Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1/24/17 (Tues) Hyperactive Dopamine Response

Image result for alcohol addiction and dopamine

I was reading an article last night about alcohol addiction and dopamine.  I could totally relate. It talked about how some people have an extreme dopamine reaction to alcohol and how it can be a precursor to addiction.  I have always known that alcoholic makes me extremely hyper and social.  I have always been the one to want to get drunk and go roller skating or find a park to go swing on a swing set or jump a fence and go swimming or play some crazy drinking game. I never want to just sit around and drink.  I experience hyper mania when I drink and to be honest it is pretty damn fun. I am the life of the party, keep it going and create a lot of fun around me. If I am being honest, I really do enjoy myself in that state (although the older I get the more embarrassing it can be the next morning).  I think that is the feeling I am constantly chasing even though it isn't as much fun as it used to be.  I guess I'm not all that different from the heroine addicts on Intervention. They always talking about chasing that initial high but never being able to get it back no matter how much they use.

The article also talked about what happens to your brain when you have a hypo manic response to alcohol.  It talked about your brain having a countering response to that. Since alcohol is causing your dopamine levels to be out of control, your brain sends out another chemical that drastically reduces your natural production of dopamine - kind of a defense mechanism.  This shutting down of natural dopamine production can last for days - which totally explains why I feel like total crap for days after I have only 4 drinks.  I think it would be safe to guess that the longer you mess around with these neurotransmitters in the brain by chemically altering them with alcohol, the more messed up they get. This could explain why I have a hard time just getting pleasure and enjoyment out of non drinking weekends and everything seem so boring and depressing.

Maybe my physical brain needs time to repair those systems and relearn how to find pleasure in in my weekends without chemically inducing dopamine levels.  I think I really do have a physical addiction to alcohol in my brain.  It helps me rationalize remaining sober when I admit the fact that I really am wired differently than normal drinkers. I suspect I have a genetic disposition as I have always been way more hyper when drinking than my friends. But I have also exacerbated the problem from years of weekend binge drinking that has created an extreme opposite effect of the extreme drop in dopamine levels following drinking.  I inherited the gene and the damage is done. No turning back. My brain is permanently allergic to alcohol - it just can;t process it like a normal person.  It can't handle it no matter how hard I try.  It is like a person who is has lost their sight trying to learn to see again.  The damage is done and it is irreversible. I just can't drink like other people and I need to accept it.

Monday, January 23, 2017

1/23/17 (Mon) Disappointed

I have to say I am a little disappointed in myself today in my failure over the weekend.  I told myself I wasn't going to beat myself up and I did not yesterday but I am back to feeling that same way on Monday - uninspired, tired, sad, wanting just to crawl into bed.  I don't know if I am physically hungover but I am emotionally hungover.  Just all the more reason to stop for good.

I asked my kids (18 and 22 yo) if they would be disappointed in me if I drank Saturday night. They both said, "We don't care if you drink or not - we just don't like to see you be so hard on yourself when you do. So the real question is - will you be disappointed in yourself?"

The answer is yes. I tried to not be yesterday, but I really am.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

1/22/17 (Sun) Drank (darnit) but back to sobriety

Image result for screaming alcohol addiction voice

Well I did drink wine with dinner last night and was awake from 12:00-3:00 am sweating with my heart pounding and my head racing. Clearly I can not process alcohol anymore (which I already knew) and am back to not drinking.  I am not going to let this derail my sobriety.  I'm not going to beat myself up about it which is a big change from past mess ups. I'm not going to use it as an excuse to go back to attempting to moderate on the weekends which I typically would have done with my all or nothing mentality (screwed up this month - will try again next month).  I'm going to try to learn from it and get back to sobriety because I really, truly, honestly do not want to go back to that drinking hell hole I have been in for so long.  I really just want to be a happy, sober woman.

