Day Eleven: Mornings are awesome!

Yesterday, my kid needed me to spend more time with her in the evening. When I finished writing the blog, it was obvious she had needed more snuggles (and homework support) earlier on. So, I’m just going to write a little right now in the morning to remind myself about why I’m not drinking (cause I had some powerful cravings last night!).

Self, the mornings are awesome without booze. You love mornings, and now you get to enjoy them in all their glory with a clear head and more excitement for the day ahead. This is how you are meant to be in the morning. You are hard-wired to be clear, not hungover and tired. Remember that!

Day Ten: Is there such a thing as too much sugar?

One of the ideas I love about not drinking is that I am saving so many calories that I can pretty much eat what I want. While I didn’t gain any weight at Thanksgiving despite multiple pie servings for days, I’m thinking that might not be the whole story. This morning, pressed for time, I grabbed the leftover slice of cheesecake for breakfast (with some very healthy berries on the side, thank you very much). Which was awesome until my co-worker offered me homemade cookies an hour or so later … and an hour after that I was so tired I could barely lift my fingers on the keyboard or keep my eyes open. I dragged all day until I could finally go home. I suspect the sugar.

Then again, I have just been EXHAUSTED much of the time during the last 10 days. Even yesterday – when I woke up feeling like a million bucks and full of plans and lists – I made it through a little laundry, a little cleanup, and then I was so tired I went back to bed for much of the afternoon. Is this just what it is like for some people even 10 days in? Hmmm. I think tomorrow I will try to eat healthy, long-acting energy and protein foods and see what happens. I’m actually not usually a huge sugar person.

Yesterday, my friend brought wine over for dinner, and I didn’t drink it. I had pomegranate juice instead. Which is, I’ve discovered, exactly the shade of a glass of cabernet. This sent me down a rabbit hole of imagining that I could fool people into thinking I was drinking by always having a glass of pomegranate juice around. The reason I’m thinking this is because, while some of my friends don’t care (like my friend who came to dinner), there is at least one friend that probably will care. The last time I was with her and not drinking, she was (surprisingly) kind of complaining about it. It actually seemed to bug her when she discovered I had soda water with lime in my glass instead of vodka. Whatever. She’s a good friend and will get over it. But, still, it made me wonder for a while whether it would be easier to fake drinking the next time we were together. Is that weird? I really don’t think I would do it, though.

Due to my extreme tiredness, I’m heading off to bed soon. I had tons of ideas for things to to write about this morning, but now that I actually have time to write, I can’t remember shit.

Day Nine: I’m so glad I didn’t drink yesterday

Whoa. It was really hard not drinking yesterday. We got home from vacation, our kid went to visit a friend, and my partner and I were having a great time watching a movie by ourselves on the couch. And I thought, “Oh, you should get some wine to go with this. That would be perfect!” So, for the next hour or so I felt a very strong pull to drink wine, but I didn’t do it. And now, I’m really glad.

Cause I’ve got plans for today. Not a lot, but plans nonetheless. I’m going to write this post (check!), finally put away the Halloween decorations (yes, I admit I had them out for all of November. sigh), cut up some boxes for recycling (maybe), do a little laundry, and have my mom over for dinner. We missed Thanksgiving with her since we went to my dad’s house (they’re divorced), so I’m making dinner tonight. Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up early, drink coffee in bed, exercise for 15 minutes, stretch for 10 minutes, meditate for 5 minutes, then start the day. Am I feeling better? Yes, I’d say so.

This is what I start doing when I feel better – planning and making lists. I was once in the hospital for several months following a serious accident. I knew I was finally getting better when I asked for some paper and a pen (it was the 90s and I didn’t have a laptop) and started making plans and lists.

It is helpful for me to write this down so I can look back and see how it happens. I really want to see what happens if I get enough sober time together. I don’t want to sabotage myself in a moment of weakness, and I’m hoping this blog will help. I don’t feel like I need to keep writing that I won’t drink today every day (but I definitely won’t drink today).

Day Eight: Coming clean

Here is the first post I ever made, on an earlier blog, about quitting drinking. This was January 1, 2019, almost a year ago. I’m glad I’m back at it (the sobriety blogging thing) even if it took so long. This time, I’ve made it past day 2! I’m transferring it here because it is still relevant, and I don’t want to forget that I’ve wanted to do this for a while now…

I drink too much. I’m in my late 40s, and I’ve been drinking too much for most of the last 20 years. It’s time to stop.

I have been circling around the idea of quitting drinking for a long time, but I never manage to make it stick for very long. I quit when I was pregnant, of course, but that was a no-brainer. Two other times, I quit for several weeks when I was on a strictly regimented cleanse diet. But, what I haven’t done is commit to truly trying a new lifestyle – one that doesn’t include alcohol. At least for long enough to know what it really might be like to not have it around. Maybe forever. We will see.

I’m not a ridiculously heavy drinker, but I do feel a strong pull to drink every single night. I also really don’t want to stop at just one, or even two, which is how I know I have a problem. I once heard a comedian explain how he couldn’t have just one drink because one drink was just “irritating” to him. I knew exactly what he meant. I guess this was one of my first clues that my relationship with alcohol is not exactly normal. The thing is, when getting drunk when you go out with your friends is what everyone does, it is hard to see it as abnormal. But, to be honest, most of my drinking is done at home. Several glasses or a bottle of wine every night is not normal. And I’ve also noticed that not everyone seems to want to drink as much as I do when we go out, either. I have no idea how much of this I have kept as my little secret all of these years, but I do know that I have been feeling a stronger and stronger urge to confess, to open up my secret and the possibility of change.

