Monday, December 29, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

Well I've survived Christmas...sober!  It was a great holiday this year.  I had small urges now and then but overall it was fairly easy.  Only once did someone directly offer me a drink because he forgot that I wasn't drinking.

Then I survived my husband's birthday at the wine and cheese restaurant.  This was also not too difficult.  We went early in the day with our kids.  Of course being at a wine bar I did have a desire to order a glass of wine but it quickly passed.  It was a good day as well.


Mr. TMSN's birthday dinner.  Don't worry, it's not my wine :)

Then yesterday I made it through yet another test.  A professional football game!  Of course professional sporting events are big drinking events in general, but we were sitting in a suite with a full bar, bartender and unlimited free alcohol!  

My son and I wearing our new FREE shirts!
The game was the most difficult.  I drank tea and I was fine, but I definitely felt a little flat.  I had thoughts of wanting to be able to drink normally.  I wanted to have a drink to feel less socially awkward.  I'm glad it was cold because it made the tea more enjoyable!

The bottom line is that I continue to live my life as a sober person.  There are ups and downs.  I am gaining more confidence with each hurdle.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe it's Christmas Eve!  When you're a kid it takes so long for Christmas to arrive and as an adult time moves so quickly.  My main complaint is that we've had very little snow so far this year.  It is suppose to snow tomorrow on Christmas day, looking forward to that.

Christmas Eve has always been a heavy drinking day for me.  I would always play the moderation game, sometimes with more success than others.  Always some degree of hangover on Christmas morning.  Not this year!  Looking forward to being fully present this time.

If you are reading this, I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Pink Cloud



Yesterday, I was enjoying my typical Saturday morning routine of drinking coffee and reading sober blogs.  I was reading another blogger talking about the pink clouds of sobriety and I looked outside my window to find my very own literal pink cloud.  After I snapped this picture, my son woke up and suggested I put on some Christmas music.

All of this happened as I was freezing because our furnace stopped working the night before (Friday) and the repairman couldn't get here Saturday.  When things like this happen I tend to get hugely overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, upset.  I really needed this "pink cloud moment" and it seemed to be created just when I needed it.  A reminder that everything will be OK and to stop and enjoy a content moment in the midst of chaos.

Turns out the furnace was an easy fix.  One tripped switch reset and all was well.  And I was SO stressed out.  Maybe I need to learn to wait and see if there is anything to be upset about before I get so worked up!

Last night I told my dad and step-mom that I've quit drinking as they shared a bottle of wine with my husband.  "We only need 3 glasses," I told the waiter.  It was a relief to tell them before Christmas day as now the pressure is off.  My step-mom said "good for you," and my dad asked me if I was feeling better.  I said I was sleeping much better and we had a good discussion about that. Seems he often wakes in the middle of the night and he wondered if he'd sleep better without alcohol.  "Yes," I said "you would definitely sleep better."

Friday, December 19, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful (trigger-filled) Time of the Year!

Now that my kids are officially on winter break and we will have a couple of weeks off of our regularly scheduled evening activities I find myself in the beginning of what's normally my heaviest drinking time of the year.  In the past, I wouldn't even contemplate not drinking during this time of the year. Sure, I've tried dry January before.  That is much easier for me because it seems everyone is much more health conscious in January.  But during the holidays...no way, not me.

Except it is me now.  

I've spent the last couple of weeks relatively free of thoughts of alcohol.  This has been in part due to my obsession with a certain podcast that ended yesterday.  Then last night I was having those romantic thoughts of wine for the first time in a while.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  The sound of the the wine pouring in the glass, the way the glass feels in your hand, the instant "happy" feeling.  Also mixed in were thoughts of how unfair it is that I can't "drink like a normal person."

I've gotten much better though at "thinking through the drink."  Yes, it might feel good for maybe an hour at the most, but then what happens?  Well, I'd finish the bottle (maybe more), sleep like shit, feel terrible physically and mentally the next day, have foggy memories of the night before, not be present for my kids, etc.  

This year is different.  I'm confident I can make it through the next couple of weeks without drinking, but not so confident that I wont miss it.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dream a Little Dream

Another drinking dream last night.  Basically the dream was about me waking up after a night of drinking and realization of what I'd done.  It was a very vivid dream, the emotions were so real.  

In the dream, I was lying in bed after waking up and after a brief moment the realization hit me that I had gotten very drunk the night before.  I could not believe it.  Everything that I'd worked so hard for was down the drain.  I was crying hysterically.  Wanting so badly for it to not be true.  Not wanting to start counting days from DAY 1 again.  

Thank goodness it was only a dream!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Master of What? (and 60 days!)

Today is day 60!  That does seem like reason to be proud.  I do not go to AA but I have to admit I wouldn't mind getting a shinny coin and applause for some of these milestones.  

A post on A Hangover Free Life got me thinking the other day.  It seems a bit ironic that I was a psychology major in college and I have a Master's Degree with a focus on school counseling.  It's been nearly 20 years since I have looked at most of these books.  I was a school counselor for a couple of years and then decided to stay home with my kids. 


Of course I know that even if I was a marriage therapist I would not be able to fix my own marriage.  And if I was an addiction specialist I would not be able to fix my own problems with addiction.

I had a long talk with my mom yesterday.  She and my dad got separated when I was in fourth grade.  I shared with her some of what I've been going through in my marriage and was surprised to hear that she felt exactly the same way I am feeling now when she was married to my dad.  The similarities were very interesting.  She feels strongly that I should see a therapist.  I don't disagree, but am resistant because I know it will be difficult.

She also said something else that stood out to me.  It was along the lines of "the grass is not always greener on the other side."  In other words, perhaps I would not be happier after divorce.  Maybe I need to be happy with myself first.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Let's Get Real

Time for some real stuff, the hard shit.  

My marriage is not fantastic.  In fact it's pretty much the opposite of fantastic.  I was originally thinking I'd just not focus on that in my writing here on my blog.  I don't plan to give too much detail or give too much attention to it but of course it is a huge part of my life and related in at least some way to my drinking.

Had quite a long discussion with my husband yesterday.  Neither of us is happy, in fact he is "miserable".  I'm not confident that my marriage will survive for the long term or that either of us wants it to.  Which basically leaves us in a big huge mess.

His main issue with me is that I am very controlling, which I don't dispute.  Basically he feels as if he is walking on eggshells.  If he does the dishes I get mad that he is not doing them right, if he doesn't do the dishes then I get mad that he is not helping.  Or when I ask him for his opinion I get mad that he won't tell me what he really thinks but he is scared to tell me what he really thinks because I'll be upset that he doesn't agree.  That type of stuff.  

In addition, I can just plain be a big fat bitch (that's my word, not his).  Again...I don't dispute that.

He also brought up the fact that we have been fighting in front of the kids.  Even when we are not fighting, we are certainly not modeling a healthy relationship.  Ugh...so true!  Ouch, the truth hurts!

