Just half a cup if you don’t mind

After my last post I went back and forth again with days/ weeks maybe of no drinks at all, then one day here one day there with 1 or 2 drinks. In this past week I drank daily, 1-2 spiked seltzer bottle drinks which have 5% alcohol in them, some days + 1 glass of white or red wine which has 13.5% alcohol. The reason I mention these stats will come later in this post.

First – what I’m seeing is that I’m now planning the “later on drinking” again. Like each morning, I’m waking up and one of the first things I think of is “well, I am ok and thankfully I’m not badly hungover, but I do see a difference, however subtle. Plus I am going to the gym the next couple days and don’t want my muscle recovery squandered. So no drinking tonight. Ok no problem.” Then by lunch time I’m thinking “well it’s summer time and I would LOVE a beer or 2 so what the heck.” Then I’m looking at the clock. Then I’m drinking the beer rapidly, while opening the next one. Then I debate having a glass of wine, am able (right now) to keep it at just 1 and sometimes do have it sometimes don’t.

I don’t feel triumphant at this “keeping myself in check” – ness, I just feel like ok this is what I’m doing right now. Because it’s summer and I feel like it and if I feel like it then what’s the big deal. I’ll be gone someday and it won’t matter at all, if I ate the cake, if I ate the potatoes, if I consumed (fill in).

Where is this obsession with consumption coming from? Well, it comes from the first coping mechanism I ever had. The very first thing that made me feel comfortable in my horrid household. The one I never felt safe or unashamed or comfortable or like I could be my real self, in. That comfort was f.o.o.d.

Are we celebrating? Food. Are we sad? Food. Depressed? Food. Bored? Food. Sorry? Food. Crazy? Food. Unmindful, unhealthy, unfettered, eating. In fact, it was considered a point of strength, being a pal, and being grateful for our life’s status, to eat AMAP. I see that now….how other people’s mental issues were being acted out in this food thing at home and pushed onto others.

And the same as how some people can drink and drink without getting visibly drunk, some people can eat and eat and not get visibly overweight or unhealthy. That was my case for a good amount of time. My mother (such a nice woman, not seething with jealousy and bitterness at all) said once to quell my sister’s upsettedness at my low weight that it would “catch up with her (me) eventually”.  What mother says such a thing. That is irresponsible to say the least. Why not make sure we are eating LEGIT healthy food and have a healthy relationship with it? For starters? Anyways…

So that’s where the “consume all the things” thing came from…is there enough?…will I be full? Will I have a good enough buzz? It’s not “working”! Oh no!! MORE!!

This consumption thing is what escalates my drinking or eating…it’s this compulsive grabbing at things to take in that could make me feel better/ less bored/ less inactive/ more fun – the whole deal as usual. Having “one small glass of___” was never something I cared about. I thankfully (again, at this current time) can stop at 1 or 2. But I can feeeeel it creeeeeeping in again. And it is causing the usual cognitive dissonance.

So – that plus what I found out this morning. The whole – how many fricking units are ACTUALLY in a glass/bottle whatever. Turns out this moderated-aren’t I doing better-though it’s still not what I wanted to be doing thing – is literally bullshit. BULLSHIT!

I don’t worry myself about following guidelines about things, but the reality is that if I had 2 of those seltzers plus that moderate glass of wine, that is over 6 UNITS of alcohol in ONE NIGHT. Times 7 is well….TOO MUCH. Like even to be like “oh heck whatever” about. I could have 1 of those seltzers each night, for summertime, for fun, for shits and giggles…and still be at the MAX for units of alcohol for the week. Just 1. Which, like I’m saying, I could do and have done. But it’s not the point. Could I just have like 1-2 Friday and Saturday? Sure! That’s still within the limits….but I dunno. That to me is way too much control over something that I’m not interested in controlling. Like, only on these days, this much….only this much poison per day.

So I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do from here, but for now, I’m passing on the drinks. I found this rather a wake-up call, to my supposed moderation.

One glass of red wine, where I fill it only to the half way point is 2.5 units. Say I had 4 glasses – that’s 10 units. It’s all just so ugly in those terms.

I’d wanted this whole year to be alcohol free and now it’s halfway through and it hasn’t been. It’s been wayyyyyy less than years previous to 2015, but still. It’s not been what I wanted. No really.

