Monday, August 14, 2017

It was fun - until is wasn't 8/14/17 (Mon)

I took a walk with my friend yesterday - the one who is trying to work on her drinking. She is just now starting to look at how much she drinks and the effects it has on her.  She really did have a rough weekend.  Something like 15 drinks Friday followed by vomiting, passing out and having a terrible hangover.  This is unusual for her - she is more of a daily drinker as opposed to a binge drinker.  She is 10 years older than me. She said she is jealous that I am trying do better with alcohol 10 years earlier than she did. She said she wishes she would have started looking at her own drinking 10 years ago as well.

This made me so glad I am finally doing it. i just really need to make sure I remember all of the times I have tried to moderate and how many times I eventually fail - and I have really tried. I need to remember that I am just not wired for drinking anymore. My years of weekend binge drinking have physically rewired my brain and there is no turning back.  A pickle can no longer turn back into a cucumber.  The damage is done. It was fun - until is wasn't -  and now it is over - thank God! That part of my life is over and a new one is just beginning. I can choose to be pissed off, jealous, sad, feel deprived, bored and depressed about never being ever to drink again or I can feel grateful I have stepped off the hamster wheel and didn't waste another 10 years of my life living in my own self imposed mental torture chamber.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Interesting conversations 8/13/17 (Sun)

I had a conversation with a neighbor yesterday - the same neighbor we went out with Friday night. We were talking about drinking and the fact that I wasn't.

My neighbor said, "I think you are jut overthinking everything.  I'm about 10 years older than you. You'll see - it changes when you retire. I know you are a teacher and you care about what everyone thinks about you, but wait until you retire.  Ya, I am an alcoholic.  I drink 4-5 beers every single day.  I like to drink and am not going to stop. I won;t be happy if I don't drink. I would rather die at 65 after having an enjoyable retirement (aka drinking) than live to be 85 and not even enjoy my life (aka be sober).  So what that I drink. I like it and I choose to keep doing it even if I die earlier."

That comment just blew me away.  I just thought that anyone willing to admit that they are an alcoholic would not like that about themselves and wan to stop drinking. Not only does my neighbor admit it, he chooses it.  I have to admit, the reason I was so fascinated by what he said was that in some sort of way, it sounded good to me. To be able to just drink what I wanted, when I wanted and not feel guilty or obsess and just be fine with it - there is a sort of enticement to the thought of that - just to say screw it and be a drinker and like it.

So I come back to my house and tell my ds and dh what he said, probably bc it is still just confusing/fascinating me.  My husband said, "That's just his way of justifying how much he is drinking. I bet he doesn't really like it as much as he says he does."

My son said, "Ya he likes it until his liver is failing or he gets a DUI. We will see how much he likes it then."

Ok - those two comments brought me back to reality.  There is no way in hell I could just be a drinker like that and be ok with it.

On another note, another neighbor/drinking buddy of mine who also struggles with alcohol, had a bad hangover when I was about 2 weeks sober and said she was going to try sobriety with me.  She was successful for about 3 weeks and then made up some excuse about why she needed to drink (something about promising her daughter she would take her out for shots before she went back to college) and she did. She felt really good about her three weeks and said she was really going to do better about not drinking daily (she is more of a daily drinker where I was more of a weekend binge drinker).  She sent me a text yesterday, "Last night went south.  I went on an alcohol binge. I can't remember the last time I was this sick. Do you think I need a reminder of how it is really poison? This was definitely one of the worst! And then pissed off about a wasted day!"  Then, about 4 hours later she texts, "Such a crazy thing. And as soon as you start feeling better, you start thinking about a drink. Or worse yet, you think one right away might make you feel better. Total insanity."

Funny that in one day I hear both of these messages about alcohol.  First, the sound of drinking and not caring sounds kinda good and then I am reminded of how unhappy alcohol made me for so long.

I am glad I am sober :)


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Full disclosure - slight HO today 8/12/17 (Sat)

So yesterday was the first Friday back at work after summer break.  August is probably in the top three hardest months for me with alcohol (along with May and December).  Before school starts I just want to get in as much partying as I can. Then once school does start, I am stressed and trying to adjust and really craving that drink on a Friday after being at work all day.  It takes me a little while to settle in. I do know that two of my addiction triggers are stress bc alcohol helps everything in my head just slow down and being tired bc alcohol gives me energy and helps me feel less lethargic.  I realize that sounds contradictory, but in some strange way alcohol calms my mind and helps me relax while at the same time giving me energy to enjoy my evening rather that sitting on the couch being tired.  Kinda weird but true. Except for when I drink too much and embarrass myself (which isn't too often), I really do enjoy drinking while I am drinking.  I am a fun drinker - full of energy and positive energy.  I never pick fights and am supportive and cheerful, although also dominating and overly sensitive. I don't black out and can almost always remember everything that happened, even though sometimes it takes some hard mental thought the next morning.

It is the after effects, both mentally and physically, that kill me. The mental and physical hangovers that last for days and were making me sad every day where torture. And the mental obsession with not being able to do what I know I should do was crushing my soul.

So...last night my drinking buddy neighbor asked us if we wanted to go to a festival in our town.  We had blown them off a few times, so I thought we should probably go bc I do really like them and they always want us to come along.  They are both pretty heavy drinkers. Both are retired and also do their fair share of marijuana. They are super fun and I really like hanging out with her especially, as she is just a positive, fun loving, never complaining kind of person.

I told her I wasn't drinking for awhile.  She has known me long enough to know that I say this 2-4 times a year.  I think she gets disappointed, but doesn't say so and is always supportive. She knows how much I suffer from hangovers and what alcohol does to my body so she doesn't push me to drink.  She asked me if I wanted an mj gummy (which is legal in my state btw). I have tried it before and haven't liked it but I was desperate to go to this dumb festival and be able to relax, gain some energy and have a good time.  What I really wanted to do was curl up on my couch and binge watch tv, but that sounded depressing and a waste of a beautiful Friday evening, so I said yes.  I said, "It's not like I have this desire to be sober the rest of my life, I just don't like what alcohol does to me."

So I only ate 1/2 of one (which is the amount she takes that she says gets her "loaded".  I'm not going to lie, I was kind of excited. It took about an hour for me to feel it in my throat, tongue, and mouth - kind of a swollen, dry feeling - but never really felt it in my head.  In fact it made me less patient with the whole evening bc I just kept waiting for the "high" (which I do miss) to kick in.  It never happened and I just felt super uncomfortable with my lame water bottle while everyone around me was having such a good time listening to the band and getting hammered.  I just felt so old...

I came home and went to bed with my heart racing, my head pounding and my mouth feeling like the Sahara desert.  I had a really hard time falling asleep (maybe 4 hours later it finally kicked in and I didn't like it) and I remember thinking, "Maybe it is about being sober bc this is what it felt like to go to bed buzzed and I don't like it. I don't really want to waste one of my good weekend sleeping nights fighting being buzzed - by any substance."

I woke up this morning with a headache, sore/weird feeling throat, swollen lymph nodes in my neck, and pretty exhausted from not sleeping well.  The good news - I guess I don't have to be worried about being addicted to another substance bc I officially do not like mj.  The bad news - I still have to figure out how not to be boring/feel uncomfortable in a party atmosphere while sober.

