Sunday, November 24, 2019

The "but, but, but, I WANT that" s

Me again.  I shouldn't be taking the time to blog...….then again maybe I need to.

Nelson commented on my last post "take good care of yourself, especially if you continue drinking".  How ironic.  What a true oxymoron.  Made me shake myself a bit.

I made it through last night.  Had a nice early dinner out with friends and it was just as fun with water.  I stuffed my face (we WERE using gift cards I had afterall) and waddled out back into the car.  I thought how nice it was to be driving us home on a Saturday night, defensively driving for drunks on the road, and feeling clear in the head.  We were so full we rolled right into bed by 8:30.  I SLEPT GREAT!!!

Again, tonight should be easy.  Hubs is working late so I know I will have cravings but he'll get home after them.

I am actually so tired of the effects of drinking that I think getting through to next Sunday will be doable.  Then I will really need to pull out some tools to get through the future.  Those 6 bottles of Chardonnay in my wine refrigerator will be calling like lost souls.  I know there is thought to getting rid of them.  Moving them somewhere.  But I want to learn to get beyond that.  I want to have wine here for friends who can drink normally.  I actually enjoy the hubs after he has a few glasses.  He actually gets buzzed faster than me now.  I don't weigh exactly what he does but he has leaned out so much it affects him more.

He opens up so much more with a glass or two and rarely drinks the whole bottle if I'm not drinking.  He will stop.  I don't.  I never do.  I have spent the last few months trying to stop at 2 glasses.  It's futile.  I have no problem not drinking too much when at a party or out for dinner.  I know that sounds odd but that's me.  It's at home where I just succumb to the beast.  I absolutely can't drink at home in a relaxing setting.

I could say here, okay I will only drink around friends or out for dinner but that seems to keep leading to drinking at home.

I want to examine why I really drink.  It really boils down to two reasons:
1) I like the taste of Chardonnay.
2) It does help me relax.

There are all these studies you can find about how "healthy" drinking, a glass a night, truly is healthy.  Well, of course it is.  If it helps a person relax, just the habit, the drinking of that one glass that in of itself doesn't provide a lot of ill effects, then, duh, a person might be healthier overall BECAUSE they are relaxed.  This doesn't seem like rocket science to me.  It's not really the alcohol so much as the process and the way the person "thinks" wine is helping them.

But when you start venturing beyond one or two a night, the research is certainly there to say it's a health hazard.  And if you are a person who CANNOT stop at one or two glasses, then I would say the verdict is in.  I can't do this safely.

I need to learn to tame the "but, but, but, I WANT that" voice.  Or at least acknowledge that's what is going on.

I tame it with other things.  I WANT that nicer car - umm, no, you can't afford that.  I WANT that donut - umm, no we are not stopping at Winchells nor Krispy Kreme.  I WANT that ice cream in my freezer - umm, no you can't afford those calories.

It always amazes me that this thought of "it will make you fat" goes through my head if I think of drinking a beer on a weekend afternoon, eating the ice cream bars that sit in my freezer for months,  eating all the cookies in the cookie jar (I do still sneak one a day), stopping at the cheesesteak fast food place, buying donuts or big bagels at the grocery store, even buying the big loaves of fresh bakery bread that smell so good.

I can pass all that by and then be absolutely compelled, just totally consumed about opening that bottle of white wine.  I get so grumpy if all we have is red.  I know I don't really like the taste of it and I know I will get heartburn.  I generally don't drink as much although if I get beyond glass 3 I don't taste it anymore.  It amazes me that I don't consider calories in this setting.

I think growing up I was conditioned that white wine was a lesser calorie alternative.  One 5oz glass of Chardonnay has about 120 calories.  One bottle has about 600 calories.  7 blocks of my favorite chocolate is 200 calories.

If I opt for the chocolate, I can have 200 calories and no strange effects and muscle through the wine craving or I can say I'm only going to have 5 oz of wine (lol, that's funny even writing) and have 120 calories.

