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....