So what happened? Why did I drink? I have been thinking about that for awhile (3 hours last night lol). Friday I was having a couple cravings but was fine although all I did was sit on the couch and watch stupid tv for 6 hours when I got home on my birthday. Maybe I should have gotten up and done something active. Then yesterday I was kind of in a funk. I have had a lot of trauma and pain in my past that I absolutely do not want to deal with.  When I read that you have to deal with you past trauma to stay sober, I say, "No I don't and I won't.  I'll stay sober without dealing with it. It is in the past and its going to stay there."  Anyway, yesterday all of that "muck" was just bubbling to the surface.  I just felt a little depressed and anxious and worried and out of it.  I have read on the mm board about how hard week 3 is.  Maybe it was some of that also. So I wasn't in a great place to begin with and when I needed to go get ready to go to dinner, those voices came out of nowhere and were screaming in my head. "I really want a drink.  It is my birthday. I can drink tonight. It will be ok. I'm not that bad - I just convince myself I have a problem.  It's just easier to be social when I drink. It alleviates all the worry about upcoming events where I can't drink. So I drank a beer while getting ready and wine with dinner.  I really do think that the main reason I drank was to shut up the voices in my head.  As soon as I drank I was like, "Ok. That's better. Everything will be ok. Just stop spending so much time blogging, work out instead, be healthy and really try to moderate one more time. You can do it. You really aren't as bad as you convince yourself that you are. It's just your newest obsession."  And I drank and wasn't completely present during dinner which is disappointing, but I came home, felt barely buzzed and went to bed.  I remember thinking, "Well, that went ok. I didn't get drunk. I don't even feel that buzzed right now. I'll just go to sleep and see how I feel about remaining sober tomorrow."  And then my night was a total shit show from the past.  It comes down to this question:

Do you want to drink or do you want to sleep?  Because I obviously have to choose one.

I choose sleep!  Back to work.  Gotta figure out another way to shut up those voices!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

1/21/17 (Sat) Having some cravings

I did fine last night but I have to admit the thought of having a nice cold beer on my birthday sounded kinda good.  We're going to a really nice restaurant tonight for my bday. Nice restaurants are a really big trigger for me.  I love having a glass of wine with my nice dinner.  Somehow the service is much better, the conversation more interesting and the food is more delicious when I am drinking wine.  Just my imagination of course bc I am drinking and talking and not paying attention to how long things are taking. In fact I used to hate the taste of wine.  People say you acquire a taste for it. I think you just acquire a taste for the buzz you get from it which then compensates for how it tastes.  In reality a Dr. Pepper would probably taste better.  Maybe I will have that!  I never drink soda.

I just have to remember that no matter how much I think that glass of wine will make me enjoy the experience more (1) I'm am 100% positive I would drink more than one - especially since I broke yet another promise to myself. I know I would be saying to myself, "Screw it! I already failed so now I might as well make it worth it."  And (2) now matter how much better the experience may seem while I'm drinking it would not be worth how bad (depressed, tired, defeated, anxious, probably hungover) I will feel tomorrow and probably Monday and Tuesday.  Plus, I would have to start over at day 1 and it is really easy to count when your day 1 is Jan 1.

I read this article this morning.  I can really relate the the idea that I drink just to shut up that internal conflict voice.  That part of my brain that won't shut up until I have a drink.  It is exhausting and super stressful to fight that voice every weekend. Sometimes, in the moment, it is just easier and seems less stressful to just give in when in reality giving in causes all the terrible feelings I am trying to cure by not drinking. What a catch 22 - so much bullshit wrapped up in a bottle of poison!

