Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Sober New Year

This New Years I am hanging out with the kids with a bottle of sparkling apple cider chilling in the fridge watching Dick Clark's New Years Rocking Eve. (They are still young enough for me to force them to watch what I want on tv...lol) 
I hope you are all having a wonderful New Year however you celebrate (my husband is celebrating by sleeping right now). 
Tonight, instead of going out we all went to a movie and then ordered some pizza. 
This blog has been such a huge help for me in the last 6 months. I almost don't know what to write about anymore. I hope this year I can find some inspiration to keep coming back. Even when I don't write I am reading my favorites just to keep up. 
Have a great night...and please know that I am extremely grateful for all the encouragement and support from all of you! 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Time to Relax

My kids AND husband opted to stay up until midnight so they could open their presents. That definitely takes the pressure off having to get up early. I have spent the last two days cooking. It was my first attempt at making a prime rib and it turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself. My favorite dish of the day was key lime pie from scratch. It was a labor of newfound love because zesting and squeezing a billion tiny key limes really is a pain in the ass! It was well worth it though. I have been craving it for a long time. 
Now I am sitting with my feet up hoping that the back pain from hunching over wrapping presents and cooking for two days will go away. 
This was my first sober Christmas in a long time. It was a nice change. I think I'll keep it up! 
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ready For Christmas...almost

Tree is up, presents have been purchased but still need to be wrapped, dinner menu is set and groceries are in the fridge. I will start cooking pies tomorrow and do some other prep work. I have been spending a lot of time relaxing, napping and just enjoying hanging out with my family.
When I was at the grocery store today I bought a bottle of apple cider for New Years. My first sober New Years in God only knows how long. It felt pretty good. Life is good. Hope you all are doing well!
Almost forgot!!! SIX MONTHS (and two days) SOBER!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Doing Better

Just wanted to let everyone know I am feeling better and am in much better spirits and still sober. I am looking forward to Christmas. All of my holiday shopping is done and I am enjoying some VERY LAZY days at home.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Melancholy

I have been in a dark place lately. I have suffered from bouts of depression in the past but this is something different. I have been having morbid thoughts of death and injury of my family. I am not sure if this is a product of me spending so much time without them lately and feeling that I am missing them. My mind is f*in with me! I have decided to start taking anti-depressants again. I would really like my Christmas with my family to not revolve around my mental health.
It occurred to me that I might have felt this way before but just drank the feelings away…drowning out my dreams in drunken sleep. Now it seems ridiculous that I would drink.. it’s just going to cause me a headache, and in the end everything is still going to be right where I left it.
It seems weird that it is Christmas time- I should be happy and cheerful. Hopefully those feelings will hit me soon. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Good Weekend

This was a really good weekend for my family. My daughter ran in an out of state cross country meet and shaved a minute of her time from last year. My son competed in his first swim meet and won one of his races! My husband earned his purple belt in jiu jitsu and I earned a promotion in the reserves. (only hiccup this weekend was I lost my ID- have to get that replaced tomorrow if I can!)
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I am a reservist and am facing a potential deployment to the Middle East. I have known this was going to come but now that I have been promoted the odds are even greater.  I have also been looking for a job closer to home. I really like my current job but being so far away is really weighing on my mental health. I feel like I don’t have much of a life anymore with working, working some more and then working out. It is effective to keep time passing quickly but I can see the potential for extreme stress pretty soon.
I am worried about the effects a potential deployment could have on my sobriety and mental well being. Just going in for one weekend a month I hear a fill of drinking stories. When my husband was overseas he told me how easily accessible alcohol was. I am strong in my sobriety now. I have a lot of confidence in myself. But of course with change comes challenges. 2011 promises to be a year of great change for me. Most importantly I am looking forward to spending my first year (since God only know when) sober. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Forgetting

Sometimes, lately, I forget that I am an alcoholic. I don't think about drinking every single moment of every day anymore and so sometimes when someone talks about going out and throwing a few drinks it doesn't sound like some poisonous evil thing to me. 
Funny how 164 days can make for such a drastic change in perspective. 
For me, this change in thought shines a better life on why some people might relapse. It gets easier to forget you ever had a problem to begin with, especially when all those lingering effects of alcohol abuse have faded. 
It's moments like these that probably make it important to have someone to "report" to, someone who has higher expectations of you than you do of yourself. For me this person is my husband- and all of you who read this and provide comments. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Good v. Evil


I have been enjoying a nice long lazy weekend. Finally got out today to pick up some dry cleaning and get my hair done. I have been doing a lot of sleeping this weekend. I guess the daily grind of the work week has really been catching up with me.
I did a little bit of Christmas shopping today and while I was out I passed through a convenience store with all of its wine and beer. Early in recovery it felt like I had an angel on one shoulder and a devil disguised as a liquor bottle on the other shoulder. Like somehow the alcohol was encouraging and taunting me. “Just buy me.. you know you want to.” A few months ago I avoided any section of a store with alcohol in it- like it was the great evil aisle that meant to do me harm. Today when I passed by I didn’t feel threatened. It seems ridiculous upon writing that an inanimate object felt threatening- but it did. I don’t know how to explain it- or if it even makes sense. What I do know is that early in sobriety it was hard to even be around alcohol- like the bottles themselves were able to talk me into drinking. 
I am thankful that early in my recovery people reminded me every day that I wouldn’t think about drinking every moment of every day. I don’t know if I believed it then- but it’s true. Thankfully.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Being Thankful

I am so thankful to be sober.
I spent last night and most of today cooking. Made a lot of food for just my husband and I. Last year I didn't cook and didn't realize until it was too late that my husband really enjoys the meal. His mom was supposed to come over this year but couldn't make it so I did my best to make him all of his favorite stuff. Now it is time for me to rest as I hear my husband rattling around in the kitchen wrapping up all the food.
When I was a drinker I would be tired after cooking because I had been drinking the whole time. Now...I am just full and happy and ready for a nice long nap!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone- I hope your holiday is as happily sober as mine is!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

5 Months

Today is my 5 month mark of sobriety. I have experienced a lot of changes in myself in this time. The most profound things for me right now- I don't think of alcohol every second of every day and sobriety has stopped being a chore and is becoming a way of life.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Alcoholic Thinking

I was talking to my husband the other day and he said his definition of having control is being able to walk away from anything. But according to his definition it’s ok to go back to whatever you were doing as long as you maintain that control. (for the record he was not suggesting that I drink again).
So I started thinking what it would be like to drink. Then I realized I don’t have any gauge as to what it means to NOT be an alcoholic. I have no idea how non-alcoholics feel when they drink. I don’t know their thought process for when it is time to stop, or why they don’t have the desire to drink more and more. I think it is safe for me to say that this is a pretty good reason that I shouldn’t ever drink again.
I can’t even imagine how their brains work. The only thing I know is how my brain works.  My brain tells me that you drink until there is nothing else to drink or until you pass out (I used to call it falling asleep!). My brain also tells me that it’s ok to drink ALL the time. This is why I can’t take another drink. I don’t have any clue what it feels like to NOT be an alcoholic. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Growing Up

