Monday, November 21, 2016

Just being balanced

Got behind in blogging.  It's only been a week since I posted but I feel behind because I didn't update my counting tabs.  I feel surprisingly good though!  I love reading others blog posts and I can comment from my phone but can't post on my own page very easily.

For now I am feeling balanced.  Although I am in the busiest season for me work-wise, I feel so much better than this time last year.

Thanksgiving was really the time I realized I was drinking way too much.  I came home, found Sober Mummy's blog again and began reading all the recommended books like crazy.  It took me until March to really try quitting and then April before I was able to go more than 100 days.

I've learned a whole lot about myself this year, improved my relationship with my hubby, been figuring out my boundaries with alcohol and am beginning to grasp what my true goals are.  I've been getting help with my attitude toward health in general and exercise and am now starting to delve into some unfinished emotional business I need to conquer.

I have been drinking more regularly since August but drinking less than before April.  I no longer have the self-loathing.  I still have some nights where I see how alcohol affects my sleep.  Overall I still wish I could not have any.  It was easy when I felt I had to quit because of how I was behaving.  Now that I'm not that person anymore, it's harder to commit to giving it up 100%.  I have had, and still will have some "moments" where I say to myself...."shouldn't have had those last few glasses" but I hope they are few and far between.  They don't seem to happen very often anymore and certainly not weekly.

I know I feel best and look best without alcohol in my system.  I know I lose weight easier when I don't drink.  I am more motivated in general and I eat better, more healthy.  I just need to remember this more often.  I still think I'm going to give it up again for a certain period of time, I want to count again!  Just....not .....quite...ready....yet.  

Happy Thanksgiving this week to all celebrating!

HD

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Torn between two worlds

I'm feeling pulled apart at the middle right now.

I first came to these blogs....well, hmm...let's say......I found some blogs about being sober and started my blog.  My blog isn't located in a sober group nor a moderation group.  I haven't joined any groups.  I started this blog for me, to be accountable to myself and to document my journey.

What I discovered, however, was a lovely group of people.  I started commenting on a few blogs, they commented on mine.  So the group of bloggers I was associating with were sober bloggers for the most part even though my blog itself is just up on on blogger, not categorized in any particular way.

I am feeling soooo much better than this time last year that I want to shout it from a mountain top.  So far, in 2016, I have abstained for quite awhile, tried moderating, increased too much for my satisfaction and backed off again.  I keep feeling like I "should" be completely dry but I don't really "want" to be that way.

I'm really happy with where I am right now.  I love the support I get, the advice and wisdom that so many have to offer.  But.... I feel funny cheering someone on in their sobriety when total abstinence is not the path (obviously) that I'm taking.  Sometimes I don't comment because I feel like it's hypocritical and I don't want someone to read my blog and feel scammed.

I had a long talk with myself today.  I either need to shut down this blog or just remember, it's for ME!  When I was abstaining, I didn't mind someone moderating and commenting on my blog....I just appreciated the comment.   And nobody has to read my blog, I guess, if they don't want to.

So I decided to keep on with it and just blog about my journey minus the guilt.  I'm happier than I have been in years. I am exercising without giving it much thought.  I'm not drinking too much without giving it much thought except for when I'm here blogging.  Last week I had one bottle on election night and then last night one and a half glasses while out to dinner.  Hubby and I hadn't gone out in a long time just the two of us.  He ordered a bottle and drank most of it and I drove.  It is where I want things to be.  I shouldn't feel guilty about this.  I don't even want to drink a bottle once a week but if that's as bad as it gets, I'm okay with that.  Sure as shit beats where I was!!

I know I don't have the strength to be able to drink daily and keep it from escalating.  I saw that in October.  I'm really focusing on triggers and I'm still going to blog that next time I get a huge mother of a craving!!  I'm not going to feel bad for updating my counting tab.  I don't have to explain myself to anyone and if someone sees I'm drinking too much, they are welcome to comment or not.

What I do love is that the people on these blogs, all of you, are so genuine, so honest and have given so much of yourselves by commenting on various blogs.  And if I'm helping someone who just reads this blog, even if you never comment, then that's awesome too.

