Saturday, December 31, 2016

12/31/16 (Sat) Eye of the Hurricane

Image result for eye of hurricane

I was reading an article form SMART this morning. There were three things the author talked about that I thought were interesting.

He talked about the "eye of the psychological hurricane"  and how it is easier to make rational decisions when you are in the calm eye of the hurricane rather than when you are constantly spinning around the edge.

I can relate to this bc sometimes (many times) I am very reactive as opposed to reflective.  I try so hard to not be so sensitive and reactive to everything around me but I do struggle with this.  It sounds so peaceful to be in the center, to feel centered, to always base your decisions and therefore actions from this place of calm, rational thought.  Drinking keeps me spinning around the edge.  When I am drinking, I am definitely hyper, distracted, chaotic in my brain, "spinning around the edge" in a frantic out of control sort of way - just enjoying the spinning bc I don't have to pay attention to anything else.  When I have a hangover I am just kind of floating aimlessly around the edge just not paying attention to anything and not caring.  I can kind of picture an astronaut in a space suit floating in space without a tether just floating aimlessly and not being able to do anything about it. My house could be a mess, I could have bills to pay, the sun could be shining - I don't care - I just have to get through the day so I can go to bed. I have to find a way to get to the center and stay there.

The author also talked about that you don't have to do something just because your brain wants you to.  My brain could be screaming at me to have that drink, to enjoy the evening, to fit in with everyone else, to just unwind, to have fun - but that doesn't mean my feet have to physically walk to the refrigerator - my arm does not have to physically bring the drink to my lips, my mouth does not   have to open and accept the poison that is ruining my self worth. As long as I can physically keep myself from actually drinking, my brain will clam down and the craving will pass. I just need to stay in the center of the hurricane and stay calm until the chaos in my brain clams down.

The third idea that the author talked about that made me pause was to do things willingly rather than grudgingly.  I know I need to work on this to be happy in sobriety.  Tonight when I go to a New Year's Eve party, I need to not drink because I choose to.  I know, from my calm center, that I do not want to drink, that it makes me sick, exhausted, depressed, anxious and unhappy.  Sure it would make me happy (in a sort of drunk, chaotic, distracted sort of way) right in the moment but it will prevent me from finding that happy (in a peaceful, proud, confident, healthy sort of way) in all the other moments of my life.  I choose to not drink, happily, because it is what is best for me. It does not suck. I am happier because I am not drinking and it is my choice.  I can't change that I can't drink normally or process any alcohol in my body, but I can choose to not put it in my body and do what makes me healthy and happy in my life.

Here is a link to the article

That place from which we choose by Hank Robb, PhD, ABPP


Friday, December 30, 2016

12/30/16 (Fri) - I'm ready

Image result for i'm ready
So I did drink last night and as expected almost a whole bottle of wine - once again (for the millionth time) proving my inability to successfully moderate.  So dumb - I was finally sleeping again and then drank.  I got 4 hours of sleep last night, woke up with that shaky feeling inside and an upset tummy.  I don't feel great physically, but do feel positive and ready to begin my sober January (at least) today. I feel like I am coming from a positive place of not even caring if I drink on New Years. I really am just done with this insanity and ready to start a new chapter to my life.

I got to experience drinking these last few times doing what I like while drinking.  Last weekend - I got to go to one of our favorite restaurant and have some great IPAs with my husband.  Last Wednesday I got to have some drinks with my favorite drinking neighbor, and last night I got to have wine with my favorite drinking sister.  All three times I have suffered the aftermath as well, so now I really am looking forward to getting to experience my life sober. I did have 9 sober months a couple of years ago so I know some of the positive benefits of not drinking.

I am looking forward to sleeping the most. Here are some other things I am excited for:

the sense of calm that comes with not debating about drinking in my head
the sense of slowing down and having patience on the weekends
actually keeping my workout goals
going back to yoga
eating healthy
being more active
becoming a strong woman/positive role model for my children
being less depressed, irritable, anxious
feeling better physically

What I will really need to work on this time

remaining positive in my sobriety
I want everyone to look at me and say, "Wow! Look how happy she is sober!"
I may have to fake it until I make it
not sitting around feeling sorry for myself

This is a big one - realize that I will have cravings, I will try to talk myself into drinking, I will tell myself that I am ok - that I am not that bad, that I really should try to moderate again, that I just need to try harder this time.  I need to use patience to get through those cravings, to realize that they will pass and that I need to look at the bigger picture, at what I want long term instead of what I want right that minute.

This one killed me last time - I need to not isolate myself.  I need to find a balance between saying no to events where I know I could cave but also still be social in safer situation instead of avoiding all social contact.  I did that last time and it was depressing, boring and lonely.

I need to find a way to - one - accept boredom and be ok with it and - two - try to do new things to keep from being bored.

Boredom, isolation, complacency, the need to be accepted/included and my own lack of patience with the process will be the things that will derail my efforts.

To fight complacency, I need to keep posting, to keep recording my journey. When I stop blogging, I know I am going to eventually start drinking again.  I have noticed that from my blogging history.  Int he past when I stop thinking about not drinking, I tell myself I am all better and can try again.  I need to be vigilant in my working on staying sober. One of the ways I can do this is to continue to blog - even when I think things are going well in sobriety.  I could never understand why my alcoholic father would always relapse when things where going well.  I now understand - it is in those times of being confident in your sobriety that you also feel confident and strong mentally and physically. Those positive/confident/strong feelings tell you that you strong enough to try once again to drink like a "normal" person.  I need to remind myself that I feel strong and confident because I am not drinking and that drinking again will rob me of all those good feelings. It's just not worth it.

