My Lists

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Disney-lands

When I was young I visited Disneyland quite a bit.  This was back, if anyone remembers, when Disneyland used coupons for every ride.  You paid your admission and ended up with a coupon book with a certain number of tickets to be used for rides in different sections.

Main Street USA

A few "lands" have since been added like Bear Country, New Orleans Square, Toontown....but I digress.

All the really cool rides used the "E" coupon/ticket.  (Hence the expression you may have heard "that's an E-ticket", meaning fast, cool, awesome.)  There were A, B, C and D coupons too for less favorite rides.

When I would go home at the end of the day, most of Tomorrowland ride tickets would be used up, generally the E-tickets.  I would have some left in Adventureland and Frontierland and then a lot from Fantasyland (mostly little kid rides.)

In my progression through changing my life in regards to alcohol, thoughts of these old "lands" bubbled up as a descriptive way to think of quitting drinking.  I've already explained my views on Drinking Tiers and my goals associated with such.  For me, quantifying things is my way of maintaining control and understanding where I fit.

Frontierland:  This is where I was when I quit drinking.  Seriously giving up alcohol for any extended period was an entirely new frontier for me.  I explored, I learned a whole lot about myself.  I changed habits.

Fantasyland:  I have had visions of this land.....a place where I could drink a glass every day without drinking more than one, or even two and never have more.  This is not ever going to be my reality.  My testing of the waters has shown I really don't have an "off" switch.  I think that switch is broken.

Advertureland:  This is where I exist now.....generally operating with no alcohol.  I no longer crave it.  When I do crave it, it's for entirely different reasons.  Instead of craving it to cope, to get through the's a craving that I can push off or, when I don't, it's a very conscious decision, not an out of control one.

Tomorrowland:  This is where I would like to head.  To embrace being truly alcohol free.  Mainly just because I think that is the healthiest choice.  I don't know if I'll ever be on that E-ticket ride as so many of you are, but I do see it out there as a choice.

For now I will just be happy with where I am, feel good about how far I have come and see where I head.

“After all, tomorrow is another day!” 
― Margaret MitchellGone with the Wind

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

150 days ago....

My relationship with my parents now is different than when I was younger.  What started out as a dependent relationship grew into one of independence.  There were a few rebellious years along with some luck that risky behavior never went too far.  I grew, I matured and the nature of our relationship changed.

Now we are friends, we are respectful of each other in an adult way.

This is how I view my relationship with alcohol.

Every day, since making the decision to change my life, some 150 days ago, I have been changing my relationship with alcohol, specifically wine.

For me, it hasn't been a crystal clear process.  It hasn't been all or nothing.  But I feel the changes in dramatic ways.

No longer am I so dependent upon it that I must have it to cope every evening.  I am much further aware of my boundaries in our relationship.  My attitude is shifting, I am growing and changing.

It's funny, I wasn't really expecting a completely different view on drinking.  I always thought I could quit and then learn to manage it or else I would have to quit forever.  I have been pleasantly surprised at finding that I am moving toward not wanting it, not wanting the way it makes me feel, not wanting how I act under the influence.

It's as if my brain has made the shift.  I no longer glamorize it.  I no longer think it needs to be a part of my everyday experiences.  My emotional side is still fighting that logic, however.  There is still a tinge of need sometimes, to block out the world.

I feel like I am starting to come out of the rebellious teenage years in my relationship with wine.  I used to be childlike, completely dependent upon it.  Then, I became not so dependent.  I learned how to enjoy my evenings without it and to feel more productive and accomplished.  But there is this little knot of rebellion that still unties and unleashes itself every so often.  I feel as if I am now in my twenties....generally mature but perhaps still engaging in risky behavior.  I think the desire will diminish, slowly, over time.  My experience last weekend killed another wave of desire.

I look forward to growing through this.   I don't want to be set back into the juvenile years. Regardless, where I am today is so, so, so much better than where I was 150 days ago!!  I still enjoy alcohol free firsts and look forward to many more.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Tier 3, 3am

It was a Tier 3, 3am kinda night.....

