Thursday, May 12, 2016

A year and some odd months later...

Well, according to my AA app I have been sober 13.85 months...crazy, huh?!  It has really been a journey.  I really haven't been doing AA so much anymore - I'm kind of trying to find my own path.  I'm not gonna lie, I sometimes want to drink again to see if I can do it without being a raving drunken lunatic.  I miss the fun (when it was) and the comradery that comes from drinking and the relaxation...I still haven't found anything quite as great as that deep relaxation that comes after a little wine.  But, surprisingly enough when I allow myself to think, "ok, you can give it a go again if you want", I usually find my internal response to be "naw, I'm good for today"...I guess that is the just of one day at a time.

I do feel like I know myself much better know and that I am much more comfortable in my own skin.  I am able to observe my feelings more rather than trying to escape them.  Last night I went to a painting party with a bunch of girls that in a past life would have intimidated me greatly...cute, thin, rich, married...everything I am currently not.  But I found myself slightly judging them, I think based on my own insecurity, and I was able to bring it back to the present moment and recognize that my insecurity was causing my judgement, and then I could just be more present and look at these ladies for the individuals they are...I'm no sure if I would have done this a year ago.

Things that are different now from last March:

* I don't have the guilt that would come after a round of binge drinking
* I am more comfortable with myself
* I don't have the anxiety I had before
* I know myself more (for better or for worse - I realize now just how compulsive/impulsive I am)
* I have a MUCH closer connection to God
* My relationship with my mom is a lot better
* Other relationships aren't as great as I thought they were
* I don't socialize nearly as much as I did
* Probably a better mom, although I still need to work on being more present

So, my questions to you dear readers are this...

Has anyone ever stopped drinking for an extended period of time and gone back to it?  Did you pick up right where you left off?  And then on the flip side, how do you keep sober after an extended period of not drinking when that craving hits you?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

4 months and still standing

According to my AA app, today is officially 4 months even, and still no drink for me, although today I wanted some wine in the worst kind of way, and went so far as to buy a pack of cigarettes and have been chain smoking them, which I have not done in 4 months.

I have started talking to this man recently, who I am so attracted to, but is probably not the best fit for me for so many different reasons, and it has been making me feel crazy.  I've wanted to drink just to shut my mind down.  I've tried to distract myself and do other things, but it's like nothing works.  I called a girl I know from AA and talking to her helped a lot, because she is a single mom going through a lot of the same things as me.  Dating this man has made me feel like my problem isn't really drinking, but it's more symptomatic of me just being crazy...ugh.

Just thought I'd check in and let any readers know that I'm still standing...a little bit wobbly, but still standing sober.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

100 days!

I have made it 100 days!  I can't believe I've made it this far.  So many things I've been pondering lately that I will record here...

First, when will my cravings for wine or a nice cocktail stop?  It's not necessarily the feeling that I miss, but the whole lifestyle that I associate with it and the fun times (sometimes, usually in the beginning of my drinking) that I used to have.  I still sometimes fantasize about drinking.  But, I think that my history has proven that for me, drinking is best to remain a fantasy. (Read My bottoms...A recent drinking historyAs simple as that (this one is a real gem, as I wrote it D-R-U-N-K - I'm a stellar sober blogger ;), and ramblings.)  Sometimes, often times, I will get in my head and think, you're fine, you weren't that bad, you never got arrested, never had a DUI, etc...but are those really the points to which I want to sink??  Sometimes, I think, maybe I should try drinking again, so that I can know FOR SURE whether or not I have a problem.  But then, in rare moments of clarity, such as the other night, when I reread my early blog posts, I will say "Damn girl, you're crazy!!! You don't need to drink!"  Is this because I haven't truly accepted step 1 in AA (admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable)?