My mind is a little scattered today as you can see…

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Which way do you want to go?

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Always the same back and forth in my mind, but I’m rather in the same place in there. It seems that the drinking is just another representation of much of my mind and life. I’ll make a choice, come to a conclusion, that seems like a decision. Time will go by – either 30 minutes or 30 days, whatever, then I’m back trying to make the same decision again. But as I’m typing this, I do realize that it’s not ALWAYS like that, actually. There are a few decisions that I’ve made and not reneged on or am certain I will not renege on in the future: working hard at the gym, not drinking coffee (this time around), not smoking cigarettes, not having anything to do with exes, keeping the chickens though they are truly frustrating to have sometimes, not moving out of my own house (so far), not taking on a mortgage that is ridiculous, putting saving money before any purchase, not cutting my hair above my shoulders ever again (so far), never cheating on a partner, never reincorporating into my life again people who are truly bad for me/life, who I’ve given 1000 + 1 chances to, meditating every day….there are others. I suppose I take some decisions for granted, but I must truly appreciate them because they are actually not a “given” and not everybody can/does make the same ones.  I need to give myself credit for developing myself into who I am today – partial credit of course because there were other people influencing me in a way that would push me one way or another, plus forces far beyond my comprehension.

All said…there are some things that I keep coming back to and fiddling with. It’s for so long, been the same things actually. Always been: my work, where I live and drinking. Those are the main things that either boggle me or that I fiddle with but can fathom no way to “figure out” in a way that feels like “yeah, that’s it!” This may be where my expectations come into play…my expectations that one day I would come upon a job or work or hobby that would seem like yeah that’s the one! is possibly…unfair? unrealistic? For a long time it was “I should go back to school or trade school or something”. Which always led to – well for what, where, how…which led to realizing that I wasn’t going to find it that way. I just wasn’t. What I am doing now is good and opens me up to doing other things – but I do have to do the things. And yeah maybe I didn’t find the things because I wouldn’t have really TRULY had the energy/ brain power to ACTUALLY do them.

I want to be fluent in Italian, Russian would be great too. But guess what. I have to actually do it, more than for a couple months on . But I get lazy or forget and procrastinate and other things take precedent and before too long it’s been too long.

There is not going to be anything more fulfilling though, than being able to take care of myself, have some freedom, do well by my husband and take care of our house, flock and land. And this is where we are right now. Maybe we will get a place somewhere warm to go to in some winter months and give him a rest. But here is now and now is here.

So that just leaves the drinking. This past weekend I had 1.5  beers and 1 glass of wine on Friday, wanted more but didn’t. Saturday 2 beers at lunch outside in the sun with lobster sandwiches, avocado cilantro dip, chips, and I ate so rapidly and it was so good, but I felt myself sink inside. Like a small elevator in my chest that slowly started to sink lower…lower…lower…a spinning wheel whirring to a stop. I hadn’t “needed” a beer to feel good or relax, I already had been relaxed. And actually, the beers made me feel LESS relaxed. I started to feel edgy and cranky, sleepy but buzzing. I felt an inner finickiness that I just HATE. After relaxing, we eventually went (we had gone to the gym in the morning and it had gone well, #165 bench press for me, totally spent and famished) to walk around the Harbor, which was ehh…I kept almost saying hey let’s get a drink somewhere, because I wanted to feel more “up”, but I didn’t because I knew it wouldn’t really do anything and I knew he wouldn’t have wanted to anyways, then gone back home and done meditations, after deciding and saying out loud you know I had been going to have some wine with dinner but now I’m not. So I didn’t and we had a great foccaccia, but I just couldn’t “get there” inside of myself. Because I had disturbed my innards earlier with the fruitless beer drinking.

I can’t say now for certain, whether is was the alcohol, the gluten in the beer or rolls, or if it was the combination. But I feel like it must have been the alcohol. Because Friday night we had goat cheese, fillet, walnut, red onion, salad with the beer and wine and I was not sleepy but I was emotionally edgy. Pretty much immediately. Buuuut….there’s gluten in the beer no? So maybe if I’d just had a glass or 2 of wine then it would not have been the same way?

