On Friday, Oct. 6, Katie Evans, a 37-year-old LDS mother of six, was driving home from visiting her premature twin girls in the NICU when her car was struck by another car whose driver is alleged to have been under the influence of alcohol. Evans was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene, just a mile from her home in Santa Clarita, California.
Her husband, Jacob Evans, explained that their twin girls were not expected to survive but are now nearly 8-weeks-old and thriving.
"That's the irony, right? Is that you have dozens of medical professionals who have spent years training, and they've spent months actually working to save two lives that we thought would be lost, and then we have a life we thought we'd have that was lost just because of two bad decisions: one to go out drinking and the other — worse one — to drive afterward, and obviously it breaks my heart and it's broken six little hearts," Jacob Evans told ABC 7.
According to The Signal, the driver of the other vehicle was a 22-year-old female. Alcohol containers were found in her car. She was charged with a misdemeanor DUI pending future investigation.
A YouCaring page to benefit the family has currently raised over $165,000.
“Jacob and family are incredibly grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support and love,” an update to the page on Monday said. “We want to share with you some good news: The twins are doing surprisingly well. Both Sarah and Hannah have doubled their birth weight and doctors are planning for them to come home in four to six weeks.”
Driving drunk is not something I do. Why I draw the line there I don't know but I have, with very, very few circumstances, that I acknowledge and am ashamed of. Truly, I was just lucky and I guess so were others. Probably many of us can relate. This article just hit me in the solar plexus. So sad.
I've had a lot of inquiries about my diet and I owe you all a post. I've been very busy with work which is a good thing but I haven't had a moment to breathe much, let alone post.
But... every morning I quickly try to read the latest from all those blogs I follow! I just don't have much time to comment.....but I do read and love all the posts!
So...my diet.....I went 10 days pretty extreme and then went back towards more comfortable (probably actually uncomfortable) habits.... but here is what stuck.
1) I have lost 12 lbs and some good inches....maybe more now, haven't weighed myself in a bit. Then I kind of stabilized. I can wear my winter work clothes again which is what was most important to me. I am cheap and I am the only woman I seem to know who hates to shop!
2) Why am I not losing more? Because I still have wine and I am on an exercise hiatus. Uggh. No ugly moments but I still find myself saying I have had too much about every 5th day. Some days nothing, most days a glass or two and once a week a bottle or more. Well, that explains why no further weight loss. And little to no motivation for exercise....I seem to hit this every October so nothing really new for me!
3) But now I don't drink much milk. I have switched to Almond milk in my tea. Yeehaw!
4) I don't eat bread except for an occasional cheat day every 10 days or so.
5) In general, not much dairy but some cheese.
6) Very little caffeine. I drink decaf tea with an occasional caffeinated tea bag and today I did have coffee at a meeting.....and I hate coffee.....but it was all they had. (Along with that damn croissant and egg white... = cheat day)
7) I no longer do fast food. I have Amy's micro-waveables (gluten free, some dairy free) for lunch when I am too tired to make a fresh quinoa salad.
8) I no longer snack on chocolate or oreos. Well, alright, maybe every 10 days....but the Oreos ARE going stale!
Okay, so let me summarize:
- reduced greatly the dairy
- really don't eat bread
- dramatically reduced if not eliminated caffeine
- gave up fast food
- pretty much gave up sugar treats
This is HUGE, folks. Amazing for me.
Now....why the fuck can I do the above and I still want wine? Oh and now I am back to not being able to have as much wine because I have lost weight and it affects me more. Sigh.
Clearly I am in avoidance mode. I guess I needed to do this. Exercise is the next thing I'll probably add in, until, after all of it, I'll realize that I still have to say goodbye to the wine. The inevitable is on it's way!
I don't want it from the logical standpoint. I just need the emotional side to get on board.
I have to be ready to grow up and face true emotions. I know I have not/may not be there yet. I've watched others grow so much in sobriety....I think I am actually afraid of what sobriety may bring.
Did I just say that? YES...I am afraid what sobriety may force me to face. Ick.
But, I DO know, I have so much support here, that when I really get serious there will be a serious cheering squad! I've seen it for Lily, for Tori, for SamKD and many others. I know I will have it when I need it.
It takes a village but the villager must be ready to put forth some effort.
Thanks for your support over the last year and a half. It's been awesome! I'll keep you all posted!
I don't care anymore whether someone knows about my blog. In fact, if one of my friends is reading this and realizes who I am, well, then, hello! It seems we must have something in common, lol. Life is a journey, full of struggles, this just happens to be my blog about mine. I'm proud of trying to tackle something that I think a lot of people are in denial over.
Anyway, some of you who I've corresponded with off blog know that I live in Vegas. My last post mentioned what happened but not that I live here. It was my way of trying to mention it without giving up my anonymity.
I don't know anyone directly affected by the shooting. I know folks who know folks. I have friends who were at the concert but made it out unscathed.
This morning I was in tears, yet again, reading about a mom who was at the concert with her son. They had arrived separately and were trying to find each other at the concert. They gave up and she was just going to connect with her son at the end. The shooting started and she ran out, then realized her son was in there somewhere. He didn't make it.
My husband and I never go to the strip unless we have friends or family visiting. Randomly, we got free tickets to see a show Sunday night that was across the street from the concert, at a hotel across the street from the hotel the shooter was at. We left my son at home since he was too young. Strangely, that afternoon, I felt compelled to have him enter emergency phone numbers into his phone. Probably just because we haven't left him alone for a late evening very often and usually I scribble down our numbers.
Hubs and I drove right by the concert. Saw tons of folks crossing the intersection where the concert was on one corner and the two hotels on the other. Saw very happy people in cowboy boots and hats walking across the street. This was about 7:15 as people were walking over to it. Cops on all corners directing the pedestrians.
We attended our show and went back through that intersection about 9:45pm. Saw some folks leaving the concert, heading back to the hotel, but others were just walking over to it. We figure that the shooting started about the time we pulled into our driveway. We didn't know about it until early the next morning when our phones started exploding with texts from family and friends.
A near miss like that makes you think. What if we had stopped for a drink like we probably would have done in the past? On the one hand we might have been on hand to help. On the other hand we might have gotten stuck for hours in that area as police secured the area and my son would have possibly looked at his phone to see why we were late getting home and freaked out. Cell phone coverage got clogged so we probably couldn't have even called him to let him know we were okay.
I guess it just made me think and reflect on a lot of things the past few days. Sorry if this post sounds disjointed.
I'm proud of my journey with alcohol. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I hesitate sometimes to post because most of my well-wishers are sober. I'm not sure I'm ready to go the 100% route and so I feel bad about discussing my journey. This is my fault. When I first started the blog, I commented on the folks struggling and the ones who were long time sober, so those folks are the only ones who know about my blog. I don't put keywords of moderation etc in my blog so people usually only find my blog by seeing I commented somewhere else. That's how I ended up not sober in the sober universe.
Maybe there are more people out there reading my blog who struggle and just don't comment. That's cool. I like to lurk through blogs too. Sometimes I feel silly commenting on a long time sober blog when I am not.
I still have a ways to go with alcohol but I love that I have more nights now than not where I don't drink or I don't drink too much. I'm still vulnerable to a bottle of white wine but I am doing better about planning for that if it happens.
This week made me reflect that while my journey is important to me, in the overall scheme of things, it is just one piece of the pie and so many other things matter more. I'll write about the diet later but I've lost 10 lbs and feel healthier than I have in a long time. I like remembering giving my son a hug before bed.
My heart hurts for my city. We are a very big, small town, community. I always say there are only 2 or 3 degrees of separation here. Everyone knows everyone - part of the reason I keep this blog quiet. The randomness of it is so scary to our children. There may be people reading this blog who live in distant cities but were affected because of visitors they know who traveled here. My heart aches for you too.
Woke up and saw the news about Las Vegas. The first picture I saw was of the shooter, holding a shot glass. Many of the subsequent photos have been zoomed in and you don't see the shot glass. Not sure why but perhaps because of the companion that had to be blurred out in the photo. We may never know what, if any, role that alcohol played in his actions......but it certainly made me sit up when I saw that photo.
