Friday, December 11, 2015

“I Drank My Dinner Last Night”

No, not me.  No worries.  

This was from a co-worker yesterday during lunch.  At the table were three other co-workers: my friend who quit drinking when I did, another lady, and a male co-worker.  The conversation continued with how of course you don’t eat when you’re drinking dinner because you know “the calories.” My friend, the one who’s quit, commented that this really is not all that healthy, and she was shot down by our other co-worker with the “drinking and eating is just too many calories!" mantra. The conversation went on for a while, but I chose to remain quiet.  So did my friend after her one comment.

The sad part is, every single person at the table knew that my friend and I have stopped drinking. And we’ve told them why. Yet on the conversation goes about great drinking is.

I have another co-worker who at least every other day tells me how crazy I am for stopping and that I need to go home and have a bottle of wine.

What I Learned:  My co-workers are nuts, but I enjoy them anyway! And I shouldn’t judge the drinking of others just because I have a drinking problem. Nor should I listen to them when they tell me to drink wine! (Yeah, that last one is a bit on the obvious side.)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Calm Waters

I’ve been quiet on my blog this week because things here have been quiet.  I’ve just been working, taking care of my family, working out, watching TV, hanging with my kids, cuddling with my dogs, and playing around with my new hobby at night (90-gallon aquarium).

You know what’s not in that list?

Obsessing about wine. 

Yes, I’ve had some conversations about it with a few people, but wine really hasn’t taken up any space in my head at all in the last four days.  It’s a WONDERFUL feeling.  I realize how quickly this can change, but I’m certainly enjoying it while I can!

On a different topic, I’ve been working with an online  trainer/coach on and off for the last two years. In addition to crafting me some pretty awesome lifting programs and helping me with nutrition, he’s been so supportive of my decision not to drink. Honestly, he’s more than a coach; I consider him a friend at this point.  

This week, he shared a method of processing emotions called SIFTing.  It means to:
  1. What is the SITUATION? (the event or person that triggered the emotion)
  2. Do you notice INTERPRETATIONS or thoughts that relate to your experience?
  3. What FEELINGS and sensations do you notice in your body?
  4. What TENDENCIES show up? Meaning... are you compelled to respond a certain way?

I think that not only is this a great way to deal with difficult emotions or situations, it’s perfect for working through those times when the Damned Voice is on the attack.  It provides a structure that’s easy to use, yet so effective.  I look forward to using this next time I start hearing the DV rattling around in my head.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My God! How Fast Things Can Change!

Yesterday morning, I was feeling great and wrote my post about how just one week changed my attitude and desire to drink so completely.

But get this!

By mid-afternoon, the urge to drink was almost unbearable again! How can this be? I had just spent all that time thinking about how wonderful it is to be sober, how lovely it is going to bed having had nothing to drink, and waking up hangover-free!

And suddenly, all I could think about was how I desperately wanted wine and that it was a perfect night to have some, especially since my husband is out of town and won't have to know.  I ended up white-knuckling the entire afternoon and evening!  I distracted myself by spending time with my daughter and her boyfriend at the dog park (beautiful weather here finally!) and taking them out for sushi.  I usually drink 2-3 glasses of Cabernet at this restaurant, and this was the first time I've been there without drinking.  (Ok, so I admit that if any restaurant serves alcohol, I probably haven't eaten dinner there without drinking.)  Ordering my beverage was the tipping point of the night, but as much as I was tempted to order wine, I ended up with a glass of water in front of me.

And it all got better from there on out. No more urge to drink! Whew! I feel like I escaped by the skin of my teeth.

What I learned: That Damned Voice is tricky, and if I'm feeling at all cocky and sure of myself, it'll take that opportunity to strike; I need to keep my defenses up at all times.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

What a Difference a Week Makes!

Last weekend was HARD. The holiday put me right at the very edge (see this post: That Damned Voice). At that time, I was actually planning how I was going to drink this weekend.  But now that this weekend has arrived, I've got no desire to drink, none whatsoever.

My thoughts last weekend scared me so badly that I upped my sobriety plan this last week, adding not only reading sober blogs but also blogging myself, and it's helped immensely.

My husband is out of town this weekend, so I spend last night quietly watching movies on the couch.  Yes, I ate ice cream, but I didn't drink, and I didn't feel like drinking. When it came time to go to bed, I reflected on how wonderful it felt to slide between cool, clean sheets completely sober.  What an amazing feeling! I've decided that this feeling is almost as wonderful as waking up with no hangover.

What I've learned this week:
  • If I'm feeling like I need to drink, like there's no other damned option other than drinking, like my world is just going to end if I can't have a drink, hang tough, hold on with everything I've got, even if it means white-knuckling it.  The urge will pass. Sometimes faster than other times, but it will pass!
  • Clean, cold sheets and being sober are a perfect combination, just like peanut butter and jelly!

Friday, December 4, 2015


The other night, I had a very difficult conversation with my almost-17 year old son (who, by the way, is amazing, funny, sweet, handsome, crazy talented, and one of the brightest lights of my life <of course>).  During this conversation, he admitted to me that he's struggling with debilitating anxiety and stress and has thought about killing himself.

That phrase right there froze my world on its axis. I actually felt it slow down, stop spinning, and freeze as he said those words.

Of course, my thoughts immediately leap to a dark, dark world without this amazing, funny, sweet, handsome, crazy talented boy who is one of the brightest lights of my life, and I'm terrified.  Utterly terrified.  In fact, the fear is so intense that I can, even now, barely type the words.

We continue our conversation with me promising to get him help, imploring him not to do anything drastic, and promising him that I can "fix" this.  (His older sister has raging OCD, and she's doing great now on the correct medication, so we both know that my son can feel better too.)  I'm so thankful he trusted me enough to tell me and is no longer suffering in silence.

But oh my God, the fear! Two months ago, I would have dealt with this with at least one bottle of wine. In fact, I probably would have already had half a bottle in me because we didn't have this talk until 8 pm.  The next morning, I would have woken up with a raging hangover, and I would have had to deal with that in addition to finding my child the help he needs.

However, I noticed something amazing.  I had NO desire for wine during or after this conversation.  I was thankful for my clarity of mind as we were talking and while I was dealing with the emotions afterwards.

Yesterday was stressful, as it proved exceedingly difficult to find a good doctor (one that doesn't have shitty reviews online) who takes our insurance to see him quickly.  Yet again though, I was thankful that I had no hangover clouding my mind as I scrambled to find him help.  This was hard enough without the added handicap of a hangover.

And last night, exhausted, I wanted something comforting so badly, but I didn't want wine! Instead, I worked out hard at the gym and had a nice, large bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce.

I am so thankful I am not drinking!

(I'm taking my son to the doctor today. I will make sure that this boy of mine feels better!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Laughter...It Really is Good Medicine

One thing I’ve noticed over the last couple weeks is that my husband and I are laughing together so much more lately.  Deep, genuine laughter that makes my soul sing. 

I like it.