Sunday, December 30, 2012

Was this me all along?

Tonight we went to my sister's house and played cards.  We hadn't done that in a long time and not since I stopped drinking.  OMG - I had a fantastic time! Others were drinking and I was not.  I was silly, a little loud, laughed a ton, was kind of a goofball and I WAS SOBER!!  If I would have been drinking, I would have been worried when we left (or at 3 AM when I woke up in an anxiety attack) about what everyone else was thinking, worried I looked like an idiot, worried if anyone had noticed how much I drank and probably felt crappy tomorrow.  Now,  I left thinking, "Wow maybe I really am a fun, goofy person that can make people laugh even without the alcohol!"  I had no regrets, no wondering, no guilt and I will feel great tomorrow.  My dear son said I acted the same as when I was drinking except my eyes didn't look funny and I didn't sound different (slurring).  My family even joked that I better lay off the seltzer water!  Being sober ROCKS!

12/30/12 (Sun) Today, at this moment in time - 150 days

I wrote this to the mmabsers list I am part of in response to the question - What had helped me...

It is so funny how all of us speak the exact same language.  Over and over and over I have read someone else's story and it could have been my own.  I am a teacher, have a house, a masters degree, a husband, two teenage children, tons of friends, work out, do yoga and also live in a micro brew town with a neighborhood full of "brewers." I have struggled for so long. I have had some success followed by epic failure.  All the while having my whole emotional state and mental energy being wrapped up in how much I did or didn't drink or if I was going to drink or how much or what tools I would use.  It was five days of exhausting for a few hours of fun on the weekend. 


I totally get your fear.  I still have it when thinking about the summer.  How am I ever going to go to the all inclusive vacation spot in Punta Cana without drinking?  That is unheard of! Free beer!  All day!  and not drink? That just seems like a waste of money and a terrible vacation!  That is what my addiction is screaming at me, even now when I feel I am doing so positive.

What helped me - you ask?  I think 3 things really helped me. 

1.  This list full of abstainer who really were happy.  Who were just like me - let me repeat LUST LIKE ME - at one time and now are really happy without alcohol.  I had to realize that I am not special in this addiction. I am not able to beat it, I am not stronger than everyone here.  That it really isn't about fighting and being strong - that it is more about giving up, giving in, stopping the fight, realizing that you never really will win against addiction.  It is stronger than me if I give it any power are all.  It's all or nothing.  Maybe not right away, but eventually all or nothing and usually worse.  Kind of like the yo-yo dieter.  Loose 10, gain 20 back.  (By the way I have gone from 133 pound to 120 pounds in 150 days and the only thing I have changed is I quit drinking!) I drank and loved it for 15 years, tried to moderate for 5 and was completely miserable for the last five - living in my own little personal hell.  

2.  I read the Alan Carr book - Easyway to Quit Drinking.  The book really did put things into perspective for me me.  It is just a stupid drug and I am pathetically addicted to it.  It made me feel like I am really no better than someone addicted to heroine.  I would plan parties, come up with excuses just to drink and was miserable when I couldn't have a few on the weekends.  I would put my partying before everyone and everything.  In retrospect it really was very selfish of me.  I was so wrapped up in feeding my addiction that I only hung out with people that would party with me and not judge me. Many of my relationships suffered.  The book is just a black and white explanation of a drug and how you get addicted to it.  It also talks about how alcohol is the only drug that society not only accepts but makes you feel like an outsider if you don't do it.  It's all just so ridiculous.  It really did give me something new to think about.

3.  The pain, suffering and misery of drinking was finally just becoming bigger than the enjoyment I got out of it on the couple of evenings a week I did spend drinking.  My weeks would go like this.  Friday - drink with my friends, have fun, sit in the sun, usually not drink too much (maybe 3 or 4), wake up Saturday a little tired but ok then plan my drinking all day, anxiously wait until 5, create some kind of reason (hanging out with friends, making dinner, putting away groceries (yeah I know stupid excuse), going out to dinner, and then drink - usually too much which for me was enough to have a hangover on Sunday. I would get really upset if I had to go to a family event or go pick up  my kids later because I would have to watch how much I drank.  The parties were usually at my house so I didn't have to drive.   Sunday - be worthless not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually - usually told my family I had a headache or stomach ache - my kids really never did know it was a hangover (they have told me that now). Monday and Tuesday - exhausted (really just withdrawals but didn't recognize that for a long time) - promising next weekend I would take care of myself and do better.  Wednesday - finally feeling better - still pretty sure I would be more careful next weekend, but starting to think about it.  Thursday and Friday - gearing up for the weekend and having a few drinks.  A time to relax, have fun, be with my friends.....It took me a long time - years - to recognize that pattern and how miserable it was making me when I wasn't doing it. Plus - my stop button was getting harder and harder to find. The more I tried to manage my addiction, the harder it fought back. I would win small battles for weeks or months at a time, but I was ultimately losing the war.  I would eventually be that alcoholic that I tried so long to deny if I kept on this path.  Either that or I would have the ultimate nightmare of an accident and dui caused by the poor judgment that alcohol brings. BTW - I am really sorry to hear about your dui - that was actually my biggest fear, because it somehow would have exposed my personal nightmare to the world before I was ready to admit it. 

I know that this was long (maybe more therapeutic for me than helpful to you) and I am by far no expert.  150 days is something to celebrate but certainly does not not mean I am "cured".  I need to be vigilant and stay the course one day at a time (and yes, I am finally starting to understand the meaning of that phrase). in fact last Friday I was just a second away from giving in.  I had that biggest urge at a restaurant we go to that has excellent micro beers, a fantastic menu and a really fun atmosphere. I don't think I have ever been there without drinking.  Perfect place to drink a few, go see a movie and then be ok to drive home :) It is connected to a mall and we were Christmas shopping afterward.  I want a beer sooooooooo bad and I almost, almost gave in.  I was 30 seconds away of being ok, ready to try again, strong enough to manage my intake, having fun, being like everyone else, being that normal drinker I so desperately wanted to be....but I didn't. Everyone else drank, but I did not.  That night I went to bed and tried to pretend that I had and how I would feel.  I would have been so upset at myself, I almost felt like crying just imagining it. Then I felt really proud of myself that I didn't.  All of the many small successes like this are making me finally feel the peace that comes without a stupid drug in my system.  That night I had many dreams about drinking and they were all fun!  Man this addiction is insidious and persistent! 


Saturday, December 29, 2012

One year later

so after everything I posted yesterday....I drank last night...I wanted to have a HO free Christmas day...and it is not!  i don't know what is wrong with me!  I just can't seem to say no when it is offered...no matter how convinced I was that morning that I wasn't going to drink.  I want soooooooo badly to be able to say, "I have been sober since Christmas day 2011."  But I just know I will fail...i always fail...i am tired of failing...

This is what I posted on 12/25/2011.  One year ago I was broken, defeated, depressed, anxious, and so sick of it all.  I could not imagine living life without alcohol, but I just couldn't seem to live happily with it.  


