I am doing well. I mean there is a global pandemic and all but as well as one can do in this situation. We are embarking on having my son home from school for the next two weeks at minimum. I have a very ambitious schedule printed out during which I will have to find blocks of time to work. I have a feeling I will be pulling nights. I don’t mind. It all evens out.
I had a dream the other night that I drank. In the dream, I hadn’t realized it. I just drank a glass that was handed to me and continued to drink without thinking. Then, in a panic, realized that I had ruined everything. I was very upset.
In the morning, it took a bit for me to realize that I had not in fact had a drink. A good friend’s Dad who has been in the program for a long time reached out to me today and we went back and forth with stories. He was also a musician and acknowledged the very specific obstacle we have to endure being that alcohol is ever present in our industry. Aside from being exposed to it almost every time we play, it’s not only accepted, but expected to partake while we are playing. I digress. I told him about the dream and about how upsetting it was and he imparted that the longer you make it, the more precious it becomes. And that made a lot of sense.
We also talked about narcissism and alcoholism and how they tend to go hand in hand. It was a funny, honest, and much needed conversation. I am luck to have such people in my life.
Not sure if I mentioned that my neighbors are also program veterans and have been checking in with me. It’s nice to know that other people have gone through this and are living productive, peaceful, and fun lives. That normal changes.
I had my first gig without alcohol on Friday. Also, it was a Battle of the Bands which I swore UP and DOWN that I would NEVER do again but playing in front of new faces and ears is good for us and it’s what we need to be doing right now. The venue had my favorite seltzers which was good but I did feel a bit out of sorts.
I was anxious. Now, we were in a completely new place and playing under pressure so I’m sure I’d have been anxious anyway but doing this without my band-aid was a little rough. BUT I did it. I felt the things. I sequestered myself. I feel like I just walked around in circles for a while. But I got through it and didn’t drink any alcohol. Afterward, we were all freaking exhausted. One of the guys brought beer to bring back but only one was opened and everyone was asleep by 12:30. Rock star life, man.
Bunch of grandmas.
It was nice to not be hungover in another city. We enjoyed a brunch and MAN I wanted a Bloody Mary. I considered asking for a virgin one but that would probably be disgusting. So, I enjoyed my tea and a great egg sandwich. Both places we ate were really on point and I am a little snobby. Way to go, Baltimore. Thank you for being a friend.
I have an old drinking friend from the time I was maybe 19. She makes delicious dinners and we sit at her table and drink and chain smoke and it is gloriously without filter or airs. I’ve been wondering what our friendship would look like if I stopped drinking.
I am happy to report that I went to her house for a wonderful dinner with another friend, brought a six pack of Sprite Zero, and had a fantastic time. I went home quite a bit earlier than usual (10pm seems to be when I turn into a pumpkin) but it was a lot of fun. She had no idea that I had quit drinking. I told her Friday.
I felt comfortable and relieved. I also was happy to be in my bed by 10:30.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.