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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Exit Alcohol, Enter Hypochondria

No, I don't really think I am a hypochondriac but I am certainly more worried about my health than before.  I think this comes from a deep down, perpetual worry that I really screwed up my body and chances for a long, healthy life by being so careless with wine consumption over the past years.

I never worried about my health while I was drinking.  (I've read others blogs who were just the opposite.)  I think I just tuned it all out.  I didn't want to think, or acknowledge, that anything I felt amiss, could possibly be from my own I just didn't think about it.

Truth be told, one of the main reasons I stopped drinking was that my finger joints started hurting.  Just the tips, DIP joints they are called, out of the blue and for no apparent reason.  Occasionally one or the other will ache very bad in the middle of the night, although that has subsided, I think, since I quit all alcohol.

But the finger joints are very stiff.  They don't really bother me when I type and I have full range of motion.  Just a stiffness that I have to sort of work out from time to time.  Rest of hand doesn't really hurt, wrist doesn't hurt, it's just an odd pain.

This was probably the catalyst to stopping alcohol but I was ready at that time.  I had had a headache for most of the fall and winter although that had gone away when I stopped.  But that started back up in June.  I still think it could be allergies, could be sinus.

Also have a little lump in my breast I'm concerned about.  I have had regular mammograms, last one in January, all normal.  Had one abnormal one about 6 years ago, biopsied the lump (different one) and it was a benign cyst.  I am very cystic they say.  So I'm not all that concerned and have a gyn appointment this week so will get doc's opinion.

I posted earlier about getting an MRI for the headaches.  So the MRI was all clear, no tumors or sinus polyps, but now doc wants to do an MRA.  Never had heard of it but I guess an MRI might not pick up an aneurysm whereas an MRA will.  Might as well be safer than sorrier I guess.

Oh, and the hot flashes that started exactly when I had the MRI but there is supposedly no relation.  I still am holding out in disagreement.  So maybe the MRA will cancel out the MRI and I won't get them anymore....or else I will have to admit that the fact that I have hot flashes, am 2 weeks late on my monthly, and am not pregnant according to any test might, just might, mean I have to admit I am peri-menopausal.

I don't know if others have gone through this pre-occupation with health since quitting drinking but I think I just need to sit through it.  I think I'm about through the list of horribles that could keep me from seeing my son grow into manhood!  Hopefully!

Well, that is off my chest.  Will try not to think of my finger (probably just overuse from all my computer work), my headaches (sinus or allergies), my hot flashes (duh, getting older) nor my boob bump (will get it checked.)

Hey, at least drinking is the last of my thoughts!  I was at two dinner parties this week and it was no big deal to have my AF drinks.  For some reason I think of white wine and then think of a headache...I suppose it's because I HAVE a headache but I think the association is working and it's killing any wistful longing.  I'll take it!  Maybe my hypochondria is my way of hanging in there through Day 100 (7 days until I get there!) so that I get so far along I just want to keep going!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Owning where I am

I was frustrated with something that the hubby "didn't do" this morning.  I felt so agitated about something that really amounted to being a very little issue.  It's a tendency I have.  I try so hard to be perfect myself, to notice things, anticipate things....that I don't show tolerance with others who don't see things as I do.

The way I chose to handle my agitation was to go google "blog about dealing with my husband."  Crazy, huh?  My thought was that I wanted to stop the negativity in my head.  So I thought that if I read about other wives frustrations, I would realize I have a pretty good guy here and let go of my petty and critical thoughts.  What I found was this article:  "I Wasn't Treating My Husband Fairly, And It Wasn't Fair

This was me.  It really wasn't a newsflash.  I knew this about me.  I was this person in my first marriage and only by circumstance am I not always this way now.  I am working on it.  I am work in progress.  Still, this morning, reading this article made me weep.

(My alcohol free brain has lately allowed me to reflect and address my emotional states with a much more mature outlook but that has sometimes resulted in tears!  All part of the process I think.)

I know my husband is awesome.  He is different than me.  He doesn't think like I do, he doesn't notice what I do.  But he is awesome.  Why, then, do I feel the need to "coach"?