Image result for alcohol cravings


This came from the article:

"This internal conflict was painful and stressful. I would make myself promises (no drinking until Friday, I will only have two tonight, no hard liquor, only red wine), which I continued to break. I was unable to understand why I couldn't easily control how much alcohol I was drinking. Internal division and the recrimination that comes with being unable to keep my promises tore me apart. This was so painful that I would find myself drinking more in order to turn off my brain, shut down the internal struggle.
Why is this? Why did I both want to stop and want to drink at the same time? The answer is because even though I had consciously, willfully determined I wanted to stop drinking, my unconscious mind had not gotten the memo. Unconscious learning happens automatically and unintentionally through experiences, observations, conditioning, and practice. We've been conditioned to believe we enjoy drinking. We think it enhances our social life and relieves boredom and stress. These thoughts are subconscious. Even after we consciously acknowledge that alcohol takes more than it gives, we retain the desire to drink.
Unconscious beliefs can be difficult to change. The first step is consciously realizing that alcohol is not everything you thought it was. This realization that you want to stop drinking makes you examine the reasons you drink and wonder whether they are truly valid. The best way to change your unconscious mind is to shine the light of consciousness on your ingrained beliefs."

Friday, January 20, 2017

1/20/16 (Fri) Happy Birthday to me

Today is my 49th birthday. I never thought I would be this old and I don't feel anywhere near 49 in my head.  I suppose everyone feels this way lol.  My birthday on a Friday would have been the perfect excuse to get together with friends after work and drink, but I'm not going to do that. I'm not sure what I will do but it won't be that.

What I am pondering over this morning is actually my 50th birthday one year from today.  I want to be done struggling with alcohol when I turn 50.  I want to be sitting here in 365 days saying things like, "I'm so glad I quit drinking a year ago.  I feel amazing! I look amazing!" If I continue to drink, I will probably be depressed about still struggling with alcohol (bc I'm sure I won't be able to somehow, magically moderate in the next year)  and about turning 50.  I don't want black balloons and depression and anxiety and hangovers and being out of shape and insomnia and insecurity and over sensitivity and selfishness and low self esteem and all of this bullshit I have been living with for years because of my weekend binge drinking.

I want happiness and peace and pride and sleep and feeling fit and confidence and clarity when I turn 50. I don't want to begin the journey at 50, I want to already be there and feeling great  bc turning 50 might suck or it might not. I'm not sure how I will feel 1 year from now if I don't drink, but I am 100% certain that I won't feel all of those things if I continue to drink.  Too many years of drinking have passed, with me really trying to moderate, that have proven this fact - I will not find these things unless I can moderate and I can not moderate..  I guess I won't drink and just see.

Monday, January 16, 2017

1/16/17 (Mon) Commitment

Well, I did not drink this weekend and it wasn't that hard bc I knew I wasn't drinking this month. Saturday I got a little grumpy and thought a beer would help me cheer up. Yesterday I was super productive and kinda wanted a beer when I was finished as a reward for all I had accomplished.  The thought came into my head and then left bc I knew I wasn't drinking this month.  It am not sure (please chime in with advice) but I think it might be a good idea for me to actually commit to a year of sobriety.  Maybe if I commit, it will help me in April, May, June and July (my hardest months to stay sober) to not drink.  I KNOW for a fact I will have cravings and want to drink.  I have tried in the past to convince myself that I just won't want to drink. I know that is not the case. So maybe if I have the same year long commitment as I have for January, it will be easier to resist.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

1/4/17 (Sat) Feeling yucky

All of a sudden my mood just shifted - from positive, productive, happy to anxious, tired, unmotivated and grumpy.  The first thought that came into my head...well if I could drink tonight I would probably be in a better mood.

Weird how it just sneaks up on you.....not going to drink.....

1/14/17 (Sun) Drinking autopilot

So last night I was going to bed and heard shouting from the neighbor's house.  They are super good friends of ours - great drinking buddies lol.  They had another couple over - really good friends of theirs.  I couldn't really hear very much and the other couple left pretty abruptly in an uber.  I am guessing, based on the tone of the voices, the few words I could hear and past experiences, our neighbor had too much to drink, got a little out of control, and someone got in an alcohol fueled argument.

