Friday, August 2, 2019

8/2/19 - Sober and so much happier

I haven't blogged in a while because...well...I haven't needed to. I haven't really even thought about drinking and when I do, it is a fleeting thought. The thought "drinking would be fun right now" is quickly replaced with "that is your addiction talking and it would only feel fun while you are feeding it. It wouldn't be fun later and it isn't worth it." And then I have fun without it. Here is what I have noticed has changed over the last 14 months of sobriety about my weekend/vacation self...the times when I would have been drinking but am now sober.

I am calmer. Do I woop it up, get super loud, overly energetic and want to stay up until all hours so I can continue drinking? Not anymore. Although sometimes I still do get a bit crazy and silly which I didn't know was possible sober. I have a calm, relaxing time, have real conversations and go to bed when I am tired. I am still a bit of a hyper, Type A personality, but now I can tone it down when it might be annoying other people. Alcohol would just ramp it up and then make me not care who I was annoying or worse - keep me from realizing I was even being obnoxious. I look at people in this state now and think, "Wow, they probably don't even realize how loud and annoying they look." I didn't. I don't judge them, it is more of a bizarre fascination with how I used to be.  When I was buzzed I just thought everyone else was right there with me and I was the shit and everyone loved me. I am not so sure that was the case now. It is weird how alcohol makes you completely unaware of everyone else's perception of you. I know everyone likes's not that..I just am not sure everyone thought I was as cool as I thought I was.  I couldn't see when I was annoying. I can still be annoying but am better at recognizing it and changing it. I am so much more self-aware.

I am less selfish. I used to be primarily concerned with me and my drinking on the weekends or during vacation. It didn't matter what anyone else wanted to do. If I wanted to stay up, or play cards, or sing my music way too loud, or not eat at a certain restaurant bc they didn't serve alcohol, or had to eat right now (really bc I wanted to drink) or watch a movie or didn't matter what everyone else wanted. My buzzed brain made sure it happened at the expense of listening to or caring about what anyone else wanted. The weird part is that when I was doing all of that it took me so long to realize that I was only trying to drink more. I used to say things like, "You guys are all babies. Please don't get tired. Here have another drink. Let's do something. That will wake you up (even though it was midnight)." I am so much more in tuned now to the wishes of the group. I respect everyone else so much more. I couldn't see that I was being selfish. I can still be selfish but am better at recognizing it and changing it.  I am so much more self-aware.

I am more confident. I can speak my mind now without people thinking "Oh she is just buzzed. She is just being difficult." When I feel a certain way or want to do something, I can now say it because it is truly what I want. I can also set boundaries more easily. If someone wanted to me to help them or do something on a Sunday, I can now say no without worrying that they just think I have a hangover. If I truly don't want to do it, I don't. The reality, though, is that I am way more willing and able to help with things now that I don't have hangovers. I have always been confident but when it came to drinking and dealing with my hangovers it was more of a smokescreen. When I really felt like shit about myself, I had to make it seem to everyone else that I was fine by overcompensating my self-confidence. I am also more confident in sharing my feelings. I can truly say how I feel without it being caused by me being overly sensitive which alcohol always contributed to. I couldn't see how my self-worth was suffering. I am so much more self-aware.

I feel so much better physically.  My heart palpitations are gone. My panic attacks in the middle of the night are gone. My night sweats are mostly gone. My sleep is so much better. My anxiety is substantially lower, and my depression is pretty much gone. I don't feel super great all the time and I don't have my super high-highs that alcohol brought but I do not go to the low-lows anymore either. I am just at kind of steady. I am learning to find joy and happiness in life without the aid of a drug. I go to bed when I am tired, I get up without hangovers and just do life. I still have a ways to go in terms of working out, doing yoga, meditating and cleaning up my diet, but I feel so much healthier than when I was drinking. My digestive system thanks me every day that I don't drink. And I have lost 17 pounds in the last year, just from not drinking.

I am so much more productive. I used to spend countless hours in my dark office researching, reading, contemplating, analyzing,  obsessing and blogging about my entire weekends and summers. It was agonizing, debilitating and a complete waste of time. This summer I remodeled my kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, living areas. I was my own general contractor and was super busy. It still wasn't all that healthy as I wasn't sleeping more than 5 hours a night, wasn't eating well and wasn't working out but it felt so much better than sitting in that hole of depression that I called my study which was dark red with oversized oak furniture. My office is now bright and open with a minimal amount of furniture. No more hiding from the world...from myslef.

I am now on vacation and haven't had the urge to drink at all. Finally!

My goals for the next year involve improving my self-care - eating well, working out, doing yoga, and just letting myself be a book. I need to work on not always having to feel so busy. Not feeling guilty when I am not doing anything. Not always feeling like there is so much to do I need to do it right now.