I hate the term henpecked, nagged, nitpicked, etc.  I would never berate my husband in public and yet I see women do it all the time.  I would never yell at my husband, serves no purpose.  Yet I see women just going "off" sometimes on some poor guy.

I've always thought my marriages were great because I DIDN'T do that.....BUT.....I coached...boy did I coach, or correct, or advise.

I think in my first marriage I used alcohol to deal with this.  I could tune out what I was doing to my husband.  I was stressed because I knew what I was doing even though he didn't tell me so.  I could see where it would lead and I felt powerless to stop myself.  I could have wine at night and loosen up, losing the need to correct and coach....UNTIL...I had had too much wine in which case all that came out again.  Only with half a bottle would I be the calm and supportive spouse.  I would be on edge without it and worse with too much.....I would almost get combative.

If he would complain negatively about someone at work I would feel this huge need to defend the underdog.  You can see how this would come across as not being supportive.  I KNEW that for a marriage to survive, the wife MUST be supportive, the biggest cheerleader for the husband.  Men and women are wired different.  I KNEW that I needed to be loved (and I was) and I knew that my husband needed my respect above all else....but I wasn't providing that.

I don't own everything in why my first marriage fell apart.  I still think that having affairs, and eroding my trust, as my husband did, was not the answer....and yet, deep down, I understand why someone else being supportive and adoring (even it's sort of a false reality) was tempting.   I think I could have come to where I am today with proper counseling but when he was lying continually to the counselor, it wasn't helping us. I do understand the affairs were likely his way of coping with my assault on his self esteem.  I'm very strong, very confident, very caring....and yet....I didn't take care of my marriage.

The above paragraph sort of sounds like I am saying everything is my fault. I know it's not.  If he let me lead, and I took over, and he didn't complain, then there is an issue with him on that one too.  If he was unhappy, he should have let me know instead of always telling me how wonderful I was and how much he loved me.......because....that is what HE wanted to be told.  Lots of issues.

Part of my issue was that I chose someone who would be a great mate, a wonderful father, a caring husband....or so I thought....and yet...those same characteristics turned me off.  He didn't stand up for himself against me.  He didn't even try to control me, to take the lead in our life.  I made most of the decisions.  But I KNEW this about him.  He was very sweet.  Why did I enter into a relationship with someone like him and try to change him?

(This is where my anonymity is blown if anyone knows me is reading this as I have said this next analogy before to friends.....but, at this point, I'm proud of where I am so if you do know me, feel free to call!)

I have said that my first husband was like walking a Golden Retriever next to me on a leash.  He was good looking, fun loving, sweet, kind, not particularly reflective or introspective, sort of just there, bright eyed and attentive to what I wanted.  He was happy to let me lead and he really didn't bark at all.  He needed to see my pleasure with him reflected back at him....all the time.  (Okay so there was some co-dependency issues on his part....but, again, I knew that going in to that relationship.)

My current husband is like walking with an Irish Wolfhound.  He is also good looking, kind and attentive, but he is his own person.  He isn't swept into me nor drowned out by me.  He is happy to walk by my side but only if off leash. If I get too pushy he will bark.  Sometimes he will bark loud, but only when provoked, and I've never seen any barking when not justifiably provoked.

I have learned a lot with husband #2.  Oh, I still try to coach and correct and he tolerates some of it but he stands up for himself when it becomes too much and I back off.  He helps me to draw boundaries.

My purpose for this post is to remind myself why I am where I am.  I am not with the father of my child, getting to raise him together.  I own my part in that.  I also don't want to lose where I am now.  I can't even call it newfound awareness.  I was always aware of what I did.  I see my father get away with the same stuff with my mom.  She doesn't stand up to him but I think what is different than husband #1 is that she has the confidence in herself to not worry about it.  She let's it roll off her shoulders most of the time.  They've been married over 47 years and to the best of my knowledge both have been faithful.  I still think that just because my Dad gets away with that behavior, doesn't make it right.  He may have been lucky in love and not lost his partner over it.  I did.