I was having a conversation with my husband the other day about the struggles I have gone through with my sobriety. I think he wants to understand but he really can’t because he has never done drugs and has never lost control of his drinking. His answer to everything is “Self destruction is not the answer.” Sometimes I think that’s easy for him to say but then again- he has lived that way. In this conversation he asked me how long I had been drinking. I had to really stop and think about when the seeds were planted for my alcoholism. I remember sneaking whiskey out of my dad’s basement when I was in eighth grade. As I got older alcohol was always easy to access because my mom owned a little mom and pop grocery store. I worked there A LOT. I also closed often so it was easy to pull my car up and fill the trunk with beer when I was 16. At 16 I also started dating a guy who was 21 so alcohol continued to be easy to access.
Alcohol has always been well within reach. I lived in Italy for 3 years, starting when I was 19 so I never even had to worry about a drinking age. Upon reflection I don’t see myself as being an alcoholic at that time…. But it sure as hell was a great foundation. It wasn’t until I was beginning my divorce that I started using alcohol to self medicate. That was the time that I never felt drunk enough. As my addiction grew so did my tolerance so it took more to get me drunk.  Sigh…. Eighth grade- that is what… 13 years old? It might have been even younger.  Sometimes I am resentful that my parents didn’t catch me- I wonder if it would have made a difference.  Thankfully I am on the right path now.
Tonight we had a fight party – something we do often whenever there is a good boxing match on. This was my first sober event. It was nice. I am so grateful to be sober. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Living Sober

I had a really sucky weekend. Blah. I have decided that I am a traffic vacuum. If there happens to be any traffic anywhere near it will be sucked right to my location! Thursday there was a police involved shooting that shut down my main thoroughfare- allowing me to travel a whopping 1.5 miles in 2 hours. Friday it took me 5 hours to make the drive south home (no traffic it takes 2.5 hours). Not to be outdone by Friday- my dear friend Monday decided it should take me 5 hours and 20 minutes to get back up here. Sigh.
My weekend wasn’t great either. My doctor determined I had an upper respiratory infection and prescribed some medicine for it. The cough medicine he gave me is probably the closest thing I have had to being intoxicated in almost 5 months. It is alcohol free but contains codeine. Definitely had me emotional and a tiff my husband and I got into didn’t help matters at all. Sigh again.
I am looking forward to a long weekend. I will drive south again tomorrow to enjoy a 4 day weekend. I really feel like crawling under the covers and not peeking out until Monday morning. Maybe I can convince my husband to stay there with me!
In the midst of all these inconveniences I never once thought about drinking. I did think to myself that I used to have that as my outlet and that I really need to get busy finding a new outlet. Normally that would be the gym, but not being able to breathe well definitely put that on the “can’t do” list for now.  On my way home I thought about how inconvenient drinking really was for me. Life seems so much simpler that I don’t have to worry about it. Being sober has become a way of life- just like drinking once was. Sometimes, just to play devil’s advocate with myself, I think about whether or not I could have just one drink. The answer is no. I might tell myself it was one drink- but it would always end up being another, and another- just like it used to be. I am so grateful that I am sitting here writing, sober.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No Do-Overs This Time

I am feeling a little bit under the weather today. Can’t say that I actually feel bad…but I definitely do NOT feel good. I will be very happy to be at home in my own bed this weekend.
One of my co-workers has been spending a lot of time being disgruntled. I have to say- it takes a whole lot of effort to walk around mad at the world.  That kind of reminds me of drinking. It took so much effort for me to be an alcoholic. Always planning and sneaking…
In the very beginning of my sobriety it DID take a lot of effort not to drink. I had to break the habit of it. I also came to realize that there was never going to be a time when I could take a drink and feel like “wow.. that was the greatest drink in the world! I never have to drink again.” There were a lot of those times when I sat at home (drunk) with a drink in my hand, knowing that I had to get sober.  Every time I did decide to get sober it was in a drunken state. I would sit, thinking “this is it… this is the last drink.”  Even this time. The difference now is that I know I can’t ever drink again. There will be no time, ever, that I can be in control of my drinking.
I know now that one drink will turn into another one, and another. I equate it to being on a diet. When you mess up you figure- well the day is shot- might as well eat what I want and start again tomorrow. But then tomorrow is date night, or a wedding, or a family dinner, so that day is shot too. Then hell- might as well indulge the entire weekend and start again on Monday. My life was a perpetual “do-over” day.  But not this time. This time I am making it… I am so thankful for that. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Tonight we will be headed out to dinner and a comedy club instead of handing out candy. Now that I spend the week in the city we cherish every moment we have together on the weekends. I am so glad that I get to enjoy the time as a sober person. 
I was thinking about my co-workers from my last job. They would tell me how they would take their kids trick or treating with a big cup of rum punch. At the time I thought, "Damn! Why didn't I think of that?" Every thought used to be figuring out how I could be drinking every moment. I am happy that I get to use my brain power for things other than sneaking a couple of drinks. 
Hope you all have a safe and sober Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Peaceful

I don’t know how long this feeling will last- but I feel that I have gotten over that hump where everything I think about has to do with drinking. It’s not on my mind so much anymore and not drinking doesn’t feel like a big deal. I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement over the last 4 months telling me that alcohol won’t be on my mind everyday forever. They were right.
I feel really good. Life is going well and I am coping with stress in a healthy manner. I am eating right and exercising. I am doubtful that this feeling will last forever- but it is here now and I am grateful. At this point I know that it is possible to feel this way so if I get to feeling distressed again I will know there is light.  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Milestones

I feel good. Very good. Lately drinking or the act of not drinking has not been on my mind very much. Mostly I think about me not thinking about drinking. I am in a good place... I am so thankful to be sober. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mad but.... Triumphant!?!?

Today someone made me mad. Really really really mad. When I say mad- I mean red faced, eyes bulging, sweating, cursing mad!! I'm still kinda mad to tell you the truth!
BUT..... for the first time EVER I did NOT feel like I wanted to go have a drink. As a matter of fact- the only time I thought about alcohol was in my thinking that "wow- this would usually drive me to want to throw a few back." But I didn't feel like that.This is a monumental moment in my sobriety. Today I am 4 months sober. 
Instead of drinking today to blow off steam I will be going to the gym.... I'm pretty damn proud of myself. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stable and Happy

I was driving to work today thinking how nice it is to wake up in the morning and not feel shaky and nauseous.  When I went to get take out for dinner (Indian food- yum!) I thought how wonderful it was not to have that feeling that I needed to have a drink while I waited for my order, and how nice it was to be thinking about stopping at 7-11 to get a crème soda and not a beer.  While I was working out this evening I thought how nice it is to be able to do sit-ups more effectively since I have lost 15lbs by simply not drinking anymore.
Life is good.
I did have to give myself a bit of a reality check. I had enrolled in 3 classes- they turned out to be way too much, and I don’t really need them, so I dropped them. I figure with the move, travelling home on the weekends, a new job, a new 2nd job,  working out, and hopefully a meditation class, that the academic stress isn’t really necessary.  I decided to stop putting so much pressure on myself and just enjoy my life as much as possible.
I am a day or two away from 4 months of sobriety ( My longest stint of sobriety since 1998).  I feel really good. Thank you all for all the support- you are all awesome! 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sabotage I Tell You!!!!

