Friday, July 31, 2015

Sleep



Sleeping sober is a BEAUTIFUL thing!  Two nights ago - three drinks and less than five hours of sleep.  Last night - 0 drinks and more than 9 hours of sleep.  So much of a difference!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Neighborhood party....fail



Last night a new neighbor was having a party.  She invited just a few neighbors and some other friends.  Only one neighbor showed up and I felt bad for her so I decided to pop in for just a minute and leave.  Three glasses of wine and I am up this morning after only 4 hours of sleep.  So what happened? I got there and it was really socially uncomfortable.  I didn't know two of the girls and the conversation was awkward.  I couldn't wait to be offered a glass of wine.  After the first glass, it got easier and more relaxed.  No big deal, why can't I just stop at that one or maybe two?  Why do I then have this "need" to continue filling my glass - even going so far as to try to keep the conversation/party going so I can continue to drink even when I initially didn't want to drink last night?  Why do I then get home and then crack open a beer?  I'm not at the party, I should be going to bed, I don't need anymore to drink, but I do it anyway.  For me sometimes, it isn't always about how much I drink, but why I continue to drink when I should be done.  I have the naltrexone but I am supposed to take it 1 hour before drinking.  I made the decision to go 10 minutes before I left.  If I drink Friday, I will for sure take the naltrexone and then wait 1 hour.  If nothing else, it will delay me by an hour and then I may not even feel like drinking anymore anyway.  We will see.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The wolf you feed



I read an excellent article this morning on Everyday Health 
The article talks about depression, diet and excercise but I feel it also applies to my struggles with alcohol. It begins with this legend:
There is a Cherokee legend about an elderly brave who tells his grandson about life.
“Son,” he says, “Within all of us there is a battle of two wolves. One is evil. He is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
“The same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too,” explained the wise Cherokee elder.
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The grandfather simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Monday, July 27, 2015

Not a great weekend

accept-responsibility-binge-drinking.jpg

Not a great weekend.  2 on Thursday, 2 on Friday, 3 on Saturday and 8!!!! Sunday.  We went to an all day festival yesterday and those feelings of "Oh no! I think we are getting ready to leave!! I better get one more before everyone decided to leave!!"  feelings kicked in. That can't get enough voice was strong and panicky. I have that voice!

I had a dream last night that I woke up and could not stop my arms and legs from shaking.  I have always said that I am not bad enough to get the "shakes". Now I just dream that I have them.  Not a good sign.  The universe is speaking.....am I listening?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Just don't drink - worry about the rest later



I wanted to respond to a comment Anne Ainsobriety made to one of my previous posts.  She ? suggested to only worry about not drinking right now, that everything else will fall into place once that is taken care of.  I 100% agree with that statement and appreciate the time she took to write me a response. However, I tried it that way and it didn't last for me.  I have stopped my weekend binging many times for a couple weeks, but three times that were a significant amount of time, the longest being 8 months.  I did just stop drinking and didn't care about anything else.  I allowed myself to recover - I ate what I wanted, didn't exercise and I slept  A LOT!  I also didn't socialize much because I either didn't want to deal with a bunch drinking people or I wanted to drink so bad it was just easier to stay home.  While I did not drink and I lost 10 pounds, it wasn't enough to keep me sober.  I can't say I wasn't happy. I was so much happier and at peace without dealing with all the drinking bullshit, but I still don't think I was physically, mentally, socially strong enough to resist in the end.  I think that I do need to focus on all of it.  I need to look at it more as a lifestyle change - one in which I am improving all areas of my self.  I am going to try not to be too hard on myself in any of the areas except the drinking, but I am also not going to just ignore all other areas.  I think I get a little depressed when I do that.  When I quit smoking (after 5 years of trying) I had to do it all.  I had to choose to be the healthiest person I could be and that included not smoking.  Ironically, the only area I let slide at that time (about 20 years ago) was the binge drinking on the weekends.  I told myself that it was the only thing I was doing that was unhealthy.  Back then I could just brush off the hangovers and keep going. They didn't impact the rest of my goals.  Now, the hangovers sabotage every other goal in my life.  I may only drink on Friday and Saturday (with a total of maybe 6-8 drinks) but it is enough to make me anxious, depressed, tired, irritable for 3-4 days.  That is a lot of wasted days in my life that I am no longer willing to give up.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mindset



I have been thinking this morning about my own mindset.  I read a book call Mindset by Carol Dweck last year.  It is pretty powerful stuff. I was reading it in the context of my students and myself as a teacher.  One of the premises of this book is that when a student feels they can't do something, the response is "not yet", that everyone is capable of doing whatever they set their mind to as long as they believe they can do it.  As a teacher, I thought about how we (teachers) tend to have a closed mindset in terms of "I have been a teacher for a long time. Don't question my value, worth or effectiveness by suggesting change, growth, new learning."  This book really helped me open up to growing as a teacher by not feeling questioned or attacked by others when new ideas are brought to the table.

