Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sent to a friend today 8/19/17 (Sat)

Hi --------,

How are you doing?  I ran across a couple of articles I thought you might be interested in. 

If you take out the seizures, delirium tremors, hallucinations and visible shaking - I would have all of the symptoms pf withdrawal.  But bc I didn't experience the "super serious" symptoms - I remained in denial for a long time.  It's like I couldn't admit to myself that I was actually withdrawing from a drug that I was addicted to when I would feel crappy for a few days after my weekend drinking (like every Monday -Thurs). I knew I felt bad bc of the alcohol but because I only drank on the weekends and only maybe drank 5-10 drinks all weekend and I didn't experience the "serious" withdrawal symptoms, I wasn't that bad.  

The "not being able to get enjoyment from everyday experiences" even when not experiencing a hangover - almost having to drink or experience the anticipation of knowing I was going to drink was the only thing that made me feel "happy" on the weekends is what finally made me realize that I have physically screwed up my brain. That I'm not just making something out of nothing/over dramatizing/over obsessing/imagining it to the point that I am depressed and have anxiety unless I am drinking or thinking about drinking. I needed it to feel normal - to feel like my happy self.  Because it is an addiction and the denial is so strong, it is so hard to see that through all of the bullshit.  

Once I finally did, I knew I had to stop. I was watching an Intervention once and a lady had holed herself up in a hotel room, drinking as much as she wanted and didn't care. I actually couldn't believe that I could see the appeal to that???? WTF!!!! This realization scared the shit out of me bc I have no idea when my switch would be flipped (like the father's) and I would put a drug before everything - even my own happiness.

This may not all be true for you. I'm not trying to say you are like me and that you need to stop drinking. I would never tell you that. Your path is your path, but I know you like me to send you the no nonsense, what is alcohol doing to me articles :)  Happy weekend!

Monday, August 14, 2017

It was fun - until is wasn't 8/14/17 (Mon)

I took a walk with my friend yesterday - the one who is trying to work on her drinking. She is just now starting to look at how much she drinks and the effects it has on her.  She really did have a rough weekend.  Something like 15 drinks Friday followed by vomiting, passing out and having a terrible hangover.  This is unusual for her - she is more of a daily drinker as opposed to a binge drinker.  She is 10 years older than me. She said she is jealous that I am trying do better with alcohol 10 years earlier than she did. She said she wishes she would have started looking at her own drinking 10 years ago as well.

This made me so glad I am finally doing it. i just really need to make sure I remember all of the times I have tried to moderate and how many times I eventually fail - and I have really tried. I need to remember that I am just not wired for drinking anymore. My years of weekend binge drinking have physically rewired my brain and there is no turning back.  A pickle can no longer turn back into a cucumber.  The damage is done. It was fun - until is wasn't -  and now it is over - thank God! That part of my life is over and a new one is just beginning. I can choose to be pissed off, jealous, sad, feel deprived, bored and depressed about never being ever to drink again or I can feel grateful I have stepped off the hamster wheel and didn't waste another 10 years of my life living in my own self imposed mental torture chamber.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Interesting conversations 8/13/17 (Sun)

I had a conversation with a neighbor yesterday - the same neighbor we went out with Friday night. We were talking about drinking and the fact that I wasn't.

My neighbor said, "I think you are jut overthinking everything.  I'm about 10 years older than you. You'll see - it changes when you retire. I know you are a teacher and you care about what everyone thinks about you, but wait until you retire.  Ya, I am an alcoholic.  I drink 4-5 beers every single day.  I like to drink and am not going to stop. I won;t be happy if I don't drink. I would rather die at 65 after having an enjoyable retirement (aka drinking) than live to be 85 and not even enjoy my life (aka be sober).  So what that I drink. I like it and I choose to keep doing it even if I die earlier."

That comment just blew me away.  I just thought that anyone willing to admit that they are an alcoholic would not like that about themselves and wan to stop drinking. Not only does my neighbor admit it, he chooses it.  I have to admit, the reason I was so fascinated by what he said was that in some sort of way, it sounded good to me. To be able to just drink what I wanted, when I wanted and not feel guilty or obsess and just be fine with it - there is a sort of enticement to the thought of that - just to say screw it and be a drinker and like it.

