Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Back with my tail between my legs



It is so difficult to come back to my blog when I have written for days or maybe even weeks about not drinking and then drink.  It just seems so humiliating and embarrassing and hard to deal with.  It is easier to just keep getting through my day without thinking about it - without looking at it.

It hasn't been a complete fail.  I have only drank on the weekends, have taken my naltrexone every time and not overdone it, but I don't feel great.  It just seems that no matter how much I drink, it just kind of dulls my life in general.  I just seem to be more tired, emotional, numb. - and I'm talking about when I am sober.  Does that make sense?  It is hard to explain. I just feel like I get to through my day in some sort of distracted, foggy mode.  Like I just am constantly looking around (not literally) so I don't focus on any one thing so I don't have to focus on the ONE thing that I know I should.

Well, not much else to say.  I feel down, grumpy, tired, blah, unmotivated. I know what I need to do...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Believe in myself and confirmation bias - This one hit home

                       

Believing in Myself

This one was pretty powerful for me as I don't have any confidence in myself really in anything anymore.  I do a pretty good job of not letting people see this.  Most people probably think I am a good mother, wife, sister, friend, daughter, teacher, person but deep down I don't think I am. I don't really accomplish any goals anymore. I just either am excited to drink on the weekends or drag myself through the day.  I am always exhausted.  I am outwardly positive, confident and brave. Inside I am sensitive, anxious and defeated. I don't have the physical energy to get stuff done and I don't have the mental energy to break through that. I do believe that this inability to believe in myself and what I am capable of is rooted in my time after time after time of failing to honor my promises to myself around alcohol.

Thoughts from the book I want to remember:

I'm going to write these two down and look a them often:

"When you decide what you want, believe it is possible, believe in yourself and then work hard to get it, you take 100% control of your destiny."

"Believe it is possible! Believe in yourself! Go for it!"

Just believe what other sober people say about how good sobriety is and how it will get better even if I can't see it for myself. Have a little faith and give it some time.

I stop at the slightest road block because I don't believe in myself. If my mind is conditioned to expect failure, that becomes what I expect and then that is what happens.

If I don't believe I can be sober and happy, then it won't happen.

Instead I need to say - I can stop drinking and am excited to learn how to live a sober, happy life free of the torture alcohol brings to me physically, mentally and emotionally.

Expecting an outcome and really believing in it.

"When your expect results, your beliefs are in accordance with those expectations and your thoughts, feeling and actions align with them."

"When you believe in yourself, you believe that there is nothing different or wrong with you that will hold you back from succeeding like millions of others have. Simply put, the number one reason most people are not thriving in sobriety today (who want to be) is because they either don't believe it is possible to be sober (or at least sober and happy), and/or they don't believe it is possible for them to accomplish it."

Confirmation Bias

This on is also big for me.  I am a really good talker.  I can usually get what I want or convince people to see things my way pretty easily.  I can tell my dh in the morning all of the reasons I want to quit and how bad it has gotten for me - pour my heart and soul out almost to the point of no return.  Then later in the day my sister invites me to go to Florida with her the 2nd week of July. Last time I went on vacation with her was August of 2015 - I'm going to go back and read my my blog from the bc it was bad.  I was drinking every day, sneaking drinks, drinking all day, almost ruined my marriage and thought I was going to have a mental breakdown. I would lay in bed all night awake, thinking I was dying bc of the physical effects of alcohol and then drink the next day.  I did this for 12 days! It was so bad that when I got home, I didn't drink for 9 months.  Soo..she invited me and all of a sudden a switch goes off in my brain - I will never turn down the opportunity for a vacation but I also know I can't go with her and not drink so I will try one more time to moderate making sure I take my naltrexone every time.  I go on a walk with dh later in the evening and ask him if he would judge me if I tried again after 30 days if I committed to taking the pill.  It is so interesting to me that that one little question, "Do you want to go to Florida?" derailed everything I have been thinking about and worrying about for 8 days now.  I just don't get it.

Thoughts from the book:

Am I always looking for the answer I want to hear rather than hearing the truth?

