Rocky Road

Learning to live AF

Springbreak — March 26, 2018


We went to pick up a few groceries yesterday. There was white wine on the list. I looked at hubs quizzically and asked: is this for you?  He said it was an old item (our list is electronic — if you don’t move items to the cart and checkout, they stay on the list forever).  So we went about our shopping without buying any wine.

My family will be traveling without me today through Wednesday, when I will be so glad to join them. It used to be hard not to drink alone. I used to like drinking alone. No one to witness my sloppy so I could pretend it wasn’t sloppy. Or really, I could pretend whatever I wanted because it was just me n Char n she don’t talk.  At least not with words.  She will leave you lookin like you had a rough night of it.

Now I am not so concerned about staying sober alone for the next few days.  These days, it is easier to be alone because sober is easier alone. I am a might trepid about how my half of spring break will go. I hate feeling left out of the fun. If everyone else is drinking (and they will be), I am going to want to join in.  I guess I gotta spend some minutes meditating abt that and figure out a plan for managing it. Plus, a second trigger is that I get incredibly annoyed by my parents in law. Like, annoyed enough to want 3 chardonnay’s back to back so I don’t crawl out of my skin when my annoyance with them peaks.  Which, it will.  I guess I will add that to the list of things to ponder.

I am just melancholy today. I will miss the hubs and little boo for the next few days. Silver linings:  1.  Identified the triggers early. 2.  Gots time to figure out how to manage triggers before encountering triggers.

Drinking & my heart — March 21, 2018

Drinking & my heart

This quote came up in an article in my news feed recently:

“’The more alcohol you drink, the higher your heart rate gets,’ said Dr. Stefan Brunner, a cardiologist at the University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany, who is one of the lead authors.”

There is apparently a new study.  Did you ever wake up at 2:30 am (that was my usual hour) and feel your heart beating wildly in your chest?  Like, so hard and fast it scared you into taking slow, deep breaths and thinking very purposefully, wishfully, that your heart rate would  slow down.  And being afraid about it.

Well I did.  And it sucked.  Not fearing a fatal heart arrhythmia at 48 while sober.  That’s me, today.



Married to a Moderate — March 17, 2018

Married to a Moderate

So it’s another Friday evening. And this evening coming home I didn’t fall into the trap of suggesting we go out to dinner & then having to back out & suggest cereal.  I did lay out of work sick yesterday & didn’t feel 100% better today, so the thought of going out didn’t naturally occur like usual.

Once I got home & helped to offspring with violin practice, hubs lamented about his day and began dinner.  He talked on about his hard day and said he was going to make a drink.  I didn’t mind the idea, didn’t miss it for me, & didn’t begrudge him his cocktail.

I will confess, though, that as the alcohol gets in him he rather gets on my nerves.  He gets louder.  He thinks he’s funnier than I find him.  He invades my personal space more.  I like him much better sober (lest you think I don’t like him).  I think this is why he is rather equivocal about my not drinking: he senses my lack of appreciation of his drinking persona.  Anyway, relationship issues aside, it’s mostly the smell of the drinking I dislike the most.  Maybe that’s overstating it a little bit.  But I really don’t want to smell alcohol.  I’m not sure why it is so bothersome.  I used to smoke and after I quit that I developed affinities for toothpaste, perfume, and the non nicotine smell of my own hair.  I guess I might be somewhat scent obsessed.  I dunno.

Hubs had one drink.  Hell, he left some in the bottom of the glass.  I wasn’t checking. I was doing the dishes and when I put away his cup I was surprised, as I always am, that someone LEFT ALCOHOL IN THE BOTTOM OF THE GLASS, SWEET JESUS.

-Not a Moderate


Sober but sick — March 14, 2018

Sober but sick

The best thing about being sick sober is being able to take all of the drugs.  As a drinker, I never took Tylenol type products.  Pretty sure my liver would have imploded immediately.  It seems like all cough n cold remedies have acetaminophen in them.  And now I can take them.  Yay me.  Plus, another good thing about being sick sober is not feeling like you’re too sick to drink, drinking anyway, and feeling embarrassed about it.  Now, if I have dark rings under my eyes while sick (which; check), I know it is because I am sick as shit.  And there is nothing else to it.  I’ve written most of this before. But it is still true.  Even a cough/cold type illness is better experienced sober.

P.S. Hubs bought this portable wireless keyboard that is soooo much better than my usual broke down keyboard.  The other one is so broke down I don’t usually use it. I type these posts on the keyboard on the screen.  Not fun.  This new keyboard is AWESOME!

How to have your first sober day? — March 10, 2018

How to have your first sober day?

