My Lists

Saturday, January 19, 2019

My Habit

This month has been crazy busy but unfortunately I still found time to imbibe.  It has definitely been a month so far of discovery.  My word for the year of "Decision" has been helpful.  I've made some really good decisions and some bad ones.

What is different about 2019?

1) Knowing I don't want to drink and that if I make a decision to drink, it will be a full bottle.  Moderation is not possible for me at home right now, maybe never.
2) Knowing that I can make a decision to drink and not get drunk.  I have stopped getting drunk in front of others but I am still allowing for too much wine in my life to call it healthy.
2) Knowing that I CAN make a decision to not drink and it's crazy how lovely the sleep is and how bright eyed and cheery I am the next day.
3) Knowing that just because I can drink at a restaurant or at other peoples homes, doesn't translate to being able to drink at home.

I have a habit to still work on breaking.  I've spoken of Gretchen Rubin's The Four Tendencies [click here for previous post] probably too often but it permeates my life in so many ways.  Ever since I was shown this, it remains true to my personality.  One would think that discovering this about myself back in 2016, that I would have made more progress.  I would say that while I haven't changed a ton, I have become hyper aware of my tendency to let myself down but not others.

I never drank to be the life of the party.  I'm pretty happy in my own skin around others so I never needed it to be more relaxed and confident or more social.  I strictly need it to tune out the things I'm unhappy about in regard to myself and what I personally want to accomplish and haven't.  Whether that's more exercise, better diet, pushing more in my career, better running of my household, cooking, etc.

Drinking is the easy way out at the end of the day.  The mornings are always fresh and new and the day has so much potential.  At the end of the day I just want to sit and relax.  I have gotten any exercise I'm going to do, done.  I have finished working for the day.  I have gotten any cleaning I'm going to do, done.  I've either finished dinner or I'm not handling it that evening and hubs is.

See, around 6pm, I'm pooped.  I don't have any desire to work more, clean more, exercise more, plan menus, do laundry etc.  Why do I drink instead of reading a book, a magazine, watching a tv show, taking a bath?  Because then I can zone out and not face how I really feel about myself in all these areas.  It's like push, push, push, zone out.  Never letting myself feel badly about what I haven't done.

I would say I have had wine about 1/3 of the time so far this month.  Much better and much more mindful than I was doing last year.  On the days I didn't drink a few were easy because I had events to attend and, once I'm out of the house, I don't think of drinking.  Well, it probably crosses my mind but it's just not an option so the thought moves along out of my head pretty quickly.

I also went and took a bubble bath a few times.  I have a wonderful jetted tub with chromatherapy.  Lol, meaning colored lights filter through the water and I can select one color if I prefer depending upon my mood..... But I can't get my brain to stop beating myself up for how I look naked.  Sitting here typing this morning, I chuckle.  I look okay all things considering but at the end of the day, whaling in the tub, my self esteem plummets.  Not sure why.

I've tried watching tv shows, reading books, etc.  But then as I go to bed, it takes me forever to go to sleep because I feel like I have wasted time.  (Same thoughts that go through my head, however, when I wake up at 2am after having wine.........hmmmmm......you would think my brain would make this connection...)

Some nights I've just said "fuck it", tuned out, slept poorly and felt a little grouchy the next morning.  Fortunately those nights are getting fewer in between but I would like to eliminate them completely. 

I know the answer is to just make the decision to not drink and do something else in the evening.  I'm getting there but I'm trying to reinforce that with an underlying true desire to not want what drinking results in.  (pardon my grammar, it must grate mercilessly on some but we'll just call this a stream of consciousness if that's okay....)

I've been trying to get a handle on how I feel about myself......

Is it shame?  Not really.  I don't feel humiliated or distressed by my thoughts or behavior.

Is it a feeling of inadequacy?  I don't know, maybe, but I also feel super competent in many ways as compared others.  Almost too much sometimes.

Is it perfectionism?  I don't know, I don't really need things to be perfect and I sort of roll with the punches.  My closet is a disaster and I happen to like to go to bed with a pretty clean kitchen but lord knows when I last cleaned behind the toaster.

