New Start! August 1st, Day 1 Sober.

We’ve had a change of plans. Friday night I was intent on not drinking, which I did not and was delightfully sleepy and ready to sleep at 11 p.m. Unfortunately hubs was busy working up until then, said goodnight to me, and went downstairs to unwind. Well I was pretty sure what that meant, but usually I knock off to sleep no problem.

Somehow I missed my sleep window and was still tossing at midnight and at that point was annoyed thinking he’d come in tipsy and wake me just as I fell asleep. So I went down and told him so, he came to bed, smelling like beer and trying to talk to me, then passed out quickly and starting snoring. And snoring. The loud disruptive kind.

So I finally told him to get out and sleep on the couch I was so annoyed. This is the first time that’s ever happened, usually we drink together and I sleep through everything.

The next morning I said I don’t want to do this another month, you’ve been drinking nearly every night and I don’t want to have to drink 3 beers just to be able to sleep next to you.

He was sorry and said “How about we just start today then, it is August 1st”. BECAUSE HE IS THE BEST EVER! I was so happy and felt an immediate weight off my shoulders, after making sure he was serious and really ok with this. I didn’t want to take away from any of our (his?) “last fun summer drinking days”.

But he gets it, he gets me, he is committed to this and I love him so much.

So last night I went to visit with a couple friends and brought my to go mug with my favorite mocktail. It was good to catch up, they were drinking vodka and didn’t even ask what was in my cup. I was so happy to leave and not be thinking about having another drink at home, not end the night staying up too late and snacking on the couch.

Feeling great today, I am so fucking ready for this.

Documenting What I Want To Forget

Ok I did commit to documenting my last drinking days, even though I’d rather erase it from memory, so I could look back and remember what a trap I was in.

Wed. night did not really want or need to drink but finished off the bourbon (3 shots?) plus a couple beers. Felt like shit Thurs. (see yesterday’s post) and told myself all day I would not drink but was so sick of myself and my headache by evening I had 3 (7%) beers and stuffed my face with cheetos which I would never do sober.

Friday morning I am feeling ok and really truly will not drink tonight. Tomorrow is our weekend day with all the kids and I want to feel good for it. And start August off healthy (yes I am always extra inspired by the turning of the calendar page even though it’s kinda silly).

Now let’s focus on some more positive things for the day:

-I have a rather peaceful day with only one child for the morning.

-It is gorgeous and I will get to spend some time outside.

-Distance picnic with my grandma, mom, sis, and aunt this evening.

Wow it really does help to take time to be grateful for the small things. I also wrote a couple reviews on Good Reads this morning, which I have been meaning to do forever, and the library finally opened so I can return some books and get some new ones.

Here are some of my five star reviews: Born a Crime, Stronger Than Death: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail, It’s Ok To laugh (Crying Is Cool Too), A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science, and Cancer.

What are you reading or looking forward to today?

The Definition of Insanity…

…is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.

How many times have I woken up and thought “I never want to feel like this again”? How many times have I woken up and spent the first minutes of my day regretful, vowing to myself I will not drink again this day?

So, so many. So many that it’s painful to even add it up, painful to think about the cumulative damage to my body over the years. Painful enough that it makes me want to go into denial, join in the fun again with alcohol the next day, pretend that I am a “normal” drinker.

But the cycle is so obvious, and it’s so clear I need to give up this toxic shit, why would I want to continue for another month?

Because I’m insane? Or just really stupid? Either way, I feel fucking pathetic and am even tired of listening to myself talk (type?). Hoping to get these thoughts out this morning and focus on other things for the day. Because there are so many more important things, people with much much worse problems than a mild dependence on alcohol that I could quit completely now if I wanted. Couldn’t I?

Why Did I Drink Last Night?

I’d like to clarify that this next month or so isn’t a free for all binge before I start sobriety. I would have given up alcohol sooner, except hubs is attached to warm weather drinking, so I agreed to start at the end of the summer. Until then, I don’t want to be a drag about drinking because I’m grateful he’s doing this with me at all. (So much respect to people who do this without partner support, I don’t know that I could!)

