Day 30, 2020

30 days is a thing right? And tomorrow will be the full month of January. I have no intention to drink so I’m pretty confident I’ll meet that goal.

Man… I am fucking impressed with myself. I’m giving myself a pat on the back. I’m gonna reflect a minute if you please…

I am comfortable. I am well rested. I am full of cheesecake and cookies. I never realized how much I love cheesecake actually. And I never realized how terrible it is for you. My mood is more even from hour to hour and day to day. I’ve slowed down.

I did some major shopping over the first couple of weeks. I was a little overindulgent but most things were art supplies and creative items that I’ll put to good use. My creative drive is humming. I’m working on lots of wonderful projects. I’ll be submitting my Sketchbook Project book on Saturday and I’m very excited about that.

One of the things I was seeking when I decided to stop drinking was/ is a “gentler life” and I think I am finally realizing that. I’m gaining a better idea of what that means and how that feels. The grindiness of being drunk and recovering each day wears on you physically and mentally. Whatever I’m feeling right now is so much better.

I will do the same thing tomorrow and the next day. Well, one day at a time I suppose.

Day 29, 2020

As I’ve mentioned 100 times, I still have trouble waking up in the morning. I honestly think that it’s out of habit in thinking I’m going to feel like shit. I honestly say to myself, “Go ahead and get up. You’re not hungover!”

This morning was a very sweet one. My little guy had a fever last night (his third this freaking month) and he had planted himself beside me in bed to read his Star Wars book. He was so quiet and even gave me one of his stuffed animals. This kid.

So I open my eyes and he is there and my day starts with sweet, enthusiastic kid chatter. It was such a perfect way to start the day. He gave me some Star Wars education while my brain booted up.

These tiny, special moments are so important. I would have definitely missed this if I was hungover. I would have been snoring, mouth agape, and smelly and very cranky. Today, I could be a comfortable place for my son and enjoy this magical little person’s company.

If I ever start again, I need to bookmark this entry. The struggle is worth it.

Day 28, 2020

It’s been a few minutes but I’m still here. Still not drinking. 28 days. I cannot believe it. As I say almost every time… I’ve never even come close to this.

I went out to a bar last week. Cabin Fever has been setting in and some friends were playing a show about a half hour away. This was my first trip to a bar since being alcohol free and it was weird. This particular bar is weird to begin with so that may have added to my vibe. In any case, I survived and am not itching to do it again any time soon.

First of all I felt REALLY self conscious. I just wanted to hide. I have a CVS receipt of physical hangups and I cannot drown them in Pinot Grigio anymore. So I’m feeling really awkward. I found it difficult to hold conversations because my self-consciousness was taking up a lot of space in my brain and I find that I simply don’t have much to say sometimes.

Other peoples’ conversations became more erratic and intense and I wasn’t riding that wave. I went outside to smoke a couple times. And I Irish Goodbyed which is something I was NEVER able to do when drinking because I had to say goodbye to EVERYONE individually. Unless I was in blackout mode. Then I would disappear. Ugh. Is having to say goodbye to everyone another shard of narcissism? Like everyone cares deeply whether you’re there or not. Hahahha.

I’ve learned a bit in the AA meetings I’ve attended and that is that alcholics are fucking selfish. I can’t disagree. This kind of self-centered and self-important behavior is not natural. I mean, I am also a recovering Catholic so there’s probably some residual guilt in ever considering oneself in any situation. Maybe I’m somewhere in the middle. Maybe it doesn’t fucking matter.

I’ve got a lot of shit to do at work this week and I’m trying to focus on that. I’m now being asked whether this “dry January” thing will end on February 1. For me, no. My response is, “I am doing this indefinitely. I need to figure out how to exist without it before I would ever consider doing it again.” I really feel like I’m fine without it. Seriously. If you asked me 3 months ago, I would not have agreed with that statement.

Day 21, 2020

So, a thing happened and I’m not really sure what to do with it, so I’ll write about it here. That’s why I’m doing this, right?

So, last week I had reached out to a woman I had met at AA. She and I had spoken several times, it seems we share some interests, and it felt very easy to interact with her. She raised her hand when the leader asked if anyone was willing to be a temporary sponsor so I decided to drop her a line.

