Tuesday, November 20, 2012

success and struggles


Friday - The last day of an incredibly busy work week, a whole, week off, sun was shining.....a perfect reason to celebrate with a beer in the past.  Thank goodness my ds had basketball games.  I was pretty busy being a mom and didn't really thin about it - thankful for the distraction.

Saturday - Friend's 80's birthday party at a bar, free drinks, no kids, everyone else drinking....a perfect excuse to partay!! in the past.  Really didn't want to go, but did - knew it was the right thing to do.  I went, didn't drink and was perfectly fine with it.  Didn't even care. Got a little annoyed with one of my old drinking buddies who was getting a little loud and annoying trying to talk to me.  Actually had some real, calm conversations with some friends I hadn't seen in awhile.

Monday - Did Thanksgiving early - worked best for our family.  First Thanksgiving (except when pregnant) that I didn't drink.  It was fine.  


Monday - For the first time in a long time I actually had that,  "I want to have a beer feeling."  It was mid afternoon, sun was shining and I was cooking.  In the past I would have had a beer or two while prepping all my Thanksgiving contributions at home, another one while getting ready and then more once we got there.  I had a really big urge while cooking and showering.  That whole rapid pules, kind of tingly, head buzzing, furrowed brow, deep breaths, grumpy feeling.  I knew if I just put my head down and powered through it would go away and that is what I did, but it just felt a little stressful at the family dinner.  I was little bored, anxious, tired, annoyed.... just felt like I put my head down and powered through.  It was uncomfortable, but I made it through. I didn't drink, so that was good.

I have been have been having drinking dreams again.  My dreams have been very stressful - being late, lost, chased, angry, running but going nowhere, missing flights, upset and then the last one guzzling beer in secret.  I just feel a little out of sorts, a little grumpy.

I am starting to feel a little isolated.  I feel like I have lost all of my friends, my dh is drinking (which is fine, just different for me not to be).  Just don't quite know where I belong, where I fit in, what my purpose is....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Past trauma

Something very weird and a little scary happened to my last night.  For no reason that I can think of, I woke up at 12:30 am feeling a lot of anxiety.  Everything that has ever happened to me in my life that was bad as a child just came flooding in on me.  I couldn't stand it.  I just started replaying my life from an alcoholic father to a distracted/cold mother to sexual abuse to attending 7 elementary schools to starting middle school new without any friends to never really fitting in until I found alcohol to never having anyone there for me as a child or a teenager to always feeling alone to being drunk at prom, being drunk as a teenager...

I tossed and turned in emotional turmoil for 2 hours.  I haven't had that happen since I stopped drinking 97 days ago.  When I finally got to sleep, I had a very vivid dream that I tried to tell my family about everything I had been through.  I was really upset, but they just acted like I was being a drama queen and wasting their time.  I was devastated.  I woke up to my heart pounding and my pulse racing. So then I lay there for another hour thinking about the dream.

I think maybe I need to go talk to someone about all of the pain from my past.  I feel like I have all of that pain wrapped up in a tight little cocoon tucked away somewhere deep inside.  The past 25 years have been spent either keeping myself so incredibly busy during the week or buzzed on the weekends.  Just constantly in this state of motion, never slowing down, never allowing my "cocoon" to unravel.  God forbid anyone would ever think there was anything wrong with me.  I built a very strong bravado/facade around myself so that no one else could ever get a glimpse of my secrets.  Whether they are warranted or not, there is a lot of shame/guilt/sorrow/anger/resentment that comes with digging all of that up ..... but I am not so sure that I have a lasting chance at sobriety without doing it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Who am I?

I had to wonder about something today.  I went to a family get together this afternoon - a boy's birthday party.  All went well.  A couple of family members said, "What? You haven't drank since when? Why?  I didn't even think you drank that much." In the past, this statement would have planted the seed in my brain that maybe I wasn't that bad.  Not today... i just said, "I was a binge drinker.  I would drink too much on the weekends and then feel like crap.  it was just becoming to important to me."  They had no idea about the anguish and turmoil I have been through fighting this drug for years.

Well, the wine was flowing.  there was even one person there that must have had 4 glasses of wine, and was getting pretty loud.  When she had finished the wine she asked what else they had.  I was watching her out of the corner of my eye because she reminded me a lot of myself.  She is about 8 years younger than me and I wondered if she would feel bad about herself in the morning, like I would have.  I thought about where I was 8 years ago.