So I come back to my house and tell my ds and dh what he said, probably bc it is still just confusing/fascinating me.  My husband said, "That's just his way of justifying how much he is drinking. I bet he doesn't really like it as much as he says he does."

My son said, "Ya he likes it until his liver is failing or he gets a DUI. We will see how much he likes it then."

Ok - those two comments brought me back to reality.  There is no way in hell I could just be a drinker like that and be ok with it.

On another note, another neighbor/drinking buddy of mine who also struggles with alcohol, had a bad hangover when I was about 2 weeks sober and said she was going to try sobriety with me.  She was successful for about 3 weeks and then made up some excuse about why she needed to drink (something about promising her daughter she would take her out for shots before she went back to college) and she did. She felt really good about her three weeks and said she was really going to do better about not drinking daily (she is more of a daily drinker where I was more of a weekend binge drinker).  She sent me a text yesterday, "Last night went south.  I went on an alcohol binge. I can't remember the last time I was this sick. Do you think I need a reminder of how it is really poison? This was definitely one of the worst! And then pissed off about a wasted day!"  Then, about 4 hours later she texts, "Such a crazy thing. And as soon as you start feeling better, you start thinking about a drink. Or worse yet, you think one right away might make you feel better. Total insanity."

Funny that in one day I hear both of these messages about alcohol.  First, the sound of drinking and not caring sounds kinda good and then I am reminded of how unhappy alcohol made me for so long.

I am glad I am sober :)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Full disclosure - slight HO today 8/12/17 (Sat)

So yesterday was the first Friday back at work after summer break.  August is probably in the top three hardest months for me with alcohol (along with May and December).  Before school starts I just want to get in as much partying as I can. Then once school does start, I am stressed and trying to adjust and really craving that drink on a Friday after being at work all day.  It takes me a little while to settle in. I do know that two of my addiction triggers are stress bc alcohol helps everything in my head just slow down and being tired bc alcohol gives me energy and helps me feel less lethargic.  I realize that sounds contradictory, but in some strange way alcohol calms my mind and helps me relax while at the same time giving me energy to enjoy my evening rather that sitting on the couch being tired.  Kinda weird but true. Except for when I drink too much and embarrass myself (which isn't too often), I really do enjoy drinking while I am drinking.  I am a fun drinker - full of energy and positive energy.  I never pick fights and am supportive and cheerful, although also dominating and overly sensitive. I don't black out and can almost always remember everything that happened, even though sometimes it takes some hard mental thought the next morning.

It is the after effects, both mentally and physically, that kill me. The mental and physical hangovers that last for days and were making me sad every day where torture. And the mental obsession with not being able to do what I know I should do was crushing my soul.

So...last night my drinking buddy neighbor asked us if we wanted to go to a festival in our town.  We had blown them off a few times, so I thought we should probably go bc I do really like them and they always want us to come along.  They are both pretty heavy drinkers. Both are retired and also do their fair share of marijuana. They are super fun and I really like hanging out with her especially, as she is just a positive, fun loving, never complaining kind of person.

I told her I wasn't drinking for awhile.  She has known me long enough to know that I say this 2-4 times a year.  I think she gets disappointed, but doesn't say so and is always supportive. She knows how much I suffer from hangovers and what alcohol does to my body so she doesn't push me to drink.  She asked me if I wanted an mj gummy (which is legal in my state btw). I have tried it before and haven't liked it but I was desperate to go to this dumb festival and be able to relax, gain some energy and have a good time.  What I really wanted to do was curl up on my couch and binge watch tv, but that sounded depressing and a waste of a beautiful Friday evening, so I said yes.  I said, "It's not like I have this desire to be sober the rest of my life, I just don't like what alcohol does to me."

So I only ate 1/2 of one (which is the amount she takes that she says gets her "loaded".  I'm not going to lie, I was kind of excited. It took about an hour for me to feel it in my throat, tongue, and mouth - kind of a swollen, dry feeling - but never really felt it in my head.  In fact it made me less patient with the whole evening bc I just kept waiting for the "high" (which I do miss) to kick in.  It never happened and I just felt super uncomfortable with my lame water bottle while everyone around me was having such a good time listening to the band and getting hammered.  I just felt so old...

