Monday, June 13, 2016

6/13/16 (Mon) Day 7 Believe in myself and confirmation bias - This one hit home


Believing in Myself

This one was pretty powerful for me as I don't have any confidence in myself really in anything anymore.  I do a pretty good job of not letting people see this.  Most people probably think I am a good mother, wife, sister, friend, daughter, teacher, person but deep down I don't think I am. I don't really accomplish any goals anymore. I just either am excited to drink on the weekends or drag myself through the day.  I am always exhausted.  I am outwardly positive, confident and brave. Inside I am sensitive, anxious and defeated. I don't have the physical energy to get stuff done and I don't have the mental energy to break through that. I do believe that this inability to believe in myself and what I am capable of is rooted in my time after time after time of failing to honor my promises to myself around alcohol.

Thoughts from the book I want to remember:

I'm going to write these two down and look a them often:

"When you decide what you want, believe it is possible, believe in yourself and then work hard to get it, you take 100% control of your destiny."

"Believe it is possible! Believe in yourself! Go for it!"

Just believe what other sober people say about how good sobriety is and how it will get better even if I can't see it for myself. Have a little faith and give it some time.

I stop at the slightest road block because I don't believe in myself. If my mind is conditioned to expect failure, that becomes what I expect and then that is what happens.

If I don't believe I can be sober and happy, then it won't happen.

Instead I need to say - I can stop drinking and am excited to learn how to live a sober, happy life free of the torture alcohol brings to me physically, mentally and emotionally.

Expecting an outcome and really believing in it.

"When your expect results, your beliefs are in accordance with those expectations and your thoughts, feeling and actions align with them."

"When you believe in yourself, you believe that there is nothing different or wrong with you that will hold you back from succeeding like millions of others have. Simply put, the number one reason most people are not thriving in sobriety today (who want to be) is because they either don't believe it is possible to be sober (or at least sober and happy), and/or they don't believe it is possible for them to accomplish it."

Confirmation Bias

This on is also big for me.  I am a really good talker.  I can usually get what I want or convince people to see things my way pretty easily.  I can tell my dh in the morning all of the reasons I want to quit and how bad it has gotten for me - pour my heart and soul out almost to the point of no return.  Then later in the day my sister invites me to go to Florida with her the 2nd week of July. Last time I went on vacation with her was August of 2015 - I'm going to go back and read my my blog from the bc it was bad.  I was drinking every day, sneaking drinks, drinking all day, almost ruined my marriage and thought I was going to have a mental breakdown. I would lay in bed all night awake, thinking I was dying bc of the physical effects of alcohol and then drink the next day.  I did this for 12 days! It was so bad that when I got home, I didn't drink for 9 months.  Soo..she invited me and all of a sudden a switch goes off in my brain - I will never turn down the opportunity for a vacation but I also know I can't go with her and not drink so I will try one more time to moderate making sure I take my naltrexone every time.  I go on a walk with dh later in the evening and ask him if he would judge me if I tried again after 30 days if I committed to taking the pill.  It is so interesting to me that that one little question, "Do you want to go to Florida?" derailed everything I have been thinking about and worrying about for 8 days now.  I just don't get it.

Thoughts from the book:

Am I always looking for the answer I want to hear rather than hearing the truth?

What others think has no impact on my ability to succeed. Don't let the opinions of others hold me back.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

6/11/16 (Sat) That's It!!!!! Stop Obsessing

I am done feeling sorry for myself.  For the last 6 days I have done nothing but be on the computer (albeit reading my self help book, blogging about it and obsessively checking my email) all morning, sit around all afternoon watching stupid daytime reality tv and then dragging myslef to bed only to not be able to sleep.  All I am doing is wallowing around in my own depression, obsession and self absorption just waiting for another day to pass!


i have no idea what I will do 24 days from now!  Maybe I will drink while only taking my naltrexone???? Maybe I will just drink and get worse???? Maybe I will not drink at all??? Who the hell knows, but I am drowning in indecisiveness, worry and self-pity.

