Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday - Spring Break 2012

This Spring Break is going to be awesome!  I am not going to be drinking this week bc I don't drink during the week.  That was my mantra for around 15 years.  Then I moved into a neighborhood where a lot of people drank every time they could get a chance.  Drinking just one or two a couple times a week when I really didn't want to but was asked, turned into hoping someone would call or be outside or have something going on so I could have an excuse (I even joined Bunco on Mondays bc I new I would have an excuse to drink), to me just fighting with myself and opening a beer while making dinner.

Not anymore.  I feel so much better when I don't drink.  I did have a total of 3 this weekend (two beers on Saturday and a glass of wine on Sunday).  I also did feel a little bit of a pull yesterday.  My dh was a neighbors "helping him with something" and having a beer.  In the past I would have gone over to "see what was going on" and would have also been offered one.  Of course, I would need to be polite, when I knew damn well that was the only reason I went over there.  I acknowledged the pull, left it alone and it went a way.  It wasn't a craving, more of a thought.

I know I am going to have thoughts like that all the time.  I am not cured, healed or even over the addiction ... I know that ....I never will be .... I am looking at have a couple on the weekend as a privilege I am giving myself.  If I can't drink responsibly, which is what I want most of all, then I can't drink at all.  So far so good.

In past Spring Breaks, I would have been drinking during the week.  I would have started the week off saying I wasn't going to, and that I was going to go to the gym and get lots done - but I would have drank 2-3 drinks probably at least 6 evenings out of the 11.  I would have felt down on myself, depressed, anxious, and pissed off - but would have also drank within a day or two again.  A lot of times it wasn't even that I drank too much it was more of just not being able to keep promises I had made to myself about not drinking during the week and getting to the gym.  Well ... this Spring Break is FINALLY going to be different.  I say that every year, but this year it is true.  I will not have anything to drink until Friday (and then no more than 2).  I will also get off this computer and get my butt to the gym.  My life does not revolve around alcohol anymore ... that is my new mantra of the day.

Happy new beginnings!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wine and cheese bar

So yesterday, my dd and I went shopping with one of my bff and her dd to this cute outdoor shopping mall.  My friend had been trying to get me to go to this wine and cheese bar for lunch since last summer.  When I had decided I wasn't drinking any more, I was sad that I had never gone.  Well, now that I am trying to moderate again, we went.  It was awesome!  I am trying really hard to not take my ability to have a perfect glass of cold white wine on a beautiful spring day with a plate of cheese, fruits and crackers for granted.  We sat on the patio and I really tried to not let the moment pass me by.  Really savor and enjoy that glass and the fact that I could do it.  I am taking this responsibility very seriously.  I had that one glass of wine around 4:00 in the afternoon and then nothing the rest of the night.  That is progress and I am very proud of myself.   I am trying to really savor and enjoy the couple of drinks I allow myself and also really enjoy being sober and not hungover the rest of the time.

Day 9 of My Own Plan

I am going to call this "My Own Plan" and I am going to count the days as I go just like I did the 85 days of abs that I did.  In order to count a day

1. No drinking on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (only exception the two vacations we have this summer - and then never over 3 on any given day)

2. No drinking on most Sundays (if there is a special occasion, only 1)

3. Friday and Saturday - 1 or 2  (This one is going to be tough bc I am going to say never 3)

4. No wine unless it is with a meal, never just sitting around or watching a movie

5. Get to the gym to workout 4 days

6.  Get to Yoga twice

7.  Get 7 hours of sleep a night

8.  Cut out sugar and junk food

9. Drink 96 ounces of water a day

10. Reread and follow the "Four Agreements"

I am going to start counting from last Saturday even though I really only followed #1 - #4 this week bc this really is about controlling my drinking.  I just know that #5 - #10 will help me keep my goals.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

BTW

Oh yea, and BTW - I hadn't had anything since my one last weekend.