This year, today, 12/29/2012, I am 150 days sober and I feel great!  My last post was about not being able to feel the joy of not drinking. I think I have jumped that hurdle for now.  Just like when I quit smoking, it is all about a bunch of firsts. First start of school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, stressful days, sunny Fridays, neighborhood parties, saying no thank you, ordering club soda in many of my favorite restaurants to drink at, Christmas shopping, dealing with family, all without alcohol. This 150 days haven't been a piece of cake, I have been tempted on more than one occasion, but I am so glad I didn't give in.  I am finally starting to see that it is possible - I can enjoy my weekends, my friends, my life without alcohol. As a matter of fact I am more patient, kind, giving, unselfish, calm, peaceful, settled, organized and focussed than I ever was while drinking.

One night when I really wanted a beer at a restaurant that has amazing beer and was always a reason to drink, I actually asked my ds (15yo)  if he would be mad at me if I drank, if he would be dissappointed in me.  He, being the wise soul that he is, said, "It isn't about me and what I think, Mom. How are you going to feel about yourself?"  I was this close to having a beer and then the voice of reason came through loud and clear.  Please let it always be there.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

House of Change


I found the moderation management website and online support group a few years ago.  When I was on the MM list, "Pierre" posted the following House of Change.  It has had such a profound impact on my journey that I asked his permission to post it here.  His writing is in the blue, my comments in black.

The House of Change.
The House of Change is crowded, especially the cellar which is damp, dark and cold. But the House of Change has also a roof terrace where the sun is bright and life is good. The way to change goes up from the cellar to the top by means of a huge staircase. Its steps may be of variable height. The House of Change has also large floors where people can rest on their way to change.

Some people in the cellar are not considering change. They are unaware, that high over them there is a sunny, warm place where the view is beautiful, the air pure and the ambiance soothing. They shiver from time to time in the cold and moisture, sometimes they have a feeling that there should be a better place to be, but in the dark of the place they are in and the darkness of their mind they don't see a way to get out. They don't look for a change, may be out of pure ignorance, well established indolence or sheer despair. They stagnate in the stage of precontemplation.



From around 17 to 27 I drank and loved it.  I was the life of the party and had a great time.  My dh and I were either attending or hosting a party.  I didn't drink during the week. I got a teaching degree, got my masters degree, got a teaching job, bought a new house, bought a new car, had fabulous friends, was in great shape, had a great job and partied on the weekend.  Partied to the point that I was pissed off if I had a family engagement and couldn't drink. 

Sometimes I had problems especially with members of my family - sisters, parents, etc. but I never related them to alcohol back then. I could never see how selfishly I was living.  It was all about me and too bad! I was having fun and my friends loved me.  I just focussed on that and didn't worry about family.  Why?  I would rather be with my friends. My dh and I would also fight but then just chalk it up to having too much to drink and forget about it.  

I didn't have a problem with alcohol!  I had plenty of friends that drank far more than I did and its not like I was homeless!

From 28 to 30 I had both my children.  Both extremely difficult pregnancies but had never been happier.  I thought I was just happy pregnant but looking back now maybe it was because I wasn't drinking.

At 30 I had kids and moved into a neighborhood full of partiers!  Perfect! I could raise my kids, take them to the parties with me (everyone else had kids they could play with) and then not have to drive home!  Was this heaven or what!  Plus, I was stressed out trying to raise kids and work full time, so damn it I deserved to let loose and relax on the weekends!  And I had plenty of company.

It started off great!  But over the course of 10 years, it slowly/gradually got pretty bad - embarrassing parties, weeknight wine drinking with the "ladies", not remembering things, worried about what my kids thought of me, stumbling home late at night.  My house eventually became the party house like it was in my twenties.  I didn't mind hosting or cleaning up as long as I had people to drink with that wouldn't judge me.  

I started drinking more and behaving badly.  This was different - I started picking fights and getting angry and saying mean things and getting really sensitive.  I had never been like that before. And the hangovers were devastating - physically, emotionally, mentally.  That was also a new development. Finally I found myself drinking most nights, sneaking beers, finishing other peoples wine glasses when they weren't looking, having some strange empty pit inside that just could never get enough alcohol once I started - almost like I was losing whatever control I thought I had. It scared the shit out of me.

There are those who stumble around in the dark , knowing that they need a change of scene, may be driven and haunted by the memories of better days, groping about to find the latch of the exit door they know to be somewhere. Sometimes they are exhausted by the search, some give it up for good, but most are struggling and after a rest resume the search of light and a better life. They live and search in the stage of contemplation.

Then, at around 38, I started looking for help. I was desperate for my weekends, my self esteem, my life to be different. I wanted to learn to  moderate and control my drinking like all normal people did.



And suddenly in the dark, you see a small stripe of pale yellow light, almost undetectably. You stumble towards the light moved by a wild hope, you get the doorknob, you open the door and you are overflowed by the bright light of a staircase. On the wall sticks a poster informing you that you are now in the preparation stage, and that the staircase is a magic one, where you can program the height of the steps, depending of your mood and ability of the present momentum. And now you plan the first steps to take, you move on driven by your determination to advance, fleeing the dark, damp and cold cellar, up to the light. You are in the action stage.

In the bright light of the large staircase you can now see your fellow occupants, the presence of who you only felt in the dark of the cellar of the House of Change. They are of all races, of all continents. They are small or tall, slim or big. There are males and females of all ages, most go upstairs, some come downstairs. You are yourself melting with this community, exchanging your impressions and experiences. You are warned that you may slip downstairs, that there are some traps where you can go right down to the cellar again, but always with the knowledge that there is an open door and a staircase to go up.


This is where I realized I wasn't alone.  There were so many people out there with the same issues as me.  I tried and tried and tried to moderate - for 6 years!  I would do really well and then have a horrible night and fall right back into regret and shame.  Those times would be fewer and fewer but when they happened, they were worse. Because of reading other people's experiences, I realized that I was withdrawing from alcohol every Sun, Mon, Tues - started feeling better Wed and Thurs was filled with the anticipation of the weekend coming and being able to drink. I was passing out in the bathroom, throwing up, spending beautiful Sundays in bed.  Working so effing hard to moderate just to come crashing down so much worse when I did drink.  I was so lost.



And so you go up and down, but always averaging to the up, sometimes with ease, sometimes with pain. You are passing the floors, taking a rest or not, sometimes finding yourself back on a floor where you have already been. Oh yes, this may be your fate in the action stage, but finally you reach the upper and last floor. On this floor there are club chairs, where you can take a rest and meditate before opening the door to the roof terrace. You look back to your struggle, you catch a glimpse over the railing to the basement and you are proud of your journey. You are older and wiser than you were in the cellar, and oh, so happier. You are in the waiting room to the final stage, you are in the maintenance stage.

Then I found MMabsers - a group of wonderful, positive, supportive, happy sober...wait...what....sober?  Really?  Could life really be good without alcohol?  I couldn't even imagine the thought of that!  No way!  

Last year at this time, I had a horrible Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Go back and look at my blog as I often do.  It was terrible! I was a mess!  OK fine I will try this abs thing.  I absed from from Dec to March which was amazing for me, but I wasn't happy.  The fear of having a summer without alcohol along with the warm sunny afternoons convinced me to give moderation another shot.  I did really well for a while and then had two drunken vacations. Right back to where I was. I decided enough was enough and decided to quit again.  I did for two weeks and then just got a wild hair to have a beer with my neighbor and got wasted.  