I made my long drive home last night for the weekend. When I got home my husband and I decided to go to a little Grille to grab some dinner. I had a good week of eating healthy and clean so I was having a major craving for a greasy cheeseburger!! We sat down and the waitress asked us for our drink order. My husband ordered a virgin pina colada and I asked for my non alchy fave - a shirley temple. (speaking of that a cop in a restaurant teased me the other day about ordering a shirley temple!) Anyways- back to the story. The waitress came back with a virgin pina colada and a strawberry daiquiri. I told her I had ordered a shirley temple but the daquiri  looked so yummy that I said that I would keep it- (thinking it would be virgin like my husbands since I had originally ordered a non-alcoholic drink and thinking that since my husband ordered a virgin drink she would have brought me the same.) Before my I stuck my straw in to take a drink my husband asks the waitress if it had alcohol in it. IT DID! Blech! Sabotage!!!! 
I pushed it away and told her that I wouldn't drink it and to please bring me my original drink of a shirley temple. 
Lessons learned here: 
Thank God I had shared with my husband that I was an alcoholic and that there was no circumstance in which I should drink again. If he hadn't asked if that drink had alcohol in it who knows what kind of spiral it would have caused. 
Sometimes- no matter how hard you try there will be some bizarre circumstance like this that will test your will. 


I was shaken by the incident. At this exact moment it doesn't seem to be that big of deal...but it certainly was last night. 
Oh- and she still messed up my drink order- she brought me back another daquiri- this time with NO alcohol. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reflections

I hate reading my first post. I also hate reading anything else I wrote about being an alcoholic prior to this blog. I think I started several with “I have a high tolerance for alcohol”, “No one knows I drink so much” “No one realizes how bad it is” ….what an ass I sounded like. I have been sober for almost 4 months now and I have grown leaps and bounds with much more growth to come.  The reality is that of course I had a high tolerance for alcohol…I drank every damn day- all day. Another reality, lots of people knew how bad it was, a lot of people knew how much I drank.  Most of them just happened to be drinking with me- most of them also still don’t know how bad it is for them.

I still lack a spiritual foundation from which to grow- while I am sure some would argue that should have been first on my list- I just wasn’t ready. I am a Christian who really came to know the blessings that come from above when I was 24 years old. I found a pastor and church that helped me grow and learn so much. But 9 years have passed since I moved to another state and I have grown away from church and the routine of worship. Honestly, I haven’t even looked for a church since I moved. I don’t even have an excuse nor will I try to make one here. What I can do is make a conscious effort to improve my personal relationship with God.

Now is the time to start back on a spiritual path. I have never really touched the subject of AA meetings on my blog because I know people have such strong feelings about the subject. I also know that many have read my blog consider me a “dry drunk” because I haven’t used a program to facilitate my recovery. All I can say is “so far so good.” I think subliminally I have asked God over and over again to help me with my recovery. I also long for a way to focus and calm my mind from daily trivialities. I have written before about my desire to find a meditation group- that is still on my short list of things to do (found a gym- the other item on my short list). I may also start shopping for a church that my husband and I can attend together when I am home on weekends.

I am appreciative for everyone who reads my blog and comments either privately or publicly. The amount of encouragement is so helpful. Thank you for helping me stay motivated.  The internet has been a blessing in my recovery- so many resources and personal stories. I am off to study- I hope you all have a wonderful and sober weekend. I know I will! 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Relaxing weekend

I am so grateful for this three day weekend. I get lots of time to hang out with the hubby. Did the grocery shopping today and ran errands so I get to be a lazy bum (except for homework from the classes I am taking) for the rest of the weekend. Just might try and stay in my pajamas until Tuesday morning!
Main goal for next week- find a gym! 
Living away from home is hard- but my husband and I seem to be yin and yang. Whenever i am feeling down he is supportive..and by the time he is feeling down I am able to be strong for him. 
I realize that my blogs seem to lack continuity in posts- but that is how my mind is working right now. 
I consistently notice commercials about drinking, alcohol, and I am hyper-sensitive to people talking about drinking. I asked my husband if he ever notices and he says he doesn't. Hopefully I am getting closer to that. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Staying Busy

The new job is going well- boring.. but nothing to complain about. One of my co-workers is all over the place with her organization and work habits- but not much I can do about that other than keep doing my job.
I also got another little part time thing going on and that has really helped with the transition. It takes up more time and adds a little money to take off the stress of the extra expense of me living away from home.
The initial shock of being up here by myself has worn off a little. I am not walking by restaurants thinking about happy hour. My roommate still has beer in the fridge- though it is not staring me directly in the face every time I open the fridge.
I was contemplating beginning to take anti-depressants again but my husband encouraged me to give exercise a try before I do. I think I will try that.
So far I have marked a few things off my list- got a job, got a part time job, started taking classes. Now I have to find and then make time to go to the gym. I really want to find time to start going to a meditation class but haven't managed to find one that fits with my schedule.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Candid conversations

I miss my husband a lot. It's amazing what a little time away will do for a relationship. The time apart is really reminded us not to take each other for granted. When I went home this weekend I think we stayed right beside each other every moment that we could.
Recently we had been having a conversation about some old friends. He asked me how I could just "dump" them like that. I explained to him that they didn't know how to have fun without involving alcohol and I really didn't need that in my life. I guess he didn't believe me because he friended one of them on facebook. I was SO mad at him.... Turns out he got the answer himself- the first thing my friend told him was to tell me 'hi' and that we needed to go out for drinks.
He told me all this and then told me how proud he was of me, how he had known this was a problem for me for a while. I really love him.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Challenges

I started my new job this week. So far so good- no complaints, and compared to what I used to do its pretty easy money. Chances for promotion are high as well.
I am experiencing some challenges in recovery. I am a “geo-bachelor”- renting a room in the city during the week and commuting home on Friday night (driving back up Monday morning). This first week has been another eye opening experience. Another example of having to re-learn old behavior. The location in which I work is a busy town center. There are bars and happy hour signs everywhere. There are tons of places to eat between my work and my new residence.  I spend 90% of the time at this house by myself.  The owner has beer in the fridge and a stocked alcohol cabinet. I go out to eat by myself. These are all challenges for me.  Loneliness is not a wonderful feeling.
I took a week to try and learn the ins and outs of the city before I started on my list of things to do. On Monday I have no excuses. I have committed to taking a few classes this semester that start on Monday. I found a Shambhala Meditation group that focuses on recovery. It meets once a week and I emailed the leader of the group today. I also need to find a gym so that I can start releasing some endorphins. 
I think the hardest part about this phase of my recovery is at times I tell myself that I don’t give a damn what people think about me drinking. I start thinking about ways that I can go back to hiding my drinking.  A short while ago I was kicking myself for telling my husband everything. Now I am happy that I did- because I know he can offer support and a zero tolerance level for my drinking. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My longest period of sobriety

