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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Time for progress not regress

I haven't blogged since January, mainly because I know that most of the people reading are on their own journey to quit drinking altogether or, for some lucky ones, at least to not drink as much.  I had lost my commitment to this process and felt stupid blogging about starts and stops.  I also didn't want to ask for help, have well meaning people trying to assist and then blow off their efforts. 

In general, I've always been able to manage my drinking when I am expected to not drink or not drink too much.  Occasional incidences but I had more of those in my younger years. Some in past few years but not where someone would say "oh she has a problem".

1) Sporting events:  didn't drink those nights
2) Out to an event or dinner:  drank one glass of wine (usually had to drive home)
3) Friends came over for dinner who drink one glass:  I had one glass
4) Got sick:  didn't drink for a week while on antibiotics
5) Family came into town:  I would drink 2 glasses
6) Didn't let son see me drunk:  except once, last fall, on my birthday

But there were still way too many nights, sitting down with the hubby, where I drank too much, had lousy sleep, a few black outs where I don't remember going to bed and overall just unhealthy drinking.  Not that any drinking is healthy per se, but I envy those who can drink a glass here or there to unwind.  That's really the bottom line for me.....I cannot drink to unwind because I become unwound!

My son has started to watch my behavior so that in of itself has inserted some accountability into my drinking habits.  But I've found ways around get him his own dinner before I start drinking so that once he is off gaming with his friends on the computer, I can go drink with the hubs and son never knows I got tipsy because I go to bed before him.

My hubby doesn't really think a bottle of wine here or there is that horrible.  He is a drinker and should cut back too so he doesn't want to acknowledge my getting buzzed as long as I have no drunky-drunk moments.  And if I have those once in a blue moon, he writes it off as blowing off steam.

I don't drink much in front of friends or other family.  I never have issues getting anything done that anyone else expects.  Work, housework, meal prep, laundry, paying bills and so on.  BUT I NOTICE.  I NOTICE. I THINK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME.....IT IS A PROBLEM.

I have brutally let myself down and I'm just done with it all.  I thought these last few months I could just drink socially and not drink at home.  But my methods of trying this on my own have not worked.   I would still cave for that mellow feeling, that tune out of life that I could get from wine.  I just didn't bother to resist it.   I had a bottle and a half of wine last Wednesday night and felt like shit on Thursday.  Still got up at 6am, worked all day, blah blah.  Then I didn't drink Thursday night and had one glass on Friday night.  Then last night the hubs came home with that larger bottle of cheap wine.  He couldn't find the regular size cold at the store.  I literally felt the wind go out of my sails.  I felt crushed.  Not at him, but at me, because I knew I would let myself down.  We drank it all, me most of it.  I feel tired and sluggish today.

At the start of the year I had such plans for exercise, healthy eating, organizing my house and getting ahead at work.  All that has really fallen aside.  I have a vacation to paradise in 3 weeks.  I had such goals......but I finally broke down and ordered realistic swim suits and shorts for the body that I have, not the body I wanted.

In 2016 I realized that I am an Obliger.  You can read about it HERE if you haven't before.  This is why I can drink normally when expected to.  But if nobody cares, nobody notices, then I let myself down.  Same for exercise.  Same for healthy eating.

I MUST set up external accountability for all these things:  Drinking, Diet and Exercise

The part of my life that must be fixed first is no drinking at home.  No drinking period is the ideal but I want to see if I can setup some accountability to at least no drinking at home.  We'll see if I can make progress by doing that alone.  I have no doubt that I would have made changes sooner if I had had to blog about how much I drank.  I want to know someone is reading.....and watching....waiting for me to let myself down and/or cheering me on.  Either is fine.

I'm restarting my blog as a final attempt to really hold myself accountable.  I also told the hubs that I don't want to drink anymore at home with just the two of us.

I want to have a life free of the pull of alcohol. I don't want to think about it all day long anymore.  I want to embrace who I am and become better.  I want to love myself, to not feel ashamed of my addiction.  I want to take care of my body and not pour poison into it any longer.  I want to improve my overall diet as well.  I want to be fitter.  I'm going to use this blog to record my new adventure.

Some of you are probably reading this and saying "no way" can she just not drink at home if she still drinks at all socially.  I totally agree with that risk, but before I can go all the way, I have to give this one more try.  And I'm going to really try and resist some social occasions as well.  But I do understand that even having some sips socially might make me cave on the homefront.  If that happens I will have to give up alcohol 100%, that I know. 

So I will see how this goes and if, in a few weeks I haven't been successful, I will start counting days and go that route.  I have read about others who were in my shoes and reduced their drinking to take it out of their daily routine.....but I am the first to admit those stories are not common.  If I do fail then this blog will be reinforcement of the need to give up alcohol completely when a person gets to where I am!

Thanks for all the understanding and support over the years.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Didn't make it but all still good

Well, we fell off the wagon.  I almost wish I could say it was bad, we made fools of ourselves, etc but we didn't.  We just didn't stick to our guns on the Dry January thing.