I am now thinking about this in others areas of my life - self esteem and relationships. I have had a closed mindset for a long time in these areas.  I always feel like I have to prove myself to everyone, that I need to make sure everyone knows where I am coming from all the time.  I fell I am a positive, kind person who truly, always has the best intentions.  I am never purposefully hurtful and am always aware of others' feelings. My problem lies if you ever accuse or even slightly insinuate otherwise.  I get so hurt and so defensive that I lose my mind!  I will argue something into the ground with someone until I feel that I am being heard and understood.  I am extremely sensitive to any negative comment made that could remotely be about me. I can stand sarcasm and negative people.  I have this need to convince others that my opinion is right or at least not wrong.  I am realizing I have a hard time accepting when others don't see things the way I do.  I just get so sick of other people.

This is something I need to work on.  I knew that the only person this mindset is hurting is myself.  I need to adopt a more open, growth oriented mindset when it comes to not only the way I feel about myself but also in the way I deal with others.  Have I gotten my drinking to where I want it to be? "not yet". Have I lost the 20 pounds I put on? "not yet". Have I been regularly been exercising and eating healthy? "not yet".  Many times I think my answer is just a big fat - "No, I haven't and because I have been trying for so long I feel defeated, like it will never happen, like I am a failure."  Maybe this is the reason I am so sensitive around others - because ultimately I feel like a failure in these.

I also need to work on understanding that other people's bullshit is their own that many times when they make some backhanded comment of judgement toward me, either I am taking it wrong or it isn't even about me.  When I quit drinking for those 8 months, I did notice that all of the insecurity and closed mindset got a lot better.  I can't explain it, just that all of those insecure voices in my heard got quieter and I gained a sense of peace.  Plus, I liked people a lot more - probably because I liked myself a lot more.

I think I will read the book again with this different perspective.

BTW - I didn't drink yesterday and I did walk the dogs and got 8 hours of sleep.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dreams

Well I said I would blog everyday so I am going to try to at least keep that commitment.

Did I eat well? not really - didn't eat a bunch of junk but didn't really eat enough nutritious food
Did I sleep well? sort of - did get 7 hours of sleep but went to bed too late - got up too late
Did I drink a gallon of water? no
Did I get exercise? no
Am I blogging today? yes
Did I drink????????  NOOO :)
So I did keep the most important commitment.

I had the weirdest dream last night.  I was on vacation with a bunch of people (or we were moving not sure) but in a different house.  Two police officers came in and introduced themselves and said they were going to ruin someones future tonight.  I didn't know what they were talking about but I went to my room, curled up on my bed and put a pillow over my head.  I just prayed and prayed and prayed they wouldn't come in my room.  They did. They asked me to get up, gather my things and come with them.  I was sooooo scared and wasn't even really sure what I had done.  In my dream I think it was because I had illegally obtained drugs - I think I was worried (in real life) about getting this naltrexone through the mail.  It isn't a controlled substance and isn't illegal but I think it still worried me.

I think the real meaning of this dream is that if I don't get my shit together this could become a reality for me.  I am so scared of getting a dui.  I DO NOT DRIVE DRUNK but I have driven home after 2 glasses of wine at a restaurant.  I am never quite sure if that would be enough to get into trouble.  If that happened I would probably lose my teaching job and would for sure lose any sense of self worth I have left.  Dreams come at pretty valuable times.  I think someone is speaking to me....

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fresh Start (for the hundredth time) - AKA still not giving up



I drank 10 days in a row ending in a nasty hangover Sunday - yet another wasted day after an evening of being wasted.  I even got in an argument with one of my best friends at someone else's house - it was like a scene out of the Real Housewives! Ridiculous! That is not me!

I am so sick of wasting my life, of giving it to this addiction, this drug, this chemical.  I am exhausted from the fight! I feel like it is winning, like it always was winning, like when I thought I was doing well, it was all just lies, a false sense of security regarding my handle on the problem that led me right back to where I was yesterday - day after day - month after month - year after year - decade after decade.....

It is going to sound so redundant and ridiculous and stupid...but I am going to try again...

Here is my G#@  D$%&* commitment to myself one more time.  I don't know if I even have the confidence in myself  to even get through one day anymore....but I am not going to give up myself, my life, my happiness...