I came home and went to bed with my heart racing, my head pounding and my mouth feeling like the Sahara desert.  I had a really hard time falling asleep (maybe 4 hours later it finally kicked in and I didn't like it) and I remember thinking, "Maybe it is about being sober bc this is what it felt like to go to bed buzzed and I don't like it. I don't really want to waste one of my good weekend sleeping nights fighting being buzzed - by any substance."

I woke up this morning with a headache, sore/weird feeling throat, swollen lymph nodes in my neck, and pretty exhausted from not sleeping well.  The good news - I guess I don't have to be worried about being addicted to another substance bc I officially do not like mj.  The bad news - I still have to figure out how not to be boring/feel uncomfortable in a party atmosphere while sober.

Also good news - I didn't drink even though I was pretty jealous of everyone else having a good time getting their party on...It's not that I really wanted to drink - I just wanted to have a good time, which was not happening.

Friday, August 11, 2017

First Day back/Day 50 - 8/11/17 (Fri)

I am extremely tired as I haven't slept well for two nights but that always happens to me as a new year starts.  I know as I settle in for my 26 (!!) year of teaching, the nerves will calm down.  It was not lost on me yesterday that I was clear headed, calm, happy, nice to everyone, calm, patient and much more in control of my mental state than I have been in the years where I went back to school coming straight off a summer of drinking and a horrible hangover (you know - one more hurrah before I lose my freedom).

I sure feel better than the past few Augusts.  This time is going to be the time to stay sober.  What more proof do I need than the following posts.  It is time to stop the madness.  Day 50 :)

8/12/16 (Fri) Out of control (drank Mon-Wed) Terrible hangover

out of control
  1. 1.
    no longer possible to manage.

So two posts ago I am contemplating not drinking for a year.  Then I have a horrendous hangover Sunday bc of too much wine Saturday. Then I go to an out of town work thing and drink Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night - so much that I feel like dog shit all day Thursday at the conference. I was having anxiety attacks, feel dizzy and nauseous all day.  Now today I have my first day back to work and I am tired, bloated, have a headache, depressed, fat, unhealthy, want to just not go, worried everyone will look at me and think, "wow - she had a rough summer break".  WE have to do all this dumb "team building" stuff which means I have to talk to people and fake how "good" I am doing when all I really want to do is crawl back in bead and cry.  I started this summer break announcing to myself how it was going to be different.  I wasn't going to drink every weekend, I wasn's going to waste any days with hangovers, I was going to take care of myself, get in shape and make it all better.  I did pretty well in June but fell off the rails in July and August - why??? - bc I didn't drink in June.  I am wasting my life with all this bullshit and I am sick of it!!!!  I don;t even want to make a declaration of no drinking for 30 days, 1 year, ever...bc I know I will just fail.  I am so sick of failing that I don;t even want to try any more. 

and spiraling downward....

I just don't know what to do anymore.  I know that answer is QUIT DRINKING!!! but I have known that for a long time...

How do I do that?  How do I keep the commitment to myself and stop all of the mind games?  How do I find the strength to say no - no matter how mad, sad, isolated, irritated, bored, lonely I feel?


8/23/15 (Sun) - Deep dark hole (percocets?)

Deep dark hole is what I google searched this morning.  I feel like total dog shit this morning.  When I woke up, after 4 hours of drunken sleep, I thought about the percocets in my closet.  We have a bunch since my dh has had a couple surgeries and he never takes them.  I thought, "Mabye I should just take a couple to put me to sleep for a few hours until the hangover wears off."  That is how desperate I am for this day to be over.  That is just a sad existence.  I didn't and won't take them but it kinda scared me that I even thought about it.  Another thing that entered my mind is that I could see how people (I was specifically thinking about celebrities like Robin Williams, Whitney Houston and her daughter and Michael Jackson) could actually just take a handful to make the pain and suffering end for that moment.  I bet they weren't thinking about not being around ever again, but that they just wanted relief from the physical, emotional, debilitating, devastating anguish they were feeling right in that moment.  That thought also scared me a little.

