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:

Image result for scribbled blob

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 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......


  1. This is so familiar. I expect I never really had control, either. I always wanted more...I never turned down a free drink!

    Your recognition of the self focus and obliviousness of drinkers is spot on. I know I was so wrapped up in me, what I wanted, what I didn't want, etc that I rarely saw anyone else.

    The ability to see and understand an care about others has been a gift of sobriety. I am just a nicer person...mainly because I see opportunities to be.

    Hold on. It is poison.

    And the boredom is is time. Consider a hobby...reading trashy novels, yoga, golf, gardening...learning to be ok with empty time is hard. In the mean time have a few ideas. I still take a bubble bath every evening. It's awesome.

    Hugs and hug fives

  2. I agree with my smart, lovely friend, Anne!
    What you are doing is arming yourself with information, and self awesomeness.
    That is really great!
    I always thought I slowly grew into alcoholism, but looking back at when I first could drink, I did have some times that I drank a lot and fast, even when hubs and I were dating and at a nice restaurant.
    Then, things calmed down, but slowly and surely I started drinking more and more.

  3. Control control control. What lies behind the addiction that makes us feel we have to have this. I am in the midst of figuring bits of this out at 7 months.

    I really remember this though: "And I just talk obsessively. It's probably super annoying how dominating I am in the conversation." I would do this to MY KIDS - how terrible I think and cringe right now. Even they would look like "what the heck is she on about" or "alright mum" Wow I forgot about that. It was like a psychopathic rant going nowhere in particular but it seems SO important at the time. All my university study, all my life learning poured into a bottle, shaken up, re-drunk and spat out into disconnected and disorganised monologues.

    Thank you for posting this KS -
    Michelle xx

    1. Boredom was the biggest challenge for me. It was the reason I drank and the hardest thing to accept that I was boring drinking. Time like Anne said - I am new but understanding that time and the more I put behind me the less the boredom thing even comes up... x