Thursday, April 27, 2017

4/27/17 (Thurs) - Emotional vs physical response to alcohol

The last two Sundays when I have woke up at 2:00 am (after drinking) and can't go back to sleep, I posted a question about why on a message board I am on. Many said that they thought the heart palpitations and insomnia were caused by anxiety.  I am not so sure.  I really truly believe that alcohol, no matter how little, causes that physical response in my body.  It may be the same physical feelings of anxiety but not caused by worry, disappointment, shame.  Last Sunday, yes I drank and I wasn't happy about it but I wasn't beating myself up about it at 2:00 am.  In other words my anxiety about drinking weren't causing the physical symptoms.  I believe that the presence of alcohol in my system caused my body to have the physical symptoms of heart palpitations, headaches and insomnia.  I also believe that the presence of alcohol in my system over time has physically messed with the neurotransmitter in my brain and is physically causing anxiety, depression, memory loss and exhaustion. I don't think it is all an emotional/mental response any more.  I think my body can no longer physically handle alcohol.

Monday, April 24, 2017

2/24/27 (Sun) - Stupid stupid stupid stupid!!!!!!!

It really took a lot for me to post today. I really was ready to just give up on the blogging as I feel like an idiot and am tired of posting about failure.

As you can guess, I drank last night!!!  Only two beers, but once again failed a promise I made to myself about a sober weekend.  I really don't know why. I started BBQing and a beer just sounded good, so I had one. I didn't really even wrestle with it in my mind. I just got one and drank it. No big deal. And then I drank another one but did stop at two even though I wanted a third. I would have called that a semi-success except I broke a promise to myself (for the millionth time) and I fell like crap today.

No big deal?!?!?!? I woke up at 1:30 after three hours of sleep (wnet to bed two hours past my usual bedtime) had a terrible stomach ache, a bit of a headache and never went back to sleep. Just like liast Sunday!!!  After only two beers?!?!?!?  My body is intolerant of alcohol.

So here I am - another Monday feeling tired (not so much hungover like last Monday) but still tired, pissed at myself, and grumpy. Choose the behavior....choose the consequence.

Well...I can't change it and I won't stop trying so here is to next weekend being a sober weekend.

And I would like to apologize to myself for being a dumb ass yet again.

Now that all of that is out......I am going to try to stay positive about my road to sobriety rather than dwell on my failure.

Back to climbing that damn hill...

Image result for sober rocks

Sunday, April 23, 2017

4/23/17 (Sun) - Two down, one to go

I did not drink.  We even went to dinner with my sister. She had wine. I had seltzer.  After I ordered the seltzer, she says,"You on the wagon again?" I said, "Yes, for this weekend. I drank quite a bit last weekend and felt terrible on Monday.  I am taking a break this weekend." It was fine. She had to take her boys somewhere after anyways so it felt good that I wasn't drinking therefore she wouldn't want to drink anymore than one glass either.

One more day and I'm good until next weekend.   It is nice and sunny outside, and I am going to BBQ. I may get some cravings, but I'm not gonna drink today.

I will enjoy being sober today.

Image result for enjoy being sober

Saturday, April 22, 2017

4/22/17 (Sat) - One down, Two to go

I am a weekend drinker (which I pay for during the week).  If I can get through today and tomorrow, I will be good until next weekend. I am going to reread and remind myself how awful I felt last Monday after a weekend of drinking.  When the cravings begin, I am going to read my post from last Monday.  I don't know if I will get together with my sister, but if I am not confident I can say no to drinking, I will tell her I still am not feeling well.  I want to be sober this weekend so I can start healing and getting back in shape for the summer.  I am 20 pounds overweight, and I am sick of it.  I know I will be too depressed and exhausted to work out next week if I drink this weekend.

I am determined to have a Sober Saturday.

Friday, April 21, 2017

4/21/17 (Fri) - Success for today

I had two offers tonight to get together - friends and my sister.  I would have drank. I told all of them that I wasn't feeling that well (which isn't a complete lie), stayed home and watched tv. Going to bed soon (before 9:00) lol.

My sister wants to get together tomorrow. Not sure what I will do...

But today I was successful :)  Friday's are hard.  The fact that is was rainy helped.

4/21/27 (Fri) - Nervous

I haven't had a sober weekend in a awhile. I have gotten back in the habit of drinking as soon as I get home on Friday afternoon. Not usually too much, but still.  Saturday I am back in the habit of coordinating some kind of situation (getting together with neighbors or family or going out to dinner or just looking around the neighborhood texting any of my drinking friends with a "what's up" and hoping they mention "wanna have a drink").  I feel like I am plotting and planning in my head all day to have an excuse to drink in the late afternoon/evening. Lately, I have been drinking too much on Saturdays and feeling crappy on Sunday. If I do manage to moderate on Saturday, then I usually figure out a way to justify drinking on Sunday (family dinner, BBQ, yard work, just happen to go outside when my neighbor is out there bc I know she will always say "wanna have a beer?",  then I act like "well, idk, it's Sunday, I have to work tomorrow, OK just one (which is never just one). It is all so much bullshit and planning nd energy.  Then I wake up Monday and fell terrible just trying to get through the day. I don;t work out. I eat like crap, I am bloated, exhausted, depressed, etc. I don't start feeling better until Thursday and start the whole cycle over.  In fact, my brain was telling me yesterday - just drink - who cares - try harder - don't blog - summer is coming - you can;t do this over summer - just work out - you are fine.

SHUT UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 I AM NOT DRINKING THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoa, wait a minute-----------I am staying sober this weekend!  There that feels better.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

4/20/17 (Thurs) - Climbing the mountain

Image result for mountain

I was a a training for work yesterday and although they were talking about teaching related stuff, I kept thinking about how it also applied to my quest for sobriety.  There were three things I wrote down:

When changing, you move through four steps

unconscious incompetence - you don't even know you have a problem  
conscious incompetence  - you know you have a problem
conscious competence  - you work really hard on the problem
unconscious competence  - the problem is resolved - no longer takes huge amounts of effort

I think I have been back and forth between steps 2 and 3 for a long time - usually in step 2, trying to be in step 3, hoping to someday be in step 4.

"People have built quite successful careers describing the hill, measuring the hill, walking around the hill, taking pictures of the hill and so forth. Sooner or later, somebody needs to actually climb the hill." from Six Secrets of Change by Pfeffer

I have worn a deep path around the "sobriety hill" not only doing those things but also trying to figure out the grass on the hill, why it grows there, when it was created, if I can change it, if it even needs changing, who else has been on the hill, if they climbed it, how they climbed it, how long did they stay on it, what kind of animals live on it, have ever lived on it, if there is another way around it, if I can get to the top without actually climbing it, do I even need to get to the top, is it even fun up there, get the point.  Who gives a shit! Just climb the damn hill already! Also I feel like it is more of a mountain as shown above rather than nice little grassy hill.

We often lose focus when the business of daily school (life) happens. We shift into a reactive role. responding to chaos, rather than proactively working towards goals that might address some of the underlying reasons for the chaos." -Aguilar

I totally get that, except the chaos of drinking is in my brain.  When tomorrow night arrives (or maybe even tonight - you know Thirsty Thursday) the chatter, negotiating, convincing, screaming, chaotic voice in my head will begin telling me to drink - that I'm not that bad and I can moderate if I just try harder.  I need to have a plan to get through that.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

4/19/17 (Wed) - I will stay sober and present this weekend

Image result for standing on a burning bridge

I am not going to say "I will not drink" because that is not doing something which feels like I am missing out - going without something.  I am going to say "I am staying sober" like I am giving myself a gift, like it is my choice and I am adding something instead of taking something away.