Lol, sounds like a pretty good Jimmy Buffet song to me :-)

(Have I mentioned that I am a huge Jimmy Buffet fan?  I know is just shocking that a PARROTHEAD would have any issues with alcohol, any sort of love affair with the thought of relaxing on a beach with a rum drink in hand watching the whales go by......but alas, this is me.  I am and have been a Parrothead for, well, years!!!)

Anyway, yes, I feel stupid for drinking last night.  Thanks, so much, for all the comments.  I appreciate the support and concern as always!  Sometimes I wonder who reads and, oops, quite a few!  Busted.  No sneaking that one by!

I can't really even say I needed the wine.  That's what feels stupid.  I was actually not really needing the drug by the time we finished dinner but I felt guilty for making hubby stop and get it.  Felt stupid about that too.  So decided what the "f" and sat outside discussing my nightmare of a day.

Oh well.  And you know what?  It's not what it used to be.  I think because I had a full belly it didn't hit me as hard, therefore it didn't do what I wanted it to do.  I never really found oblivion.  I was laughing to myself with a "what a dumbass" phrase running through my head when I finally went to bed after posting.  I just knew I had set myself up for numerous physical ailments after drinking that down.

So I didn't get the relief I was seeking....(hmm..maybe because wine isn't where that's at for me anymore, a good sign)...and I still got the dehydration, insomnia and grogginess the next morning.  But I still went on my walk at 5am so YAY for me!   And I still have all the same issues today to deal with......which somehow seem like they would be easier to deal with had I had a good night's sleep!

BUT, here is the NEWS FLASH....even when I was awake at 3am, not able to go back to sleep like I have been of late......there was something missing.  I couldn't put my finger on it at first.

Finally I did.  NO SELF LOATHING!!!  I didn't hate myself.  I didn't think "oh, lord, please don't let me drink again today."  I didn't feel like I was in a vicious cycle.  I just felt silly.  That is so different from the last time I downed a bottle of wine.  It's because I know I don't really want it.

This whole journey has been a slow, conscious choosing to remove alcohol from my life.  (I never have done anything too rash nor too fast...)  I like what Thirsty Still said: "It was all part of me working out whether and how I would drink.  When I did finally quit, it was the absolute right thing to do."

I definitely have had to do this my way.  The parting with it had to be on my terms not wine's terms.  I realize it can seem like I am escalating but I think if that were the case I would be fighting cravings more frequently.  And thinking that wine really could solve my problems.  I don't even want to moderate.  For some reason, I just have to have the freedom to know I can try it if I want to even if overall I want it removed from my life.

Last night was the first time I allowed myself to say "I am going to use it to cope."  Like I used to.  And, nope, it didn't pass muster.  I feel like I got the coping thing out of my system.

I know I will drink again at some point.  I know my mind will find a reason to try it whether socially or a just because someday.  I am okay with that as long as that is all it is.  That's what I will be cautious about.  I know I will have to remove it completely if I can't keep the cork in the bottle!

Hopefully this has all been about a parting of the ways.  Time will tell though and I am certainly aware.  Maybe now I can believe my brain when it says "girl, you really don't want this, just let it go."

Thursday, September 15, 2016

He won.

Tonight, my Ex won.  He got to me, to my psyche. For that I am not proud.

We have been having a turbulent court battle about finances.  It's hard to feel like a victim.  I know I made my own choices.  I married him.  I guess I should have known what I was in for. We have been divorced for many years.

I took him back to court in June 2015 about some things I could no longer overlook.  We finally settled back at the end of July....this past one, 2016.....or so I thought.  Today was the first day I finally got his changes to the agreement and I felt like I was settling on my settlement.  I was so disappointed, I didn't know where to turn.  He is paying his legal part under the new terms, despite no agreement, but hasn't paid what he promised me as a lump sum.  On top of that he is nickel and dime-ing me in some areas.

Then, I got notified that companies are cutting back.  No more commissions for next year.  My paycheck will likely get cut by 2/3 in January 2017.  It's daunting to reinvent myself at this point. Current hubby is doing well so maybe we can be okay but I still hate it all.  I hate to be dependent upon someone else.

