Friday, June 30, 2017

6/30/17 (Fri) Comment from my sister

Was with her this afternoon. Asked her if she wanted to come over. She said, "What are you drinking?" I said, "Nothing bc of the heart monitor I am wearing." Asked her again a little while later. She said, "Naw..I have some things I need to get done at home and you aren't drinking anyway."

She is the one I am most worried about losing closeness with if I stop drinking.  Remember last summer when her and her boyfriend invited me to hang out in Florida for a week.  Her boyfriend/husband said, "Only if you are drinking. You aren't any fun if you don't drink." I don't care what he says, but I do care that I remain close with my sister.

How do I stay true to what I know is right for me and still remain close to her if she would rather not hang out if I'm not drinking?  And I miss drinking when I am with her.  It seriously gives me a panic attack and I get debilitating cravings when I am with her bc it is what we do (did)...we drink.

BTW - she has been the one that I have broken many sobriety attempts with including the 255 days.  I don't blame her, other than her insensitive comments.  It was always my choice to drink. When I don't drink, I really do miss the relationship we have when we are.

She is my sister. I can't just not see her.  How do I deal with this?  Any advice??

6/30/17 (Fri) - Dr appt and options

So I went to the dr yesterday. They did an EKG and a bunch of blood work including liver panel and thyroid tests. Guess what?  All normal. Apparently, I am just fine. I am wearing a holter monitor for 3 days just to monitor my heart more closely but I am pretty sure it will be fine. I even told him about my 5-6 drink binges usually around 2 times per month. He did say, "That's a lot at one time, You should really think of about not doing that anymore."  I was flabbergasted! I wanted to scream, "That's all I think about! But I can't control it! I have a problem and I need help!!!!" but all I said was, "Ok." He also asked about caffeine consumption, of which I only have two cups of coffee in the morning.  At the end of the appt he said, "Ok, well let's just make sure with the holter monitor but other than that you might want to consider cutting down on the caffeine and alcohol but that's up to you. I can't tell you what to do about that."  You think I should consider cutting sown on alcohol - no shit, Sherlock!  I don't understand why he couldn't see through my BS and hear my cries for help.  I even said, "Yeah, I struggle a bit with alcohol." I am sure I am just one of 50 middle aged people coming in daily to complain about various symptoms.


I don;t know why I am a little disappointed he didn't find anything. I guess I just want someone to say, "You need to stop drinking or you will die." That would have taken all the second guessing out of the decision to quit.  It would have been like I had no choice  - like it or not - I had to quit.  Well, that is not the situation and I do have a choice. I can choose to look at it in one of two ways:

Option 1 - See, you are ok. You haven't done any damage. You are just making a mountain out of a molehill. It is just your latest obsession.  Find something else to obsess about - like maybe getting back in shape - and stop worrying so much about drinking. You aren't that bad - you just think you are. You can moderate - enjoy life - enjoy your friends - not be different and awkward and boring and weird - you can be be normal and be fine and drink.

Option 2 -  Thank God nothing showed up in the tests. You haven't caused any detectable damage to your organs YET.  But you are not fine - you do have these debilitating symptoms caused by crippling anxiety brought on by drinking. You are not ok - read your own words for the last 7 years. You are not ok. You are addicted to alcohol and have messed up your brain with weekly drinking and monthly binging to the point that you can't even enjoy life anymore without drinking. You are not ok - you are out of shape, overweight, ultra sensitive, irritable, grumpy, unmotivated, uncaring, selfish, exhausted, anxious, obsessed, stressed out and really don't give a shit about anything.

If you choose

Option 1 - You will continue down the same road as the last 7-15 years. Why do you think it would be any different this time. Alcohol addiction does not get better over time - no matter how hard you try to moderate and do better. It is illogical to think that you can finally moderate and control an addiction that is only getting worse. You are an idiot to think that. It is a proven fact that alcohol addiction is progressive. It absolutely does not get better over time and you are 100% addicted - don't fool yourself about that either.  If you choose to drink - you will not be choosing happily moderating and finally being able to drink and enjoy life again. NO! Impossible! You will be choosing the same thing you have been doing for years and most likely, eventually really doing irreversible damage to your body. You will be choosing to remain out of shape, overweight, ultra sensitive, irritable, grumpy, unmotivated, uncaring, selfish, exhausted, anxious, obsessed, stressed out and really not giving a shit about anything. It has not miraculously gotten better every single time you have tried in the past. It will not get better this time and will undoubtedly get worse. You will remain on your sick hamster wheel forever, until you die,. You will never know anything different. You will not be able to happily, successfully moderate - EVER! Your brain is no longer physically capable of it. It is not your imagination - you can not will your brain into changing back into a  pre-addictive state. It is a pickle and can not turn back into a cucumber no matter how many times or how hard you try or how badly you want it! It is a physiological fact! You chose to drink - you 100% choose continued misery! No doubt about it.

Option 2 - You can choose something different. It may not always be easy and it will take some adjusting and being uncomfortable, but it is the only way to be happy. Your brain and body have had enough of this poisoning. You can be back in shape, happy, motivated, empathetic, well rested, calm and at peace but only if you cut out the one thing that is derailing all of that. It will only get better without the one thing that is causing all of it. You can have fun and show everyone around you that alcohol is not the elixir to life - it is not the key to having a good time. That there is another way.
If they don't want to be around you bc you aren't drinking - that is there problem and not only reveals their own issues but is sad for them. You can be an inspiration to your children and a beacon of hope to your friends who may also be struggling. You can be that person that you know is there - deep down - just trying to get out. That person is you - she has just been drowning in a anxiety laced cesspool of alcohol addiction. It is time for her to jump out of the toilet and flush all that bullshit down the drain. For once and for all be done with it. Try living a different way because this way is not working. You don't need a doctor's permission you stop drinking. You know the truth and you know what to do. She is in there - she just needs to be set free.

I choose Option 2 - Day 9!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

6/29/17 (Thurs) - Doctors appt and blogging

I made a dr appt for today bc of some heart issues I have been experiencing - palpitations (feel like my heart is rolling over in side my chest), rapid heart beat (feeI like it is pounding out of my chest) and slight chest pains (just this little pinching sensation) that I am sure are just gas.  I want to get it checked out before I get back on that treadmill.  I am 100% positive that my drinking has caused these symptoms and am fairly certain they will go away on their own with my sobriety but I just want to get the ok from the dr. I am contemplating telling him about my drinking and asking him if that could be causing it. I am secretly hoping he tells me I need to quit drinking. Then when people ask why I am not drinking I have a concrete answer that no one can argue with or judge. I know I shouldn't care but "I was having some heart issues and the dr told me I can't drink" just seems like a pretty good reason to tell others. Maybe even if the dr doesn't say that, I will just lie and say he did :)

Also, Brian commented on my post from yesterday that I helped him quit when I was sober for 255 days. First of all WHAT???. You have been reading that long??? And I helped someone??? That kind of blew my mind. Because of that comment, I am going to make sure that I continue to blog my journey. I really only do it for me bc writing helps me process. I do, however, get a lot of support from they people who respond to me so I am glad I made it public.  If there is any chance at all that my upcoming journey into sobriety could help anyone else climb out of this hellhole - that is enough to make me continue writing.  Many times I just leave for awhile - sober or not - but I find that when I stop thinking about it - stop being diligent - that is when I start to struggle with my determination. So, it will also be good for me to continue to write about how I am feeling.  Thank you, Brian - I kinda teared up when I read your comment.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

6/28/17 (Wed) Day 7 - History is eye opening and thank you for the comments

I am feeling a bit better today. Still tired and a bit out of it but feel like I can do something with my day other than watch tv and sit on my computer.