So I'm letting go of my guilt, my shame around drinking.  This is just my honest account of where I am, what I do and we'll see where I go!  I still think, and I've said this before, I admire the hell out of all those choosing sobriety 100%.  I love reading your blogs and what you go through free of alcohol.  But maybe, just maybe, there is someone else out there like me, where just backing off for awhile and getting things organized in the brain, can also be impactful toward changing someones relationship with alcohol and launching them on a journey of self-discovery like I have been doing!

Hugs to all.

HD

Friday, November 11, 2016

Something in my hand...

I finally feel like I am getting free from the clutches of alcohol.  For some reason, it was pivotal to acknowledge, really acknowledge, that when I drink white wine, it will always be a bottle if given the chance.

Oh I'm sure there will be times where I don't drink a full bottle if out at a restaurant or around family but I'm going to assume those times would be anomalies.

I no longer crave wine every evening, I don't need it to unwind daily. But I know, and I'm learning, what my triggers are.  The other night I tried again when I didn't really have any triggers.  Well, the election was stressful but not like the normal stresses that trigger drinking.  I just used it as an excuse. So, even unstressed, I still drank the whole thing just because it was there.

It's almost as if the habit of needing to drink alcohol regularly has gone away but the need to "drink" has not.  If I drink sparkling water, I drink the whole bottle.  It's like I need to keep sipping.

This may be the part of the habit like a smoker who wants something in their hand when drinking coffee.  Something about 5 o'clock makes me want to have something in my hand, sipping.  It almost doesn't matter what.

If I'm distracted by sipping tea or drinking water I don't seem to have cravings.  It's almost a race....I need to start sipping something in the evenings BEFORE the craving hits.  Once the craving to sip hits, then I immediately crave the wine.  Interesting anyways.

I'm going to try to start my cucumber water a bit earlier, not wait for hubby to come home.  Maybe drink more decaf tea and just see how it makes me feel.   When I am away at Thanksgiving, I'll drink gobs of sparkling water around 4pm, before the family begins cocktail hour and see what happens.

Another blogger replied to a post with the gist that we have been testing our boundaries.  I finally feel like I am setting up some boundaries within which I can live and commit to as opposed to setting up rules I feel the need to fight.

Always a journey.

HD

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Not perfect here....

Last night I decided to drink with hubby and son and watch election returns.  I slept well, other than getting up to check my phone and see who won, felt good this morning on my walk, and had fun last night watching how enthusiastic my son was over the election coverage.  I didn't drink all at once, I didn't blackout, I have no self-loathing.

I'm not totally thrilled I drank because drinking a bottle is just not healthy, but I want to keep this in perspective.  I made a decision to take a pass for an evening of my Dry November.  I was happy with my cucumber water watching hubby drink red wine.  Then, it wasn't even a craving, it was more like, this is such a crazy night it seemed to need wine associated with it.  It was as if I was bothered by the concept of not drinking more than I wanted to actually drink.

I feel as if I am moving further and further away from alcohol with each testing of the waters.  Wine didn't enhance the experience, just made me more talkative and more aware that I will never stop at 2 glasses except for very specific occasions and with a lot of control being exercised.

So back to being dry.  The election is over, the country has chosen a new leader.  I cherish living in this democracy. I exercised my right to vote.  I have faith in mankind and, while changes would have been different with each party, each party would have brought change.  I am not doom and gloom.  I am not going to whine and I am not going to worry.  I look forward, with keen interest, to see what the next few years bring.

We needed a new leader, we needed change regardless of which party ended up in office.  We elected Trump, not Clinton.  Now we need to move forward with that in as productive way as possible and try to keep it from being a divisive issue.  If I don't like where things head, I am free to leave.

HD

Monday, November 7, 2016

Dry November Week 2

Kicking off week 2 here.  Weight: 167.8lbs.  Not sure I really lost any pounds vs water weight but nice to see some small change.

I didn't have too many cravings this week and the one on Friday night passed quickly.

