678 Days

I need to let that ^ sink in a bit. I haven’t been here to read or write. I have recurring dreams that I’m drinking only to wake up terrified and then relieved.

Being sober lately has brought me to the realization that my not drinking is keeping other people away. I think it has something to do with them seeing me and not liking what they see about their own drinking. I don’t talk to anyone about not drinking. It makes them squirm. That’s never my intention. I’ve got my own issues to deal with.

I’m still in a nearly six year relationship with no real commitment other than saying we like being together. (It’s my decision not to marry or live together.) He is a bi polar alcoholic but I love him dearly. He claims that my sobriety has helped him drink less. He makes it about 28 days and it all comes crashing down. He finally admitted to me that he believes he may have a problem. You’d think that after 2 stints in rehab (many years ago) and a couple of DUI’s, you might realize you may have a problem.

He doesn’t drink around me which is good because he is my trigger to want to drink. We drank the first four years of our relationship away. He was my best drinking buddy. I rarely drank before him. I’m not blaming him. He was a gateway for me. I will say that when I did drink before him, it was almost always to excess but may have been once a year instead of every other weekend.

He’s spent the last 3 weekends choosing booze over me and that feels pretty shitty. The only time he shows positive attention is when he drinks. Part of me wants to enjoy that but the other part knows these are not his true feelings. He’s been drinking during the week (I should point out that we don’t live together because I can’t deal with this exact issue) and trying to hide it. I have to keep repeating, “Not my circus. Not my monkey.” He can’t get far enough into sobriety to see it’s benefits. I’ve been there. Wanting to break free but something always pulls you back.

I tell myself that maybe I’ll drink again someday but know I can never be a normal drinker. I’m thankful to still have a clear memory of the feelings of self loathing and the physical pain of hangovers. So for today, I’m not drinking. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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The quote above pretty much sums up not drinking for me. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Meh

Sobriety has me struggling at the moment. Funny how you can be sailing along on calm waters and suddenly you find yourself in the middle of a storm. I’ll weather this one, come hell or high water.

Things are going well for me despite my absence here writing about it. I suppose I’m one of those sober bloggers who only writes when things are crappy or I’m feeling that little niggling in the back of my head. Most of the time I’m proud of the 495 days I have spent consecutively sober. But I assume we all have those moments where your brain is telling you that it’s ok to drink now. You’ve proved you can live without it so go ahead and get that first drink over with.

My dreams are filled with me drinking and not even realizing that I’m not supposed to until after the first few. I wake up confused and then relieved that it was not real.

Everything in my life is in order. I have two healthy smart daughters, food on the table, bills paid and only my mortgage as debt.

My weight has me struggling. I had lost over 200 pounds after weight loss surgery almost 9 years ago and have put back 70 of it. I’m still 130 pounds less than my highest so I’m thankful for that. I know I need to get back out and walk and ride my bike like I did before alcohol took over. It’s time to focus on the rest of my health. 

My second job in agricultural safety is completely insane with a corporate audit coming up next month. I feel like someone took pieces of my job and threw them up in the air and I’m expected to grasp each piece and bring it back into the basket.

My biggest point of concern/contention is my relationship of 5+ years with my boyfriend. He’s basically said he’s waiting for me too drink again. That there’s no way I can stay sober forever. Then he’ll say he is glad that I’m not drinking. He’s spent more than his adult life drinking his time away. I will give him credit for slowing way down on his consumption. He can go a month or more and not drink but the booze calls him back. He becomes very hateful toward me when he drinks. He thinks I’m judging him. I cannot judge anyone because I’ve been right where he is.

These episodes remind me that I don’t deserve to feel unloved because alcohol runs his brain. It pushes me a little further away each time. I love him more than I’ve ever loved any man but I’m coming to the realization that I can’t fix him. I’m barely hanging onto my own sobriety. That’s where I need to put my focus.

Now What?

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Yesterday was a flurry of encouraging messages from sober bloggers about my one year sober anniversary.  I mentioned it to my teen daughter who was visiting from the university.  She said, “Wow, good job Mom.”, with a slight rise in her voice. My boyfriend of 5 years sent me a message that said that he didn’t know many people who could accomplish that.  Those were my only real life reactions.  Not exactly the parade and party I thought this feat deserved. It was like this giant thing in my life was just that, big only in my life.  After thinking about it, I have really made not drinking no big deal to the people around me.  I barely mentioned it to anyone and when I did, it was in passing and not dwelled upon.

I realize that my mind was trying to gear me up for failure.  “Poor me.  Nobody cares that I spent the last 365 days working diligently on making my life better. I’m not the center of the world’s attention.” I haven’t had the urge to drink but I can see that my twisted mind is setting up the scene.

In doing some sober blog reading, I noticed a pattern.  I seemed to be focusing on the bloggers who had a recent relapse.  What I took away from those blogs is that one drink is not worth a year of sobriety.  I’ve also considered the possibility of attending my first AA meeting.  I’ll have to think about that a bit more.