I was going back in my blog this morning to see how long it took me to feel better on some of my other attempts at sobriety. Holy Shit!!!! It has gotten so bad so many time over the past 6 years that I have been blogging

For example:
1/5/15
http://searchingforbalance11.blogspot.com/2015/01/dingdingdinground.html

1/2/14
http://searchingforbalance11.blogspot.com/2014/01/wellhere-goesagain.html

I forget how bad it has been for so long. I am also finding that going back into my blog is kind of depressing me.  Although I know that blogging helps me because writing helps me process, I also feel like sometimes I am just circling/swirling around and around in a bunch of the same old bullshit not really getting anywhere.

I am going to do it this time. It is time. It is time to climb out of the shit and find a new way to live. I have been blogging the same thing over and over and over for 6 years. How can I possibly try to convince myself that this time would be any different? That I could successfully moderate?  I have been trying for 10 years - writing about it for 6. How many more years am I going to waste? How many more years am I going to sacrifice to alcohol? How may more years am I going to let it rob me of my happiness? How many more years am I going to remain a slave to an addictive drug I keep putting in my body?

The answer is 0!  I will not give alcohol that kind of power over me for one more year, one more month, one more day, one more hour, one more minute, one more second!  I am sick of swirling around in the toilet bowel of my life. Time to climb out and flush the toilet.

I will be the sober person who does not lecture other people but leads by example. They will see that I am happy and content and at peace with choosing not to drink.  I will be proud of me and continue to take steps forward  - always forward. No longer drinking just bc I think I can moderate and eventually taking 10/15/20 steps backwards. I will only move forward, be patient, fight like hell against that inner addicted voice that will tell me to try again to moderate, and finally find that true peaceful happiness that only sobriety will give me.

PS - Hey Kary May - I noticed that you have been commenting on my blog since the very beginning! You have no idea how much that means to me. You have stuck it out with me - encouraging me, being a little hard on me (which is ok) and always being an inspiration for me. We would have been in about the same spot if I would have quit and stayed quit when you did.

Also to Anne and Wendy and Michelle and Brian all of the rest of you who comment on a regular basis - you have no idea how much it means to me (someone who is afraid to get outside help) to have support online.  You guys are like my lifeline for hope.

I didn't know if you guys realized how much you really do help me.  Hopefully someday I will have my shit together enough to also comment on people's blogs to encourage them and help them get through the day. I want to be in your shoes, sober and happy and able to share that with others who are struggling as I have been for far too long.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

6/27/17 (Tues) Terrified and panicky

Day 6 - still extremely tired...kind of an out of it, dizzy, unmotivated, don't care about anything, a lack of energy or joy kind of tired.  Just feel like I am dragging myself through the day. I know it will pass just need to give it time.

Something happened yesterday that is terrifying to me.  Not sure I am proud of it but as they say "it is what it is." It happened.

I was walking the dogs with my almost 19 yo ds.  He knows that I struggle with alcohol. He typically rolls his eyes when I say I am not drinking again.  He has no idea how bad it is. He just knows that on the weekends I am always either drinking and fun or not drinking and miserable. He has no idea that my crappy mood the whole time on vacation was because I just can't even be happy sober anymore. Both of my kids noticed this and I just said, "I'm not mad or upset about anything. You guys just aren't used to me being sober on vacation."  Well that was a load of bs which I actually didn't fully realize at the time. I really thought at the time that this is what "normal" felt like. It has become my normal.  They were right. I was grumpy and quiet and irritable and moody because I had drank 7 days in a row and have f***** up my brain so much it can no longer experience sober happiness.

Anyway, on our walk the topic of Florida with my sister and her boys came up.  Just ds and I go and spend time with my sister and her 2 boys at a condo she owns.  It is usually a drink every night affair. I told ds I wasn't sure I wanted to go (he still could) bc I wasn't drinking...again.  He said something that kind of set me off.  He said, "Jeez, mom. You aren't that bad. So what you had a few drinks on vacation. Everyone does. (OK that's messed up bc not everyone does and I am ashamed he thinks that). Look at (he started listing off multiple people we know). They are way worse than you.  You don't drink everyday, only on the weekends and so what? You are having fun. (Thank God he has no interest in drinking bc I certainly have screwed up his view of alcohol). I think you are just obsessing about nothing and just need to focus on something else. You just think you have a problem so you do."

I couldn't help it. I just kinda went off.  Not in an angry way but in a "you need to understand something" way.  I started off by saying, "I know that is how you perceive it and I know you are trying to help but saying things like that do not help me. Comments like that are like a flat head screwdriver that find a little crack in my wall of determination to not drink and pry it apart just a little and that is all it takes for me to rationalize drinking."  He looked at me like I was crazy so I just spewed out my entire past on him.  Not all the childhood traumatic stuff but just my history of drinking since my 20's.  My whole drinking history - how many times I was drunk around him. All the times I stayed in bed on a Sunday and told him and his ds I had the flu but in fact it was a hangover. How it has taken over my whole brain physiologically and psychologically. How I have messed up my neurotransmitters so much I can't really even be joyful in everyday life anymore. How he was right on vacation. I was moody and irritable and grumpy all bc I wasn't drinking. It wasn't that I wanted a drink right then on that trail at 10:00 in the morning, it's just the way I feel all the time anymore when sober. He was a little blown away but I'm not surprised because I hid it pretty well. His response was, "Me and my sister talked about this on vacation and we think you need to get some help.  We think that you must have some stuff in your past that is keeping you from being happy. Maybe you should talk to someone about that."  I was flabbergasted.  They were talking about me? They noticed that I haven't really been happy?  I don't think he really related it to the alcohol but my dd probably did bc I had already told her all of my struggles with alcohol a couple of months ago after she had made a similar comment about me not being as bad as I think I am.

It felt really good to talk to him and help him understand how hard this is for me.  I feel a little guilty bc I don't want to burden him with my problems or make him worry about me, but it happened.

Here is the terrifying part.  Now he also knows, which will make me feel even more like a failure if I fail. I am scared shitless of disappointing him and failing.  After our conversation was over, I went upstairs and started crying. What had I done? What will he think of me if he sees me with a drink? I told my 2 sisters and my mom about all my problems a couple of years ago on Christmas Day (I even wrote about it here) and since then they have seen me quit and start so many times it seems my struggles lose their validity and everyone just rolls their eyes thinking I am just so dramatic when I want to quit....again.

Then we went to visit my sister and we were just talking about wine bars and trips to Florida and watching a movie and I was getting all of this anxiety.  I love her, but just being around her makes me want to drink. Not in a bad way just bc that is what we do. Then, that anxiety lead me to thoughts of maybe I should start after summer or maybe I could just try harder to moderate and how stupid I was for telling my ds and how this is all just stupid and how I am not that bad. How do you deal with those panicky feelings you get when thinking about the future and not being able to ever drink again?