I have been consuming an extra 600 fucking calories a night when I drink a full bottle.  No wonder I am getting fat!!  I should lose 400 calories by skipping wine and eating chocolate.  I should lose a lb after skipping just 8.5 nights of drinking. (400 x 8.5 = 3,500 calories.)  Okay, well maybe not exactly as it depends upon what I'm eating but they say every extra 3500 calories over what you are burning is a lb of weight gain.  Assuming I burn everything else I eat......not quite.....then I should lose weight by not drinking alone.

Okay, so that can't happen until diet is in order but I should at least slow down the weight gaining process.

The bottom line is that I like the taste and I like how relaxed I feel about the process of drinking.  I need to feel every bit of grumpiness as a sign that I am addicted.  Pushing through the cravings, working on my health overall will yield much more happiness than this place where I am at. It is STUPID to be so happy with everything else in my life and to feel bad about myself only because of alcohol and yet I continue imbibing.

Okay reading what I just wrote is amazing and scary at the same time.  Lord I feel like an idiot. I'm going to go get another cup of tea and go re-read the first 7 days of The Alcohol Experiment again.   Then getting to the gym for a workout.  Then working the rest of the day.  I WILL push through tonight.

Thanks for listening, thanks for the support.

HD

Saturday, November 23, 2019

And again....

Wow, I really haven't blogged in a long time.  I have no idea who even reads this blog but whatever.  Why I feel compelled today, I have no idea.  This is the first time I've sat down in a long time with my cup of tea, early in the morning and am back at it.  Used to be such a habit at one time.

I really don't have this time luxury. I need to make this fast.  I guess I just feel the need to document where I am.

2015 - I identified I really have a problem and found an online universe where others did too.  I knew my drinking wasn't normal but it was my "need" to drink that really was the issue.  I was starting to feel physical effects: blackouts, gastritis, etc.

2016 - Got with the program, blogged, did 125 days, got into exercise, began working through some emotional issues, felt much better and went back to drinking but not like I had been.

2017 - Managed to drink without getting as many blackouts.  Still had moments feeling groggy in the morning, disrupted sleep.  Always hated myself after drinking.  Exercise fell by the wayside. Gained weight.  Finally got free of a lot of emotional baggage.  Peri-menopause hit full force.

2018 - Got into regular exercise at a minimum of 3 days a week.  Kept weight at same level.  Emotionally felt great.  Still drank regularly.  Peri-menopause still horrible.

2019 - Finally did 30 days again with Lia.  First time since 2016.  Uggh.  Finally realized I basically am a true functioning alcoholic even though I hate that label.  But I think it's true.  Am managing Peri-Menopause better.  Still struggling with diet, exercise and weight gain.

I turned 50 this fall.  I love my life in general:  Love my job, love my family, feel financially good and 9.5 years later I finally feel free of all baggage from my divorce. I have learned how to deal with the current hubs and am so much happier. But I hate my body and the fact that I relax with alcohol.  I REALLY do relax with it that's what stinks.  Hubs and I have fun conversation and, frankly, pardon the TMI, sometimes some awesome sex under the influence.  I don't drink too much with family or when out but at home I just let go.  I don't, however, need those nights of sleep disruption, dehydration, morning grogginess, my son noticing my "offness" sometimes, ill health effects and impact on exercise on diet.  

I notice that more and more I need the alcohol to relax during sex.  Because I hate my body.  Despite hubs loving it, being super complimentary, I am embarrassed of myself.  I need to learn to love my lumps and bumps and I have huge emotional issues around this from being raised by an overweight mother.  It's not that she was overweight that was the issue. I hate that she talks about how much exercise she does, when she doesn't, and about her diet which consists of her not eating much in front of family and then scarfing off everyone's plates as she does dishes.  All she cooks is carbs, carbs, carbs.  I never wanted to be like her and turning into her at my age is scaring the shit out of me.  She uses food, I use alcohol.

Apple doesn't fall far from the tree...….I've watched my whole life about her talking about being someone different weight-wise and I've been the same with alcohol....just talk, talk, talk, and no real commitment.

