Addicted to Day 1?

The promises of a new Day 1 is both electrifying and delicious.  The hope that follows is optimistic and promising.  The idea that I don’t have to feel like Sh#% anymore gives me goosebumps.  I reset my counter, examining the date.. looking for something significant, a sign that this time will be the last.

I’m beginning to think that I’m addicted to Day 1.

The last stretch of sobriety was perhaps the best I’ve ever had.  Almost 2 weeks and all but one day were great days.  Great meaning that I was happy, found joy in my everyday work and activities, exercised, slept well and had an overall sense of well being.

What happened?  Life happened.  I had a day that was a good day but the night was frustrating.  It was last Thursday and Anthony had to go help his parents with their home cameras, as they were heading south for 6 weeks the next day.  He was gone long past my bedtime, but I couldn’t sleep.  He was going to be going out with work friends the following night and I just felt so lonely.  The following night was the high school’s homecoming game and I wanted to go but none of my family would go with me.

I layed in bed for hours not being able to sleep and wanting to drink my sorrows away.  Miraculously, the urge to drink was gone when I woke up on Friday morning.  I didn’t feel so lonely either.  I vowed to relax and watch a chick flick, maybe walking up to see the game for a little bit.

Anthony really wanted me to go out with him and his work friends.  That was very nerve racking for me.  It would be mostly guys and I am very shy.  I really would have rather stayed home, but I didn’t want to disappoint him.  When he was urging me, I asked him if I could drink (meaning he would be the DD) and he said yes.

I had a good time, but probably would have had a better time if I didn’t drink.  All of his work friends are Indian and I am so curious about certain things and traditions but could hardly hold a conversation.  They were all very nice and probably think I’m a drunk, I feel ashamed.

Then next night was even more ridiculous.  I picked up a box of wine.  We went to the Astronomy in the Park event later than I had hoped.  We didn’t get home until after 11.  I was pretty crabby there, I just wanted to get home to my wine.  Talk about robbing me of the experience!  So.. it’s 11:30 on a Saturday night, my whole family is in bed and I’m filling my first (of many) glasses.

I drank Sunday and Monday night too, because it was there and why not?  I think my box is about gone now, or close to it.. so I will throw it away and start all over.

This time around was a valuable lesson.  I learned that I will get more from going out with new people if I don’t drink.  It may be uncomfortable at first, but I will make it through and will be able to have a meaningful conversation that I can remember.  I also learned that if I have wine (or anything else) at my house, the anticipation of drinking it will overshadow and ruin any and every experience I have beforehand.

Day 1, again.. today.  I feel oddly excited and hopeful.  I am eager to sleep well and wake up without this awful headache.

Odyssey

During my first try at sobriety I didn’t drink for over 90 days.  I didn’t know what relapse meant, and my journey was fairly shallow.

I listened to The Recovery Elevator Podcast regularly and would hear the interviewer say things to his interviewee like, “I couldn’t string more than 5 sober days together” or “I saw more day 1’s during that bout of sobriety than I can count on all digits.”  I had no idea what that meant or how that could even be possible, it made no sense to me.

Then, in the summertime, I started to go to noon AA meetings.  I heard people say things like “I’ve been sober for 10 years.  Before then, I was on & off again sober for 2 years, I came to AA but my heart wasn’t in it, I wasn’t 100% committed.”   Again, I wondered what that meant, how can you go to AA meetings and not be committed– did you go to the meetings drunk?

My journey has taken me to a place where I get it now.  I know what it’s like to not be fully committed and to have a handful of day 1’s in a month.

I don’t always understand the why.  To help look at it in a scientific fashion, I put together an alcohol and sobriety cost/benefit table.  Looking at the table, sobriety clearly is superior to drinking.

                                             Alcohol Use Cost/Benefit Analysis
Benefits of Drinking Cost of Drinking Benefits of Sobriety Cost of Sobriety
I like the fuzzy brain feeling, especially during the first drink Wake up with headache, other physical ailments, body aches, etc Sleep better Physically uncomfortable when I get urges or cravings
Not having to count days and/or think about sobriety Wake up worrying about what I said or did Wake up feeling good Social anxiety when put in certain situations
Can’t hold a conversation, even if I want to talk about something, physically unable Significantly more time for hobbies & fun activities
Money Less anxiety, generally a better feeling of well being
Increased anxiety Spend more quality time with the family
Alienation from family The ability to drive at any given moment

As I mentioned in other entries, I DO believe that one day I will be 100% AF.  I certainly don’t feel like I’m “white knuckling” it during my periods of abstinence.  I am not miserable, I am happier than ever.  It is clear though, that I’m not working my recovery– or rather my recovery is not working for me.

I will work towards my goals and keep building my toolbox.  No one said that this would be easy & I have to focus on and appreciate the journey.  I have learned & gained so much in the past 8 months and I am grateful ❤

Martini Glasses in the Sky

The long drive was boring and uneventful until we noticed all of the black smoke billowing from various buildings in the city on the other side of the river.   Then we knew, it must be multiple terrorist attacks.  As we drove by, it was apparent that society was quickly losing its cool. Deranged drivers were causing disruptions everywhere and we could see boats of all sizes nearly colliding in the river.

As time went on, we saw more destruction and it became apparent that this was the end. I looked up above the river and saw 2 martini glasses in the glowing sky.  Each cup had a green pudgy olive and one glass was empty, while the other one had liquid.  The olive that was in the empty cup said to the other olive, “I’m going to stay in here, I’m all done drinking.” The olives then realized that the world was coming to an end and that they were going to die in separate cups.  They looked at each other with such sad expressions, it was truly heart breaking.

