of us all. Mexican – I’ve been drinking a lot of soda with elderflower cordial, a squeeze of lime juice and some fresh mint all swirled around with some ice cubes.

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    2. I have been exactly where you are and it is the worst feeling in the world. The good news is YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! The great news is YOU WILL FEEL SO MUCH BETTER if you stop. I know you can do this. I drank for every reason in the world. I drank when I was happy and I drank when I was sad. I am so sorry for your seperation/divorce (my heaviest drinking times) and then my father passing more binging. I am in the United States also. Let me know how I can help!!!!

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  5. Please, please try and stay positive. I am now 14months sober life has thrown me more stresses than necessary (death of a parent, hubby redundant,shifting house-and that was one month this year), but I still like the person I am today than the one that was drinking. My drinking caused friends and family to distance themselves from me and I even had to look in the rubbish bin in the morning to see what if anything I had for tea the night before. I completely isolated myself and started drinking not at 5pm but no later than 10am, so was completely gone buy 2pm. Today I am very happy with my life, enjoying a grandchild(wasn’t allowed to associate with her before), have a great job and actually like myself.
    Mrs D you are an inspiration – I don’t look to for into the future but take a day at a time.

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  6. Such a great post. We can all relate to being stuck in the mud. I’ve got one foot on the island but one foot still in the mud. Some days it feels so easy. Other days a real fight. But I’ve felt how fantastic to be off the wine and I want that for the long haul. What’s keeping me going is reading these blogs, and I can feel my thinking changing slowly. I’m focusing more on the gains, and less about the loss of my old friend Mr Wine. Just got to get the other foot on the island xx

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  7. Thank you for waving…you’re right the mud is freaking thick …but I am 11 days in and the Island is a speck I see…!!! I have given up many times before and really want to come join ya’ll on your Island of Peaceful Sobriety…trudge trudge!!!! XO LOVE this new site!!!

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    1. I am 5 days in!!! YEAH FOR YOU 11 days… I am looking forward to the Island… I LOVE this sight also. The mud is thick but I am going to keep going no matter how thick it is. SO LOVE THIS SITE TOO!!!! IT GIVES ME HOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each day I feel a little bit better!!!

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  8. Thick Sludgy Mud sucks! Feck I am grumpy. I couldn’t have picked a worse time to give up – some major life events have coincided with this journey and seriously, I think it would all be a whole lot easier if I just drank. I just made a crucial work error last night – I never made that error when half plonked! That little voice is having a joy ride with me, if it lived I would punch it, seriously, hard, and I do not condone violence but how much do I have to put up with! I am holding on to your promise of Peaceful Sobriety Island for dear life. Squizzi’s triathlon analogy is a good one, I can relate to that. Doesn’t make me any less grumpy though! Arrgggghhhhhh……And I HATE (dislike that word immensely) being NEGATIVE!

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    1. I sound like grumpy Smurf. Sometimes I feel like murderous Smurf. I am waiting for my husband to shove a bottle in my hand and say ‘drink this’, we want the nice version back. Thankfully, I think he is cut off the same brush as Mr D and will ride this rollercoaster out with me. I might cause him to drink more at this rate! Might keep the image of hungover to buggery Smurf in mind, and the pretty picture of Smurfette as my goal.

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    2. Hey there Alongtimeoverdue – I hear and feel your grumpiness, and it is all very justified. For 5 years solid I kept drinking more as life’s incidences kept piling up upon me, one after the other. The booze numbed the pain, but it never got rid of the problem, and the problems just got worse. And as Mrs D has said, we will, and do still have bad days, the upside of not drinking is a lot more positive. Over the last 58 days I think my body has thrown every medical condition at me that it could, I didn’t have any problems when I was drinking. But the words of people here and others have shown me the hard work is worth it.
      Keep being strong and everyone here is here to catch ya if ya stumble and need support. God knows they have done that for me. :-)

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    1. Hey Colourful1 Me too! I’m right behind you with a rope attached to you and a buoy to throw out to those that are oh so close, but are severely dehydrated and worrying that The Island is a hallucination. Its not! Its not! Just get on over here so we can all pull together and haul in the others!!

