My Lists

Monday, June 26, 2017

Out of body feeling

I'm in a different place, and I think I like it.

I never used to really moderate.  I always could if I went out, but when I started this blog it was because night after night I was drinking way too much at home, often resulting in a blackout. While I "functioned" I was really worried about what would happen if I went to sleep, basically passed out at that point, and we had some sort of emergency.

I started blogging to document my abstinence, not to document moderation.

Oh, I always got up in the morning, sometimes even exercised, made lunch for school, did the school drop off, worked, grocery shopped, made dinner, did the dishes, said goodnight to son, made love with husband and went to sleep.  It's the latter part of the evening, though, that even though I did it, I didn't always remember it.  I had too many evenings not remembering the next day that I did tuck my son in and too many mornings where I asked "Honey, did we....?"

I had a few incidents where my son knew I had been drinking and that really bummed me out.  I don't want him to see that.  But even in my full blown alcohol use, those still weren't very frequent.

My nights were full of mid night waking up, being up for hours, and feeling groggy in the morning.  I would get irritated easily at my husband over things I shouldn't because the bigger issues, that I had a right to stress about, weren't being dealt with by my mind as I numbed them out, pushed them away, every evening.

This past year I have come to peace with a lot of the stress in my life and I have observed myself on how I handle it.  Sometimes I work through it without alcohol, sometimes I don't.

It's as if I am standing outside my body, evaluating how I am doing as I am drinking.  I had a friend over Friday night, hubby was out of town, and she had a glass of red before dinner, I had a glass of white.  We had dinner with ice water and then we each had a glass of red after dinner.  We nursed those drinks for a few hours and she left close to 10pm.

Then, Saturday night we were dealing with a very stressful situation with my husband's daughter whom he was off visiting.  I was here, he was gone, but the issue was stressful to both of us.  Heartbreaking actually.  I rarely drink alone anymore and I downed a bottle of white that I didn't even know we had.  It was mixed in on the same shelf as my Pellegrino.  I do remember going to bed but felt like poop yesterday morning.

Last night he came home, exhausted so I had two glasses of red with him.  I really don't like red so clearly just drink it to numb.  I slept great and got up early today.

I guess I'm writing all this down because I feel like emotionally I am detaching from wine. I'm having more evenings where I'm having wine "just because" and less "I need to".  As long as I keep drinking, I see the risk for evenings like Saturday night where I say "fuck it".

I want to get to a place where I am dealing with stress without alcohol.  As opposed to saying "I quit for good" my next goal is to identify the next evening where I "need" wine and try to get through one evening of that without alcohol and see how it goes.  I'm sure anyone reading this is skeptical that I can do this and I am skeptical myself.

Again, I think alcohol is bad.  It's a crutch.  I don't see any good to it and am not one of these people that even thinks drinking "normally" is really okay.  I just have to wean myself away from it gradually and do it my way.

I've been doing well with exercise, not so great with diet, but trying, and working on alcohol consumption has just become a way of life for me now.  I like starting my day off by reading blog posts.  Even though I have stress in my life, it's all pretty artificial.  I'm in a good place, happy with my family relationships, happy with myself.  Sure I could be richer, have a better job, be Mother of the Year or Wife of the Year....but I'm okay with not being all that as well.  I'm good.  No more self loathing going on other than maybe with body image.  Trying to come to terms with the fact that I can feel so fat and hubby thinks I'm soo hot.  Bless him and his love of curves.

I find new blogs constantly and love following all the stories.  I love the optimism and hope but, above all, I love reading about the joy in the hearts of those who have given it up.  Someday for me I hope!

Here's to a great week for us all!

HD

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I'll know it when I get there.....

I haven't blogged much of late just because I seem to be in a cycle.  I start feeling really good, get some AF days behind me, blog about it, my excitement, and whammo.  It's as if my blogging becomes my self-sabotage.

So this time I'm not making any promises.  But in case anyone follows my crazy journey, here's where I am.

1) Admitting I have an issue with alcohol:  This has been such a game changer for me.  Admitting my issues, writing about them, reading about others struggles, learning about new coping tools, has opened my eyes to a brand new world.

2) Admitting I'm not perfect:  When I first quit last year I thought "ha, this was so much easier than I thought".  I got cocky.  I must not be that bad off.  But when I started drinking again, I realized that I have, probably always have had and probably always will have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.  So knowing that about myself and admitting it has given me a platform, a basis, from which to look at my life.