Through all my issues with my ex I have kept it away from our son.  He knows nothing of us being at odds.  I just feel very strongly that he should have a relationship with both parents not influenced by the situation my ex and I have with each other....other than the obvious divorce.  I am the primary custodial parent.  (I have referenced Malicious Mother Syndrome and it is for real....I WILL NOT be that person.) Ex chose to move 3,000 mi away and see our son maybe, if lucky, once a month or every other month.  I can't pretend to understand that decision no matter what he thought of me.  He does call our son every day,  thank goodness.  I have stopped apologizing for Dad but I don't say anything bad.  Son thinks Dad sold his company recently, instead of losing it to bad business.  I haven't said a thing.

I have no desire to poison my son's view of his Dad.  Let him believe he is Superman, that's okay I think.

But tonight I told my hubby to buy a bottle of white for me.  I guess it's good that I made a conscious decision to tune out.  I ate dinner first, a lot of carbs, before I had any.  I knew why I was drinking it and for what purpose. There was no illusion that I can do this all the time.  I'm writing this tonight after a bottle over 5 hours, pretty coherent. Just disappointed with the days events....obviously feeling guilty about it all.

Maybe this is okay.  A deliberate acknowledgement of a bad thing I did. I dunno.  I won't drink like this very often.  So many days without it has taught me that I don't want it.  But I did simply a drug that I knew would do the trick.  (and folks.... I'm not sure it did!  I'm in the same place, just a little dizzy while typing!) I don't pretend I can handle it regularly.  I know that I cannot.  As much as I said I would never have it when I was stressed, however, I did tonight.  Please forgive me.

My hope is that I will keep this in perspective.  That it's okay to let myself down occasionally.  That overall I'm proud of where I've come.  I'm so much happier without alcohol.  I know that I will sleep crappy tonight but I am still going on my walk tomorrow morning!  Back in the saddle tomorrow!


Sunday, September 11, 2016


Well, here I go again, vomiting up another blog post.  I'm not sure what has unleashed inside of me these past few days but the need to get my thoughts down in writing is huge.  It's as if until I get all these thoughts to the outside of my head, I can't focus on anything else.

This quote popped into my head today.  It's been written in so many formats that I have no idea where it originally came from but it jumped at me and bit me in the ass this morning:

"It's not the choices we made that are the issue, 
it's what we have done with those choices that counts."

Or something somesuch like that...

In my never-ending quest to figure out why I refuse to get my butt moving and exercise on most occasions, I have been doing a lot of exploration of me, my past, my present, my goals, etc.

Last weekend I just couldn't get motivated to do anything and, outside of doing my 3 mile morning walks with a friend, I didn't do anything else. I know, I know, a 3 mile walk is still exercise but I am referring to strength building in particular.

I have been talking to someone about all this and I went down a path, discussing all the reasons why I am feeling "blocked" about exercise.  I am grieving the lost of a past relationship, of family.  I am grieving that my new family isn't how I idealized it would be.  I have some conflict with my ex.  My husband has conflict with his ex.  All these stresses must be causing me to not exercise.

Okay, today I called bullshit on myself.

The truth is I'm not really grieving.  I've done that.  I know exactly why I am where I am.  I have made certain choices and I accept that I own those choices.  I know where I come from, why I am the way I am, and what I need to do to be a better person.  It's not all hidden deep down inside of me.

Sure, I grieve the loss of my first marriage, mainly from the standpoint of not being one big happy family anymore.  But if I'm honest with myself...there is a lot I could have done to save that marriage that I chose not to do.  Not saying I should have tried to save it but I could have done things different that might have resulted in a different outcome.

Sure, I have things I want to be different in my current relationship.  My hubby's relationship with his kids is less than ideal, I do not have the one big happy family here either.  Also, he hasn't overly bonded with my son, his stepson.  But they get along, we eat dinner together every night, occasionally do things as a family and they exhibit respect for each other most of the time.  My son has his dad close in touch so I think this is all I can really hope for.

But these are facts, not excuses.

I even used to use drinking as an excuse to not exercise.  I told myself if I quit drinking I would have so much energy, I would work out, feel great, blah blah.  When I first quit drinking I threw myself into exercising.  I did this I think to distract myself and to have something to pinpoint and say "aha, see why not drinking is so good for you? You are exercising!!!"

The problem was that once my love affair with wine wore off, my attitude changed and I stopped exercising.  I made it through an amazing sober first by going on a 2 week vacation with my family and never even taking a sip of alcohol.  I got back and exercise went out the window.