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  9. I am finding that stopping and remembering the positives are helping today. I do feel calmer, and although I tossed and turned all night last night, I am sitting here now happy that I was sober @ 10.30pm last night when my teenage daughter got home. It was a lot better to chat about her friends, boys and late night train trips home in a sober state than make no sense while boozed (although I may have used to of thought I was giving fantastic advise at the time). And now I think of it, I would also have been able to drive and pick her up from town had she needed me. Today is good.. it does ring true when Mrs D and others say, just give it time, tomorrow is another day, thanks for teh support.. :-)

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    1. I know Nugget! How great is that having honest supportive genuine conversations with our teenage impressionable children! And to be able to drive! I was called out twice in my first sober weekend totally unplanned and I was so proud of myself being able to say “yes of course I’ll come!” Just because they aren’t babies doesn’t mean our parenting duties are over!

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  10. Hi folks This is my day 4 I proudly say! So far so good. Although, tomorrow night going out for dinner with the hub. He is allowed to have his wine as he behaves himself. But I, no no no no!!!!! Last night I did have the feeling, however, that it was so bloody ‘UNFAIR”. I did feel resentful. I am starting to wade out through the mud. Not a very good swimmer though! So, thank you MRS D for that awesome post today. Good Luck everyone and keep going!! X

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  11. Love that metaphor – what I love most about you Mrs D is that you are putting the right words/phrases in our heads and replacing all the toxic, manipulative ones that years of advertising bombardment, culture and peer pressure have skilfully produced.

    It is so clear the way you describe it – it enables us to visualise it. I have just arrived on The Island and a very new resident so looking both excited about sharing my new location with you all and simultaneously looking back at those of you still on the cliff or on their way to us through the mud, knowing exactly the emotional roller coaster ride you are on.

    But think of it as triathalon, all your previous attempts and scaling down that cliff and sludging across the swamp to get to The Island, are your TRAINING sessions (no-one starts out training and does a full triathalon on their first attempt now do they???) and every time you train you learn something new and improve your technique slightly and then when you know in your heart you are ready – off you go and with the right support crew, preparation and equipment – you will get there.

    After a bit the adrenalin will kick in and push you over that finish line and “wala” – we will have a wreath of flowers and dancing hula girls waiting for you with a refreshing decorated mocktail ready to welcome you.

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  12. Very muddy round here this morning. Little M decided it was time to read books and have her bottle at 2.45am (WTF???), only drifting back off at 5.00am. My victory lap around the bedroom last night (going to bed sober again) was frankly lack-lustre, and as a result, we’re all tears, and scratchy eyeballs and hormones at home today. Gloop, gloop…

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  13. I can see you. It’s not that far but at the same time it’s frikking miles away! I’ve been stopping and starting for longer than I can remember, but with all your help I’m going to keep my gumboots on (the thick sticky mud is NOT going to pull them off). Keep your hands outstretched I’m inching closer

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    1. Today, Valentine’s Day. This will be my day 1. I have stopped and stared 1000 times in the past 30 years. I don’t sleep and I’m mad at myself in the mornings that I do not have the discipline to not drink wine. I always say it’s only 2 glasses but, the point I can’t say no to those 2 make me mad. And to be honest, on weekends they are 2 large glasses.

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  14. Yes, here we are on Peaceful Sobriety Island! See the light that beckons from our Peaceful Sobriety Lighthouse? It is guiding you all here. Keep going. We can’t wait to see you!

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    1. I think I have had 100 Day ones. So many times I tell myself that’s it !Im never drinking again then something comes up or that little voice tells me it’s fine to have some because everyone does. Thanks for this blog. It’s my birthday next week and my gift to myself is Sobriety. I know I can do it. I just have to start.

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