I was sitting outside last nigh,t in the dark letting my dogs out and started thinking.  I really do enjoy the feeling of being sober.  So I started thinking about why. Besides the obvious reason of not having a 3 day hangover I was thinking about my actual feelings while drinking,. Comparing how I feel when I drink to when I don't. It is so hard to articulate. When I drink I feel a sense of urgency. Although I feel relaxed, I feel a little impatient. Maybe impatient with conversations/situations/ people.  Too impatient to wash my face or do the dished before I go to bed. I also feel a little hyper but also super lazy and out of it. I get hyper like around making dinner for guests or dominating conversations but also lazy like I just want to sit in my chair and continue to drink. It is so hard to explain how it makes me feel and why I like it.  I am not so sure I actually like it while I am doing it.  I just really like it before I start and am thinking about it. And then i just get ind of out of it and don;t want to stop.  What is it I like so much about being buzzed?  Maybe it is that I can just not think about all the chores and things I should or could be doing. Maybe it is just to shut of my brain for a little while and not think. Maybe it is to socialize without getting bored with conversations.  Maybe it is two fold - to fight boredom but also make me not think about the responsibilities of life.

Anyways - when I was sitting outside last night (sober) I was trying to pinpoint what I like about the feeling of being sober.  I like that I take care of responsibilities (even stupid stuff like laundry or house cleaning) which I will totally put off if I spend a weekend drinking and then the following week recovering. I like that I feel calmer inside myself.  That irritable, impatient, uncomfortable (I can't find the right word) person calms down for the most part. She only comes back out when the weekend comes and I can't drink.

I think the thing I like the most about being sober (besides not having debilitating hangovers and being depressed and anxious and exhausted and out of shape) is the feeling of being present.  While sitting outside last night my thoughts were on the wind in the trees, the moon in the sky, the dogs sniffing around, the smell of dampness in the air. If I were drinking last night I would have either not even let them outside before bed or certainly not sat down outside and just enjoyed the moment.  I feel like I enjoy things when I drink, but how much can I really enjoy them if all my senses are numbed and I am not present.

Distracted - that's the word I feel when I drink. It some sort of weird distracted feeling in my own head - not with outside things. Like I'm not really paying attention to anything or anyone around me. I sort of am but not really. It feels very selfish.  It is a difference between feeling distracted and being present.

I don't know if any of that makes any sense. I suppose I am just still in analysis paralysis when the simple answer is just don't drink (whoops - just stay sober).  I heard someone say once - Why have I stayed on this burning bridge for all of these years trying to figure out why it is burning?  Why don't I just get off the bridge? It is all so stupid!

Monday, April 17, 2017

4/17/17 (Sun) - Day 1 is 2:30 in the morning and I have only gotten 4 hours of sleep. I feel terrible and have to go to work today.

This was Easter weekend and I had 16 drinks over the course of the weekend.  Friday I started at 4:00 and only had 3 light beers but I had promised myself I wasn't going to drink at all this weekend as I drank too much last weekend.  Saturday probably had 7 beer (some high content IPA beers) and yesterday more than a whole bottle of wine.

The first thing I wanted to do when I got up is go back on my blog and look at how bad the past Easter weekends had been.  I don't think I have ever been sober (except when pregnant) during the spring.  It is so hard for me.  Why do I always want to look back and analyze how bad I have been for so long? Am I still trying to convince myself that I need to quit?  How many more weekends, months, years am I going to spend fighting this?  I am tired. I give up.  I give in.  You win, alcohol. You have beat me. I can't control you. I am back to planning and plotting my next drinking evening - trying to get people together, hosting parties, rationalizing, craving, sneaking, getting that insatiable need of wanting more even though everyone else is done, texting people to come over just so I can keep drinking,

I need a break. My body needs a break. My brain needs a break. My soul needs a break.

I know it is easy to say "I quit" at 2:00 in the morning when I can't sleep after a bad weekend. I know I will feel differently by Wednesday when that open bottle of wine is calling to me. If I can hold off until Friday, I am 100% positive I will have changed my mind and want to drink.

I need to figure out how to fight my addiction voice on Friday when it tells me I can drink, that I am fine, that I will just try harder to control the beast.

Don't tell me I need to get help. I am not getting help. I can do this on my own.  Maybe I can't do this on my own. Maybe that is why I have been trying for so long and failing.  What is wrong with me? I am not going to AA - too much stigma - probably too many memories of of my father and AA and it still didn't help him - his addiction killed him.

I am a strong, intelligent person.  I can do this on my own.  I know I can, I just need to try harder. I just need to want more from my life. I need to not care what everyone else thinks. I need to give sobriety a fighting chance. I want to be free of this obsession and see what a great life I can have alcohol free.  I do believe all of you happy sober people out there. I just need to believe it can happen for me.  I want to enjoy my life without alcohol.


Friday, April 14, 2017

4/14/17 (Fri) - Rapid, thudding heart beat after one drink?

Very interesting article about all the ways alcohol damages the body.

Question for all of you out there - when I drink anything (even just one beer, glass of wine or hard seltzer), my heart beats really hard when I go to bed. It feels like it is going to beat out of my chest.  It beats more quickly than normal and kind of has this rolling over thudding feeling.  Its so bad it keeps me awake for hours.  I get that binge drinking will cause this - but one drink?  Anyone have any medical evidence of what is happening?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

4/12/17 - (Wed) Feeling better

I feel a little less bloated, depressed, exhausted, anxious, sad, blah, hopeless today.  I know drinking this weekend will bring it back so let's see if I can have a sober weekend.  It's been awhile.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

4/11/17 (Tues) - Looking back - no progress

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One of the reasons I keep this blog is to be able to examine my journey.  Well, it appears that my journey is a whole lot of bullshit talking without a lot of actual action and/or change...

April 2016
After all of that writing and thinking and pondering and analyzing and problem solving and list making and convincing....I drank Saturday!!!!! I am so stupid.   I was going to abstain all of April.  I have except for twice.  Here were my excuses both times.  Two Saturdays ago we went out to dinner with my sister at a nice restaurant - big trigger for wine btw!  I told myself that I had drank so many weekends during February and March (after abstaining in January) bc I wasn't taking my naltrexone. So I was going to try it (taking the 1/4 pill an hour before and then allowing myself 2 (max 3) drinks. I had used it before Christmas and it really was helping.  Well if you remember, I had 1 beer and 2 glasses of wine and felt like hell the next day. Couldn't seep all night and was exhausted Sunday swearing I was taking a break (it pisses me off, btw, that I feel this bad after only 3 drinks!!!!). Well, this last Saturday I talked myself into drinking by saying, "Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it would be different with beer."  So I drank 3 beers (one light and 2 IPA 8%).  Well, guess what? I slept 3 whole hours of the 7 I was in bed (anxious, heart racing, sweating) and felt like shit yesterday - after 3 beers!!!!  I wasted another weekend day sitting on the couch and am waking up on one more Monday feeling tired. 

