Another sober “weekend”….

… that is, if you count the weekend as only Friday and Saturday nights. I was SUPER proud of us on Saturday night. It was all the conditions we’d normally drink – no kids, feeling bored and blah, bummed we can’t go out because we don’t want to catch fucking Omicron before x-mas. We’re not even on any kind of PLAN right now, but neither of us brought up drinking. I even had an open bottle of bourbon in the house which is usually too much of a temptation for me!

But, even though I feel happy about this progress, I’m nowhere near being able to refuse a drink when it’s handed to me in a tragic situation.

Sunday I dropped my son off at a birthday party and planned to return for the dinner portion that parents were invited to. The mom is a new friend of mine and I was looking forward to meeting some other parents. The mom seemed fine when I got there, took me down to show me their remodeled basement, then a few minutes later suddenly said she just found out her dad unexpectedly died. As in, her mom found him dead at home and called her 10 minutes before the party was about to begin.

I felt so awful for her. I know what it is like to get that phone call and even though it’s been almost a decade since it happened to me, it’s crystal clear in my memory.

So even though it solves nothing, (except numbing my brain and heart from the constant refrain of “dead dad dead dad dead dad”) I drank, and got right into that bourbon once I got home. (But won’t be buying any more!!!!)

On a (much!) lighter note, what do you think of these boots? (they just happened to be the last pic on my camera as I try to stay anonymous). I’m usually a one pair of shoes per season gal, I don’t like to make fashion decisions and stick with what works. Except occasionally I am drawn to the loud and ridiculous. But these are also practical – they are Sorels with good tread! Would YOU trust a realtor wearing these things?!

You win some, and lose some…

(Arguments with the Booze Bitch, that is)

Last night we were going to decorate the tree. Kids were bickering and being obnoxious. Hubs was both annoyed by them, AND wanting to celebrate news about a year end bonus, AND hinting around at drinking “omg where is the beer?”. AND I was starting to write x-mas cards, which I traditionally get buzzed for, to encourage my “creativity” (and then wonder later if I wrote anything too inappropriate).

I didn’t drink. I knew I could, if I wanted. I’m not on a challenge. Hubs would eagerly join me. There’s even an open bottle of bourbon in the house! I just didn’t want to, barely any effort to abstain. Just need to document this as it feels like huge progress in my mental relationship with alcohol!

Ha but I did drink on Saturday. I hadn’t planned to, was looking forward to our sober evening wrapping presents, but the Booze Bitch said “this is only once a year, only one night you make these special drinks, it will be more fun, just do it!”

Luckily I managed to take it easy and didn’t feel disgusting the next day… but I will not forget those early morning hours where my heart was beating faster than normal and the thought “WILL I feel awful when I get up and for the rest of the day?!” repeated in my mind.

But, some progress is better than none! The drink I enjoyed last night in the pic above: Ginger beer, lime la croix, squeeze of lime, couple slices jalapeno – so delicious and spicy, not too sweet, with a bite like whiskey 😉

One Month Alcohol Free – Day 29 (minus 2…)

We completed our FOURTH alcohol free weekend in a row this past weekend. Saturday night, no kids, not ridiculously fun but we took care of some financial to do items, finalized x-mas lists, and watched some tv. (Normally we’d have done exactly the same thing but with alcohol).

Sunday my sister had a housewarming dinner at her new apartment which normally would be a situation hard for me to resist drinking (openly available alcohol plus getting silly with my mom and sis) but the temptation was barely there, especially since my sis was gracious enough to have AF options.

New favorite AF drink – anything with sliced jalapenos mixed in! I didn’t eat the jalapenos but it added an amazing fiery quality to the drink similar to hard liquor.

Perhaps it was easier for us to abstain this weekend since we drank the previous Wednesday and really regretted it. Typical situation, we were feeling bored and grumpy, it was “nice” out (50 degrees) so we went for a walk, past our favorite neighborhood place, saw it was mostly empty (covid safe), went in and ordered drinks. And it was fun, we had 3 each, dinner, darts, the usual. (Probably more like 4 for me since their whiskey pours seemed large).

We both felt AWFUL the next day, despite going to bed on time. Crazy how extra bad a hangover feels after 3 weeks of not having one. Hubs was especially affected which surprised me because 3 beers during an evening never seemed to make him feel bad before. We both woke early in the morning with our hearts pounding.

The next evening (Thursday) I went to a friend’s for dinner and hadn’t expected to drink because these friends usually don’t but she handed me a glass of wine as soon as I got there. After feeling shitty all day I had no willpower and 1 led to 3 which led to 2 shots of whiskey because why not at that point.