I am going to love myself enough to do this for myself. Today is the first day of my sober journey and I am really excited to see how much better my life can be.  For all of you out there who are constantly reminding me you great it can be - thank you because I am going to just have faith you are right and try. If you didn't keep reminding me, I probably would not be willing to go through the difficult parts of healing myself.  Thanks for being there for me :)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

12/29/16 (Thurs) Made it through last night - worried about tonight

Last night was great! Went to a pottery painting place for my dd's 22nd birthday and then out to a nice dinner.  I made a box with the Chinese symbol for "patience" written on it as that is my word of the year. The painting took around 2 1/2 hours and I was much more patient just sitting there than I would have been if I was going to drink at dinner.  If I was going to drink, I would have probably suggested that dh and I walk over to the restaurant, sit at the bar and wait for them. Instead we sat with my 18 yo ds, 22 yo dd and her boyfriend, PATIENTLY, while they finished.  I noticed three things at dinner.  One, it seems to take a lot longer for the food to get to the table when you are not drinking- two, there were a lot of tables with no one drinking.  I found that fascinating. Three, the bill was much cheaper.  Also, my ds didn't have to drive home which he was happy about - kind of embarrassing that an 18 yo has to drive his buzzed parents home all the time. I had a nice time without drinking :)

Today is going to be difficult.  My sister, the one I drink with, is having Christmas at her house as she was out of town last weekend.  I really don't want to drink anything.  I finally got some sleep last night as it was night three after my last night of drinking.   I am finally getting some energy back and feel like actually doing something with my day.  If I drink tonight, I know I will be tired all over again tomorrow.  But...I just don't want to deal with their response when I say I am not drinking.  Part of me just wants to have one glass of wine and tell her on New year's Day.  Honestly I don't want the wine bc I secretly want it, I really just don't want to have the conversation today and I don't want to disappoint her by not drinking. Maybe I will pick up some hard seltzers and also bring some regular seltzers.  She will think I am drinking the hard ones but they will actually be the regular ones.  That way I am not drinking and also don't have to talk about it bc she will think I am.  I can deal with the whole conversation in January.  She knows I sometimes don't drink in January, so it won't be surprising. Then, at the end of January, I will just tell everyone how much better I feel and that I want to keep it going.

There is something super scary about telling people I am never drinking again - I think it might be bc I don't have a whole lot of confidence in myself and don't want to look like a failure if I fail.  I have said it before, and I think everyone now just rolls their eyes.

My other difficult day is New Year's Eve - also with her - we are going out to dinner.  Right now my trigger is not the events - I can do both of those without drinking - it is her - not in a bad way but just because I have always liked drinking with her and don't want her to be bummed out that I am not drinking.....kinda stupid but true...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

12/28/16 (Wed) Talked to my dh - shit and get off the pot lol

My dh is great with me when it comes to alcohol.  He could care less if I drink or not and supports me either way.  He does know I struggle with it and does worry about me.  He often does not really know just how shitty I feel during hangovers.

I talked to him today and he didn't even roll his eyes even though he had heard this a million times in the past 10 years.

I told him I don't drink like a "normal" person. That I have tried for so long, I just don't think I can. It is something in my DNA. I have never been able to - always been a binge drinker.  The difference now is that I also cannot even process alcohol anymore.  It was ok to binge drink (in my mind) as long as I felt ok the next day.  Now, I told him, it takes me days to recover even if I only have 3.  Plus, I explained, I think it is making me overall depressed and increasing my anxiety and obsessive/worry feelings. Thirdly, I said, I just don't think I can be as happy as I want to be as long as I am drinking.

He said (and I quote), "You should just shit and get off the pot. You have been sitting there constipated doing nothing for too long."

Meaning - you have been fighting this so long, you should just take the plunge and stop altogether. Stop thinking about doing it - trying to do it - just do it and move on.

He says, "Just stop drinking."  Like it is that simple. Maybe it really is that simple. Not necessarily easy but certainly simple - stop doing the thing that is making you unhappy!

12/28/16 (Wed) Three more events and past New Year'e Eves

So last night my dh came home pretty intoxicated from his friends house.  I was so glad that wasn't me. I found myself just staring at him with a weird, fascinated look on my face.  He did not think he was that drunk when he clearly was.  He was laughing and joking and super loud and very intoxicated.  Is this how I seem to others when I don't even feel that drunk in my own head.  I wasn't at all mad at him, just feel bad for how he was going to feel today. He never seems to feel as bad as me tho - go figure.

Today is the third day sober since I drank over Christmas. Still can't sleep, still have tummy troubles - but it should start getting better.

I have three more events before January 1 (my 30 day at least starting day) and I really don;t want to drink at any of them.  First, today is my dd 22 birthday and we are taking her out to dinner.  Today shouldn't be too bad - dh probably won't want to drink and my dd and her boyfriend don't drink that much.  The only hard part will be a nice restaurant without a glass of wine, but I should be ok.

Second, we have a 2nd Christmas tomorrow with my sister and her family.  She is a huge trigger for me. Not in a bad way - just bc I like to drink with her.  My mom will also be there which is a huge trigger but not in a good way - to reduce anxiety. Tomorrow will be hard.  I can say I will only drink a little so I don't have to deal with all the questions.  My 30 in January is nothing new and no one will say much. I can sit her and say I won't drink much and I will really try but I am 99% sure that once I have 2 drinks I will want 3 and then my head will forget all of the pain, misery and heartache and want more.  I am 99% sure my brain will say, "who cares? you are quitting January 1 last good time. You won't even have a hangover bc you aren't even that drunk.  it will all be fine."  And then I am 100% sure I will feel like shit AGAIN on Friday and have to start my 4 days of misery recovering again.

