Monday, January 16, 2017

1/16/17 (Mon) Commitment

Well, I did not drink this weekend and it wasn't that hard bc I knew I wasn't drinking this month. Saturday I got a little grumpy and thought a beer would help me cheer up. Yesterday I was super productive and kinda wanted a beer when I was finished as a reward for all I had accomplished.  The thought came into my head and then left bc I knew I wasn't drinking this month.  It am not sure (please chime in with advice) but I think it might be a good idea for me to actually commit to a year of sobriety.  Maybe if I commit, it will help me in April, May, June and July (my hardest months to stay sober) to not drink.  I KNOW for a fact I will have cravings and want to drink.  I have tried in the past to convince myself that I just won't want to drink. I know that is not the case. So maybe if I have the same year long commitment as I have for January, it will be easier to resist.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

1/4/17 (Sat) Feeling yucky

All of a sudden my mood just shifted - from positive, productive, happy to anxious, tired, unmotivated and grumpy.  The first thought that came into my head...well if I could drink tonight I would probably be in a better mood.

Weird how it just sneaks up on you.....not going to drink.....

1/14/17 (Sun) Drinking autopilot

So last night I was going to bed and heard shouting from the neighbor's house.  They are super good friends of ours - great drinking buddies lol.  They had another couple over - really good friends of theirs.  I couldn't really hear very much and the other couple left pretty abruptly in an uber.  I am guessing, based on the tone of the voices, the few words I could hear and past experiences, our neighbor had too much to drink, got a little out of control, and someone got in an alcohol fueled argument.

This neighbor and I are a lot alike.  We both binge drink.  A difference is that he is recently retired and now drinks more days than not.  I usually only drink on the weekends.  He also smokes pot (legal in my state) while drinking while I do not.  He says it keeps him from drinking so much. His wife would disagree (her and I have talked about it).  I have shared with her my issues and how I can so relate to her husband.  I am not drinking daily, but neither was he when he was working.  I think him and I are on the same path, he is just further down the road.  Scary.

Anyway, I was telling my husband about it.  He said, "I just don't get it.  I don't understand why he keeps drinking when he has clearly had enough."

I said, "You are right. You don't get it. Neither does his wife. And neither does anyone else who doesn't have this disease.  I get it. I get telling myself that I am only going to have three and then after that 3rd, and my BAC getting high enough, I just can't/don't even think about it anymore.  It's not like I am thinking about it and knowing that I should stop and just tell myself - screw it - I'm going to keep drinking. Instead, those thoughts don't even enter my mind. It's so weird - I am just like on drinking autopilot. It took a long time, years, for me to realize that this is not something I can control, no matter how hard I try. And it's not my fault - my brain is wired differently. When my brain reaches a certain BAC level, I lose the ability to think rationally about how much I have drank and whether or not I should stop.  It is not in my control and no matter how hard I try, I can't do it because I am under the influence of a drug that it physically altering my brain - to the point that I couldn't have those rational thoughts even if I wanted to no matter how many promises I make to myself."

The second thing I get, that you don't, is the feeling that I can't get enough.  This happens when I am drunk.  It is kind of an end game feeling. Rational thought of how much I have drank and being on autopilot lead to this insatiable need to keep drinking once I am drunk.  This is a fairly new feeling I have developed. It is the "I know I have had too much, everyone else was done a long time ago, I know I am just going to bed right now, but I am going to go to the garage and guzzle one more beer or finish the wine in everyone else's glasses before I go to bed feeling."  This is absolute insanity. This one started scaring me. It doesn't happen very often (maybe once every few months), but more and more frequently - and used to be never.  I can't even explain this feeling - it is a need - it (I believe) - is part of the end of the road - the full on alcoholic (like my father who would go on week long bender where he would lose yet another teaching job and force me to go to yet another elementary school - I want to 8). This is why I can watch someone on the show Intervention holed up in a hotel room drinking all day and night with no one to judge them and almost, in a terrifying sort of a way, get it. Like I am watching someone destroy themselves, but can't look away because somewhere inside myself I know that could be me. I am not even close to that point, but the fact that I can even relate in some small way scares the shit out of me.  It is not rational thought.  It is irrational thought fueled by a disease and the presence of a mind altering drug. You are right, dear husband, you don't get it and never will bc you don't have this disease and don't judge him bc I do get it and I feel bad for him.

