The Way it Always Was

It’s Labor Day Monday today.  I feel ok, mentally and physically.   I drank Saturday night and Sunday during the day at the beach.

We headed for up north on Saturday morning.  Shortly after arriving, I learned that Aunt Sandy was coming downstate to see her kids and wouldn’t be there for most of our trip.   At the same time, I heard family members arrive at the house across the street.   The greetings and conversations made me feel extremely lonely.  A few short years ago, our life up there was much the same.  My mom would always hug her grandkids and talk about how fast they’re growing.  Aunt Sandy’s house was always full as well.  Uncle Ed was always there to entertain the boys or talk to us about anything and everything.   Grandma was always in her chair and always enjoyed watching the many guests, old and new, come and go.

Now, it always seems lonely there more than anything.  Grandma, my mom and uncle Ed have all passed and the once full house always seems empty.

I was instantly glad that Susie and Maddie were coming up, at least there would be more than just my family of 4 and my boys would have a cousin to play with.

Betsy (my inner alcoholic), of course, played on my depressive state.   She began to talk me into drinking quite early on Saturday.  I played on the fact that it was our very last hurrah and that there would be no reason to drink at least until Halloween– or maybe longer.

So it’s back to Day 1, looking forward to starting a rigid work schedule and relishing in sober weekends and waking up with a clear head and conscious– free of guilt and shame <3

My Path is My Purpose

Woke up feeling incredibly grateful this morning– for sobriety and everything that I have learned this year.

Last year at this time I was in such a desperate place. Nothing was worse than drinking every single night and wanting to stop but not being able to. I didn’t know if I would have to go away to rehab, or maybe just die this way, lose my job, lose my family, everything was uncertain and my future was grim– especially not knowing what was going to become of me.

Even though I had several day 1’s this summer, I had more sober days than drinking days which was a vast improvement from where I was at last summer. I really haven’t felt that desperation of not being able to stop since February 2017 and thinking about those feelings, it seems like a lifetime ago.

I am so grateful for all that I’ve learned and this life that I’ve been given. Grateful for those years of struggles & know that they ultimately serve a purpose, I’m just not sure what that is yet.

I’m grateful for Day 18 today. Happy sober Friday everyone! I hope you all have a relaxing and rejuvenating long weekend <3

My Inner Alcoholic is a Beast

Betsy’s her name and ruining my life is her game.

I don’t know how she does it, but she knows when I’m vulnerable.

Like today.  I had a productive day.  I got up early, made breakfast, dropped my oldest off at freshman orientation, packed up the youngest, drove to work, worked in my classroom for a little bit, attended a team meeting, packed up, stopped at the magic store so the little could spend the $15 he earned from doing chores, got home, made lunch and put dinner in the crock pot, sat down and she spoke.

“You’ll be alone tonight.  Wine would be nice. ”

“Nope! I don’t do that.”  Then I proceeded to feed the pets, make my bed, stick in laundry, work on dinner and finish up some other things.  Then I sat down.

“Do you know what sounds nice?  Some wine sounds really good right now.  You wouldn’t be so tired.  You would feel carefree and oh so wonderful.” Betsy persuaded.

“Oh that does sound lovely.” I thought, for a second.  “Nope.  Not going to do it Betz.”

I carried on with my evening, all while the boys were at each other’s throats (it’s the end of summer, and they are more than ready to go back to school).  Yelled at the boys, fed them dinner, yelled some more, cleaned up dinner, got the oldest to do his chores and get ready so he could leave for his Boy Scout activity tonight, cleaned up the kitchen, the voice persisted.

“Oh come on already!  You have 10 days.  You’ve done so well, you deserve a break.  Give yourself a break.  You can drive to CVS, pick up a box of wine and your night will be awesome.  Why are you doing this anyway?  This is stupid!”

I didn’t respond this time.  I just ignored her and am writing this out, which is helping me see the ridiculousness of this situation.  Wine sounded good for half a second.  Then I thought about how I would be numb after 2 glasses and become distant from my family. It wouldn’t be much fun and I would pay for it dearly tomorrow with a headache, body aches, tired and aching muscles, not to mention how awful I would feel mentally to wake up to another Day 1.

