Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 19 - pressure valve

I have been feeling like a pressure cooker lately about this not drinking.  My fear is that the not drinking would explode into a binge one day or on vacation.  I would say "f-it, and drink a whole bottle".

When we went out last night to the dinner and a show with friends, I did have two glasses of wine.  But it was like it relieved the pressure building up inside of me so that now I can keep going.

I struggle with forever but I don't want to be who I was.  I don't want regular drinking in my life but I haven't totally ruled out the occasional slip.

We are supposed to go on vacation next week and I cancelled and rescheduled it twice, all because of the pressure to not have anything to drink.  I don't think I'm ever going to be vice free but I want to manage my vices. 

The interesting thing about last night is that 2 glasses did nothing for me.  Nothing at all.  Well, other than calm the wine witch voice that said "go ahead."  Of course not, because now to get a buzz I would have to have a lot more.  I felt like I wasted precious $$ on two stupid drinks! 

I did hear the wine witch but her call was not as loud.  She said "oh go ahead, and have one more".  But aside from the fact that I didn't want to spend the money, I also didn't want to get buzzed, to feel out of control.  I felt that voice louder than that of the wine witch.

Yes, I can have a glass or two but what's the point?  I sat through the evening and watched all the people drunk and standing up to dance, making complete asses of themselves.  There is something not pretty about seeing a woman my age or older drunk off her butt.  It's funny how that invokes pity to me but doesn't with a younger woman.  Not really sure why.

Anyway, it felt accomplished to drive home and then read for a bit and go to bed.  It felt good to still sleep well, to still get up this morning and go to my 6:30am workout and to sit here now with my gluten free bagel and tea.  (yes, I bought more bagels so that I can try them this time instead of the dogs!)

I'm not advocating trying wine again if you've given it up.  This is a process we all have to follow on our own timeline.  I want to choose to not have wine.  I know that's better for me.  I'm sure I'll have a glass or two next week but I am also looking forward to all the early mornings before it gets hot, seeing wildlife coming off their night shift and heading to bed.  I love seeing the days of not drinking on my calendar!!  I think I have taken the binge risk off the table.

As I've said before, it feels so different now.  1) I know and admit I have a problem with regular drinking.  I will escalate too easily to unhealthy levels. 2) I prefer dealing with "me" sober. 3) I feel less stress and anxiety when not drinking.  4) I just feel healthier not drinking. 

It's taken a long time to get to this point.  For the first time I feel like I am choosing to not fall back into that everyday drinking mode.  It's a slippery slope for sure but I'm on a diligent watch!  And blogging helps!

Monday, June 18, 2018

June 18

So the minute I arrived at the BBQ yesterday afternoon, the hostess chucked a big glass of something pink with lots of ice in it into my hand.  I think (actually not sure) it had some sort of red wine, orange juice, sparkling water, and lemon in it.

Because I am not drinking but not being bold enough to tell anyone, I sipped it.  I never would have just sipped it before.  I sipped it for an hour until finally it was about 1/4 full.  I slipped inside and refilled the crushed ice and found more sparkling water that I added back in.

I'm not counting yesterday because 1) I wasn't sure what I was even drinking 2) it didn't feel like I was drinking and 3) I didn't desire to drink.

Hubs did have 3 beers but with lots of food and I drove so no issue there.

I realized something while I was sipping that drink.  I didn't like the taste.  But in the past I would have sucked it down and then had another before I left.  Would have had enough to give me a warm buzz although not enough to get drunk since I would have been driving and in front of people.  Yesterday, between whatever was in it and the sun/wind, I just felt blah.  The drink tasted horrible, truthfully, and I felt so much better when I was able to load it up with ice and water.

Right now I'm at the stage where I "don't want to drink" more than I "want to drink".  I like this stage and want to protect it, nurture it.

My weight is still very frustrating and I think that helps with the not drinking.  In fact, I'm sitting here blogging but I need to get up and exercise.  I saw this WEBSITE and both these pics hit home for me.  Food for thought!  I'm trying to stay optimistic regarding my weight gain which I will attribute to muscle.  The woman in the bottom photo weighs 9 lbs more than the she did and she looks better, right?

