Sunday, May 26, 2019

Experimenting

So yesterday morning while I was feeling great, just after I posted in fact, my doorbell rang.  I was still in my jammies so I waited for the delivery guy to go away so I could sneak out and get whatever had been delivered.  But the guy wouldn't leave.

Finally I saw him start to leave with the package so I swallowed my pride and opened the door, yelling out to him.  He turned around and brought back the package that required the adult signature.  Uh oh.  Oh, honey...…????

Hubs came to door and took box.  Turns out he knew I would be at the end of my 30 days and there had been this great wine club deal.  Oh for crying out loud.  Methinks he is in denial or isn't quite understanding the issue at hand.  Not that my behavior has been particularly consistent.  So I ended up with 3 bottle of white (good bottles however wine people define that) and 3 bottles of red.

So last night I was like "open one of the fuckers and let's get it gone."  I had 2 1/2 glasses and so did he.  I'm not bummed and of course I enjoyed it but it's because we didn't go further.  I would have though, totally.  Somehow I've gotten it in my head, however, that as long as I don't open the wine bottle I'm not being bad.  So I try to convince him to.  But dude held his ground.  It was just too early on in my next 35 day declaration.  Sober buddy doesn't start again until Tuesday.  This was not her fault in any way, just my not holding myself accountable!

In Annie Grace's book, at the end of the experiment she says to video tape yourself getting drunk on a bottle of wine if you think you want to go back to drinking.  Not that I'd be stumbling down drunk but I'm sure I would see differences in thought process and motor skills.  Okay, probably not going to try that any time soon but it was an interesting idea and maybe some day I'll need to try it.

The other thing that stuck with me was how she said wine is a depressant.  That when you drink all evening and go to sleep, you never experience the depression unless you feel some of it the next day as a hangover or regret.  I've been giving that thought.  I guess that makes sense.  You have your first glass, just as you start to crash off the alcohol, you have another, and another.  No wonder we don't stop.

I'm trying to think of the last time I really stopped at just over 2 glasses.  It's been awhile.  Pretty much I had been drinking a bottle of wine or nothing at all.

So last night I did share that new bottle of wine.  I was curious, since it was a "better" bottle than I normally get, if it would taste unique.  Truly, it was pretty acidic.  But again, I didn't notice that part after the first glass.

What I did notice was how bummed out and grouchy I was to not have more wine.  I was in a really bad mood.  Not just my alcoholic inner voice throwing a tantrum but I really felt down.  The mental tantrum came first but then after dinner I was just bummed.  Nothing like the excited self I was yesterday morning or am today.  I slept fine last night but, again, I stopped drinking early and didn't wake up metabolizing too much alcohol.

On the one hand I would love to drink 2 glasses of wine a night, 4 nights a week.  But I don't think I can really stick to it.

I reworked my decision though.  I will have 2 glasses tonight and 2 glasses on Memorial Day.  Then I will embark on 35 days.  If I blog that I failed at this it will be telling.  But I'm pretty sure the only way I'll be happy with myself is to have longer and longer periods of time without drinking.

To think I can drink regularly is just pure folly.  And there is the fact that the conscious part of my brain says I'm going to get cancer of some sort, that it's poison, that I don't need to have fun etc.  I just need to keep reminding myself of this.  But for the next two nights I'm just going to quiet the squirrel brain and let it happen.  I will post what happens but I look forward to getting the wine out of the house.  When I drank on Thursday night it was with a bottle that I had been staring at the entire 30 days.  Not having that in there this time, let me tell ya!

I am going to continue my celebration of incorporating more exercise into my life even though I haven't dropped a pound.  13.5 mile bike ride today was awesome.  Such beautiful weather!  I have to figure out what I'm going to do tomorrow but I think I'm going to try a water fit class.  It's not water Zumba but at least it will get my butt in the pool and my own is still too cold to use.

I am looking forward to the next few months and more abstinence!

HD


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Obsessions of time

Ah, sleep.  I love sleep.  I am now having such negative thoughts about alcohol in regards to sleep.  So disruptive.

Wendy commented on my last post about not acting on impulse.  It's so true and that is exactly what I did.  And I do that with a lot of things in my life, especially foods.

I feel like I am slowly giving up a poison that has been in my life a very long time.  I don't begrudge it.  It was my go-to coping mechanism and for the most part I handled it behaviorally but gosh knows what damage it has done to my body.  Or what other things I could have accomplished if not sitting down drinking for 2 to 3 hours a night.  I want to cope in other ways.

I've never really been depressed except for the few occasions I've written about before and I'm not sure if that would even be considered true depression.  I've never been without hope.  But what I do is obsess.  When I'm feeling blue I relive experiences in my past, obsessing over getting the exact timing of it right.  When did I do that?  How old was I?  What happened next?