I am approaching my 100 day mark of sobriety. I can say with quite a bit of certainty that this is the longest I have gone without alcohol since my son was born in 1998. I don’t know if I was an alcoholic back then. I don’t think I was, though I am sure I was planting a seed. At that time I didn’t wander around wondering when I would get to drink again. I was too busy with school and being a young mother and wife.
I can pinpoint the deterioration to when my marriage started to fall apart. I wasn’t happy in my marriage and started to drink more and more. Then when I was finally divorced I used the time my kids weren’t with me to live it up and drink. When the kids were with me I waited until they were asleep to get smashed- but I was still drinking. Pretty soon I was taking an anti-depressant and the urge to drink had diminished but the habit was going strong. It stayed strong.
I feel good now. I was talking with my husband last night about how when I was drinking I didn’t have any goals or ambition. Right now I have a lot of time on my hands- but that is about to change.  I have started to make a list of goals that I want to accomplish.... but that is another blog. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Change

I start my new job on Monday, so today I drove up to the city to move some stuff into my room and do my pre-employment drug screen. I always feel a little frazzled after driving and couldn’t help but notice that Hooters right on the corner. Three months ago I would have stopped to have a drink with the excuse of celebrating a new beginning.
Another thing I have noticed- one would think that after my long talk with my husband that I would feel liberated and stronger about not drinking. Oddly enough I don’t feel that way. I almost feel like I have the potential to fall back in to the sneaking behavior. Now that he knows it’s not ok for me to ever drink again I feel this horrible strain. Somehow when it was my independent struggle I didn’t have to hide anything. There are no liquor bottles to hide, no alcohol breath to hide, nothing- it was a relief. Now, I am accountable to someone other than myself…. It feels like a not good thing- but I know that it is a good thing.  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blessed

My husband is the greatest partner I could possibly have.
A few days ago he asked me what it was that I normally drank when we went out. I told him I didn’t drink anymore. He asked me “you’re not even going to drink when we got out to the club?” and I told him no.
  Fast forward to Tuesday- I had to take him to the E.R. for pain in his lower abdomen. They triaged him right in and started running some tests. In the mean time they gave him a dose of dilaudid for his pain. In the midst of him trying to keep his wits about him we started talking. He asked me why it was that I decided to stop drinking. AHH.. my moment of truth. Now was my chance to tell him how it was…and I did. I told him I was pretty sure that I was an alcoholic.
The conversation continued when after he was discharged and a little more coherent. He asked me if there was anything I needed him to do to help me. I told him that there would never be a time when it would be ok for me to drink. Even if I told him 5 years from now that I could handle a drink- that I couldn’t.
He told me he was proud of me. Very, very proud.  He told me I was strong.
I am blessed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

'Fun'

I have been noticing alcohol commercials lately. Often. Really Often. The thing that strikes me about the commercials is the method of advertising. They all use the same “drinking makes your life ‘fun’” line of advertising. I think I bought that for a long time. I think I bought it for so long that I lived it and somewhere down the road drinking stopped being fun.


For the record, and I am trying hard not to rationalize my thinking, I didn’t have the kind of drinking problem that would cause my friends to wonder if I was an alcoholic. I rarely vomited, didn’t have black outs, never took anyone home with me from the club, always successfully worked at my job..and sometimes two jobs, paid bills on time, raised my kids, didn’t drink and drive and I guess whatever else a stereotypical alcoholic does.


What prompted me to delve into sobriety was the slow deterioration of my quality of life. Not vomiting didn’t mean that I didn’t have that overall shaky feeling when I woke up. While I didn’t black out and lose large moments of time I didn’t remember conversations I had with people. Not taking anyone home from the club doesn’t mean that I didn’t make bad decisions in relationships- decisions that were often made while drinking. I am sure I hurt a lot of people emotionally in the haze of alcohol. I was successful at work, but didn’t hesitate to have one glass of wine before, during and right after work. Paying bills is easier now – it was done on time but I have a lot more money now because I don’t spend $500 extra per month at the grocery store (not including the $$ I spent at bars and restaurants). The time I spend with my kids now is better. My point is- I didn’t fit the profile of what I thought an alcoholic is/was. I didn’t fit the profile of what anyone around me thought was an alcoholic.


But I was. And I was slowly dying. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically. And no one saw it. Or, if they saw it they didn’t say anything. Or maybe they were dying with me. I don’t know what the case was. Ultimately the effects started to become evident. My weight ballooned with my blood pressure. My memory was HORRIBLE. I emotionally disconnected from my husband because I didn’t want him to get close enough to me to smell the alcohol on my breath. I had always been ambitious- but my ambition was non-existent as I spent most of my time sleepy from alcohol. Alcohol is the great motivation sucker. I am in more control of my emotions- thankfully.


Today, for a second, I wanted to be “fun” like in the commercials. Then I thought about it. Being “fun” wasn’t really all that fun.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Noticing a Change

I reviewed a few of my older blogs and notice a big difference in myself. I feel much more calm and relaxed now.  I am taking some advice and have started to focus on finding some internal peace. My life is in the process of some pretty big changes and I have been having a hard time not focusing solely on myself. It is time for me to stop being so self centered – I am not the only person in the whole world. When I focus on all things “me” life feels so complicated.
I went back to yoga the last two nights and enjoyed the stillness, the meditation, and the breath.  So much has changed in me lately. Though I will be spending a lot more time by myself when I move up to the city during the week, I know I will be a more productive person. Rather than being excited at having so much time to drink I am looking forward to a period of huge productiveness. My husband and I have been in a honeymoon phase for two years now! Opting to stay at home with each other and just enjoy the companionship rather than doing other things that could be putting us a little farther ahead in life. We both have big plans of grand accomplishment over the next year.
Some days alcohol seems like such a difficult thing to avoid, and some days it seems so easy. EVERY day I see the quality of my life improving, I remember how my life was consumed with finding a way to have a drink.  Now I am trying to find things to do to fill my day since I am no longer passed out in bed.
I love my husband- he is such a source of strength. Though he doesn’t know the true nature of my current struggle- we saw something on TV about some alcohol incident somewhere and he asked me how long it had been since I’d had a drink. I told him about 3 months and he told me he was proud of me. Imagine how proud he would be if he knew what a huge challenge it was for me.
I don’t like that he doesn’t know the truth. When I first started in recovery I was just scared to death that he would find out that I had been out of control. As I get farther away from being that person I get much closer to telling him the whole truth about my alcohol abuse. I went over the conversation I would have with him in my head the other night on the way home from yoga.  It brought me to tears. I was so worried about letting him down, and couldn’t stand the idea of him being disappointed in me. I know now that the time is getting closer that I will tell him the true nature of this demon. I will tell him that drinking can ‘t ever be an option for me and he will understand...and life will go on.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Still A Struggle