Someone posted, asking me how to have sober day 1.  So I call out to you other sober bloggers:  please post about your first AF day.  Someone out there is asking how to!

My most unsuccessful quits related to my bad attitude.  Feeling left out instead of feeling like I was trying to find a happier, healthier way to live.  A positive attitude is key.

The best Day 1 I remember having went like this:

  1. I began reading Jason Vale’s Kicking the Drink a few days before quitting.  On day 1, read this book for a few minutes when I woke up and again at bedtime.  That week, seriously, I read it at work during lunch in addition to reading it morning and night.
  2. I bought myself a pretty bead bracelet and told myself I would not drink for as many days as there were beads.  23.  I rubbed those beads.  I looked at the different colors and picked my faves.  I analyzed whether my mood matched the day’s bead color.  I looked forward to reaching a sober red bead day, or sober sky blue bead day, because those beads were especially pretty.  I was constantly fingering those beads, counting and recounting how many days I had in and how many I had left to reach my goal. I treated that bracelet like an AF talisman.  If I was wearing it, there could be NO DRINKING.  And that totally worked for months (til my Momma died  & then, well, nothing worked quite like it had before, including me or my AF talisman).
  3. On my best Day 1, I made plans to spend the majority of the day differently than I normally would, and with some sober safety nets in place.  I took my kid, and a friend known to me to be . . . not a partier, very responsible, and we hung out at an art festival.  I drove, needed to be sober to drive home.  There were wine tastings, but this friend would have only had one under any circumstance and when I breezed past she didn’t ask to stop, as I suspected would be the case.  So I had several hours of sober time logged in when I hit my first witching hour.  I was determined to make it for the whole day and I had already passed h o u r s sober so why not hang in there til bedtime?
  4. At dinner when hubs asked if I wanted wine, I said nah and poured myself a large something else.  I don’t even remember what.  I did not make any declarations to him or my friend.  I had been contemplating quitting for a while, bought the bead bracelet that morning after yoga, and just decided in my own head that this was the day to give it a real go.
  5. I just gutted it through the rest of the evening with no wine and went to bed early & sober.  Sobriety is exhausting at first.

I remember feeling out of sorts on the day described above.  Other times, early on in a quit, I swear I’ve felt my brain sloshing around in my head.  But it’s 24 hours.  And you can sleep for a bunch of them.  Then you’re off to the races.

On my first days (ok, even still) I read Mrs. D is Going Without (going or doing?).  Her blog is very well organised – you easily find her early, sober posts.  Unpickled has a special supportive impact on me ’cause I found her first.  Reading her blog was when it first dawned on me that quitting needn’t involve AA, or public shameful pronouncements, or anything more dramatic than me talking to myself about my choices.  The Sober School is another great resource.  Quick posts.  Helpful suggestions, very practical.  Hell, she will even coach you on the regular if you want.

Get some sugar and give yourself a free pass to eat it for a while.  My brother likes Hershey minatures.  My sister likes ice cream.  (Yes, all of my siblings have had Day 1s, too).  I like cake and Krispy Kremes.  I give myself sweet indulgences at 4 pm so that when I get home from work I’m not hungry and feel like I already had one treat so it won’t kill me to skip wine.

Thanks, question poser.  I had a rough day today and I felt some wine bottles calling my name this evening.  But so were you, with your inquiry, & I answered you instead of the drinking call. So thanks for that, and good luck. Q

Day 59 — March 9, 2018

Day 59

It’s just another Thursday.  Worked entirely too late.  Very grateful to come home and find someone else (hubs) had prepared dinner and saved me a plate.  Happy hubs is home.  Glad the power beat him back.

I wanted to drink as I was wrapping up at work this evening.  Some things that helped me get past that, soberly, today are:

  1. I don’t have alcohol readily available.  No wine at work.  Don’t laugh.  A colleague has a damn near full bar in his office cabinets.  My office is alcohol free.  When I got home, I knew there was no wine.  The truth is there is a wine fridge in this house and it is FULL.  But it’s locked.  And down in the basement.  Who feels like figuring all that shit out at 8:10 pm?  Before dinner! Not me.
  2. I’ve got alternative bev OPTIONS.  I have more kinds of tea than I can count, 2 or 3 water types, cocoa, decaf coffee, some juices, and milk.  I am pretty confident this bevy of beverages costs less than my vino did.  I always make myself drink an entire something AF when I am longing for wine.
  3. Eating cake.  I love cake.  It is hard to keep thinking about wine when your mouth is full of cake and you are drinking milk.
  4. Remembering.  How shitty it feels to drink day after day after day.  And it always goes back to that.  The difficulty of each new quit.  Grouchy.  Feeling like shit.  Can’t shit.  Nightmares.
  5. NQTD.  Sometimes I just repeat this in my head a few times over then force my brain to think about non-drinking stuff.
  6. Just go to bed.  I was reading another blogger recently and s/he was having a hard time getting through the evening. I wanted to yell (kindly) across internet-space:  just call it done, go to bed, tomorrow you will be that many more hours sober!