Obsessing over past time is something I've always done.  I remember coming home in the summer after 5th grade after visiting my aunt and uncle.  I had so much fun that week!  I grew up on the west coast and they live back east.  I flew by myself and stayed with them, driving all over New England, going to natural rock water slides, hiking, etc.  I came home and was so incredibly bummed to be home.  Cried all the time.  I loved my home but I had just had soo much fun!  I spent the next week with the blues, obsessing over exactly what I had been doing at exactly what time the week before.

I used to do that a lot about vacations.  I did that a lot more in my 20s and it calmed down in my 30s.  By then, when I went on vacations, even now, I have a great time but when it's time to go home, I'm usually ready.  Ready to rejoin the reality of my life.

After going through a divorce, something I never thought would happen to me, of being left by someone I thought was my soulmate, I started obsessing about times past.  Even though I moved on with someone else and was happy.   The obsessing isn't necessarily about the Ex.  More about times we had.  I can spend an entire morning, traipsing around the house, cleaning and/or doing laundry, while talking internally myself.  I'll rehash some period of time and run through it beginning to end, as much as I can remember.  I'll struggle to get all the memories in the right order.

It might be a trip I took or took with the Ex.  It might be about a party I went to.  It might be a traumatic time like finding about an affair he had and then putting all the circumstances around it in order.  Unfortunately with those memories it's like I'm getting a buzz about reliving the trauma of the emotions surrounding those memories.  I might obsess over trying to remember what I wore, or what did the hotel room look like, or what book was I reading at the time.  I literally can waste hours absorbed not in the present, but in those past experiences.

Once I go through this and put the thoughts in order for whatever experience I am reliving, I tend to feel exhausted but refreshed.  I move on.  I always wonder if anyone else ever does this.  I have friends that can't remember specific details about past events and they focus only on the here and now.  Wow, wouldn't that be nice.

I bring this up because I realized yesterday that I was doing this all day again.  But I haven't really done that in the past 30 days while not drinking.  But, sure enough, I was a little blue yesterday and wasted a lot of time on non-essential past thoughts.  I'm turning 50 this fall and I literally spent hours yesterday trying to recreate exactly what I had been doing when I was 39 at this time of year.

Back when I was 39, the ex and I were working on our marriage.  We had a lovely summer.  A year later he had left, I had met someone new and he was meeting my son for the first time over Memorial Day weekend.  I think this would have been a normal passing thought but I even wasted time going through my archived emails, reliving what was going on in my life 9 and 10 years ago.  I didn't get my house cleaned, I didn't get the bills paid.

When I do this, I think it's my version of depression.  Of handling the blues.  It was kind of eye opening to realize I was doing that for so long yesterday after drinking the night before.  It was eye opening to realize how exhausting it was.  It was eye opening to realize I hadn't done that for awhile and yet it used to be part of my everyday living

When I don't drink and I wake up refreshed, I look forward to moving on with my day.  To accomplish things.  I don't get stuck in the past.  Yesterday I couldn't make myself pay bills.  I barely did some laundry and dishes.  I knew I wanted to go to Yoga today but thought oh I probably won't go.

But today I am looking forward to that yoga class!  I feel good.  I'm about to go make breakfast, then pay some bills and then try the yoga.  I wrote before about my goals for exercise.  That I was going to do a yoga class, a Zumba class, a water or water Zumba class, and a spin class.  After today I'll just have that water class left and I'm determined to try and get that in during the month of May!

It feels good to leave the past in the past today.  It was just another a-ha moment to realize that a lot of that came from the blues that accompanied the letdown after drinking.   During drinking I'm dreamy and think of the future, but the next day I obsess over the past.  Interesting.  Probably something deeper in all that but, frankly, who gives a shit?  Time to go make breakfast!!

HD

Friday, May 24, 2019

Unwound

I had wine last night BUT I didn't like the experience.  Seriously.  Yay!!

Here's how it went down...

I fought through the normal craving earlier in the evening, 5-ish.  I had a work call at 6:30 that lasted an hour and completely drained me.  It went nowhere.

I checked the clock and saw it was 7:45.  Even had the thought that it was too late to want wine anyway.  Sure as shit at almost the exact time I thought that, my voice says to hubs in the other room "want some wine?".

He hasn't been totally AF but had been drinking a lot less.  He would have a whiskey but then drink AF stuff with me the rest of the evening.   Geez, he had that wine on the table before I could get it out of my mouth that I had no idea why I said what I said.  He had opened a bottle.

I had a momentary thought of just giving it to him but then decided to make an experiment out of it.  I did want to sit down and talk about our day, after all.  So I sipped my glass really slowly.

