Monday, January 15, 2018

15

Day 15 - I've been posting the number of days I've not drank, once the day is done and over with, but today I needed an extra boost.  My weekend was a little trying, given my husband having a hard time of trying to support me this time.  Anyway, enough of that, 15 is a good number.  And besides, today is Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, a great man to remember and look up to.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Battle

My husband is a great guy.  He's put up with my antics, quirks, over assertiveness, etc., for a long time.  For so many years, he put up with some heavy duty dramas in my alcohol issues/problems.  While there have been plenty of times he was frustrated beyond words, he never gave up on me.  So it's difficult, now I am not drinking (although I've been here a few times in the past 3 years) for him to understand I mean it this time.  He knows it's the right thing for me to do, but he's afraid.  He's worried I'll change, which is true.  What he really means, is I'll change to where I don't want to be with him anymore.  There is some validity in that thought, but I love him enough to believe that won't be the case.  I'm hoping in my example, he'll join me in the sober life, but I'm not expecting him to.  For now, I can't go to bars and/or social events, watching others drink while I twiddle my thumbs.  So I've told him to go alone, with his friends and don't worry about me for now.  What is hard about this, is we've always done everything TOGETHER.  He's one of those husbands who wants me to be with me all the time, do everything together, all the time.  I've never minded this at all. My family and friends all know he part of the package deal when it comes to inviting me to places (of course, I've done the all girl things without him, bachelorette parties, baby showers, etc., but if he could come he would).  My husband is an only child, born in upstate New York, and he has no family here in California, except our three children and his mom.  He does have a few friends outside of work, but he always wants me to be with him when he hangs out with them.  

This being the football playoffs before super bowl, it's all about watching the game and drinking beer.  I can't sit around and be part of this, because I know I'll waiver.  Especially since my husband thinks I can handle a few beers with no problem.  He thinks I've come a long way in turning around my behavior with drinking.  Yes, to a degree I've drank less irresponsibly in the last couple of years, but I still over-do it at times.  My husband thinks "it's okay" as it only happened a handful of times, but who is he kidding?  I've asked him to please understand, and to not be afraid about what I'm doing.  He said, "I just don't want you to be sad and down."  And it hit me, while I feel confident and strong about not drinking this time, I've not shown him that side of me.  Somehow, I need to figure how to balance this all out.

And wouldn't you know it, the financial blog I read, The Simple Dollar, had this post by Trent Hamm, which hit home for me again in regards to what I'm dealing with on this sober path:

Avoid dependence and vices.

When you rely on a substance to help you manage the challenges of day to day life, you’re giving up a lot of your personal freedom for momentary peace of mind. The resources – time, money, energy, health – you give to that vice make your problem worse, and all you get in return is a few fleeting moments of an altered state. It’s an exchange that simply isn’t worth it.
One of the single most powerful steps you can take toward escaping the poverty trap is to simply eliminate your dependence on any vices – alcohol, cigarettes, opioids, marijuana, other drugs, anything. If you consume something that isn’t necessary to continue your life and do so as a matter of habit, it is taking you away from where you want to be in life because of the resources it consumes. Not only that, vices typically alter your mental state, causing you to make poor decisions while under the influence of that vice.
It can be very hard to break away from an addiction, but one thing you can do that helps is to start building new relationships in your life and, at the same time, start de-emphasizing relationships with people who share that vice. When you spend time with people who have a particular vice, you’re often drawn to share in it; when you spend time with people who do not have that vice, you’re less incentivized to continue, not just because of the social aspect, but because of the patterns you observe.
If you find yourself indulging in vices when alone, seek help. Talk to a medical professional and do whatever it takes to break your personal connection to that vice.

The part where Trent writes, "start de-emphasizing relationships with people who share the vice." hit me hard between the eyes.  If my husband had read this, he for sure would be freakin' out.  No wonder my husband is so fearful.

I have to hold on to faith everything will work out for the best.  I have to.

Friday, January 12, 2018

This Time

Happy Friday Everyone!

I first tried to stop drinking in April of 2015 after a particularly bad night of drinking, where there was drama.  I was so ashamed of my behavior, I started a sub-journal on my drinking problem.  I vowed to quit right then and there.  Didn't happen.