I still feel like I am struggling. I am pretty sure this is my longest stint of sobriety since probably around 2001. I don't know if it's a time thing, or just that regular internal struggle. I understand how people always feel like alcoholics. The thought of drinking crosses my mind a lot but I don't have a strong desire to drink, just that ever nagging feeling. Like something is lurking around the corner ready to jump out at me.  
I had a conversation with one of my closest friends who now lives pretty far away. She texted me to tell me she was "on the wagon". I shared with her that I had been sober for over 77 days. We were drinking buddies when we lived close to each other. It was nice to talk to her though I don't think she is ready to stay sober forever. I think she is in the stage of thinking that some time she will be able to be in control of her drinking. I know that I don't have that capability. 
There are big changes on my horizon. I will be living solo during the week while working in the city and coming home on the weekends. My plan is to stay as busy as possible- maybe even get a second job. I am sad to have to be away from my husband who gives me strength. Though I have a feeling that being away from each other during the week will help us not to take each other for granted. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

All kinds of stuff

I got a job offer- hurray! Just have to finish up some paperwork and I'll get a start date. This means that I will have to rent a room in the metro area and commute home on weekends. Hubby isn't too happy about it- but it has to be done.
I've had more dreams of relapse lately. They are kinda making me crazy- though they are definitely a reminder that I am going to feel like an ass if I drink.
I have also realized that I drink a lot when I'm bored, or after driving... lol. Hell- I'm an alcoholic- I guess I just want to drink all the time. The thought of drinking has been crossing my mind a lot lately. Thankfully those damn dreams that it's not ok.
There have been a few times that I really wish I wasn't an alcoholic so that I could drink normally- but I know I can't.
This blog has been disjointed- but I have a lot on my mind I guess. Stepping out of one comfort zone into another....

Monday, August 30, 2010

Why Do Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers?

Why Do Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers?

I hate this article. If I was in the stage of contemplating sobriety this article is all it would take to head right to the bar and toast my long life. Blech! I would much rather live a slightly shorter life than to live in the drunken stupor for a long time.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Power of the Counter

I had another dream of relapse the other night. In my dream I had gotten 2 six packs of some lemonadey type malt liquor. I remember the following about the dream: Someone was mad at me for not getting them something from the store. I poured myself a drink in a dark cup and thought before I took a swig that there was no way I was going to restart my counter.  I thought about whether I would even post on this blog my big failure. I took a drink telling myself this wasn't even really alcohol and again thought about the timer. Shortly after I walked back in the kitchen knowing that I had messed up. 
Taking another drink seems a lot like jumping off a cliff. When you are feeling depressed it may indeed seem like the thing to do- but on the way down you realize that it wasn't the greatest plan. Drinking is my cliff.  I may not see the harm to be done initially, but my dreams tell me that I will feel the most incredible regret and disappointment in myself if I take that drink. I still have thoughts of drinking- I don't even know if you can call it desire- but I think about it. I thought about it yesteday on the way home- because I used to like days when work was done early so that I could get in some good drinking time. 
On occasion I wish I could drink, other times I don't care at all. Sometimes I can see people drinking on TV and could care less..other times I wonder how I could ever enjoy a vacation or a dinner out without drinking. 
I still maintain that taking that initial step to stop drinking was much harder for me than saying no on a daily basis. The thought process I had to go through to begin recovery was difficult. I don't want to have to go through all that again. This keeps me sane and sober. I worry most of all that if I do slip it will be a long time again until I try to get sober again- and at this point, I am quite sure my health and body just can't take it. 
Thank you to everyone who leaves me caring words of support. This blog is one of the things that is helping me stay sober. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back To My Regular Schedule

Last night was my last one on nights- thank goodness. Something just doesn't feel right to me being wide awake at 4am. 


I am laying here trying to reflect on the week and decompress. 


It's hard to come home on a caffeine high. I can't deny the thought that normally a drink would have helped me go right to sleep. My thoughts of alcohol lately have not been wistful- just another realization that I would normally have done that and it is no longer an option- so time to go with plan B. When I have thoughts of drinking now I remind myself that it's not an option. I am more sensitive to other peoples recommendations that it's time for happy hour, or to have a drink. I find that I am not anywhere near interested in humoring them with the notion. No one at work knows I am in recovery- which I figure is just as well as I can't live a life where no one ever talks about having a drink. I usually just deflect whatever they are saying by telling them I'd rather have a nap than a drink! 


Speaking of naps.. or bedtimes- it is mine- though I feel pretty caffeinated I am sure my brain will slow down once my eyes close. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Having Fun While Sober

One of the biggest lessons I have learned this past week is that I am still a barrel of laughs- even when I am sober. I have been having lots of fun just talking and joking with people over the last 6 nights. In general I am not a very people person but when put in the situation of just sitting there ALL. NIGHT. LONG. you have to find coping mechanisms to make time pass. Two nights to go then back to my regular schedule. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Midnight-ish reflections

On Friday I got a call back from the company recruiter I interviewed with. I let it go to voicemail because I didn’t have the stomach to hear him tell me in person that I was a sucky candidate and no way were they going to hire someone who talked like her mouth was full of peanut butter. BUT. I checked my voicemail immediately and he said he had positive feedback from the team, and that they want to schedule another interview with the person who would be my supervisor!! Woohoo! So, I am going back sometime in the next week or so to try and redeem myself!

This night shift thing is actually not bad. My husband is currently at a training a few hours away, so I have no problem working long hours, sleeping, then coming back to work. (Though he did manage to sneak away for about 12 hours this weekend!) I have really gotten a chance to get to know a couple of the women I have worked with this past year. I know that they have both struggled with alcohol use in the past (though we haven’t spoken about it) and it is a nice thing to have conversations with people that aren’t centered on how “f****ed up” we got last weekend.

Sadly, a young guy we work with was arrested for a DWI last night. Unfortunately he will probably not be working with us much longer. Where I work- current or a history of alcohol abuse or misuse has a zero tolerance level. They will help you get treatment before they fire you- but you will always be let go.

I am looking forward to getting back to normal though. Can't wait for hubby to come home on Tuesday, can't wait to get back into the gym and actually start training for my tri-athlon, can't wait to find out where my career path will lead me!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Things I Have Learned While Working A 12 Hour Night Shift

An ongoing journey into the hilarity that comes after midnight
1. My sobriety countdown is moving faster
2. This is a week I am just not getting back....
2. Some people just don't have a sense of humor at 3am
3. When something bad happens at 4am it is really good to have the least important job in the building
4. Knock knock jokes are always funny...no matter what the other person says.
5. Requiring people to buzz to get into the office opens them up to all sorts of pranks and jokery (see #4)..