Friday, January 13, 2017

1/13/17 (Fri) Sober Weekend Coming Up

I feel pretty good right now.  Sleeping is a crap shoot. Sometimes I can, sometimes not so that makes me kinda grumpy when I'm tired.  But, my brain is so much clearer.  I am thinking and speaking more clearly.  I feel kinda more "with it" if that makes sense.  I seem to have a better attitude about most things. Somehow when I drink everything just becomes so routine and mundane and depressing.  When I get depressed and upset about not being able to drink on the weekends, I need to remember how much that weekend drinking and the more often than not the hangover that followed just seemed to dull my senses, zap all the joy out of my life.  Sure I have a lot of fun while drinking but is that real, authentic fun and is it worth the kind of dulling down of the rest of the week?  I think not.

Super busy this week but sober and not even thinking about alcohol.  I hardly ever drank during the week anyway, but my brain usually would start gearing up for the weekend by now. Am I going to drink? When? How many?  May times I would make plans for the weekend just so I could/would drink.  I have done dry Januarys before, and knew I could do it so I haven't even thought about it.  It hasn't been an option.  I do hope that it becomes this easy in my whole life to not drink as it has become in January.  I do need to make sure I keep posting and learning reading and staying vigilant. It's when I check out because I think I am cured, that I think I can try to moderate again.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

1/8/16 (Sun) Hangover free Sunday and spring is a killer - history

Well...first sober weekend in a long time. Finally, for the first time in a long time, I got up, started some laundry and made a plan for the day before 9:00.  I'm still pretty tired, but I know it will get better.  From my previous attempts at sobriety, I know I won't start feeling "totally not tired" until about day 28-30.  I also know that even though it is easy to stay sober right now, bc I have done dry Januarys in the past, it will not stay easy.  I know that I can probably stay pretty safe until March. My last three extended sobriety attempts were from Jan- Mar 2015 and from August-April 2012-2013 and Dec - March 2011-2012.  As you can see spring is a killer for me.  I need to focus on what I can do now to help me get through the spring and summer which I have never done (except when pregnant) since I was 18.  If I can get to August, I think I could possibly do at least 1 year.

I am not sure what I could do now to help me be stronger in the spring.

My December 26, 2011 to March 17, 2012 time I went 87 days.  This time was my first attempt at longer than 30 days once I started to realize I had a problem.  I was so proud of going 87 days. All the sober feeling were so new and weird. I felt so good that I thought I was cured and could go back to moderating.  I hadn't had the previous 5 years of blogging behind me that I could reference like I do now.  I was really unaware of the pattern at this point. I was kind of a baby soberiesta.  But, by April of 2012, I was back at the same over-drinking, hangover, exhausted, anxious, depressed, obsessive place again. 

My August 1, 2012 - April 14, 2013 (after 255 days sober) I drank bc I wanted wine with my sister at a nice restaurant (and it was spring and I was super scared of a sober summer). I did ok with moderating for about two months. I then did not post again until November 2013 and wrote this:

Since August 1 - November 10, I have drank over the two or three I promised myself 12 of the 15 weekends.  I have drank every weekend and had a significant H0s 10 of the 15 weekends.  Until I sat down and figured it out, I didn't realize how bad it had gotten again. 

When I gave in this time, I was actually very happy, settling into sobriety. I was learning how to socialize and have fun without alcohol.  I was not white knuckling it.  I felt good. We went to dinner and I just had this overwhelming craving (after 255 days) to be an sophisticated adult and sit by the fire at a super nice restaurant and have a glass of wine with my sister. It was weird - like some sort of out of body experience. I had an anxiety attack while trying to talk myself into drinking.  I wrestled with the idea for probably 30 minutes and then I gave in.  I said, "Screw it! I'm not an alcoholic, I don't drink int he mornings or during the week, lose my job or get DUIs. I can do this. I can moderate."  I have no idea why I gave in, but I do know it didn't take long to be at the same over-drinking, hangover, exhausted, anxious, depressed, obsessive place again.

