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!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 20

Last night we were back in the groove. Normal, alcohol free drinking.  Hubs made a nice steak and vegetable dinner and we caught up on our TV show.

In the past, the conversations within myself have dared me to just go get a bottle, just have a few glasses.

Nowadays the voice inside me still says the same thing, I think it always will, but my other voice is louder saying that I really don't want that.

I would love to mellow out with wine but unless I'm on guard (translate that to away from home), it's too much of a battle.  It's easier to say I just won't drink at home.

Tonight I'm all alone in the house for the evening.  Previously I would have uncorked a bottle of wine and sat down to call whatever friend I could to catch up with.  Too many times I realized the next day that I didn't remember most of the last half of the conversation and felt stupid about what I should and should not ask about next time.

I don't really feel like calling anyone tonight but the thought of wine is more fleeting.  Like a passing thought of "wouldn't it be nice" followed by "but I can't."

Of course I CAN, but I know that would mean I would pour one glass and feel all adult.  So I'd just pour one more.  Then I'd say oh heck what's one more?  Then there would go the bottle. I'd have a nice buzz but horrible sleep, a puffy face, and I'd be cranky the next day.  Easier just to skip it.

Every day I get up ready to tackle the day in a good mood reinforces not drinking too much or even better, not drinking at all.

Had my annual physical visit with doctor today who, of course, told me I'm doing great.  Little did he know.....sigh....    Funny thing about the cholesterol.  While a little high on the LDL side, he said he didn't think I should go on a statin medication.  Duh.  But he recommended red yeast rice pills.  I did some research and it's a little scary.  If you get the ones that are legal then it doesn't have much of the statin like chemical in it anyway.  If you get the ones that are illegal then there are a whole host of other crap you can face.  Just thought it odd that a doctor would actually recommend that stuff given the potential for what could go wrong for someone.  I told him thanks but I thought I would just try to lose 30 pounds by next year and we'll re-evaluate!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 19 - pressure valve

I have been feeling like a pressure cooker lately about this not drinking.  My fear is that the not drinking would explode into a binge one day or on vacation.  I would say "f-it, and drink a whole bottle".

When we went out last night to the dinner and a show with friends, I did have two glasses of wine.  But it was like it relieved the pressure building up inside of me so that now I can keep going.

I struggle with forever but I don't want to be who I was.  I don't want regular drinking in my life but I haven't totally ruled out the occasional slip.

We are supposed to go on vacation next week and I cancelled and rescheduled it twice, all because of the pressure to not have anything to drink.  I don't think I'm ever going to be vice free but I want to manage my vices. 

The interesting thing about last night is that 2 glasses did nothing for me.  Nothing at all.  Well, other than calm the wine witch voice that said "go ahead."  Of course not, because now to get a buzz I would have to have a lot more.  I felt like I wasted precious $$ on two stupid drinks! 

I did hear the wine witch but her call was not as loud.  She said "oh go ahead, and have one more".  But aside from the fact that I didn't want to spend the money, I also didn't want to get buzzed, to feel out of control.  I felt that voice louder than that of the wine witch.

Yes, I can have a glass or two but what's the point?  I sat through the evening and watched all the people drunk and standing up to dance, making complete asses of themselves.  There is something not pretty about seeing a woman my age or older drunk off her butt.  It's funny how that invokes pity to me but doesn't with a younger woman.  Not really sure why.

Anyway, it felt accomplished to drive home and then read for a bit and go to bed.  It felt good to still sleep well, to still get up this morning and go to my 6:30am workout and to sit here now with my gluten free bagel and tea.  (yes, I bought more bagels so that I can try them this time instead of the dogs!)

I'm not advocating trying wine again if you've given it up.  This is a process we all have to follow on our own timeline.  I want to choose to not have wine.  I know that's better for me.  I'm sure I'll have a glass or two next week but I am also looking forward to all the early mornings before it gets hot, seeing wildlife coming off their night shift and heading to bed.  I love seeing the days of not drinking on my calendar!!  I think I have taken the binge risk off the table.

As I've said before, it feels so different now.  1) I know and admit I have a problem with regular drinking.  I will escalate too easily to unhealthy levels. 2) I prefer dealing with "me" sober. 3) I feel less stress and anxiety when not drinking.  4) I just feel healthier not drinking. 

It's taken a long time to get to this point.  For the first time I feel like I am choosing to not fall back into that everyday drinking mode.  It's a slippery slope for sure but I'm on a diligent watch!  And blogging helps!

Monday, June 18, 2018

June 18

So the minute I arrived at the BBQ yesterday afternoon, the hostess chucked a big glass of something pink with lots of ice in it into my hand.  I think (actually not sure) it had some sort of red wine, orange juice, sparkling water, and lemon in it.

Because I am not drinking but not being bold enough to tell anyone, I sipped it.  I never would have just sipped it before.  I sipped it for an hour until finally it was about 1/4 full.  I slipped inside and refilled the crushed ice and found more sparkling water that I added back in.

I'm not counting yesterday because 1) I wasn't sure what I was even drinking 2) it didn't feel like I was drinking and 3) I didn't desire to drink.

Hubs did have 3 beers but with lots of food and I drove so no issue there.

I realized something while I was sipping that drink.  I didn't like the taste.  But in the past I would have sucked it down and then had another before I left.  Would have had enough to give me a warm buzz although not enough to get drunk since I would have been driving and in front of people.  Yesterday, between whatever was in it and the sun/wind, I just felt blah.  The drink tasted horrible, truthfully, and I felt so much better when I was able to load it up with ice and water.

Right now I'm at the stage where I "don't want to drink" more than I "want to drink".  I like this stage and want to protect it, nurture it.

My weight is still very frustrating and I think that helps with the not drinking.  In fact, I'm sitting here blogging but I need to get up and exercise.  I saw this WEBSITE and both these pics hit home for me.  Food for thought!  I'm trying to stay optimistic regarding my weight gain which I will attribute to muscle.  The woman in the bottom photo weighs 9 lbs more than the she did and she looks better, right?




Oh yes, we were home by 5:45 last night so we tucked in with a movie.  For anyone who likes horses, this documentary called Unbranded was great! It's about 4 guys who take wild mustangs (that they adopted from the Bureau of Land Management) from the Mexican border up through wild lands to the Canadian Border.  The scenery was spectacular and it was well done.  Blackfish, that documentary about Sea World and the Orcas, was very emotionally charged.  This film was not.  It was kept low key and both perspectives, the BLM's view of the appropriate management level (AML) for mustang and the wild horse advocates who are opposed to the rounding up of the herds, were both presented without being emotionally charged.  The film could have been done to tug heart strings one way or another but we enjoyed the more level presentation of the issues faced by the growing herds of wild horses.  As one who lives out west and sees wild horses quite often, it really made me think.  Anyway, worth a watch.

