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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!


Friday, April 28, 2017

FriDAY 13

Last night I fought through a huge craving and won!  YES!  One day at a time, one 2 hour cocktail hour at a time.....

I still have that bottle of white wine in my fridge - I know many recommend getting rid of it - but somehow it's good for me.  I look at it nightly and think through drinking the whole thing.  I never did that before.  Having it already here forces me to think.  Before I would get all the wine out of the house and then slip and ask hubby to pick up some.  He would and then I would struggle but say to myself, "well I have to drink it because I made him stop for it!"

Every evening now, instead of spending energy on figuring out how to get it into my house, I am forced to confront the question of whether or not I am going to drink that night and why.  It's an interesting thought process for sure.  I definitely miss coming home and knowing I can crack open a bottle of white and tune out.  I don't miss what comes with it though.

Thursday I did fine.  I had a couple of shortbread cookies in early afternoon and 2 mocktails in the evening.

Yesterday, though, oh boy!  Hubby got home from his trip early afternoon and we had to discuss and deal with some things in regard to his ex wife.  She just does stuff that doesn't make sense and costs us a lot of money when it didn't have to.  Financially I was feeling that we were being flushed down the toilet again.  I wanted to drink that wine so bad!

I ate 12 squares of Cadbury early afternoon.  Then I had two mocktails with hubby while, of course, he drank red wine because he was stressed.  I didn't have to ask him to go get white wine because I had it.  All the voices played in my head....why not have a glass?  Really, does it count if I cheat with one glass but then abstain?

I asked hubby if it would matter if I had just one glass.  He said why don't I wait until after dinner and see how I feel.  I actually said "well, I know I won't want it then".  Ha.  Even listening to myself sounded stupid.  He went out and got chinese food and we ate.  Then I said "I really want a glass of wine".  He just kind of looked at me.  I said, "I know, it's not your decision, it's mine."  Then I realized it was 7:15 and I just said "oh forget it, it's too late and I'm tired anyway."  We went to bed by 8:30 since he was exhausted from his travels too.

I woke up this morning very grateful I didn't drink anything.

Why didn't I drink?  A few reasons:

1) I had had 12 f'ing squares of Cadbury.  Right there that's 342 calories.  Then I had 2 mocktails....another 60 calories.  402 calories, all to avoid, say 3 glasses of wine, which the way I pour would have been about 360 calories.  Shit, I couldn't down 762 total and be okay with that!!!
2) I kept thinking how I would sleep that night if I drank......lousy.
3) I've been doing really well with my daily walks and I wanted to get up and feel good in the morning like I had been.
4) The only reason I wanted to drink was because I felt edgy.  I was irritated we were constantly put into this position by this crazy wombat.  I just wanted to numb out and relax.
5) I texted a friend who encouraged me to keep going.  It was truly a lifeline!

I never really relaxed while awake and I wasn't in the greatest mood toward my hubby who had just returned home from his voyage..... but I did sleep pretty well despite everything.....and I think he understood.

I still can't see forever.  This is definitely going to be a decision that is made nightly and just for that night.  Even typing this at 8:30 am, I can feel the pull for this evening.  Having that bottle sit there is tough but it's making me own the situation.  I can't blame anyone else for getting the wine for me.  This is my decision and mine alone.  I'm not ready to drink again.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day 11: New Addiction

I am becoming addicted to my mocktail.  Last night I had two large glasses while talking to a friend on the phone and I remember the whole conversation, go figure!  I even had that sense of urgency to go pour another glass, just like I would have done with the bottle of wine only this time the bottle of wine on the counter was AF wine.

I really enjoy drinking this concoction.  I have a lot of the feelings that I normally associate with drinking.....peaceful, relaxed feeling, taste is just bitter enough to feel like a drink even if not quite buttery like overall sense of well being....with none of the negatives. (Well, okay AF wine and the digestive system have some challenges for me but I'm trying to balance what portions work best!)

The interesting thing is that I get full and don't feel a pull for more.  My thoughts don't start getting all random.  I'm done at a point from the winding down and can move on with my evening.  I remember what I did before bedtime!  I might wake up in middle of the night (damn dogs) but I can get right back to sleep!

Clearly, I am still using the "cocktail hour" process as a coping mechanism.  I remember doing this last time.  Because I do this, I think this is why I can't swap and ever go back to alcohol for this specific purpose.

I've never seemed to really have problems going out for dinner and having one, maybe two glasses and stopping for the evening.  I don't tend to drink too much in front of anyone other than immediate family.  

Part of this journey is defining what works for me.  Can I still have some wine without going back to it nightly?  I don't know. For now it's off the table again for awhile.