Oh yes, we were home by 5:45 last night so we tucked in with a movie.  For anyone who likes horses, this documentary called Unbranded was great! It's about 4 guys who take wild mustangs (that they adopted from the Bureau of Land Management) from the Mexican border up through wild lands to the Canadian Border.  The scenery was spectacular and it was well done.  Blackfish, that documentary about Sea World and the Orcas, was very emotionally charged.  This film was not.  It was kept low key and both perspectives, the BLM's view of the appropriate management level (AML) for mustang and the wild horse advocates who are opposed to the rounding up of the herds, were both presented without being emotionally charged.  The film could have been done to tug heart strings one way or another but we enjoyed the more level presentation of the issues faced by the growing herds of wild horses.  As one who lives out west and sees wild horses quite often, it really made me think.  Anyway, worth a watch.

Tonight we have dinner with friends and a show but I think I wasn't drinking the last time we saw them.  Hubs will probably have something with them but my excuse will be weight and driving so I think all will be good.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

June 17

Last night turned out to be easier than expected but old habits die hard.

In the morning I asked hubs if he would want to watch a movie later that night.  He said yes.  I hesitantly asked if he wanted to see 50 Shades Darker.  Lol.  He said okay but we might need wine.  Yikes.  I said "never mind then" with a smile.  He then said he might be able to handle it sober.

First let me say that I'm really not a big fan of the movie series. No more than I was of the Twilight movies.  But I loved the books.  Something about the Twilight books and the 50 shades books had me hooked.  I suppose it is true that some things are best left to the imagination and yet I still wanted to see the characters come alive in the movies.

We then decided to do a hike.  I was hesitant because I was feeling a bit "down" and a bit frustrated about all of the things I have to do around the house.  But I overcame the dumps and said okay to the hike.  I knew deep down that it would make me feel better.  So when we got home after a 3 hour nonstop hike in the mountains and elevation climb from 8500 ft to 10,000 ft, I was f'ing exhausted.  I have never been so tired. 

Remember HALT?
Hungy - that was me ravenous
Angry - not really angry but grumpy and with a headache from the altitude and sun
Lonely - not but would have liked my own space at that point
Tired - terribly!

3 out of 4 = wine.  We agreed we were in need of a serious jacuzzi when we got home.  I said I might need wine.  Hubs, bless his heart said "let's have old miluakee beer (alcohol free) in the jacuzzi and then re-evaluate."

So we got home and I scarfed a leftover cheeseburger patty and some blue corn tortillas and medium salsa.  Hit the jacuzzi with our near beers and soaked up some more sunshine.  I still had the headache when I got out, was still totally exhausted but at least I wasn't hungry and, frankly, was too tired to even consider an alcoholic buzz.  However, hubs had to run to the store and I admit to secretly wondering if he would bring wine home for the movie.  I also admit to being a bit bummed when he didn't even though I really didn't have a craving.  Again, old habits die hard.

We watched our movie with tea.  Okay it was pretty silly but the best part was watching how appalled the hubs got at certain scenes.  He stayed quiet but I caught him shaking his head and rolling his eyes.  It was so funny!  You should have seen his face when I mentioned that there was a third one in the series we could watch.  I have now been committed to watching the entire Shark Week when it is on.......

It does feel good to be bright and alert on a Sunday morning and even though we don't have any kids around, hubs had nice fathers day gifts to open from them which kicked the day off nicely.  I'm still sore but not as bad as I thought I would be.  Dogs are another story.  One is limping a bit and neither is leaving their spot on the floor in the sunshine unless they are absolutely positive they could benefit from any goings-on in the kitchen.  I was impressed they came in for some of my morning smoothie!

This afternoon we have been invited to a Fathers Day BBQ.  I won't drink but if he wants a beer I'm cool with that.  He has only had one other drink since June 1 and that was 1 beer he caved and had when out with the guys.  Don't you hate it how weight just falls off men when they don't drink?  So frustrating!  Oh well, I'll get there!!  I feel overall better with myself right now even if I haven't lost weight and that's what counts most I guess.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

June 16

Last night we went to have dinner with friends who don't drink. Again, another protected evening because I knew drinking wouldn't be an option.