This neighbor and I are a lot alike.  We both binge drink.  A difference is that he is recently retired and now drinks more days than not.  I usually only drink on the weekends.  He also smokes pot (legal in my state) while drinking while I do not.  He says it keeps him from drinking so much. His wife would disagree (her and I have talked about it).  I have shared with her my issues and how I can so relate to her husband.  I am not drinking daily, but neither was he when he was working.  I think him and I are on the same path, he is just further down the road.  Scary.

Anyway, I was telling my husband about it.  He said, "I just don't get it.  I don't understand why he keeps drinking when he has clearly had enough."

I said, "You are right. You don't get it. Neither does his wife. And neither does anyone else who doesn't have this disease.  I get it. I get telling myself that I am only going to have three and then after that 3rd, and my BAC getting high enough, I just can't/don't even think about it anymore.  It's not like I am thinking about it and knowing that I should stop and just tell myself - screw it - I'm going to keep drinking. Instead, those thoughts don't even enter my mind. It's so weird - I am just like on drinking autopilot. It took a long time, years, for me to realize that this is not something I can control, no matter how hard I try. And it's not my fault - my brain is wired differently. When my brain reaches a certain BAC level, I lose the ability to think rationally about how much I have drank and whether or not I should stop.  It is not in my control and no matter how hard I try, I can't do it because I am under the influence of a drug that it physically altering my brain - to the point that I couldn't have those rational thoughts even if I wanted to no matter how many promises I make to myself."

The second thing I get, that you don't, is the feeling that I can't get enough.  This happens when I am drunk.  It is kind of an end game feeling. Rational thought of how much I have drank and being on autopilot lead to this insatiable need to keep drinking once I am drunk.  This is a fairly new feeling I have developed. It is the "I know I have had too much, everyone else was done a long time ago, I know I am just going to bed right now, but I am going to go to the garage and guzzle one more beer or finish the wine in everyone else's glasses before I go to bed feeling."  This is absolute insanity. This one started scaring me. It doesn't happen very often (maybe once every few months), but more and more frequently - and used to be never.  I can't even explain this feeling - it is a need - it (I believe) - is part of the end of the road - the full on alcoholic (like my father who would go on week long bender where he would lose yet another teaching job and force me to go to yet another elementary school - I want to 8). This is why I can watch someone on the show Intervention holed up in a hotel room drinking all day and night with no one to judge them and almost, in a terrifying sort of a way, get it. Like I am watching someone destroy themselves, but can't look away because somewhere inside myself I know that could be me. I am not even close to that point, but the fact that I can even relate in some small way scares the shit out of me.  It is not rational thought.  It is irrational thought fueled by a disease and the presence of a mind altering drug. You are right, dear husband, you don't get it and never will bc you don't have this disease and don't judge him bc I do get it and I feel bad for him.

Friday, January 13, 2017

1/13/17 (Fri) Sober Weekend Coming Up

I feel pretty good right now.  Sleeping is a crap shoot. Sometimes I can, sometimes not so that makes me kinda grumpy when I'm tired.  But, my brain is so much clearer.  I am thinking and speaking more clearly.  I feel kinda more "with it" if that makes sense.  I seem to have a better attitude about most things. Somehow when I drink everything just becomes so routine and mundane and depressing.  When I get depressed and upset about not being able to drink on the weekends, I need to remember how much that weekend drinking and the more often than not the hangover that followed just seemed to dull my senses, zap all the joy out of my life.  Sure I have a lot of fun while drinking but is that real, authentic fun and is it worth the kind of dulling down of the rest of the week?  I think not.

