It’s Going to Take Work..Period!

It has been a few days since I’ve posted because I didn’t feel like writing and I didn’t feel like I had much to say. I’ve been feeling somewhat like a fraud and I’ve been ashamed that I had a couple drinks over the weekend. Once again the temptation of a hot summer Friday and Saturday got the better of me. It was also my aunt’s birthday celebration on Sunday and I indulged a little at the party as well. Yesterday I could barely function at work. I felt like a massive bag of shit. My head was pounding, I couldn’t concentrate and I certainly didn’t ‘do’ much work. When I got home I did the bare minimum with my daughter and I had my husband BBQ dinner. I laid on the couch and went to bed at 8pm. I was grumpy and pissed off. I really hate being hungover.

After having six sober days in a row last week and feeling awesome, this was a real kick in the face. I was so upset at myself that I didn’t even enjoy the buzz. I think this last episode literally proved that moderation is not an option, and that complete abstinence is the only way. I give myself an inch and I take a mile. I’ve proven that all my efforts to ‘control’ my intake is pointless and totally ineffective.  I know I will drink until the very last drop.

I had a long talk with my husband and I told him I need his support to help me out of situations when that destructive addictive asshole starts piping up. He agreed to help and is on board with sobriety. He’s the take it or leave it type, however, he has lately noticed his drinking patterns have escalated over the years, probably due to my negative influence, and he wants to stop as well. So I have a partner in crime. I don’t think he’ll quit forever, but he is definitely on board for now.

Today, I feel like I’m in a different place emotionally. I know that in my heart of hearts that last weekend was it for me. I I’m sad, and I feel like I’m really losing something important. My higher self knows that is not true but I feel sad nonetheless. I’ve also realized by reading other peoples blogs that the crazy mental voice and nagging urges are completely normal at the start. Part of me expected to quit by losing the ‘desire’ to drink which would therefore take care of the psychological withdrawal. I would be BOOM done, that’s it no more desire to drink, all gone, I’m cured. I thought this because of some of the books I read that suggested that once you lose the desire to drink you never feel like you’re missing out. This wasn’t happening for me, I still craved alcohol so I thought I’m just not getting the message here, it’s not working for or the information is just not sinking in. I kept looking and looking and reading and reading trying to find something that would resonate and click. I’ve come to realize that that particular scenario is probably not going to magically happen. The truth is much clearer now. I have realized that I’ve actually lost the desire to drink, but I’m now dealing with the years of habits and addiction. I expected to get out free and clear without struggling. I know better now. It is going to take work, period!!!

Time to step up to the plate and work for my sobriety.

Hitting the Bumps

My husband lost his job last week and that threw a wrench in my sobriety. I didn’t get very far along without the drink seeing as it happened on day 4 of my journey. I didn’t go hard, and I didn’t have any embarrassing moments or engineered arguments, just the usual cyclical blame game I have with myself. Truthfully, I didn’t have a strong desire or physical urge to drink, but when the moment arose I accepted a drink with my husband and we discussed our next steps. I haven’t exactly communicated to my husband how scared I am of my drinking or that I’m permanently quitting so he wouldn’t have thought anything of it by offering me a beer. I guess I have to do a better job of communicating with those around me my intentions considering how strong my addictive voice still is.

I’m back to day four again. I’m feeling hopeful and optimistic. I think my husband’s termination will lead us on a very different journey and I’m excited although I’m not sure what that will do for my sobriety. We are planning on moving closer to my family all who I consider to be fairly moderate to heavy drinkers. With them, temptation and opportune moments will be everywhere.

Part of my pattern is to worry about situations too far in advance and not live in the present moment. I keep reminding myself that today is all I have to worry about, I will deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. Today I woke up sober and tonight I will go to bed sober.

The Wonders of a Simple Smile and a Good Friend

What an amazing feeling to wake up without a hangover. My alarm went off at 6am and I felt great. I did not have a foggy haze, a mild headache or the regret that I’m usually burdened with. I remember my aunt told me the first thing she does every morning before getting out of bed is to smile even if she doesn’t feel like it. My aunt believes it sets the tone for the day ahead. I love the simplicity of how a simple smile can make a difference. My aunt told me she did this about 6 months ago, I forgot about it until this morning when I woke up fresh as a flower. How could I even think about smiling before when I could barely get out of bed and I was full of regret? I feel grateful that I am on the path and how day two brought some new light to my journey.