When we scheduled dinner our friend asked what kind of wine we liked.  I knew they didn't drink so I said we weren't drinking, just trying to be healthier and lose weight.  He said "great, since we don't drink either."   Perfect, no big deal.  I asked what we could bring and he said just ourselves.

So last night right as we show up they start offering drinks.  Asked if we would like some wine.  I said no thanks and had lemonade, hubs had a diet coke.  They had water and lemonade.

Then, as we were sitting down to dinner, the wife asked if I wouldn't like a glass of wine with dinner.  Wow, that was a tough one but I was able to say "no thanks, I'm driving anyway".  Issue averted.

We had a lovely dinner and were home by about 8:15pm, grabbed some tea and hopped into bed to read for awhile.

Time to go workout!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

June 14 - being controlling

I feel really good today about making it through last night's craving.  Again, the next two nights will be fairly easy but then the dreaded Saturday.  I'm working hard to make sure I'll have tools in the toolbox for that by ensuring some sweets/munchies will be on hand.

When you don't drink you are forced to feel the emotions you are trying to blot out.  I get that but I always have a hard time trying to figure out what I was really trying to avoid.  I've latched on to various reasons why I drink like financial stress, family stress, job stress, etc but it never really seems to click with me that those are the true reasons.  It doesn't feel right.

FINDING A SOBER MIRACLE posted about being a control freak and I've been mulling it over a lot lately.  More than I ever have.

I don't view myself as a control freak but I certainly admit to exhibiting controlling behavior from time to time.  I don't do it at work...I tend to manage by results.  I don't do it with my son and he is very well organized, self confident because I am definitely not a helicopter mom.  I could actually probably stand to be more involved in his schooling but he's getting straight As so I kind of leave it to him to manage.

However, I know I am a control freak with a partner, with a man I love.  I remember doing it with my first husband and I see myself doing it now.  The first husband got lost in our relationship.  I handled everything, controlled everything.  We started to working together (disaster if one partner can be controlling) and I tried to control that too.  Not so much in a micro manage type of way.  That I don't do. More like being too critical about things.

I remember he would come home from meetings, frustrated, and it was hard for me to not tell him what he could have done different, what I would have done in that situation.  Instead of just being emotionally there for him as he figured out what worked best for him.

I've been reading about it and there are many reasons one may have for being controlling: past abuse, being OCD, having anger issues, being a narcissist, being codependent, being depressed, having trust issues and jealousy, being a manager and taking on too much responsibility, and being an overprotective parent were listed.

But none of these resonated with me.  I haven't been abused, I'm not OCD, I can't stay angry at anyone, I'm not a narcissist, I'm pretty independent not codependent, I'm not depressed and while I have some trust issues, those came after 1st husband had an affair.  My controlling behaviors predated that, contributed to that in fact.  I'm good at leading/managing people and while I may try to do too much myself, when I let others do it I'm pretty hands off.  I'm not an overprotective parent.

However, the last reason listed was being a perfectionist.  And that I am in many ways.  I can live within a mess but when I clean, I want it done right.   When I send someone to the grocery store with a list, I want it shopped correctly, no abnormal brands.  I have a standard for myself that I want to impose on others.  Why can't they be like me?  Why can't they caulk the toilet base neatly and precisely?  Why don't they know you clean a stove this way?  My life is a song of "don't forgets" to my family.

"Sweetie, don't forget to wipe dry the kitchen counters so the water doesn't get into the cracks...."
"Don't forget to move the pans across the stove instead of dragging them so they don't scratch..."

I'm constantly giving advice when other people do the things I do.  I'm exhausted.  I don't feel that I can get much help around the house because its easier for me to do it myself.

I finally have my son doing his own laundry.  Once I truly back off, I'm fine.  I don't even ask if he's done it.  And he does it every week.  And I know he hangs up his clothes neatly, after all I trained him!  But I still do all my husbands laundry......because I can't stand the thought of him walking around in wrinkled shirts and I know he won't fold them right.  Can't teach the old dog new tricks.

My critiquing this way gets in the way of praise and thanks for things I do acknowledge in my head that my family does correctly.  I avoid the critiquing but just doing something myself.

This is such a hard balance to know where to "advise" or "coach" someone on something and when it crosses over to being a pain in the ass to them.

