Rocky Road

Learning to live AF

Sober at hockey game — January 20, 2018

Sober at hockey game

My colleague decided we needed to invite a client to a hockey game.  These start at 7:30 pm.  My bedtime is 9:30 pm, sometimes 8:30 pm.  This event is too late for me.  And  I’m not a sports enthusiast.  AND THERE ARE DRINKERS HERE FOR FUCK’S SAKE.

I’m on day 10? 11?  And this is my second drinking venue this week.  How does that happen?  For WEEKS I had no evening events at all, much less drinking events.  Now I’m tryna be sober and it’s 2 events in 1 week.  Just wrong.

At this event, I started out ordering just nothing.  I tried to get a soda at the concession stand but the sales lady told me those were just for mixed drinks.  For reals, she refused to sell me soda without liquor,, so I opted for nothing.  My colleague drank 2 tall beers, my client drank one, and when someone offered to run for snacks, I requested a Diet Coke (which they agreed to sell plain, this time).  Mentioned I was doing dry January.  Client had a handful of benign questions about that.  We moved past it pretty quickly.   I felt virtuous.  But also like I can’t moderate so good call to avoid being overly intoxicated in front of client.  I do enjoy sobriety when I can see how it helps me avoid makin a fool outta myself.

Did you know they stop selling booze during the second period of a hockey game?  If I was drinkin, I woulda run to buy more and been pissed about it.  I mean, you can’t buy 3 drinks at once, in public, for a 20 minute period.  And the fact…the fact… that that’s how I woulda wanted to handle the cessation of alcohol sales before the game was over is why I stayed sober today.  Well, that plus the fact that I pre-game treated.  I had the hugest chocolate chip cookie with sea salt for dessert after lunch.  The cookie was as big as my whole head and I ate every bite.  It was totally delicious.  So I felt like I had something good, decadent, and it wasn’t such a struggle to pass on the vino.

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Silver lining? — January 16, 2018

Silver lining?

I have a work meeting. She asked to meet in a bar.  I asked to start early so I can duck in and out in time to see my kid before bed. She said yes.  Now she is forecasted to arrive 10 minutes after the late start she originally offered.

I am sitting in this bar alone drinking club soda, cranberry juice, and lime.  And I have 20 minutes to kill b4 the meetin even starts.  I am going to cry or poke my own eyes out. I suppose, if I must find a silver damn lining, it is that I have lots of time to adjust my attitude.

Goals! —

Goals!

I haven’t posted in a long time, and have been feeling equivocal about writing.  But I got a new follower, Zoe; hi Zoe.  And that seemed like a message from the Gods directing me to post.  So I’m postin.

I am not drinking.  I did drink for about half, a little less, of 2017.  I could be hard on myself for renewing my wine romance, but that’s not terribly useful.  Making myself feel less than only makes me want to escape and my surefire escape is vino so…tryina avoid that.  Instead, let’s look at it like this:

In 2016, I managed 4 months sober.  In 2017, I accomplished SIX months sober, plus a few weeks here n there.  It’s 2018.  And I went dry (a g a i n) 7 days ago.  So there is plenty o time in 2018 to set a new record.  And I’m after it!  Also, another reason to post is to say:  if you hopped off the wagon, you’re not alone, it’s not useful to abuse yourself over it, just cowboy up (as my yoga instructor sz at the end of each class) and try to quit . . . again (with me).

But Jesus sometimes it’s hard.  So I’ve had nightmares the past 2 nights.  I googled this.  Of course.  And apparently drinkin deprives you of REM sleep.  When you quit drinking, you may experience rebound REM.  Which means you dream more (& maybe more vividly, too) because you have more REM to make up for lost REM.

I dreamed zombies were chasing me Sat night.  I dreamed my hubs brought home not one but two sister wives last night.  I have been reading Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo and Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro so these dreams are not 100% out of nowhere.  Still, they are unwelcome, vivid, and disconcerting enough to wake me at 4:00 am.