Even Kary's comment yesterday of   "You are going to be telling people you are not drinking for the rest of your life, you might as well start that life now. "  made me feel all panicky inside. "For the rest of your life" gives me a full on anxiety attack for some reason. But you, Kary, must have planted a seed somewhere deep in my brain, though, bc after I read that I told me ds.

Accountability sucks! It is easier to keep everything a secret bc then the only person I disappoint is myself.


Monday, June 26, 2017

6/26/17 (Mon) Day 5 - Insomnia

Insomnia - I knew it was coming - it always does.  Could not sleep last night at all.  But still would rather wake up after only 4 hours of sleep than wake up with a hangover.  I know this will pass and eventually (last time it took around 2 weeks) I will be sleeping like a baby.

While awake last night I was reading Drinking a Love Story and The Naked Mind. I just happened to be on the same concept in both books - the fact that alcohol does not bring relief from stress/anxiety/unhappiness/irritability/boredom/depression - it only relieves the stress/anxiety/unhappiness/irritability/boredom/depression that it created in the first place. Drinking just brings my addicted brain back to the way it would be functioning if I wasn't drinking at all. It is an illusion. My brain has my brain physiologically conditioned to only be happy in the presence of alcohol. I can't remember which book this analogy came from but it it was perfect. It is like purposefully getting a blister on your foot just to be able to experience the relief you feel when you take your shoes off.

I am truly excited (and nervous about failing yet again) but mostly excited about cutting this source of stress/anxiety/unhappiness/irritability/boredom/depression out of my life. Figuring out how to cope/socialize/exist/live without all of the bullshit and chaos alcohol brings to my life.

I am having recurring thoughts such as, "What am I going to do about the Renaissance Festival in a week (has been a drunk fest for 15 years - the perfect excuse for day drinking)? What am I going to do if my neighbor or sister asks me to get together this weekend? What am I going to do if the whole neighborhood finally wants to go to my favorite brewery and now I am not drinking? What am I going to do if my sister asks us to go to Florida with her in a month? What am I going to say about not drinking? Should I make something up like I have an ulcer? Should I wait until summer is over to do this?  I want to do all of those things and I want to do them sober but I have been down this road so many times that I know the further I get from feeling bad, the weaker my resolve will be.  I don't want to fail this time, so I need to do something different, I just don't know what.

Today I am giving myself permission to take it easy and take a nap. My body/brain/soul needs to heal.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

6/25/17 (Sun) Still feeling the effects 4 days later (21 drinks in 8 days)!!!

Yesterday I just felt crappy (and still a bit today) - head pressure, ridiculously tired (even after 10 hours of sleep), kind of out of it and dizzy. I hadn't drank in a couple days and couldn't figure out why. Then it hit me...because you drank 7 out of 8 days - dumbass!
Wed 6/14 drank 3 beers with neighbors
Fri 6/16 drank 4 drinks with my sister (you know - let's get vacation started early as we left the next day)
Sat 6/17 drank 4 glasses of wine (2 at the airport during a layover bc who doesn't drink at the airport? and 2 on the plane which I usually don't do but the tv screen in my seat wasn't working so they offered me wine instead which I was secretly hoping they would do when I complained)
Sun 6/18 drank 2 beers in the afternoon at a brewery bc you have to try out new breweries and 3 glasses of wine the last of which I gulped down secretly in the kitchen of some friends we were visiting which I woke up terrified the next morning someone had seen me
Mon 6/19 drank 3-4 beers - I can't remember (after waking up vowing not to drink for the rest of the vacation)
Tues 6/20 drank 2 glasses of wine with dinner - kinda grumpy all day until I drank
Wed 6/21 drank 2 glasses of wine with dinner - kinda grumpy all day until I drank

That is 21 drinks in 8 days! No wonder my head still feels weird and crappy and dizzy and out of it and tired! And no wonder I weight 20-25 pounds more than I ever have!

Plus I have had at least 3 (I lose track) debilitating hangovers in the 4 weeks preceding vacation.

I read last night in The Naked Mind that eventually we don't even drink for the benefits of alcohol anymore it is more just to cure the withdrawals of not having it - which we do get every time we drink - it is an addictive drug. I don't get shakes or seizures or sweats but I sure as hell get grumpy, irritable, tired and unhappy when not drinking.  My kids accused me of being grumpy on the last day of vacation.  I swore I wasn't bc I really wasn't upset about anything and not hungover but I do think I was just really blah feeling, kind of quiet...certainly not joyful.  They are used to either seeing vacation drinking mama who is hyper, loud and almost having too much fun (or fighting with dh) or hungover mom which is tired and grumpy and quiet.  They knew I hadn't drank much the day before so they weren't quite sure what to do with me. Little did they know I was still feeling the effects from the past week of drinking. I told them they just aren't used to sober mom on vacation.  I might have been sober but certainly wasn't happy or joyful. Just kind of dragging myself through my days. What a sad way to spend valuable time with my family on vacation. I don't think I can feel pure joy when drinking.  I can feel the excitement of the anticipation of drinking and the high I get while drinking but isn't it kind of a sad state of affairs when the only time I feel happiness is when it invokes alcohol.

I wish alcohol didn't effect me the way it does - but it does - and it sucks!

Maybe it is actually a blessing in disguise. Maybe is doesn't suck. Maybe I am the lucky one in that alcohol does have such a profound effect on me, that I need to quit drinking.  I, unlike the rest of society it seems, will be free from this drug and finally living the life I want to live while everyone else is still stuck in some state of addiction and denial.  My body's reaction to alcohol is the one thing that will set me free.

And yes, Kary May, I am still analyzing and dissecting but I am not drinking lol :)
I know I need to start shifting my thinking from the past and how bad things are and wallowing in my unhappiness to looking forward and being grateful. Instead of focusing on what I am missing - start focusing on what I am gaining by giving up alcohol.

Day 4....and counting 💪👍😀

Saturday, June 24, 2017

6/24/17 (Sat) Why I drink

I have been giving my reasons for drinking some thought. Here is what alcohol does for me.

Drinking makes me happy and keeps me from getting bored.
Drinking on the weekends, partying with my friends makes me happy - makes me feel included, liked, part of the action - it just makes things fun, maybe because I loosen up, get super social, laugh a lot, get a burst of energy. I just "feel" happy and energetic and talkative and popular when I drink.  If I am with my friends and not drinking, it is boring and I feel left out - not a part of the party.

Having some drinks while cooking makes me happy. It makes me feel kind of giddy while cooking and I enjoy kind of the whole "adultness of it". It seems a little more boring to cook on the weekends without it.

Having a nice glass of wine with dinner makes me happy. That it make me enjoy the conversation more, makes food taste better, makes it more fun to go out to dinner. How boring to go to a restaurant that doesn't serve alcohol.

Special occasions such as vacation or going to a festival or neighborhood bbqs will be more fun while drinking. It will make the events more memorable, more special. Vacations are huge drinking events for me because I can drink every day and even day drink of everyone else is.  It just makes it fun. Who would not drink on vacation?  How boring. Why even go.