I need to worry about today - today!  What I am I going to do today to have a positive, productive happy day? I will give myself 2 hours per day on the computer bc I do still want to keep working on steps. I will give myself 2 hours a day to watch tv because I am on summer break and who cares?  And I will be sober for the next 24 days.  I will also work out, walk my dogs, eat well, go to yoga and get some shit done!  This is ridiculous and needs to stop!

6/11/16 (Sat) Forgiveness

Today in the book is all about forgiveness.  It talks about forgiving people in the past for hurting you or letting you down.  I just can't do this exercise.  I can't and won't go back and rehash, analyze, examine and try to make sense of all the things that hurt me in my childhood.  I won't do it.  It is not therapeutic for me and all it does is bring me I'm out on this one - the past is the past and I choose to leave it there. The power is in the present and what I choose to do with it.

The other exercise is forgiving myself.  I had a hard time with this one as well because I haven't really done anything bad to anyone (except myself).  I really haven't gotten to the point of hurting other people or having my drinking impact others.  Really...I haven't - I just live in my own little personal torture chamber.

Then I started reading about loving myself.  That I could definitely use some work on.  Can I look in the mirror and seriously say that I love myself?  Hell no! That's just weird and corny to me.

From the book
"Poisoning your body with alcohol, judging yourself for the inability to quit or control your drinking and beating yourself up for you mistakes all lead to one end result - you stop loving yourself and may even end up hating yourself."

"The first way you can start to love yourself is to stop judging yourself. Accept yourself right where you are. Not where you are going to be in 30 days or where you were last year, but right where you are today at this very moment."

"The key to thriving in sobriety is to first identify this cycle. Becoming aware of why you drink, what cycles continue to cause you to drink more often, and the feelings you have around drinking puts you on a path to changing."

This is interesting "Why do I drink?" bc I like it, it makes me happy, it makes me feel accepted
"What cycle continues to cause me to drink more often?"  The more I drink, the more I want to drink, I don't know why or what causes it.
"What feeling put me on a path to want to change it?" How crappy it makes me feel

The book gave a self love mantras but I didn't really like it.  I like these better:




6/11/16 (Sat) Day 6 - Relentless insomnia

I'm craving a good nights sleep.  I am starting to feel dizzy and out of it all day bc I am only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night for the past 6 nights.  I go to bed at 10:00 and don't fall asleep until sometime between 1:00 and 3:00.  It doesn't usually take this long after a bad weekend to be able to sleep.  Any suggestions out there to get some relief other than taking a pill?

OMG!!! I am soo emotional today!!! Probably partly bc I'm not sleeping.  I told my dh everything this morning.  About how long I have struggled and how bad it has gotten for me.  He, of course, is not surprised at all and supportive no matter what do, but I have this overwhelming sense of fear and dread.  What did I do? How can I ever try to drink normally again with him knowing all of that?  I will look like such a fool.

My ds just invited me and my son to Florida for a week.  I drink with her all the time and have fun.  I just sent her a text asking, "What if I am still not drinking?" I am sitting here waiting for her response. She may not want me if I can't drink with fact I am crying worried about what she will say and even if she does say it is ok, does she really mean it.....

Friday, June 10, 2016

6/10/16 (Fri) Strategies during times of crisis

Thoughts (my interpretations) from the book today:

The opposite of a lack-based mindset is an abundance based mindset.

Associate more pain with drinking and than pleasure with sobriety
You will do twice as much to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.
Alcohol gives immediate pleasure but long term pain.

Helen Keller, "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and sufferieng can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

This is a great video by Craig Ferguson that talks about how he doesn't have a drinking problem. He has a thinking problem.  He says, "If I could drink, I would drink, but I can't. Certain types of people can't drink.  I'm one of them. I quit alcohol 15 years ago and for 15 years I have been trying to get a little bit of it back."

Today's activities included going back and rereading my "before me" to remind me of how painful drinking is for me and rereading my "new me" to remind myself how wonderful the "new me" is. To really close my eyes and get a visual image of these two polar opposites so I can draw from that when I want to drink.