Maybe the term is just overwhelmed.  I focus on certain things and not on others, then feel bad about what I blew off because I see others doing it.  I see others exercising and loving it, so why do I prefer to pay bills and do my accounting?  I see others eating vegetables and loving it, but why do I really prefer toast?

I always "know" what I need to do.  Drinking is a way of tuning out the knowing.  Drinking has kept me from beating myself up too much, and consequently getting frustrated with family as well, and I am more light hearted before bed......until I beat myself up again at 2am.   What a cycle!

I guess I'm just tired and exhausted of constantly letting myself down.  I don't let down others, just me.  I never feel let down by others, just by me.  I'm going to do some more research on this.  I found one suggestion of having an "unguilty day".  Don't let anything make the list of what has to be done that isn't what I really want myself to do.  So spend a day or devote a half day to reading, yoga, other exercise, reading recipes for better foods, and don't let other chores choke this out.  Carve out time and be religious about fitting in those things I feel bad about. 

Hmm.....sounds like between 5 and 8pm in the evening might be just be a good time.....

Hoping to get this Habit Done in 2019!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Early Days

I find the early days of stopping drinking are easy.  I know I'll have moments where I'll need to draw from more than just willpower.  For now, though, I'm just going to enjoy these first 5 or so days where it feels like I'm sleeping better and getting more done.  That I'm not avoiding things.

I sure think of how nice it would be to sit down with wine but then I pat my bloated belly and think, not yet, not until it has gone away!  Ha!

I think going alcohol free in the New Year is easier because a lot of the holiday stress, hustle and bustle has dissipated.  I adore January through July.  I always feel mellow even without wine.  In August I start to feel pressured getting ready for the school year and in September I start sweating in anticipation of October through December.  My work is busiest and that, along with the holidays, makes my head spin.  It's not a surprise that when I caved in 2016 after 125 days, it was near the end of August.

This year I want to work on my toolbox better so that I am better prepared to move through the fall.

I'm not sure I'll blog every day like I did last go 'round.  This time I'm just letting things flow.  I want to have some documentation of my transitions but I'm also not feeling the blogging compulsion as much this time.

Today I'm patting myself on the back for making good decisions:  I didn't drink, I worked out and I ate better than of late.

Now I'm off to get more things done before bedtime comes.

Day 2 almost done!



Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Crossing the Bridge

Last year after New Years, I wrote of my life as a garden with a lot of weeds in it.  Wow, not much has changed.  This year I am embracing the word Decision as my motto for 2019.

Everything I do will be a decision.  A decision not to drink, a decision to exercise, a decision on what food is going into my mouth.  A year of decisions.

Just because I don't ever miss an obligation, I rise early each morning, I don't get drunk in front of people, etc, doesn't mean my level of drinking is okay.  And it's definitely never one or two glasses.  I have tried and tried and tried.  It's affecting me in so many ways.  I am not sleeping well, I am gaining weight, I am not eating right, and I am not exercising enough.  I can be such a better version of me.

This year my analogy is that of a torrential river with a bridge over it.  My side of the river is misty, muddy and with rocks, baby boulders, everywhere.  On the other side is a green grassy rolling hill area.  Sunlight is bursting through the mist, things are growing.  I think I even see a rainbow.

I know the other side is not going to be easy.  There will be hills and valleys over there but it will be better than the landscape on my side that doesn't change.

I need a good year with no alcohol.....at all.   I need to grow beyond needing it as a means of relaxing in the evening, as a tuning out.  I need to quit this habit.   I need to examine my life and make decisions, not let it pass me by.  I am excited to see where I will be a year from now. 

Emotionally I finally feel strong enough to really take myself on.  It's taken a long time to get here.  It's time to put some will power to work and to improve my sense of well-being.

Today I'm crossing that bridge.  I can't afford not to.

Happy New Year!!  Happy Day 1!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Complacency

That is how I feel.....complacent: showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.

I wish I could feel more shame about things I don't achieve but "little miss look on the bright side" doesn't handle life that way.  If I were more depressed or ashamed, I'd probably be more motivated to make a change.  Confidence can be a bad thing.....