It may not have been exactly the same way, but it would have been some semblance. Something inside of me would have been shaken loose or sunk down or slurred or blurred or something. Some bad memories or thoughts would have insisted on coming out of my mouth, which is boring, I’m so bored with it. The week before we had wine and dinner and I’d played the heart chakra music and we had a great talk. But I cannot remember what we’d talked about now. It was a relaxing but intricate talk…I think about back in Italy, which led to other things about now. Then Saturday was good gym, went to Bath, had lunch (I was really sinking after that because I had an iced tea, thinking the caffeine would be not too bad but it made me very cranky and edgy. Then dinner was carbonara and focaccia which was great but I still was feeling rather surly. Next day was relaxing and good times, though I felt like I was white knuckling being pleasant…But so back to the fact that something would have been shaken loose….that is what I have been searching for, this knowledge. I’ve poked and peered at and examined and leaned in real close and moved my head back again, over and over….but it is just that way isn’t it. I could maybe survive having 1-2 glasses of wine, red or white, maybe even 3 right? Maybe, maybe not. But there would be something changed. Something moved or slanted in my inner pathways…something on a spirit level, something on a cellular level, maybe it would just make me a little cranky. Maybe the next day I would just feel bummed out, maybe not even suicidal or furious or that I’d set myself back a month in life or days or gym or weight or whatever. Maybe I would just snap at my husband and go to sleep at 8:30, or maybe I would start to yet again question my whole existence and meaning and cogs in my wheel. Or maybe it would mean a whole 3 days after of tiredness and crying and darkness…a whole summer of that…a whole decade.

So maybe the possibility is enough to shut the door on it for good this time. I would love to. I would love to make a decision and just keep it…though I know someday I’ll eat carrot cake again, maybe I would drink again someday. But I know that eating the carrot cake, I know what it would do to me. It would taste great, but I would be able to feel my body cringing, and it would set me back. If even for a minute, it would. I’m completely sick of the back and forth, the inner fiddling, the fear that I could one day be entertaining the same thoughts again. Cognitive dissonance yes, but still, at the time it’s so foggy. And once I’m vulnerable on a few things, I tend rather to give in.

Ugg…just wish I could get over it already and stick to the right decision, which is the one that my good spirit would like best.

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Aham Prema

That is the mantra that I woke up to today and chanted onwards. I definitely am not one of those people who wake up like Snow White – whistling and eager to start my day. It’s typically more of some sort of cranky creature that lives under the bridge in Fairy Land. Something that even before it opens its eyes is saying “Wut? Annotha day…so mush ta do round ere…gotta move me bouldas and sort me fish heads… grumble grumble…” then pulls the moss blanket back over its dirty shoulders. But chants and mantras do get the bridge creature’s attention guided into a better direction.

The creature’s eyes peer over the piles of leaves it’s laying in and see a bubble – floating covered with a rainbow prism film nearby – and he realizes that he hears gentle chanting. His eyes follow the bubble up and now there are many other shining bubbles and he notices it stopped raining and the hills are very green.

Like the story Gandhi told about how the woman who raised him explained mantras: there is an elephant that is brought through the town square every morning and every morning the elephant’s trunk goes in all directions, catching this watermelon and that guava and knocking over displays of spices and getting caught in fishing lines; wrecking havoc. One day his keeper gives him a whittled stick to hold in his trunk and then walks him the same way through the square. The elephant holds the stick as he goes and the trunk stays in front of him, not knocking into anything. He is careful to not snap the stick and no havoc is caused. No chaos comes into the elephant’s life due to a rogue trunk. A mantra is the stick for our overactive minds.

Aham Prema means I am divine love – chanted 108 times  – it becomes very quickly stuck in my head and is refreshing really. The chant is not for ignoring or numbing. It’s for slanting the focus upwards until the mind’s eye catches and reflects the rainbow prisms, as we turn in the breeze.

Same place different time?

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So here I am again, in the same place, both geographically and in my head, my poor tired head. Feels like a wrung-out rag or a twice squeezed grapefruit someone tossed onto the counter.

Since my last post over a year ago, things have happened but also things have not. I do not like vague innuendo so I’ll take care of it and just tell you – yes, I went back to drinking one day in February of last year. After 6 months of “not drinking, not drinking again, I don’t miss it” – I rounded some sort of corner and had the Sybil-istic thought of “what difference does it make anyway”.

