Monday, October 5, 2015

Anxiety - not such a great day after all

After I wrote about how great sobriety was and how great I felt yesterday, I did not have a good day but I did learn a couple of things.  My husband and I got in a "fight" right after I posted how great I felt.  This "fight" brought up a lot of horrifying memories from my past that I would just rather not deal with.  In the end we are Ok, but I had anxiety all day.  You'd have thought I had a hangover. I was surprised that the anxiety all of these memories were causing me was very similar to the anxiety that a hangover causes me.  I had the same heart palpitations, exhaustion, depression, panicky feeling that I would have with a hangover.  It took a couple of hours for it to calm down and then I was exhausted the rest of the day.

The one difference is that I don't still fee it this morning.  It was not drug induced so I don't have to worry about waiting for it to clear my system.  There is no doubt in my mind now that alcohol is causing a great deal of my anxiety bc it felt exactly the same way.

I am thankful that I didn;t also have a hangover on top of the "fight".  It would have made it just that much worse.

history repeats

This was what I wrote on Day 8 3 YEARS AGO!!!  I can't believe three years later I am still dealing with the same BS.

Finally!  I slept well last night and finally woke up feeling good, ready to take on the day.  8 days - it took 8 days since my last binge to finally start feeling better and sleeping!  I think I am now officially physically done with alcohol.  Now it is time to "get my armor on" to take on the mental battle of what is to come!  I need to remember - I can have a relaxing, productive, self preserving, proud, happy weekend.  It may  not be the "fun" that I am used to, but I am not willing to suffer all of the consequences for that kind of "fun."  I need to redefine "fun."

This one was from 4 year ago!!!

This sucks!  I can't get any sleep - night sweats, heart doing summersaults in my chest, rapid heart rate, overwhelming anxious feelings that come and go, feel like my head gets a sudden amount of pressure like is is going to blow up, headaches!!!!!!  When will it stop?  I have not drank for 3 days.  I need some rest!  I didn't even drink that much, for pete's sake - 2,3,4 times a week/2,3,4 drinks usually/5,6,7 drinks 3-4 times a month - and only beer and wine!

Kinda ridiculous I am still dealing with this!  This is exactly why I I can go back and see how stupid this all is and how much of my energy it is taking up.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sobriety Rocks

It is even more of a beautiful day to not have a hangover!

I went to the car show and dinner and didn't even have one single craving!

I am really trying to change my internal dialogue.  Instead of focusing yesterday on the negatives of not being able to drink such as:
"I need to get a buzz on before the car show."
"How am I going to keep the buzz going? Can we leave? Are we done yet? (so I could have another)"
"How many beers should I have at dinner?"
"How many is everyone else having?"
"Who is driving home?"
"Am I being too loud."
Then all the guilt, shame, anxiety, depression that would have come with failure.  Believe it or not, I am feeling a little anxious even typing all of this...maybe I also need to clean up my blog dialogue???

I tried, instead, to focus on the positives such as:
"I am so glad I am not drinking."
"I am so glad I am not obsessively thinking selfishly about me and my next beer. That I can be patient and let my dh enjoy doing something he loves without me complaining about leaving."
"I am  so glad I can enjoy this evening with my family and be fully present in the moment."
"I am so glad I can fully perceive other people and what is going on around me without beer googles."
"I am so glad I won't have a hangover and will feel better next week."
"I am so glad I am not buying 7-11 cups, drinking some of the soda and filling back up with alcohol as my sister and I once did at a previous car show. How juvenile!"

Saturday, October 3, 2015


So I went to my sister's for dinner last night and it was just kinda weird.  No one was really drinking that much except for her, which still wasn't a lot.  She asked why I wasn't drinking.  I was really honest and told her that I had just recovered from my hangover from last weekend.  She was confused bc she said she didn't think I drank that much and she drank almost as much and felt ok.  I told her that I actually probably consumed 2 bottles of wine by myself. She said, "yeah but over a 6 hour period." I told her that it doesn't even matter any more really how much I drink, that my hangovers are just unbearable - that I didn't get a good nights sleep, my anxiety wasn't completely gone, that my heart didn't stop racing, that I didn't stop getting hot flashes and night sweats, that I didn't poop (sorry that's gross but true) until Thursday! She said, "That's weird."

I said it really isn't and told her about something called "kindling". When you have abused your brain cells with weekend binge drinking 1-4 times a month for 30 years, it causes a lot of damage and that the longer it continues the less it takes to make your hangovers worse and worse.

I told her I just can't do it anymore - that it isn't worth it.  She said, "Well that sucks!" I think she meant that it sucks for me - that my hangovers are getting worse and that I can't drink like I used to.

I really don't think it sucks for me. Maybe it is just a blessing in disguise - a secret little trick that "a higher power" plays on us.  "Fine, you want to keep abusing your body and mind with binge drinking? I will make it harder and more excruciatingly painful to recover! Mwahhahaha!" (that was an evil laugh btw)

Here is part of an article I found on kindling

By continually going through active periods of substance abuse and then periods of sobriety, a person can become overly sensitive to living with – or without – their drug of choice.

If we look at addiction and alcoholism as the chronic and potentially fatal diseases they are, it’s easy to see that the kindling effect is equivalent to a remission of cancer, whereby each new recurrence could be the final, fatal relapse.

These two excerpts from the above article stood out to me the most.

I can say to myself all day long, "I'm not that bad" but I have to admit that if I stay on this road, "I will eventually be that bad."

Is that a chance I am willing to take?  Is this drug really worth the price I could ultimately pay?