So last night was kid free night, a weekly perk of having partial custody. Kid free nights are historically “drinking nights”. We decided to go ride bikes and sit in a park to catch up / make life plans (we have discovered pandemic life is much easier if we plan interesting things to do in advance vs. waiting until everyone is bored, whiny, and indecisive).

I was on the fence about drinking so did not suggest it, but also didn’t say no when he suggested we bring beers because that sounded good too, and it’s our norm.

Had one 8% beer and biked home (that cancels it out, right?!)

By the time we got home it was 9:45 and we were hungry so the night ended as usual – huge plate of nachos, more drinks (a large glass of bourbon and half a beer for me), watching a show, going to bed a bit too late. Fun and indulgent, but a recipe for feeling icky the next day.

Now it’s mid afternoon and I still have a headache. Fasted all morning and drank lots of water, now having a green smoothie. Don’t want to drink tonight – too many nights in a row and it compounds the hangover. We are planning to play badminton with the neighbors so maybe that will distract me.

The problem right now is that hubs will likely open a beer, and I will sort of want one, but also want to abstain. But then he will get relaxed and silly (he’s not at all a bad drunk, but even seeing his minor shift in disposition will annoy me) and stink like beer and end up snacking a whole bunch and I will want to drink so I am not annoyed and don’t ruin his fun.

Ugh. I am sooooo looking forward to our start date.

The Deals We Make With Ourselves About Alcohol

Yesterday was a normal day, all the kids home, somehow feeling so busy even though we didn’t go anywhere. It’s a funny thing with this pandemic, I thought we would have SO much more time, but it feels like all I can do to keep caught up on the dishes some days.

The whole day I was looking forward to getting together with my girlfriends after dinner. This is a close group, stay at home mom friends I have spent countless hours with hanging out at the park with our kids. Except this year no kids, just us six feet apart. I am so grateful to have them, but the loss of our very social party in the park type of summer is one of the biggest bummers of the pandemic.

Anyway I was also feeling grateful that it’s the kind of gathering where drinking isn’t a thing. We are very comfortable together and out of 5 people only a couple of us would care to bring alcohol anyway. But still, right before I left, I thought…. maybe I’ll bring a beer just in case.

“Don’t do it, you’ll feel like crap if you start drinking this early.”

“If you abstain until you get home, maybe it’s justified to have a drink after the kids go to bed.”

“Hubs is very stressed with work today, you know he’ll want to have some beer later.”

“You didn’t drink hard alcohol all weekend, there is still that half bottle of bourbon.”

After the kids were sleeping and I got the kitchen all clean, I happily poured myself a glass of bourbon, figuring there was not much time to drink much before bed so I’d feel fine tomorrow.

And I do feel mostly fine, except for a very vague headache. But that wasn’t a guarantee, and I did stay up later than I would have otherwise. Because of course I had another glass, which is probably 4 units total because my pours are so strong.

The bourbon was a gift given to me last Sunday and is half gone already. I learned a long time ago it is dangerous for me to keep bottles of booze in the house.

So the deal I made with myself is that I would only buy in half pint quantities, and that’s what I did for a very long time. A half pint is technically 4 units, but more like 2 strong drinks for me. Of course when I finished that I would start sipping on beer… enough to make me feel regretful in the morning.

Tell me, what are some deals you have tried to make with yourself about alcohol?

Documenting my Final Drinking Days

I’ve decided it would be a good exercise to document the next few weeks of my typical drinking life. To more closely examine why I like to drink, and how shit it usually makes me feel. Because I know my usual cycle is to drink, feel awful and ashamed, be healthy for two days, decide drinking sounds like fun, repeat, repeat, repeat…

So, let’s start with Thursday. Didn’t drink, didn’t want to. Had already had my fair share earlier in the week and was due for a “healthy” day. Besides we were leaving for a weekend away with the kids in the morning and I wanted to be sure to feel good.