3) Drunk research:  I've been trying different things, doing different things.  I have definitely realized that white wine is the witch for me.  I can still drink too much with red wine but I had to laugh recently.  I had an evening where every sip I was thinking "yuck, gosh this stuff tastes horrible" and yet I kept drinking it.  If I swap out and stick a bottle of sparkling water next to me, I'll keep pouring but be a lot better off.  Friday night I didn't drink anything.  Last night I had one real beer followed by one AF beer followed by 2 glasses of water while we had company over.  Wasn't any big deal.  But I know if they had brought white wine and opened it the night could have gone very different.  Learning about my triggers has been something I've really focused in on during the last year.  Yes, I promise to not drink anymore and then, yes, I still do.  BUT I keep getting better and better.  I have had my moments but nothing earth shattering, just slight slips back into my old world.  I recognize that if I don't stick with this journey, other, bad things, are possible.

4) Exercise and weight management:  I've realized how important this is to my not needing to drink at night.  When I feel lousy about myself, there I go, down the drain in the evening.  It's much easier to not drink when things feel in balance both on and off the scale.

5) Emotional well being:  I've been focusing on that and amp'ing up my work in this area.  A few visits again to my therapist smacked me out of my hormonal gloom.  I'm working on meditation and well being exercises and hope to add yoga to my toolbox soon.

So baby steps.  I follow the sober blogs and love reading how joyful everyone sounds who truly made the big step to go fully alcohol-free.  It probably sounds strange to say that I identify with being a non drinker now.  Go figure.  I think, I hope, as I get further into that identity, I will also drink less and less.  I also enjoy reading about others who aren't quite there yet and are feeling all the same thoughts I have.

I don't know when I'll come to end of this journey or how it will resolve but hopefully I'll know it when I get there! This community has become a part of my life and a part of my day.  I make time for it in some capacity each day.  I think staying aware and engaged regarding alcohol is only a good thing!

HD

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

White-Out

In the midst of research.....what do I know?  (Just an update for me and for anyone who is reading and wondering how this crazy approach to not drinking is going.....)

1) I like myself a lot better when I don't drink any alcohol.
2) I still feel too weak to think about forever
3) My main goal for starting to blog just over a year ago was to change my dangerous habit.  I have, quite a bit, but as long as I drink there is risk.  I realize this.
4) Am I willing to keep that risk in my life?  Not sure
5) Do I think alcohol is really good in any way?  No, not really.  It's just a bad thing that is hard to resist.  (Glad I never smoked as I think that habit would be incredibly tough to kick!)

I had family in town and went 4 days not drinking.  Hubby didn't either.  Then we both had red wine Monday night and last night.  Monday night we drank too much.  No incidence per se... I think we each had a bottle over the course of about 4 hours, but still too much.

Last night the evening seemed dreary.  I felt he needed to unload some feelings a bit.  I suggested wine.  We drank a bottle and 1/4 of red.  He had more, I had two glasses.  But it opened him up.  We had a great discussion.  I learned things about him I didn't know.

This is my quandary.  I enjoy evenings like that.  I have to say both evenings were at my instigation.  He was going without but then lept at my suggestions to have wine.  We enable each other, clearly.  We have been drinking buddies.  This is new territory.  We are figuring it out.

We are also in therapy. I should say I am in therapy and he is participating as needed.  He is very willing and we have some communication issues to work through.  We both know this but love each other tons.  Giving myself some room to not be perfect is okay with me right now in both the relationship and with quitting drinking.  As long as I see improvement, subtly, in both areas, I'm good.

For now my only rule is no white wine at the house.  If I go out to dinner sometime I might have one glass.  That's easy because I don't want to drive with more.  If I absolutely cave at home, it will be red.  Yuck.  Don't really like it but I can stomach it.  Keeps me from drinking too much I guess.  Hope I don't start liking it! I don't drink hard alcohol nor even beer because, for me, the AF beer tastes fine and I don't like liquor.

So that's all I'm doing right now, living in my white-out world.  I like my new means of counting so am still keeping track.  I think I need to to keep that external accountability in place.  Something to refer to.  So today it's:

7:2 (1)

7 days since I started tracking, 2 days I drank of that and today is a day 1 since I drank last night.

I'm sorry I'm not 100% sober like many of the rest of you.  I think the folks who blog the most are successful but there may be many readers like me, who aren't exactly where they want to be.  For those of you, it's okay.  As long as we are all making more forward progress than reverse, I think that is acceptable.  I want to be one of those folks who are over 100 days but maybe not quite badly enough yet. It's still a goal however.  So great to read the blogs from those people, so inspiring!  

Happy hump day.....Wednesday here.

HD

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What is normal anyway?

Nope, haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  Just got overwhelmed with stress that took various forms.  Family being part of it but other stuff has been going on that I needed to work through regarding career, finance and relationships.  I have come through to a better place (not perfect because it's not alcohol free), but when I'm in that state I cannot blog.  It's probably a good sign I was motivated to write down my thoughts today......they must be floating like feathers out of the birds nest of noise/thoughts in my head.