This is another article I found. It is lengthy and very technical, but it really goes into the brain damage that binge drinking causes.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Internal Dialogue thanks to Dr. Phil

I am watching Dr. Phil and he said some pretty powerful things to a guest.  I wanted to write them down so  would remember.

He said, " Do you understand the power of language? I's so powerful!As long as you keep telling yourself this ______ (in my case - why can't I just drink like a normal person, not drinking sucks - it is boring, I won't be the same fun person any more, no one will invite me to stuff because I'm not drinking, I wouldn't want to go even if they did bc I can't drink, I should try again, I am such a failure - I can't moderate or quit, I am a bad role model, why am I so sensitive, I really just don't like people anyway bc everyone is a jerk, what is wrong with me?) you are going to keep feeling like ______ (in my case - depressed, anxious, stressed, sensitive, selfish, hyper, obsessives, exhausted, unmotivated, defeated, demoralized, distracted, angry).  When you hit the eject button on all the negative self talk, you need to replace it with something that is more positive."

I have a feeling that if I could replace my negative internal dialogue, my behavior and habits would change.

I need to change my internal dialogue to "I can do this. I can live sober. I can live sober and be happy. I can't drink like a normal person so get used to it. People will still invite me - they probably don't care if I am drinking or not. Even if they do care, I have to do what is best for me and my life and my happiness. I can still be a fun person without the dominating, obnoxious, loud behavior, not drinking is awesome, I can quit, I will be the best role model ever in sobriety. I am a good person who deserves to be happy" so that I can feel "happy, relaxed, proud, positive, rested, focused, calm, physically fit, motivated, at peace."

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sober weekend apporaching

Well, it's Thursday and I finally got some sleep last night which is par for the course.  It takes me 4 days now to recover from a hangover.

Day 3 and 4 - still tired, anxious, restless, blah blah...

As usual the weekend is approaching and all these plans are starting to come together around me. Birthday dinner for my sister at her house on Friday night, car show Saturday afternoon with dh, dinner Saturday night with my dd, her boyfriend, ds and dh.  All of these would include alcohol. Friday would include a pre IPA beer right after work probably followed by wine at my sisters.  When I am around her I almost always drink too much.  I am trying to figure out why. Maybe because of the uncomfortable feelings I have around some of my family members, maybe just because she is one person that drinks with me. Her boyfriend was the one that said a few months ago when I quit drinking, "Where is the fun you?"  He doesn't drink very much but pushes it on everyone else.  I think he likes to get everyone loosened up, sit back and watch the drama.  I would probably get loud, dominate the conversation and be really mad at myself Saturday but just rationalize that I din't drink that much and I would do better that night.  My dh can't go, so I would probably have my ds drive us home, which he absolutely hates which would make me feel really guilty.  I don't know if he hates it bc he doesn't want to drive or that he is mad that I drank too much so he has to. Saturday I would probably drink beer since I had wine the night before.  The whole time at the car show I would be wanting to be done so I could go home and have a beer.  Then I would drink while cooking and while they were at my house.  I wouldn't get too drunk because these are my kids but I would drink more than everyone else. Then I would wake up Sunday and just feel like such a failure because once again I broke my promise to myself.  I would be depressed, tired, anxious, worried, angry....This is not how I want to spend my life.

It's hard to explain the thought of not drinking this weekend. There is some very big fear of failure and worry that I will want to so bad it will ruin any chance of a good time I might have. But there is also a sense of calm, of mental clarity and a calming down of my thoughts to just know I'm not going to drink and that's that.  It is almost like a battle, a fight that I'm not going to have this weekend.  I don't need to get myself all revved up. Just the thought of alcohol, the consumption of alcohol and the recovery from drinking gets me sooo revved up in my head. It is exhausting. It somehow feels relaxing, comforting, calming to know that I won't have to deal with it.  It is so hard to explain. I don't know if it even makes sense.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day 1 and 2 and Fear of Failure

Day 1 - Sunday - terrible - I could barely function. 4 hours of sleep as I always do after drinking. heart palpitations, sweating, hot flashes, exhausted yet restless, no focus at all, unmotivated, sick stomach, body aches, chills, some stabbing sort of pain in my head, depressed, racing heart, pounding heart, stomach pains, crying, angry, disgusted with myself, hiding, not showing up to a commitment, fear of communication with anyone, guilty - terrible - my hangovers seem to be getting worse.

Day 2 - Monday - not great - anxiety, heart racing, fear of making it through the day, wishing time would pass, heart palpitations, racing heart, hiding, fear of communication, stomach aches, body aches, depressed, unfocused. Night - insomnia, hot flashes, profuse sweating, racing heart, pounding heart, feel like my heart is turning over in my chest, racing thoughts, anxiety, depression, restless yet exhausted.

Mixed feelings about this weekend. I know I'm not going to drink but go back and forth between, "This might be hard. It might suck not drinking. It might be isolating and stressful not to drink. I hope I can do it." and "I am so glad I 'm not drinking this weekend. Whatever happens it will be a better weekend if I don't drink. I don't need it. I am not drinking for 100 days and that is that so stop thinking about it."

I think I have a huge fear of failure.  I have been down this road at least 50 times in the last 5 years (read my past blog - same story different Sunday). Sometimes I go 6 months, sometimes 1 month, sometimes 1 week, usually 5 days, but more often than not I fail. Actually, I always fail. I am a failure at this quitting thing and I wonder why this time will be any different. I think somewhere deep down I really want to do this but don't believe I can do it. How do I change that internal dialogue?