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 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.

Day 1, 2020. Long and meandering.

I’ve been mentally preparing for this for a while now. I am part relieved and part terrified. The relief comes from letting go of the illness, shame, and anxiety that comes with it. The terror is all anxiety.

I didn’t drink much until my late teens/ early 20s. The first time I really drank at a party, several people commented about how much fun I was. I never talked much in high school. It was nice to be funny and to talk to people I never would have interacted with otherwise.

I started gigging in clubs around that time. I found that a glass of wine before performing helped loosen me up. I moved out with 800 roommates at 20 and we had parties all the time. From that point, drinking became part of my nightly routine. I was mainly surrounded with friends and we were having fun. Somewhere in the past 15 years though, it became something else.

Numbing. Avoiding feelings. Little sleep. Troubled sleep. Odd dreams. Depression. Anxiety. Shame. Guilt. Numbing. Avoiding feelings. Bad decisions. Blackouts. Lost time. Wasted time. Lots of social interaction, little connecting. Numbing. Avoiding feelings. Isolation. Shame. Guilt. Weakness. Defeat. Numbing. Avoiding feelings.

Almost a bottle of wine every night. Or the White Claws when I was trying those out. Minimally 4. Usually 5 or 6. Chain smoking. Not moving. On my back step. ALONE.

On the few occasions I honestly shared this with friends, they thought I was exaggerating. I am not. Not even a little bit.

On big gigs or celebrations, I used to throw down and have fun. Over the past 4 or 5 years, the blackouts started. I put myself in some really fucking stupid situations. I fell down. I would feel mortified when people filled me in. A 40ish tornado ripping through the party. Not cute.

I’ve steadily put on like 10 lbs each year for the past 3. I’ve never been this heavy. A bottle of wine is like 500-700 calories. Each night. Math. The drinking led me to forget my concerns about eating so that would typically result in a stop at the diner on the way home from a gig for some disco fries. Then I’d need a bagel to soak up whatever in the morning. Math.

I used to look younger than my age. Now I look my age. It’s fine but I don’t want to look older because I am vain as fuck. I know several people who look fucking terrible and it’s their lifestyle. Maybe I’m that person to someone else. If I am and it makes them re-examine their choices, then good. But watch out because I’m shaping up* this year, bitch.

I have a feeling I’ll be writing here a lot. I’m afraid of being isolated since the vast majority of my friends are drinkers, some of whom do not have a modicum of control. I am not casting judgment because that is me. I get it. I just know I cannot be around it for a while. I’ve taken the month off from gigging. Actually it might be the first two months.

I’m scared of how I will even talk to people. Even my friends. Mostly because the entire time I’ve known them, our social interaction has been doused in booze. Will we be able to talk? Will they still like this version of me? Will I still like them? What will we do? I’m dreading have to explain this shit over and over each time I reconnect. I’m sure some relationships will suffer, but I think that is just part of life.

I don’t know.

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*results may vary.

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.

Show up.

Guys, I went to the gym yesterday. And I packed some clean gym clothes for this evening as well. I just did the treadmill and some beginner arm exercises but I’m proud of myself. Today, I plan to do the treadmill and some leg stuff. Nothing crazy. I need to build up some confidence first. As someone who hasn’t seen the inside of a gym in 6 months (and like a year prior to that brief stint), I’m taking it slow.

I think I get inspired and want to do all of the things and then I wind up totally derailing myself. I’m trying it differently this time. A big lesson I’ve learned in my life is that showing up is a BIG part of making progress.

As someone with anxiety and a trailer-full of other baggage, I can easily talk myself out of doing things. I’m too tired. I’m too out of shape anyway. I know I’m gonna quit by next week. Why bother. I never follow through. I’m gonna have a bagel instead. Fucking bagels.

As much as I whine and complain and try to excuse myself from going, I always feel 1,000,000% percent better (real math!) than I did before I walked in there. So, this week, I’m committing to simply showing up. Do a thing. Go home. It’s better than doing nothing at all.

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.