Since I have quit alcohol I have had to do some grieving.  I have had to own that maybe if I had worked harder in my first marriage, I could have saved it.  But then I wouldn't be in a better place, relationship-wise, like I am now.  Since getting divorced and getting into a new relationship I have tuned out that grief with alcohol.  It must be how a widow or widower feels in some respect.  They loved their first spouse and missed (still miss) them but love their new spouse.  You just can't go back nor try to equate one with the other.

I guess I would sum this post up with how important it is to forgive ourselves for our mistakes.  I see some things in my new relationship as better than before, some not.  It's just different.  But I'm in a good place and I don't need wine to make me forget where I've come from.  I just need to move forward.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Stepping Away

Having stepped away from alcohol for over 12 weeks it really strikes me how alcohol permeated everything I did.

I used to include alcohol:
- every evening for cocktail hour(s), home or on vacation
- whenever friends/family came over for dinner
- when going out to dinner
- sometimes even lunch with a friend
- while hosting or attending a BBQ
- at breakfast...mimosas...when on vacation
- after a long drive somewhere
- after a long hike, sometimes somewhere on the hike
- while relaxing by the pool
- relaxing by a beach on vacation
- sometimes while shopping with keep him placated with the process
- sometimes on a weekend afternoon while relaxing with a book or magazine

I started this process of quitting and blogging about it, not because I thought I was a complete drunk but because I was drinking too much to be healthy and the blackouts I would get more frequently, while apparently not noticeable to others all the time, scared me.  I wanted to look better and feel better and I came to the conclusion that alcohol was the culprit for a lot of my woes.

I don't think I thought that I drank in as many situations as I named above..and I'm sure I missed listing a few.

Last night I was really questioning what, exactly, I missed about wine.  I really feel that it's that deprivation feeling.  I'm telling myself I can't have it so I miss it.  But I really don't.

I know that it helped me tune out the day to day emotional thoughts I had to live with and, frankly, I think it opened up my mine to new and energizing thoughts. (This is where I used to get into trouble...committing to things that I really didn't want to do once I was not under the influence.)

This really is a process.  Today I am wondering why I ever wanted it.  Why do I need a drug to get through life?  It boils down to that. It is a drug, right?  It's legal and nowadays probably never would be legalized based upon it's noted impact, but historically it's too entrenched in everything we do.

I am NOT a person who needs a drug like this to get through life.  I can get through my life without it. I can deal with all my raw emotions.  I find myself to be so much steadier right now.

When I was pregnant, I would have 2 small sips of my husband's wine every so often.  Just to feel I wasn't missing out.  Because I knew I shouldn't have it, that it could affect my baby, I was fine with that.

I admit to thinking, even still, maybe I can just have 2 small sips every now and again.  Strange.

Oh well, I will continue to let this not drinking be a way of life for now.  I'm not at Day 100 yet nor my weight goal.....but I am starting to understand why maybe Day 100 is some sort of break through point.  Once you get there maybe, in general, with the exception of time to time cravings that you can push down, you don't want to go back.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Boring musings at 12 weeks

Just blogging where I am....  I need to do make some goals and I figured maybe if I can write them down here, baby steps-like, then I will keep them.  Blogging helped me be accountable to not drinking so maybe it will work for some goal setting accountability as well.  Pardon the boredom to any readers.

Physical Fitness:  For the first 6 weeks, I did great.  Worked out every day in some fashion and did strength training for an hour twice a day.  At 8 weeks went on my trip and for the next two weeks I walked 4 miles along a beach every morning.  Let strength training go by the wayside.  Got home, got into car accident, went into funk and zilch on the exercise for the last 4 weeks!
New goal!!  Today I will go for a 45 minute swim and do some resistance in the pool.

Weight Loss:  This one I really can't figure.  When I first quit in March, I got down to 164lbs after 2 weeks of not drinking.  About a 4 lb loss.  Then I started drinking again, continued eating chocolate and ballooned back up to 172lbs.  I'm estimating this is where I got to because I finally weighed myself after a few days of not drinking and working out and I was at 169lbs.  After 8 weeks and being on vacation, I still weighed 169lbs.  Then, get this, in the last 4 weeks I have dropped 8lbs.  I haven't worked out, I did have the stress of the car accident, but it wasn't huge, I still ate chocolate, even had Jack N The Box (aka, gross fast food) once a week.