Of course this is a very simplistic description of a huge problem.  Years and years of life has led us to where we are now.  There's no point in airing out all of my dirty laundry here, but I think perhaps acknowledging the problem can be helpful.

I think it was in Jason Vale's book that he said that if your car is broken down and you drink a bottle of wine you will still need a mechanic.  So if my marriage sucks, drinking wine will do nothing to fix it (although it was a nice escape).

Ok, now I feel vulnerable!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Obsessions


According to dictionary.com, an obsession is:

an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind.

There are lots of things I am obsessed with. My phone, candy crush, coffee, TV, drinking, being sober. In fact it was just over a week ago that I wrote about me new preoccupation with the online sober world.

Well I have another new obsession (see any patterns?). I apologize as this is a little off topic but it is so much on my mind that I feel I must write about it. It's a podcast called Serial. It's become quite popular, from the makers of This American Life. It's a real life murder mystery. I'd heard about it from a friend at the gym who desperately needed someone to talk to about it and went home and listened to the first episode and the rest is history. From last Friday evening until Sunday morning I caught up on all episodes. Then in the next couple of days I listened to them all again. Then I found another podcast which talks about the podcast and listened to all episodes of that. Then I found blogs and websites that discuss the podcast and spent all day yesterday reading and listening. Then last night I had to make myself stop. I shut the computer (gasp) and put my phone in another room to give my mind a little rest!

A couple of observations as this relates to sobriety. 1. I have literally been so enthralled with Serial that I have not had time to obsess or even think about wine or being sober. Of course I am sober but I haven't been thinking about it. 2. Before I got sober a couple of months ago I was not a regular listener of podcasts (of any kind) or reader of blogs (of any kind). Then I was introduced to sober blogs and podcasts and now I'm obsessed with a different podcast and related blogs. Coincidence?


Of course I'd love to hear from you if you happen to be listening to Serial. I'd also like to recommend it, but knowing that you may have addictive tendencies (as I do)...be warned. Highly addictive!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Meditation?

So we've established that I have a problem, well lots of them!  So far I'm doing things different this time as far as sobriety goes.  I'm blogging, listening to podcasts, reading blogs, commenting on blogs.  I've joined the BFB.  I really do think I'm off to a good start.  In doing all of these things, something I've run across is the idea of meditation.  I've seen Tara Brach's name mentioned in more than one place.  The first time I saw it I ignored it without a second thought.  Then I saw it again and I thought that maybe I should investigate a bit.  I mean the idea is that I'm trying new things, right?

So I searched around a bit on the web, downloaded some podcasts of hers as well as a couple of others (Meditation Oasis).  I can tell you that I don't know the first thing about meditation but listening to these calming voices has proven truly relaxing.  Maybe I'm on to something here?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Let's Meet for a Drink

At the gym this morning I saw a former coworker who I remain friends with but don't see very often.  We chatted for a few minutes and she said "after the new year we should get together for a drink."  I smiled and said "that would be great."  I really do think it would be great to get together with her and catch up, but my mind also had a minute of panic just then.  Not panic that I wouldn't be able to successfully meet for drinks without drinking alcohol but panic because I wasn't sure if I should tell her at that moment that I'd quit drinking.  I was afraid she'd feel let down or that it wouldn't be as much fun to make plans.  In situations like this it is always a bit strange for me.  I mean, who knows if we will actually get together, at least any time soon.  Also I felt if I mentioned it I would feel obligated to get into a discussion about why I've quit.  So for today I decided to just let it go without mention and I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

On an earlier blog post I made a list of celebrities who don't drink because I am a bit fascinated by this.  Here's a picture to go with one of those names (you're welcome!)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Day 48 ~ It's a Mental Game

Day 48 is significant to me because the last time I "quit drinking", I drank on day 48.  I will not drink today.

Here's a brief recap of what happened last time. 

May 2014 

Day 0.  It was a Sunday, for no apparent reason I started drinking wine early and fast.  By the middle of the afternoon I had vomited and passed out.

Day 1.  Really bad hangover.  Guilt.  Shame.  The usual "I'm never drinking again."  But I felt pretty serious this time. 

Days 2-47.  I was feeling good, I was doing it.

July 2014

Day 48.  I went on vacation.  Wolfie was there although at the time I still had never heard it called that.  He said lots of things to me that day:

"You are on vacation, you can't have fun without drinking"
"You have made it for so long, you deserve a reward (wine)"
"Let's see how it goes, if a drinking opportunity presents itself and you want to drink you can"
"Everyone else on this trip will be drinking"
"You love wine"
"You need wine"
"You know you want to"
"You have never succeeded in quitting before"
"You aren't quitting forever so why not drink today"
 
I really did think long and hard about it.  I did not want to reset the counter on my phone to day 1.  I feel like my "let's see what happens" attitude was the reason for my ultimate decision to drink.  I am hoping the next time I go on vacation I will have a different outlook from the beginning.  I will know that I'm not going to drink and that there is no reason to have this crazy conversation in my head. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blogs, Blogs and More Blogs

This just in:

I seem to have replaced my obsession with wine with an obsession with sober blogs.  I've recently found a few more that I really like and have added them here on my page.  Makes it much easier for me to find them, see when new posts have been added and share them with anyone who might be reading this.  There are SO MANY out there, I'll never get to them all.

Speaking of people who might be reading this, I'm up to 1248 pageviews (yes quite a few of them are from me clicking on my own blog!)  It's a relatively small number I'm sure but to me it's huge considering a month ago I wasn't sure I wanted anyone to see it.  Now I get so excited with each new pageview and especially when someone comments (yes, I'm talking to you!)  I'm also up to 10 countries and I can't help but wonder if someone in Palestine, Venezuela or Japan is actually reading this and interested or stumbled upon it by mistake?

It took a while to get comfortable but now I am often commenting on other blogs.  Hopefully people won't get sick of me!  I've a had a couple of people who have left just one comment and I'm left wondering if they've been back?  Are they still sober?

When I am falling asleep at night I think about future posts I want to make.  When I have a thought/feeling/experience I imaging writing about it and what I would say. 

Of course the best part is reading someone else's words and feeling like I could have written them myself and this happens on a daily basis!

So is this a healthy obsession?  I certainly think that connecting with others is helpful. I do however feel a strong need for people to like me. I certainly don't want to get wrapped up in feeling self-worth based upon how many hits or comments I get.  I'm sure like all things balance is key. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Isn't it Ironic?

Yes that's a song by Alanis Morisette, maybe you're humming it now as I am. 

I'll tell you what's ironic.  Being upset about something when it doesn't happen and then being upset when it does!

Here's the example:

A couple weekends ago I came home from the gym to find my husband cleaning the house (gasp!)  I was immediately a hot mess.  I was anxious/angry/apologetic.  Not the reaction one would expect.  Why, you ask?  Well I am usually the one who does the cleaning, so I felt that if I had cleaned the house as I should have he would have no need to clean.  Also I have a certain way of doing things and perhaps he was doing it wrong.  The ironic part is usually I sulk around the house upset because no one does anything to help me!