Thirdly, New Year's Eve.  This one night has always meant getting totally wasted bc for once everyone else is and no one will notice or judge me. This one night has become maybe my favorite holiday bc I can drink and everyone else is drinking with me (as sad as that sounds - it is the truth). New Year's Day has become a day of torture and misery with my worst hangovers. Luckily, I have 2 prior sober New Year's Eves under my belt.

The first sober New Year's Eve since I was 17 yo (except when pregnant) was in 2011. That one was rough. I was home in my bed by myself bawling bc I couldn't drink.  I felt so sorry for myself.  I think I blogged here like every 30 minutes just white knuckling it all the way to midnight.  I was sober that time bc of a particularly bad Christmas and I stayed sober until March.

Post from January 2012 - sober Dec - March

After 20 years of weekend binge drinking at least 2 times a month (which was also getting closer and closer to daily drinking) and trying soooooo hard to moderate... trike, fabs, abs, count, wait, slow down, eat, etc. for two years - I know that my path is abstinence.  It has taken my a long time and a lot of fighting with myself, but I feel a great sense of peace to be able to say this.  I can finally be the person I knew I could be.  I can be the role model, the one people look up to and are proud of.  I can finally be proud of myself.

For all of you who are successfully moderating - good for you.  There is a part of my that is jealous and I know how hard it is.  For those of you who are exhausted broken, beaten down, tired of the fight...there is another way.  I never thought I could be abstinent, and I am only on day 30 of forever, but I am, a this moment, at peace... something I have been longing for my whole life.  We all have our own path...this is mine.

The second was in 2012 when I had been sober since August (bc of a particularly bad summer break and an almost family ruining vacation in August) and stayed sober until April. That year I went out to dinner and a movie.  Everyone else drank. I did not. I was fine. It was fun. And I felt a million times better the next day.  

This was a post from January 4, 2013  (actually Dec 30 2012) - sober August - April

150 days is something to celebrate but certainly does not not mean I am "cured".  I need to be vigilant and stay the course one day at a time (and yes, I am finally starting to understand the meaning of that phrase). in fact last Friday I was just a second away from giving in.  I had that biggest urge at a restaurant we go to that has excellent micro beers, a fantastic menu and a really fun atmosphere. I don't think I have ever been there without drinking.  Perfect place to drink a few, go see a movie and then be ok to drive home :) It is connected to a mall and we were Christmas shopping afterward.  I want a beer sooooooooo bad and I almost, almost gave in.  I was 30 seconds away of being ok, ready to try again, strong enough to manage my intake, having fun, being like everyone else, being that normal drinker I so desperately wanted to be....but I didn't. Everyone else drank, but I did not.  That night I went to bed and tried to pretend that I had and how I would feel.  I would have been so upset at myself, I almost felt like crying just imagining it. Then I felt really proud of myself that I didn't.  All of the many small successes like this are making me finally feel the peace that comes without a stupid drug in my system.  That night I had many dreams about drinking and they were all fun!  Man this addiction is insidious and persistent! 

This was a post from January 4, 2014 -  not sober

As if that wasn't bad enough, we went to a New Year's Eve party in the neighborhood, in which I stayed until 3:30 am getting pretty hammered apparently.  Again, I didn't feel that drunk at the time, but I had one of the worst hangovers I have every had yesterday - never got out of bed, rapid heart beat, sweating, etc....I asked my dh if I seemed drunk bc I didn't really feel like it at the time.  He probably wouldn't have said anything unless I asked but since I did, he informed be of my behavior and the things I was saying (which I had forgotten about) and once again I made a total ass of myself - while at the same time feeling completely in control at the moment. 

Funny how alcohol doesn't even allow you to see how out of control you are getting - it is like a veil of complete bullshit in your own mind. Then,  my kids are telling me, "It's OK mom,  It was New Years. Everyone drinks too much.  Don't beat yourself up."  How terrible that I have my kids living in the same sense of denial, trying to make their hung over, drunk ass mom feel better because of her self inflicted poisoning of her own body!  Boy, that sure it setting a good example!

I AM DONE!!!!!!

This was a post from January 5, 2015 - not sober

Now for the scary part
New Years Eve - I was a person I did not recognize - I was so rude and mean to my friend.  All of my frustrations just came exploding out of my mouth.  I have never been like that to a friend before.  I texted her the next day to apologize.  When I went to bed that night, looked in the mirror and seriously did not recognize myself.  It was the weirdest thing to look in the mirror and be so wasted that you truly are confused at what you are seeing.  I just stared for the longest time. I literally tore my clothes off and slammed my myself into bed.  I was experiencing an anger that I had only felt a few times in my life - always when overdrinkng.  The scariest thing for me is that they are becoming more frequent (probably 5 in the last year - 5 in my whole life previously) and they were destroying my relationships and my own sense of worth.  What is happening to me?

This was a post from January 4, 2016 -  not sober

My Christmas break was a disaster.  Granted my daughter turned 21 and we took her to Vegas to celebrate, but it was a disaster all the way around.  I drank 11 of the 16 days with 4 pretty substantial hangovers.  I stopped taking the naltrexone and just went back to my old ways. 

