Sunday Runday Funday Wonderful Munday

Ahhhhhh… sweet sunny Sunday morning 🙂  We had a bit of a snowstorm yesterday– the first of the year.  We got about 5 inches or so, so everything outside is covered, and white and peaceful.  The sun is shining brightly and it is a very brisk 1 degree at the moment.

It’s been a pretty great week/weekend.  We are leaving for Florida on Wednesday and I spent the first part of the week totally stressed out.  My kids were sick and both stayed home on Monday and my oldest also stayed home on Tuesday.  This was extremely stressful since the oldest has finals this week and I was already stressing about him missing 3 days for our trip.  Plus, I had a lot of things to wrap up for work including 3 IEPs last week, assessments and report cards, and sub plans for 3 days.  I didn’t even want to think about Florida– anytime anyone talked about it, it put me in a sour mood and I vowed never to plan a trip again unless it coincided with one of the breaks.  By Friday I was feeling a ton better.  My IEPs were done and filed, testing was all done, most of my report cards were done and my sub plans were complete.  I only have one more day of work until we leave and if something unforeseen happens like a snow day– everything is all ready for the sub.

The only disappointment this weekend is that I missed an intro to Buddhism, Zen and Meditation class at the Dharma temple.  Going there is on my bucket list and I thought that this class would be a good opportunity.  It’s like 30 miles away though, and there was just way too much snow.  It would have taken me around 2 hours to get there.  So I skipped it.  They offer the class every couple of months though, so I do want to go to the next one.  In the meantime, I’d like to go to the Sunday service there.  I didn’t go today, because my youngest had a sleepover last night and next Sunday I will be in Florida.  Maybe the next Sunday.

The sleepover last night was fun.  The boys played the board game LIFE, and Minecraft and just acted like lunatics.  One of the boys had to leave around 8am for church and Sunday school.  It was a little bit of a bummer to have to set my alarm, but I was so grateful for my sobriety and being able to get up bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Hubs got up with me and we made waffles for the boys.

It made me think of a time years ago that I’m not so proud of.  My oldest had a friend over and my best friend came down from up north for the night.  We were drinking (she’s not a huge drinker–but this wasn’t long after my mom died and I was annihilated).  My son’s friend felt sick around midnight and wanted to go home.  I’m not sure if he called his mom or if I did, but I can’t imagine what I looked and sounded like when she picked him up.  I’m not sure that he’s ever been back.  I have always felt very guilty about this.  He was a friend from the town we used to live in, so my son doesn’t see him at school or have much opportunity to talk to him–which might be partially why he hasn’t been back. But I’m guessing my behavior has something to do with it as well.  I made a mental note to add his mother to my amends list.

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King day and we have the day off of school.   I’m planning on getting a good workout in, getting my nails done and doing a few other preparations for our trip (we leave Wednesday morning).  Tomorrow night my sisters and niece have tickets to dinner with a psychic.  She is a popular local psychic.  My only hope is that my mom shows up to dinner and this psychic can put our mind at ease.  My hubby thinks that psychic are utterly ridiculous and a total sham. I don’t know how we can have such different thoughts on this topic.  Other than this we pretty much share the same values and beliefs.  Maybe if it was his mama in heaven he would feel different.  I kind of think not though.

Today is going to be a nice day.  I’m going to put on about 6 layers and take my dog on a walk. It probably will be pretty short because I don’t think any of the sidewalks are cleared and it’s probably going to take a lot more energy to trudge through the snow.  That’s ok– I did a little more than 3 miles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday so I need less than a mile to complete my goal of 10 miles this week.  I’ve been smashing this goal!  I have 11 more days of January and already have almost 30 miles logged.  My monthly goal is 40, I got this!  Other than that you can find me hanging out with hubs and doing some good relaxing today 🙂  We had our fireplaces converted to gas in the fall and we are fully taking advantage of them this weekend!  I think I’m actually going to miss winter, come spring.  Cozy drinks and games by the fire have been so nice!