April 2015
I don't know why it has to come down to enjoying my weekends at the expense of feeling depressed/anxious the rest of the week or being in a better place overall but having crappy weekends.

I do know that when I am not drinking at all, I will go to bed and wake up with a smile on my face probably 80% of the time. When I am drinking on the weekends, that never happens.  I do get a smile on my face later in the day when it is almost time to drink but usually I wake up the a frowny, furrowed brow, grumpy face. 

I wonder if maybe the 10 drinks I had this weekend were just too much for me, that I have to be really careful about the amount I consume.  Maybe that is enough to make me grumpy, depressed and anxious. 

I do know that I told myself that I was only going to use alcohol in social situation where I just felt extremely awkward not to be drinking.  I don't want to have to avoid these thing and isolate myself, which is what always causes me to give up my abstinence goals.

I did not hold true to that promise this weekend.  While I did not get crazy or drink too much I did drink yesterday by myself. I just felt like having a beer while putting away groceries and then finishing that last glass of wine with dinner.  I found myself choosing high alcohol beer and wine instead of light beer so I could drink less - kind of that chasing the buzz thing. I found myself really wishing there was more wine left or wondering if anyone would notice if I went and got one more beer - kind of a craving type of thing. My dh was not not drinking and while I wasn't really hiding it or sneaking, I was hoping that he (or my ds) would notice.  I think that somewhere inside I realized I wasn't keeping my promises to myself and I didn't care.

I am not ready to give up drinking entirely.  I need to go into next weekend with a plan.  It is simply not enough anymore to simply say that if I don't have a hangover, then I had a good weekend.  I need to keep the amount I consume down so that I don't get anxious and depressed.  I truly believe that drinking (even moderately on the weekends) causes my body to have anxiety with leads to me feeling really crappy.  I used to think it was all in  my head - that I just obsessed too much, but I now know that I have physical response to consuming alcohol that last far beyond just having a hangover the next day.

April 2014
Well...I have not had a hangover since new Year's Day but I have increased my drinking.  Spring is the hardest time of year for me.  School is almost out, sun is shining, vacations coming up, neighbors/friends call me to come out and "play". I think I drank every day over spring break. Not too many (maybe 2 -3 per day), but everyday is just way to much for me.  Got to get back on track...just saying.....

April 2013
Well, I had been sober for 255 days yesterday.  The last time I posted I was my birthday in January.  Since then, things had been going pretty well, except my lack of energy.  I had been sober for 8 and a half months and I just could not seem to get my energy back.  I couldn't get to the gym, I couldn't get things checked of my to do list on the weekends...I just had no drive, no purpose, no energy at all. 

With alcohol I was doing pretty good.  I even went to a couple of socials events, didn't drink and still had fun.  Everyone was so proud of my, and I was proud of myself, but just felt lifeless.

I have come to realize that it isn't necessarily the "buzz"  that I miss so much...i don't really miss feeling a little out of it and not 100% present which I have really enjoyed this last 255 days. It is the anticipation of the environment of the "buzz."  I used to live for the weekends.  I would look so forward to doing things and being social.  It almost gave me energy.  I know I was probably just looking forward to feeding my addiction, but I really have not missed that "buzzed" feeling.  I really do miss looking forward to something.  Everything just seems so boring and drab and lifeless. 

I have been overall much happier with my own sense of well being these last few months, but have also sort of slipped into this depressed boredom. 

Last night we went to dinner with my sister and her boyfriend.  We have all had our differences in the past and I was so looking forward to this "rekindling" of our relationship.  We got there and she was having a glass of red wine, and I found myself literally overcome with jealously and anxiety.  I couldn't even carry on a conversation.  It just hit me out of the blue.  I could tell they were uncomfortable with the fact that I wasn't drinking.  I was uncomfortable.  I so desperately don't want it to be like that.  I look around the really nice steak restaurant and see all the table enjoying a glass of wine and I suddenly get pissed off.  I want to have a glass of wine dammit!  I want to sit here, have a nice adult dinner with my sister and enjoy a glass of wine, dammit!  I couldn't even focus!  It was crazy!  Before you knew it, I had ordered and was enjoying a glass of red wine.

I don't know how I feel about it.  On the one hand I slept like crap...I had hot flashes all night. That hasn't happened in about 7 months so I know it was the alcohol and I am more tired than usual today.  I know that I feel much better when I don't drink, but I am not emotionally beating myself up.  i promised myself last night that I wouldn't do that if I chose to have a glass of wine.  I am a little disappointed that I didn't make it a year and am not sure if I will drink again. 

April 2012
Well this weekend didn't go that great.  First off, I did not have a hangover and that is my true measure of progress. but ..... my numbers were not great. 

I am feeling a little bit if that "bury it and move on" feeling.  Like I just don't want to look at it, talk about it, feel it, examine it, SEE it.  I just want to forget about it and do better next weekend.  But ..... that is not how I am going to get better.  I promised myself I would no longer be in denial and really look at how I am doing so......

Wednesday - had 1 beer .... wasn't even going to admit that.  I don't know why.  It just sounded good, I was cooking, the thought popped into my mind and before even letting myself think about it, I had one open.  Broke a rule - no drinking on weekdays.

Friday - had 2 - not that big of a deal, but I am starting to get that "It's Friday!  Let's have a beer!" feeling again early in the afternoon.  That's concerning.  I bought my first bottle of wine since before Christmas for my friend who just went through something pretty tough with her daughter.  I think that might have just been an excuse. I could have just bought her beer.  Had one glass of wine with dinner.

Saturday - Had one beer early evening by myself - another rule broken. Kind of like pre drinking since I knew I was getting together with my neighbor.  Brought that bottle of wine over to my neighbors and had wine on her front porch - HUGE rule broken - no partying with wine.  Still ate dinner and drank lots of water, but ended up having 5!  The scariest part of that was that at 10:30 when the wine was gone, I almost opened up a beer.  I really wanted to, but I didn't.  I went home and went to bed. I could sit here and say that it was still progress, but that would be a lie.

Sunday - Another neighbor came over and "made me" come have a beer with her.  Another rule broken - nothing on Sunday if I already drank on Fri and Sat.

Total for the week 9 - UNACCEPTABLE!  What is more worrisome to me than the number is the way my head feels like it is slipping back into those "whatever, bury it, don't see it, do better next time" feelings.  I also woke up Sunday morning feeling a little guilty.  I do not want those feelings back.  I guess I need to figure out what to do this weekend.

July 2011 (started blog)
10:00 - Well I got through yesterday-easy didn't even feel like drinking.  Self loathing, disappointment, exhaustion, eating crappy, doing nothing ... you know the drill.  Didn't sleep well last night - to be expected.  Woke up this morning having a dream of pouring myself a beer - what does that mean?  That's a little scary.  Feel down, depressed, tired ... always the same on day 2.  At least I am starting to recognize the patterns.  I won't want anything to drink today either .... will really focus on taking care of myself .... lots of water, healthy food, no sugar, low sodium ... gym - maybe/maybe not.  Don't really feel like it right now.