It just made me think how grateful I am that I became aware of my drinking behavior and have been on a journey to acknowledge it and change my habits surrounding drinking. Granted, some people just "lose" it, but there are also so many stories of people "losing" it strictly due to alcohol. Doing things, saying things they regret.
I'm sure many of us have had moments where we got into fights (verbally or physically) with others, or know others who have done the same or have just done something really embarrassing that never would have happened without alcohol......people who feel intense shame the next day and aren't generally people you would think as folks who would just snap.
None of us really know what we are capable of, we don't really know what the person next to us is capable of. But we certainly don't need to be taking substances in quantities that could cause us to become unglued. With every sip, the risk really is there, for anyone who has trouble moderating. Do we really want to continue taking such a risk????
Hugs to all in Vegas. The concert was on a Sunday night, possibly having many more locals attend than on a Friday or Saturday night. A hard hit to the community that surrounds the tourism industry. :-(
I think I have been in denial for years about my diet. I have never been a skinny girl but rarely what I would call heavy. I have just always longed to be 15 pounds lighter to be what I thought I should be.
I was just born lucky enough to not be a foodie. If I could never eat and just get on with my life I would love that. But I get hungry. Then I feel tired and moody and just want a quick fix. So when I eat I generally eat quickly. I am not mindful about my food, I don't enjoy it, per se, so I eat when hungry but eat like shit. Because of this, by sort of giving mind to calorie counting, I have never gotten too big. With a younger metabolism that is possible.
This year I got hit with the peri-menopause ton of bricks. Suddenly my way of eeking by in the weight department was blown apart. No longer could I rush out for fast food, grab that Starbucks on the way to the office or eat that pizza because I was too lazy to cook. The lbs started packing on, I grew a belly.
I've never embraced dieting. I don't have enough self discipline for that. Probably why I don't stop after 1 glass of white wine. Instantaneous gratification defines me. (It's funny, only in the area of food. I will do chores around my house and never allow "me" time until I am done. So I do sacrifice for later rewards in many areas but not food or drink.)
After college I tried a supplement program with Ephedra in it back in the days when that was allowed. I had put on the college weight and it came melting back off. I never had any problems with Ephedra that I knew of, loved it......because it was easy. I didn't think about it. I wasn't that hungry and while I incorporated more salads at lunch, I still ate like garbage in the evening. It was mindless weight loss.
Then life got busy and gradually the lbs crept back on. I went to look for that supplement program and now it wasn't allowed, didn't exist anymore. I had had a child and needed help. I reached out and did Nutrisystem. Voila, it worked. Again, pretty much mindless weight loss as long as I followed the rules. But eventually, I got burned out on the foods available and the space it all took up in my pantry. So the lbs crept back on again.
(Through all this I drank wine although maybe not to quite the excess of the last 5 years.)
Then my husband had an affair and I lost 20 lbs. Not really because I thought I needed to lose weight so much as I was just anxious, our marriage was on the rocks. Again, mindless weight loss. And I felt better about myself than I had in awhile as we moved forward to shore up our marriage.
We made it through that, or so I thought. 5 years later I realized the truth and started to feel our marriage was rocky again. Every time we went through something, I lost weight. Again, mindless weight loss. Everytime I got back to my happy place it came back on.
Then divorce and I got back down to the lowest weight I had been in years. Helped to feel a bit "hot" getting back into the dating scene.
I met my current hubs at my lowest. Last weekend I realized I was 36 fucking lbs heavier than then. That's what I get for being in my happy place with someone who loves me no matter how I look and lot's of great sex. (Sorry, TMI) But I think sex makes me fat. Must not have had enough in those early years........Okay, he is a bit heavier too but it looks good on him, even with a bit of a gut. On me? Not so much.
I randomly spoke with a woman who was running this challenge to give up certain foods. See two posts ago. Anyway, it suddenly clicked that for the first time in my life I really needed to try something different that I controlled. I needed mindful weight loss, not mindless. I needed to change my eating habits.
Just giving up alcohol wasn't going to do it. It was too hard for me. My cravings were too strong....based largely upon my poor nutrition. (I totally understand that some of you struggling as I do with wine, might be big exercisers, or great eaters already. We all have different reasons to drink. I just really think mine was nutrition based. I'll never be able to stop if I start, I just want to eliminate the need to start and I think, for me, it is food based.)
So I started with the elimination last Tuesday morning. I haven't had any desire to drink other than a "wouldn't it be nice" and maybe one mild craving yesterday evening because I hadn't been diligent about my eating during the day. So I turned to my accepted foods around 4:30pm and was ready to then move on with my sparkling cucumber water and dinner prep.
As of this morning, 6 days later, I have lost 4 lbs. I can tell you that it ain't water loss because I am doing my best to drink half my weight in water ounces every day. I'm thrilled to drop 4 required ounces! I fear I might float away! So I figure if you take out the water in me, I've probably even lost more. I wasn't supposed to weigh myself but I just had to! I haven't measured though, will save that for next weekend.
I've probably been so food focused this week that there just hasn't been a lot of thought available to alcohol. I need to get better organized in regard to food and figure out how to incorporate my new habits with the rest of the family. I'm not necessarily going to give up dairy and gluten forever but I need to see how it impacts my need for alcohol when I have those types of food. I'm going to be very mindful about my body and be more intuitive about what it needs!
Feeling great at Day 6! This has been a long, long road. Happy Sunday everyone!
I'm so excited. I think for me I needed all or nothing. I never, ever, thought I could eat such a restrictive diet but giving up all those things at the same time as alcohol has been lovely. I don't feel deprived, haven't even craved alcohol last two nights and I do seem to have more energy, strangely enough. I do take supplements and shakes along with just eating to avoid those things: gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods.
Unsweetened vanilla coconut milk ain't so bad in my tea, almond milk in my smoothie works too.
I've done okay on the processed foods side for the most part but I did break down and eat two grilled hamburger patties with mustard last night. I.....needed...more....meat. Lol. But the mustard didn't have any of my "avoidances" in it so I think I'm alright.
Note that I will still implement bacon back in my diet at some point. And blue corn tortilla chips. Cannot live without those!
I'm really most looking forward to seeing if some of the inflammation I'm having in my feet due to arthritis and bloating in my gut tends to go down. It seems a bit better already. I've been walking 3 miles every day and it feels great. I have been eating more beans though which could affect bloating so we'll see how my body adjusts or I will have to cut out beans.
It all makes sense.....if my body sugars were crashing at the end of each day, no wonder I craved wine. My theory is that if I get my nutrition in line and have more energy, I won't crave the alcohol as much. There is really no reason I need it, nothing truly major to tune out other than how I feel about my body......so, therefore, working on the body!
The end of the summer just got busy with kids, vacation, work, etc. I've been just sort of taking stock on every area of my life and not worrying about alcohol specifically. I spent a time drinking and really identifying why I am drinking. Instead of focusing on the quitting, I spent some time looking at the remaining underlying issues that I haven't solved over the last year.
I made a lot of progress in many areas in the last year and a half:
1) I finally let go of my first marriage. I know this sounds weird but it's not about a loss of the man. It's about the loss of the family I thought I would have had. More kids, etc. Doing things with their father and as a family unit. It's taken me a long time to come to peace with the fact that things didn't turn out the way I planned but it's okay.
2) I came to terms with where I am career wise. I'm not where I envisioned I would be but the career I chose did allow me to spend these past years available to my son and that was important. Now I am finally starting to focus on what is next in this area and it's exciting.
3) My relationship is better than ever. It has taken a lot of work on both of our parts and I am so proud of hubby's patience with me and his willingness to meet me halfway. He understands me better, my baggage, and I've learned what will and won't make him tick, and how to present issues in a way in which we can resolve them. It's funny, most people get to a 7 year itch and for me the earlier years were so much harder.
Quitting alcohol for even those 125 days a year ago, and even though I've never made it that far again, sparked something inside of me. Something hugely trans formative. After that, whenever I drank/drink, I am seeing why I drink. Tackling the above was huge for me over this last year.