My January 1, 2015 - March  6, 2015 time I just white knuckled it for 64 days. I felt better but wasn't happy. I was isolated, depressed and felt sorry for myself that I couldn't hang out and drink on the weekends.  I think I was pissed that I couldn't successfully moderate - that I hadn't tried hard enough. When I gave in (bc it was sunny, it was spring and the neighbors were calling me),  I was like, "Screw it...this sucks...I will try harder to moderate." And eventually, by March 29 - only 3 weeks later - I was right back in the same over-drinking, hangover, exhausted, anxious, depressed, obsessive place.

I REALLY want to experience a sober summer, but am so scared of those strong cravings come spring and sun and friends and summer and vacations. 

What can I do now to help put me in a better place when the spring rolls around?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

1/7/16 (Sat) Could have gone 4 ways

My dh came home last night in a really bad place. He had a really bad day at work - like really bad - like almost having a breakdown bad.  The evening could have gone one of 4 ways:

1. I could have gone to the party and still been there when he got home.  I would have gotten home buzzed and really not wanted to deal with it -selfish.

2.  I could have gone to the party and gone out after. I wouldn't have gotten home until late and maybe not even known how bad it was - selfish.

3. I could have not gone to the party but been sitting on the couch drinking.  I would not have wanted to deal with it and either blown it off or somehow started a fight - selfish.

4. I could have been sober when he got home, been completely present in the moment and been supportive to him  - not selfish.

Which one happened?????

Number 4! Yeah me! I was able to be there for him, not make it all about me, and guess what? My kids were home, worried about their dad and saw me be a kind, patient, supportive, unselfish person (which I am when not drinking). I've said it before - alcohol somehow makes me so selfish.  Not drinking brings a calm awareness to other people and their feelings.

Being sober rocks!

Friday, January 6, 2017

1/6/16 (Fri) Not an option

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I did sleep last night, albeit terrible hurrying, missing flights, not having plane tickets, can't find my suitcase, running late, no one worried about it except me, stressful dreams - but still slept which is good.

I feel good about not drinking this weekend - I made the decision, and I am sticking to it. No debating, thinking about it, talking myself into or out of it - I'm just not drinking.  It does feel a little bit of a relief to have it not even be an option.  There is a work party after school today, and I am not going.  I feel a little bad bc it is a "holiday" party and my boss is going, but I have to do what is best for ME and that is not going.  Plus, it's kinda stupid the holiday party is in January and it is a 6:00 so once I got home, I wouldn't have felt like it even if I was drinking.  I would have been much more tempted if it was right after work (but I still wouldn't have gone). One person was upset at me yesterday bc I'm not going. She asked, "Why not?" Instead of making up some excuse or bailing at the last minute, I just said, "Because I don't feel like it."  She said, "I will get you those hard seltzers, please..."  I said, "I'm not drinking in January." She knows I did a dry January last year, so she wasn't surprised. She said, "Thanks a lot."

I don't care. I'm not going. What real difference is it going to make if I am there or not?  In the past I would have gone for a couple hours, drank, come home and drank some more and felt like shit tomorrow.  Or when it was really bad - gone out after with them to the bar and not gotten home until midnight - then felt guilty and crappy the next day. Really - everyone will go do what they do with or without me. Me going and being tempted to drink and/or bored out of my mind bc I'm not is worse for me than me not going is bad for them. I know that I'm not going to isolate and avoid social situations this time but it's only day 5, I'm exhausted, and I really just don't want to go out to a party once I am already home and comfortable. I have to do what is best for me and that is coming home, curling up on the couch (it is freezing where I am), watching some stupid television, going to bed early and sleeping in. That's what I'm doing and as the teenagers say - everyone that doesn't like it can just "suck it!"

I think maybe I will just sleep all weekend - and I don't feel one bit bad about it :)