Also good news - I didn't drink even though I was pretty jealous of everyone else having a good time getting their party on...It's not that I really wanted to drink - I just wanted to have a good time, which was not happening.

Friday, August 11, 2017

First Day back/Day 50 - 8/11/17 (Fri)

I am extremely tired as I haven't slept well for two nights but that always happens to me as a new year starts.  I know as I settle in for my 26 (!!) year of teaching, the nerves will calm down.  It was not lost on me yesterday that I was clear headed, calm, happy, nice to everyone, calm, patient and much more in control of my mental state than I have been in the years where I went back to school coming straight off a summer of drinking and a horrible hangover (you know - one more hurrah before I lose my freedom).

I sure feel better than the past few Augusts.  This time is going to be the time to stay sober.  What more proof do I need than the following posts.  It is time to stop the madness.  Day 50 :)

8/12/16 (Fri) Out of control (drank Mon-Wed) Terrible hangover

out of control
  1. 1.
    no longer possible to manage.

So two posts ago I am contemplating not drinking for a year.  Then I have a horrendous hangover Sunday bc of too much wine Saturday. Then I go to an out of town work thing and drink Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night - so much that I feel like dog shit all day Thursday at the conference. I was having anxiety attacks, feel dizzy and nauseous all day.  Now today I have my first day back to work and I am tired, bloated, have a headache, depressed, fat, unhealthy, want to just not go, worried everyone will look at me and think, "wow - she had a rough summer break".  WE have to do all this dumb "team building" stuff which means I have to talk to people and fake how "good" I am doing when all I really want to do is crawl back in bead and cry.  I started this summer break announcing to myself how it was going to be different.  I wasn't going to drink every weekend, I wasn's going to waste any days with hangovers, I was going to take care of myself, get in shape and make it all better.  I did pretty well in June but fell off the rails in July and August - why??? - bc I didn't drink in June.  I am wasting my life with all this bullshit and I am sick of it!!!!  I don;t even want to make a declaration of no drinking for 30 days, 1 year, ever...bc I know I will just fail.  I am so sick of failing that I don;t even want to try any more. 

and spiraling downward....



I just don't know what to do anymore.  I know that answer is QUIT DRINKING!!! but I have known that for a long time...

How do I do that?  How do I keep the commitment to myself and stop all of the mind games?  How do I find the strength to say no - no matter how mad, sad, isolated, irritated, bored, lonely I feel?

How???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

8/23/15 (Sun) - Deep dark hole (percocets?)



Deep dark hole is what I google searched this morning.  I feel like total dog shit this morning.  When I woke up, after 4 hours of drunken sleep, I thought about the percocets in my closet.  We have a bunch since my dh has had a couple surgeries and he never takes them.  I thought, "Mabye I should just take a couple to put me to sleep for a few hours until the hangover wears off."  That is how desperate I am for this day to be over.  That is just a sad existence.  I didn't and won't take them but it kinda scared me that I even thought about it.  Another thing that entered my mind is that I could see how people (I was specifically thinking about celebrities like Robin Williams, Whitney Houston and her daughter and Michael Jackson) could actually just take a handful to make the pain and suffering end for that moment.  I bet they weren't thinking about not being around ever again, but that they just wanted relief from the physical, emotional, debilitating, devastating anguish they were feeling right in that moment.  That thought also scared me a little.

Well..I'm not going to do that...I have too much to live for...I'm going to eat something and go back to bed. I just wanted to at least record how I am feeling today. When I do try to get my shit together, it helps me go back and read how bad I was feeling.

8/8/14 (Fri) - Struggling

i am laying here in the middle of the night, cant sleep, have drank 10 days in a row, am depressed, anxious and so confused.  am i unhappy so i drink?  or is my drinking making me unhappy?

8/10/11 (Wed) 2 HANGOVERS! Shut Up!!

AM - I haven't posted in a while.  Why?  I am fine.  I don't have a problem.  Just obsessing too much.  Went on vacation, drank every day, only had one HO, didn't fight with any of my family, progress - right? ......  Let's start calling it what it is - denial, rationalization, addiction,  an unhappy life controlled by a drug that has ruined may people in my family and will soon ruin me if I don't open my eyes!

PM - Not good.  I was making dinner, talking to a friend on the phone, bored, asked her to come over.  Three bottles of wine later (1:00 in the morning) I finally fell into bed.  I remember hearing a little voice in my head say, "School is almost ready to start .....  it is OK ..... one last party before the summer is over ..."

That is exactly the little voice, that is more like a roar, that I am SICK OF LISTENING TO!!!  It is always some reason, some excuse, some event.   SHUT UP!!!!!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Huge craving/panic attack...why??? 8/9/17 (Wed)

First craving in 48 days!!! No idea why I got it...it was a Tuesday at like 2:00 pm for pete's sakes. My dh is on vacation, was in the garage and a long time friend (another drinking buddy from out 20's) was in the neighborhood and stopped by.  They ended up having a beer (or three). When they were looking for a beer, our friend said, "Anything but that strong IPA!  That's (my name)'s beer."

Whoa!!!! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, it just hit me, like a little mini panic attack. I felt it in my core, my brain started spinning, my heart started racing, I started sweating and feeling kind of a flight or fight feeling. - I really wanted to sit in the garage and have a beer - badly.  Thoughts started creeping in (not really creeping - more like violently invading) like.....You only have two days before school starts, your summer is almost over, Why not? Hey, that would also make the trip you are planning over winter break seem more fun especially if you are staying over New Year's Eve and hey the even your neighbors invited you to Friday would be more fun if you tried moderation again and hey you could have a couple of beers of work buddies after work and you wouldn't have to be different or uncomfortable of feel left out and hey you really weren't that bad anyway (weren't drinking during the week and weren't blacking out). You could just try one more time to successfully moderate...just one more attempt and if you fail this time (aka end up getting hangovers/obsessing/not getting in shape/feeling depresses and anxious and insecure and exhausted and unmotivated and feeling no joy in life... you will quit for good.. You know no one will be mad at you bc they never thought you were that bad anyway. Hey maybe you are not/never were that bad anyway. Maybe you just though you were....and on and on and on for like an hour!!!!!  It was intense. I couldn't sit down. I couldn't relax.  I really wanted a beer and I ALMOST said, "Screw it...I'm having one."

BTW - I think it is interesting that when I am trying to talk myself into drinking it is always in third person almost like it is an outside voice, an alternate personality, the addiction itself talking to me.

Well, I got through it. I don;t know how, but I did.  I poured a seltzer water, went upstairs and started going through all of my clothes for the new school year. I didn't have a mental battle with myself. I just said, "You are going to be very disappointed if you drink. You can do this for one year. You can do this. You just talked to your daughter about having a sober New Year's Eve with her and being able to drive home from vacation this year. She will be understanding if you drink but she will not tell you she is proud if you for trying to moderate again. She will understand but won't say, "I'm proud of you for drinking". You know you won't say that to yourself either. Remember how exhausted/depressed/insecure/unmotivated/sad/out of shape you were when you drank. You KNOW you will get right back to that. You know you will. It has happened so many times.Go read your blog. You have proof. You will throw these 48 days away and eventually have to start again at Day 1. You know it. You know this craving will pass and you will be stronger after it is over. You knew you would eventually have them. You can do this. How would you feel in the morning? Don't think about it. Drink your seltzer water, tear your closet apart and let it pass."

