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Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Tide, it is a-changing!

Day 15:1

I had a good day yesterday, back to enjoying my mocktails.

I had been reading my posts from year ago when I quit drinking.  It's funny, for some reason on Friday I didn't read my last year's Day 13.  I clearly went down the same path only last year I avoided the crush of the wine voice.  Ahhh, If I had only read that post before Friday night!  Well, hindsight they say is......

This time around feels a lot different.

Last year:
I felt like I was drinking too much.  I was getting fat, unhealthy.  I needed to prove to myself I could quit.  It was a game.  Once I got to 125 days I was ready to go back to normal drinking. I knew I would be able to handle it after resetting my internal drinking self. I was done with my game.  I hadn't lost the weight but that was okay, so I started exercising and working on that aspect of my life as a way to balance things out.  I worked on other issues I had so that I wouldn't want to drink.   I probably wouldn't even want it anymore.  Oh, I had heard all about the potential for relapse but that wasn't going to be me.  I would still drink but never back to the levels of my old self.

What I found:
Okay, with a little control I kept myself from going embarrassingly drunky-drunk over the next 8+ months.  But only by the skin of my teeth.  I still found I was drinking too much to be healthy, wasn't productive and still wasn't fully present in my life.  I fixed a lot of things and became so much more settled with my life so I couldn't understand why I still felt compelled to drink a whole bottle.  Sure, I have some stresses in my life but nothing big, nothing unmanageable.  I'm not anxious, not depressed....but I am bored.  I suppose that can be just as dangerous.  Time to work on that.

This time:
It feels different.  There is still the pull to "just have some" of course but it feels like such a negative thought.  It's not a game anymore.  I like myself better sober.  I'm really trying to figure out the "boredom" thing.

What drinking does for me is let me dream.  The stress of not being exactly where I want to be in life is swept away by dreaming about where I could be someday.  The fanciful thoughts come rolling in, relaxing me.

I am happy with my man and happy being a mom.  I love both of those relationships.  I didn't realize how unhappy I was with my ex until I met this guy.  So all good there.

I just need to find my purpose.  I'm bored.  Time to not drink away the boredom.

Last year not drinking was a challenge.  This year it's more of a choice.  I may have some backslides but it's a whole different feeling.  Last year I didn't let myself slip and then when I did, I didn't acknowledge it as that.  This year, every time I drink, it will be a slip.  There is no more calling it drinking normally.  I don't want to drink, so if I do, it's a completely negative process.

I suppose this change of mindset is called forward progress.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Practice makes perfect..... 14:1

Well, last night, there went that wine bottle.  After feeling so good about myself from the evening before, I'm not even sure why I said to hubby, "can you please open the white for me?"  If it hadn't been in the house, I know I would have had him make a run for some.

(I can certainly make him more of a policeman but I don't feel that role is healthy.  I feel strongly that I need to own my own relationship with wine. And...If he changes his own habits I want it to be because he wants to and not because I nag him.)

He was drinking his red, I initially had a diet coke.  I felt like a pressure cooker.  I didn't really even want wine last night but all the "you shouldn't" "you can't" "you don't want it" voices in my head got too loud.  I just wanted to silence everything.  I hate being told I can't do something, even if it's me telling myself! So I had the wine.  It felt like rebellion more than a need.  I wasn't even very stressed.  I had gotten a lot done work-wise and I was feeling better financially after working through some accounts.

I didn't get drunk, I made dinner, I remember everything, I went to bed.  But I didn't stop at a glass or two....had to drink the whole damn thing over the evening.   Then, of course, I was awake, hardly slept and was just thoroughly annoyed at myself.  Drank water on and off all night long.

I'm not going to stop counting.  Heck, if I get through a long period of time and mess up very occasionally, I'm okay with that.  Every time I drink is a reminder of what I don't want as a daily part of my life.   In the not too distant past I couldn't possibly fathom going 12 days without any alcohol.

I'm just going to keep a tally on the right side of my counting to show any nights I had wine out of the total.  So today is Day 14 and I drank once in two weeks.  14:1  This will help keep me accountable.

It's funny, I thought I would hate sharing this but I'm pretty happy.  No self-loathing, just irritation at the continued realization that if I drink I won't stop until the bottle is gone.  This is why I am here blogging, because I, like most everyone else perusing these blogs, can't drink "normally" - darn it - whatever normal is.