On the one hand I can see an argument to be made for not doing this.  That it's dangerous to keep the spirit of drinking, the routine, alive, even if with a non-alcoholic drink.  

On the other hand, I don't feel deprived.  I don't feel like I'm missing out.  I love sitting down and relaxing and chatting in the evenings.  I can't imagine just sitting there and doing that without some drink in hand, even water. I'm able to say I don't have the downsides of the ritual of drinking impacting me right now.

Don't get me wrong.  I still crave sucking down a glass of Chardonnay.  I'm trying to investigate why I specifically feel that way.  I think it's just that while I relax with a mocktail, I don't totally let go of my thoughts - the temptation to numb out through Chardonnay is still there.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Day 10: The beauty of the blog

I didn't think I would really have any wine cravings yesterday.  Hubby is traveling a lot so he literally flew home Sunday night and out last night again.

After I took him to the airport late afternoon, I went back to work but was hit with a wine craving.  I have that bottle of white in my refrigerator still, unopened, and that little sucker had a voice last night.  I opened the wine drawer, cursed softly at it, smacked it's bottle and grabbed the AF wine next to it.

A mocktail and a half later with dinner starting to cook I was still craving it.  I sat down, finishing my second, and perused the blogs.  Found a blogger who recounted her miss-step of the night before.

That post saved me.  It hit home.  I knew that if I started opening that bottle I would be so proud to have just one glass....but then the "oh one more won't hurt" would happen.  Then it would be easy to go to three.  Then I would just finish the whole bottle because I wouldn't want there to be any left in the house.... because I would be quitting again.....after all, it would just be that one night.

Then I would buy more white wine at the grocery store and start again when I was ready....I mean I would have already messed up so why bother, right?

After reading that blog, I felt satiated.  Somehow my craving had been satisfied.  I didn't want the above to happen.  I still wanted the wine in concept but knew it wasn't for me.

I fixed dinner while finishing the mocktail and relaxed with my tea afterward.

We all mess up.  We all miss our goals sometimes.  If I drink I will certainly share it here.  You never know whom your blog post will hit, will impact, may save, even if you are just writing thoughts down for yourself.......


Monday, April 24, 2017

Day 9: the year blog-versary and the weigh in

A year ago I started my first real attempt at laying off wine and at blogging.  Of course then it was a Sunday and now this year it's a Monday.

Interesting that I finally got motivated again, at almost the same time of year, to do another extended period of abstaining.  Must be a seasonal thing. Or the fear of bikini season looming.....

The cool thing is that from this point forward, for 125 days anyway, I can remember that this time last year I wasn't drinking.  I got through whatever I faced then so I should be able to do it again now!  No excuses!

I weighed in yesterday for the first time since 11/7/16.  I was really scared to do it but turns out I had only gained 3lbs, felt like way more based upon where the extra weight sits. So grateful.

Seeing that number gave me hope that I could do a few things, make small changes and gradually get the weight off.

I was even motivated enough to go for a walk on a weekend!

If I drink every day, and that would usually mean too much with a few exceptions, I probably drink 230-300 calories in wine.  My mocktail has 30 cal in each glass so if I drink 2 or 3 (most times 1) then I'm at 60 to 90.  Big improvement!

I'm going to try and make one small change per week, adding to the previous week's changes.  Nothing big.  Last week was no alcohol.  I will continue that and, except for the first and last cup of tea of the day, I'm going to try and drink tea with no Stevia. I really want to wean myself off sweetener.

I'm noticing my drive for sweets abating a bit.  Yesterday I never reached for cookies nor chocolate and ate fairly healthy.  I'll probably eat a hoard of chocolate later today but it was nice to realize I had a good day anyway.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Day 8: The history of it all

Today, I'm reflecting on my history with alcohol.  I've been listening to the Udemy course, How to Stop Drinking Alcohol by Kevin O'Hara.

I don't know if anyone every grew up listening to Bob Ross (on tv, PBS, from 1983 - 1994) teach us how to paint?  My ex and I used to say it sounded like he was on Quaaludes.  He hid this very slow, soothing voice...."".  I think many people used him to fall asleep during times of insomnia....  Actually he had a great following of people and probably encouraged many to pick up painting.

Anyway, listening to Kevin O'Hara is similar.  I enjoy the content but I can't listen for too long or my mind starts wandering or I fall asleep!  But his points are valid.

One of the things he asks is to go back into your mind and think about your drinking and about the first time you drank.

