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.

Sober October

l’m always trying to come up with some sort of gimmick to help me make better lifestyle choices. Sober October is no different. I’m going to try it. I have several things on my calendar that will be challenging but I’m gonna give it a shot.

This is my power season so I don’t need anything to dull me out. I need to tap in. Once again, I am already scrambling toward excused days. Apparently some people raise money for a charity while not drinking. I’m not sure I’m ready to take it to that level of sharing and sponsorship. Mainly because it’s terrifying. I don’t have a big level of trust in myself.

I would love to know how it feels to have good sleep and not wake up late and exhausted. Also, I caught a glimpse of myself in a reflection at the store the other day and it was really alarming. I looked old.

Want. Need. Listening. Shit.

I had my ladies night on Saturday and I didn’t get too crazy. In fact, I got a headache. I’m not sure if it was from dehydration or from exhaustion but it was a doozy. I barely slept the night before due to the Pup wanting to go out, the little guy wanting to come in, and regular old general anxiety. I had a nice breakfast at the diner with the girls and then went home to complete some chores.

I went back down about 3:30 and had a few hard seltzer’s before the headache started it’s strangle hold. I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to go home but I felt bad, so I stayed. A beloved friend was in from out of state so I wanted to be sure I spent time with her. Unfortunately, it was getting to the point where no one was making sense and kind of talking over one another. Sometimes, I feel like I somehow missed the wave everyone else is surfing on and then I just can’t catch up. And ultimately I’m fine with that because I’m so tired. And cranky.

I had intended on staying over and really going for it, but I left around 1am and put my throbbing cranium on a pillow. It’s weird that I couldn’t just leave at like 9 or 10 when I wanted to. I always feel like I’m going to be seen as a jerk if I do that. And I have a crippling need to be liked. So this is what I do.

We had a nice family day on Sunday. Lots of outside time. Reading, My little guy and the dog running around the yard. We went out for dinner and I had a glass of wine but that was it. All night. I went to bed at a reasonable time after watching a Doris Day movie.

Tonight, I am struggling. I honestly do not WANT a drink but I’m craving one. Does that even make sense at all? Like… many body wants it. I guess that’s why they call it addiction (sung to Elton John’s song). It’s such a shit feeling. I’m sort of caught between “oh go have one” and “no, just ride it out. Prove something to yourself.”

The second one is yelling louder. I’m listening.

Pup

I woke up this morning wondering if I’d get through today. I stayed in bed too long. Sometimes I think I try to sleep through life to fast forward through it. It’s terrible. Although I have always been prone to depression, I’m generally a happy person. I have a nice life. Pretty much all of the things I wanted. But sometimes I just want to sleep through it.

I had to bring Pup to work with me because he had an afternoon vet appointment. We got some scary news. He has a tumor but we don’t know whether is’s benign, malignant, operable, inoperable. We’re bringing him for a (very expensive) ultrasound tomorrow. I am calmer than I would have thought. Almost too calm.

My dog is 15 years old. We’ve had him for about 12 years. He is an enormous pain in the ass. He barks at everything with a heartbeat. He has nipped at family and friends. He doesn’t even seem to like me anymore. However… he is my best buddy. My soul companion. I love him beyond measure. So I should be freaking out. But I’m not.

I get this way. I numb myself out. Let me be clear… I have not had a drink. I just naturally do this. I keep hearing the wine demon* saying, “This is a big deal. If you want to have a drink, it is totally understandable.” But any time I picture that glass of wine, I feel the wine headache in the front of my head. And it turns me off. I’m sure this is temporary since this is so new, but I’ll take it.

So yeah… I am not sure what I am feeling right now but so far it is not leading me to want to drink. I’ll know more tomorrow about Pup. So maybe I’m just trying to gauge myself. I don’t even fucking know. It’s like I’m talking about another person.

Tonight I plan to catch up on some work. I’d like to do some artwork too since I’m gearing up to a big art project… which I don’t even feel like talking about right now.

*I don’t like the term “wine witch” because I identify as pagan – hahah. I’m not kidding but it’s so silly.

Sober May

I’ve never done a dry January or anything like that. I was kind of lamenting about whether I would have to start from day one and lose those precious two alcohol free days I just had. In the end those two days don’t really matter, do they? They are in the past. So is last night… when I had 3 glasses of wine. And THEN some cheese fries.

I find that lists help me. And also I like using my Apple Pencil.

It’s already 9pm so my plan for the night is to finish watching Precious, which I started last night. I’ve always wanted to see it and it is a rough watch. So heart wrenching.

Interested in hearing what you drink at wine o’clock and what you’ve been doing with your extra time.

Oh hey…

I’m on Day 3 of something. I’m not necessarily stopping drinking but I’m definitely hunkering down with sobriety books. Trying to hammer in the idea that drinking is doing literally nothing good for me.

Right now, I’m reading Sober Diaries, How One Woman Stopped Drinking and Started Living. So far, it’s great. I am constantly nodding and groaning in agreement. It’s helpful to know I’m not alone in this. It’s kind of incredible to hear someone else rattle off a LONG list of the SAME excuses and “plans” I’ve made.

Last night was a little rough. I almost gave in like 5 times. But I kept reminding myself that if I had one glass at 10pm that I’d be up till 1am drinking. I remembered how nice it was to just go to sleep early the previous night and how good I felt all day. So I went with that. It sucks that this is a constant fucking negotiation in my head.

I guess for the moment, I’m committing to finishing that book. That’s it. I have another one on deck too. I’m going to try and focus on sober/ healthy reading this coming month. Yeah? Yeah.