Sunday, June 9, 2019

Peace with the Past

I've made some headway this week regarding some emotional issues of my past.  I was in turmoil about some things that date all the way back to college experience, loss of my marriage and unacknowledged fears I have.

Everything bubbled up this week.  I think not drinking can do that to you.  It's probably why I allowed myself a few nights of wine again.  Not even near tipsy but as always still a bit bummed that I use that to cope.  Such a different place though now and different perspective of what I'm doing.

There is no more longing to be a normal drinker, there is just a hyper-awareness of alcohol as a vice that I would like to be free of someday.  It's getting pushed away more and more now which feels good.

This week I had to face some facts about my past.  I've always wondered why I still grieve the loss of my marriage.  It's been almost 10 years.  I suppose it's natural to hang on to some feelings of "being wronged".  I've always had a hard time of that.

But, since my ex and I met in college, I realize that I have been tremendously grieving the loss of shared history.  That I would have done things very different in college had I not been with him.  I would have formed other bonds, experienced more activities.  Instead I attached myself to his hip as a means of getting through it all.  I had been extremely homesick as a young girl heading across the country to school.  Meeting the ex was a distraction, suddenly made the experience fun and worth something.

I realized this week that I wasn't grieving the loss of the person.  Afterall, I really love the dude I'm with.  We are much more compatible in so many ways.  So much more natural in how we relate to each other, so much more real.  I realized that the loss of my marriage, that loss of shared history, made my time at school during those years seem invalid.  Everything we had done together and then on into married life seemed pointless to where I am now.   I isolated myself from others in college to be with him.  Such wasted time.....

But then I reminded myself, it wasn't wasted.  I got my wonderful son out of that deal.  So even though I have thoughts about what I would have done different in college, what I could have done different in my life, I wouldn't change a thing about my son.

Acknowledging that I could have done things different in college and still had my son was a big step.  It wasn't my ex's fault that I latched on to him.  My decisions were my own.  The decisions I made during our marriage were all my own.  I am where I am due to me, not him. topic....

The hubs has gotten into horses and that was the "fear" I dealt with this week.  I have resisted getting back involved.  He goes off and does his horse thing......and I stay at home.  I couldn't really figure out why I pushed it away.  I'm supportive of him doing it.  The hubs is 53 and discovered horses at 51.  As far as mid life crises go, it's pretty cool.  Never thought I would see him become a fanatic about a 4 legged beast.

I realized this week that I stopped riding when I was younger due to fear.  The instructor was a bitch, let me just say that.  She intimidated the hell out of me.  I realize that some people respond to being pushed...I am not one of them.  I need to come around to something in my own way, on my own schedule.  (hmmm.....kind of like dealing with drinking ya think?)  If someone tells me to stop something, I'll have a tendency to do the opposite.  Major changes in my life take time and have to come from deep inside me.  Anyway, it was time to start cantering over jumps.  And I quit.  She was pushing hard, I was feeling fear.  I never jumped again.  I never rode again other than trail rides.

Last summer the hubs got me back on a horse with a private lesson while we were on vacation.  I not only rode, I cantered for the first time in 30 years.  I was stressed but exhilarated.  I haven't tried jumping again, not sure I will.  Then I pushed it away again.  The hubs is now, after 2 years, a much better rider than I ever was.  Watching him fly over jumps is amazing.  He is very competitive, he likes to push himself.  He knows more about horses than I ever would have expected.  When we are ready to own our own someday, he will be more than competent to handle it.  Watching him do what I have been too scared to do freaked me out.  I am jealous, I admit.

It was something I had done, that he hadn't.  Now he has and is better at it than me.  Lol.  Petty, huh?

Dealing with all these emotions this week has been eye-opening but good.  I feel very at peace.  I'm giving thought to those college experiences and sitting with some of the sadness for what I could have done different.  I never admitted to myself how lousy I felt about my whole college experience.  When I was married to the ex, I felt great about it.  Losing the ex forced me to acknowledge how I let myself down at that time.  I don't mean by being with the ex.  I would still say that had been a good decision had it worked out and he had remained happy.  Bottom line, he became unhappy, I thought we were good enough.  Old news.  But acknowledging how I failed at what I had really wanted to accomplish was tough.  I shut out friendships with people that could have meant something to this day and I was left with the friendship of the ex, which is now lost.