Well..I'm not going to do that...I have too much to live for...I'm going to eat something and go back to bed. I just wanted to at least record how I am feeling today. When I do try to get my shit together, it helps me go back and read how bad I was feeling.

8/8/14 (Fri) - Struggling

i am laying here in the middle of the night, cant sleep, have drank 10 days in a row, am depressed, anxious and so confused.  am i unhappy so i drink?  or is my drinking making me unhappy?

8/10/11 (Wed) 2 HANGOVERS! Shut Up!!

AM - I haven't posted in a while.  Why?  I am fine.  I don't have a problem.  Just obsessing too much.  Went on vacation, drank every day, only had one HO, didn't fight with any of my family, progress - right? ......  Let's start calling it what it is - denial, rationalization, addiction,  an unhappy life controlled by a drug that has ruined may people in my family and will soon ruin me if I don't open my eyes!

PM - Not good.  I was making dinner, talking to a friend on the phone, bored, asked her to come over.  Three bottles of wine later (1:00 in the morning) I finally fell into bed.  I remember hearing a little voice in my head say, "School is almost ready to start .....  it is OK ..... one last party before the summer is over ..."

That is exactly the little voice, that is more like a roar, that I am SICK OF LISTENING TO!!!  It is always some reason, some excuse, some event.   SHUT UP!!!!!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Huge craving/panic attack...why??? 8/9/17 (Wed)

First craving in 48 days!!! No idea why I got was a Tuesday at like 2:00 pm for pete's sakes. My dh is on vacation, was in the garage and a long time friend (another drinking buddy from out 20's) was in the neighborhood and stopped by.  They ended up having a beer (or three). When they were looking for a beer, our friend said, "Anything but that strong IPA!  That's (my name)'s beer."

Whoa!!!! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, it just hit me, like a little mini panic attack. I felt it in my core, my brain started spinning, my heart started racing, I started sweating and feeling kind of a flight or fight feeling. - I really wanted to sit in the garage and have a beer - badly.  Thoughts started creeping in (not really creeping - more like violently invading) like.....You only have two days before school starts, your summer is almost over, Why not? Hey, that would also make the trip you are planning over winter break seem more fun especially if you are staying over New Year's Eve and hey the even your neighbors invited you to Friday would be more fun if you tried moderation again and hey you could have a couple of beers of work buddies after work and you wouldn't have to be different or uncomfortable of feel left out and hey you really weren't that bad anyway (weren't drinking during the week and weren't blacking out). You could just try one more time to successfully moderate...just one more attempt and if you fail this time (aka end up getting hangovers/obsessing/not getting in shape/feeling depresses and anxious and insecure and exhausted and unmotivated and feeling no joy in life... you will quit for good.. You know no one will be mad at you bc they never thought you were that bad anyway. Hey maybe you are not/never were that bad anyway. Maybe you just though you were....and on and on and on for like an hour!!!!!  It was intense. I couldn't sit down. I couldn't relax.  I really wanted a beer and I ALMOST said, "Screw it...I'm having one."

BTW - I think it is interesting that when I am trying to talk myself into drinking it is always in third person almost like it is an outside voice, an alternate personality, the addiction itself talking to me.

Well, I got through it. I don;t know how, but I did.  I poured a seltzer water, went upstairs and started going through all of my clothes for the new school year. I didn't have a mental battle with myself. I just said, "You are going to be very disappointed if you drink. You can do this for one year. You can do this. You just talked to your daughter about having a sober New Year's Eve with her and being able to drive home from vacation this year. She will be understanding if you drink but she will not tell you she is proud if you for trying to moderate again. She will understand but won't say, "I'm proud of you for drinking". You know you won't say that to yourself either. Remember how exhausted/depressed/insecure/unmotivated/sad/out of shape you were when you drank. You KNOW you will get right back to that. You know you will. It has happened so many times.Go read your blog. You have proof. You will throw these 48 days away and eventually have to start again at Day 1. You know it. You know this craving will pass and you will be stronger after it is over. You knew you would eventually have them. You can do this. How would you feel in the morning? Don't think about it. Drink your seltzer water, tear your closet apart and let it pass."