I know I need to change my attitude toward exercise, change it's role in my life, much as I have worked to change alcohol's role.  I finally hit my breaking point in regard to alcohol and made the change.  I'm not sure how one hits bottom in regard to not exercising but I'm working on figuring that out.

I need to put the same energy into starting to exercise that I put into quitting drinking.  Duh.

I need to stop thinking there is a "certain" way to exercise or else I fail.  I have a FitBit that I haven't used yet as it is still decorating my dresser.  I'm going to dig it out tonight and see how much exercise I get around the house, on days I walk etc.

Today my son and I took our two dogs out on my 3 mile walk.  There is something about two crazy wild beasts looking at you so lovingly with tails a wagging that didn't let me bag out this morning.

 (That and I was worried that the box of dog cookies they counter surfed from the kitchen yesterday and ate in my family room might turn into worse destruction in the form of shoes or furniture if I didn't get them outside!  Hubby normally runs them but he is gone for 4 nights.  Oh, woe is me..)

I also went out and cleaned the pool from top to bottom.  For anyone that has tried to arrest a yellow algae bloom with a pool brush, you will know this is a pretty darn good arm and ab workout.  So I checked that box.

Note that all my exercise today was for something else.  The dogs.  My sense of perfection in not wanting to look at a urine colored pool.

I am slowly going to work on designing an exercise program based only upon exercise I know I like, exercise I can look forward to.....possibly.

I have come up with a list:
- continuing to walk (I love yakking with my friend on our walks)
- making time for my elliptical machine (I love listening to my audio book)
- biking (figuring out the bike rack on husbands car and riding once a week while son has sports)
- dancing (when I'm by myself, as it is not pretty, just turn on Pandora and rock with tennis shoes on)
- wii (just spend 30 minutes every other day using the wii on whatever exercise game I want to)

There, that's good enough to start.  If I feel like doing squats or bicep curls, I might.  Maybe blogging about it will keep me accountable like it did for not drinking.  I am starting an exercise tab as well to log my progress.   If there is anyone out there reading this who needs to start exercising as well, maybe now is the time and we can keep each other motivated.  Only if you already dread it like I do :-)  I am happy to buddy up via this blog or through email.

There reason I think blogging works is that we need that accountability to get going on something.  Then, once the new habit takes over such as not drinking or starting exercise or whatever, we can gradually back off the blog or the accountability to others because we end up being accountable to ourselves.  That's my theory anyway.

Oh, almost forgot, I need to celebrate something here.  Despite my blogging which obviously makes one think of alcohol, yesterday after 4pm was the first time I can think of where I never thought about wine at all in the evening.  I realized this morning that I made dinner (okay, ordered it and picked it up), watched tv with my son, finished up some things around the house, made tea and hopped into bed with a book......never even thinking about wine!!!  (While I don't want it anymore, I usually still think about what I used to do!)  Yay!!!  Probably had more to do with the fact that hubby wasn't around drinking any but I'll take improvement where I can get it!


 (PS - Someone said they couldn't see my tabs...I know on my phone I can't see them unless I scroll down and click on View Web Version, then they show up along the top.  My lists, Counting and now Exercise Log.)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tapping Away Anxiety

When I was dealing with infidelity in my first marriage I learned a few things that may apply to this quitting alcohol thing.  May even apply to my anxiety about exercise.....hmm...

Anyway, way back when, my ex and I had worked through, or I thought we had, an infidelity issue.  I was willing to forgive and move on, to accept my part in the relationship and to make us bigger and better than before.  So we went to therapy.

The main challenge I had was in dealing with the post traumatic stress of the betrayal.  I would be in a relatively good mood, things would be good between my husband and I and something would suddenly set my mind reeling.  I would be re-visiting every detail in my head of what happened in the past, I would want even more clarification (which certainly served NO purpose at that point) and I couldn't shut my brain down from this cycle.  Then both my ex and I would end up in pissy moods.

I'm not sure I can say for sure that that caused me to never heal enough for the relationship to heal either.....who knows if divorce still would have happened.... but it was something that I remember doing.