I feel stronger than in the past but that split personality that happens around 5pm is daunting and real. I really am battling a beast.

I still go to the gym at least 3 times a week but I need to get back into exercising daily.  The problem with gaining weight is that I can drink a bottle of wine a night without much issues.  More than that and I really feel it.  I was blacking out back in 2016 when I got to 3/4 of a bottle.  And I was 20 lbs lighter.

I hate that when I started my blog in 2016 THEN I wanted to lose 20 lbs.  Goodness.  Now it's 40.  My own fault.

I'm on Day 6 today.  Maybe I should keep blogging and look for support here.  Not sure.  So many of the blogs I follow are of people so far ahead of me.  I would love to be with others like me.  Lia is my sober buddy right now and I'm concerned I'll let her down.  That I'm really not committed.

I tend to blog after not drinking for a few days and then I drink.  I can see the cycle clearly. It's probably my way of trying to intervene and stop the mental struggle as I feel I want to drink again.

I was feeling great yesterday and sat down in the morning to work from home.  THEN the doorbell rang.....I had to sign for a box of 6 bottles of wine my hubs had ordered.  FFS.  I opened the box to put them in the wine cabinet and none of the whites were Chardonnay.  Now I was mad.  I only like Chardonnay and the hubs knows it.

See this?  I was upset he had even ordered the wine and then was irritated he didn't get what I liked.  Oh geez.  I texted him and he said he thought they might be good hostess/xmas gifts.  Okay....breathe.

And I did right up until the 15 BOTTLE carton of Naked Wines arrived at my front door and I also had to go out and sign for them.  Holy crap.  I put those away too.  Yep, about 7 Chardonnay and 1 Sauvignon Blanc.  Uggh.

I worked on my computer until about 8:45pm last night.  Husband was enjoying a new Pinot Noir.  He offered me a glass.  First I say yes then said no.  I just checked.  He has half a bottle left.  Sigh. That wouldn't be me.

Tonight will be okay.  We are going out to dinner with friends to a steakhouse.  She doesn't drink and he might have a beer. I won't drink because I'll drive and hubs can enjoy red.  When we get back it will be late so I won't want to open anything.

Tomorrow will be a test.  Hubs does have to work in late afternoon early evening so hopefully that helps.  I'm at my busiest season work wise so I think that will keep me from drinking then.

My son is out of town and we don't see him until Wed when we drive to meet him.  Monday after work will be tough.  I need to really pre-think that evening.

Writing this, I really think I can make it to Thanksgiving.  Then my family is there.  I wouldn't drink too much but I don't know if I can not drink at all.  I may just accept the wine and do the glass swapping with the hubs so he has two and nobody notices.

What I do know is that I am addicted to the thought of wine.  I have zero withdrawal effects when I stop.  I'm not moody if I don't drink, just a little bummed until the craving passes but then I'm back to my old self.  Why it is so hard to stay in this state, I don't know.  Just the brain workings I guess.

Oh well, back to my other computer and work.  I feel like I'm getting over the hump so that hopefully soon I can focus on cleaning my house and the holiday preparations.

Hugs to all those in my boat.

HD

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Failures

2 things have resonated with me over the last week:

1) StrugglesWithAlcohol wrote once something like "I don't always drink like an alcoholic but I do always think like one"

I've been re-reading her blog that she started in 2011.  She's about 8 years ahead of me in blogging but I could have started writing what she wrote back then as well.  I just didn't drift into the blogging world until 2016.  She wrote a POST back in 2018 that hit me hard.  It's worth a read if you've been stuck in this endless cycle of drinking and not drinking.  I keep gravitating back to it and reading again.

It's funny, she probably never meant that her words would change anyone's life.  I read so many inspirational things on these blogs and I appreciate everyone's contributions.  So many tidbits have "hit" me in the face over the years, such amazing and profound thoughts.  Her post is my latest morsel to chew on.  It was so "in my face" about what I feel that I almost took a virtual step back and got dizzy reading it.