I’m feeling a little sad about dropping my dog off at the kennel before work on Tuesday morning.  He goes there for daycare once a week and is always excited to go, but they have cameras that you can use to check in on your pet. Towards the end of the day he usually seems like he’s ready to go and often waits by the exit gate.  He is not going to like spending 6 nights there 😦   I’ve felt so bonded with him lately, with our frequent run/walks, which we both enjoy so much.  I wish I had a friend who could stay at the house and watch him.  Oh well, at least he’ll have lots of dog friends to play with.

Well…  I think that’s it for my update.  I have been pretty happy and optimistic this month.  I think a big part of it is that self-care piece.  I’m working out, meditating (for awhile I was doing it daily– I’ve let that slip a bit- but still try to do it at least every day or 2), and making a conscious effort to meet my goals.  I’ve thought about buying wine a few times, and there just isn’t any benefit that I can see at that moment– so it really isn’t even an internal argument.  It’s just like, “um, no thank you, no need or want for that!”  So that has been a blessing.  Staying sober in Florida should be ok.  My sister said she’s not planning on drinking at all.  Even if she deviates from that plan, the last sober vacation at her house I stayed sober even though she occasionally drank wine so I think I’ll be ok.  I have too many miles to cover in Florida to be drunk or hungover 🙂

Happy Sunday Everybody ❤

Rat in a Cage

Another busy week!  Up to day 16 and feeling really happy about it.  I had an urge on Wednesday to stop and get wine.

Wednesdays can be tough.  My oldest has lifeguard lessons in a city almost an hour southeast of us.  My hubby is taking the class with him, so he takes him, but he is coming from work in Monroe (about an hour south of where we live) so I have to rush home, figure dinner and leave to meet him about 30 minutes south.  Consequently, after my work day is done I can look forward to almost 2 hours in the car (including my commute home).  Then, just like every other day, it feels like a rat race to get everything done to prepare for the next day.

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I was on the way home from dropping him off when Betsy started yipping in my ear.  I humored her for a minute, thinking that it sounded good.  But then she started to sound like a sick duck.

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This duck is how Betsy sounded.

And I DIDN’T listen to that sick yapper– you know why?

I have a new Garmin fitness watch and it has helped me get up early this week and run/walk before work.  It felt really good to get back on track.  I ran/walked Sun-Mon-Tues so I took the morning of Wednesday off.  So I KNEW I HAD to get up early on Thursday to workout.  That wasn’t going to happen with a wine hangover.  I didn’t WANT a hangover.  I didn’t WANT to turn back my counter.  I didn’t WANT to tune my youngest out and ignore him counting the minutes until his bedtime.  I didn’t WANT to stay up too late and sleep poorly.  So, no Betsy.. sorry, it does NOT sound like a good idea, not at all.

I saw my therapist yesterday and updated her on my progress, including the story above.  She then told me about the Rat Park Study.  It was fascinating to me.

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Basically (and I haven’t had a good chance to check all the facts, so I apologize in advance if any of the info below is not accurate), in the study, rats isolated in a small cage with no stimuli chose to drink drugged water consistently over regular water.  Rats in the “Rat Park” (AKA a HUGE cage with other rats, various toys, room for mating, etc) chose regular water over the drugged water.  Interestingly, rats who had been isolated and drinking the drugged water stopped drinking the drugs when moved to the Rat Park, and began drinking the regular water.

I’m a rat and I have the choice.

I can stay in the tiny cage and spend my days drinking the drugs and shutting out others– OR I can live in the Rat Park.  I can get up early to go out into the world, enjoy the peace, expand my lungs, strengthen my muscles and go to sleep satisfied that my dog is happy and exercised.

I can laugh with my kids at night, turn on a good movie, zone and enjoy popcorn and m&m’s OR I can hang out by myself with my drink and my headphones, not feeling anything.

I can rush home early from a family get together– all because I want to drink– and I don’t want to drink and drive, so I sit at home– alone.  OR I can stay as late as I want, holding a conversation because I’m 100% coherent and can drive home just fine.

I can brush my teeth before bed, read my study bible– or romance novel and think deep thoughts & set the alarm early knowing that I will wake up clear headed and refreshed, ready to work my muscles.  OR I can poison myself well into the night and wake up with an awful headache, agonizing general pains all over and enough guilt and shame to fill a 40 yard dumpster– completely and miserable exhausted.