I may give horses a try again, we'll see.  Remains to be seen.  I can't do anything about the college past but I can decide where horses fit in my life.  Clearly they are to be a part of it now in some way and I don't think that's going to change.  There is something to be said for equine therapy anyway.

So I leave this post with thoughts of moving forward.  I can acknowledge things I would have done different but I don't think I really have regrets afterall.  I am who I am, I have a wonderful life.

The process of unwinding from drinking requires dealing with emotions that may or may not even be something we are aware of that we are feeling.  Saying goodbye to the coping mechanism that tamps down on those feelings, enables them to bubble up.  Some quit cold turkey, some are more like me, a gradual goodbye to those drinking days - but I think dealing with who we are now is inevitable and can, frankly, be harrowing.  But like flying on the back of a horse, or flying airplanes, or sailing on the open ocean....exhilarating!

My favorite quote that I can't even give credit to one person for because it's been quoted so often:

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is gift and that's why they call it the present!!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Just the addict in me

Acknowledging my addiction has been an important part of my journey.  I no longer want to drink.  I think it's unhealthy.  I don't enjoy how it makes me feel once the "moment" has passed.  And yet I still drink.

That is addiction.  When you don't seem to be able to stop something you want to stop doing.

I had wine again last night after not having any since last Saturday.  Hmm...well I had a glass at a vendor dinner the night before and then drank a bottle with hubs last night.  I don't think this is okay.   Some might say that it's fine to drink once or twice a week but I know that's not the case for me.  When I drink I let myself down.

My sober buddy said not to beat myself up.  I think that's the issue.  I don't really beat myself up.  Today I feel a bit disappointed but I also view it almost from a 3rd party perspective.  The addict got the best of me last night, that's all.  I'm not a bad person, I don't feel lousy, I still got up at 5am, I'm still going to work out and I slept pretty well.

But, as I know, the potential for it all to have gone down different is always there, looming.

In the past, when I tried to quit and failed, I surrendered.  This time, I notice myself pulling myself back up each time and trying again.  The days of feeling better about not drinking outweigh the number of days I drink.  The drinking days are becoming fewer.  Me likey!

I'm going to simply try harder to fight off the cravings.  My sober buddy is doing great and pulls me along with awesome supportive words.

Have a happy weekend everyone!!


Monday, June 3, 2019

Risky Behavior

It's no coincidence that people try to start and stop for awhile.  Stopping drinking seems to take, in a nutshell, a realization that the risks associated with drinking are too high to continue.  It might be that a person has a personality transformation that causes relationship issues, or maybe they lost a relationship from drinking, had a major health issue or they injured themselves while drinking or injured others.  Each of us is different in what "shocks" us into not drinking ever again....but usually it is something.

I had an eye opener this past weekend.  Over Memorial day weekend, since the hubs had bought that 6 pack sampler of wine, I thought, well, hell, let's drink it up and I'll go back on the wagon.  Last Tuesday I didn't have anything as planned but on Wednesday I was faced with a few things that set me off.  My hubs is dealing with ex wife issues, still, and those issues are affecting him now career-wise.  It's very sad and understandably stressful.  We both kind of lost it, bought more wine, and just numbed out for a few evenings in a row, processing through the ramifications of past history.

I watched the escalation of my drinking back to a bottle a night.  I was almost observing it from outside my body but wasn't willing to step in and stop it.   Saturday morning, after having three evenings in a row where I went to bed while the hubs was passed out in his lounger, I said let's quit again for awhile.  He agreed.

Saturday afternoon I said, well, we might as well have wine one more night, it IS Saturday.  He ran off to the store and got us some.  Classic enabling of each other.

3 hours later I had finished the bottle and got dinner made and into the oven.  Hubs had finished his and when I had said "oh why don't you just go run and get us more?", he responsibly said he couldn't drive.  So after the dish went into the oven and he was now sitting in his lounger working, I walked out without telling anyone and went to the store.  I grabbed a few veggies and dinner rolls to make it look like I had a purpose, grabbed two more bottles of wine, one white and one red, and came home.

As I was putting dinner on the table I asked him to pour more wine.  He said we were out.  I said no, I had went and got some.  He seemed a bit surprised but opened the wine.  We ate dinner and my son never seemed to notice whatever state of inebriation I was in.   We watched our program after dinner and I drank the rest of the wine.  Hubs never finished his mind you.