I had been toying with that question for a while, it was in a couple of my earlier posts even. Perhaps it’s always been there, about everything. I do not mean to come across as flippant…when I made the “decision” to start drinking again, I was very wary, but also excited. I talked about it with my husband, asking him if he would think any less of me if I started drinking again? To which he answered – absolutely not! He talked about how proud of me he was and how I had proven myself to myself and shown great discipline and could certainly have a glass to 2 now and again. He exhaled and seemed relieved and excited too – about how we could go back to having wine together like in the old days and just have a few laughs.

I was relieved at his response and really wouldn’t have much appreciated a different kind of one, but also, then I felt like I’d betrayed myself and gone back on a promise – all of which I had done of course. Because it does “make a difference” and “matter”. Obviously it did, otherwise I wouldn’t be thinking about any of it at all right?

Pushing those thoughts away now that I’d made yet another “decision” for myself, I quickly passed away some time with a bottle of Gran Marnier, which led to a couple clove cigarettes outside on the porch in the snow, which led to wine, which led to a feeling of unwellness and frustration, because I STILL DIDN’T FEEL GOOD DAMMIT. I still felt damn shitty and anxious and now EVEN MORE SO.

Then came the thoughts of – did I just not give sobriety long enough to take hold? Did I not change things enough in my life to MAKE myself better? What was I missing? I always felt like there was this thing, something, somewhere, that would fill in the missing chunks. But I had no idea which way to turn at that point.

I’d done the yoga and the books and the podcasts and the walks and the gym and the diets and the therapy and the moving and the thinking and the NOT thinking and on and on…writing and not writing…drinking not drinking…2 jobs 1 job…city country ocean, hot cold…there were certainly things that I enjoyed but there were so many things that I was totally ambiguous about or plain old did not like. I could give 1000 examples.

So, I drank for a couple months, then didn’t drink for a couple months and upped my home yoga…same old mental routines…even re-tried Wellbutrin for a couple months…got off it again, because those pills are just bad for people. Was always reaching and never grabbing onto “the thing”.

Then a big stressor arrived at my home – actually 3 groups of stressors arrived, at 3 different times over that summer – and I drank during each one. Not to excess at all, but definitely out of boredom and the desperate need to “get along” and to relief some of the fact that they were such fricking stressors. Plus the other parts of my life that continued to infuriate me (my weight, how old I felt, my hair, my lack of direction, anxiety etc); but still not to excess at all. It all just made me feel more frustrated and more bored and more STUCK.

So I would cut it out again, even had a conversation with my mother about the whole thing at some point and she said to absolutely cut the drinking out, that it simply had to go and to move instead towards the light. I went to several AA meetings – 5 different locations I think – basically 1 or 2 per day for over 2 weeks. I liked aspects of them, did not like other aspects. The evangelising part of it, that several (too outspoken and repetitive) members partook it, was one of the things I did not like. Anyways….

All in all, 2016 was a very light drinking year. Was sober through all the holidays – the holidays still went BAD – lots of arguing and unhappiness and

Started Whole30 in early December, which was a huge lifesaver (had not been drinking for a couple months already anyways) because the vulnerablility of eating shitty or inflammatory foods causes even worse decisions to be made and a general feeling of negativity and again – unwellness.

Whole30 is still going on to this day and it is one of the best decisions I’ve made, so there it that. I did not have any drinks for 4 months or so, then had in 1 night like 5 nips of Gran Marnier – suddenly – on a Sunday night – to make myself more palpable and open to being close with my husband. To make myself “more fun”. Apparently I was more fun yes, to the outside wold. On the inside, I was convoluted, pissed, bored, frustrated, tired, ill, sad, disappointed, resentful….and then I blacked-out for a while…and then was smoking cloves out the window while making a 3 course meal by myself and desperately listening to music on Youtube trying to have some fun for once. The fun never got into my brain though. Never does. But the insane keep trying the same things don’t they. And then began the vomiting…and the realization that I’d made a mess of myself again and to no proper service to myself, there was no positive upswing to it. And now I had to do it all over again. “But we had a great time….” was what my husband had to say about the evening.

