I drank a few times and it wasn’t even enjoyable.

The first time was Mother’s Day weekend.  We were up north and going to have a bon fire with Jackie and Aunt Sandy.  I knew it would be hard to be around Jackie and not drink, she took me out for my 21st birthday for crying out loud!  I had planned on not drinking, but as we headed back to our cottage after having dinner at AS’s house, I told Anthony that I was going to get wine.  I told him that It’s not going to become a habit that it’ll be a one night deal, and it was.  I bought a bottle (not a box, wahoo!) and drank it.  I didn’t even know if I would get through it, I was 2/3 through it and it was going down slow.  It started to go down faster though and I drank it all and wanted more.

Went to bed and woke up with a headache.  While walking to the park with Willy and Jules, I felt pretty bad (physically).  As he walked Jules closer to the busy road, my heart thumped and I felt extremely anxious like I couldn’t breath.  I had a dull headache the whole day and just basically not productive.

The following Thursday I had dinner with my old friend Teresa.  We had a couple of hours to kill and then she had a school function to go to.  I ordered a drink and was proud because not only did it last over an hour, but I didn’t drink the last ¼ of it.  I drove home with zero buzz and happy to not have to worry about getting pulled over.

On Friday, the alcoholic voice in my head was nagging me.  I knew then that feeding her up north and again when I was out to dinner made her louder and more demanding.  The Anthonys were leaving for a weekend trip and I contemplated drinking.  Anthony was a real dick getting stuff packed on Thursday and Friday (he can never find any of his crap and Anthony is always pokey and doesn’t follow Ant’s packing directions).  By the time he left I was so pissed at him I wouldn’t even say goodbye. I couldn’t wait for him to be gone!  A little later, I drove to CVS and bought some captain morgan’s .  I had a few drinks after Will went to bed.  Didn’t taste great and gave me a stomachache.   I drank about ½ of the 5th.  I poured the rest out the next day.

Then I went the week without drinking.  Now we are at Memorial Day weekend.  I didn’t drink or have the urge to drink on Friday or Saturday night.  On Sunday I woke up with a horrendous sore throat.  While Anthony was productive all day I was pretty much confined to the couch.  I was sad and pissed.  I did make it to the grocery store at least– and thought it would be a good idea to buy a box of wine.  Drinking always took the edge off when I was sick and drinking last night helped my physical pain.

It wasn’t a great night.  I sat by the pond by myself getting hammered.  I came in, watched some tv with the boys and then played battleship with Willy.  It wasn’t a great game.  I was so tired of having to focus that I moved my boats so that he could win.   I wasn’t present.  I don’t remember going to bed and it was a sucky boring night!

I’m not going to pour out the rest of the box of wine.  I’m going to move it to the garage though and not touch it for awhile.

I don’t know if I can keep drinking moderately.  After drinking I haven’t had the urge to continue night after night like before.    As of right now, drinking isn’t fun and the repercussions are not worth it.

I guess as long as I am in control, unlike before, then I am ok with once in awhile caving in.  We’ll see…

#alcoholrecovery #addiction #health #relapse #moderation #alcoholaddiction #alcoholism #alcoholic

Life. Is. Good. 4-23-17

I felt the need to post an inspiring message to new members of the group I belong to.  I wanted to share it here:

(warning, insanely long post ahead)

Hey newbies!

**If you are still drinking, keep reading, listening and watching.  I joined Cafe RE a couple of weeks before quitting.  I felt like an imposter as I read, read and occasionally commented.  I was in disbelief of the happiness people were finding in their sobriety.  And the vacation photos were unreal!  Like.. people could actually stay sober while vacationing?  Who would have thunk that the ocean and the mountains were SO much more vivid while sober and not drunk or hungover!

**If you are a day or days sober, HANG in there.  It is HARD.  On my 3rd sober day, I sobbed in my husband’s arms when he got home.  NOT because it was my late mother’s birthday and I missed her– but because I was making dinner and wanted a drink SO bad (how pathetic is that??  I do know that my angel mom understood the situation and is proud of me).   Luckily with his support, I did not fill my cup, ate dinner and took a walk and felt grateful and alive for the first time in months.  It DOES get better!

**If you are a week or a few weeks sober, still HANG in there!!  Weeks 2-3 were the worst for me!  I was used to staying up late and getting up early and managing.  Suddenly I was EXHAUSTED!!!  This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.  I was like 2 weeks totally clean, I should be bouncing with energy not going to bed at 9 and still requiring a nap after work!  I was unable to see the benefits I was reaping of not drinking at that point in time.  My therapist helped me see this (if you don’t have a therapist– get one if possible– or at least a neutral person to vent to).  It seemed a that point in time, that alcohol gave me superpowers and if that’s what it took , then that’s what I should be drinking.  Ooooh, how alcohol and our alcoholic voice lies to us!!!   Hang in there, don’t give in to your voice.  You should be building a tool box by now and if you don’t know what I’m talking about then feel free to pm me.