I also need to make a plan for what I am going to do to maintain my sobriety.  Here it is along with the times I will need to use these strategies the most.

Friday, Saturday or Sunday morning/afternoon when I start thinking about setting up or attending an event that involves getting myself geared up with anticipation of drinking and rationalizing all the reasons it would be ok.

I will go back and read my "before me" and "after me" descriptions and my purpose statement and really think about what I want out of life - instead of what I want right now.  If I am not near a computer, I will use the two versions of my myself that I have visualized to help me remember what I want out of my life.

In the moment cravings. When those huge urges just come over me and I just feel like crawling out of my skin because I want a drink so bad. When my addicted brain just takes over, sending me to a place of complete anxiety and panic mode until I just go get a drink to make it go away almost without rational thinking. My addicted brain starts as a whisper, "Hurry up! Go get one before you change your mind!" and turns into yelling " HURRY!!! GO NOW!!!  SCREW IT!!! YOU CAN CONTROL IT!!! HURRY!!!" until I drink. I also experience physical symptoms like sweating, feeling nervous and panicky, being obsessed with this exact decision with the inability to see past this very moment.

WAIT 30 MINUTES!!!!  Just give it a little time. It will pass.  I know this from past experience. Drink a seltzer water, eat a snack, take a walk, post on a support group I am part of, write on my blog, sit in the sun, take some deep breathes.

Gently remind myself that short term reward for drinking is not worth the long term pain I will experience if I give in.  That long term pain is far greater than the short term reward.  Think about - What am I gaining by not drinking (a life of happiness and peace) instead of what am I losing (relaxation, fun, fitting in). I can learn to relax, have fun and fit in without alcohol.  I can not get the life I want full of happiness, joy and peace if I drink.  I have proven that to myself in the last 30 years.  I want my life to be different and it will only change if I stay sober.  How about sitting down, drinking something non alcoholic, and figuring out a different way to socialize and have fun?

If being nice doesn't work yell back!

I am tempted to write about long term rationalizations about trying to drink again but the book says for now to focus on the next 30 days so I will stop with these 2 strategies.

6/10/16 (Fri) Finding Purpose Part 2

Thoughts (my interpretations) from the book I want to remember:

Fear is common and normal. Most problem drinkers are afraid to continue and afraid to quit. BINGO!!

Real change comes a the edge of your comfort zone.

Make a choice to be positive about your choice to thrive in sobriety.

I have a distorted image of myself and will never be the person I want to be while drinking.

Hangovers cause you to be to to tired and depressed to have the energy to take real action.

Deep down I know I am meant for something bigger and better but alcohol is keeping me from that.

Drinking equals pain. Sobriety equals pleasure.

I also read somewhere else about how self absorbed I become during a hangover.  All I want to do is isolate myself and wallow in my depression, anxiety and sadness while blogging about how miserable I am.  Kinda pathetic way to live.

6/10/16 (Fri) Day 5 - Anyone else on Week 1?

WHEN WILL I GET SOME SLEEP?!?!?!?!?  I haven't had more than 4 hours per night for the past 5 nights!  I just want to cry...

Also, is there anyone out there that is in the first week of sobriety that wants to by cyber pals?  It was suggested to me, my a trusted source (haha Kary), that it might be helpful for support and to hold myself accountable.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

6/9/16 (Thurs) Finding Purpose


Today I need to write a purpose statement for the next thirty days.  Something I will look at everyday to remind myself why I am doing this.

Purpose Statement
Every day I will wake up feeling vibrant, excited and passionate about living a meaningful and fulfilling sober life. I will spend my day being productive, positive and happy.  I will go to bed sober, relaxed and and proud of my accomplishments for the day.

Now I have to write about the "before me".  What have a become that has caused me to continue to drink? I am going to put this after the the New Me section because I am supposed to read the New Me section often and I don't want to have to scroll past the Old Me.