Unfortunately I gained weight. Unfortunately gaining weight allowed me to keep drinking with less impact. I can drink more, I don't have blackouts unless I drink way to much, but I could drink every night and probably be okay. Except unhealthy and with serious belly bloat. At some point, I'm sure the drinking would escalate and I would be back to where I was.
I have realized that the next area of my life I really must tackle and not put off anymore is my physical fitness and nutrition. Thanks to some coaching last year I don't have the same negative views toward exercise but I still procrastinate it some days. I have been totally blowing off nutrition.
Today is my last McDonalds bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, hash browns and OJ! I'm going on a long hike though to burn that off!
But, tomorrow, I'm trying something majorly different. This is really out of my box. I do well with following rules, though, so I think it can work. Abstaining from alcohol alone has been tough. When I can do it, I feel so much better and keep going for a bit. But I think because my overall nutrition sucks, that then when I get erratic blood sugar, my willpower goes kaput and I start drinking again.
Tomorrow I am starting a 10 day detox. This will be hell but, strangely, I am looking forward to it. I'm hoping it will kick start an extended period of no alcohol and the birth of new ways of eating. I will be giving up dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and gluten. I have stocked up on recipes along with vegetables and non dairy milks and I am prepared for this......and the headache I will probably experience the first few days!
I'm not sure if I'll blog in the meantime but I'll definitely post when it's over. Cross your fingers for me! I'm really excited about this. I don't want to fail at this.
I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. Jimmy Dean
In sailing, the wind comes from one direction. A sailboat can point close to the direction of the wind but not directly into it. It can point up very close, or fall off to 90 degrees either direction of the wind, or even point completely 180 degrees opposite......all with some sail adjustment.
If the sailor puts one sail out to one side and the other sail out to the opposite side, and steers the sailboat completely opposite to the direction of the wind (often referred to as wing-on-wing), it's possible to travel along and be "pushed" by the wind in one direction. But if the sailor turns the sailboat around and heads back up toward the wind on one side or the other of the wind, the boat can never travel directly into the direction of the wind.....it can just point as close to the direction of the wind as possible.
What's ironic is that as a sailboat points closer and closer to the direction of the wind, it feels like it travels faster and faster through the water as the wind whips along the side of the sails, creating lift, just like that of an airplane wing, and pulling it forward....toward the direction of the wind. But never quite to it. So a sailboat must "tack" back and forth through the wind in order to ever make a path in the direction from which the wind is coming. Constant adjustment. As opposed to, say, the sailboat wants to travel a path 80 degrees off the direction of the wind, the sailor can just set the sails and let the boat move......well, until the wind shifts anyway or unless the current is moving fast.
Sometimes life is just about adjusting and readjusting.
When I hopped on this sailboat, I was travelling completely opposite to the wind. I was being continually pushed into the land of alcohol and just riding along, letting it control me. The direction from where the wind came was really where I should be....but the wind was something fierce, something strong that had to be fought because surrendering to it wasn't working for me anymore. If I wasn't careful, the wind was going to take control and push me aground.
Then, finally, I started turning my sailboat back toward the wind. I have pointed close to the wind at times but then I keep falling off to a beam reach. (90 degrees off the wind) Sometimes venturing to a broad reach, unfortunately, (between 90 and 180 degress off the wind) but generally somewhere between a beam reach or close hauled (between 5 - 90 degrees).
I wanted to become sober, completely alcohol-free, because I knew I couldn't moderate. Instead, now I have been moderating and can't seem to be completely alcohol-free. I'm stuck on a beam reach. (I refer to moderating as no mishaps, not necessarily healthy moderation. True moderation I suppose would be drinking 14 units or less per week....)
Sigh. Yep, I've been happily having 2 to 3, sometimes 4 glasses of wine nightly, with no mishaps other than the understood ill health effects it could have or that I probably shouldn't drive if I needed to.
If you don't have the right "trim" on your sails, if you don't have enough sail area raised, there are many reasons why you can't get the sailboat to point as close to the wind as you need to and so there are other adjustments that need to be done. I'll spare you more sailing terms.
My point is that right now I'm just slowly pointing higher. I'm working on exercise, I'm working on diet, I'm working on attitude and I feel progress. I'm not focusing so much on the pressure to be alcohol free right now.
But I will be. I will get there. I feel happy though. Strange, hmmm? Don't get me wrong....I still feel fat, don't feel I eat as well as I need to, hate it when I succumb to some wine.....but I'm doing my homework.
Today I was reading "Mrs. D Is Going Within" and the mindfulness really resonated with me. I have studied it in the past but for some reason today something clicked. I want to learn as she said, to resolve, not react, and to be in the moment, calming the chatter of thoughts that go through my head. This is clearly the primary reason why I drink in the evening. It calms the noise of the day that has gotten louder and louder. I relax.
When I drink wine, I'm much more in the moment. Probably because my head gets just fuzzy enough to block the roads of travel for all those thoughts careening around in my head.
But, as everyone writes about in this sober universe, there are so many other delicious ways to stop those thoughts, without needing wine to do it.
Taking stock, here's how I feel:
1) I feel fat, but overall happy, just wish my clothes fit better
2) I feel tired from time to time, but am trying to fit in exercise
3) I'm not as focused as I want to be, but I am really enjoying my time with family
4) I'm not eating what I should be, but at least I am cooking for my family
5) I hate where I am with my body, but I don't hate myself or anything I've done
6) I love not seeing bloodshot eyes in the morning and getting decent sleep, but I don't like still having to pee in the middle of the night and wanting water, still getting dehydrated
I'm figuring it out, slowly learning what I need to adjust on my sails to get there........this week I'm not focusing on the "not drinking" as much as I'm going to focus on meditation/mindfulness, flexibility/try yoga, keep exercising and making some other diet changes. Then, I hope to add back in the focus of not drinking at all.
Oh my...normally I think of myself as a bright person but I realized something today and now feel really, really stupid....
When I was drinking everyday about a year and a half ago, at least a bottle + per night most nights, I didn't seem to have any weight issues.
Then, when I quit, I added in chocolate and cookies.
Then, I started drinking again, then I quit, then I started, then I quit, etc.
This yo-yo drinking/quitting has been very hard on my body, in regard to weight management - even though of course more AF days is much healthier for other reasons.
Add to this peri-menopause or menopause or whatever started happening this year and then I really started putting on weight. 10-15 lbs in last 6 months.
My overall goal when I originally quit drinking last year was to take a break and change my habit.
So lately, I've been really proud of myself in one way. I am no longer blacking out, losing a lot of sleep, acting off in front of family......but I can still put away a bottle of wine when I allow myself to.
I've been experimenting over the last week. I apologize for not tracking. I have had wine every night because family has been in town but each night I have happily made dinner, socialized after dinner, gone to bed remembering everything and nobody would have thought I drank too much. I guess in their mind 3 to 4 glasses isn't a big deal.
I'm only beating myself up because I can't seem to stick with zero. But hey, I said to myself, this is still much improved......until it dawned on me why I am all of sudden "handling" my alcohol better.
Because....I......have.....gained.....weight. Ummm, duh. (To any of you who were thinking "well, umm, yeh, fatass.....)
So there you have it, gain 10 to 15 lbs and you can drink more. Yikes, oh, Yikes! My habit really hasn't diminished. My attitude hasn't fixed anything. I'm just drinking the SAME amount as I used to that at a lighter weight affected me more.
I could cry. I am such a dork. If I lost the 10 lbs and kept drinking I would probably start feeling it sooner.
On a positive note (I'm a glass half full girl......of course having a glass half full is my issue but anyway..) I don't seem to be trying to drink more than I used to just because it's taking longer to affect me.
Oh well, experiment over. Time to focus on overall diet and health again. Just have to get motivated. I will, just give me time.....
But I'm not giving up on not drinking......let me explain...
I've always been the type of person that if I'm told to do one thing, I'll want to do the opposite. Reverse psychology was a parenting skill that my mom employed quite often, let's just say.
The first time I quit for 100 (125) days, it was a personal challenge I imposed upon myself. I decided to do it. Nobody told me I should, nobody intervened and I didn't have a true rock bottom moment other than saying I would allocate some small wine bottles over a few days. My failure at that and realization that my stop meter was broken is what got me to quit for a period.