I was looking back at my row - 36 drinks in 11 days ... 5 reds in 13 days  ...  4 abs in 20 days  ....  not were I want to be

Feeling positive ..  just need to keep myself calm ....  I tend to get pretty geared up when thinking about drinking

4:00 - I think I am seriously depressed today.  I have now learned that alcohol has a chemically depressive effect on me.  I was going to get back to normal today, and all I feel like doing is going back to bed and sleeping ... maybe crying first.  I don't want to see anyone, talk to anyone, do anything.  Hoping tomorrow will be better.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

4/10/17 (Mon) - Negative Effects of Alcohol

Here are some of the negative effects I am experiencing right now bc of my weekend alcohol consumption (besides the obvious debilitating effect of hangovers at least every other weekend). These are effects I feel starting when I go to bed and for at least 2-3 days following drinking

Physical effects
Heart palpitations - happens every time I drink and try to sleep - feels like my heart is rolling over
Chest discomfort - maybe I am imagining it
Tired all the time - bc I can't sleep
Indigestion/heartburn - like seriously hurting my throat every time I drink and try to go to sleep
Feeling of allergies in the morning - congestion/itchy watery eyes and nose
Dehydration - causing lethargy, wrinkly skin
Indigestion problems - constipation for days followed by cramping and diarrhea
Lack of motivation - therefore out of shape - 20 pounds overweight which causes depression

Mental Effects
Easily distracted
Am not thinking 100% clearly - kind of in a mental fog
Sometimes have trouble articulating clearly (when sober) - words get jumbled up
Inability to make any decisions at all about anything - extreme analysis paralysis
Trouble following through with projects, household chores, etc.
Can't get more than 5 hours of sleep at night - difficulty falling asleep
Cannot keep any goal I set for myself at all ever
Extreme anger at myself - always beating myself up - feeling defeated

Emotional Effects
Feeling like I need to hide from everyone and isolate causing feelings of loneliness
Extreme anxiety causing insomnia
Not feeling like I am available to anyone because I am living in my own little nightmare
Depression - never feeling any joy or true happiness
Exhaustion - feel like I am dragging myself through my days
Lack of motivation to do anything
Irritability with everyone all  the time
Don;t really even like my life so think about leaving/divorcing/living by myself
Extreme worry about everything
No feeling of joy in my life

And this one is new and kinda scares me a lot - it is really hard to explain.
I almost feel like there is something wrong with my brain. Last night - my brain felt so strange (even after only 2 beers) when I was trying to fall asleep for like 4 hours.  I felt like every time I sort of fell asleep I had kind of a half asleep dream/hallucinate and then woke up. Like once I truly felt my son come into my room, lay down next to me and tell me his head didn't feel right and in my sleeping stupor I couldn't respond. Then I woke up and felt like it really happened - like I could feel the weight of him next to me. This happened over and over with different situations.  It was the weirdest thing. I truly felt like I was awake when it was happening only to immediately wake up and feel confused with my brain feeling really weird like I was loosing my mind.  Has anyone else experienced that before? What the hell is that?

And all of this for what???????  To feel like I fit in with my friends? To have a drink while I cook? To drink and sit in the sun? To be able to look forward to a weekend/vacation of drinking?

I have a felling I better figure out how to enjoy my life without alcohol before it does some serious, irreversible damage to my brain and body.

I need to figure it out before it is too late.  How do I choose to live without alcohol before it ruins me?

Monday, February 13, 2017

2/13/17 (Mon) - Scratch that - very disappointed

Image result for disappointed                          Image result for disappointed

Had a very productive day yesterday and then proceeded to drink 4 hard seltzers while cooking dinner.  Very disappointed in myself.

I wonder why my drinking creeps up on my when I am feeling good.  You would think that if I were feeling positive about sobriety and/or not drinking too much over the weekend, it would encourage me to stay the course. Instead I drink bc I feel good about not drinking. It doesn't make sense.

I know this happened with my dad, which is why I went to 7 different elementary schools.  We would move for a fresh start, he would do really well for awhile, then he would drink, lose his teaching job and we would have to move again.  I could never understand why he would go back to drinking when things were going so well.

It is almost like the addiction does not allow you to see that things are going well BECAUSE you are not drinking not in spite of it. And it gives you this false sense of confidence that you can try to drink moderately again. Man - alcohol sure does mess your mind is a bizarre thing.

Still striving for sobriety...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2/12/17 (Sun) - Better than last weekend - will continue to post and work on my goals

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I drank Friday night.  Not much - 2 glasses of wine and 2 hard seltzers.  I did not have a hangover, did not drink last night (didn't even want to) and felt fine this weekend - no hangovers.

I struggle with posting when I am drinking.  I usually just stop posting for a couple months. Things slowly get bad over a few months and then I come crawling back, completely defeated, and try again. I just don't want to. I don't know if it is because I am kind of ashamed and feel guilty that I am not keeping my sober goals or if it is because I just would rather not analyze it, think about it, or blog about it when I am drinking.  I know that if I am not blogging about it, reading about it, thinking about it I will progressively, slowly get worse.  I want to be 100% sober and I know that will not happen if I bury my head in the sand, look the other way and ignore it. I used to think that I was giving myself the obsession - it was just my latest selfish preoccupation and that if I just stopped thinking I had a problem then the problem would go away and I could successfully drink moderately - like everyone else.  I have finally learned that I do have a problem and I can't pretend I don't or dismiss it as being all in my head (as in making a big deal out of nothing which then becomes a big deal).

This is a big deal and I know deep down in my heart that I want to be the inspirational, peaceful, patient, content, truly happy sober woman that I know I can be.  I know that. I know I ultimately want that more than being able to successfully moderate - partly because I am not sure I can successfully moderate over time and partly because I feel better and am better when I am sober.

So...I will continue to post no matter what the weekend was like. And I will continue to analyze and read and think and try.  I am not going to give up this time.  I will get there.  It is just up to me how long it will take....

Monday, February 6, 2017

2/6/17 (Sun) - Drank this weekend but craving sobriety

Image result for sobriety

I did drink both Friday and Saturday nights this weekend.  I don't know why. I just figured January was over so why not.  I did moderate and didn't have much of a hangover either day.  I did not drink at a Super Bowl party yesterday even though most people there were drinking quite a bit and getting pretty rowdy.  I did not have a hangover yesterday and I still just didn't feel like drinking. I didn't even crave it.  I was worried I might, but I didn't. I didn't even have a problem telling people that I wasn't drinking when they asked.  I just didn't care what they thought (which truth be told - they could care less). It just felt good, right, comfortable to say, "I'm not drinking because I just feel so much better when I don't."

Even though this would have been a successful weekend in the past and I would have been proud of myself this Monday morning, I just still don't think I want to drink anymore. I am more tired today than I have been on any other Monday morning in January bc I didn't sleep well bc of drinking.  I also just get so hyper when drinking that I feel like I used up a lot of energy this weekend (coupled with lack of good sleep) that leaves me just feeling a bit depleted and drained today.  I am definitely becoming more and more aware of the impact alcohol has on my physically (tired, low motivation) and mentally (a little down, loss of joy) even when I am able to successfully moderate. In the past I have judged my success by the lack of a hangover.  No hangover - success.  Now it is more about - feel good - success.  I don't think I feel good when I drink even a small amount of alcohol.

I feel like I am getting to a place where even successfully moderating doesn't even sound appealing- like that jealousy of people that moderate - that desire to successfully moderate - that pissed off feeling that I can't - doesn't even appeal to me any more. I can honestly say that I think sobriety is becoming more of something I crave rather than successfully moderating - and I am saying this without a hangover.