1.  Physical exercise everyday (walk, ride my bike, yoga or workout) - EVERYDAY!  I feel so down on myself when I don't work out. I have gained 25 pound and I feel terrible about myself.
2.  Write on my blog - EVERYDAY!  I know that when I stop paying attention to my commitments, I stop keeping them.  This will help me be accountable to myself.
3.  Get at least 7 hours of sleep - EVERYDAY!  I know that when I get tired, I lose all motivation to keep my other commitments.  No more endless hours of watching tv into the night.
4.  Eat a healthy diet - EVERYDAY!  It doesn't have to be perfect, but if I fuel my body with healthy food, my mind with stay  more committed.
5.  Drink one gallon of water - EVERYDAY!  Dehydration is my enemy that sucks the life out of me.
6.  Alcohol...here's the tricky one....totally honest...I'm not ready to give it up completely.

I know it sounds so stupid especially because if I screw up on #6, then #1-#5 are screwed up.  I cannot make my 1-5 goals unless my 6 goal is under control.  I will have very specific rules around #6 that HAVE to be followed.  There is some room for cheating in 1-5 but not 6.  Cheating with #6 is like dancing with the devil and it will lead to the downfall of all my other goals.  I am going to try this naltrexone.  Honestly, I am hopping it is some miracle pill that will allow me to have a glass of wine or beer in a social setting, allow me to moderate and find my stop button and eventually make it so drinking just isn't really that improtant to me anymore.  I know - it sounds ridiculous, but I want to give it a try.  I've tried everything else and am pretty good at recognizing when something isn't working.  So here are my drinking rules:

6a. NEVER drink Monday-Thurday...EVER!
6b. Do not drink 3 days in a row.  If I drink on Friday and Saturday, then none on Sunday.
6c. Do not drink before 5:00 pm and finish drinking at 10:00 pm.
6d. Drink a glass of water in between each drink to keep my BAC down.
6e. Try to keep drinks at 2-3 but no more than 4 drinks in those 5 hours.
6f. Always take the naltrexone 1 hour before drinking.

At least I'm not giving up....

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Reading past history - one last try

I just spent an hour reading my past history on this blog.  Since I started blogging in August of 2011, I sound like a broken record.  How many years am I going to waste?  I am getting sicker, more depressed, fatter, less healthy, more exhausted, more obsessed, more anxious as every day, month, year pass.  How much more time am I going to waste in this road to nowhere?

I am waiting for my naltrexone to get here. I am hoping that it somehow helps me be able to drink without over drinking and ultimately not care about it so much.  If this doesn't work, I will seriously consider the road to absitance again.  I am truly tired of living like this - and I am saying this without a hangover.

Regardless - no alcohol for the next 5 days.  I have got to get back to healthy eating and working out.  I know I won't do that tomorrow if I drink tonight.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ordered Naltrexone - going to give it a shot

Its called pharmacological extinction. The idea is pretty simple.  Alcohol gets us high by causing the release of endorphins, which are then processed by the opioid receptors in our brains.  A drug, naltrexone is used to block these opioid receptors.  Drinking alcohol still produces endorphins, but our brains don't receive them, and our brains gradually stop craving alcohol because the stimulus no longer produces the reward.  The cure rate is phenomenal -- 90% in studies, about 70% in the field.  

I'm going to try to retrain my brain.  If this little pill makes me not "enjoy" getting that buzz by blocking those receptors when I drink - I will be ecstatic!  Most of the blogs I have read include people who still have a drink every once in awhile but really just don't feel like drinking most of the time. OMG! Could it be true?


I am a little skeptical but I have been reading about it, watching videos, researching the clinical trials and science behind it and I really can't find anything negative.  It has been around since the 1950s? and is FDA approved. There are plenty of blogs and message boards out there about it and it seems to work for most people as long as you take it one hour before drinking and give it a couple months so that your brain doesn't associate alcohol with pleasure anymore.


This the the board I have been reading:


http://www.thesinclairmethod.net/community/search.php?search_id=active_topics&sid=87d50e82540c90d4f3cdb342e082b158


Here are a couple of website explaining it:


http://www.hamsnetwork.org/naltrexone/

http://www.cthreefoundation.org/statement-by-john-david-sinclair-phd.html#.VaFCvflVhBc

And a video

https://youtu.be/sqwgTixmPUU

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Wasted by Carrie Underwood

https://youtu.be/Mh7wjwKFHSU





Fight Song


This this my favorite song right now....

https://youtu.be/xo1VInw-SKc



I love the line wrecking balls inside my brain...I feel like that is what my childish, addicted voice is...