It helps to have a new perspective.  While I still don't use the word forever, my new mantra is 1 whole bottle.  In other words, if/when I drink again, I will drink a whole bottle.

By admitting this to myself, or even allowing for it, it helps me think through the whole evening better.  Instead of fighting with myself that I'll only have 2 drinks, I'm preparing myself for the effect of the whole bottle.  The lack of sleep, lack of desire to exercise, lack of desire to get chores done, the fuzzy feeling the next day, etc.

This was helpful this week because I didn't want any of that.

I don't know that I'm ever going to be a total nondrinker.  But in viewing this as if I am sometimes going to give myself a pass but also understanding what I am taking on, I think it will keep the frequency lower.  We'll see.

For now, I feel great.  Nice to see fully bright eyes in the mirror, a desire to work on my physical fitness, an eagerness toward meal planning for the family and an overall desire to get things done.

To anyone doing this dry November with me, feel free to always email offline as well!!

HD

Friday, November 4, 2016

Part 2 - it was just Runaway Brain

I'm almost embarrassed to write that everything went fine yesterday.  I came home, had to make more work calls that I had neglected, get dinner on the table, finish laundry and fall into bed emotionally exhausted.  I noted that hubby was having wine but I had no cravings.

I did this to myself.  My runaway brain.

This condition of runaway brain, not sure what the technical term would be, is probably my most self-sabotaging, emotionally tiring, potentially detrimental to my relationships, characteristic that I think I have.

In the absence of information, I invent.  And usually to the negative.

On a positive note, I don't let it outwardly push me in wrong directions.....too often anyway.  I find that I keep the thoughts inside and just worry myself about them until the event around which they surround takes place and is over.  Sometimes, however, especially with hubby, I can let the imagined thoughts affect my mood and it spills into real life.

How to articulate this is hard but yesterday was a good example.  I took a meeting that was proposed and scheduled and, instead of accepting what was given as the true agenda, and, in fact, ended up being the true agenda, I imagined all sorts of hidden agendas.  I had myself worried sick.

I did calm myself down long before the meeting and as I've gotten older I've figured out how to do this.  I walked in calm, cool and collected.  Because I had talked myself down.  The way I did that was to take the worst fear I had, walk through it and figure out how I would handle it.....should it happen.

Okay, that's one way to cope, but I would really prefer that my brain didn't cycle up on it's own.  Small things seem to trigger my runaway brain and I can obsess silently to myself for hours. I used to make myself almost physically sick, now I logically talk myself down but it takes effort.  I know I have used wine to numb that brain and to quiet it at times.

The night before last, I was able to address the fears and then I actually slept well and didn't really obsess anymore......but just the fact that I do this still bothers me.

I'm working with a professional to try to get at the core of why I do this.  I'm giving some thought to whether or not I have always done this or if it's only after I was betrayed in my first marriage.  Right now I feel the latter but I want to think about it.

I also wonder if my huge need for emotional security makes me ponder and solve the doomsday scenario so that I'm never caught off guard, always prepared to handle anything, not surprised.

Or is it that my instincts, which I always thought were good, were tested at one time and now I have no confidence in my first reaction, so I assume the worst just to be safe in case I'm wrong.  I've been very disoriented in recent years so maybe that is my coping mechanism.

Because I do it in other areas of my life, not just my closest relationship, I think it has to be deeper than this.....but I wonder sometimes, am I afraid to love too deeply, to be hurt again and so I constantly dredge up scenarios (in my head) where my hubby is up to no good, with no proof whatsoever, in fact a whole lot of proof to the contrary.  Like I want to "find out" something before it can hurt me and catch me off guard.

Will be interesting to find out.  I never did have that bath.  My air conditioning is still going on.  Once it gets cold here I will be taking lots of baths but didn't manage it last night.  Maybe this weekend!  I can use lukewarm water too, right?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Prepping for the inevitable...Part 1

Tuesday started the kickoff for a very busy season at work.  In doing this dry November, I must confess, I think it will be a little easier because I will be so busy.....at least I hope so :-)

I haven't had any cravings hit me to drink.  Another blogger (sorry, you, can't remember who!) mentioned Spindrift at Trader Joes.  Lifesaver!  I love their sparkling cucumber water.  For some reason it really hits the spot in the evening. I feel refreshed and energized.