New goal!!  Going for  1lb a week because I will be exercising and eating better.

Eating habits: I really need to eat better.  I have done a little better this past week, preparing healthier meals but I need to focus on this. Another blogger mentioned a book I may read.  I just need to make the effort to find healthier things to cook and not my normal comfort food.  I switched from Splenda to Stevia but now I'm not sure how much better that is for me.  I'll tackle the sweetner thing later.

New goal!! I'm going to add one new evening menu per week that is what I consider healthy and fresh.  After 5 weeks I'll have a weeknight's worth of recipes to add in to my repertoire!

Medical Condition:  Frankly, I'm a mess, or feel that way.  If you saw my post on Newfound Strength, you'll see I had an abnormal MRI.  I have a meeting with the neurologist next Friday.  I went and obtained the report for that and my skull xray to see exactly what it said.  Surprisingly, nothing.  Which is good.  The reason I was referred was because I have been having headaches above my left eye/temple area and because the report said I had a condition of undetermined significance.  The condition, when I looked up the mumbo jumbo, was......drum roll.....wide set eyes.  Yes, and I do.  Duh.  Had 'em all my life, very good depth perception I must say.  So a lot of stress for nothing.  No sinus polyp, no tumor, no aneurysm about to explode.  But I still have my headache off and on, my vision in my left eye stink AND as of the MRI (supposedly no coincidence) I have been having hot flashes.  Little mini ones sometimes once an hour, like a light flushing feeling.    And I also developed a light twitch under my right eye this morning!

New goal!!!  Figure out these hot flashes.  Need to figure if it's just a readjusting, resetting from not drinking alcohol. (read somewhere that alcohol causes estrogen production and there is still some talk of too little estrogen causing hot flashes)  This also may just be coming off the stress of the MRI, some online blogging about Stevia causing hot flashes (naturally after I switch to it), or .........another drumroll....I may just be getting old!  (I think having some wine at night would actually alleviate my headache and subdue the hot flashes but I'm not ready to go that route!)  May have to back off on caffeine a bit and see what happens....yikes...more headaches there I'm sure!

Mood:  This one I have to say is awesome!  I feel so proud of myself for not drinking.  Even had a friend over the other night that I used to drink with a lot. She nursed two beers and my husband drank a bottle of wine over the course of the evening.  I probably would have had a bottle and a half before she had left.  Not sure if she drank less just because I wasn't drinking but she said she had been cutting back.  I just said I didn't like what it was doing to me physically....making me gain weight, not sleep, aggravating my rosacea, etc.  No big deal.  I feel happier than I have in a long time.  At first I would get moody, even if no wine cravings, and I seem to be moving past that.  I'm maybe not quite as euphoric as I was before but I'm much more steady.  When hubby annoys me, I work through it with a much more mature attitude.  This is a biggy...I no longer feel the need to unload my displeasure onto my husband.  I don't need to make him feel bad because I am feeling bad.  I just admit I feel tired, sad, bummed, whatever.....he gives me a hug, tells me he is there for me and we move on.  Mucho better.

The Medical Condition stuff is getting the most of my attention right now.  I want to work through all that junk and then maybe I'll add life goals to this list as well.  Right now I'm just sort of "existing" in this non drinking world and sitting with things.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

It's OK, there are no rules....

I love checking in on blogs and reading everyone's stories.  It's so helpful to see what others are going through, their struggles, not only with alcohol, but with other things many of us deal with in life.

I went through a phase where the blog is solely what kept me from drinking.  I absolutely did not want to say I failed.  For me, at that time, drinking and having to say I drank would indicate failure.

I'm not sure why I thought that way.  It WAS a helpful obstacle that kept me continuing to try and go AF, I'll give it I suppose my shame served some purpose.   I wish I hadn't felt that way though.  The word failure is so loaded that I almost want to remove it from my vocabulary.