The day after that I quit again and have now been sober for 127 days. It is better this time.  I really have no desire to drink.  I get a craving once in awhile but it goes away.  

What I struggle with now is being in the waiting room.

Finally you open the door to the roof terrace. You are in a beautiful garden, richly flowered, bees are humming, the grass isgreener than it was ever in your memories and dreams, the sun is brighter and the sky is bluer. You are at the end of your cycle of change. You are in the termination stage.

Pierre



I am waiting for that door to open so I can see all the beauty in life again without alcohol.  Although life is better and I am glad I am not drinking, it  just seems so boring, dull, average, uninspired, uneventful, without anticipation, lackluster without alcohol.  I am waiting desperately for joy to return to my life.  It has to, doesn't it? There are plenty of people who don't drink and are happy.  Can I be one of them?  Can I find fulfillment, purpose, joy in life without alcohol?



PS - Thank you mirror, mirror for checking on me :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

success and struggles


Success 

Friday - The last day of an incredibly busy work week, a whole, week off, sun was shining.....a perfect reason to celebrate with a beer in the past.  Thank goodness my ds had basketball games.  I was pretty busy being a mom and didn't really thin about it - thankful for the distraction.

Saturday - Friend's 80's birthday party at a bar, free drinks, no kids, everyone else drinking....a perfect excuse to partay!! in the past.  Really didn't want to go, but did - knew it was the right thing to do.  I went, didn't drink and was perfectly fine with it.  Didn't even care. Got a little annoyed with one of my old drinking buddies who was getting a little loud and annoying trying to talk to me.  Actually had some real, calm conversations with some friends I hadn't seen in awhile.

Monday - Did Thanksgiving early - worked best for our family.  First Thanksgiving (except when pregnant) that I didn't drink.  It was fine.  

Struggles

Monday - For the first time in a long time I actually had that,  "I want to have a beer feeling."  It was mid afternoon, sun was shining and I was cooking.  In the past I would have had a beer or two while prepping all my Thanksgiving contributions at home, another one while getting ready and then more once we got there.  I had a really big urge while cooking and showering.  That whole rapid pules, kind of tingly, head buzzing, furrowed brow, deep breaths, grumpy feeling.  I knew if I just put my head down and powered through it would go away and that is what I did, but it just felt a little stressful at the family dinner.  I was little bored, anxious, tired, annoyed.... just felt like I put my head down and powered through.  It was uncomfortable, but I made it through. I didn't drink, so that was good.

I have been have been having drinking dreams again.  My dreams have been very stressful - being late, lost, chased, angry, running but going nowhere, missing flights, upset and then the last one guzzling beer in secret.  I just feel a little out of sorts, a little grumpy.

I am starting to feel a little isolated.  I feel like I have lost all of my friends, my dh is drinking (which is fine, just different for me not to be).  Just don't quite know where I belong, where I fit in, what my purpose is....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Past trauma

Something very weird and a little scary happened to my last night.  For no reason that I can think of, I woke up at 12:30 am feeling a lot of anxiety.  Everything that has ever happened to me in my life that was bad as a child just came flooding in on me.  I couldn't stand it.  I just started replaying my life from an alcoholic father to a distracted/cold mother to sexual abuse to attending 7 elementary schools to starting middle school new without any friends to never really fitting in until I found alcohol to never having anyone there for me as a child or a teenager to always feeling alone to being drunk at prom, being drunk as a teenager...

I tossed and turned in emotional turmoil for 2 hours.  I haven't had that happen since I stopped drinking 97 days ago.  When I finally got to sleep, I had a very vivid dream that I tried to tell my family about everything I had been through.  I was really upset, but they just acted like I was being a drama queen and wasting their time.  I was devastated.  I woke up to my heart pounding and my pulse racing. So then I lay there for another hour thinking about the dream.

I think maybe I need to go talk to someone about all of the pain from my past.  I feel like I have all of that pain wrapped up in a tight little cocoon tucked away somewhere deep inside.  The past 25 years have been spent either keeping myself so incredibly busy during the week or buzzed on the weekends.  Just constantly in this state of motion, never slowing down, never allowing my "cocoon" to unravel.  God forbid anyone would ever think there was anything wrong with me.  I built a very strong bravado/facade around myself so that no one else could ever get a glimpse of my secrets.  Whether they are warranted or not, there is a lot of shame/guilt/sorrow/anger/resentment that comes with digging all of that up ..... but I am not so sure that I have a lasting chance at sobriety without doing it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Who am I?

I had to wonder about something today.  I went to a family get together this afternoon - a boy's birthday party.  All went well.  A couple of family members said, "What? You haven't drank since when? Why?  I didn't even think you drank that much." In the past, this statement would have planted the seed in my brain that maybe I wasn't that bad.  Not today... i just said, "I was a binge drinker.  I would drink too much on the weekends and then feel like crap.  it was just becoming to important to me."  They had no idea about the anguish and turmoil I have been through fighting this drug for years.

Well, the wine was flowing.  there was even one person there that must have had 4 glasses of wine, and was getting pretty loud.  When she had finished the wine she asked what else they had.  I was watching her out of the corner of my eye because she reminded me a lot of myself.  She is about 8 years younger than me and I wondered if she would feel bad about herself in the morning, like I would have.  I thought about where I was 8 years ago.

Something that really was bothering me was how socially awkward I was feeling.  I didn't really know three of the people who were there, including the one drinking wine.  Before, I would have really liked the new people, been drinking with them, socializing, having fun and secretly enjoying that someone was drinking more than me haha! Now I just felt weird.  I was just being pretty quiet, minding my own business. I actually found myself not making a whole lot of eye contact, I don't know why.  I really don't think I made a lot of eye contact drinking either.   I also felt like these three were looking at me like I was being a bitch. Maybe I was just feeling insecure? I certainly wasn't trying to be and I felt like I was being friendly enough, but it was a little strange feeling.  I remember when I was in middle school and someone told me that she was surprised I was so nice because I always looked angry and bitchy.  I wonder - am I really like that and I used the alcohol to feel more socially "with it" or do I just feel awkward because I am not used to being in drinking situation sober?  I always thought I was super outgoing, friendly, social...or was that all just the facade of the alcohol?

I am not really sure who I am right now, or who I used to be or who I ever was????

Saturday, November 3, 2012

94 days

Well it has been 94 days since I have drank.  I feel mostly good about it.  Once in a while I have a craving or an inclining, like when we were carving pumpkins or at a huge neighborhood Halloween - I am talking multiple house with tents, appetizers and adult beverages - plus the weather was beautiful!  I would have killed for a Halloween like that in the past.  I lived for those Halloweens in the past - an excuse to drink on a weeknight with a bunch of other festive people who are drinking on a weeknight. I would also pay the price the next day with feeling like crap and feeling guilty about changing a holiday for my kids into a holiday for me to get smashed!  My focus was always on my kids, but many times it was equally if not a little more about me and my need for a drink.

