Saturday, October 27, 2012

Almost - yesterday

An update - I was super sick Tues and Wed. - like had to leave work sick - which is unheard of as a teacher.  You can't just leave without sub plans and a sub.  I had the flu - nauseous, achy, fever, headache...I think I slept 24 out of 48 hours!  I feel better, but am so far behind at work.  I missed 2 days this week and 3 last week for DH surgery.  Rough couple of weeks for sure!

Anyway, while I was in bed not sleeping, I was researching why I have been so tired, distracted, irritated, jumpy, having heart palpitations again and having trouble sleeping.  I was really wondering if it could be alcohol related and that is also why I drank again at the 80-90 day range last time.  I blamed it then on the spring time, summer coming, school coming to a seems awfully coincidental that I am having a bunch of symptoms that I have when I first quit drinking at the same time - 80-90 days????

I was looking into something called PAWS - post acute withdrawal symptom.  It is when someone who used to much alcohol, starts to have some of the same symptoms I am having.  It happens around this time as well. i thought is was really interesting and wondered if it played a part in why I gave in last time and why I am having a hard time this time.  Knowledge is my friend!

Last night my family including neice, nephew, sister and parents carved pumpkins.  Doing this on a Friday in the past would have meant a neighborhood party at my house!  Something I would have looked forward to all week!  Would have been on a "high" just waiting for it I guess because it meant I could drink with other drinkers - have fun, not be judged, not worry about anything ....  I typically wouldn't have wanted my sister/parents there for fear they would judge me if I drank too much. It turned out to be really a nice, calm, fulfilling evening.  I felt really good about myself as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, woman. didn't start that way.  When I got home from work, I was REALLY wanting a beer.  I mean REALLY wanting a beer!  That voice was coming on strong.....You said until Halloween....its almost here....I know you can be moderate....just give it another shot....wouldn't it be fun to have a beer right now....wouldn't it be more enjoyable...who can do what you is your life...just do deserve work has been a rough 2 or two aren't going to's just beer - it's not like it's wine....maybe it will help you sleep and make the heart palpitations go away...wouldn't it be nice to be able to have that beer on a Friday night with friends again....not feel so able to able to have fun...look forward to the weekend again....

My other voice SAID until Halloween, it isn't told your dd you were taking a break until Halloween-you know she will give you a "look" told your mom you haven't drank since August 1 - YESTERDAY!....just coincidence??? probably  not....she was so proud of you-now what she is going to see you with a beer? will you feel about yourself tomorrow?....remember what you read about said that my body will not ever truly heal itself unless you don't drink...if you drink, even 2 beers, your healing has to start all over... maybe you are just hungry, tired, thirsty....just eat something, drink something besides alcohol-wait it out- see if it goes away....maybe this is just your addiction screaming at you....are you going to let it win?.... do you really need to have that buzzy feeling in your head to enjoy the evening...all the kids have fun with a clear head...wouldn't it be cool to model having a good time without alcohol to my two teenage children? ... wouldn't that make you feel good about yourself?....let's try it with a clear might be calmer, less ADHD like....JUST DON'T DO IT!!  OMG THIS IS EXHAUSTING!!

Well my mature voice won-thank goodness!  PAWS also says that you have to take some responsibility to minimize the symptoms - get enough sleep, don't sleep too much, eat healthy, stay hydrated, exercise, relax, find your spirituality.

I take this as - you don't heal passively.  You have to take an active role in recovery.  I need to work on myself. i can't just sit back, be an observer of my own life and hope for change. I need to do things that take care of me - even if I don't feel like it so I have the strength to fight that childish, needing, whining, irritating, extremely persuasive voice that wants what it wants immediately! It takes advantage of a weakened (or weekend haha) state and tries to convince me quickly while I am hungry, tired, grumpy, etc. before I have a chance to stop myself.  

One think at a time - this week my focus is going to be on nutrition and hydration.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Still tired??? 82 Days

Ok, so it has been awhile since I have posted.  I have been doing really well until a couple of days ago. I have not drank in 82 days.  I have felt pretty good....really busy (conferences, report cards, kids' sports, husband's surgery) which helps, actually.  I really haven't had any cravings.  I have been glad to be done with the constant battle in my head, just living my hectic life without hangovers.
Last time (Jan-Mar 2012) I absed this long, I made it to around 82 days and then decided I wanted to try to drink moderately again, which led to a disastrous summer.  Disastrous for me means binge drinking on the weekend at least 4 times a month, but it also involves the self-hatred, hangovers, depression, anxiety, etc...

Now that I am about that same number of days - I am starting to have thoughts and triggers again - dreams about alcohol in which I give in,  driving past one of my favorite restaurants on a Saturday night and having thoughts about never being able to have a glass of wine with dinner, neighbor's trying to get me to try their flavored vodka (I pretended to taste it and then dumped it out), neighborhood chili cook offs and not even wanting to go bc it doesn't sound fun without a beer to cool down all the hot flavors in my mouth, someone talking about going to a bar for a couple of drinks and wishing I could go with hasn't been an easy weekend.

The worst part is - I am just so damn tired all the time!!! I am sick of it.  I got 10 hours of sleep both Friday and Saturday night and I still can't pull myself out of bed.  I am falling asleep on the couch at 9:00 on a Saturday.  I just thought I would feel better by now.  I want to hop out of bed at 6:00 ready to start my day - something I couldn't do with a hangover.  I am getting a little pissed off that I am not feeling "fantastic" like everyone who quit feels.
I was reading that alcohol "artificially" raises your dopamine levels in you brain over and over and over and that your body produces another hormone to bring those levels down.  I have been "artificially" getting my good mood feeling on the weekends for the past 20 years.  During the week I just felt happier and happier as I got closer to the weekend.  Then, ironically, as you get your good mood on through a drug, you also sink deeper into depression (masked by the buzz) because ALCOHOL IS A ULTIMATELY A DEPRESSANT!!! What a sneaky SOB!

I am sure my brain is just having a hard time getting the hormone levels back in check.  I am sure that I trained my brain to need alcohol to feel happy for all of those years.  Since I am feeling this way again at about the 80 day mark and knowing that this is when I "tried" again last time makes me wonder if it is another one of those fork in the road moments.  The time when my addiction tells me that I am OK, that I am not that bad, that I am just making a big deal, that it is my latest obsession, that I said until Halloween and I have almost done that - time for a reward, that even though life is better in some ways like this (I don't miss the extreme lows that come with the hangovers) - but I do miss the intense great, happy feelings that come with weekend parting.  I miss looking forward to getting together with my friends after a long week and having fun.  Yes, I could have fun doing other things but I am just too tired to put in the effort - I just go to bed.  Having a couple beers didn't take much effort - it was just easy.  I get all of that and knowing it helps, but here is my question-----

How long did it take for all of you long time absers for your body to reset itself and have more energy?  I now everyone is different, but I just want to know if I am expecting too much too soon...