I did, it did pass and I didn't drink.

Day 49

Monday, August 7, 2017

Take control 8/7/17 (Mon)

Time to take control of my fitness and get busy.  If I want to lose a little weight, get in better shape and fit into my clothes - I actually need to work at it. I can't just write about it, read about it, plan it, think about it, goal set around it - I have figured out this is my form of procrastination.  In my mind I feel like I am starting to do it bc I am planning it, but in reality I never get past that stage.  This is the exact form of procrastination that kept me drinking for last 10 years.
Image result for make a fucking plan

So I'm going to get up, get out of my jammies, put of some workout clothes and work on what I want

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sleep and another big accomplishment 8/6/17 (Sun)

Image result for i love sleep quotes tumblr

I have gotten two really good night's sleep and I feel a lot better.  I am sleeping until like 9:00 am which is a bit ridiculous but my body must need it.  Finally I am sleeping...

Last night we went out with some old friends from my college years - pretty hard party buddies back in the day.  I was really nervous about drinking, not drinking, having to explain myself, what would I say, etc.  Especially nervous as just them as it was just us four - not a group where I could blend in and not be as noticeable. I even had that evil little thought - maybe I will just have a beer - not really because I wanted one but just bc it seemed easier than than being uncomfortable.  That is pretty messed up bc in what reality would "just go ahead an have a beer to fit in" be easier than not having one???? The thought itself amazed me.

So we get to dinner and I purposely ordered my drink last bc I didn't want anyone, specifically my girlfriend, to not order a drink bc of me.  They all ordered a beer and I ordered a club soda. No one said a word!! I didn't see any side glances or confused looks on their faces (it wouldn't have surprised me as when we were younger I was the party girl  - pretty sure I drank all the girls under the table even I thought at the time everyone else was drinking just as much as me and getting just as drunk as I was).

The guys ordered one more. My girlfriend did not but that didn't surprise me.  The conversation was a little strained and uncomfortable once in awhile without my usual social lubricant but it was fine.  I tried to ask question and focus more on them instead of making the conversation all about me. We sat outside on a beautiful tree covered patio at out favorite Indian restaurant. It was a gorgeous evening. It even down poured but we were under a somewhat covered area. It was just beautiful. I thought that this would have just been overwhelmingly, sappy meaningful to me if I was buzzed. And then i thought, "It still is overwhelmingly, sappy, meaningful but in a completely conscious, aware, fully present way - that actually makes it more meaningful."  After dinner we gave each other hugs said goodbye and went home - like normal people. We didn't come back to our house and drink until late and then wake up with hangovers.  Instead I came back home, made some popcorn, poured myself an Italian soda (which is full of sugar but who cares), watched a couple episodes of Power, slept until 9:00 and feel great today.

Life is good :)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Blah...8/3/17 (Thurs)

I just feel kind of blah...

blah
noun
  1. 1.
    used to refer to something that is boring or without meaningful content.
    "talking all kinds of blah to him"
  2. 2.
    depression.
    synonyms:the doldrums, low spirits, a blue funk, depression
    "looks like he's got a case of the blahs"
adjective
  1. 1.
    dull or unexciting.
    "his blah feeling"

Anxious about the new school year starting.
Sad my son is leaving for college.
Frustrated that I'm not feeling better.
Pissed that I am still not working out consistently.
Disappointed that I am going to have to go buy "fat" clothes bc nothing in my closet fits.
Pondering the use of mj (legal in my state) as a substitute for alcohol.
Bumbed out I didn't get anything accomplished this summer.
Kind of depressed I can never drink again - never get that buzzed, happy, giddy feeling
Miss the connection I have with my friends over a few drinks
Tired of pretending it is the same sober
Exhausted by feeling like I have to put on this show that everything is great and I love being sober

I don't know how to shake myself out of these feelings.  They worry me a little bc I can feel my resolve slipping (just a little - not enough to drink) but still....

Image result for feeling blah

Monday, July 31, 2017

Wasted summer 7/31/17 (Mon)

Well, this is my last full week off before I go back to school and I feel like it has been a complete waste of a summer.

It's weird that when I am drinking all summer, I feel like complete shit when school starts but it is more of an "in the present moment" shitty feeling.  When I was in the grips of by obsessing about drinking and not drinking I never really allowed myself to see beyond the present moment.  I thought I was analyzing my past and making goals for the future but it was really just about being stuck in the misery of that exact moment - how I got there and what I am going to do differently.  Unfortunately. nothing usually changed so I never really moved out of that place.  I kind of lived in this place of thinking about how much better things were going to be when I did better at controlling/abstaining my drinking but I never really did so I never really got unstuck. I lived in the "planning phase" for a good solid 10 years.

"Party girl and loving life phase"
My 20's were spent partying, weekend binge drinking, graduating college/earning a master's degree, starting a career, in super good shape, buying a brand new house in a sought after brand new neighborhood, making new drinking friends in the neighborhood, having a child at 28 and loving life! No worries about alcohol.

"Starting to notice but still having fun phase"
My 30's were the fun neighbor/weekend binge drinking/party girl/still in great shape phase. I was being somewhat kept in check by all the demands of motherhood. I still having a good time but starting to notice and worry about how drunk I would get and if I was embarrassing myself. I was starting to get concerned with my image - wanting to be the fun hosting neighbor but not the drunk mother. My kids were ages 2-12 and 1-9 and having fun with their friends in the neighborhood (while I partied with the neighbors every weekend) so not too worried about being a bad role model. My hangovers were just beginning to get worse and harder to deal with toward the end of my 30s. Still not overly concerned with alcohol.  Was just drinking with/like everyone else and having fun.

"Obsessive/Planning/Anxious/Depressed/Stuck phase"
My 40's have been a slow downward spiral into hellacious hangovers and trying to control my weekend binge drinking - ever so slowly getting worse with every passing year.  Sooo much time and energy spent obsessing/researching/reading/rule making/goal setting/denying/realizing/beating myself up/still drinking/trying to gain control/blogging/planning/trying.  A decade spent in the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. So selfishly obsessed with myself and my issues around alcohol.  Kids were 13-22 and 10-19 so extremely ashamed of my weekend drinking and worried about the example I was setting. A decade of slowly sinking into not really caring about anything other than my obsession with drinking/recovering from drinking/controlling drinking/abstaining from drinking - slowly getting out of shape and overweight.  Slowly arriving at a place of depression/anxiety /having no motivation and finding no joy in everyday living.

This summer has been a waste. I haven't completed any projects, gotten in any better shape, gotten much sleep, found much peace and/or joy in life. I also haven't had my normal fun/party it up summer like I usually to either.  It has just been a boring/depressing/non productive/self obsessive/exhausting/too much tv watching/unmotivated/overly sensitive summer.