One Halloween, I decided I would drink a few beers before trick or treating and thought it would be fun to ride a scooter around with the kids.  Well, I fell face first in a driveway!  Of course I blamed it on a crack in the sidewalk, got up, laughed it off and had another beer.  I was always excited when someone would invite us in for a "beverage" and we would stay a little longer than we should have. The kids were tugging at my arm trying to get me to do more trick or treating.  I never showed it, but was always a teeny bit annoyed, which is ridiculous bc it should have been about them!
Another Halloween, I took longer than I should have "getting ready" bc I was actually upstairs, slamming two beers down.  I wanted to a decent buzz going before trick or treating bc I didn't want to be that parent that walked around with a red solo cup - I am a teacher in this neighborhood for God's sake!  I didn't know how long it would be before I would be "invited in" for an adult beverage.  I usually wanted my dh to stay home and pass out candy so I could be out and about, distracting myself enough to keep drinking.  I didn't want to sit around by myself passing out candy, drinking - that might mean I have a problem!

As the years went by, I started noticing that many parents weren't drinking at all!  I just thought everyone did. Speaking of being a teacher,  I wouldn't even take kids in my class that lived in  my neighborhood because I was to afraid that they or their parents would "judge" me or tell stories at school about what a "party girl" I was.  It is amazing how many decision I made revolved around alcohol and how much in denial I was about that.  I just said that it would be too hard to know the kids and parents in a social and professional way - but really it was about the partying.

I think what is really different for me this time is looking at the bigger picture.  In the past I was getting so frustrated with not feeling fantastic right away, that I think I just gave up and wanted to feel "good" on a weekend and drank.  I have been reading a lot that talks about how long it takes for your body to recover from the years of abuse.  I usually only drank on the weekends, but at least 2 times a month I binged enough to feel terrible the next morning.  My body was in such a cycle of Fri and Sat night - drink, Sun and Mon -  be wiped out, Wed - feel better, Thurs - start getting excited for the weekend to be able to drink - over and over and over for years.  It had become who I was, what my focus was. If I couldn't drink on the weekend I was bummed.  But, as I got older, I could tolerate it less the next day both physically and emotionally.  I was killing my spirit, my patience, my gentleness, my compassion.  I was becoming very selfish, self absorbed, depressed or party girl hyper, my anxiety level was through the roof.  I was starting to become that drinker that would pick fights - I never used to be that person.  I was starting to sneak drinks and lie about how much I had had.  And my denial was ridiculous - it must have been something I ate, I must be getting sick, it must be the weather.  I had an excuse for everything in my own mind...from why I felt like crap to why I was just so exhausted during the weekend.

I am not feeling well again - heart palpitations again, headaches, grumpiness, overwhelmed, anxious, seriously distracted all the time, can't seem to multitask like I used to.  In the past this would have driven me to having a couple on the weekend.  I said until Halloween - I made it!  Yeah me!  Now let's celebrate - WITH A DRINK! That just sounds so ridiculous (yet still appealing).

The only way I am truly going to repair the damage I have done with weekend binge drinking is by not drinking for a very long time.  I am starting to look at it like when I quit smoking.  Just one cigarette (or beer) and the last 93 days are for nothing because I will be starting all the way back at the beginning. I just need to give myself the give of time

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Almost - yesterday

An update - I was super sick Tues and Wed. - like had to leave work sick - which is unheard of as a teacher.  You can't just leave without sub plans and a sub.  I had the flu - nauseous, achy, fever, headache...I think I slept 24 out of 48 hours!  I feel better, but am so far behind at work.  I missed 2 days this week and 3 last week for DH surgery.  Rough couple of weeks for sure!

Anyway, while I was in bed not sleeping, I was researching why I have been so tired, distracted, irritated, jumpy, having heart palpitations again and having trouble sleeping.  I was really wondering if it could be alcohol related and that is also why I drank again at the 80-90 day range last time.  I blamed it then on the spring time, summer coming, school coming to a close.....it seems awfully coincidental that I am having a bunch of symptoms that I have when I first quit drinking at the same time - 80-90 days????

I was looking into something called PAWS - post acute withdrawal symptom.  It is when someone who used to much alcohol, starts to have some of the same symptoms I am having.  It happens around this time as well. i thought is was really interesting and wondered if it played a part in why I gave in last time and why I am having a hard time this time.  Knowledge is my friend!

Last night my family including neice, nephew, sister and parents carved pumpkins.  Doing this on a Friday in the past would have meant a neighborhood party at my house!  Something I would have looked forward to all week!  Would have been on a "high" just waiting for it I guess because it meant I could drink with other drinkers - have fun, not be judged, not worry about anything ....  I typically wouldn't have wanted my sister/parents there for fear they would judge me if I drank too much. It turned out to be really a nice, calm, fulfilling evening.  I felt really good about myself as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, woman.

But...it didn't start that way.  When I got home from work, I was REALLY wanting a beer.  I mean REALLY wanting a beer!  That voice was coming on strong.....You said until Halloween....its almost here....I know you can be moderate....just give it another shot....wouldn't it be fun to have a beer right now....wouldn't it be more enjoyable...who cares....you can do what you want...it is your life...just do it...you deserve it...you work hard...it has been a rough 2 weeks....one or two aren't going to hurt....it's just beer - it's not like it's wine....maybe it will help you sleep and make the heart palpitations go away...wouldn't it be nice to be able to have that beer on a Friday night with friends again....not feel so isolated....be able to party....be able to have fun...look forward to the weekend again....

My other voice said...you SAID until Halloween, it isn't Halloween....you told your dd you were taking a break until Halloween-you know she will give you a "look"...you told your mom you haven't drank since August 1 - YESTERDAY!....just coincidence??? probably  not....she was so proud of you-now what she is going to see you with a beer?....how will you feel about yourself tomorrow?....remember what you read about PAWS....it said that my body will not ever truly heal itself unless you don't drink...if you drink, even 2 beers, your healing has to start all over... maybe you are just hungry, tired, thirsty....just eat something, drink something besides alcohol-wait it out- see if it goes away....maybe this is just your addiction screaming at you....are you going to let it win?.... do you really need to have that buzzy feeling in your head to enjoy the evening...all the kids have fun with a clear head...wouldn't it be cool to model having a good time without alcohol to my two teenage children? ... wouldn't that make you feel good about yourself?....let's try it with a clear head...it might be calmer, less ADHD like....JUST DON'T DO IT!!  OMG THIS IS EXHAUSTING!!

Well my mature voice won-thank goodness!  PAWS also says that you have to take some responsibility to minimize the symptoms - get enough sleep, don't sleep too much, eat healthy, stay hydrated, exercise, relax, find your spirituality.

I take this as - you don't heal passively.  You have to take an active role in recovery.  I need to work on myself. i can't just sit back, be an observer of my own life and hope for change. I need to do things that take care of me - even if I don't feel like it so I have the strength to fight that childish, needing, whining, irritating, extremely persuasive voice that wants what it wants immediately! It takes advantage of a weakened (or weekend haha) state and tries to convince me quickly while I am hungry, tired, grumpy, etc. before I have a chance to stop myself.  

One think at a time - this week my focus is going to be on nutrition and hydration.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Still tired??? 82 Days

Ok, so it has been awhile since I have posted.  I have been doing really well until a couple of days ago. I have not drank in 82 days.  I have felt pretty good....really busy (conferences, report cards, kids' sports, husband's surgery) which helps, actually.  I really haven't had any cravings.  I have been glad to be done with the constant battle in my head, just living my hectic life without hangovers.
Last time (Jan-Mar 2012) I absed this long, I made it to around 82 days and then decided I wanted to try to drink moderately again, which led to a disastrous summer.  Disastrous for me means binge drinking on the weekend at least 4 times a month, but it also involves the self-hatred, hangovers, depression, anxiety, etc...