So, here it is. Today is day one. I’ve been feeling shitty all day because of how much I drank last night, and I want to remember this. I want to remember how tired I am all of the time, how my body hurts, how I have no energy to exercise or stretch, how I’m worried all of the time that I’m going to get really sick, sometime soon, from the drinking. I’m scared of cancer, I’m scared of liver damage. I’m afraid to go to the doctor because of what she might say. I already am overweight, I already have high blood pressure, and I’m pretty sure those things are connected to my drinking. I’m also tired of only being a “good enough” mother to my kid. I want to really be there, all of the time, with the energy to play with her and be present.

Still relevant. Although, I have been to the doctor since then. Luckily, I have no liver damage, but they did discover a chronic disease (not drinking related) that will probably give me a stroke or a heart attack if I’m not careful with my cardiovascular health. This is a big reason why I need to take care of myself and quit the booze (forever? I don’t know… maybe?), but certainly not the only one. Anyway, I won’t drink today, that’s for sure.

Day Seven: Whew!

I made it through. It’s the last night of the Thanksgiving vacation, and I’m going to bed soon. Whew! It wasn’t super easy not drinking, but it wasn’t ridiculously hard, either. I’m surprised. Pleasantly. And I’m happy to have made it through the first week. I had a raging headache today (rare for me), but I felt less exhausted. I noticed that my sister is no longer sober – she was drinking wine the first night – but no one commented on it. Just like no one commented on me NOT drinking even though that’s very not in character for me. And she really didn’t drink that much, as far as I know. Perhaps someday I’ll hear what is up. And it didn’t make me feel like drinking, though, just because she was.

A little post-Thanksgiving thankfulness: I’m grateful I don’t have a family where there is a lot of strife and dysfunctional stuff going on all the time. I mean, we have our moments, but ultimately, we are all pretty decent to each other. Looking forward to not drinking tonight.

Day Six: It’s Thanksgiving and I’m hiding in my room

People are starting on the whisky, bourbon, wine, wine, wine, and it looks so good! I really really wish I could have one. But I’m not going to because one will lead to at least five, and I don’t want that. I really want to make it through this holiday without booze. It’s not so hard if I can keep hiding out here in my room whenever I want. They all think I’m resting because I have been sick (which is true, but obviously not the whole story). So, nobody is commenting on my not drinking. Or, offering me wine. At least not since the first night. Not so bad. I’ll make it though and won’t drink tonight.

Day Five: Snow!

And there’s snow here! I live in a city without snow in the winter so this is a special treat. Last night, without booze, wasn’t so bad. My body doesn’t feel great, still – I’m achy and sore – but my mind is clearer. My stepmom (while she was likely drunk) said some things to my daughter (who is still just a kid) that upset my daughter, and I was able to be clear about it and address it. Not perfectly, I’ll admit, but address it. And hopefully my daughter felt heard. She deserves to always feel heard. OK. I’m on vacation and posting from my phone so I can’t write too much without my finger falling off. And there’s snow to go see! I’m not going to drink today. See you tomorrow.

Day Four: So far, so good!

I’ve made it to day 4! Hooray for me. I’ve even made it to my parents’ house for the holiday and turned down wine twice already (and we’ve only been here for two hours… that’s a little scary). I’m not sure I’ve ever been here and not had wine EVERY NIGHT except when I was pregnant. I am missing it. It sounds so great to have a glass of wine…but I really want to see if I feel as good as everyone on these blogs says they do after a good long stretch of sobriety. Right now, I’m a bit better but still pretty tired. I’m not going to drink today.

Day Three: Alcohol pushers are annoying

Today, I still feel like crap. All day, I’ve been just dragging myself around at work, but I’m finally off and can go to bed soon. Yay!

So, I get home, and my partner tries, not just once, but twice to get me to drink some wine. Because I work so hard. Because I’m now on vacation and should relax. It’s so irritating. Yes, I’d like to drink wine, but he knows I’m trying not to. And I really want to wake up tomorrow feeling better. The thing is that my partner has his own issues with booze. And he’s not drinking now, but he really wants to. So, I think it is threatening when I am not drinking. I think he is holding out hope that, as long as I can drink, maybe he can drink himself one day. And tomorrow is our trip for Thanksgiving, and my family (with the exception of my sober sister) will be all be drinking like fish. Well, never mind that. I’m not going to drink today.

Day Two: So, so, so tired

I have quit drinking before. For a few days, for a few weeks, for a little over a month, etc. So, I know that the first day, I’m usually SUPER crabby and just want to hide in bed. The second and third days, I’m usually happy to wake up not hungover, but still generally dragging around, exhausted. By the fourth or fifth day (unless I’ve committed very clearly to a goal), I’m feeling better and usually convince myself to have a couple of glasses of wine. Which, lately, always turns into at least a bottle. Clearly too much. As I’m in that exhausted stage, I’m not feeling inclined to write much. I do want to write every day, though – even if it is terrible and unedited – so that I can create an actual record for myself and keep myself accountable. That’s it for today. I’m not going to drink today. See you tomorrow.