Belle has talked about this on her blog and podcasts and it sure rings true for me.  Who would want to help someone who acts like this?

On another note, here's a short clip from Dr. Phil about his decision not to drink.  I love Dr. Phil and find this quite interesting. 


Speaking of Dr. Phil...last week he had a guest on his show who was drinking hand sanitizer all day long to get drunk.  It was quite scary and moving.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dirty Dishes

I just started the dishwasher for what seems like the 100th time in the past 5 days.  It is simply amazing the amount of dishes two almost teenagers and a husband can create when they are home from work and school.  Tomorrow things will be back to normal for 3 weeks and then winter break will be here and we'll start again. 

In the past, any time there was a break from the normal routine of school and activities it was an excuse to drink more.  Any time the dishes were piled up high in the sink I couldn't help but think of how a glass of wine would make the task so much better (which is pretty ironic because in the long run I'd lose all motivation to do anything while drinking).   

I have proven to myself over the past 5 days that I CAN in fact do the dishes without wine.  I can play board games without wine.  I can survive a major holiday without wine.  I can tell my friends and family that I no longer drink.

December will be difficult but I do feel confident in my ability to remain sober.  I feel very determined as my sober momentum continues to grow slowly but surly. 

Looking forward to a sober December.  Who's with me?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

That was Unexpected

As I sit here on day 42, exactly 6 weeks from the day I had my last drink, I am thinking about what has surprised me the most so far in this journey.

If you had told me 6 months ago that I would be blogging I would have never believed it.  I have never considered my self a writer and I would have thought of blogging as a chore.  Now as I wake up each morning I am immediately thinking about what I might want to write about.  Things I have learned, experiences I have had.  Those first days I felt like there was so much in my head that I needed to get it out.  Writing about some of my worst drinking experiences was a way to acknowledge them and I can look back to them when I need a reminder. 

Of course I got the idea to start a blog from reading other blogs.  The first blog I stumbled upon during my day 1 hungover internet search was Mrs. D's.  She was telling my story!  Then I found another blog and she was also telling my story.  I sat for hours and hours those first few days reading blog after blog.  My favorites are all listed here on my page and I continue to discover more and more. 

That brings me to possibly the most unexpected and exciting part.  All of these people are in all different parts of the world!  And they are just like me.  I guess living in the United States had led me to think the world revolves around us and honestly I had never given much thought to it and of course when I decided to get sober I had no idea what I would find.

I have to admit that geography is NOT my thing, never was.  I've actually pulled up a map more than once to see where some of these people are.  I find myself wondering about all of these places I've never been.  What's it like there, what time is it there?  Unfortunately, it seems that the prevalence of alcohol is the same everywhere...that's what brings us together!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Major Holiday Sober ... Check!

Thanksgiving is over.  Well sort of.  Tomorrow is my mom's Thanksgiving and it will actually be more difficult because I'll be around other people.  My mom knows of my sobriety and said she'd support me by not drinking.  The others who will be there are all very normal drinkers and will be supportive.  We are making a gingerbread house with my kids as we have done for years and it's hard to picture myself getting through that without a glass of wine but I know I will.

Yesterday was the most uneventful Thanksgiving I've ever had.  After I came home from the gym I spent the rest of the day in my pajamas and the turkey was good!

I guess I've now made it a habit of watching my husband drink.  When I was drinking with him I think I was too worried about how I could get the majority of the wine that I never noticed just how boring of a drinker he is.  Of course he has had too much on occasion, but it is very rare.

Anyhow, yesterday he opened a special bottle of wine.  Special because it is from a winery we have been to and was a gift.  I never saw him pour more, but I know he either had one large glass or 2 small (normal) glasses because there is about half a bottle left.  HALF A BOTTLE LEFT?  Still fascinated by someone who can do that.  Especially on a holiday.  He doesn't have to go to work today, it was a really good bottle of wine, it was a gift, etc.  All the reasons my brain would have told me to finish it and probably open another. 

I'm really worried about the rest of that wine going bad.  And yes there is a part of me that is just sad about not having any.  Don't worry, I'm not going to drink it...but that leads me to the other interesting thing that happened yesterday.

When my husband opened the wine I grabbed the bottle and said I wanted to smell it.  My son saw me grab the bottle and said, "Mom, drink water with me!"  This sort of stopped me in my tracks for a moment.  He knows I've stopped drinking and I've mentioned my blog.  He hasn't actually read it but thinks it's cool that it gets hits from different countries and things like that.  So he knows generally what I'm doing but I haven't made too much of a big deal about it.  So I was a little surprised by his reaction and am curious what it was all about.  Does he just want me to succeed in something I've started or does he genuinely not like it (me) when I drink wine? I'm pretty sure I know the answer. 

I think the point is that I am learning more and more that my kids have been affected by my drinking.  It was so easy to tell myself that it was fine and that everyone else does it and they didn't really know what was going on.  Hopefully the good example I can provide now will be enough to offset the bad.  My daughter is really only about 3 years away from the age I was when I had my first drink.

The other thing I did yesterday was read...a lot.  I love to read and have spent a ton of time reading blogs and books about recovery in the last month and a half.  In fact, that is a huge part of me getting this far.  Yesterday though, I decided to read a regular old book and it was great to read a normal book again!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"One Time When Mom Was Drunk"

I hated writing that title and I hate the fact that those words came out of my daughter's mouth just the other day.  She was talking about something I had said while drinking and it was true and it was something I would have said whether or not I had been drinking.  But even though I did say it and do believe it, it doesn't change the fact that she was aware of the drinking and thinks it changes what I say and how I act.

Yesterday was a trigger filled day for me.  No school, no evening activities, slight boredom.  A perfect day to open a bottle of wine (early) and drink all afternoon (I didn't).  Then my husband came home from work and poured himself a glass of wine and wanted to play a board game.  Board games are a huge trigger for me.  I feel like such a shitty person when I say this but for whatever reason I always felt like I needed wine to sit down and play a game with my family.  I remember the first time we taught the kids how to play Monopoly.  There were three empty wine bottles on the counter by the time the game was over.

Even though the thought made me grumpy, last night I poured myself a sparkling water/cranberry drink with lime and played cards with my family.  It can be done!  Then I watched with fascination as my husband finished his (ONE!) glass of wine and put the glass in the sink.  I was thinking that one would have never been enough for me.  It's always so crazy to me when someone really does just drink one glass of wine.

Today is Thanksgiving.  I'm starting with my favorite exercise class at the gym and I'm cooking a turkey for the first time in my life!  There might be more board games in my future this afternoon and I'm ready!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Focus on the Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving is different this year. 

Not only am I going to be sober, but our usual plans have fallen apart. 

The holidays stress me out.  We have lots of family near us.  My parents (who are divorced), and also my in-laws.  I love having so many people around us who love us, but it always causes me stress on holidays because we cannot be in more than one place at a time.  As a people pleaser, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  We've tried different things over the years...visiting multiple places during the same day, trading off years at different places, celebrating with some people on a different day.

