Side Effects Part Deux

I made it through another rough patch and I’m still sober. Whew! Waiting out those feelings really does work no matter how unpleasant it feels. Feeling is the key I suppose since I block those feelings by drinking normally.

Anyway, on to my side effects list.

Side effects of drinking

° The first couple of drinks are relaxing then I go into black out and have absolutely no clue what is going on for hours at a time. I’ve awakened with bruises so black it’s a wonder I didn’t hemorrhage. How I never broke a bone or my teeth is a miracle.

°Regretting things I’ve done while drinking. Like the time I passed out in front of a friend’s mobile home and bent the skirting. I can only imagine how many people drove by and saw me lying slumped over in front of his place sprawled all over in the middle of the afternoon.

° Passing out after 3 drinks but continuing to drink the second my eyes open.

° Missing work on Monday because I’ve been on a 3 day bender and can’t handle the anxiety that these binges cause.

° Wondering how many people know my secret.

° Worrying if I have enough alcohol to see me into oblivion and if there’s a little extra to “help” my hangover.

° Missing some of my daughters’ activities because I chose drinking instead of them.

° Having lengthy phone conversations with my mother and not remember any of it. Then wondering how wasted I sounded to her.

° Sleeping in my car in empty parking lots because I was so obnoxious that my boyfriend kicked me out and I was too drunk to drive.

° Being embarrassed in front of my daughters.

° Thinking that I am actually sexy and acting on it. Going so far as to allow pictures to be taken that I would never have allowed when sober.

° Self hated and lack of confidence.

Benefits of Sobriety

° Waking up without a hangover. I can’t express how grateful I am when I open my eyes in the morning and feel amazing. No remorse or regret.

° Saving money. It makes me ill to think about how much money I wasted on booze.

° Not missing a day of work in almost 9 months.

° Work opportunities knocking on my door because I’m able to focus on my jobs instead of when I’m having my next drink.

° Knowing that I can drive a car at anytime of the day or night. Knowing that I can be there to help anyone who is in need.

° A clean and organized house and yard.

° Taking advantage of every single day because I’m not wasting my life being sloth like.

° Feeling in control of my mind and body at all times.

° Being a good role model for both of my daughters.

° Learning to love myself despite my faults.

If you can get a little bit of sobriety under your belt you will see that there is so much more to life. I’m still a work in progress but I’m a lot better off than I was 9 months ago.

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It’s Not Always Easy

Yesterday marked 8 months alcohol free. I didn’t even remember until I went to bed. My bedtime routine is to meditate by thinking about all the ways I am blessed. I fall asleep thankful that I’m sober and wake up grateful not to have a hangover.

I had some rough spots last week. Stress is my trigger to make me long for the numbness of a black out drunk. While having lunch with my 35 years sober boss/AA touting step father, something made me decide to tell him that I had 8 months of not drinking. He nodded and said, “great”. I didn’t make it seem like it was a big deal because part of me still thinks that I’ll drink again even though I know it’s poison that would eventually kill me. That’s pretty messed up.

The boyfriend has been trying to stop drinking. He’s successful for about 21 days and then decides he doesn’t have a problem and goes back to drinking. I’ve gotten much better at keeping his problems his and my problems my own. I’m having a hard enough time fighting my own battles.

Monday, Monday…Can’t Trust That Day

I realized on my way to work this morning that I no longer loathe Mondays.  I’m not saying I rejoice upon waking on Mondays but life sure has gotten easier not having to deal with drinking. Most of my weekends were spent black out drunk for days.  The only way I could make myself feel physically better was to drink some more.  I would wake up Sunday morning at 2:30 AM and think that I was not going to drink.  That usually lasted about an hour after dealing with dry heaves, sweating, shaking and all out anxiety.  So, I’d drink one drink which made me feel slightly better so I’d have another.  This was the perfect cure…for about an hour and a half.  Then the cycle began all over.  So, Sunday was spent trying to feel human again.  I usually ended up drinking way too much because as we all know, one is too many and a hundred’s not enough.

By the time Monday rolled around, I knew I had to get myself together so I could get to work.  On the days I did make it, I was a mess.  I wanted to crawl out of my own skin.  I couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror and wondered what other people saw and thought of me.  Could people tell that I felt like someone was stirring my insides with a stick, including my brain?  I couldn’t eat and could barely hold down water.  I realize now that I was in severe dehydration.  Having not eaten for 3 days doesn’t do wonders for your electrolytes and insulin levels.

It took me 5-7 days to start feeling normal after these binges.  But, once I did feel better, the booze called to me.  I convinced myself that I would do things differently next time.  I would drink lots of water and eat while gobbling copious amounts of vitamin B12.  I would pace myself and only drink one drink an hour.  This brought me right back to lying on the bathroom floor hoping that the world will stop spinning so I could get off.

I patted myself on the back for not drinking because the thought did cross my mind on Saturday.  The thought was fleeting, but it was there none the less.  Today I realized that so much of my life has become less complicated because of sobriety.

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