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.

Hating Myself

For ruining another gorgeous summer day.

No matter how many “good days” I have, it does not make up

For this roller coaster.

For being still in this same situation.

A year later, muddling. Not really changing.

Having vivid dreams. My beautiful sweet husband, cheating.

I feel like I don’t deserve him.

I drink this poison and plunge

Into a pool of paranoia and self doubt.

I need to stop.

Summer: Still in a gray area…

No updates lately due to not a whole lot changing. Plus summer starting and suddenly being very, very busy. Plus being generally sick of analyzing my drinking habits. So when I left off nearly two months ago, I had no PLAN other than being more mindful about alcohol and trying to say no more.

Happy to say I have succeeded in both, but still have regrets some days. Still want to improve.

I feel like alcohol doesn’t hold the same allure for me that it once did. When I have drank lately it’s sometime to numb a few feelings, sometimes to join the crowd, but with more hesitation than ever. I can’t truly enjoy it knowing all that I know, with all my baggage surrounding booze.

I’ve said “no” in the past couple months more than I ever have, on occasions where in the past I would have happily used as an excuse to get drunk. Hosted Mother’s Day at my house – my mom brought wine and I didn’t have any. Went to dinner with my mom and sis and ordered tonic water. Didn’t even feel that much anxiety about it, despite my mom asking “what’s wrong with you?”. Hung out with them on the anniversary of my Dad’s death, AT my mom’s house (always a trigger because there are open bottles of booze!) and didn’t drink. Hung out on an amazing warm summer night at the park with friends who were drinking beer and I didn’t accept one. Went to bed sober many nights when hubs was stressed from work and stayed up to have some beers. (He is still working from home too so all his stress spills over to the rest of the house and I can’t say it’s any fun to have the kids home and try to keep them quiet if he’s on an important call or whatever…)

I also seem to have acquired a skill that has long evaded me – stopping drinking after starting. On more occasions than ever in my life I’ve had 1-2 beers and then didn’t want any more. Didn’t stay up way too late snacking and getting mindlessly drunk. The switch just kind of flipped off for reasons I can’t explain – maybe this past 2 years of reading ALL the things about giving up alcohol have made me not want it so much.

Not to say that I think I’m in the clear. I’m just pleased that overall there is improvement, less drinking, and less obsessing about drinking. But I need to stay mindful as to not fall back into bad habits. There are 39 days until my 39th birthday… maybe I’ll make that a goal for my next update.

What was your “get sober” plan?

So here I sit going into my second alcohol free weekend of May, the month I’m convinced I will finally drink less than ever and feel great about it.

But I don’t have a PLAN. I have tried lots of Plans. No drinking for a month, no drinking for 100 days, drinking only once per week. Everyone one of them has failed.

What does success look like for me? Right now I think success will be when I no longer feel guilty about drinking, and am no longer thinking about the topic so much. Which I hope will involve saying NO a lot to times when I used to drink, but occasionally saying yes and it’s not a big deal.

I can’t imagine never drinking again. <— I have read that written in so many books and blogs by people who now never drink.

So I ask, what was your sober PLAN? Did you try many times before something stuck? Did you go in with the goal of never drinking again, or just taking a break?

xo

K

p.s. yes I dyed my hair bright pink after shaving half of it off. A physical manifestation of the inner changes I’m trying to make? Haha, or I’ve just always had a thing for the punk look and it’s my last chance before I need to look professional in the fall.

I can’t handle this haircut with a hangover…

“Say goodbye to yesterday, soon we will be free. Say goodbye to yesterday, say goodbye to me.

Saturday night I got loaded. I guess that’s not surprising to you. Saturday night is here again, what am I to do?

Say goodbye to my old life, hello to the new. I’m always starting over, ’cause that seems like the best thing to do.”

-Pat McCurdy (If you know him and like him, we might be soul mates)

I’m happy to report I did not get loaded on Saturday night. But I did let hubs take the clippers to my hair and shave the entire sides and part of the back. He has never cut hair before. Resulted in a sort of punk little pony mullet and fulfilled my urge to say “Fuck It” to something.

Then I gathered my confidence, and my mocktail, and went to socialize out in the yard of our new and obviously religious (but perhaps not conservative?) new neighbors. It was a tad uncomfortable and not super fun, but I was happy I didn’t drink even though the Booze Bitch had many reasons ready to justify it.

Epic Fail Weekend

I went to my Mom’s Saturday night, not planning to drink at all, feeling very secure in that decision. Just gonna be there to hang out for a couple hours, just got over feeling crappy after second vaccine dose (yay!), memory from last week fresh in my mind where I wasn’t going to drink there but did anyway. I didn’t want a repeat of that.

All was good until she fixed drinks for herself and my sister and said do you want one and I said Yes and then I was 3 drinks in plus another when I got home.

Unsuprisingly felt awful all day Sunday so had another 5 drinks to remedy that. Even though it doesn’t help anything, just a spiral of self destruction.

What the fuck is wrong with me. What else to do but try again in May?

Sober Day 4 – Guilty

Guilty the verdict that is, not re: alcohol, not today at least.

But of course after the anxiety of waiting, seeing our city prepare for the worst, the collective outpouring of emotions after it was announced …. the Booze Bitch in my head immediately said let’s drink!!!

I told her we don’t need alcohol to feel grateful. Instead of stopping to celebrate with neighbors who were out with beers and Justice signs on the busy street, we honked and waved and continued on with our plans to visit my grandma.

(My grandma who happens to live in the suburb where Daunte Wright was shot. Last week I had to tell her not to go out to the Dollar Store because it had been looted.)

Went to bed early after drinking tea, grateful Chauvin was held accountable, grateful our city is peaceful, grateful I did not use this historic event as an excuse to drink.

Sober Day 3 – Group Workouts!

Happy to say I did not drink last night. Having a group workout on the calendar helps immensely, I need more of this is in my life! It’s way different than simply “exercising with a friend”. We have all pre-paid for a 6 week session so there is nothing to arrange, and there is incentive to show up. It takes care of my social needs, outdoor time needs, and gives a huge endorphin boost.

This particular group I organized, it’s about 10 moms doing strength / cardio in the park with an instructor. What else should I consider? Right now I am thinking I need to schedule some regular tennis and yoga.

Also, there was beer in the house and as soon as the kids went to bed hubs (who has been working like crazy) cracked one. I made tea and went to bed to read. I’ve been doing this more and more and it is a change from when we’d drink together (and stay up too late and eat too many snacks) but it’s not as if we have no other bonding time. Thank you to everyone who told me over and over I need to do this on my own and not part of a “plan” with hubs, it really is easier.

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