11 Weeks – Anxiety Down, Frustration Up

A quick post, mainly so I have a record of how one element in my early sobriety has changed. The weekend anxiety syndrome, that horrible unease I got around Friday night and lasting into Sunday has completely evaporated. I knew it had to be conditioning as it only occurred if I didn’t have a drink on those days. For me, and I guess, a lot of others drinking alcohol and the arrival of the weekend were inextricably linked. Drink + Friday = Feeling good, No Drink + Friday or Saturday= unease, anxiety, agitation.

When I stopped on 1 September I would say my first 6-8 weekends were blighted by this unease and nearly made me question my decision to go AF, but in the last few weekends that anxiety has not just lessened it’s disappeared, vanished. I know if I went to the pub on a Saturday it would re-emerge but that’s more about the pub/booze/good time association but even that is lessening.

So anxieties due to social conditioning and association definitely on the decrease. Anyone out there in the early days of sobriety, if my experience is anything to go by, IT DOES GET EASIER!

I won’t go on to mention lots of the benefits, we all know about those. So what could be the cause of the frustration?

For me I’m starting to see a pattern. People now generally know I’m not drinking and as we start gearing up for Christmas meals, social events and drinks parties, the word seems to be out; need a lift? Ask Jim!

Now I don’t mind giving a lift or two, helping someone out if I’m going their way but what I’m experiencing is almost being treated like a taxi service, “Oh Jim, you know the meal we are arranging, as you’re not drinking we thought we’d go to that nice country pub and maybe you could pick us up and drive us all there.” The other three all live in different places and what would have been a 20 minute journey for me will now be an hour’s journey, sit watching them neck bottles of wine, likely pick up an equal share of the bill half of which will be alcohol related and then spend another hour dropping the piss heads back home. You know what, it’s not bleeding fair. I don’t like it. Saying “why should I give you a lift” seems churlish, so I’ll do it. But I’m now getting the same with another social event and I can feel the goodwill withering. I wonder if this is a common pattern for others that have gone sober?

I suppose I could always buy myself a little peaked cap, install a meter and make a little cash on the side and just call myself “Jim’s Taxi Service” but in reality I’ll just grin and bear it. But it is annoying and it is frustrating, or am I being a miserable, cantankerous old bastard?

Anyone need a lift?

24 thoughts on “11 Weeks – Anxiety Down, Frustration Up

  1. limetwiste

    Suggest they get an Uber!
    You are allowed to say no. It’s for their convenience not yours. They are merely asking on the off chance if you’re willing. What did they do in the past? They sorted themselves out.
    I’d be sick of it too.

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  2. ceponatia

    Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of! Another thing addicts have in common is a poor ability to set boundaries, this is a perfect time to practice. I’m no better, though, so I can’t blame you. I’d have done the same thing. You can start by just saying you’re not paying an equal share of the bill, they’ll have to calculate all their alcohol. You’re not just NOT DRINKING, you’re NOT BUYING BOOZE either!

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    1. Claire47

      “A poor ability to set boundaries’ … wow that really hit home. I have realised over the past year I find setting boundaries in many aspects of my life difficult. I let situations get out of control … and that includes my drinking .. but I didn’t think the two were interlinked. Of course they are. I’m so relieved to hear others do the same and I’m not a total failure!

      Coming to the end of day 4 and finding solace in reading blogs!

      Claire

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      1. Jim Simmonds Post author

        Glad you are getting something useful from the blogs Claire. They are a smashing bunch on here and very supportive. Well done on 4 days. It does get easier and do ask for support when things get a bit tough. Have you considered writing a blog yourself? Jim

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      2. Claire47

        Hi Jim
        I did email you directly but I have put out my first blog. No idea if I did it correctly and how people can search me!! But it’s there. Hoping I’ll get some support. I’m going to need if this weekend. First weekend AF and I’m away all weekend for part of my brother’s birthday celebrations!! This will be a new experience for sure.

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  3. Untipsyteacher

    Yes to above. You have every right to say no. It’s hard to say no sometimes, but when you start feeling resentful, it usually means you are feeling like you are being taken for granted. I had to say no more money, to someone I love, and it was so hard. But I was feeling resentful. Now I don’t.
    Pick the your events that you really want to go to, realizing you can’t be driving to them all!
    xo
    Wendy

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  4. nomorebeer2019

    hahahahaha !!! What a wonderful opportunity to practice setting boundaries ! No to Jim the taxi service ! And come oooooon… no to having to pay for other people’s drinking !!! HELL NO 🙂 No excuses, just no thanks 🙂 It’s crazy, I am also (in completely unrelated ways) working on asserting myself and saying no – i.e. risking short term discomfort (‘oh noooo, what will people think of me if i am not nice/at their service?’) in the name of long term happiness and good relations. Cause if the frustration keeps building up, then what ? Resentment? Explosion? You’ll have to say no at some point 🙂 Might as well do it early on, without punching or stabbing anyone after you drop them off ^^ 🙂

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      In truth it’s not the worst thing to happen, and I am a drama queen I know but I can see the Jim the taxi thing being a source of frustration unless I nip it in the bud. I’ll always offer to give someone a lift if I’m going their way , it’s the assumption that because I’m not drinking I’ll go out of my way and do multiple pick ups that pisses me off. People are about to see another side to “nice guy Jim”😡 😉

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      1. nomorebeer2019

        YES you show them !!!! I think being sober also helps us get in touch with our limits (drunk Anne was so easy going she almost never said no to things, and ended up regretting having said yes the next day). We also need to learn to stand up for ourselves. not easy !!!! xxx Anne

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  5. Addy

    I agree with the others – you shouldnt be made to be a taxi service just because you don’t drink. It’s different, if they live en route to your home and it’s just a simple question of making a short stop to drop them off, but to make a huge detour for each and every one is not on. They are being ultra cheeky and should get their own transport organised, not sponge on you. I’d be very hacked off, if I were you.

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  6. Dana

    I, too, agree with the group, you shouldn’t have to drive all over the place to pick up others, so they can drink. If someone’s location is on your way, or if they offer to drive to your home to then leave with you (their problem getting home from your location after the event), okay, help out. You’ll figure soon enough how to handle these types of situations. You’re a smart man.

    As for getting through the weekends without drinking, I’m trusting it will become easier. I made it 12 weeks (longest dry stretch since starting this journey towards sobriety) without drinking when I gave in; so for me, I need to go longer without drinking to see the anxiety of “thinking” to drink go away. One thing I know, 13 weeks will be here sooner, rather than later. I hope by then, to feel as you do.

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Wise words Dana, thanks. I’m coming up to 12 weeks this weekend so I’ll be wary of what you said about 12 week mark. There’s a new lady Claire who has just started her AF journey and I’m hoping she’ll get in touch with you For mutual support . 👍

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  7. sobrietytree

    Hi Jim, um yeah that sounds NOT AT ALL COOL imho, that now you have to sit around and wait till people are ready to leave before going home yourself (and driving out of your way). For me one of the big advantages to not drinking if going out would be getting to leave nice and early. So yes hoping boundaries are working for you since you wrote this. Actually doing it would be tough though. I’m awful at that kind of thing… will be interested to hear what you came up with this weekend.

    Very happy to hear the weekend anxiety is otherwise decreasing though. Very uplifting post. :))
    xoxo n

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  8. Jim Simmonds Post author

    Thanks Nadine
    Yeh the Friday night anxiety as o write this is non existent, which is great. I’ll put up with the lift situation over the xmas period on the spirit of goodwill to all men and women. New year though, that’ll be a different story!👍

    Liked by 1 person

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