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.