Last Hurrah.

I guess I had my last hurrah last night. It was a good night with lots of friendly faces. I had a lot of drinks. I wasn’t counting. I don’t think I was acting like an asshole… but that’s the thing about drinking. You’re never 100% sure what a weirdo you’re being.

I digress. I shared with a few more people that they might not see me drinking next year. Do you see the “might” in there? That’s fear that I’ll fail. That’s the bargaining I started to do in my head as I told people. I even said “I’m not drinking in January but we’ll see what happens.”

I mean, I guess it’s ok to go in baby steps. But I’ve been feeling really good about my decision to quit and it’s kind of crazy that self-sabotage is already creeping in. Self sabotage has been a gremlin in my brain for most of my life. Panic mode. “You’re not strong enough for this” despite having proven time after time that I’m strong as hell.

In the spirit of “New Year’s Eve” lists, here are some things I will NOT miss about drinking:

  • Wine headaches
  • Sleeping through half the day due to physical recovery
  • Wondering what embarrassing thing I said or did last night
  • Constant heartburn
  • Making terrible decisions about driving… like…
  • Vomiting in the car while driving
  • Falling down/ unexplained bruises
  • Awful, spotty sleep
  • Grinding my teeth to the point of pain
  • Perpetual brain fog
  • Hours/ days/ weeks/ years of wasted time
  • Being unable to trust my own thoughts because they’re soaked in alcohol
  • Accepting problematic behavior from others because I feel guilty and ashamed that I am such a waste of a person

I am looking forward to getting to know myself. I haven’t known myself since my early 20s. The intensely quiet, sensitive, dreamer. The best part of myself. The INFP. The tea drinker and blanket dweller who is happiest with dog and book – either writing or reading.

I’m looking forward to exploring this. I’m a documenter so I’m sure this will result in lots of artwork and/ or songs. Maybe I’ll teach myself how to record some shit. There is equipment here. I know how to do (very) basic stuff. Or maybe I’ll finally get my business idea off the ground.

I also feel like this will make or break my marriage. Either the relationship improves because I stop sitting outside and chainsmoking and gulleting a bottle of wine every night… OR, I become more connected with my thoughts and feelings and gain some clout with clearer mind and heart.

In all aspects, I’m looking forward to some clarity.

Side note. I just had a bite of a chocolate covered gingerbread cookie and I wish I could show you what my face looks like. What a terrible combination – gingerbread and chocolate. I’ll finish it though because that’s how I roll.

The Goodbye Tour continues…

My “goodbye tour” has been less than successful. I contracted a miserable virus last week and had to bow out of several engagements. I’m bummed because I was looking forward to a last hurrah with these folks specifically and I also intended to tell them what was going on. I went out last night and was able to get some solid hang time with some of my people, informing them of my impending sobriety. I even directed a couple of folks over here in case they are so bored that they want to read the ramblings of a middle aged alcoholic with self control issues. Hi friends!

I drank wine last night. That’s been my beverage of choice for the “goodbye tour” and I think it’s because of how shitty it makes me feel the next day. I’m guessing that my subconscious is trying to make sure I am real about this.

I slept like shit. I feel crummy. I prattled at people. I am still on board to not do it anymore next month. Right? Right.

I keep trying to envision what it will look like when I am at gigs or out supporting friends. When I was 28, I spent some time in inpatient and intensive outpatient which is a story for another time. Part of my group therapy was a MISA group – dual diagnosis/ mental illness and substance abuse. I was not allowed to drink during this time. My husband had a gig and I specifically remember ordering some stupid seltzer and cranberry or something and feeling like I wanted to crawl out of my fucking skin. It was so hard being there. I sat outside and chain smoked. I think I brought my sketchbook too. Like… I always need a distraction when I’m out.

I am an introvert. Most people who know me would find this very funny. But I am. My default setting is quiet, observant, and under many blankets. Preferably with a dog. The drinking is how I cope with having to be an extrovert. I suppose I thought that in order to front a band, one needs to be an extrovert. It’s so fucking interesting to unpack this because I am still operating on assumptions I made when I was 22.

Anyway. I’m tired of thinking for now.

Happening.

Yes yes. It’s been a few minutes.

I’m going into treatment in January. My alcohol use is out of my control. I cannot do this by myself. I have told my husband and a couple of close friends. His reaction was “why don’t you just stop.” I’m not even kidding.

Friends have been supportive. I’m not sure if anyone believes I will actually go through with it. But I need to finally follow through with something in my life.

In order to start this thing, I printed out 180 journal pages from 2015 – present so I can see how often I have repeated myself about wanting to quit drinking. I’m very interested in this. So yeah. That is what is happening.

Therapy

My sleep has improved but now I’m a walking histamine. I discovered the cat had been napping in my closet, specifically in my pajama drawer. So I had to re-wash everything. I’m sure I dragged all that cat hair into the bed too. Ugh. We leave for vacation in 2 days so I’m just focusing on that.