Tonight we have dinner with friends and a show but I think I wasn't drinking the last time we saw them.  Hubs will probably have something with them but my excuse will be weight and driving so I think all will be good.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

June 17

Last night turned out to be easier than expected but old habits die hard.

In the morning I asked hubs if he would want to watch a movie later that night.  He said yes.  I hesitantly asked if he wanted to see 50 Shades Darker.  Lol.  He said okay but we might need wine.  Yikes.  I said "never mind then" with a smile.  He then said he might be able to handle it sober.

First let me say that I'm really not a big fan of the movie series. No more than I was of the Twilight movies.  But I loved the books.  Something about the Twilight books and the 50 shades books had me hooked.  I suppose it is true that some things are best left to the imagination and yet I still wanted to see the characters come alive in the movies.

We then decided to do a hike.  I was hesitant because I was feeling a bit "down" and a bit frustrated about all of the things I have to do around the house.  But I overcame the dumps and said okay to the hike.  I knew deep down that it would make me feel better.  So when we got home after a 3 hour nonstop hike in the mountains and elevation climb from 8500 ft to 10,000 ft, I was f'ing exhausted.  I have never been so tired. 

Remember HALT?
Hungy - that was me ravenous
Angry - not really angry but grumpy and with a headache from the altitude and sun
Lonely - not but would have liked my own space at that point
Tired - terribly!

3 out of 4 = wine.  We agreed we were in need of a serious jacuzzi when we got home.  I said I might need wine.  Hubs, bless his heart said "let's have old miluakee beer (alcohol free) in the jacuzzi and then re-evaluate."

So we got home and I scarfed a leftover cheeseburger patty and some blue corn tortillas and medium salsa.  Hit the jacuzzi with our near beers and soaked up some more sunshine.  I still had the headache when I got out, was still totally exhausted but at least I wasn't hungry and, frankly, was too tired to even consider an alcoholic buzz.  However, hubs had to run to the store and I admit to secretly wondering if he would bring wine home for the movie.  I also admit to being a bit bummed when he didn't even though I really didn't have a craving.  Again, old habits die hard.

We watched our movie with tea.  Okay it was pretty silly but the best part was watching how appalled the hubs got at certain scenes.  He stayed quiet but I caught him shaking his head and rolling his eyes.  It was so funny!  You should have seen his face when I mentioned that there was a third one in the series we could watch.  I have now been committed to watching the entire Shark Week when it is on.......

It does feel good to be bright and alert on a Sunday morning and even though we don't have any kids around, hubs had nice fathers day gifts to open from them which kicked the day off nicely.  I'm still sore but not as bad as I thought I would be.  Dogs are another story.  One is limping a bit and neither is leaving their spot on the floor in the sunshine unless they are absolutely positive they could benefit from any goings-on in the kitchen.  I was impressed they came in for some of my morning smoothie!

This afternoon we have been invited to a Fathers Day BBQ.  I won't drink but if he wants a beer I'm cool with that.  He has only had one other drink since June 1 and that was 1 beer he caved and had when out with the guys.  Don't you hate it how weight just falls off men when they don't drink?  So frustrating!  Oh well, I'll get there!!  I feel overall better with myself right now even if I haven't lost weight and that's what counts most I guess.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

June 16

Last night we went to have dinner with friends who don't drink. Again, another protected evening because I knew drinking wouldn't be an option.

When we scheduled dinner our friend asked what kind of wine we liked.  I knew they didn't drink so I said we weren't drinking, just trying to be healthier and lose weight.  He said "great, since we don't drink either."   Perfect, no big deal.  I asked what we could bring and he said just ourselves.

So last night right as we show up they start offering drinks.  Asked if we would like some wine.  I said no thanks and had lemonade, hubs had a diet coke.  They had water and lemonade.

Then, as we were sitting down to dinner, the wife asked if I wouldn't like a glass of wine with dinner.  Wow, that was a tough one but I was able to say "no thanks, I'm driving anyway".  Issue averted.

We had a lovely dinner and were home by about 8:15pm, grabbed some tea and hopped into bed to read for awhile.

Time to go workout!


Thursday, June 14, 2018

June 14 - being controlling

I feel really good today about making it through last night's craving.  Again, the next two nights will be fairly easy but then the dreaded Saturday.  I'm working hard to make sure I'll have tools in the toolbox for that by ensuring some sweets/munchies will be on hand.

When you don't drink you are forced to feel the emotions you are trying to blot out.  I get that but I always have a hard time trying to figure out what I was really trying to avoid.  I've latched on to various reasons why I drink like financial stress, family stress, job stress, etc but it never really seems to click with me that those are the true reasons.  It doesn't feel right.

FINDING A SOBER MIRACLE posted about being a control freak and I've been mulling it over a lot lately.  More than I ever have.

I don't view myself as a control freak but I certainly admit to exhibiting controlling behavior from time to time.  I don't do it at work...I tend to manage by results.  I don't do it with my son and he is very well organized, self confident because I am definitely not a helicopter mom.  I could actually probably stand to be more involved in his schooling but he's getting straight As so I kind of leave it to him to manage.

However, I know I am a control freak with a partner, with a man I love.  I remember doing it with my first husband and I see myself doing it now.  The first husband got lost in our relationship.  I handled everything, controlled everything.  We started to working together (disaster if one partner can be controlling) and I tried to control that too.  Not so much in a micro manage type of way.  That I don't do. More like being too critical about things.

I remember he would come home from meetings, frustrated, and it was hard for me to not tell him what he could have done different, what I would have done in that situation.  Instead of just being emotionally there for him as he figured out what worked best for him.

I've been reading about it and there are many reasons one may have for being controlling: past abuse, being OCD, having anger issues, being a narcissist, being codependent, being depressed, having trust issues and jealousy, being a manager and taking on too much responsibility, and being an overprotective parent were listed.

But none of these resonated with me.  I haven't been abused, I'm not OCD, I can't stay angry at anyone, I'm not a narcissist, I'm pretty independent not codependent, I'm not depressed and while I have some trust issues, those came after 1st husband had an affair.  My controlling behaviors predated that, contributed to that in fact.  I'm good at leading/managing people and while I may try to do too much myself, when I let others do it I'm pretty hands off.  I'm not an overprotective parent.

However, the last reason listed was being a perfectionist.  And that I am in many ways.  I can live within a mess but when I clean, I want it done right.   When I send someone to the grocery store with a list, I want it shopped correctly, no abnormal brands.  I have a standard for myself that I want to impose on others.  Why can't they be like me?  Why can't they caulk the toilet base neatly and precisely?  Why don't they know you clean a stove this way?  My life is a song of "don't forgets" to my family.

"Sweetie, don't forget to wipe dry the kitchen counters so the water doesn't get into the cracks...."
"Don't forget to move the pans across the stove instead of dragging them so they don't scratch..."