Third I have to write down the "new me" - - what I really want in life and what sobriety will bring me, how I will thrive in sobriety

New Me 
I will wake up early every morning with a smile on my face feeling refreshed and ready to start my day. I will be calm, productive and positive throughout the day and go to bed with a smile on my face proud of the way I lived my day and am living my life. I will not think about alcohol. It won't even be a concern. If I do think about it, my next thought will be, "I'm glad that part of my life is over - it was really hard."  I realize that other people can drink and that it ok. It isn't right for me. It has a negative impact on my life and I choose not to let it ruin me anymore.  I look forward to parties and social gatherings in which I can have fun, have real conversations, leave at a decent time and not be embarrassed afterward. At work I no longer gossip or are part of any of the drama in an attempt to fit in. I can be a beacon of light in an alcohol soaked world.  People can see me as sober and happy.  They might even want to talk to me about it as they also want to make a change in their lives.  I am much less sensitive and don't overreact.  I am always available and willing to help others. I am much less selfish about my time and always feel well enough to answer a call or help out. I am in shape, eating well and finally climbing 14ers or maybe even running half marathons. I am an inspiration to others. I am a role model for my kids as they know how much I struggle.  They now see me as strong and able to accomplish anything.  I find my purpose - not sure how yet - maybe opening a nonprofit for tutoring low income kids, maybe writing a book about recovery, maybe getting involved in student travel or student charity work.  I am paying off all my bills and putting myself in a position to retire in 10 years.  I have strengthened my relationship with my husband and family members by being less selfish and more accommodating to their feelings. I am finally the person I new I could always be. I am finally at peace.

Before Me
I feel like I have to drink at all social events in order to feel comfortable, be able to talk to people, to fit in a and be liked.  I am afraid if I quit drinking my life will become boring, without purpose and uninspiring.  I get excited at the planing of attending or hosting events in which I am drinking.  I think this excitement is even more important than the drinking itself.  Without the anticipation of drinking, I don't know what else to get excited about.  Then when I drink, I almost always drink more than I wanted to. I get loud and overbearing.  I dominate all conversations, not really listening to anything anyone else has to say.  If I don't feel like I am getting enough attention in one conversation, I just float to another in which they will think I am funny and interesting. I never gravitate to the sober groups as they may notice how much I have drank.  I share personal information and gossip about others that I feel guilty about later. Finally, usually the last the leave, I go to bed wasted only to wake up four hours later with heart palpitations, night sweats and intense anxiety revolving around my own disappointment in myself.  For the next 2-3 days I am exhausted, depressed, anxious and make a ton of promises about not drinking the next weekend. By Thursday I feel better and by Friday I have my drinking events planned for that weekend.  This cycle has been going on for years (some months worse than others) and has derailed my life. I don't work out, I don't eat as healthy as I would like, I have gained weight, I have become way to sensitive while also a bitch to people, I am embarrassed by my behavior while drinking, I hide in my house during the week being miserable. The only thing that I truly look forward to is drinking and drinking has become the reason I enjoy anything.  I am also getting worse. I am sneaking drink when no one is looking.  I am pre drinking sometimes as early as noon for events. I am guzzling beer at the end of the night because I don't want to stop and want to get more in me before the party is over, I am drinking alone sometimes during the week while making dinner. I always say I can just have one and it ends up at least 4 (always). My hangovers have become serious withdrawals that are debilitating. I am miserable when I am not drinking usually because I drank to much - its all so stupid! I waste my weekends drinking and my weekdays recovering from drinking. My father was an alcoholic and lost everything because of his drinking.  I think what scares me the most is when I see someone on a movie holed up in a hotel room just drinking without having to answer to anyone, I see a teeny tiny bit of being able to relate to that. They fact that I can in any way relate to that scares the shit out of me!

6/9/16 (Thurs) 100% Commitment

I wanted to make note to myself for future reference some of the lines that spoke to me from the book.

I feel that the authors went inside my head and pulled out my thoughts.  The bold statements are new ways of thinking for me.  The rest I have thought and probably even written about in the past.  It is weird to see all of my thoughts written down by someone else.