Sitting outside in the sun on a Friday with my friends after working all week is more enjoyable with a beer. That I can just sit there, relax, and have fun with my friends - not worrying about anything else. Why even sit outside if I can't have a beer. How boring - I guess I'll just sit on my couch, watch tv and pout.

Having drinking to look forward to makes me happy on Thursday and Friday. I get kind of pumped up waiting for the weekend. If I'm not drinking that weekend, I feel down, depressed, anxious, irritable, actually kind of mad and I avoid everyone and situations were there could be drinking.

Drinking relieves my stress, worry and anxiety.
This is not the main reason but I am happier if I don'e have anxiety, stress or worry.  I am a worrier and I know that drinking helps me worry less and therefore relieves anxiety. Having a drink before and during family dinners helps me relax and not get stressed out. It helps me not take things so personally, helps me relax a bit, helps me have more fun in the situation because I am not so stressed out.

Drinking helps me deal with uncomfortable situations.  If dh and I are not getting along very well on vacation (for example) drinking will help me forget about it and have fun - it helps relieve my worry, stress and anxiety. The same is true if having a conflict with my mom or sister. I totally notice a change after I have a drink. I just don't feel as stressed and therefore have more fun.

The irony of it all.  It's all just a lie!!!

Drinking does not make me happy!!!!!  It may make me hyper a little bit bc it gives me a sugar rush.

When partying with my friends, I don't have real conversations - I don't even listen to what they are saying. I am selfish, loud, egotistical, opinionated, dominating and the next morning I always worry I have embarrassed myself. I beat myself up about drinking too much, being annoying and looking like an idiot.

When drinking while cooking I lose my focus, take way longer to get it done, don't clean up as I go and don't even taste it as well when eating. I just feel very distracted - kind of out of it.

When having wine with dinner, I can't sleep that night and feel bad in the morning. I dominate the conversation and get loud. Plus it is expensive.

Vacations and special occasions have be saturated with alcohol. I am really not sure it is enhancing the experience. I am either drinking and not truly present or hungover and feeling like total crap. Drinking at neighborhood events usually end with me being drunk and completely embarrassed in the morning.

Sitting outside in the sun on a Friday with a beer just makes me tired, unmotivated, lazy and more often than not leads to a hangover on Saturday morning. It is the anticipation of doing it that I enjoy more than actually doing it.

If I'm not drinking that weekend, I feel down, depressed, anxious, irritable, actually kind of mad and I avoid everyone and situations were there could be drinking. If this is actually true then I really need to quit bc I can't seem to have fun or look forward to anything without it....that may very well be the definition of addiction.

Does drinking really relieve my anxiety and stress? Really???? Does it really?  It creates so much stress, anxiety, turmoil, depression in my life it is ridiculous!

Drinking usually makes stressful situations worse in the long run bc I am way more combative, argumentative, judgmental, sensitive when drinking.  It just puts a blanket on the stress and more often than not, after I have had too much to drink, the blanket it just ripped away and all hell breaks loose.

I am so over drinking - just so sick of it - and I am not saying this with a hangover.  I haven't drank for 2 days and the 2 days prior, I only had 2 glasses of wine with dinner each night - which is a huge improvement considering we were on vacation. I am almost always traveling home with a hangover - you know - last night, better make it good.

Alcohol does not make me happy, less stressful, reduce my anxiety/depression.
Alcohol makes me depressed, anxious, grumpy, exhausted, fat, unmotivated.

I am so sick of alcohol (my addiction) lieing to me! It does not make me happy! It is a drug that poisons my mind by tricking me into thinking I need it to be happy.  It robs me of my happiness and for what  - a quick buzz on the weekends.  It just isn't worth it anymore.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

6/22/17 (Thurs) Poisoning myself

So I did drink the last 2 nights but only 2 glasses of wine each night.  I was really good during the day - which while on vacation isn't always easy for me. And then dinner comes and I get this, "Well...I will start after vacation - unrealistic to think I could do it on vacation" thoughts. I didn't have much but enough to make me disappointed, tired, bloated and irritable.  Last night I even left 1/2 a glass of wine on the table at dinner - didn't even finish it.  That might be a first ever.  It just didn't taste good and I didn't like the way it made me feel.

I read something in The Naked Mind that stuck with me:

When you stop putting poison into your body, it breathes a sigh of relief.
I really am just poisoning myself. Every time I drink - I poison my liver, pancreas, stomach, brain, esophagus, blood - everything - and why?  Because I am addicted. Alcohol contains ethanol, a known carcinogen, and alcoholic beverages contain at least 15 other carcinogenic compounds including arsenic, formaldehyde and lead.

I thought to myself - if I choose to drink - I will start feeling tried and irritable and it will make me dehydrated which will make me want to drink more, which I will pay the price for the next day.  Is that really how I want this to go?
I have thought about this the last couple of days when tempted to drink.  I have really been trying to play the whole thing through - from the time I take that fist drink until I go to bed, through the night and the next day.  Trying to rely less on immediate gratification and more in long term consequences.  I am trying to really sit with myself while sober and think about how good it really does feel to be sober. To think about how having a drink would change my whole experience of the moment - change my mindset of what I wanted to do next (figure out how to continue drinking). It has worked pretty well during the day, but when we get to dinner, and I know  I will only have two glasses of wine, I change my mind.

I am also noticing how I think I really am mentally physically addicted in terms of feeling grumpy, down, irritable until I have a drink.  It usually takes about 3-4 days before this happens.  I drink on the weekend - many times too much, have to recover for a couple of days and usually by the 3-4 day of not drinking (like on a Wednesday or Thursday), I start getting down, sad, irritable, grumpy, fatigued, anxious.  Then, I am noticing, one of two things happen - either I decide I am drinking on the weekend and perk up in anticipation or tell myself I am not drinking and my negative feelings worsen.  Obviously I choose the drinking path because it makes me feel better.  Who wants to be depressed, grumpy, tired and anxious? I have always thought this is just a response to the upcoming weekend, but I am realizing it is more than that. It is an actual physical response (neurotransmitters in my brain) to not having alcohol (an addictive substance) in my body for a certain number of hours.  It just happens to coincide with a weekend which helps me justify drinking.  It really is like clock work - really no different that the heroine addict who feels completely crappy when craving their drug just to feel better.  I a no different. It is just that my drug is legal and everywhere and accepted. If I had to go to a street corner, in the night, in a bad part of town to get a beer and then drink it in secret - would I continue to do it? I would like to say, Hell No! but I truly don't know.  Am I really any different just because my drug is sitting in my fridge and everyone else is doing it - even expecting it from me all in clear daylight - and romanticizing it.  Making me feel different and left out if I don't.  How ridiculous!!!

Spontaneous Sobriety is when you truly change your perspective on alcohol  - to see it for what it is - a poisonous, addictive substance.
I have been thinking about that - what it does to me, how I really do not enjoy the feeling of being buzzed after the first 10 minutes and how it is destroying my well being.  Trying to look at it from a little less of an emotional lens and more from a "fact" lens.  It is a poison I continue to put into my body - why? because I am convinced I am addicted to it.