Next up...
Shopping the Final Frontier!  
So, in my 100 days of recovery, I have realized just how compulsive a lot of my behaviors are.  Initially after stopping drinking, I begin eating like a mad women, treating myself to whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it (quite similarly to my drinking, I would eat without abandon).  Now that I have joined Weight Watchers, I am on a much healthier path with my food, but I see that now my issue is shopping.  I am spending money (that I don't really have), on things I don't really need.  Again, it's almost like a compulsion.  I'll say to myself, "just go ahead and buy it, then you can really buckle down and look at your finances", or "you need that new shirt, it will make you feel so pretty!".  It's like there's a huge gaping wound that I used to fill with alcohol, then I filled with food, and now it's shopping.  How do I stop these compulsive behaviors?  How do I fill this hole, so that I don't have the need to drink, eat, shop, etc?  How can I just be happy with myself (whoever that may be)?

I want to be one of those bloggers who posts positive things that encourage myself and others, but I find myself using this blog as a processing tool.  What I do know after 100 days of sobriety is:
* my skin looks freaking awesome!  (no breakouts, redness and puffiness gone!)
* I don't have the massive cycles of guilt, worry and shame that I had when drinking
* I don't have to worry about the physical effects of a hangover either
* I'm a much more present mother than I was when drinking

And on that note, I'm going to stop... that right there, being a good mom, is my reason to not drink!  So in an attempt to be the positive blogger that I aspire to, I will leave you with a bit of Pinspiration...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

90 day addendum


I begrudgingly went to an AA meeting tonight, for two main reasons.  One, being, I didn't have anything else to do, and two, being ever the high achiever, I wanted to get my 90 day chip.  In typical fashion, God showed up by placing me just where I needed to be and allowing me to have yet another mini-epiphany.  I heard so many things tonight that resonated with me, especially since earlier today, I was contemplating drinking again (not in the immediate future, but kind of talking myself into it/giving myself permission to do it in the future).  Here is how I saw God:

* a young twenty-something female talking about how she first started drinking in social settings and how it helped her overcome her shyness, but then, as her friends started drinking more normally, she continued on in the same fashion (this is so totally me,  fell in love with alcohol initially as it helped me to be louder and more fun/less shy, but then when many of my "normal" friends' drinking began to wane, mine was really just getting started)

* a seventy something male who talked about being on and off the wagon and continually getting white chips...he gave the analogy of touching the same hot stove over and over, when you know what's going to happen, your going to get burnt (I feel this way about my drinking  - I may be able to drink "normally" one night, but it's the next night or the time after, when I begin my journey down the slippery slope...I think my previous ventures into sobriety as chronicled here illustrate that - get sober for a time, drink normally once, get embarrassingly shitfaced, suffer guilt and shame, rinse, repeat)

* another seventy something male who had just relapsed after 11 years of sobriety...he talked about loneliness and his 'stinking thinking' causing him to drink...his speech actually brought me to tears - that loneliness is a bitch as is the thinking - those are probably my big two triggers

Throughout all of this, I came to realize just how self-absorbed I have been.  I have been focused solely on myself, how I am different, or better than the rest of the people in AA because of the fact that I haven't had rehab, DUI, or jail time.  Instead of thinking about how different I am, and how I may not be an alcoholic, I need to be thankful that God gave me a high bottom and that I was able to realize my problem before I sank lower.

90 days musings

Well, well, well, I can officially say I have not been sober this long since I was 14 (excluding pregnancy).  Today marks day 90, which I celebrated by meeting a blind date for coffee (how recovering drinker of me).  I wish I had a good report, but there was ZERO chemistry on my part.  He was very nice, but not for me.  Dating sober is providing a whole new venue in which I can define myself.  It is SOOOOO different than alcohol to ease the awkwardness, not really sure how to define myself.

My date and I met at a local coffee shop downtown.  There was a group of drunken men standing outside (now mind you this is at 3:00 pm).  My date mentioned their drunkenness with disdain, and in my mind, I'm thinking about how fun it would be to party with them.  I know that's not a very good sober thought, but I have to say I miss it some.  I don't miss the hangovers, the next day shame and guilt, and the poor choices, but I do miss the freedom in those drunken moments.

