Saturday, March 17, 2018

A little disappointed but ok 3/17/18

Well...I had one beer...dangit!

I thought about why, the positives and the  negatives.

The why....the new people I met yesterday all seemed really fun and we had a great meeting prior to the FAC. Everyone was super friendly and welcoming and they were all encouraging me to go to the FAC. Here is the truth...I just wanted to fit in. I didn't want to seem different. I didn't want to feel different. And truth be is a social liquid courage for me. It does make it easier to talk and socialize especially with people you don't know. I really didn't feel like I was wanting the beer to get the alcohol in my system, it was more about just feeling comfortable and having the conversation come a little easier and fitting in with my new colleagues.

The positives...I did have a good time, felt like I fit in and only had one  When I drank it, it wasn't like this sense of relief that I was consuming the thing I had stopped. It just felt "normal". I wasn't too loud, made a lot of connections with people and went home.

The negatives...I do wish I would have done all of that without drinking and here is why.  When I got home, I started felling physically ill.  I was not mad at myself and beating myself up but still felt a bit of that anxiety feeling in my chest. I started getting that kind of out of it grumpy tired where having a conversation is challenging..kind of a can't keep my eyes open buzzed feeling. It wasn't bad as it was two hours later and after only one beer, but I could feel it.  I didn't sleep well. Don't know if that had anything to do with the one beer bc I haven't been sleeping well lately anyways. I also had a really bad dream that I was chasing my dog for hours and then found her dead.  Maybe it had something to do with my sobriety being dead.

My sobriety is not dead.  I feel much much much better when I don't drink.  I have go to figure out how to do these social things sober. 

Please don;t judge....keep on keeping on. Trying really had this morning to not have that "all or nothing feelng" where I just think "screw it". I drank so now I can drink.  I jut need to remind myself that I feel better when I don;t drink and that is the truth!

Friday, March 16, 2018

FAC plan 3/16/18

Well, today is the day that I meet everyone at my old school and go to the brewery after for a happy hour.  I have been super nervous even though I realize it probably won't be a big deal.  My dh husband just says, "Don't go if you don't want to." I feel like I probably should as these are new colleagues.

Here is my plan for the happy hour.

If a lot pf people aren't even going, neither am I.  I will just duck out quietly.

If I am having an anxiety attack about it, I will make something up as to why I can't go. My dog really has been having some hip problems. I will say that my son got home and the dog couldn't even walk so I need to get him to the vet. 

Best case scenario - I do go, order a kombucha and socialize for about an hour - really being present in the conversations and showing interest in other people (as opposed to dominating conversations as I did when I drank...always trying to be the funny/cool/interesting one getting pretty loud) and then go home. 

No big deal. These people will just know me as someone who doesn't drink but has fun anyway.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Can't sleep...nervous 3/13/18

I am up at 2:30 am after not getting any sleep last night and restless anxiety ridden dreaming the past few night.  What's going on?  I think I am actually really nervous about Friday. I am nervous about meeting everyone at my new school. I just want to make a good first impression. I think, though, what is bothering more than that is this Friday Social hour thing afterwards.  Why does it have to be at one of my favorite breweries? Why does it have to be sunny this Friday? Why do I have to be not drinking? Why can't I just moderate? What will everyone think? What will I say? How uncomfortable will it be? Will it even be enjoyable? Will they have Kumbucha so it at least looks like I'm drinking something or will I look totally lame drinking a cup of water?  I think that my worry over this one event that may only take a couple of hours is threatening to derail my whole sobriety. 

We are also going on vacation over spring break and I am worried about the desire to drink vacation, especially during long layovers in airports.  I loved drinking during those! Just sit in a bar or restaurant feeling like a sophisticated traveler, passing time with a couple of drinks. That is the best! Wait...what am I great was it last year when I got on the plane pretty wasted, continued to drink on the plane, which I never do, and arrived at my destination hammered. I don;t even remember clearly everything we did that evening. This set up my miserable depressed trip to Jeanau last year. 

This last weekend, I did not want to drink but was definitely feeling the pull.  I even drove past a gold course club house we used to sit in the sun and drink at and thought, "Well, that sucks! I can't so that  anymore!" All of those insecurities and doubts started creeping back in. What if I could drink normally? What if I just tried harder? This spring is going to suck.

I know my mind is just romanticizing it and I couldn't figure out why I was feeling the pull so bad, but I think is it both the event this Friday and the upcoming traveling. 