The solution is simple - stop putting poison in my body.

Two things happened yesterday - from the mouths of babes.

Me - This wine doesn't taste good and is making my stomach hurt and my head feel weird.
Ds (19 yo) - Then why are you drinking it?

Dd (23 yo) - Maybe you should see a therapist to help you deal with all the shit that has happened to you in the past.  Maybe that would help you stop drinking.
Me (to myself) - Why is she even thinking about that?  Is she worried about me? No one has ever really mentioned my drinking to me before.  Isn't that a sign you have a problem? Plus, I do not want my kids thinking of me in this way.

I want to stop drinking and make them proud of me.  Make me proud of me.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

6/20/17 (Tues) Struggling...still

I am sitting her in AK half way through my vacation.  I have drank the last four nights and have woken up all four mornings feeling crappy - terrible stomach ache (every time I drink), tired and depressed.

Physically, my stomach hurts, gassy, bloated

Physically, I look - bloated, swollen, overweight, tired

Mentally/Emotionally, I feel - depressed, anxious, sad

Do I want to spend the rest of my vacation feeling this way or do I want to choose different right now, today? Why wait until tomorrow, or when I get home, or after summer is over or after the next vacation in July or ...or....or...or....

There is always going to be a reason to drink.

The way I feel is a reason to not drink.

How about I try it different this time...who cares I am half way through my vacation.  Why not now? Why not today? Why not try to feel better today...not next week....next month...next year....why not now?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

6/13/17 (Tues) Tools to stop drinking

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Watching the Kevin O'Hara video on the 10 ways he has remained sober for 4 years.

The three I think I really need to work on are:

Use the long term reasons I want to stop drinking to overcome me need for instant gratification.
Visualize when my life will be one year from now if I quit or if I don't
Hold myself 100% accountable for my decision to put alcohol in my mouth - don't blame it on the situation, the environment or the people I am with.

Preparation
What has to change in order to maintain sobriety? Prepare for obstacles, to be social.

Change of lifestyle
What are you going to replace alcohol with?

Understand your triggers
How are you going to deal with things that make you want to drink?

Change your environment
Change your environment to reduce triggers

Learn from past mistakes
Why did you drink after being sober? Why are you not able to moderate?
When you fail, look at why and don't repeat it.

Find the reasons you really want to stop drinking
Not a hangover which goes away and you forget - but long term reasons - from a non emotional place
The reason needs to be stronger than the desire to drink

Get leverage
What are the immediate positives of not drinking - think about that when tempted

Visualize yourself
If you continue to drink vs if you stop drinking

Be your own coach
Keep track - talk to yourself - hold yourself accountable

Take full responsibility for your behavior
It is 100% up to you if you choose to drink or not drink


Sunday, June 11, 2017

6/11/17 (Sun) More congnizant

I did drink this weekend - but I do have good news.  Last night we went with some friends to a brewery to watch a band play.  I volunteered to drive us all home - mostly so I wouln't drink. I did end up drinking 2 light beers before we left (dh drove there) and then didn't have any after that and drove all the wasted people home at 10:30 - at which time they all continued to drink. I did stay up and chat with my friend until 12:30 but didn't drink. Here are some things I noticed:

1.  Drinking is kinda stupid. I sat at the brewery wondering how all those drunk people were getting home. When I was going to bed I was listening to the police scanner in my city (I know - weird - but I like it). All of the calls the dispatcher was sending police to had something to do with alcohol or drugs.  I was thinking that I be the cops just wish everyone would stop drinking and drugging and just go to bed.  It was 1:30 in the morning for pete's sakes.  Drugs and alcohol are just really stupid for society.

2.  Drinking robs me of true conversations. Because I was sober, I was able to have a couple of really good, authentic, sober, unselfish conversations which would not have happened had I been drinking. While I feel drinking is what makes me have all my friends, I think it really just creates shallow relationships. It was nice to wake up this morning, remember everything I said and be grateful for the real connections I made.

3. I can be sober, not bored and social. I was able to sit with my friend until 12:30, while she continued to drink, and have a conversation with her.  While I kinda wished she would leave bc I was tired, I wasn't bored with the conversation. She shared a lot with me that I don't think she would of had she been sober. It felt good to be the sober one and truly be able to listen without having to constantly interject my story that relates to what she is saying.  It was kind of calming in a way - to be sober and truly listen.  I did get a little bored at the brewery but I would rather be a little bored, sober and have real conversations than buzzed, hyper, annoying and selfish.

4. I am thankful when I don't drink.  I came downstairs last night at 2:30 to tell my dh and his friend what time it was and they were still drinking.  I was so glad that wasn't me.  And I'm sure I feel a heck of a lot better than all of them this morning.  Even though I do had a little shakiness in my heart from only the two beers - which helps me realize that any amount of alcohol is just toxic to my body - its like intentionally poisoning myself and for what?  For nothing other than I am addicted to it.

Even though I did drink this weekend, I am still posting and still wanting total sobriety.  This is a huge improvement. In the past, my all or nothing attitude would cause me to not post and give up on sobriety when I drank.  Even when I do drink, I am really trying to notice why I don't like it and really be aware of how amazing being sober feels.  Something has shifted.

I am getting there.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

6/9/17 (Fri) Post from last June

I don't have any confidence in myself really in anything anymore.  I do a pretty good job of not letting people see this.  Most people probably think I am a good mother, wife, sister, friend, daughter, teacher, person but deep down I don't think I am. I don't really accomplish any goals anymore. I just either am excited to drink on the weekends or drag myself through the day.  I am always exhausted.  I am outwardly positive, confident and brave. Inside I am sensitive, anxious and defeated. I don't have the physical energy to get stuff done and I don't have the mental energy to break through that. I do believe that this inability to believe in myself and what I am capable of is rooted in my time after time after time of failing to honor my promises to myself around alcohol.

I wrote this 6/13/16 and absolutely nothing had changed.  I feel exactly the same. So...if I don't change the one thing that is causing the problem, I will be sitting in exactly this same place next year - out of shape, tired, depressed and defeated. My physical exhaustion caused by weekend drinking derails my desire to be productive which contributes to my mood which leads me to drink to elevate my mood temporarily.  

The video I listened to today talked about immediate gratification vs long term happiness.  I know for 100% certainty that my 6 hours of drinking on a Saturday are not worth the 4 days of exhaustion and depression that follow.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

6/8/17 (Thurs) How does everything stay the same with my friends except the fact that I don't drink?

Today I listened to Kevin O'Hara's video - Other people don't like that you don't drink

It is so true - you can't live your life based on what other people want.  I don't want to use it as an excuse bc I drink bc I want to drink and I am addicted to it, but I do think about how my not drinking alcohol will affect my relationships with others. It was a good reminder that they have no idea what alcohol does to me. It is not the same as what it does to them. They don't know. I have to do what is best for me.

I was thinking about this false sense of control I feel I have bc I don't drink every day - really only 2-3 times a week. Granted when I do drink - when I have alcohol in my body - I absolutely have no control but if I were really that bad I would be drinking every day.  But here's the thing I have to remind myself - alcohol negatively affects my life when I do drink it even a couple of days a week - even if I moderate. I am sometimes embarrassed by my behavior while drinking, I suffer debilitating 2-3 day hangovers at least once a month, it makes me feel depressed and anxious for most of the days I'm not drinking, and it keeps me from meeting many of my goals and living up to my potential as a human being.

