Saturday, May 19, 2018

5/19/18 - Not blogging for awhile

I am going to take a break from blogging for awhile...not because I am drinking...just bc I have become a bit obsessive about it.  I feel like it is keeping me either stuck in this place of analyzing the past, comparing it to the present or worrying about the future.  Last June I spent 3-4 hours a day reading The 30 Day Solution and blogging about it. While I think that was valuable time spent, there is part of me that felt like I was just wasting my summer sitting in my study on my computer while my house remained dirty, the weeds overtook my yard and I did not get any closer to being in the physical shape I want. the fact that I am 20 pounds overweight, eat kinda crappy and spend far too much time in front of my computer or TV is making me insecure, overly sensitive and kinda grumpy all the time. While I am on the path of not drinking, my focus needs to be on  something else this summer. I need to be physically active. Blogging, analyzing, reading, researching, sitting is not going to get me there. I need to repaint my house, clean out every closet, keep up with my yard work and start taking care of myself physically.  I fully realize that none of this will happen if I spend my summer drinking. I will blog every week or so just to keep track of were I am mentally, but I just can't spend another summer stuck in my head while everything around me gets ignored.

Monday, May 14, 2018

5/14/18 - Live in the Now

Image result for living in the now worrying about the future ruminating about the past

my mom and sister came over yesterday...both drank...I did not...I feel good this morning...hopeful

Sunday, May 13, 2018

5/13/18 Profound Response - Focus on now

I post to mmabsers which is an online group of amazing abstainers, one of which is Kary May :)
There is also another member named Mike who is so supportive and encouraging and gentle and understanding. He responds to everyone which such thought and care. He wrote the following response to my post this morning (which was the same as my blog post).

STOP projecting into the future of what will or won’t happen.  
STOP planning about where and when you will or won’t.  
STOP thinking failure.
STOP comparing yourself to others.
STOP looking back and comparing it to the present.

START living in the now. 

There is no magic day or month or time.  Only now.  

Iif you can embrace the now as being just as it should be,  stop projecting into the future so much and judging yourself by the past, you can begin to live in the present and start to be more at peace.  This means also cutting out some of that paralyzing fear you (we all) have.

Let go!!!  That’s the big thing.  Let go, let go, let go.  
Let go of the projecting,
Let go of the past, let go of the worries, let go of the obsession.  
A little bit at a time.  All we ever have is now my friend. 

So whoever you are on TV or whatever your plans may be, your new job, August, Mother’s Day, it all boils down to now. Just now. And right now everything is just OK.

So if you can just hold this, let go of everything else, there will be some peace and in this moment comes the next moment (or the future).  Therin is the peace and therin cuts some of the fear.

We are all human.  We all have fear.
This is simply a practice of living more serenely my friend.

This was so incredibly profound to me. It was exactly the right words, said at exactly the right time and was received by a heart that was ready to accept it. I am always so worried about comparing my present to the past and worrying about the future that I am letting my whole life pass me by. I am never really enjoying the present moment. WOW! Mind blown! Thank you, Mike!

5/13/18 - Mother's Day - Blah, Blah, Blah

This is what I wrote last Mother's Day (and in 2012). 

5/14/17 (Sun) Mother's Day

I was going back in my posts to previous Mays.  I ran across one post in May 2012
Today is Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, traditionally a pretty heavy drinking weekend - warm weather, 3 day weekend, school is almost out - YEAH!!!  So last night I had one beer in the sun - the whole reason I chose to start drinking again.  It was nice, but I felt a little guilty bc one of my neighbors who knew I quit drinking saw me drinking.  We went inside and my neighbor, yes that neighbor, asked if I wanted a glass of wine.  I said, "Sure, why not."  I only had one but it was probably more than one bc she uses fish bowls for wine glasses.  Then dh was starving so we went to dinner and I had one more beer.  We called it an early evening at 10:30 and I came home.  Not an epic failure, I never really felt too drunk, but today I am completely wiped out!  I am starting to wonder if my body can handle any type of alcohol consumption at all any more.  That amount of alcohol in the past would not have even fazed me!