Now that I am about that same number of days - I am starting to have thoughts and triggers again - dreams about alcohol in which I give in,  driving past one of my favorite restaurants on a Saturday night and having thoughts about never being able to have a glass of wine with dinner, neighbor's trying to get me to try their flavored vodka (I pretended to taste it and then dumped it out), neighborhood chili cook offs and not even wanting to go bc it doesn't sound fun without a beer to cool down all the hot flavors in my mouth, someone talking about going to a bar for a couple of drinks and wishing I could go with her.......it hasn't been an easy weekend.

The worst part is - I am just so damn tired all the time!!! I am sick of it.  I got 10 hours of sleep both Friday and Saturday night and I still can't pull myself out of bed.  I am falling asleep on the couch at 9:00 on a Saturday.  I just thought I would feel better by now.  I want to hop out of bed at 6:00 ready to start my day - something I couldn't do with a hangover.  I am getting a little pissed off that I am not feeling "fantastic" like everyone who quit feels.
I was reading that alcohol "artificially" raises your dopamine levels in you brain over and over and over and that your body produces another hormone to bring those levels down.  I have been "artificially" getting my good mood feeling on the weekends for the past 20 years.  During the week I just felt happier and happier as I got closer to the weekend.  Then, ironically, as you get your good mood on through a drug, you also sink deeper into depression (masked by the buzz) because ALCOHOL IS A ULTIMATELY A DEPRESSANT!!! What a sneaky SOB!

I am sure my brain is just having a hard time getting the hormone levels back in check.  I am sure that I trained my brain to need alcohol to feel happy for all of those years.  Since I am feeling this way again at about the 80 day mark and knowing that this is when I "tried" again last time makes me wonder if it is another one of those fork in the road moments.  The time when my addiction tells me that I am OK, that I am not that bad, that I am just making a big deal, that it is my latest obsession, that I said until Halloween and I have almost done that - time for a reward, that even though life is better in some ways like this (I don't miss the extreme lows that come with the hangovers) - but I do miss the intense great, happy feelings that come with weekend parting.  I miss looking forward to getting together with my friends after a long week and having fun.  Yes, I could have fun doing other things but I am just too tired to put in the effort - I just go to bed.  Having a couple beers didn't take much effort - it was just easy.  I get all of that and knowing it helps, but here is my question-----

How long did it take for all of you long time absers for your body to reset itself and have more energy?  I now everyone is different, but I just want to know if I am expecting too much too soon...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I will miss you, Dad

I have talked about my dad here in the past.  He was an alcoholic my whole childhood.  I am a lot like him - outgoing, social, fun.  It made my childhood pretty difficult - moving all the time because he wanted to make a new start.  I went to seven elementary schools and did not have a lot of stability.  He would always make all these promises to us and my mom that it would be different in this new town. We were always at poverty level because he "drank" all of our money.

He was loving, caring, fun and compassionate when he wasn't drinking.  He was fun, active, and hilarious when he started drinking-the life of the party.  But, he was the fall down, drive drunk, argument starting kind of person when drunk.  My mom took her three girls and left him when I was 10.  I was the oldest, so of course I grew up very fast and tried to always be perfect so I could make things better for my mom.  Many times I felt like the mother of my sisters, trying to make sure the laundry got done, the house got cleaned, etc.  They never listened to me and my relationship with them was very strained for a long time.

I was angry at him for a long time.  How could he just let us go, not care, not have contact?  We were his daughters. He was supposed to love us.  How could he care more about drinking than me?  It created this dark hole in my heart that I just tried to ignore and push away for a long time.

When I got pregnant with my daughter at age 28, I decided to call him.  Maybe he would want to be part of her life.  When I finally got up the guts after all this time to tell him the great news and allow him back in my heart, he was drunk. I was devastated.

He had periods (over the past 35 years) of sobriety where he would be an addictions counselor, which I am sure he was pretty good at, to living basically on the streets with a very serious and dangerous binge going on.  He got married a second time to another recovering alcoholic.  One day they decided to ignore their antibuse, drink and she seriously injured herself with a self inflicted wound.   His third wife was nice, I still talk to her.  I had an altercation with his fourth wife a few years ago.  He was having surgery and she totally bitched me out about not being there for him.  I was so angry!  I told her, "How dare you! You have no idea!  Don't call me again!"

A few years ago I reached out and made contact again.  I don't know why.  Maybe because I was struggling with my own addictions and issues and felt a connection to him.  Maybe because I just missed him and wanted things to be better.  We had a few really long and heart felt conversation.  I got everything off my chest.  I told him how angry I was about what he did to my childhood, that he basically ruined the first ten years of my life and then left a gaping whole for the last 30 because he never chose to apologize or be part of my life.  He just left, moved away, lived his life without his kids.  That was just so hard for me to comprehend.  And it hurt me deeply.  He listened and sort of said sorry.  He seemed kind of aloof.  I think he kind of had that, "I can't dwell on the mistakes of my past and remain in sobriety" way of thinking.  But I was his daughter. He should be able to do that for me. It wasn't the reuniting I had envisioned, but I was glad to be talking to him.  Over the next few years I talked to him a few times, and he sent cards for birthdays and holidays.

Last Sunday, I got a call that he had passed away in his sleep.  He was 66 years old. I was devastated.  I don't think he had been drinking for a few years, but I have no idea.  He lived in a different state and I didn't talk to him that much.  According to his wife he wasn't, and they are doing an autopsy to find out why he died.

I am grief stricken.  No matter what had happened in the past.  He was my dad and I loved him.  I always felt that him and I had this unseen bond that connected us together.  I miss him so much.  It seems so silly to miss something you never really had, but I miss what never was...what should have been.  I wish so desperately that things could have been different.  I wish that I could have talked to him one last time to tell him that I forgive him, and that I love him.  I hope that he didn't die sad and alone.  I wish i could have been there for him.  No matter what anyone says, he is my dad, and will be forever.

Dear Dad,

If you can hear me, I love you so much and I miss you desperately.  Even though we hardly ever talked, I always knew you where there and that you did love me.  It feels so empty without you on this planet anymore. I forgive you for everything, and I hope you are finally free from all of your struggles, addictions and pain.  I do believe in heaven, and I do believe I will have that reuniting that I needed so badly.  Someday I will see you again and you will once again be the dad I always needed you to be.  I will love you and miss you always.

Love,
Your Daughter

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I feel better when i don't drink

First of all, thank you so much for those that respond to my blog.  I actually feel kind of a commitment to update.  I know there was a blog I was checking for a couple of months of someone who was trying to stop.  She hadn't posted in a long time, and I just found myself so concerned that something bad had happened.

Anyway, did not drink during the week last week.  I was pretty busy with ds basketball practice, dd back to school night and my own stuff at school.  It really never even crossed my mind.  Pretty tired all week.  Just couldn't keep my head up past 7:00 even though I was sleeping pretty well and not drinking...a little discouraging.