I went back to therapy on Tuesday. It had been a couple of years but it was nice to be back. I really like my therapist. She remembered and reminded me that a lot of what I’m dealing with right now is the same as when I was there 2 years ago. She also reminded me that the previous cycle of frustration was about 2 years before that.

I have a big problem taking risks and walking toward the unknown. Fear has been driving the ship my whole life. Bravery pops up every now and then… but man, has it gotten lazy.

My therapist suggests that the frustration and resentment in my marriage is the main cause of my malaise. I agree to a point that it is a factor but I think there are several arms. She says my head and my heart are completely disconnected and we need to find a way to get them to work together.

At a high level, I know exactly what the problems are and I can tell you really self-aware and self-assured solutions. But my feelings are basically a knot that hasn’t been untied in 40 years and they kind of get involved and tangle everything up. We need to work on the flow. The flow. I picked flow as my “word of the year” a couple of years ago. It’s an important word to me. Who knew I didn’t have any?!

It’s funny because I always thought of myself as someone who was pretty emotionally sophisticated. But in actuality, my relationship with feelings is way more cerebral. I can break it down and label it and file away and it’s great. But my OWN feelings are so screwed up from shoving them all into an unlabeled box that I can’t even tell you, honestly, how I am feeling at any given moment. This was a HUGE eye opener for me.

So my “homework” is work on some art art focusing on fear, bravery, and potential.

Another Day of the Living Dead

I slept until 11am today which is SUPER early for me. What an early riser I am! This 41 year old woman. This mother. This employed person.

This isn’t good. I instructed my son to please get dressed today because his father will let him sit around in his underwear all day. I mean, he’s a kid so it doesn’t really matter. But I know how much more “normal” I feel when I force myself to get dressed. Considering his genes, I need to impart some of this wisdom to him however I can. So I said, “please get dressed. Sitting around in your underpants all day is not healthy.” My seven year old’s retort? “Sleeping all day isn’t healthy, mom.”

It felt like a smack. I said, “you’re right. Mommy’s not feeling very good lately.” And because he’s a needler, he felt the need to clarify, “mommy, I’m talking about you.” I love his personality. Oh, I know, kid. And I’m sorry your mom is such a dud.

My best way of connecting with him is by doing art projects together. I am always trying to think of something that won’e more the hell out of him. We’re now painting rocks and leaving them around the park. Then we go out to see if anyone took any. I asked him if he’d like to paint rocks with me tonight and he reluctantly said yes. Is he doing it to make me happy? Shit. How did this happen?

I know I’m depressed when my face feels like a mask. It doesn’t move. It just stays looking sullen. It doesn’t feel connected to my skull. It feels far away. I try to contort it into a friendly thing when I’m at work or if I have to interact with someone at a store. I’m an expert at this shit. I’ve been doing it for over 25 years.

I’m going back to my former therapist. She was wonderful. I just stopped because I was feeling better. I have a hard time being vulnerable in front of them. But I’m so done with this shit. I need to move past this.

Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions…

I’m really indulging in a lazy day. We had day 1 of our show last night so I went out to support. And drink wine. I got back late. Didn’t sleep again but I was able to get some rest this morning. I’ve got some work to do but it’s stuff I can do this afternoon/ evening. Nothing super critical.

The bar did not have had seltzers so I had wine. I wish I had something else because SURPRISE I feel like shit. Whatever. Moving on.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

Part of me is disappointed that I have not really accomplished much today and part of me is hi-fiving myself for some self care. I’ll do a barre video later. I’d like to spend some time making art. Making plans.

There is a pretty good chance that the company I work for will be closing its doors in the next 2-4 years. I need to make a decision on how to proceed. Do I continue in my current field which is steady and pays well or do I use this time to make some plans on how to live a more creative life?

My ideas include a book (I’m currently working on this), owning/ operating a creative space for workshops, and music. I am currently a professional singer. I am lucky in that I only take the gigs that I want because I already have a full time job. I know could pick up more gigs for extra cash but the main hurdle working artists have to figure out is fucking healthcare and I am not going to go into a political tirade right now. (Stick around though, it’s inevitable if you spend any good amount of time with me.)

My truest passion is art though. It’s where I feel the most magical. Music is a close second and it’s easier to make a few steady bucks doing it than visual art. I’m also better at singing than art. I haven’t shared either here because I’m enjoying the relative anonymity.

I’ve got some books about starting a business and I’m really good at bookkeeping. I also have a few friends who I think would be great fits for running workshops. Lots to think about.

Day 7

I’m really doing this. I’ve successfully stuck to my keto plan for 7 days now. I feel good. I feel full – almost TOO full because I’m not used to eating such rich foods. My friends said my skin looks good. I’m dealing with some fatigue and a headache today but it’s not terrible. The INSOMNIA though is making me a little nuts. I cannot fall asleep. I’ve read this is part of the process. Apparently your body gets low on serotonin and melatonin at first. I’ll be taking my trusty pill tonight in the hopes of having a full night’s sleep.