 

365 Days

anniversaryThere never really was a rock bottom other than I knew that I couldn’t continue on with life the way I was living it.  My last days drinking consisted of me being blatoed from Thursday until Saturday night.  I spent most of Saturday in and out of the blackness, fighting with my boyfriend at his apartment as we watched football.  Somewhere around 4 pm I decided that I had better sober up.  This brought about more arguing with my boyfriend and I felt volatile toward the world and it showed.  I spewed hate at the boyfriend deflecting my negative feelings for myself onto him.  He quickly grew tired of my ranting and told me to leave.  This infuriated me more because he knew how much I had been drinking and there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to drive the hour to my house.  I angrily gathered my stuff yelling the entire time and slammed the door behind me.

I had a rental car because mine was being fixed so I was unfamiliar with the vehicle. I decided that I would sleep it off in the parking lot of the apartment complex.  Great place to crash since the building is inhabited by former homeless veterans and is 95% male.  Being that is was the beginning of the month, most had received their state assistance and they were partying it up.   I ended up sleeping for 6 hours and made the decision that I had to go home because it was so cold outside and I was freezing.

I had left the boyfriend’s on several occasions before and all of them included excessive drinking.  Normally when I left, I would drive a block to a factory parking lot and wait it out knowing he would call or text me that he was sorry and wanted me to come back.  He never called or responded to my hate texts that night so I was destined to make the drive.

Driving at night is hard for me when I haven’t been drinking.  I was thankful that I felt sober but looking back, I doubt that six hours of sleeping was enough to get the alcohol out of my system.  I contemplated calling my mom and having her make the drive to get me but I really wasn’t up to her seeing what I’d become.  Thankfully there wasn’t much traffic and the cold air from the window helped keep me alert.  I thank God every single day that I didn’t hit and kill someone that night.  My guardian angel was watching over me for sure.

Once I got home, I crawled into bed and tried to get warm.  I took a Xanax which a doctor had prescribed for me knowing that my anxiety was caused by alcohol.  It was probably not the smartest thing to do but it was the only thing that I knew would help stop the shaking and anxiety after my binge.  I made the decision amidst tossing and turning that I wasn’t going to drink for a long time.

The next morning brought a calm to me.  I didn’t know how I was going to stay sober but I knew I would find a way.  I couldn’t live my life binge drinking.  I apologized profusely to my boyfriend and told him that I was done drinking.  I’m sure he thought I meant for the next couple of weeks like my pattern had showed for the last couple of years.

Being sober was tough for the first 6 months.  Not because I was an everyday drinker but because I realized how much I had looked forward to what binge drinking did for me.  It allowed me to check out completely from life and ignore everything besides the booze.  This was the pattern every other weekend for two years.  I looked forward to spending time with my boyfriend but I realize now that I was really excited about being black out drunk with him.  I knew he would take care of me and even get me more booze when I asked.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes miss those days.

What I don’t miss is the terrifying anxiety that alcohol caused me for a week or more after I stopped drinking on those weekends.  The headaches are gone and there has not been one morning in the last year that I didn’t wake up grateful for being sober.

Every morning after drinking, I’d wake up loathing myself and my life. Not once have I  regretted not drinking this past year. Life is good!

Drunk or Fat?

Looks like it’s going to be the latter. I’ve mentioned that I once weighed almost 400 pounds and lost over 200 after gastric bypass surgery (8 years ago) and an exercise addiction.  It would seem that I’m partial to transfer addictions. I went from food to exercise, to sex, to alcohol and I’m right back where I started with food.

I have everything to be happy about. I’m 11 months sober today. Tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary with my boyfriend. Both of my daughters are successful college students. Both of my jobs are very busy. All good things, eh?

For some reason I can’t stop stuffing my face. I feel horrendous physically. I’m bloated, puffy, tired and down right fat again. I’m losing the battle and I hate myself for it. I feel myself going into my shell. I look dumpy and frumpy. I know I need to exercise again and I’ve got every excuse in the book not to but my body is screaming at me to wake up before it’s too late.  I’m an embarrassment to myself and my family. But I’m sober.

Sober Isn’t Easy…But It’s Better than Drunk

317 days have passed without so much as a drop of alcohol passing my lips.  I hadn’t given that much thought until yesterday afternoon when I was doing yard work.  I remembered that last summer I spent every other weekend obliterated out of my mind from Thursday through Sunday night.  Most Sundays were slept away trying to ward off the hangovers of the century.  I could never mow on Sunday.  I was left to sweat out the toxins during the week.

Anyway, I was thinking about how much I wanted to drink on my way home from work on Friday.  Exhaustion always brings me to wanting to numb and check out.  At this stage of the game, I can wait those feelings out by reminding myself of how horrible hangovers were for me. Waking up every morning sober and not wanting to crawl out of my own skin is worth it’s weight in gold.

Sometimes my mind races thinking about the next time I will be challenged.  I have to remind myself to stay in the moment and not get ahead of myself.  It will all work out.  I had a three day garage sale last weekend and met some pretty cool people.  One of which I hit it off right away with.  She is slightly older than myself (I’m 45).  She bought a chair from me which I delivered the half a block to her house.  She was so thankful and immediately invited me down to have a glass of wine.  I must have looked panicked because she asked, “You do drink wine, don’t you?”  I awkwardly responded that I don’t and immediately felt like the unpopular girl at the school dance.  She asked if I drink coffee.  I’ve been caffeine free for over 8 years.  “I drink water,” grasping at not wanting to be a total party pooper.  Gah!  Sober isn’t always easy but at least I’m in control of my awkwardness and making a fool of myself all on my own sans booze.