Tomorrow night we have a wedding and I am not planning on drinking.  I’m a little nervous because there will be a lot of drinking and free unlimited drinks.   I’m going to tell Hubby that he can drink and I will drive us home.  I’m not sure if he will or not– he’s been generally sober and not drinking.  But this is his cousin’s daughter getting married and if he wants to drink then I don’t have a problem with it.  I will enjoy being fully present, enjoying the moment & maybe slightly laughing at those who end up drinking a lot and acting goofy.

Taking it one day at a time, and excitedly about to welcome Day 11, which could have so easily been another Day 1.

<3

Visualizing and Continuing to Thrive in Sobriety

As more time goes on without drinking, not drinking is becoming the norm.  It has been 9 days today.   Betsy, my inner alcoholic voice is very sneaky and still talks to me at the most random moments.

Thus far, I’ve been able to shut her up pretty quickly with a “NO, I don’t do that anymore.”  or “I don’t think that I will like the way that will make me feel.” or “Helz no, are you crazy?  I don’t want to go down that dark path, get so drunk that I zone out, forget the night and then wake up feeling like absolute S$#& !!”.

So far it’s working.  I’m wise enough to know that this can change at any moment and will not take my sobriety for granted.  Not even for a second.

I have been slacking on actively working on my recovery.  I’ve barely even attended online meetings (I can’t even remember when I last attended one– probably about a week ago).  I felt the need last week to go to a real life meeting because I was only 2 days sober and feeling really down.  I never made it to a real life meeting–nor did I start working on the 30 day sobriety solution like I said I would.  Will I work on it in the future?  I’m not sure.  I kind of got overloaded thinking about “recovery” stuff and had to shut it all down last week.  That first day of not reading, thinking, listening to recovery resources was very refreshing. I worked out and then floated in the pool and read a romance novel instead of a recovery book, which was a very nice break 😊

Right now, I’m happy and content doing what I’m doing.  I do not feel in any way, shape or form that I am “white knuckling” it. What am I filling my days with?  School shopping, haircuts, last minute appointments (because my oldest is diabetic, he had to see an ophthalmologist– which was a two hour appointment– THEN we had to go see the optometrist to get our glasses), last days of enjoying floating in the pool, cooking, cleaning, organizing, school orientation, work meetings, etc.

This may all change next week when I go back to work and the following week when the kids start school.  I’m a little nervous because I imagine big changes like this could possibly be a trigger.   What will I do if I feel like drinking or even relapse?   I will flood my spare moments with recovery resources.  On the other hand, I might be so busy with back to school festivities, that I might even think about drinking less than I do now.

Visualizing may help me stay successful.  In anticipation of the start of the school year, these are the things that I am visualizing:

  • Facilitating morning IEP meetings without a pounding headache, tired body and vodka breath; actually being able to think clearly during these meetings
  • Waking up with a clear head and energy
  • Waking up early enough to get a run/walk in (this ALWAYS makes the day better)
  • Not running my schedule around drinking, being able to sign up for extracurricular activities (exercise, yoga, dog training grant writing, etc) that run past 8pm
  • Having time for those extra and fun activities
  • Not feeling like I was hit by a Mack truck every single morning going into work
  • Having the energy and drive to push these kids to their full potential, plan fun and productive lessons and being more organized with my teaching

And my very favorite:

  • Sober weekends!   TV binging on Friday night, sleeping in, no hangovers, energy to do FUN things, NOT running my free evenings around needing to drink

And that’s a wrap!  Peace, love and happiness to all <3

 

 

Practice and Persistence Makes Progress

Guys– I finally feel like I hit a milestone! MOST of the time my alcoholic voice (Betsy) is silent. BUT.. every week or two she tries to talk me into drinking and all summer long I have caved into her wishes. NOT tonight– although it was the perfect opportunity. My dad took my kids for a couple nights & Betsy kept telling me how great margaritas would be tonight alone with the hubby (he is basically a non-drinker and would try to talk me out of it but I would ultimately talk him into drinking with me if I wanted it badly enough..). She was very persistent–but so was I!  I told her all day/night long to GTFO and here I am about to watch a movie with the hubs sober AF 😜. This is the first time since my 90 day sober streak that I was able to ignore her. Progress!!

I posted earlier about staying sober at the beach today, which used to be a trigger spot. I had a great time sober (today no one else was drinking–which also helped). During previous summers, a day at the beach meant me passed out on the way home (incoherent and sleeping) and hitting my bed no matter how early we got home. Tonight I drove home and walked the dog after getting home. Crazy huh?