I don't think I have ever said that I crave sobriety before - getting closer and closer to the prize! 100% peaceful, joyful, energetic sobriety :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1/24/17 (Tues) Hyperactive Dopamine Response

Image result for alcohol addiction and dopamine

I was reading an article last night about alcohol addiction and dopamine.  I could totally relate. It talked about how some people have an extreme dopamine reaction to alcohol and how it can be a precursor to addiction.  I have always known that alcoholic makes me extremely hyper and social.  I have always been the one to want to get drunk and go roller skating or find a park to go swing on a swing set or jump a fence and go swimming or play some crazy drinking game. I never want to just sit around and drink.  I experience hyper mania when I drink and to be honest it is pretty damn fun. I am the life of the party, keep it going and create a lot of fun around me. If I am being honest, I really do enjoy myself in that state (although the older I get the more embarrassing it can be the next morning).  I think that is the feeling I am constantly chasing even though it isn't as much fun as it used to be.  I guess I'm not all that different from the heroine addicts on Intervention. They always talking about chasing that initial high but never being able to get it back no matter how much they use.

The article also talked about what happens to your brain when you have a hypo manic response to alcohol.  It talked about your brain having a countering response to that. Since alcohol is causing your dopamine levels to be out of control, your brain sends out another chemical that drastically reduces your natural production of dopamine - kind of a defense mechanism.  This shutting down of natural dopamine production can last for days - which totally explains why I feel like total crap for days after I have only 4 drinks.  I think it would be safe to guess that the longer you mess around with these neurotransmitters in the brain by chemically altering them with alcohol, the more messed up they get. This could explain why I have a hard time just getting pleasure and enjoyment out of non drinking weekends and everything seem so boring and depressing.

Maybe my physical brain needs time to repair those systems and relearn how to find pleasure in in my weekends without chemically inducing dopamine levels.  I think I really do have a physical addiction to alcohol in my brain.  It helps me rationalize remaining sober when I admit the fact that I really am wired differently than normal drinkers. I suspect I have a genetic disposition as I have always been way more hyper when drinking than my friends. But I have also exacerbated the problem from years of weekend binge drinking that has created an extreme opposite effect of the extreme drop in dopamine levels following drinking.  I inherited the gene and the damage is done. No turning back. My brain is permanently allergic to alcohol - it just can;t process it like a normal person.  It can't handle it no matter how hard I try.  It is like a person who is has lost their sight trying to learn to see again.  The damage is done and it is irreversible. I just can't drink like other people and I need to accept it.

Monday, January 23, 2017

1/23/17 (Mon) Disappointed

I have to say I am a little disappointed in myself today in my failure over the weekend.  I told myself I wasn't going to beat myself up and I did not yesterday but I am back to feeling that same way on Monday - uninspired, tired, sad, wanting just to crawl into bed.  I don't know if I am physically hungover but I am emotionally hungover.  Just all the more reason to stop for good.

I asked my kids (18 and 22 yo) if they would be disappointed in me if I drank Saturday night. They both said, "We don't care if you drink or not - we just don't like to see you be so hard on yourself when you do. So the real question is - will you be disappointed in yourself?"

The answer is yes. I tried to not be yesterday, but I really am.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

1/22/17 (Sun) Drank (darnit) but back to sobriety

Image result for screaming alcohol addiction voice

Well I did drink wine with dinner last night and was awake from 12:00-3:00 am sweating with my heart pounding and my head racing. Clearly I can not process alcohol anymore (which I already knew) and am back to not drinking.  I am not going to let this derail my sobriety.  I'm not going to beat myself up about it which is a big change from past mess ups. I'm not going to use it as an excuse to go back to attempting to moderate on the weekends which I typically would have done with my all or nothing mentality (screwed up this month - will try again next month).  I'm going to try to learn from it and get back to sobriety because I really, truly, honestly do not want to go back to that drinking hell hole I have been in for so long.  I really just want to be a happy, sober woman.

So what happened? Why did I drink? I have been thinking about that for awhile (3 hours last night lol). Friday I was having a couple cravings but was fine although all I did was sit on the couch and watch stupid tv for 6 hours when I got home on my birthday. Maybe I should have gotten up and done something active. Then yesterday I was kind of in a funk. I have had a lot of trauma and pain in my past that I absolutely do not want to deal with.  When I read that you have to deal with you past trauma to stay sober, I say, "No I don't and I won't.  I'll stay sober without dealing with it. It is in the past and its going to stay there."  Anyway, yesterday all of that "muck" was just bubbling to the surface.  I just felt a little depressed and anxious and worried and out of it.  I have read on the mm board about how hard week 3 is.  Maybe it was some of that also. So I wasn't in a great place to begin with and when I needed to go get ready to go to dinner, those voices came out of nowhere and were screaming in my head. "I really want a drink.  It is my birthday. I can drink tonight. It will be ok. I'm not that bad - I just convince myself I have a problem.  It's just easier to be social when I drink. It alleviates all the worry about upcoming events where I can't drink. So I drank a beer while getting ready and wine with dinner.  I really do think that the main reason I drank was to shut up the voices in my head.  As soon as I drank I was like, "Ok. That's better. Everything will be ok. Just stop spending so much time blogging, work out instead, be healthy and really try to moderate one more time. You can do it. You really aren't as bad as you convince yourself that you are. It's just your newest obsession."  And I drank and wasn't completely present during dinner which is disappointing, but I came home, felt barely buzzed and went to bed.  I remember thinking, "Well, that went ok. I didn't get drunk. I don't even feel that buzzed right now. I'll just go to sleep and see how I feel about remaining sober tomorrow."  And then my night was a total shit show from the past.  It comes down to this question:

Do you want to drink or do you want to sleep?  Because I obviously have to choose one.

I choose sleep!  Back to work.  Gotta figure out another way to shut up those voices!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

1/21/17 (Sat) Having some cravings

I did fine last night but I have to admit the thought of having a nice cold beer on my birthday sounded kinda good.  We're going to a really nice restaurant tonight for my bday. Nice restaurants are a really big trigger for me.  I love having a glass of wine with my nice dinner.  Somehow the service is much better, the conversation more interesting and the food is more delicious when I am drinking wine.  Just my imagination of course bc I am drinking and talking and not paying attention to how long things are taking. In fact I used to hate the taste of wine.  People say you acquire a taste for it. I think you just acquire a taste for the buzz you get from it which then compensates for how it tastes.  In reality a Dr. Pepper would probably taste better.  Maybe I will have that!  I never drink soda.

I just have to remember that no matter how much I think that glass of wine will make me enjoy the experience more (1) I'm am 100% positive I would drink more than one - especially since I broke yet another promise to myself. I know I would be saying to myself, "Screw it! I already failed so now I might as well make it worth it."  And (2) now matter how much better the experience may seem while I'm drinking it would not be worth how bad (depressed, tired, defeated, anxious, probably hungover) I will feel tomorrow and probably Monday and Tuesday.  Plus, I would have to start over at day 1 and it is really easy to count when your day 1 is Jan 1.

I read this article this morning.  I can really relate the the idea that I drink just to shut up that internal conflict voice.  That part of my brain that won't shut up until I have a drink.  It is exhausting and super stressful to fight that voice every weekend. Sometimes, in the moment, it is just easier and seems less stressful to just give in when in reality giving in causes all the terrible feelings I am trying to cure by not drinking. What a catch 22 - so much bullshit wrapped up in a bottle of poison!

