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

Day 3, Again..

I can’t seem to string more than a sober week together these days.

What happened?  Badness.  Not goodness.   Something so stupid it is embarrassing.

I last wrote on Saturday.  Two days later we headed up north for a week of relaxation. We got up on Monday afternoon and went to Walmart shortly after for groceries.   I was a pro at Walmart.  I cruised past the wine aisle and the liquor section without even the smallest urge to stop.

When we got home and started putting away the groceries, I noticed that my sister (who had just stayed there to celebrate her birthday with her friends) had left a lot of alcohol, including a full 5th of vodka.  The last time I stayed there with her, she drank and I ignored the alcohol she had in the fridge– so I didn’t think it would be a problem.

After I had everything put away, I realized that I forgot coffee.  Anthony drove me up to Rite Aid (he likes to drive me, and most of the time I really like it when he does.. so when he offers, I usually jump at the offer!).  I came out with coffee, and a bottle of Kahlua.

I used to run to Rite Aid for liquor runs whenever we were up there.  I’m not sure why I couldn’t resist the urge.  I knew it would pair deliciously with that bottle of vodka.  I also ended up picking up a couple of bottles of wine while we were up there.  My excuse was that it was our vacation (screw sober vacations, right?).  I didn’t drink every night, but I drank more than I should have.  I did it knowing that it would be easier to abstain when I got home.  I think overall that drinking put a huge damper on the vacation and a sober vacation would have been more fun, more rewarding, better for my physical and mental state, etc.

We came home on Sunday and it is now Tuesday.  I went to the grocery store yesterday and had no urge to pick up wine or liquor.  I am taking it one day at a time, with a short goal in mind, like weekly sober chunks.

Today I started a 3 day detox program (that is part of a 30 day health challenge).  I am more worried about choking down gross concoctions and getting my gallon of water in than anything else.  Also, I’m not supposed to eat any solids today and then just one meal the next two days.  I know that 3 days is nothing and I can do anything for 3 days.  Right now I’m choking down Apple Cider Vinegar, water and Cayenne pepper.  Yuck!!  This should be the grossest thing I have to drink today, but I have to drink it a second time later on today!  I should lose 5-10 pounds though, have brighter skin, healthier insides, etc.

SO… here it goes.  Sober cheers with a super yucky drink!  Here’s to the rest of the week and the weekend sober.  Today is August 1st and I know that August is going to be an awesome month!!beach

Day 2

I decided after writing yesterday to dump out the remaining alcohol.  I didn’t want to plan on drinking last night– or any of the future nights.

I’ve established a pattern with my relapses.  This pattern began after my initial 92 days of sobriety that started back in February 2017.

The relapse starts with an urge.  I ride it out, waiting hours or in some cases until the next day.  I eventually say “F it” and give in to the urge.  I usually drink a couple nights in a row.  Typically, the drinking nights are not good.  I isolate and get numb.  There isn’t much fun, it’s not like I’m drinking because I am at the bar or a party.  Then I get fed up and scared of going back to daily drinking.  I resolve to be sober and dump out any alcohol that is left.  I embrace sobriety with full arms and enjoy the benefits (being fully present, sleeping soundly, waking up without the physical ailments, etc).  A couple weeks sober and the urge comes back, cycle starts all over.

I don’t understand this pattern and why I keep going back when I’m not getting any positive reinforcements and only negative consequences.  BUT… I’m not beating myself up too bad because drinking 2 nights every couple of weeks is a world better than drinking Every. Single. Night. !   I still feel like I’ve made tremendous progress.  I’m still learning and working towards full sobriety and understand that it is a work in progress.

One thing that I keep thinking is that maybe I really need to pursue a sponsor and to actively work through the 12 steps in AA.  I have the book and have studied step one.  I go to meetings, but can’t say that they’ve been overly helpful- although it is nice to connect with other women who GET it.

I also believe that meditation would help me free my drinking thoughts.  I think that meditation can be an extremely helpful tool, but I’m not sure how to make it work for me.  I hope to pursue this in the near future and hope to have success.

I am a happy person at the moment.  It is Saturday night and I have a totally clear head. We had my mother and father in law over for dinner and had meaningful conversations. Typically, I would just be antsy waiting for them to leave so that I can start drinking. How nice to not have that burden!