Well, I least I accomplished one thing. I quit drinking 40 days ago and feel better than I ever have about never drinking again.  I feel like I am finally at peace with the fact that as much as I would like to drink, I just can't. I don't process alcohol while drinking the same way as other people. Once my bac gets past a certain point (which only takes 2 drinks anymore), I lose the conscious ability to even think about stopping. I don't think "screw it - I don't care" I just don't think about it at all.   Moderating completely leaves my conscious thinking and I end up having between 4-10 drinks at least 2-4 times a month. I also do not process alcohol the same after drinking it. My hangovers physically last at least at least two days and the agonizing/obsessing/insomnia/depression lasts at least four days every single time I drink. I came to the sober/rational/mature decision that it just isn't worth it anymore. I am the only one causing all of my misery (by drinking) and I am the only one that can stop it (by not drinking). I feel like I wasted my summer but at least I didn't spend it wasted.

Maybe this summer hasn't been a complete waste.  Maybe by quitting drinking, everything else will eventually get better.  Maybe I will, one day, find joy, happiness and balance in my life. Maybe next summer will be better.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Soooo tired - 7/29/17 (Sat)



Image result for so tired

I am just still soooooo darn tired. I feel like a zombie walking around.  I think I am starting to sleep a little better (not great - but better) but still just feel so tired all the time.  Will I ever get my energy back or is this just what being 49 feels like?  I am worried that it wasn't the alcohol making me so tired and that this is just my life now....

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

7/26/17 (Wed) If only...

Image result for if only

I have kept track of my weight over the years and it has climbed from 125 to 150. I decided enough is enough an I need to lose 20 pounds so I can get out of my yoga pants and into all of the clothes that used to fit me in my closet.  I think that if I can do this, it will really improve my mood.

When I went back and looked at my weight history, I noticed that in December of 2012 I weighed around 127 pounds.  I thought, "I wonder if that was in the middle of my 255 days of  sobriety time." I checked my blog and sure enough, I had been sober 4 months at that time.  I continued to stay sober until April and then decided to try drinking again.  At first I did pretty well but by July of 2013, I was back to drinking too much most weekends and had gained 10 of those pounds back.  That was 5 years ago.

If only I had stayed the course and remained sober 5 years ago, imagine how good I would feel (and look) now.

I am turning 50 (yikes - I thought that only happened to everyone else) in 6 months.

I am not going to say, "If only I had stayed sober last summer, worked out, ate well and taken care of myself I would have looked and felt amazing on my birthday."

I am going to say, "Thank goodness I stayed the course, remained sober, worked out, ate well and took care of myself for the last six months.  I feel (and look) better than I have in a long time."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

7/25/17 (Tues) Waiting for the Pink Cloud

No pink cloud yet and getting frustrated. Last time I got past 30 days I felt great.  This time not so much. Trouble sleeping, super tired, no motivation, not losing any weight, still pretty grumpy.....kind of a breeding ground from thoughts like, "what's the point of not drinking when I still fell crappy."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

7/22/17 (Sat) ego vs soul



I can really relate to this idea. For some reason, maybe bc of my struggle with alcohol, I have definitely been living on the "ego" side.   I would love to learn how to exist more on the "soul" side. I have an especially hard time feeling good about myself if I am not "doing".  I am either doing a million things at once (which is exhausting) or binge watching tv (which is depressing).  I would like to do some more reading on this subject.  Anyone have any suggestions?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

7/20/17 (Thus) One month and no cravings and I drug myself through the day and drugged myself in the evenings

It is really strange that I haven't had any cravings and tomorrow will mark one month.  What is different? I think I might know.

All of the times I have tried to quit in the past, the cravings have been terrible.  Every Friday and Saturday I have just been "white knuckling" through with intense feelings of anger, resentment, loneliness, longing for a drink - sometimes to the point of a panic attack.  I would have decided to quit while going through the horrendous 4 days of withdrawals.  After the withdrawals had passed, I always second guessed my decision telling myself that I wasn't that bad and that I could try again - that I just needed to be more careful, diligent in my moderating.

Maybe the difference this time is that I didn't quit as a result of a terrible hangover. I was coming from a more rational place rather than an emotionally/physically painful place.

We went on vacation and I did get wasted on the trip there (to the point I barely remember going to the grocery store once we got there) but didn't drink more than 3-4 drinks on any of the following days. This is unheard of in my vacation playbook. I did have one day were I was sneaking, guzzling and a little embarrassed/worried about my behavior which also made me take a pause the next day (without a hangover) and really think about what I was doing and the choices I was making. But, overall, I drank far less than I have ever drank on vacation.

In Alaska, where it is so beautiful and calm, with my family I just couldn't feel happy ever - while drinking or while sober. I just kind of drug myself through the day and then drugged myself in the evenings.  I came to the realization, for the first time and on vacation no less, that the only reason I felt down, kind of blah, all day was because alcohol had just dulled me every hour of every day even without a hangover. I wasn't craving drinking during the day - I just felt kind of out of it. But, that all went away once I had a drink with dinner.

I realized that as soon as I had a glass of wine, I felt "normal" - talkative, happy, relaxed. And, since I was the only one drinking, I had kind of an out of body experience where I saw myself - how I was acting. It was really weird to realize that that one glass of wine just changed me completely. All of a sudden I felt back to normal - happy. Did I need a drug to feel happy?  And then, after I ordered the second glass, I just didn't want it anymore - I just felt so exhausted by the whole thing. I left half of the second glass sitting on the table (as well as a whole six pack of beer in the refrigerator when we left) which is unheard of for me on vacation. I usually have to drink every last drop before we leave bc vacation is a time of drinking without the rules or guilt.

i was thinking that there was something wrong with the fact that I was unhappy/blah while sober and only felt "normal/happy" while drinking but then had to suffer the repercussions of the drinking (hangover/feeling more blah).  I just realized, on a walk in the forest with my family, that this is really no way to live and that putting any amount of alcohol in my body was going to keep things exactly as they were.

I just realized I was sick of drinking.

I don't think I had ever come to this conclusion from a sober/rational place. I have always quit in the throws of a hangover and then changed my mind.

I hope it stays this easy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

7/19/17 (Wed) - Unhappy because of alcohol or alcohol because unhappy?

I have been reading a lot lately that we drink because we are ultimately unhappy with our lives but too afraid to deal with it. That we are just covering our unhappiness with alcohol.

What if we are only really unhappy because of what we have done to our brains and bodies with the constant consumption of an addictive drug? What if we stop drinking, we are removing the thing that is making us unhappy?

When I think about the first scenario it scares me. I feel like when I finally get sober for an extended period of time, I am going to have to deal with some pretty nasty shit in my life.  That thought just makes me want to drink so I don't have to deal with it.

When I think about the second scenario, it makes me hopeful that I will have the life I desire when I stop doing the thing that is making me unhappy.

I'm going to choose option 2. For now, that is what will keep me from drinking.

7/19/17 (Wed) - Karma - Is it me?