Happy Weekend everyone!


Friday, April 28, 2017

FriDAY 13

Last night I fought through a huge craving and won!  YES!  One day at a time, one 2 hour cocktail hour at a time.....

I still have that bottle of white wine in my fridge - I know many recommend getting rid of it - but somehow it's good for me.  I look at it nightly and think through drinking the whole thing.  I never did that before.  Having it already here forces me to think.  Before I would get all the wine out of the house and then slip and ask hubby to pick up some.  He would and then I would struggle but say to myself, "well I have to drink it because I made him stop for it!"

Every evening now, instead of spending energy on figuring out how to get it into my house, I am forced to confront the question of whether or not I am going to drink that night and why.  It's an interesting thought process for sure.  I definitely miss coming home and knowing I can crack open a bottle of white and tune out.  I don't miss what comes with it though.

Thursday I did fine.  I had a couple of shortbread cookies in early afternoon and 2 mocktails in the evening.

Yesterday, though, oh boy!  Hubby got home from his trip early afternoon and we had to discuss and deal with some things in regard to his ex wife.  She just does stuff that doesn't make sense and costs us a lot of money when it didn't have to.  Financially I was feeling that we were being flushed down the toilet again.  I wanted to drink that wine so bad!

I ate 12 squares of Cadbury early afternoon.  Then I had two mocktails with hubby while, of course, he drank red wine because he was stressed.  I didn't have to ask him to go get white wine because I had it.  All the voices played in my head....why not have a glass?  Really, does it count if I cheat with one glass but then abstain?

I asked hubby if it would matter if I had just one glass.  He said why don't I wait until after dinner and see how I feel.  I actually said "well, I know I won't want it then".  Ha.  Even listening to myself sounded stupid.  He went out and got chinese food and we ate.  Then I said "I really want a glass of wine".  He just kind of looked at me.  I said, "I know, it's not your decision, it's mine."  Then I realized it was 7:15 and I just said "oh forget it, it's too late and I'm tired anyway."  We went to bed by 8:30 since he was exhausted from his travels too.

I woke up this morning very grateful I didn't drink anything.

Why didn't I drink?  A few reasons:

1) I had had 12 f'ing squares of Cadbury.  Right there that's 342 calories.  Then I had 2 mocktails....another 60 calories.  402 calories, all to avoid, say 3 glasses of wine, which the way I pour would have been about 360 calories.  Shit, I couldn't down 762 total and be okay with that!!!
2) I kept thinking how I would sleep that night if I drank......lousy.
3) I've been doing really well with my daily walks and I wanted to get up and feel good in the morning like I had been.
4) The only reason I wanted to drink was because I felt edgy.  I was irritated we were constantly put into this position by this crazy wombat.  I just wanted to numb out and relax.
5) I texted a friend who encouraged me to keep going.  It was truly a lifeline!

I never really relaxed while awake and I wasn't in the greatest mood toward my hubby who had just returned home from his voyage..... but I did sleep pretty well despite everything.....and I think he understood.

I still can't see forever.  This is definitely going to be a decision that is made nightly and just for that night.  Even typing this at 8:30 am, I can feel the pull for this evening.  Having that bottle sit there is tough but it's making me own the situation.  I can't blame anyone else for getting the wine for me.  This is my decision and mine alone.  I'm not ready to drink again.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day 11: New Addiction

I am becoming addicted to my mocktail.  Last night I had two large glasses while talking to a friend on the phone and I remember the whole conversation, go figure!  I even had that sense of urgency to go pour another glass, just like I would have done with the bottle of wine only this time the bottle of wine on the counter was AF wine.

I really enjoy drinking this concoction.  I have a lot of the feelings that I normally associate with drinking.....peaceful, relaxed feeling, taste is just bitter enough to feel like a drink even if not quite buttery like overall sense of well being....with none of the negatives. (Well, okay AF wine and the digestive system have some challenges for me but I'm trying to balance what portions work best!)

The interesting thing is that I get full and don't feel a pull for more.  My thoughts don't start getting all random.  I'm done at a point from the winding down and can move on with my evening.  I remember what I did before bedtime!  I might wake up in middle of the night (damn dogs) but I can get right back to sleep!

