Rocky Road

Learning to live AF

Drinking dreams — April 29, 2017

Drinking dreams

Last night I dreamed of a hearty red wine in a large, bulbous, wide mouthed glass.  I drank a lot on one day and felt regret.  Then the dream morphed into another day where I used the same glass, had the same red wine, felt the fact that this constituted a second day in a row of drinking and I was embarking on a pattern now, not having a slip up or a dalliance.  This second time, I had only half a glass of wine and got obliterated.  Remember the bed spinning and wishing, ineffectively, that you could make it stop?  This drunk was like that — I could not think or talk or function and I was flabbergasted to be this impaired, and after so little wine, and I wanted to be sober really, really badly.  But I couldn’t wish it so.  I woke up anxious and having that thing where you check yourself to be sure that shit was JUST A DREAM.

The kid was asking lots of questions yesterday about drinking.  I know I will have to educate her about this and feel unsure and conflicted about what to teach her.  I also just hit day 90.  Milestone.  Had dinner with hubs at his job last night — I usually drink through that — and several folks stopped by our table to say hi & I only ever hung out with these folks buzzed or drunk — til now.  So, there’s reasons for this dream at this time.  It scared me.  I remember reaching a point during my last quit where I felt good and scared of drinking again.  I’m there.

Yesterday was Friday.  End of the week fatigue.  But I drove the kid to a concert, to dinner, then home, with a sleepover guest.  Drunk Quitter could not have done all of that on a Fri nite.  At least not without drunk driving. Ouch.  I walked the dog outside after all of that.  Enjoyed the warm evening and being conscious and present enough to rejoice in being home and the week finally being over.  Drinking obliterates that sense of presence and appreciation.  Sober is better, still.  Thank God the rest was just a dream.

Peer Pressure — April 28, 2017

Peer Pressure

My work colleagues, well, the ones I work with daily, know I quit drinkin before my Mom died (for 4 months – I even took a summer vacay sober in 2016).  And they know that I took back up with the drink when my Mom died. AND they know I quit again nearly three months ago.

Whenever we have greater than usual work stress, one person in particular tells me at the end of the day to go home and enjoy some wine.  I thought it was kinda funny the first time and responded with a smiling reminder that I am AF.  Ditto the second time.  This week was the third time.  I am feeling tired and stressed, so that likely contributes to this reaction, b u t, I kinda wanna say:  dude, we’ve covered this. Stop suggesting that shit.

I didn’t wish I could drink this last time my colleague suggested it but I do tire of feeling like the odd man out for abstaining.  In some venues, feeling odd is expected and so it is easier to tolerate.  But these are my peeps.  They know some things about me — like how I cried at my desk after burying my Mom.  Regularly.  So why is this guy forgetting that I managed to get back on the wagon? I dunno but these repeat suggestions that I drink strike me as a bit disrespectful because they ignore my very purposeful decisions to abstain.

This is a good guy. He is usually quite sensitive.  I have seen him cry (once, just a little, a little kid he knew died).  Maybe it is as simple as he cannot fathom relaxing without alcohol.  If that’s the case, he should read Jason Vale.

Still sober, despite the stress and despite the recommendation to drink.  Relaxing with my sleep tea, old lady face cream slathered on, and only 1/3 piece of chocolate cake in my belly.  It’s a good day.

Red solo cup — April 25, 2017

Red solo cup

So I have taken to making my husband drink wine out of a red solo cup.  Earlier this month I was struggling so mightily.  There was that day I searched out the Chardonnay in the house and put it in the fridge.  Really glad it wasn’t a screw top or box.  The need to uncork it meant I may as well chill it first, I mean, if you gotta suffer through less than instant access anyway. . .

During this period, I told the hubs that I was going to need him to stop drinking white wine in front of me in a pretty glass.  Actually, now that I think about it, HE asked me what he could do to help.  I am pretty sure I was lamenting having several hard days in a row.  And that was my one idea: don’t make it harder still by having the lovely wines in the lovely glass at the lovely happy hours after the work day is done.

He doesn’t drink a lot, certainly not like I did, but it still caught me a little by surprise this evening when I wandered into his red solo cup full of Pinot Gris (never my fave but it would suffice).  Beyond being momentarily taken aback that I had no clue that he was having wine on a Monday, in a silly cup, I didn’t feel much of anything.  It looks like the piss of a severely dehydrated person when it isn’t looking pretty in the stem glass.  I had some calorie free, antioxidant filled, Bai instead.

I’m not very good at asking for help.  Terrible at it, really.  So I am glad the hubs offered.  Glad that this time I said yes and had an idea about how he could help.  It might be silly to ask him not to use the wine glasses.  But his wine glass makes what coulda been an easy, sober day somewhat more challenging.  It is much easier to not think about drinking, to not miss drinking, when there is no half full wine glass perched on the counter.