"Often the time you spend thinking about drinking, planning the next drinking event, doing the actual drinking, and then recovering from your drinking, adds up to far more than an hour per day."

"You destiny if often the consequences of your daily decisions."

"When you fully commit to thriving in sobriety, the answers you seek come a lot more quickly."

"The truth is that you, and only you, are responsible for the quality of your life."

"The external conditions and circumstances are not stopping you - you are stopping yourself."

"You need to stop responding to events by drinking, whether it is drinking to celebrate, drinking to forget,  or drinking to socialize, and respond with thoughts and actions that are aligned with your values goals and purpose."

"You have to acknowledge the truth - that you are the one that thought the thoughts, created the feelings, made the choices, and took actions that got you to where you are now."

"Every circumstance you complain about is something you can change but have chosen not to."

"Why haven't you changed yet? Is it because it involves risks? The risk of being bored, not being liked, being ridiculed and judged by normal drinkers?"  You also run the risk of failure and disappointing yourself.

"You avoid taking risks and stay put and complain about your situation."

"Once you are 100% committed, there are no exceptions and no negotiations" which frees you from inner conflict and allows you to put all of you energy and direct it to what you actually want out of life. "Once your commitment drops to 99%, you open the door to the internal debate to begin, and when it comes to alcohol, this debate usually ends in the rationalization to drink again."

"You can decide that you have suffered all the negative consequences you are eve going to suffer from drinking and that today you have hit your rock bottom."

These last two are big for me - I am always telling myself that I am not that bad, that really bad things haven't happened yet.  This is so stupid but sometimes I wish I would have
a seizure from withdraws, or be diagnosed with some illness so that I would have to stop and have a concrete reason to tell other people so that they didn't look at me differently - so that I wouldn't have an more excuses to continue to drink. I need to be 100% committed to at least these 30 days to I can focus on what I really want out of life and thrive in sobriety rather than feeling like I 'm missing something. I need to give my brain a break from the mental obsession of whether I am going to drink or not.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

6/8/16 (Wed) The 30 Day Solution - Changing My Response

So I am beginning the book I bought called - The 30 Day Solution.  I like that it clearly spells out steps to think about and do for 30 days along with a companion website full of checklists, resources and recordings.

Day 1 of the program talks about starting a journal to record all of the action steps - check - I'll just do it here for my own future reference.

The next thing is to take a before picture - not going to show that today haha and schedule a dr appt with blood work - check

Next - think about E + R = O (event + response = outcome)
It is described as "paying attention to moments when you are complaining about or blaming an event rather than focusing on creating a new response that can change the outcome."
I suppose people can interpret this differently.  For me it applies to avoiding social situations when not drinking.
In the past while drinking
E (social event) + R (pre-drinking/over-drinking) = O (hangover, regret, insomnia, depression, anxiety)
In the past while not drinking
E (social event) + R (not attending/hosting) = O (isolation, loneliness, depression)
What I would like for the future
E (social event) + R (attending and not drinking) = O (being able to socialize sober without embarrassing myself and wake up without a hangover feeling proud, happy, at peace)

I need to change my response.  Instead of just staying home and complaining about not being able to drink and therefore not wanting to go, I need to go, stay sober, have a good time and learn that I don't need alcohol to socialize and have fun. If I don't ever change my response, I am never going to learn anything differently and then change my outcome.  That is something new to think about.

Lastly - listen to the Time Travel Technique - guided meditation
OMG!!!I am not that easily influenced by stuff like this but I found myself going through a range of intense emotions and physical responses.  When I put myself in the timeline 1, 5 and 10 years in the future while continuing to drink I seriously started crying. I felt stuck, sad, lonely, exhausted and confused.  When I then put myself in the future by 1, 5 and 10 years of sobriety I seriously sat up straight, uncrossed my legs, felt myself open up to the possibility and actually started smiling.  This was an incredible exercise that I will definitely listen to every time I question my desire to quit drinking!  Amazing!