Clearly, I am still using the "cocktail hour" process as a coping mechanism.  I remember doing this last time.  Because I do this, I think this is why I can't swap and ever go back to alcohol for this specific purpose.

I've never seemed to really have problems going out for dinner and having one, maybe two glasses and stopping for the evening.  I don't tend to drink too much in front of anyone other than immediate family.  

Part of this journey is defining what works for me.  Can I still have some wine without going back to it nightly?  I don't know. For now it's off the table again for awhile.

On the one hand I can see an argument to be made for not doing this.  That it's dangerous to keep the spirit of drinking, the routine, alive, even if with a non-alcoholic drink.  

On the other hand, I don't feel deprived.  I don't feel like I'm missing out.  I love sitting down and relaxing and chatting in the evenings.  I can't imagine just sitting there and doing that without some drink in hand, even water. I'm able to say I don't have the downsides of the ritual of drinking impacting me right now.

Don't get me wrong.  I still crave sucking down a glass of Chardonnay.  I'm trying to investigate why I specifically feel that way.  I think it's just that while I relax with a mocktail, I don't totally let go of my thoughts - the temptation to numb out through Chardonnay is still there.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Day 10: The beauty of the blog

I didn't think I would really have any wine cravings yesterday.  Hubby is traveling a lot so he literally flew home Sunday night and out last night again.

After I took him to the airport late afternoon, I went back to work but was hit with a wine craving.  I have that bottle of white in my refrigerator still, unopened, and that little sucker had a voice last night.  I opened the wine drawer, cursed softly at it, smacked it's bottle and grabbed the AF wine next to it.

A mocktail and a half later with dinner starting to cook I was still craving it.  I sat down, finishing my second, and perused the blogs.  Found a blogger who recounted her miss-step of the night before.

That post saved me.  It hit home.  I knew that if I started opening that bottle I would be so proud to have just one glass....but then the "oh one more won't hurt" would happen.  Then it would be easy to go to three.  Then I would just finish the whole bottle because I wouldn't want there to be any left in the house.... because I would be quitting again.....after all, it would just be that one night.

Then I would buy more white wine at the grocery store and start again when I was ready....I mean I would have already messed up so why bother, right?

After reading that blog, I felt satiated.  Somehow my craving had been satisfied.  I didn't want the above to happen.  I still wanted the wine in concept but knew it wasn't for me.

I fixed dinner while finishing the mocktail and relaxed with my tea afterward.

We all mess up.  We all miss our goals sometimes.  If I drink I will certainly share it here.  You never know whom your blog post will hit, will impact, may save, even if you are just writing thoughts down for yourself.......


Monday, April 24, 2017

Day 9: the year blog-versary and the weigh in

A year ago I started my first real attempt at laying off wine and at blogging.  Of course then it was a Sunday and now this year it's a Monday.

Interesting that I finally got motivated again, at almost the same time of year, to do another extended period of abstaining.  Must be a seasonal thing. Or the fear of bikini season looming.....

The cool thing is that from this point forward, for 125 days anyway, I can remember that this time last year I wasn't drinking.  I got through whatever I faced then so I should be able to do it again now!  No excuses!

I weighed in yesterday for the first time since 11/7/16.  I was really scared to do it but turns out I had only gained 3lbs, felt like way more based upon where the extra weight sits. So grateful.

Seeing that number gave me hope that I could do a few things, make small changes and gradually get the weight off.

I was even motivated enough to go for a walk on a weekend!

If I drink every day, and that would usually mean too much with a few exceptions, I probably drink 230-300 calories in wine.  My mocktail has 30 cal in each glass so if I drink 2 or 3 (most times 1) then I'm at 60 to 90.  Big improvement!

I'm going to try and make one small change per week, adding to the previous week's changes.  Nothing big.  Last week was no alcohol.  I will continue that and, except for the first and last cup of tea of the day, I'm going to try and drink tea with no Stevia. I really want to wean myself off sweetener.

I'm noticing my drive for sweets abating a bit.  Yesterday I never reached for cookies nor chocolate and ate fairly healthy.  I'll probably eat a hoard of chocolate later today but it was nice to realize I had a good day anyway.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Day 8: The history of it all

Today, I'm reflecting on my history with alcohol.  I've been listening to the Udemy course, How to Stop Drinking Alcohol by Kevin O'Hara.