Friday, I knew I had to get ds to bb practice at 7:30 so that kept the urges away before that. After, I went to a sort of celebration party for someone who is dear to me.  Kind of a business thing, so no alcohol.  I maybe wouldn't have gone if what I really wanted was to get home to drink.  It felt nice to show up for something you really don't want to go to, just to make someone else happy, instead of blowing it off to drink.  Seems a little less selfish.  Had planned on dh picking ds up, but I decided to.  Kept me busy.  Did not have the desire to drink at all.

Saturday, FINALLY!!!, I woke up feeling fantastic!  I cleaned my house, did my yard work, did laundry and paid bills.  I had energy and it felt great!  As is so typical in my neighborhood, a BBQ started being planned around noon for that evening.  Everyone was going, and I was a little nervous.  They wanted me to do it, which I would have jumped at in the past.  I said, "No." I still had my work to finish, I had just cleaned my house and I wanted to be able to leave if I needed to.

I finish my work, take a shower and we go over a little late.  I figure if everyone already has their buzz on, they will be less concerned with me.  Wine is flowing, homemade beer is being poured. Everyone is laughing and having a good time.  I walk in with a great big Sobe and my dinner.  I eat, drink my Sobe, which I usually wouldn't drink (too much sugar) but figure it is better than alcohol, and am settling in.  My neighbor tells me there is wine in the kitchen, and I tell her I am thinking about what to drink, just full at the moment, which was actually true.  I was actually having a little battle in my head....I am going to have a glass of wine...I will stop at 2....it is already 8:00....I can stop at 2....I worked hard today....It will be fine...I am good....this time will be different...I will try harder this time....It is a beautiful evening... It would be nice to relax, enjoy the evening with my friends with a glass of wine...my kids aren't here so they wouldn't know...nobody here knows or cares..........................................................

I almost had that glass of wine, but............  someone, I think it was lulu, said something that has totally resonated with me  

I FEEL BETTER WHEN I DON'T DRINK

I can't argue that with myself, there is no way I can say that I am just obsessing with that thought, it doesn't sound negative, it is coming from a positive place, it doesn't sound so scary/judgy to tell other people, it sounds healthy, it just feel right to me because it is true...no matter what else I try to tell myself, I feel better when I don't drink.  That couple of hours of "fun" just isn't better than how much better  I feel physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally when I don't drink....so I didn't and I actually had fun...OMG!!!! I talked, participated, was totally in control of my volume, everything I was doing and saying.  When one of my friends started dancing I thought about what I would have been doing.  When one of my friends started slurring, I thought about how much better I was going to feel in the morning.

The only person that said anything the rest of the evening, was another neighbor when I was getting ready to leave.  He said, "Come on, just stay and have one more (he meant beer)."  I found myself almost laughing out loud....he thought I was drinking all along. I said, "One more glass of water?  I might pee my pants!"  

Maybe, finally, fingers crossed, with this mantra - I feel better when I don't drink - I have turned a corner.  I hope so because I feel pretty darn amazing!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why do I drink?

I like to tell myself it is to help me relax.
I like to tell myself it is to fight boredom.
I like to tell myself it is to celebrate a Friday in the sun.
I like to tell myself it is to help me socialize with my friends.
I like to tell myself it is to help me enjoy vacations/holidays.
I like to tell myself it is to help me have fun.
I like to tell myself it is to help me fit in, to feel accepted.
I like to tell myself it is to help me not feel left out.
I like to tell myself it is to help others not feel uncomfortable around me.
I like to tell myself that I deserve it after a long day.
I like to tell myself that I am fine and I can handle it.
I like to tell myself that I am making a big deal out of nothing.
I like to tell myself that I a obsessing over obsessing.

The reality:

Those are all just excuses my addiction uses to trick me.

I drink because I am addicted to alcohol.  My body and my brain need it and will tell me whatever I need to hear to give in and feed it the addictive drug that it craves.

What do I say???

What I am struggling with right now is how to deal with other people.  I don't want to tell people I am not drinking bc I don't want it to be a big deal.  I don't want people to feel uncomfortable around me.  I want everyone to do what they normally do and not worry about me.

I went out to dinner with some girlfriends last Sunday.  I was not drinking and I think the whole atmosphere was a little weird.  I talked to my friend about it later and she agreed (I thought maybe it was just me).  I said maybe i just felt it bc I wasn't drinking.  She said maybe she felt it bc I wasn't drinking.  That's what I am talking about.  I know I was always really uncomfortable drinking around someone who wasn't bc they had "issues" with it.  I don't want to be "that person."

On the other hand, sometimes it makes it easier.  My really good drinking buddy doesn't even call me when she knows I am not drinking.  I think she wants to drink and is just respecting me.  That makes it easier.  It makes me question our friendship a little but it does make it easier.

I also don't want to avoid everyone, hide in my house which just adds to the boredom/depression.  I tried that last time and I think is was so isolating that it is one of the reasons I started drinking again in April.  How do I deal with that?  How do I balance my sobriety with still being the social person that I am?

Darn it :(

I have to admit, I had thoughts of just "calling the whole thing off" - not blogging, not posting on my support group list, just living my life like a "normal" person, not thinking about this all the time.  I decided that doing that wold not help my situation.

In the spirit of always being true to myself on this blog and truly keeping a record of event and my felling around them in an effort to analyze what happened, I am going to come clean.

School started for me on Wednesday, it was a long three days getting my classroom ready.  I was SO committed to this abs period.  I did have thoughts during the day about a beer being nice when I got home, but I pushed them out my head trying to think positively from a place of gratitude rather than deprivation.  i really was fighting the urges, doing pretty well I thought.  There was even a Friday afternoon party at someone's house to kick off the school year.  I did not go and stayed at school until 6:00 getting stuff done but also to try to avoid that Friday afternoon urge.

So I get home, start putting my things away and see my neighbor outside watering her plants.  I know she knows I got home bc her dog loves me and is barking towards my house.  I go outside to say hi and she says, "Are you ready for a beer?"

After all that talking and thinking and writing and deciding and analyzing and reading and obsessing and agonizing and withdrawing and desire for things to be different and determination and slef-hatred and positivity and acceptance and surrender and ......... I said, "Sure!"  I didn't even think about it.  The only thought that came into my head was, "It's Friday, its nice outside, I want to sit outside and relax and I don't know how to do that without a beer.  So I am having one or maybe two and then going on with the rest of my evening. No big deal."  The problem is I had 4.

I am not going to analyze why it happened, I think that would be a waste of energy.  It happened because I have an addiction to alcohol and it got the best of me last night.

What I am going to do is move forward with my abs.  This is not going to be an excuse to give up and try to moderate again as slip ups have in the past.  I am back to absing.  I had a little slip up last night. I am not very happy about it and don't physically feel as good this morning as I would have had it not happened, but I am not going to let it derail me.

What I really am struggling with is how do I deal with situations like that in the future?  I know - just ride it out, wait, distract yourself, don't drink...I know all of that, but it is so much easier said than done. Any advice for conquering this situation in the future would be appreciated.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Scary s**t!

Sooo...here goes a gut wrenchingly honest post...

I was watching the new Intervention show last night right before going to bed.  I don't know why I like that show so much.  I like to think it is bc I can relate, but maybe it is the whole - I am not that bad thing?

Anyway, it was about this girl who just could not put enough alcohol in her body, no matter how wasted she was, she just couldn't stop until she passed out.

