Sunday, December 31, 2017

The past is proof/stop trying to fool yourself 12/31/17 (Sun)

Went to my sister's house last night. She, of course, had my favorite wine and offiered it up right away. I politely declined stating that I was giving my liver a break after the holidays.  She asked one more time a little later but I still said no. :)

Tonight we are having just a few people over for NYE.  I have done probably 28 drunken, crazy, and yes fun, NYEs in my past.  This was my party night! The night I lived for! Everyone was drinking as much as me and it was awesome! No one bailed early bc they all wanted to wait until midnight. I usually hosted huge parties that went all night so I didn't have to drive.  Selfishly I gave little thought to whether or not people at my house could drive home.  I made sure there were other kids over to play with my kids so I didn't feel guilty as a mom, but my drinking on this night was my priority and I didn't apologize for it. We have hosted plenty of 4:00 am parties where I either end up throwing up or passing out in bed only to wake up barely able to function looking at a trashed house. 

I have also experienced four (two were bc of babies/pregnancies) so only two sober by choice NYE's.  The first was in 2011. I was something like 4 days sober.  I sat in my bed all by myself stressed out, having anxiety attacks, counting the minutes, blogging constantly and I did it! For the first time since I was 17. The second time was in 2012. I was something like 4-5 months sober. This time wasn't as hard bc I knew I could do it.  Thanks to my blog, I can look at January 1 (or 2 or 3) and know whether I drank or not.  I am either proud and sober or depressed and hungover.

Here are the two sober blogs from the years I didn't drink

Welcome 2012!

2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 I drank. These are the posts to prove to myself that I did not wake up int he new year feeling happy and relieved that I can drink and proud of myself. 

1/2/14 (Thus) goes....again....Done!

It is so dumb that I have to prove it to myself but I am thankful that I have been blogging over the years.  I just seem to forget how bad alcohol is for me when I am not in the middle of a hangover. My blog is proof.  Every time I spend my winter break drinking, I start the new year off in a terrible state. Not this year. I will not drink tonight and my post tomorrow will be positive and happy and proud.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Weird vacation and sister's house tonight 12/30/17 (Sat)

We are driving home from our vacation today.  It was kind of a weird vacation. We came up here to ski, but there wasn't enough snow. There is also a hot springs pool here but we also didn't do that (which I am kind of glad about considering I don't want anyone seeing me in a swimsuit right now). We wanted to snowshoe but couldn't. No one really wanted to do anything which is a really weird vacation for me.  My vacations consist of getting up somewhat early even though I never feel that great bc of a hangover, doing a million things (and making everyone else do them with me), usually drinking by lunch (my brain subtly figures out how to arrange the day to make that happen and then I just hope others wants to drink with me) and then drinking more again with dinner and after dinner.  I usually get very little sleep, run myself ragged and drink way too much every single day of vacation.

Last time we came up, I drank heavily on the drive up, had a bit of a hangover the next day so I decided it would be a good idea to go get some bloody mary mix and vodka. I NEVER do this unless on vacation. Drank all day including grape-a-ritas (which I hate) and then wine with dinner. I was so sick the next day I couldn't get out of bed. The time before that I way too drank much red wine with my ds. I had committed to taking my nephews and son skiing that I guzzled a beer in secret in the morning just trying to make myself feel better (I had heard the hair of the dog works). It didn't and I didn't even end up skiing bc I was so nauseous and dizzy all day.  Just sat on the bench for five hours trying to drink water while they skied - lying and saying I think I must be getting the flu. I'm sure I wasn't fooling anyone.

This is usually how my vacations end up.This time we really didn't do much. I asked my family if they liked it that way and they said they really enjoyed the calmer feeling of this vacation. They said vacation sometimes is about doing nothing. Getting out of your house where you have laundry, cleaning, shopping and bills to pay. Sometimes it is just about doing nothing.

I have NEVER looked at vacation like that. For me it is always an excuse to day drink and drink five days in a row. I usually go all out on the last night (bc it is the last night) and end up driving home with a terrible hangover, not getting anything unpacked or put away and just going to bed. More often than not, my vacations have also included some kind of drama - some kind of fighting or overreaction or crying or something. It isn't always my fault but I never handle any of it well when drinking.