I don't know if anyone every grew up listening to Bob Ross (on tv, PBS, from 1983 - 1994) teach us how to paint?  My ex and I used to say it sounded like he was on Quaaludes.  He hid this very slow, soothing voice...."".  I think many people used him to fall asleep during times of insomnia....  Actually he had a great following of people and probably encouraged many to pick up painting.

Anyway, listening to Kevin O'Hara is similar.  I enjoy the content but I can't listen for too long or my mind starts wandering or I fall asleep!  But his points are valid.

One of the things he asks is to go back into your mind and think about your drinking and about the first time you drank.

This was interesting.  I thought I started having issues after I got married and it was my ex's influence that I drank.  In really thinking about it, though, I realize there was an incident back when I was 15! Then, another bunch in a row after my first year at college at 18 (didn't meet ex until I was 19).  I was just lucky nothing horrible happened to me.  Looking back on what could have happened to me at various times is just plain scary.

It hit home that my issues with how I process alcohol have been there since my very first experience.  I only had sips of wine at the beginning from my parents but I wanted more just because I was being told I couldn't.  I sort of wonder if this started something.....I never had more because I was a "good girl" but I couldn't shake the feeling that there was more out there.  Then, when out of my parents control, I relished having as much as I wanted when I was out on a formal dance date at 15 and it was made available.

(Makes me reconsider ever giving my son sips of wine.....which I haven't yet because he hasn't asked.  I give my dogs fingers of sneezes after two finger licks and walks away, the other, well, let's say if she could open the wine refrigerator, she might!  She hates that I only posess 10 fingers.)

My way of handling alcohol has always been to "drink it all".  One glass? Bottoms up!  I get half a bottle?  Better drink all my half!  I have a bottle available?  Must drink it all! Oh, there's another bottle?  Better open and have at least one more glass!  Out at a social event?  Let them keep filling my glass!

I realize that when supply is limited, I don't drink as much and then I pride myself on my control.  What a load of baloney.

I would love to have one glass a night but as a friend said, "what's the point?".  That mindset is the problem.  I'm not sure I even really like the taste of wine until the second glass, lol.

I'm enjoying drinking my mocktail of choice.  It does the job.  Sometimes it's just about the drinking "something" too, something in hand, something to interesting morning of reflection nonetheless.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day 7: 2 firsts, 2 hours and 2's in general

I'm having fun reading my blog entries from last year at the same time.  This morning I woke up with my mouth feeling like I had been drinking last night and again had to deal with Mutt#1 getting up in the middle of the night.  The latter is a training issue on our part.  Somehow we are already up, turning off the alarm and opening the door for the dog before waking up enough to say "hush, go back to sleep"!!

Lo and behold, last year I woke up feeling hungover on Day 7 and also was dealing with dog issues.  Last year I had had too much pizza accounting for the bad mouth taste and this year I think it was too much AF wine.....must still have some annoying characteristics as real wine.

Yesterday was 2 firsts for me.

1) I called and caught up with a friend in late afternoon whom I hadn't spoken with in awhile.  Normally I had wine in hand.  This time, during the call, I had two of my mocktails and it felt great.

2) When my other friend arrived for dinner, I had a mocktail ready and I opened a bottle of red for her.  I think she thought I was drinking white since my 1/3 AF wine, 1/3 sparkling water, 1/3 club soda and lime juice looks like a white wine.  I had one before dinner, water with dinner and then one after.  She drank about 3/4 of a bottle of red and I sent her home with the rest.

The first one was pretty easy actually because I really couldn't have drunk much with another friend about to arrive and dinner to prepare, anyway.  So I may not be able to take too much credit for that.

The second was interesting.  My friend had put on a lot of weight over the last year.  She looks puffy, tired and stressed.  After dinner, we were talking and catching up and she literally was falling asleep on the couch.  She would talk, and then when I talked, she would zonk out.  I was cracking up but poor thing was exhausted.  She has had a lot of work stress and older-children-moving-back-in stress.  She just lives about a mile away but I made her text me when she got home.

Traditionally, because I had the young child, she always came to my house.  I feel horrible at how many times she, and other friends of mine, have driven home and probably shouldn't have been driving.  Even watching how much 3/4 of a bottle affected her scared me.