This year it looks as though we may be spending Thanksgiving at home and celebrating with some of my family on the Saturday after.  I've never cooked a turkey in my life...can you believe it?  This might just be the year.  I told my husband I'd be fine to order pizza but I really think he wants to give it a try.

I think I associate Thanksgiving more than any other holiday with wine.  It's the first thing I think of.  The second thing I think of is mashed potatoes (yum!).  This year I will look forward to and focus on the mashed potatoes. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Successful Weekend... Check!

I was "away" this weekend (next city over) at an event I've attended before.  It was fun and good to reconnect with some other moms.  There was only a little talk about alcohol (and how we snuck wine in coffee cups last year).  At the beginning of the main event I got a tea from Starbucks and the rest is history! 

This video has been posted in a few places so maybe you've seen it already.  I like it though and wanted to post it here.  It makes me sad and hits home for me. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Dream

I had the dream last night.  Something similar happened the last time I had about a month of being sober.

I was sitting on the couch drinking a glass of white wine (which is strange because would have much preferred red, ha!)  After I had finished about half the glass I suddenly remembered that I don't drink anymore.  I freaked out, I was going to have to start again at day 1!  I asked my husband why he didn't stop me and he just gave me a puzzled look.  Thank goodness it was only a dream.

This weekend I am going to an event that has nothing to do with alcohol.  But last year some of the people I was with and I were drinking wine at this same event.  So I got a text from one of these people with of a picture of the wine she was packing for the weekend.  I feel like I am letting her down in a way by not drinking with her.  I hadn't told her yet that I'd stopped, so I told her via text and joked that I'd tell her about it over a glass of wine but that I'd drink tea.  Interestingly, she was with me over the summer when I drank again after 47 days of being sober.  She didn't pressure me or anything like that, I just decided (no one had to twist my arm) that I wanted to drink.  But not this time.  I will not be drinking this weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Click

Something is starting to click in my brain just a little bit.  Of course I know I have a problem with alcohol...that's why we're here.  But as I've been listening to podcasts from Belle and The Bubble Hour, and also connecting with people in the Booze Free Brigade (BFB), I am realizing that others with alcohol issues also have similar personality characteristics.  Things like being a people pleaser, getting overwhelmed easily, being controlling, all or nothing thinking, low self-esteem, social awkwardness, perfectionism.  I was under the impression that alcohol was the problem, but there are so many other areas of myself that need work.  This is maybe a slightly depressing realization because of course I have no idea how to make these things better.

But as Dr. Phil would say, "you can't change what you don't acknowledge."  Figuring out what I need to work on has to be a good first step, right?

There is a quote that stuck out in my mind from Fifty Shades of Grey.  (Yes I read it...didn't you?)  Christian tells Anastasia, "Because I'm fifty shades of fucked-up."  I guess it stayed in my mind because I feel like it applies to me. 

Ok, so now what?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

[Insert Clever Title Here]

Now that I have completed the first 30 days I plan to start giving my blog posts a title with words and not just day counts.  I'll throw in an occasional day count as I reach certain milestones I'm sure.

I can count on one hand (5) the number of people I know in my personal life who are non drinkers.  Yesterday at the gym I ran into one of these people and she told me to send her my email address for something totally unrelated.  As I was sending it to her I thought to myself, "You know she doesn't drink, why not ask her about it? It might be good to reach out to another sober person.  Maybe she has some tips."

So I did.  I told her I'd stopped drinking about a month ago and did she have any tips for me?  We exchanged a few emails back and forth and not only did she open up about her non drinking, she also opened up about other addiction related things that have shaped her life. 

Her story is interesting to me because she was apparently not at all a heavy drinker and had just one bad experience with drinking and then decided to give it up.  She shared that it has been very difficult socially, which of course was not a surprise. 

This person and I are Facebook friends and during our email exchange she said something along the lines of "I don't know if you know this about me...my Facebook is not me".  I have thought about this before and discussed it with other friends.  It's rare, if at all, that anyone's Facebook is the real them.  Wouldn't it be crazy if we all put our real shit out there for everyone to see!?!

Whenever I hear someone else's story of sobriety I inevitably find myself comparing my story with theirs.  Often times I find myself saying "I wasn't that bad".  In a way that makes me feel better but it is also dangerous because it can lead to thinking things like "I wasn't that bad, maybe I don't need to stop", etc.  In this case, My drinking was obviously worse than hers, yet she chose to quit.  Therefore my quitting is definitely justified. 

Blogging has been a fantastic release for me and I get so excited that people are actually visiting my page and even more excited when they leave a comment.  I am also finding that each time I tell someone in my real life I feel a small amount of relief as well.  I think both are important.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Day 30

Today is day 30 and it does feel like a small accomplishment.  I've previously made it to 47 days so I'm really going to feel accomplished when I get that far this time.  Honestly, the 30 days has gone by very quickly.  Overall it's been fairly easy.  I feel like my challenges will come over the next couple of months with the holidays, parties and socializing inevitably approaching. 

I told my mom yesterday that I was done drinking and she said "I support that".  I knew she would support me but it does feel good to talk about it and slowly tell more people of my intentions.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Day 29

Well I have over 400 page views!  It is such a strange feeling to know that people are reading this.  Even from other countries, that is very cool to me.  Still not very many comments though...so if you are reading this feel free to leave a comment!

All weekend I have had this recurring thought that sometimes I just plain "suck at life".  Small things overwhelm me and I am a complete control freak.  I am sure I am very hard to live with.  Wine was sure good for dulling the negative thoughts that run through my brain.  After a couple of glasses, nothing seemed overwhelming and I could care less about controlling everything.  I suppose I need to learn better ways to deal with life in general.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 26

Twice over the past couple of years I've been talking to someone when they said "I don't drink".  Both times I was surprised and felt a sudden sense of envy.  I also had lots of questions but didn't ask because I just wasn't sure if it was appropriate.  My response both times was "I drink too much", followed by a little chuckle.

I remember very clearly wanting to be just like them.  I wanted it to be just that easy to say that I don't drink.  I'm hoping in the future I can drop that in a conversation just as easily....that it will be my new normal.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Still Day 25

Look at me, I'm posting twice on a day when I had nothing to say.

It's cold and snowy here today (which I love), and my daughters evening activities have been cancelled.  This is a trigger for me as normally what I would have done upon learning we were in for the evening is immediately open a bottle of wine and have "just one glass".  Just one glass would equal a bottle of course.

Instead, what I am going to do is light a candle, drink some hot tea and read a book.  Maybe light a fire, hang out with my kids, watch some TV?

No, I will not be drinking wine.  Yes, I'll probably be thinking about drinking wine.

Day 25

I really didn't have anything to say today and then I just received an email,  It said in part:

"You need to get wine before Thanksgiving and we made it easy."

"You're going to be drinking loads of wine over the next couple of weeks."