Friday. Felt great, managed to pack and get everyone in the car and to our destination four hours later with very little impatience or anxiety. (Hangovers increases those big time, especially with the kids.)

Friday dinner time. It’s gorgeous, hot, we find the perfect uncrowded place to eat outside. I really want a beer. I deserve it. We’re on vacation. I’ve been debating in my head more than feels normal if it is a good idea to drink tonight. I order the beer and it is magic in a few sips. The kids are less annoying, everything feels happier and more relaxed. If only I could stay at this feeling forever.

After two beers with dinner we head back to our cabin to put the kids to bed. How I wish I could be one of the people who is content stopping here, but I never am. I know it’s not the best idea to drink more, but after two beers I don’t care and am glad hubs runs to the liquor store. He comes back with two six packs of strong (7%) IPAs. I drink at least two more and we stay up late playing cards, we’re having fun.

Saturday morning. Ugh. I think I feel ok at first but then feel very foggy. My head hurts a little but not too bad. (I don’t want “my hangover isn’t too bad” to become an acceptable normal in my life.) We set out for a hike, one of the highlights of the trip, I’m not sure if it’s the hangover or high heat and humidity that’s making me feel SO sluggish.

In the afternoon we drive around awhile trying to find a place to swim or rent canoes. Covid is complicating a lot on this trip. I feel slightly nauseous in the car, but better after a swim.

We go back to the same small town place for dinner, I don’t even debate drinking, I just want a little escape and relief from the long day. Saturday night is almost an exact repeat of Friday. We’re on vacation, of course we’re drinking!

Sunday morning both six packs are gone. I don’t remember having three more beers but I must have, or dumped out part of one.

I feel mostly fine. Then a little jittery. Impatient. Tired of making all the little decisions that go with a mini family road trip.

Now Sunday evening we are home and I am grateful to have some time alone to get my thoughts out. I will not drink tonight, which is easy because my body badly needs the break and it’s Sunday so not a “drinking night” anyway.

Why I am Sober Curious

I decided to start this blog as a way to document the process of my first ever serious try at sobriety. Over the past year I’ve read many other accounts of “gray area” drinkers (as in, not true physically addicted alcoholics, but people who have realized alcohol may be more of a negative than a positive in their lives) – people who have given up the sauce and mostly say how wonderful it is.

My whole adult life I’ve happily identified as a drinker. I love to drink, but more and more I do not like the after effects. I started binge drinking in college where it was accepted and even brag worthy to puke / pass out / do ridiculous things while drunk. I thought this was normal and gave no thought to how it might affect my health.

Continued after college to drink socially, but at that point I was social nearly every night of the week, despite having to get up early for an office job.

Got married at 25 and drank all the time with my first husband. At first it was fun, then lead to frequent drunken massive fights, then just became our regular nightly routine, one of our only ways to “connect”. Had two children, no problem staying sober during pregnancy.

First husband suddenly decided he was done being married when baby #2 was only a few months old. So began a whirlwind few years of me trying to keep it together on my own, figure out work life after being a stay at home mom, date again. During this period there was a lot of trying to regulate my drinking, keeping it to only certain nights per week and so on. I thought as long as I wasn’t drinking every day, or day drinking, generally keeping my life together, there was no problem.

Eventually I met the love of my life and remarried. I was drinking less than before, but the hangovers seemed to get worse and worse. Even just a “normal” night of 3-4 drinks would leave me with a terrible headache and anxiety the entire next day. I began to read more about the sober curious movement and feel that frequent alcohol use didn’t really line up with the healthy life I want to have. New hubs and I would end up drinking 3-4 drinks, 3-4 nights per week, zoning out on the couch, eating chips, staying up too late. It’s a cycle I don’t want to continue.

Luckily he is open to new ideas, and self improvement, so he has agreed to go sober with me starting at the end of the summer. So from now until Labor Day, with a mix of excitement and apprehension, I am documenting my last drinking days!

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