I am also proud to say that I asked for help from a very good friend of mine. She has turned her life around and has made physical fitness and healthy eating a major part of her life. She has completely transformed herself inside and out. She was like me, a little overweight, out of shape and had a drinking problem so I know she was someone I could talk to who would understand. Yesterday I asked for help to learn how she successfully made these changes. I wanted to understand how she made it through the first few days, weeks and months. To make long story short, it turns out that she is now a certified body/health coach and works with clients. She offered to work with me regarding goal setting, meal planning and exercising. I feel so grateful that she will support me on this journey and help me any way she can.

I just want to say I’m proud of myself for admitting to someone outside my circle that I need help, that I’m not in control and that I am not perfect. I am always there for my friends but I rarely admit when things aren’t so merry in my life. It felt good being helped and it felt good having support. Right now, I need all the motivation and support I can get.

Maybe Quitting in Summer Isn’t so Bad After All……

 

Riding on this train this morning I was thinking about how summer is not an ideal time to quit drinking because of all the things I’d be missing out. Clearly this is my denial coming out in full force. I was thinking of all the patio cocktails and social drinking I would be missing. Who doesn’t like a cold wine or beer on a hot day?

In my attempt to redirect my thoughts, I cracked open my book and started reading The Sober Revoltuion. I came upon a part where it discussed finding new things to replace your time with and it struck me. Summer is the best time to quit drinking. The days are longer, there are more organized events and activities, the weather is nice for evening walks etc. I was looking at this the wrong way. Giving up in winter would be brutal, what would I do with myself? Days are shorter, it’s cold outside, you’re inside more often and less going on in the community.

I’m so glad I managed to see this situation from a different perspective. I no longer feel doomed, I no longer feel as nervous. I feel empowered. I feel great today.

Why I Need to Quit Drinking – Yikes

  1. I drink every day, mostly a bottle of wine sometimes a bottle of wine plus some coolers or my husband’s scotch if I’m desperate
  2. I hide my alcohol consumption from Sunday to Thursday
  3. I drink my husband’s scotch when I’m out of my alcohol and I have to replace the missing alcohol the day after before he notices. I usually have to replace a fair bit.
  4. I lie about my consumption if I’m caught by my husband; I always deny having had ‘more than one shot’. I will blame him.
  5. I have many hidden bottles around our room. I have them stashed under my bed, in my dresser, in between folded clothes in my closet and in empty purses
  6. I’ve driven up the street with the start of a buzz many times to get more alcohol knowing it’s a bad idea . Of course my husband has no clue
  7. I smoke when I drink
  8. Alcohol does not last in house, I will chip away at it until it is GONE
  9. If I’m having a bad day and I’m drinking, I’m argumentative and rude. I’m mean to my husband and impatient with my daughter
  10. If I have too much on a weekend and my husband and I argue I fight until my point is heard and if he tries to rid himself from me I turn into a sloppy insecure crying mess
  11. I have started waking up and drinking leftover beers and finishing off the previous nights wine on weekends…a couple times I’ve done this on a workday (phew this is hard one to face because it is really really bad)
  12. A small handfull of times I’ve purchased a couple coolers on my lunch break and poured them into my water bottle and sipped on them while at work
  13. I can be very lazy around the house. I’m pretty good at getting chores done (cleaning, laundry and dinner) but I can tell alcohol makes me a lot lazier
  14. I probably spend about $100 a week on wine
  15. My daughter does not DERSERVE a life with a drunk mother. The idea sickens me

 # 10 and #11 are my newest behaviours which are admittedly pretty darn alarming. I’m writing this list because the afternoon wine bells were starting to ring. As usual, I’m starting to convince myself maybe I don’t have a problem. I have 15 points that prove I have a MAJOR problem. I know there’s more but at the moment I’m disgusted with my behaviour and need to stopped digging for more points. Honestly I’m feeling very anxious at the moment, I didn’t think laying it all out there was going to make me feel so freaked out, but that’s how I’m feeling.

I bought an e-book ‘The Sober Revolution’ today, so that will be my read for the next few days. I’m keeping my head up but I feel sad. My list is embarrassing and pretty hurtful.

Day One and Nervous

Well today is officially my day one. I finished off all the alcohol left over from our party on Saturday, so I have absolutely no temptations at home. I’m a little sad about the struggle that lies ahead. I’m sad that I have to stop. At the moment I’m even questioning “do I really have a problem?” even though I know I do, otherwise I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t be obsessively thinking about it and I would be able to stop. I’m annoyed that the sun is shining and alcohol always tastes better on a sunny day.  I’m annoyed that I’m annoyed.