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The night shift

I am 7 1/2 hours into a 14 hour night shift. It's amazing what you can find on the internet to entertain you when you are bored. Hyperbole and a half is giving me the best laugh this evening. Pretty funny stuff. I have 7 days of this shift so I am sure I will be finding a lot of interesting websites.
I made it through my sucky day yesterday- amazing what some ice cream can do for the spirit! I am appreciative for all of the comments and support I get from those who read my blog.  
I have a month and a half left on the contract I am working on now and, though I have a job waiting for me when I am finished, I am not enthusiastic about going back to it- hence the job search.
At the end of today will mark exactly 60 days of sobriety. The thought of having to start my count over again if I drink is a really motivating factor to stay sober. Well, there are a lot of motivating factors- but sometimes when it just comes to the basics, I don't want to have to go thru the first 60 days again.
I am surprised how the desire to drink comes on so strongly sometimes...and other times I don't even think about it. I wonder if it will be like this all the time.
I am so thankful to have my husband who doesn't drink at all. What a blessing he is for me. Well, 6 hours and 20 minutes to go. Time for more internet surfing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Hate This Day

ok...so hate is a strong word. But. I drove 3 hours for a job interview then talked like I had a mouth full of peanut butter! Really. Even I thought I sounded ridiculous. My interviewing skills are usually VERY GOOD- but not today. Feeling like an idiot really has me struggling today and feeling like an idiot for a 3 hour drive back home isn't so great either. This is the first day since I decided on sobriety that I really really contemplated having a drink. Blah! I am so mad at myself right now. 
I am home now- planning on staying holed up tonight wallowing in self pity and starting life again tomorrow.  Wouldn't be nice if we were given at least one "do over" day per year? This would be mine!!!! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ups and Downs

One moment I'm fine- the next moment not so much. I guess this is the roller coaster of recovery. 
My husband left today for a 10 day business trip. Usually I would use this time to stay intoxicated since there was no sneaking involved. I would run right out of the house as he left to stock up. Today I went to the store and bought fruits and vegetables... and a few other things to get through a week of healthy eating. This will be another re-learning experience. To be home by myself and not drink. 
I hurt my back late last week so working out has been impossible. I am determined to go this week even if I just stretch and sit in the hot tub. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today I Really Wish I Wasn't An Alcoholic

Today I really wished I wasn't an alcoholic. Lately, I have been fine- but today was a long day. A. Really. Long. Day. Something about standing up for 3 hours in this heat really got me. My feet hurt, my back hurt... blah. So, I was cranky and tired and thought how nice it would be to be like everyone else I know- who were going to go home and have a drink or two and call it a day. I thought about how easy it would be to fall back in the habit of grabbing some beer on the way home.  But I didn't- I am on day 53 of sobriety, and honestly- making the decision to stay sober is a lot easier than making the decision to GET SOBER. Looking forward to hitting my 60 day mark. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Touch of Depression

I have been battling a touch of depression lately. I have really had no desire to do much of anything. I am keeping up with my eating plan and I am still exercising 6 days a week. I feel good that I go to the gym- but even the exercise doesn't seem to be helping me out of the funk I am in. The only thing I think about on the way home is taking a nap- which I do when I make it into the house. 
On another note- today at work a few of my co-workers were talking about having drinks with dinner, or when they get home. It was really the first time I didn't feel left out of something. I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not joining in the conversation- it was a pretty nice feeling. Of course, I never underestimate my bodies ability to throw a massive craving on me- but it was a step in the right direction. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More relapse dreams and extreme tiredness

I another relapse dream last night. It was another instance of me drinking before I even realized I wasn't supposed to. I felt extremely guilty in my dream and dreaded the thought of having to start my counter all over again.  My thoughts are that this points to the idea that drinking was just second nature to me- that I would grab a drink before I gave any thought to the destructiveness.
I am so tired. I woke up early this morning (5:00 am) then went back to bed at 10 and slept until 12:00. Got up, ate a sandwich and went back to sleep for another 3 hours. I feel like I could sleep all weekend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

“The busy have no time for tears” (lord byron)

It's easier to be sober when you are busy. I have been working and doing two workouts a day this week. It definitely takes away from opportunities to sit around and dwell about not drinking. I feel much healthier these days, my thinking is a lot sharper (I actually remember stuff), and my skin is looking a lot better. Though I have been dieting and exercising I think not drinking has had a lot to do with my face not looking so puffy lately, and my skin is appreciating the lack of poisons that I had consistently put in my body. When I am in hot yoga I imagine all the sweat to be all of the toxins in my body leaving. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lifestyle Changes

Tomorrow I am set to begin another part of the lifestyle changes in an effort to make myself much healthier.
#1-Computer habits- I am putting myself on a computer diet- no more endless sitting here on my couch with my laptop on my lap.  Please rest assured that less than daily posts are no indication of my sobriety! (see schedule changes)
#2-  Eating habits- I already eat relatively healthy- but it's time to put that on the forefront. My husband is having some stomach/glucose issues and so I will start planning his meals accordingly. I will continue to monitor my calorie intake but be more diligent about eating clean. More protein, healthy carbs and lots of fruits and vegetables. No more than 1200 calories a day until my workout plan requires me to consume more calories. 
#3- Start triathlon training- I have a pretty intense 12 week plan to get myself back in shape. Unfortunately Tri season ends before I will be where I need to be- so barring any injury I will participate in a 5k on Oct. 30th. Then continue training for next season of Triathlons. 
#4- Hot Yoga- If you haven't tried it- you should. Hot Yoga is wonderful. Yoga in a room heated to 96+ degrees for an hour. You absolutely cannot think about anything else when you are practicing. I am aiming for 4 days per week. 
#5- Read!- If I have any time left I really need to start reading again. 
Getting sober has been a catalyst to make myself a better person all around. I have gone 42 days without poisoning my body. Now it's time to take it to the next level. 

News Flash

Every time I go to one of my favorite restaurants I have to learn to say no to alcohol all over again (who knew?). For dinner tonight we went to our favorite Italian place. I usually (read always) ordered white wine with dinner. They even came around with samples of some new wine they were showcasing. When I first went in I felt that little panicky feeling I get when presented with the choice to drink, and felt that way a few other times during the evening. BUT- I was triumphant and did not have a drink. My point is- I see that even when you think you are out of the the thick of it you have to be careful not to get caught up in routine or habits. I know now that every time I go to a place I have already been I will have to prepare myself mentally for saying no to alcohol for the very first time- again. 
On another note- this song is special to me. It was the song I played in my car when I packed up my life and drove across country to start life on my own terms. And here I am again- learning to live life on my own terms. 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Anniversary!

Today marks two years that I have been married! I have been blessed to find someone that I get along so well with. Even when he is really making me crazy I still love him- and he can always make me laugh. I think we spend more time giggling and laughing together than either of us ever have in our lives! Even when we talk on the phone we are laughing at/with each other. We have a relationship that other people have often told us they wanted for themselves. Like somehow our relationship is what they are striving for. What an awesome thing to experience by two people who never thought they would get remarried. 


I honestly think my husband is my saving grace. Even though I spent the last few years hiding my drinking from him it was because I didn't want to disappoint him (I hope thats not me rationalizing- it just kind of is what it is). When I first talked to him about my drinking problem he was very supportive- and even when I started drinking again (initially in moderation) he thought I had it under control. I never wanted him to know I had lost control again. He saves me everyday by being a non-drinker. I don't have to worry about coming home to someone who bought a bottle of wine for our anniversary. He never asks me why I'm not having a before dinner drink... or why I chose not to drink on any given outing. To him- not drinking is normal. Having dated plenty of men who did drink like I did- this is such a blessing. Even though he doesn't know how much he helps me everyday- he does. And I know eventually as I keep adding to that sobriety counter that I will be able to tell him that I lost control again and how much I appreciate him just being him. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Forever ever?