I'm constantly giving advice when other people do the things I do.  I'm exhausted.  I don't feel that I can get much help around the house because its easier for me to do it myself.

I finally have my son doing his own laundry.  Once I truly back off, I'm fine.  I don't even ask if he's done it.  And he does it every week.  And I know he hangs up his clothes neatly, after all I trained him!  But I still do all my husbands laundry......because I can't stand the thought of him walking around in wrinkled shirts and I know he won't fold them right.  Can't teach the old dog new tricks.

My critiquing this way gets in the way of praise and thanks for things I do acknowledge in my head that my family does correctly.  I avoid the critiquing but just doing something myself.

This is such a hard balance to know where to "advise" or "coach" someone on something and when it crosses over to being a pain in the ass to them.

Current hubs is very independent and pushes back when I get too controlling.....which actually is helpful.  I know I lost my first marriage to this.  Then again, 1st hubs let himself be controlled.  Interestingly enough, he had a controlling mother, married me, cheated on me a few times and then left me for a woman who, it seems, is way more controlling than I ever was!  Maybe he wanted to be controlled in some way and yet didn't know how to handle it when it got to be too much.  He's still with his new wife though so maybe she makes up for it with more praise than I ever did.

So I prefer to fix some of my behavior before it would ever get to be too much for the current dude!

Oh well, work in progress but no wonder I drank all my life.  I exhaust myself trying to get everyone to do things the way I want them done and so tuning out with wine helps me turn all that off.  The critical wife takes a hiatus and we have fun, meaningful discussions.  Now I just need to learn how to do this sober!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 13 - a test

Last night was another protected evening by a sporting event but summer league is over and son is about to embark on vacation leaving hubs and I home alone.  Fingers crossed.

I didn't work out today which made me bummed out with myself but I did clean a portion of the house from top to bottom, so I was still moving I guess.  Anyway, I feel accomplished on the home front.

I made waffles, though, at my son's request and didn't exactly stay totally away from them.  Oh well.

It's 5:07pm.  Hubs is out with colleagues and should be home soon.  About 4pm it hit me.  Whammo.  Craving.  Big Craving.  I guess because I knew that one text from me like "Hi honey, we've been so good, how about one cheat night?" and he would have stopped by the store on the way home.

I think it was because I hadn't had much of a lunch and I was exhausted from cleaning.  So I thought about why I wanted wine so much.  I really needed "something".   So I went into the kitchen and made myself some tea.  I also have a chocolate protein shake mix that with a little coconut oil, almond milk and some dairy free mini morsels, can pass as raw brownie mix that can be eaten.  So I made some of that and my "sweet" need was fixed.

I'm actually now ready for hubs to arrive home and we can sit down and enjoy an alcohol free cocktail.  I still have a semi craving for wine but I understand it's just the desire to relax and tune out.  Times like this I wish I really could have just one large glass of white wine and be done.  Oh well.

I should also say that this is the first time I have really bothered to push through a big hairy craving in quite a long time.  For awhile I was trying and then I gave up.  There were times when I didn't drink or didn't drink too much but a big craving always resulted in too much.  I was just caving when those moments occurred.  It does feel really good to have pushed through it tonight!

I have a friend who can't understand not having wine at night.  She only has 1 glass, 2 when socializing, but says she can't imagine not having one at the end of the day.   (And I've been around her enough to know she really is only having 1 maybe 2.)   One time she came by when I wasn't drinking and said she couldn't fathom not having something.  Oh to be her and have 7 glasses, maybe 10 per week.  I would do that in 2.5 days.  Oh well.

I have a workout in the morning and I really do enjoy them.

Tomorrow night will be easy to not drink because I have to drive son to airport on Friday and nothing worse than feeling tired in addition to the emotional goodbye.  Friday night I strategically arranged dinner with folks who don't drink.  That will make things easier since I'll be emotionally tired from saying goodbye to my son and tired from all the prep to get him ready to leave.  Up next in the not drinking challenge will be Saturday!

There's one thing I feel is different than the last time I really tried to not drink for an extended period. Last time I wanted to see if I could do it and then I was hopeful I could go back to normal drinking.  I now recognize that even if I don't quit 100% that I will drink a bottle every single time I drink at home.  That helps to take the fire out of the craving.  I no longer pretend it's going to be one glass and move on.  So now I'm trying to identify why I'm having the craving and then nip that in the bud before ever trying a drink.  Nice to see at least some change in myself!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 12


Nothing really much to blog about.  I'm just still in that "drinking is not an option" mode so cravings don't last too long.  Had a little craving last night but then it passed as I focused on other things.  I'm trying to work toward a "choose this not that" approach to drinking.  The more I can make not drinking become a choice every evening, the better I know I will do.   I start with that when the cravings happen but when the wine witch successfully bypasses that thought, then right now it's "I can't drink in June" that is sustaining me.

I caved and had a small philly cheesesteak and soup for lunch yesterday.  Oops. Oh well.  Didn't drink and worked out this morning.

Monday, June 11, 2018

June 11 - another near miss

Geez......another year, another annual physical, and I still haven't been outed by my bloodwork. Phew.

My overall cholesterol went up by 8 points and my LDL is still a bit high but my HDL, the good one, actually went down by 5 points and is still normal... and my triglycerides went down from 118 to 76.

I looked back at past results and back in 2010 my triglycerides were 49 and then they rocketed to 116 by 2012, haven't been below 100 since.  And my Albumin which reflects liver function is 4.4, same as last year.  Healthy range is 3.6 to 5.1.

What does this mean?  I have made some progress on this non drinking thing.  While I only had 125 days not drinking in 2016, I have been hyper aware since then that I have a problem with alcohol.  I have reduced my drinking and done periods of up to 2 weeks without alcohol but then I gradually slip back to drinking a bottle a day, occasionally more.  I'm learning how I feel drinking and not drinking.  Gradually, I feel that my mind is changing more to desiring the non drinking side of things.

I'm so glad that at the end of 2015 I found Sober Mummy's blog again and then started reading all the books so that I was finally ready to try quitting in April of 2016.

For this June, both the hubs and I committed to not drinking.  I'm not saying I'll never drink again but I love not drinking and I think I'll bounce back and forth for awhile.  I don't want to be drinking daily so if I see that start to happen I will just stop again.  I like gradually reinforcing this new habit of not drinking.  It helps to blog too.

Anyway, I just need to get through June and then I can re-evaluate. That's what I told myself in 2016 and by the time I got to 30 days it was easier to just keep going.

For what it's worth, I definitely had to quit back in 2016 or I was going to keep escalating in the wrong direction and I knew that.  I think there are many out there who haven't hit rock bottom, we just realize that what we are doing isn't healthy.

I enjoyed a good hike yesterday and today am very sore but it feels great!  Also enjoyed the jacuzzi again with more alcohol free wine.  Hubs is going back out to store today to stock up again for us.