The last day I drank was December 29 and it took 5 days to reenter my life.  My "brain fog" finally lifted yesterday and I go back to work today.  I have spent the last two weeks either drinking in the evenings or recovering from drinking.  I am totally exhausted.

I am not drinking the month of January (at least).  I need a break. My body needs a break.  My mind needs a break. My spirit needs a break. I feel so much better when I don't drink.  I am so much more patient, kind, quiet, calm and peaceful when I don't drink.  I need to stop letting my need to drink on Friday and Saturday nights ruin the rest of my life.

This year we are just going to dinner and coming home.  I think I might be ok unless my addiction bullshit voice tells me "one last time for awhile. it will be ok. let's just have some fun one more time before you quit. you don't have to work tomorrow. you have time to recover. it will be ok. pleeeeeeaaaaase. just one more time. everyone else is. it's new year's eve. what if you really don't ever drink again? this would be the last time. don't you want a last time.  just do it"

History sure speaks loudly.
What am I going to post this January 2017???? I guess it is all up to me...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

12/27/16 (Tues) Bloated and tired but thinking clearly

Of course, as tired as I was, I didn't sleep well last night and bc of all the salty junk food I ate yesterday my body feels like total crap. At least my head feels a little better today, and maybe I can actually clean up my house.

I really think that I have finally had enough.  I need to do some thinking on the following truths:

Truth #1 - I am not like normal drinkers.

PS - What is a normal drinker anyway?  There aren't any normal heroine users or normal crack smokers?  It's just a drug. I just get so sick of how accepted alcohol is in society.  It is the only drug you have to make up excuses for not using and seem like an oddball because you aren't taking it. Remember when smoking was accepted and everyone was doing it.  I was just a little kid and don't remember personally but my mom has told me about it.  When will this be true for alcohol?  When will society see that it is a destructive drug that ruins lives and it won't be so "cool" anymore. There was a wine commercial on the yesterday that showed all these beautiful adults getting together sharing memories over a glass of wine. The tag line was something like - for all the good times worth remembering.  What a line of bullshit!  And it still got in my head - even in the middle of a hangover! What about my special times? I won't be able to have a glass of wine to celebrate?  That sucks! Forget it! I'm not going to quit.  I can control it.  All of that mental bullshit bc of one stupid commercial on TV!

Anyway - I can't drink like others who are able to moderate.

PS - Most of the drinkers I know think they are moderating when in fact the majority of them are also addicted to it but don't want to see it or accept it.  No one is willing to do even 30 days with me! NO ONE! I get "no way" "why would I do that"  "that sounds horrible"  "I would love to but I have this, this and this in January".  They don't want to do it bc they don't want to give up alcohol for one month! It is just all so ridiculous and really does make me angry at our alcohol washed society in general.

Anyway - I know I can't control my alcohol intake once I start drinking.  I can hardly ever stop at two. Something happens in my brain after two. It isn't even like I am arguing with myself. I don't actually say "screw it" either. It is so weird.  I just totally forget I have a problem. All is right with the world, and I am just like everyone else.  I don't really even get all that drunk in my own head anymore.  I probably look drunk to people around me, but I am not slurring or stumbling  - maybe just a little loud and obnoxious but it doesn't seem out of place to me in my own head at the time.  I am usually drinking more than most people, so I'm sure they notice.  In fact, on Christmas day, I was the only one drinking.  How messed up was that? I never really feel drunk enough to think, "I'm going to feel like shit tomorrow."  Sometimes - even after a whole bottle of wine - I think to myself that I'm not that drunk so I can have more - that I will feel OK the next day. I know from years of experience that even if I don't feel drunk after an entire bottle of wine - I will most definitely feel like shit the next day.  It is the weirdest thing - how alcohol changes my ability to think rationally - to remember past experiences - to see things clearly -  while I am drinking.

Truth #2 - My body does not process alcohol like it used to.

In fact I don't think I can process it at all any more.  Even after only 3 drinks, I feel shitty the next day.  It doesn't even matter how much, what time I stop, if I ate, how much water I drank or what the alcohol was - I just can't stop at two and then feel like crap the next day (even after only 3).  Plus, depending on how much I drank - it takes 2-4 days to actually recover, before I don't just feel like I am in a walking coma just trying to get through my day.

Physically I am suffering - heart palpitations, debilitating insomnia, terrible intestinal troubles for days after drinking - out of shape - overweight - always exhausted. All kinds of internal pain that I have no idea what it is.

Mentally it is even worse - by the time I feel better physically (the next weekend), I want to drink again.  I never give my brain time to recover. I constantly have brain fog, sometimes can't even articulate myself very well when sober, forgetful,  emotional, depressed, terrible anxiety, obsessive issues, irritable, unmotivated. I think I even have alcohol induced bipolar.  I am either on a high thinking about drinking and then actually drinking (Thurs- Sat) or on a total low recovering from and obsessing about drinking (Sun- Tues). Wednesday is really the only day of the week were I feel better and also don't want to drink. So what - I have one good day out of 7? Ridiculous!

The name of my blog is Searching for Balance.  When I first started, my goal was to find a balance with my drinking - to figure out how to successfully moderate.  After all these years - I think I am realizing that I will never have the balance and peace I so desperately desire without completely eliminating alcohol from my life.  It is the one thing that is continually throwing me out of balance. It might be time to give up the high highs (12 hours of the week on Fri and Sat nights) so that I stop having the low lows (the other 156 hours of the week).

