Thursday, January 29, 2015

Happy Hour - well that pretty much sums up my life!

I'm fine :/


My sister called last night to see if I as ok.  It was really sweet of her as she noticed I had been kind of quiet at the last few family functions.  I told her that I am fine.

How often do we say we are fine and is it a load of BS?  I know that it had been my standard answer for years. What are you supposed to say, "Actually, I am pretty messed up in the head right now!" People don't want to hear that. They want to hear, "I'm fine."

I really am doing ok.  I told her I'm just not drinking right now. She said, "Why? Are you going over the deep end again?"  I have had a couple of emotional breakdowns in the past where I just hide in my room, don't talk to anyone and say, "I'm fine."

I told her that maybe she just doesn't know the sober me.  She said she has been around me plenty of times sober, which is true.  I think that I am just a different person when I don't drink.  If I am drinking every weekend, I am much more hyper/manic/anxious/sensitive/depressed all the time, even when sober. When I don't drink and am not constantly either recovering from the weekend or gearing up for the next one (which is when she is usually around me) I seem to be much calmer.  I am more level headed, even keel - the mood swing pendulum doesn't seem to swing so far on either side.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Red wine vs. grape juice

I get emails from someone named Craig Beck who has a quit drinking program.  Some of his stuff is pretty true.  For example he says that drinking red wine because it is good for you is like saying eating a candy bar is good for you if you sprinkle it with some vitamins.  He says it is just an excuse to drink.  If it wasn't, people would drink grape juice instead.  I included the link so I could find it later.  It's just a different way of looking at it.  I kind of like his no BS way of saying things.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Sentence Derailment and Change the Cage

So we went skiing yesterday and I did not feel well at all. I couldn't sleep the night before and I felt light headed and nauseous all day.  I think it was a form of altitude sickness even thought I live in Colorado and ski once or twice a month.  I think my lack of sleep and being out of shape definitely had an impact.

While skiing, and not feeling well, I was having all these thoughts about moderation. They were triggered by one comment my son made on the way up.  He said, "Your sister mentioned getting a place in the mountains for President's Day weekend and wanted to know if we wanted to go."  That one sentence made me want to moderate.  I just didn't feel like I could get excited about the trip unless I allowed myself to drink.  I notoriously drink on any kind of vacations.  Vacations - or even the thought of them in the future have always derailed my attempts at sobriety in the past.  

The thoughts were strong, convincing and exciting!  I am going to try again! Yeah!  I can look forward to things!  I do this every January!  I will try harder!  I felt that way the rest of the day.  I didn't drink yesterday but was excited to in the future.  

I just don't get it!  What happened to all of my resolve, my hope for more peace?  How can one sentence, one thought just derail my whole mindset?  

Well I feel better today.  I am back to abstinence and in a good place. One thing that helped was an article I read called:

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

The article talks about that addiction is really about isolation and remaining in our own cage of despair and loneliness. It says:

"Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It's not you. It's your cage."

I really think that is true.  I think (because of the article and my thoughts yesterday and my altitude sickness) I really need to get back to the gym, start taking care of myself and learning how to make connections and live life in a more active way. Not just sit on my couch afraid to participate in life because I don't want to drink.

I am going to my  sister's for dinner tonight.  My choices are

1. Drink = be social, happy, energetic, talkative. (Not a good option because of the mental/emotional/physical implementations)

2.  Isolate myself by sitting by myself, being quiet, being not quite sure how to act, uncomfortable (how I usually act sober but maybe not changing my cage)

3.  Truly changing my cage - trying to learn a new way to socialize, connect with people, be happy, be comfortable in my own skin (the best option but the hardest to accomplish)

I'm going to try #3.  We will see what happens.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekend #4 - going skiing

I am actually not too worried about this weekend.  I am going skiing with my kids tomorrow, so I will go to bed early tonight.

There have been PLENTY of Saturday ski trips where I have drank too much the night before and have felt crappy skiing - a little car sick on the way up, a little dizzy while trying to bend over and snap my boots on, looking forward to lunch where I will be fighting with myself over whether I should have a beer or not.  Lately I have noticed that probably 85% of the skiers eating lunch are not drinking alcohol.  I had never noticed that before.  I just thought 85% where having at least one. I almost always had one and just hoped like crazy that we were with someone else who drank so I could have more than one.

My husband and I had a rule that I drove up and he drove home.  I said (and told the kids) this is because he gets too impatient driving up. Really the excuse was that if I finished skiing before the rest of them, I could go sit in the sun and have a couple more beers and not have to worry about driving home (dh does not drink while skiing - he would wait until he got home - that thought would be foreign to me).

OMG! I LOVED sitting in the sun at the ski area with a beer - one of my favorite things ever!

I would have a glass of wine in the hot tub when we got back which I LOVED doing!

Drinking at lunch and after just made everything more fun (I thought). In truth I guess it did make everything fun - I can't lie about that. It really did! However, is it worth all the agony and torture that it brings with it - the anxiety, depression, hangover, exhaustion, mental obsession, the feeling crappy all morning while skiing? The answer is NO! And honestly, now that I think about it, I was usually drinking by myself at lunch and in the hot tub.  Who am I having fun with - me, myself and alcohol. Maybe I actually looked at alcohol as my friend....weird.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Here come the drinking dreams - day 22

I knew they would start eventually.  I had a very restless night last night.  Only remember bits and pieces, but all of the dreams seemed to be in the black and white, hazy atmosphere - kind of like those old black and white movies. .  I just remember seeing one single glasses of wine sitting on a table multiple times over the course of my dreaming. Kind of like the picture above but full of red wine. It was just sitting there, all by itself calling to me.  I kept stealing glances at it. No matter where I was or what I was dreaming it was still there.  I really wanted it, but I don't remember actually drinking it.  Then right before my alarm went off, my dreamed snapped to me being in jail (sober), standing at the bars with drunk vagrant looking people behind me  and saying, "I can't be in here with all these drunk people.  I'm not like them. Pleaes get me out."  Whoa....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Growing up

“Your life has always been a process of growing and outgrowing.  You quickly outgrew your clothes as an infant.  You outgrew your shoes before you wore them out.  You took great pride when you grew beyond that mark on the tree, the door frame, or the chart in school.  You were happy when you grew through puberty into your adolescent body.  However, for some reason, today it is difficult to accept you have out-grown a habit, career, relationship, or even your hometown.  You hold on, afraid to let go, trying to make it work, subjecting yourself to physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.  This is not a good thing!  If life is going to work in your behalf, you must give yourself permission to grow.  If it no longer makes you happy; if you are searching unsuccessfully for ways to make it work; if you know in your heart of hearts that whatever it is, it’s over---let go and grow.  Be willing to search for new ways to grow.  Be open to new environments to grow in.  Always be on the lookout for people who are growing and are willing to help you grow.  Never feel bad about your growth.  Some people will not support you.  Others will try to make you feel bad.  You might be afraid.  You might even experience some pain. Know that it is all a part of growing and growing up.  If you need a little taste of the pain you will create when you do not allow yourself to grow, stick your feet into the shoes you wore to the high school prom!”

Faith in the Valley by Iylanla Vanzant

I saw this on Women for Sobriety today.  I thought a long time about what it was saying.  Maybe it is time for me to not only grow up but to rejoice in a new more mature, less selfish, peaceful person.