Tonight, blogosphere, I am calling it done.  I got my old lady face cream on and I’m going to sleep.  Sober dreams.  Q

Powerless — March 5, 2018


Here in Northern Virginia the wind took out the power.  Since Thursday evening.  We have a generator.  So the essential parts of our house work (microwave & oven, yes; cook top & garbage disposal, no).  Finally figured out this evening that the problem with house wifi was lack of power. I had been assuming the wifi was out, too, but it’s working fine, now that I got it hooked up to the generator.  Traffic lights remain dark in my neighborhood.  Even 7-11 is dark.  I am thankful for the generator, but I will be glad when things are running normally again.  Being without power is foreign and discombobulating, it makes my anxiety high, which makes me want to drink.  So I went to the grocery and bought 3 different kinds of alcohol free beverages (Hint water, Bai Super tea, & some mango lime fizzy water).  I have had one of each so far today.  AND I baked a carrot cake.  Because carrot cake is soothing.  And I need soothing.  Hubs is in California til Thursday.  Shit, I hope the power gets here before he does.

The Traveling Drinker — March 1, 2018

The Traveling Drinker

I traveled for work today.  Flew to Boston and back.  In the airport at 6:30-7:00 am, there was a woman drinking champagne.  I was sooooooo stinking happy that wasn’t me.  I was happier still that I wasn’t wishing it was me.  You know, when you’re still drinking but trying to moderate and moderating is sucking because you really want to be drinking your face off but you are keeping it in check, instead. I was glad I didn’t spend the whole day wondering when the drinking could commence. I did think about drinking a second time.  This time in the pm, as I was flyin home.  But I didn’t long for it like I historically have.  There is something about being completely abstinent for a period that changes how (often, intensely, long) I think about drinking.  This change is interesting.  And it’s nice that the wolf isn’t incessantly howling.  Day 50 something.  Sobering on.

Missin Sunday Drinkin — February 27, 2018

Missin Sunday Drinkin

On Sunday, I:

  1. went to hot yoga
  2. showered
  3. napped
  4. ate breakfast and lunch
  5. jigsaw puzzled a bit
  6. manned a GS cookie booth with my kid
  7. stopped for donuts at a new place (it ain’t no KK)
  8. painted on my paint by number with my kid
  9. ate dinner and helped clean it up.

It was a good day.  Even still, I thought about drinkin, longingly, if not for long.  Hubs has his red solo cup.  I woulda liked to join him.  But I didn’t.

I remember a long time ago blogging about how I missed Sunday drinking.  This wasn’t like that.  There wasn’t as much recent familiarity with Sunday drinkin and so the longing wasn’t so intense.  The amount of time I spent reminiscing felt shorter, too.  It drug on throughout the afternoon when I last wrote about it.  Whether I want to, or try to, or not, my relationship with alcohol keeps changing as I keep freezing it out of my life and finding other stuff to do and think about.  It’s kinda funny how I am just doing the same thing over and over (saying no the vino), but still changing.

Divine Intervention — February 24, 2018

Divine Intervention

Man, sometimes you gotta believe in a higher power.

The lady lawyers in my firm were trying to host a happy for me and another lawyer this evening.  As I was sitting in my deposition at 3:30 pm, having had xactly 1/2 a Triscuit cracker for lunch, sucking throat lozenges despite Ibuprofen, and thinking Aunt Flo might have metamorphed into something serious enough to warrant a gynecologic intervention, I thought, Jesus God I am not sure I got this.  I am not sure I can say no to wine at this happy hour.  But I couldn’t figure out a way to skip this event that was half in my honor.

As I was deliberating (what to do what to do), ping.  I got an email.  Firm President announcing that he is hosting happy hour in the Boardroom.  At the same time as my lady lawyer event.  Be rude for all of the lady lawyers to skip on the President’s event.  So we agreed to reschedule the ladies event. And you KNOW I skipped the other event, right?

Then hubs, who has been traveling (a g a i n), is home and we had texted about eating out.  I called him on the way home to say:  I ain’t got this.  I can’t go sit in a restaurant right now and not order wine.  I can’t.  He asked what we should do for dinner instead.  I said: raisin bran.  I need some xtra iron anyway.

I am thankful this evening turned out as it did.  But Ima tell you.  It was damn close.