Truth #3 - Nothing is going to change in my life until I stop drinking.  

I can either choose to live this way for another week, month, year, decade, rest of my life - because this is the way I will live if I choose to keep fighting this fight - trying to control something I can't control. Haven't the last 10 years proven this?


I can do something different. Just give it a shot (as scary as it sounds - and I am scared - scared of boredom, nothing being fun anymore, failure). Trust all of you who say it is better,  Just give it a shot. What do I have to lose? If it really is terrible, I can always go back to my weekend shit show of drinking and hangovers, but if it really is a better, more peaceful way to live, how will I I ever know if I don't at least try. Just to see.

Monday, December 26, 2016

12/26/16 (Mon) Remembering

I am sitting here going back through past posts to my after day...week after week...month after month...year and is all just the same bullshit!  I am sick of alcohol ruining my life, who I could be, who I want to be. It is time to say the one thing that is holding me back, making me unhappy, causing my struggle every single day, I am so sick of thinking about drinking, drinking or recovering from drinking.

12/26/16 (Mon) Post from last January and the March

This is actually what I posted last January - So the last two Decembers I have made all these promises to myself to stop drinking...but have not.

My Christmas break was a disaster.  Granted my daughter turned 21 and we took her to Vegas to celebrate, but it was a disaster all the way around.  I drank 11 of the 16 days with 4 pretty substantial hangovers.  I stopped taking the naltrexone and just went back to my old ways. 

The last day I drank was December 29 and it took 5 days to reenter my life.  My "brain fog" finally lifted yesterday and I go back to work today.  I have spent the last two weeks either drinking in the evenings or recovering from drinking.  I am totally exhausted.

I am not drinking the month of January (at least).  I need a break. My body needs a break.  My mind needs a break. My spirit needs a break. I feel so much better when I don't drink.  I am so much more patient, kind, quiet, calm and peaceful when I don't drink.  I need to stop letting my need to drink on Friday and Saturday nights ruin the rest of my life.

I listened to this 8 minute meditation  today that I thought was very appropriate to the new year.  What really matters? my joy, happiness, peacefulness, contentment and self love every day of the week OR my "need" to have a drug on Friday and Saturday to be social and enjoy my weekend (which is really just an illusion that drug addiction throws over my eyes to make me continue).

And then I posted this last March

This is how I feel today.  First day back to school after a terrible Spring Break.  I have drank 8 out of the last 12 evenings.  The ONLY days I did not drink were because I had such a bad hangover I couldn't.  I am utterly and completely exhausted.  I didn't drink at all in January, but since then it hasn't been good.  Only on the weekends except for this week, but EVERY Friday, Saturday and usually Sunday I am drinking and with a vengeance.  Back to going upstairs in the hotel to "make popcorn" but also guzzle another beer (after I've already had 5) getting obviously more drunk than everyone else....back to getting another beer at the ski lodge bar and guzzling it while my kids were skiing and my sister was in the bathroom.  I'm talking an IPA draft beer in 10 minutes...back to already having 2 bloody marys by 1:00 pm because it is sunny and we are skiing...back to only sleeping 4 hours EVERY SINGLE time I drink - I wake up heart pounding, sweating, feeling like a "f"ing idiot...back to no energy, no motivation, no real inner peace and joy just all of the internal chaotic bullshit noise that that is either screaming and plotting for the next drinking occasion or beating myself up for the last one.  Just plain ridiculous!

i just don't see any possible end to this madness unless I stop drinking....what if life really isn't that bad without being able to party on the weekends?  What if it really can be different? What if I just stop talking about it and actually do it?

BTW - drank the last two days...needless to say I am exhausted...

Saturday, December 24, 2016

12/24/16 (Sat) How easily I forget??

This is my post from January 2014 - two years ago -  How quickly I forget! How could I possibly even contemplating drinking???

Didn't sleep well last night - dreamt that someone was in the my house and I was really scared.  Also had the same dream I have many times a week - that I am running from something. It is always something different, but always running and usually without being able to find my underwear for my suitcase.

I want to put in the record how I have been doing since rereading all the BS sometimes helps me.

Tried to quit again last August when I almost destroyed my marriage, my family, my life because of the intense anxiety, depression , panic attacks and sleep deprevation that come from over drinking too many days in a row. 

Had a couple of really embarrassing moments over the summer on the all inclusive vacation that I was so worried about last January when I once again swore off alcohol and quit for all of 19 days. 

I threw a complete temper tantrum about two rooms we had.  It had a right to be uspet, but my reaction was again just so over the top.  Both my dh and I had been drinking so it became this fight about us the second time.  The first time he just tried to calm me down and tell me everything was ok. It was embarrassing in front of my kids.

We also went to the mountains for a skiing weekend and the hotel which I was so excited to stay at was having their pool renovated.  I of course had been drinking before we got there and I just about lost my mind.  I became "that person" that was practically yelling at the reservationist.  I was "that person" that everyone stopped and looked at.  I had one of my first full on panic attacks where I freaked out and then ran away. I sat our by the river and cried. Partially because I was so mad and partially because I was humiliated by my own behavior - especially in front of my kids.  Of course, I brush it off trying to explain the shit out of why I was so upset to them and that it was all for them - that I was trying to give them a perfect weekend and the hotel screwed it up.  In reality, I was the one screwing up their weekend.

Drank pretty consistently on the weekends all fall. Depression increasing again.  Just blocking everything and everyone out. Just doing what I need to to so get by.

