Saturday, 30 April 2016

Loving this Sober Spring

My shipment of A/F wine arrived and so far I am impressed.  The Cabernet Sov. tastes pretty darn good.  I will save these bottles for special occasions as I don't want to spend the money, drink the sugar or pretend I'm drinking wine on a regular basis.  I don't think any of these are smart moves if I want to remain sober long term.  I'll save the champagne like sparkly white for my son's wedding reception we are hosting this June.  I am pretty happy drinking Essential Oil infused water.

Today we are heading to Montreal for a mini-family reunion and bringing my mother to see her beloved sisters.  I am so pumped for this weekend.  I have the loveliest family in the world.  My Aunts, Cousins and In-Laws are the best.  Three of my Uncles have died; two from alcoholism.  My one alcoholic Aunt is a long term abstainer.  My mother is the only living, drinking alcoholic in her family.

We live about two hours from Montreal and I hope to put my mom in the front seat with hubby and sit in the back and READ!! I never get a chance to sit quietly for more than a few minutes and this will be a great opportunity traveling both ways.

I've had a lot of opportunities to drink and have not been tempted but hey!  I lasted 138 days two summers ago and caved so on high alert at all times staying aware of complacency and 'what the hell' feelings.

Have a great weekend and any of you who are still drinking, why don't you choose May 1st as your new start date.  Sober Spring!!!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sober Fun

I had an amazing weekend sans alcohol.  On Friday the whole family converged here to make homemade pizzas from scratch.  Imagine five under five all with miniature rolling pins sitting at the counter rolling out their dough.  It was messy, hilarious fun.  We all had lots of pizza pie.  I made a pineapple upside down cake for the celebration of my Mom`s 86th birthday and all the little ones helped her blow out the candles.  My daughter doesn`t drink; she`s Asian and it really affects her.  My two DIL drank my former fav, Red wine and neither of them over-did it.  I was not tempted at all.  It helped that I had a baby or toddler on my lap all evening.

Saturday my hubby`s son and his 19 year old daughter came over to celebrate his birthday.  He requested that we choose four recipes from his favourite Vegan Cookbooks, Trinity`s Conscious Kitchen and Angelicious so we cooked together.  We made vegan pesto with basil, garlic, soaked sunflower seeds, olive oil, etc., a salad to pour the pesto over, Quinoa-Black Bean ``Neat`` loaf, sweet potato wedges with fresh rosemary and a chocolate coconut birthday cake with millet, rice and tapioca flour.  Bananas instead of eggs.  The icing was made with soaked dates, avocado, maple syrup and other healthy stuff.  We had so much fun.  He asked me to join him and hubby in drinking Gin and Tonics while we cooked and I happily declined.

Today I meet with the Moon Gathering Woman`s group that I confessed my alcoholism to last month.  That truth told to that group has helped keep me on the straight and narrow when I was tempted.  I am so pleased to be able to state that I am over a month sober.  I felt accountable and it is so worth it.

My sobriety has brought my scattered ADD brain to the forefront of my consciousness and I don`t like feeling the confusion.  I prefer to hide behind the booze.  But I can`t just use the booze and be done with it.  Booze is not a tool I can live with using.  The reality is I can`t drink and be happy.  Those two things don`t go together.

I choose happiness.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Summer Plans

Thanks for all the comments.  It means a lot to me to know that people can relate.

Today I impulsively ordered a case of 12 bottles on A/F wine to have as weapons this summer at the lake when the drinkers are doing their pushing.  I really like Beck's A/F beer so now I am all set. I ordered a trial sampler of 5 Red, 5 white and 2 sparkling.  I'll use them for mixes more than anything.  Sangria and such.  I just need to be prepared for anything.  I'll most likely drink water, lemon, essential oils like spearmint, lemon, lime, wild orange, etc. most of the time as it's refreshing.

I think I have hubby talked into spending most of July and August at the lake house.  We had planned on going for two weeks in July and as many weekends as we can manage but life is making this plan not doable.  My five grand babies all 'chose' to be born in the summer and the birthday parties will be one weekend after another: one in May plush a baptism, one in June plus a wedding, NONE in July but one wedding, three birthdays in August.  I figure rather than staying home during the week and going to the lake house on the rare weekends we don't have plans, why not set up internet there and run the business from the lake house and come home ever second weekend for an family event. We can spend a few at the home office, freshen up the flower garden, cut the grass, check the mail and tie up loose ends. I think hubby is sold on the idea.  My son can run things from the city while we are gone but we'll work from the lake doing the absolute essentials.  My mother will love being up there all summer.