Image result for alcohol cravings

This came from the article:

"This internal conflict was painful and stressful. I would make myself promises (no drinking until Friday, I will only have two tonight, no hard liquor, only red wine), which I continued to break. I was unable to understand why I couldn't easily control how much alcohol I was drinking. Internal division and the recrimination that comes with being unable to keep my promises tore me apart. This was so painful that I would find myself drinking more in order to turn off my brain, shut down the internal struggle.
Why is this? Why did I both want to stop and want to drink at the same time? The answer is because even though I had consciously, willfully determined I wanted to stop drinking, my unconscious mind had not gotten the memo. Unconscious learning happens automatically and unintentionally through experiences, observations, conditioning, and practice. We've been conditioned to believe we enjoy drinking. We think it enhances our social life and relieves boredom and stress. These thoughts are subconscious. Even after we consciously acknowledge that alcohol takes more than it gives, we retain the desire to drink.
Unconscious beliefs can be difficult to change. The first step is consciously realizing that alcohol is not everything you thought it was. This realization that you want to stop drinking makes you examine the reasons you drink and wonder whether they are truly valid. The best way to change your unconscious mind is to shine the light of consciousness on your ingrained beliefs."

Friday, January 20, 2017

1/20/16 (Fri) Happy Birthday to me

Today is my 49th birthday. I never thought I would be this old and I don't feel anywhere near 49 in my head.  I suppose everyone feels this way lol.  My birthday on a Friday would have been the perfect excuse to get together with friends after work and drink, but I'm not going to do that. I'm not sure what I will do but it won't be that.

What I am pondering over this morning is actually my 50th birthday one year from today.  I want to be done struggling with alcohol when I turn 50.  I want to be sitting here in 365 days saying things like, "I'm so glad I quit drinking a year ago.  I feel amazing! I look amazing!" If I continue to drink, I will probably be depressed about still struggling with alcohol (bc I'm sure I won't be able to somehow, magically moderate in the next year)  and about turning 50.  I don't want black balloons and depression and anxiety and hangovers and being out of shape and insomnia and insecurity and over sensitivity and selfishness and low self esteem and all of this bullshit I have been living with for years because of my weekend binge drinking.

I want happiness and peace and pride and sleep and feeling fit and confidence and clarity when I turn 50. I don't want to begin the journey at 50, I want to already be there and feeling great  bc turning 50 might suck or it might not. I'm not sure how I will feel 1 year from now if I don't drink, but I am 100% certain that I won't feel all of those things if I continue to drink.  Too many years of drinking have passed, with me really trying to moderate, that have proven this fact - I will not find these things unless I can moderate and I can not moderate..  I guess I won't drink and just see.

Monday, January 16, 2017

1/16/17 (Mon) Commitment

Well, I did not drink this weekend and it wasn't that hard bc I knew I wasn't drinking this month. Saturday I got a little grumpy and thought a beer would help me cheer up. Yesterday I was super productive and kinda wanted a beer when I was finished as a reward for all I had accomplished.  The thought came into my head and then left bc I knew I wasn't drinking this month.  It am not sure (please chime in with advice) but I think it might be a good idea for me to actually commit to a year of sobriety.  Maybe if I commit, it will help me in April, May, June and July (my hardest months to stay sober) to not drink.  I KNOW for a fact I will have cravings and want to drink.  I have tried in the past to convince myself that I just won't want to drink. I know that is not the case. So maybe if I have the same year long commitment as I have for January, it will be easier to resist.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

1/4/17 (Sat) Feeling yucky

All of a sudden my mood just shifted - from positive, productive, happy to anxious, tired, unmotivated and grumpy.  The first thought that came into my head...well if I could drink tonight I would probably be in a better mood.

Weird how it just sneaks up on you.....not going to drink.....

1/14/17 (Sun) Drinking autopilot

So last night I was going to bed and heard shouting from the neighbor's house.  They are super good friends of ours - great drinking buddies lol.  They had another couple over - really good friends of theirs.  I couldn't really hear very much and the other couple left pretty abruptly in an uber.  I am guessing, based on the tone of the voices, the few words I could hear and past experiences, our neighbor had too much to drink, got a little out of control, and someone got in an alcohol fueled argument.

This neighbor and I are a lot alike.  We both binge drink.  A difference is that he is recently retired and now drinks more days than not.  I usually only drink on the weekends.  He also smokes pot (legal in my state) while drinking while I do not.  He says it keeps him from drinking so much. His wife would disagree (her and I have talked about it).  I have shared with her my issues and how I can so relate to her husband.  I am not drinking daily, but neither was he when he was working.  I think him and I are on the same path, he is just further down the road.  Scary.

Anyway, I was telling my husband about it.  He said, "I just don't get it.  I don't understand why he keeps drinking when he has clearly had enough."

I said, "You are right. You don't get it. Neither does his wife. And neither does anyone else who doesn't have this disease.  I get it. I get telling myself that I am only going to have three and then after that 3rd, and my BAC getting high enough, I just can't/don't even think about it anymore.  It's not like I am thinking about it and knowing that I should stop and just tell myself - screw it - I'm going to keep drinking. Instead, those thoughts don't even enter my mind. It's so weird - I am just like on drinking autopilot. It took a long time, years, for me to realize that this is not something I can control, no matter how hard I try. And it's not my fault - my brain is wired differently. When my brain reaches a certain BAC level, I lose the ability to think rationally about how much I have drank and whether or not I should stop.  It is not in my control and no matter how hard I try, I can't do it because I am under the influence of a drug that it physically altering my brain - to the point that I couldn't have those rational thoughts even if I wanted to no matter how many promises I make to myself."

The second thing I get, that you don't, is the feeling that I can't get enough.  This happens when I am drunk.  It is kind of an end game feeling. Rational thought of how much I have drank and being on autopilot lead to this insatiable need to keep drinking once I am drunk.  This is a fairly new feeling I have developed. It is the "I know I have had too much, everyone else was done a long time ago, I know I am just going to bed right now, but I am going to go to the garage and guzzle one more beer or finish the wine in everyone else's glasses before I go to bed feeling."  This is absolute insanity. This one started scaring me. It doesn't happen very often (maybe once every few months), but more and more frequently - and used to be never.  I can't even explain this feeling - it is a need - it (I believe) - is part of the end of the road - the full on alcoholic (like my father who would go on week long bender where he would lose yet another teaching job and force me to go to yet another elementary school - I want to 8). This is why I can watch someone on the show Intervention holed up in a hotel room drinking all day and night with no one to judge them and almost, in a terrifying sort of a way, get it. Like I am watching someone destroy themselves, but can't look away because somewhere inside myself I know that could be me. I am not even close to that point, but the fact that I can even relate in some small way scares the shit out of me.  It is not rational thought.  It is irrational thought fueled by a disease and the presence of a mind altering drug. You are right, dear husband, you don't get it and never will bc you don't have this disease and don't judge him bc I do get it and I feel bad for him.