I was back at the gym today. I did a mile way faster than I did last week. I did some leg machines and some squats. Yesterday I had a crazy work day and then rehearsal so I only fit in a few free weight exercises for my arms. Better than nothing though.

I’m happy that I’m still feeling motivated. I’ll have to grab more salad fixings for the week on the way to work tomorrow. Since it’s a bit of a crazy week, I’ll have to figure out quick dinners. Yesterday I did a hard boiled egg and a shake with collagen peptides. I wound up having a late night snack of some salami and almonds.

I need to focus on fitting more veggies in. I’m definitely note eating enough. My salad is mainly lettuce and onions. I’m not a big raw veggie fan. Roasted cauliflower sand broccoli are a favorite but time is a factor this week. I have a show on Friday and we’re all putting in extra work to accommodate some last minute changes. It’s fine but I need a plan for eating on the go.

Day 4

I am successfully on Day 4 of my 21 Day Detox and honestly I feel really good and motivated. I had a killer headache this morning but that comes with the territory for a couple of days.

What does a night in the program look like for me? Well, a 20/20 marathon, knitting, and lots of unsweetened iced tea. It was a pretty good time. I had no FOMO and fought some small urges for sweet things (and wine). I did have a hard time falling asleep. I remember this happening last time. I’m hoping it will also dissipate after a few days.

Breakfast has primarily been mushroom and mozzarella omelettes. I am even allowed some roasted potatoes! It was delicious.

I forget where I saw the following idea, but it’s a hot dog on a sweet potato instead of a bun. I was pleasantly surprised that I felt like I was not missing out on a thing. With mustard and sauerkraut, it was SO satisfying. Sure, it was a pain in the ass to bake a sweet potato beforehand but going forward, I’ll probably just make one or two at a time. (I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out and sweet potatoes are beloved in my home.)

I had a yummy salad for lunch, I’ve got grilled chicken with quinoa and brussels sprouts on the agenda tonight, and some deviled egg salad if I need an occasional snack.

I’m feeling pretty stoked.

Sugar sugar

Forgive me, internet, for I have sinned. It’s been about a week since my last post.

I think the last post about envisioning my “perfect” life, loosened up some things in my head. This is not about what I’m losing but what I’m gaining.

The day after writing that post, I went to bed early and then woke up early, had some tea and did some reading. It was a dream morning. I watched the drinks for the rest of the week and did not go overboard at any time.

On Monday, I started the 21 Day Sugar Detox program and I’ve been eating well, sleeping well, not drinking, and so far so good. I’ve done the program a couple of times before but never cut out alcohol. I’m also fully aware of the whole “pink cloud” situation. But I will take whatever this is. I’ll do my best and consider it a success to see this through as best I can.

I gave myself an out for a bridal shower this weekend and one free emergency pass. We’ll see. Maybe I won’t use them, but I feel better knowing that they are there. I’m hoping to become more aware and to re-learn how to get through my day without just floating away in a sea of wine.

When I envision my perfect life, I see:

  • waking up early
  • cups of tea
  • a clean frigging house with minimal clutter
  • a more active lifestyle
  • feeling awake and motivated
  • more outdoor time
  • reading all of the books in a cozy bed
  • using my extra morning time for writing
  • having enough sleep and not oversleeping to avoid life
  • more museums and outings with our family
  • a beautiful home near a lake
  • woods on my property
  • dedicated art time

Most of these things are attainable. Waking up early requires that crazy little thing called will power that I lost somewhere along the way. With waking up early, comes several more items in the list. A clean frigging house could happen if I took the time to really declutter. I’ve been doing it piecemeal. I actually want to hire a home organizer. I’ve been dealing with being disorganized my whole life. So, the money I save on not buying 800 bottles of wine a year could easily go toward making that a reality.

We’ve been scoping out homes near lakes and I do believe I found “the one”. I feel like it won’t last and I’m trying to really motivate my husband to get on board. It’s really everything I’ve envisioned. It’s perfect. My heart will break if we don’t get it. That’s only happened a couple of times in the few years we’ve been casually looking.

Envisioning that home and it’s property full of trees and the view of the lake sounds so inspiring. A fresh start to only move what we will need. My husband has things from his childhood that he moves. I have a few special dolls and books. He has a garage full of stuff I have not even seen in our 11 years of marriage. So that will be a hurdle. But it’s do-able.

The main thing about this house is that it has a “she shed”. NOW… I HATE that term. I makes me cringe. But it’s gorgeous. A tiny little glass building that would be perfect for painting and writing. I am filled with butterflies even as I type this.

What comes to mind when you envision your perfect life?