Day Nineteen: No more hangovers!

Just checking in to say that I am very grateful to not have hangovers. Or be worried I might still smell like booze when I go to work from the night before. Or that I might not be able to drive from the extra two drinks I had in the middle of the night when I woke up at 3am and couldn’t sleep. And that I’m not doing something stupid and hurting myself in some dumb accident because I’m drunk. And that I’m present to help my kid with her homework. And that if someone had a medical emergency, I could drive them to the hospital. And that mornings are glorious. And so on. I’m glad I’m sober.

Day Eighteen: Still going strong

It has been almost three weeks now, and I’m feeling mostly good. Generally strong. I have been getting mild pangs for wine here and there, but that’s all they are. Mild pangs. Not huge cravings. And they pass quickly. This weekend, I’m going to hang out with my friend (one of my serious drinking buddies). I’ve been worried that she won’t be supportive of my not drinking because we always drink A LOT every time I see her. Well, I decided to ask her to see a movie. During the day when we can get coffee after, not booze. I’m feeling quite proud of myself for nurturing my friendship in a new way.

Today, I saw my therapist and told her I wasn’t drinking. I actually had never talked to her about any concerns I had about alcohol before. Because I was too embarrassed and didn’t want to be told I had to quit. The same reason I didn’t want to tell my doctor. Ridiculous, I know. Anyway, I realized while I was talking to her that a big part of my wanting to quit was so that I could have more clarity on some big decisions I need to make in my life. I have been using alcohol to escape the uncomfortable bits of my life and avoid having to really think about how I’m feeling and what I want to do. I’m not feeling any more clear yet. I’m hoping that will come with more time. Eighteen days isn’t a long time. I guess I need to be patient…

Day Sixteen: Life in slow motion

Yesterday was difficult. No doubt about it, but it all turned out OK. We had no electricity on our block from a huge storm (and I was feeling pretty blue), so we decided to go out for dinner in a restaurant where the lights were on. And it was good. Everyone was drinking beer except my partner and me, but I didn’t miss it much. And I woke up in a much better place after a good night’s sleep. Although I still feel unreasonably tired all day every day (despite enough sleep). It’s a little like I just want to hibernate, and when I’m awake everything is moving in slow motion.

One thing I have noticed that I am getting much better at sitting and listening to people. I used to be good at this, but I haven’t been as good at it for the last few years. Well, today, I went to brunch with a friend and was able to really be present for her while she talked about some tough stuff she is going through. I think sobriety is helping me to be quiet enough in my head to really listen. Maybe this is a benefit of slow motion.

After my friend was finished with her story, this weird thing happened: I just came right out and told her how much I had been drinking before I stopped. That was a HUGE secret, but it just came out. And she didn’t really react much. And I thought, “Oh shit! What if she always knew?!?! What if I didn’t really hide it?” And maybe that’s true (or maybe she is just cool or thinking mostly about her own stuff which is probably also true), but maybe it really doesn’t matter. Why can’t I be honest with a good friend? Of course I can.

Well, that’s it for today.

Day Fifteen: That knot in my stomach

It is one of those days when I feel anxious and lonely. Like I’m missing out on everything. Maybe it is just because it has been pouring rain all day, but I’ve been feeling super disconnected and insecure since mid-morning. And I would usually drink to get over my anxiety, but I can’t!! I mean, I can. I’m thinking about how I could. But I’m not going to. It did help for a while to go do something social. I met up with my book club, and it was lovely. They all had wine. I had hot apple cider. And it was no problem. The hot apple cider was festive. But, now I’m home, the electricity is out (it is a BIG storm outside), and I’m feeling anxious again. I’m not sure exactly why. And I can’t drink wine!!! This stinks. But it is also ok. I mean, I’m a grown up, and I know that this will pass. Somehow, just writing this out is making me feel better. I am NOT going to drink, and I know I’ll feel better tomorrow.

Day Fourteen: Today, I am glad I am sober

Two weeks! I’m feeling good (well, I still have a cold and feel yucky, but good with the not drinking). I really haven’t missed drinking today. Of course, it is still not yet the witching hour where I live so I know that could change. But, it’s OK. I know I’m not going to drink today. The more I read, the more curious I am about what it will be like to be sober for a longer period of time. I don’t feel ready to say that I will never drink again, but I can commit to not drinking today. And continuing to fantasize about how good I will feel when I’ve been sober for a good, long chunk of time.

I am looking forward to having enough energy to get all the things done. Right now, I’m still running on 50%. I am/was a “high functioning” drinker which, to me, means that I can drink and still hold down a job, make sure my kid gets to school with a decent lunch and usually matching socks, pay the essential bills on time so the lights never go out (which DID happen in my house growing up a few times), take care of scheduling my mom’s doctor’s appointments, get to my own doctor’s appointments, keep track of the school deadlines (mostly), visit my mom in her assisted living complex and take her out at least twice a week, etc. But I’m always playing catch up, and lots of little things (that are still important – like some of the less-essential bills, parking tickets, etc.) fall through the cracks for a lot longer than they should. And (perhaps this is silly) I can never, never, never get my house organized. Never. I’ll Marie Kondo all of the clothes with gusto, but then never move on to the books and papers (or all the little random bits of plastic kid birthday party bags, puzzle pieces now disconnected from their puzzles, Amazon boxes as yet not broken down, string from a broken cat toy, and similar items). Which will continue their slow but sure progress toward taking over the house. And, if I’m being really honest (which I guess I am trying to be), I really am a far cry from Supermom. And I’ve done things while drinking that I’m not proud of. Yep.

Right now, I’m just trying to be sober. And learn some things about taking better care of myself. I’m hoping that I’ll get better about juggling all of this crazy shit in my life with more time sober, but I’ll try not to obsess on it.

Day Twelve: Still here

Last night was difficult. I was overcome for a bit by cravings for wine. I knew I wasn’t going to drink, but man! I really wanted to. I knew a non-alcoholic drink just wasn’t going to do it. So, I ate two bags of candy and went to bed. Not pretty, but it worked.

Tonight, I’m feeling strong. And it has been so great to have visitors to my blog. Hello! I love reading other sober blogs. It is really helpful, and makes me willing to take the leap of faith required to think that life could be wonderful without alcohol in it. I would like to see what that is like. Thank you for sharing your stories!

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.