Oh well.  Try, try again.  The difference is that every day I don't drink feels really good, and the guilt I feel when I drink, and especially then have to blog about it, is horrible.

It's hard to know now how I feel about it all.

What I do know is that even at 2 full glasses a night, I think that's still way over health standards.  It may not disrupt my sleep as much as a bottle would but it certainly is empty calories and impacts my motivation to exercise.  Also, the potential is just still too much there, for regular drinking, that a bad night WILL happen.

I think sober is better, it's just a matter of getting there.  I'm still happy with all the improvements in my life, though, so I'm going to keep working on this!

Congratulations to all those who are still in dry January and to those who are really making it stick.  It's not as if I disagree in any way!  It's where I'd rather be, I just need to keep pushing through these cravings.

What's funny is that I don't think we would have drunk had we gone to that party Saturday night.  But son got the flu so we stayed home and drank the wine we were going to bring for the host.  Sigh.

The next night my folks arrived and the four of us, seriously, split a bottle of white and there was a glass still in it the next day.

Maybe I am making progress.  I normally would have been on to a second bottle after wearing out a few glasses on the first!

I'm not one of these people who wishes she could drink normally.  I'm so beyond that.  I want to not drink at all.  This stuff is poison!  It's just such a mind over matter game against the wine witch!!  Maybe all this guilt and practice is still getting me to where I want to be!

Hugs to all,


Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Just realized it was Day 8 and I made it through a week! 

Last night we had a sporting event.  It helped that we had to eat dinner early around 5pm, drive 45 minutes and we didn't get home until close to 9pm.  I never would have drank under these circumstances so drinking didn't even cross my mind.  It was like having a "free" night from cravings.

I prefer not drinking.  I just read LIA LEON's blog and the recent post resonated with me.  When I am unhappy or stressed it's easier for me to see why I am craving wine and almost easier to stop the craving.  Whereas when I am feeling content, not stressed, overall happy....that's when I have visions of sitting down and drinking the liquid mellow. 

I know that visualizing that I won't stop at drink 2, will wake up thirsty, my face will be blotchy and I'll have interrupted sleep will be important to think about!

For now, I'm just really trying to deal with each day/situation as it comes.

Declaring things helps.  My first blogging attempt declared that I was going alcohol free.  That got me a lot of mileage......until it didn't.  I didn't really tell others but the blogging support kept me going.  Once I was proud of myself and hit 125 days then it sort of lost it's magical power.

I have tried since but I always let down my blog.  It's as if it just isn't enough of a draw to keep me from drinking.  I have joined the throngs of the quitters and starters.

So this time, so far, I have done 3 things.  Yes, I started blogging again.  It still helps even though it's not enough.  I also told the hubby I needed to change and he agreed to do a dry January with me.  I doubt he'll stick with it but I know I need to get those days under my belt.

Then, and I was really waffling on this, my friend invited us over on Saturday evening so she could cook for us and I could meet her boyfriend and also her sister.  They are big drinkers.  She never mentions her sister without mentioning what a big drinker she is.  When I saw her yesterday I did the unthinkable.  I told her that we were really looking forward to dinner but that we weren't drinking and hoped that was okay.  She was surprised and it was maybe a little awkward but now she knows!  She won't be expecting us to drink and I told her we would bring our sparkling water with us!

This is the first time I really have declared I'm not drinking and so I am looking forward to observing what happens to other people as they drink.  I have a feeling we'll be trying to find an excuse to leave early but we'll see.  Maybe it will be fun afterall!  Should be good food anyway that I will actually taste and savor and more importantly REMEMBER!  There have been far too many times where I have had good meals that I didn't take the time to enjoy!

Happy hump day everyone!


Monday, January 8, 2018

The Knowing

How does that Toby Keith song go?  I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then?....

I've been reflecting on what a different Day 6 it is today.  Especially as I re-read my old blog posts from 2016.

I "know" so much now.  About myself, about alcohol's effects (physically and mentally), about the struggle to quit....

This past week I've really been thinking good and hard about my earliest alcohol experiences and the poor relationship I have with alcohol, most especially with wine.  Wow, it goes so far back.  I can't pinpoint my first hangover but while I've often given credit to my ex husband for my accelerated need for wine, I realize that how I handle alcohol was messed up before I met him.  I just wasn't using wine.  At that time it was beer and some harder alcohol. 

Perhaps enough hangovers and that's why I switched to wine as I felt better in the morning.  Gradually I got to where I really only wanted white wine.  I'm okay with the taste of beer but I don't crave a buzz that way.  Neither with hard liquor.  Not sure why but it's wine that does it for me.  When desperate I will even drink too much red although I hate the taste for the first two glasses.

Another blogger (apologies as I can't remember who) recently blogged something about "taste", that she doesn't drink for taste or something to that effect.  I went to look for that post again and couldn't find it but it resonated with me.

I've never drunk wine for taste.  Oh, sure, I pretended to.  I remember my ex and I having a good bottle of white on our honeymoon and we raved about how good it tasted.  Okay, yes it was very buttery which is very much my speed so it tasted even better, but it really was more about the mellow state I wanted to get to.  Over the years I realized cheap wine worked fine too.  As long as it was smooth and buttery.