Super busy this week but sober and not even thinking about alcohol.  I hardly ever drank during the week anyway, but my brain usually would start gearing up for the weekend by now. Am I going to drink? When? How many?  May times I would make plans for the weekend just so I could/would drink.  I have done dry Januarys before, and knew I could do it so I haven't even thought about it.  It hasn't been an option.  I do hope that it becomes this easy in my whole life to not drink as it has become in January.  I do need to make sure I keep posting and learning reading and staying vigilant. It's when I check out because I think I am cured, that I think I can try to moderate again.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

1/8/17 (Sun) Hangover free Sunday and spring is a killer - history

Well...first sober weekend in a long time. Finally, for the first time in a long time, I got up, started some laundry and made a plan for the day before 9:00.  I'm still pretty tired, but I know it will get better.  From my previous attempts at sobriety, I know I won't start feeling "totally not tired" until about day 28-30.  I also know that even though it is easy to stay sober right now, bc I have done dry Januarys in the past, it will not stay easy.  I know that I can probably stay pretty safe until March. My last three extended sobriety attempts were from Jan- Mar 2015 and from August-April 2012-2013 and Dec - March 2011-2012.  As you can see spring is a killer for me.  I need to focus on what I can do now to help me get through the spring and summer which I have never done (except when pregnant) since I was 18.  If I can get to August, I think I could possibly do at least 1 year.

I am not sure what I could do now to help me be stronger in the spring.

My December 26, 2011 to March 17, 2012 time I went 87 days.  This time was my first attempt at longer than 30 days once I started to realize I had a problem.  I was so proud of going 87 days. All the sober feeling were so new and weird. I felt so good that I thought I was cured and could go back to moderating.  I hadn't had the previous 5 years of blogging behind me that I could reference like I do now.  I was really unaware of the pattern at this point. I was kind of a baby soberiesta.  But, by April of 2012, I was back at the same over-drinking, hangover, exhausted, anxious, depressed, obsessive place again.

My August 1, 2012 - April 14, 2013 (after 255 days sober) I drank bc I wanted wine with my sister at a nice restaurant (and it was spring and I was super scared of a sober summer). I did ok with moderating for about two months. I then did not post again until November 2013 and wrote this:

Since August 1 - November 10, I have drank over the two or three I promised myself 12 of the 15 weekends.  I have drank every weekend and had a significant H0s 10 of the 15 weekends.  Until I sat down and figured it out, I didn't realize how bad it had gotten again. 

When I gave in this time, I was actually very happy, settling into sobriety. I was learning how to socialize and have fun without alcohol.  I was not white knuckling it.  I felt good. We went to dinner and I just had this overwhelming craving (after 255 days) to be an sophisticated adult and sit by the fire at a super nice restaurant and have a glass of wine with my sister. It was weird - like some sort of out of body experience. I had an anxiety attack while trying to talk myself into drinking.  I wrestled with the idea for probably 30 minutes and then I gave in.  I said, "Screw it! I'm not an alcoholic, I don't drink int he mornings or during the week, lose my job or get DUIs. I can do this. I can moderate."  I have no idea why I gave in, but I do know it didn't take long to be at the same over-drinking, hangover, exhausted, anxious, depressed, obsessive place again.

My January 1, 2015 - March  6, 2015 time I just white knuckled it for 64 days. I felt better but wasn't happy. I was isolated, depressed and felt sorry for myself that I couldn't hang out and drink on the weekends.  I think I was pissed that I couldn't successfully moderate - that I hadn't tried hard enough. When I gave in (bc it was sunny, it was spring and the neighbors were calling me),  I was like, "Screw it...this sucks...I will try harder to moderate." And eventually, by March 29 - only 3 weeks later - I was right back in the same over-drinking, hangover, exhausted, anxious, depressed, obsessive place.

I REALLY want to experience a sober summer, but am so scared of those strong cravings come spring and sun and friends and summer and vacations. 

What can I do now to help put me in a better place when the spring rolls around?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

1/7/16 (Sat) Could have gone 4 ways

My dh came home last night in a really bad place. He had a really bad day at work - like really bad - like almost having a breakdown bad.  The evening could have gone one of 4 ways:

1. I could have gone to the party and still been there when he got home.  I would have gotten home buzzed and really not wanted to deal with it -selfish.