I turned the TV off and, in the dark, started thinking about what that would feel like.  This is really hard to explain...I think that could be me...I could relate to that feeling of having an insatiable urge to keep drinking...no matter what...just coming from this place in my core, like deep down inside, like this overwhelming, primal need to fill this thirst, this gaping pit in my soul that would never be satisfied...I FELT THAT!  I felt that "need" welling up from my core. By just trying to relate to the girl on the show, I felt it move from a place of irrational, primal need in my chest to a rational, sane thought in my head. I heard myself say, "Well there is a refrigerator full of beer downstairs...."  Holy Hell!  Did my brain just make that jump?  It wasn't really an urge, and I pushed it out as quickly as it came in but still...

I started trying to remember a time when I really did feel that "physical need".  I started off with only remembering like 2 times, but the more I thought about it, the more I could remember...the time I was at a baby shower and it was almost over. I felt a little panicked and was secretly finishing everyone's wine glasses in the kitchen...the time I decided to drink on a Tuesday and was finishing beers in the garage so my kids wouldn't see...the time at a part,y, that was wrapping up, and I got that panicky feeling of having to be done so I  snuck another beer and drank half of it before I rejoin my friends so they would think in was the same one (one time I think I did that 3 times)...like the time, at a party, when I "accidently" grabbed this older ladies wine glass instead of mine bc mine was gone (I didn't even care if she noticed, I just needed more)...like just 2 weeks ago when I was gulping wine before I went to bed bc I just didn't feel "done" (even though I had had plenty).  I think it happened a lot of time, I have just ignored it and pushed it away.

As I was remembering, I was also realizing that it has been happening more and more often.  It is not just drinking too much on accident (although that is usually the case) but sometimes is has become trying to fill that "hole in my soul."  By the time I start feeling that way, I have already had too much so all rational thought has left my brain...the only thing my brain is thinking is GIVE ME MORE!

The super scary part is that I could "feel" (not understand or think or contemplate) but "feel" how someone could loose everything bc of that "need."  I could "feel" it in my bones.

For those of you that have lost everything, is that what it feels like?  Is that the way my dad felt when he lost all those jobs, lost his family, got DUIs, destroyed his life? Does any of this make any sense?

Friday, August 10, 2012

a "true" alcoholic?

Thanks, Kary May, for posting this thread...it got me thinking...

I am beginning to see that as long as I didn't call myself an "alcoholic", I was giving myself permission to keep trying to moderate.  My father was a "true alcoholic" (LOL).  He did lose his family, job (I went to 7 elementary schools bc we had to keep moving), did get a dui, was in jail, did call my mom crying for her to come get him out swearing it would be the last time, did run over more than one mailbox with his daughters in the back seat, did make promises over and over to her and to us that once we moved it would be different and he would stop, did almost die, did remarry another alcoholic who shot herself while they were both drinking on antibuse (?).....



As long as I wasn't that, I could still try to moderate.  I think this perception what has been keeping me stuck...

Do I really need the validation of all of the bad stuff before I finally admit I have a problem and need to stop?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

addictions

I was thinking today about the difference between alcohol, nicotine, heroin, pot, whatever addictions.  The book I am reading right now is trying to make the point that an addiction is an addiction is an addiction.  The only difference with alcohol and nicotine is that they are legal and that alcohol is socially accepted.  I said that to my friend and she said, "Well people aren't knocking off 7-11s to get their alcohol fix."  I said, "They could be if it were illegal.  Let's make alcohol illegal and see what happens!"

When I quit smoking along time ago, I would have never said to myself, "OK, now you are just taking a break until Halloween.  Let's just not smoke for 3 months and then go back and see if you can moderate.  You will just try harder this time."  That would have been asinine!  If I took the three months to quit, go through the withdrawal, get it out of my system, why in the world would I want to put it back in?

I have not even done any other drugs so I don't know how that feels, but in all the rehab shows I watch on TV, Dr. Drew is not advising them to get clean for awhile so they can try to moderate again...they just need to try harder this time.

Sometimes it just all seems so stupid to me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 8 - feeling good, finally!

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."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

pick your hard

I was talking to a really good friend of mine (my best drinking buddy) about my decisions.  She said that in Weight Watchers someone once said, "It is hard to be fat....it is hard to loose weight...pick your hard."

For me - It is hard to be a drinker (except for when I am actually drinking - Fri and Sat nights), it is hard to not drink (only on those times I would have been drinking - Fri and Sat nights)...pick your hard...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Why you will honor this commitment to yourself...

Believe it or not the sneaky little voice is whispering at me, not very convincingly but still...  I thought I better make it clear to myself why I am not drinking before my addiction starts screaming at me.  I think I will write a little letter to myself to read when it is difficult.  Here goes:

Dear Me,

You may be contemplating drinking or really wanting one.  I am going to remind you why you that it not a good idea. Here is why:

1.  You don't need a powerful, addictive drug in your body to have a good time.
2.  You have been binge drinking for 25 years on the weekends.  That can not be good for your body.
3.  You have been really trying to moderate for the last 10 years which has not proven very successful.
4.  You are tired of drinking on Fri and Sat, hungover Sun, Mon and Tues (swearing next weekend would be different), feeling better Wed and Thurs looking forward to drinking.  This has been your pattern for 10 YEARS!
5.  The last hangover was terrible.  5 days long and physically scary.  So you want your children to find you lying on the floor?  That will eventually happen.
6.  Do you really need for something bad to happen before you wake up and realize you are not a "normal" drinker?
7.  Please, just give yourself a chance to feel how great it can feel to keep your promises to yourself and wake up every day feeling great.
8.  Be the role model, the person, the mother, the wife, the friend, the woman you know you can be.
9.  You do not have power over alcohol when you drink it.  Maybe not today, maybe not next week or even next month, but eventually you will be gulping your drinks, hiding, planning, dreading, consumed with your addiction.  It has happened every single time!  It will happen again.
10. You do, however, have the ultimate power over alcohol by choosing not to put it in your body.

YOU, MY FRIEND, ARE ADDICTED TO ALCOHOL AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH IT WILL NEVER, EVER GET BETTER...IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE!  IT IS ONLY DOWN HILL FROM HERE!

10 years from now, even if nothing bad has happened, you will still be in the same place (if not worse) than you are now wishing you would have quit 10 years ago and not wasted so many years living with this obsession, this addiction, this personal hell, this ..... alcoholism...

boy, that last word was really hard to type.....i think it just gave me an anxiety attack

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Time to start healing

Day 5 comes to a close and I have done absolutely nothing for five days except watch tv, blog, read and suffer.  Tomorrow is day 6.  i should be over all of the physical withdrawals.  I need to pick myself up, dust myself off and start living this new and glorious sober life, free from the grips of my addiction. After 84 days sober from Jan - April 2012, I told myself I would allow myself to try again but if I ever had another hangover i would stop.  I have have consistent weekend hangovers since June with a full blown binge last week on vacation.  I told myself I would stop, so I am stopping.  Tomorrow is a new day.  I am going to get out of bed, be thankful I am alive, and live my day to the fullest!

dreams...

Last night we watched a movie.  dh and his friend had a couple beers, neighbor called wanting me to have a beer.  I was fine with my seltzer water.  I just kept saying to myself - I don't need a powerful, addictive drug to enjoy this movie.  