It's funny, this not drinking thing.....I am less stressed about relationship issues, financial issues and not generally feeling as down as I realized I was before.

I'm also starting to enjoy cocktail hour with a substitute.  I know some don't like having "cocktails" because the process can be tough to get through, or triggery, but I don't want to give up that time.  I love sitting down and watching sunsets together with a glass of something in hand.  Or sitting in front of the fireplace in the winter with a glass in hand.  Years ago I switched from regular soda to diet, I've switched from sugar to Stevia, vegetable oil to olive oil, white bread to wheat or rye.....why not alcohol to something alcohol free?  Cheers!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 10

Well I made it through a hurdle last night.  My hubs needed an ingredient for dinner and stepped out to go to the store.  It took everything I had to not ask him to get some wine.  I think he half wanted me to.  I know if I had just said "hey, let's have some wine tonight" he would have been game, proud of us lasting all week.  It wasn't even like I really wanted it but the urge to ask was huge!!  I just wanted to sort of "punt" and sit down with wine and tv for the evening.

Instead I grabbed a hot chocolate protein shake.

I didn't do much all day.  First time for that in a long time.  I spent the day only doing laundry despite my still messy house.  Okay, it's not really messy but I see the dust that needs dusting which drives me crazy.  But that can wait.

I was so tired for some reason.  I went to my morning workout and did fine but then about noon, I just crashed, hit a wall!  Laid in bed for an hour, not really sleeping but just completely zoned out.  That kind of lethargy where you can't move a limb and feel drugged.  Then I came out of it and just stayed in bed reading Sober Mummy's book, which I had yet to finish.

I played a game with my son in the afternoon called Quirkle. It's one of my favs.  We also played brain games on Kahoot with our phones.  That's a really cool program.  You set the laptop up with the topic and then each person enters their answers on their cell phone like jeopardy.  We did games but they have it for school topics ....and you can create your own quiz too.  Fun!

Hubs made dinner and we hit the jacuzzi with our alcohol free brut while it was cooking in the oven.  You know what?  It was fine and it was fun.

Then we caught up on a tv show and went to bed.

Today we are going to head out on a beautiful hike.  I'm really sore from my workouts but hopefully it will be a good stretch!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

June 9 - testing day

Tonight will be a big test for me but I think I can make it.

I woke up, had tea and scoured the blogs for new ones to read.  I'm amazed at how many I follow where there are no recent entries.  Some have disappeared, some just write more infrequent.

Fortunately, one blogger posted out of the blue - amen - which led me to some new blogs.  I ate them up like I was eating chocolate.

Yesterday was a shit day of eating bad and not exercising, although I did do house cleaning for awhile.  But no alcohol and a good nights sleep.

Tonight I'm going to really try to work through the anticipated cravings.  I have lots of bubble water on hand and we discovered that the FRE Brut, if you dilute it with club soda or bubble water and add a squirt of lime is actually quite tasty.  I was worried that it had sugar added but it's really actually wine with alcohol removed.  So 8 oz has 1/2 the calories of a 4 oz glass of wine.  I'm really going to embrace this for cocktail hour tonight and, well, burp a lot.   Lots of carbonation...

Hubs and I got into a bit of a row yesterday.  I can be controlling in some ways.  He is struggling with getting a new career going and, of course, I had to give my input because, of course, he isn't handling things the way I would.  Oops.  And I did it at the wrong moment.  The problem is I think we're having a discussion and then he explodes like a volcano. Oh, not really, doesn't yell or get violent, just starts talking over me and then going through history, then cursing and storming away.  I can't say as I really blame him.  But we had a good talk afterwards that when I do that, and I shouldn't, but I'm sure it will happen again sometime, if he could just stop and take control of the conversation, we'd probably nip an argument in the bud.  If he could take a deep breath before he blows and ask himself why I am doing this, what fear am I feeling, and maybe reassure me instead, then an argument might be averted.

Because of course I'm hitting his ego.  So here I think, because he is receptive to listening to me, that we are having a "discussion" which is really me giving my opinion.  But then I don't realize his own emotions are building up and all of  a sudden, holy shit, he vomits words in a torrent and is clearly pissed.  And rightly so I must say.  So I have things to work on but "handling" how we argue is also something he can contribute to.  He was actually super receptive to my saying all that and he did mega chores on his own all day without me begging him.  :-)  So sometimes arguments CAN be productive....

We tried to do a dry May.  He was game.  But I sensed he waited every day to see if I would ask him to make a wine run.  (We had gotten in to the habit of only buying 2 bottles per run.  Not the most cost effective but it made sure that he had just one red and I had just one white and we didn't go further.  But the jogging to the store daily was getting out of hand and started to drive him crazy too.)  So in May we went dry for awhile and then I would ask for wine and he would dash out the door before I could change my mind.  What a pair of us.  I began to notice, though, that he only went to get wine when I asked.  He is so competitive that if "I" wanted us to have wine then he would go get it but no way was "he" going to cave. 

So I'm using this to my advantage in June.  Under no circumstances will I ask him to go get wine.  If i really want it I'll have to go get it.  Given my lazy ass nature, it should nip some situations in the bud as long as I don't stock up when I do go to the grocery store.  So for now I'm avoiding the store altogether.  He has time to do grocery shopping and a lot of the cooking so we'll just let that play out as I try to get through June.

Here's to reporting in tomorrow that I didn't drink tonight!!!

HD

Friday, June 8, 2018

June 8

I feel blah today.  Lots of little things adding up but nothing major.

Biggest frustration is my weight.  Last year I went through a period of hot flashes and when they ended I remember my body chunked on weight like it was going out of style.  I was able to make some diet changes and the weight easily came back off in the fall.  But I didn't sustain it and then incorporated the empty alcohol calories again.

This year the hot flashes stopped around Memorial Day after 5 months.  Coinciding with just having started working out.  I think my body is doing the same thing so I am adding fat and muscle.  I know this will stabilize and will turn the other direction, I just need to have patience, but it's frustrating to feel so big when everything else feels so good.

I am eating better although not great but the diet change isn't going fast enough to counter the weight gain and bloat.  Breathe in, breathe out I tell myself.  Baby steps.

It's okay if I get a little bigger before starting to lose weight.  I am sleeping better, not drinking, exercising more than in the last 6 months and making small dietary changes.  It will happen.  Or so I keep telling myself.

But today, I think I am reigning in on the diet a bit more or else I fear my depression over body image will lead me back to wanting to tune out in the evenings with alcohol.

My son wants to go to the gym later today so hopefully we make it there!! 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

June 7

Made it through the dreaded Wed night. 

Still not doing so great re food but I realized why you don't try to quit everything at once because you have to be left with something that still gives good endorphin release until you find something else to replace it. 

I'm working on the exercise thing.  I am feeling better about exercise and look forward to my training sessions.  I can only imagine becoming addicted to exercise...wow, do I aspire to that.  Patience, patience... 

