I’m having a hard time getting up off of the couch today. There are so many “should be doing” items running through my mental to-do list. And yet, I sit here. I have a class scheduled for 11:30 at the gym, so I will eventually get out. It’s 4 degrees out, so that might be part of it. It’s more likely that I am still recovering from quitting drinking. I know enough from several stints of sobriety, that self care and permission to hide under the covers is necessary. I’m generally very critical of myself (and others), and I hold myself (and sometimes others) to impossible standards. Does this sound familiar? I think so.
Today I will give my permission to rest. I will go easy on myself. I will practice self care. I will NOT drink.
A day off of school. Such sober treat! Last night, I took my 16-year-old to a Celtics vs. Cavaliers game. He suffers from a severe anxiety disorder with an emerging mood disorder. He is NOT an easy child, but it was his dream to see Lebron James play. When my boy is anxious, he is ANGRY and inpatient. He was stressed out from the moment we got into the car, throughout the game, and even on the way home. He was almost entirely unable to be in the moment and enjoy what was happening right then. I’m a single parent, and so I bear the brunt of his verbal outbursts and anxiety. I decided early on in the evening not to react to his complaints and to enjoy the evening myself (even though I wanted to drag him to the car, stop at the liquor store on the way home and gulp down a bottle of Cabernet.) So I got myself a giant cheesesteak sub and a coke, sat down in our excellent seats, and took in the entire experience. I had no urge to drink during the game or when we got home. While I was sad for (and angry with) my son, I decided to focus on being in the moment and savoring this once in a lifetime experience.
p.s. Silently reciting the Serenity Prayer over and over definitely helped!
It was a long and sweaty night. That’s my body trying to rid itself of the poison that was saturating my every cell. I switched spots in bed, changed clothes, put down a towel, and took off my clothes. I think I was up most of the night either feeling hot and sweaty or shivering from my cold, damp sheets.
The thing is, I feel better this morning than I have on any morning after drinking. I’ll be tired today. So what? I can handle that.
I’m keeping these posts short and sweet. Just a check-in every morning to chronicle the small steps forward and backward as I continue this journey. Self-care. A quiet cup of coffee, a prayer, and a quick check-in with thoughts before the craziness begins. It can all wait.
Happy day to all!
Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Golda Meir
Today is the start of Day 2. This morning I awoke, hangover free, and found this quote in my inbox from Gratefulness.org. It was a perfect message to start my day. It’s back to school after a week-long staycation. Today I will not drink. No matter what. No matter what. No matter what.
I have a 5:00 personal training session at the gym. I have never done this before, but I’m looking forward to it.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Today, I am praying for courage.
It’s been quite awhile since I last posted. For weeks, I have been fighting for services for my mentally ill older son. It’s a complicated bureaucratic nightmare, and I spend hours each day making calls and sending emails that are often never returned. I have remained sober, although for the past few days, I have been thinking about alcohol around wine o’clock. Yesterday, I had a mental fight in my mind while driving home with my surly younger son. I kept it in my thought bubble, but it went something like this. “Alcohol… Yoga!…Alcohol!…Yoga!…Alcohol!…Yoga!…Bed!…Yoga!…Bed!…Yoga!..Food!” After I got home and ate some much-needed dinner, I decided that a gentle restorative yoga class would be exactly what I needed. (Big Exhale). Don’t ya know I felt much better. I’ve only been to AA a few times, but it was obvious that I have allowed myself to get into H.A.L.T. mode pretty often. I had all of the initials covered.
Belle has been writing about the dangers of forgetting about your sober tools. I’ve been shedding sober tools for a few weeks now. Things like reading blogs, journaling for myself, writing here to stay accountable, morning meditation and prayer,etc. I have been barreling through my life in a swirl of overwhelm.
So, tonight, I’m stopping. I’m eating something yummy. I’m going to read something that nourishes my spirit. Then, I am going to bed early. Tomorrow is a new day.
I am so grateful that I did not give in to my drinking voice. I am strong, and I can do this life thing without booze!
By the way, I’m on day 70 today!
On Friday, I heard news about my older son that I have been fighting and waiting for. It has everything to do with the trauma we suffered this summer which I’ll write about it in the future. The point it, I received the best possible news accompanied by a very persistent and nagging desire to drink. The good news brings with it much uncertainty about how things will work, and the “crazy” mental health bureaucracy that I need to navigate ASAP. I immediately felt a sense of overwhelm while also feeling hopeful and happy. It did not help that this news came in the late afternoon when I was hungry and tired. I did not drink. Thank God. Again, I reminded myself that I could not accomplish anything by drinking. Drinking would only make things more difficult. I went straight home, ate a snack, got into my pajamas, and ate a not so healthy meal. I did make a few phone calls to get things moving, but I focused on taking care of myself. It worked.
Today is Day 36 for me. Overall, I feel great. It feels wonderful to sleep through the night and wake up without a throbbing head. It’s even better to wake up without the shame, guilt and self-judgment that accompanied the hangover. Every morning that I woke up with a hangover was the day I swore I would never drink again. But I always drank again.
Last night, I went to my neighbors’ home for dinner. Another neighbor, a good friend and former drinking buddy came, too. I was genuinely happy to go. All of us have had difficult times in the past few months, so we haven’t been together since early January. I brought my raspberry lime sparkling water. I wasn’t worried at all about drinking, and I did not crave anything, even when the bottle of red was opened. It was a wonderful evening, and I was so happy to be with my friends. After dinner, we moved to sit near the fireplace to chat and relax. By this time, my friends were working on their third or fourth drink, and they were getting livelier and more talkative. I was getting tired and irritated. Even if I had wanted to jump in to the discussion about the upcoming “apocalypse” (thanks Donald Trump and lots of wine), I couldn’t. They were too busy talking loudly and interrupting each other. I gratefully thanked my friend for the delicious meal and walked home.
This morning, I am judging myself about being irritated by my friends.. I’m judging myself for judging my friends! I am SLOWLY learning that I have to stop judging myself before I can extend that nonjudgment to others. This shit isn’t easy. Today, I am going to tune in to my negative self-talk and become aware of my inner critic. Changing that won’t be easy, but I have to be aware of it before I can kick that bully to the curb.
Have a great day. Peace.