No. Not that morning after kind of walk.

The it’s-12-noon-walk-to-the-liquor-store-walk.


Just like yesterday.

And the day before. And every day before that. For the last 10 years.

I am so not going to fucking miss that walk, or asking Hubs to go do it for me. But, I know I’m still going to want to make it every day. Maybe we’ll need to move. Maybe we live too close – literally under a minute door to door. Probably one of the deciding factors on why we moved here.

I sat today trying to remember the last sober day I had. And, I can’t. There isn’t one day in recent memory (which is spotty at best, anyhow) where I didn’t have a drink.

Actually, a drink isn’t a fair unit of measure for me.

Allow me to rephrase.

I can’t remember a day in the last several years where I haven’t polished off bottles, upon bottles, of wine.

How am I even still here? The human body is a ridiculously patient thing.

Until, of course, it isn’t.

I’ve been lucky so far. Getting ready to head to recovery in 5 sleeps (OMG) everything is just starting to sink in. Everything I’m doing seems amplified. Every walk. Every purchase. The clink of every empty bottle as it hits the one next to it.

Lined up like green glass dominoes, ready to make me fall.

There’s no anonymity in this town, either. We live in a tiny village outside of a relatively big city. Our liquor store is literally also the variety store (it’s Canada, and Ontario, so alcohol sales are ridiculously regulated). So, it’s the same humble people cashing me out every day while I refuse to make eye contact because I know they’re aware I’ve been there, the same time, every day, since we moved here nearly three years ago. Every day, buying 2 big bottles of wine, and a pack or two of cigarettes.

The initial “we’re having a party” and “company’s company” lies eventually had to stop. Honestly? Did I ever think they believed me, anyhow? I just said it to make myself feel better. They could honestly care less. Cha-ching.

I’m back from the walk. Again. And a bottle is already gone.

Thank you, Hubs.

I just came in from the kitchen – yes, to fill up my glass – and saw that Hubs just put this on the chalkboard. *Sigh.

I’m working myself up with distractions about going to recovery. What if I don’t have access to coffee. Today I discovered I could only bring 200 cigarettes in, and from my math, I’ll need 700, if I don’t quit or cut back while there. 700. How disgusting. At a pack a day, it adds up quickly. I already know they won’t get them for me, and I won’t have access to them. I’m worried about withdrawal from technology (I could care less about social media – but I’m concerned about not being able to work while away. Though I know I need to focus on myself and healing – I also need to pay the bills).

I’m just starting to get worried. 

*Pours another drink.

I’m going to keep doing that walk when I get back. But in the other direction. When I feel the habit creep back onto to me, I’ll just go and discover a new part of the village. Or wander through the paths I have yet to discover in the woods near our house.

I’ll just keep walking until it goes away. 

Is this normal? I don’t feel like this is normal. But, nothing about my emotions is normal. I was so calm this morning, happy with having a nice evening for a change (read: without bawling my eyes out).

I can’t help but connect the dots that I only started feeling like this after my daily walk of shame.

After I had my first drink.

And worse, after my second, and third.

Pouring the anxiety down my throat, hoping to drown the anxiety.

Figure that out.

Written by SJ VanDee

Recovery Blogger. Sober AF. Photographer. Storyteller. Writer.


  1. Oh my gosh, how sweet of Hubs to write that. I related to every word here. Every single thing. My mornings started off horribly and got better with each sip- until. Peace and love. You’re going to make it. 🙂


  2. I’m proud of you! You sooo got this and you are much stronger than your realize! It wasn’t until I walked into AA that I realized….many of us have that same crippling anxiety. I literally thought it was just me, all my life, and I realize now, it’s many of us. I’m heading towards month 2. Month one was rough. A lot of emotions (I mean, I could finally FEEL.) but the further I get into sobriety, the more clarity I have. I finally feel like I’ve had more self growth in the last 2 months than I ever had before!
    I’m cheering you on from Ohio, love! I couldn’t be more proud of you! Keep walking the other way 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, thank you sooooo much! And, you’re just across the river from me 🙂 I’m so proud of you, too – I imagine the first month will be the hardest and you should be high-fiving yourself every minute for getting through it! SO scary. Ughhhhhh So many walks in the other direction on the horizon, I think 🙂


  3. I once spoke to a kid who was going to treatment – the same place I did. And he was upset on the phone when I told him about the restrictions – no phone, no computers, etc. He was pissed that there would be no gym there to do his workouts. I told him it wasn’t a spa…lol. I felt my treatment center was very Camp Bummer, but as I moved through the disappointment in Not Being Taken Seriously, I realized I needed the time away from all that stuff. And I think you will too. It’s a place of healing. And I found the distractions I used to have made things easier for me. I could focus on me and the work I needed to do in getting better. It was a 21 day investment in all possible ways. It turned my life upside down, but it needed it. Or else I would have been in the ground or in jail.

    I know that walk of shame well. Oh boy do I.

    Wishing you well, my friend.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul 🙂 I absolutely agree I need time away from all the distractions (except for coffee – I’m seriously concerned about the coffee situation LOL). “In the ground or in jail” – I get it. And, “Camp Bummer” made me laugh out loud 😉 I think all these distractions just add to the fog. Add to the anxiety. Plus, at this point – all the unknowns until I get there. I just want to be there already…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yep, my husband had all this anxiety as well … both right before treatment and of course years before. The rehab was great for him though, it’s just the after care that failed. I failed, too, in that. It’s my burden to live with, and I will encourage people like you to keep going.

    I don’t want your body to fail. Chances are it will if you keep up the drinking, and this isn’t a fun way to die. I will think of you every day while you are gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your encouragement means more than you know, especially with me knowing (as much as that is possible) what you are dealing with in your own life. It’s selfless, which also leads me to believe it is impossible for you to have failed in supporting Adam in his after care. It was Adam’s disease and demon to deal with – no matter what you did or said, it only had to do with Adam. I know in my own life, it doesn’t matter what anyone says or does – I have to want it 110% myself or there is not a chance in hell I’m going to do it. I know that’s true, because Hubs has been asking me to stop drinking for YEARS. And I had to get to a devastating place (a few times) before I came – on my own terms – to wanting to take the step. I know the same will happen with after care. I need to find myself in a place where I am committed to it, forever…for myself and for the people I love.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I live in a small Canadian town too and I would circulate between 3 different stores (one in my town and 2 in other neighbouring towns) to try to hide just how much I was drinking. Sometimes I’d tell myself to only buy ONE bottle of wine and then I’d end up having to go to the other store to buy a second bottle.
    Good luck in rehab. How long are you going for?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Heyy you’ll be ok! Umm one of the places I used to drive to for booze was 45 mins away and the other one was 1/2 hr! Oh boy… the things that I used to do that I look back on now and wonder what the heck I was thinking/doing…


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