I truly believe in the power of documenting and measuring a situation as a step to improvement. Part of my college studies had to do with process improvement, and there is a tool called DMAIC that is widely used. D = define problem you are trying to improve. M = measure the current situation as a baseline. A = analyze… what is causing the problem (we could use A for alcohol since this in universal in our crowd!). I = Improve. What is your plan to solve problem? C = Control. Measure the improvements and then ensure the method is sustainable.
Soooo… I have spent years messily Defining my problem with alcohol. Here are the Measurements for August:
Drank 11 out of 31 days. Over a third of the month, in a month where if you would have asked me ten minutes ago before I counted this up, I had done very well because I was trying to abstain! What proof of how our brain plays tricks! But the reality is I was pouring alcohol into my system every third day, getting less than adequate sleep 1 out of 3 nights where my body tried to detox itself and digest all the snacks I’d inevitably eaten right before bedtime.
Here’s a further breakdown:
Wed. 8/5: Went 4 days sober and then decided this is boring, why can’t we try moderation? (For the zillionth time). Woke up next day regretful and with a headache.
Thurs 8/6: Felt shit all day. Read Jason Vale alone in the park and then decided to go buy some vodka because he said it’s ok to keep drinking while you’re reading the book. And also because I wanted some respite from feeling bad about myself all day.
Sat 8/8: Had decided to go booze free again, but then my ex pulled that shit with taking the kids to the Dells and I found out right before bed and I was so angry and there was beer in the house so I drank some.
Sun 8/9: Very upset all day trying to figure out the Dells situation, missing my kids, had a couple beers just to feel back to normal.
Tue 8/11: Was determined not to drown myself in booze, but my sister called with some major relationship problems and wanted us to come out for emergency therapy. Perfect excuse to get wine.
Sat 8/15: Didn’t want to ruin my bday weekend with drinking, had a healthy evening paddleboarding and allowed myself two beers with a late dinner. (But tall, strong beers). This seems very moderate to me but STILL had a slight headache next day.
Tue 8/18: Had a nice light beer with my sis after a long hot day with kids. And then of course 3 vodkas and another strong beer after she left. Totally regretted it. Spent the next day debating if I should drink again that night.
(Was actually VERY proud of myself this week for only drinking ONE night of the week that hubs has to spend away).
Sat 8/22: Hubs comes home, we hadn’t discussed any new sobriety plan so of course had some drinks. Two tallboys and two shots of whiskey for me over the course of the evening plus plenty of food. Seemed moderate, but felt shit the next day.
Sun 8/23: So shit that finishing the rest of our beer seemed like a good idea, besides we were having a “make up” bday celebration now that the whole family was back together.
Tue 8/25: We decided that when our current stash of beer was gone we’d be done again. Except we only had the beer I like. So I stopped to get hubs a 4 pack of tallboys to even it out, it was very hot and he was stressed with work so I figured we’d have a couple tonight and finish tomorrow. Except he drank all 4 (ok I helped with one). But, yikes.
Wed 8/26: Last drinking day, AGAIN!
I’d say out of those 11 drinking days in August I truly regretted about 6 of them.
Now we’re back on the sober train, Day 6 today. I’m already feeling bored and impatient, but have learned a lot this month.