I am so lucky.  I am not a rat in an experiment.  I have the choice and will always have the choice of which cage to spend my days in.  I can escape from life or live life.

Which one will you choose?

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Lemonade

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Day from hell, from well before sun up to long after sun down.  OK, none of my family was involved in a major accident AND we are still alive, so it wasn’t THAT bad…  plus, we didn’t get fired from our jobs today, which is another bonus (maybe?).

Here’s the day in nutshell:

–Woke up super groggy–probably due taking the 24 hour antihistamine before bed in hopes of clearing up some of my mucous (after 4 weeks this damn cold is going strong)

–Teenager woke up super groggy also and was moving slower than sludge.  ZERO sense of urgency when I tell him we have 15 minutes and he wants to spend 12 minutes eating cereal

–Finally left the house– about 7 minutes later than planned, thanks to having to change my shirt to accommodate a recent weight gain and my slow teenager

–Sat in traffic for a LONG time because they closed lanes to fix potholes during rush hour, got to work 30 minutes later than usual– had to hustle to get ready for the morning groups

–2 minutes before the bell rang I got called to sub for a 4th grade classroom.  All. Day. Long.  Any work that I had planned on accomplishing today would have to be put off.  This gave me exactly 45 seconds to review the sub plans before the bell rang

— Lunchtime consisted of being on hold, getting transferred to different people and yelling at the medical supply company for the second day in a row.  I just want TEST STRIPS for my diabetic son.  I’m not asking for psychedelic drugs.  I don’t know why it’s been 10 days and they STILL haven’t been able to obtain an Rx from his endocrinologist.  I had to yell, beg and beg.. by this point he is almost out, and it’s kind of important for him to test his blood sugar multiple times a day..

–Rushed home, marathon made lunches, supervised homework, took care of animals, etc in time to leave for the God and Me Scout class with my youngest

–Traffic… again…  Lots and lots….

–The class was ok.  I enjoy it but the teacher and her son are very annoying.  That sounds SO mean.  He constantly interrupts her and appears to TRY to test her limits and she is overly fake nice. It was just me and Will and her and him tonight.  It’ll be better next time with another boy and mom–but it was exhausting watching this mom and son mentally battle each other during the whole class

–Stopped at BK on the way home.  STUFFED my face.  Oh yeah, and today is fat Tuesday and a coworker always brings Paczkis straight from Hamtramck.  Wasn’t planning on indulging, but after getting called to 4th grade I had 1/2 while they were in music.   Feeling fat on this fat Tuesday 😦

Finally got home at 8 pm.  Thank God tomorrow is a new day!

Today is my late mom’s birthday.  If there is any lemonade to be made from today’s lemons, then maybe it’s the fact that I had zero time to think and be sad about her today.

Last year on this day, it was my 3rd sober day.  My FIRST 3rd sober day in like 10 years.  When hubby got home, I was in the kitchen making dinner.  I had some wine left in the garage and wanted it SO badly, it hurt.  In fact, when he got home, he hugged me and I started to sob.  He held me tighter and he didn’t question it.  He thought I was crying because it was my mom’s birthday.  I had to tell him that I was upset because I wanted some wine SO bad.  He talked me out of it and we went for a walk.  I will never forget that day– it was such a sad thing to me (that I was crying over WINE and not my mom..)

That was my first attempt at sobriety and it lasted for 93 days.  I read a quote tonight that pretty much sums up the past year:

“When you start doubting yourself, remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.”  — unknown

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So as I say goodbye to this annoying AF day, I am happy to acknowledge how far I’ve come.  I mean come on, after a day like today I am not crying about not drinking.  I’m feeling the annoyances of the day and hoping for a better tomorrow, without the hangover ❤

Rest in Heaven mama ❤ ❤

 

 

 

Christmas 2017, a Wrap… Yet?

Merry Christmas morning!

This is a tough day for many. Whether you are missing someone who is no longer here, overwhelmed by family obligations or just stressed with the expectations that come with this time of the year, don’t forget to Just Breathe.

