Wednesday, November 13, 2013

6 hours or 60 hours?

6 hours of exhilaration or 60 hours of devastation?

I am rereading the Alan Carr book The Easyway to Quit Drinking. He says that there is a misconception that alcohol gives you exhilaration when in fact it only gives you devastation.

Last Saturday, my (drinking) friend came over.  We hadn't seen each other for awhile and were excited to catch up.  We both wanted to make it an early evening.  She brought a bottle of wine and I had already opened one before she got to my house.  We talked and drank and talked and drank for about 5 hours.  She was getting ready to go home with half her bottle still left.  I had finished mine and asked her if I could have one glass from her bottle before she went home.

I don't know why I kept drinking my bottle until it was gone and then still wanted more.  When we went out to sit in the hot tub, she didn't want to bring her bottle and I got a little nervous that I would run out and have to get out and get more.  When she left I was just not liking the fact that I was out, even though it was late and I had already had plenty.  I sat on the couch finishing my glass watching stupid television for another hour. Then I sat there until 2 am because I couldn't get myself up to get to bed.

That took about 6 hours.  Yeah, I guess for the first hour or two it was nice catching up, then it became (for me) more about keeping her over so I could continue to drink.  She was my excuse.  After the first couple of hours though, I could have/should have been done.

Well that one bottle + one glass caused me, and I am not joking, 60 hours of devastation.  I went to bed at 2:00 am and woke up at 6:00 with that anxious, heart beating out of my chest feeling.  As badly as I wanted to go back to sleep, I knew it wasn't going to happen.

I felt like hell Sunday, exhausted, just dragging myself through the day, getting done the bare minimum, counting the hours before I could go to bed.  Sunday night, after waiting all day to go to bed, I couldn't sleep.  Maybe got another 4 hours.  Monday went to work - had anxious feelings all day, couldn't focus or concentrate on anything, counting the hours before I could go home and go to bed.  Get home, lay down and of course, can't sleep.  Stay home from work on Tuesday, still really unfocused, anxious, can't concentrate, exhausted - sort of a  - have to sleep but can't feeling.  Finally around lunch time (60 hours later) the fog finally started to lift and I finally got some sleep.  Today, Wednesday , I feel better but still not 100%.

Were those 6 hours on Saturday worth the following 60 hours?  HELL NO!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

11/12/13 (Tues) Failing - I'm Back - History it goes! My last post was 4/21/13.  I was sober for 255 days - from 8/1/12 - 4/13/13.  

Review - skip if you remember me

Just a little review for those of you that might be new to my blog.  I am now 45 years old - have a dh of 25 years, a 15 yo ds and an 18 yo dd.  

I have been struggling with alcohol for the past 15 years - drinking for the past 30 years.

In my teens and twenties - just had a blast! No big deal - had fun, got hangovers, got over them, drank again.  

In my thirties - started to notice how important alcohol was to me.  Had two little kids and wanted to be a good role model - tried to cut back.  Did well, then not so well.  Moved into a nice, family orientated, weekend party neighborhood.  If we all got together with our kids and drank - they played together and we didn't have to drive - perfect!  Met one of my best drinking buddies - we gradually pulled each other to the dark side. 

By 35 - really struggling in my own head.  My drinking and not drinking was becoming an obsession.  

By 40 - a mess!  Binge drinking 2-4 times a month - taking days to recover both physically, mentally, emotionally.

I am a teacher - have been for 25 years.  I think I am a good teacher, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend. I do a lot for everyone.  I take care of everyone. I think people would say I am compassionate, friendly, outgoing but also a little too sensitive and maybe a little controlling :).

I am also a binge drinker. 

I don't drink every day (although I did struggle with having those couple of glasses of wine every night for a little while).  I have never been to jail, had a DUI, been in trouble, etc.  I go to work, pay my bills and take care of my family.  I love to work hard and play hard. I typically don't drink Sunday - Thursday.  I go to the gym, go to work, eat well and take care of my family.  I do look forward to those weekend nights were I can have a few drinks, kick back and have some fun. I have been doing that for the last 25+ years.

I have learned that I rarely can stop at 2 once I start.  It usually turns into 4-7 drinks over a period of 5-6 hours.  I am not very big - so those 4-7 drink really mess me up. Once alcohol hits my system - I could give a shit!  All of the rules, planning, promises go out the window! I have no stop button.  This usually happens 2-4 times a month.  It doesn't sound like much, but when it takes 3 days to recover from a binge (Sun - Wed) just to turn around and do it again the next weekend - I am exhausted.

In April 2010, I found moderation management.  I bought the book, tried all the rules, posted to the list and really tied to control my weekend drinking.  It seemed the harder I tried to control it, the worse it became.  I was a mess.  I was beating myself up mentally all the time.  All I thought about was drinking - if I was or wasn't, if I was proud of myself or not.  It was hell - all day every day.  I tried to go on Prozac   That didn't work - just made me go from sober to fall down drunk with no warning (some of my most embarrassing moments).  I was fighting with everyone because I was an emotional wreck.  Of course it was everyone else's fault.  I just wanted to hide in my bedroom and watch intervention shows on TV (at least I wasn't as bad as them - when secretly I think I saw myself going down that road and in a weird way actually jealous that they were so bad, people had to step in). I felt so alone in my addiction.  I couldn't talk about it - didn't want anyone to know.  I was living in my own personal hell. I didn't even know if I was actually addicted to alcohol or just being my overly obsessive self - it was just my newest obsession.