This morning I found a blood alcohol counter.  I entered a bottle of wine, 25.4 ounces, over 3 hours, with 13% alcohol content and my weight.  It said .09.  Wow, just wow.

Even as I drove to the store I was berating myself saying I shouldn't be driving.  I wasn't totally out of it, but cognizant enough to be very clear in the knowledge that I was engaging in risky behavior.  I still grabbed a bunch of greens though and never bagged them, which I always do.  I grabbed sandwich rolls for dinner instead of small dinner rolls. I initially grabbed the wrong bottle of red for the hubs, ran back and ended up with a too expensive red.  Got the cheap shit white for me though!  I remember most of the evening except what happened on our show.  I had to rewatch the episode yesterday to stay caught up.

I kept telling myself that if I just focused hard on driving, I would be okay.  I wasn't weaving or anything and felt very in control but if something had happened beyond my control, someone had slammed on their brakes or ran a red light, would I have reacted okay?  Probably not.  Thinking afterwards how stupid this was gives me shivers.  It also made me wonder how many others out there on the road were just like me?  Inebriated but not out of it?

My family wouldn't even had known I left if I never made it home until dinner burned in the oven and set off the fire alarm.  My son could have lost a mother over a stupid decision to go get that extra bottle of wine.  I did the same thing about 6 months back and then dialed back on the drinking.  I stayed at 1 bottle, didn't keep more in the house and didn't go get another.  I'm not even sure what led me to go do last Saturday night.  It was part rebellion and part avoiding feeling something that I can't even put my finger on.  I'm almost overly vigilant about not ever driving after drinking.

I just got very, very lucky.  I'm not even going to focus on counting the days this time.  I'm going to be eternally grateful that I escaped a potentially horrible fate, that my son has his mom, my hubs has his wife and as yet I haven't been diagnosed with a serious illness due to the damage I have done to my body.  As horrible as that sounds, at least I would have time to say goodbye which I wouldn't have gotten on Saturday night!

I have time to clean up my act.  I'm so proud of where I've come exercise wise in the past month and am looking forward to continuing on with that.  I did make it to 3 of my classes I had said I would, just not the water one... but it has been unnaturally cold here for this time of year so I gave myself a pass on that.  I have increased my pilates membership to 2 times a week and I'm starting to do cardio around the strength training.  Maybe I can make more progress on diet over this next month.

Love and hugs to all struggling.  May you figure yourselves out sooner than I have been able to.  Having Lia as my sober buddy gives me the strength to continue and be accountable.  I had a nice evening with tea last night and son's sports over next few days will keep cravings at bay.  By Wednesday night I'll have 3 days under my belt which is usually enough to continue.

I'm keeping that stomach dropping feeling about what could have happened, that "what-if" terror, very close to me.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 26, 2019


So yesterday morning while I was feeling great, just after I posted in fact, my doorbell rang.  I was still in my jammies so I waited for the delivery guy to go away so I could sneak out and get whatever had been delivered.  But the guy wouldn't leave.

Finally I saw him start to leave with the package so I swallowed my pride and opened the door, yelling out to him.  He turned around and brought back the package that required the adult signature.  Uh oh.  Oh, honey...…????

Hubs came to door and took box.  Turns out he knew I would be at the end of my 30 days and there had been this great wine club deal.  Oh for crying out loud.  Methinks he is in denial or isn't quite understanding the issue at hand.  Not that my behavior has been particularly consistent.  So I ended up with 3 bottle of white (good bottles however wine people define that) and 3 bottles of red.

So last night I was like "open one of the fuckers and let's get it gone."  I had 2 1/2 glasses and so did he.  I'm not bummed and of course I enjoyed it but it's because we didn't go further.  I would have though, totally.  Somehow I've gotten it in my head, however, that as long as I don't open the wine bottle I'm not being bad.  So I try to convince him to.  But dude held his ground.  It was just too early on in my next 35 day declaration.  Sober buddy doesn't start again until Tuesday.  This was not her fault in any way, just my not holding myself accountable!