2.  I could have gone to the party and gone out after. I wouldn't have gotten home until late and maybe not even known how bad it was - selfish.

3. I could have not gone to the party but been sitting on the couch drinking.  I would not have wanted to deal with it and either blown it off or somehow started a fight - selfish.

4. I could have been sober when he got home, been completely present in the moment and been supportive to him  - not selfish.

Which one happened?????

Number 4! Yeah me! I was able to be there for him, not make it all about me, and guess what? My kids were home, worried about their dad and saw me be a kind, patient, supportive, unselfish person (which I am when not drinking). I've said it before - alcohol somehow makes me so selfish.  Not drinking brings a calm awareness to other people and their feelings.

Being sober rocks!

Friday, January 6, 2017

1/6/16 (Fri) Not an option

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I did sleep last night, albeit terrible hurrying, missing flights, not having plane tickets, can't find my suitcase, running late, no one worried about it except me, stressful dreams - but still slept which is good.

I feel good about not drinking this weekend - I made the decision, and I am sticking to it. No debating, thinking about it, talking myself into or out of it - I'm just not drinking.  It does feel a little bit of a relief to have it not even be an option.  There is a work party after school today, and I am not going.  I feel a little bad bc it is a "holiday" party and my boss is going, but I have to do what is best for ME and that is not going.  Plus, it's kinda stupid the holiday party is in January and it is a 6:00 so once I got home, I wouldn't have felt like it even if I was drinking.  I would have been much more tempted if it was right after work (but I still wouldn't have gone). One person was upset at me yesterday bc I'm not going. She asked, "Why not?" Instead of making up some excuse or bailing at the last minute, I just said, "Because I don't feel like it."  She said, "I will get you those hard seltzers, please..."  I said, "I'm not drinking in January." She knows I did a dry January last year, so she wasn't surprised. She said, "Thanks a lot."

I don't care. I'm not going. What real difference is it going to make if I am there or not?  In the past I would have gone for a couple hours, drank, come home and drank some more and felt like shit tomorrow.  Or when it was really bad - gone out after with them to the bar and not gotten home until midnight - then felt guilty and crappy the next day. Really - everyone will go do what they do with or without me. Me going and being tempted to drink and/or bored out of my mind bc I'm not is worse for me than me not going is bad for them. I know that I'm not going to isolate and avoid social situations this time but it's only day 5, I'm exhausted, and I really just don't want to go out to a party once I am already home and comfortable. I have to do what is best for me and that is coming home, curling up on the couch (it is freezing where I am), watching some stupid television, going to bed early and sleeping in. That's what I'm doing and as the teenagers say - everyone that doesn't like it can just "suck it!"

I think maybe I will just sleep all weekend - and I don't feel one bit bad about it :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Sobriety Counter

Anyone know how to add a sobriety counter to my website?

1/5/16 (Thurs) Grumpy but sober

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Just grumpy and tired today. Went back to work and was a little out of it. I know it will get better as long as I don't drink.  By drinking I would just be prolonging the misery...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

1/4/17 (Wed) Ted Talk - Motivation Follows Action

I got a TED Talk video in my inbox so I decided to watch this morning.  It is called The Battle of Changing Behavior by Eric Zimmer a former heroine addict and the author of the blog The One You Feed


Here are some things he said that meant something to me:

Living a happy life starts with choosing how we want to behave and actually follow through.

Changing behavior can be learned.  It isn't about willpower.

I am going to keep watching behavior changing videos and reading books so I can learn how to to change my behavior.  Any suggestions of good books on changing behavior?

Motivation follows action.

We have to act our way into right thinking.

Start incredibly small steps every day. Focus on consistently.