I tend to think about wine about part way through getting dinner ready.  I must confess, I didn't cook that much in my first marriage, and I didn't for years in this one.  However, hubby took a job last spring and suddenly I had to do all the grocery shopping and cooking.  (I know, hush, there is very little sympathy aimed at me right now...but I DO handle everything else with the home...all finances and all the other chores concerned with living with the pigs in my life that I adore.)

So it has been stressful for me at this age a bit like it must be for a new young wife trying to get food on the table.  But I am finally getting in the groove.  Another blogger emailed me some pointers awhile ago and that helped too.  I have my go-to meals and I'm learning to forgive myself for sometimes just breaking out the frozen lasagna, salad and texas toast when I'm tired.  I am actually having fun now, finally, with meal planning.  Getting my game on in this regard has helped to quell cravings.

About half way through dinner prep I will often think of wine because, in the past, whenever I DID cook, it was so stressful for me that I needed to numb the process.  No more.  Yay!

Muscling through stressful occasions and doing them without wine must be the key for reducing some cravings in the future, eventually.  Just changing habits I guess.

I'm dealing with heavy stress today in regard to my court case with my ex.  This is never ending.  There is a meeting this afternoon that will either make me feel relieved, that things really are out of my control and I just need to be patient and cruise along, or else it's a situation that will make me feel wronged and taken advantage of.  Vague, I know, just not comfortable disclosing here.  My point is that there is a very high possibility of feeling upset, victimized, and just "fuck it" by 5 pm tonight.

I am trying to prepare for this possibility.  I have thought through the worst case scenario and I think I'm okay with it.  I can just be calm and deal with it.  Life isn't fair and today might be my dose of it.  But even if the worst case pans out, I don't need to blur my evening.  I've thought through this morning how wine won't help.  If my worst case happens, I'm going to "take to bed", cry my eyes out, take a really nice bubble bath with candles, and listen to my audio book that is really getting good.  I am prepared.

If things go okay, then I will just relax and enjoy my evening, taking time with tea and good magazines I'm behind on, to let the stress ease out.  And I still might take that bath regardless.

This is kind of a boring post, but I needed to re-read my last post and prep for this afternoon.

I'll post later how it went and how I'm doing.  Keeping accountable to this blog will get me through tonight.

HD

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Another trip around the sun

Last night kicked off more dry time.  It felt really good to have a Halloween that didn't involve alcohol.  Last year I remember the neighbor and me imbibing before the crowds came.  We get a ton of kids at the door.  Instead, my son and I handed out candy and turned the lights out at 9pm.  I had made dinner and he ate first, then handled the door while hubby and I ate.  It felt good to sleep better.

I drank sparkling mineral water and didn't have a single wine craving.  They will come though, I know.

I've been really stressed, about too many things that are really beyond my control.  Something has clicked inside of me.  I'm finally ready to let someone else drive for awhile......I'm going to make a list for myself of all the things I don't need to control and then a list of productive things I can control, where I should put my energy and my mind!

I think I needed to have a birthday in order to make this fresh start.

I love this song from Jimmy Buffet and Martina McBride:  (from Trip Around The Sun) VIDEO

I'm just hangin' on while this old world keeps spinning
And it's good to know it's out of my control
If there's one thing that I've learned from all this livin'
Is that it wouldn't change a thing if I let go

Drinking has been my means of "letting go".  But it doesn't change a thing.  I may forget about things for awhile but it doesn't change anything and only makes me feel bad about myself when I drink too much.

Sometimes it's nice to remind myself that just kicking back and letting things happen as they will anyway is a whole lot easier than fighting to control them.......

Breathe in, breathe out.....time to focus on me.

If there is anyone else who wants to join me and Putting Down The Glass for a dry November, please do so.  We are here for you!!!  Let's do it!!

HD