I did, it did pass and I didn't drink.

Day 49

Monday, August 7, 2017

Take control 8/7/17 (Mon)

Time to take control of my fitness and get busy.  If I want to lose a little weight, get in better shape and fit into my clothes - I actually need to work at it. I can't just write about it, read about it, plan it, think about it, goal set around it - I have figured out this is my form of procrastination.  In my mind I feel like I am starting to do it bc I am planning it, but in reality I never get past that stage.  This is the exact form of procrastination that kept me drinking for last 10 years.
Image result for make a fucking plan

So I'm going to get up, get out of my jammies, put of some workout clothes and work on what I want

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sleep and another big accomplishment 8/6/17 (Sun)

Image result for i love sleep quotes tumblr

I have gotten two really good night's sleep and I feel a lot better.  I am sleeping until like 9:00 am which is a bit ridiculous but my body must need it.  Finally I am sleeping...

Last night we went out with some old friends from my college years - pretty hard party buddies back in the day.  I was really nervous about drinking, not drinking, having to explain myself, what would I say, etc.  Especially nervous as just them as it was just us four - not a group where I could blend in and not be as noticeable. I even had that evil little thought - maybe I will just have a beer - not really because I wanted one but just bc it seemed easier than than being uncomfortable.  That is pretty messed up bc in what reality would "just go ahead an have a beer to fit in" be easier than not having one???? The thought itself amazed me.

So we get to dinner and I purposely ordered my drink last bc I didn't want anyone, specifically my girlfriend, to not order a drink bc of me.  They all ordered a beer and I ordered a club soda. No one said a word!! I didn't see any side glances or confused looks on their faces (it wouldn't have surprised me as when we were younger I was the party girl  - pretty sure I drank all the girls under the table even I thought at the time everyone else was drinking just as much as me and getting just as drunk as I was).

The guys ordered one more. My girlfriend did not but that didn't surprise me.  The conversation was a little strained and uncomfortable once in awhile without my usual social lubricant but it was fine.  I tried to ask question and focus more on them instead of making the conversation all about me. We sat outside on a beautiful tree covered patio at out favorite Indian restaurant. It was a gorgeous evening. It even down poured but we were under a somewhat covered area. It was just beautiful. I thought that this would have just been overwhelmingly, sappy meaningful to me if I was buzzed. And then i thought, "It still is overwhelmingly, sappy, meaningful but in a completely conscious, aware, fully present way - that actually makes it more meaningful."  After dinner we gave each other hugs said goodbye and went home - like normal people. We didn't come back to our house and drink until late and then wake up with hangovers.  Instead I came back home, made some popcorn, poured myself an Italian soda (which is full of sugar but who cares), watched a couple episodes of Power, slept until 9:00 and feel great today.

Life is good :)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Blah...8/3/17 (Thurs)

I just feel kind of blah...

  1. 1.
    used to refer to something that is boring or without meaningful content.
    "talking all kinds of blah to him"
  2. 2.
    synonyms:the doldrums, low spirits, a blue funk, depression
    "looks like he's got a case of the blahs"
  1. 1.
    dull or unexciting.
    "his blah feeling"

Anxious about the new school year starting.
Sad my son is leaving for college.
Frustrated that I'm not feeling better.
Pissed that I am still not working out consistently.
Disappointed that I am going to have to go buy "fat" clothes bc nothing in my closet fits.
Pondering the use of mj (legal in my state) as a substitute for alcohol.
Bumbed out I didn't get anything accomplished this summer.
Kind of depressed I can never drink again - never get that buzzed, happy, giddy feeling
Miss the connection I have with my friends over a few drinks
Tired of pretending it is the same sober
Exhausted by feeling like I have to put on this show that everything is great and I love being sober

I don't know how to shake myself out of these feelings.  They worry me a little bc I can feel my resolve slipping (just a little - not enough to drink) but still....

Image result for feeling blah