My first Friday off of my "break"

I would say it went very well.  I am a teacher and yesterday was the last day of school before spring break.  I know how bad this sounds, but I was actually really excited about something again.  It wasn't that I wanted to come home and get trashed - that is the last thing I want to do.  But to be able to come home on a Friday, sit in the sun with my friends and have a beer to celebrate the beginning of spring break just made me happy.  If I wasn't drinking, I would have felt really bummed out and depressed that I couldn't.

So I had one nice pale ale in the sun with my friends AFTER I walked the dogs, ate a sandwich, watched something on TV with my son, and drank lots of water.  I allowed myself a couple of hours after I got home to settle myself, calm down, take care of myself and just get a little more balanced before having that beer.  In the past it would have taken priority over everything else.  I would have opened that first beer within 10 minutes of being home.  My friend didn't really even want to walk fist, but I did so she joined me.

I enjoyed that beer, took it slowly, poured all of us a club soda to go with it and enjoyed the sunshine.  We decided to go to dinner and had to wait around forever for the guys.  In the past, I would have downed another one or two while waiting.  I drank another glass of water and we decided to meet them there.  At the restaurant I only had one beer.  I have spent plenty of dinners with friends at that restaurant drinking way too much and worrying that I might see a family from school.  Not last night.  And I did see families from school.

After dinner we came home and the girls and kids decided to watch a movie in the "dreaded wine basement" of my friends house.  I have been so wasted in the privacy of her basement drinking endless bottles of wine with her in the past.  Many of you may remember this is the friend's basement that I had a panic attack about and had to go home when I wasn't drinking a couple of months ago.  She said, "What do you guys want? a beer? wine? ice cream? seltzer? gum?  My mind started to go to the place of "I'm kind of full, so not another beer......wine would be good right now."  I told myself NO and reminded myself that I was a responsible drinker.  I knew if that wine got opened it would not have been a good thing.  I had a little bit of ice cream, we all had a seltzer water and I ended my night in bed at a respectable hour having only had 2 beers.  I think that's pretty good.

For those of you following my bog, please don't criticize my drinking.  This is my choice for right now....but I am very open to opinions based on your own experience.  If you have gone through this before and you see me starting to slip, please feel free to say so.  I really listen to what others have to say and think about it as long as it is in a positive constructive tone.  Thanks for sharing my journey!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My thoughts today...

I have learned that I can not take my relationship with alcohol for granted.  I can't just ignore it, stop working on it, pretend that I don't struggle with it.  I am NOT like other people.  I do have issues and I do need to be careful.  I am not just making a big deal out of something...it is a big deal.  I do need to count, delay, slow down, drink water and all that stuff that comes with paying attention.  I learned there that if I don't do those things, if I pretend I don't have a problem, it becomes a very big problem.

I was never a daily drinker, and if I can keep my BAC down on Friday and Saturday nights, I will be fine.  I will not take that for granted.  

My journey is my journey and I need to do this to see if I can.  I know it seems kinda stupid and if I fail (get a hangover) I will quit for good.  I would rather be miserable in perm abs than miserable drinking.  I know that now.  As much as I struggled in perm abs, it was nothing compared to being miserable with a hangover.

I am writing this blog mostly for myself. It is a place for me to record my journey.  I have maybe learned something in these 85 days of abs and maybe I can have a beer in the sun once in a while and not have it be such a big deal - I hope so with all of my heart.  If I can't, then I can't and I will quit forever.  I have never quit for an extended period of time and tried again coming from a positive, thoughtful place.  I need to try this.  I know some of you shake your heads and think I am being so stupid.  Maybe I am, but this is my journey.  