I have thought about this in the past.  Fake it until you make it.  I always have to have everything perfect in my own head, the perfect plan, before I can make the effort to try to change. I am kind of an all or nothing person. I can't even start a new eating plan until I have the whole week perfectly mapped out.  How about just don't eat pizza for breakfast today?  Start somewhere. Maybe this is a form of perfectionism.  I'm either going to not drink at all, go the the gym every day, eat a perfectly clean diet or just screw it - I'll start again next week. The drinking needs to be nothing at all.  I have to be perfect on this one thing.  I have tried to go with, "Oh it's ok, don't beat yourself up for over drinking last night.  You don't have to be perfect. Just keep trying."  I have played that game for too long and I just need to never drink. However, I can practice this in other areas of my life such as working out. Working out two days a week is better than zero days a week.  Cleaning up my diet 10% of the time is better than 0% of the time. Drinking two glasses of water a day is better than none.
Change your behavior to change you mind. I have heard this before and it is a mind shift for me. Everyone always says to change your mind first and actions will follow.  I'm not sure I agree.  I just need to take action and see if I feel better. I can change my mind (decide I want to be sober) a million times but until I actually do it for a while, I won't ever truly believe it is a better way to live.

Focus your efforts - you don't need to do a self improvement binge.

Put all effort into one thing (staying sober) right now.  Pick one thing and focus.

This one I sort of agree with for me.  I know that if I just sit around, eat crappy and don't work out, I will become depressed and down on myself.  I know that if I start feeling that way, I will drink again.  I need to take care of myself enough to feel physically better in order to make better choices.  I can however give myself a break if I am not 100% perfect in my working out or eating well as long as I am sober. 100% effort into being sober and decent effort into everything else. Sometimes if I am not 100% perfect on the working out and the eating well, I feel like a failure which also leads to drinking, so I really need to work on not having to be perfect on anything except remaining sober.

You need to strengthen your army.

If you have six more people in your corner, you are 40% more likely to make the changes.

This one is hard for me. Even when I am doing really badly, I don't ever want others to see it.  I tend to be a loner. Outwardly I am very extroverted and outgoing but really I live in my own little torture chamber that no one else knows about. I live alone in my own head.  I make my goals, debate my goals, break my goals, worry and obsess about my goals alone in my head.  I don't like telling others because I have no faith in myself so I now I will look like a failure and I don't ever want to look like a failure.  No one else needs to know about my workout or clean eating goals, but I do need to get my sobriety goals out there. And my actions (not drinking) need to be louder than my words and plans for not drinking. Once people see I can do it and be happy with my decision, they will support me - I do know that.   This is so scary to me bc I don't ever want to feel judged. I worry way too much about what other people will think of me and if they will like me sober. It seems so shallow but it is the truth. I am extremely sensitive and have a hard time dealing with the fact that others may not like me or talk about me behind my back or not want me around even if the real reason is bc it makes them uncomfortable with their own drinking.

I go back to work tomorrow and feel good about not going back in the grips of a hangover, which I have done before - kind of a one last time before break ends sort of thing.  I finally got some sleep yesterday and am going to focus on drinking a ton of water today.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

1/3/17 (Tues) Surrender and Acceptance Day 3

Still feel crappy - can't sleep - blah, blah, blah

I'm going back to my blog last summer when I read The 30 Day Solution.  I only got to day 6, so I'm going to figure out what derailed me and try again. I learned this in the first 5 days

Day 1 - I need to change my response in order to learn new behaviors.  Instead of just staying home and complaining about not being able to drink and therefore not wanting to socialize, 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 be able to change my outcome.

Day 2 - "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."

Day 3 - 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.

Day 4 - Strategy when having a craving
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.

Day 5 - Forgiveness - no comment - can't do this one

Day 6 - Believe in myself
"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."   Am I always looking for the answer I want to hear rather than hearing the truth?

And then I quit and started drinking again.  I think it was because on day 5 (in June) my sister invited me to Florida in August and I just did not have confidence to know I wouldn't drink then so I just gave up - sort of like - well if I'm going to drink in August anyway, I might as well drink now. My commitment to being sober dropped to 99% and that's all it took. My blogs after that were an up and down roller coaster of drinking, not drinking, feeling good, feeling horrible.  I need to get off the roller coaster.