Friday, January 13, 2017

1/13/17 (Fri) Sober Weekend Coming Up

I feel pretty good right now.  Sleeping is a crap shoot. Sometimes I can, sometimes not so that makes me kinda grumpy when I'm tired.  But, my brain is so much clearer.  I am thinking and speaking more clearly.  I feel kinda more "with it" if that makes sense.  I seem to have a better attitude about most things. Somehow when I drink everything just becomes so routine and mundane and depressing.  When I get depressed and upset about not being able to drink on the weekends, I need to remember how much that weekend drinking and the more often than not the hangover that followed just seemed to dull my senses, zap all the joy out of my life.  Sure I have a lot of fun while drinking but is that real, authentic fun and is it worth the kind of dulling down of the rest of the week?  I think not.

Super busy this week but sober and not even thinking about alcohol.  I hardly ever drank during the week anyway, but my brain usually would start gearing up for the weekend by now. Am I going to drink? When? How many?  May times I would make plans for the weekend just so I could/would drink.  I have done dry Januarys before, and knew I could do it so I haven't even thought about it.  It hasn't been an option.  I do hope that it becomes this easy in my whole life to not drink as it has become in January.  I do need to make sure I keep posting and learning reading and staying vigilant. It's when I check out because I think I am cured, that I think I can try to moderate again.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

1/8/16 (Sun) Hangover free Sunday and spring is a killer - history

Well...first sober weekend in a long time. Finally, for the first time in a long time, I got up, started some laundry and made a plan for the day before 9:00.  I'm still pretty tired, but I know it will get better.  From my previous attempts at sobriety, I know I won't start feeling "totally not tired" until about day 28-30.  I also know that even though it is easy to stay sober right now, bc I have done dry Januarys in the past, it will not stay easy.  I know that I can probably stay pretty safe until March. My last three extended sobriety attempts were from Jan- Mar 2015 and from August-April 2012-2013 and Dec - March 2011-2012.  As you can see spring is a killer for me.  I need to focus on what I can do now to help me get through the spring and summer which I have never done (except when pregnant) since I was 18.  If I can get to August, I think I could possibly do at least 1 year.

I am not sure what I could do now to help me be stronger in the spring.

My December 26, 2011 to March 17, 2012 time I went 87 days.  This time was my first attempt at longer than 30 days once I started to realize I had a problem.  I was so proud of going 87 days. All the sober feeling were so new and weird. I felt so good that I thought I was cured and could go back to moderating.  I hadn't had the previous 5 years of blogging behind me that I could reference like I do now.  I was really unaware of the pattern at this point. I was kind of a baby soberiesta.  But, by April of 2012, I was back at the same over-drinking, hangover, exhausted, anxious, depressed, obsessive place again. 

My August 1, 2012 - April 14, 2013 (after 255 days sober) I drank bc I wanted wine with my sister at a nice restaurant (and it was spring and I was super scared of a sober summer). I did ok with moderating for about two months. I then did not post again until November 2013 and wrote this:

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

When I gave in this time, I was actually very happy, settling into sobriety. I was learning how to socialize and have fun without alcohol.  I was not white knuckling it.  I felt good. We went to dinner and I just had this overwhelming craving (after 255 days) to be an sophisticated adult and sit by the fire at a super nice restaurant and have a glass of wine with my sister. It was weird - like some sort of out of body experience. I had an anxiety attack while trying to talk myself into drinking.  I wrestled with the idea for probably 30 minutes and then I gave in.  I said, "Screw it! I'm not an alcoholic, I don't drink int he mornings or during the week, lose my job or get DUIs. I can do this. I can moderate."  I have no idea why I gave in, but I do know it didn't take long to be at the same over-drinking, hangover, exhausted, anxious, depressed, obsessive place again.

My January 1, 2015 - March  6, 2015 time I just white knuckled it for 64 days. I felt better but wasn't happy. I was isolated, depressed and felt sorry for myself that I couldn't hang out and drink on the weekends.  I think I was pissed that I couldn't successfully moderate - that I hadn't tried hard enough. When I gave in (bc it was sunny, it was spring and the neighbors were calling me),  I was like, "Screw it...this sucks...I will try harder to moderate." And eventually, by March 29 - only 3 weeks later - I was right back in the same over-drinking, hangover, exhausted, anxious, depressed, obsessive place.

I REALLY want to experience a sober summer, but am so scared of those strong cravings come spring and sun and friends and summer and vacations. 

What can I do now to help put me in a better place when the spring rolls around?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

1/7/16 (Sat) Could have gone 4 ways

My dh came home last night in a really bad place. He had a really bad day at work - like really bad - like almost having a breakdown bad.  The evening could have gone one of 4 ways:

1. I could have gone to the party and still been there when he got home.  I would have gotten home buzzed and really not wanted to deal with it -selfish.

2.  I could have gone to the party and gone out after. I wouldn't have gotten home until late and maybe not even known how bad it was - selfish.

3. I could have not gone to the party but been sitting on the couch drinking.  I would not have wanted to deal with it and either blown it off or somehow started a fight - selfish.

4. I could have been sober when he got home, been completely present in the moment and been supportive to him  - not selfish.

Which one happened?????

Number 4! Yeah me! I was able to be there for him, not make it all about me, and guess what? My kids were home, worried about their dad and saw me be a kind, patient, supportive, unselfish person (which I am when not drinking). I've said it before - alcohol somehow makes me so selfish.  Not drinking brings a calm awareness to other people and their feelings.

Being sober rocks!

Friday, January 6, 2017

1/6/16 (Fri) Not an option

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I did sleep last night, albeit terrible hurrying, missing flights, not having plane tickets, can't find my suitcase, running late, no one worried about it except me, stressful dreams - but still slept which is good.

I feel good about not drinking this weekend - I made the decision, and I am sticking to it. No debating, thinking about it, talking myself into or out of it - I'm just not drinking.  It does feel a little bit of a relief to have it not even be an option.  There is a work party after school today, and I am not going.  I feel a little bad bc it is a "holiday" party and my boss is going, but I have to do what is best for ME and that is not going.  Plus, it's kinda stupid the holiday party is in January and it is a 6:00 so once I got home, I wouldn't have felt like it even if I was drinking.  I would have been much more tempted if it was right after work (but I still wouldn't have gone). One person was upset at me yesterday bc I'm not going. She asked, "Why not?" Instead of making up some excuse or bailing at the last minute, I just said, "Because I don't feel like it."  She said, "I will get you those hard seltzers, please..."  I said, "I'm not drinking in January." She knows I did a dry January last year, so she wasn't surprised. She said, "Thanks a lot."

I don't care. I'm not going. What real difference is it going to make if I am there or not?  In the past I would have gone for a couple hours, drank, come home and drank some more and felt like shit tomorrow.  Or when it was really bad - gone out after with them to the bar and not gotten home until midnight - then felt guilty and crappy the next day. Really - everyone will go do what they do with or without me. Me going and being tempted to drink and/or bored out of my mind bc I'm not is worse for me than me not going is bad for them. I know that I'm not going to isolate and avoid social situations this time but it's only day 5, I'm exhausted, and I really just don't want to go out to a party once I am already home and comfortable. I have to do what is best for me and that is coming home, curling up on the couch (it is freezing where I am), watching some stupid television, going to bed early and sleeping in. That's what I'm doing and as the teenagers say - everyone that doesn't like it can just "suck it!"

I think maybe I will just sleep all weekend - and I don't feel one bit bad about it :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Sobriety Counter

Anyone know how to add a sobriety counter to my website?

