But I'm not giving up on not drinking......let me explain...
I've always been the type of person that if I'm told to do one thing, I'll want to do the opposite. Reverse psychology was a parenting skill that my mom employed quite often, let's just say.
The first time I quit for 100 (125) days, it was a personal challenge I imposed upon myself. I decided to do it. Nobody told me I should, nobody intervened and I didn't have a true rock bottom moment other than saying I would allocate some small wine bottles over a few days. My failure at that and realization that my stop meter was broken is what got me to quit for a period.
For the last year, even though I only had 1 moment where I felt I somewhat embarrassed myself in front of my son by acting "off", I have felt this invisible pressure to quit again.
There is so much support in this sober universe saying "just do it", "you'll be so much better for it", "I guarantee that after awhile it will feel great".....and I believe all that advice.
But my quitting needs to be on my own timeline or I will rebel.
When I first quit, I was drinking a bottle almost every night and then drinking more than that about every 3 or 4 days. I had 2 or 3 times a week where I didn't remember putting my son to bed and it was starting to be a few times a month where I thought my son was realizing I was "off". I had times where I just blew off what I had planned for dinner or blew off family game nights. (I always try to initiate game nights and my son is up for it but if he can keep on computer gaming with his friends instead, he is always fine with that. So while I felt I was disappointing him, I really wasn't.)
But I WAS disappointing myself with the above. AND I was slowly getting fatter.
I had a talk with myself yesterday and realized the stress of counting was killing my joy.
I was so joyful after my last 125 days when I started drinking (lightly) again but also started exercising. At my happiest I think. Then I sabotaged myself, reduced my exercise, ate like shit and started drinking too much again to be healthy.
The shift in me that has occurred over the last year, and I know I am repeating myself here, is that I don't want to drink because it has calories, I know it has long term bad effects on my health and it's a drug. I don't want to need to drug myself.
Then, again, I drug myself with sweets/carbs, with caffeine, with Motrin/Tylenol when I need it, etc. But with those drugs I never have dinner prep fails, the potential for needing to drive and not being able to, slurring my words, letting myself down by not getting things done because I chose wine and a myriad of other negative effects.
So last night, I rebelled again. I had a bottle of wine, white no less. But the more I dip my toes back in the pool of drinking, the more I realize what it's effect is on me and the easier it becomes to control.
Last night I told hubby to get me one bottle of wine and I would see if I could drink half one night and half the next night. Nope. Couldn't do it. After 2 glasses, went for 3, then 4, then done. (4 big glasses does a bottle) That was 10 units of wine down the hatch. The recommended amount some say is 14 units a week and should be spread over a few days. Clearly I am never going to drink that way.
I noted that I felt the buzz at the end of the first glass and really didn't need the second but had told myself I had planned for it. After that second glass, when at home and with access to it, forget it. There went the rest. I didn't make my hubby step in. He probably drank a bottle of red himself.
BUT.....I went and made dinner and by the time we ate most of the buzz had worn off. I had water with dinner, tea after and we had a wonderful family game night. So the only loathing I experienced was the hour awake in the middle of the night and the feeling of waking up so often the rest of the night and craving water. And also feeling like I drank 605 calories my body didn't need. Same loathing I feel if I have an oreo or chocolate that I shouldn't!
This is important....the thing I worried about most was having to blog here about messing up my AF streak. That was the most stressful thing on my mind. I felt miserable about the thought of coming to this blog to report what I did. Accountability is good, yes, but feeling horrible to it isn't helpful. I was waaay more concerned about what I would write than any other feelings I had. I loved last night with my family but I wanted to throw up thinking of this blog. I'm too honest and knew I would have to write about it or would feel I was being misleading.
I'm no longer going to aim for a certain number of days without any alcohol. I'm not going to keep declaring and failing and then feeling like I am creeping back to this blog with my tail between my legs. This is my journey, nobody else's...as you all tell me often! I'm just going to try and make not drinking more a way of life than it has been in the past. I'm tired of feeling like a failure if I go all week without any wine, because I want to, and then have some when I want to.
It's a balancing act for sure. If I felt I was having to control myself every day, that cravings were eating me alive (like they used to) then I would feel I needed to give it up completely. I'm no longer going to apologize when I have some. I'm going to feel very accomplished when I don't and I'm really going to work on not going too far.
Wine doesn't fit in with my weight loss goals, nor does it fit in with wanting to have better quality family time, nor does it allow me to be alert and productive.
I am slowly removing it from a daily habit and I'm very, very happy with where I am compared to a few years ago. For me it's not all or nothing. I want to manage this habit.
I think this is where most people get to and it's a fork in the road. I'm not going to let it get out of control or I will stop. If controlling it takes too much effort, I will also stop.
Last year, I quit drinking to prove I could and then went back to trying to moderate on a daily basis. I have learned that moderation won't work. This time it's not about trying to moderate, it's about generally not drinking and allowing for slippage.
I still aim to get to long term sobriety but if I feel I "have" to, I know I won't......if that makes any sense. I'm going to reinstate my counting and exercise tabs. When I deleted them last time I lost the data somehow and wish I had it to reference. I'm still going to blog as I feel like it. If I have a really stressful day and really "want" wine, I'm going to do my best to push through it. I'm still going to count how many AF days I've had against a total.
There I said it. And I'm looking forward to more AF days under my belt ahead! Not drinking really does feel so much better!