What others think has no impact on my ability to succeed. Don't let the opinions of others hold me back.






Saturday, June 11, 2016

That's It!!!!!



I am done feeling sorry for myself.  For the last 6 days I have done nothing but be on the computer (albeit reading my self help book, blogging about it and obsessively checking my email) all morning, sit around all afternoon watching stupid daytime reality tv and then dragging myslef to bed only to not be able to sleep.  All I am doing is wallowing around in my own depression, obsession and self absorption just waiting for another day to pass!

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

i have no idea what I will do 24 days from now!  Maybe I will drink while only taking my naltrexone???? Maybe I will just drink and get worse???? Maybe I will not drink at all??? Who the hell knows, but I am drowning in indecisiveness, worry and self-pity.

I need to worry about today - today!  What I am I going to do today to have a positive, productive happy day? I will give myself 2 hours per day on the computer bc I do still want to keep working on steps. I will give myself 2 hours a day to watch tv because I am on summer break and who cares?  And I will be sober for the next 24 days.  I will also work out, walk my dogs, eat well, go to yoga and get some shit done!  This is ridiculous and needs to stop!


Forgiveness

Today in the book is all about forgiveness.  It talks about forgiving people in the past for hurting you or letting you down.  I just can't do this exercise.  I can't and won't go back and rehash, analyze, examine and try to make sense of all the things that hurt me in my childhood.  I won't do it.  It is not therapeutic for me and all it does is bring me down...so I'm out on this one - the past is the past and I choose to leave it there. The power is in the present and what I choose to do with it.

The other exercise is forgiving myself.  I had a hard time with this one as well because I haven't really done anything bad to anyone (except myself).  I really haven't gotten to the point of hurting other people or having my drinking impact others.  Really...I haven't - I just live in my own little personal torture chamber.

Then I started reading about loving myself.  That I could definitely use some work on.  Can I look in the mirror and seriously say that I love myself?  Hell no! That's just weird and corny to me.

From the book
"Poisoning your body with alcohol, judging yourself for the inability to quit or control your drinking and beating yourself up for you mistakes all lead to one end result - you stop loving yourself and may even end up hating yourself."

"The first way you can start to love yourself is to stop judging yourself. Accept yourself right where you are. Not where you are going to be in 30 days or where you were last year, but right where you are today at this very moment."

"The key to thriving in sobriety is to first identify this cycle. Becoming aware of why you drink, what cycles continue to cause you to drink more often, and the feelings you have around drinking puts you on a path to changing."

This is interesting "Why do I drink?" bc I like it, it makes me happy, it makes me feel accepted
"What cycle continues to cause me to drink more often?"  The more I drink, the more I want to drink, I don't know why or what causes it.
"What feeling put me on a path to want to change it?" How crappy it makes me feel

The book gave a self love mantras but I didn't really like it.  I like these better:

             

                      

                     

Day 6 - Relentless insomnia

I'm craving a good nights sleep.  I am starting to feel dizzy and out of it all day bc I am only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night for the past 6 nights.  I go to bed at 10:00 and don't fall asleep until sometime between 1:00 and 3:00.  It doesn't usually take this long after a bad weekend to be able to sleep.  Any suggestions out there to get some relief other than taking a pill?

OMG!!! I am soo emotional today!!! Probably partly bc I'm not sleeping.  I told my dh everything this morning.  About how long I have struggled and how bad it has gotten for me.  He, of course, is not surprised at all and supportive no matter what do, but I have this overwhelming sense of fear and dread.  What did I do? How can I ever try to drink normally again with him knowing all of that?  I will look like such a fool.

My ds just invited me and my son to Florida for a week.  I drink with her all the time and have fun.  I just sent her a text asking, "What if I am still not drinking?" I am sitting here waiting for her response. She may not want me if I can't drink with her....in fact I am crying worried about what she will say and even if she does say it is ok, does she really mean it.....

Friday, June 10, 2016

Strategies during times of crisis


Thoughts (my interpretations) from the book today:


The opposite of a lack-based mindset is an abundance based mindset.

