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
Copied from MetroLyrics.com 

8/2/12 (Thurs) Day 2 - I feel terrible??

I feel worse than yesterday.  I can not concentrate at all, I feel shaky, restless, tired, nauseous and really confused about whether I am an alcoholic or not??????????????

Total fail!

Ok so it happened!  I am not going to try to cover it up, explain it away or deny it...I am right back were I was last December when I decided I was going to quit forever and did for something like 85 days.  When I decided to try again, I made a deal with myself that it would only be occasionally and would never have a hangover.  Well I have had hangovers and I have been drinking every weekend and once in a while during the week.

The vacation actually went pretty well in terms of family drama.  There was a couple of little tifs but they were over pretty quickly (no one packed up and left which is a good thing!)  I did not get overly sensitive, did not start any fights, did not cry or yell and was only really trashed on the last night but...

I felt like I was "chasing the buzz" the entire trip.  I would wake up too late, not feeling well because I slept terrible and had too much wine the night before.  I consistently was awake from 2:30 - 4:30 tossing and turning with heart palpitations, and extreme worry and anxiety. I would get up, isolate and try to pull myself together (I would have rather been up hiking around, in the pool, at the gym, etc.)  I am pretty good at faking it around other people.  I had to take Tylenol every morning and forgot mine so I would tell my mom I slept on my neck wrong or that my eyes were red and watering because of the chlorine in the pool last night, etc.  She even asked me how I was doing with my drinking and I told her great!  That was a bunch of bullshit!  i just didn't want to talk about it bc I was either drinking or hungover.

By about noon I would start to feel better and start thinking about that beer with lunch, which I never do at home but use vacation as an excuse to drink during the day.  I even found myself sneaking that lunch beer.  Having some excuse to go back up to the room so I could slam one down and then join everyone else.  NO ONE else was drinking at lunch.  One morning my sister even talked me into a bloody mary.  She asked and I said no bc I don't drink vodka and I don't drink in the morning.  Then, 5 minutes later, the pool service guy came, she asked me again and I said OK.  By the time we were thinking about dinner, I had had 2-3 beers, mostly in secret and was not happy with my buzz level.  i would wait for the wine until I got back from the store.

Cooking dinner seems like an easy way for me to hide my wine consumption.  I am busy, everyone else is busy, I don't feel like people are watching.  I am not really even paying too much attention - cooking, talking, laughing, drinking..... Others are also drinking but of course not as much as me...

Now I am starting to get that wine buzz that is so much better than beer and I want to keep that going.  I start drinking it faster than usual and we play cards or go to the hot tub or watch the olympics.  I probably have 2-3 glasses of wine to everyone else's one.  I pretend that no one notices how many times I get up to get more, but I am sure they all do just don't want to say anything.  I get a couple of looks from my kids, but I reassure them that I am fine.

So that was what every day looked like, but the last night was the worst. I had been thinking for awhile about taking another break after vacation - no more parties, holidays, vacations, school starting, etc. so I think I had the "one last hurrah" in my head.  I used to do that all the time when I quit smoking.  for two years I would smoke (while drinking) so much I would make myself good and sick every Saturday and quit every Sunday.  i think I did the same thing Tuesday night.  I got sloppy drunk.  I spilled my wine, my daughter said I got annoying.  I felt like I was OK, but looking back I probably was pretty drunk.

The scary part is that at midnight when we went back to our room to go to bed, my kids and nephew are getting their beds ready, dh is in the bedroom getting ready for bed, and I am slamming the last two glasses of wine left in a bottle in my room in the bathroom.  I am talking gulping it down (warm white wine no less) while now one is watching right before I am going to bed!  I think that might be a problem...

Sooo....I am not drinking from August 1 - October 31 (at least).  i know I am going to feel pretty crappy for the next 5-6 days (I always do after a particularly bad weekend).  So for the next 4 days I am just going to lay low, take care of myself and read Allen Carr's book.  Starting Monday I am going to make other healthy changes (gym, diet, water, rest, etc).  I think this "break" needs to be different that the last time.  Since I am undecided about whether or not it will be forever, I am not going to be depressed about the "never again" aspect.  I am going to try really hard to have a positive attitude, to really just be ok without drinking for awhile.  I am also going to do a better job of "putting in the work".  I am going to read some books about it, post on my lists and keep my blogg updated.

Question - for those of you that have successfully absed for a long period of time .... what is the single most helpful thing you did to change your mindset from a place of - what I can't have (that beer or glass of wine) to what I am gaining  from not drinking?  It has to be more than just telling myself. What did YOU DO to help?  I would really appreciate any advice.