During the first glass I noticed:
1) It tasted horrible.  Asked the hubs if we always drank this shit?
2) Within about 3 sips I could feel the warmth in my chest.  Wow, amazing how fast it has effect.

Hubs kept refilling his glass so I ended up with two glasses from the bottle.  He was starting to show effects from his.

After the second glass I noticed:
1) I didn't really notice the taste
2) My thoughts started becoming real dreamy-like.  Talking future planning etc.
3) I noticed hubs was starting to look weird.  I could really see his motor skills being affected.

Hubs opened a second bottle at my urging but he drank most of it.  I had one glass.  Have to admit that was a much better bottle but hard to know if the wine really was better or my tastebuds were numb.

Hubs thoughts started wandering and even I was having trouble staying on point.  Hubs was pretty tipsy.  We went to bed around 11pm, late for us.

I slept like shit!  I wasn't really beating myself up but I couldn't get back to sleep.  I guess I slept from 11 to about 2:30 and then no more.  ICK!  Woke up this morning and just thought "who needs this shit".  I could have had the same fun conversation with an AF wine or beer or fizzy water and been just frickin fine AND slept amazing.

I am so glad I did that!  I was like a wound spring after 30 days.

I came up with a sort of plan that I ran by my sober buddy last week.  Turns out it was actually what Annie Grace was recommending at the end of her book which I hit on Monday and Tuesday.  She obviously doesn't recommend drinking but has a few options for those who want to go back to it.

I will refer to it as my Ferber method of not drinking.  I have no desire to drink, in fact, I really, really, want to NOT drink.  I'm just battling those addictive feelings but there is no underlying reason for me to drink.  I don't need it, don't want it, don't like I how I feel with it and don't need it to be social.  It's simply my go-to thing when I am tired/stressed.

As a parent I used the Ferber method with my young son.  He screamed in his crib when I put him down, I left the room, I came in periodically and patted him and kissed him and left the room again.  There were various increments to this process but the idea was that he would learn self-soothe.  And he did.  And my life was easier.

I'm building this method in to my not drinking.  I realize that there will come times when I just need to "pop" or drink wine at home.  If I don't declare when I am not drinking, however, I will cave to that need.  So what's going to work well for me is to do gradually longer and longer increments.  I did 15 days.  Then I did 30, now I'm doing at least 35 more.  After that if I need to prove to myself again that I don't want wine, then okey dokey, I'll do it again.  I'll self soothe if need be but then move back to sobriety.  The next go around will be 40.  I may or may not have that wine in between.  The difference now is that I don't view it so much as a reward, just something bad that I might do and may need to do to reinforce why I don't want to drink at home.

I'm also going to continue to celebrate total days without alcohol even if they aren't consecutive.  I'm going to use my sober buddy and fight like hell through the cravings so I don't cave.  I'm also going to resist that rebellious voice that says "go on, just do it!"  I may have a glass of wine with family when they visit or at a friends house.  Again, that's not where my issue is.  If I can not be awkward and decline, I'll do that first.  But I know I'll be having it only to avoid the questions if I don't have any.

I was feeling under the weather yesterday but today feel a lot better.  My son has been sick so I'm hoping I fend off whatever crud he has.  Went to exercise today and looking forward to not drinking tonight!!!  I really wanted to take the time to write this down so that I have a record of this.  I added a drinking tab back onto my blog in addition to my exercise tab.  At least exercise is going pretty well!  Now, hopefully I start to lose some weight!!

HD

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Familiarity breeds contempt.....if you aren't careful...

This article was just funny timing based upon my last post but very good I thought!

CLICK HERE 
or use this link

http://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/a27528206/relationship-advice-annoying-habits-familiarity/

It made me really think and give me some new ways to frame some of my relationship frustrations.

It also reminded me of Gottman's Four Horses that will kill a relationship:
Criticism
Contempt
Defensiveness
Stonewalling

Those are worth reading about.

I'm too critical, sometimes show contempt for his habits, I'm not defensive and I rarely stonewall.

He is not very critical, nevers shows me contempt, is very defensive and has been known to stonewall.

What a pair we are!

This link, for anyone interested is a good description of each and the antidote for each:
CLICK HERE or  https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-four-horsemen-the-antidotes/

The above relationship stuff is a good example of what I want to still work on.  Lately, I've been moderately grouchy and have crossed some lines in criticism and contempt.  Fortunately the hubs has been very patient knowing I am trying not to drink but also am going through peri menopause.  Bless his heart.  Time for me to rein it in and regroup though!

I have now finished 30 days, today being Day 31.  I feel like a baby still in pre-school, just testing the waters of kindergarten.