Yesterday a friend of mine and I had been talking about heart palpitations, getting older, insomnia and drinking. He was experiencing some of this and hadn't been drinking much either. He went to the doctor, got a clean bill of health and was told that a couple of drinks weren't going to hurt him.  Hearing that kind of sent me spinning.  He said that the doctor told him the heart palpitations were not caused by alcohol, but instead was caused by anxiety and stress. Maybe I was just making myself anxious about drinking. Maybe my issues with alcohol are all in my head. Maybe I could have a couple of drinks Friday. Maybe I just need some anxiety medication to ease my general anxiety about everything and then I could drink again.

Yes...I realize how ridiculous all of this sounds, but it is good to get it out of my head. Put is on paper and try to let it go.  Why does what his doctor tell him have such an impact on me. Maybe bc he was excited to hear that it wasn't the alcohol and had gone back to drinking. Maybe bc he said I just need to not stress about it and that the drinking isn't causing my symptoms. I know he is just rationalizing his own drinking. How does he know what is making me have heart palpitations? I said that I think alcohol is causing it and he said that he doubts is just caused by stress and then the palpitations are causing more anxiety. That's what his doctor told him. I am not him and alcohol does cause me to have heart palpitations even it if it bc of the anxiety I get around drinking.  I can't ever seem to remain moderate, my hangovers had become intolerable and that was causing me a great deal of anxiety which is alleviated if I don't drink. Plus...why would a doctor say, "Ya, it's ok, you might be over 50 and having heart palpitations but go ahead and continue to pour poison into your body! Just do it and don;t worry so much about'll be ok.  It's just all so stupid. I feel like everyone drinks so everyone just rationalizes it. It is an addictive poison that makes you sick!

I just need to remind myself.....I promised myself one year.  I can do this!

I want to make me proud of me. Nothing else matters - not what others think of me Friday or even the uncomfortable feelings I may need to experience both Friday and at the airport. I can live through that uncomfortableness to be proud of me. It is not always going to be easy, but it will be worth it.

I just need to continue to tell myself, "You got this, girl! You can do it."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Week 10 - Missing a flight dreams - 3/10/18

I keep having the same dream. It changes a little but the idea is always the same. It always involves traveling, running late, packing and unpacking suitcases, not being able to find the correct clothing and an incredibility intense sense of anxiety.  I get into such a panic attack during these dreams that it wakes me up. I have to lay there for a few minutes calming myself down, telling myself it was only a dream. I feel like some of the residual anxiety is still with me when I get up in the morning. I am having these dreams 2-3 times per week.  Why?????

I looked it up and found the following on this Psychology Today site

DREAM: Here are three dream fragments that are expressive of this them. One person reported, “I dreamt of being booked on an airline flight, but missed the flight.” Another person reported, “I dreamt of getting ready for a big road trip but had trouble deciding what to pack.” And a third person reported, “I dreamt of taking a vacation with my partner but we could never decide where to go.” 

COMMENTARY: Here the dreamers are about to go on a trip but not quite getting there on time, forgetting, waking up late, missing the departure, etc. They could have similarly dreamt that they were about to travel by bus, plane, car, jet, or boat. These dreams often show our hesitancies, attachments, or beliefs that are somehow limiting us or stopping us from taking a step in our lives or a step toward a deeper way of living. It could be our need to be prepared that stops us (e.g. we are busy packing or deciding what to take with us)
In many of these cases, it can be useful to encourage the dreamer to ‘jump,’ go for it, take their hopes and desires seriously, not worry to much about what is right, or not overthink or over-plan in life.
I do have a lot going on right now.  I am switching schools next fall.  I have been at the same school for 15 years, but am excited to make this change and do something new.  I am taking an online college math class to get myself certified to teach middle school. I am not drinking and still have some worry about that in terms of upcoming events.  We just got an email yesterday inviting us to an FAC next Friday at one of my favorite breweries to get to know the staff.  I want to go and think it is important but am worried what they will all think when I am not drinking. What I will say...what excuse I will make. I do want to establish with the new set of colleagues that I am a non drinker but can still have fun.  I always told my own children when they started middle school or high school or college that it is a time to reinvent themselves.  They can become who they want.  I do look at changing schools in this way, but am worried about a few of the logistics around drinking believe it or not.  I am not at all worried about being about to be successful in the position, tho.
Maybe my stress also comes from being lazy and not working out.  I have made promise after promise to myself that I would start working out and I just can;t get myself motivated.  This coming week I am going to try to work out every day and see if it helps me get rid of this dream.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Pessimist/Optimist 3/8/18

Image result for churchill optimism

I ran across this this morning.

