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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

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.

Things that might not have been

Just when I think I’m up, I’m down. That is how to put is most succinctly, how the emotions have been going these days. Five days stretched out into total darkness, confusion, anger, resentment, disappointment, some panic, leading into a few days of calm and some happiness, contentment, leading very aggressively back into anger, resentment, volatile acting, speaking and thinking.

Is this all something that I used to hide by drinking? I certainly hid my disappointment in myself in those drinks. But was all this anger and resentment towards myself and many others just being pushed down by each swig? So now I’m just left with all those feelings?

One minute I’ll be thinking that everything can be worked out. Seconds later I’m yelling and buzzing inside myself, furious at others. I’m a light-switch.

Does that mean that everything is my fault? No. But I do know that I am not doing the best that I could whatsoever. I’m being lazy and seeking easy television watching over everything productive I could be doing. I’m lashing out over and over, mixed with periods of compassion.

One of the main thoughts in my head is how anyone else in my situation (on the surface) would be estatic 24/7. They would be writing in their spare-time and walking to the beach, exploring, going to a coffee shop, enjoying and doing, learning. Not seeing everything as a chore, an expense, a drag. They would be enjoying life and their home and husband.

I am dreading most activities in general, all phone calls, all tasks. Feeling like people are listening to me when I am yelling and judging me, rolling their eyes and thinking I’m insane. I have no friends and I don’t even know how to be a friend anymore. I don’t want to be alone but cannot be with others for very long.

All I think is how I messed up for so long and wasted so much time, time I’ll never get back, and I resent myself for that plus all the people who allowed me to waste the time – ie: past boyfriends who were terrible choices for me. I just didn’t need to have made all of those mistakes.

Thankfully I never really hurt any other than myself, I never went to jail, never got a std or a baby/abortion situation, was not a heroin addict or something. But I was a drunk and an angry angry person and I didn’t need to have wasted my time like that. Note… I need to make – on the things I just listed that I haven’t done or had to deal with in life, like hard drug addictions, hard time etc. – I am so glad these things didn’t happen to me nor did I let them (when and where possible). Meaning – I know that these things just kinda happen sometimes, like 2 people will be driving drunk, one person gets pulled over and a DUI, the other person sails on home, thankfully not hurting anyone. Life is odd, chances…luck…God’s protection…whatever it may be. I’m sure as hell not castigating a person reading who did go through any of those things, I wish none of them every happened to anyone. Seriously. If must be 1000 times harder to deal with a heroin or crack or meth addiction over drinking. I really think so. So many terrible things…so many hard journeys…So if you’ve gone through any of that kind of stuff and come out the other side to recover and live a new life, then man…you got a tough shell and I really admire that strength and perseverance. I would seek your story out and read it for inspiration.

So back to this post here. Here I am almost 40 and I’m so bitter, no thoughts about what I can do, only thoughts about what I could have done different, where I could be now if I’d done right by myself.

Unsure at to how to proceed. Nothing is appealing, though I know it SHOULD be. Always with the word “should”. Should should could could.

The reflecting is the main thing I do, and I am almost always disappointed in myself, so what is the point of this navel-gazing? If I learn nothing from it?

If I am always the same bad thing.

Two Months, coming right up…

It will be two months on Thursday. This past weekend my husband and I went out to eat for the first time in 6 months, since moving into our house, and I reflected on the fact that I would usually be half in the bag by the time we left to drive to a restaurant. I would have had a glass or 2 of wine while getting ready, plus if I was feeling particularly frisky, a nip (or 2). Couple of hidden mouthfuls of Sambucca right out of the bottle then a mouthful of espresso to hide the smell.

Then upon getting to the restaurant it would be at least 2 more glasses of wine, only stopping at 2 because of the cost and my husband would be aware of how much I’d drunk. Often we would have had a cocktail prior to eating, especially if we had to wait for a table. On vacations there would be even more, but I guess I should just stick to the present situation.

The entire time of driving to the restaurant I would have been thinking, did I have “enough” to drink before leaving the house? Did I have too much? Am I slurring my words? What if I fall down in these heels. Ok just try to relax and have fun…

Then at the place, I would be thinking about how many glasses of wine I could have there and could I squeeze in a cocktail too? What kind of after dinner drink could I anticipate at this particular place? And I would start to scope that out while picking out a wine. Ok so I’ve had 1 glass of wine, that means only 1 more ok….

Then, when it was time to leave – am I smiling too much? Was I too loud? Will
I slip getting up from the table? Am I making a fool out of myself? Oh no…now it’s time to go home, but I’m not done having fun! And then it would be very dark and then evening would have gone by too quickly and maybe my husband and I would have had a great time, as we often did, but maybe we would have gotten into an argument, as we also often did.

Either way, me remembering more than a few seconds would be slim to none.

So this past weekend we toasted (him with wine, me with water) to my up-and-coming 2 months and he mentioned how proud he was of me and how he didn’t know if he could just quit cold turkey drinking. I said how he didn’t have the same problem with drinking as I did. He said no probably not, but that it showed my character and strength and he admired that and I shouldn’t overlook that even in myself. It had been the first time I think EVER in my adult life that I went to dinner without drinking/ getting drunk.

Then the next day we went to lunch and we sat at  the bar as it was rather empty in the place and just the sight of the bottles made me cringe. There was even a jagermeister keg thing, it said cold jager or something, oh how vile. The times I almost died because of chugging that black unhealthy swill. I looked over at the overweight guy who’d just driven in on a motorcycle, who’d downed his tap beer and then before even finishing it all together ordered a cc and ginger, which he started on right away, while fiddling with his phone. And at the couple across from us with the obnoxious guy talking too loud about nothing and the wife trying to keep up with his mouth flapping and drinking….I said to my husband, man…I am so glad I don’t drink anymore…uggg…

First Month of Sobriety

So I’ve gotten through a month+ of no drinking….well I am so stinking pleased about that. It’s been 36 days by quick tally and it’s gone by really fast and I actually REMEMBER conversations and events. First time other than the blurry recollections in oh…about 20 years.

I definitely experienced withdrawals, which I found kind of odd, considering I wasn’t waking up to vodka and OJ (anymore). My balance and equilibrium were way off: dropping things several times a day, turning around and feeling dizzy and like I might just tip right on over, a strange visual cloudiness. Feeling often very tired but then later very motivated.

I’ve definitely been noticing strong sugar urges. I’m someone who spends a lot of time workout out lifting as heavy weights as I can and not eating snacks or drinking soda for example, been that way for 3 years now, so I’m accustomed to strict eating schedules and even re-feeds, but these urges to eat donuts, ice cream, pancakes etc – I’ve never before had those, not even during long periods of careful carb restriction.  I’m not giving into them except on 1 day a week or else I’d be too heavy again and really pissed at myself. It’s not been easy and it’s not abated in this whole time.

Dreams were intense as usual, but seemed more specific and made more sense. One the other night was really enjoyable, I’ll mention it specifically only because it fits the bill right now, not because I imagine you’re all eager to hear about some stranger’s dreams.

I was running through this huge green beautiful forest, eventually with my arms out wide and I was smiling and looking up at the sky. There were paths through the woods on the right side and people over there, but I kept running forward into the green happiness.

Rather appropo.

Mainly though – I feel extremely proud of myself, my husband is proud of me, I’m looking and feeling better: skin is clearer and brighter, gut is deflating, bloating is reducing. I have ZERO regrets or desires to regress. Also ZERO illusions about how sobriety is the best choice for me.