So that’s the 30 day recap. Almost did it, minus 2. Not sure where we’re going from here. Neither of us want to go back to old ways, but it’s still not a “never again” situation. This weekend will be interesting. We’re going to have a x-mas day/evening and wrap presents and listen to my favorite performer on a FB live show. I think I just won’t mention drinking and try to put it out of my mind. Sunday is a busy day and I want to feel good. Might even go to an in person yoga class Sunday eve. (my favorite studio is requiring vaccinations!!!) so that is a sweet reward for abstaining.

One Month Alcohol Free – 3rd Weekend Accomplished…

….but feeling very antsy to go out and have some fun. Not craving drinks at home (which really is huge progress given that we used to drink at home together quite often) but fantasizing about x-mas parties and socializing, especially now that I’m boostered!

We got our boosters on Sat. which made staying home and resting yesterday easy. The two previous weekends we cleaned out our basement in preparation for the SAUNA to be built, which I’m massively excited about and planning to have all sorts of people over to try that.

So besides seeing some friends a few times during the day, and my family a couple times, it’s been quite boring around here. I continue to paint the living room which is taking forever!

I’ve been living vicariously through Fleabag, which my friends I visited in L.A. told me to watch because according to them I am similar to the main character. Ok I really am (or was, in my 20’s) … it’s a miracle they still love me after all those years, especially since they were far more responsible in comparison!

Anyway! This sober month is still feeling really good and I know what I need next is more practice abstaining in social situations…

One Month Alcohol Free – Day 13 – Sober Productivity

I finally painted my living room wall. This would never have happened if I drank the night before. It’s not just that I would have slept late or had a headache, although those don’t help of course.

I don’t know the word for it – some sort of anxiety? If I’m hung over any task that requires any extra effort or is even slightly out of the ordinary seems totally overwhelming. Like figuring out where all the painting supplies are, getting the ladder set up, concentrating on getting the paint right… I would have put it off for another day.

But even though I’m being extra productive, I’m also gazing at the calendar wanting to plan a night “out”. Doing our sober month right now seems like cheating a little because it’s the least social time of year – cold, dark, and covid everywhere (Minnesota is worst in the country right now) so we’re avoiding people and indoor spaces until after we get our boosters next weekend, and the kids get their second dose the weekend after that.

Still, I’m more content than I have been in the past to be “boring” awhile longer, and I do plan to challenge myself once the month is over to abstain during social events too.

One Month Alcohol Free – Day 8

Feeling so good after a week without drinking!! I would like to point something out that is subtle but very important. Going a week without in itself is not a huge feat for me. But you know what feels different than in the past?

THE VOICE IS QUIETER. The Booze Bitch. Throwing a toddler tantrum saying “this is boring, when can I drink again, can we make an exception tonight?!”

Everything I read told me the more I tried, the more I abstained, the quieter the voice would get. And after a long time, it has.

It’s Wednesday, our night without kids. In the past, it was an automatic drinking night. Even if we were just sitting at home watching tv, alcohol was included. When I’ve tried to abstain in the past, it felt hard to go without on a Kid Free night. Like something was missing. It took a lot of mental energy to battle the Booze Bitch, a debate would rage in my head with all the reasons I should run out to the liquor store for just a little bit.

Tonight, I am just looking forward to a quiet night at home, even though it’s cold and dark and nothing special is planned. I might do a 30 minute yoga video, sort out some financial stuff with hubs, go to bed early. It sounds wonderful because I know I will feel good tomorrow, and finally, finally, the delayed gratification of “feeling good tomorrow” is winning out over the instant gratification of a drink tonight.

It’s only Day 8 of only one month, and I’m sure Booze Bitch will be back and get the better of me in the future. But, for now, enjoying today 🙂

One Month Alcohol Free – Day 1

Seems like ages since I last updated. We were SO busy over Halloween and I drank more than I wanted to that weekend :-/ Then we found out my 90 year old grandma tested positive for covid (she is vaccinated, but still…) so on top of worrying about her, we had also been exposed (the previous week) and my daughter and I started feeling sick with sore throats. We were supposed to leave Friday 11/5 for a long planned and already postponed trip to L.A. to see friends so the whole week was filled with anxiety, indecision, covid tests, before finally deciding to go at the last minute.

The trip was good, but my hosts’ huge selection of open and available booze did leave me with a slight hangover two of the four mornings. I hadn’t planned to abstain during the trip but now I’m home and feeling yucky and more ready than ever for a booze break. Hubs is back on board, he says he’s looking forward to it and doesn’t see it as a deprivation.

So, two years after our first of probably…. 8? attempts at alcohol free months, here we are again Day 1.

October Progress

Still haven’t figured out how to caption pics on here. The one above appeared in my FB memories today, 5 years ago, a bunch of us out at the pumpkin patch over fall break with our kiddos. I’m forever grateful we had that time. I also still cringe because I remember being hung over that day, especially because it would have been my 9th wedding anniversary.