Sober Traveling — April 22, 2017

Sober Traveling

More work travel this week.  I hesitate to write this, b u t, instead of craving the wine, I thought that drinking while traveling would be a bad idea.

Yesterday when I flew to Tx to meet my witness, I couldn’t drink because I had a several hour long, intense meeting at the end of my flight.  As I walked through the airport, I thought about drinking, but not longingly.  And I was struck by the lack of longing. Today, when I flew home, I had a late lunch at the airport & then a better than 2 hour flight home. I didn’t long for a drink.  I didn’t wish I could have one and lament having to abstain.  When the waitress asked the guy next to me at lunch if he wanted another Grey Goose and tonic and he replied affirmatively, I thought, rather judgmentally, that he was going to be feeling tired later when he had to schlep his bags to his gate.

I dunno what this means.  It used to be that I was not traveling without vino.  Vino before the flight, on the flight, and as soon as practical after the flight.  I felt happy in my sober choices today.  Happy I wouldn’t be tired and cranky while traveling.  Happy to not be fuzzy while trying to navigate from point A to point B in a strange airport.  Happy to not have to be pissed because there is only so much booze you can get on the plane.  Happy my only dehydration consumption was coffee/diet coke, which I healthily counter balanced with water in flight.  What the what?  Is this pink cloudish-ness as I approach the 3 month mark?

I feel like traveling sober, like so many other things sober, just works out better, I am better, so I better stay quit.

Quittin continues — April 19, 2017

Quittin continues

Day 80 AF.  Day 108 smoke free.  I cannot remember the last time I craved a smoke (except just a tiny lil bit, just then, writing that).  I hope it gets that way one day with the alcohol.  I know it’s a bad choice for me, just like smoking, but I still think of it, crave it, regularly.  Only a single, passing fancy this afternoon at work.  As spring warmth and longer, sunnier days set in, I want to sit outside sipping some cool, crisp wine in a nice glass with a stem.  But it was never just one for me so…that idyllic image would be mere minutes of the hours-long drinkfest that would follow, then resume the next freakin day.   Anyway.  Sobriety was not hard today.  My craving was singular, short lived, not terribly intense, and at the expected time.  No surprises here.

Lies to explain abstinence — April 18, 2017

Lies to explain abstinence

I entertained a client tonight for dinner and she is on Whole 30 — not drinking.  I love people on Whole 30.  Their not drinking gives us all permission to abstain with others.  I like abstaining with others.  So much easier than being the lone non-drinker, at least for me, for now.  Plus, we have a nice, quick lie if we need to suddenly be on Whole 30 too.  This is a lie I have told.  But not today.  Today I said I gave it up for hormones.  I said I am turning into my mother in law by getting flushed when I drink and thus avoiding it. Which, I had noticed my hot flashes were much worse while drinking and now they are very rare.  I can’t go telling all of my professional colleagues that I have absolutely zero “no” in me when it comes to Chardonnay.  Most clients expect you to drink and wonder what in the sam hill is wrong with you if you abstain.  I am feeling worried about being judged for the lies I tell to explain my sobriety.  I do tell my nearest and dearest the truth, which, they all know my drinking far exceeded theirs & something had to give.  But I’m not going to be that candid with strangers.

I didn’t drink.  I didn’t feel embarrassed in my explanation of why not, and I am going to stop worrying over my explanation now.  I client entertained without drinking or even wanting to drink.  I was quite happy with my Arnold Palmer.  That has to be enough of a success for today.






Remembering — April 15, 2017


Been on a cruise for spring break with my 10 yo.  She is growing up so fast.  One of the reasons I wanted to take this trip is because she will not be all mine for much longer.  Her friends, her life will pull her away.  Which, that is as it should be, but I am missing her already.  I am also sad to get back to real life.  I have about 500 emails awaiting me.  Plus who knows what else at work.  Family of origin blew it up while I was away with no wifi connx.  Good call not gettin wifi.  Nothin I could do anyway.  I wish I could make everyone healthy, happy, and employed (regularly). But they gotta make their own choices.  And, no one is soliciting my advice or would follow it if I gave it so it was better that I missed this particular piece of drama.

We had a good cruise.  Alcohol free!  I am on day 77. Last time I cruised (3 years ago??), I remember waiting, anxiously, longingly, for when I could start drinking, & worrying about how much I could consume. Then having a couple & caring much, much less how my consumption looked to others.  I had a few hard cravings on this trip. Waffled on day 1 — it’s vacay, right, OF COURSE I can drink on vacay.  But I didn’t want the kid worrying about whether Mommie’s drinking was good or bad.  I didn’t want to worry myself over when I could start or how much I could have.  I knew I didn’t want to have to get up the stones to quit, a g a i n.  So, I just abstained.  I did have dessert 2, sometimes 3, times a day.  I still think I woulda consumed more calories if I had been drinking.  I slept well. No hangovers.  No grouchy refusals to do activities that interfered with drinking or recovering from drinking.  Plus, I have cruised sober!  I am pretty proud of that.