When family came to town, I had a decision to make.  Drink or not drink?  Despite my Easter commitment, I basically threw my hands up in the air, punted, and there I went. We've had 3 waves of relatives visiting.  The 3rd wave is arriving this Thursday.

With one exception....Have I had more than two glasses over an evening? Yes.  Remember everything? Yes.  Dinner on the table?  Yes.  Dishes done and kitchen full cleaned up?  Yes.  Enjoyed conversation after dinner?  Yes.  Went to bed at a decent hour?  Yes.

Woke up in the middle of the night?  Yes, unfortunately that is a by product of drinking for me.
Feel fat?  Very... feeling totally unhealthy.

Many people I know would look at my evenings over the past few weeks and say "did you tune out and relax?" Yes.  "Did you make a fool of yourself?"  No.  They would say "then what is the problem?"

One night, though, amidst the "regular that isn't really normal" drinking, I did drink too much. Interestingly enough it was between wave 1 and 2 and I know my son noticed.  He said "mom you should stop yourself".  Ouch.  Yep, he's right of course.  Do I have a problem with alcohol?  Obviously.

I think it's a problem, no matter at what level anyone might define normal drinking, if I, alone, THINK it's a problem.  And I do.
- I think I drink too much over an evening to be considered healthy
- It disrupts my sleep
- I'm always at risk for those evenings like the one I had
- I do get things done but I might be more motivated to get more done

The kicker is, however, THAT I DON'T WANT TO BE DRINKING.

I think this is the real key.  I have spent a lot of time trying to analyze if I can drink "normally" or not but that's really not the issue.  (Someone coined it Drunk Research....appropriate.)  The only reason I want to drink normally is to get out of having to stop drinking.  But I still really would prefer to be alcohol free.  I drink "normally" most of the time. Well.... I can drink without getting drunk very often, let's put it that way.  (This is still incredible progress from a year ago.)  Is that normal?  Probably not.  But do I want to be drinking?  Not really.  It's just easier to drink than not.  Then again, it's easier to eat like crap than diet.  Sometimes I just need to say "I have to do this" for my own health.

I don't even really feel like I'm missing out when I don't drink.  I'm fine in social situations and can say I'm not drinking for this reason or for that without a big bother.  The debate is solely with me in my head, about what I want, not what others might think of me.

Right after my last blog post the peri-menopause hit again.  It was like running into a brick wall.  I have had hot flashes constantly for the past 3 weeks and I am constantly tired.  (Had this last summer when I wasn't drinking and it sucked then too.  This time I tried to drink through it....bad idea)  Also my emotions, poor hubby, have been all over the map.  Bless his heart he is coping well.  I think he liked that I was drinking this time and calming down at night.  His honeymoon is over, though.  I need to deal with this new reality and do it alcohol free.  Wish me....and him, ha!...luck. Never fear, I met with my therapist last week and husband was all for the cost of weekly sessions for awhile to get me through this.

Let's face it, nobody comes to these blogs and reads for shits and giggles about people giving up alcohol without wanting to change their own relationship with alcohol as well.  I think my biggest motivator is going to be health and that's what I'm going to focus on.  A Better Path posted this ARTICLE LINK today that really hit home about the effects of alcohol on the health of women.  I wish I could say I was ready!  But....I have a little more drunk research to do.  Stay tuned though, I think you'll find me back at square one pretty soon.  As they say.... relapses are just reinforcements to implement more permanent change.  And reading everyone's blog posts are pretty damn convincing!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Counting, counting, counting



18:2 (1)

I have a love hate relationship with counting.  Last fall after my 125 days, I started keeping track of my drinking.  I got agitated with all the logging I was doing for that and for exercise so I stopped. Unfortunately when I tried to move my counting detail out of my blog, I cut it out, got distracted and never pasted it anywhere else.  So then I lost it completely.  I really wish I could refer back to that, to see the escalation as it occurred.

I don't appear able ready  committed to this sober thing yet.  I like my sober days much more than when I drink wine though.  To me "sober" is synonymous with "not drunk" so I also have a hard time using the word because I can still drink too much wine to be healthy without being drunk.  Last night, though, I started down the drunk path, definitely was not sober.

Horrible sleep and small headache until about 4am.  No issues this morning per se but I am really tired. I feel like every time I drink now I am saying goodbye to it.  It's as if I am trying to get it out of my system.

Yesterday hubby had a really rotten day on many fronts, poor guy.  We have family coming to visit over the next week so he marched out to stock up on wine.  It's his family so this was more about fortitude than being a well prepared host.

I was cooking dinner and he came in with a glass of wine which I hadn't asked for.  I kept staring at it and then was like "what the heck".  Then we got into an argument over something stupid.  I think we were both stressed and itching for a fight.  We did make up but drank a bunch in between.  I pretty much remember heading to bed but it's fuzzy.  Yuck.