On a positive note, I’m happy I can focus on exercise, getting healthy and losing the weight I’ve gained from my pregnancy. I saw my reflection in a store mirror this morning and it’s quite sad how much I’ve let myself go. I’m keeping my chin up, loving myself but it is very frustrating. Every fabric of my being knows this is absolutely a no brainer, but I’m really nervous. I don’t want to set myself up to fail once again. I don’t want this to be another time where I say I’m done but come the weekend I’m back to my old tricks. I think all the little failed attempts abuse my soul and create distrust within. So quitting alcohol and staying sober is for my physical and emotional self. I need to get myself healthy inside and out.

How am I going to handle the weekend? I am really nervous. Here are my plans to date both of which possibly involve alcohol. I was supposed to meet a drinking buddy for a night out in the city Friday night; I’ve since cancelled the drinking part and asked if we could meet for dinner instead. I’m not comfortable admitting my issue just yet, so I made up a little lie about a busy day Saturday that I couldn’t be hungover for. She’s a good friend and it’s been ages since we’ve seen each other, almost a year, so I’d feel like a real asshole cancelling all together. The second event is meeting our friends and their child at rib fest. More of a family outing but there will be beers with the ribs I’m sure. 

 I know I can do this; I would love your tips and insight on how you faced and overcame similar situation. I really don’t want to cancel my plans and stay home; I really don’t think that’s the solution. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Sheryl 

 

My Pretty Big Moment!

Yesterday I had a couple glasses of wine at lunch with my cousin. As usual, that wasn’t enough and I wanted more. For the rest of the afternoon all I could think about was buying a bottle of wine on my way home, which of course I did.

An interesting thing happened last night when I was trying to fall asleep. My mind started wandering and I was restless, I couldn’t sleep. I started getting agitated and I felt my stress level rise and my anxiety switch on. Oh fuck I thought to myself, not this again. I hate when I can’t sleep! Before I continue, it’s important to step back for a moment and allow me to mention how I’ve been asking the Universe and God to help me out of this alcohol trap. I’m sure many of you do that. I keep asking for help to lose the desire to drink. I don’t want to want to drink and I don’t want to live in a constant battle with sobriety. I want to be at peace. No more struggle, no more fight.

Over the last couple days I’ve noticed something has changed in me. Normally by 4:30pm, I’m hankering for my fix. I’m fighting the usual battle in my head of should I or shouldn’t I? We lately it feels like I’ve had to force myself to buy wine, because that’s my habit and that’s what I do. Surely that’s what I want to do??? It’s hard to explain, part me of was disinterested and that part of me is unrecognizable so I didn’t know what to do. I think to myself, ‘what do you mean you don’t want to drink, you always want to drink? Don’t be stupid! So I buy the wine because that’s what I do, I buy the wine, drink the wine, and then get angry at myself for drinking the wine. That’s my M.O.

Well lately I’ve been doing really well limiting my drinking to weekends. Last night, because I had some in my system from lunch and it was nice sunny evening, I bought and drank a bottle of wine and a glass of scotch . I was feeling pretty tipsy, not drunk but feeling damn good. I retire to bed at about 9pm, my usual time. Picking up where I left off earlier, I now find myself tossing and turning. I ask myself, ‘what the heck is going on? I can’t sleep, I can’t get comfortable! BTW I have sleep problems spanning over the last six years and have been diagnosed with an anxiety and stress disorder. I’ve been to a couple doctors and have talked to a psychologist about my sleep issues. Anyways, I notice last night while struggling to fall asleep that it’s been a while since I’ve had problems sleeping, I think I forgot all about the last six years because up until last night it had been awhile since I experienced any problems.

Then it clicks like a thunderbolt moment! OMG…all this time my sleeping issues have been a result of the alcohol, not the anxiety and stress I’ve been diagnosed with. The alcohol is making me feel stressed and anxious. Holy shit, all this time I’ve just assumed the reason I feel this way is because of my diagnoses. Whoa, this is huge. I never attributed any of my sleep issues to alcohol. Thinking about it, I guess I never allowed myself to call into question my drinking habit at that time, besides the doctors told me I had anxiety so I never thought twice about it. I feel pretty stupid now, how did I not make this connection before? What an idiot, all this time I was coping with the problem by drinking until I passed out. This is messed up, really messed up! I was using the problem to find the solution.

In all fairness to my doctors and my psychologist, I never admitted my drinking habits so as far as they were concerned I rarely drank. I lied, so clearly that didn’t help with my diagnoses. Now I’m pretty convinced I don’t have an anxiety disorder. This is crazy, this calls into question everything I have thought about myself over the last six years. This puts a new spin on everything. I think my prayers have been answered. I think I have lost some desire to drink. If alcohol is causing that much stress in my body at night and I have to take medication or live with an “anxiety disorder” for the rest of my life, no way hosey, this is over! The last six years, and the inability to fall asleep naturally have been the worst part of my life. Absolutely awful and I don’t want to go back there.