Karma - What you put out into the world - you receive back.  I have always believed this and tried to be a good person, but the meditation today made me think about it differently.  In the past 7 years or so, I have noticed that people are treating me differently. I am not always the most popular teacher anymore, I am not always the most respected college anymore, my kids are a little more snippy with me, my husband isn't quite as attentive as he used to be, my friends don't always make sure I am invited to everything anymore, my extended family is a little less patient and a little more judgmental.....I have just been going under the assumption that it is just what happens as you get older - part of the aging process - people just have less respect for you and less desire to be around you.  That everyone else is just becoming grumpy and judgmental and critical of me. I have heard myself say, "I just hate people."

What if.....this is only a reflection of what I have been putting out there in the world.  What if I have become more critical, judgmental, irritable, impatient and less understanding of others.  What if I am just getting back what I am giving.  What if, because of my addiction and obsession with alcohol and the depression/anxiety/insecurity/exhaustion it has brought into my life, I have become a different person and therefore and being treated differently by others. What f I go back to the person I used to be before alcohol was consuming me? Can I change the way the I act in this world and therefore change the way the world responds to me?

Image result for karma what you give is what you get buddha

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

7/18/17 (Tues) Who am I?

I am listening to a free meditation for the next three weeks from Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. Today's meditation asks:

Who am I?

When I really listen to my inner voice, I want to be:

Patient, kind, responsible, available, soft-spoken, loving, listening, quiet confidence, non justifying, quietly focusing on myself but projecting my energy toward others, accepting, encouraging, quiet

I know she is in there.

Over the years I have become:

Impatient, type-A, irritable, selfish, driven, opinionated, dominating, insecure, complaining, always drawing attention to myself, egotistical, judgmental, gossipy, critical, loud



Image result for you are what your deepest desire is

Monday, July 17, 2017

7/17/17 (Mon) Attempt #13

At least I have never given up :)

Attempt #1 - 2011- 2012 (86 days)
12/26/11 Day 1 (Disastrous Christmas)
3/17/12   Day 86 - Drank a beer with neighbor (wanted to try moderation again)
4/2312    Weekend drinking - exhausted
5/6/12     Depressed, feel crappy
6/16/12   Life Sucks
6/17/12   Major Hangover

2012 (86 days longest sober)

Attempt #2 - 2012 - 2013 (255 days)
8/1/12   Day 1 (Family Vacation in Mountains) - Plan no drinking 8/1-10/31
4/13/13 Day 255 - Drank wine with ds at restaurant (bad craving)
4/21/13 - 11/12/13 - No posts
11/12/13 - Miserable - going to quit for 6 months
11/13, 12/13  Drinking

2013 (255 days longest sober)

Attempt #3 - 2014 (17 Days)
1/1/14 Day 1 - Pissed, done!, disastrous Christmas, fighting with dh, morning drinking
1/17/14 Day 17
1/18/17 Drank with sister - wine at a restaurant
1/27/14 - 4/2/14 No posts
4/2/14 Drinking increasing/cravings intensifying
4/3/14 - 8/7/14 No posts, drinking

Attempt #4 - 2014 (7 Days)
8/11/14 Day 1 - drank all summer. drank last 12 days on vacation (3-8 per day) confused/depressed
8/17/14 Day 7 - feeling better - different this time
8/17/14 - 1/3/15 No posts, drinking

2014 (17 days longest sober)

Attempt #5 - 2015 (64 Days)
1/3/15 - So lost - last 15 days 11 have been destructive (sneaking/guzzling/day drinking)
3/5/15 Day 64 - Drank
3/29/15 Feel like a failure - drinking every weekend
5/15, 6/15, 7/15, 8/15 - Miserable - drinking all summer
8/1/15 - Ordered Naltrexone

Attempt #6 - 2015 ( ?? Days)
9/28/15 - Done! 100 days
11/1/15 - Drinking (not sure how many days/not 100) a little better with Naltrexone
11/2/15 - 1/3/16  -No Posts, drinking

2015 (64 days longest sober)

Attempt #7 - 2016 (30 Days)
12/30/15 - Day 1 - Disastrous Christmas/Vegas trip  - Doing a 30 at least - Did complete a 30
1/ 301/16 (?) - Day 30 Drank
1/5/16 - 3/28/16 - No posts, drinking

Attempt #7 - 2016 (10 days)
3/28/16 - Drank 8 of 12 days, disastrous spring break, terrible hangover
3/31/16 - doing 30 days
4/10/16 - Day 10 - Drank

Attempt #8 - 2016 (4 days)
4/11/16 - Day 1 - Doing 30
4/16/17 - Day 5 - Drank
4/17, 5/17, 6/17 - Drinking

Attempt #8 - 2016 (30 days)
6/6/16 - Day 1
7/4/16 - Day 30  Drank
7/5/16-8/4/16 - No posts - drank 21 of 34 days

Attempt #9 - 2016 (14 days)
9/4/16 - Day 1
9/18/16 - Day 14 - drank
9/16, 10/16, 11/16, 12/16 Drinking (4 huge hangovers over winter break)

2016 (30 days longest sober)

Attempt #10 -2017 (20 days)
1/1/17 - Day 1 - not drinking for 1 year
1/21/17 - Day 20 - drank
1/17, 2/17, 3/17 - Drinking

Attempt #11 - 2017 (7 days)
4/17/17 - Day 1
4/24/17 - Day 7 - drank
5/17 - Drinking

Attempt #12 - 2017 (3 days)
6/1/17 - Day 1
6/4/17 - Drank

Final Attempt #13 - 2017
6/25/17 - Day 1

2017 (26 days sober so far)


Sunday, July 16, 2017

7/16/17 (Sun) - Drinking Dream

I had my first drinking dream last night. It was my birthday. I had been sober for a long time. We were in a bar. My fiends had already left to go find a table for food. The bartender gave me a huge shot of brandy wine (which is weird bc I have never even tasted it - it tasted more like lemon-cello). I didn't even think about it. I drank it in three big gulps.  I told myself that one shot would not make me drunk so I would just change my verbage. Instead of say I have been sober for the past months, I would just say I haven't been drunk for the past months.  I went to the bathroom and was in there forever - putting on huge amounts of makeup (apparently trying to cover my many scars and injuries to my face), trying to change my shirt bc it was on backwards and then I couldn't seem to get it snapped, dropping everything out of my purse on the bathroom floor, stumbling around unable to focus - I think I was instantly drunk in the bathroom from the one shot and it was horrible. - and then I woke up.

Reminding myself not to drink - even in my dreams :)

On another note - I was searching for a picture that would work this post and I found this:

Image result for drinking dreams

It says - perfect for shower drinking!  What is wrong with our society ????????????????

Saturday, July 15, 2017

7/15/17 (Sat) "Ya, right," says my sister.

So my sister came over for dinner without her bottle of wine - which she almost always brings for us. I asked her where her wine was. She said she didn't bring it. I said that I wanted her to still be able to drink around me and that it didn't bother me. She said, "Ya, right" like she thought I wasn't being honest. To prove it to her, I went to my garage, got a bottle of red, opened it, got two wine glasses, poured her a glass, poured root beet in mine, held up my glass and said "cheers" with a genuine smile on my face.  We ate dinner, played some poker and sat outside and I was perfectly happy with my root beer. And once again - I was able to stop at just one and I am not obsessing about that root beer this morning :)

I am extremely powerful over alcohol - I have the ability to physically not put it in my mouth and mentally not crave it.  I am glad to be done with it. Another hurdle accomplished and it wasn't even hard. I'm just gonna kick the shit out of alcohol!