Plus, I am incredibly crabby (perhaps the 4 am wake ups aren’t helping). I’ve yelled at the dog and my child and told my husband he was not funny and to please for the love of God quit trying to be.  In my defense, I have PMS, too.  Yes, I do think it starts 2 weeks before your actual cycle.  For some of us lucky few.

Even with the nightmares and the grouchiness, it is better to be sober than not.

 

Day 8, Take . . . 7? — October 29, 2017

Day 8, Take . . . 7?

I hopped off the wagon at the end of July, right around my 6 month AF anniversary.  On date night.  Always hard not to have wine on date night.  And I had a work victory I really wanted to celebrate.  I was tired of saying no.  I just wanted to stop trying so hard.   So, I did.  And I liked it for a while.  It wasn’t like I could suddenly moderate.  Still a bottle or don’t bother kinda drinker.  But when you’ve rested well, hydrated, and re-vitamined your body for 6 months, it takes a while for the feeling like shit to really kick in.

I knew I would quit again.  The question was when.  We vacationed with my in laws at the end of July.  I wanted to drink through that.  Then I just wasn’t ready to quit.  Then my hubs lost his job and I wasn’t gonna quit then.  But then the crying started again.  Everything is tear inducing when I drink too much too long.  Some people, like me, quit drinking because stops working like it used to. Instead of enhancing a celebration, it makes me sadder and tired and teary and is just not worth it.  So, I’m off the sauce, again.

Child had a Halloween party this evening.  Hubs invited me on date night. . . I declined.

The Big Painful — July 23, 2017

The Big Painful

Family date night to Chris  Stapleton concert Saturday  There is so much about sobriety in this experience that it is hard to know where to start.  Let’s start with the big painful first.

Hubs had 3, maybe 4, beers during this 4 hour event.  Tall cans, not short ones.  Light beer.  He’s 6’1″ & 210 lbs.  We had dinner before the event – he ate.  He loves Stapleton. He was singing, dancing (if you call it that); on his feet most of the show. Kid leans tome & says he cannot drive us home ’cause he’s  drunk.  Ok, I say, sipping my water, I am happy to drive.  A little later, we go buy t-shirts and use the potty and I am going to pick him up a beer (he didn’t ask, I just thought he was out & would appreciate) and she says he doesn’t need anymore.  The beer stand was closed, and she voiced her pleasure about that fact.

I have seen my hubs drunk.  I did not think this was that.  Truly, I thought she was being overly concerned.  I thought he had 3 beers.  She said he had 4.  It’s possible, highly possible, she is right and I am wrong.  I wasn’t sitting beside him & she was.  I wasn’t counting and she clearly was paying very close attention.  But even with 4 beers he was only acting like a concert goer — he wasn’t slurring, stumbling, or doing drunk stuff.  I call this part the big painful bc did I do this to her?  Make her anxious that everyone who drinks is drunk?  Is this a normal thing?  Are most 10 yo’s hyper aware about alcohol?  She has had questions about it recently – what does beer taste like — and that had (??) nothing to do with me (??).  Some other  kid in summer camp got to taste some and said it was gross and now my kid has questions for me about that.

My stomach is in knots and my head hurts writing this and thinking: it has to be my drinking that made her hypervigilant about alcohol.  It has to be my explanatory shortcomings (read: absence) about my own sobriety that made her think the only option is complete abstinence and anything else is very . . .

w o r r i s o m e.

Arrgh.  I hate this.  We are going to have to have a family conversation .  I don’t want to promise not to ever drink again.  Hell, I have purposely avoided thinking that far ahead. I don’t want to explain why I’m not drinking.  Shit, that is why I blog about it in PRIVATE instead of going to AA or seeing a fucking counselor.  I do not want to explore all of these details about alcohol myself and certainly not with an audience of my loved ones.  I don’t want to improperly justify hubs drinking to her, or improperly shame him about something that I’m not sure was what she thought it was.  But, I recognize that he likes to drink to feel the buzz and I don’t have any GD clue WHAT to say to the 2 of them about THAT.  I do not want to talk about drinking like this.  I do not.  I do not. Fuck.