**If you are a month or a few months sober, then I hope you are enjoying life!  This is where I’m at right now.  While I had my first sober birthday since teenage years (AND it was my 40th AND on St. Patty’s day– the biggest drinking day of the year) and my first sober vacation, I’m realizing that there are still many firsts to come.  As the firsts come and go, I’m approaching each one with less anxiety and more confidence and excitement.  I accept that I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and I am still taking it one day, one moment at a time.

I don’t know why I felt compelled to write this.  I think because if there is hope for me, then there is hope for anyone who has the desire to quit.  It took me a good 9 months from the time I realized that I had a problem and COULDN’T quite to the time that I became determined to make it through the first 3 days, which turned into a week and then more.  BTW.. I didn’t see a therapist until I was about 2 weeks sober.  So really it was listening to the podcasts and reading Cafe RE facebook posts that gave me the confidence and knowledge to quit.

My last drink was 2/11/17.  While I’m a much happier and healthy person, it isn’t always easy.  I still have tough days and tough weeks sometimes.  Is it worth it?  ALWAYS!!  Best advice from here:  No one ever woke up regretting not drinking!!  Ironically, some things that I dreaded most in the beginning are things I cherish most right now (like sober weekends– they are priceless!!!).

You can do it and you are worth it!  Happy sober Sunday 🙂

#recovery #alcoholaddiction #mentalhealth #substanceabuse #lovelifelivehappy

A Birthday Success! 3-20-17

I’m feeling very accomplished.  It is Monday and I survived Friday, St. Pat’s Day, My 40th birthday and then my birthday party on Saturday without a drink.  I knew that I didn’t want to drink– but didn’t know if I would until each night passed.

My party was laid back and small.  Most people weren’t drinking.  James and Daphne brought me a bottle of Captain Morgans (I haven’t told many people I quit).  It would have been SO easy to pour some into my punch– but I knew it wouldn’t end well.  The bottle is up in my old liquor cupboard.  I’m going to dump it, just haven’t gotten the chance yet.

I felt kind of sad after the party.  I was mourning my old friend Alcohol– who wasn’t invited.  Some of the evening was boring without him and I worried that I was a boring host.  I messaged Debbie the morning after who assured me that it was relaxed but not boring and she prefers me not oblivious drinking till I pass out.

So far it’s been 5 weeks and 2 days.  WOW!  Never could I have imagined that before.  This one day at a time stuff really works!!  🙂

I’ve also been seeing a therapist regularly.  I think that has helped my mental state.  The 2nd and 3rd week was really tough.  I felt SO tired, groggy and crabby.  It seemed like I was such a better person when I drank regularly.  She helped me to see the positives and when I came to her during week 4 she was amazed at my transformation.  I was happy and had an energy I lacked before.

I hope that I never succumb to the way of life I used to know.  I was like a prisoner who wanted to be freed but didn’t know how.  Alcohol really had a tight grip on me.  I never want to go down that road again!

I’ll keep writing, especially as I progress in my 30 day book and have writing assignments.  I haven’t read it in awhile.  This whole month has been so busy with work obligations and appointments.  It seems that I have something to do every night.  Things are going to be slower in April though and I hope to get a lot of reading done over spring break (not sure what we are doing yet or where we are going…)

Anyways, I’m at work on lunch.  Time to get back to work and get ready for my afternoon.  Ready to be done with Monday!

30 Day Solution Day 3

My Plan to Avoid Temptation:

This is hard because even though I have been sober for 3 weeks, I haven’t put myself in the position to be tempted.  Early on, I walked every night and that helped curb cravings.  I still walk a lot, but I don’t have cravings every night.

I am worried about my birthday in 2 weeks.  It is a big one, my 40th.  Debbie might come down.  I think keeping busy will be good, but I still worry that she will be a trigger.

I need to think on this….

Listen to podcast or read book

Go for a quick walk (or other form of movement/exercise)

Eat something or drink coffee/tea

Post on cafe RE

Review notes from Day 2

I think this is a good (and feasible) list!  At least for the short term.  As far as the long term goes, I am taking it one day/one moment at a time!  It seems to be working like a charm 🙂

#alcoholaddiction #alcoholkills #recovery #takingmylifeback

30 Day Solution Day 2

Vision Statement:

I am brilliant in the body and mind.  My mind is sharp and colleagues and friends look to me for help.  I am energetic and playful.  I am content where I am and optimistic for the future.