I would also let my brain go places it shouldn't.  My ex traveled a brain would imagine a parade of horribles in the present based upon the betrayal in the past.  Lack of trust would probably also be descriptive here, but it was more than that.  In fact, it wasn't as if I was distrusting at that moment in was like my mind took over and imagined all sorts of things that were very likely not happening.   My point is that there were times where I made myself physically ill, completely anxious over the imagined!  (Granted there were times it turned out I wasn't imagining but I digress....)  Being awake in the middle of the night over this stuff really ticked me off!

My therapist gave me many pointers, two of which really stuck with me, to shut down the brain.

1) The first was to stop thinking about the details.  To force my mind from the past or the imagined and back to the present.  The way the therapist taught me to do that was to identify what feeling I was REALLY feeling and then sit with that emotion.

Example...if my mind was going down a path wondering what the husband was up to because I couldn't reach him over the stop that thought I needed to ask myself what was I feeling?  Was I really just lonely?  Was I sad and thinking that I might lose him?  Was I worried about my own financial future?

Once I identified the feeling and sat with it, thought about that for awhile, then I could move on.  Most times I was able to acknowledge the deep feeling and put away the drama film that wanted to play in my head.

Sometimes, however, it was hard to calm down when I had gotten very anxious so, even when I could identify what I felt, I still had trouble moving on.

2) The therapist introduced me to something called Thought Field Therapy (TFT).   It is a therapeutic intervention devised by Roger Callahan, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who integrated treatment of oriental acupressure meridians with western psychological process to obtain mental health objectives. (Can you tell I just retyped what is on my cheat sheet that I just unearthed?  I knew I kept that thing for a reason!)

My take: It's basically focusing on emotions followed by tapping in different body places.  I do not pretend to be a therapist but I think (at least what I got out of it) the gist of it is that you can't focus on this process AND those crazy emotions at the same time.  So by the time you are done with this tapping thing, then you are calmed down enough to regain perspective.  If you just google "Thought Field Therapy" you can find tons of information if you are interested.  Lots of people have written protocols and proposed different things to do for different situations.  You can also email me if you want the .pdf of what I was given.  Happy to share.

I was once taught that your body cannot actually feel pain in two spots at exactly the same time.  (I think it goes back and forth pretty darn quick though sometimes!) A man once taught me to hold the first joint back from my nail of my ring finger on my left hand and squeeze the heck out of it if I got nauseous.  I have to admit I resorted to that on many a fishing trip and during pregnancy morning sickness.  I think the principle was that I couldn't focus on the nausea if my finger was being crushed.  But it did work.

I think this tapping thing is similar.  By distracting my brain from the drama film, I was able to calm my anxiety, move back into the present and get on with my day.  I tend to be the type of person who is great once I move my thoughts from the inside to the outside.  (Hence I had this thought today and needed to blog about it before getting back to other tasks at hand.)  Because we don't always have time to blog, or don't have someone to talk to right away, this TFT is a pretty good substitute for calming the body.

To bring this back to alcohol.....I think that sometimes cravings are a reaction more than missing a taste for wine.  My cravings have been a need to do something to calm my brain from something else it is thinking of.  My need to numb out.  I know alcohol will take me away from the immediate displeasure I am feeling and calm me.

I never actually thought to resort to the TFT part of the above during my initial quitting days but I think it would have been helpful had I remembered about it.  I definitely tried to identify underlying emotions during that time and sit with those feelings.  That definitely helped.

Perhaps it can be a tool to distract ourselves from the "pain" of a craving, to get through it and to move on with our other tasks.

Anyway, I don't know what prompted me to think of it today.....I think I was feeling a bit anxious about my lack of motivation to exercise and I remembered the process.

Food for thought, maybe a good tool to be aware of.  I'm dusting this paper off for myself today!


Friday, September 9, 2016

Managing Expectations; Focusing on the Little Things

I had a lot of expectations about quitting drinking.

I was going to lose weight, exercise more, eat better, feel better mood-wise, be a better spouse, be a better mother, get great sleep and feel awesome every morning.


I've lost a few pounds but my penchant for sweets and lack of exercise has caused that change to stabilize.  I'd like to say that I'm motivated to get the scale moving again but we'll see.