All in all, Day 2 was a big success!!  Yeah!!  free

 

Old Habits Don’t Die, Back to Day 1

First of all, Scout Camp was pretty amazing!  It was a little bit like a wellness retreat, well except the food.  Anthony’s first 2 classes were at the lake (AKA a big pond).  There was a nice trail nearby that went along a stream.   I spent the mornings laying by the lake, reading my book, hiking the trail, meditating by the stream.. it was great.  His last class was a REALLY long walk away.  I went on the first day, but stayed back at camp the next couple of days.  My RA caused my foot to flare up after the 2nd day and walking was tough, especially when they were walking so fast rushing to class.   Overall, it was a really fun time.  I came home on Wednesday and Anthony went up.  They come home tomorrow, I’m pretty excited to have my family all back together 🙂

Secondly, I wish I could report that things were going well here with my drinking, but honestly they aren’t.  Coming home on Wednesday, I had it in my head that I was going to drink, and I did.  I stopped at CVS on my way home to pick up a box of wine and instead left with kahlua and vodka.   I drank.. alone.. and felt like a real winner.  Then Thursday came.  I was kind of having a silent debate in my head all day.. am I going to drink tonight or not?  I have Elizabeth and William for the night.. so I really shouldn’t.. but it really sounds good.   I drank and I liked it.

I didn’t like the past two mornings waking up.  I woke up early, had a headache and body aches in general.  Yuck!  Was it worth it?

So this is where I’m at, back to drinking every night, for no good reason.  Now I’m a drunk and an overeating fatty.  Ugh!

They say to really pamper yourself in early sobriety.  Don’t make yourself do anything that you don’t have to do.  SO.. with this many day 1’s and day 2’s I’m apparently just going to never get anything accomplished, eat all the ice cream and wallow in my self pity.  My house is a mess, my gardens are overgrown with weeds and my life feels out of control, and I don’t understand WHY I keep doing this to myself.

When I was AF, I was mentally pleased with myself, enjoying daily activities and also I was sleepy SO good!  I just washed that all down the drain.

It does feel good to write this out and it gives me hope.  I have hope that I want this bad enough to not drink today or tonight.  I have faith in myself that I will relook at the 30 day solution and do my daily exercises and that I will dump out the rest of my kahlua and vodka.. because I’m not drinking tonight and there is no reason to plan on drinking in the future.  Seltzer cheers to a healthy mind, body and soul <3 100-days-of-Meditation-Day-1

Preparing for Scout Camp

I am putting my overeating issues aside for the time being.  I have bigger fish to fry (literally).

Tomorrow morning, at the crack of dawn, Anthony and I leave for scout camp!  I am slightly excited, a little nervous & apprehensive, a little happy and a little sad.  I went last year for a few days, and it really is a fun time.

The boys have classes during the day and are kept pretty busy.  The camp is pretty huge and you ride your bike most everywhere.  I remember my muscles being exhausted by the end of the first day that I was there.  I’m more out of shape this year and have put on some weight.  To top it off, I’ve barely rode my bike this summer.  I’m out of shape and out of practice!  I’m going to be one tired gal!

I’m not so worried about overeating, as meals are provided and we are only allowed a rationed amount.  The food is processed and  non-vegetarian, so I’m going to pick up some easy go-to meals at the store for me today (healthy).  I will eat mostly the camp food but occasionally something else– just in case they have a nasty meal.  Plus, I will be getting plenty of exercise so I’ll burn off the calories I’m eating.

So…. here I go!!  Totally out of my comfort zone (I am quiet, shy and a girl’s girl.. this camp will be full of boys and men!).  With any luck, I will make it out alive!

P.S.  Last year I was extremely stressed about not being able to drink for 2 nights and 3 days.  I was even worried about going through withdrawals there.  How NICE it is to not have to stress about going through withdrawals or abstaining from alcohol!

camp letter

Betsy Takes Advantage

TWO things to report on today, one is good and one is bad.