I sort of have always protected myself from driving under the influence.  But therefore my friends who came over have certainly been at risk. In the past, I would have drunk a bottle with her and probably started on a second and barely remembered her leaving.  Last night was much better.  She left around 9 and I hopped in bed with a book.

For me, I'm trying to remember that on nights where I don't have other obligations, it really boils down to 2 hours.  There are only 2 hours when I have ever really craved wine and they hit between 4 and 7.  It's never those full 3 hours but 1 to 2 hours somewhere in that range.  I never have wanted alcohol during the day.  2 hours out of 24!!!  That's all!!

I also have to be aware of the (2's) TOOs.   If I am too tired, too edgy, too hungry, too stressed, I turn to wine to turn off those feelings.  That's the only reason.  When I feel in balance in those areas, I can turn away from wine.  This time around when I feel a craving, I'm really going to try and identify and blog why I have the craving to see what the pattern is.

Today is a relaxing Saturday, not a lot planned and just looking forward to time with my son.  Monday will likely be my next challenge!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday, April 21, 2017

Day 6: Another attempt at sustained abstention

As I kick of Day 6, I had to laugh at my previous posts from a year ago.  I'm going back and reading what I wrote the last time I went for sustained abstention.

I can easily abstain for short periods of time and then whammo, one night there goes the whole bottle and pretty soon it's every night.  Even if it's not drunky-drunk every night, it can easily become buzzy-buzz every night.'s funny how the process for me of quitting is similar.  Last year I was equally fascinated with thoughts of donuts and other sweets.

This time around I'm feeling more tired in the first week than I remember.  Instead of an adrenaline rush of quitting, it's much more of a slow, methodical feeling.

I posted somewhere once how it must be hard to quit once you quit once successfully but then start up again.  Someone else posted that they thought it actually got easier.  I sort of now understand what was meant.  It takes some starts and stops to really make it a choice and once it becomes a choice then it's easier to keep going.

I'm still not sure I've made it a choice.  I've never really hit that rock bottom of "oh FFS, I am just done with this!" for the whole of drinking.  I definitely hit it on certain behaviors and those I did do a good job controlling during last round of drinking.  But I didn't fix it all.  I think working on personal issues, becoming happier overall in many aspects of my life helped, but that alone wasn't enough to stop drinking from easily escalating at times.

Until last Sunday it was a constant desire to not drink too much.  Days of abstaining, followed by days of drinking which led to days of drinking too much which led to more short periods of abstaining....aka why my body is starting to resemble Miss Piggy!

It DOES feel better now that I stopped playing that game and just told myself that right now it's not an option.

On Day 4 my family came through town and brought white wine.  Hubby put it in the freezer to chill.  I was so bummed.  I didn't want this fight to go through my head.  But then he asked if they wanted red or white and they opted for his red.  So we never opened the white and I just had my mocktail.  I was dying inside as to how I would handle the wine opening.  I knew that there was a risk I would drink the whole thing if I had a glass just to be social. Crisis averted.

Yesterday I was so busy that nothing appealed to me last night wine-wise.  I had too much to do and couldn't afford the time to numb out if I had wanted to.  By the time my day was done, I was ready to hop into bed with a cup of tea, catch up on email/blogs etc and hit the hay.

Hubby is now traveling and the mutts have become my responsibility.  So much for the great sleep of the first week without wine.  Mutt #1 is the biggest dog with the world's smallest bladder.  It didn't bother me while drinking because we all had to pee at 1am.  Now it is annoying!  Sigh.

Overall,  I notice morning lethargy.  I wake up tired.  That's okay though.  Better tired than hungover!

Tonight a friend is coming over for dinner.  She is a red wine drinker.  It's odd, how easy it is for me to abstain when a friend is over or I'm out socializing.  I have no problem saying I'm struggling with the effects of alcohol during peri-menopause so I don't drink that often, and no one questions me.  The struggle is when I'm home with hubby, or sometimes alone, at the end of a tiring day or a perceived stressful day.  So tonight should be easy and then I'll be at Day 7! Yay!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day 3: Beware of the craving swap

This post is to say "cut it out" to myself!  Lol.

Today I had a brilliant idea or should I say epic crash of an idea!!!