I know I'm not ready to drink and don't want to.  I'm sure I'll test the waters at some point but right now I have so many other things about me that I want to explore that, while having nothing to do with drinking, will never get explored if drink every day and numb any feelings.

I must say I am really proud that I did the 30 days, many days only due to sober buddy Lia, and have had 45 evenings of the past 52 without any alcohol!  That is definitely a record since 2016.

Onward ho!

HD







Sunday, May 19, 2019

serenity vs acceptance

I've been really stuck pondering the difference between Acceptance and Serenity ever since I read the post from Insights From the Rooms blog page.  (Click Here)

I'm feeling very overwhelmed with all I have to get done.  I'm feeling like my house is a mess, not only needing organization and cleaning, but deep cleaning in the far corners.  I have financial things that need to be done in the way of budgeting and then I have work stuff needing to be done.

I struggle with accepting things as they are and just letting time deal with them.  It will all get done, this I know, it's just not done now.  It's all sitting there, mocking me.  Of course, I'm sitting here blogging about it instead of doing it but that's another issue I suppose.

Anyway, on that blog page something jumped out at me:

“Acceptance is when you are standing on the 10 item express line at the supermarket where the person in front of you has 13 items and you don’t say anything to them.  And serenity…….Serenity is when you are on the same line and you don’t even count how many items he has in his basket.”
I have been so depressed since reading this.  I am such a long way from Serenity it's unbelievable.  I think of myself as kind of an easy going, but detail oriented, zen-like individual.  Wow did that quote ever blow a hole in my boat!
The blog post went on to quote:
"Many of us have mastered moments of acceptance, where instead of blurting out a criticism or a disagreement we exercise self-control over our speech muscles. Yet one often still senses a degree of agitation which percolates along with our self-control.
To come to a place where we no longer even “count” is a much more rarefied spiritual state. 
You can determine if you are in acceptance or in serenity by examining if there is any “counting” chatter in your head the next time you are presented with a challenging situation.
Personal Reflection: Have I gone beyond acceptance and moved towards serenity in my life?"
Oh wow, nope, no serenity here.  None.
I have always thought of the hubs as clueless.  He just doesn't notice what I notice.  I can walk down the hallway and see a coffee spill on the floor.  I walk into the kitchen, look at the pretty view, look downward and see dust on the floorboards or dog slobber marks on the floor.  I see layers of dust on furniture that I need to get to.  No wonder he is pretty happy all the time, pretty positive.
I've always viewed that kind of obliviousness with disdain.  How can he not notice?  I know he would need to notice before taking action so it's kind of hard to be irritated with someone who doesn't even see what needs to be done.
I've always thought he needs to be more like me, darnit!  I need to train him to notice and take action. 
But maybe, just maybe, I need to train myself to not notice as much.  Is it a huge life crisis if a person walks into my house and sees a little dust?  And what if they are serene and THEY never notice?  I think of all I am missing out on because I need to get done "what I notice" before I can function in other ways.  I should have gone on that hike with the dogs today but instead I'm attempting to clean my house.   Can I not find time elsewhere to get this done?
I don't want him to clean because he doesn't do it right.  I'm really not a control freak but I like things cleaned, when they get cleaned, a certain way.  If I'm going to dust the wood floors, it doesn't take that much longer to go under the furniture.  That way when I look into a room from the hallway, it is all shiny, not patches of dust being hit as the sunlight streams in under chairs, etc.  He will not clean that way.  It's a quick swift around the room.  It does get up some dog hair, for sure, but doesn't help my view of the room.  I really struggle with this battle inside my head.  
I guess the way I would say it is I really have an issue with what I consider half-ass work.  Either do it in full or don't do it.  As a result, I get stuck doing it.  Or should I say redoing it?
I don't really even know where I'm going with this post.  I'm just venting and it's one of the reasons to drink.  If I drink I don't see the dust on the floor, I don't notice stuff laying out, my mind goes elsewhere. I become falsely serene.  It's really hard to distract myself when sober so then I find myself in much more of a constant state of irritation.
Being accepting doesn't solve much other than reduce relationship conflict but then it's still all up there in my head.  Oh do I long to be truly serene...…..
28 days here and it feels pretty good though otherwise.  Exercise is up and I'm trying to not beat myself up for my sugar increase.  Need to deal with that at some point but baby steps.
More often than not I find that my inner voice that says "tada, once you hit 30 you can go get a bottle of wine" is being rebutted with a louder voice that says "but why on earth would you want to do that to your body? It's maybe an hour of cravings - suck it up buttercup!"
But I still want to be serene and have no idea how to get there......
HD



Friday, May 17, 2019

Subconscious distraction

You can't feel pain in two spots at the same time.  You can't really do two things at once.