What, exactly, does it bring into my life in a positive way? Well, it does help me socialize. There is this sense of comradery with my friends when we have a drink together. It just doesn't feel the same or seem as fun with water. I don't want to stop being friends with them. I want everything to stay the same except that I don't drink. I don't know how that is possible.

How do I do that?


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

6/7/17 (Wed) When did I lose control of my drinking?

Day 4 and starting to come out of my hangover fog. I need to stay the course, however, as this is when my mind starts forgetting how much I want to quit drinking.  It's such bullshit that the very thing that is making me so sick is the thing that is trying to convince me to use it.  If I had been sick from a bad case of food poisoning from the Nepalese food I ate on Saturday I sure as a heck wouldn't be trying to convince myself to go eat it again this weekend.

The Kevin O'Hara video I watched today was about being bored when sober.  This is one that I really struggle with.  One of the things he said was that successful people are rarely bored.  Think about your goals in life and do something that gets you closer to reaching those goals as opposed to drinking which gets you further from them.

The other thing he talked about was mindfulness.  I am not mindful or kind or loving or nonjudgmental with myself when I am planning drinking, drinking and recovering from drinking.  It is the opposite of mindfulness and very selfish.  I let my dogs outside last night and I just went and sat down. My brain is so much more calm when it doesn't have alcohol in it.  My brain gets very hyper when planning drinking, almost hypomanic when drinking and then incredibly depressed, distracted and isolated (not paying attention to anything or anyone) while recovering.

I started reading the book The Naked Mind and it is really hitting home.  The picture in the beginning is a perfect representation of how my brain feels while drinking.  The picture looks something like this:

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It's hard to explain, but this is how my intoxicated brain feels - going a mile a minute, not able to stay on any one thought, hypomanic without any sense of organization, just random thoughts with a distorted perception of my surroundings. And I just talk obsessively. It's probably super annoying how dominating I am in the conversation. Probably exhausting for other people to even watch. One time when I was sober and others were clearly drunk, I shot a look to the other person who was sober. I worried that the drunk people saw it and would be offended.  Then I think about my own perceptions when I drink too much. I would never notice other people at the table giving each other looks.  It is almost like I am blind to my surroundings - not really blacked out as I do remember most of what has happens - more like just completely oblivious to my surroundings in the moment. It feels like a distorted sense of blindness - completely unaware of everything except the chaotic, random thoughts going through my brain and then exiting my mouth. I could care less what others have to say. I don't like it.  Sitting outside last night I just got this overwhelming sense of thankfulness for having a clear, completely aware and awake brain right in that moment.  I do not like the feelings that come with being intoxicated....so why do I keep wanting to get into that state?  Because I am an alcohol addict.

Which lead me into the two thoughts on the book so far.

1.  The author is a firm believer that EVERYONE who drinks alcohol is consuming a poison that they will become addicted to.  We are all in the pitcher plant that Alan Carr talks about - everyone.  Some people slide down the sides more quickly, some never get trapped in the nectar but everyone who puts an addictive substance into their body is running the risk of becoming addicted.  Everything that drinkers tell themselves to continue to drink, like it's just a habit, is just rationalizing the fact that they continue to drink alcohol because they are, on some level,  addicted - maybe just a little - but still addicted.  If someone offered you a million dollars to never drink again, would you take it?  If you need to think about it, she states, it is more than a habit.

2.  She asked the question - when did you lose control of your drinking?  I started o think about that. Was it last Saturday when I made a fool of myself and am just now recovering from the hangover? Was it 2 years ago when I stayed sober for 9 months, decided I was all better, drank, and fell right back into the same patterns? Was it 7 years ago when I started this blog to try to control my binge drinking and subsequent, ever worsening hangovers? Was it 8 years ago when I told my family I had a drinking problem? Was it 10 years ago when I found moderation management and tried to successfully moderate but was unable? Was it 15 years ago when a neighbor friend and I were going through some really hard personal stuff at the same time and would get together 4-5 times per week, drink wine and commiserate with each other in the name of being there for each other? Was it when I moved into this alcohol saturated neighborhood 20 years ago in which I became the fun, party mom who planned all the events and just relished in the fact that I lived in the best neighborhood ever and everyone loved me?  Was it 23 years ago when a friend introduced me to the sophisticated, mature world of red wine?

My brain just kept going back in time. I thought to myself - wait a minute - did I even have control when I was in my 20s?  I would binge every weekend and get really bent out of shape when we had other commitments that kept me from drinking.  I would fake reasons why I had to leave non drinking events on the weekend so we could go party.  My weekends were boring and stupid if I couldn't drink.  I lived for those weekend - getting all of my work done Mon-Fri so I had nothing to do on the weekends except drink and maybe nurse my tiny (in compassion to now) hangover.  I would drink too much on all family vacations causing all kinds of unnecessary drama that was, of course, never my fault.

Maybe I never really had control????  I felt like I just had this epiphany, like some great big aha moment.

I kept reading and the very next line was "MAYBE YOU NEVER REALLY HAD CONTROL" !!!  I seriously laughed out loud.

Maybe I never really had control......

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

6/6/17 (Tues) Tell them to go f--- off!

I subscribe to Alcohol Mastery blog by Chris O'Hara who  has a 365 day video challenge where he is posting a video everyday for a year.  His videos are awesome.  Today's video really spoke to me.

He talks about how drinkers are just following the herd. That when you quit drinking you are choosing not to poison yourself in the name of socialization, community, culture and relaxation. They don't have the courage to do what you are doing and if they give you are hard time tell them they are full of shit. This is courageous and intelligent. The stupid thing to do is to continue to put this shit into your body. It is insanity (not intelligent) to do the same thing over and over and over. When people talk about how good the wine is and the quality of the beer - it is all just bullshit they tell themselves to keep doing it. This drug is killing millions every day which makes it pretty stupid to do - to purposefully, consistently poison yourself.  If other people don't like it - tell them to go f--- off! You are choosing not to poison your body any longer - they are the stupid ones! He says that when they feel sorry for him because he isn't drinking, he thinks "I feel sorry for you because you continue to poison yourself." When they ask if he has a drinking problem, he thinks "No, I just choose not to be so stupid to constantly poison my body."

http://alcoholmastery.com/why-are-you-ashamed-of-telling-people-you-have-quit-drinking-alcohol/

This is the kind of thinking that is helpful for me. Being able to just look at the insanity, to see through all the bullshit.  It is just a drug -same as nicotine, heroine, cocaine - it is all the same. It is just that society chooses to make this one ok. Makes people who don't do it feel bad, out of place, left out.

I refuse to live under that cloud of ignorance and stupidity anymore. I choose to stop, as Chris O'Hara says "consistency and purposefully poisoning my body just to follow the herd."

