Sunday, January 20, 2019

1/20/19 - My Birthday

Today is my 51 birthday.  I can't believe it! I still feel 35 in my head. I get kinda depressed when I think about how many years I have left, so I just don't think about that. I do, however, think about how I want to live those years.

Last night we were driving through the little town where I went to high school that was kind of a dump then but has now become trendy and popular.  There were Christmas lights everywhere. It looked so pretty. I felt fine until we drove past a little wine/beer trendy place and then two breweries that were full of people drinking and having fun.

Then, this thought just popped into my head from nowhere, "How sad I won't ever get to try that wine/beer place. How sad I won't be able to be one of those people sitting in the brewery with their friends having fun, drinking beer. How sad I won't ever be able to have a cold glass of wine on a warm summer evening. How sad I won't ever again feel the relief that comes from letting yourself drink again - fully intending on doing better this time...being able to control it...not having to stress and worry about not drinking....not feeling left just give in and be normal."

Those thoughts were followed by these, "I know I absolutely will not drink for a year (so until June 10). Maybe after being sober for a year, I will have reset some kind of addiction button in myself and I can try again. Maybe this time I can enjoy drinking without suffering the negative consequences. It's not like I was a full-fledged, drink every day, alcoholic. People would still be proud of my year and may not blame me for trying again. I could prove to them that I could do it. I just have to hang in for another four and a half months."

So weird how this just kind of hits out of nowhere. These thoughts are like little pokers that start in the back of my head and then just start circling little by little in the front of my head making a bigger and bigger hole in my desire to stay sober until the hole is big enough that I start toying with the idea of drinking...trying to rationalize it leading to seriously considering it.

I talked to my husband and 20 yo son about it as they were with me. My dh reminded me of how far I have come and how hard I have worked. He said that he is so proud of me and can see that I am much happier, in general, being sober. This is awesome to hear and makes me feel good, but what my ds said had more of an impact on my thinking.

He said, "Mom, you can't go back there. This is your cycle. Go back and read your blog from the past ten years. You are at a pivotal point. You either make it through this and continue with your sobriety or you go right back to where you have been for years.  I know you like analogies, so imagine yourself in a cornfield shaped like a bowl. You are in the middle of the bowl trying to get to the edge - out of the corn. You are halfway there. You can see it if you just keep going. Don't slide back to the center and have to start over. (I am not sure about the analogy, but I got the point.) You have to fight through this. This spring/summer might suck. You may have to write it off as not being as fun or happy as all your other spring/summers, but wouldn't you rather give up the excitement and happiness that comes with drinking this spring and summer to have the next ten years be better? Go read your blog, you will see. If you choose to drink again, you will not be happy. Plus, f you let yourself stay in this mental place, you will convince yourself to drink again in June which will probably lead you to drink sooner than that. You need to go back to your therapist and your sober more than ever."  My dh husband added, "I agree."

My family is amazing! And so right.

What helps me stay sober is to think about why I quit in the first place....HANGOVERS! I know for a fact that if I could still drink like I did in my twenties and thirties, I would still be drinking.  The physical, mental and emotional hell I went through in my forties bc of drinking and the subsequent hangovers aren't worth it anymore.

It isn't super hard for me to stop is hard to stay stopped. Each time I attempt sobriety now I make it longer. One day, one week, one month, even three months doesn't seem like that big of a deal anymore. The newness of it all has worn off. It is the monotonous longevity that I struggle with now. Sometimes it just all seems so boring. Yes, I do not have the low lows anymore but I also don't have the high highs that come with drinking and the anticipation of it.

I have to remember that this sober version of myself is who I am supposed to be. It is truly how I want to be. It is when I am most proud of myself. It is when my family is most proud of me. It is a kinder, more patient, more considerate, better listener, less sensitive, less judgy version of myself. It is a less depressed, less anxious, less stressed, less obsessed version of myself. I sleep better, don't have heart palpitations or hot flashes, don't get anxiety attacks or spend days on the couch being depressed and eating junk food. I am 100% available to people who might need me 100% of the time. I am not constantly thinking about/planning my drinking and what might interfere with that. 

I have fought really hard to get here. I have given up so many summers in the past either miserable bc I am on the exhausting roller coaster of high highs and low lows that some from  drinking or completely obsessed and self-absorbed with trying to quit - reading self-help books, analyzing the shit out of why I drink and the nature of addiction - trying to figure out why I can't do better, try harder, be better. Standing on a burning bridge trying to figure out why it is burning rather than just jumping off the stupid bridge. Last spring/summer I literally spent all of April-June drinking and either loving it or hating it...completely obsessed with it. Then, on June 14, I finally jumped off the burning bridge and called for help. I spent ALL of July and half of August in Intensive Outpatient Therapy - 12-14 hours a week of individual and group therapy sessions complete with antidepressants. Another 10 hours a week reading, blogging, analyzing, trying to get my shit together. 

I refuse to spend another summer living in my own mental prison/person hell of addiction. 

This spring/summer WILL be different. It might in fact "suck" much of the time but it can't possibly be worse than where I have been. And where I am headed has to be better.

Last year at this time my dd sent me a quote that said, "Lions don't drink, be a lion!" 
This year I have to think about climbing out of a cornfield bowl!
I love my kids!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

1/1/19 - Grateful for my kids

Happy New Year! I didn't go to bed until 3:00 am, but I went to bed sober :)

Today I am grateful for my two kids, ds age 20 and dd age 24. Neither one likes to drink, and didn't last night. They are both so encouraging and inspirational to me. I would have been getting wasted on New Year's Eve at their age (and for the following 25+ years). The both have so much insight when it comes to not allowing a drug to determine how good of a time you have. They are also so supportive of my sobriety. They are both very proud of me, and tell me all the time. My dd said (to my sister), "We like sober Mom better." I like the sober me better as well. I am a better version of myself.

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