Okay so there are exceptions but generally I have noticed that if I have a headache and a sore throat, I think of each separately.   I don't really notice the pain at exactly the same time.  It's like my brain can only be in one spot at a time.  I've experimented with this.   I have chronic neck pain and foot pain.  If I focus on the foot, I don't notice the neck and vice versa.

I can't work on accounting stuff and listen to my audio book but I can do laundry, exercise, clean the house and drive while listening to the book just fine.  Different parts of the brain must be at work.

I'm thinking that a craving is more my subconscious brain.  The part that allows me to drive while thinking of things or that enables me to clean while listening to an audio book or singing to tunes.

So if I'm sitting outside with the hubs, trying to drink AF stuff and chat about our day, the subconscious keeps hijacking my thoughts and focuses them on how I hate not drinking.  I've noticed that if I get up to cook dinner, or I do dishes while talking to hubs, the cravings don't surface or at least subside.

I think the key is to distracting my subconscious while at the same time engaging my conscious brain in something else.

If I sit down to pay bills in the evening, and not do anything else, my subconscious brain will kick in and "oh I want wine" will be playing in the background.  But if I put on music without lyrics but with a nice tune, Celtic, Spa or Classical music seems to do the trick, then craving brain gets distracted.

If I just sit and concentrate on an audio book in the late afternoon, all I want is a glass of wine in my hand.  But if I go polish cabinetry or sweep floors while continuing to listen, there is no room for craving brain to speak up.

So how to sit outside with hubs and not die of cravings or get bitchy because of it?  I think probably having a big pitcher of water and drinking/pouring may keep my subconscious busy while we talk.  I wonder if I should take up knitting or something.  Maybe color while drinking and chatting.

I notice that if I am listening but looking freely around, I will crave wine, but actually reading a book or magazine keeps me more distracted.

Interesting.  I'm going to ponder this further.

Day 26
HD

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Day 23

Hold the presses, I exercised twice today.  I think I feel good...and I don't think I'm mentally ill.

I started an exercise page on this blog, just to log what I'm doing.  Exercise feels different now.  I'm not putting pressure on myself to do a specific thing with a specific frequency, I'm not making like Nike and saying "Just Do It"....instead I'm saying, "Just Do Something, Anything, Move your butt for 30 minutes."

I've told myself it can be whatever floats my boat: swimming, walking, elliptical, a class, an online video, a DVD, the Wii, whatever.  When I think of all the options I get kind of excited and lost in the choosing instead of thinking "arrgh, I HAVE to do this".  I distract myself like a squirrel with the plethora of exercise opportunities I can think of.  And before I know it, I kind of want to do them.  If I think ahead of what I have to do, I can talk myself out of it.  But if I start thinking in more of a choice mode, I have an entirely different perspective.  Well, they do say variety is the spice of life.

I do still need some accountability to get moving.  I got up and worked out arms with my trainer today at 6:30am for 30 minutes.  She went on to do cardio and I went home for morning school prep stuff.  But after dropping off son, I found I wanted to do something else.  Just for another 30 minutes.  I think that is my max attention span for exercise so I'm telling myself I can do anything for just 30 minutes.

I mentioned I tried Zumba last week but it didn't feel like dancing.  It felt too choreographed, too fast, too many move changes.  But I tried it and that had been one of my declared goals.

Today I went online.  Holy crapola why haven't I done this before???  I have a drawer of DVDs and most have really long workouts.  Ick.  Most are at least an hour.  But online there are free workouts everywhere of different types and length.  I can't believe I haven't explored this before.

I found DanceWithShelly (click) today!  She is my new buddy!  This Zumba video is only 30 minutes and I didn't need a lot of space to do it.  I just put it on my laptop in my bedroom and went to town.  The music was much more my speed.  I already am debating whether I want to just keep doing this video over and over or try some of her others.  Amen for a normal, healthy looking woman just getting down in front of her camera for me!!!

So I'm looking forward to exploring what else is out there online!  I found that I wanted to actually do this dancing today verus sitting at my computer.  Who knew??

(Right now I'm blogging and blowing off work, but better than blogging and blowing off exercise!)

I know that if I was drinking regularly I wouldn't have this enthusiasm.  I do like feeling not tired.

I'm still getting hot flashes which are driving me NUTS but other than those few minutes per hour, I feel pretty good.

I still need to focus on my diet - eliminating hot drinks, fizzy drinks and eating better overall is supposed to help with menopause too, so that's my next move when I'm ready.  Right now I'm arming myself with personal fans to cope.

Getting through a hot flash is not unlike a craving for alcohol.  They don't last all that long and I just have to push through them.  The difference is I don't have a quick fix to forget about it.  There is nothing to do but grin and bear it.  With an alcohol craving it's really easy to think a glass of wine will just kill that craving.  But it brings so much else with it that I really don't want.