Then I tried to stop drinking again, January of 2016, I made it to super bowl Sunday.  At that time, I was in such despair, because while I knew I needed to stop drinking, I didn't want to.  I fought everyday in January of 2016 to NOT drink.  It was exhausting.  When January was over, I felt like I had accomplished the biggest goal ever (how sad to write this).  So when super bowl Sunday rolled around, I just couldn't hold on any longer.  I gave in.  Needless to say, I had the worse hangover ever the following day.

I didn't jump right back into my daily drinking, I managed to keep my drinking to 10 days or less during the next few months, but then summer came, and....

So I've been trying to stop drinking for almost three years now and this time, I think I'm finally at the turning point of never going backwards again.

This time, I'm not fighting myself.  This time, I'm not in despair about giving up alcohol.  This time, I really want the freedom of not drinking ever.

This time, I'm going to do it!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

10

Ten days down.  The days are adding up fast!

Last night I woke at 1:30 a.m., and all I kept thinking was "why"?  Why do I want to drink?  At first, I kept telling myself because it brings pleasure, which is true to a degree, the first two glasses, yes.  Of course, the problem begins when it becomes 3, 4, 5 glasses, etc.  But why do I keep swaying to "why"?  I know my brain chemistry is all messed up from drinking heavy for years, and I have to have faith, with time, my brain will adjust.  And from all I've read and heard, this is a truth.  But I'm stuck on the "why".

The "why" matters, I know.  But, I won't worry about "why".  I only need to focus on the "how" for now.  With more sober time, I think I'll get closer to the "why" and maybe this will open even more enlightenment for me, maybe.  If it doesn't, well, that's not the end of the world, is it?

Here's to day 11!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Relapse

I've been thinking on how I make sure, this time, not to relapse.  So I've been searching and reading blogs in particular to the relapse issue and I found on "taking a new path" blog, from January 2014, the following:

“What do we say to the God of wine?” Not today.”


‘Relapse is not uncommon in early recovery because individuals are learning what changes they must make to live a sober life. The relapse can be a learning experience in how to develop better coping skills and get through difficult experiences without the use of alcohol or drugs.’

And this resonated with me, because the lapse after my birthday has been of a different vein.  I have learned how to better cope with "not" drinking.  I know it's possible to have fun, relax, and cope without drinking at all, but there is still the draw of the initial feeling of a glass of wine.  And I find I want that when I am feeling happy and content.  Further reading on this subject, says this is not unusual at all.  While I am very motivated and determined not to drink, I know this draw will happen eventually.   

I realized, for myself, when I was drinking during my thirties and up to my mid-forties, I didn't think (or rather, I didn't feel) I had a problem with alcohol.  Sure I drank a lot.  I drank on weekends with friends, on vacation and holidays, at special occasions, etc.  And yes, there were plenty of times I drank way too much, did stupid things and had hangovers, etc.  But I didn't feel bad about any of it.  It was about 46 or so, when I changed drinking to a daily habit, and I changed my choice of alcohol to wine.  Like so many, it became a crutch.  Then it became a burden.  And then it became something I could not control (really, I hadn't controlled it prior, but as I wrote, I wasn't concerned).  

As I am in a good frame of mind these days, and all the fun and games have subsided from the holidays, I feel secure in holding strong; I know I need to be better prepared for the sneaking, "just a couple glasses of wine" talk in my head.  It will come, BUT it doesn't mean I have to give up.

Not this time!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Rainy Days

I love rainy days!  Not so much when I have to drive into work by 7 a.m.  Southern California so needs the rain, and as I'm in a very good place with my mind set these days, I choose to enjoy the wet, cold rain driving in this morning.  It wasn't so bad. 

Now if only my umbrella wouldn't have malfunctioned getting out of the car, the morning would have been almost perfect! 

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, January 8, 2018

7

Day 7 completed as planned!  On day 8 now and feeling very well.  As I wrote on Day 1, my short term goal is to see the numbers grow, and they are!

I'm in a complete different frame of mind this time around, as I'm not feeling as I lost anything by not drinking.  I pray this frame of mind last a very long time, but if it doesn't, I have wonderful advice from many great bloggers which I will take!

Happy Monday!