1/5/16 (Thurs) Grumpy but sober

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Just grumpy and tired today. Went back to work and was a little out of it. I know it will get better as long as I don't drink.  By drinking I would just be prolonging the misery...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

1/4/16 (Wed) Ted Talk - Motivation Follows Action

I got a TED Talk video in my inbox so I decided to watch this morning.  It is called The Battle of Changing Behavior by Eric Zimmer a former heroine addict and the author of the blog The One You Feed

Here are some things he said that meant something to me:

Living a happy life starts with choosing how we want to behave and actually follow through.

Changing behavior can be learned.  It isn't about willpower.

I am going to keep watching behavior changing videos and reading books so I can learn how to to change my behavior.  Any suggestions of good books on changing behavior?

Motivation follows action.

We have to act our way into right thinking.

Start incredibly small steps every day. Focus on consistently.

I have thought about this in the past.  Fake it until you make it.  I always have to have everything perfect in my own head, the perfect plan, before I can make the effort to try to change. I am kind of an all or nothing person. I can't even start a new eating plan until I have the whole week perfectly mapped out.  How about just don't eat pizza for breakfast today?  Start somewhere. Maybe this is a form of perfectionism.  I'm either going to not drink at all, go the the gym every day, eat a perfectly clean diet or just screw it - I'll start again next week. The drinking needs to be nothing at all.  I have to be perfect on this one thing.  I have tried to go with, "Oh it's ok, don't beat yourself up for over drinking last night.  You don't have to be perfect. Just keep trying."  I have played that game for too long and I just need to never drink. However, I can practice this in other areas of my life such as working out. Working out two days a week is better than zero days a week.  Cleaning up my diet 10% of the time is better than 0% of the time. Drinking two glasses of water a day is better than none.
Change your behavior to change you mind. I have heard this before and it is a mind shift for me. Everyone always says to change your mind first and actions will follow.  I'm not sure I agree.  I just need to take action and see if I feel better. I can change my mind (decide I want to be sober) a million times but until I actually do it for a while, I won't ever truly believe it is a better way to live.

Focus your efforts - you don't need to do a self improvement binge.

Put all effort into one thing (staying sober) right now.  Pick one thing and focus.

This one I sort of agree with for me.  I know that if I just sit around, eat crappy and don't work out, I will become depressed and down on myself.  I know that if I start feeling that way, I will drink again.  I need to take care of myself enough to feel physically better in order to make better choices.  I can however give myself a break if I am not 100% perfect in my working out or eating well as long as I am sober. 100% effort into being sober and decent effort into everything else. Sometimes if I am not 100% perfect on the working out and the eating well, I feel like a failure which also leads to drinking, so I really need to work on not having to be perfect on anything except remaining sober.

You need to strengthen your army.

If you have six more people in your corner, you are 40% more likely to make the changes.

This one is hard for me. Even when I am doing really badly, I don't ever want others to see it.  I tend to be a loner. Outwardly I am very extroverted and outgoing but really I live in my own little torture chamber that no one else knows about. I live alone in my own head.  I make my goals, debate my goals, break my goals, worry and obsess about my goals alone in my head.  I don't like telling others because I have no faith in myself so I now I will look like a failure and I don't ever want to look like a failure.  No one else needs to know about my workout or clean eating goals, but I do need to get my sobriety goals out there. And my actions (not drinking) need to be louder than my words and plans for not drinking. Once people see I can do it and be happy with my decision, they will support me - I do know that.   This is so scary to me bc I don't ever want to feel judged. I worry way too much about what other people will think of me and if they will like me sober. It seems so shallow but it is the truth. I am extremely sensitive and have a hard time dealing with the fact that others may not like me or talk about me behind my back or not want me around even if the real reason is bc it makes them uncomfortable with their own drinking.

I go back to work tomorrow and feel good about not going back in the grips of a hangover, which I have done before - kind of a one last time before break ends sort of thing.  I finally got some sleep yesterday and am going to focus on drinking a ton of water today.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

1/3/16 (Tues) Surrender and Acceptance Day 3

Still feel crappy - can't sleep - blah, blah, blah

I'm going back to my blog last summer when I read The 30 Day Solution.  I only got to day 6, so I'm going to figure out what derailed me and try again. I learned this in the first 5 days

Day 1 - I need to change my response in order to learn new behaviors.  Instead of just staying home and complaining about not being able to drink and therefore not wanting to socialize, I need to go, stay sober, have a good time and learn that I don't need alcohol to socialize and have fun. If I don't ever change my response, I am never going to learn anything differently and then be able to change my outcome.

Day 2 - "Once you are 100% committed, there are no exceptions and no negotiations" which frees you from inner conflict and allows you to put all of you energy and direct it to what you actually want out of life. "Once your commitment drops to 99%, you open the door to the internal debate to begin, and when it comes to alcohol, this debate usually ends in the rationalization to drink again."

Day 3 - Purpose Statement
Every day I will wake up feeling vibrant, excited and passionate about living a meaningful and fulfilling sober life. I will spend my day being productive, positive and happy.  I will go to bed sober, relaxed and and proud of my accomplishments for the day.

Day 4 - Strategy when having a craving
WAIT 30 MINUTES!!!!  Just give it a little time. It will pass.  I know this from past experience. Drink a seltzer water, eat a snack, take a walk, post on a support group I am part of, write on my blog, sit in the sun, take some deep breathes.

Day 5 - Forgiveness - no comment - can't do this one

Day 6 - Believe in myself
"When you decide what you want, believe it is possible, believe in yourself and then work hard to get it, you take 100% control of your destiny."   Am I always looking for the answer I want to hear rather than hearing the truth?

And then I quit and started drinking again.  I think it was because on day 5 (in June) my sister invited me to Florida in August and I just did not have confidence to know I wouldn't drink then so I just gave up - sort of like - well if I'm going to drink in August anyway, I might as well drink now. My commitment to being sober dropped to 99% and that's all it took. My blogs after that were an up and down roller coaster of drinking, not drinking, feeling good, feeling horrible.  I need to get off the roller coaster.

I have got to figure out a way to not care about what others think about me not drinking. I use it as an excuse to drink. It derails me every time!  I find myself thinking - What if I don't get invited to Lake Powell again/get invited to pub crawls/get invited to so out of town to neighbor's cabins or condos/get invited to Florida for vacation/get invited to parties bc I'm not drinking? Because my not drinking is making drinkers uncomfortable to be around me? Oh just screw it, I can moderate! I'll just try harder. It's not worth it!

I don't know how much harder I can try! I have been seriously trying to moderate for years!

I need to figure out a way to do what I know is best for me. I know the people who love and care about me will stand by me...I know this...I just have to figure out a different way to interact with them on a sober level.  I know I will actually be a better friend, sister, mother, wife, daughter and person sober. I just have to get there. And if they don't invite me to vacations and parties then shame on them because I have to do this for me! Their need to drink with me should not be more important than their need to have a relationship with me.

I just need to let holding on so tightly, just let go and trust the process. I have never been to AA, but maybe this is what is means to surrender to the idea that I can not change the fact that I can not successfully moderate long term and I can not process alcohol any more - even when I do manage to moderate.  I CAN NOT CHANGE THIS - it is a biological, physical fact about MY body and brain that I can not change. As much as I wish I could moderate and not have hangovers, it is not in the cards for me - it is just not possible anymore and the longer I keep a tight grip on that hope and do not surrender to the fact that I can't change it, the longer I will be miserable.




I surrender and accept these three truths