I embarked on a new phase on Tuesday.  Today is Saturday.  Only Day 5 today, but still, it IS Day 5! Woot woot.

2) I love quotes attributed to Thomas Edison.  I saw this one online the other day....."I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work."

True dat.

I'm hoping I'm on attempt 10,001 and not 5,000 or something.  Yikes!  

But I'm feeling good today and that's what counts. I'm well rested, still exercising, not eating very well (but still work in progress), and feeling pretty happy overall.... happy in my relationships I have and accepting of those I don't have anymore.  Trying to practice more gratitude and laughing more when things go wrong beyond my control.

I'll end with my other favorite Thomas Edison quotes.  Always good reminders!

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas A. Edison 

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”
Thomas A. Edison 

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this - you haven't.”
Thomas Edison 

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Thomas Edison

“Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
Thomas A. Edison 

Dude was wise.

Happy Saturday.

HD

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Like watching Nascar

It's strange, posting today.  I'm not that into blogging right now.  But I know I check out some blogs and like to see how people are doing.

I think I've written this before.....deja vu......But, in the early stages I felt like my blog lurking was more like watching the Indy 500.  Was I really watching for the crash or was I watching for the different racing techniques, and to see who won?  Sometimes I wasn't sure.  As I struggled, it did give me a perverse warm fuzzy when I saw someone who had been sober fall off the wagon.

But as I've struggled over the years I realize it's more than that now.  Now I'm cheering others on so that they win with whatever their goals are be them moderation or total sobriety.  My heart hurts when someone truly crashes, especially if they feel bad about themselves because of it.  I am inspired by blogs of those succeeding in their lives, inspired by quotes they post, inspired by thoughts they dive into.

I no longer look at blogs to search for the negative, to justify myself.  I look to blogs to inspire me to be a better person in many ways even more than in regard to alcohol.  I've become a bit addicted to this universe.  If I'm not careful I would spend too much time here.  So I no longer do.  I very quickly check the feed for blogs I follow.  Sometimes I read in depth, sometimes I just peruse, sometimes I comment.

I felt a need today to just check in.  I do seem to outwardly commit and then let myself fail.  My failures, though, nowadays, seem to be just "sighs".  A "dang it", shouldn't have done that, followed by a get back up on my feet.  No real drunk moments, no real hangovers, can't remember the last time I drank and had a headache the next day.  But definitely still too many "I shouldn't have drunk that much" times.

It's still work in progress.  If I get somewhere I'll let you know but for now know that I'm trying, feeling okay.  Actually I feel great.  I should say that.  I have integrated exercise into my life as someone who hated exercise.  If you look at the full web version of this page you can see other pages I post from time to time and there is one there of my exercise log.  I don't know if it would help anyone but if you hate exercise, there is hope.

I've heard it takes 3 months to change a habit.  As I come to the end of my 3rd month of trying to daily exercise, I feel a change.  I now feel I have to fit something in, whatever it is.  I put no pressure on myself as to what but I have a huge desire now to just do something.  And I enjoy it when I do it which is the biggest change.  For me I had to incorporate accountability.  I work with a trainer 3 times a week and go to Pilates twice a week.  I can rest a day and then do something else, anything else the other days.  I'm about to drop the trainer down to 2 days to keep learning how to exercise on my own.

I'm also really happy in my relationship with the hubs, so calm now, so accepting.  I think exercise and some mindfulness have helped in that regard, some gratitude exercises.   I still lose to the stress monster sometimes but I don't sit with him for too long.   Instead I try to work through the stress and turn it back into something positive.

I'm fortunate that, as someone who needs external accountability for things, that I can afford the trainer and pilates right now.  Okay, well, I really can't but I'm prioritizing it.  I haven't bought that many clothes or shoes in a very long time!  I do feel pretty good financially now.  My own income has come back up and the hubs is making a major career change soon that I think will work out well for us.  Fingers crossed.