Associate more pain with drinking and than pleasure with sobriety
You will do twice as much to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.
Alcohol gives immediate pleasure but long term pain.

Helen Keller, "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and sufferieng can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

This is a great video by Craig Ferguson that talks about how he doesn't have a drinking problem. He has a thinking problem.  He says, "If I could drink, I would drink, but I can't. Certain types of people can't drink.  I'm one of them. I quit alcohol 15 years ago and for 15 years I have been trying to get a little bit of it back."


Today's activities included going back and rereading my "before me" to remind me of how painful drinking is for me and rereading my "new me" to remind myself how wonderful the "new me" is. To really close my eyes and get a visual image of these two polar opposites so I can draw from that when I want to drink.

I also need to make a plan for what I am going to do to maintain my sobriety.  Here it is along with the times I will need to use these strategies the most.

Crisis:
Friday, Saturday or Sunday morning/afternoon when I start thinking about setting up or attending an event that involves getting myself geared up with anticipation of drinking and rationalizing all the reasons it would be ok.

Strategy:
I will go back and read my "before me" and "after me" descriptions and my purpose statement and really think about what I want out of life - instead of what I want right now.  If I am not near a computer, I will use the two versions of my myself that I have visualized to help me remember what I want out of my life.

Crisis:
In the moment cravings. When those huge urges just come over me and I just feel like crawling out of my skin because I want a drink so bad. When my addicted brain just takes over, sending me to a place of complete anxiety and panic mode until I just go get a drink to make it go away almost without rational thinking. My addicted brain starts as a whisper, "Hurry up! Go get one before you change your mind!" and turns into yelling " HURRY!!! GO NOW!!!  SCREW IT!!! YOU CAN CONTROL IT!!! HURRY!!!" until I drink. I also experience physical symptoms like sweating, feeling nervous and panicky, being obsessed with this exact decision with the inability to see past this very moment.

Strategy:
WAIT 30 MINUTES!!!!  Just give it a little time. It will pass.  I know this from past experience. Drink a seltzer water, eat a snack, take a walk, post on a support group I am part of, write on my blog, sit in the sun, take some deep breathes.

Gently remind myself that short term reward for drinking is not worth the long term pain I will experience if I give in.  That long term pain is far greater than the short term reward.  Think about - What am I gaining by not drinking (a life of happiness and peace) instead of what am I losing (relaxation, fun, fitting in). I can learn to relax, have fun and fit in without alcohol.  I can not get the life I want full of happiness, joy and peace if I drink.  I have proven that to myself in the last 30 years.  I want my life to be different and it will only change if I stay sober.  How about sitting down, drinking something non alcoholic, and figuring out a different way to socialize and have fun?

If being nice doesn't work yell back!
I CAN DO THIS! I WILL DO THIS! I DON'T NEED ALCOHOL IN MY LIFE! IT'S JUST A STUPID DRUG THAT IS RUINING MY LIFE! ALCOHOL IS KEEPING ME FROM BEING WHO I WANT TO BE! I WILL NOT GIVE IN TO THIS DRUG ANY LONGER! I CHOOSE A BETTER LIFE! I AM NOT GIVING UP ANYTHING! I AM GAINING EVERYTHING!

I am tempted to write about long term rationalizations about trying to drink again but the book says for now to focus on the next 30 days so I will stop with these 2 strategies.


Finding Purpose Part 2

Thoughts (my interpretations) from the book I want to remember:

Fear is common and normal. Most problem drinkers are afraid to continue and afraid to quit. BINGO!!

Real change comes a the edge of your comfort zone.

Make a choice to be positive about your choice to thrive in sobriety.

I have a distorted image of myself and will never be the person I want to be while drinking.

Hangovers cause you to be to to tired and depressed to have the energy to take real action.

Deep down I know I am meant for something bigger and better but alcohol is keeping me from that.

Drinking equals pain. Sobriety equals pleasure.

I also read somewhere else about how self absorbed I become during a hangover.  All I want to do is isolate myself and wallow in my depression, anxiety and sadness while blogging about how miserable I am.  Kinda pathetic way to live.