I certainly exercised more for the first 60 days but then fell back off that wagon.  I'm now working with someone to help change my view of exercise. I have realized that if I'm happy, I exercise. If I'm not, it's the last thing I want to do.  I would like to change my view and get to a point where I will know that exercise will MAKE me feel happier.  Logically I know this to be true with endorphins and all. I like exercise....when I do it....but doing it...just getting started... is my huge hurdle.

I don't eat much better.  I actually bought an ice cream cone yesterday with my son when we swung by the dry cleaners. I haven't bought an ice cream, been inside an ice cream store in YEARS!  Then I came home, made tea and ate my 6 squares of Cadbury....hmm...rutro......    I like AF wine (in moderation) as well.  So add in those calories too.  Granted, I drink my nightly cocktail of 1/3 glass of AF wine, 1/3 glass of club soda, 1/3 glass of sparkling water, squirt of lime juice and a sprig of it's certainly not as many calories as 4 glasses of white wine but I think I'm going the wrong way on the chocolate thing.  I still don't eat many veggies.  I do still take vitamins.

I do feel a whole lot better when I have zero alcohol in my system.  I do think I am being a better spouse (still trying to deal with turning my mind off so my libido isn't used to do that for me pretty well...) and I am definitely more present as a mother.

However, my sleep is back to being kind of shitty and sporadic, rarely very deep and I wouldn't say I feel awesome every morning.  I do get out of bed a whole lot easier though!

I tried a few glasses of wine and even that didn't feel good anymore.  The negatives really outweigh the positives for me.

I think this whole journey is about managing these larger expectations and focusing on the little things that day-to-day make changing our lifestyle worth it.  Someday more of the above will hopefully come my way.

For now, it's the little things I notice.

1) I really do have a brighter face, my eyelids don't puff over my eyes all the time, my rosacea is calm.  I don't need makeup to cover up redness or dark circles anymore.  I catch a glimpse in the mirror and say "YES!"

2) I don't consider walking/hiking/easy bike rides to be exercise.  So I enjoy those things and am continually amazed that I am happy to get up early and go do them.  (I know, I am's all the other exercise I hate...the stuff I feel I "should" do!)

3) We cooked burgers last night and, since that's not "my" night to cook, in the past I would have had 3 glasses of wine by the time we ate.  I would have forgot or been too lazy to slice tomatoes, wash lettuce and we would have had just ketchup and mustard out.  Last night it felt great to be slicing tomatoes and laying out more than just the basics.

4) When I was with my folks last weekend, I woke up early to the birds singing, hopped out of bed and started tea.  No throwing up bile in the morning because my stomach was so sour.  Some gastritis pain from the wine tasting but NOTHING like the past times I have been there and drunk the whole time.  Went fishing without feeling hot from the sun and didn't feel nauseated!

5) I am reading before bed again.  I don't just want to fall asleep right away.

6) I am saying goodnight to my son every night and remembering it.  I'm helping him brush his teeth or at least coaching (his hygiene with braces is challenging).  Before I would say "we need to work on your teeth" and I would go to bed without focusing on it.

7) I don't hate myself in regard to my drinking anymore.  No more self-loathing.

The list goes on and I'm sure this is boring but I mainly wanted to note it for myself.  I know a lot of people are concerned about my wine tasting forays so writing down all the good stuff helps to reinforce, for me, why I am choosing the life I am.

While tactics may differ, the common ground we all have, what brought us to these blogs, was a desire to change the way we drink, the role in which we let alcohol play in our life.  As a tactic, some will chose to abstain completely, some will choose to be an occasional drinker and some will decide to moderate.  But I think it's safe to say we all wanted major change.

I think focusing, and noting with thought or word, the little things that we notice, when we make this major change to revamp alcohol's influence, is what keeps us moving forward.  Day by day more things change and creep into our consciousness and make us decide to choose this life versus having it chosen for us.

I've decided to just talk about, on this blog, how great I feel about not drinking and other stuff in my life with which I am dealing.  I'm not going to over focus on when I decide to try some alcohol.  I'll note that on my counting tab and be done with it.  If I feel I strayed out of my Tier 2 definition, then I will blog about it so that I have a record for myself.  Otherwise, no mention other than date and amount.