It was a long night of sleep disruptions.  The cat wanted out sometime around 3am and was meowing loudly.  When I didn’t honor his request, he flopped down on my head.   Then I heard my son coughing and sniffling.  I waited, hoping he would fall back into a deep sleep, subsiding his cough.  I waited & waited but his cold persisted.  I got up and gave him some cold medicine.  It was around 4am by the time I got back into bed and I couldn’t sleep until around 5am.  I knew my alarm would be going off soon and tried desperately to get just a little bit of sleep.  It rudely woke me too soon, right after the olives met their demise.

I got up with enough time to get ready and out a little early to make it to an early morning work meeting.  But of course, the morning wouldn’t go smoothly.   As I was brushing my teeth, my teenager was banging on the bathroom door exclaiming loudly that dad left out a chocolate bar and that the dog ate it.  I became filled with dread thinking that I would need to give him peroxide to make him throw up and then have piles of vomit to clean up.  Luck was on my side and when I figured out how much he ate I found a toxic chocolate calculator for dogs on google and he didn’t eat enough to cause him to have a severe reaction.  Inducing vomiting was not necessary.

I was incredibly thankful to have Day 2 under my belt.  I couldn’t imagine dealing with all that nighttime and morning drama on very little sleep and hung over.  In fact, I had a pretty positive and successful day at work, despite those unavoidable obstacles that robbed me of sleep and triggered stress and anxiety.  The martini’s in my dream seem oddly significant– still working on decoding the message.

Doing well these past two days, but know that can change in a heartbeat, so I am taking it one moment at a time.  I am not drinking at the moment but a slip up is as close as the store, just 2 minutes away.

Zoe 2.0

For the first time since I’ve been an admitted addict and in recovery I feel like I am back to square 1.  This is a terrifying place to be and I’m desperate to get out.  I know I’m back to where I started because for the past week, I wake up wanting to stop, but by the time evening comes I succumb to my urges.  I’m waking up long before my alarm goes off, with fits of anxiety.  We had an end of the summer party on Saturday.  I wasn’t present and passed out early.   Then I woke up around 2:30am and made a drink (I haven’t done that in a very long time).

I was determined not to drink last night.  I read the first part of The 30 Day Sobriety Solution.  It made me want to drink.  I had about 1/3 box of wine left (about one night’s worth) and I drank it.  Now I am all out of alcohol.  I don’t plan on buying anymore, but it’s hard to predict the alcoholic mind.  I do have all of my favorite tools in my back pocket, but am taking it one moment at a time.

Alcoholism is truly the thinking disease, and that has become so clear to me. My biggest nemesis is my alcoholic mind and she knows exactly what she is doing– and she is so good at it.  But I was successful once and I can do it again, gosh darn it!

I know that if I keep trying- and building my toolbox then it will click one of these times I attempt to stop.  I had 18 days before this last relapse and really thought I had it down! What boggles my mind the most is that when I do abstain, I am so freakin’ happy!!  It’s true what you read in books and hear on podcasts, you forget just how DESPERATE you were. You get cocky and think, “See, I can stop for 20 days and be completely happy and at peace, I don’t have a problem!”  Then you buy some alcohol and drink it over a few days.  Then you buy more and before you know it you’re at the place where you can’t resist the urge to drink it night after night and you remain miserable and desperate.  I always forget that that’s not ME, saying those things, it’s my inner alcoholic, Betsy, trying to trick and take advantage of me.

image7

Well, here’s to a club soda toast to this sober moment I have and yet another day 1.  Zoe 2.0 is in the works & when all’s said and done she is going to be one amazing and strong chick ❤

Day 2

Here we go again.  Even though I had a hard time sleeping last night, today was SO much better than it’s been all week.

Had a decent amount of energy all day (even on little sleep), didn’t miss the hangover headache, focus was good at work & instead of being cranky & short fused my mood is good & I was able to laugh at annoying situations that popped up.

Still taking it one moment at a time. I’m not drinking at the moment & will try to focus on how good I feel mentally/physically.

Had a small revelation while praying during my insomnia last night. I’ve been racking my brain trying to understand the why of my journey. What does it mean? What is the purpose?

But then I realized, it’s not my job to understand or know the purpose. I just have to have faith & trust that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Perhaps that kind of thinking will lift a burden. It makes me realize that I need to explore & deepen my spirituality.

Sorry for the rambling post, it’s what’s on my mind.  I hope everyone has a safe, sober & enjoyable weekend 

Black Shroud

When you’re drinking, it’s kind of like your life is clouded with a dark shroud.  The sun is less bright, jokes are less funny, semi stressful situations seem impossibly daunting and the list goes on.

I’m not sure why I chose to do this to myself the week of going back to work.  When you work at a school, the first days of school are the most harried, always.  Why would I choose to feel exhausted, drained, brain fogged, etc, especially after the joyous 18 AF days I’ve just had?

Waking up has been the worst.  My head is killing me each morning, I can barely drag myself out of bed and even after I get ready and drive to work, it is super hard to stay focused.  Oh, and I feel like I smell funny– mainly my breath and dry mouth.  Getting up early to walk/run is absolutely out of the question, I can barely get the necessities done.

I am back to another Day 1, and am feeling rather defeated.   I am not drinking tonight, but know that it has to be taken one day at a time, so I really don’t know what will happen tomorrow.  I am reaching out in my groups and listening to Recovery Elevator during my commute.   Meetings aren’t possible this week with my schedule.   Writing this helps, which is why I do it, regardless of the repetitive Day 1 posts.

Wish me good luck and success.  I was so happy and excited to have 18 days, and I felt mentally and physically great.   I don’t want to go through each day shaded with a black shroud, I want to be happy and free from this devil’s grip ❤

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 ❤

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…

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.  ❤ journey

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 ❤ 100-days-of-Meditation-Day-1