Day 18, 2020

I’ve only been to one meeting this week. I went on Monday and the rest of the week have been exhausted from work. I’ve been very very tired this week. I blame hormones. I have still not had a drink though. I did have a little weed on the past couple of nights to help me sleep. I have a card. It’s legal. And I’ve never been much of a pothead. Alcohol was always my problem.

That being said, I wanted to come clean about it and to be completely honest. So, here are some thoughts I have about it. My goal was to become free from alcohol. Alcohol turns me into a selfish beast who cannot stop until she literally passes out. Alcohol is the demon who convinces me that I am better with it than without it. Alcohol is the thing that says it is fine to drive home even if you have to close one eye to not see double. It tells me it’s fine to puke in a bag on my lap. Alcohol always thinks I should have just one more. Alcohol has seen me sleep on floors. Alcohol makes me flirt when I look like the trash heap.

Weed was something I’ve dabbled in throughout my adulthood. Usually I would pass it up. It was never a big deal to me. I got a card because I figured it would help me sleep and it has been helpful. I also have a little in the evening to help me relax. Weed helps me concentrate on whatever I’m working on. It does, however, make me want to eat all of the things. I’m going to keep my eye on it though to see if it becomes a replacement.

One other thing is that I have been smoking less. I haven’t been sitting outside all night and chain smoking. I go out about 2 times and have one or two cigarettes. I mean. That’s an improvement, right?

Anyway…

Day 16, 2020

I’ve been really nice to myself since quitting drinking. For instance, I’ve gone through several bags (bagS) of potato chips in two weeks. The big bags. And several containers of sour cream. And my favorite cookies. Two boxes. And some donuts at work. And a little ice cream. And I made popcorn a few times. I even went to Burger King the other day for the first time in a long time to try the impossible burger. It was good.

As it turns out, I chose to start at a very hunger-inducing half of the month. Talk about picking the wrong week to stop drinking. From what I understand, sugar cravings get a little crazy from the lack of alcohol. In any case, a recipe for overindulgence.

Today, I’m wearing a favorite lounge outfit and it’s cutting off circulation in my fat middle. I’ve logged back in to Weight Watchers, who I’ve been donating to for several months, and so far have had a salad with chicken and several cups of tea. Tonight, I will have a chicken burger with some vegetables for dinner. I’ll probably have a snack too – as long as it stays within my “points”. I’m actually terrified to weigh myself. And I really want another box of cookies.

Part of quitting drinking was to get a handle on my weight. Drinking like 600+ calories a night has not helped my physique or skin. Filling those 600 missing calories out with junk food is not going to make things better.

So fingers crossed that I can get this nonsense under control.

Day 11, 2020

I have not had much to write about. Things are pretty status quo over here and that’s good. Boring is good. I think I thrived on chaos long enough.

Things I have noticed so far:

    My head is more clear.
    I don’t grind my teeth as much (anxiety not as bad)

    • I stick to staying at home or going to meetings though. Have been avoiding anxiety inducing things on purpose.

    I’m a little calmer, meaning not as moody. (Not something I expected this early on.)

    I’m going to bed earlier.
    I have REALLY messed up dreams. Excruciatingly detailed and just fucking odd.
    I have found places and people who are on my team and that means so much.
    I think I can do this.

I’be been wrestling with the idea of sobriety for several years. My life and behavior have had peaks and valleys and the last couple of valleys were deep. I’ve known that something had to be done for the past 5 years, I guess. When it was simply not cute to be trashed anymore. That crazy/ hazy look does not translate into your late 30s. It just covers you in a giant red flag.

In the past year, an acquaintance posted on Facebook that she quit drinking 4 years ago and her life was much “gentler”. That clicked it in for me. THAT is what I want. Gentleness. Calm. Peace. I was under the impression that I had wine to calm me down, but it was just numbing me out and making me feel more anxious the next day. So, I’d drink to get rid of that. You get the picture.

This gentleness has called out to me. We’ve been thinking of moving west for a couple years now. I want to be near more trees and some water. Gentle. I want to have a view of nature rather than apartment buildings. Gentle. I want to hear birds rather than sirens. Gentle. I want to drink tea rather than wine. Gentle. I want to make the coziest retreat of my home. Gentle. For a while, I pictured how nice it would be to drink wine out on a patio surrounded by trees. But now I realize it’s the trees I want. I mean, I want the wine, but the trees are even better without it.

What am I even talking about?

Tonight we are meeting one of my best friends who is doing a “dry January” and going bowling with the kids. I’ve been looking forward to this all week. Tomorrow, I’ll do a meeting and then a sports ball party that I promised to pop by. I have a seltzer buddy who will be there.

Then back to the grind.