Wishing you all a great sober Saturday night!

Much Love 

I Want a Divorce

You always know what to say and when to say it.  You speak to me at my most vulnerable moments, even when I don’t realize my weaknesses.  You whisper sweet nothings into my ear and tell me exactly what I want to hear.  You continue to sneak your conniving ways back into my life.

I’m done.   I’ve had enough of your lies and abuse.   Your empty promises mean nothing to me anymore.  I used to be afraid– and sad to leave you, but not anymore.  I’m tired of waking up feeling the shame and misery that you have inflicted upon me.

Yeah, I know, you’ve always been there.  For decades I’ve given you my nightly time and attention, while neglecting others and myself.   You demanded so much of my attention– I’ve had time for nothing else.  You take away my memory, the amnesia is a scary nightly occurrence.  You have taken over my life.

I want my life back.  I want to spend my nights with my family, doing meaningful activities.  I want to remember each night– each moment, for life is too precious to waste.  I want be fully present in every waking moment.  I will not regret leaving your daily abuse.

So.. alcohol, I’m breaking up with you.  It’s been real.. real miserable.  But now I can be happy <3

The Lies of Addiction

Sunday morning here and this weekend has been a mixed bag so far.

Friday night was great.  I listened (didn’t participate or share) to an online AA meeting and I could relate with the other members.  I got to bed late but slept in until 10:30am on Saturday morning.   I had nothing pressing to do on Saturday- so it was nice to wake up late.  I had a leisurely morning and finally got around to working out around 1:00pm.

Saturday evening was going well, until (for no good reason- other than a craving) I decided that I want some wine.  Hubby’s parents were over and they know I’m not drinking, so I waited until they left.  This was really stupid because by then it was 11:00pm– WHO the heck starts drinking that late anyways?   I could beat myself up with the whys?  but it’s pointless.

Now it’s Sunday morning and I’ve racked up yet another Day 1 under my belt.  The cycle of addiction is vicious and brutal.  I know what I want and I know how I want my life to look like, but I don’t know how to get there.

Addiction lies.  It tells me what I want to hear.  “It’s summer– you deserve this.  You’vedone so well this summer, you deserve this.  You worked out and ate beans for dinner, you deserve this!”

I deserve to live my life happily alcohol free.

I keep writing the same story over and over again.  I will strengthen my toolbox.   I will get a sponsor.  I will go to more meetings or check out meetings other than AA.  

How can I expect change when I haven’t done any of these things?  I can’t.

I am grateful that I have the knowledge to do what I need to do to beat this thing.  I just need to Just Do It.

My story is to be continued…

Pack Your Bags

One step forward, two steps back.  That’s how I feel on this funky Friday morning.

Drank again yesterday, although I didn’t start last night.  I started yester- day– yes during the day.

Two nights ago drinking wine was pleasant.  It felt good up until I went to bed (which I don’t remember).  Yesterday the first couple glasses were good, but then I had some dinner (not much, 1/2 a veggie burger and a few vegetables).  After dinner the wine tasted nasty.  But, I kept drinking anyway..

By bedtime my belly hurt, my buzz was gone and I felt physically and mentally defeated. Out of all the hours spent drinking yesterday, about 10% of the time was actually pleasant, the rest was unpleasant.

I’m GLAD and thankful.  It scares me when drinking gives me so much joy that on the following day I drink again– and start earlier.

I am going to stop.  I know in my heart that one day I will be 100% alcohol free.

Today is day 1.  I will work on strengthening my toolbox. What does this look like?  For me, it will be re-starting the 30 Day Sobriety Solution– with daily activities and exercises. I started this before and it really is a great program to work through.

I may or may not attend real life or online meetings.  This I’m on the fence about.  I started going to AA meetings this summer and I don’t believe they’ve been effective for me.  I may try to find an evening meeting that I can keep up with when school starts back up.  I may try something other than AA– it’s just hard because my choices and days/times are limited.  One thing is certain, I cannot do this alone.  I will continue to connect with people online through Cafe RE and Club Soda.

I will continue writing out this journey.  Yes, it feels like a lie, my title “My Journey Through Sobriety..” I haven’t been very sober the past couple of days.  It certainly is a long and treacherous voyage–although no one said that it would be easy!   Pack your bags, you’re coming with <3suitcase

 

Peace & Love <3

Moderation Condemnation

It is Thursday morning and I sadly woke up with a wine hangover headache.  Let’s back up to Tuesday.