This was interesting.  I thought I started having issues after I got married and it was my ex's influence that I drank.  In really thinking about it, though, I realize there was an incident back when I was 15! Then, another bunch in a row after my first year at college at 18 (didn't meet ex until I was 19).  I was just lucky nothing horrible happened to me.  Looking back on what could have happened to me at various times is just plain scary.

It hit home that my issues with how I process alcohol have been there since my very first experience.  I only had sips of wine at the beginning from my parents but I wanted more just because I was being told I couldn't.  I sort of wonder if this started something.....I never had more because I was a "good girl" but I couldn't shake the feeling that there was more out there.  Then, when out of my parents control, I relished having as much as I wanted when I was out on a formal dance date at 15 and it was made available.

(Makes me reconsider ever giving my son sips of wine.....which I haven't yet because he hasn't asked.  I give my dogs fingers of sneezes after two finger licks and walks away, the other, well, let's say if she could open the wine refrigerator, she might!  She hates that I only posess 10 fingers.)

My way of handling alcohol has always been to "drink it all".  One glass? Bottoms up!  I get half a bottle?  Better drink all my half!  I have a bottle available?  Must drink it all! Oh, there's another bottle?  Better open and have at least one more glass!  Out at a social event?  Let them keep filling my glass!

I realize that when supply is limited, I don't drink as much and then I pride myself on my control.  What a load of baloney.

I would love to have one glass a night but as a friend said, "what's the point?".  That mindset is the problem.  I'm not sure I even really like the taste of wine until the second glass, lol.

I'm enjoying drinking my mocktail of choice.  It does the job.  Sometimes it's just about the drinking "something" too, something in hand, something to interesting morning of reflection nonetheless.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day 7: 2 firsts, 2 hours and 2's in general

I'm having fun reading my blog entries from last year at the same time.  This morning I woke up with my mouth feeling like I had been drinking last night and again had to deal with Mutt#1 getting up in the middle of the night.  The latter is a training issue on our part.  Somehow we are already up, turning off the alarm and opening the door for the dog before waking up enough to say "hush, go back to sleep"!!

Lo and behold, last year I woke up feeling hungover on Day 7 and also was dealing with dog issues.  Last year I had had too much pizza accounting for the bad mouth taste and this year I think it was too much AF wine.....must still have some annoying characteristics as real wine.

Yesterday was 2 firsts for me.

1) I called and caught up with a friend in late afternoon whom I hadn't spoken with in awhile.  Normally I had wine in hand.  This time, during the call, I had two of my mocktails and it felt great.

2) When my other friend arrived for dinner, I had a mocktail ready and I opened a bottle of red for her.  I think she thought I was drinking white since my 1/3 AF wine, 1/3 sparkling water, 1/3 club soda and lime juice looks like a white wine.  I had one before dinner, water with dinner and then one after.  She drank about 3/4 of a bottle of red and I sent her home with the rest.

The first one was pretty easy actually because I really couldn't have drunk much with another friend about to arrive and dinner to prepare, anyway.  So I may not be able to take too much credit for that.

The second was interesting.  My friend had put on a lot of weight over the last year.  She looks puffy, tired and stressed.  After dinner, we were talking and catching up and she literally was falling asleep on the couch.  She would talk, and then when I talked, she would zonk out.  I was cracking up but poor thing was exhausted.  She has had a lot of work stress and older-children-moving-back-in stress.  She just lives about a mile away but I made her text me when she got home.

Traditionally, because I had the young child, she always came to my house.  I feel horrible at how many times she, and other friends of mine, have driven home and probably shouldn't have been driving.  Even watching how much 3/4 of a bottle affected her scared me.

I sort of have always protected myself from driving under the influence.  But therefore my friends who came over have certainly been at risk. In the past, I would have drunk a bottle with her and probably started on a second and barely remembered her leaving.  Last night was much better.  She left around 9 and I hopped in bed with a book.

For me, I'm trying to remember that on nights where I don't have other obligations, it really boils down to 2 hours.  There are only 2 hours when I have ever really craved wine and they hit between 4 and 7.  It's never those full 3 hours but 1 to 2 hours somewhere in that range.  I never have wanted alcohol during the day.  2 hours out of 24!!!  That's all!!

I also have to be aware of the (2's) TOOs.   If I am too tired, too edgy, too hungry, too stressed, I turn to wine to turn off those feelings.  That's the only reason.  When I feel in balance in those areas, I can turn away from wine.  This time around when I feel a craving, I'm really going to try and identify and blog why I have the craving to see what the pattern is.

Today is a relaxing Saturday, not a lot planned and just looking forward to time with my son.  Monday will likely be my next challenge!

Have a great weekend everyone!