In Annie Grace's book, at the end of the experiment she says to video tape yourself getting drunk on a bottle of wine if you think you want to go back to drinking.  Not that I'd be stumbling down drunk but I'm sure I would see differences in thought process and motor skills.  Okay, probably not going to try that any time soon but it was an interesting idea and maybe some day I'll need to try it.

The other thing that stuck with me was how she said wine is a depressant.  That when you drink all evening and go to sleep, you never experience the depression unless you feel some of it the next day as a hangover or regret.  I've been giving that thought.  I guess that makes sense.  You have your first glass, just as you start to crash off the alcohol, you have another, and another.  No wonder we don't stop.

I'm trying to think of the last time I really stopped at just over 2 glasses.  It's been awhile.  Pretty much I had been drinking a bottle of wine or nothing at all.

So last night I did share that new bottle of wine.  I was curious, since it was a "better" bottle than I normally get, if it would taste unique.  Truly, it was pretty acidic.  But again, I didn't notice that part after the first glass.

What I did notice was how bummed out and grouchy I was to not have more wine.  I was in a really bad mood.  Not just my alcoholic inner voice throwing a tantrum but I really felt down.  The mental tantrum came first but then after dinner I was just bummed.  Nothing like the excited self I was yesterday morning or am today.  I slept fine last night but, again, I stopped drinking early and didn't wake up metabolizing too much alcohol.

On the one hand I would love to drink 2 glasses of wine a night, 4 nights a week.  But I don't think I can really stick to it.

I reworked my decision though.  I will have 2 glasses tonight and 2 glasses on Memorial Day.  Then I will embark on 35 days.  If I blog that I failed at this it will be telling.  But I'm pretty sure the only way I'll be happy with myself is to have longer and longer periods of time without drinking.

To think I can drink regularly is just pure folly.  And there is the fact that the conscious part of my brain says I'm going to get cancer of some sort, that it's poison, that I don't need to have fun etc.  I just need to keep reminding myself of this.  But for the next two nights I'm just going to quiet the squirrel brain and let it happen.  I will post what happens but I look forward to getting the wine out of the house.  When I drank on Thursday night it was with a bottle that I had been staring at the entire 30 days.  Not having that in there this time, let me tell ya!

I am going to continue my celebration of incorporating more exercise into my life even though I haven't dropped a pound.  13.5 mile bike ride today was awesome.  Such beautiful weather!  I have to figure out what I'm going to do tomorrow but I think I'm going to try a water fit class.  It's not water Zumba but at least it will get my butt in the pool and my own is still too cold to use.

I am looking forward to the next few months and more abstinence!


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Obsessions of time

Ah, sleep.  I love sleep.  I am now having such negative thoughts about alcohol in regards to sleep.  So disruptive.

Wendy commented on my last post about not acting on impulse.  It's so true and that is exactly what I did.  And I do that with a lot of things in my life, especially foods.

I feel like I am slowly giving up a poison that has been in my life a very long time.  I don't begrudge it.  It was my go-to coping mechanism and for the most part I handled it behaviorally but gosh knows what damage it has done to my body.  Or what other things I could have accomplished if not sitting down drinking for 2 to 3 hours a night.  I want to cope in other ways.

I've never really been depressed except for the few occasions I've written about before and I'm not sure if that would even be considered true depression.  I've never been without hope.  But what I do is obsess.  When I'm feeling blue I relive experiences in my past, obsessing over getting the exact timing of it right.  When did I do that?  How old was I?  What happened next?

Obsessing over past time is something I've always done.  I remember coming home in the summer after 5th grade after visiting my aunt and uncle.  I had so much fun that week!  I grew up on the west coast and they live back east.  I flew by myself and stayed with them, driving all over New England, going to natural rock water slides, hiking, etc.  I came home and was so incredibly bummed to be home.  Cried all the time.  I loved my home but I had just had soo much fun!  I spent the next week with the blues, obsessing over exactly what I had been doing at exactly what time the week before.

I used to do that a lot about vacations.  I did that a lot more in my 20s and it calmed down in my 30s.  By then, when I went on vacations, even now, I have a great time but when it's time to go home, I'm usually ready.  Ready to rejoin the reality of my life.

