Saturday, January 19, 2019

My Habit

This month has been crazy busy but unfortunately I still found time to imbibe.  It has definitely been a month so far of discovery.  My word for the year of "Decision" has been helpful.  I've made some really good decisions and some bad ones.

What is different about 2019?

1) Knowing I don't want to drink and that if I make a decision to drink, it will be a full bottle.  Moderation is not possible for me at home right now, maybe never.
2) Knowing that I can make a decision to drink and not get drunk.  I have stopped getting drunk in front of others but I am still allowing for too much wine in my life to call it healthy.
2) Knowing that I CAN make a decision to not drink and it's crazy how lovely the sleep is and how bright eyed and cheery I am the next day.
3) Knowing that just because I can drink at a restaurant or at other peoples homes, doesn't translate to being able to drink at home.

I have a habit to still work on breaking.  I've spoken of Gretchen Rubin's The Four Tendencies [click here for previous post] probably too often but it permeates my life in so many ways.  Ever since I was shown this, it remains true to my personality.  One would think that discovering this about myself back in 2016, that I would have made more progress.  I would say that while I haven't changed a ton, I have become hyper aware of my tendency to let myself down but not others.

I never drank to be the life of the party.  I'm pretty happy in my own skin around others so I never needed it to be more relaxed and confident or more social.  I strictly need it to tune out the things I'm unhappy about in regard to myself and what I personally want to accomplish and haven't.  Whether that's more exercise, better diet, pushing more in my career, better running of my household, cooking, etc.

Drinking is the easy way out at the end of the day.  The mornings are always fresh and new and the day has so much potential.  At the end of the day I just want to sit and relax.  I have gotten any exercise I'm going to do, done.  I have finished working for the day.  I have gotten any cleaning I'm going to do, done.  I've either finished dinner or I'm not handling it that evening and hubs is.

See, around 6pm, I'm pooped.  I don't have any desire to work more, clean more, exercise more, plan menus, do laundry etc.  Why do I drink instead of reading a book, a magazine, watching a tv show, taking a bath?  Because then I can zone out and not face how I really feel about myself in all these areas.  It's like push, push, push, zone out.  Never letting myself feel badly about what I haven't done.

I would say I have had wine about 1/3 of the time so far this month.  Much better and much more mindful than I was doing last year.  On the days I didn't drink a few were easy because I had events to attend and, once I'm out of the house, I don't think of drinking.  Well, it probably crosses my mind but it's just not an option so the thought moves along out of my head pretty quickly.

I also went and took a bubble bath a few times.  I have a wonderful jetted tub with chromatherapy.  Lol, meaning colored lights filter through the water and I can select one color if I prefer depending upon my mood..... But I can't get my brain to stop beating myself up for how I look naked.  Sitting here typing this morning, I chuckle.  I look okay all things considering but at the end of the day, whaling in the tub, my self esteem plummets.  Not sure why.

I've tried watching tv shows, reading books, etc.  But then as I go to bed, it takes me forever to go to sleep because I feel like I have wasted time.  (Same thoughts that go through my head, however, when I wake up at 2am after having wine.........hmmmmm......you would think my brain would make this connection...)

Some nights I've just said "fuck it", tuned out, slept poorly and felt a little grouchy the next morning.  Fortunately those nights are getting fewer in between but I would like to eliminate them completely. 

I know the answer is to just make the decision to not drink and do something else in the evening.  I'm getting there but I'm trying to reinforce that with an underlying true desire to not want what drinking results in.  (pardon my grammar, it must grate mercilessly on some but we'll just call this a stream of consciousness if that's okay....)

I've been trying to get a handle on how I feel about myself......

Is it shame?  Not really.  I don't feel humiliated or distressed by my thoughts or behavior.

Is it a feeling of inadequacy?  I don't know, maybe, but I also feel super competent in many ways as compared others.  Almost too much sometimes.