There are no rules for this "quitting the drink" thing.  There is no right way nor wrong way.  The sober universe, while often referred to as that, isn't just for those who get sober.  It's just a very supportive place to air your thoughts and try to get some additional support for whatever your goals may be with regards to alcohol.

We all set goals, day in and day out.  Some we achieve, some we don't.  Some we give up on, some we persevere and keep trying to achieve.

I read another blog where the blogger spoke of a drinking a little bit.  That's how it should be.  We should feel comfortable talking about whatever level of drinking works for us.  For those who can moderate or even choose to try, great!  For those who decide abstinence is the best for them, wonderful.  We can support all.

I no longer feel ashamed to blog that I had a glass of chardonnay.  I haven't yet, not sure I ever will, but I feel comfortable that I can.  If I decide to drink again, I won't feel embarrassed to say so.  I love the bloggers that try, and try again and are still trying.  I love their candidness, their honesty.  It's nice to connect with someone who can admit they are struggling with something.

If someone does fall off their wagon, it's just that - THEIR wagon, and how they perceive it.  My wagon is just the one taking me forward, making me feel better.  If that can include wine again someday, so be it.  It may not.  Right now, for many reasons, I still don't want to touch the stuff again.

We are all here because somehow, the alcohol became too important in our life and we just want to put it where it needs to be....either totally gone or allowed but not at front center stage....a very personal decision for everyone.

Blogging about our struggles is nothing to be ashamed of.  In fact, that blogging will definitely reach somebody else who feels exactly the same way!

I think I kind of rambled today, but it was on my mind....and it's my damn blog! :-)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Newfound Strength

Went away for the weekend with the hubby.   This was the first weekend away with just the two of us in a very long time.  Oh we've taken trips with kids and gone to some conferences where I tagged along as a getaway, but this was the first two-night-er, away on our own, in some considerable time.

I kept having those moments of "hmm, I should be drinking."  But I didn't want to.  At dinner the first night after travel it was strange to not relax with a glass of wine, but it was fine at the same time.  It was awesome to wake up the next morning for a full day of exploration.  Again odd to not sit out on balcony with wine that next night but also wonderful to relax into my good book.  Hubby had beers but that didn't bother me...I drank a lot of tea.

I've had some medical issues going on that I am trying to figure out.  Had an MRI on Thursday and was called Friday by my doc's office as we were getting ready to leave for the weekend.  This is generally not a great sign to have your doc call you right away.......I was told that due to some findings in regards to an abnormal spot on my brain, although not necessarily of significance (whatever the hell that means), and since I have been having headaches on one side of my head, I should go see a neurologist and they were preparing my referral.

Lol, who ever said I was normal?  I'm pretty optimistic that the issues I have been having are sinus related and that they just found some abnormality that might never have been discovered or been of issue if I hadn't had the MRI, but, of course, a niggle of worry does take hold.  So I go see the specialist in 2 weeks.

I must say I dreaded answering the phone as I was packing.  But I'm glad I did.  It made me very reflective throughout the weekend.

Since I have stopped having any alcohol I have felt much stronger in dealing with things that make me agitated or anxious.  I feel so relieved that if I DO have to tackle anything medically major, that I am able to do it AF and not add that to the mix.  Not once during the weekend did I think I needed to drink in order to block out the results I just heard.  I remember reading about Sober Mummy and her tackling cancer after being AF for a long time and thinking, wow, how can she do that without drinking?

I get it now.  I feel the same.

I found this weekend that, in thinking about my life, going alcohol free has been a huge growth experience for me.  I'm really glad I attempted it and have stayed the course thus far.  I'm not going to worry about the upcoming doc appointment.........well, much anyway.....I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  For now I will just be grateful that I am enjoying being AF and continue to grow emotionally, continuing to figure out what I want to be next!

It really is worth getting to this point.  It took a huge amount of willpower for me initially and then, truly, I did ease into it and the way I feel has kept me from trying any more alcohol.  I was really having thoughts of moderation but Friday's call tossed that aside for me.  Maybe that was the bigger plan! I know, for sure, that I don't want to drink until all is medically resolved......and definitely not until Day 100...and not until I lose the other 10 pounds.....and then, hopefully, then, not even after that!!