That led to 2 months or so more of no drinking, with just saying to myself, it’s not forever, it’s just for now. I would never say I’m never eating carrot cake again would I, even though I do Whole30. So ok no drinking, no interest, meditations…podcasts…then came no coffee/caffeine. Something I’d also done previously for 3 months or 2 I’m not sure, but I gave it a real try back in 2015. This time though, the no coffee and no caffeine, was really a good thing, I could really see an improvement in my anxiety and anger and general feelings of scattered negativity (much of the time). Also, I was noticeably less bloated. This TOOK TIME. I was tired and foggy for over a month y’all.

The no drinking ended yet AGAIN on Saturday. Same things, same reasons, similar results. I was literally stuffing my face with chips and dip while making lunch, as my husband and I had been arguing for over a week and deciding to separate AGAIN, I was feeling unhinged, bored (of course), unfun and that where was no fun to be had. I knew I could not create fun, but I thought well if I have some drinks maybe I can stop FUCKING THINKING ABOUT NEGATIVE SHIT for oh how about an hour? Is that asking too much for shit’s sake?

I got a 6 pack of pear ginger cider gluten free – I haven’t drunk cider in 10 years since that time in Newport, RI where we were bar-hopping with G + K and I was…you guessed it….trying to have a good time in a place I wasn’t crazy about (the bars – not Newport, I heart Newport and G + K). Anyways…I pounded and pounded and got no where fun mentally was just pissed and scared and disappointed. Knew I had to “start again” again. Drank the whole 6, minus the last 1/2 bottle that I just spit out, exhaustedly, into the sink.

Cried for 3 days off and on, at the desperation and stupidity and waste of time I am applying to my life and energy. Looking at apartments, retreats..the same as usual. Gotten nowhere…I think because I am simply not meant to “get anywhere”. I am there. I just have to maintain myself at this point.

My husband told me a couple weeks ago, while we were at Monswags having lunch – how what is fun anyways for crying out loud? What is this “fun”. I like you just how you are right now, there is no need for you to feel like you have to change for any reason whatsoever. And that was a big relief for my (though I drank again ultimately, because it’s not about anyone else really. It’s just about me, really). But it was of course good to know that my best friend liked me just how I was….

So – that makes 2 times this year of having drink(s) – wait – actually – I had 1 Amstel light a couple weeks ago – for the same reasons and with the same results. So that makes 3 occasions. I do not include that 1 beer in my thinking because it was so dumb, I don’t like that kind of beer, it did nothing, it’s just slightly boozy piss. I thought at the time for a second, well I don’t like it, maybe if I keep drinking I’ll like it. Then I was just like oh for crying out loud…no….and didn’t.

Here I am today…I am not really interested in counting at this point, because it seems kinda silly…I’m not sure even where I stand on the issue. BUT. I do know for certain a few things that matter: 

  • I feel BETTER – less BAD, when I Don’t Drink.
  • I Look Better and feel less bad about MYSELF when I don’t drink.
  • I am less of a traitor to myself and my true beliefs when I don’t drink.
  • I feel ashamed when I drink, guilty
  • I feel like I (and actually do) set myself back – mentally and at the gym when I drink
  • I sleep better when sober
  • I am proud of the times when I am sober and wish later I’d not deviated from them

 

I am in the same place…but then again maybe I’m not, if I can say all those things?

Then I surely know the answer and the direction?

I surely know the answer and the direction….I am not in the same place when I drink…I am only in the same place when I stay true to myself. Because I am in this good place…as long as I do not betray myself and open myself up to the bad spirits. I cannot take heed of the bad thoughts, because those lead to inappropriate action. Inappropriate for ME. To Myself. To who I am and want to be. To who I am called to be.

 

 

 

 

Applesauce Shots

I had a clear imagining this morning, really out of nowhere. What other ingestible, item, behavior or activity would we as a society even find remotely acceptable in excess like we do drugs and/or alcohol? Much of our society these days seem to have gotten past the smoking thing, as acceptable or sexy. Smokers are seen as the minority, highly conspicuous, amazingly stubborn etc. We as a collective are fine with restricting smokers and smoking, looking down on the activity, making repulsed faces when we smell smoke or smokers clothing. If we’re around a smoker we sure notice how many they light up, how disgusting it is when they get ash all over the place, how they grind out the stinking butts or toss it out the window and LITTER. Oh they even LITTER grosssssss, BAD. Right?