So, 5 years later I am still out of shape, struggling, wondering if I can drink normally, successfully moderate, or quit for good and still be happy. Alcohol, 5 years later, is still my #1 obsession.  I know now, without a doubt, my body does not like to have alcohol put in it. I guess I need to decide if I am going to spend the next 5 years doing the same thing.  I know in my heart that if I don't just quit drinking and see if it makes me happy, I will be in this same spot 5 years from now.  I know this without any doubt at all.  Even if I can control my drinking for awhile, I always end up drinking to much (which anymore is just like 5 drinks), having a hangover, beating myself up, allowing myself the next week to recover which means not working out or being motivated in any other area of my life.  And then just doing the same thing the next weekend. Even if I only have that 5 nighter once a month, it still affects me the other three weeks of the month - physical, mentally, emotionally. 

I really want, on this last Mother's Day of my 40s, to give myself a gift - the gift of sobriety - the gift of figuring out who I am and what I want without alcohol in my life. To be good to myself, to care about myself, to put myself first in this area, to cherish my own life, happiness and sense of peace. To be strong enough to be able to do this. To believe all of you who tell me it is better. To be able to weather the cravings and the social situations and the summer vacations and other's judgement and my own judgement and the drama and negativity and self doubt and sensitivity - all without alcohol making me feel terrible about myself.  I want to eat better, sleep better, work out, take care of myself and be truly happy inside my own self.  I want to be at peace inside my own brain. 

I want to wake up smiling and joyful and well rested and ready to take on the day.  I want to spend my days productive and positive and unselfish and joyful I want to end the day peaceful with the feeling of accomplishment and proud of myself and grateful.

The thing stopping me is fear - fear of failure, fear of difficulty, fear of struggle, fear of boredom, fear of judgement, fear of feeling left out, fear of not being happy without it, fear of being different, fear of making others feel uncomfortable, fear of having to deal with difficult family situations without it, fear of not being fun anymore, fear of vacations sucking, fear of not enjoying sitting in the sun in the spring on a Friday after work, fear of never looking forward to the weekend, fear of never having a nice glass of wine with dinner again, fear of never going to breweries with my friends again, fear of never having fun anymore, fear of never feeling that buzzed, relaxed, social, having fun feeling again, fear of the sadness of loss or it in my life, fear of failure.

I now I need to do this, I know I want to do this, to give myself this gift on Mother's day but I am so scared.........I am so scared to once again make that commitment that I know I will fail.  I always fail. I know deep down that I can do this I am just so scared to try, to give it a chance. It gives me anxiety to think about it.  

I guess it is up to me - spend the next five years the same as the last five or be brave and try something different.