I started having a very stressful day.  This morning I knew I would crave wine big time by afternoon.  I knew after lunch I would start craving wine because I was edgy, cranky and tired.  While I didn't have alcohol last night, I did take awhile to get to sleep after the events of yesterday.  Finally got those thoughts to shut up and then dogs woke up every few hours.

(These mutts either have the world's largest or the world's smallest bladders and I'm never sure which.  They sneak drinks out of toilets.  I think we need to limit the amount of liquids after 6pm, like little kids, because these nighttime yard-crawls are becoming ridiculous! No wonder I am tired.)

Anyway, I decided I would think of my favorite pink donut with sprinkles whenever I had a wine craving.  I probably haven't had one in 3 years and that was only when I was visiting where I grew up.  Before that I probably hadn't had one in 10 years!  I just love those suckers.  But it's always easy to avoid donuts because the other voice in my head that screams "fat, fat and nothing but fat" usually wins out.

So I decided that every time I started to think of wine I would swap out and think of the pink donut.  By 4pm I was craving a pink donut like nothing else.  But I'm too lazy to go to the store to get one, actually not even sure where I would go, and then I knew it wouldn't be quite like home.

This was like craving wine on a camping trip in the middle of nowhere when you forgot to bring it.  You just have to sit with it.

But the difference is we have sugar here.....and I found it!!  I had a few cups of tea with sweetener in it, one Milano cookie and 9 squares of Cadbury chocolate.

Well, that killed the wine craving.  Hubby just asked if I minded if he had some wine and, believe me, I spoke the truth when I said it wouldn't bother me at all, lol.  I am way too fat feeling to want any and too full of sugar!

I don't think the sugar craving swap is going to be the ideal way to weather this.  It's notable to mention that hubby has always said I am addicted to the sugar in Chardonnay which is why I don't ever crave red wine, hard liquor, beer or even other white wines nearly as much as Chardonnay.

I never really thought about that seriously until today.  Then, I perused blogs, and OH what TIMING!  There were some mentions of sugar and how it links to alcohol addiction.  I am going to lap up all the knowledge I can.  I am more skeptical of giving up sugar in my diet than wine but I'm going to explore it!

I also added a bunch of new blogs to those that I follow.  I'm going to go back and read up on people's early days!  Will be fun and distracting.

To end on a positive note:
1) No more wine craving and it's just 5 o'clock somewhere!!  Heck, I just want a salad and to sit down and read more blogs or magazines.
2) I hit my 10,000 steps by 1pm today just by doing my normal morning walk, things around the house, and a lunch meeting that had a long approach to the restaurant through a mall.

Will try to focus on getting to 15,000 steps, adding some strength training and diet/sugar issues over the next week!

On to Day 4!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Day 2: A surprisingly early craving

Normally, as I've said many times, I can get to about Day 4 with very little thought and very few cravings.  I ride the emotional high that deciding to not drink gives me.

One of the things I learned this year is that my personality needs external accountability to meet internal expectations.  (old link on that, click point in repeating myself too much!)  You'd think I would remember this.

I know that over the past few months, I avoided the accountability.  Somehow, not drinking on Easter and then declaring myself out loud again, and also resuming regular blogging, rejuvenated me.  I thought for sure this first week would be a breeze.

But then I received information today regarding an issue with my ex spouse that caused me to almost falter.  I guarantee you that if I had just quietly told myself I wasn't drinking, hadn't just written a blog about it, emailed a friend about it as well, then I would have talked myself into wine tonight.

We had a school sporting event to go to so I was even more sure I wouldn't want wine.  During times where I am drinking daily or even abstaining for some days/drinking for some, I might have had a glass before I went, in order to wind down and to relax, and, definitely, I would have looked forward to finishing the bottle when I got home.

So I got the news about 4pm.  Oh my, did I want some wine!!!!  There isn't any white wine in the house so that was good.  The one thing I did different this time was to sit with my feelings and analyze why I really wanted the wine.  Point blank -  I wanted to escape my feelings.

I felt bummed and sad.  I felt taken advantage of.  I felt that my situation was just not fair. Life is not fair!!  I was a good person dammit, why did I have to deal with this?  This wasn't even something of my ex's fault per se, it just involves us.  I wanted wine so much to numb the hurt, the anxiety.