PS - This is not an advertisement for the book lol!  I just use my blog to record my thoughts about my journey. But - so far so good :)

6/8/16 (Wed) I need to CHOOSE differently

I like this quote because even though I have acknowledged my pattern for almost 10 years now, especially for the last 5 years - I CHOOSE to ignore it and the consequences it brings because I am addicted to my weekend drinking and don't want to give it up.

How can you fully acknowledge destructive behavior and be unable to choose to change it.  I know I can change it, but can I choose to change it?

6/8/16 (Wed) Day 3 - Miserable

I CAN NOT SLEEP!!!  Insomnia is killing me!

3 weeks ago - drank Fri, Sat, Sun evenings and felt crappy Mon, Tues, Wednesday
2 weeks ago - drank Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun evenings and felt crappy Mon, Tues, Wed
last week  - drank Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun evenings  and felt crappy Mon, Tues and today

This has been my pattern for as long as I can remember.  Not every week but probably 2 of the 4 weeks a month.  By Thursday I finally feel better and then guess what I start thinking about....drinking!!!  It is just such a stupid, exhausting way to live life and I am tired of it.

This time is particularly bad (it seems to get worse every time). It is Wed and I haven't drank since Sunday but I am dizzy, achy, tingly, sweaty, grumpy, sleepy, exhausted and depressed. And I know, without a doubt, tomorrow or Friday I will feel better and want to drink.

NO...I'm changing that thinking.  I don't want to drink anymore. I am tired of feeling this way.  I want to feel good next week, be able to sleep, workout and get things done.  I want to be proud of myself. I want to be more productive, peaceful, happy and content.  I am NEVER going to feel this if I continue the same path I have been on for 30 years.  Time to stop kidding myself and get real!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

6/7/16 (Tues) Day 2 - a different way to spend my summer - 30 Days

So I woke up today with a new sense of determination.  Yesterday I told my sister, friend, son and husband that I wasn't drinking for the next thirty days.  Here were their responses:

friend  - that's great, maybe I will do it with you but I'm going through a lot right now
son - again? (not quite sure how to take that)
husband - ok (he really doesn't care it I drink or not)
sister - really? you don't think you can just have 2?  Ok if that's what you need to do

It's scary to put it out there.  It is so much easier to not tell anyone - that way I don't risk looking like a failure when I do drink and feel everyone's secret eye rolls

I REALLY want this summer to be different.  It has already started out the same.  The last 2 weekends I have drank way too much, spend Mon-Thurs recovering and then drink again Fri-Sun.  I get nothing done and feel like crap all the time. They only time I feel joy is when the weekend is coming up and I can drink - what a pathetic way to live.

I found a book called - The 30 Day Solution -
I think I have a bit of ADD and have a hard time even getting through the free sample without getting bored and quitting.  I actually got through the sample and was inspired to try it. It really spoke to me - it talked a lot about how boring everyone thinks life will be without alcohol. It spoke to my biggest fear.  It has specific things you do for 30 days to change your mindset around alcohol.  I'm gonna try it and do the exercises here on my blog so I have a record to later refer to.

Has anyone read this book? I'd love to know what you think?

I am really going to work on this for the next 30 days.  I am going to make a to do list every day.
#1 every day will be "stay sober"   (I'm not going to say "don't drink" because that sounds negative)
#2 every day will be "do the exercises in the book"
#3 every day will be "walk my dogs" because I NEED to get outside and get some sunshine
the rest of the list will be stuff like - laundry, clean, mow, grocery shop, stain the deck, clean the hot tub, etc.

I'm giving myself permission to not care about the rest of it if I get #1-#3 done.  These items are my priority - even if it means I take naps and sleep until 8:30 and watch stupid daytime television.  I feel that if I focus on 1-3 the rest will fall into place.  We will see....

Monday, June 6, 2016

6/6/16 (Mon) I am failing!

6/6/16 at 2:22 am

I wake up after being in bed for 4 hours (as usual). My stomach is killing me, my heart is pounding, I am sweating profusely and all of my drinking regrets come flooding into my brain.