Image result for zuberfizz root beer

This is a very good brew from a local brewery 👍

Friday, July 14, 2017

7/14/17 (Fri) Feeling the pull

I feel it today, for the first time in 23 days.  I was reading out local paper about an upcoming brew fest, last night my husband was watching some micro beer show on tv and my sister is coming over tonight. Alcohol is everywhere, I just feel bombarded with it constantly and it sucks. I feel the pull in my chest area. I think that is where I store my anxiety.  I have feelings like - well that is sad I can't ever enjoy a beer fest again - what do I care about that show, I don't want to visit any of those places anyway - wine is going to sound pretty good tonight.  How can I go from feeling so strong one minute to feeling so conflicted the next? Because it is a drug and that's what it does. It's called addiction and denial. I know that in my head, but that addicted, primal, emotional, needy, convincing, persuasive, blinded voice is just so strong sometimes.

I need to stay strong. I need to get through the day.

I need to remember:
  • Alcohol is a poisonous drug that is making me sick physically (heart palpitations, weight gain, insomnia), mentally (depression, obsession, anxiety) and emotionally (lack of motivation, lack of joy).  
  • The only reason I crave alcohol is because I am addicted to it. It is a drug my body thinks it needs to feel "normal/happy/relaxed/fun/social". It is no different than a drug addict craving their next fix.  I am no different from the addict I watch on tv - I am getting high on my drug of choice - alcohol.
  • I crave it to relieve my withdrawal symptoms, not because I need it to be happy. That is my addicted voice trying to trick me into using. (yes, using - no different than a drug addict - I am addicted to a drug - this makes me a drug addict). 
  • I will only "feel" happy for maybe two hours while the drug is in my body which is because I am ingesting a drug (and getting high) that my body is addicted to. Those two hours are not worth what follows - depression, disappointment, anxiety.
  • I am strong! I AM NOT powerless over alcohol. I am powerful enough to say no - to not put the drug in my body that continues the cycle.
  • Nothing changes if nothing changes!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

7/13/17 (Thurs) Heart Diagnosis

I got my test results from wearing the holter monitor for three days.  The dr said I have Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC). Of course I started doing some research on it.  I found the following:

Risk factors

By Mayo Clinic Staff
The following stimulants, conditions and triggers may increase your risk of premature ventricular contractions:
  • Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol
  • Exercise
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Anxiety
  • Underlying heart disease, including congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure and a weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)

Complications

By Mayo Clinic Staff
If you have frequent premature ventricular contractions or certain patterns of premature ventricular contractions, you may be at increased risk of developing heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) or weakening of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
Rarely, when accompanied by underlying heart disease, frequent premature contractions can lead to chaotic, dangerous heart rhythms and possibly sudden cardiac death.

Well, in a way I got what I wanted. Medical proof that I am damaging myself with alcohol.  I am 100% sure that mine are caused by alcohol because they occur the night of and for a couple of days after drinking. This is probably because of the alcohol itself and the anxiety I feel regarding drinking.  When I stop drinking (after a couple of weeks) the get a lot better and after a couple of months pretty much go away all together.  I got a diagnosis that isn;t that scary but proves I am causing damage and can get worse if I don't take steps to be more healthy. 
This is just another tool in my toolbox to help when/if I get cravings to drink.  It is just not worth it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

7/12/17 - 3 Weeks - What is different?

I haven't posted in a couple days bc I got sick - I think I got some kind of food poisoning from the Renaissance Fair.  Kinda sucks bc I didn't even drink and have felt totally crappy, but at least I wasn't trying to cover up a three day hangover. I really was sick and everyone had to believe me - lol

How do I feel after three weeks with no alcohol (although may not be totally accurate as I have been sick)?

I haven't had a whole lot of physical change yet in terms of weight loss (have only lost 3 pounds), but I do feel less a lot less bloated and my skin definitely looks better.  I am sleeping a lot better which is also helping me not look so tired.

I think the biggest change so far is mental. My brain used to feel like this

Related image                 Image result for calm thoughta

I don't know if that makes sense, but it used to feel like my thoughts were just like a thousand bees flying randomly through my head at the same time at a million miles per hour - like my head just truly never calmed down. Like a constant buzzing of anxiety about everything and nothing at the same time.

Now, it is just so much calmer in my head.  It is so hard to explain.  It's not like my thoughts were consumed by alcohol all the time. usually just in the morning when I blogged and on the weekends when I wanted to drink, but all of my thoughts just swirled around in my head. It was just easier to do nothing. To sit on the couch and zone out on tv during the week and use alcohol to zone out on the weekend. I would just get so overwhelmed by everything, I just chose to deal with nothing. I just felt stuck like my feet were in concrete. Life was just passing me by and I was not even moving forward.

My motivation is not back yet, but I have also been sick and healing from alcohol abuse.  I do, however,  feel calmer about getting started - a little less overwhelmed at the prospect of making and actually putting a dent in a to do list.  My brain feels more like this:


Related image

I am noticing way more all the time. Like there is more empty space in my brain to take things in . Like I am more away of everything around me. I am talking about even when sober. I always (even sober) just felt like I was in a tunnel or with those things that horse wear to point there vision straight forward.  I had just gotten so used to only looking at what I had to to get through the day - just the things I had to do  (teaching, laundry, cooking, cleaning, yard work, grocery shopping). I wasn't looking at the peripherals of my life anymore - the things I might want to do (hiking, bicycling, working out, finding a hobby, painting my house, de-cluttering, etc. I was just doing what I had to do to keep the appearance of my my perfect little life in tact but was too depressed to do anything that gave me joy.  The only way I found was on the weekends when I was drinking with friends. Which I now know is just a lie - it wasn't joy I was finding - it was relief of a craving to a poison I was addicted to . The same poison that was making the joy in everyday life impossible to find.

I don;t know if any of that make sense. It is so hard to explain.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

7/9/17 (Sun) Yippee!

I did it! I did it! I did it!  I experienced my first sober Renaissance Festival and had fun. And....my son (without really saying so bc that's who he is) and my daughter (who said it multiple times in all caps) told me how proud they were of me!

I am proud of me.  I am proud of me not so much bc I didn't drink (well that too) but because I was not "white knuckling it".  Something has shifted in my brain and I just, honest to God, did not want to drink.  Everyone else was (my very best drinking buddy, her husband and two daughters, one of which just turned 21, and my husband) and I didn't care.  My husband, who is usually right there with me on about beer 5-6 by 4:00 in the afternoon, only had one beer the whole day.  This is probably bc I wasn't constantly either bringing him beer or having him get me one. Maybe my not drinking will also help him drink less. I didn't feel jealous. I didn't care at all how much they drank. It just wasn't for me.  I was fine with my ice tea and root beer ( of which I only had one of each).  I thought I would be just downing the root beet in an attempt to substitute for the beer. Funny thing - I can stop at one root beer lol! My body didn't go into "I need just one more" mode with soda!  Funny how that works. I had one and that was enough even though I had given myself prior permission to drink six! I only had two beverages. In the past I wouldn't have been without a cup  in my hand for more than 20 minutes.  It was a very weird feeling to not drink and not care.