For the last year, even though I only had 1 moment where I felt I somewhat embarrassed myself in front of my son by acting "off", I have felt this invisible pressure to quit again.
There is so much support in this sober universe saying "just do it", "you'll be so much better for it", "I guarantee that after awhile it will feel great".....and I believe all that advice.
But my quitting needs to be on my own timeline or I will rebel.
When I first quit, I was drinking a bottle almost every night and then drinking more than that about every 3 or 4 days. I had 2 or 3 times a week where I didn't remember putting my son to bed and it was starting to be a few times a month where I thought my son was realizing I was "off". I had times where I just blew off what I had planned for dinner or blew off family game nights. (I always try to initiate game nights and my son is up for it but if he can keep on computer gaming with his friends instead, he is always fine with that. So while I felt I was disappointing him, I really wasn't.)
But I WAS disappointing myself with the above. AND I was slowly getting fatter.
I had a talk with myself yesterday and realized the stress of counting was killing my joy.
I was so joyful after my last 125 days when I started drinking (lightly) again but also started exercising. At my happiest I think. Then I sabotaged myself, reduced my exercise, ate like shit and started drinking too much again to be healthy.
The shift in me that has occurred over the last year, and I know I am repeating myself here, is that I don't want to drink because it has calories, I know it has long term bad effects on my health and it's a drug. I don't want to need to drug myself.
Then, again, I drug myself with sweets/carbs, with caffeine, with Motrin/Tylenol when I need it, etc. But with those drugs I never have dinner prep fails, the potential for needing to drive and not being able to, slurring my words, letting myself down by not getting things done because I chose wine and a myriad of other negative effects.
So last night, I rebelled again. I had a bottle of wine, white no less. But the more I dip my toes back in the pool of drinking, the more I realize what it's effect is on me and the easier it becomes to control.
Last night I told hubby to get me one bottle of wine and I would see if I could drink half one night and half the next night. Nope. Couldn't do it. After 2 glasses, went for 3, then 4, then done. (4 big glasses does a bottle) That was 10 units of wine down the hatch. The recommended amount some say is 14 units a week and should be spread over a few days. Clearly I am never going to drink that way.
I noted that I felt the buzz at the end of the first glass and really didn't need the second but had told myself I had planned for it. After that second glass, when at home and with access to it, forget it. There went the rest. I didn't make my hubby step in. He probably drank a bottle of red himself.
BUT.....I went and made dinner and by the time we ate most of the buzz had worn off. I had water with dinner, tea after and we had a wonderful family game night. So the only loathing I experienced was the hour awake in the middle of the night and the feeling of waking up so often the rest of the night and craving water. And also feeling like I drank 605 calories my body didn't need. Same loathing I feel if I have an oreo or chocolate that I shouldn't!
This is important....the thing I worried about most was having to blog here about messing up my AF streak. That was the most stressful thing on my mind. I felt miserable about the thought of coming to this blog to report what I did. Accountability is good, yes, but feeling horrible to it isn't helpful. I was waaay more concerned about what I would write than any other feelings I had. I loved last night with my family but I wanted to throw up thinking of this blog. I'm too honest and knew I would have to write about it or would feel I was being misleading.
I'm no longer going to aim for a certain number of days without any alcohol. I'm not going to keep declaring and failing and then feeling like I am creeping back to this blog with my tail between my legs. This is my journey, nobody else's...as you all tell me often! I'm just going to try and make not drinking more a way of life than it has been in the past. I'm tired of feeling like a failure if I go all week without any wine, because I want to, and then have some when I want to.
It's a balancing act for sure. If I felt I was having to control myself every day, that cravings were eating me alive (like they used to) then I would feel I needed to give it up completely. I'm no longer going to apologize when I have some. I'm going to feel very accomplished when I don't and I'm really going to work on not going too far.
Wine doesn't fit in with my weight loss goals, nor does it fit in with wanting to have better quality family time, nor does it allow me to be alert and productive.
I am slowly removing it from a daily habit and I'm very, very happy with where I am compared to a few years ago. For me it's not all or nothing. I want to manage this habit.
I think this is where most people get to and it's a fork in the road. I'm not going to let it get out of control or I will stop. If controlling it takes too much effort, I will also stop.
Last year, I quit drinking to prove I could and then went back to trying to moderate on a daily basis. I have learned that moderation won't work. This time it's not about trying to moderate, it's about generally not drinking and allowing for slippage.
I still aim to get to long term sobriety but if I feel I "have" to, I know I won't......if that makes any sense. I'm going to reinstate my counting and exercise tabs. When I deleted them last time I lost the data somehow and wish I had it to reference. I'm still going to blog as I feel like it. If I have a really stressful day and really "want" wine, I'm going to do my best to push through it. I'm still going to count how many AF days I've had against a total.
There I said it. And I'm looking forward to more AF days under my belt ahead! Not drinking really does feel so much better!
Yesterday got away from me and today is running away at a fast pace!
Anyway, all good here. Had one sparkling cucumber drink last night and an AF wine mixer.
Kids are all here for summer so days will start to pass quickly. I didn't drink at all last summer while they were all here so makes my goal a bit easier. The next real challenge will be after school starts!
All good here. I wrote a long post about something today. A realization about myself and perhaps why I really want to numb out with alcohol. In writing it, I went somewhere that surprised me and I realize I'm not ready to write about it. Ahh, the power of writing.
I have decided to go see my therapist over it. It has to do with body image and some hangups from my past. I think I'll use therapy for a bit to get through the past stuff and maybe revisit my coach to work forward from that point. No wonder I make no progress in this area after thinking through some things this morning.
It is amazing what a clear head gives you.
Last night I munched on a few chips/salsa and then had one AF beer during cocktail hour. He had red wine and it was no bother to me.
My favorite non drinking thing is making dinner. Too often I would sit at cocktail hour too long, sometimes too long as to miss the dinner making window so we'd order pizza or have junk stuff that was on hand.
The thing about drinking is that it was automatic weight management for me....to a point. I kept gaining over the years but very slowly because wine kills my appetite. I lost count of how many times I would drink a bottle of wine when my son was younger and not feed myself. I would make him his dinner, kid food, like chicken nuggets and broccoli and cheese or some such, (he always got a veggie) but then I would skip dinner entirely.
When husband moved in it became harder to manage my weight. We started doing real sit down dinners every night, which I love but managing calories became harder. I tend to cook comfort food and I'm not very good with portion control.
Anyway, enough for now, work in progress. At least I'm cooking when not drinking and that is a good thing!
Day 2 without any alcohol at all
Day 7 without any white wine or too much of any type of alcohol
Day 16 without any alcohol out of last 20 days
I'm sure people are checking in to see "did she make it?" or "Oh, she forgot to blog last night, is everything okay?" (Actually the reason I didn't blog was that I was doing something on the computer and by the time I finished it was 9:30pm and I didn't have the energy to blog, just went to bed with my tea.)
While drafting this post, the song that keeps coming to mind is Frank Sinatra's "My Way." Especially this part of the song:
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.....
Obviously there has been a shift in my mindset. I no longer view drinking as the thing to do. Originally, I wished that I could drink "normally" and felt like a failure because I couldn't. Wanting to drink didn't bother me, it was how I drank that bothered me. Now, I don't want "to want to drink" and am disappointed that there are times when I still want that.
I really struggled in figuring out how to write this post. I don't want to be a trigger to someone to have any excuse to drink but I also want this blog to remain honest and from my heart.
I think the issue is that I want to shout out how wonderful I feel, how accomplished, and yet.......I had a glass of wine last night. Yep, there went 120 calories right to my ass. I feel like I should feel like a failure, be really bummed.....but I don't.
Side note: We have a lot, and I mean a lot, of drama with my husband's ex. I haven't decided if at heart she is a mean girl, or possibly psychotic, or just dumb. Her actions make it really hard to tell but she has done some horrible things to him and most often is very passive aggressive... which is why it's hard to pinpoint the motive. I am very black and white so these games she plays are annoying to a person like me. Watching her provoke and spin up my guy is also annoying and, unfortunately, she uses the children to do so. It's really pathetic and sad to watch.