I choose to be courageous and intelligent and not give a shit what others think. For every person who doesn't want to be around me bc I am not drinking, I bet there will be one who thinks I am brave and a little jealous they can't find the strength to do it themselves.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

6/5/17 (Mon) I am a complete stupid idiot failure

Sorry to be so negative, but it is how I feel.  Had a a terrible hangover 2 weekends ago.  Decided last week, I am going to start a healthy plan - in all honesty tho hadn't really committed in my head to not drinking. Secretly making back door deals with myself.  While my fingers were typing all these grandiose plans, by brain was whispering "Maybe if you are healthy in all other area of your life, you will be able to moderate and be happy - yes, yes - let's try that."

Did well with moderating over Memorial Day weekend.  Drank Friday and Saturday but not many and didn't have a hangover.  Felt great - sort of this inflated ego that I can do this, I am fine, I can moderate, all this BS about quitting forever is stupid and unnecessary.  I can be like everyone else.

Drank way too much Saturday (6/3), made a fool out of myself by over sharing some personal stuff in my life with my neighbors while drunk, disappeared in the middle of a conversation and went to bed bc I was about to pass out.  I felt ok until all of a sudden  I didn't. One minute I was talking and listening, the next, I was staring, zoned out and felt like if I didn't get myself to bed in the next 3 minutes, I was going to pass out right there at the table in from of everyone.  I remember one of my neighbors even asking, "Are you ok?"  I was not OK. Went to bed and passed out fully clothed.

I was completely useless yesterday. Did not get out of bed, ate like shit, felt dizzy, mentally out of it, heart palpitations, stomach ache, worried I would die - didn't give two shits about anyone or anything except hiding in my own self absorbed, self imposed misery.

Today still feel completely crappy. Dizzy, headache, nauseous, exhausted. So mad and sad and defeated.

For the first time ever...I feel like I really need some help.  I don't know where to to or what to do.  I will not got to AA. The stigma I have attached to it (probably bc it is what my dad used and it did not work for him - he relapsed over and over and over until he finally died from drinking). A SMART meeting sounds interesting but I don't want to go to a meeting with men at some Village Inn - that sounds horrible.  I don't want anyone to see me.  I am a teacher and it would really damage my reputation. I wish there was a WFS meeting around me....

Anyone have any other suggestions......I did start reading The Naked Mind and and going back to the book The 30 Day Solution which I worked on last summer.

All I know (as I type with tears in my eyes) is that I WILL NOT GIVE UP!!! I will not let this beat me.  Actually maybe I will give up.....give up trying to control it as it is not possible.  I don't know why I can't get that fact though my head. Again and again and again and again, I convince myself I can be a normal drinker.  I CAN NOT BE A NORMAL DRINKER!!! I am not a normal drinker. I am a weekend binge drinker and have been for 30 years.  I am unable to sustain long term moderation.  It is so hard bc when I don't drink during the week and I moderate well on the weekends, I have a false sense of control over it.  But I ALWAYS find myself back in this place and even successful moderating dulls the rest of my life leaving me a little depressed, tired and unmotivated.

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I will not give up on myself

Image result for i won't give up jason mraz


https://youtu.be/O1-4u9W-bns


Lyrics

When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?
Well I won't give up on us, even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love, I'm still looking up
And when you're needing your space, to do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting, to see what you find
'Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up
I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you're still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not and who I am
I won't give up on us, even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up, still looking up.
I won't give up on us (no I'm not giving up)
God knows I'm tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We've got a lot to learn (we're alive, we are loved)
God knows we're worth it (and we're worth it)
I won't give up on us, even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love, I'm still looking up
Songwriters: Michael Lee Natter / Jason Mraz
I Won't Give Up lyrics © Goo Eyed Music


Thursday, June 1, 2017

6/1/17 (Thurs) - Day 1 of Healthy Living and Stop the Insanity (6 years of blogging proof)

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When I stopped smoking for the two hundredth and final time, I did not just change that one thing, but I changed everything.  I ate better, worked out, went to bed early, stopped drinking, and drank lots of water. Being a healthier person in general helped me stay quit.  I wasn't sitting around feeling sorry for myself ( at least not after the first week).  I believe it really helped.

Many people have advised to take it easy when you stop drinking. To take care of yourself by taking baths and eating ice cream and watching too much tv and sleeping. I've done that and it just seemed to leave me in a depressed, lethargic state.  I'm going to try something different this time. I'm going to attack my health with a vengeance.  Today I am 5'4" and 150 pounds.  I can't believe I have let my weight creep up like this.  I was always between 125-130 pounds.  My clothes don't fit - in fact my son and his friend asked me to go skiing today (yes in June! we still have one resort open) and I had to say no bc I can't get my stinking ski pants buttoned.  I refuse to by new "fat" clothes so I continue to wear the same pair of 4 yoga pants and 4 shirts over and over.  I promised myself last summer and the summer before and the summer before that I would not spend another summer in yoga pants. Well here I am and guess what - my shorts don't fit and I am in yoga pants.

Today is the first day of summer break for me (I am a teacher) and I am determined to get healthy this summer! I have said this to myself the last 4 summers - but this summer, I'm gonna do it.  These are my goals:

Drink a gallon of water a day
Eat under 2,000 calories in 5 small meals a day every 3 hours
Workout - Couch to 5k on the treadmill and weight training
Walk my dogs
Got to yoga 2-3 times per week
Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night
Limit my screen time (both tv and computer)
Keep blogging as when I stop blogging my cravings to drink increase - I need the accountability
Not drink - as I know it will derail all of the above

I'm hoping by doing the first 8 things, it will decrease my cravings to drink bc I am trying to be healthy and drinking is not healthy. Then, by not drinking, it will help me keep my commitments to those first 8 commitments. Start a new cycle in my brain - if I need to be obsessed with something - how about being obsessed with being in the best shape (physically, mentally, emotionally) that I can be.

I have been dressing so dumpy lately (bc of my lack of options) that I really want to try Stitch Fix. I don't want to to, however, until I have lost this 20 pounds that have accumulated around my middle. My reward to myself is that when I have lost 20 pounds, I am going to sign up for it and update my wardrobe to update my new me. I know this will be so much easier if I am not drinking bc alcohol not only makes me fat but removes all my motivation for doing the things I need to do to make it happen.

Bye, bye cheesy rollups and Real Housewives.....hello salad, smoothies and physical activity :)

(Well..maybe just one Real Housewives every once in awhile!  I really need to know if Luann actually gets married lol!)

BTW - This is what I posted the last SIX summers!!!  I WILL NOT SPEND ANOTHER SUMMER LIKE THIS!!!

Summer 2016

6/6/16 (Mon) I am failing!

6/6/16 at 2:22 am

I wake up after being in bed for 4 hours (as usual). My stomach is killing me, my heart is pounding, I am sweating profusely and all of my drinking regrets come flooding into my brain.

"How much did you drink the last 4 nights? the last 3 weeks?"
SERIOUSLY!!! Thurs - 2, Fri - 6, Sat - 3, Sun  - 7 = 18 drinks in 4 days = 57 drinks in the last 23 days!!!!!

"How did you feel last Monday?"
TERRIBLE!!!Terrible hangover from the weekend - took 3 days to recover.
Finally felt better on Thursday - so what did I do?  DRINK!!!! WHY????

"Why are you sneaking? hiding? lying? not counting? not taking your naltrexone?"
I DON'T KNOW!!!