My mood is awesome.  Sure I have low moments but I have great, wonderful moments.  I'm not happy with my body but I'm more patient and diligent about getting there someday to where I am.  Turning 50 this year has made me face a lot in my 49th year.  As I get closer to my birthday I feel that I have worked through a lot this year in regard to aging.  I guess just becoming more accepting of it.

I want to continue to work on exercise, eating better, and spirituality development.  I am still working on the alcohol but I'm trying not to let it be the obsession it has been.  I didn't do well this past week.  Went for a week without drinking and then did.  Nothing big, just did.  Then did again, then finished the bottle the next night.

What I hate is that I don't drink or really need to drink unless I start drinking.  I have been better about keeping cravings at bay.  The "must have a drink" isn't that strong.  I cave to the "hmm, might be nice, let's just have one".  And then, of course, I never have one, I have four.

I do wonder if there is some accountability I can set up.  I do have that friend who proclaims she almost always has one, maybe two but never more than two because she can't handle it. Tells everyone.  My problem is that I only drink too much at home, with hubs.  I don't drink too much with others around and I don't drink anymore by myself.  Making the hubs my alcohol police isn't really fair to him so I would have to figure out other incentives.  Or just quit entirely.

For now I'll just keep trying for full sobriety and see where it leads me.

I leave you with this: (click it)  HANGOVER HEAVEN   I really have no words.  So sad this exists.  So glad this is not the state I'm in no matter how much I struggle with the difference between 1 glass and 4.  One of the reviewers has "been going there since the start".  OMG  Start of what?  Their office?  Which is what I think she meant.  But how often would one need their services?  Scary.  I don't mean to be judgy of anyone who is hurting so bad they need their services and want to quit.  My heart goes out to those of you.  I'm thinking of those who are giving zero thought to their drinking, to their health, who think it's hilarious to go out and get so ill that they need IV treatment the next day.  I am sure THEY are not on these blogs.  Unfortunately they are likely on our roads......

HD

Friday, July 19, 2019

Drinking, Driving, and/or ??????

"Mom sentenced to nine years in prison for DWI crash that killed 5 year old daughter."

I was just heading to bed last night, on yet another Day 5, and I happened to look at my phone.  I followed my normal path......checked my online scrabble games, flipped through facebook feed real quick and then skimmed headlines.

THAT headline caught my eye.

Samantha Jones, 32,  had been to a party and posted pictures of full wine glasses, a pic of her and her daughter and #momsneeddrinks.  She had drunk one and half to two bottles of wine in 3 1/2 hours and her blood alcohol was .186. She was driving home at 9pm and lost control of her car.  The rear passenger side hit a telephone pole and broke it into two.

She told police she never drank that much.  That her baby was her world.  She didn't care if she went to jail but wanted her baby to be okay.  Her daughter was sitting in that back passenger seat and suffered a head injury, dying within 3 days.

My first thought was "wow, I don't think I've ever drunk 2 bottle of wine that fast".  My second thought was "how on earth will she live with herself?"  While a lot of stuff can happen to our lives that is beyond our control, this moment was within her power to have not happened.

But all the remainder thoughts I had through the night were my own "what ifs".  Maybe I've never driven after 2 bottles of wine but I know there have been a few where I've driven after a bottle drunk over a few hours.  But 4 drinks in 2 hours for 185lb female is .091.  DUI in my state.

I remember a few times where I was talking to myself the whole way home, convincing myself I was coherent to drive the short drive home or quick run to the store for more wine.

I scared myself good, you see, when I was 23.  Newly married and a husband gone on a long trip, I drank with a friend one evening, on a worknight no less.  I vaguely remember getting home and going to bed.  It was a 25 minute drive home.  I was pretty hungover but still made it to work on time for an early morning meeting.  I must have looked like hell but nobody said anything.  It wasn't until I was in my 40s that I ever drove under the influence again.

I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have but it just takes once!  If I hadn't made it home at 23 my family would have been devastated and my son would not be.

There are so many things in life beyond our control.  I worry enough about something happening to someone I love.  Why on earth have I been poisoning myself with a possibility of contributing to something tragic?  Tragic might be defined as something happening to them or even to me via an accident or health/illness.