This isn't an excuse but she let fly another email last night that made me just go "whaaattt??" She is on another planet, twisting facts toward her own self interest. My husband looked so irritated that when he went for the wine and looked at me to see if I wanted one, I said sure. I didn't really want any and it was red wine but I took it. I just sort of felt I should have one with him.
(Let me note that my husband knows I struggle with white wine but he never sees me struggle with red so, to him, offering it is not the same. Nor beer. And I haven't ever had an evening, I don't think, where I ever embarrassed myself after having red wine.)
I sipped as he vented and went through about 3 glasses himself. He poured me another but I had a few sips and passed it off to him saying I needed to get dinner out of the oven. And that was it. I didn't really give it a thought until later I was like "oh shit I blew my 100 days". The thing is, I don't feel like I have.
I drank "normally" I guess, whatever that is but I still don't want it. I never crave red wine and I'm committed to not drinking white for 100 days for sure.
Remember, I don't WANT to want to drink. What I have learned first and foremost is that while I CAN moderate beer, hard liquor and red wine, that only lasts for so long and they become my gateway drugs.....to the white wine. Not having any at all, most, most of the time will keep me from going through that gate. I get that now.
I see a pattern though.....I tend to push through a craving and feel really good about it. Then, the next day I'll take a glass because I'm still riding off the high of the day before so the wine doesn't give me one. This is the tipping point. Normally, then tonight I may have another, then another the next day and before you know it I'll get a bottle of white and have a night where I drink it all in one sitting, maybe even more.
I realize this though this time and I guess that's why I feel so good. I didn't have a blip as a reminder as to why I don't drink, no rock bottom moment, just a reminder as to why I don't need it. Why drink normally if I don't really get a buzz and just add calories to my butt? Nope, don't need to.
So I'm still counting. It's day 6 of no white wine and no incidences of too much alcohol. If that's the re-definition of my 100 days, then I am perfectly happy with that. If I see husband drink red tonight, I'll remind myself that I don't need any.
My process for changing my habit of drinking too much wine clearly resembles a cargo ship in the ocean going normal speed that realizes it needs to make a 180 degree turn and head the other direction......it takes quite a few miles and burns quite a few minutes to make that happen. It just can't stop nor turn on a dime. I finally feel like I'm making that turn and heading in the right direction.
I'm really psyched about last night even though I suppose I should start over counting? Dunno, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I feel good, just being honest about my voyage and knowing that you are all there supporting me through every bump and roll.......but as long as there continues to be progress in the right direction, I'm cool with that!
The most important thing for me was blogging about this. Now I can start over and keep on pushing through cravings. If I had chosen not to blog about it, well, first and foremost I would feel I was being dishonest so then I wouldn't blog at all, folks would wonder where I went and then since I had already had a drink, I might as well have more. Blogging about it keeps me accountable to myself about what happened.
Likely, very likely, I will get a major craving tonight because I had that one glass last night. I... will ....beat.... it!!! I'll report back tomorrow how it went. It's always day 2, for me, of drinking any alcohol that seems to be "make it or break it" time. After that, it does seem to get easier.
We had a dinner party to go to with 4 other couples. I was worried about how I would not drink.
After getting ready for dinner and stressing about how fat I looked in everything and how many clothes in my closet looked horrible on me, I truly had no desire to drink. All I could think about was how drinking wine would just pour crap into my already protruding belly!
But....I wasn't sure how I could get out of drinking. I even finally decided that if they poured me a glass of white I would take it, have a few sips and switch to water. THAT would have been a test for sure.
When we got there, however, everyone was drinking red and I don't really like red. I just told the hostess I quit because of my hot flashes and all was good. I had declared it and I stuck with my water all night long. And it was fine.
I wasn't sure how I would do because we didn't know anyone but the host and hostess. I was worried about socializing without alcohol, and it was fine. In fact at one point I sort of felt buzzed. Must have been gas from all the bubble water. But I didn't seem to have any problem talking to others and it was fun! I didn't make a fool of myself, I was able to drive us home and I observed and listened a lot more than I normally would have.
As others have remarked upon, I, too, noticed how little everyone drank. One woman kept pouring herself red wine and might have been a little tipsy but nothing overtly so. All the others moderated and switched to water after a few glasses. Conversation didn't get rowdy and I enjoyed all the topics going on around me.
The fact that the house had mirrors everywhere didn't hurt. I kept catching a glimpse of myself and felt a bit depressed. But that's okay, at least I wasn't drowning my sorrows then with more wine.
I'm not even really fat. I feel fat, that is the problem. My friend would love to get "down" to my weight so I can't complain. I'm healthy looking but as someone else blogged about, I think I look a lot better than I do so catching my reflections really bum me out. Trying on my clothes really bum me out.
I'll deal with that slowly but surely. I probably could have had that glass of wine and been done but then I would have felt like I had let myself down with one measly glass and it wouldn't have been worth it!!! Or.....I might have had an extra glass....or worse, more. So glad I didn't and nice to not have really fought any cravings as a part of the evening. They will come again, I know, but getting a sober dinner party under my belt was nice.
I did hike and swim today, didn't overeat and didn't have any cookies or chocolate.... so did my part against the onslaught of belly fat.
Hubby drank wine off and on today and then at 4:30 I was needing to do something else so I hit the grocery store. I didn't really have a craving per se, just was worried it might come to that if I didn't get out of dodge for a bit.
Came home armed with alcohol free stuff and sweets in addition to lots of stuff for upcoming meals. At least I feel accomplished in regard to the shopping. Never did get my butt exercising today although between mid day shopping with my son and the miles walked in the grocery store, maybe I still burned some calories. Tomorrow we are hiking so hopefully will make up for lost exercise!
Had cocktail hour with my AF wine, no cravings. I was pooped.
Dinner and then dealing with issues regarding friend with cancer. But glad to know if needed tonight then I am not worried about driving.
Last night I'm not sure how much white wine I consumed. Hubby didn't realize how much until I went to bed. He didn't notice until that point, that's what is scary. And I don't remember going to bed.
I know I drank a bottle +, I remember eating dinner and watching our tv show and then turning tv off to head to bed and then that's it. I don't think I drank all of the 2nd bottle but for whatever reason I topped it off with water and stuck it back in the fridge. Not even sure why. Found it this morning. It's as if I was deluding myself in my subconscious state before I went to bed. There is no more white in the house now.
I knew I had the evening "available" for this. I wasn't driving and there were no kids around to embarrass myself.
But! Earlier in the evening a sick friend's mom called me to see if I had heard from the friend. I had not. She didn't want me to go over yet and will let me know later today if I need to do a welfare check. I realized, though, by then I had had 3 glasses of wine and there was no way I could drive over there if she had needed me to. That thought was sobering in of itself. I think after that call, I just let go. I think I realized at that point that I need to just stop trying and it was like I embarked on a last hurrah.
If I keep drinking in the evenings. I will keep getting fat and, worse, I will set myself up for something that I WILL regret.
I'm going to do as A Better Path recommended and do this 100 days and then see what I am thinking. Drinking will just not be an option for these next 100. I know I can do it, just need to get my head straight on this.
I'm going to do as SamKD does and blog every day even if I don't have much to say. I find that when I drift away from the blog, I can get swept completely away from my goals.
100 days will be so much easier than this constant head game going on in my head.
Yesterday started off great. A lovely smoothie for breakfast with spinach in it. Was so proud of myself. Clearly it didn't have enough "something" in it and I was starving by lunch.
Enter.....CARL'S JR. (Big burger chain here in USA)
OMG. Yuck. What did I do? And crisscut fries.....GROSS!
I used to love a Carl's Famous Star when I was a child but somewhere along the way something changed. They don't seem very good anymore. But about once a year, I try one. It's like childbirth, I forget and must try occasionally to remind myself how gross it is. (This is not a judgement for anyone who loves this burger, it just doesn't work for me, although I think most would agree it's not a healthy lunch choice, lol.)
That was the start of my fall from glory.
Came home and hubby and I ate (yes, I know) lots of chips and guacamole and ranch dip.....as our dinner. I have no idea why. We were going to make salads and then he needed a carb fix which he almost never does. For him to eat chips is very unusual so I just jumped right on that bandwagon!