Thanksgiving - drank Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Christmas Break

Friday - did not drink - dog was attacked by a coyote and had to take him to the vet - he is OK thank goodness.  Also wanted this break to be different
Saturday - went to Zoo Lights - drank these mini margarita things in the car (not driving) before we got there.  Just trying to guzzle it down hoping my 16 yo son in back seat didn't notice.  Drank cider and Fireball at the zoo.  Really the only one drinking (10 of us went) but laughing about how "cider balls" was going to be our new drink.
Tuesday - decorated cookies with sister and family.  Drank wine and then had some coffee Kahlua. Kept going to the kitchen to sneak more in my coffee cup, lying about what was in it while watching Polar Express.
Wednesday - Christmas Eve - did well for a while but then slammed four beers in about 2 hours at the end.
Thursday - Had everyone over.  Pretty much drank wine all day
Friday - Felt really crappy but still drank wine in the evening.
Saturday - Went to the mountains for my dd 20 birthday.  Again slammed mini margaritas all the way up there (wasn't driving). Continued to drink all night - was really loud at the restaurant.  Apparently my daughter and her boyfriend had also done shots earlier but I was to wasted to notice.  Mother of the year award!
Sunday - Only drank 2 drinks - felt crappy from the day before.
Monday - Came home - drank wine in the evening - needed to rid of the bottles.
Tuesday - Drank wine in the evening - needed to rid of the bottles.
Wednesday - New Years Eve - a ton of drama with my sister - went to dinner and to see a movie - drank too much - went over to a neighbor's house at 11:30 and stayed until 4:30 AM! Super depressed that day because my 20 dd moved out.  Instead of being super happy and proud of her (which I am), it was about how sad I was to be losing her.  I just sobbed in my pillow when she left.

Now for the scary part
New Years Eve - I was a person I did not recognize - I was so rude and mean to my friend.  All of my frustrations just came exploding out of my mouth.  I have never been like that to a friend before.  I texted her the next day to apologize.  When I went to bed that night, looked in the mirror and seriously did not recognize myself.  It was the weirdest thing to look in the mirror and be so wasted that you truly are confused at what you are seeing.  I just stared for the longest time. I literally tore my clothes off and slammed my myself into bed.  I was experiencing an anger that I had only felt a few times in my life - always when overdrinkng.  The scariest thing for me is that they are becoming more frequent (probably 5 in the last year - 5 in my whole life previously) and they were destroying my relationships and my own sense of worth.  What is happening to me?

12/24/16 (Sat) Christmas Eve - what to do?

I did not drink last night - yeah! I just didn't feel like it.  Of course still feeling lethargic from my binge on Wednesday probably helped.

I have mixed feeling about the next two days (actually week bc we also have 2 birthdays and new years in the mix and another Christmas when my sister gets back):

On the one hand - I don't want to drink.  When I quit for 9 months a couple of years ago, it included the holidays.  I know I can do it and I know in the end it will be a much better two weeks if I don't drink at all.  Also, one of me biggest triggers (sister) is out of town this year so that will definitely help. I really like drinking with her. Very quite this year.  Only having around 6 people over tonight and 7 tomorrow.  I do not feel the need to impress any of these people (either I don't care what they think or they are over so often it doesn't matter) with the spotless house, or a perfectly cooked 4 course meal.

On the other hand - I know I am stopping January 1 for at least 30 days, so I might as well have a few now.  I will be cooking both days and that is also a huge trigger for me.....

Maybe I just won;t try to figure it all out right this very minute and take it minute by minute...hour by by day...

Friday, December 23, 2016

12/23/16 (Fri) Patience

Image result for what i lack in patience i make up for in lack

I was reading Anne Ainsobriety's blog (which is amazing - BTW) the other day and was intrigued by her post on having a word of intention for the year.  I like the idea of having a word to focus on internally rather that an external, specific goal, as a new year's resolution. My word came to me right away - no analysing this time!


I am going to adopt this word for my focus to start off 2017.  I really need to work on this as I have no patience - ever.

I do not have patience for:

sobriety to get easier
cravings to pass
decisions to be made
tasks to be completed
problems to be fixed

This shows up in all areas of my life:

Professionally - I have to get everything done right now, and usually I need to do it all myself so it is done the way I want it done.  I have been told that I can sometimes dominate meetings in an attempt to get things done without giving people thinking time.  It drives me crazy to sit in a meeting discussing things without a decision ever being made.

Emotionally - All problems/conflict need to be fixed right now - by trying to fix everything right away, I usually make it all worse. If someone is mad and walks away - I usually follow them and badger them until they talk it out with me (I know - not proud of this one). Things need to be addressed immediately. If I can't fix it right away, it drives me crazy and I can't stop thinking/obsessing about it. Also, I am either all in or all out..there is no gray area.  I am either 100% loyal and forgiving or I don;t give two shits about you.  I default to liking and trusting everyone - even to the point of bring a little naive - but once you are mean to me - forget it!  I HATE mean people!