Quitting in the month of June isn't really testing me that much because it really is medical report card month.  If I get a good report card, then continuing on not drinking in July will be the real test.  This month I have annual blood draw, annual PAP and annual mammo.  I admit to being a bit nervous on all fronts but no point stressing until I need to, I guess.

Day 7 already.  Wow.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

June 6 - endorphins

I spent some down time today reading up on endorphins and how to release them.

Here is what was in the article:

1) Eat chocolate - but my problem is that I will eat too much...
2) Eat your favorite food - been doing that, need to figure out how to make healthy foods my favorite foods!
3) Exercise -  I know, I know...okay I'm trying this
4) Laugh - that I do but maybe could do more of.  I do like watching comedians.
5) Sex - hmmm....pretty good in this department, not sure I can handle more though.  Will keep this in my endorphin toolbox though.
6) Music - good point.  I do relax when I listen to music.  Could do more of this.
7) Group exercise class - not sure why this isn't considered under exercise but maybe because of the social component.  I suppose this means I should use the gym membership instead of treating it like my monthly charity contribution and actually give some of the group classes a whirl.
8) Eat hot peppers - geezel.  Well, maybe I'll try more spicy food and see what will happen, although not sure my gut can handle that.
9) Spray lavender everywhere - the boys would kill me...
10) Spike your drink - seriously, was recommended.  But of course don't party too hard it says...okay scratch that off the list.
11) Acupuncture - not on your life.  Getting my blood drawn this morning was traumatic enough with only one needle!

I just figure that if I can figure out other ways to release my endorphins, other than via wine and food, I will be a lot better off.

I can add for myself: 
1) flipping through Coastal Living, Sunset and Architectural Digest magazines while drinking tea
2) bubble baths with that chromatherapy light on to soothing colors in my air tub - mostly in winter
3) reading a good book next to the fountain
4) dancing to ABBA on the wii

Didn't drink last night, won't drink tonight.  Ate fast food today and didn't exercise.  Damn. Oh well.  Didn't drink.  Didn't drink.  Didn't drink.

I need to create a different way of getting endorphins going during the witching hours without relying on wine to do it.

Off to eat some salsa and drink alcohol free beer while listening to music! 

Next two nights should be good to go with sporting events so next challenge will be Saturday and by then I'll have over a week under my belt!

HD

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 5

Cravings are all the same......

So.. yesterday I had a "fit" bowl in the freezer at my office, waiting for lunch.  Around 11:30 the cravings for fast food started.  OMG they were strong.  The pull toward my car and Jack N The Box (no commentary please) was crazy.  I kept thinking "okay, when I finish up this task I'll just go!", fudge my dietary intentions and the frozen lunch can just wait for another day.  (note that this lunch has been in there for a week or so which shows my previous lunch cravings won out...)

I had to pause and laugh because the process was EXACTLY what I go through with the wine witch in the evenings.  Cravings, just are cravings.  Addiction is addiction.  (In a reverse way I go through the same thing with exercise.  A long drawn out process where I talk myself out of getting moving.)

I almost caved on the food front especially since I am NOT drinking right now.  Had I known I was going to have wine at night I would have had my "fit" bowl and saved the calories for cocktail hour.  But knowing I wasn't going to have wine made the lunchtime battle that much harder.

I was given a crutch though in regard to lunch.  Some film company was filming near my office so the streets were packed with people.  Going out and navigating the obstacle course they presented was probably the thing that pushed me over back to my frozen entree.  Oh well, at least I never went for the fast food. I need to take pride in baby steps.

Last night was another protected evening with a sporting event so no drinking.  Unfortunately a bit of ice cream snuck in after we got home but, hey, I slept great! 

I did exercise yesterday after I blogged.  30 minutes on my elliptical....I'm good with that.  Did my training workout this morning, did some work and just taking a tea break right now.

I'm frustrated that my weight has gone up since working out but I'm hoping that's just muscle building.  Unfortunately the fat doesn't seem to be melting off yet so now the muscle is just pushing out under the fat.  Oh well.  I've told myself no weight judgement in June.  Just keep plodding along and as long as I do something, anything, each day, I'm good.  It's finally warm enough for swimming so I'm looking forward to adding that in a few times a week.  Oh, and my knees are looking better.  At least I can see them better as my quads are lifting!  Yay!

I realized I have my annual blood draw tomorrow for the dreaded annual physical.  I had thought it was not for a few weeks until I was reviewing my calendar yesterday.  Well, that makes tonight an easy no drinking night. 

Regarding the blood work, though, I have a feeling I'm doomed this year.  Something is bound to be screwed up....thyroid, cholesterol, sugars....something!  I know I am about to get busted, face the fire of what my habits have made me.  Although being in peri menopause, I guess it's natural to feel that things are all messed up.  I just ended almost 6 months of hot flashes so lordy knows whats next on this adventure train.  Thank goodness they ended as I started working out....hmmm....maybe because of that......ssshh..     Hair seems to not be thinning anymore and face seems to be clearing up.  It just sucks to have more acne than my 15 year old son!!

Tomorrow night is going to be a tough-y with no sporting event.  Fingers crossed for Wed night!


Monday, June 4, 2018

June 4

Yesterday I got my closet cleaned out, or most of it anyway.  Still a bit to go.  But I stopped for the afternoon once I filled up an entire old suitcase of things that had accumulated over the past 20 years.  I had a fleeting thought of trying to sell the items, since I can use the money, but then just wanted to get them out of my house, out of my life.

A friend has a thrift shop that benefits a charity so I'll be sending them all her way once I'm finished.  It felt good to get them out of my closet.  A bit scary, though, is the fact that my closet doesn't really look that different.  Wow, I had a ton of stuff mashed in there.

I admit to keeping a few things in there that I hope to fit into again someday.....

Speaking of which I finally weighed myself for the first time in 4 weeks.  Yikes.  I weigh back to what I weighed in the fall when I did the shred diet and it fell off.  However, this time I have been building muscle through workouts over the past 3 weeks.  I am hoping that I am in the process of replacing the fluffy fat with the dense muscle.  I feel as if I am building muscle and it's just pushing against the existing fat, unfortunately.   I look forward to the muscle starting to burn away that fat!  Just trying to have patience.

I was so sore yesterday from Saturday's workout that other than being on my feet and walking back and forth a lot while closet cleaning, I didn't do a specific workout.  I did play in the pool with my son for about an hour and we played with the jai alai rackets so that involved a bit of a jumping and throwing workout.

Diet was so so.  I'm eating healthier, and consuming better types of bread (rye, multigrain), but still have the bread... which is probably problematic in some regard.  Will give up bread in July to see if weight loss accelerates but for June just trying to eliminate junk, fast food especially.  Two oreo cookies snuck in yesterday, and a little ice cream after dinner but today aiming for carrots.  I did make a spinach, corn and strawberry salad for dinner (leftover corn and berries) that was actually very good with a raspberry vinaigrette.  I'm not generally a spinach salad eater but I liked it enough to think about variations for the future!