Current hubs is very independent and pushes back when I get too controlling.....which actually is helpful.  I know I lost my first marriage to this.  Then again, 1st hubs let himself be controlled.  Interestingly enough, he had a controlling mother, married me, cheated on me a few times and then left me for a woman who, it seems, is way more controlling than I ever was!  Maybe he wanted to be controlled in some way and yet didn't know how to handle it when it got to be too much.  He's still with his new wife though so maybe she makes up for it with more praise than I ever did.

So I prefer to fix some of my behavior before it would ever get to be too much for the current dude!

Oh well, work in progress but no wonder I drank all my life.  I exhaust myself trying to get everyone to do things the way I want them done and so tuning out with wine helps me turn all that off.  The critical wife takes a hiatus and we have fun, meaningful discussions.  Now I just need to learn how to do this sober!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 13 - a test

Last night was another protected evening by a sporting event but summer league is over and son is about to embark on vacation leaving hubs and I home alone.  Fingers crossed.

I didn't work out today which made me bummed out with myself but I did clean a portion of the house from top to bottom, so I was still moving I guess.  Anyway, I feel accomplished on the home front.

I made waffles, though, at my son's request and didn't exactly stay totally away from them.  Oh well.

It's 5:07pm.  Hubs is out with colleagues and should be home soon.  About 4pm it hit me.  Whammo.  Craving.  Big Craving.  I guess because I knew that one text from me like "Hi honey, we've been so good, how about one cheat night?" and he would have stopped by the store on the way home.

I think it was because I hadn't had much of a lunch and I was exhausted from cleaning.  So I thought about why I wanted wine so much.  I really needed "something".   So I went into the kitchen and made myself some tea.  I also have a chocolate protein shake mix that with a little coconut oil, almond milk and some dairy free mini morsels, can pass as raw brownie mix that can be eaten.  So I made some of that and my "sweet" need was fixed.

I'm actually now ready for hubs to arrive home and we can sit down and enjoy an alcohol free cocktail.  I still have a semi craving for wine but I understand it's just the desire to relax and tune out.  Times like this I wish I really could have just one large glass of white wine and be done.  Oh well.

I should also say that this is the first time I have really bothered to push through a big hairy craving in quite a long time.  For awhile I was trying and then I gave up.  There were times when I didn't drink or didn't drink too much but a big craving always resulted in too much.  I was just caving when those moments occurred.  It does feel really good to have pushed through it tonight!

I have a friend who can't understand not having wine at night.  She only has 1 glass, 2 when socializing, but says she can't imagine not having one at the end of the day.   (And I've been around her enough to know she really is only having 1 maybe 2.)   One time she came by when I wasn't drinking and said she couldn't fathom not having something.  Oh to be her and have 7 glasses, maybe 10 per week.  I would do that in 2.5 days.  Oh well.

I have a workout in the morning and I really do enjoy them.

Tomorrow night will be easy to not drink because I have to drive son to airport on Friday and nothing worse than feeling tired in addition to the emotional goodbye.  Friday night I strategically arranged dinner with folks who don't drink.  That will make things easier since I'll be emotionally tired from saying goodbye to my son and tired from all the prep to get him ready to leave.  Up next in the not drinking challenge will be Saturday!

There's one thing I feel is different than the last time I really tried to not drink for an extended period. Last time I wanted to see if I could do it and then I was hopeful I could go back to normal drinking.  I now recognize that even if I don't quit 100% that I will drink a bottle every single time I drink at home.  That helps to take the fire out of the craving.  I no longer pretend it's going to be one glass and move on.  So now I'm trying to identify why I'm having the craving and then nip that in the bud before ever trying a drink.  Nice to see at least some change in myself!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 12

Nothing really much to blog about.  I'm just still in that "drinking is not an option" mode so cravings don't last too long.  Had a little craving last night but then it passed as I focused on other things.  I'm trying to work toward a "choose this not that" approach to drinking.  The more I can make not drinking become a choice every evening, the better I know I will do.   I start with that when the cravings happen but when the wine witch successfully bypasses that thought, then right now it's "I can't drink in June" that is sustaining me.

I caved and had a small philly cheesesteak and soup for lunch yesterday.  Oops. Oh well.  Didn't drink and worked out this morning.