Mentally - All issues in my head need to be addressed, obsessed over, analyses and fixed right now. For example, I can spend hours on this blog (when I should be doing other things like right now lol) obsessing on my issues with alcohol.  Because I obsess over everything, I sometimes use this as an excuse to stop obsessing about alcohol and just "Don't worry about it. You can drink normally. You are just creating problems for yourself by possessing over them." Another example, if we are going to buy a new vacuum, I have to research all possible options (usually for hours or days obsessively) until I can make a decision.  Sometimes I get so obsessed that I can't even make a decision after hours of research. I am so afraid I will make the wrong choice. Vacation planning is a killer.  Especially if, after all that research, things don't go exactly as I planned.  You'd think the world was ending if the hotel I finally decided on doesn't look exactly as I had seen it on the internet! One time the outdoor pool was closed for renovations and I became that crazy person yelling at the front desk people! Of course I had been drinking and embarrassed my whole family. I couldn't even see how I was acting, I was just so mad that it didn't mention this anywhere on the website.  OMG! I am getting worked up even typing this! It is just so time consuming and ridiculous!

Physically - I need to see immediate results in my fitness and/ or diet changes. I used to be fit and healthy.  I have tried so many times to start a new workout program or eating plan.  Of course I spent days researching them when I really should just stop researching and actually doing something.  I am so "all or nothing".  I am either all in or all out - which 99% of this time is all out bc I can't be perfect.

I think because of this I give up so easily on everything, if the results are not immediate, or I can't make a decision right away, I give up or become indecisive and can't make a decision.

I have never been able to calm all the voices in my head.  I feel like my thoughts are always going a mile a minute.  Maybe alcohol slows that down for me, while also making me kinda hyper in a party sort of way bc I also HATE being bored.  I don't even know if that makes any sense.

I have also become a lethargic couch potato for the same reason - it shuts up the voices in my head and makes me feel like I am not bored.  But just like with alcohol, I think it is really just a distraction from real life and really living to my potential.

Maybe this is why one of my all time pet peeves is when people tell me to "Calm down."  That just makes my blood boil...maybe because it hits a nerve and is actually true!

Wow!!! I really think I could use some patience!

12/23/16 (Fri) Drank (what else is new)

In an effort to keep an accurate record of my drinking, I need to report that I got home from school of Wednesday and what did I do within 15 minutes of being home (at 3:30 in the afternoon) started drinking bc I was off for winter break.  By 4:00, I had invited neighbors over to drink with me.  By 8:30, I had drank 3/4 bottle of wine (bc that's all that was left in the bottle) and 3 beers.  I couldn't see straight, drug myself to bed and needless to say felt that shit all day ridiculous!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

12/20/16 (Tues) Yesterday was terrible and winter break?

It is so hard to be a teacher when you don't feel mentally "with it".  I was so tired and out of it yesterday.  Sometime I wish I had a desk job where I could just hide from the world. And then I think - no I don't! I would really hate a boring desk job.  I hate to be bored.  Wanting a desk job is me recovering from drinking over the weekend.  It's just so ridiculous the influence has on my whole life - even when not drinking. AND - I didn't even drink that much! Why do I feel so crappy???????

Two more days of school and then I'm on winter break and what am I thinking about?  Alcohol! Am I going to drink? When? How much? Maybe I just shouldn't drink? What if we get invited to a party?  What are other situations that would make it hard to not drink?  I know I will want to Wednesday after school. But I really don't want to spend my break obsessing, exhausted, depressed, anxious, defeated....But I really do want to be able to drink just a little over break...I am not drinking in January so I might as well.  But do I want to start January off feeling like crap bc I drank over break? I know I would feel so much better in January if I don't drink. But I want to. But I don't want to feel shitty about myself. OMG!!! SO mind numbingly exhausting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 19, 2016

12/19/16 (Mon) Nothing changes if nothing changes

Image result for nothing changes if nothing changes

Yesterday afternoon I became exhausted, depressed, grumpy, anxious, irritated, unmotivated...I only drank 6 beers over the course of the weekend, but once again I wasted another Sunday bc of alcohol.

Another Monday dragging myself out of bed, bloated, exhausted, sad... feeling old, overweight, out of shape and alone locked in this mental prison - this obsessive tug of war.

I really am exhausted from this battle and sick of the fight. It is physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually killing me.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

12/18/16 (Sun) Weekend of drinking and Should I go for a month or a year?

I didn't drink a lot - 3 beers Friday and 3 beers Saturday - but still drank both days and am pretty tired today.  Slept fine as it wasn't wine that I drank but still tired, lacking energy, lazy, maybe a little depressed.  Not really a hangover - just tired.

Anyways...I know for a fact that I am not drinking in January.  I have had a dry January the last two years so I know I can do it and I will do it.

I have a question for all of you happily sober people out there -

Should I commit to just a month? or should I commit to a full year? Which was easier for you? I am really stuck - kind of analysis paralysis which is really just procrastination...still obsessing but not doing anything about it...which I have done for the past 20 years...

Pros of a one month commitment
I know I can do it.
It doesn't seem as scary as a year
My commitment level will be higher as it is only a month
I can add more time at the end of a month if I just feel great

Cons of only a one month commitment
I would probably just be white knuckling it and counting the weekends until it was over
I am fairly certain I would not add another month -  lol
Been there..done that...maybe I should go for something bigger - not a huge challenge

Pros of a one year commitment
Maybe I could just relax and settle into the idea without the stress of counting weekends
Can you imagine how proud I would be of myself one year from now!!
I don't have any huge trips (all inclusive beach) or drinking events (wedding, etc.) coming up in the next year - so might be a good year to try
I will be 50 in a year so I could really focus on getting in shape in the next year
I would keep my work out commitment much more easily
I would be giving my body ( and brain) a year to heal and recover - something that really can't happen in a month
While it sounds scary - it also evokes a sense of excitement and release inside when I think about it
Why not??