But we don’t (as a collective) do that about drinking, now do we. It’s only the intentionally non-drinking people who might be (totally are) noticing how many times you’ve  filled your glass already. How many times your hand has gone back and forth to that glass in their peripheral. How nasty your teeth and tongue (and breath) get with red wine stain or creamy Bailey’s shots. And so forth.

It’s acceptable to a large percentage of the population to drink to way way excess. I, in fact, have never seen a person drink literally just 1 glass of wine, unless it was at a work function and it was myself, in total forced control and resentment. And even at the work function, with intelligent, functional people who get OCD about their food or technologies or facial wrinkles or clothes or money in the bank were like: “Is that all you’re drinking???”

It’s even acceptable to drink, puke, then drink more. Has been since the Romans. To drink until you have to go to the hospital; until 4 am; until you cave and do coke again too; so that you can go on a date; so that you can deal with shitty events like being around your boyfriend’s ex-wife.

Anyways….my thought was: imagine if instead of “the drink” it was “the food”. We’re supposed to get health benefits from apples right? “An apple a day”? Like the “health benefits” from wine? Which is total bs. for many reasons, one being that the risks and strain on your body from that “one” glass of wine is far offsetting the “benefits”. But just going with that suggestion of 1 apple per day analogy – I mean who do you know who eats more than one? Let’s make that apple into applesauce and let’s put that applesauce into a shot glass. And let’s have a party!

You can imagine another food if you like, how about peanut butter. Take peanut butter and put it into a shot glass. Or macaroni and cheese. And now let’s imagine it’s socially acceptable to pound shots of applesauce. Let’s have applesauce while we make dinner and hum to ourselves, maybe shake our arms around to the Miley Cyrus tune in our heads. So catchy. Then let’s make sure we have enough applesauce for everyone and have more with dinner. How about some after-dinner applesauce with coffee? Sophisticated.

Or on a night when we just need to blow off some steam, let’s take pictures of our applesauce selections and post them on facebook, with pictures of our lips pursed up nicely, or our new cars, on our way to somewhere really fun, where we’ll meet up with other people who are sooo in the mood to drink applesauce with us. We’ll have a couple shots of applesauce to get us ready to be around these people.

As soon as we get to the applesauce bistro/bar we’ll really get into it. Applesauce shots for everyone! Or maybe we’re not feeling so social, we’ll choke down our applesauce shots in the corner and pretend to be texting with someone else. Then before you know it, you’ve had wayyy too much applesauce. Uh oh…and now you’re burping up acid apple chunks and trying to play it cool. Maybe have some nachos. Now you’re better and pacing yourself a little and oops, now you fell over because someone puked up their applesauce onto the floor and your high heels slid in it. Shit! You get over that and in order to lighten up and feel good again you have some more applesauce, though it’s not going well in your digestive system right now. I mean, it’s burning and churning and you’re all gassy.

This guy talks to you, you try to dance, you can smell the applesauce on his breath, you know he’s deep into his applesauce.

Eventually the lights come on and you have to go home, bloated, gassy, unable to digest all the acid, fiber, pulp ugggg. You go home and puke some, the next morning is hell on the toilet. You never want to see another apple again. You hate yourself, you made a fool or yourself. You tell your friends and they say how it’s fine, apples are good for you, they have anti-oxidants. A couple days go by apple free and then you see someone having applesauce in a commercial, partying on a rooftop, everyone under the age of 30.

You go back on the sauce.

 

First: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. Oh My.

I have not been on my blog for a while, not because I’ve you know…the “r” word (I don’t even want to say it) but because I’ve been really down mentally. I often think about writing but my thoughts always go to ones of: “why bother, if won’t help”.  So I don’t and more time goes by and then the discouragement takes an even stronger hold.

But thankfully there is a piece of me in there somewhere pushing for something better and not the same old negative behavior and thoughts. And sometimes that wolf gets fed too.