 I still struggle with whether or not this will be a forever thing for me, and whether or not I can ever drink again in moderation.  Right now, I am choosing to abstain, and I know that there is no really good reason for me to drink alcohol.  I miss the "lifestyle"  that is associated with drinking...the parties (think summer cocktails on a lovely lawn or a beer on the beach), what I perceive to be  the sophistication of drinking (not being drunk, but drinking).  Jason Vale's book, Kick the Drink elaborates on how we have been brainwashed into buying into the culture of drinking.

  I guess what my problem boils down to is that of my identity.  I don't identify as a non-drinker yet.  I still have a stereotype of a boring tee-totaler in my head when I think of non-drinker.  I still have that drinker mentality.  When does that go away?  Does that go away?  Maybe as I find more positive things to replace the drinking, then I will be more comfortable with sobriety.  I keep reading other people mention the "pink cloud".  I think I have yet to experience that.  The drinking is gone, but some of the things that made me drink are still there...namely the loneliness.  I'm working on remedying that with trying out new hobbies, and the online dating, but have had limited success thus far.

I feel like I am in no-man's land.  I'm not a part of the drinking club, but I feel I don't really quite fit with AA (no DUI's, no intervention, no rehab, no lying, no cheating, no stealing). I feel I'm trudging along, somewhere in between happy sobriety and a drinking lifestyle...not really belonging to either camp. I guess I'll keep trekking along, trying to discover myself and find the right place for me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

87 days :)

Today is 87 days for me... I really can't believe I have made it this long without drinking!  I still feel like I am on a journey of self-discovery.  I've ventured back into the world of online dating (again) recently, and the process has made me realize how much I need to learn about myself, and how I need  to recover the things that I love.  The realization that I need to continue to work on knowing myself came from a simple question posed via email from one man asking me "what do you like to do?" While a relatively easy and innocuous question, I struggled to be able to answer it.  I realize that the past few years I have been focused on grad school and being a mom.  My main hobby consisted of drinking (sad but true).  I'm working to find the things that bring me joy and make me happy...trying to adopt healthy habits, and stay out of my head (it's very dangerous in there!).

I'm wondering if any of you had a similar process of discovering yourself in your journey to sobriety?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Nothing fits

Right now I am in a place where nothing seems to fit quite right (literally and figuratively).  Literally, as discussed in my previous post, due to my massive weight gain, and figuratively, meaning my coping mechanisms and relationships.  My therapist (and psychic - but that's a whole other blog post :) both said that this is because I am in a period of growth, where the old doesn't quite fit any more and I haven't found my new normal.

I feel as if  I'm traveling along, trying to find my way, and a place where I "fit", all the while feeling like it sure is a lonely path.  I haven't really seen any of my "friends" much recently, as happy hour invites seem to have diminished to nil.  Now, I'm not sure if that's due to the fact that I was the one doing the inviting, or if these meetings are still occurring, but it's  just that they are happening unbeknownst to me.

I've gone to AA meetings, but I just don't feel like I quite fit in there either.  I don't know if its because I feel like I'm not "as bad" as "those people", or if I'm realizing that I don't really have the greatest toolbox for meeting and mingling with people sober.  Somewhere along the way in my drinking days, I seem to have forgotten, that I actually am an introverted and reserved person.  When I was drinking, this was covered in bravado, and a false facade of outgoing loudness, because, this is what I felt I "should" be.  I'm remembering how I used to feel waaaaay back in high school before I started drinking regularly...shy, insecure, and not sure how to approach people...hell, I'm not just remembering it, I'm reliving it, right now!

Support from my family is a slightly laughable concept.  My mom, somehow has time for a myriad of activities, such as dinner groups, bridge, tennis, the gym, an odd sport called "pickle ball" (again, a topic for a whole other blog post), yet can't seem to find the time to know that I am taking my Comps Exam for my PhD this Monday, despite the fact that I've told her this repeatedly.  My dad is living in another state with his family #2, and brother is busy with his own family.

It's just so lonely...which is one of the reasons I drank...dealing with the loneliness and the sadness, and now, without a drink, I'm left here sitting with these not so fun feelings.

Well, now that I have unloaded all of this cheeriness ;) on you, I must go...studying for Comps Exam beckons.