I'm happy I'm at Day 23.  I still want wine, I do.  I still think about it in the evenings.  One problem is that I've always enjoyed pre-dinner drinking.  Sitting outside, relaxing with wine, before dinner.  The issue is that then I would drink too much, be not motivated to make dinner or sloshed enough that dinner wouldn't come out quite right.  Now it's great to not have dinner prep issues but I usually sit outside, push through the craving, feel depressed and then give up and go inside to make dinner.

I'm going to change the order of things.  So we're going to eat earlier, which is better for you anyway as I understand, and then, if I still want to sit outside in the evening and drink whatever N/A stuff I can find, I can do that.  I'm thinking that doing this after a full belly and closer to bedtime will help with not wanting alcohol as much.  I usually don't want anything to drink after dinner.  Will see if this helps!  I really need to get some changes made and other tools in place during these next 7 days.

I'm struggling with the idea of forever.  I'm pretty sure I'll "cheat" now and again.  But if I can make this a true lifestyle change and not a diet where I feel like I am miserable and missing out, then it may finally stick.  So far, the positives of not drinking definitely outweigh the benefits.  As compared to 2016, this time I don't see any benefits to drinking.  Simply an addiction, simply a letting myself down when I do drink.  In 2016, I thought there were benefits and I was just in excess mode.  Now, I know for sure I prefer to not drink.  I  don't like who I am when I do drink.  It's definitely a mind shift from a few years ago.

Onward....

HD

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pondering Life

I guess it's a function of turning 50 this fall that has me uber in touch with aging.

Suddenly I'm panicked on what I'll be like in old age, what I'll do.  Do I have enough money saved?  Where will I live?  Will the hubs live long? Will I?

Goodness, thoughts can get depressing if you let them.  With an aging grandparent, I'm getting a taste of elder care.  She selected a senior living situation but doesn't seem incredibly happy.  Watching someone you love start to lose their enthusiasm for life is tough.  My folks aren't there yet but will be someday..... and it has hit me that I'll be the one to deal with that.

Geez, I'm just finally growing up myself, learning to be independent and then in the not too far future I'll probably be taking care of them.  I guess I was never really in touch with that before now.

There's a line from a Jimmy Buffet song I love:

It goes like: " Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all of the way"

I guess I feel fairly at peace as I coast into the second half of my life.  (we have longevity in my family so it's not beyond the realm that 50 could actually be the half way point. )

I'm still growing through the use of alcohol but I've grown up, emotionally, in so many other ways, especially these last 10 years.  Unfortunately or fortunately depending upon your view, I've lost a little naivete, but that's okay.  Wow, wish I had done this growing in my 20s instead of numbing with wine.

I'm trying to turn more of my life over to a higher power, to relax, to roll with it, to cruise.....and enjoy the ride instead of stressing about the individual roads I take.

Peace, zen, happy friday, have a wonderful weekend and I roll into Day 20 tomorrow!  Off to get my AF Beer for the evening.  (no real cravings tonight but it's amazing what 4 oreo cookies can do - ooops)

HD

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Just a few minutes....

Day 18 here.

Today I am reminding myself of two things:

1) My cravings really only last 15 minutes or less unless I indulge them and chew on them.  If I distract myself, I can get them to go away.  Sometimes I distract them with another activity, with another drink like AF beer or AF bubbly, with a magazine or book, with food prep, with good food eating, or, heck, with cookies or chocolate and tea!

15 minutes out of 1,440 in a day is something I can handle.

2) I can exercise for up to an hour a day.  I can find the time.  Or even for only 30.

30-60 minutes out of 1,440 in a day is something I can handle.

75-90 minutes a day for exercise and to deal with cravings is something I can find the time to do.

HD

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Did it!

Day 16

Well, here is where I caved last month.  But, then again, I'm not on vacation.

This evening will be full of AF beers or AF bubbly.  I can do it.  But it's the first evening without some commitment in awhile.  Sports have ended.

I am determined to do at least 30 but I do find that it's getting easier since I have already worked through many cravings.

And I did Zumba today!  Yay, me.  It was okay.  Again, not a fan of the music and I found it a little rough on my knee.  Going to try a water workout next, I think.

Off to work...

HD

Monday, May 6, 2019

Rebuttals

Day 15

I feel like I'm moving forward again.  Did strength training yesterday and have a Zumba class scheduled for tomorrow.  That's 2 out of my 4 "class" goals that will be checked off.  Still will need to do yoga and water zumba or some water class.  I'm intimidated as hell and I don't know why.  I hate watching myself in mirrors and group exercise/gyms have them everywhere.  I'm not a fan of gym locker rooms and being in a bathing suit.  I don't really have an answer for this.