Many firsts have come and go, many many. But the ones du jour are the dreaded holidays. Dreaded because of the abundance of occasions of temptations and the strong desire to have fun. I just want to have some fun! I screamed internally several times over the holiday week, a not uncommon whine in my head. I had feelings of total desperation to relax, for liquor too yes, but more specifically – desperation to reach some relief from my seriousness, to work against my “self made restriction” of no longer drinking. It just didn’t seem to make sense anymore, if it ever even did, that I was not having a large tumbler of Gran Marnier while sitting in front of the pellet stove. Surely that would make everything better right? The freedom to drink if I wanted would do all the heavy lifting and I wouldn’t have to think about anything anymore or feel bored or boring or inaffectionate towards my husband.  Surely it would help pull down those barriers against others I have been watching myself build on a daily basis over the last 10+ years and make me more friendly! I would at least be more fun right?

And the pull was strong….so strong. An escape I could literally purchase right down the end of the hill and consume. All these other people do it and don’t even think twice. Why was I just forcing this limitation on myself? And all I was anyways was someone who no longer drank, other than that I was the same person and I hated myself. I couldn’t stomach myself, not sober.

All of this turmoil, plus other types of body dismorphic thoughts and feelings of personal failure, led to a few small breakdowns, mostly private ones. A couple bigger meltdowns, one lasting all day on Christmas Eve,  that included public sobbing at the fish market because of the lack of stock available and the errands hanging over my head still building up into a pressure cooker explosion.

But…I did not drink. I did not hang myself. I did not yell and scream at people. I did not get divorced. Somehow I persevered and continued. I did start refinishing a piece of furniture, which I’ve since finished. I did shovel. I did listen to the birds and take their pictures. I did go to the gym. I did count my blessings and my days sober. I did check in on my favorite recovery blogs. I did cry, often, mostly to myself. Because this kind of thing is really no one else’s problem and they have their own troubles.

I wish I felt a more inspired and directed and like I knew where I should head from the point I’m currently treading water in. To get more into being the good and better person I could be, rather than the person I have been.

But, I did make it through the holidays intact and I hope my husband isn’t too shaken up by me lately. The holidays are hard on all of us for our own pressures. I hope anyone reading had good holidays and that they made it through sober at the very least, even if other aspects were not ideal.

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Things that are not cool

When you’re around someone who’s a recovering alcoholic (hi, my name is…) Or just someone who doesn’t want to be drinking, doesn’t like the whole scene, whatever, there are many things that are not cool for you to do or say. Of course, I’m only speaking for myself, but it seems like some examples of un-cool things are really not needing description. Unfortunately, the insensitive people ie: the majority, need these things specified. I’ve seen many lists like this out there in sobriety land o blogs and I’ve liked them immensely. Here’s mine:

  • Don’t drink around them, unless they say it’s ok beforehand, don’t try to guilt them into saying it’s ok.
  • Going to a resturant? Yeah sit at a table, no bar stools.
  • Drinking? Don’t kiss me.
  • Don’t put booze in their food and try to convince them that the alcohol has cooked off. Cause it hasn’t.
  • The person in recovery can tell you their status in recovery, you’re totally out of line to tell them that they’re “past the temptation stage” even if they are. Or “over that” when it comes to being sensitive to being around booze. YOU do not call their shots.
  • Refrain from telling them how delicious a particular bottle of wine is, whilst smacking your lips right next to them. Just a hair away from suggesting they just try it themselves.
  • Skip eluding to how fun they used to be when tipsy, versus how unfun they are now.
  • Don’t go to a restaurant with the person in recovery and drink glass after glass whilst getting unruly and saying how great it is that you don’t have to drive home, since they “don’t drink anymore hahaha I can get drunk now yay!”
  • Be caring enough of their feelings to not say “I kinda wish you were still drinking, then we could drink together”.
  • Be self-reflective enough to consider that you did make an error, if the person in recovery brings any of this list to your attention, to own up to it and apologize, do not repeat the offense, attempt to be more compassionate and sensitive to their needs. Rather than just fluffing it off and saying “oh you’re fine”. As if the person bringing it to your attention was the issue.
  • Don’t under any circumstances tell the person in recovery that they are thin-skinned because of any of these items on the list. They are thick-skinned enough to have put up with any of it whatsoever and not deleted you from their contacts list or moved out. Yet.