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thoughts at Day 75

This is not a mind-blowing post.  Just me writing down my thoughts so I can remember what it was like to be at Day 75.

1) The day to day struggle is over.  I am more accepting of not drinking.  Occasionally I think of drinking in the future.  I know I have yet to fully shut that door. But, most important, I don't want it now.  Other than some intermittent moodiness (that might have been there all along anyways) I like the person I am with no alcohol in my system.

2) I went through the surge of energy and then the complete lack of energy.  I think I'm through some of the blah's.  I'm slowly starting to move forward again.

3) The weight is starting to come off, ever slow slowly.  I'm down about 5 or 6 pounds.  We'll see if it continues.

4) I have a dining room mirror that you can't help but look into quickly as one walks past.  I have been noticing my face looks like it's had a bit of a lift.  I don't look near as tired as I used to.  I look much better than I feel some days!  Quite the reverse of when I was drinking.  Sometimes I would look horrible but feel fine.

5) I have learned that I can get edgy in the evening.  Alcohol used to take that edge off.  Unfortunately it did more than just that.  The surge of newness to not drinking kept that at bay for awhile too.  Now I am feeling restless and edgy again but focusing on other things I can do to get through that moment.  I no longer associate the edginess as a wine craving, just a mood I need to get through and I don't want to use alcohol as my tool.

6) I got excited about exercise for awhile and that faded when I got back from vacation.  Struggling to get back into it right now and find a routine.  I want to try yoga but am still a little intimidated.  Wish I knew someone near me who would hold my hand, show me what to wear and bring, etc.

7) Beginning introspection.  I'm not diving in too deeply, just dipping my toes in it for now, slowly.  Thinking occasionally about what else I might want to do... where I might want to live some day.  Working on how to be a better, more tolerant, more accepting spouse.

8) Thinking about how to change up my social scene and develop some deeper friendships nearby.  Most of my longtime friends do not live near me.

9) We've had no kids around for a few weeks and will have all of ours around in August.  Looking forward to doing everything with them alcohol free.

Okay, back to work.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

But What Happens When I Hit Day 100???

This is a post that I started awhile ago and I keep saving it without publishing.  I just couldn't get my feelings down in writing quite correct, but I think I understand my thoughts better now.  The best way to describe this is by writing about the conflicting conversation in my head........

I have this constant, internal debate going on....

Alcohol Free Side of Brain (AF):  I love how I feel about not drinking.  My face looks great.  When I wake up at night, I can at least get back to sleep.  I have lost a few pounds.  I am productive at night. I remember everything.  This is awesome.

Drinking Side of Brain (DS):  You are doing so great, AF!  You totally have this beat.  Look at you on Day 73. Eazy Peezy!  You can have a glass if you want one.  Maybe you shouldn't do it every night but at least you can have some on a holiday.  Or if you go out to dinner and have a glass of wine with a meal, that should be fine, right?

AF:  Oh, but I haven't lost the weight yet.  I really want to look better and feel better before I put any alcohol back in my body!

DS:  Ahh, but you are looking terrific!  One glass here and there won't derail your weight loss goal. You will still keep your new you and just drink a lot less than you were.  You've got this nailed!

AF:  Oh, but I also don't want to start counting days over again.  I'm so proud of myself getting to this point.  I spent years, every morning, saying I would quit and I always found a reason not to.  Then one day I just did it.  I don't want to start again!  I really want to get to Day 100.

DS:  Well, yes, of course, but you wouldn't be starting over.  You would still have many, many more days without alcohol than with.  You would just be occasionally drinking, like normal people.  You really are normal, you know?  You just lacked the discipline to stop the excessive behavior.  See, when you put your mind to it, it was not a big deal, right?  Okay, so just get to Day 100 then.....

Amnesia is setting in.....the pain I felt while drinking, the initial angst I felt when I quit......all in my rear view mirror right now.  That's the momentum taking hold, propelling me forward faster and faster.  Days are flying by now.

Don't get me wrong, I have definitely quit drinking for an extended period of time.  I am committed to not drinking until I feel I can.  You can see the constant debate going on in my head.  I almost (not quite) want to drink to silence that conversation.