At the spin class I went to on Friday, I was a bit disheartened to see that every woman in the class, there were about 7 others, were very physically fit and some were my age or even older.  I'm 5'9" and a size 12/14.  I am not ginormous but was definitely the "big" girl in that room.  But it's funny, I didn't think I looked too bad in the mirror.  At least from waist up.  :-)  We'll see how I feel tomorrow in the group class.  I'm using two credits with my trainer and making her go with me.  It ensures I will show up and once I get going I'll be okay to go by myself.

My mind is just a trip.  I realize the internal debates I have within myself don't just relate to drinking.  Another blogger, DWIGHT, wrote a terrific post that made me think about what goes on in my own head.

Relating specifically to alcohol, though, my mind knows consciously all the "why's" I don't want to drink and my subconscious knows all the "why's" I want to.  They battle each other constantly.

I realized that this applies in my life in so, so many more ways than just drinking.  I have this battle in almost everything I do.  It goes like this....

Conscious brain has a good thought, subconscious comes up with a negative version and then my conscious brain has to rebut and try to win the debate.  Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.  It's this battle that keeps my self esteem up when Conscious wins and then, instead of letting myself feel poorly about myself, my Conscious side decides to drink when SubConscious wins.  Not sure I'm making any sense here but it helps me to write about it.

For example:

My career:

Conscious Brain:  You really enjoy what you do.  It wasn't ever in your life plan, you landed in this occupation due to strange circumstances, but you really love the work.  You love the lifestyle it gives you and the freedom.  Good on you!

Subconscious Brain:  Yes, but look at all your peers.  You graduated from a top notch college and look at what they are doing now, what they are in charge of.  You make less money than you did at the job you had 13 years ago!  You don't have the money you had in your first marriage.  You went on trips, owned "things" and you can't really do that now.

Conscious Brain wins with:  Yes, but look at you having been able to be around to raise your son, spend quality time with him, make his lunch.  Can those other moms you are comparing yourself to?  For those who don't want to, fine, but what about those who wish they had what you have?  So what if you aren't better off financially? You aren't starving, you still have a nice house, a pool, a car, clothes and food on the table.  Think of all those who don't.  You had the things before, now you don't. Chapter closed.  You traveled a lot.  Great, time to be cozy at home for awhile.........

And all is good.

But then there is....

My looks:

Conscious Brain:  Hey chickadee in the mirror, you look pretty good for 49.  You're a little heavier than you want to be but you've still got some abs, see that?  Those thighs are big but, girl, you have been strength training for the last 7 months 3 times a week.  That is muscle so of course you've gained a little weight.  You look good when you dress up for work.  Your face looks good without makeup (good thing since you are now a little blind) or with makeup when you can find the time to use a magnifying mirror to put it on.  Your husband tells you all the time how hot you look and what great legs and butt you have.

Subconscious Brain:  Yes, but you don't have a clue about fashion now since you don't have money to spend on it.  Look at all those women at school pickup, so fashionable.  Those women who go to the sporting events and look stylish.  You have become simple, you wear the same clothes year after year.  Look at your hair, you are approaching 50 with longish hair.  Don't you think you should cut it?  Dye it finally maybe?   See those streaks of gray showing?  Look at all those people on facebook working out at the gym, running, skiing.  You need to do more cardio, you fat lazy slob.

This is one where Conscious Brain says shut up and sometimes can make more arguments to win like how I don't overspend, I go hiking, biking instead, etc.  My hair has natural blond highlights so the gray really doesn't show. And all is fine.  Sometimes Subconscious just keeps on prodding and I want to shut her up!  Drinking has always done that for me in the area of self image.

So those are the things that go through my head. I have these debates going on in the areas of:
- my career
- my looks (exercise, diet, fashion, aging)
- how I am as a mom
- my financial security
- the state of my home (cleanliness, updatedness)

I suppose this is normal and everyone has these debates.  I never really thought about cognitive dissonance in this light.  NO WONDER we find ways of quieting these voices.  The challenge is to find healthy ways to do this and not via a drug.  Not via a joint, a drink, a cigarette, a pill, a shot or a snort.

I know what some of the tools are, it's just a matter of finding what works.  It could be a nap, exercise, meditation, yoga, listening to music, calling a friend, etc.  Anything where the mind has to change focus.

The mind is a funny place.  I can drive and listen to an audio book.  I can do laundry and listen to music.  I can work on my budgets and listen to instrumental music but not music with words.  I cannot pay bills and listen to an audio book.  There are certain things our self-conscious can do while our conscious mind is engaged elsewhere.  (Self-conscious is probably the wrong term but I understand what I mean!)

