I ‘ve been in a bit of a funk these past 2 days, which is a bit ironic after writing my super determined and optimistic last post. Work and family life have been quiet and that has given me the opportunity to read and blog more, which has definitely helped me, thank you my sober blogging friends :-).
I have also been reading about PAWS (post acute withdrawal symptoms) google it. I know a lot of other bloggers have posted about this too. Just reading some of the symtoms has helped me understand what my body is going though and it makes everything a bit easier to cope with. Here are just a few of the most common things:
- Mood swings.
- Variable energy.
- Low enthusiasm.
- Variable concentration.
- Disturbed sleep.
I think I have experienced each one of these at some point or other over the last month. The www.addictionsandrecovery.org has a lot more information on this and explains that – Post-acute withdrawal occurs because your brain chemistry is gradually returning to normal. As your brain improves, the levels of your brain chemicals fluctuate as they approach the new equilibrium causing post-acute withdrawal symptoms – It also goes on to say that, each episode will only last a few days. Woo Hoo!
So i’ve learned that if i’ve got a headache or i’m feeling a bit down, tired or worried, Drink will only make that worse. My body is an amazing thing and will sort its self out in a couple of days. Well that makes things seem more manageable doesnt it! :0)
Well im feeling better already just knowing there is a reason for my funky mood. im not going to dwell on it and im going to look forward to a weekend with the family, fizzy juice, movies and chocolate xxx
I think time is passing quicker now, compared to Day 1. I know it is still early days but right back at the beginning, the days definitely past slower. It felt like I’d been alcohol free for ages, then I’d realise, I was only on Day 5. I’d think – Surely I’ve got my days wrong; I’ve been good for so long; how is it only Day 5?!
Now on Day 27, time has shifted a bit. It has sped up. I’m gaining some AF momentum. It’s been 3 days since my last blog post but it feels like I only wrote it yesterday. I think this is because I’m getting used to my new routine. I’m not obsessing over wine o’clock, drafting or posting blogs, just to take my mind of the pull of wine so much.
Dont get me wrong, I still think of drinking daily but not like a gut wrenching craving. More in an analysing way. Why do I want a drink? How would that make it better? Why does everything have to revolve around bloody alcohol? It’s like I’ve just woke up to realise the worlds gone mad over alcohol.
I’m definitely of the view point that I can never drink again. I might want a drink sometimes, like on a Sunny day; a Party or with friends (to name a few occasions) and its okay for that thought to pop into my head. It will take a lot longer than 27 days to re programme my brain after 20+ years of drinking, but I’m not going to drink.
There is a thought lurking at the back of my mind, which is slowly formulating and coming to the surface. I’m trying to capture this thought. I want to hold on to it and nurture it. This thought is that drinking is just not an option. It’s not a scary thought but an empowering thought. If I truly accept that drinking is just not an option for me then it frees me from all the cravings and any doubts I may have about giving up. You see, I accept I’m going to have cravings, I may doubt my decision to give up alcohol from time to time. I will have good days and bad days. However, I also accept that drinking is not an option for me, therefore its all a bit of a moot point really. The booze bitch in side me can shout as much as she wants. I’m not going to discuss this with her. Drinking is not an option. End of.
I’m still here and I’m still sober.
A few things have happened this week where I’ve actually been grateful I’m sober. Nothing dramatic, just small stuff but I just wanted to get it down on paper.
One of my kids had a nosebleed in the middle of the night. I was able to deal with it quickly and sympathetically. I was coherent and there for them, properly. In the past I would have blundered around in the dark trying to help, while actually trying to get back to bed as soon as I could to sleep the booze off.
I have helped with so much homework, actually planning it into our week properly, so it all got done. It always used to be quite stressful and always at the last-minute. I would often have a glass of wine in my hand while helping as it would be after 5 o’clock!
We went to see a basketball game, as a family. It was fun! Actually fun, with no alcohol involved. I was there, present and in the moment – not distracted, thinking about where and how I was going to get my next drink.
I know to a lot of people these things are not very special but I’m grateful for being sober so I could do these, not very special things, because when I was drinking I couldn’t or didn’t do these things properly and I never want to forget that. X
Well, things are going… dare I say it.. okay. I’m finding my working week is better. I’m not craving that 5pm glass (or rather bottle) of wine as much. However, just typing those words has just made my tummy scrunch up talking about wine. So okay, I still get the cravings; the longing; the daydreams about alcohol but I’m ignoring them much better. I’ve changed my routine a bit, catching a bit of ‘me time’ between doing homework and cooking dinner. Okay, so it’s only 20 minutes max, just catching up on emails or reading a quick blog but it helps me to get over that hump. If needs be, I’m visualising what would happen if I drank, playing it out to its miserable conclusion. Even that’s got easier. All I need to ask myself is, do I want 1 glass of wine or a bottle? Every time the answer is a bottle (or more) and there you have it, my reason NOT to drink.
I don’t want to get complacent, I’m genuinely a bit scared to. I’m even writing this blog tonight as I know I haven’t done one for a few days and I need to keep my focus. We all know how things can change so quickly and catch us off guard. I’m not going to be tricked by that Boozy Bitch inside me.
One thing which I have been worried about is our up and coming holiday at the end of May. We will be going around my Day 56. I know that is a lot of sober days under my belt but still. We always drink on holiday. A cool beer around the pool. A glass of wine outside on an evening. Arrghh! I don’t want to drink. I have told hubby that I won’t be drinking and he is totally cool with it. I’ ve told him he can still have a drink though. He’s a normal drinker. But I’m worried me not drinking may spoil his holiday. Total rubbish I know. I shouldn’t worry about what other people think and if they’re not happy with me not drinking then that’s their problem, not mine. Saying all that though doesn’t stop me feeling bad. I know when I was still drinking, I would have been seriously pissed off if hubby said he wasn’t having a drink on holiday. I also know that this holiday is the one thing that could make me relapse. I’m like a yoyo when I think about it. I’m 70:20 not wanting to drink but I worry about that 20%. When I play it out in my head, its easy to see why I shouldn’t drink but deep down part of me feels like I’d be missing out somehow or the holiday wont be as good. Its like a battle between my head and my heart or rather my head and my drink demon. I’m going to have to do some serious prep work before we go. My sober toolbox will have to be full to bursting. I’ll be gutted if I drink.
And breath….. One day at a time……
Well Saturday went well, pizza with the family did the trick and I went to bed happily catching up on some blogs. Note to self though, never get energy drinks again 😣 yuck! I bought them so I could have something different to drink. I even bought the organic ones that don’t have any tourin in but I felt very weird after drinking one. The initial boost of caffeine/energy felt good but about 30mins/an hour later I had a thumping head and unable to concentrate. I won’t be doing that again, it was like having a hangover, something I’m trying extremely hard to not ever have again. It did make me remember a time when vodka and redbull was new and all the rage and I would happily drink them on a night out (trebles of course). I used to have the worst hangovers from them and eventually decided I should drink something else as the ‘redbull’ didn’t agree with me 😄😂😂 *rolls on the floor laughing* I continued to drink vodka of course…
So far in my short journey of sobriety, I have found weekends to be by far the trickiest. I think this is because in my drunken days weekends were always that time of the week where I drank without feeling guilty and I didn’t give myself a hard time about how much I was drinking because basically everyone else was doing it on a weekend too. Unfortunately, unlike everyone else, I used to carry on drinking into the following week and not stop, which is when I had to hide my drinking and definitely gave myself a hard time about it. Anyway – the reason I find weekends hard is because I miss that short time where I was able to drink without restrictions or guilt, I looked forward to it. Now, im not going back to that life, no way. I’m starting to see that it wasnt the drink that was making it good. It was the not feeling guilty and sad that made it feel good and I get that now everyday because I don’t drink – does that make sense? The other part (which im working on) is having something to look forward to. I’ve stopped the guilt and self remorse part but I havent replaced the ‘something to look forward to’ part. I believe this is why weekends are tricky. I have read lots of blogs so far, which all say to be prepared for these hard times. whether it’s coming in from a hard day at work. relaxing after putting the kids to bed or a weekend night in. We have to be prepared for our triggers. Mine is definitely Friday or Saturday night. I love all the advice out there and take it all on board. (anything that may make this journey easier is good right) So tonight I feel prepared. I have planned something to look forward too. I have some organic energy drinks in the fridge (which i only allow myself on a weekend to keep them special) I’m having a pizza ‘pig out’ with the family (because once im full im less likely to want a drink) and if all that doesn’t help, I’ve even got a sneaky chocolate bar just for me in the cupboard. Obviously, this is my Saturday night coping stratagy, it may or may not work, but im looking forward to it and i think at the moment (regardless of the calories im about to consume) thats a good thing
So to everyone else out there whose struggling with the weekend. Plan something nice. Go out for a walk. Cook a nice meal. Rent that movie or pig out on takeaway and chocolate like me haha. Be just that little bit selfish. We’re all doing great x
P.s – Let me know what you doing this weekend to cope….
Last night I had a dream that I had been out with friends and was drinking red wine, it got to the end of the night when I suddenly realised that I shouldn’t be drinking because I’ve stopped drinking. I was so disappointed with myself. Later the dream changed and I was trying to find somewhere to smoke a cigarette! (I gave up 14 years ago). I was so pleased to wake up and realise it was all a dream, phew!
Having this dream has really made me think about how strong a hold alcohol has on me. I’m taking one day at a time and some days are better than others but I’m sticking at it and I think im doing okay. Then BAM! it starts creeping in under my radar, in my dreams, where I have no control. See how nice this is, how good it tastes, look what fun you’re having. It says. – I must get a name for this ’it’. I’ve heard other people call it the Thirsty Wolf or Wolfie. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll call it Boozy Bitch, The Drink Demon. That fits my mood at the moment better.
I remember when I gave up smoking years ago, in the beginning I would have the odd dream that I had started smoking again. The relief on waking up when I realised it was just a dream was amazing and really reinforced the fact that I didn’t want to start smoking again. Having this dream about drinking last night didn’t exactly have the same effect. Yes, I was relieved that it was just a dream. But more because I didn’t want to have to start from Day One again and the embarrassment of people finding out I didn’t get past 14 days. I’m ashamed to say that drinking wine in my dream still felt quite appealing. I woke up feeling a bit down that I couldn’t have a drink. Don’t worry I’m not going to drink today. I was hoping for a better reaction from myself when I woke up. The small amount of relief i felt when i woke up and realised it was all a dream was good. However, i would have rather had full on panic on awakening, then awash with relief and then feeling ecstatic that it was all a dream.
I don’t want to drink again. I don’t want to go back to being that person who is completely ruled by alcohol. Whose only waking thought is booze. Is it wine o’clock yet? How many sneaky glasses can i get in without anyone noticing. Do I need to buy more bottles? Do I need to hide any bottles? I don’t want to be that person. I just wish someone will tell my other boozy self. The other half of me who still fantisises about drinking, romanticises about it even. The other half of me who thinks she can be a social drinker. That Boozy Bitch inside me needs to go do one.
Another day done. I have ignored my cravings quite well today. There have been several fantasies of wine drinking, which I have had to dismiss immediately. I definitely don’t trust myself yet to let my mind linger on them sort of thoughts for too long.
Who knew there was so much coverage of alcohol in our every day lives, tv ads, tv programs. Ads on Facebook and other social media – it’s everywhere! Beautiful people, socialising and having a drink, looking very happy. I don’t know if that pisses me off or just makes me sad. A friend of mine was talking about her busy day today and said ” well I’ll enjoy my wine tonight after the day I’ve had .” I found myself nodding and agreeing!?!?! What the hell! I just didn’t know what else to say. Alcohol just seems to be an accepted, integral part of our everyday lives. People know it is not good for us and a strain on our health service, so why is it so widely acceptable? Can you imagine if that was people smoking or adverts for cigarettes? There would be an uproar. Do you think in 10 – 20 years time we’ll see a shift in people’s perception of alcohol and we’ll see it become ‘uncool’ to drink? Well I for one hope so because I think alcohol is a bigger problem than most people are willing to admit.
The holidays are over and its back to the usual routine. This has made my Day 11 rather difficult. While I have enjoyed being kept busy with work, I now find myself in that lull. Somewhere between 4.30pm and the kids bed times. In this time I do homework with the kids, cook their dinner and generally just be around for them. The kids seem to demand just enough of my attention that I cannot really do anything without being interrupted but they don’t constantly need my attention, so I find myself aimlessly wandering around the house, doing dishes and checking the dinner. Some people might think this is lovely but i find it boring. I love my kids dearly but night after night of the same routine is a bit tedious. I actually clock watch and will the time to go faster. This is also when I used to start my evening drinking. I feel a bit lost at the moment. Bored. Sad. Wine used to make it better, time went faster, I enjoyed myself more somehow. Oh, I know wine just made everything fuzzy round the edges, then I’d quietly get drunk once the kids were in bed, then I’d wake up with guilt for drinking and a hangover to boot. I just need to get over this hump, and I’ll be okay. I’m worried that if I cannot tweak my evening routine I will forever have cravings at this time of day and that’s not a nice thought. I’m hoping writing this blog will help wile away some of my time a bit more productively. The kids have only interrupted me 3 times and the oven timer has beeped once but I’m getting there. I think i may be writing more blogs at this time of day for a while.
Well I did it. I successfully survived a night at my parents house sober. As I predicted within ten minutes of arriving they offered me a drink. In the past I would have been so grateful and chuffed I was going to be drinking from 6pm, what a treat (not). Yesterday, I simply said I had the kettle on and was fine. As predicted they told me to get a ‘proper’ drink, to which I said I wasn’t drinking. They both laughed and said my sister would kill me. I said “she could blow it out her arse.” Now, I don’t normally say stuff like that but I got rather protective about my sobriety and well, it just came out. Luckily, my parents laughed and my sister hadn’t arrived yet, so all was okay. I explained to my parents that alcohol just hasn’t been agreeing with me lately and I actually feel better when I’m not drinking. It’s not exactly the whole truth but it’s not a lie either. Alcohol doesn’t agree with me, I cannot stop drinking it once I’ve started and I do feel better when I don’t drink. This half truth seemed to satisfy their curiosity and it didn’t invite a huge conversation about it either. As for my sister, she didn’t say a word. Sometimes, I think the whole not drinking thing is more my issue than anyone else’s. I think i’m just super sensitive and really aware that I’m not drinking and im expecting other people to be just as aware of my non drinking as me. I’m starting to think that maybe most people don’t give a toss. Either that or perhaps my parents warned my sister about my previous feisty-ness lol. Either way, I had a fab night catching up with my family, I wasn’t the first to go to bed and I felt fabulous waking up this morning hangover free. I must curb the amount of soft drinks I have though. In these social situations I still constantly need to have a drink in my hand, its like a crutch. Even at my parents house. I must have drunk 6 – 7 lime and soda’s in 4 hours last night. How I didnt pop – Wowsers. But hey, it wasn’t wine and that’s the whole point of this.
Well back to work and school for everyone tomorrow. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I started my Day One while on the Easter break and I’m hoping going back to work isn’t going to shake my fragile sobriety. I am trying to stay positive but I am also frighteningly aware of how quickly that can all change. Lets see what tomorrow brings.
I did not drink today, I will not drink tomorrow. X