Over the past 12 months I've made a lot of emotional progress.  I've settled (after 8 years) into my current relationship.  I've grown even further.  I've accepted, but not embraced, that I need external accountability to get anything done that is just for myself.

I've been through some ups and downs of peri-menopause but I'm learning to deal with this.

Everything is going okay.  I'm getting the normal stuff done.  I don't let anyone down.....except myself.  I'm less stressed about finances, just have learned to let stuff go.  Less stressed about housekeeping, again having just learned to let stuff go....one more week of dust won't kill anyone.

But I'm not getting the things done that I WANT to get done.  Just for me.

Weight:  worse.  I'm not depressed, I'm not really a "down" person.  I'm just disgusted.  I feel like I'm on a weight train that keeps speeding out of the station in the wrong direction.  dammit.

Exercise:  I workout with a trainer 3 days a week.   Because I pay for her and she expects me to be there.  I have muscles now....pushing out all the fat!  I'm disgusted that I haven't added cardio to my routine. dammit

Alcohol:  I drink in the evenings to "relax".  dammit, dammit, dammit.  I don't need this shit and now I've become complacent about it.  Why?  Because I don't let anyone down but me.  I don't drink too much to drive when I need to.  I can skip it if something else takes priority like sports.  I don't even have physical withdrawals when I don't have it.  Just emotional.  I'm fat enough that now I can drink a whole bottle and not act that buzzed.  I clearly use alcohol to "tune out" the areas where I'm not achieving.  I still drink way too much.

I think this is the key......I get a lot of stuff during the day so the evenings are times where I have to face what I didn't get done.  Did I do cardio exercise?  Probably not.  Did I eat as correctly as I wanted to?  Probably not.  Do I feel fat?  Yes.

I think the reason why mornings are so bright is because of the potential.  Of course I won't drink tonight!  Today is a new day! .... Until it's the evening and I see how I failed during the day.  Okay, no worries, just drink some wine and forget about it, go to bed, start afresh the next day.  What a fucking merry go 'round.

I know that drinking has to be the first thing to change or I'll be stuck in this rut forever.  Every time I get motivated to blog, then I let myself down.  However I realized that when I do blog, I at least drink less!! Knowing that someone is watching.

It's been about 3 years since I first started considering my drinking a problem and since I started dealing with it.  Enough is enough.  I want to get to "the other side" of this.  It seems like everyone, who was struggling back when I first found the blogs, has made it.....but not me.  Oh, I know, it takes time and everyone has their moment but I'm so happy for those folks and so disgusted with myself.

I just counted and I have 63 blogs that I follow!  That means that if someone posts on one of those blogs then I can see it in my feed.  About 10 of those actively post now and most of those folks are really far along in becoming completely sober.  Many of the ones who don't post also got further along in sobriety.

If anyone reading this finds any blogs where the blogger is actively trying to quit in the early days, please let me know the name of the blog.  I find it helpful to tag along with someone at the same stage and right now I feel like all of my buddies have outdistanced me.

Here I go again.....

Saturday, June 30, 2018

June 30

The end of June.  Hmmm....

Didn't make it 30 days without having wine.  Didn't blog everyday either.

Still didn't drink 20 of those days, though, which is a huge improvement since I started really reducing again in May.  But could have done better.

Sort of punted on vacation.  Thought I might be able to resist but then I didn't.  I feel a little guilty for indulging but I guess that's to be expected.  The good news is that I am not in a state of self loathing.

I know it would be easier to give it all up but for now I'm content with managing the fight.

And I had an awesome time on vacation.  We were gone 6 days, 2 of which were travel days.  In the remaining 4 days I cantered a horse, fished, hiked and kayaked.  I now need a vacation from my vacation.  I did have wine though.  But I was up cheery and clear headed everyday at 6am, ready for that days adventure.  I loved the time the hubs and I got alone.  The last time the hubs and I were able to take a truly alone vacation was back in 2016 when I wasn't drinking. Surprisingly both were fun.  Alcohol really isn't necessary.

