Into year two

Did I really not write on my one year soberversary?!  I am so glad I finally committed to this!  So many times this year, while  in challenging situations, I thought to myself – thank god I’m not drinking or this would be so much worse.  My only regret is that I didn’t quit years ago as not drinking is no big deal once the ball is rolling.  You don’t really realize that though until you commit to sobriety.

Looking forward to to another happy, hangover-free year.

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Email to Belle – Taking stock

Merry (sober) Christmas, Belle!

This is my first sober Christmas in a looong time. I am starting to take stock of my how my life has changed in the past year since I’ve quit drinking. I am working full time now, and yet my house is cleaner than it has ever been and feels more loved – odd jobs completed, art hung on the wall, candles lit in the evening, music playing. It is amazing how long I used to put things off and dread doing everyday tasks. Playing the martyr when I would finally get to work. Now I am stepping up to the everyday-ness of life and even sometimes finding enjoyment in the mundane. The “I am taken for granted and over-worked” martyr thing still sometimes rears her ugly head around husband though. This will be something to work on in year two of sobriety. Year two. How awesome is that?!

Since being sober, I am more and more feeling the briefness of life and urgency to live it fully. Examining myself – what kind of person I am, want to be, and pushing myself to keep at a daily practice (for me it is making art). I am keenly aware of not wanting to fall back into bobbing blindly along down the stream, miserable and feigning helplessness. In the past I would try to direct my course and quit over and over again. But now I am telling myself – that was the wine, the addiction. I CAN follow through. I fucking quit drinking! And now when Wolfe tells me to give up (your art is crap, why are you wasting your time, stop fighting to do the work and get back to floating aimlessly down the stream),it is easier to say FUW.

It gets easier until it doesn’t.

283 days since my last drink.

Now it is purely habit not to drink.

My life is a bit tough right now. I am stretched so thin and know an inevitable break down will happen if I don’t make a change in the amount of stress in my life. The urge to drink has returned. The urge was almost non-existent for like…220 days prior to now…after the initial 3 weeks of quitting. Now, with the stress, the urge comes almost every time my husband opens a bottle of wine. God, I wish I could drink, I think. That wine would feel soooo good right now. I wish I could drink. Poor me.

It is only because it HAS been 280 odd days since my last drink that I can, more or less easily, tell myself – absolutely, no. I know the hell hangovers would add to my already tough life. I know I would abuse the crap out of that wine and fall into a pit of despair. Life would be really, really bad. The further away I get from my last drink, the easier it is to say to myself – I don’t drink. Though, now I understand how people relapse. Life gets tough and we don’t want to feel these bad feelings. It would feel so good to just smooth down the edges.

I picture myself sitting here in bed, 9 pm, watching tv, my fourth glass of wine beside me, having to wake up at 6am for work, knowing the wine will wake me with insomnia at 3am for over an hour, knowing tomorrow will be a shitty, shitty day and I will be a waste of a good mom. But, my edges were smoothed for a couple of hours. SO. NOT. WORTH. IT.

Happy to be sober.

Sugar’s Slave

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I am still sober. I just calculated it – 246 days since my last drink.

My no-sugar challenge went great for a while. Recently, though, my life has become super stressful and overwhelming. I am depressed and super tired all the time. I have started to abuse sugar big-time in response. Forcing down my third ice cream bar at 9pm when I am completely full is not an uncommon evening routine. Just like with alcohol, I feel out of control and can’t wait to get my hands on my “fix” when I get home from work. I sneak out to the store and hide the evidence from my husband. Just like with alcohol, I hate myself and make promises to quit.

What the fuck is wrong with me? One demon for another. And when I do quit sugar what will I substitute then? Can an addict ever be free from the insanity and deal with reality in a healthy way?

I am reading over Belle’s post on what to add in when you take out alcohol and will try to apply her wisdom to my sugar situation – substituting the food ones for something different.

Club 365

I am going for it.  Trying for one year of sobriety.  I can’t imagine ever turning back now.  Which brings me to last night’s dream.

I haven’t had a “drinking” dream in a few months so this one caught me by surprise.  In the dream, I woke up with no recollection of the night before (something that has never happened in real life) to be told by my husband that I had got really drunk.  I got SO angry at him for letting me drink.  I was in anguish and couldn’t figure out what led me to drink in the first place.  I figured out that some anonymous person (maybe Belle’s “Woolfie“) roofied (“wolfied?”) my soda water to get me drunk and sabotage my sobriety.  Weird, weird dream.

So, what does the dream mean?  Fear of screwing this whole thing up?  Worried that this is all too easy and great and rough waters ahead?  Just fear rearing it’s ugly head, I guess.  What strikes me is that when I do have a drinking dream, it is my insane reaction to it that is interesting.  My dream me completely loses her shit like someone who’s child has just been stolen.  Deep, guttural emotions pour out like it is the end of the world. I guess it comes from that insanity feeling you have when you drink and want to stop, but don’t.  And knowing how hard it is to quit again.

For now, thankfully, just a dream.

Day 180

Wow!  180 days since my last drink.  Bravo, Mama!

I need to get more sleep.  Sleep needs to be #1 on my list of summer activities.  I need to get my 3 year old to sleep through the night in his own bed and not wake me up every day at 5am to come sleep with me.  Man, children can seriously ruin your next day.  So can Netflix.  It is amazing that I used to willingly become sleep deprived by drinking.  Like having young children isn’t bad enough for exhaustion, I would add on wine in the evening that would give me 2am insomnia and next day hangover.  And what a terrible mother that made me!  No patience, snapping at the kids for any little thing, no energy to interact enough with them.

Here is to 180 days alcohol free!  I will celebrate by eating lots of fruit and veggies today going to bed early.

In an Instant

Belle over at tired of thinkingaboutdrinking emailed me today to ask how I am.  So sweet.  I’ve been at the cottage sans technology the last couple of weeks.  I checked the date, and realized I am coming up on 180 days sober!  Pretty exciting.

I have had a good few weeks.  Relaxing with my family, and being super calm and present with my kids.  My dad, however, is ill and I see the change in him this summer as the disease impacts his energy and no doubt his spirit.  Suddenly, at almost 40 years old, I am confronted with mortality.  Thinking deeply about aging (my own, my parents, my kids), and the fleetingness of life.  I bounce between sadness and gratitude, and feelings of love and loss.  Life really is so short and I take for granted that my loved ones will always be around.

I am so grateful that alcohol doesn’t have my life held in a fog anymore.  Being sober gives me “space”  to be introspective and less egocentric.  Sobriety has made me more calm and more aware of myself in my world.  My love feels bigger.  And all this great stuff, even the sad bits, happen effortlessly  just by showing up to my life without a drink.  Amazing.

I’m reading Pema Chodron’s Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears.  It’s about how our negative patterns of reacting to difficult situations (like we deserve that drink) keeps us suffering.  And how we can start to change our reactions in difficult situations.  I’m enjoying the book and finding her advice helpful.