Cons of a one year commitment
It's going to suck, be boring, be emotional, be stressful.
I will lose touch with my friends.
I will isolate.
I won't have any fun.
I will be left out.
I will be sad and boring and bored.
All I will want to do it go to bed.
The summer will suck!
The spring will suck!
Not being able to sit on the porch in the sun with a beer in May will suck!
Summer vacation will suck!
Going on vacation will suck!
Not having beers with my dh in our favorite restaurant will suck!
Having to drink seltzer while everyone else gets to drink beer will suck!
Not being able to have beers with teammates after work or friends on the weekend will suck!
Having to answer question about why I am not drinking will suck!

I WILL FAIL...that is probably my biggest fear!

12/18/16 (Sun) Someday I hope

Amen!                                                                                                                                                      More:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

12/14/16 (Wed) Contemplating

I don't know if I want to commit to this, but I am thinking about trying to not drink for 1 year.  That scares the crap out of me bc I am fairly certain I will once again fail.  I will be 49 next month and I am 20 pounds over weight, out of shape, have become insecure, anxious, unmotivated and uninspired about life.  I want the old me - the fit, healthy, secure, happy, positive person back that I used to be BUT without the alcohol.  I would love to be the person I was again in my 20s - all of those things with the alcohol, but I don't think it is possible anymore.  My body and mind have changed in the way they process alcohol.  My relationship with alcohol has changed.  Its like a toxic friend you keep calling every weekend.  You don't know why you do it (something about it is satisfying) but you do and while you are talking to her it all seems fine. But afterwards you are exhausted and feel like crap. I have a friend like that. I don't talk to her much anymore bc we aren't very good for each other in terms of drinking.  Whenever I talk to her she is always so down about everything in her life. I think in some terrible sort of way, it makes me feel better about mine. I know that I enjoy our conversations much more when we are drinking. Maybe alcohol does the same thing for me, makes be feel better.  I really, honestly don't know why I drink other than I feel like having some drinks on Friday and Saturday nights.  It's just what I do on the weekends, it's what  have always done, it's the only way I can enjoy my Friday and Saturday evenings.  I know it makes the other 5 days crappy, but it doesn't seem to matter on a weekend night. It almost seems juvenile and immature - I want what I want when I want it!

I was watching Intervention last night (again..people worse than me makes me feel better about myself) and two comments stood out to me:
The meth addict said, "I can't even enjoy anything anymore without it."
I definitely feel that way on Friday and Saturday nights.  That is pretty messed up! I need a drug to enjoy my weekend!  Am I no better than the meth addict shooting up in an alley?

"It is dark and evil.....but it is everything."
I don't think I am that far gone, but it scares me that even that statement has an impact on me.

Monday, December 12, 2016

12/12/16 (Mon) - Alcohol Abuse Disorder

I found this checklist for Alcohol Abuse Disorder (Thanks Anne). 
In the past year, have you (check all that apply and click the "Feedback" button, below):
  • Check - always - I have a plan for 2 or 3 but after 2 I just don't care anymore
  • Ummmm....Yes!!!! for the past 10 years!

  • Is it absolutely ridiculous that I would wish for a seizure or be diagnosed with some alcohol related illness so I could stop denying that I have a problem and no one could argue with me about it.  I would be 100% for sure that I have a drinking problem and would have no choice but to stop.  It would be stupid not to stop and no one could give me a hard time.  

12/12/16 (Mon) - Hangover

I didn't even get out of my jammies yesterday,,,feel like crap today....I have a drinking problem and something has to change....

Friday, December 9, 2016

12/9/16 (Fri) - Try again

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I'm going to try again to have a calm, restful, uneventful, sober weekend.  Last weekend wasn't bad.  I only had 4 drinks the whole weekend but I think any amount of alcohol affects my sleep and makes me depressed.  It is freezing where I live so that does help - no sun to sit in.  If I am super tired after work today (like last Friday) I am going to come home and take a nap instead of going to buy alcohol.  If I am really that tired, would my body and brain really rather have some sleep or some alcohol?  Kind of a dumb question...

Monday, December 5, 2016

12/5/16 (Mon) Old, ugly, out of shape and tired

I have been feeling really weird lately.  I was never the most gorgeous person in the room, but I think people thought I looked alright.  My outgoing personality, the fact that I worked out all the time (and it showed) and my happy, positive outlook made me pretty popular with people in my 20s and 30s. My high school years - not so much - I was awkward, insecure, uncomfortable, anxious, a little shy - kind of like  am now when I don't drink.  I'm sure the drinking helped as I was always ready to party it up and have a great time! My 40s have been spent really struggling with alcohol.  I feel bipolar. Sometimes I am back in my 20s and 30s, having a great time, socializing, drinking, being popular. But now that also comes with hangovers, depression, anxiety and being out of shape.  Sometimes I am trying not to drink and I am back in my teens - anxious, insecure, depressed, feeling left out.  I am going to be 50 in about 14 months and I think it is messing with my mind.  I am also 20 pounds overweight, tired looking, sometimes grumpy and ALWAYS exhausted!  I feel insignificant - like I don't matter anymore.  Like my opinion doesn't matter anymore because I am just that frumpy, overweight, old lady that doesn't matter.  Like I am not longer able to make a contribution. I have never felt this way before and it is really messing with me.  I am not longer the fun, cute, in shape, vivacious, outgoing, happy, successful person.  I feel insecure, anxious, questioning my self worth, it is just very strange.  Maybe this is what they call a mid life crisis.  How do I shake myself out of it?