Wouldn't it be nice to see if "wines" really enhance the dining experience.  I'm starting to think it's a bunch of malarky made up by the wine industry.  OR there is a whole other world to wine that I have never explored.  Frankly I don't have enough time to get into that and with my history I think that's one I just have to put aside.  I don't snowboard.  I don't skydive.  I don't surf.  I don't ski very well.  All things I would have liked to have done more of or tried but at 48 I am realistic about what makes sense to take on.  Clearly becoming a sommelier is not in my future!

I don't have a lot of experience with quitting. After my 125 days in 2016 it was as if I proved I can quit.  I can.  Staying quit was the challenge.  Knowing that I am embarking on more time off, knowing that while my face will be less puffy, eventually, knowing that I will lose weight, at some point, knowing that cravings will subside, daunting this time around.  But I think it's what I really want this time, deep in my soul, as opposed to just trying to prove I don't have a problem!  That's my "knowing".

Hugs to all the early stagers!


Friday, January 5, 2018

Time to do the gardening.....

Hello all,

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  My busy work season this fall was much busier than last year....which is a good thing.

I feel pretty good about life in general.  Working on my diet and fitting back into my work clothes helped a lot with my attitude.

I still wasn't ready to try and give up alcohol again and I wasn't sure what to blog about in that frame of mind.  I still read blogs as often as I can but have found it hard to take time to comment.  I feel that reading the blogs and commenting is an indulgence.... so it drops down the priority chain of things I have to do.  I see it as a rewarding activity and I feel so far behind in things right now that I don't get to it.

Even now I feel like I am shirking something else by taking time to write down my thoughts.   But here goes.....

I have started to view my life as if it were a beautiful garden with zen like water features, warm sun and beautiful plants.  My "life" garden ideally is alcohol free, full of exercise and eating correctly.  It has lots of sleep in it and lots of "getting things done" in it.  Work is fulfilling but doesn't overtake my garden and relationships flourish.

I like to keep my garden this way but weeds can sneak in and infest the beauty of my garden.  With the busy fall, I am seeing more and more weeds taking hold and I haven't taken the time to get rid of them.  It's always easy before the holidays for me to just focus on work and trying to make the season Christmas-y for the family.  House cleaning takes a back burner, full dinner prep goes by the wayside, exercise gets relegated to I don't know where......never can seem to find that one!

Around New Years I walked "outside" and realized "yikes" I had weeds everywhere.  I was drinking too much again, eating horribly (totally blowing off the good habits of Sept/Oct/Nov), my house was a mess, I was behind in household accounting, and I wasn't sleeping well.

I really want to take time to not have any alcohol in my life as a rule.  I still don't know if I have to fully give it up.  I am still questioning whether it's a vice I can manage or not.  I know I can't moderate.  Drinking daily will bring me to where I am right now but I'm not perfect and the pressure of being a perfect non drinker won't keep me sober.....until I decide I really, truly want it.

For anyone else in my garden or starting now in the New Year tackling their weeds, I think we will be okay.  We may or may not fully give up alcohol.  Most of those who have quit seem to come out somewhere (eventually) knowing it was the best decision they ever made.  But those same folks understand that the rest of us must come to our own decisions.

For me, right now, it's enough to be a part of this blogging universe.  If I hadn't found it I don't know where I would be.  My problem right now is that I can drink a bottle of wine no problem.  I rarely drink more but I rarely drink less with nights off becoming more rare.  This is horribly unhealthy and I know it.  BUT at least I'm not acting like a fool nor retching into the toilet any morning.  I'm functioning....but just.  Not enough to keep the weeds out. 

I'm starting in on Sober Mummy's book....the Sober addition to being such a great read and making me belly laugh out loud at times, it's a great reminder about why I don't want to be drinking.  It's a real treat to read it and I'm desperately trying to make time to do so each day, if only for a few minutes.

I'm going to try and incorporate some meditation, actually give yoga a try and really, really try to get some sort of exercise in each day.  And cooking...gotta figure this one out too.

The hubby and I are attempting a dry January.  The mini bar is stocked with AF beer, club soda and sparkling juices.  We are on day 3 today.  We laughed this morning at how much we got done the last two nights.  The challenge will be how to deal with the stresses as they pop up, that we want to tune out.  We'll see how it goes.

I'll always count days but I already feel my garden is starting to look better.  If I get to a point where it feels back to zen and then a weed pops up, I will kill it by consciously weeding it out of the soil. I'm not going to put another chemical in place to kill one weed and let a different type grow!  Each one needs to be tackled.

Wow, this post was really wordy and strange but it made me feel better to write it.  I thought of writing about all the reasons why I drink but it doesn't really matter.  As MICHELLE SAYS in her blog, Just fucking do it.  Stick to it and stop mucking around.    It doesn't really matter why!

Here's to my zen garden getting back into shape and to all of yours doing the same!