I have to admit Thanksgiving makes me nervous.  The first thing I think about is a nice glass of wine.  I just need to remind myself that I would turn in to much more.  When I read this email all I could think was "wow!"  And of course I thought...no, I am not going to be drinking loads of wine over the next couple of weeks.  This is just a reminder about how prevalent alcohol is in our society.  The advertisements are everywhere, as if I wasn't already thinking about it enough.

I think I'll go now and unsubscribe from this email list...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 24

A cool thing happened last night.  I have been trying to actually comment on blogs instead of just lurking around and then Rachel said she had read my blog.  I got a cool butterfly in the stomach kind of feeling!  I really did love her book, I could relate to it so much.  I will be reading it again soon.


 
The other thing I've been thinking about a lot lately is this feeling that my problem isn't/wasn't that bad.  I KNOW I have a problem with alcohol and the way my brain works regarding it.  I also know I need/want to stop drinking.  I think what's bothering me is when I hear other peoples stories I almost feel guilty for never have gotten "that bad".  I love hearing from other people and being able to relate to others has helped me so much.  It takes a lot of courage to share terrible things that have happened.
 
They say alcohol addiction is like an elevator going down and people get off at different floors.  While some bad things have happened while drinking, I'd say I never reached a hard rock bottom.  So you could say I had a high bottom I suppose.  Something else that I keel getting hung up on is the fact that I was not drinking every day or physically addicted.  But as I said I KNOW I have a problem and for me this is what defines it:
 
I would always drink more that I wanted or intended to.  Yes there have been times in my life where I really only did have one or two but they were few and far between.  Also, anytime when that happened I had to concentrate and focus with all of my strength to make it happen. 
 
The part I hated the most was waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep.  I would lay there and ask myself "WHY"?  I would tell myself that I wouldn't do it again, but I always did it again.  The feeling of having lost control.  Then of course this was followed by a terrible hangover the next day.  I would spend my hungover days wishing the day was over and I hated that.
 
Another indicator for me is the constant obsession in my head regarding alcohol.  Always thinking about it.  The constant negotiating.  It just can't be "normal" to have this going on in my mind ALL THE TIME. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Still Day 23

I must be in the mood for rambling today.  I feel like I have more to say on the topic of will I/won't I ever drink again.  For some reason it feels important to say "I don't know".  I might and I might not.  I don't plan to for a very long time.  I would like to get to day 100, one year, day 500.  In fact, I am going to calculate when day 100 will be.  Ok, according to my calculations, day 100 will be January 26th, 2015.  That's a good starting goal. 

Also, I mentioned a few days ago that I had told a couple of my closest friends of my sobriety (by text, casually).  We text back and forth daily and over the weekend the friend who I'd been most scared to tell made at least 6 comments which irritated me.  She flat out asked if I wanted to come over for a drink and also told me that I was no fun, getting old and that I only live once and should have some fun.  That was hard to hear for someone who is worried about getting old and being no fun!  Of course I hadn't made a big deal about becoming sober but this let me know that it was on her mind.  I mostly ignored the comments and honestly expected them but I did feel irritated.

Day 23

So what I've been struggling with and getting hung up on is FOREVER.  I know...that's why you are suppose to think about it one day at a time and all that.  I keep having these crazy thoughts...what if someone dies, will I drink then?  What if I get diagnosed with a terrible disease, will I drink then?  What if I'm sober for 10 years...will I drink on my 50th birthday?  What if one day I just want to have a drink...will I drink then, and if I do does that mean I have relapsed? (Of course I know I won't just have one drink).

And then I'm thinking about the whole idea of relapse.  I hate the word, it sounds so tragic.  So I'm sitting here thinking...let's say I started this saying I was going to quit drinking for 100 days.  Then on day 100 I would have succeeded.  So if I decided to have a drink on day 101 it would be a bad idea but I wouldn't necessarily consider it a relapse because I had never decided to quit drinking forever in the first place.  But on the other hand if I started out saying I was done for good and had a drink on day 101, or any other day, it would be a failure and a relapse.

I feel like this is a lot of rambling, but these are the crazy thoughts going through my mind lately (and no I'm not planning on drinking anytime soon). 

Wolfie, of course is the name Belle uses for the voice of our addiction.  The voice in your head that convinces you to drink.  One of the classic lines wolfie would always use on me was "You are an adult...you can do what you want.  You can drink if you want to because you are an adult".  Yes I am an adult and I'd like to think instead that it means that I won't drink too much and act like a jackass!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Day 21

Another Saturday with no hangover, it feels good.

Busy with the kids activities today and it feels good to feel good.

Last night was my first time eating out since I officially quit drinking.  On the way to the restaurant I felt grumpy and slightly anxious.  We were meeting my in-laws and I thought there'd be more people there but it turned out to be just them and I was glad for that.  I drank water, my husband had a couple of margaritas.  Overall it was easy and fun and I enjoyed the conversation. 

My mother-in-law is a classic normal drinker.  I have known her for 20 years and NEVER seen her drink too much.  Always one or maybe two.  I have always noticed this and wondered how she did it and never wanted more.  I am aware that my brain does not work like that when it comes to alcohol.

Interestingly, my father-in-law does not drink.  I have seen him have a Bloody Mary maybe 5 times in the past 20 years.  Ever since I first met him I was always fascinated by the fact that he was a non drinker.  I'd often drink a lot and try to persuade him to drink, but it never worked.  I also remember many occasions when I'd been drinking and ask him questions about his non drinking.  I just could not grasp the idea that he just didn't drink.

When questioned last night about the fact that I hadn't ordered a drink I responded simply that I was "cutting down".  My father-in-law joked that he had been cutting down for the past 20 years and I joked back (but was serious) that I was following in his footsteps.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Day 20

Dry January

I've tried this now for the past 3 years and here's how it went.

January 2012 

My brother and sister in law brought up the idea of not drinking in January.  At this point I knew I drank too much but had never seriously thought about quitting for good. I am always trying to lose weight in January and this seemed like a great idea for lots of reasons.  They even had other members of my family on board.  I had good intentions but lasted only about 2 weeks.  We had people over for a football playoff game and it was very easy to talk myself into drinking.  I mean this wasn't even my idea to begin with, right?

January 2013

January went so well I even decided to go into February.  In fact I made it 45 days.  For Valentine's Day my husband wanted to go out for dinner and what's Valentine's Day dinner without wine...

January 2014

I made it exactly 31 days.  I specifically remember wanting wine so badly near the end that I was very focused on drinking again and planning out when and what and how.  I was also very glad that the Super Bowl was in February so I'd be able to drink.

I was planning to start this journey in January of 2015 and I'm glad I decided to start now instead.  By the time January rolls around I'll already be well on my way!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 19

Good things are happening today!

I have a running text with 2 of my best friends and this morning I just casually put it out there that I was done drinking for good.  Guess what...the world didn't end.  Time will tell how it will be the next time I'm around them and they are drinking and I'm not but it feels good to put it out there and plant the seed.