In August 2011(after 17 months of seriously trying to live by the rules and failing miserably, I found MMabsers - a sub list of the moderation list - who are a bunch of great people trying to live sober.  I spent a lot of time - 2 years! - reading, learning, contemplating, blogging, trying to get some of the misery out of my head.  I still didn't have anyone to talk to in my real life (as opposed to my cyber life) but at least I was getting it out somewhere. I was fascinated by how these people who really were just like me, could live sober and be happy!  How in the hell could life be happy (sitting in the sun on a Friday  going on vacation, going out to dinner, etc) actually be any fun without alcohol?  Something was starting to grow inside me - could I be like that? Could it be possible?  Was I strong enough?  I started learning that I really was addicted and that I felt so crappy for days after a binge because of the poison I was putting in my body.  I real the Alan Carr book and started to see alcohol for what it was - a stupid drug that I was addicted to - no better than a heroine addict just accepted by society!

Although I was starting to see things differently, my weekend bingeing was out of control.  When I woke up with a hangover on Christmas morning 2011, I had had enough.  I told my whole family. - parent, sister, kids, husband - everyone - I needed some accountability   I decided I couldn't do it alone anymore. I was exhausted and hung over and sobbing.  Somehow I got through the rest of the holidays and as my hang over wore off, I was pissed I had told anyone because now I couldn't fail without everyone knowing.  It was my own little secret anymore.

I went 85 days sober - 12/25/11 - 3/18/12.  I posted a lost to this blog during that time.  It was a roller coaster ride - so proud of myself, pissed off I couldn't drink, at peace with my decision, sad that I couldn't drink, and bored out of my mind!

From 3/18/12 - 8/1/12 - I slowly, methodically  unconsciously, undeniably went downhill.  My weeks were - Fri = drinking, Sat = drinking, Sun = HO, hiding, depressed, Mon - Tues = exhausted, making promises to myself (I will do better next weekend , Wed = starting to feel better, Thurs = rationalize - I will be more careful, Fri = gearing up for the weekend, drink - REPEAT! over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...until I just couldn't take it anymore!

8/1/12 - I quit for good.  I didn't care anymore about how hard it would be - the pain of quitting could not possibly be any worse than the pain of drinking.I got through so many first.  It was still a roller coaster ride (I did post about all of that here).  Most of the time I was relieved to not be fighting it anymore.  I just gave up, gave in - Alcohol - you win - you are stronger than me.  If I try to have you in my life - you will always win - so better just not to try.  One think I still really struggled with was my energy level and my boredom.  Life was so boring!! I couldn't hang out with my friends much bc they all drank and i was either jealous, annoyed or bored around them. I was also worried about spring and summer vacations.  Who even cared about any of it if I couldn't drink.  

Current news - for those of you skipping my incredibly long history

Sooo....after 255 days sober, on 4/13/13 - I drank. Just a little.  One glass of wine.  For 2 months I did really well.  I don't think I over did it? I don't know bc I stopped bogging.  I could be a normal drinker!  Yeah!  I was so happy!  This is all I ever wanted!  I could have a couple of drinks with my friends occasionally and keep it under control.  My boredom went away.  This was perfect! I was so relieved that I could quit fighting my demon.  I had won!

Well.....guess what????.... 210 days later - I am a disaster again! I feel like shit! My body hurts, my heart hurts, my head hurts, my stomach hurts, my back hurts, I am depressed, grumpy, anxious and exhausted!  Just like before I was so far in denial I couldn't even see waht was happening.  I kept trying to log onto my blog and the mmabsers list but I couldn't remember my password, so I just gave up and kept making promises to  myself and kept binge drinking.  I drank too much last Saturday (which was only one bottle of wine - but that is just way too much for my body to handle anymore), felt terrible Sunday and at work yesterday (can't sleep - anviety attacks) and stayed home today to get my shit together.  I worked for awhile at my passwords and was finally able to log on.  

I did a little research into the last 5 months (June - October) and no wonder I am so exhausted   I tried to remember every weekend by going back through my bank records. Once I saw what I spent money on that weekend, I could remember what I did and if I drank too much.  I would have guessed that I maybe over drank half (maybe 5) of the weekends - funny how selective the memory becomes.

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

I would just put it out of my mind, make promises to myself to do better and move forward - all the while my demon was secretly, silently, insidiously, getting stronger and stronger - hiding behind the veil (more like a wall) of denial!

Well, I'm back.  I am making a 6 month commitment to abstaining from alcohol (maybe longer - who even knows anymore), blogging at least once a week and healing.  I know this time I have to work on the boredom and energy levels.  Last time I gave myself permission to eat crappy, not work out and just rest - better than drinking!  I think I need to take a new approach - more of a holistic approach - I need to really take care of myself - through many avenues so I can be proactive in helping myself feel better.  Last abs period, I just thought it would come naturally. That once I stopped drinking on the weekends  the heavens would just open up and I would be healed and joyful and happy - like those people on the mmabsers list!  

Maybe it's not that easy, maybe i have to work at it.

All i know is that (ONCE AGAIN) the pain of not drinking seems to pale in comparison to the pain of drinking.