This was pivotal moment for me. So we will see where this new insight will take me. I can tell my sneaky mind still wants me to enjoy it though, it sure is putting up a good fight…sigh. I know this will take time.

 

Lunch with My Cousin

I met my cousin for lunch and we had a long discussion about alcoholism. Her boyfriend is my sisters husband’s brother, who I used to have relations with. Weird, but they work and I’m happy for them. Anyway, she was telling me about the issues in their relationship which has to do with his drinking. She knows from past discussions that I too have a drinking problem. For some reason, she’s the only person I have really admitted to that I have a problem. It was good to hear her perspective and her concerns, I thought to myself that must be how my husband feels at times. I tried to offer her the ‘alcoholic perspective’, i’m going through it so I know how her boyfriend must feel, but we both agree that change must come with in. It’s terrible stuff this alochol, it really can ruin anything and everything in its path. So here we are having this discussion and I had two glasses of white wine (im due to go back to work btw) and I finished off her ceasar as we were about to leave. I mean I totally have a problem, I said to her – see? I have a problem. Anyways, this is what I am like, I don’t really care because I have Monday as my stop date so whatever happens in between happens.

The discussion was a good one because once again it reinforces what I already know. Nothing good comes from alcohol and I need to stop. I look into someones eyes who is on the recieving end of alocholism and I see the hurt and pain in their eyes. It’s not just my own struggle, it’s all our struggle. It’s good to have that awarness about alcoholism, it’s not a solo issue, its a family issue, a social issue that affects everyone, not just the person who drinks too much. Again, I imagine my cousin being my huband or daugheter talking to a freind about me. I don’t want that for them. So i really am going to quit, I’m really ready and I feel by having this outlet is really going to help me. I already feel like I’m doing something about it, just by writing it out, and I’m working with myself and making some sense.

I want more now, I had the taste so I am here writing it out. I don’t want to swing by the liquor store, I already just spend $50.00 on lunch and my daughters birthday party is on Satuerday so I’ll be spending enough then. Besides if I get more, I probably won’t feel like cooking. I’ll want to sit down and watch tv for the rest of the night and drink. Pretty pathetic stufff. I’m glad I’m going to be done, this really sure does help to write all this out. To see it in white in black. It really makes it real.

My Cycle

new pic

I have been reading other peoples blogs and their journeys to sobriety in hopes to find some similar experiences I can identify with. I don’t want to be alone on this journey and I find comfort in knowing I’m not alone. One woman’s blog, discussed setting a date to quit – she read that piece of advice in a self-help book. I agree with that although my problem is I always set a date and fail. I always pick Monday to be my day one.  Every weekend I always say the same thing, this will be my last weekend drinking and come Monday, I’m finished. That mentality usually gives me permission to get hammered without guilt because ‘it will be the last time’. And boy, do I take advantage.

Monday mornings are usually met with every good intention to quit, and I usually feel pretty good about this decision. Although that can depend on what our plans are for the following weekend. If there is an event, I definitely won’t be considering quitting until the following weekend. On the Mondays I want to quit, I am totally motivated to stop. The morning progresses, I’m still strong in my desire that I’m done, and then by the afternoon,  the destructive self-talk starts saying “I would love some wine today, today has been a tough day’. All I need is a glass or two, and I won’t finish the bottle’. Yeah right, I always finish the bottle.  And so begins the spiral, I’m like a dog with a bone. Once the thought gets in my head, all I can think about is getting the next bottle. After work, I walk right past a liquor store that’s on the way to the train station and the next thing I know I’m standing in line with a bottle of wine in my hand. The anxiety is now gone because in an hour I’ll pour my next glass of wine. What follows is now the quilt, shame and weakness.  Here I go again, now that I bought this bottle I might as well just quit next Monday. This is my destructive cycle.

This time will be different I tell myself. This time is always different, except it never is. I really really really want this to be it, I am so sick of drinking and the control alcohol has over my thoughts, and over my life. I had a psychic reading done the other day and it really offered me an interesting perspective. There was no real new information, but for some reason, it resonated a little different hearing my private feelings repeated back to me by a stranger. She said I have a pattern of putting up blocks and only allowing myself a limited amount of success and that I live under a glass ceiling. I know I do this, but for some reason, hearing her say this angered me. Why do I do this to myself? It got me thinking about what are my blocks, and what is preventing me from the success I desire? 