It was actually pretty liberating as every decision I made wasn't about alcohol - where is the next beer stand? What time is it? How many more can I have before they close? Should I have any more? It's the Renaissance - who cares? You might feel crappy tomorrow? So what?  OMG! All of those exhausting thoughts were not in my head.  It actually felt a little peaceful,just way calmer, inside my head.

At an end of the day, we sat down to watch a show that is completely inappropriate but fun and hilarious.  This has been how we have finished the day in the past. At the stage with the heaviest drinkers who didn't want to leave and the show filled with singing and raunchy jokes.  I had my 11 year old nephew with me. Before the show started, they had a warning about the content. As I was they only one with a child in the audience, I knew it was directed at me.  In the past, in my end of the day  - drunken/this is all about me/this is my day/this is were I want to be  - state, I would have either ignored the warning or had someone else (like my 19 yo son who would have been embarrassed to get up and walk out right after the warning like I was making him leave) take him somewhere or would have begrudgingly gotten up and taken him somewhere myself.  Because I wasn't drinking, my attitude was much better - I was perfectly fine taking him to get some food while letting everyone else (who was drinking) enjoy the show.  That was a pretty awesome, unselfish, responsible feeling.

Another example - a lady was super upset because she couldn't find her kid.  Me, being in my right mind, found a security guard for her who then was able to radio all the other security.  After about 20 minutes the child was found.  I was grateful I was sober enough to help this total stranger.  Turns out the day isn't all about me and that felt pretty good.  I could get used to this!

Also - I was shocked by how many people weren't drinking at all!!!!  I thought everyone was totally trashed at the Renaissance Festival.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

7/8/17 (Sat) Here we go - Sober Renaissance and they weren't as drunk as me???

Welp..I am going to the first sober Renaissance ever.  I don't feel like I will be tempted even though it has always been unapologetic drunken, crazy, fun day for 20 years. I am dead set determined to experience all the same things without alcohol.  What I am worried about is being bored.

I am not going to isolate myself this time.  Last night we went to some high school friends' house for a "been a long time" get together.  These are the people I got wasted with every weekend for 20 years before I had kids.  I did not drink last night.  I had a dark root beer bottle and just sipped on that all night with my hand covering the label.  We were outside and nobody even noticed.

I noticed two things.

1.  My memories of my twenties are very blurry.  I really don't remember a lot about some of the people we hung out with. I remember their names and their faces but really not much about them.  I do believe that I has just drunk every weekend that I wasn't all that present for the conversations we had or the things we did. I found myself faking it a lot last night.  "Oh ya, I remember that" even though the memory was very vague.  I didn't realize how much of it I don't remember, therefore how messed up I was most of the time, until people from the past start talking about it.  I had no idea how much I had not only forgotten, but couldn't pull it out of my memory at all even though I was there. Kinda scary, actually.

2.  Because of the conversations last night and the reminiscing I don't think everyone else was as drunk as  I was most of the time - and  - at the time (and until last night) I thought they were.  They talked about all this stuff that happened. I was there and don't remember a lot of it.  During one particular memory they were talking about, when I was super drunk, we were all laughing about it.  I was laughing right along with them, but in my head I was thinking "how embarrassing" bc it involved things like holding my hair back for me while I puked in the toilet and having to be picked up  in the ally of a bar I had to be dragged out of the bathroom by security.  I turned to my friend and asked, "Was anyone else as bad as me?" She said, "No." I got this weird feeling, right at that moment last night sitting around the fire, that that might have been the case during much of my twenties.  They were sitting there remembering all these details of that time period and I was struggling to keep up, nodding my head and laughing, pretending to remember.  I could have sworn everyone was always as drunk as I was. It's all just so weird.

Friday, July 7, 2017

7/7/17 (Fri) Tough weekend (Renaissance Festival) and talk with friend

This weekend we are going to a festival in my state which we have been going to for 15 years. This day usually involves getting there around 10:00 and the drinking begins and lasts all day.  I try to go slow in the beginning but once my BAC got high enough, I always got that feeling of "I only have 3 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour, 30 minutes left before closing time - I better hurry up and get another beer." It was a day of drinking - like 8 hours and it was one of the only days of the year I could drink all day long as much as I wanted with no guilty feelings bc everyone else was doing it. And I loved it! I lived for the Renaissance Festival!  Many times I could barely walk when we left or I was singing super loud in the car all the way home - probably super annoying considering we usually car pool. Many times the party continued once we got home.  Everyone else was probably done, but not me  - I was like, "What should we do now? Wanna go out to dinner? Go to an amusement part? Get some roadies for the drive home?"  I thought I was just the life of the party. Everyone else probably thought I was super annoying and drunk.

Plus we are going with one of my all time favorite drinking buddies. We have a 15 year drinking history and I love drinking with her bc she drinks as much as me lol!  She was always right there with me to the very end, getting in that one last drink. Just a couple of middle aged, drunk women, dancing and singing out way out the doors at closing time - out husbands ready to leave long ago.  We would say, "This is our day and we are staying until the very end!" Why was it out day? Because we could drink all day, uninhibited as much as we wanted   - just feeding the wolf's insatiable thirst.

I am going tomorrow and I am not drinking. I am going to experience it sober. (Wow even writing about quenching the thirst (above) started some cravings and second thoughts - maybe I should start after tomorrow - scary how quickly that little voice can sneak in!!!) Anyway, I am determined to experience everything I used to but without alcohol - not isolate myself like last time. I don't need it to have fun. I can have fun without it, and I sure as hell will feel better Sunday.  And I will be super proud of myself.

I told my friend I wasn't drinking - not quite sure what her response would be.  I know if I was in her shoes, I would be super disappointed - maybe even a little pissed that she was taking that day away from me.  I know - super selfish and stupid - but truthful.

Here was the text string between us last night:

Her
Do you want to ride together Saturday?

Me
Sure. I can drive as I am not drinking.

Her
Are you not drinking at all? I am really struggling right now with that. Hit another rough patch.

Me
Nope...I quit...sick of it...

Her
I hear you! I need to get to that point. I feel like I am the all or nothing point. And right now it seems like "all" - so much emotional eating and drinking.

Me
I just got to a point (depressed/bad anxiety/not sleeping) when sober. The only thing that made me feel better was drinking which wasn't even fun anymore. I kept using what was making me sick to try to feel better. So much bullshit. I have just wasted too many years trying to be a "normal" drinker. I am just not wired that way anymore.

Her
I am exactly at that place! Using...knowing it is what makes me feel worse and then using it to make me feel better and then feeling worse, etc. etc.

Me
Cycle of addiction...totally sucks! I am 100% addicted to alcohol. It has messed up my brain to the point that I am having a hard time finding joy in everyday life. Drinking is the problem. I drink 2 days a week but it kicks my ass every single day. I am sick of poisoning myself.