"How much did you drink the last 4 nights? the last 3 weeks?"
SERIOUSLY!!! Thurs - 2, Fri - 6, Sat - 3, Sun  - 7 = 18 drinks in 4 days = 57 drinks in the last 23 days!!!!!

"How did you feel last Monday?"
TERRIBLE!!!Terrible hangover from the weekend - took 3 days to recover.
Finally felt better on Thursday - so what did I do?  DRINK!!!! WHY????

"Why are you sneaking? hiding? lying? not counting? not taking your naltrexone?"

"Why aren't you stopping at 2 or 3 drinks?"
I DON'T KNOW!!! I just start drinking and can't stop. I keep drinking more and more and more like I can't get enough in my body before I have to stop and go to bed.

"Why are you ruining your health? your mental well being? your relationships (especially with yourself)? your self worth? your goals? your mental stability?"
I DON'T KNOW!!! My desire to drink is just so strong that I can't seem to tell it no when I want to start and I can;t tell it to stop once I have started

"Why can't you just admit your are developing a serious drinking problem that has been getting worse and worse for the last 30 years and enough is enough?"
I DON'T KNOW!!!! I am just terrified to stop forever and I don't know why. Actually I do know why...I am so afraid that life is going to suck without it - that I won't have any fun - that I won't have any friends - that I won't enjoy anything - that I will be different and weird - that I will never be able to visit a brewery and try a new IPA - that vacations will suck without it - that I can never have another glass of wine with dinner - that I can never have a drink on the deck in the sunshine and just relax - basically I am terrified that my life will suck without alcohol. I want so desperately to be able to control it....

I decide at 4:34 am on 6/6/16 that I am not drinking for at least 30 days.

Then at 8:30 am, after 4 more hours of sleep, I get up and doubt that decision - hold on? are you sure you want to make such a grand statement? you know it will suck.. you know it will ruin your summer.. you know you have parties to attend.. you know you haven't had a sober June in 30 years except the 2 times you were know you should just wait until stayed sober from August to April know May June and July are the hardest for know this is unrealistic... you know you can't do it.. you know you will fail.

Many sober "cyber" friends tell me how great it is but I just can't see it for myself.  I believe their life is  a lot better but I just can't "see" that being the case for me.

I am going to be miserable if I drink and I am going to be miserable if I don't drink....I just don't know which miserable to choose...

Sunday, June 5, 2016

6/5/16 (Sun) over and over and over

So I do believe the universe talks to me all the time...I just need to be listening.  Today in my inbox, I got a response on my blog from a "Jr Williams" saying he/she? enjoyed reading it.  When I went in to comment back, I noticed it was from November 22, 2015.  I read the post from a little over six months ago and in it I talked about how much better I was doing on the naltrexone and how I hadn't had wine for over a month.  I wrote about exactly the same things I wrote about a week ago - about how hyper drunk I get and that the naltrexone takes that away which causes me to drink less.  So back on board with that plan of action. I do know, somewhere in my heart, that I will eventually just give up all of this obsession and just stop drinking all together, but I'm not quite there yet.

Another interesting thing I noticed is how often I repeat myself and don't even remember. I have been on the same hamster wheel ( and written about it) for over 10 years!

I keep this blog for two reasons. One - it is therapeutic for me to write. Somehow if I get it "on paper" a little bit of it leaves my head space.  Second - it is a good record of my progress and lack thereof.  I often go back and read where I have been and unfortunately it quite possible tells where I am going - absolutely no place different tha where I have been. I have been writing in this blog for 5 years now and it has always been about my struggle with alcohol.  I found an old journal the other day and was reading it. It was from 10 years ago and guess what it was about? My struggle with alcohol.