Hopefully that will keep people, myself included, focused on the positives of not drinking and if I blog about the negative, then it will be because I am in need of some support to get back on track.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Twilight Zone

There is a narrative at the beginning of the old Twilight Zone episodes that has this line in it:

It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstitions, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge.

I feel like that's where I am existing, alone, in this world.  I don't fit anywhere in this blogging universe.  I kind of feel sad about it today.

It wasn't where I thought I would end my journey.  I always thought that when I quit wine I would do so for awhile.  Then I would be "cured" of any issues and be able to go back to being a normal drinker instead of one who drinks too much.  Or, I figured, after reading so many other blogs, that I would get to a point where I wouldn't be able to drink at all because it would continually send me right back to where I was.

I never figured on this no man's land where I now feel most comfortable.

1) I don't like how it makes me feel a few hours after drinking: the insomnia, the dehydration, the red, inflamed face, etc.
2) When I do have some wine I can't wait for it to get back out of my system, to look at my again bright eyes in the mirror.
3) I love my alcohol free drinks, actually I am starting to prefer them.
4) I'll probably still drink the drug occasionally, but not moderately.
5) I recognize alcohol as a drug.  If I take the drug routinely, its a given that I will begin to take too much and I want to avoid that possibility.
6) I honestly don't have hard cravings anymore.  I think about it at wine o'clock, I read about wine, my hubby drinks wine, etc.  I think about it in passing but no white-knuckling-wish-I-could-have-it thoughts.  At least not right now.  I guess time will tell.

I don't fit with those who are sober, I don't fit with those struggling to get sober and I don't fit with those who want to moderate.  

Is there anyone else out there who lives in my world?  Have you been able to stay in this zone for any extended period of time?

Just curious.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My Journey to date

I was waffling about continuing to post about my journey.  I understand that it's not conforming to norms and may trigger a vast array of responses.  I checked my view counts (stats) online today for my posts and had to laugh.  My very first post has 226 views. The next highest count was my last post at 161.

I figure maybe more people are actually following my saga than I realize or else they are sending my post to others with a link saying "get a load of this idiot, check out her blog.  She's sooo going to fail!"

I just want to say a few things about my blog, what it has done for me.  I know this may sound repetitive but I never would have been able to quit without documenting my thoughts and re-reading my posts along the way.  I also might not have kept going if it hadn't been for all the comments and the reading I have done of others blogs.

My base assumption still stands.  I will never assume any comment is judgmental of me.  I understand some comments may come across that way from time to time but I refuse to view them that way.  If anything, they may be judgmental of my actions, and I get that, but I won't take them as being judgmental of me.  I would hope nobody ever meant their comment that way anyway.  I completely understand all the caution, sometimes vehement caution, and interpretation of my words.  Many have been down paths from which I can learn.  I never want to discourage a person from commenting on my blog nor set any rules.  Thank you again to all who have commented.

I have felt a dramatic shift in my view toward alcohol.  I'm writing this down (at day 136, just counted) to note how I am feeling.  I'm hoping nothing negative happens but if it does, I want to note how sure of myself I was at this point. I am not cocky, I am not cured.  I don't think the "off" switch is fully working and may never be again, but the dimmer part of the switch is working.....and that's how I like it.

I count my 136 days from the day I made the commitment to change my a big way.  The first time I really attempted to quit, in March, I went two weeks.  It was so easy that I said okay, no big deal, and went back to daily drinking.  This escalated and voila I was back to where I had been and fatter!  This time I admitted this wasn't easy and went a lot longer.

What I feel now is that wine is like my ex-husband.  I had a wonderful marriage to a loving man....until I realized I didn't.  Then I had a marriage I was trying to believe was still wonderful but was dealing with a lot of negative issues.  It was surreal.  Then, I gave up the ghost and realized that as much as I had loved that marriage and the man, I could never go back to that life.

I loved wine until I realized what it was doing to me.  Then I wanted to still love wine but just didn't want to deal with negative aspects.  I wanted to drink normally.   I still wanted to drink.  Then I realized I would need to quit for awhile and thought maybe at some point I could go back to drinking normally.  I was very proud of myself for even getting to Day 100 when that had seemed so far away at the beginning.

The past few weeks have been about giving up the ghost in regard to wine.  As much as I used to love drinking every day, I know I can never go back to that life.  I had those first two glasses of wine and realized the love affair was over.  I didn't even want it anymore even though I admit to feeling a pleasant calm when I had them.  But I don't want to get calm that way.