I prolly shoulda started this post on the easier notes bc now I am an anxious ball.  Here’s the rest:

-people drink a lot at concerts.  I saw a man too drunk to walk being escorted by the cops to. . . his seat? The pokey?  I dunno.  I saw his friends escorting him, with the same drunken amble, hours before so. . . by the time the cops got him he musta been LIT UP. I saw a guy sticking his finger down his throat to make himself puke at the end of the concert.  He was riding in a MiniVan with the  door open as he repeatedly leaned out to spit, you know, the pre-puke stage.  This was an adult with kids.  Or else a weird mini van fetish.  Anyway, come on dude, get your party on but hold onto your stomach contents. His wife was pissed off.   If he puked in that mini van Saturday night, her Sunday of soccer and a grocery store run was going to stink.  That was a miserable van. Drink totally ruined a perfectly good evening for everyone in that van (and it was a buncha people – all waitin on this guy to heave so they could close the door and start driving home).

-I partied my ass off totally sober.  Outta my seat yellin the lyrics.  Dancing.  Clapping.  Screaming.  Jumpin up and down.  Arms waving.  Clearly, I needn’t have worried about my ability to let loose sober – no problem there.  It was awesome to experience this concert sober, to stay the whole time, and not feel drunk tired.  This event was way past my bedtime so I was physically tired, but that’s different.

-I felt proud to be the sober concert goer, to be the sober parent in my family.  While the kid’s comments trouble me, I was pleased to be able to be there for her, emotionally and as a driver, by myself being totally sober.  And, I’m not gonna lie, when I first thought about this post, before figuring out the big painful part, what I thought about writing was how I felt a lil superior to the other concert going drunks.

-At the beginning of the concert I wanted to drink.  Everyone was drinking and it was a concert for Christ’s sake.  You *get* to drink at concerts.  But it has gotten weird, this wanting.  I don’t want many things at the same time that I do want to drink.  And, the drink-wanting is less/different, it really feels like I am longing for something out of habit, a desire to fit in, to be like everyone else, but at the same time, I am feeling like the down sides outweigh the upside and so, no drink.  I don’t want a hangover.  I don’t want the bags under my eyes or sleep loss or dehydration or old looking skin.  I don’t want to have to quit again.  I don’t want to embarrass myself drunk.  I don’t want to face the kid (not explain, literally look at her) while drinking.  So, no drink.  The drinking desire was fleeting.  When the lady ahead of me walked back to her seat with a carafe of white wine I was very intrigued, but then she acted like a drunken fool and whatever longing vibes I had been feeling toward her went away.

Anyway.  I sober concerted.  This is like the 3rd one.  Like most things, it’s better sober.  I guess I’ll go google “how to talk to your child about alcohol now.”  Deep sigh.

-Q

Zero is my new favorite number — July 22, 2017

Zero is my new favorite number

Friday evenings are tough.  I had the ‘think I cans’ again this evening as I drove home from work.  When I got home, hubs was having what appeared to be a lovely Rose.  I wanted some wines pretty badly.  But there was cake.  And it goes better with milk.  So, I had milk, and cake too, of course.  Plus, still no interest at all in one drink.  And, I’m unwilling to cave and have 3, or 4.  Nelly has a song with a line:  i am number 1, 2 is not a winner and 3 nobody remembers.  Tonight i say, i am number 1, 2 is just a good start and 3 maybe I’ll still remember.  So, yeah.  Sobering on.  5 mos, 23 days.

Longing n dreaming — July 20, 2017

Longing n dreaming

So, I had this big presentation for work the other day.  First presentation to this client. Complicated medicine, made me nervous.  And this particular meeting structure, as well as all of the participants, were new to me.  My anxiety was high.  The evening before I presented, I dreamed of tequila and smoking.  There was an amber colored glass ashtray with a smoldering cigarette.  It was a small water glass of  golden tequila.  Bigger than a shot.  I had salt on one hand and a lime slice in the other.  I was soooo close.  In real life, I never liked tequila, ever.