Didn't drink.  Had two Old Milwaukee non alcoholic beers by pool and then water for dinner, tea during movie.  We all watched a movie last night on Amazon and I enjoyed the together time.

Time to go do some sort of workout and then off to work.....


Sunday, June 3, 2018

June 3

Yesterday was good.  Great workout session in the morning, fairly good maintenance on the food front and didn't drink.  Enjoyed alcohol free wine at half the calories of the real stuff.  Slept pretty well. 

I still get up in the middle of the night when I'm not drinking because I drink tea before bed.  However, it is really nice to be able to get right back to sleep and not ruminate about every thought I have.

I spent this morning drafting various posts of things I wanted to say but once I got them on paper the thoughts seemed so petty AND they were then already out of my head.

The bottom line is that I drink in the evening to relax and blot out any frustrations I have in my life.  Simply put, I'm drugging myself.  When I was writing this morning, venting about those frustrations, I just felt like I was making excuses.   I just need to learn to deal with the cravings, understand I'll be grumpy at cocktail hour until it passes and then move on! 

I have the power to change my life if I really want to......or just learn to appreciate where I've come from, what I have and where I'm going!

Looking forward to cleaning out my closet today and getting in a swim!  Happy Sunday!




Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2

Alcohol status: 

Didn't drink last night but it was what I refer to as a protected evening.  We had my son's game to attend so I knew I wouldn't drink.  Instead I focused on my thoughts.......noticed I was thinking of wine, though.  I caught myself watching the game and wondering if we could stop somewhere on the way home so we could have cocktails upon getting home.  Wow.   That's sad.  Plus, I knew I really didn't want any, deep down, and that by the time we got home the craving would be gone... and I would be ready for bed.  But it is obvious that the habit of thinking of wine at that time of evening is so etched in my brain that it's going to take some doing to retrain it away.

When I have a wine craving, I'm going to instead focus on what the stress is that is triggering it.  I think it's more than just that time of night since there ARE some evenings when I have no desire to drink.

So as I sat there watching the game, realizing I was thinking about wine, I mentally did an exploration.  My emotion was sadness.  I'm so proud of my 15 year old son and was so sad that my ex wasn't there watching him with me. 

My hubby is a great guy and cares about my son.  They get along fine.  My hubs is more of a realist, though, and is more inclined to "coach" than to "nuture".  A guy thing, I think.  Buy my ex is more of a "blow smoke up your ass" guy which comes across as more nurturing, I perceive, to my son.

So it's just not quite the same as having his Dad with me, cheering him on.  One of the great things I have grieved most about my divorce was having to do everything without my ex present.  He moved away when our son was very young.....a choice I'll never understand myself.  The divorce, I get.  Moving so far away from your only young child to pursue your "happiness", I don't get.  I would have sacrificed my "happiness" to stay near my son.  Even given that my ex left me for another woman, I would have preferred to sit with both of them at my son's events, to be a cohesive support for him, over not having my ex there at all.

BUT!!!  At the end of the game I saw my hubby give a bro hug to my son, telling him how great he did.  That hasn't happened often!  I almost cried!  But you know what?  I realized later that all thoughts of wine vanished at that point.  Hmmm......food for thought.  I will keep exploring that.

Food status:

I did pretty well yesterday.  Half a multi grain bagel with flax seed and an egg for breakfast.  Yummy crispy avocado corn tacos for lunch out at a meeting.  Then before the game I scarfed down some turkey slices but that's it.  I was still hungry and so gave in to three oreos.  Sigh.  I could have grabbed grapes, carrot sticks, pepper sticks.....so many other better choices.   Part of my wine thinking may have also been blood sugar issues.

I drink a lot of tea during the day.  I was very proud of myself for switching to Stevia because supposedly it doesn't mess with you like the other sweeteners.  However, I think the "sweetness" is still doing something to my brain.  I would like to give up sweetener but I'm not quite ready yet.  During the next wine craving, I'm going to try feeding it with something healthy.

Exercise:

I still had to work at it.  I got off the blog yesterday and put on workout clothes.  Then the bug guy came to spray and then the gardeners.  (I didn't want to work out on my machine with my butt practically pressed against the window while they were here!)  So I made breakfast.  It took everything I had to then get on the machine for 30 minutes but I did it!

Off in a few to my training session.......at least I have that built in accountability right now.  I do really like it once I get there!

HD


Friday, June 1, 2018

Time to win the debate

I realize there are alcoholics who are perfect in many aspects of their life, except drinking.

They work out, they eat right and yet still succumb to the numbing out process of abusing alcohol.

I am not one of those.

I spent May with more days not drinking than drinking.  That in of itself was an accomplishment but still not where I want to be.  Too many days of still drinking a bottle even if not acting drunk.  Too many nights debating whether I want to drink or not, and losing the internal debate.

Today is June 1st.  Another time to mentally begin anew.  Anyone with me?

Instead of thinking of forever, I am just thinking June.  I want to use this time as a time to reflect and focus on these internal debates I have with myself, in many areas of my life, not just drinking.

Over this past month I've given a lot of reflection to who I am and what I am not.  I think I posted about this back in 2016 but it's really bubbled up as an issue for me.

I am a quitter.  I have no compunction about quitting something, don't even feel much guilt about it. I can rationalize anything to myself.  I am writing today because I just had a 30 minute internal debate about whether I was going to work out or not.  I'm writing to work through some of this and then get my fat ass onto my workout machine for 30 minutes at least!

Part of the problem with being a quitter is my personality type, of which I have written before.  Anything that I want to accomplish internally, is unlikely to happen without external accountability.  I HATE that about myself.  Yes, it's who I am, but I want to change that.

I never let anyone down intentionally with my work.  Generally, I don't let the household down, still get everything done even if buzzed by wine.  But I horribly let myself down in regard to diet, exercise and how my time is spent drinking when I could have done even more things I wanted to accomplish.

I talk myself into not working out, eating like shit, and succumbing to wine.......very, very easily.

I've never been a foodie so I naturally don't eat too much even though I eat like shit.  But I can see the weight coming on over the years.  Since I'm not really "heavy" I keep justifying the poor eating.  I've always had an okay figure so it's easy to push off working out....although I see the body changing as I'm aging and that's going to catch up with me.  And I go some days without drinking and then I cave and drink a bottle.  I have probably already done bodily damage and it's time to halt further damage.

Because of lack of true consequence......not being really overweight, still looking generally toned, and still getting good annual bloodwork.....I just drift along.   When I do make the effort to not drink, I never have any sense of withdrawal.  I do sleep better but other than that I don't notice much difference.