I'm just going to keep trudging along.  I'm not going to stop blogging, not going to stop counting.  I can still celebrate that I have only drunk twice in 18 days.  So I'm tracking 18 days since I came back to really wanting to focus on my drinking, drank 2 times and am on a new Day 1!

HD

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Tide, it is a-changing!

Day 15:1

I had a good day yesterday, back to enjoying my mocktails.

I had been reading my posts from year ago when I quit drinking.  It's funny, for some reason on Friday I didn't read my last year's Day 13.  I clearly went down the same path only last year I avoided the crush of the wine voice.  Ahhh, If I had only read that post before Friday night!  Well, hindsight they say is......

This time around feels a lot different.

Last year:
I felt like I was drinking too much.  I was getting fat, unhealthy.  I needed to prove to myself I could quit.  It was a game.  Once I got to 125 days I was ready to go back to normal drinking. I knew I would be able to handle it after resetting my internal drinking self. I was done with my game.  I hadn't lost the weight but that was okay, so I started exercising and working on that aspect of my life as a way to balance things out.  I worked on other issues I had so that I wouldn't want to drink.   I probably wouldn't even want it anymore.  Oh, I had heard all about the potential for relapse but that wasn't going to be me.  I would still drink but never back to the levels of my old self.

What I found:
Okay, with a little control I kept myself from going embarrassingly drunky-drunk over the next 8+ months.  But only by the skin of my teeth.  I still found I was drinking too much to be healthy, wasn't productive and still wasn't fully present in my life.  I fixed a lot of things and became so much more settled with my life so I couldn't understand why I still felt compelled to drink a whole bottle.  Sure, I have some stresses in my life but nothing big, nothing unmanageable.  I'm not anxious, not depressed....but I am bored.  I suppose that can be just as dangerous.  Time to work on that.

This time:
It feels different.  There is still the pull to "just have some" of course but it feels like such a negative thought.  It's not a game anymore.  I like myself better sober.  I'm really trying to figure out the "boredom" thing.

What drinking does for me is let me dream.  The stress of not being exactly where I want to be in life is swept away by dreaming about where I could be someday.  The fanciful thoughts come rolling in, relaxing me.

I am happy with my man and happy being a mom.  I love both of those relationships.  I didn't realize how unhappy I was with my ex until I met this guy.  So all good there.

I just need to find my purpose.  I'm bored.  Time to not drink away the boredom.

Last year not drinking was a challenge.  This year it's more of a choice.  I may have some backslides but it's a whole different feeling.  Last year I didn't let myself slip and then when I did, I didn't acknowledge it as that.  This year, every time I drink, it will be a slip.  There is no more calling it drinking normally.  I don't want to drink, so if I do, it's a completely negative process.

I suppose this change of mindset is called forward progress.

HD

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Practice makes perfect..... 14:1

Well, last night, there went that wine bottle.  After feeling so good about myself from the evening before, I'm not even sure why I said to hubby, "can you please open the white for me?"  If it hadn't been in the house, I know I would have had him make a run for some.

(I can certainly make him more of a policeman but I don't feel that role is healthy.  I feel strongly that I need to own my own relationship with wine. And...If he changes his own habits I want it to be because he wants to and not because I nag him.)

He was drinking his red, I initially had a diet coke.  I felt like a pressure cooker.  I didn't really even want wine last night but all the "you shouldn't" "you can't" "you don't want it" voices in my head got too loud.  I just wanted to silence everything.  I hate being told I can't do something, even if it's me telling myself! So I had the wine.  It felt like rebellion more than a need.  I wasn't even very stressed.  I had gotten a lot done work-wise and I was feeling better financially after working through some accounts.

I didn't get drunk, I made dinner, I remember everything, I went to bed.  But I didn't stop at a glass or two....had to drink the whole damn thing over the evening.   Then, of course, I was awake, hardly slept and was just thoroughly annoyed at myself.  Drank water on and off all night long.

I'm not going to stop counting.  Heck, if I get through a long period of time and mess up very occasionally, I'm okay with that.  Every time I drink is a reminder of what I don't want as a daily part of my life.   In the not too distant past I couldn't possibly fathom going 12 days without any alcohol.

I'm just going to keep a tally on the right side of my counting to show any nights I had wine out of the total.  So today is Day 14 and I drank once in two weeks.  14:1  This will help keep me accountable.

It's funny, I thought I would hate sharing this but I'm pretty happy.  No self-loathing, just irritation at the continued realization that if I drink I won't stop until the bottle is gone.  This is why I am here blogging, because I, like most everyone else perusing these blogs, can't drink "normally" - darn it - whatever normal is.

Happy Weekend everyone!

HD