After going through a divorce, something I never thought would happen to me, of being left by someone I thought was my soulmate, I started obsessing about times past.  Even though I moved on with someone else and was happy.   The obsessing isn't necessarily about the Ex.  More about times we had.  I can spend an entire morning, traipsing around the house, cleaning and/or doing laundry, while talking internally myself.  I'll rehash some period of time and run through it beginning to end, as much as I can remember.  I'll struggle to get all the memories in the right order.

It might be a trip I took or took with the Ex.  It might be about a party I went to.  It might be a traumatic time like finding about an affair he had and then putting all the circumstances around it in order.  Unfortunately with those memories it's like I'm getting a buzz about reliving the trauma of the emotions surrounding those memories.  I might obsess over trying to remember what I wore, or what did the hotel room look like, or what book was I reading at the time.  I literally can waste hours absorbed not in the present, but in those past experiences.

Once I go through this and put the thoughts in order for whatever experience I am reliving, I tend to feel exhausted but refreshed.  I move on.  I always wonder if anyone else ever does this.  I have friends that can't remember specific details about past events and they focus only on the here and now.  Wow, wouldn't that be nice.

I bring this up because I realized yesterday that I was doing this all day again.  But I haven't really done that in the past 30 days while not drinking.  But, sure enough, I was a little blue yesterday and wasted a lot of time on non-essential past thoughts.  I'm turning 50 this fall and I literally spent hours yesterday trying to recreate exactly what I had been doing when I was 39 at this time of year.

Back when I was 39, the ex and I were working on our marriage.  We had a lovely summer.  A year later he had left, I had met someone new and he was meeting my son for the first time over Memorial Day weekend.  I think this would have been a normal passing thought but I even wasted time going through my archived emails, reliving what was going on in my life 9 and 10 years ago.  I didn't get my house cleaned, I didn't get the bills paid.

When I do this, I think it's my version of depression.  Of handling the blues.  It was kind of eye opening to realize I was doing that for so long yesterday after drinking the night before.  It was eye opening to realize how exhausting it was.  It was eye opening to realize I hadn't done that for awhile and yet it used to be part of my everyday living

When I don't drink and I wake up refreshed, I look forward to moving on with my day.  To accomplish things.  I don't get stuck in the past.  Yesterday I couldn't make myself pay bills.  I barely did some laundry and dishes.  I knew I wanted to go to Yoga today but thought oh I probably won't go.

But today I am looking forward to that yoga class!  I feel good.  I'm about to go make breakfast, then pay some bills and then try the yoga.  I wrote before about my goals for exercise.  That I was going to do a yoga class, a Zumba class, a water or water Zumba class, and a spin class.  After today I'll just have that water class left and I'm determined to try and get that in during the month of May!

It feels good to leave the past in the past today.  It was just another a-ha moment to realize that a lot of that came from the blues that accompanied the letdown after drinking.   During drinking I'm dreamy and think of the future, but the next day I obsess over the past.  Interesting.  Probably something deeper in all that but, frankly, who gives a shit?  Time to go make breakfast!!


Friday, May 24, 2019


I had wine last night BUT I didn't like the experience.  Seriously.  Yay!!

Here's how it went down...

I fought through the normal craving earlier in the evening, 5-ish.  I had a work call at 6:30 that lasted an hour and completely drained me.  It went nowhere.

I checked the clock and saw it was 7:45.  Even had the thought that it was too late to want wine anyway.  Sure as shit at almost the exact time I thought that, my voice says to hubs in the other room "want some wine?".

He hasn't been totally AF but had been drinking a lot less.  He would have a whiskey but then drink AF stuff with me the rest of the evening.   Geez, he had that wine on the table before I could get it out of my mouth that I had no idea why I said what I said.  He had opened a bottle.

I had a momentary thought of just giving it to him but then decided to make an experiment out of it.  I did want to sit down and talk about our day, after all.  So I sipped my glass really slowly.

During the first glass I noticed:
1) It tasted horrible.  Asked the hubs if we always drank this shit?
2) Within about 3 sips I could feel the warmth in my chest.  Wow, amazing how fast it has effect.

Hubs kept refilling his glass so I ended up with two glasses from the bottle.  He was starting to show effects from his.

After the second glass I noticed:
1) I didn't really notice the taste
2) My thoughts started becoming real dreamy-like.  Talking future planning etc.
3) I noticed hubs was starting to look weird.  I could really see his motor skills being affected.