Let me backtrack a moment to say that reaching out to people is NOT one of my strong points. I feel like I’ve mentioned it here. It’s a pretty big part of my personality. I like to help people. I like to think I can do everything by myself. I am independent to a possibly unhealthy degree. There has to be some narcissism behind at least some of it. Anyway, to drive home my point, it took a LOT for me ask if she would talk to me about being a temporary sponsor.

She responded that she was available and suggested we meet up to talk. NOW, (and I’m assuming that this could be the problem), it took a couple of days for me to get back to her. Work was crazy, my son had strep, and I did not make my response a priority.

She asked if I’d be attending the Monday meeting (yesterday) and I told her I would not because I had a scheduled rehearsal. Then she said that she is already working with someone and could give me the names of other women in the program. I felt so REJECTED.

Throughout this process, I’m trying to reconnect and be honest about my feelings and man, I was hurt. Like, I wanted to cry. I got that weird kind of lightheaded feeling and a flash of heat over my heart and the sting in my head. I could not help but wonder what I had done or if she did not like me. She raised her hand to be a temporary sponsor and all of a sudden she was not. It was so hard to ask that question. This felt personal. Also, I am extremely sensitive (also possibly narcissism).

As I’m writing this, it’s clear that she may think I’m just not ready and doesn’t want to waste her time. Or she may NOT like me and that’s none of my business. Maybe life is too crazy for HER. These people aren’t therapists. They are recovering alcoholics like me.

My wounded ego’s response would be that I’ve been steadily attending meetings for 3 weeks and life got a little busy for a week. I was just looking for some guidance.

If I’m also being honest about not making my response to her a priority… I began to feel pressure of commitment. I began to panic about my inevitable failure. I also am not 100% sure if I’m going to remain alcohol free for the rest of my life. Like, this is a thing I’m trying. I didn’t want a person to personally let down. I’m used to letting myself down.

So, long story longer, my desire to return to a meeting this week had decreased. I mean. I am being dramatic. I see that. I’m licking my wounds and we’ll see what happens. 21 days though. 21 days.

Day 19, 2020

First of all, I’m proud of myself. 19 fucking days.

Last night I woke up at 3am with a horrid stomach ache and spent an hour with my head in the toilet. It reminded me of the MANY times I had experienced this over the years because of drinking. I kept flashing back to that feeling. The grindy brain, exhausted body, confused, Jeckyll wondering what Hyde had done and why. Hoping for some relief in vomiting.

Last night’s escapade was of course not driven by alcohol however I suspect it may have been a result of the chips, sour cream and cookies I decided to indulge in around midnight. Soooooo, as stated before, I still have some shit to work through. Why am I eating so much? To fill a void. But why? What is that void? I have several suspicions based on what my life is missing. I do not feel like getting into them now.

Today I logged my only meal. An egg with cheese on toast. And tea. I’m such a fucking Britophile. Does that count if you were raised mainly in that culture? Who knows or cares.

I’m going to do a barre exercise in a bit. It’s literally the least I can do. More later maybe.

Day 15, 2020

One thing I have to do is figure out how to stop this thing from dinging at 1am. Maybe I’ll reset it to like 8am or something.

Oh hi, I didn’t see you there. I’ve made it two weeks. I feel good. This is starting to feel normal. I’ve been laying super low and staying close to home though I did go out this past weekend.

On Saturday night, my bff and I went bowling with the husbands and kids. She is doing “dry January” and so I had a buddy. It was fun. On Sunday was a get-together at a friend’s house. Everyone was drinking but me – and one of my friends who agreed to be a buddy. It was nice to have an ally. I had a good time but only stayed a couple of hours. I began to feel squirrely.

I do not have another social outing scheduled for another couple of weeks – hahaha. That was enough for me. It’s funny because normally, I need to be out all the time. But I”m wondering if I needed to be out or if I needed to be drinking. Or if I needed to feel included and accepted and anxiety set in because I’m really not a fan of loud places so I drank more in order to maintain. I think that’s probably the most accurate.

I think of things I truly miss and it’s nights outside with wine and smoking and just talking. Would it be the same with tea or seltzer water? Isn’t the nice, luxurious thing the conversation?

Things to mull over.

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.