I know if I started now, at home, I wouldn't stop. That is completely clear.  Yesterday I wanted to drink not so much because I "craved" the wine, but I just wanted to numb out, tune out, chill out and I know wine would do that for lift my kind of poopy mood.  At least it would very temporarily....but I didn't.

In March I tried to stop and start again with wine every evening and I was right back to where I didn't want to be until I committed at the end of April to this time.  Having adjusted to home life without alcohol in the evening is becoming my new habit.  I'm good with that.

But.....I'm scared to death of what happens when I feel I can drink!  What happens when my axis shifts?  When the DS of my brain speaks more loudly than the AF side?

I am committed to getting to Day 100 and then to losing all the weight I want to.......

But beyond's as if once I have decided I have proven to myself that I can do it, then I can decide when and where I will drink.  As if!

I'm not talking about moderating the way I used to drink.  That horse has left the barn and I'm okay with that.  I KNOW that I can no longer moderate at home.  I'm actually mentally fine with that, strangely enough, and it isn't my goal to go back to that life even in moderation.  That isn't daunting anymore.  It's as if that fight went out of me.

BUT...I can't seem to let go of the idea that someday I will be able to pick up a glass or two, for just one evening at a friend's house, or on another vacation, etc.  I keep thinking "and then I'll go back to non-drinking like I'm doing now."  Why can't I relax on a beach with a pina colada?  Get a little stupid and have fun with my hubby sans kid?  Wake up in the middle of the night for a few nights? Then go back to how I live my life, generally alcohol free?

For some reason my brain thinks that since, before, I kept trying to moderate at home as well, that this time it will be different if I just moderate outside the home or on very specific social occasions.  BUT I HAVE READ BLOG AFTER BLOG of others who thought the same and are fighting again to get back to an alcohol free lifestyle. WHY oh WHY does my brain reject their posts?

I realize that I just don't like being told I can't do something!!!  I am telling myself that I can't grab a glass of wine because of blah, blah, blah.  Honestly, I think that is what is bugging me the most.

It's nice my hubby can have a few.  It doesn't bother me that he does.  It bothers me that somehow I got screwed up and now I can't!!

I'm feeling controlled by my inability to control.  

Okay, so let's say I CAN do what I said above....of course I CAN, it's my choice....great, now I understand that.  So if I CAN then WHY on earth do I really want to drink?  Other than proving that I CAN, I don't really have any other good reason.

...It doesn't truly make me feel better in my soul........I feel much better about myself now.
...It certainly doesn't help me sleep.
...It doesn't help me get motivated to work out and/or lose weight...

I read a quote on reddit that said:
"If I control it, I can't enjoy it.  If I enjoy it, I can't control it."

Wow, that stinks either way you slice it!

So there is this voice saying to me, "you should just do it". "Show the world you can have a glass or two and take it or leave it, while preferring to leave it most of the time."

There is a huge disconnect in my brain.  I don't even like what alcohol does to me so why do I want to keep putting it inside of me???

In addition to not wanting to restart my day count,  I don't want to report to the rest of you that I drank.  This feeling is strong right now but will it always be?  Will I care enough down the road?  This blogging universe is full of people who have quit or are trying to quit.  There aren't too many blogging about successfully quitting and then still being AF most of the time with occasional successful social drinking.  If you are out there, let me know!  Hmm....or maybe don't!

There are so many stories of those who seemed to feel like I did, with many days AF and then they try it again..... and then are right back struggling to break free from alcohol again.  I read, I listen, I internalize, I understand, I agree.....and yet.....why do I think I can be different??

I go back and I read my lists over and over again.  All my points are valid.  But for some reason I keep thinking that someday, not now (I know I'm not ready yet), I'll be able to be a changed person and view alcohol like a special treat, like a chocolate croissant.

I know this is just part of the process.  I just needed to ramble a bit......okay a LOOONNGG bit.  I am hopeful that with enough days behind me, at Day 100, that I get to a point where I just don't want to bother with putting that poison back in my body.  I'm content with "for now", I'm just scared of "when I get there" whenever there may actually be!