On Sunday we had a pool party AND family arrived for the night later in the day. I didn't drink. I poured one woman white wine and I poured my sparkling water into my glass. Later in the day I poured more white and put an AF beer into my glass. It was hard but I did it. It's almost like I was so proud of myself for making it through that day that yesterday I combusted.
It happened that there was about 1/2 bottle of red left in the house and a little less than half a bottle of white. So of course he drank the red and I drank the white. That's it. I had 2 glasses of white wine. Whoop-tee-doo.
I even talked about it with hubby....the only thing keeping me from drinking it was the fact that I had to blog about it. Because I am that honest. I wrestled with the thought. I wasn't worried I would keep drinking night after night if I drank the rest of the white, I didn't have any feelings of letting myself down (shoot, I had already done that all day with food choices!), but I really struggled with having to come here today and blog. And then I was like, well, I'll just blog it, then, Cheers!
So here I am. I was like that little kid saying "Do I do it or do I not? I might get into trouble but Do I do it?"........"I Do'd it anyway!!!"
And it did nothing for me because, well, I didn't drink too much. I guess at this point, unless I drink a whole bottle, which I don't want to do, it doesn't really give me the buzz I would be looking for. So even having the two glasses was pointless, just extra calories. Kind of like the burger choice.
Whatever. I guess the progress is that I do really identify with being a non drinker now. Last year I was a drinker taking a rest. I wanted to drink normally. Now, I know I can't. I can probably handle infrequent moments like this, now, but only because I do pride myself on days off in between. I keep saying this, but I don't want to "normally" drink anymore because I know it will never be possible for me.
So I'm just going to keep doing my best to not drink and feel accomplished. I no longer have daily drinking as a goal, I will feel like a failure if I do that. I just need to fight a little harder through the cravings. I made it through a few this last go so I know I can do it. For me it really just takes me saying "how badly do I want to be able to say I made it through the craving?"
This go around I learned that, relatively easily, if the overall desire to not drink is present, I can make it through the cravings.
Normally I don't want to drink but feel cravings so I know it's a mindset issue to push through them. That I can do. But dealing with the "Fuck It" mindset that doesn't care at that moment in time is hard. Last night wasn't an issue of even thinking through the drink. I didn't want more than two glasses, I just, stubbornly, didn't want to throw it down the drain!
I signed up for that Tommy Rosen 2.0 Recovery conference that starts tomorrow. I'm looking forward to all the speakers!
I haven't really shared this story in any detail I don't think......unless I did somewhere in my blog and can't find it.
But I'm driven to write about this because I read so many blog posts from others who wonder if they will ever find love again. Are you one of them? Maybe you feel you screwed up past relationships and are scared about trying again or maybe you had the strength to leave a past relationship but are still scared to put yourself out there to find new love. Maybe you don't feel worthy of love. Maybe you are wanting to leave a relationship but the security of that relationship beats the feeling of insecurity that you might never find anyone else.
I don't have the answer to all of the above. I think if you feel you aren't worthy of love, you should seek help. The right therapist can be wonderful. Everyone is worthy of being loved! If you made mistakes in your past, fine, forgive yourself and use those lessons to make you better now as a partner. A therapist can also help you sift through the muck in a current relationship, helping you to identify what can or can't be fixed/changed about you and your partner. Sometimes we are just in the wrong relationship and it's hard to come to terms with that when weighed against commitments we have made.
I wasn't in a relationship where I felt damaged, abused, nor taken advantage of. I was in control and, as I said in the previous post, was still made to feel loved and beautiful despite what else was going on. Having the person whom I thought loved me, do the things he did, was devastating. I could understand if I thought he was unhappy, if we didn't get along, if he didn't like me or how I looked......but....how could he leave me when I thought everything was okay?
It was very hard for me to trust my instincts after that. This is probably something for another post, actually. Was what I was seeing in a new relationship real? What might be going on that I didn't know about? I was scared that I might not see something. I'll talk more about this another time in case anyone is wondering how I was able to function normally in a new relationship.
So back to my story.....Once my ex told me he wanted a divorce, I fell into what I can only call a short depression. It took me realizing that I was going to miss my marriage more than my husband to pull me out. I had anxiety over what my financial situation would be and I was going to miss the history we had from 20 years of being together (18 married). I would miss being around his family. Basically, I realized I would miss our life more than him.
My love for him had eroded over the years since I first found out he had cheated on me. I felt more like he was a close family member (still do in a way) than a romantic interest.
I hit bottom in my depression on a Saturday, about 12 days after he said he wanted a divorce. It was the first weekend he was gone to spend it openly with this other woman and my parents came to town to spend the weekend with me. I kept thinking, how did I pray for a sign and this is where I ended up? I couldn't get off the kitchen floor in between trying to act like nothing was wrong around my son. (We didn't tell our son about the divorce until 19 days after my ex notified me.) My mom finally got my butt off the ground by threatening to haul me off to the doctor and we went to the grocery store.
Later that night I felt my spirits lifting. And all of a sudden I looked forward to dating. I felt like I was being compelled to go to my computer and go online, yes believe it or not, to match.com. I never would have chosen match.com....it seemed cheesy to me somehow....but I was sort of on autopilot.
Actually, let me back up.....about 5 days after the implosion of our relationship, it was Valentines Day. We had plans that obviously went by the wayside. I went to visit my family and my ex stayed with our son. While I was with my grandmother and while I was still in some shock, before the depression hit, I went online to eharmony.com. I decided, darnit, I was going to date then if this shit was abandoning me! I filled out the entire profile, was honest about my separation status, got really excited and, at the end, it said "contact us when you are fully divorced". Hmm....well why it let me go forward once I put separated was beyond me but that's what happened. I was pretty bummed and too tired to try another site.
So then, at the 12 day point I was back at it, this time on match.com. I was able to wander through profiles and I saw this man's profile that interested me. (Yes, the current hubby) I shut down my computer and went to bed but kept mulling over this guy. He seemed a little geeky, to be honest, but something kept drawing me back to him.
The next morning I told my Dad to take my picture, that I was going to post a profile. Let me tell you, this was not a glamour shot. Just a casual pic in my back yard. I went online and filled everything out, didn't lie about my age as being 40, and then, after posting, threw caution to the wind, put my pride in another room, and contacted his profile.
He contacted me back and the rest is history. For what it's worth he thought I was probably older than I said. I was a little put off but he said it wasn't because I looked it but that may women lied about their age. So if I had put 38 he would have assumed 40. Too funny. He also liked that I had a casual, natural picture, not made up. He wanted real. Some men want a woman "a little on the trashy side" (I love that song!) but that wasn't him. Turns out he wasn't geeky at all and his picture was horrible compared to real life, lol. I was very pleasantly surprised. Again, his profile wasn't one my mind said I should pick but something else, very strongly, said to give this one a try.
Now, I want to say, that while I parachuted into his arms just like Liz in Eat, Pray, Love, I wasn't choosing a relationship again this fast just to be loved. I actually didn't want a relationship right away but I realize now my style (as someone else said) of marrying the men I date, is just me. Once I find a relationship that looks good, I explore it to its fullest as opposed to dabbling with a bunch at once.
I had been thinking I would do a lot of dating until I found a man worth pursuing and that it might take time. I was kind of thrown by finding someone so soon with whom I really clicked. When, early into our dating, I asked my therapist if she thought this relationship was okay, she said "a person could date 50 people and there is probably 1 of those people that could be a really good fit. You just happened to find him at number 1. It took me until 48, that's just sometimes how it goes." "If it feels good, it is, trust yourself."
I guess I just believe there are a lot of fish in the sea and each time you catch one there are certainly many others that would also be good to catch, but once you get a worthy one, you take it home and call it a day. There is no perfect fish. I don't believe in a soul-fish. There is not just one out there for me. If you truly believe in soul-fishes, you may not find yours because the odds that you can find that one perfect fish make the odds of winning the lottery look pretty good.......that's my thinking. I know some people profess to have found their soulmate and good for them. But I think that defies odds.