But I'm still fat and still drinking more than healthy, or considered normal, when I do drink.  I admit, it felt fun to let go without letting go too much.  But now, getting back in the saddle will be tough again.  It always is.

I suppose I'll keep plodding along until I get tired of this, as others have.

I'm a little stressed at having to go get an MRI after my mammogram.  But I've been in this rodeo before.....mammo, MRI, ultrasound....come back in 6 months, do it again.  Lumps and bumps.  At least they are monitoring for changes and have baselines but it's always a bit nerve wracking.  Not exactly a great excuse for imbibing this past week, but it's my excuse.  I own it.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

June 23

Aargh.  Oh well, I am continually learning my lesson!

Everytime I get to the point where I blog about how great I feel, how great I'm doing, it's like this negative energy hits me to say "F---It!  (I'm starting to get used to this and to see the pattern)

Thursday night went fine.  Sure, normal thoughts of wouldn't it be nice to have a glass of wine but we tried some new mocktails and hubs made a great dinner.  We tried some honey dew kombucha with sparkling water and club soda.  It was pretty good.  But then I went online and read all about kombucha and the liver and kidneys and it scared me off any more I think.

Then there was last night.  Hubs asked if I would mind if he had a beer.  Right before I went to the grocery store.  So of course the whole internal debate was very loud as I was going up and down the grocery aisles.  "Should I get wine if he gets beer?" "I can just have a few glasses, hubs can have the rest"  "Heck I don't really feel like any so just a couple of glasses would be nice"  I also had to buy some wine for guests coming over today even if I don't want to drink with them.  Not even sure if they drink, just wanted to have some on hand in case.

So of course I bought wine for me too.  And drank it last night.  Over the course of a few hours there went the bottle.  And of course hubs had the red wine I bought.  Geesh.  I bought cheap airline bottles of wine for the guests so I'm tossing them if they don't have any today!

Fortunately, I had bad Thai food on top of this and got sick in the middle of the night and then of course couldn't get back to sleep.  I hate not sleeping!  Amen for the food issue though because now I have zippo desire to drink.  I'm going to keep associating the negative feelings of being sick with the chardonnay and hope it sticks!

I feel fine this morning, just stupid for typing this. I still haven't decided which land I want to live in.  Alcohol free forever or alcohol free at home.  This is what most people go through, I suppose.  If I keep having issues when I'm really trying, it will be time to say never again and I get that.  I still cling to some belief that, while I know I can't drink "normally", that I can manage to drink occasionally in certain situations.  Perhaps, but then there will always likely be the potential for some binges like last nights scenario in that vision.  Can I manage that?  Am I okay with that?  Do I want that?

I have given up on the everyday drinking though.  The idea that I can even attempt that has truly left the barn.  For now I'm happy with much, much less drinking overall.  The thought that last night was how I was living my life for years just creeps me out.  Ick.

We leave on vacation tomorrow so not sure how much I'll blog but I'm actually viewing it as a nice time to not drink much, if even at all, and to get up early to partake of early morning experiences.  It would be really cool to get to July 1 with one bad night and just a few other misc glasses of wine under my belt. 

While I'm bummed I succumbed to last night, it was yet further proof that not drinking is such a nicer place to be!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

June 21 - a new summer

Happy Summer!   (Well, for where I am in the world anyway.....)

My mantra for the beginning of this season in 2018 is...

1) I may still blow off exercise now and again......but not as often
2) I may still sneak in fast food......but it comes loaded with guilt more than ever
3) I may still have some wine....but those days are getting fewer and fewer

1) My body is learning to push through to exercise, I feel so much stronger, happier
2) My body is learning to make better food choices, to experiment with healthier things
3) My body is learning that it feels better to not drink at all or not drink too much

I like who I am, who I am becoming.  I am not perfect, I never will be.....and that's okay.
I'm coming to terms with my past, that I can't go back and make things different.
I am okay with the way things are and I need to focus on the road ahead, not behind.

Remembering that last night it felt great to drink a split of Pellegrino in a pretty glass and not wine
Feeling how good it felt to sleep well and get up this morning for a workout
And acknowledging that the brownie I ate last night tasted good even if not ideal!!

Happy longest day of the year!