For those of you that still want to follow, I will keep you posted.  So far I have only had one beer in 88 days.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Well... Drank

I did have one beer yesterday. I thought long and hard about it.  It was not in response to an intense craving.  It was in response to a craving that I want to be able to have a beer once in a while and not have it be a big deal.  I had one and was done.  I had one beer and it was not a big deal at all - good or bad.  It wasn't this, "Yes, this is awesome.  I missed it!"  It also wasn't, "O crap!  What have I done!"  It just wasn't a big deal.  It was nice to sit there and enjoy my neighbors' and husband's company without freaking out.  I did ask myself, "Why can't I just do this with a pop?"  I really tried to pay attention to what it actually does for me.  It does relax me but at the same time made me tired.  I didn't really like that.  Went out to dinner after.  Dh had a Guinness with his Irish food.  I had a diet pepsi.  It just sounded better.  I was trying to be good or denying myself.  I just didn't want another one.  My neighbor came over after that to watch a movie.  I wasn't sure if I would have another one or not.  She brought over seltzer water so I just had that with her and had absolutely no cravings to have another.  My dh was drinking a really nice homemade stout for the neighbor next door.  It was nice to just take a sip of it to see if I liked it without having these intense guilt feelings.  All in all so far so good...

BTW - I am also working on keeping negative responses from having an effect on me.  I have spent my whole life trying to justify myself to others.  I have to figure this out on my own.  People can have their opinions (they might think I am negative or feel sorry for my family) but I can't let that affect me.  I am an extremely positive person, always see the bright side and am an excellent mother!  Not always the best wife but I am working on that.  Those kinds of remarks tend to be very cutting to me and really hurt my heart - even if I don't know who said them bc I am pretty sensitive.  I beat myself up enough without someone else chiming in. I am really trying to work on that, but....if you can't say something in a constructive, sensitive way, please don't leave a comment.  It isn't very helpful to me.  It makes me feel like shit and that does not help.  I do want people to give me there opinion (even if they disagree), but please don't be mean.

Thank you Mrs. D - I loved your response.  Honest, real but not hurtful.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Try again... 87 Days

OK - I think I am going to try again .... to drink responsibly.  Honestly, I don't want to go the rest of my life without a beer in the sun or a without a nice glass of wine with dinner.  I just don't.  Maybe I am in denial ... maybe my addiction is just getting the best of me ... or ... maybe I can moderate ... maybe if I make some rules and really stick to them I can do it ... I have never absed this long ... i feel like I should give myself another chance to moderate .... knowing that if it starts to get the best of me again ... I quit forever ...  I am going to think about some rules for myself...

1.  Never - ever - drink more than three!
2.  Try to keep it at 2
3.  No more than one per hour - ever!
4.  No drinking Monday through Thursday - ever!
5.  Never drink more than 6 in one weekend over a 2-3 night stretch - ever!
6.  No pre-partying before an event - wait until I get there
7.  Drink a water between
8.  No obsessing - you made the decision - as long as I follow the rules - not obsessing
9.  If I break the rules - quit forever
10.  Take care of myself - get to the gym, eat well, be active, get enough sleep


I know there are a lot of you out there that will shudder at the thought, but I feel like I really want to see if I can do this. I know it will not be easy, and I never-ever want to go back to where I was before, but this is not a very fun way to live life either!  There I said it .... sorry ... just the way I fell .... just being honest ...

Happy St Patrick's Day

St Patricks' Day has never been much of a trigger for me.  I  am not Irish and it usually falls during the week anyway.  Absing during the week was never much of a problem until the last 2 years or so.  I had some cravings again last night.  I was driving through a cute little town we live next to (I had to run an errand).  Everyone was sitting outside at the various restaurants and taverns enjoying a "drink" in the sun on a Friday night.  THAT is a big trigger for me.  I am trying to not look at all those people with jealousy. I just look at them and think they are so lucky, to be able to do that...to not have a problem..to be a normal drinker..I am still so desperately hanging on to that image...and  I don't know why.  Someone basically told me to stop whining the other day.  It really hurt my feelings because I just can't seem to help it.  I AM TRYING!!  I AM NOT DRINKING!!  That is hard enough right now.  I tried to tell myself that probably many of those people have their own drinking problems and that I am glad I wasn't starting that hamster wheel again and that many of them will wake up this morning feel just as defeated and hungover as I did for years.  I tell myself all of those things.  Now I just need to start believing them.