I think to date healthily you do have to have some confidence in yourself. I went into this knowing that my online dates might be disastrous. I did date one other person online and while I didn't choose him for a mate, we actually became good friends and hubby knows this, how we met and accepts him as well.
So because I met my guy right away, I didn't have the bad stories that some have. I get that a bunch of bad dates could have changed my perspective. But then at least I would have tried.
I watch others trying to date again after divorce. I am always amazed at people who say they are too fat to go date online. Whaaattt? Have you seen the men online? They are not always perfect themselves! In fact, what confidence, and how wonderful to see a man online with a bit of a paunch who is willing to put himself out there!! I'll take one of those any day over Mr. Muscle or Mr. Hotty!
I'm probably going on too much with my story but it boils down to some things I want to say to those who are worrying about finding new love.
1) Put yourself out there! Maybe you don't want to go to a bar but maybe online is an option. I loved being able to disregard men who had interests that just did not match mine at all. They were probably lovely gentlemen but I knew that I didn't want to go ATV'ing all the time. Other women might love too! I also didn't look for EXACT matches. Having different interests is good! My guy ended up online because he had tried a few other things: church, dancing, etc and hadn't met the right woman. I loved that he had the confidence to do up a profile. He was also separated (9 months after she filed for divorce) so we had that in common. Years later we laughed as we found out we both had tried the eharmony route first and been rejected!
2) Don't set your standards too high. Maybe a slightly overweight man would love to lose weight too but needs a partner to be motivated. Don't follow the scent of money. If you are dating to find someone to fill back in a financial void, that, in my opinion, is a recipe for disaster. You can be loved by someone and the relationship not be right for you. I think I married my first husband more because of how much he loved me than analyzing what I really needed in a relationship, what was truly important to me. I chose my guy's profile to connect with because of a few things that seemed really nice. I found that who he actually was was so much richer in qualities than I ever imagined reading that initial blurb.
3) Make a list of what's really important to you in a relationship. Not what would be nice but what's really important. Prioritize that and hold that up against those you meet. Again, be careful about making too long of a list. I recommend looking at your past relationships and see what was missing that bothered you.
4) Stand by your gut. Some men can pressure. If it doesn't feel right it isn't. Be ready to cut bait and move on sooner rather than later. I kept having the feeling that this man was the one I was supposed to meet. It was all part of the plan when I asked for "a sign". My gut said this was the right man but I struggled, for even years, with our communication. There were times where I wanted to give up but I still had the feeling that this really was meant to be. So I got to work to see if this could be so. I am happy to say we have fixed our communication and I have done a lot of growing up in learning how to be a partner in a marriage, and an equal partner, not a dominant one and above all.....to trust again.
So enough preaching. My friends joke about how I turned legal age at 18, met my first husband at 19, got married at 21, was married for 18 years, separated and had my first date with hubby less than 30 days later, having been with him now for over 7 years. I realize this can seem "lucky". From the first time my husband cheated, though, I had 6 years to come to terms with that and to learn a lot about myself and what I really wanted. I would have stayed because that's who I am....I make a commitment, a promise and I don't break it. I felt that if we/he could overcome our issues we could make things work. It does take two, however, and when the other person isn't willing to put their part into the process, it won't work and I came to realize that. Even though I would have stayed until I felt I had exhausted every avenue to make us whole again, I also knew what I would want to be different if I ever had the chance. So the final point of separation wasn't actually as traumatic as it initially seemed.
If you want a partner, give it go.....church, gym, dancing, online, business networking, bars if that's your thing, social clubs, etc. They are out there and are waiting for you too. Again, this post is aimed at those looking for love. I'm not saying everyone wants to and it's OK not to want about what I've just blogged. I just happen to love being in a relationship and it's been fun, well sort of, lol, to figure out how to tango together without stepping on each other's toes too much!
At this age we all come with some junk in our trunk but that keeps things exciting, right? Drowning it out in the evenings with wine doesn't help either.
I wrote the following post back in November and kept it as a draft. While I've shared bits and pieces of myself through this blog, to share some of the below felt I was exposing myself. After I wrote it I felt raw. I was doing really well with moderation back in the fall and, after writing this but not posting, it's as if I let myself get drawn deeper back into nightly drinking. Not like the year before but still with potential for mishap.
I have always been fearful of sharing for the reason that I didn't want my son taken from me. I know I'm being silly. First, I don't think my ex would do that in reality. Second, I've never done anything to jeopardize my son literally, just potentially put myself in some situations that could have. I have never driven drunk with him in the car except for wondering how much alcohol was still in my system the next morning during a school run. I've never missed any event, any task, that needed to get done where it concerned him. I never passed out and left him to fend for himself while he was awake. The biggest potential for mishap was that something would happen to him in the late evening and I would need emergency help and they would find me tipsy. Fortunately that didn't happen.
I was also worried about being outed by friends, colleagues, family, etc. But let's face it, anyone who finds this blog is probably wondering about their own relationship with alcohol so if someone figures out who I am, so be it. Actually, I am happy to chat with them. I have nothing to hide. I am happy to share my experiences. I have learned from others who have shared theirs.
Last November, I felt compelled to write something down about myself. I had a spiritual experience when I separated from my first husband that couldn't be explained other than through my spirituality and I felt funny sharing. But it's a near and dear story to me. Sometimes you just have to sit back and trust in a higher power....listen to what you are hearing in your head through all the other noise....
Once upon a time a princess married her prince. But it turned out her prince, well, was maybe not so much a prince, despite how much she desperately tried to hold on to that vision. She realized at about the 12 year point that her prince liked other princesses or at least he liked what he perceived they could make him feel. When she found out, she hung in there. She owned up to her part in why-ever her prince felt that way, thought they resolved the issues and felt they were on track to making the fairy tale last forever...that they were better than ever, stronger even. And they had just had a baby, even more reason to make things work. The prince consistently, always had, told his princess how much he adored her and how beautiful she was....so she believed him. At the 18 year point the fairy tale collapsed despite the princess trying ever so hard to believe in it. On the eve of the collapse, while it was pouring (El Nino) rain outside, she sat on the floor and looked up at the rain drenched sky and prayed very hard for a sign to let her know that she was supposed to stay in Camelot, that it really could be Camelot. The next morning, she found an email that showed she was no longer in Camelot and that her prince charming was still finding other princesses, had in fact found a new one. She confronted her prince who said he was trying to tell her all along that he wanted out of Camelot. Well, go figure, who knew? Fortunately, having been told all along how pretty she was, how much she was loved, her self esteem didn't really suffer. While a very disorienting position to be in, better than having been abused. The next day, let's call it the day-after-Camelot-exploded, she sat in the bathtub. As the princess lay back against the jets in her tub with her eyes closed, she heard music. Literally. She opened her eyes and still heard the music. A searing, wonderfully calming, melody. Like a hymn. It calmed her. It let her know things would be okay. She tried to focus in on where it was coming from.....the neighbor's house? No...and it faded away. The princess went to work. About half way through work she felt something lift out of her. As if all the troubles had whirled up out of her body like a cyclone. Not that she wouldn't be stressed in the future, but she just felt suddenly that she would be okay. Later that day she was telling someone how she had heard this music and felt this "leaving" of her anxiety and the person said "oh, you have been touched", I was praying you would be touched...hugged even. The person on the phone asked the princess what the song was and to the princess's dismay, she couldn't quite conjure up the tune. She could no longer remember the exact tune that made her, earlier, feel so calm. A bit depressed, she hung up the phone and went to make her bed, still unmade. She figured a little "order" would help calm her more. While she was making the bed a voice in her head said "Nearer my God to Thee". Literally out of the blue. The princess went to her computer and googled the title and played it. It was THE SAME TUNE the princess had heard in the bath earlier that morning. To this day, the sheet music is kept on the piano and played when things get stressful. It was a sign to her and she calls upon it when she needs to. There is no concrete explanation.....or maybe there is.... Lately, I have been in a groove. I have been, strangely, having wine every night without having too much. I enjoyed a peaceful thanksgiving. I have been exercising and actually liking it. I have been grocery shopping and meal planning and liking it. It hasn't all been easy but it has been okay. I've been blaming myself for starting out November as alcohol free and not sticking with it after those that I started with gave up....but those same people are now ON it and doing great....but I've kept having some every night. On the other hand, I haven't had too much. I don't want to say I am drinking normally because I still feel the danger zone is too close, it's as if I just need a little more time to commit. I can't do this only because I promise to pull others along. I can't stress if they don't stay with me. I want to take an extended abstinence again but I don't know when that will be. It will be soon I think. I was wondering today why I feel so good on the one hand and yet so guilty on the other. Do I need to quit drinking totally or am I, oh my goodness, actually managing this? And why do I WANT to manage this poison? I was feeling very conflicted working around the house this morning when I heard the tune "I never promised you a rose garden" very, very loud in my head. Just like before only this time I recognized the tune and couldn't get it out of my head. I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden Along with the sunshine There's gotta be a little rain some time When you take you gotta give so live and let live Or let go oh -whoa-whoa-whoa I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden - Lynn Anderson I felt very calmed. I understood. I don't have to have the answer right now. There are a lot of unknowns in my life right now...dealing with me ex, my career changing directions, me hubby's ex still dealing out stress, etc. But there are a lot of "knowns" as well. I am happier than ever, nothing like a year ago, not drinking anything like a year ago, a much, much better spouse than a year ago, a better mother than a year ago. It's not a rose garden, but life is beautiful and we just need to find our own way through the thorns. Hugs to all, Goodnight, HD
Day 10 today of my newfound extended abstinence. It feels good...really good.