I think of those times I had too much at night and don't remember going to bed.  What if my son had slipped in the shower and hit his head and I didn't hear him call out?  What if I tripped and fell and hit my own head?  What if I forgot and left my dog outside and he jumped the fence and got hit by a car?  All of these things could happen on their own, accidentally, but to maybe have been able to prevent something, intervened, but not physically been able to because of drinking?  I don't know how I would live with myself.

Accidents strike, people get ill, tragedies happen.  But I don't want any of that to be by my own hand.  You think about how many murders occur due to alcohol, it's scary.

It occurred to me to wonder if this Smithville, MO woman was on our blogs.  Every time I find a blog I want to check in on, I add it to my list.  It's up to 74.  Not all are active but I leave them on the list in case a blogger comes back, I don't want to miss them.  It's like catching up with old friends.  So I wonder if she is one of them.  Probably not.  I don't think by the time we get to this place of blogging and attempting to quit that we would still be posting on facebook about the glory of wine.  Wine memes make me cringe now.  I'm uncomfortable when I hear someone talk about needing wine.  She may have truly been a fairly responsible normal drinker and therefore wasn't focused on the drinking and driving aspect.  I'm a problem drinker.  She may not have faced that she was.  Or she just might not have been until that day.  We'll never know.

Sorry to be a downer but as I went to bed last night I overwhelmed myself with the what if's from all my drinking episodes up until now.  Took a long time to go to sleep and I had very scattered and vivid dreams.  I think it's important to write this down because this will be a post I can refer back to when I get a craving.

I'm not taking a break from drinking this time.  I feel like I am a non drinker.  The hubs and I talked about how it will be nice to get to a place where we can sit and chat and not feel grumpy because we have no wine in hand.  I guess it's like the smoker who smokes while drinking coffee in the morning. It will just take time.  I am in the health business and have clients, more and more regularly now, who say they don't drink, smoke or do any drugs.  They could be lying but they look so good I don't think so.  They may have had issues in the past which make them proclaim it now out loud but it's refreshing to hear.  I want to be like that, where I can say that.

This time I'm not having huge cravings yet but I'm also not trying to recreate the same life without alcohol.  I have alcohol free wine on hand for me to drink this weekend with family here but I'm not gravitating toward a replacement drink in the evening.  I may be guilty of an extra Diet Coke during the day but if 2 of those per day keeps me going, I'm good with that.  I'm eating healthier and avoiding too many sweets.  I'm still exercising.  Hubs is doing all the cooking while we have no kids around and I'm keeping busy with housekeeping right up through dinner.  We are talking at dinner and not before.  After dinner with a full belly I am good to go.  Ready to relax with a book and a cup of decaf tea.

This is a post I'm bookmarking for myself to come back to, over and over.

Happy Friday,
HD

Monday, July 15, 2019

Hello Blog

I took a blog breather.  I've been trying to do less social media as well although that hasn't been as successful.

What has gone well is my offline communication with fellow blogger, Lia.  Over the past month we have both gotten in touch with our feelings about drinking while drinking.  We're both ready for another good long stint of not drinking, maybe this time forever.

As Lia put it to me, she wants to get "to the other side" of not drinking.  That point we all read about. The depressing thought is that that point can take many months if not years.  But it will be so worth it, we both think.

I've thought a lot about taking that first drink.  I've realized that the first two drinks help me cope with my life but the rest just encourage me to lose it.  If I ever stopped at two drinks I probably wouldn't have any hang ups about drinking.  I might feel a little relaxed and mellow.  I probably wouldn't feel guilty about my drinking.

I know folks who would tell me that I don't really have any issues.  So what that I like to mellow out at night? So what if I drink more than the recommended amount?  I realize, though, that those folks who are likely to tell me I don't have a problem with drinking are likely to be ones that have some inappropriate relationship with alcohol themselves.