So instead of thinking about the wine, I turned to my feelings and really tried to feel the anxiety, the anger, the sadness, the surreal nature of it all.  Before I realized it I wasn't really thinking about wine!  Hmm!  Well, there I go!

I had a few distracting thoughts of the situation during the game and had to refocus.. but was okay. Then, as soon as I got home, the craving hit again like a ton of bricks.  Of course, because then I was thinking and feeling again.  I had to make dinner though.

I made myself a mocktail of alchol free chardonnay, club soda, and Pellegrino water with a squirt of lime juice in it.  (I swear this tastes a lot like a bad Gew├╝rztraminer.) I made dinner.  We ate dinner.  The craving is gone.

I'm calmer now about my feelings.  I think I'll sleep okay, but, without the wine, I know that once I get to sleep I won't ruminate about the issue at 2am!!

In summary, why did I not drink tonight?
1) I didn't have my white wine in the house.  This is really key.
2) I had things to do to distract me.  Sporting event and then dinner to make.
3) I had mocktail preps laying around to turn too.
4) I sat with the actual feelings I was having instead of trying to tune them out.

I remember, once, hearing that the body has a hard time feeling pain in two places at once.  I think by letting myself feel the pain of my emotions, it turned me away from feeling the pain of the craving of wanting wine.

Off to catch up on some emailing and then hopping into bed with a good cup of tea.  I survived!  Onward to Day 3!!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Time to resurrect my old self

I'm back.  I'm ready to go.

I know I don't want alcohol in my life on a regular basis.  I've been playing a dodgy game with myself and it's time to end it.

Yes, I no longer have real blackouts, and I can have alcohol free days when I want to but I keep "letting" go when stress comes up.  I keep "deciding" to drink or think I am deciding to drink.  I'm actually not deciding, I'm letting it control me.

A week ago I was almost at Day 5 when we had a stressful situation to deal with and I immediately gave myself the excuse of drinking.  Then, I was going on vacation so I thought I might as well start when I get back.  Then, last night it was a night of saying goodbye...of course I must have really nice Chardonnay if I'm giving it up, right?  Ended up spending more money than I should have and got the same effect as having had spent 3 times less!

I'm barely keeping it under "control" from the standpoint of not embarrassing myself in front of my son.  I've managed not to do that, to get myself to bed while remembering the evening.....but only after having imbibed way too many calories for general health or weight!  I still can't stop at 2 glasses when I "decide" to drink.

I would love to be a person who has a celebratory glass of wine occasionally.  I don't know if I can do it.  For now, I really want to give it up, just day by day.

I'm going to resurrect my blogging to get me through the next while.  What has been helpful today is to go back through blogs of people who have been dry for almost a year.  Most of those folks started after I started last April.  When I go back and read their blogs, and read my OWN encouraging comments, it makes me long to be like that again.  They were back then, where I stand now.

Last year was my first real attempt at quitting, to prove to myself that I didn't really have a problem....because if I quit easily then I probably wasn't as bad as I thought.  Even after reading all the warnings in other people's blogs.  This year I'm admitting I am struggling with something bigger.  It's been a year of fighting against alcohol use and abuse.  It's been a year of being preoccupied with the thoughts of wine and I'm tired of it.  I want to put this on hold and focus on other things for crying out loud!

I do want to say, however, that I made huge strides in a few areas in the last year.  I am soo, soo much happier about many things.  I used a Coach, I used a therapist and I got to the bottom of a bunch of things:  exercise, diet, relationships, etc.  I have tools that have made me so much more at peace.  I now have even less of an excuse to be drinking like I am to relax at night!  It's time to develop some more coping tools.

I went back through my blog and it's more a journal of topics, of thoughts that would strike me about alcohol.  I've said them all, they are all there.  Some blogs are daily journals, others are topic oriented.  I  love reading both.

Today I am transitioning my blog to be just about me.  Not about my thoughts on the alcoholic spectrum or about the physical effects of alcohol but about what I, just me, am feeling today.  This time around I will write about the cravings and how I am getting through them.  So here starts it:

Day 1:  Went to an Easter lunch today and had my first ever (well since I was about 18) alcohol free holiday.  It was fine and lo and behold I still had fun.  I was a little anxious because we didn't know too many people there but I survived. I didn't need alcohol to be friendly.  Maybe I wasn't as overtly social as I might have been with a glass of wine in hand but I was OKAY!  Everyone was drinking Champagne and I drank sparkling juice/water.  I could drive us home and I'm tired from too much food, not too much drink.