I'm tired of drifting, I want change.

Not sure why I'm even blathering on about this.  I just wish I wasn't a quitter.  I'm that girl who doesn't mind running a race and being last.  I'll start taking language lessons, love the sessions with the teacher but not do the homework....and I'm paying for that!  Stupid, stupid!

 I'll take piano lessons and never practice.

Why do I have an incredible work ethic and yet no personal work ethic?  I know it boils down to the fact that with work I am accountable to others, to the process.  I hate thinking that I have to setup external accountability to get anything done.

A relative gave me money for personal training so I'm at least doing that 3 days a week.  I am getting toned.  But making myself do something on my own the other 4 days is pure hell.  I like how it feels when I work out so why is it such a struggle to just put on the workout clothes and get moving?

I like eating healthy but why am I so damn lazy?  Why will I bring a healthy lunch to work and still blow it off from time to time for fast food?  Why do I cave?  Where is the discipline?

Why do I know I don't want to drink and yet I listen to the wine witch in the evening?

It's so frustrating!  I don't want to report to someone else about my exercise, my diet and my drinking.  I just want to fix me from the inside out.  I just don't have the answer. 

It just seems like a simple willpower issue.  I seem to have none except in the work sector and some household areas.

I always do the following easily:
1) Meet my work deadlines, get tasks done in an organized way
2) Get the laundry done
3) Get the house cleaning done, not as regularly as I like, but not for rationalizing my way out of it, I just get pressed for time.
4) Get the kitchen cleaned up in the morning and before bed
5) Make my bed everyday
6) Pay my bills on time and track every expense meticulously
7) Get my kid to all of his events, help him with projects, homework, etc

Some of the above I can see the inherent accountability to others in but yet I guarantee you no one in my household really gives a shit if I make my bed, keep the house perfectly clean, clean all the dishes out of the sink everyday and track every expense.  (They would only care about the bills if the lights or, gosh forbid, internet, got turned off)

I think the answer is habit and brain pathways.  I have trained my brain to want to get the kitchen cleaned up.  I want to pay bills and track expenses.  I want to make my bed everyday.  I want to do the laundry and clean the house.

I don't want to eat healthy, exercise and stop drinking.

But I'm going to.  I'm really going to focus on June to retrain my brain into thinking I DO prefer to eat healthy, I DO want to exercise and I DO want to stop drinking.  I love the blog posts I've read about neuroplasticity and I'm going to focus on how to get new pathways paved in this brain of mine.

Okay, but I'm not really sure how to do this, I admit.

I think it boils down to this.  I need to push through a month of exercising, cooking better, eating better and not drinking.  Then assess.

Day 1 of all this.  And now I'm really going to get up and go put those workout clothes on and get moving. Every day I'm going to blog for myself what I did to head in these new directions.  I really, really don't want to quit on myself this time!

HD

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A practicing alcoholic

ISM:  a distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice

Interesting what this suffix means.  We've all heard of CommunISM, FascISM, ExistentialISM, TraditionalISM.......and, of course, AlcoholISM

It is a suffix that also implies a condition and we've heard it along with hypothyroidISM and other medical conditions.

It made me think.....is Alcholism just a medical condition or is it really a system or practice?  I've always thought of alcoholism along the lines of being a medical condition.  One who has it is an alcoholic.  But again, that invokes visions of someone who sneaks a bit of hard liquor with breakfast, who has it in their coffee mug during the day, who passes out on the couch at night while their kids fend for themselves or that person wandering around the streets in a stupor.  

Not me, the person who never drinks before 5pm, who has never passed out and woken up on the couch (once I think I awoke in the guest room but had put myself there and just didn't remember), who has never felt too bad in the morning to get up and make lunch, get showered, drive the kid to school, go to work.  (I HAVE felt too bad to go work out but then getting myself to go workout even when not drinking is a bit of a feat in of itself.)

But it hit me that I have been practicing Alcoholism as a theory, a system, a practice.  I think I have known this and my choosing the moniker of HabitDone implied this.  

I am a practicing Alcholic even if I don't view myself as an alcoholic. I have implemented all the processes and systems of alcoholism even if I haven't happened to go off the deep end.  Genetically in that sense I think I am just lucky.  But I am certainly affecting my health in the long run, maybe have already done significant damage that I can't see.

This whole process of quitting drinking seems to go one of two ways:
1) 1 step forward 2 steps back
or
2) 2 steps forward 1 step back

When I first quit I was just trying to prove I could do it.  I mean I couldn't be that bad if I went 125 days without alcohol.  That was a great step forward for me.  But I really feel I then took two steps back when I went back to drinking.  I was more hyper aware of what I was doing to myself.  Before I had been focused on just wanting to go days without drinking.  Now that I knew I could, I felt immense guilt that I wouldn't go back to that abstinence.  I think I weigh more now then I did when I started my blog....about 2 years ago.....with the intention of losing weight!

I've watched others and seen sobriety just "click".  I guess we all have to get there in our own way.  Reading the blogs for me has been a way of keeping in touch.  Keeping the pulse alive, the desire to quit alive, knowing that I wanted to get there someday.

The hubs and I went 5 nights last week without alcohol.  I wrote my blog post.  

(Here's the personal point in the post.  If you know who I am from reading this, you can let me know.  I guess we are kindred spirits if I am writing and you are reading this since I don't think anyone "stumbles" upon my blog very easily.)

My parents came into town Saturday night.  I knew they would bring wine.  I also knew I would rather drink wine with them then deal with my Mom and her questions or her "knowing" looks if I said I wasn't drinking.  It's funny how people who probably think you drink too much, but don't say, will still bring you wine.  I devised a plan to drink my alcohol free wine without her realizing it.  Don't ask me why I want to hide not drinking but I think the reasons are just very convoluted.  I'll work through that baggage at some point.

Then, about 20 minutes before they arrived, someone texted me and asked if I had seen facebook that day.  I had not. It was one of those days where I hadn't checked it.  I did.  My heart broke apart.  We have a person at our school, a dad, married with a beautiful wife and two lovely girls.  A police officer of many years who went on all my son's field trips because his daughter was in my son's class.  In fact, my son just roomed with him on a recent trip.  This dad apparently died at age 47 of a heart attack all of a sudden.  Came home from working...and died.  Family did CPR to no avail.  

Sometimes you meet people who exude a "light".  His spirit was so bright, so vibrant, he always had a smile for me.  He befriended everyone and made everyone feel comfortable.  I always looked forward to his humor, his witty ways livened up any assembly, field trip or any chance meeting.  His wife and kids loved him so much and he them.  I love my dad but this gentleman would get father of the year.  I envied his girls a dad like they had.  They will miss him so much.

(I also wonder if anyone is reading this blog who knows to whom I am referring, but might not know exactly who I am, just that we both knew this same person.  He touched soo many lives in soo many areas that that is quite possible.)