Also, I have been missing my group fitness classes for about 6 weeks now because I am trying to recover from plantar fasciitis.  I've been wearing orthotics for a couple of weeks now and went to my dance class today.  It felt so good to be back!

Speaking of exercising...I can think of so many times I went to the gym hung-over because I was trying to prove to myself that my drinking was not a problem.  Of course sometimes I just felt too bad and couldn't make it but as long as I made it to class I could tell myself that I wasn't drinking too much.  One of my favorite classes is on Sunday morning and it will feel so good to feel good in class!

My son (11) had noticed the other day that I had created a blog.  He mentioned it again yesterday so I told him I had decided to stop drinking alcohol because I thought I was drinking too much and that's what the blog was about.   That was really the end of it.  I plan to talk to my kids more about all of this in the future.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day 18

Things always seem better in the morning. Last night I was grouchy and weepy and just plain in a bad mood. Little things were getting under my skin. I feel so much better this morning after a good night of sleep.  I'm writing this down so I can remind myself that things will be better tomorrow. 

Speaking of the morning. As I'm drinking my coffee, I'm thinking about how much I love coffee and it's one of the things that makes the mornings great. After a night of drinking, one of the ways I would judge the severity of the hangover was based on whether or not I wanted coffee the next morning. Mild to moderate...still wanted coffee. Moderate to severe and the thought made me cringe. One more "gift of sobriety" is enjoying my coffee every day!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day 15

So it's been about 2 weeks and so far I've created 3 new "sober" email addresses!

First I needed a new anonymous email to join groups and receive emails and create a blog...done.

Then I didn't like the blog on Tumblr and needed a Gmail address to create this blog...done.

THEN I wanted my email address to match the name of my blog...DONE.

So I keep acting like a crazy person and joining and unjoining groups, subscribing and unsubscribing to blogs and newsletters. 

Compulsive much?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 14

Well It seems as if my blog has been viewed which is an interesting (vulnerable)feeling.  Still waiting for my first comment!

Yesterday morning I had a conversation with one of my friends at the gym about quitting drinking.  It felt so good to talk about it.  She had a lot of questions and also always has a great perspective on things. 

Of course it was Halloween yesterday and as I was waiting in between trick-or-treaters I was having quite the conversation with myself.  It went like this:

"Maybe my problem isn't that bad, maybe I don't want to do this forever, a glass of wine sounds nice, why am I doing this to myself?"

But both when I climbed into bed and woke up this morning the feeling had passed and I was very glad.  I keep reminding myself about the things I hate about drinking.  In fact, here is a list I made a couple of years ago...note the time I made it, in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep because I had been drinking.


I finished Jason Vale's book and am now reading "Mrs. D is Going Without".  I knew I'd love it because of how much her blog spoke to me and its not been a disappointment so far.  I love to read anyway and am especially enjoying the blogs and books I've found lately. 

Here's to a sober November! 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Day 12 October 30, 2014

Something I’ve done a couple of times in the past couple of weeks is Google celebrities who don’t drink. Before I started these searches I’d never even heard of the word “Teetotalers”. I’m quite interested in this actually and here is a list of my favorites.

Bradley Cooper
Kim Kardashian
Matthew Perry
Eminem
Jennifer Lopez
Kelly Osborne
Keith Urban
Jada Pinkett Smith
Tyra Banks
Ben Affleck
Joe Biden
Jim Carrey
Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Phil McGraw
Natalie Portman
Prince
Lana Del Rey
John Travolta
Hal Sparks
Kathy Griffin
Kat Dennings

Still Day 11

As I was driving home tonight I was thinking of how “good” I was during my pregnancies and during the nursing years. And I was and it was not a problem. I’d been quite a partier during college but seemed to be no different than anyone else at the time. It would be much later before I ever entertained the idea that I might have a problem. I can remember ONE time during each of my pregnancies that I had ONE drink. Same while I was nursing.

And then I remembered that there was just one time while I was nursing that probably crossed the line. My daughter was 3 months old and we were at the wedding of two of our closest friends. My husband had taken the baby to the hotel room and I just could not resist having some drinks. The baby was fussy and he had walked back to the reception just as I was taking a shot. I remember him being furious and I was caught. I honestly don’t think I had a ton to drink overall but as I was trying to comfort my daughter, nothing worked. Nothing that is except nursing her. Not my proudest moment.

Other than that though I really had no problem during the first few years of my kids lives. Never missed it and don’t remember ever thinking about it. I do remember the first time I drank a significant amount again. It was Christmas Eve. My kids were 2 and 3 I’m guessing. I drank quite a bit of wine, which at the time was unusual for me. I actually remember saying “I’ve rediscovered drinking tonight”. We have video of that night and I think I’ve only seen it once but I couldn’t stand to watch it. When you are drinking you just don’t know how annoying you really are. This started many years of drinking too much on Christmas Eve and feeling like shit on Christmas Morning. Luckily this year will be different.

Day 11 October 29, 2014

Been in a great mood today and here’s what’s on my mind.

I started reading Jason Vale’s book yesterday. I’ve seen it mentioned in lots of places and so far I’m very interested and fascinated with it. It’s really giving me a lot to think about. Only about 30% through it but excited to read more.

Random thought I had last night. For whatever reason I’ve never been interested in drinking alcohol on an airplane. It’s one of the few places that I just really never wanted it, and wouldn’t drink it. Not exactly sure why but it’s an interesting thought.

For me one of the worst things about drinking and one of the best things about not drinking has to do with sleep. The worst thing for me has always been waking up in the middle of the night regretting drinking too much and not being able to fall back asleep. Laying there for hours on end beating myself up. Absolutely HATE that. On the other hand I much prefer getting into bed at night when I haven’t been drinking, not to mention the fact that I’ll sleep through and wake up feeling good! Long story short, today I bought myself a new “sobriety blanket”. It’s super soft and warm and a beautiful color. Just something to look forward to at the end of the day and a small reminder for me.




One more thought…I was reading on someone’s blog about getting a tattoo regarding their sobriety. Of course I thought…not me. But then I thought about it more and I sort of want to do this. Maybe after a year? I’ve seen white tattoos on Pinterest and what a great way to do it. It’s there but can hardly be seen. My thought would be to get “not today” on the inside of my wrist. I’ll think about this for a while…

Day 10 October 28, 2014

So what I want to do today is write about May-October of this year. Basically the key events that happened during that time to bring me to where I am today.