I will be needing to take this advice throughout the day. I was up late playing Santa and woken up at 5:30am by a very excited littleboy. It will be a long day at the inlaws today and I’m likely to get tired and irritable later.

I am wishing you all a stress free sober day. If you get tempted, remember to follow the drink and think about how awesome your wake up will be tomorrow if you don’t drink. Reach out if you need to.Intherooms.com is an awesome place to find online meetings if you can’t make it to a live on today.

Above all, if you mess up, get up. Forgive yourself and be kind. We have ALL made mistakes, it is how we learn. Keep moving forward and don’t give up!!

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PAWS: Post Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

PAWS: In contrast to acute withdrawal, symptoms of PAWS generally occur 2 months or more after drug cessation and are primarily psychological in nature, affecting a person’s mood, sleep patterns, and response to stress. The symptoms of PAWS generally last for several months in people recovering from addiction, though they can disappear in a matter of weeks or, in rare cases, persist for a year or more.

The term was created to describe the cluster of ongoing withdrawal symptoms, which are largely psychological and mood-related, that can continue after acute withdrawal symptoms have gone away. Although post-acute withdrawal rarely involves aches and pains, nausea, cramping, headaches, or other physical symptoms, it can be just as intense as acute withdrawal and still puts a person at risk of relapse, as they may return to drug use in an attempt to stop the discomfort.

(https://drugabuse.com/library/post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome)

It is Sunday morning and the beginning of Day 19 for me.  I am not so impressed with my 19 days of sobriety– I’ve been here before.  It is around this time that Betsy starts to get really loud.  She starts to say things like, “This is stupid.  What are you trying to prove?  You don’t have a problem, you just had two great happy weeks alcohol free!  What’s a little wine going to hurt?  You deserve this.  I know they say you can’t moderate, but that’s only for those with a problem.  Are you really going to go through the rest of your life without drinking? That’s stupid! There’s no point.”  and so on.

This has been my cycle since May, about 6 months now.  I quit, dump my alcohol, resolve to do better and start counting the days.  For a week or two weeks, I am in a good place.  I’m happy to be AF.  After 2-3 weeks, Betsy starts talking.   They say a craving lasts 20 minutes, so I wait 20 minutes– but she’s still yapping.  I go to bed and wake up happy that I didn’t drink the night before.  However, something throughout the day will trigger Betsy and she starts jabbering relentlessly.  She pipes up the most vulnerable moments, even if I don’t realize that the moments are testy.   For each consideration I silently give, her tone gets louder and more aggressive.  Eventually after a day or two of Betsy’s initial persuading, I give in and she wins.

Although I’ve heard the term PAWS before, I didn’t realize that this is more than likely why I’ve failed after 2-3 weeks.  As my brain chemistry is still returning to normal, parts of my brain are panicking and giving me signals that I need or want alcohol.  Knowledge is power.  Now I know that when I get an urge, it’s not the same as a craving.  It’s not likely to go away after 20 minutes, but likely to stick around for 58-72 hours.

When I first quit drinking in February 2017, I didn’t drink for over 90 days.  Week 1 was really hard, week 2 was easier, but I think weeks 3 and 4 were the hardest.  I was tired and irritable and questioned my sobriety multiple times a day.  I was exhausted and told my therapist that there is no point, since I wasn’t feeling exceptional like I thought I should be.  Why not drink vodka if it makes me feel so much more energetic and happy?  I think if I hadn’t had this conversation with her, I probably would have given up. She helped me see things for what they really were (although she was not an addiction therapist and didn’t mention PAWS). In retrospect I think it was PAWS rearing its ugly head.  I remember things really looking up and life being really good after week 4 four.

Why rehash?   As I’m heading into week 3, I’m realizing that this may be a difficult week to stay sober.  Even though I’ve had 19 overall good and easy AF days (I’ve not really craved very often), this could be the breaking point.

I. Don’t. Want. Another. Day 1.

I’m not going to do it.  This could be a miserable week, but I won’t give in to my inner alcoholic.  There are much bigger things than PAWS, than weeks 3 or weeks 4 or 5.   So, NO Betsy.  I DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE.