Thursday, 31 July 2014

Day 19 - Be kind to yourself

I am tired tonight, a little sad and low.  And you know what? I don't think it's related to drinking or particularly abnormal.  It just "is".  I work incredibly hard, don't get many breaks, and sometimes its just tough.  And that's OK.

So I'm going to bed early with a hot water bottle, and I'm simply going to ride this one out.  I'm going to listen to Tara Brach for the first time, and generally relax.  I am going to be kind to myself.

Tomorrow may be better, it may not.  But eventually it will be better, because that is how it goes.  And, it's going to be a better kind of better than I used to experience, because of this one simple fact: I do not drink.

Good night my friends.  Whatever space you are in, be kind to yourselves.  xx

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Day 18 - Ugly gremlin thoughts

No amount of fucking magic letter boxes were going to do it for me today.  I didn't feel like going for a run in the first place, but knowing that once I get at there it's usually awesome got me out that door.

Well how wrong was I.  No endorphins kicking in this time, just tired, slow and not wanting to be there.  40 minutes.  40 minutes of slow plod plod plodding, tummy and boobs wobbling, and ugly little gremlin thoughts creeping into my mind:
"Fuck I'm slow.  I don't know why I bother these days.  And fuck my stomach and boobs wobble.  I really hate it that those chicks with no boobs envy me, makes fucking running a pain in the ass".
"And where's those endorphins that should have kicked in by now?  Oh great.  So I have given up drinking, and now my endorphins have been taken away from me too.  Great.  That's it.  All the joy has been taking from my life."
"Which reminds me - why do I have such a shitty car?  Sure, we just bought a new house and have a big mortgage, but I'm a senior manager for goddsake, dammit I should have a better car".
"I never get anything really.  All I want is a puppy and my whole life would be better.  It could be running with me now, and my run would be better.  I'd be happy if I had a puppy."

And on and on it went: 'Wah wah wah".

I've been reading a book by Russ Harris called "The Happiness Trap".  I thoroughly recommend it.    I am learning that thoughts are just words.  They are not always true, and they are not always helpful.   I don't have to do anything active about them,  I don't have to believe them, push them away, or try and drown (drink) them out.  I can just sit with them and choose not to engage:  "Oh,  there's that stupid thought about me being slow again, there you go, funny that's popped up."

I believe learning to sit with my thoughts and not accept or engage them when they are not true or helpful is going to be a big part of my sober journey.  It's something I am quite excited about.

So, I am off to wobble my not very wobbly body into the shower, and thank god there's no fucking little puppy at home ripping shit out of my couch and peeing on my carpet.

Take care out there, hope you are all well.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Day 17 - Early morning musings

I have been awake on and off since about 3.30/4 am.  It's been like that a lot recently.  I don't know if its the not drinking, or everything that's on my mind about work that's waking me up.  Maybe both.

I generally get up early anyway.  Its kind of "my time".  The family is still asleep, and its the only time in my day just about when no one else needs me.  My job is full on (I love my job, but its FULL on) as is my home and personal life.  This time of morning, well, it's quiet.  Nice.

But back to this waking up before dawn thing.  Its been a daily occurrence for weeks now, and if I cast my mind back I do think it correlates with stopping drinking.  I certainly have a lot more energy these days (good), but I suspect this little gnawing feeling and the early morning starts might be more to do with anxiety (not so good).

Its way to early in this journey to have all the answers yet, in fact I suspect more and more questions will be raised in my mind as time goes on.  I am hoping this new-found energy lasts, but also suspect deeply that one of the reasons I drank too much was to drown out my anxiety.  In a refusal to be a dry drunk (see I have been listening) I need to examine that.  I'm just going to sit with it for now, breathe, drink in the early mornings, and let myself begin to grow and change naturally.

Have a lovely day everyone.  This journey is so worth it. xx

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Day 15 - I found magic on the trails

The most amazing moment today, as I was running the trails near our house I stumbled across this:

So I stopped and opened it, and found this:

It was a little notebook in which many people had written something they wish for  It was the most beautiful, surreal moment.  So I stopped, and in a moment that just felt magic, I wrote this:

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Day 14 - This is real - I do not drink

I formulated several posts in my head yesterday, all of them I thought were equally witty, interesting or deep.  I compared sobriety to running a marathon, coming out as an alcoholic to my experience of coming out as queer, and was even trying to find a way to relate it to a friendship I have with someone who has autism.

Then a quiet realisation settled over me.  "This is real - I do not drink".  It became simple.  I am not trying to get somewhere or be something amazing or interesting. There is no ultimate goal or end point. I simply do not drink.  I am a non drinker. This is who I am now.

I may one day write those other posts, because there is something to be learned from so many corners of our lives (although someone slap me if I start comparing sobriety in relationship to autism), but the basic fact, right here, right now, is simple: This is real - I do not drink.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Day 12 - excited

It's past my bed time so I wont be posting for long tonight, but I had to tell you how excited I am feeling right now. I went to Mrs D's book launchy thing in Karori tonight.   I thought I'd like her, and yup, right away I felt that awesome warmth that comes across so well in her book.  I got to meet Sue too, who I also instantly liked.  Was so nice having my partner there, sharing and being able to say "these are my people."

I'm excited because I feel a sense of community.  I am not alone.   I was surrounded by warmth and humour tonight.  I can't do this on my own, many of us can't - but we have a way of connecting now and its wonderful.  It has even occurred to me that with so many good people to meet and get to know - this journey might even be damn well fun at times!

Night people.  Hope you are all well.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Day 11 - hitting the trails!

I have just got home from a fantastic night ride (mountain bikes / big lights).  The trails were hard and fast, there was no wind, and the lights of Wellington were beautiful as we climbed higher and higher.  It's on the trails I feel at my best, whether it's riding or running, and more recently snowboarding.

I cast my  mind back to a Saturday night a few weeks ago, when I said to myself, "I hope I don't drink too much tonight so I can have a good trail run tomorrow".  Did you hear that?   I said: 

"I HOPE I don't drink too much tonight",

not "I WONT drink too much tonight".

A week later I head up the mountain.  A friend had recommended a trail I should run whilst there.  I thought sadly to myself,  "Oh I would love to run that trail, but once we finish on the mountain I will have to have a drink so I wont be able to"

How sick is that people?  Fuck!!!!  I seriously had got it into my head that when we came off the snow there was only one reasonable option - the pub and beer - even though I wanted to explore the trails!

Well, tonight I was at one with those trails.  I was so present that all that existed was me, the cool air, and the muddy track ahead of me.  It's mine for the taking now, whenever I want.  I am so happy. xx

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Day 11 - Party again? Sure will!

I was at a friend's house tonight planning a mate's upcoming 50th.  My friends and I we have lots of parties.  We do stuff together - we DRINK together.  I love each and every one of them, and I could fill up a whole page telling you of their wonderful attributes, but the fact is they drink, and drinks lots.  As do I.  As did I.

As we left, another friend commented "drinks at my house next Friday", to which our host answered "whoo hooo, Dry July will be over and I will be able to drink again."  Hugs all round and we left.  All I could think was "I will never party again".

I know this is not the truth.  I know I will party again, I am sure of it. I am not sure when, and I am even not sure how.  But I am going to do everything in my power to trust in this journey, keep seeking the truth about alcohol (its poison for god-sake) and really learn to be myself and shine.

You know what - maybe I should even make my next post chippy and positive and cheer myself up again.  :) xx

Monday, 21 July 2014

Day 10 - slightly monumental

Something feels quite monumental about day 10.  Not sure why - maybe it's because I made it through that damn party all by myself which felt like scaling a mountain at the time.

I went for my first decent run in close to two weeks today.  Two weeks out is not a good thing (I have a 36K off road event to run in 9 weeks) and I was feeling all grumpy and out of sorts about that too.  But then I got out there, wind / rain / ice in my face and I felt free and crazy and happy.  And I felt pleased to be sober, and proud of myself for doing it.  I kept thinking "I'm sober now, it's never going to get in the way of this again.  I will never be too busy drinking, thinking about drinking, or being hungover to not go for a wild crazy run again."

So maybe day 10 is a little monumental, that I am feeling some pride, and with that some hope. xx

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Day 9 - learning to think differently

I just feel like I am a grumpy person right now, and wonder if I will ever be fun again.  Went to the Mother in law's 60th birthday party last night.  She's from a huge family, so whenever there is some sort of gathering I am surrounded by bunches of people who know each other, and me apparently, whilst I'm still trying to piece together who is who.

I'm trying to retrain my brain, so all night I kept telling myself "I don't tend to have fun at these parties anyway, so drinking would not be helping", but deep down I was wondering if I was just a tiny bit sloshed I'd be making conversation a wee bit easier with all of these people.

I've started Alan Carr's "The Easy Way to Stop Drinking".   I'm going to keep filling up on these books and blogs, and teach myself to think differently.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Day 8 - I've made a week! I've made a week!

Jason Vale says very clearly not to count days, I understand his reasoning - but who cares it really helps me.  This is the first time since last Saturday morning, when I woke up and told my partner that I was and addict, that I feel happy, elated even.  I feel proud of myself and free.  Yay.  Go me. xx

Friday, 18 July 2014

Day 7, the knuckles are white on a Friday night

I thought I would be all happy and self-congratalory by now, but its all pretty tough really.  Someone commented on my last post (thank you, that really helped) that I should try to just think about now, this week, and stop freaking out over "forever" (because I am).

Went and got take aways tonight from this really cool noodle shop near our house.  There was the usual sign "alcohol will not be sold to intoxicated persons", and shelves of booze behind the counter.  I was just freaking out inside; "no nice whiskey ever?  no lovely glass of wine?".

So I guess I am white knuckling it (see, I've been reading the books), but its all I can do right now, and I'm going to keep on doing it.

Tea's brewing. xx

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Day 6

I found today really really hard.  It wasn't like I was at a party or near anyone tempting me to drink, but all day I just kept freaking out about not drinking again ever.  Ever.  

I finished Lotta Dann's book on my flight home from a tiring day at work (no drinkies in the Koru Club for me).  I loved the book, am inspired and know I have to/can/will do this (white knuckling it?) - but still feel like I am looking down a barrel of years and years before its going to feel OK again.

Almost stopped at an AA meeting on the way home, like they do in the movies, but didn't.  Thought I'd come home, snuggle up with family and hope tomorrow is better. xx

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Day 5 Continues - "If I can be sober for an hour"

I get to 5pm and my mouth feels dry and I smack my lips together, looking for something, missing something.   My partner is home sick, and I picked our girl up from school holiday programme.  I told myself its the perfect night for take aways, well knowing that the very reason I want them is there is a certain joint near our house where I can get take aways .. and have a glass of wine while I wait.  Perfect excuse.

So I got petrol instead, no take aways, and I sit here with my sparkling water wondering what to have for dinner.

I read this yesterday on Mr SponsorPants blog, it really helped

If I can be sober for an hour;
just an hour,
this hour right now,
(and I can)
then I can be sober for a day.
And if I can be sober for a day
(holy shit! a whole day)
then I can do
(like I said)
almost anything.
And I can.

I can't be sober for
(I can't do anything for forever.)
But I can be sober for today.
Yes, I can.
Yes I can.

The beginning of day 5 and I feel like shit

Still disappointed in how I am feeling (no real elation here) and this morning in particular I feel totally and utterly like shit.  I am trying not to relate it to giving up the booze, because the fact it my work load is huge and I have been up at 5.30am all week just to get on top of things - that is the most likely reason I am headachy.  So, I'm sucking it up, giving myself a kick up the butt, and am off to work happy that I am now sober.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Day Four

Really tired and busy today.  Up at 5.30am in order to get a decent amount of work done before heading into a busy day at the office.  I spent most of my day interviewing people, so not much time to think about alcohol, but did find that with every small pause I'd hear a whisper, "you are never going to drink again...".  I am still not sure if it is excitement or terror I hear with that voice.

Fuckity fuck fuck.  Never drink again?  I know it's how it is going to be, but can't let myself think about it for long right now. Had better go to bed and ignore it. xx

Monday, 14 July 2014

I'm never going to drink again????!!!

Today I am constantly astounded (and terrified) by this fact: I am never going to drink again.

There, I said it.

This means:

  • I am never going to drive dangerously tipsy again.
  • I am never going to spend way more than I intended on booze for me and EVERYONE when out on the town
  • I am never going to waste another day to a hangover
  • I am never going to regret another alcohol fueled conversation

So I am free.  Scared, excited, and free.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Day two - freedom beginning

I awoke this morning disappointed.  I had somehow thought I was going to jump out of bed a brand new person.  I had made it through a dinner party sober, in fact, I had made it through my first night sober in a very long time.  But, instead I woke feeling tired, grumpy and disillusioned.  Not drinking last night hadn't made me feel great at all - in fact, this morning I felt "same old, same old".   So, what's the point?

Eventually I dragged myself out of a 3.5 hour run (I am training for an off road marathon).  It was long and lonely and gave me a lot of time to think.  My brain began to fill up, memories flooding in.  Here's the sorts of things I was thinking:

I thought about how last week when I went snowboarding I had really wanted to run some trails up around Ruapehu, but didn't because I had to drink (you see, you have to drink when you come off the mountain) and about all the trails I have missed over the years because of having to drink, or being hungover.  I thought about when I was 15 years old and got so drunk at a party that I threw up everywhere and passed out completely.  I was in the company of many strangers much older than myself, and only good luck kept me safe.  How when I was 23 I stood in the middle of the road, drunk as a skunk, yelling about the loss in my life while the traffic drove around me.  How later that night I threw up all over a table in the pub.  I thought about the man I said "no" to, but he insisted, and I was too drunk to deal with it, so ... I still hate that night.  I thought of all these things and many many more, and I realised that I can be free now.  This morning may not have felt great, tomorrow might not either - but I can be free.  That in itself is fucking fantastic. xx

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Day One

I promised myself I would tell my partner last night, that I had a drinking problem.  But I didn't.  I drank instead.  So this morning, through tears, I finally told her.  She held me and told me she had been waiting for this and would be right behind me.  So then we got up and told my 11 year old.  She was so happy.

This is it people.  Day one.   We are hosting a dinner party tonight and the wine will be flowing.  So really I should start tomorrow shouldn't I?  But I can't wait any longer, not now I have admitted it. I'm done.


Friday, 11 July 2014

All or nothing

Tonight is the night. I am taking my love out for a date, and I am telling her that I am addicted to alcohol.  I don't know if that means I stop tonight.  Maybe I will wait until I have completed Jason Vale's book, then stop.  Or maybe tonight is it, the night it is over.

I am unsure how she will react.  She doesn't like how much I drink, but at the same time I know my "all or nothing" personality bugs her.  She would rather I be able to enjoy the odd drink with her from time to time, be moderate, like she so easily is.  But I can't be it seems.  I am all or nothing.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Fear is eating away at me

I am one of hundreds, thousands perhaps, who have been influenced by the recent publicity around Mrs D -  And I am one of many I realise, who has hopped on the bandwagon of "I'll start a blog, she did, it helped", so am hardly original.  In fact, it seems there is nothing original about me at all.  White, early 40's female, high profile job, and drinking too much.  So its just no me I see?  Who knew?  Thank God.

I haven't given up drinking.  Not yet. I'm too scared.  I am being eaten by fear I have to admit.  I'm scared my anxiety will get out of control. I'm scared of social occasions.  I'm scared I wont be fun any more.  I will miss beer after a long day out on the bike, or snow boarding, or running  And I will miss a lovely glass of wine with a fine meal.  I am so damn scared.  My stomach is actually tying in knots at the idea of never drinking again.

But.  I am so damn sick of it.  I am sick of my daughter thinking that drinking is normal adult behaviour. I am sick of feeling slightly "off" most days.  I am sick of wanting it, needing it and longing for it.

Maybe tomorrow I will be ready to stop.