"Why aren't you stopping at 2 or 3 drinks?"
I DON'T KNOW!!! I just start drinking and can't stop. I keep drinking more and more and more like I can't get enough in my body before I have to stop and go to bed.

"Why are you ruining your health? your mental well being? your relationships (especially with yourself)? your self worth? your goals? your mental stability?"
I DON'T KNOW!!! My desire to drink is just so strong that I can't seem to tell it no when I want to start and I can;t tell it to stop once I have started

"Why can't you just admit your are developing a serious drinking problem that has been getting worse and worse for the last 30 years and enough is enough?"
I DON'T KNOW!!!! I am just terrified to stop forever and I don't know why. Actually I do know why...I am so afraid that life is going to suck without it - that I won't have any fun - that I won't have any friends - that I won't enjoy anything - that I will be different and weird - that I will never be able to visit a brewery and try a new IPA - that vacations will suck without it - that I can never have another glass of wine with dinner - that I can never have a drink on the deck in the sunshine and just relax - basically I am terrified that my life will suck without alcohol. I want so desperately to be able to control it....

I decide at 4:34 am on 6/6/16 that I am not drinking for at least 30 days.

Then at 8:30 am, after 4 more hours of sleep, I get up and doubt that decision - hold on? are you sure you want to make such a grand statement? you know it will suck.. you know it will ruin your summer.. you know you have parties to attend.. you know you haven't had a sober June in 30 years except the 2 times you were pregnant..you know you should just wait until August..you stayed sober from August to April once...you know May June and July are the hardest for you..you know this is unrealistic... you know you can't do it.. you know you will fail.

Many sober "cyber" friends tell me how great it is but I just can't see it for myself.  I believe their life is  a lot better but I just can't "see" that being the case for me.

I am going to be miserable if I drink and I am going to be miserable if I don't drink....I just don't know which miserable to choose...

Summer 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sigh.....


I am obviously drinking again and not really enjoying it.  I usually only drink on the weekends but it has now gone back to every weekend. I try to keep it to 3-4 drinks per day on the weekends, but it has been steadily creeping up.  I really just want to not drink at all.  I stopped for 8 months and felt amazing, but I am not abstaining right now and I need some accountability. I am a teacher, and I don't want this to be one more summer of partying and not taking care of myself.  I am 47 years old and cannot go back to school this fall exhausted, anxious and depressed because of over drinking all summer.  I am such an all or nothing person that I am either completely sober or just choose to ignore my drinking and not deal with it. My posting here is a way for me not not ignore it.

I hesitated posting because I really want to not drink at all because I felt like it was admitting failure in my attempts for sobriety. But I also don't want to drink, bury my head in the sand and not pay any attention.  My drinking has shifted in that instead of just not paying attention to how much I drink and not realizing my over consumption, it is more of a how much alcohol can I put in my body before I have to go to bed. Like - I 'm just going to have one more at 1:00 am even though everyone else is in bed - feeling.  Those feelings scare me because I don't understand them. Why do I need to do that? What is the point when I have clearly had enough, no one else is even up and I am going to bed?
Well, now I am back to drinking alone, drinking every weekend and feeling like crap about it.  So I am back. 


Summer 2014


Monday, August 11, 2014

Feeling awful

am convinced that alcohol sends in my into a very dark place full of depression and anxiety.  Not just general anxiety, but full blown someone is sitting on my chest/I can't breathe/I am going to have a heart attack/I can't hold it together/I am having a mental breakdown/hot flashes/heart palpitations/chest pain/these weird tingling sensations that just wash over me/I am going to die panic attacks.  These always happen between 1:00 and 4:00 am. I wake up exhausted, confused, sad, ashamed, mentally and physically numb.  

I am actually considering the fact that I might have some sort of mental illness.

Oh and BTW - I didn't drink yesterday bc I felt like crap after 12 consecutive days of drinking between 3 and 8 drinks per day while on vacation usually starting in mid afternoon!  

Day 1 I guess...


November 2013 - didn't post over the summer bc too much drinking


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

11/12/13 (Tues) Failing - I'm Back - History

Ok...here it goes! My last post was 4/21/13.  I was sober for 255 days - from 8/1/12 - 4/13/13.  

Review - skip if you remember me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am also a binge drinker. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer 2012


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Total fail!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My very first post Summer 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011


7/5/11 (Tues) - First Day of Blog - Need a Change - Terrible Hangover

10:00 - I feel terrible today.  I drank too much again last night.  My heart is palpitating,  I cannot focus on anything.  My head feels dizzy.  I feel very shaky. I cannot understand why I can’t control my struggles over alcohol.  I have been trying for so long.  I really don’t know if I am powerless or if I do have power but am just not trying hard enough.  
I had a dream last night that we were at a bowling ally and I really wanted a cigarette.  I looked at the menu, and ordered one (even though I knew I shouldn’t).  I knew the kids were with me and they would not approve. I did it anyway - just pushed those thoughts away.  When I walked away from the counter, I had a beer in my hand instead - it was morning.  Is that dream telling me that it is time to stop?  That maybe I am powerless, and if I don’t stop soon it will just get worse?  

I have been trying to moderate for 10 years now.  Some months I do better, but overall, still the same if not worse.  I am still binge drinking almost every weekend, and now I am wanting to drink during the week and start earlier in the day on the weekends.  I hardly ever go 4 days in a row without drinking.  I drink by myself, I hide it.  I plan activities, gatherings, parties just so I can drink.  I think about it constantly.....am I drinking today?  How much?  When will I start?  What will the plan be?  It is consuming me.  That’s weird, because I am actually consuming it.  

I am not being a good role model to my children.  Two days ago I was trying to talk to my son and he said, “Mom, I don’t even know what you are saying.”  I could be in denial and say he just wasn’t understanding me, but maybe I really wasn’t making any sense.  My daughter waits until I have had a couple of glasses of wine to ask me if she can do something.  I am entirely to sensitive, probably because I know I have a problem, I just don’t want anyone else to think badly of me.  I think it (my addiction) is slowly becoming something too big for me too handle.  I am so confused, depressed, angry, defeated....I do know that I will not poison my body today.  

6:00  I have wasted this whole day.  I am so tired, more like exhausted.  I have eaten crap all day and done nothing.  I do know what is going to happen.  I will feel better tomorrow and thoughts will start creeping in that say, “You can moderate.  It isn’t that big of a deal, just do better.  Pay attention...count...stay hydrated ..... use the tools, etc.”   By Friday, I will have fully convinced myself that I am fine and will drink, probably more than planned. Then I will drink again on Saturday, maybe on Sunday, and will start this cycle over again for the millionth time.  

 I am going to make a list of the reasons I do want to quit.

No more hangovers - no wasted days
Feel less depressed - not guilty about letting myself down
Be more calm - in a better mood with family
Get to the gym on a regular basis
Focus on my weight/health goals
Have less anxiety - feel good about myself and my choices
Fin peace that I will never find on the path I am on
Be less sensitive - feel good about myself so I won’t worry so much about what everyone else thinks

I am going to journal everyday about how I feel.  How it is going.  Maybe getting my feelings out will help.