Somehow, I will not ask my hubby to go get white wine.
Somehow, I will make it through the craving, it's 4:39 right now.
I.......want.......white......wine.......really badly! (or is it really bad?...my grammar stinks)
Okay, I'm back. 5pm.
1) I told my hubby I wanted white wine soooo bad. He looked at me as if not sure what to do. I said "but I'm not going to have any." There, I said it out loud.
2) Then we talked about why. Why I didn't want it (weight, health) and Why I did want it. He said go eat some chocolate. I said I'm fat but I already ate some anyway. :-( And, I said, he was missing my point. I just wanted to know WHY I wanted the wine and WHY just white wine? I didn't want red. I wasn't craving beer and wasn't craving hard liquor....WHY, WHY did I want Chardonnay?
I wasn't feeling really stressed. I feel pretty happy (other than fat) and don't feel bummed about anything in particular. I process out loud, nothing bottled up in this ole head.
His answer was that I wanted the rush. Oh please, I said, that makes me sound like a junkie. But I think he's right.
I wanted that mellow feeling, that immediate numbing.
2) So I left the room and went and ate some chips and salsa and we talked more over that bowl in the kitchen.
3) Now I'm back and I'm dying for an O'douls...AF beer. Lol, I can't wait to sit on the sofa for our cocktail hour with my near beers. My tastebuds have done a complete shift. After the spice of the salsa I want the taste of beer, alcohol or no alcohol doesn't bother me either way.
Note to self: forget chocolate......go buy more tortilla chips and spicy salsa for future evenings.....I may be on to something here......
I've been wandering through my blog from last year.
This journey back through time made me look at comments and realize how many bloggers, that I followed, have made like Elvis and "left the building" so to speak. I don't think relapse is always involved, just a gradual transition and a need to move on, to not be so preoccupied with this universe.
Since summer is a time for high school reunions, it made me think of an analogy...so bear with me...
Last year when I started my blog, I was a Freshman in High School.
(For those in other countries, here in the USA I have grown up with Grades 9 through 12 as High School. 9th graders are Freshmen, 10th are Sophomores, 11th are Juniors and 12th are Seniors. Then, we graduate at age 17 or 18 and generally move on to College if we are going to go right away.)
I felt like I was a newbie last year. I looked up to those further along the sober path. I read as much as I could make time for and gathered as many sober ideas as I could to store in my addled brain or at least write down. The more senior had such tricks on how to live and alcohol free life and conveyed a worldly confidence.
I was watching the lives of those Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors. I loved following their stories, seeing what strength they showed in dealing with everyday life...even when they themselves may have sometimes said they were failing.
The Sophomores were starting to get it together. They had been where I was. They had tried and failed and tried again. They were focused more on their own journeys and passing on passive advice by recounting their adventures in their blogs. I learned from their stories.
The Juniors had substantial sober time under their belt or they have successfully moderated. Many fewer of the latter in this blogging world but they do exist. They were more in a position to actually offer active advice on what worked for them. They blogged but maybe not as often.
The Seniors were busy with their lives. They would drift in to offer sage advice from time to time and update us on how they were doing but blogging became less frequent.
A certain number have disappeared. Perhaps they relapsed but I think many of them just went off to College and may not need this world anymore. I remember heading off to College and I really never looked back to high school. High School was an important time in my life where I grew up and learned a lot of good life experiences, worked through a lot of angst. But once I left I had no desire to go back. These blogs may very well be something people just end at a certain point.
However, there are a few more players. Certainly there are those who have taken time off from school and may come back to try again. Or those who dropped out. But there are also the guidance counselors who stuck around. There are also the alumni who come back and DO visit from time to time.
In my world Sober Mummy is like the Principal of my school, the head of it. I don't deal with her one on one a lot but she is ever present in my life. It was she who made me decide to attend this school. I view Anne Ainsobriety and Un-Tipsy Teacher as my guidance counselors.....always present, and who have offered gentle guidance and nurturing from the beginning. There are many more that I could call out as school Adminstrators but I don't want anyone to feel left out and I think many of us have been commented on from these particular 3 and would agree. There are also a bunch who commented on me from the beginning, who are doing so well in their sobriety and who come back occasionally to comment or to post on their own blogs......the alumni. And then there are my classmates. The ones who, like me, are still trying to figure out the best path.
This Freshman year is not necessarily a calendar year like real high school. I view getting into this high school as the awareness of one having a problem that needs to be acknowledged. The graduation from middle school was the knowing that there was an issue and the start of doing something about it. Some classmates come whipping in and out of Freshman year and some even whip through the upper grades right on out through sober graduation rather quickly. Others of us hang around as Freshmen for awhile, watching and learning from the more senior at the school.
Just remember, this road to graduation in our virtual high school is unique for each of us. There is no set path like real school, no definitive answer as to when we must pass from one grade to the next. We get to do it when we are ready.
I feel like I'm finally beginning my Sophomore year....Day 7 here.
I'm still dealing with the crazy hunting dog who hates fireworks and we brought in the travel crate again last night to finally sequester him so he wouldn't hurt himself or our home. He isn't one to be swaddled or put into a thunder jacket but this sure beat him trying to dig through our floors to get into his foxhole. I cannot wait until my neighborhood, which started early this year with fireworks, works through its inventory and depletes it all!
But it's really cool to see that this is my year for some 2nds of things.
2nd 4th of July, probably ever since I was 18, with no alcohol
2nd 4th of July, with no kids. :-( Feeling a bit sad but that is normal.
2nd 4th of July, with no plans. No BBQs, no beach, no crowds an no plans for drinking!
And I'm having that same feeling of "can't unwind" even though I have nothing planned. Hubby and I are sort of wandering around lost. I finally sent him off by himself which he is fine with. Having him restless around the house is more annoying sometimes than being alone, lol!
I have lots to do. About to go take a swim for exercise, need to pay bills, some laundry to do and I am in the middle of a good book.
I think next year I will plan something but this summer is a quiet one. It's the first summer I really haven't had a true vacation of any sort planned for years. I normally have at least 1 or 2 weeks of something and then we always go west to my hometown beach for a week. We will still do the beach trip but the rest is quiet. It's a good summer for reflection, for calm, and for self-care.
I've been working out regularly, watching my diet and experimenting on the cooking side. I've spent a lot of quality time with the hubby since we are kid-less right now and that's been really nice but I think we are getting bored with each other - lol!
Anyway, I hope everyone is having a terrific 4th. If you are drinking, try not to drink too much, and if you don't want to drink, try to work through it. You'll feel better for doing so, I promise! And...you can always drink tomorrow....BUT, if you live in the USA and get through something as momentous as today without drinking, you may just find that tomorrow you don't need to drink either after getting this holiday under your belt.....food for thought.