In May 2014, I had a particularly bad drinking day. It was a Sunday, probably about 2:00 and I started my usual “a glass of wine sounds nice” routine. I played a board game with my family (wine was pretty much required to do this), my husband put steaks on the barbeque…sounds like a great afternoon. But it was not a great afternoon. The wine was going down even faster than normal and soon after I ate that steak I was in the bathroom vomiting it back up. Who does that? What kind of a mom is puking in the middle of a Sunday afternoon? Of course I got it in my hair so I got in the shower and then proceeded to pass out on my bed in nothing but a T shirt and underwear. I vaguely recall my family coming in and out of the room and looking back I can only wonder what my kids must have been thinking. So I woke up feeling like shit with 3 empty wine bottles on the counter. I managed to get the kids to school, stopped for Gatorade and coconut water, took a detox bath…anything to feel better. I didn’t feel better. I slept until it was just time to pick up my kids. It was one of many days I’d spend just wishing that day was over so I could go to sleep and feel better tomorrow. It wasn’t the first time I’d had thoughts about my drinking being a problem, or that I needed to quit. So this began my second “official” attempt at quitting. I made it 47 days.

I was proud of myself, the 47 days were not even that hard. I did lots of things without alcohol including a birthday dinner. I was on fire…and then I went on vacation. I did not have a clear plan about drinking on vacation other than to “see how it goes”. Of course one of the best things about vacations had always been drinking and as soon as the opportunity presented itself I could not resist. It wasn’t an easy decision and I actually thought long and hard about it. I’d have to reset the app on my phone that was counting the days from 47 to ZERO. But the alcohol won and I drank on most days of that vacation. Nothing extreme, one day with a moderate hangover. But once I’d started again I couldn’t get myself back on track.

That was at the beginning of July, and once I’d started again I saw no reason to stop. Especially considering that my best friend was coming in to town at the end of the month. I have a 3 close friends who I’ve known since Jr. High and High school. We get together every summer with our families and then also once a year for a girls weekend, drinking is always a focal point. This summer, the timing of my best friend coming to town also correlated with one of the other friends turning 40. There was a big party planned. My best friend and the one who was turning 40 are both very normal drinkers, with the other friend and I being the heavier drinkers, the party girls…she was my drinking buddy. My husband had mentioned wanting to drink at this event and knowing full well that I’d go overboard I causally mentioned to my drinking buddy that maybe I’d drive (not drink). She was upset to say the least. I really wanted to please her and of course I really WANTED to drink. So I drank. A lot. I’m not going to lie, the night was a lot of fun. After quite a few drinks I actually remember bringing up the fact that I thought I drank too much. Someone said “if you think you have a problem you probably do” So true.

We had our annual girls weekend just a few weeks ago. I did drink, but surprisingly not too much. I remember thinking that it felt so much better to NOT be severely hungover! Of course I couldn’t stop drinking before this weekend but once it was over I felt that I was ready to try again and here I am. If I stay sober as I plan to, next years summer and fall gatherings with my best friends will be some of the most difficult for me. However, they are my best friends and I know that they will support me.

Labor day was in there too…I drank A LOT…you get the idea.

Day 9 October 27, 2014

I went to the liquor store today. I’d gone through the wine we did have in the house pretty quick before I decided to stop and seeing as how my husband has no problem with alcohol my plan is to have it in the house for him. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I did my usual routine of walking around and picking up inexpensive bottles of wine. I felt like I should be shouting “don’t worry I’m not going to drink it!”

I also started reading “Sober is the New Black”. I love it and can totally relate to it. I’m 60% done and will finish it in the morning

Day 8 October 26, 2014

It’s Sunday night and I’m tired. Not going to lie, I thought about wine today. A lot. Sort of like when I go on a no carb diet and all I want is bread. I wasn’t thinking about it like I was actually going to drink it, but wishing I was a normal drinker so I could. They featured a new drink on shark tank and it sounded good and the sharks loved it and it was this moment of feeling sorry for myself because I’ll never get to taste it. And then I’m thinking that I don’t HAVE to do this forever and the thoughts go back and forth. Never ending. I will say that as I’m getting ready to get into bed I really do love crawling into bed much better when I haven’t been drinking. It’s such a better experience.

Day 7 October 25, 2014

I feel great today. My son had his first basketball game of the season. He played at my old School and it was so fun and weird to go inside. But the best part is that am not hungover today as I have been so often on Saturday mornings in the past. I enjoyed the game instead of wishing it was over because I didn’t feel good.

So It is one week since the last time I had a drink. Last Saturday was actually pretty uneventful in the grand scheme of my life as a drinker. At about 3:00 I found myself home entirely alone. So I pulled out a bottle of white wine from the fridge. It was a little less than half full and I told myself I’d finish it and wouldn’t need any more. It was a gorgeous day outside, so I sat with my wine and soon felt the desire to open another bottle (red, my preferred choice). I didn’t finish that bottle, I left about an inch or two in the bottom. I played Candy Crush, watched a good football game and went to bed. Nothing “bad” happened. Then I woke up in the middle of the night AGAIN, couldn’t sleep AGAIN, felt like shit AGAIN.

At this point I’d already admitted to myself that I had a problem, contemplated quitting, and in fact had thought about quitting for a year on January 1 2015. It would be so much easier to quit after the holidays were over. But for some reason the thought occurred to me that I could start NOW instead and by January I’d already have over 60 days under my belt. I didn’t make a firm commitment to quit as I lay there in the night but over the next few days I found some awesome blogs and have been totally fascinated this week in reading them. I started this a couple of days later.

So here I am on day 7.

Oh…almost forgot. I told my husband this morning. It was almost uneventful. Of course I’ve said similar things before but I did include the fact that this was “for good” and I have “a problem”. He asked how he can help and I’m not even sure at this point. As they say…the cat’s out of the bag!

Day 6 October 24, 2014

I fell asleep right away last night! Only wish my dogs wouldn’t have gotten up at 5:30.

So I joined a support group on yahoo. Been reading the messages all week and decided it would be a good idea to participate…be accountable. I even decided to sign it with my first name. Thought I’d figured it out but then the message came across with my first and LAST name. It freaked me out. I’m sure no one will know me but wasn’t ready for that. Darn technology…I’d tried so hard for that not to happen, even created a new email address this week. Well it’s out there now.

Still Day 5...again...I guess I'm on a roll today

So, I’ve often thought about the “A” word (alcoholic…there I said it), and have all kinds of thoughts about it. As I was emptying the dishwasher just now I had the scariest thought yet and feel like I need to write about it NOW.

Of course I don’t want to be an alcoholic…who does? I have no problem saying I have a problem with alcohol or a drinking problem. Better yet I can say that I drink alcoholically or that I have an alcoholic mind. But to say “My name is ______ and I’m an alcoholic” …nope can’t do that. Me? Hell no. But that’s not the scary part. I just had a vision of one of my kids saying “My mom’s an alcoholic”. If I want to screw up my own life that’s one thing but to put that kind of stigma on them hardly seems fair. I really don’t like the word and what’s associated with it and honestly can’t say if I am or not. Do I live under a bridge? No. Have I ever had a DUI? No. Do I drink every day? No. Do I consistently drink more that I want to or intend to. Yes. Do I wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious, shameful, embarrassed and just plain disgusted with myself after a night of drinking. Yes. Am I always the one who drinks more than everyone else? Yes. What does it all mean? As they say, if the shoe fits…

One more thought. Over the past couple of days I’ve been feeling all kinds of things including an almost out of body experience when I stop and think about that fact that I’m actually doing this. I’m writing this down. I’m going to quit drinking…FOR GOOD. It feels TOO real. Like my brain is on overload. Lots of doubt too. Do I really need to do this? Do I really WANT to do this? For now I’m going to go with…YES!