I am going to try really hard today to be grateful for the beautiful spring day and not starting it with a hangover.  To ENJOY being sober and not having to deal with all of the drama in my head that comes with drinking.  The first thing I need to do is get off the computer.  See ya .....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This is a post I wrote from December 23 - two days before I quit - I think I need to keep reminding myself how desperately badly I wanted this.


I am so sick of myself!

So I haven't posted in a while.  I decided I was getting too caught up in the thinking about the problem.  Obsessing about the latest obsession (my alcohol issues) was just making it worse.  I decided it just "play it by ear."  Let it be the way it used to be - no drinking during the week, moderate on the weekends (although that is kind of a joke bc I rarely moderated on the weekends).  I had a terrible week over Thanksgiving, swore it would be different, had a couple of really good weeks, and now have fallen off the deep end AGAIN!  For me that means not being able to go more than 4 days without drinking, some days (during the week) only drinking one or two, bingeing with 5-6 on the weekends and waking up with a HO. Since winter break started, I have had 3 bingeing nights, 3 days spent with a HO and only 2 days abstaining.   I think I have a problem.  I may be that dreaded A word and I may need help.  I just can't seem to get a handle on this alone.  My mind is going back to when I would wake up in the morning, trying to plan the next neighborhood get to together just so I could drink.  I am not the same as I used to be when I drink.  I think I might have really embarrassed myself last night at the party.  i don't think I said anything out of line, but anymore I just get so fricking loud.  Maybe I have always been, it just is annoying coming from a middle aged woman.  I know for a fact I embarrass my teenage children by telling stories about them.  This has got to stop!  I can't live like this anymore. I am broken, disgusted with myself, incredibly lonely in this self imposed prison of addiction (even though I am surrounded by people who love me) and just exhausted from it all!  I need help!  I am crying as I type - please don;t let anyone see...

Day 81 - Thinking...

I have been thinking  a lot about how I am choosing to live.  As I was walking my dog this evening in the much needed sunlight, I started thinking.  This life I have right now free from alcohol is what I have dreamed about for so long.  I used to imagine myself as the strong person who just says, "I don't drink."  I longed to wake up every weekend day with no hangover. I wanted so badly to be 100% available to my family without it all having to depend on if I was drinking.  This is what I wanted for myself.  This is who I so desperately wanted to be.

Well, I have done it for 81 days.  I am that person in every way except in my own head.  I just don't think I am appreciating things enough.  I used to wake up regretting how much I drank the night before.  I dreamed of waking up refreshed, hangover free, guilt free and happy.  Instead I am waking up thinking about how much fun I will not be having at whatever is going on that day.  Wondering how hard it is going to be and what I should do instead.

I read somewhere something about happiness not coming to you, but instead you create your own happiness.  I can't sit around and just wait for happiness to come, to finally turn that corner and be happy and feel amazing.  I think that day may never come if I don't change my perspective.  I know that drinking will not bring that, so what are my choices.  To drink and go back to where I was, to not drink and feel deprived, isolated, depressed and anxious or to drink and try to figure out how to be happy with that.

Like I mentioned in another post, when I decided I would wait at least 120 days (like that is some magic number) to try to moderate again, something shifted in my perspective.  I think I need to go back to,  "I don't drink." My mom, who has been extremely supportive and proud of me ( who was also married to my alcoholic father) said, "My hope for you would be that you could drink normally someday in the future."  That comment has me really confused and I think it kind of messed me up.  It almost felt like permission to try again.  My best friend and one of my sisters said something similar.  Why?  Why would they hope that for me? I don't know, but I liked the sound of it.  I think I need to ignore those comments and just get back to, "I don't drink."

The only person that tells me to never try again is my dh, and I think he is the only person that truly knows what it has done to me.  I am a very highly functioning person who used to binge drink on the weekends.  No one else saw the torment I put myself through every Saturday and Sunday mornings.

I am going to try to make this weekend different.  I am going to try to appreciate these last 81 days and all of the positive thing it has brought to my life.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just Get Over It!