I am having one of those days where I wish there could be some time in the future when I won't be an alcoholic. I had a really good job interview today- and I couldn't help but think if I get the opportunity to travel with this company how hard it might be to be in an airport and not go for drinks at the airport bar. Or to have (or think I can have just one) a glass of wine at happy hour with co-workers, or any number of combinations of experiences that might require I actually use willpower to say no! sigh...
It's moments like these when I have a conversation with myself- Me-  "you have to stop drinking forever!", Me2- "forever ever?" Me-"Forever ever!", Me2- "sob!" 
Side note: 39 days sober and 9 lbs lighter..and really really really going to start training on Monday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fear is Overcome with Action

This is one of the quotes that means the most to me- I was reminded of it when reading another blog today. I don't know who wrote it- but I keep it on my fridge for daily inspiration.


Fear is Overcome With Action


Do the thing you fear and fear disappears.

Confront your fears, list them, get to know them and only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead.

Your obstacles will melt away, if instead of cowering before them, you make up your mind to walk boldly through them.

One of the greatest surprises you'll experience, is when you discover that you can do what you were afraid you couldn't do.

The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. When you face the things that scare you, you open the door to freedom.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Made it through....

I made it through the day. It amazes me how every change that happens in my life becomes a new experience in being sober. When the kids were here I got in the routine of being sober- then I had an overwhelming desire to sink into old habits. So I am re-learning MORE behavior. sigh... but I am sober. Thankfully.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is going to suck. As part of a mutual custody agreement my kids will be going back to stay with their dad. This is the first time they will be leaving and I am not drunk or on my way to being drunk. Instead this time I am wallowing in all my miserableness. Actually feeling stuff really sucks and I hate it. I took them out to eat tonight and really considered ordering a non-alcoholic beer- but I didn't. In the end I just couldn't do it. I didn't really know how it would affect me, or if the tiny amount of alcohol in it would make me feel anything.
I know that a lot (or most?) people in recovery steer way clear of even cooking with alcohol- I haven't done that. I still boil my shrimp in beer and make my clams with white wine. I would probably even eat cake made with alcohol. Is that dumb? Maybe... maybe it is alcoholic rationalization. But I don't go out and search out food only made with alcohol. 
Anyways- I am experiencing all the emotions that go with saying goodbye to my babies (ok- they aren't babies anymore- but they are MY babies!) Tomorrow is going to suck. 

Random

I often find myself signing in to my blog with nothing to write- but somehow gaining strength that I have made the testament to stay sober. Most of the time I check out a few other pages- but most of the time I feel like I am just wandering through the sites. I am rather melancholy today and I wish I had some profound insights or thoughts to write- though I find those fewer and far between. 
I start working out again tomorrow and I know that will help with my stress and moodiness. I have managed to lose about 7 lbs so far without having exerted a whole lot of effort. I actually feel like my metabolism has kicked it up a notch. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Monotony of Recovery...

Not that life is boring. At all. It's just that in my world of instant gratification I really just want to be all done recovering and just be ...well... "recovered'. Seems that when I started all of this 30 some days ago I was undergoing a daily struggle just to get home or run errands without stopping for a drink. All of my thoughts surrounded 'not drinking, not drinking, don't take a drink, you can't drink, what the hell am I going to do without a drink?, I really want a drink'!! 
Now that I don't think about drinking every second of every day it surprises me when the urge or the habit of desire shows up. It comes from nowhere. The incredible urge to have wine with seafood, or a beer with some BBQ.  Hell, maybe it's just walking in the house when a burning desire for an Apple Martini hits me. 
My recovery is different this time though- in that I know (I have to say it again, and over and over and over again) I cannot take a drink. I have absolutely no control over my drinking and if I take a drink I will go right back to the horrible habits that I just fought to distance myself from. 
This video makes me laugh. It reminds me of so many things- but when it comes to alcohol- I think I spent a long time standing on a broken escalator expecting someone else to help me. Turns out- the escape was always there.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Setting a goal...

I have decided to start training for a Triathlon (sprint distance). If all goes well (no major injuries) I will try to find one to compete in in appx. 12 weeks.  This promises to be pretty challenging as I have never done anything like this- and am currently fairly out of shape. Time to get my fat ass moving!!!
Today was day one- still standing. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

4 weeks down...

At the end of the day today I will mark 28 days of sobriety. Feels pretty good. A few things have happened over the last day or two that have me wondering how it will all turn out. 
Last night I was chatting on FB with one of my husbands female friends. We haven't met yet, but have talked superficially once in a while. We found out we have a few things in common... but while we were chatting she excused herself for a minute to go refill her wine....Usually thats my line. She went on to tell me how she can't sleep and so she usually just drinks herself to sleep. We also shared our concerns about our body images and so forth. It was like I was talking to myself. It was the first time I could have had the opportunity to talk to someone about their drinking- but I didn't. Not yet anyways. I even asked myself if it was even my place to do that. I mean- I'm not even a month sober...who the hell am I to talk to someone about their drinking problem. You could probably still smell liqour on my breath I'm such a newbie to sobriety! Our conversation was short-but it is one I anticipate we will have again. 
My husband and I are planning a cook-out. This might be the first time I will feel any sort of pressure to drink, and to date it is the only time I feel like it might be a little more difficult to say no. I guess having the foresight to know it might be an issue might help. I just know that once I pick up that bottle it will all be right back to where I started! 
On another note- I have been doing really well with going to the gym and working out. I am definitely starting to feel a lot better about myself. I do notice though, that now that I am not drinking I am a lot more optimistic about keeping the weight off this time. I am also considering starting to train for a triathlon (sprint only) as a way to help keep me motivated. I was initially just thinking about doing a 5k- but I figure I will aim higher and might just pick up a 5K somewhere in the process of my training. I don't have any definite plans to compete- just started on my workout plan. Now that I have all this extra time on my hands. 