I did drink two of the days this time (wish I wouldn't have) but didn't yesterday, feel pretty good today (a little tired) and am really glad I made the decision to quit again. I feel really good about it. I told my family....again.....and I think they are glad also. They just quietly watch my drinking progressively getting worse every time I try to moderate again. And now that I was diagnosed with heart palpitation last summer (that NEVER happen when I don't drink), they are really worried about me physically as well as mentally.  My dd said she is so glad I decided to stop again before she left. She said she would be so worried about me being so far away with me being able to drink with no one at home watching except dh who doesn't get home until 7:00 pm, isn't very observant and drinks on the weekends.

I am so glad I could give her (and myself) the gift of my sobriety for her 23 birthday. She has enough to worry about just starting her post college life without worrying about me.

I have a birthday party to attend at my ds house (the one I always break my sobriety with - not at all her fault - just like to drink with her) and New Year's Eve tomorrow to get through. I'm not too worried. I'm pretty tired so will probably be fine tonight and I have gotten through two New Year's Eves in the past few years.  I know I can do it!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Cognitive Dissonance and I dumped it all out 12/29/17 (Fri)

Claire made a comment on my blog yesterday about Cognitive Dissonance.  I looked it true
In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values.
Dissonance will be resolved in one of three basic ways:
  1. Change beliefs. Perhaps the simplest way to resolve dissonance between actions and beliefs is simply to change your beliefs. ...
  2. Change actions. A second option would be to make sure that you never do this action again. ...
  3. Change perception of action

I think maybe the first step is to #2 - change the action.  Kind of a fake it until you make it strategy.  Pretend to have fun or being ok with not drinking even if I'm not. Smile when I don't feel like smiling. Just don't drink. #3 would hopefully follow.  Over time the perception of the action would change. It wouldn't seem depressing and boring and isolating and lonely to not drink it I had experienced something different by not drinking for a year. Then, because of this, my beliefs about being sober #1 - would naturally change.  They only step I am skeptical about is actually learning/experiencing being sober and happy and not depressed/lonely/bored. I guess I just need to have a little faith in what all fo the sober, happy people keep telling me....that it is possible.

I got up this morning - still on vacation in the mountains and dumped 1/2 a bottle of wine and 2 beers down the sink.  I was so determined to not drink on my dd birthday yesterday in honor of her and how she likes it better when I don't drink, but I still drank.  I can be so certain when I wake up in the morning, while drinking my coffee or blogging, but by 2:00 my mind has already shifted and I am battling myself over whether or not I will drink. By 5:00  I have given in to my impulse and drank.  If I can't even keep a promise to myself to not drink on her birthday, it is time to stop.  

Plus, why in the world would I think this attempt at moderation would be any different that last last million attempts over the past 10 years.  This attempt may even be worse considering my attempts seem to be leading to faster more intensive drinking behaviors than in the past and that my ds and dd will both be out of the house. I could drink without anyone knowing.  That sounds like a bad idea.

If I'm going to start my year of sobriety on 1/1, why not just start today? Do I really need to poison my body for the next three days? I know that if I knew I was quitting 1/1, the next three days would be filled with drinking which would lead me down the road of feeling horrible on 1/1 an probably for a few days after that. Is that really the way I want to spend my last few days of break with my children - thinking about drinking, drinking and recovering from drinking? No...I would rather my focus be on my family.  

I am super scared I will fail.....again....but here's to day 1 of 365 days with no alcohol.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

5 voices 12/28/17 (Thurs)

Brutal honesty here - Christmas break hasn't been good.