Think about how much energy, time and brain space I could give to something else if I just "sold" all of the mental real estate occupied by my obsession with alcohol.  Maybe I need to find some kind of distraction that keeps my brain distracted.  I have been thinking about opening a non profit to benefit kids (but don;t even know where to start) or maybe write a book...hahah! There are millions alcohol books out there.....basically all the same...I don't think my story would be unique or different in any way.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

6/2/16 (Thurs) Terrible 2 weeks and Naltrexone (again)

Just to be honest with my record:

5/14 - 4 drinks (Saturday - party to attend)
5/15 - 4 drinks (Sunday - BBQ)
5/19 - 2 drinks (Thursday - no reason)
5/20 - 4 drinks (Friday - trip to the mountains)
5/21 - 4 drinks (Saturday - trip to the mountains)
5/24 - 2 drinks (Tuesday - drinks with collegues)
5/25 - 3 drinks (Wednesday - school party - last day)
5/27 - 5 drinks (Friday - drinks with neighbors)
5/28 - 4 drinks (Saturday - party to attend)
5/29 - 7 drinks (BBQ and party to attend)
5/30-6/2 - terrible hangover - my body seriously can't take that amount of alcohol

The end of the school year, all the parties, the sun shining - all so hard for me...

Here is where my brain is right now....trying naltrexone again with 100% compliance this time..but still question why not just stop all together.

I did take it for about 6 months - just 1/4 a pill because any more and I felt terrible even without drinking.  You take it 1 hour before drinking - every single time.  It's called targeted extinction because it makes the drinking itself not enjoyable.  If you aren't getting any of the high, you don't drink as much - at least that is how it worked for me - causing me to drinking less and care about drinking less over time.  I was not the hyper, happy, buzzed girl anymore. Instead I was the quiet, out of it, buzzed girl. One time I took the pill and 30 minutes later I felt kind of out of it, grumpy, quiet - not my usual talkative self.  My daughter asked, "What's wrong with you?  You seem a little quiet and withdrawn."  It does make me feel that way even before I drink.

It did cause me to drink less because I enjoyed it way less which lead to issues with compliance for me. Sometimes I would just not take the pill so I could enjoy the happy, hyper buzz.  That is the point of drinking for me. Plus I was still pouring poison into my body, still having all the same effects of alcohol without the happy high that I like so much - so I wondered what was the point? 

Is the point of taking naltrexone so I can drink - 

to be able to have a beer with friends on a sunny Friday afternoon on the porch or have that nice glass of wine with dinner - to not be different, to not stand out, to not have people think I was weird, to not be isolated and not included bc I wasn't drinking.  That is really what I tell myself, but if I'm not even really enjoying the experience bc of the naltrexone, why take it in the first place? Either drink, enjoy it and suffer the consequences or figure out how to enjoy life without drinking.


because it is just another rationalization so I can drink and not have to give it up forever.  That is very true - but with good intentions.  My intentions are always to drink less and less over time.  I so desperately want to not care about it anymore -to be able to have one once in a while and otherwise not care.  The Sinclair Method does do that for many people - but will it do that for me? I read that it may not work as well for people who drink for the high feeling alcohol brings (me) as for those that drink it for the taste or the relaxation, escapism, physical addiction (not me).   

So here is the million dollar question - 

Why am I even trying to continue to drink on naltrexone?  I am still drinking which is causing depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, weight gain, lack of motivation, feelings of failure - all for what? So I can have a drink?  it all seems so stupid!  

In my wildest dreams - that I don't dare think about because I truly don't see them ever happening so it is easier to push them away - I do not drink and I am proud of that and everyone else is proud (and maybe even envious) of me and I am a "shiny, happy person" without alcohol - that I just choose not to drink any more - and that I am happy - and inspirational - and have found a purpose - and am not isolated - and not bored - and not different - and in shape - and at peace with myself. 

I don't know if I can ever get there - but I do know that I will at least make the commitment that if I do drink, I will take the naltrexone with 100% compliance - it's better than drinking without taking it - who knows maybe it will get me to a point where it isn't even enjoyable anymore so my wildest dreams could come true.

I know deep in my heart and soul the true answer for me is to stop drinking and I get closer to that decision all the time.