Thoughts before bed

I had a meeting about a music thing tonight. We were supposed to meet in the town we usually play in. The town where much of my damage has been done. I had MAJOR anxiety about going there. Envisioning the drive had me all worked up. It was so weird. We were going to meet at someone’s house. Not at a bar. Still, I had to listen to my feelings. Blech. Feelings.

Thankfully, my friends and counterparts are kind and supportive people who met me at a diner closer to my house. I’m very lucky. I explained the situation even though I can’t really explain it and they understood. No questions asked.

The good news is that it was very productive. It was nice to see my friends and I didn’t feel weird at all. Same stupid jokes. Easy conversation. Thank GOD. Thinking about it now, I was probably nervous about interacting without booze. Wondering if I could do it. If I’d be able to converse. Lo and behold, I was.

I went to a women’s meeting tonight. I wasn’t as comfortable at this one. Possibly because of my building anxiety about my music meeting. I was a bit distracted. I saw a few friendly faces and got a couple of hugs.

I don’t like to talk about this much but I have this mom complex. I have a mom, thankfully, and she is a loving person, but we do not really understand one another. We are very different and our relationship is complicated. It was very contentious in my teens and early twenties and while we get along well now, I’m not sure it fully healed. There’s been this barrier between us since I was a teenager that keeps us from being close. Too much static in the connection. I feel I did not meet her expectations – I’m not Catholic enough (at all); I’m not a good housekeeper (I have a good job); I am not home enough (pursuing my passion in the hopes that that inspires my kid); I don’t decorate my house (I hate frilly curtains but I love piles of books and yarn and art supplies); I don’t really cook or bake; I have strong opinions that I don’t mind voicing; and I mentioned the church thing, right? I have never really let my guard down. I’m generally proud of who I am, but I’m not sure if she is.

Anyway, not to delve too much into this because I don’t want to sound ungrateful or be hurtful… but having older women accept me warmly when I’m in such an honest state has been very meaningful to me.

I may delete that part later but it needed to come out for a minute.

Day 7, 2020

I’ve never gotten this far. This is kind of crazy. In 20 years. I’ve drank through the flu; bronchitis; viruses. Sure, I’d go a day or two maybe if I was vomiting. But that’s about it.

Let’s play with some math. Let’s say I got sick 3 times in a year. We’ll call it 2 days without alcohol. I’ll subtract 270 days for 9 months of pregnancy. That’s 120 days out of 7030 that I didn’t drink. That is… 1.7% of 20 years. I did not drink on 1.7% of the days in 20 years. Holy fucking shit. Sure, I’m probably forgetting about a couple days here and there but that will take me up to what – 2%? 3%? Even 5% is fucking problematic.

Anyway. I went to another women’s meeting last night and that’s the way to go for me. I saw some familiar faces and met more nice women. I have another at 5pm today. I’m still feeling a bit raw and afraid to go out or even connect with people who actively drink. I need to protect my energy. First and foremost. We’ll see.

Same as it ever was…

This “blog” is basically a microcosm of other journals in which I talk about how I need to stop drinking and never do. I literally have a decade’s worth. Some are hand-written. Some are typed. Some are completely electronic. All are repetitive laments about my relationship with alcohol.

There used to be relationship woes peppered in but at 42, I am pretty clear that the most toxic relationship I had was the one with myself. I had little to no self-esteem in my twenties. I had no idea who I was or what I wanted. What I knew is that generally, when I was drinking, I was pretty fun.

In my thirties, I began to feel more secure in who I am. Not completely, but the whole decade was a climb. I became a mom at 34. I figured that would be the end of drinking and smoking. But clearly I was wrong. I’m a musician, dammit. And when I play at bars, I’m drinking. Yay. Hi-five. Incoherent yell. Selfie.

This continued on into my forties and here we are. I’ve successfully cut down a bit. I don’t go out as much as I was. This turned into me drinking more at home. I’ve tried to curtail that and it kind of works. I broke up with wine because now I keep blacking out whenever I drink it. So I’m sticking with White Claws because I don’t get too crazy with them. When I drink, I want to chain smoke. The two go hand in hand and I get this grindy manic obsession where I have to be doing both of those things at all times.

I’m not sure why people even want to hang out with me because I’m always “going outside for a smoke”. I want to sit outside and chain smoke and drink. And it’s all like nervous energy. Sometimes I’m relaxed and enjoying myself but mostly… mostly it’s me trying to quell my anxiety about being out in the first place.

I think I mentioned that my therapist said I approach my problems in a very cerebral way. I know why I do things. I’ve drilled down to find the causes and reasons for my problematic behaviors. I’m good at it. What I’m not good at is finding the FEELINGS attached to those reasons. And my disinterest (or aversion) to feelings also leads me to numb myself (drink). See? I just did it again.

My face is starting to look it’s age. I’ve always looked younger than I am. My skin looks terrible. I don’t remember nights anymore. Who knows what a nightmare person I have been. I’m a middle aged woman for crying out loud. I need more gentleness in my life.