Thursday 12/21 drank 3 (hiding, in the garage, sneaking)

Friday 12/22 drank 3 (hiding, in the garage, sneaking)

Sat 12/23 neighborhood party - drank a bottle of wine (had a great time - not too bad of a hangover)

Sunday 12/24 drank a whole bottle of white wine (sneaking, guzzling in my mom's kitchen), a beer and then two glasses of red wine. I was clearly drunk while we were driving home (I wasn't              driving)

Monday 12/25 - bad hangover -  I was having 11 people over for a very nice dinner and literally had    to drag myself through the morning telling myself I wasn't going to drink.  I ended up opening that first bottle of wine when my sister got to my house at 2:00 and continued to drink until midnight at which time I was clearly intoxicated.

Tuesday 12/26 - terrible hangover - just wanted to go to bed but had to pack for a trip the mountains for my dd birthday.  So difficult to get anything done and stay focused.  Not excited at all. Din't drink. Told myself and my dd I wasn't going to drink while in the mountains

Wed 12/27 - went to the liquor store and bought a 6 pack of beer - drank 3 of them from 5:00-8:00 pm - don't know why - I guess I was bored and didn't want to be bored on vacation.

Thurs 12/28 - Today

I am so confused. My brain goes through these different stages and I don't know which one is better, which voice to believe and which direction I want to go.

Voice #1 - You are fine. See - you had three beers last night and don't feel bad today. Do you really want to go through rest of your life without drinking? No, you don't. That would be boring. Just do better. Enjoy life, going out with friends, having fun - just don't drink too much. Your dd is moving in a week, your ds is going back to college in a week, it is now your time to be able to go to a brewery or to a friend's house and socialize (and drink) and have fun.  You won't have kids at home as an excuse nay more. Just be careful. You can do this.

Voice #2 - I am not sure you are fine. Look at all the sneaking, the guzzling, the drinking, the lost days due to hangovers, the weight gain, the mental exhaustion that comes with drinking. In fact I would argue you are getting worse. It doesn't takes months or even weeks to fall off the deep end of sneaking and guzzling and having that "I can't get enough" feeling anymore - it takes only a couple of days - look at Thanksgiving and know Christmas. You are on a slippery slope - one slip and you could end up just like your father - choosing alcohol over everything else bc you are just not willing to see how addicted you are to it and how destructive it is in your life. Maybe you should quit for a while.

Voice #3 - I am scared. I am scared I will never figure this out. Can I ever successfully moderate - be happy socializing with my friends and not feel excluded like some sober weirdo? Can I ever quit and be happy socializing without alcohol. How in the hell do you go with your friends to new brewery and not drink? Both seem impossible so I am stuck in this hellish limbo of not drinking but wanting to or drinking and not wanting to.  I am scared I will never be able to do either AND be happy.

Voice #4 - Just quit for a year. You know your daughter (and son) worry so much about your physical health (heart palpitations) and your mental health (beating myself up) when you drink. You don't want her to move so far away being worried about you. You are the mother - your dd or ds shouldn't be worried about you. Give them the gift of sobriety. They are so proud of you when you don't drink and so worried about you when you do. Quit for one year.  none of this bullshit one month or six months - really commit to one year.  REALLY commit to it. Just see how you feel one year from now. Work on you - get in shape, do yoga, eat well, sleep, drink water. Don't use them leaving as an excuse to drink. That seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

Voice #5 - Quit forever. The thought of that seems scary and depressing but at the same time freeing and peaceful. When you have quit for months in the past and not had cravings - there is a sense of peace you feel when you have given up the mental option/battle in your head. When drinking just isn't an option - your whole brain calms down and actually make space to notice and enjoy everything else that is going on around you. Think about how proud you would be of yourself - how proud everyone else would be of you. All these sober people can't be wrong.  You have to be able without putting a stupid drug in your body. There has to be peace and happiness that is attainable when not poising you mind and body.

I have no idea what voice is correct - Actually I do know which voice is the correct choice for me - I just don't know which choice I want to choose.

At first I choose this picture to show my struggle
Image result for different paths

Then I changed it to this image
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Or this one
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because the first image just made the decisions seem too cut and dry - too simple.  It is just way more complicated than that.

Sometimes I feel like quitting would feel like this
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Maybe it is simple as this
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Maybe if I quit, I could leave all this "noise" behind and it would feel like this
Image result for different paths