Something that really was bothering me was how socially awkward I was feeling.  I didn't really know three of the people who were there, including the one drinking wine.  Before, I would have really liked the new people, been drinking with them, socializing, having fun and secretly enjoying that someone was drinking more than me haha! Now I just felt weird.  I was just being pretty quiet, minding my own business. I actually found myself not making a whole lot of eye contact, I don't know why.  I really don't think I made a lot of eye contact drinking either.   I also felt like these three were looking at me like I was being a bitch. Maybe I was just feeling insecure? I certainly wasn't trying to be and I felt like I was being friendly enough, but it was a little strange feeling.  I remember when I was in middle school and someone told me that she was surprised I was so nice because I always looked angry and bitchy.  I wonder - am I really like that and I used the alcohol to feel more socially "with it" or do I just feel awkward because I am not used to being in drinking situation sober?  I always thought I was super outgoing, friendly, social...or was that all just the facade of the alcohol?

I am not really sure who I am right now, or who I used to be or who I ever was????

Saturday, November 3, 2012

94 days

Well it has been 94 days since I have drank.  I feel mostly good about it.  Once in a while I have a craving or an inclining, like when we were carving pumpkins or at a huge neighborhood Halloween - I am talking multiple house with tents, appetizers and adult beverages - plus the weather was beautiful!  I would have killed for a Halloween like that in the past.  I lived for those Halloweens in the past - an excuse to drink on a weeknight with a bunch of other festive people who are drinking on a weeknight. I would also pay the price the next day with feeling like crap and feeling guilty about changing a holiday for my kids into a holiday for me to get smashed!  My focus was always on my kids, but many times it was equally if not a little more about me and my need for a drink.

One Halloween, I decided I would drink a few beers before trick or treating and thought it would be fun to ride a scooter around with the kids.  Well, I fell face first in a driveway!  Of course I blamed it on a crack in the sidewalk, got up, laughed it off and had another beer.  I was always excited when someone would invite us in for a "beverage" and we would stay a little longer than we should have. The kids were tugging at my arm trying to get me to do more trick or treating.  I never showed it, but was always a teeny bit annoyed, which is ridiculous bc it should have been about them!
Another Halloween, I took longer than I should have "getting ready" bc I was actually upstairs, slamming two beers down.  I wanted to a decent buzz going before trick or treating bc I didn't want to be that parent that walked around with a red solo cup - I am a teacher in this neighborhood for God's sake!  I didn't know how long it would be before I would be "invited in" for an adult beverage.  I usually wanted my dh to stay home and pass out candy so I could be out and about, distracting myself enough to keep drinking.  I didn't want to sit around by myself passing out candy, drinking - that might mean I have a problem!

As the years went by, I started noticing that many parents weren't drinking at all!  I just thought everyone did. Speaking of being a teacher,  I wouldn't even take kids in my class that lived in  my neighborhood because I was to afraid that they or their parents would "judge" me or tell stories at school about what a "party girl" I was.  It is amazing how many decision I made revolved around alcohol and how much in denial I was about that.  I just said that it would be too hard to know the kids and parents in a social and professional way - but really it was about the partying.

I think what is really different for me this time is looking at the bigger picture.  In the past I was getting so frustrated with not feeling fantastic right away, that I think I just gave up and wanted to feel "good" on a weekend and drank.  I have been reading a lot that talks about how long it takes for your body to recover from the years of abuse.  I usually only drank on the weekends, but at least 2 times a month I binged enough to feel terrible the next morning.  My body was in such a cycle of Fri and Sat night - drink, Sun and Mon -  be wiped out, Wed - feel better, Thurs - start getting excited for the weekend to be able to drink - over and over and over for years.  It had become who I was, what my focus was. If I couldn't drink on the weekend I was bummed.  But, as I got older, I could tolerate it less the next day both physically and emotionally.  I was killing my spirit, my patience, my gentleness, my compassion.  I was becoming very selfish, self absorbed, depressed or party girl hyper, my anxiety level was through the roof.  I was starting to become that drinker that would pick fights - I never used to be that person.  I was starting to sneak drinks and lie about how much I had had.  And my denial was ridiculous - it must have been something I ate, I must be getting sick, it must be the weather.  I had an excuse for everything in my own mind...from why I felt like crap to why I was just so exhausted during the weekend.

I am not feeling well again - heart palpitations again, headaches, grumpiness, overwhelmed, anxious, seriously distracted all the time, can't seem to multitask like I used to.  In the past this would have driven me to having a couple on the weekend.  I said until Halloween - I made it!  Yeah me!  Now let's celebrate - WITH A DRINK! That just sounds so ridiculous (yet still appealing).

The only way I am truly going to repair the damage I have done with weekend binge drinking is by not drinking for a very long time.  I am starting to look at it like when I quit smoking.  Just one cigarette (or beer) and the last 93 days are for nothing because I will be starting all the way back at the beginning. I just need to give myself the give of time