I have known that alcohol is stopping me from being the person I want to be but it has become apparent I have only been considering this from a narrow perspective. I’ve only been acknowledging how it makes me lazy around the house, lazy in exercise and lazy with my daughter.  I haven’t been thinking how it has been stopping me from finding motivation to take up new skills, further my education or get a better job.

In addition to all that, I feel terrible I don’t give my daughter the attention she deserves. We do lots of stuff with her, but I feel so guilty being hungover while doing them. I look at Facebook and I see my friends with their children out and about doing things together on the weekends and my guilt just punches me in the gut. I think to myself, what did you do on the weekend? I drank!  That’s what I did. No pictures to show of happy times, no happy posts of the wonderful day outdoors, just a few empty bottles to throw in the recycling bin and a hangover.

So I know I have a problem. I know by society’s standard I am an alcoholic. I still hate that word and the stigma that it attaches. I will probably never admit that I am an alcoholic to family or friends, because I hate the image that comes to my minds eye. Maybe that is called denial, but for now, I’ll only admit that I don’t like the way I feel when I drink anymore and that is why I want to stop.

Thanks for listening!

 

Blog 1

This is my very first post on my very first blog. I’m here because I want to stop drinking. I’ve come to a point in my life where I know drinking alcohol no longer serves me. I’ve noticed over the last couple of years my drinking has worsened. I used to think I had control and I could drink, or not drink, whenever I wanted to. And that was probably true to an extent. Over the years, drinking has turned from a social pastime to drinking a bottle of wine every night and drinking all day on the weekends. My drinking is out of control. I want to stop but I can’t seem to rid myself of the ‘desire’ to stop. I can’t figure out why in the hell I want to do something that is so awful to myself day after day. I have come to realize this is a massive block in my life that is preventing me from really blooming and from achieving my highest potential.

Backing up, I think I need to figure out how this all spiraled out of control. I need to know when things stopped being okay in my life and when I started coping with life in such a negative way. I don’t think truly happy people need to poison there bodies to this extent. I know a bigger picture exists than just addiction to alcohol, and somewhere along the line I lost myself, I lost trust and faith in myself and I stopped loving myself. Clearly I’m lost otherwise I would never allow alcohol to abuse me the way I have.

I used to be a “normal drinker”. Drinking with friends, going out to clubs on weekends, having a beer with dinner, that sort of thing. Never to an excess and I never felt that I ‘needed’ to drink. I remember being quite active, and being quite happy at night not drinking. I never had the desire to numb. I never used to need it like I do. I remember working the Weight Watchers program for an entire summer after I finished my first year at university and I never gave a second thought to consuming alcohol. It played such a small role in my life, it was no big deal. It was two years ago after I gave birth to my daughter and I was done breastfeeding and I wanted to lose the baby weight that I noticed I had a problem. To be clear I never drank throughout my pregnancy, but I craved it. I missed it and I was angry I couldn’t. I was angry I couldn’t partake in whatever was going on around me. I feel so quilty that I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy as much as I should have because I couldn’t drink. I have so much guilt because of my addiction. Reminising about it is not easy, but I have to get it out, I have to come clean. I was selfish and self-absorbed.

As I mentioned, I really started to notice I had a problem when I wanted to lose weight and I couldn’t because of alcohol. Clearly I was consuming so many calories, and not exercising in the morning faithfully because I wouldn’t; feel like it. So when I would tell myself okay, tonight you are NOT going to buy any wine and you’re going to be good and get a good rest, I wouldn’t. By the end of the day, my mind changed, my addictive voice chimed in and off I went to get a bottle of wine.

I know I have been getting progressively worse, and i want to stop. My problem is I can’t see myself without alcohol, or I can and it scares the shit out of me that my mind quickly determines that I can’t. This is so stupid, I just can;t believe the control it has over me, it’s awful. I read some great book namely Allen Carr’s ‘How to Stop Drinking’ and Jason Vale ‘Kick the drink’. Both books are a great read that really breaks down the brainwashing and showed alcohol as it, a trap. The books main point is that it is easy to quit once you no longer have the desire to drink. I agree, anything is easy to do when you no longer have the desire to do it. So even though I know all the brainwashing and the ugly truth of alcohol I still find myself with a desire. And that pisses me off. I still want to drink knowing what I know. I think to myself ‘what the hell is wrong with you’ and of couse sabotaging myself with hateful hurtful thoughts and words only makes everything worse. So that’s why I am here. I want to love myself, not hate myself. I want to figure out how to stop and I figured, why not try to write it out, I have nothing to lose but the desire to drink.

I have a lot of questions and little answers for myself. But I need to find a way through this because I have to be kind and loving to myself and allow greatness to happen in my life. Time to start loving myself again and figure this out.