Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Week 4 - Close Call (anxiety induced) 1/29/18

This weekend was a close one (even after I made it through my birthday weekend last week).

I am a 6th grade teacher and my district has decided to move all 6th graders out of elementary school and into the middle school next fall.  Because of this I have had an extremely stressful nine months (panic level for the past 2 months).

I am terrible with decision making as I don't ever want to make the wrong choice so I analyze the shit out of it until I have analysis paralysis.  First I had to decide if I wanted to move to middle school or go down in grades at my current school (where I have been for 15 years and love it). I decided (after weeks of lamenting) to take the leap and move to middle school. I do better with older kids and the idea of only teaching one subject sounds amazing. Then I had to decide which schools to apply at, write a resume and a cover letter, seek out references and letters of recommendations and network with principals.   And btw - I am a great teacher (if I do say so myself). Alcohol has never impacted my job besides drinking a little to much at after school work parties a few (ok maybe more than a few) times. Or maybe just being more tired than I should be because of an over indulgent weekend. I have always been good about keeping my personal issues away form the classroom.

Oh ya and I am also taking two college level math courses to get myself highly qualified for middle school.  These classes are taking about 15-20 hours a week of work.

Well, it all led up to a hiring event last Saturday with 15 middles schools and over 200 teachers looking for jobs.  We didn't' just get moved up. We had to apply and compete for jobs.  I haven't done this in 15 years! I thought I was ok about the interviews. I just told myself, "If they like me, great. If they don't, oh well. I can always stay at my elementary school. It's not like I am out of a job." But really, I was terrified!

One of my interviews went terrible. One of the people interviewing me never cracked a smile. She either couldn't stand me or didn't want to be there on a Saturday.  That threw me completely off.  I am always concerned with what others think and I was just fixated on this my inability to connect with her at all.  Needless to say, that interview did not go well.  One interview I rocked it (I thought). I was connecting with everyone there. They were laughing and nodding and it was good.  The third interview I had went ok.  It was a really weird format which threw me a bit and there were also grumpy people in each one of the four (15 min) rotations as well.

At one point in the day, I went out to my car bc I had an hour break in between interviews. I had told my husband that morning that I kinda thought I might want to drink that night so not to plan anything that might make me tempted. I called him and told him I was drinking some wine when I got home.  I was sure of it. I jsut needed some relief from this stress and I deserved it after all of this.

I told myself I was going to stop blogging and reading about addiction. I was going to focus instead of my fitness and reading other books. I was going to stop obsessing about all of it and just be normal. It's not like I'm an alcoholic. I was so stressed out and filled with anxiety at that moment that all I wanted to do was be done, go home and have a glass of wine.

I was 100% positive that I was drinking wine when I got home.

I finished out the interview four hours later and went home exhausted.  I just couldn't believe how much stress I had been under for the past few weeks, culminating with this day of coming pretty close to an anxiety attack. During one interviews I even felt myself getting dizzy!

Once I got home, the craving was miraculously gone (which shocked me). I sat my butt on the couch at 4:30, ate pizza, popcorn, ice cream, drank soda (which I never do) and binge watched Narcos on Netflix and was in bed by 10:00. I didn't even want to drink. It was really weird. It kind of surprised me that I didn't even have to fight with myself. The craving really did just go away, without any internal dialogue on my part. It made me wonder if those intense physical cravings are also something truly physical in my neurotransmitters or something (my addicted brain) that really will "physically" pass if I just give it a little time.

I had kind of an epiphany.....What if intense craving are actually a biological event happening in my brain that will physically pass if given time rather than a physiological event that only passes if I talk myself out if? This seems so much more manageable bc the mental gymnastics that come with the latter are exhausting! Just waiting seems so much easier than talking myself out if it and almost seems like I am less of a mental failure and more of just someone who has an physical addiction and I know what to do ...just wait it out ...no talking/ thinking/ reasoning/ rationalizing ....just wait. It will go away on its own given the time it needs to pass.

And.......I got he job I wanted!!!! I found out yesterday. And I am almost done with my first math class! And I am 32 days sober! So yeah me!


  1. Congratulations.
    Stress is a big trigger. In the end, opening up 5e will I won’t I dialogue is always a slippery slope for an addict. We can rationalize anything.
    You don’t drink, so make a list of options and pick one of them when you feel that urge. It helps a lot to be prepared!

  2. Very glad you got the job!
    Time does help to ease urges, but as Anne said, it helps to have some other tools you can use. Call or text somebody, a sober buddy, have a small piece of chocolate, something to distract you.

  3. Congratulations on getting through the day, getting through the evening and GETTING the job! Brilliant work.x