Still Day 5

I have never thought of myself as a writer or ever considered the possibility that I would like to write but now that I have started this blog I feel like I can’t stop and am constantly thinking about things I want to write about.

So as I was just making myself some breakfast I was thinking about the fact that tomorrow is Friday and it will most likely be the hardest day for me so far because it’s FRIDAY and who doesn’t want to have a drink on Friday? Then I was thinking that tomorrow I will write about what I was doing the previous Friday (drinking) and I realized that that wasn’t true. The previous Friday I spent hung over because I had too much wine the previous Thursday. Why was I drinking last Thursday? I’ll tell you. My daughter’s evening activities were cancelled (I didn’t have to drive) and my husband would be home late (no one would have to know). Of course my kids were home with me all night watching me drink but somehow I had convinced myself that this was ok.

So here’s how the night went. I got home from picking up the kids at school and immediately opened the bottle of red wine. I drank that wine while making lunches for the following day, cleaning the kitchen, kids doing homework (I was happy to be having the wine because surely it was making these mundane tasks so much more bearable). I’m sure I told myself as I usually did that I’d just have one glass. Then we watched some of our favorite TV shows. At some point I finished the bottle, put the it in the recycle bin and the glass in the dishwasher and we all went to bed. Nothing “bad” happened. But what kind of example is that setting for my kids?

A few days later I asked my son if he wanted to watch The Biggest Loser and proceeded to turn it on. He said that we had already watched that episode. I was staring at the TV but it wasn’t ringing a bell. Honestly sometimes TV is so mindless that I don’t remember it even when watching it when sober (or at least that’s what I tell myself). But as I was watching this show I realized that we must have watched it last Thursday when I was into the bottom of the bottle of wine I had been drinking. I laughed it off, and deleted the episode. Don’t get me wrong…it’s not like I blacked out and forgot the entire night. I remember it generally, I know I watched TV with my kids. The specifics just aren’t there. Is this the end of the world? No. Is this a problem? Yes.

Day 5 October 23, 2014

I feel like my mind has been on overload the past few days. I’m glad I started writing things down but I wish this was more organized. I have a million things in my head that I want to write about and not sure how to best accomplish this. I will say that it feels great to get things out and I’ve never done this before. I’m hoping it will be the difference this time. Something else I’ve never done before is read the blogs of so many other women who are just like me. Sure I’ve browsed the Internet a bit when hungover and taken a few quizzes about my drinking habits. But this week I have been absolutely captivated by some blogs I’ve found. I sit here and nod my head as I read…they are writing MY story. I’ve been careful to mark all of my entries on this blog as private. I am certainly not ready for anyone I KNOW to read this. But I’m considering the idea of people I don’t know but who might be in a similar situation reading it. Not only am I not ready for anyone I know to read this, I haven’t even told anyone in my life of my plan to quit drinking (for good) yet. If I don’t tell anyone and then I fail, no one would even know I tried. I need to tell someone.

Time for another story from the past. I’m not sure about the exact date but it was about 10 years ago. My kids were young and with grandma for the night. We were at a work function for my husband at a place famous for their strong margaritas, and that night they were free! So I quickly drank 3 (which happens to be their limit), but the night didn’t stop there. We were off to another of my favorite spots where I had around 8 or so beers. We took a cab home. I don’t remember much about that ride but I do know I vomited IN THE CAB. Of course I don’t remember the conversation my husband had with the driver but I heard it was a good one. I do remember the hangover the next day and barely being able to sit through my kids swim lessons. Although embarrassed, at the time I don’t remember thinking that I had a problem or needed to stop drinking or anything like that. This was a bad night but it was “normal”. Drinking was just what I did.

Still Day 4

I feel good. Just got back from the gym and listened to the bubble hour (Mrs. D was the guest) while I was on the bike.

OK, time to write about something real. One of my worst nights of drinking, after which I first realized I might have a problem and had my first “official” attempt at quitting. I feel and hope that writing this down will be healing.

Spring break, 2012. Our last night in Hawaii. Mai Tai’s all afternoon at the pool followed by who knows how much wine during dinner. I woke up with a bad hangover, really bad. In fact, it was so bad I asked my husband to go downstairs and get me a beer. He did and I drank it first thing in the morning hoping to feel better. My 10 year old daughter who was sleeping in bed with me woke up and immediately and excitedly asked me about the tooth she had lost the night before. She wanted to know where I had put it for safe keeping. I had no idea what she was talking about.

In the past, after a night of heavy drinking, I often woke with a foggy memory of the night before. Then someone would mention something and it would slowly come back to me in bits and pieces. Not this time. I had absolutely no memory of the lost tooth. In fact, I had only a vague memory of arriving at dinner, eating dinner and drinking lots of wine but nothing after that. Nothing. I racked my brain, searched my mind hoping for something. I looked around in places I might have put the tooth and never did find it.

Lots of guilt/shame/embarrassment about this night. Lots of emotion, in fact I started to cry as I began to type this. Not only did I loose the precious tooth, but not having even the faintest memory of the night before scared me. How can that make sense to a child? AND, what else had happened the night before? I was with my family, my children! What did I say, How did I act?

I came back from that trip thinking that this could be my rock bottom. For the first time I seriously wanted to quit drinking FOREVER. I wasn’t ready. I quit for about 3 weeks.

Day 4 October 22, 2014

I feel good today. Today will be an easy day to be sober. Weekdays usually are. I’m tired, the past 2 nights my mind has been racing at and I’ve found it hard to fall asleep. Dogs were up at 6:00. They both slept in the same crate last night and I didn’t even realize it until this morning (and was completely sober when tucking them in), funny!

New candy crush levels are out! This is another addiction of mine. I love to play with a glass of wine in my hand but I also love it without!

Doubts…Should I have started this blog? Is it really private? What if someone sees it? What if I can’t stop drinking forever? What if I don’t need to stop drinking forever? What if I don’t want to stop drinking forever? Who should I tell? What will they say? Do I really have a problem? What about vacations, holidays, weddings, weekends?

Still Day 3

Just thinking about how to write a blog, never done it before. It seems logical for each entry to have 2 parts. The first part will be about how I am presently feeling. The second part would be to discuss a topic, or write about events that have brought me to where I am today. I feel like writing about these things will be therapeutic.

For example:

I feel foggy today and have a slight headache. Remnants of the last drinking episode or lack of sleep worrying about this whole sobriety thing?

What’s on my mind is the idea of practicing quitting. I read something today that made me feel better. I’ve tried to quit drinking in the past, unsuccessfully, as many have. The idea that this was perhaps “practicing” instead of failing makes me feel much better. Practice makes perfect.