But, learn what you can, leave the rest. I’m in a much better place now. With relationships AND drinking!

I’ve already exceeded my goal of only drinking 5 days this month, but only by a tiny bit.

  1. Dinner party at our house Oct. 2nd. Sipped beer all night (total of 4?) resulting in a little nice buzz, but then hard to focus on conversation (especially if there are multiple going on), a lot of calories, and a headache the next day.

2. & 3. A phenomenon I like to call “last nice day!!!” that happens in fall in Minnesota. Any nice day in October could be the LAST warm one for months so you better get out and ride bikes and drink beer! Also, hubs and I haven’t yet figured out what else to do with ourselves and since he’s super stressed at work and already agreed to do no alcohol with me next month I didn’t want to ruin his good time.

4. A completely ridiculous Sunday where there was still half a beer in the fridge from the previous night and I’d FINALLY finished our taxes and also endured a birthday party with hubs’ weirdo ex and her parents. Felt really gross the next day. Good reminder why I don’t keep open alcohol in the house.

5. It was Saturday. Wish I would’ve skipped this one. I plan to this coming Saturday. They are our typical “drinking nights” when the kids aren’t home.

6. I had quieted the Booze Bitch in my head all night, then after kids were asleep hubs cracks a beer and says all he wants to do is sit with me and catch up (he’s been INSANELY busy at work, the worst of his entire career he says) so even though I wanted to drink tea and go read I did have 1.5 beers with him, otherwise I would have just been annoyed watching him drink and vent about work. Although I wish to improve on this situation, 1.5 beers doesn’t leave me feeling disgusting so I don’t feel too bad about it.

So this is where I feel like there’s progress: Old me would have said at this point in the month, screw it, stop putting limits on yourself, hubs is doing it with you next month so just start over then it’ll be easier.

Except I don’t even want to “screw it”. I don’t really want to drink. Most of the time. The allure of it is less and less. I’m getting better at “playing it forward” – knowing how I will feel the next day and realizing that isn’t worth the perceived immediate “benefits” of drinking. The rest of the month is several Halloween parties + hubs’ birthday so that is the real test!! I will update in early November 🙂

September Drinking Recap

Image above – my baby’s lederhosen falling down at an Oktoberfest party 5 years ago. His face kinda reflects my feeling about myself this month. Same shit, different day, really, again?

I guess this is what happens when I’m only sort of trying. Consumed alcohol on 10 days in September. Every 3rd day. Gross. A few days were planned and enjoyed, at least half were regretted. These days even three beers over the course of an evening will leave me not at all “drunk” but still feeling icky nearly the entire next day.

The strange thing is I FELT like I was abstaining a lot. As usual, if I go even 3 days booze free, I feel great, SO healthy, like I have no problem at all so what’s the harm in a little drink? Hubs has been more stressed than ever at work so many nights I go to bed alone (and sober) while he stays up to unwind with beer :-/ He knows it isn’t healthy but it’s the fastest way to get some relief from his day.

He’s pledged to do a month sober with me after I return from a trip at the beginning of November. I’m going with my daughter to visit friends for 4 days, which was planned back in Feb. when we thought covid would be over by now. I’m nervous and have mixed feelings about flying but haven’t cancelled yet. The trip itself is motivation for me to cut back on booze even further, because I want to look / feel my best for it. If I drink only 5 days in October I’ll be really proud of myself.

September was so busy with kids starting school again, me starting my real estate course (and passing first round of exams!), my son’s 7th b-day, house projects, life, etc.

This month will be similar because we basically celebrate Halloween the entire month, go all out with decorating, have multiple parties, plus several birthdays AND my second real estate course. I also want to intensify my workout routine since most of the summer it consisted of “it’s hot let’s ride bikes and probably get some beer”. I hope to update more especially when I’m making progress, otherwise I just feel like a fucking broken record.

August Drinking Recap

Any lofty health plans sort of fell apart this month. I drank on 14 days. Ugh. A rollercoaster of approximately 4 servings of poison every other day. I have no real excuse. I wasn’t really trying? It’s summer let’s live it up? Didn’t want to put a damper on hubs having a good time?

The pic above is my sweet baby boy at a petting zoo the day after my birthday. I was hung over but not terribly so. When I drink I usually have about 4 over the course of the night. I never feel very drunk or do stupid stuff. But usually very regretful the next day, and tired with a headache.

September will be different. I’m re-committing. I’m starting classes to become a real estate agent and although very excited and sure this is the right move for me, under the surface terrified I will fuck it up. That all the new-ness will be uncomfortable and I’ll drink to relieve that like I always have in the past and then be more anxious than ever with the hangover and feel worthless. I know this cycle. I’m determined not to repeat it.

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