The Before Me:

I think I probably used alcohol to escape depression.  I am tired of being sick and tired.  I hate waking up everyday feeling guilt and shame.  I am tired of wondering if my health ailments are due to my drinking.  I am tired of alcohol taking me away from my family.  I am tired of worrying that my breath reeks of alcohol in the morning at work.  I am tired of over drinking to the point of not being coherent.  I am tired of thinking about my dreams and aspirations instead of following through with them.

The New Me:

I will feel great when I am thriving in society.  My energy will be high and I will be excited about life.  I will be able to accomplish personal goals, such as my fitness goals, my creative goals and I’ll also be able to organize the house and make such nice spaces (such as the spare room AKA junk room).  My family will be proud of me and I will be high on life, not on the temporary alcohol buzz.  My finances will be happier and so will my spouse.  I’m not sure how my career will change– it might not, but I will be a more competent teacher when I am sober and thriving.

#recovery #30daysolution #alcoholaddiction #addiction

Over a Week in the Books!

Wow, I made it a week!  The first 4-5 days was the worst.  I started on a Saturday.  Sunday was fine, I kept busy and didn’t think about it.  Monday was TOUGH.  It might have had something to do with it being my late mom’s birthday.  I was making dinner and craving wine (I would occasionally drink and cook– not all the time but sometimes).

Anthony got home and when he hugged me I started to cry.  He kept hugging me and kissing me and I realized that he thought I was crying because of my mom.  I was crying because I wanted a drink.  These are the things I said, “I just want a drink.   I have wine in the garage, do you think one glass would hurt? There’s only enough left for 2 glasses, so I wouldn’t be able to have more than that.  How did I let it get this bad?  How did I let it get this out of control?”   He consoled me and told me we’d take a walk after dinner.

I was emotional at dinner, but I was happy on our walk.  I felt ALIVE.  I felt like I was living for once.  When we got home, I was no longer craving wine or alcohol.  I felt happy.

The following night– or maybe it was later the same night, Anthony apologized to me.  He was sorry that he hadn’t intervened before it got so bad.  He told me that only on a couple occasions did he feel like I was out of control.  I told him that if he had tried to intervene then it would not have ended well and that this is my journey and I had to figure it out on my own.  I felt and still feel so blessed to have such a loving and caring husband.

On Tuesday I went to a meeting.  I ended up at mass instead.  I didn’t realize it until over ½ way through so I stuck it out.  It was a nice service and I left laughing at the mishap.  I haven’t been to a meeting yet, but I am seeing a therapist in a few days.

I had a bad RA flare Thursday to Friday.  Finally started to feel better Friday afternoon.  It was super nice and sunny on Saturday.  I walked a total of like 6 miles and we rode our bikes to James and Daphne’s to meet their new rescue boxers.

Since last weekend, I have lost 9 pounds.  This is a huge motivator for me.  It has also motivated me to eat as organic and vegan as possible.  I am looking forward to being in the best shape of my life in the start of my 40th decade.

I want to end this blog with the everlasting hope and happiness I am feeling in my soul.  I am finally free.  I can’t speak for tomorrow, or next month, or next year, but today I am carefree and happy.

#addiction #alcoholism #addictionrecovery #recovery #recoveryelevator #cleanliving

Learning in Progress, February 2017

Update from August 2016-February 2017— I continued to drink regularly, drinking just about every night.  Stringing two sober consecutive nights together was rare, and three was impossible.  In January 2017 I discovered a podcast called The Recovery Elevator.  By then, quitting was still heavily on my mind but I didn’t have the tools to be successful.

February 2017

With the discovery of an excellent podcast called Recovery Elevator, I am finally making progress.  I listened regularly to back episodes for a good 2-3 weeks before making the decision to quit.

I learned so much from the podcasts and am still learning.

One of the most valuable things I learned is to take one day at a time.  Up until now, thinking about quitting would cause me great anxiety.  I would think about my upcoming birthday, or long summer days and be just so completely overwhelmed with the thought of abstaining.  I learned to take it one day, or moment, at a time.  I don’t have to think about tomorrow, or next week, or my 40th birthday on the biggest party day of the year next month.  All I need to think and focus on is today.  If I can abstain today, then I am A-Ok!

Another thing I learned is that my addiction has an inner voice and it sounds like me talking.  She says things like, “I’ll just have one.”  “I can handle it tonight, and stop tomorrow.” and other horrible lies.  I still need to learn to recognize her and separate her voice from mine.  I call my inner demon voice “Betsy”.

Something else that I learned is that this is a work in progress, and will always be a work in progress.  Meetings, learning, writing, etc.  I haven’t gone to a  meeting yet, but there is a local one in 2 days and I plan on attending.  I also have a therapist lined up.  I have issues in my head, and will have more issues from recovering that I will need to deal with.  I’m happy to report that I found one that came highly recommended.  If I go to her and am not happy with her, then I will find another one.