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dreams of relapse

I had a dream last night that someone handed me a glass of wine and I took a drink- but when I put the wine in my mouth it occurred to me that I shouldn't/didn't want to cross that line and I spit it out.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Making it through the days

I have a lot of time to think during my commute to and from work. Lately my mind is on my sobriety. Initially I had to concentrate on going straight home and not stopping at a store to get alcohol. Then I started thinking about how hard being sober is, next it was how well I was doing and how much easier it was getting to break the habits and routines. I think a lot about how much better I feel about not drinking, how I am much more likely to go to the gym now, how my memory is better. Lately my thoughts have been all over the place. I really realize how easy it could be to have a drink depending on the circumstances. I think about all those people who work hard to never be around any kind of alcohol at all to avoid any temptation. I am still trying to figure out what kind of sober person I am going to be. 
Currently, I don't crave alcohol. I don't see people drinking and think that I am missing out on something. I don't have a plan to start drinking again....and I don't have a date or goal where I can reward myself with a drink. 
I know in my mind I cannot drink ever again. If I do I know I will go right back in the pit where I was before.
One of my major motivating factors to get sober and stay that way was my weight. I have gained and lost 20-25 pounds over the last 5 years. 3 weeks ago I was at my heaviest weight ever. Drinking has a huge impact on that. I normally consumed less than 1200 calories per day in food and non-alcoholic beverages. When I add alcohol I am sure I consumed well over 3500 calories per day. Needless to say the weight just packed on. I use weight loss as an additional motivation to stay sober. There is no way I can lose weight if I drink. I have always had a pretty body dysmorphic issue. I have succeeded in losing weight in the past when I stopped drinking. The difference those times was that I stopped drinking just to lose weight- not to be sober. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Case of the Blahs

I have always liked this song- though I admit I don't totally understand the lyrics, there is something so beautiful and soothing about the it that I have been listening to it tonight. 
My mind is a rather big mess today for whatever reason. I got off work early today and came home to take a nap. Got up and did a little job hunting- but I honestly had a moment where I felt dizzy and unable to think or concentrate. Almost like I was drinking. I hope my memory continues to improve now that I have laid off drinking. 
I'm tired... 




Sunday, July 11, 2010

3 weeks sober

I have been sober for three weeks. I am back into sleepy mode- but that could be more from a little depression/stress that I am going thru, rather than being sober. 
I have been going to the gym a lot lately- especially this week. It is definitely becoming a stress reliever for me- today is Sunday- so it's rest day. I am thinking maybe some ice cream with the kids might be in order. 
I wish I had some profound reflections right now, but I don't. Thankfully, I haven't had any recent dreams of relapse. Sometimes I wonder if the stuff I am going thru is "normal" for my stage of recovery. Haven't had the energy to find new recovery blogs to read- but I am thankful to those that I visit. 

UPDATE - 07FEB13: I decided to update this particular post today because "3 Weeks Sober" is by far the most searched and read blog post that I have. When I reread it- I see that it doesn't offer any particular insight or inspiration. 
Today is my birthday. I turned 39. Getting closer to old lady-hood I guess. Today was also one of the worst days I have experienced in quite a long time. One thing after another had my emotions really spiraling out of control. 
I am 4 months shy of 3 years sober....and I plan to stay that way. Out of that time I have spent less time thinking about alcohol than I have spent thinking about it. When I first wrote this blog post on July 11, 2010 I didn't think that was possible. But through all the initial false starts (before I started writing) and the roller coaster of emotions in the beginning I have done pretty well. I am comfortable telling people I don't drink without the need to explain myself to them.  People still ask me how it's "possible to have fun if you don't drink". That phrase seem ridiculous now. I just tell them I make a GREAT designated driver. 
I have managed to stay sober without the help of AA- though my way is only one way to get sober. I suggest you pick one that works best for you (key words there "one that WORKS) whichever that may be. 
So- today was a horrible day. And is some remote part of my mind I asked myself if drinking was an option. (it never is) But one thing that made it easier to push that thought out of my mind was the sheer number of people who have googled "3 weeks sober" and have found me....and then have gone to my front page and saw that I was still sober. I am..sober. and I love it. Truly. Life does get better.
I didn't think there would ever be a time in my life when I didn't want to drink.... and I was scared when I first thought about quitting that I would be missing out on something when I saw other people in a restaurant having a drink. But I'm not, and I don't think like that anymore. 
Today my drink of choice is a Shirley Temple. I didn't have one today- but I will tomorrow when I celebrate my birthday with my kids- sober, happy, and healthy. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Craving...

I can't downplay the importance of taking it one day at a time. I was thinking to myself as I was driving home today that I have relearned a lot of my bad habits. I was feeling pretty proud of myself about not having the overwhelming desire to have a drink, and how I have stopped needing to count the hours. Went to the gym and came home and had an overwhelming desire to have an apple martini-- bam- out of nowhere. I'm going through a stressful time right now with switching jobs and such- blah blah blah. Don't drink, don't drink, don't drink.
I have really started to love coffee, and POMx Super Tea, and of course my red bull.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Looking forward to the weekend!

All is well.... still sober- 447 hours down! (almost 19 days)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Less focus on the time..more focus on me

I have become less obsessed with watching that clock increase the amount of time I have been sober. I have made it past two weeks now...hooray for me! 
Several things I have noticed- alcohol is not on my mind every second. I have broken several of my habits when it comes to drinking. I have been in several situations where it would have been acceptable, maybe even expected, for me to drink and I didn't. A co-worker today said something about drinking and told her I wasn't drinking anymore. She said "Until.....?" I didn't know what to say. Like somehow saying out loud that I will never drink again seems like I might sabotage myself. I told her I didn't have a timeline- I just wasn't drinking. 
I also realize how easy it would be to fall right back into the routine of drinking. How easy it is to just grab something and end all the time and effort I have put in to staying sober. 
I have a lot more work to do.... But, I focus less on the time, and more on what I am going to do with all the time I now have on my hands. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Another Victorious Day

I had one of the most wonderful days of my life today. This July 4th was hands down the best 4th of July ever. When I arrived at the BBQ we were invited too I was pretty surprised to see free beer and wine. But, I didn't even really bat an eyelash about not drinking. I didn't have an overwhelming desire to drink, and I didn't get that little panicky feeling that I usually get when I think I might not be able to drink. 
It is almost 3am... I am going to have a nice looong sleep. Sweet dreams everyone.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Long Weekend

Yay- it's Friday!
My husband has post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of his time serving in Iraq a couple of years ago. There is a direct correlation between him taking his medicine/ participating in therapy and our relationship. When he doesn't take meds (mild anti-depressant/sleep-aid) or go to therapy he becomes very irritable. He doesn't see his behavior as deteriorating as I do. For the record- he takes his medicine almost every night- but if he goes to sleep too late, or has to get up to early he can't take it because it makes it difficult for him to wake up.  Lately, he hasn't been able to take his medicine, as a result we have been having a few tiffs here and there. 
I used to spend a lot of time drinking whenever he was grumpy. Well, I used to spend a lot of time drinking anyway- but I know for sure that I would look straight toward a drink after we argued. 
Well, he's still pissing me off. And I still have those thoughts about drinking. I have to admit though, not drinking is going to be quite a relief this weekend. We will be doing some travelling on the 4th and I don't have to worry about police check-points, or stocking up on alcohol. 
I am close to 12 days (288 hours) of sobriety and I feel like I am on track. I feel that this time I have a different attitude toward sobriety- that it's not supposed to be a punishment- but a reward. On my previous attempts at sobriety I always used alcohol as a reward for making some landmark. I could celebrate with a drink when I hit my 4 month mark, when I lost 10 pounds, when I..... 
I don't think like that anymore. I know now that I can not take a drink. I can not stop once I start. Any consumption of alcohol will just lead to more and more. I do not have the ability to regulate how much I drink, when I drink, or anything that has to do with drinking. 
Happy 4th of July! If you see a military service member make sure to thank them for their service. And if you are military (or used to be) Thank you!