My dh and I got in a pretty big fight last night.  I have not been the nicest person to him - I know that.  I think I try to put on such a strong image for everyone else, that  get a little lazy around him.  I act like my pissy, annoyed, depressed, grumpy self that I don't let the rest of the world see.  He said he was tired of it. I said that I am going through some pretty tough shit right now!  He asked if I have been going through it for years?!?  I think maybe I have, in one way or another. He said, "I used to be a drug addict! (he smoked pot in HS)  Just get over it!"  I was hurt, pissed and shocked!  How dare he say that to me!  This is hard!  I walked out of the room...he slept on the couch...

And then I thought about what he said. Maybe he is right.  Maybe I just need to get over myself.  I chose this road!  I longed for this road!  I used to imagine the strong me that didn't drink, was a fantastic role model, lived without regrets and was happy.  All of that is true except the happy part.  Why?  This is what I have wanted for so long! What is the problem?

I did notice that when my thoughts were - I am never drinking again - I was happier, more at peace, more accepting of the idea.

Somewhere in the last couple of weeks, my thoughts shifted to - I will wait at least 120 days and then decide if I want to try again - my positive attitude changed - grumpier, angry, depressed, anxious.

I wonder why?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My weekend aka the "fun" table

Just wanted to share my weekend.  I think I previously shared that I would have really been looking forward to this weekend (lots of opportunities to drink in a group) in the past and I was just feeling a little blasé about the whole thing.  Well this is how it went - just the honest truth.

Friday - I got in a huge fight with a sort of family member - something to do with our teenage kids and what they did and didn't do.  I probably said more than I should have but everyone kept telling me it needed to be said, and I was the only one that would do it.  On the up side - at least I know that alcohol did not play a part in what I said - even though I regretted some of it, it all came from a sober place.  If I would have been drinking, it would have become way uglier and I would have felt extremely guilty the next morning.  The interesting part was that when it was over, I was exhausted - emotionally, spiritually, even physically.  If I would have been drinking, I would have been so revved up that I would have just kept drinking until I fell into bed.  I don't think I would have experienced (maybe never have) that release.  That was definitely a knew feeling and experience.

Saturday - day - We had a SUITE! at a 1:00 hockey game with free alcohol!  Are you kidding me!  A Suite!  Free alcohol! People to drink with in the afternoon!! OMG!!! Overtime!  Shoot out!!  Win!!! Perfect! I was always sooooo jealous of those people as I was paying $6 for a beer and hoping no one noticed how many times I got up to get another one, trying not to spill even a precious drop on the way back to my seat.  This would have been a major thing to look forward to!  It was SOOOOOO hard!  I had so much anxiety that one minute I felt like I wanted to drink (total rationalization, this would be the time I would try again, my family would have supported me trying bc they never really saw me as having much of a problem), the next minute feeling like I was for sure going to drink (I ALMOST caved!!  You have no idea how close I was.  That voice was screaming at me!), to the next minute just hiding in the corner, watching the game hoping the clock would just tick by faster so I could get out of there!  It is giving me anxiety right now (I feel my heart racing) just typing this. 

Saturday - night - My kids are at my sister's house - we are going to a bday party at a restaurant/brewery.  Perfect!  Drinking buddies!  No kids!  No regrets! Sun shining!  Beautiful Saturday!  Perfect! Instead I didn't really even want to go.  I was exhausted from the hockey game and I didn't feel like fighting the fight again in the same day.   I did not get as much anxiety at this event.  I have been around these people since I quit, and I have one really good friend that totally supports me and sat with me.  At this event I just felt a little sad.  I really wanted to be at the "fun" table.  They were drinking, laughing, throwing things (a little immature but who cares when you are drunk!) .... having a great time!  I was very sad.  I sat with friends I wouldn't normally be sitting with.  They are very moderate drinkers, and we had an extremely nice conversation.  This is something I would have woke up the next morning regretting not doing.  I knew that and was overall glad I wasn't drinking but still felt the pull of that fun table.  