This is only my 2nd night sober.  I think they say the first 72 hours is the worst. Yesterday and last night was ok, but today was much harder.  It was Sunday.  I always drink on Sundays, sometimes starting as early as dinnertime.   I am currently almost ready for bed and drinking sleepy time tea.  Totally looking forward to waking up sober.

I am so thankful for finding that podcast, it sure helped steer me in the right directions.  I can see by reading earlier posts that I was blind last summer to what I really needed to do.  I am looking forward to living a colorful life and being stronger for beating this!

#alcoholaddiction #recovery #soberliving #recoveryelevator #sobriety

Still no Abs 8-21-17

I still haven’t made my 3 day goal and am drinking about every night.  On a good night, I don’t start until 7 or 8.  On a bad day, I start drinking wine around 4 (which I do about once or twice a week).

Perhaps I will try to get in 3 abs days this week.  Trying not to think too hard about it, but I really would like to dramatically decrease my drinking once school starts.  It sure would help my weight dramatically!

I started the summer absolutely terrified of withdrawal complications.  I’m not really concerned about that anymore.  I don’t get any of the symptoms when I do stop, so I’m not going to let myself be paranoid about it.

In my defense, it has been a few stressful weeks (yeah I know, not really a validated excuse).  My uncle, who has been very ill and in the hospital since early July has passed away.  I’ve gone up north on the fly with the boys and am doing it again next week.  Always hard to abs up there!

I would like to make a few goals for this week:

#1– today is Layla’s birthday party at the beach.  You KNOW how it is at the beach!  I do not want to drink today.  At least that’s what I’m saying now, at 8:12 in the morning.  I’m going to try to not drink at the beach and remember how good it felt the last time to remember the ride home and to be able to be productive after a beach day.  IF I need to drink I would like to drink something really weak, like I did last time and didn’t really catch a buzz.  HOPE !!

#2– continue to work out almost everyday, even when I’m up north. I ALWAYS feel better when I’m working out and I really need to keep it up and form a solid habit before going back to work.

#3– Try to abs the best I can.  I would LOVE to have 3 abs days this week– if if they’re not consecutive– but even better if they are!

Wish me luck & success.  I will TRY to have as much willpower as I can.

#addiction #alcohol #recovery #willpower #sober

Managing Things 8-8-16

I didn’t make my 3 day abs goal.

I am ok with that.  Overall, I have cut down my drinking.  Today I start a 21 day challenge (for weight loss).  I have to work out daily and eat well.  I’m going to try to drink on as many few nights as possible.

On Wednesday morning, I am heading to Tawas with my sons.  There, I’m going to connect with my mom (as all of her things fill the cottage).  We’re going to disconnect, read more, write more, color, and spend good quality time together.

I don’t think I have ever stayed at that cottage a night without drinking.  That is very SAD.  I’m not sure how much fun it will be to get sloshed while taking care of the boys, so I will drink a little to nothing.

I am very excited today and tomorrow to focus on working out/cleaning the house/hanging out in the pool and then heading north with all of my productive things to do.

#recovery #addiction #alcoholaddiction #summer2016 #moderation

Results of the Beach Party 8-1-16

I drank at the beach yesterday, even though I was going to try to abstain.

You see, being at the beach, especially with that side of the family after my mom passed away can be dreadful.  Nothing against them, I love them all.  It just brings on a certain amount of stress.. that I can’t explain.

For the past two years, maybe even longer, I can’t remember attending a family party at the beach that I’ve not been super drunk by the end of.  Typically I don’t remember the ride home (I never drive like this, of course!) and go to bed shortly after.. or sobering up and drinking some more if it’s early enough.

So of course, all morning I’m going back and forth in my head.. do I drink or do I not drink..  I proposed to Anthony on the way there that we stop and get a 6 pack of something and share it.  He usually will drink about 2 of something and that is it.

We picked up a 6 pack of hard orange pop.  This is like beer and isn’t as strong as wine.  We stayed for about 3 ½ hours and in that time I had about 3 bottles of the hard soda.  I didn’t really ever catch a buzz and was completely sober by the time we went home.  I was really proud that I could have driven home.. I even offered!  (He drives most everywhere, which is fine with me I play the music and play on my phone).

When we got home, I cleaned up a little, watered my plants and then we took Jules up to the dog park.  How nice it was to not get home and pass out!  I actually had a productive night and was not tempted to drink once I was home (plus I was pretty much out of everything).

SO, even though I failed and did drink, I think it was ok.  If I can go to a family party, sip on alcohol without getting drunk, then I can live with that!

Tonight is Monday.  I feel like I have a lot to do today.  I have professional development all day for the next 3 days.  I’m going to try to be really productive today.  My goal is to not drink tonight.

#recovery #soberliving #alchoholaddiction