Is it perfectionism?  I don't know, I don't really need things to be perfect and I sort of roll with the punches.  My closet is a disaster and I happen to like to go to bed with a pretty clean kitchen but lord knows when I last cleaned behind the toaster.

Maybe the term is just overwhelmed.  I focus on certain things and not on others, then feel bad about what I blew off because I see others doing it.  I see others exercising and loving it, so why do I prefer to pay bills and do my accounting?  I see others eating vegetables and loving it, but why do I really prefer toast?

I always "know" what I need to do.  Drinking is a way of tuning out the knowing.  Drinking has kept me from beating myself up too much, and consequently getting frustrated with family as well, and I am more light hearted before bed......until I beat myself up again at 2am.   What a cycle!

I guess I'm just tired and exhausted of constantly letting myself down.  I don't let down others, just me.  I never feel let down by others, just by me.  I'm going to do some more research on this.  I found one suggestion of having an "unguilty day".  Don't let anything make the list of what has to be done that isn't what I really want myself to do.  So spend a day or devote a half day to reading, yoga, other exercise, reading recipes for better foods, and don't let other chores choke this out.  Carve out time and be religious about fitting in those things I feel bad about. 

Hmm.....sounds like between 5 and 8pm in the evening might be just be a good time.....

Hoping to get this Habit Done in 2019!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Early Days

I find the early days of stopping drinking are easy.  I know I'll have moments where I'll need to draw from more than just willpower.  For now, though, I'm just going to enjoy these first 5 or so days where it feels like I'm sleeping better and getting more done.  That I'm not avoiding things.

I sure think of how nice it would be to sit down with wine but then I pat my bloated belly and think, not yet, not until it has gone away!  Ha!

I think going alcohol free in the New Year is easier because a lot of the holiday stress, hustle and bustle has dissipated.  I adore January through July.  I always feel mellow even without wine.  In August I start to feel pressured getting ready for the school year and in September I start sweating in anticipation of October through December.  My work is busiest and that, along with the holidays, makes my head spin.  It's not a surprise that when I caved in 2016 after 125 days, it was near the end of August.

This year I want to work on my toolbox better so that I am better prepared to move through the fall.

I'm not sure I'll blog every day like I did last go 'round.  This time I'm just letting things flow.  I want to have some documentation of my transitions but I'm also not feeling the blogging compulsion as much this time.

Today I'm patting myself on the back for making good decisions:  I didn't drink, I worked out and I ate better than of late.

Now I'm off to get more things done before bedtime comes.

Day 2 almost done!



Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Crossing the Bridge

Last year after New Years, I wrote of my life as a garden with a lot of weeds in it.  Wow, not much has changed.  This year I am embracing the word Decision as my motto for 2019.

Everything I do will be a decision.  A decision not to drink, a decision to exercise, a decision on what food is going into my mouth.  A year of decisions.

Just because I don't ever miss an obligation, I rise early each morning, I don't get drunk in front of people, etc, doesn't mean my level of drinking is okay.  And it's definitely never one or two glasses.  I have tried and tried and tried.  It's affecting me in so many ways.  I am not sleeping well, I am gaining weight, I am not eating right, and I am not exercising enough.  I can be such a better version of me.

This year my analogy is that of a torrential river with a bridge over it.  My side of the river is misty, muddy and with rocks, baby boulders, everywhere.  On the other side is a green grassy rolling hill area.  Sunlight is bursting through the mist, things are growing.  I think I even see a rainbow.

I know the other side is not going to be easy.  There will be hills and valleys over there but it will be better than the landscape on my side that doesn't change.

I need a good year with no alcohol.....at all.   I need to grow beyond needing it as a means of relaxing in the evening, as a tuning out.  I need to quit this habit.   I need to examine my life and make decisions, not let it pass me by.  I am excited to see where I will be a year from now. 

Emotionally I finally feel strong enough to really take myself on.  It's taken a long time to get here.  It's time to put some will power to work and to improve my sense of well-being.

Today I'm crossing that bridge.  I can't afford not to.

Happy New Year!!  Happy Day 1!