Then today, as the work day turned into the work evening with no end in sight, those dangerous thoughts of, “surely you’re cured now…you can have just one (a couple)” flitted into my consciousness.  Now, last time ‘I thought I could I thought I could,’ I struggled to get past that.  This time, I WAS really work swamped but I could push the ‘I think I can I think I can’ thoughts aside pretty quickly and stayed focused on working.  By the time I got home, the think I cans had passed.  Maybe that’s progress. You know, the urge to drink lessens over time and so too does the dumb ass notion that I can moderate today, that something major has changed for me and my vices, despite the fact that I’m dreaming, just this week, of extra large tequila shooters.  With lime and salt.

Sobering on.  5 months, 21 days.  I hope to be dream free tonight.

 

The evolution of no — July 14, 2017

The evolution of no

Several colleagues went out for cocktails yesterday after work.  They passed me as they left the building & invited me to join them.  I could have gone and had a mocktail. The old me would have wanted to go, badly, and wanted a bunch of vino, and then driven home with one (or so) too many in me.  I had no desire to join them.  Zero.  It didn’t even occur to me to say yes. I don’t know that I’ve ever responded to an invitation to go drinking with:  hmm, I’m not interested.

In early sobriety, the no to happy hour events was because the temptation to drink was sooo strong I would’ve slipped if I didn’t skip — but I missed my after work cocktailing, a lot for some time.   Here at 5.5 ish months (which is after 4 months sober then 4 months drinking), I didn’t go, didn’t wanna go, and didn’t feel left out.  It was like declining an invitation to golf.  I don’t golf.  Why would I go hang out with a group who does golf, and does it well (i.e., most of my coworkers do not appear to be alcoholics & thus they are “good” at drinking) when I am lousy at it?

It is nice to feel more settled into my sobriety.  For me, that only came with months of sustained nos.  Now, the no starts earlier in the process.  Instead of wondering how I will get through happy hour without vino, I am wondering what I can do besides cocktailing, or missing cocktailing, or mocktailing, at happy hour.  And, yesterday at least, I didn’t miss the fact that the alcoholic option is no longer an option for me.

Times marches on, just not as hard over my face — July 11, 2017

Times marches on, just not as hard over my face

5 months, 12 days.  Today I saw a client I haven’t seen in a while.  She told me my haircut made me look younger. I thanked her.  I love a compliment.  I loved this one.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I quit chasing a bottle of vino with a glass, or so, of vino every evening, and that, as opposed to lopping a coupla inches offa the back of my stick straight hair, is more likely the reason I looked refreshed to her today.   Well, that plus I do get my old lady face cream on most nights now that I go to bed sober.  I love the benefits of abstinence.

Strep — July 8, 2017

Strep

You know that clerk of course gig I took on for kid’s swim meet Monday evening?  Well, I developed a horrible sore throat Tuesday.  Painful to swallow kind of sore, not the scratchy type of sore throat.  And it got worse as the day progressed and woke me Tues night.  Wed morning it still hurt, badly, and was sufficiently abnormal to justify a jog over to the doctor’s office.  I never go to the doctor. I am nearly never sick what with all this clean livin’ I been doin’.

Anyhoo, rapid swab in office was negative for strep and off I go feeling foolish for having bothered the MD with my silly sore throat. Til Friday, when the doc called to say I was one of those rare birds with a false negative test in the office but a positive throat culture in the lab.  So now I am on antibiotics.  And not drinking, so not worrying about the interaction.  And not worrying about impact of alcohol dehydration on the direction to drink lots of fluids.  And actually able to follow the direction to rest because I sleep thru the night when I’m off the sauce.  So, it’s a lot better even to be sick if you do it sober.  Who knew?

I used to drink if I had a headache.  It was like liquid Ibuprofen. I had a lot of headaches. I used to feel guilty when I had a cold or the flu, knew I should be consuming juice and tea, and instead chose wine, every time.  It is really nice not to have to lie about my drinking when the doctor asks.  Mrs D. has a good post about this issue of writing down ZERO in the box describing your drinking.  It is nice to be able to truthfully report that I abstain, all the freakin’ time.

Happy Saturday, y’all.