I have got to figure out a way to not care about what others think about me not drinking. I use it as an excuse to drink. It derails me every time!  I find myself thinking - What if I don't get invited to Lake Powell again/get invited to pub crawls/get invited to so out of town to neighbor's cabins or condos/get invited to Florida for vacation/get invited to parties bc I'm not drinking? Because my not drinking is making drinkers uncomfortable to be around me? Oh just screw it, I can moderate! I'll just try harder. It's not worth it!

I don't know how much harder I can try! I have been seriously trying to moderate for years!

I need to figure out a way to do what I know is best for me. I know the people who love and care about me will stand by me...I know this...I just have to figure out a different way to interact with them on a sober level.  I know I will actually be a better friend, sister, mother, wife, daughter and person sober. I just have to get there. And if they don't invite me to vacations and parties then shame on them because I have to do this for me! Their need to drink with me should not be more important than their need to have a relationship with me.

I just need to let holding on so tightly, just let go and trust the process. I have never been to AA, but maybe this is what is means to surrender to the idea that I can not change the fact that I can not successfully moderate long term and I can not process alcohol any more - even when I do manage to moderate.  I CAN NOT CHANGE THIS - it is a biological, physical fact about MY body and brain that I can not change. As much as I wish I could moderate and not have hangovers, it is not in the cards for me - it is just not possible anymore and the longer I keep a tight grip on that hope and do not surrender to the fact that I can't change it, the longer I will be miserable.




I surrender and accept these three truths

Monday, January 2, 2017

1/2/17 (Mon) A new beginning - terrible winter break - 4 hangovers

Well I didn't post yesterday bc I felt like total shit.  4th hangover of the break and probably up there in one of the top 5 worst hangovers of my life.  Went to dinner and had 2 glasses of wine, came home and drank 6!!! hard seltzers!  Didn't embarrass myself or do anything stupid.  Really didn't feel that drunk at the time but when I went to be ad at 2:00 am the weirdest thing was happening - my whole abdomen was clenching over and over uncontrollably.  Not like nauseous/going to throw up feeling - but kind of that same wrenching feeling without feeling sick.  It was so weird - just another reason to quit.  Yesterday was horrendous - never left the couch.Today I'm exhausted (had stressful dreams all night), my back hurts (from laying around all day), my wrist hurts (from arm wrestling people on New Year's Eve - OMG - are you kidding me?), my stomach is totally messed up and I feel like I am getting a terrible cold. My sister didn't even feel that bad yesterday - so unfair! I did talk to her about my three truths.
1. I am unable to drink normally - she said - that's true. you have a hard time finding the stop button
2. I can't process alcohol in my body anymore - she said - that's true. your hangovers are terrible
3. I feel so much better when I don't drink so I think I am going to quit - she said - that's sad bc I like drinking with you.  I said - well that's not very supportive. She said - I know - we'll just have to figure out how to make you have fun sober.

So it is out there, she knows, it is January and everyone knows I don;t drink in January. When February comes I will just announce I have decided that I felt so good in January that I decided to give it up for good.

Thank God yesterday is the last hangover I will ever have to suffer - such a waste of a day.

Alcohol wastes my days, weeks, months, years, life!  Time to try living a different way. Time to trust all of you soberistas out there that keep telling me it is so much better.

I'm sooooo ready for a new beginning - a new chapter to my life! I'm going to sleep, eat well, work out, be more patient, post a lot (be when I stop posting - I drink), take care of myself, let my body and brain heal, just be a better version of myself. I choose to let go of this drug that has had me in its grips for so long.

Happy New Year!

2017 is going to be challenging to stay sober but it can't be any worse than 2016 trying to moderate

Day 2 :)

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