Being brutally honest with myself

This post is really hard to write.  It is just so much easier to not think about it..not look at it...to look away from the problem...to say I will do better next time.  Here is what happened..

I can lie all I want and say that I only drink on the weekends. For the most part that really is true except in the summer.  I am a teacher and I am really good at not drinking anything during the week when I am working.  Teaching is not a desk job and managing (let alone teaching) 30 6th graders is excruciatingly difficult with a hangover.

Summers are different.  So what if I want a glass of wine while making dinner?  I am off tomorrow. The ONLY problem is that it never stays at one glass of wine.

SO here are my totals the best I can remember them for the past couple of weeks.  I am doing this for me to keep myself honest.

6/14 - 1
6/15 - 2
Vacation - always an excuse to drink every day.  I did pretty good keeping is moderate but still drank every day.
6/16 - 3
6/17 - 3
6/18 - 4
6/19 - 3
6/20 - 3
6/21 - 2
6/22 - 3
Back from vacation
6/23 - 0
6/24 - 0
6/25 - 3
6/26 - 2
6/27 - 4
6/28 - 3
6/29 - 0
6/30 - 0
7/1 - 2
7/2 - 3
Went to the mountains
7/3 - 6
7/4 - 8
7/5 - 0 (Hangover)
Back from the mountains
7/6 - 5

That is 60 drinks in 23 days.  That is not OK!  That is not being moderate, getting better, being under control.

Her is the scariest part of all...yesterday I did not feel well at all because of all the hyper drinking over the weekend.  Not only did I drink a lot, but I get really hyper and loud.  I think I just get exhausted after expending all that energy.  I spent much of the day yesterday sitting on my butt researching kidney pain.  I had the worst pain under my lower right ribs in my back.  I couldn't figure out if it was a muscle, my kidney or my liver.  I'm so paranoid about what alcohol is doing to my body (my organs, my weight, my brain, my hot flashes, lack of sleep) and to my mindset (my depression, anxiety, lack of motivation) that I just feel done with all of it.

Well, 5:00 rolls around and I know there is a half a bottle of wine still in the fridge from the trip.  I am terrible with half finished bottles of wine.  My addicted brain just says, "Just get rid of it so you don't have to think about it - as in drink it - not dump it."

So I wait for my dh to go upstairs to change his work clothes and fill up my wine glass with the half bottle of wine and quickly get rid of the bottle.  I hear him coming so I seriously chug half the glass, think to myself, "What are you doing?" and dump the other half down the sink.  Well, once I have that alcohol in my system, I have a very hard time saying no to myself.  I proceed to sneak to the garage and pour a Bud Light Razzberita into a glass.  It looks like juice and has a very high alcohol and sugar content.  He won't notice and I will get a lot of bang for my buck (that is a scary realization - that I now choose IPA beers or anything that has a higher alcohol content so I can get buzzed more quickly without people noticing how much I am drinking).  I seriously considered pouring some vodka into my seltzer water, but that would be ridiculous..that would mean I really have a problem - haha.

This is the scariest part - I do this 3 more times.  I have some kind of frantic, can't get enough, feeling.  Just one more....ok we have to sneak to the garage, pretend I am taking some recycling out, open it there so no one hears the can open, pour it in real quick, put the can in recycling, get back in the house and put my drink right next to the real juice I am drinking and no one is the wiser.

Why did I say "We have to go to the garage" ? It's almost like my addiction is a separate entity that is speaking to me.  Like a child trying to convince me to give in.  Weird?

What am I doing?  Why and I acting like this?  I was scared and felt crappy all day?  What is wrong with me?  Why can't I be like everyone else? Why can't I control this?




Thursday, July 2, 2015

4th of July

I am really going to try to keep myself under control this weekend.  We are going up to the mountains with some friends for the 4th.  It will be a quick turn around as dh has to work Friday and Monday.  I want to have my cake and eat it to. waaaaa :)  I want to enjoy a drink with my friends so I don't feel socially awkward and bored but I also want to moderate and not feel crappy the next day.  Back to the exhausting act of planning...water in between, don't before anyone else, make sure I eat, stop at hopefully 3 - for sure 4.  If I am going to choose to drink, this is what it is going to have to come with.  No more just ignoring it.  We will see if all of this effort is worth it...Somewhere way back in the back of my mind - I know it isn't...

On another note...I just went back and read my post from Mother's Day (and could have probably found 25 more similar posts from my blogs's archives) in which I was miserable because of alcohol.  That was less then 2 months ago....this is just all so insane to me....


Thank goodness I force myself to write on this blog - the good, the bad and the ugly - it really helps me remember how bad I feel because of alcohol when my own brain seems to completely forget...