On Tuesday, I wanted wine badly.  Hubby gave me some tough love and I didn’t give in to the craving.  It felt GREAT to wake up on Wednesday, knowing that I didn’t blow it.  I now had double digits of sobriety– which I hadn’t seen in awhile.

Wednesday was a great day.  I had a leisurely morning, worked out, showered and did some fun shopping (shopping without a real purpose– just looking at whatever suits my mood).  Mind you, the whole time that I was out and about, I did not think to pick up wine once.

Something happened that evening.  I saw people drinking on TV & then couldn’t get it out of my head.  At 8:00 I turned on an AA meeting.  10 minutes in and I turned it off and went and got wine.

It tasted really great.  It made me feel really great too.  Hubby had a scout parent meeting and I had to explain myself to him when he came home.

I told him that if I drink for 2 nights every couple of weeks, then I’m ok with that.  I don’t think that it’s the end of the world and I’m not going to beat myself up over it.  If it becomes an everyday thing like before, well.. then.. that’s a problem.

Maybe I’ll stop counting days, I’m not sure.

This is my long and complicated journey.  No one said it would be easy.  I’m going to keep one foot ahead of the other and focus on the journey–not the destination.  <3 journey

Radiant Soul

Sobriety is going well and I am currently on day 9. It is August 7 and I’m aiming for a dry August.

This weekend was a total success and I made it through a couple of situations that could have potentially sabotaged me.

Based on previous experiences, this is what would have happened if I had drank:  1) It wouldn’t have been as great as expected.  2) I would have had to drive almost an hour home with Willy after drinking– no matter how much time goes by and how much I eat, this is simply NOT OK.  3) I would have had to start my counter over again (yay for double digits tomorrow!).  4) I would have felt physically (and mentally) nasty from the alcohol.  AND, my personal favorite:  5) By NOT allowing myself to dive into the wine (which was readily available) to help aid an awkward social situation, I was able to loosen up and make connections  WITHOUT it, boosting my self-esteem and making me more confident for the next difficult social situation.

Friday: My sister was housesitting for her friend who has a gorgeous house and inground pool  I took Willy over to swim and sister invited a couple of her teacher friends.   They were loud and chatty and I felt super awkward at first.  I thought about getting a glass or two of wine to help me loosen up.  I decided that it wasn’t a good idea and accepted the fact that the afternoon was just going to suck for me. soul  I think that I am most happy that others were doing it so it would have been 100% acceptable and not weird plus it was right in front of me and I was able to say I’m not going to go there, and I was able to follow through.

Saturday:  We had an impromptu get together with hubby’s side of the family.  They are totally not drinkers and weirdly enough, while I didn’t have the urge to drink while they were here, I had a big urge to finish the 1/4 bottle of tequila after they left.  I fought the urge and didn’t drink it, but thought that was an odd time to get an urge (Betsy– my alcoholic inner voice– takes full advantage of any situation.  She told me I deserved it after having such a nice get together on the fly and putting up with his family’s craziness–they really aren’t bad).  I enjoyed many sober conversations during the time that his family was visiting.  It was so nice to be able to remember those conversations the next day and to not worry about what I said or did!   Waking up the next morning sober was also a bonus!

Sunday:  Many moons ago (about 6 months worth, to be exact..), Sundays ALWAYS (and had for years) consisted of drinking.  After 6 months, this has become quite foreign to me.   I didn’t even think about drinking once yesterday.  It was a pretty lazy day.  Had a lunch date with hubby when he finally got up and then we went to Sam’s Club (for fun– I had been itching to go all weekend).  My niece stayed the night Saturday night and I took her and Willy for a walk up to the park.  Then I supervised them while they swam in the pool.  After a little while hubby went in the pool with them & I took the time to start some laundry, stick dinner in the oven (just got a heat it up meal from Sam’s) and clean up the kitchen. Sunday night ended with one of the worst movies I have ever seen (This is 40). A normal, typical, easy going sober Sunday.  Not only did I go to bed early, but I brushed my teeth before bed and remember going to bed.

Today is Monday, a new day & a new week.  I will embrace the week with a sharp mind and a happy soul <3