At Day 30 I thought there was no way I could make it through a vacation.  At Day 41, I started my vacation and made it through with little issue.  Here I sit at Day 73 and am petrified about Day 100.  So maybe I'll just feel better by then too?  One can hope.

I made it through my first 4th of July without a drink in many, many years.  Here's to more firsts!


Monday, July 4, 2016

Rest Time!!!

Rest time is not waste time.  It is economy to gather fresh strength....It is wisdom to take occasional furlough.  In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less             Charles Spurgeon

I'm trying and failing to rest.

When I was on vacation at my family gathering 2 weeks past, I got AMAZING SLEEP! No husband snoring, no dog needing to pee in the middle of the night, no me having to pee in the middle of the night because I woke up, no anxiety dreams to remember because I woke up, etc.

Fast forward to the past 4 nights......4th and 3rd night ago we had thunder and lightening.  One would think that owning a HUNTING dog... that the jackass would be fine with thunder.  You can shoot a shotgun near him and he has no issue, but thunder?  Forget it.  So we had two nights that started out with dog going under the bed, back out from under the bed, back under the bed....get the picture?  This wasn't even with a 5 minute rest in between.....this was under/out/under/out.  

Dog is too big to go under our bed so in addition to scraping himself as he was doing it, when he was under the bed it vibrated as if I was sitting on top of my clothes dryer.  That would have been more pleasurable!

So for two nights we would try to calm him down and then husband, who can sleep through a freight train going by, would take him into the living room and sleep on the couch. He probably ignored the dog but I didn't suffer through dog's angst anymore.  I think dog has lost 5 pounds due to uncontrollable shivering.

I'm all about trying a "thunder" jacket on the dog but husband isn't too keen.  Male pride thing methinks.

Then, the last two nights we have had the practice fireworks.  This is what happens with the 4th of July here in America is on a Monday.  The fireworks go off all weekend.  If I thought dog hated thunder, he REALLY hates fireworks.  

I tried to get him to go out to pee and as I was dragging him to the pee garden you would think we were under fire by the enemy.  His tail was so far under his legs I was afraid he would poke himself in the eye from his belly side.  Gave up on trying to get him to pee.

Last night we brought in the travel crate for airplanes.  It's smaller and I figured it would be a nice den for him.  Put it next to my side of the bed with a little space for me to walk next to it to get into bed.  Dog ignored crate and tried to fit into that little space.  I finally shooed him out and pulled crate next to bed.  Then dog went into crate, out of crate, into crate, out of crate until BAM I locked him in.  Now crate was vibrating so I shoved it away from bed.  

At least he wasn't fussing and I think finally did fall asleep.   We let him out about 2am but it took major coaxing to convince him the sky wasn't falling anymore.  

So I'm a little tired today.  This day is full of a lot of firsts.  This is the first 4th of July with no kids as they are with exes this holiday.  Normally we have some kids around.  This is my first 4th of July with no alcohol. This is my first 4th of July where I said I was going to "take it easy" and not go to, nor plan a shindig.  

I did all the laundry, dishes, paid bills, etc yesterday.  I have scheduled nothing for today.....and I can't UNWIND.  So here I sit dumping on you and blogging about it.  Maybe you will feel sorry for my lack of sleep and overall grumpiness.

Okay, so I really am going to try and go lay by the pool, read magazines, listen to my audio book and be in the present!!!  I won't spend time missing the children, nor feeling like I'm missing out by not going to nor hosting a BBQ.  I wanted it this way, we planned it this way!

Last night husband had too much wine.  Fortunately for him he is a cute drunk but I felt like one of those ladies in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland (for those who understand this) being chased by amorous pirates.  I'm exhausted in many ways.  The fact that I can't drink just plain annoys me more than anything.  I don't crave the wine, I crave the desire to tune out and have fun!!

Alright, seriously, I will truly try to relax the rest of the day.  I have gotten this all off my chest. Tonight, with the true fireworks, it will be hell.....but then hopefully restful nights are forthcoming!!

Happy 4th to all celebrating!