I realize I get into trouble if a lot of my day is mindless activity.  If I spend the day driving, looking at social media, doing laundry or other housework where my body can get it done but my brain can be engaged elsewhere...….then those voices, those debates between conscious and subconscious, get very loud and, traditionally, around 5pm, I have wanted to quiet them with alcohol.

Right now I haven't made a lot of progress in quieting them but I need to focus on that.  I still want wine to quiet them.  I'm just "not having any right now" and getting by day to day.  I love reading about bloggers who are at that point where they don't give it much thought anymore.  They've removed it from their everyday life and habits.

Oh, I long for this habit to be done.

Plodding along,
HD

Saturday, May 4, 2019

3 long years

It really hit me today as other bloggers have been celebrating 3 years of late.  I could have been there with them.  I know, I know, and they would agree, that many of them began trying to really quit long before I gave it my all in 2016.  This is a process.

But I sit here this morning, 3 years after starting in 2016, drinking my tea and blogging as I did back then, and re-reading my old blog posts.  I started April 24, 2016 and went 125 days.  I don't think I've done 30 days since.  Best I can tell I got to 20 days last June and then caved.

So 16 days in April and now I'm back at 13 days.  I haven't had alcohol 28 days out of the last 33.  Well, that's good, I guess.  This time I am determined to get to 30 and then I'll figure out another goal.

What I am noticing is that those 16 days were relatively easy.  The first 5 days have traditionally gone very fast.  Then we had family visit who didn't drink so that was pretty easy too.  Then we went on vacation and I blew it.

This time, the quitting has been really tough.  But having Lia to call upon has helped a lot.  I've wanted to drink, and I know I can.  But I would have to let her know.  I would feel like I was letting her down.  Neither of us wants to let the other down.  Having a sober buddy has been awesome.  It was a sober buddy that got me through in 2016.

Since drinking isn't an option or I embarrass myself by letting Lia know, other things have worked.

1) Distracting myself with work stuff on my computer
2) Downing a few AF beers
3) Downing some AF Brut
4) Eating a few sweets and making tea
5) Eating chips/salsa or pita/hummus
6) Screaming in my car - amazingly effective

The good news is that I'm getting through cravings.  I'm seeing that they really only last 20min to an hour.  Once I'm through it, I'm good.  My brain is wired to drink between 5pm and 7pm.  If I don't start during those hours, I'm okay.  I don't want to start at 7pm as it seems too late.  (I'm an early to bed person.)  If I eat something around 4 or 5, I do much better.

I'm a bit grumpy at the beginning of the craving, during the debating period, but once I resign myself to not drinking it's amazing how my mood turns around and then tension leaves my body.

I had intended to tackle things about myself these 30 days and I'm making some progress but I haven't devoted enough time to that.  I had a computer crash, though, which was stressful until I got it up and running so I'll give myself a reprieve on the self help stuff.  Maybe I'll have more time next week.

I did go see the therapist yesterday.  She was awesome as usual.  I always walk out of there with clarity and feeling zen.  Discussed things with the hubs, he was actually really wonderful about it all.  We had a wonderful evening not drinking and actually, get this, watching Outlander.  Total chick stuff.  He actually had tears in his eyes at one part.  So sweet.  If he only knew how attractive it is to me to see his feelings show.  It was easy to get romantic after that.   Something that has been eluding me lately.  Merry B. Sober recommended a good book in that regard that I ordered, it arrived, and I am going to start reading.

 And it was lovely to go pick up son at 10pm without having had any wine!  Normally I would have hubs drive.   But, oh my, when you drive at 10pm on a Friday night do you ever notice all the drunks on the road.  Not totally drunk, but it's clear some drivers are buzzed. Between alcohol and marijuana being legal, I'm scared to death to drive on roads late at night, especially in this city.  I try to avoid it.

Off to Pilates today!

HD

Friday, May 3, 2019

Spin Class

And on the 12th day she did a spin class.  Noting that one for the blog.

Check that off the list.  Might go back.  Music wasn't my favorite but it was a good workout.  Might help the knee.  I could probably handle once a week.

My goal is to get an exercise routine that, other than my 3 times a week strength training with trainer, is then varied and doesn't get boring.

Still to try:  Zumba, Aqua Zumba and Yoga

Almost getting warm enough for evening swims in my pool, too.  Yay!

Onward to the weekend - I have stocked up on Fre Brut, Old Milwaukee, corn chips, pita chips, salsa and hummus to get through the witching hours.

I would have totally quit if not for my sober buddy.  Thankful for Lia.  She holds me accountable.

Meeting with therapist today to being the work on ME!  Yay, looking forward to this!

Searching for true joy and gratitude....gonna find it!

HD