This past weekend I went away to my parents vacation home for Fri, Sat and Sun nights.  I am noting that I never had a craving for wine.  Then, on Saturday night, my Dad really seemed to want to have wine on the deck with the sunset.  Just my mom, my dad and me.

Side story:  My mom has battled cancer twice and my dad a major cancer as well.  He is still dealing with digestive issues from his.  He began his battle about 9 years ago.  Right now he is cancer free but he stopped drinking for many years.  The fact that he would even want wine with us, would initiate drinking wine with us, brought tears to my eyes.  It meant he was feeling better than he has in a long time.  I realize there are all sorts of comments one could make about the tie between wine and cancer but they've never been heavy drinkers, ever, always just a glass a night before dinner folks.  With my genetics and my drinking history I'm probably screwed but maybe there is some good cancer luck in my genes too, who knows!  The point was just that he was looking so much better!!

If this man wants to start drinking again, at his age, after what he's been through, and it helps him a bit, power to him.  I still agree alcohol is not good for us.  Then, again, my diet is not good for me.  Lots to balance.

So anyway, I felt so awkward.  I didn't want to make him feel bad or self-conscious for wanting wine so I dove back in and shared a bottle with them. One bottle of chardonnay, 3 people.  That amounts to about 3, 4oz glasses each, give or take.  (Dad pours in tiny glasses)  That's less than what my normal 2 glasses of wine used to amount to......and I rarely stopped at 2.

What was interesting was that when we were done, I was done.  No desire to keep going, switched to milk with dinner.  No craving Sun or last night.  I slept like crap Saturday night, kept waking up and drinking water, and slept like a log Sunday night.  I had a bit of a headache as I was going to bed Saturday night.  Sunday morning my face didn't look as bright.

I just don't want that life anymore.  I think that my perspective has fundamentally changed.  I, very strongly now, don't want what alcohol does to me.  I had to quit for a length of time completely in order to allow that change to happen.  I realize some may say that wasn't very long, but long for what?  No, I probably can't go back to moderation ever again.  I like my life better without alcohol.

Will I ever have it again?  Probably.  But I don't want to have it when I "need" it, or feel the "need to numb" myself.  I have other tools for that now that I will use.  I know I will have cravings in the future and I will just approach it like I did during abstinence.  It is NOT an option at those times.

We'll see how I do.  It's hard not to think about alcohol daily because thinking about it has become a way of life by reading these blogs.  That's okay.  Reminders about what can happen, how hard it can be to get back out of the darkness, are all good to continually read.

My goal is to live in my Tier 1 world with occasional forays into Tier 2 when I deem it okay.  I hope to never live in Tier 3 again and I REALLY don't want to experience Tier 4 again.   I'm defining my Tiers so that I can have a standard to live within. If I have to work too hard to keep from going from Tier 2 to Tier 3, then I may decide I need to just stay within Tier 1.  Right now I don't have to put rules in place to do that, fight cravings or just feel stressed about it.  So all is okay for now, I think.

I realized also, there is still a back-ass-ward-ness to everything I write.  On the one hand I say I don't want wine but yet say I may have some from time to time.  If I don't want it, why would I have it?  I don't have the answer to the contradictions in my feelings.  I acknowledge the contradiction but am just really happy with where I am right this moment.

I debated blogging that I had some more wine in regard to the comments it invites.  I'm not saying I'm special because I think I can drink every now and again in a totally different light than I did before.   I'm not making any promises to anyone, just seeing how things go.  I do know that I like myself better without alcohol.

I am going to really try and move my blogging focus toward changing my view of exercise.  I am not going to make a big stink of when I drink but I understand people are curious.  I don't want to feel guilty about it, but I want to note it for myself as well. I have setup a tab called Counting.  I will log there just so I can keep track.  If I escalate, you'll be able to see that as well.

And now a word to anyone who follows this are always welcome to email me at if you are uncomfortable commenting.  I'm happy to answer any questions.  I'm also fine with someone expressing their opinion on my blog.  I may or may not agree but those comments may resonate with another reader if not with me.

Thanks again to everyone for your support.