The good: I’ve been trying to set up a lunch date with a friend of mine. She texted me this morning that her live-in boyfriend broke up with her and that she still wanted to make plans but may need to change the day because he is still living at her house and she needs to leave for up north on Friday to get out of the situation and wasn’t sure what time she is leaving. The good is that I gave her 100%. I offered for her to come to my house or go to my cottage up north for however long. I also offered unlimited time with her and told her I could meet her whenever and wherever. This may not seem significant, but the old me would be very reserved with my time (I know selfish and disgusting!). I even offered to go up with her this weekend even though I’ll be away at scout camp with my son for most of next week (the old me would have thought that since I wasn’t going to be home next week, no way could I leave for the weekend). It is SO good that I am able to give myself to someone in need, instead of being so selfish with my time. This is a pleasant change in myself that I didn’t even recognize until today. I am sure that it is related to sobriety and my frame of mind.

The bad: when thinking about a weekend up north with this friend, my immediate thought was that we could easily and happily go through a bottle of wine. Most of the time in the past few weeks, if I thought about drinking, it was a fleeting thought that left quickly. This thought is lingering and I’m not sure how to handle it.

I am going out to lunch with her on Friday. The last time we went out, I told her that I had quit drinking and that it had become a problem for me (she is a work friend, so it is sometimes hard to know how much to reveal). I think that when I see her on Friday, I’m going to tell her that I’ve been going to AA meetings. She is a social worker and licensed therapist, so I think that this will help me set up a successful weekend if we go up north– which if we do isn’t going to happen until August (she declined plans for this weekend).

SO…. the gist… I have been cruising along for a couple of weeks now and things have been easy and status quo. THEN… something like this comes up and throws me off the path… a reminder that I don’t ‘Got This’ and will always have to be on my guard and that my ugly alcoholic Betsy voice will take the first opportunity given to suggest that I throw in the towel.

BLAH!!!

Family Fun Day at the Beach, 7-8-17

Pics from 2014-2016 3456It was an interesting day yesterday at the beach party. Some of the people I was with were drinking and some weren’t. My dad and his friend were drinking mixed drinks with vodka out of a cream soda bottle. He was pretty buzzed and it was weird. I would have enjoyed drinking along with him if I was drinking, but as an observer it made me kind of uncomfortable. Then my cousin’s good friend who is always at the beach was missing because he drank too much the night before without eating and was too hungover. He made his way down eventually, with a beer of course, because that’s what helps a hangover.

I really did have a good time sober. The band was good and there was good food. I enjoyed visiting with friends and family and actually mingled. In the past, going to the beach would always include large amounts of alcohol. I would get sloppy, not socialize much and pass out right when I got home. It was nice to get home and be coherent enough to enjoy the rest of the evening.

This is how it would have played out if I drank at the party yesterday:

I would have gotten too drunk and hubby would have made me leave because I would have been like a zombie.  I would have gone to bed right after getting home.  I would have woken up at 3 or 4 am and wondered if I did anything dumb.  I would have stressed about things I said or did and would try fruitlessly to remember.  I would have woken up with a headache, stomachache and feeling miserable physically and mentally.  I would have had a totally unproductive and sad Sunday (today).

Now.. how to get my dad to tone it down and maybe even go to a meeting.. He had like a 6 month period this year that his heart kept getting out of rhythm and he felt like crap and I thought he wasn’t drinking at all. I don’t know if he has a problem, I never really thought about it before (mainly because it seems like he can take it or leave it– whereas my problem was that I couldn’t leave it– I always HAD to have it). I guess I can’t, so I sit and watch. Sometimes it’s hard to not get preachy. It’s just that this way is SO much better. I see people who are letting alcohol run their lives and that is rubbish.

What a weird twist of fate, it turns out that this sober thing is actually something wonderful!  I will write back soon and let you know how it’s turning out.  I am looking forward to what the rest of the sober summer has in store for me.  It’s funny how a sober summer once seemed absolutely horrifying!

Anyways, just had to get that out, to those who would understand. I hope you all have a great sober Sunday. I am going to enjoy the day after more than 10 hours of blissful sleep (probably from too much food yesterday, must workout today!!). XO 

#alcholaddiction #alcoholic #recovery #sobriety #twelvesteps #soberliving #soberlife