When I went to bed I swear my heart was actually aching, even into my back and my left arm.  It wasn't summersaulting, but I didn't feel great.  Maybe I was just imagining it after all the talk last night??  I decided to ignore it and get some sleep - which I actually did for the first time in couple months except for the times they are alcohol induced and then it isn't good sleep.  

I had a dream that I snuck a pint of really good micro beer.  dh saw but no one else.  He didn't say anything.  He would really like for me to be a "normal" drinker - it's just easier that way. Anyway, we went to dinner, to a place that I have given in in the past,  with a group of people.  The waiter was doing the rounds for drinks and I said sure, making no eye contact with my dd (Last Wednesday she asked me if I was OK.  She said that she thought I had drank a lot the night before.  I told her I was and that I was taking a break until Halloween.  She said she thought that was a good idea).

Well, she got my attention, gave me that "Mom - you said you were taking a break, are you sure?" look.  Then I am not sure what happened.  On the one hand I remember drinking the beer and feeling very disappointed but just pushing the thought away, ignoring my dd and laughing with my friends.  On the other hand I remember saying that I changed my mind and didn't want one.  I felt proud but also like a fake because I had snuck one earlier. And so begins the dreams...

My heart is beating rapidly just typing all of this.  Is it better to share and feel anxiety or just push it all away and stop obsessing about it (stop being that tortured soul)?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 4 of withdrawals

I think I feel a little better today.  A little shaky but my heart was not doing flip flops inside my chest when I woke up so that is progress.  I think I actually did get some sleep last night, which also helps.  I don't ever want to go through this withdrawal stuff again.  It has become so much more than just - haha I have a hangover.  It it now a 4-5 day ordeal of feeling really weird and crappy. This time really scared me bc I was home alone the whole time (which was good bc I didn't have to make any excuses) but what if something bad would have happened in which I needed medical attention.  I have heard stories before of binge drinkers thinking they are just having a hangover and end up with a seizure 3 days later.  I DO NOT want my body to get to the point that it needs this G**D*** drug so bad that it has seizures when I stop.  My heart had been doing such weird things the last few days that it hurt when I went to bed last night.  I bumped my knee a few days ago on a table and I now have a bruise on my leg that is three inches wide.  Wait I just looked at it to see how big it was and it is gone.  Is that possible?  Not drinking for 4 days would help my bruise?  I cut a cuticle and it bleeds like crazy.  I know I am a worry wort but am I causing long term damage to my liver?  I need to stop taking my physical body for granted and treat it the way it deserves - cherished.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Day 3 - again

Like always on Day 3 I still feel pretty crappy - hot flashes, heart palpitations, inside shakiness, not quite clear in the head and pretty exhausted.

I am, however, trying to look at things a little differently this morning.  I have been reading Allen Carr's book and he makes a very interesting comparison between alcohol addiction and heroin addiction.  He basically says they are the same thing.  They are both a drug that the user chooses to put in their body despite knowing it is not good for them.  Heroin users have the same thought process, the same denial of addiction, the same false illusion of control that someone with an alcohol problem has.  The only difference is that alcohol is legal and 90% (he says) of the population chooses to use it.  Does that mean that alcohol is just a widely rationalized, accepted, often glorified form of drug addiction?  I am trying to wrap my brain around that fact that I may be no different than the typical heroin user it is just that I have been brought up to believe that somehow alcohol is different.  How exactly is it different?  It is still just a drug that my body/mind/soul craves when I can't have it.

In terms of comparing myself to others and that "I am not that bad", that is still very difficult for me bc I really am not as bad as the stereotypical "drunk".  I have not had a dui, lost a job, ruined my family, etc.  but, again, what is it going to take?  Why do I feel the need for something really bad to happen before I decide I have a problem?  Why would I do that?  It doesn't make any sense.  I was watching Taboo the other day and it was about alcoholics.  They were showing the skid row bum types that live on the street.  Although I can't ever see myself getting to that point - I am a very responsible, loving, compassionate mother, wife, daughter, sister and teacher... I could relate.  There was a tiny little part of me that somehow could see how someone could eventually get to the point of wanting to just drink without a care in the world, even if it did mean living on the streets.  I ABSOLUTELY do not want that for myself and am no where near that but if I can be completely honest with myself and even relate to that a little bit, that is a problem.  That has also been my father on and off for his whole life.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

SMART CBA Worksheet

Question #1 What do I enjoy about my addiction?  What does it do for me?


Helps me relax
Reduces boredom
Makes things fun/something to look forward to
Helps me feel socially accepted/part of the group


Question #2 What do I hate about my addiction?

Hangovers/wasted days
Mental obsession
Disappointment in myself
Preoccupation with alcohol
Insomnia
Depression
Anxiety
The example I set for my kids

Question #3 What do I think I will like about giving up my addiction?


Self confidence/being proud of myself
Better sleep
Better fitness
Being a better role model for my children
Less anxiety/depression?
No more hangovers

Question #4 What do I think I will won't like about giving up my addiction?

Being socially uncomfortable
Isolating myself
Being bored
Unable to enjoy/look forward to things
Can life be fun without it?
Breaking habits (wine in the sun on the porch)
Worried that I can't ever enjoy those things again
The thought of NEVER again



Steps 1,2,3 Check

I found a great website: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/alcohol_abuse_alcoholism_help_treatment_prevention.htm
It is very interesting Step 1 - Commit to stop drinking - check....Step 2 - Set a goal and prepare for change - check... Step 3 - Get sober - check ..... Step 4 - Find a new meaning to life - That is where I am struggling - This is were I need to focus my energy. I just keep thinking about that Pink song:


  I don't wanna be the girl who laughs the loudest
Or the girl who never wants to be aloneI don't wanna be that call at four o'clock in the mornin''Cause I'm the only one you know in the world that won't be home
Ah, the sun is blindin'I stayed up againOh, I am findin'That that's not the way I want my story to end
I'm safe up high, nothing can touch meBut why do I feel this party's over?No pain inside, you're my protectionBut how do I feel this good sober?
I don't wanna be the girl that has to fill the silenceThe quiet scares me 'cause it screams the truthPlease don't tell me that we had that conversation'Cause I won't remember, save your breath 'cause what's the use?
Ah, the night is callin'And it whispers to me softly, "Come and play"I, I am fallin'And if I let myself go I'm the only one to blame
I'm safe up high, nothing can touch meBut why do I feel this party's over?No pain inside, you're like perfectionBut how do I feel this good sober?
Comin' down, comin' down, comin' downSpinnin' 'round, spinnin' 'round, spinnin' 'roundI'm lookin' for myself, sober
Comin' down, comin' down, comin' downSpinnin' 'round, spinnin' 'round, spinnin' 'roundLookin' for myself, sober
When it's good then it's good, it's so good till it goes badTill you're trying to find the you that you once hadI have heard myself cry, "Never again"Broken down in agony, just tryin' find a friend
I'm safe up high, nothing can touch meBut why do I feel this party's over?No pain inside, you're like perfectionBut how do I feel this good sober?

Read more: PINK - SOBER LYRICS http://www.metrolyrics.com/sober-lyrics-pink.html#ixzz22PlBY3uu
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