I know that if I would have started drinking at the game, I would have eventually, all said and done, had at least 6.  I can sit here and say I would have had 2 at the game and 2 at the party, but I know that would be a lie.  I know how my brain works from when I quit smoking.  If I would have opened up those flood gates, it would have been a drunk fest and I would have been a complete and utter mess this morning.  Whew!!!!  I did pray for strength last night, which is new for me.  Who knows, maybe it helped.



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday - Day 75

Today I find myself worried about the weekend.  We have a really fun weekend planned.  Lots of social activities.  In the past, I would be really excited. Three different events that really are three excuses to drink.  I know that I don't want to be like that anymore, but I find myself extremely bummed out about not being able to drink.  I am finding, however, that all the drama I create in my head before the event is way worse than actually getting through it once I get there, s I am trying to just not think about it.

Responding

To all of you that are responding to my blog - thank you!  I love getting comments and feedback.  Does anyone know how I respond personally when someone leaves a message on my blog?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My journey so far

Binge drinking on the weekends like I had for 20 years (since I was 20) SUCKED!  Actually the first 10 were fun, the last 10 - not so much. Sure, I had a fabulous time being the party planner, host, life of the party every Saturday and some Friday nights.  It was great fun for a long time.  Then things started to change.  I couldn't find my stop button (well truth be told, I could never find my stop button). I would promise myself only 3 and end up have 4-6-8, a hangover, and be in deep despair/depression every Sat/Sun.  Monday I would not drink...Tuesday I would not drink.. Wednesday I would not drink...Thursday I would start feeling anxious/nervous/excited for the weekend ... think about drinking but swear this weekend would be different...Friday I would maybe have a couple and be proud of myself.... Saturday - binge... EVERY SINGLE WEEK.  Then I  started to drink on Thursdays, or Sundays, or, God forbid, Tuesdays!  Who drinks on Tuesdays?  LOL ...  I looked for help. I was obsessed with alcohol.

Then I found MM.  I learned a lot.  I made a lot of improvements.  For me moderation also SUCKED! I could not do a 30 to save my life. I tried and tried and tried.  I counted and signed up for lists and posted and delayed and read the book.  I improved but it was so time consuming and exhausting.  My number looked better, but I still had the same pattern as above except I wasn't drinking during the week. I was still obsessed with alcohol.

Then I found mmabsers.  I quietly listened to how amazing absing was for a couple of months before I quit drinking on Christmas day 2011.  I had a hangover, ruined Christmas for myself and my family and had had enough.  I am 71 days sober ...  and abstaining also SUCKS much of the time.  Yes, it is amazing to not have hangovers, to feel really good about my choices, for once in my life be proud of myself, to have my family be proud of me, to finally be on the road to becoming the person I want to be... but ..... I will be completely honest here - I still want to drink ... I miss it so badly on the weekends... I cried to my dh the last two weekends because it just isn't fair.  Am I a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend? - yes.  Am I bored/depressed/anxious/confused? - on the weekends in the evenings - yes.  Am I still obsessed with alcohol? - YES!

My plan - I have NO IDEA!! I just know that for now I am not drinking, and I hope that everyday that I don't drink it will get easier.  I can not, will not, ever go back to where I was - of that I am certain.  We are all on different journeys - this is mine.
--
ksusier


"The future depends on what we do in the present."  Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, March 2, 2012

Party? Nervous....

I am going to my first after work party since I quit drinking.  I was always one of the regulars who would go to the FACs and on more than one occasion get sucked into the party, stay out way to late, ignore my family and feel like crap the net day.  I have been avoiding them, but this one I have to go to.  I am a little apprehensive about going.  I think I am probably using this post as a stalling tactic.

I don't 100% trust myself yet.  Oh to just be able to have a couple of beers with friends on a Friday night.  Well, I have to get this first out of the so I am just going to go.  I am expecting certain party buddies from the past to ask why I am drinking a lifewater.  I plan to saying I gave alcohol up for Lent.  Well...here goes!