I'm glad I'm starting today because I'm kicking it off with a sober first.  Because I had too much last night, it makes it easier today but I'm still glad to get a sober holiday immediately under my belt.  I'm going to keep going back through blogs of people who I thought were struggling early on so much and who are doing GREAT now!  It's not all fun and pink clouds, I get that.  I'm not expecting that this time though.  I'm going to write about not drinking, what exercise I have done and any good/bad food choices I have made.  This blog is going to become really boring!!!  Sorry in advance but I want a diary just for myself.  I'll wean myself off a daily entry when I am ready to but for now I think I will need the support that comes from those entries.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Exploration, Paused!

There is something about having to get back into a bathing suit that is incredibly motivating.  While we are supposed to have a bit more rain tomorrow, we've already had some days in the 90's and today is a gorgeous, sunny day.  I've been easily hitting my 10,000 steps a day because there is no reason to not get outside and go for a walk.  I'm getting back into exercise.  I'm generally enjoying life....except for those nights when I still drink too much!

My hubby doesn't even think I have many nights with any issue.  Probably, yes, drinking more than the recommended amount but fully functional, remembering everything, etc.  But then I wonder what on earth I am doing to my body!!

A year ago, I realized I had a problem with alcohol.  It's so hard to admit this when you don't classify yourself as an alcoholic.  Many have written about the label and I think we each have our own view of it.  Because I have never "needed" alcohol anytime other than the end of the day, as a means of winding down, I have never been able to call myself an alcoholic.  I've had some incidents, of which I am not proud, but never involving public shame and I've never let any chore slack, not been able to get out of bed, passed out on the couch or anything like that.

But I am definitely addicted.  I've spent the last few months exploring.  I've had days of not drinking and days of drinking.  Days of drinking "normally" and days of drinking "unhealthily."  A few blurry evenings but nothing like in the past.  Very few mornings that I would classify as even slightly hungover.  Much improved from a year ago where I wondered if I was still under the influence when I woke up, made lunch and drove my son to school.  TOO many nights, still, of horrible sleep, though.

Also weight gain.  When I drank I didn't eat. I would eat a little dinner but if I could skip dinner and just drink wine I was great.  When I don't drink I justify this by eating chocolate and sweets.  This yo-yo'ing between drinking and not drinking has been an epic weight management FAIL.  I think I am now 10 lbs heavier than last September.  Sigh.

I didn't drink the last two nights, nor tonight, easily, because I have a routine mammogram tomorrow and I know that I don't want inflamed tissue.  I had a craving last night that was killer.  But it did pass.

Getting 3 days under my belt is always a good starting point for me. Something clicks for awhile after that.  Then, it's the commitment to work through the future cravings that I really need to stick with.....and haven't of late.

Today I woke up and in my headlines up popped "These 37 celebrities never drink alcohol".  Sober Mummy was right is very slowly starting to become trendy to not drink.  I can be part of this trend if I want to...

Last night I did ask hubby to go get wine "if he wanted to."  He laughed as he knew I didn't want it.  So he didn't.  He didn't drink Fri night, and drank half a beer yesterday.  (He poured the rest into the roast he was simmering.)  While he won't commit to not drinking, he definitely drinks less when I'm not drinking.  And I want him to drink less so yet another reason for me to hold off.

Last year I embarked on sobriety for a period really just to prove I could do it.  I used all sorts of reasons, had all sorts of goals.....I met some of them but then ignored some of them when I went back to drinking.  While I'm proud of some of the changes I have made, I still have many more to make.

I've read blogs of those who stop and start and then finally give it up. I have also read those who have stopped and started many times and have been able to get to a point where alcohol can still have some role. I've explored that over the last year and realize I can't meet my other goals with alcohol very prevalent in my life.  I don't know what it's role is but there is nothing wrong with abstaining and gaining some sober momentum!

So here I am, Day 3.  I know I need to muscle through for awhile, that's just how it goes.  Some days will be easier than others but I need to put my end goals back into focus and work through the cravings.

I'll keep you all posted!