Her
Totally makes sense. I go through periods when I am in total control and then periods of binging. The binging far outweighs the periods of being in control. Even though I am not drinking as much as I used to, the effects are far more impactful. Anxiety, depression, irritability, lack of motivation, no joy!

Me
All caused by alcohol. It changes the neurotransmitters in the brain. Repairable but only if I stop causing the damage. I have been doing a lot of reading about it.

Her
I would love to read some of the literature you have. I need a good kick in the butt. You know the mind games. How you talk yourself in and out of it day in and day out.

Me
That is the bullshit addictive voice. (And then I told about the three books I have read)


Wow! That went better than I thought.  We'll see how she does tomorrow.  I don't care it she drinks. I am not going to make her feel guilty or lecture her or act superior in my sobriety.  But I will show her I can have fun without it and be there for her in her own struggles.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

7/6/17 (Thurs) Drinking a Love Story

I was reading "Drinking a Love Story" last night. I can confidently say I was not as bad as the author (Caroline Knapp) - I didn't wake up in strange beds, drink every single day , black out entire nights or drink multiple bottles of wine in a sitting....but......what scared me was that the way she thought about alcohol was frightening similar to the way I thought about it.  I have no doubt I would have, eventually, ended up there.  The last 2 months before I quit (15 day ago!!)  were increasingly getting worse. Who knows, maybe this would have been the month when I stepped into the point of no return - where I really did need alcohol just to live - where I was at risk of losing everything. It really did scare me when I read things about drinkers who just all of a sudden, without warning, have a flip switched and everything changed for the worse - full on physical addiction (shakes, seizures, etc).

Here are a couple of passages that resonated with me from the book that I want to remember.

"The worried morning after: every alcoholic  I knew had them. We'd wake up after a party and spend the morning worrying about what we'd said or done the night before, and finally we'd cal the person who threw the party and hint for clues to out behavior by gauging the response. "I had way too much to drink last night," we'd say, as though this were a rarity, a fluke.. "I hope I didn't do anything too stupid."  Pause. "Oh, you were fine." Those were the words I always looked for. "I didn't even notice." If no one else worried, I didn't need to either."

I have done this so many times, including a few weeks ago when I started bawling in front of my friends.  I individually checked with all four of them and did the same thing. And they said the same thing. I am sure they were lying bc I have been on the other side of the conversation before. I said, "You were fine" bc I didn't want them to be embarrassed but I was thinking "You were wasted and a mess and you might want to get some help with your drinking problem."

"The worst was wondering what I'd said, what confidences I might have broken, what evil tidbit I might have passed along to someone about a mutual friend, what self aggrandize comment I might have tossed off. Sometimes when I got drunk I could feel my own sober rules of social conduct just melt away, hear that little voice in my head say, "No: don't start talking about that," and then go ahead and talk about it anyway. Then you wake up in the morning and cringe. That kind of behavior is driven be an information-as-power equation, a wish to see yourself as an insider, a person equipped with certain facts. Ultimately, of course, all you really do is reinforce your sense of yourself as an untrustworthy person. You wake up in the morning and remember bits and pieces; you remember leaning across the table and saying," Don't repeat any of this to anyone, but...." You remember knowing you'd regret it in the morning, regret chipping away sliver of your own integrity. And you remember you went ahead and did it anyway."

OMG! I have thought to myself so many times, "Don't talk about that" and then do it anyway.  I do hear that little voice in my head but ignore it.  I really think I am the shit when drinking. And if I don't feel like I am getting enough attention or if I start getting bored, I bring up these conversations or pieces of information and always regret it in the morning.  I am so extremely selfish when drinking.  She hit the nail on the head.  It's weird how other drinkers think the EXACT same way I do.

"Late that night, unable to sleep, I thought about my shyness, and I remember wondering, fleetingly, if the drinking created a kind of personality trap; perhaps the shyness. so acute for so many years, persisted because I hid my real self behind the liquor, because I never let anyone get to know me unless I'd flooded my system with a few gallons of  Champagne."

I really do not like the person I am when drinking except when I am drinking. I should trust my sober assessment of myself and know that when I am drinking, I am putting out an image of myself that is arrogant, selfish, dominating, gossipy, loud and annoying.  I have been also noticing that that persona is also leaking into my sober personality. Not because I think I am so cool (like I do when drinking) but as a wall, a defense mechanism to keep people from getting too close to me and seeing who I really am - insecure, overly sensitive, addicted, anxious and depressed.



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

7/5/17 (Wed) - Obsessed with past reflection

I am obsessed with going back in my posts to see how bad it was. Somehow it makes me grateful I did not drink on the 4th.  I know it would be better to focus on the here and now, stop obsessing with my blog, get up, work out...but whatever - it is interesting how long I have truly suffered. I am so glad to be done with it.

July 2016

It is so difficult to come back to my blog when I have written for days or maybe even weeks about not drinking and then drink.  It just seems so humiliating and embarrassing and hard to deal with.  It is easier to just keep getting through my day without thinking about it - without looking at it. 

It hasn't been a complete fail.  I have only drank on the weekends, have taken my naltrexone every time and not overdone it, but I don't feel great.  It just seems that no matter how much I drink, it just kind of dulls my life in general.  I just seem to be more tired, emotional, numb. - and I'm talking about when I am sober.  Does that make sense?  It is hard to explain. I just feel like I get to through my day in some sort of distracted, foggy mode.  Like I just am constantly looking around (not literally) so I don't focus on any one thing so I don't have to focus on the ONE thing that I know I should. 

Well, not much else to say.  I feel down, grumpy, tired, blah, unmotivated. I know what I need to do...

July 2015

Went to the mountains
7/3 - 6
7/4 - 8
7/5 - 0 (Hangover)
Back from the mountains
7/6 - 5

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?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

7/4/17 (Tues) 4th of July

Related image

This holiday has always meant alcohol to me since as long as I can remember.  Neighborhood parties where everyone was drinking, kids playing and having fun, fireworks, bonfires in the streets.  It was always just another excuse to drink. Not today :) . We do have a neighborhood party but as everyone has to work tomorrow it may be pretty low key. If dh wants to go, I will go with him.  I am not going to do anything differently this time in terms of isolating myself.  I think that contributed to my relapse after 255 days.  I just stayed in this place of deprivation and loneliness and pity and anger that I couldn't drink. This Naked Mind helped me realize that I need to approach sobriety differently. Instead of thinking "I can't drink", I need to thing "I am so glad I am not drinking".  Instead of focusing on the two things I won't be experiencing (the buzz and the fitting in), I need to focus on the positives of being sober (a clear mind, remaining in control of myself, not embarrassing myself, having real social connections and conversations, being proud of myself, having my kids be proud of me for keeping my commitment and not having a hangover tomorrow).  If I start to have a craving (which I don't think is likely) I will leave and come home.  I plan on bringing root beer (my treat as I never drink soda but better for me than beer) to drink in a plastic cup. Maybe nobody will notice I am not drinking. If they do I will just tell them I am taking a break. If they press further, I will say that I feel better when I don't drink.

Also, the drinking dreams have started.  The last two nights, I have had cravings in my dreams but did not give in.