The bottom line is that I think about drinking/not drinking all the time.  I have to say this obsession over the past years has taken my mind off obsessing about other things.  I think it really gave me time to heal a bit.  Unfortunately it may also have let me push aside things I need to deal with.  But if that's the case then I need to deal with them anyways.

It's time to be done.  Whether I can "handle" my wine or not isn't the issue any more.  It's no longer fun to think about it, to beat myself up about it, to have anxiety about it, to obsess about it.  That isn't normal.

I want to get to that other side too so here I go.  Hubs is joining me for the most part.  He'll drink with my family when they come to town and may still go out for an occasional beer with the guys but he's supportive of my desire to dry out.

Anyone else with me and Lia, trying yet again?

HD


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Labels and Learning

I'm learning a lot about myself and it feels really good.  I've also noticed a trend.  I tend to have emotional epiphanies while not drinking and then I go back to wine soothing for a bit before garnering enough strength to try again.  But the trying again is coming more frequent and the feeling of "just giving up" is dissipating.  I really WANT to be alcohol free.

Aside from realizing I can't be, and probably won't ever be, a normal drinker, I really don't want to be.  I no longer think "I can handle this".  What goes through my mind is that I am succumbing to a vice when I drink.  Just like if I eat too much pizza and feel like crap.  Like if I eat that bagel with tons of cream cheese at the office when I was convinced I would eat healthy that day.  It's now just a vice lumped in with others.  There will be times when I succumb to the vice but hopefully more and more times when I don't.

Exercise has really helped.  I'm finally beginning to make it a habit.  I still need accountability to it but I am doing it.  Having a trainer to go to, signing up for classes is helping.  I am finding more and more that I want to do it...….on my own.

Sort of the same with drinking.  I have some accountability built in now with a sober buddy but I am finding more and more that I want to not drink, for my own good.

I hate the label alcoholic.  I don't think I'll go to AA meetings because I just don't think group sessions are my thing.  I went to a divorce therapy session one time and thought I was going to come unglued. I am sort of a "move on, get over it, pull up your big girl panties" kind of girl.  Translate that to not the most empathetic person.  I didn't want to talk about my woes nor hear about others.  I'm sure AA is different than that type of group and people have really wonderful things to say about it.  But I can't get over having to say "Hello, my name is so and so, and I am an alcoholic".

To me, in my mind, I'm not an alcoholic.  Those people miss work, I never have.  Those people look for alcohol in the morning, I never have.  Those people look like alcoholics, I don't think I do.  (Okay, except for wine belly/bloat.)  Those people pass out on the couch at night, I never have.  And etc.

But I am an alcohol abuser.  Hands down, for sure.  While I like to say "I'm addicted", I'm not even sure that's true.  I make a conscious decision to ingest a substance to "relax" in the evening.  After the second glass, I find it hard to stop.  Well, duh, that's the substance altering my brain.   I don't need alcohol to function.  I don't feel bad when I stop, no physical reactions.  In fact, I sleep great, eat better and feel better about myself when I am not drinking.  Every time I don't have alcohol, I have zero withdrawal symptoms other than thinking "oh wouldn't a glass of wine" be nice.  But it rarely is ever one glass.  Especially at home, that appears impossible to me.

Admitting that I am an abuser of a substance sort of brings it home to me.  It makes me feel more powerful, not powerless.  It appears that with AA you have to say you are powerless over the substance and to turn it over to a higher power.  Perhaps I'm missing the boat.  I think different approaches work for all of us.  But as I start another round (pardon the pun) of not drinking, it helps me to ask myself, in the evening, "do you really want to take this substance in, knowing you will abuse it, knowing how you will not sleep, knowing you will not want to exercise the next day, knowing you will eat like crap and knowing that you might even feel down, not to mention what you are doing to your liver?"

I am in charge of this.  What I'm not in charge of is what happens when I slip up at home and think I'm going to "enjoy" some wine.  So still working on other enjoyments.  I know there are those who exercise a ton and still drink.  But since I've never really enjoyed exercise as a part of my life, and now am starting to, I think this will be a great new focus and will hopefully alleviate some of the need to drink.

Onward!
HD