Hubs opened a second bottle at my urging but he drank most of it.  I had one glass.  Have to admit that was a much better bottle but hard to know if the wine really was better or my tastebuds were numb.

Hubs thoughts started wandering and even I was having trouble staying on point.  Hubs was pretty tipsy.  We went to bed around 11pm, late for us.

I slept like shit!  I wasn't really beating myself up but I couldn't get back to sleep.  I guess I slept from 11 to about 2:30 and then no more.  ICK!  Woke up this morning and just thought "who needs this shit".  I could have had the same fun conversation with an AF wine or beer or fizzy water and been just frickin fine AND slept amazing.

I am so glad I did that!  I was like a wound spring after 30 days.

I came up with a sort of plan that I ran by my sober buddy last week.  Turns out it was actually what Annie Grace was recommending at the end of her book which I hit on Monday and Tuesday.  She obviously doesn't recommend drinking but has a few options for those who want to go back to it.

I will refer to it as my Ferber method of not drinking.  I have no desire to drink, in fact, I really, really, want to NOT drink.  I'm just battling those addictive feelings but there is no underlying reason for me to drink.  I don't need it, don't want it, don't like I how I feel with it and don't need it to be social.  It's simply my go-to thing when I am tired/stressed.

As a parent I used the Ferber method with my young son.  He screamed in his crib when I put him down, I left the room, I came in periodically and patted him and kissed him and left the room again.  There were various increments to this process but the idea was that he would learn self-soothe.  And he did.  And my life was easier.

I'm building this method in to my not drinking.  I realize that there will come times when I just need to "pop" or drink wine at home.  If I don't declare when I am not drinking, however, I will cave to that need.  So what's going to work well for me is to do gradually longer and longer increments.  I did 15 days.  Then I did 30, now I'm doing at least 35 more.  After that if I need to prove to myself again that I don't want wine, then okey dokey, I'll do it again.  I'll self soothe if need be but then move back to sobriety.  The next go around will be 40.  I may or may not have that wine in between.  The difference now is that I don't view it so much as a reward, just something bad that I might do and may need to do to reinforce why I don't want to drink at home.

I'm also going to continue to celebrate total days without alcohol even if they aren't consecutive.  I'm going to use my sober buddy and fight like hell through the cravings so I don't cave.  I'm also going to resist that rebellious voice that says "go on, just do it!"  I may have a glass of wine with family when they visit or at a friends house.  Again, that's not where my issue is.  If I can not be awkward and decline, I'll do that first.  But I know I'll be having it only to avoid the questions if I don't have any.

I was feeling under the weather yesterday but today feel a lot better.  My son has been sick so I'm hoping I fend off whatever crud he has.  Went to exercise today and looking forward to not drinking tonight!!!  I really wanted to take the time to write this down so that I have a record of this.  I added a drinking tab back onto my blog in addition to my exercise tab.  At least exercise is going pretty well!  Now, hopefully I start to lose some weight!!


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Familiarity breeds contempt.....if you aren't careful...

This article was just funny timing based upon my last post but very good I thought!

or use this link

It made me really think and give me some new ways to frame some of my relationship frustrations.

It also reminded me of Gottman's Four Horses that will kill a relationship:

Those are worth reading about.

I'm too critical, sometimes show contempt for his habits, I'm not defensive and I rarely stonewall.

He is not very critical, nevers shows me contempt, is very defensive and has been known to stonewall.

What a pair we are!

This link, for anyone interested is a good description of each and the antidote for each:

The above relationship stuff is a good example of what I want to still work on.  Lately, I've been moderately grouchy and have crossed some lines in criticism and contempt.  Fortunately the hubs has been very patient knowing I am trying not to drink but also am going through peri menopause.  Bless his heart.  Time for me to rein it in and regroup though!

I have now finished 30 days, today being Day 31.  I feel like a baby still in pre-school, just testing the waters of kindergarten.

I know I'm not ready to drink and don't want to.  I'm sure I'll test the waters at some point but right now I have so many other things about me that I want to explore that, while having nothing to do with drinking, will never get explored if drink every day and numb any feelings.

I must say I am really proud that I did the 30 days, many days only due to sober buddy Lia, and have had 45 evenings of the past 52 without any alcohol!  That is definitely a record since 2016.

Onward ho!