I woke up today (without a hangover btw), one year later, feeling the EXACT same way.  I could have written a post today without looking at my post a year ago and it would have said EXACTLY the same thing. I am not any worse than last year..maybe even doing a little better in terms of the amount I am drinking and the number of hangovers I suffer through, but I still don't feel mentally free.  I still feel stuck in this loop. 
Part of me wants to declare this lofty goal of one year of sobriety - to shout it from the rooftops, to be relieved to be free from this obsession....another part of me is scared shitless to say it once again (what is this - my 15th attempt?). I just feel so weak and, dare I say it, I can't beat it so why try. Then, when all those thoughts enter, all of the mental gymnastics begin - which happens constantly in my brain - from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. Even when I am busy doing something else, it is still a whisper in the back of my brain nudging me between these two choices
For example, I see some celebrity that is beautiful, in shape and doesn't drink and I think "that's what I want...if she can be rich and famous and not drink (I bet she has tons of friends and has fun) then so can I" and then I see an ad on tv of beautiful people drinking a lite beer around a campfire or a cold glass of Kim Crawford at a sophisticated party and I think "no, I want that - to have fun with my friends this summer to be able to drink and not be different and be happy."
This mental WWF (no - more like UFC bc I am stuck in a cage and it is not at all fake) fighting match is happening CONSTANTLY in my head. This is what it sound like -  "Start in August. It will be easier when summer is over." "No, do it know - get that first summer out of the way right now." "You aren't that bad/you just obsess/you can moderate and be happy." "No, you can not drink any amount of alcohol and be happy. All of this obsession will not go away until you stop weekend drinking." "Mother's Day is a perfect time to start one year sober - Mother's Day to Mother's Day - give yourself this gift - just try it - one year."  "No, not now, you have too many things coming up, drink and be happy, enjoy this summer, have fun, but also work out and eat well and be healthy."  "That's bullshit! You know your summer won't be any different. You will just stumble your way through it, doing a half-assed job at everything, never really completely finishing anything, feeling overwhelmed by everything." "Ya, but do you also want to feel excited for nothing? spending your summer feeling anxious about attending things without drinking? feeling bored, left out, worried? Just start in August." "Why? Why wait until August? You want to start your new job fit and confident and patient and won't feel that way if you drink all summer." "That's true but I will just make myself work out and get things accomplished but still be able to drink on the weekends - just stop obsessing." "I call BULLSHIT on that. You have proof. Look at your blog. Nothing is going to change." "It is going to suck! This summer without drinking." "Only if you let it suck. Your attitude will determine whether or not it sucks, not weather you are drinking or not. It could very well, and probably will, suck if you do drink." "That't true. DO I want to feel like I am dragging myself through another summer, feeling unmotivated and uninspired and tired and directionless just to start my job feeling sensitive, out of shape, worried, anxious and burned out?" I could go on forever, but you get the picture.
I am not kidding..this goes on, to some degree, in my head ALL DAY, EVERY DAY...even when sober. The only difference, when I am drinking, is that I also have the voices telling me not to drink this weekend, to drink this weekend.
This mental battle also has a constant, profound effect on my emotional state. Sometimes I feel sad and hopeless, sometimes excited and hopeful, sometimes nervous and scared, sometime angry and sick of if all, sometimes determined and strong, sometimes defeated and weak, but never at peace...NEVER. 
For all you happy sober people out there - how long does it take for the voices, the mental battle to go away after you become sober? When I got sober for 9 months, it got better, but never truly was silenced. Maybe it never is, maybe this is just my lot in life. 
What am I going to be determined...check back later...I am so afraid to declare sobriety, yet again, just to fail, yet again but also scared to try to continue to moderate, yet again, but fail at that, yet again. It seems like a lose/lose proposition.  I need to think about it some more. Yay, I know you can't think your way out of addiction. I know you have to just take the plunge, jump off the bridge, have some faith, believe in the happiness other have found. Maybe I just don't think I can do it or that I will be happy. I don't know. But, at least I am not giving up and I am still blogging.

Image result for fear to change is the enemy of success

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

5/8/18 Not posting

I was thinking last night, while in bed trying to go to sleep for two hours, about why I don't post when I am drinking.  I haven't drank that much. It isn't like I am holed up in my house getting wasted all day, isolating myself from the world. Last weekend I drank four light beers. That's it. Nothing major. Nothing on Friday. Nothing on Sunday. Nothing since. Was tired Sunday, but not a huge hangover. I had a great time at a brewery with my sister and some friends. Most people, myself included a few years ago, would be proud at the successful moderation.  When I first started this blog I would have been proud and posting about how well I did - only one weekend night, only four, only light beer, no wine. Why do I not want to blog about how well I did?

I think I know why....because deep down, I know that it is not the right thing for me. I am not proud of myself for moderating, I am disappointed that I drink. Not a "beat yourself up" kind of disappointed - that only happens when I have a hangover. More of a subtle, under the service, hard to identify, kind of disappointed. The kind of feeling that just makes you feel blah all the time. I suppose the fact that I can't sleep is also not helping. I really do know that I feel better physically, emotionally and mentally when I don't drink anything. I have known for a long time that my body doesn't process alcohol very well anymore. I have a gene mutation called MTHFR and is messes up the histamine levels in my body. I cannot process folic acid at all. Alcohol causes a histamine response which could be why it affects me so negatively. Maybe I really am allergic to

Regardless of why I know that I only feel "super proud of myself" and need to post about it when I am not drinking at all. When successfully moderating I still have, as Melissa who replied to my previous post so perfectly phrased it "The f-ing, omnipresent internal dialogue ". The only time the voice in my head that obsesses about alcohol shuts up is when I am not feeding it anything when I am starving it from alcohol. The days of being proud of moderating are passed because I know my own truth - that I will only find true peace when I have been sober for at least a year.

I AM NOT in denial about the fact that I am alcohol dependent and that I should not drink. What I am struggling with is the doubt that I can ever find, as Melissa also puts it, "overwhelming peace" in sobriety. I know you all say it and feel it, but for some reason, I just don't see it as ever happening for me. I just can't "see" myself ever truly being happy that I don't drink. That is what I fight. The whole thing sucks!

Monday, May 7, 2018