Do I focus on the negative aspects (difficulties) involved with being sober (opportunity)? (neg/pos)

Do I focus on the positive aspects (opportunities) of not drinking (difficulty)? (pos/neg)

I choose to focus on the positive aspects (opportunities) of being sober (opportunity). (pos/pos)

This is focusing on the positive outcome of a positive change.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Week 9 - Cravings 3/3/18

Well, it is week 9 and it is so weird to say, but I haven't had any cravings so far. Sometimes alcohol passes through my head at unexpected times, but no real cravings.  For example, my younger sister (the one I drink with) went in to have her hormones tested.  She is in menopause and was prescribed HRT.  Haha!  I'm not the only one getting old lol :). For one fleeting moment, I thought, "Now we are just a couple of old menopausal ladies drinking wine together." This was a positive, fun, bonding with my sister thought. But just as quickly, the thought left my brain and it wasn't a big deal. I didn't feel sad or mad or glad or anything.  It is so strange. 

The only think I can relate this to is the situation with my sister. I have not talked to my youngest sister in a couple of years.  We had a falling out and she is refusing to talk to me.  It hurt my feelings for a long time. I cried and cried and was so angry and hurt for probably a good year and a half.  For the first time ever, I wasn't going to fix things and it was killing me.  So much time has now passed that I can honestly say I am indifferent. I am open to talking and working things out, but I'm not all torn up about the fact that it isn't happening. Sure I'm a little sad about the whole thing, but it isn't causing me anxiety any more. It just is what it is. 

I feel the same way, strangely enough, about alcohol this time.  It has taken me almost two months this time to start feeling better, but I just haven't cared about drinking.  I just feel pretty indifferent to it. I'm really not jealous of others who can drink, not angry that I can't, not sad that I can't control it.  I also haven't had the emotional "highs" that come from quitting this time either. The first weeks and months didn't come with the pink cloud this time. Sobriety wasn't new and had lost its novelty. It wasn't bad, I just wasn't waking up relishing in the fact that I didn't have a hangover.  It's weird but it just seems like the new normal for me. It has just been much more even keel this time - not really any super high highs but also not any super low lows.  Just kind of chugging along. 

Maybe when my emotions get on that roller coaster, I tend to have more cravings.  I know that one of the reasons I would get super excited about an upcoming event was because I could drink. Or maybe I drank because I was super excited? Maybe not getting super excited about anything helps me not to drink. It's not that I'm depressed or not looking forward to a beautiful Saturday or a vacation coming up during spring break - it's just that that hard to explain ansty/hyper/revved up feeling that comes with these upcoming events isn't there. 

Who knows, maybe it will come back and I need to be prepared. Maybe I am just fooling myself. Spring is my hardest season to stay sober (haven't done it in 30 years). I just know that it took me two months to get my energy back and really start sleeping better this time. Month 3 is going to be about working out.  I need to get myself back in shape and feeling better about how my clothes fit.  I have always weighed between 125-130.  When I quit drinking last summer I had gotten up to almost 150.  I am now down to about 142 (lot 8 pounds just from cutting out the alcohol - still eating crappy and not working out).  I only have 10-15 pound more to lose. I know once my clothes fit better and I am more comfortable in my own skin, it will only help me feel better about myself and be better able to maintain sobriety if and when the cravings do hit.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Month 2 - Lotus Blossom 2/25/18

Well this month marks month two.  I said in the previous post that I was going to treat myself to a charm bracelet every month for the first year as a reward and a reminder of why I have chosen to remain on this path of sobriety. I am not going to say it is a reward for choosing this path. I have chosen sobriety at least 10 times in the last few years, some last for months (the longest being 10 months).

I am rewarding myself for choosing to remain on my path of sobriety. I now know, without a doubt, this is the right path for me....I just need to stay on it.

Last month I chose the triskelian charm to represent interconnected  - drinking negatively effects every aspect of my life

This month I chose the lotus flower. I wanted it to be a positive charm since last month was meant to remind me of the negative that alcohol brings.  The lotus charm represents rebirth.  A beautiful flower that grows out of the muck.  How all of the pain alcohol has caused me in the past has allowed me to become who I want to be...who I know I can be.

Image result for alex and ani lotus blossom bracelet