It is interesting to be sober in a venue where people wear Corona hats, shirts proudly proclaiming “booze cruise,” and you see/hear drunken foolishness frequently.  You can’t imagine looking so foolish, but I know I have.  Bleary eyed, unable to think or speak clearly, stumbly.  For those of us with the over fondness, it’s a lot of work (that usually doesn’t get done) to stop before the point of slurring, stumbling, etc.  So while I do still crave a drink, it is more rational to choose a NA bev because nothing good comes with the drink, just hard work (trying to moderate, failing, trying to not reach my prior rate of consumption, failing, searching for the stones to quit again, struggling mightily with that).  Why bother?  Seriously, the booze and the buzz aren’t THAT great.   They cost more than they are worth.  And what might have, might have, previously been overlooked as youthful folly only looks pathetic on a 47 yo woman.  Plus, I remember this vacation, and that was the whole point, after all.

Memories:  Luis, the talking tour guide, who never stopped talking, for a full day; snorkling Cozumel; Trolls, the movie, on deck with towel blankets, & the party next door that also never stopped.  The fake bday with Juan the server.  Blessing, our cabin steward (who almost got our names right), and the nice family who brought a bday present to the fake bday.  The comedy guy was good too:  what is blue and smells like red paint?  His Walmart song was pretty cute too.

Sober birthdays — April 6, 2017

Sober birthdays

It is my daughter’s 10th bday.  She wanted to go to a restaurant owned by a friend.  I haven’t been there in a long while.  I usually drink, a lot, at this place because the owner brings over various wines to taste and keeps the glass full. When we sat down this evening, he put a lovely wine glass in front of me.  I wobbled.  I wanted to let him fill it up.  But I said my throat hurt, and it does, a very little, and I got a hot tea.

It was hard to sit through that meal sober.  I did.  And I am glad I did.  But it was wobbly.

Grief challenges sobriety, day 3(??) — April 4, 2017

Grief challenges sobriety, day 3(??)

I think it bears mentioning, I hope it is true, that part of my excessive cravings lately are probably due in part to the fact that we just (on March 25) passed the 6 month anniversary of my Mom’s death.  I got an upsetting work email on Sat in the grocery and seriously had to talk myself out of crying in the store.  I did come home and cry and it ended up being more about me feeling like nothing is right in my world since my Mom died.  My sister tried to discuss scattering her ashes with me recently.  I couldn’t have that conversation.  I don’t want my Mom to be dead so badly.  I have hated closing her accounts and transferring title to her stuff.  It erases her footprint on earth.  It is hard to almost impossible for me to get real close to the fact of her being gone, which, the ashes conversation, the property disposition both require some degree of closeness to that fact.  It just sucks.

The best I can say about drinking and all this is grief and anxiety exacerbate my desire to drink or smoke.  I dreamed about smoking last night (was anticipating a very contentious depo).  I suspect some grief counselor type would tell me to quit running from my feelings.  I just don’t want her to be dead and I have even less desire to feel the feels that come along with accepting that she is dead.  I just try not to think about it.  Pretty sure some therapy type would disapprove of that too.

So, we went to dinner after my contentious deposition.  I was thinkin the margarita sounded like something I can have.  Maybe I’d even only have one.  Or two.  And not switch to wine when getting home.  Sometimes the answer is just no and then order something else (Arnold Palmer) QUICK, before I have time to get the drink order in.

Soaking in a hot, hot tub.  Thinkin about gettin to sleep early and sleepin well.  Grief, sadness, anxiety — these are tiring things.  I guess I gotta go thru them instead of around, as I would prefer.

A new day — April 1, 2017

A new day

Greater than 45 minutes.  60 minutes.  I spent at least that much time thinking about drinking today, day 62.  God it was close.  Such a bad day at work.  Fighting with my adversaries, the Judge, my own damn client, renegotiating my contract at my impossible job, being pissed with my picky ass husband’s snarky comments about this very expensive pair of boots I bought him.  And I had billed more than 40 hours before this shitty day ever started so I am damn tired TOO.

I don’t have any great tips for getting thru this shitty craving.  I actually put a bottle of Chardonnay in the fridge. It was unopened.  Less easy, slower access.  I sat down at the jigsaw puzzle and started eating honey glazed pecans.  Then I told the fam I was out for dinner – not cookin it, not goin out to get it, prolly not eatin it, and they were on their own.   Opted to soak in a hot bath instead. Started to feel a bit better at this point, maybe taking care of my needs for a change is a good thing. Made a cup of tea.  Then the moment(sssss!!!!!) passed.  This was more white knuckling than anything else.  But I got my old lady face cream on, layin in bed, blogging, going to bed early and sober.

Ready.  R E A D Y.  for a new day.