So of course I drank.  I'm not quite there yet where I can get through a moment like that, I admit.  My husband and I joined in on a few bottles with my folks. The hubs and I drank more than the folks but, again, other than the unhealthy factor, all was fine and we all tucked in rather early that night.  It was kind of nice, drinking by the moon, remembering how wonderful of a person this man was.  It was thinking of his family that just kept doing me in.

But we hopped back in the saddle.  No alcohol since, no desire to drink in the evenings other than cravings.  It's like mindfulness.  I've been trying to stand back and observe my thoughts when they start to go down a path where they need to be reigned in.  I don't desire to feel that stress so by observing my thoughts, asking why I am thinking those things, I get to the root of my anxiety and the desire to have my thoughts run rampant subsides.  I don't want to be drinking so I try to stand back and observe the cravings.  I do have thoughts of wine but my thoughts of why I don't want wine seem to be taking shape sooner and they fight the cravings.  I look forward to many more nights of not drinking.

Weekends are hardest.  My next test will be getting through the next few weekends without caving.  Another test will be over Memorial Day when I vacation with the family again.  I'm not sure how I will handle that, what I will decide.

Whatever my path, I am so happy right now.  I finally feel that I am moving ahead on this path and not backwards.  Eventually this habit will be either done or permanently changed.  Alcohol is no longer going to have the upper hand in my life, of this I will make sure!

HD


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Wanting the time alcohol doesn't give me

I can't think of the last time I had time on a Saturday morning to sit down with my tea and just write.

I do get about 30 minutes, grabbed in bits throughout the day, to read blogs.  I just haven't had time to comment nor write my own post, but I'm still here, reading all of your words and feeding my soul.

I just reread my last post.  Now that it's a month and a half later, it's interesting re-reading my thoughts.  In March I knew I had gotten to the point of wanting to be free of alcohol's clutches but it's clear I wasn't ready. 

A series of events.....an elder-care issue that was sudden and emotional, both extremely joyful and rewarding yet sad and depressing at the same time, a vacation to paradise and then an in-law visit, led me back to regular drinking, despite my proclaimed intentions.

I wasn't avoiding the blog.  I literally had no time.  Drinking in the evening steals hours where I need to get stuff done so I end up doing it in the early morning to compensate.

I think that's the problem with not-rock-bottom or as I've heard it referred to before, gray area drinking.  When it gives you that relaxation but doesn't make a fool out of you.  When you know it's a health risk but it "appears" to help you keep your sanity and deal with life.  When it's a tradition in certain situations where you can't imagine not imbibing.

I feel like this last month was a goodbye of sorts to my old friend, alcohol.

My grandmother is my drinking buddy and my best friend.  God bless her, she is in her nineties and I used to always have wine with her when I came to visit.  Sometimes we (I) would have a bit too much but normally it was just drinking the evening away and we had some really wonderful talks.  Occasionally I would not remember the conversation but mostly I have only cherished memories with her as we drank.  Moving her into a retirement home (her decision) was incredibly emotional for me.  I wanted a few more of those evenings with her knowing they were coming to an end.  I won't be staying with her anymore now that she moved and so I know we can't have those evenings anymore....I'd have to drive home afterwards.  So we had wine together and got through the emotions of the week.  No drunk moments just a softening of the soul as we each needed it.

I then went to paradise for a week.  My body image is very low.  The hubs thinks I'm hot and look like Ursula Andress.  Haha.  Just a "few" pounds off.  I actually went on my first vacation where I said "fuck it".  I don't have to look great.  He thinks I look awesome and should wear a bikini, that's enough.  Although I didn't wear a bikini, couldn't pull that one off.  Then again, I envy all those women on the beach wearing one when I would have been too self-conscious doing that.  Going to a beach and seeing folks, many pounds heavier than yourself, confidently wearing bikinis or letting their flab hang out and not give a shit is empowering.  Makes me think what the heck am I worried about?  So what if I have flab, get over it!  In order to tune it all out, I drank wine every evening.  The strange thing is I slept like a baby.  No waking up and not being able to sleep.  Well, I guess in paradise I wasn't thinking about my everyday life so if I did wake up, I could go right back to sleep.

The in law came to town for a week and we had a good visit.  Near the end, though, both hubs and I were drinking too much.  It continued afterward and we were back to drinking at home too much.  Again, no bad moments but way too unhealthy, not remembering the last parts of the evening, feeling sluggish in the morning and gaining weight again.

The final issue has been peri-menopause and hot flashes.   I get them every 45 min to an hour.  This is the longest period they have lasted.  I have had them since February.  Everything tells me that alcohol makes them worse but when I drink in the evening it keeps them at bay.  I do read that they are stress related so maybe there is something to the fact that as my stress level drops when I'm drinking I relax more.  They don't go fully away but slow down for sure.

But it's time.  I've realized that I want the time back that alcohol takes away from me.  I want that more, now, than I really want that drink.

During these next few months I hope to:
- truly resist and win over cravings, track any drinking
- heal my mind and then focus on exercise
- create new habits and ways of dealing with stress that don't involve alcohol
- get out and meet some girlfriends.  My grandmother will not be likely to be around forever...

Making it through the last month and a half with no rock bottom moments, just a realization that this habit is so unhealthy, has made me stronger.  Not confident that I can drink without issue, just more confident that I really might be able to quit.

It's clear I don't want it in my life, I just need to be strong enough to push it out.

It's day 6 here today.  Hubs and I are off the sauce for now.  I've had some slight cravings.  Short ones but powerful enough for me to ask the hubby if maybe we should just drink every 4th night, or only on weekends, lol.  I don't even really mean that when I ask, not sure why I do.  Fortunately he hasn't caved and I'm getting stronger. 

It's actually easy now because I am still tired.  Still not wanting what alcohol can give me because I don't want the time sink.

This past week I noticed a few things.  A client wanted an evening phone call and my first thought was "oh no, I can't because I'll be drinking".  Then I thought "oh, wait, I can!"  I had a great 7pm phone call.  Then, my son needed help with a project and I volunteered to help him.  It took much longer than I thought but I wasn't pouring wine while doing it.  Last night we all watched a movie and I realized it had been awhile since we'd all sat down together other than dinner.  I've been getting my house cleaned again and my bills in order.  I like this.  I feel peaceful.

AND...I'm up this morning, bright and shiny, taking time to blog.  Not drinking is so much better on so many levels.  I just need to persevere and keep on heading this direction.  I really don't want to go back.  I don't want to numb myself through events like I did this past month and a half.  I didn't really feel I missed out when it came to the eldercare issue, the vacation, nor the in law visit, but I missed out on the other stuff that didn't get done.

Looking forward to the next few months.....one day at a time.....

HD


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 that....ie 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.

HD

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,

HD

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Declarations

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!

HD


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, eventually......is 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!

HD