I have a busy few weeks with my Mom's birthday celebration at my place tomorrow night.  We're making our own pizzas (5 kids under 6 and their parents) and I am making a pineapple upside down cake for dessert.  On Saturday hubby's son is coming to celebrate his birthday with us.  He is a vegan so we are taking four recipes from Trinity's Conscious Kitchen and making them together.  He chose two recipes and I chose 2.  Quinoa loaf, Pesto Salad, Sweet potato wedges and gluten free vegan chocolate cake made with Tapioca, millet and rice flours, avocado and banana and coconut oil.  We'll see how this turns out.

On Sunday I have my Woman's Moon Circle with the same ladies I confessed to about my drinking problem last month.  I will be so happy to be able to say I have stayed off the sauce.

Next weekend we have my youngest granddaughter's baptism and it's Mother's Day.

Weekend after that I believe we are free to go to the lake.

Summer is so short in this part of the world and it fills up with obligations so quickly.

I got a lot done today; stuff that I've been procrastinating on: my mom's insurance claim for glasses and ambulance rides, my application to cash in an old insurance policy with a hundred bucks in it, a few warranty letters to guarantee our work.  I also have been searching for a financial person to help me with the company's year end.  I think I found a gem in a woman I spoke to for an hour.  We hit it off and she sounds like someone I could enjoy working with.  Her office is close by which means driving there in blizzards won't be an ordeal.

Anyways, just checking in.  Not drinking but having to use my tools quite often.  My list of reasons not to take the first drink that I keep on my phone to be read "before I take my first drink" was pulled out a few times this week.  I am glad I have the realities of drinking just the one within a hand's reach.
Bye for now.  Namaste

Doing the Work

With sober time under my belt it has come to my attention that I, like all the other members of my parental family suffer from some psychological symptoms.  I am nakedly aware that I was self-medicating with alcohol all those years.

When people talked about doing the work of sobriety I always thought that was a stage of recovery that I could skip.  I didn't have any issues to 'fix'.  I was a drinker period. I just needed to quit.

Well low and behold, I'm a hot mess.

I have issues popping up left, right and centre.  My mind is so scattered and I know it has been always.  I've just let it be because I didn't care thanks to the veil of booze.  Now that I'm abstaining, I realize I can't stick to a straight line of thought let alone a list of To Do's.  My style has always been very unpredictable in every aspect of my life.  I was a great Mom; I was a shitty Mom.  I am a fantastic employee; I am the worst employee.  I keep a clean house; my house is in shambles. There is no happy medium with me.  For example, here's me tidying the house:  I clear the kitchen table and try to fill the dishwasher.  I realize it's full of clean dishes.  I start putting those away and realize my cutlery drawer is a mess. I take all the knives, forks, spoons, serving and cooking utensils out and sort them on the counter top.  In the pile I notice the missing 1/2 Tsp measuring spoon that I've lost.  I take it to the baking drawer and search for the other measuring spoons.  Soon all my baking implements are on the counter.  I then realize I was tidying the house so I go back to the dishwasher and resume emptying it.. And then I find a clean jar that the chocolate chips would fill nicely.  I go to the pantry and look for the chocolate chips.  Since the baking utensils are on the counter anyways, maybe I should make chocolate chip cookies.  On and on I go until the house looks like a hurricane went through.

OK so that's my ADD kicking in. I am also depressed. I have a low grade sense of dissatisfaction running through my heart.  It seems to prevent me from following through on getting outside on sunny days, rebounding, eating well, staying on top of things.  I am hoping this lifts but know it's not going to happen without some introspection on my behalf.

Then there is menopause.  I am 59 years old and just got my PERIOD!!  Sorry guys, I won't get graphic.  I hadn't had one in months and thought I was done.  Unlike the previous few, this one came with it's sidekicks: PMS, bloating, moodiness and exhaustion.  When does it end?

No wonder I was driven to dive into the wine glass.  The allure of booze for me is all about escape; not taste, not socializing; just numbing my brain.

I have a lot of work to do.  It wasn't what I had planned but come hell or high water, I'm not going to drink.

Any reading suggestions?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Buckets List & Putting My Needs First

At almost sixty years old I am at that age where some of my peers are getting sick and dying.  I've lost two friends from the street where I raised my kids.  We were a gaggle of stay-at-home Moms with similar aged kids all buying our little starter homes at the same time from the developer.  We took turns sitting out on driveways refereeing, providing popcicles and bandaids to the kids and advice and empathy to each other.  Becky and Marilyn were both lovely women and great mothers.  They have both died within the past few months; leaving adult children to grieve them and to raise their own children less one loving Grandma.

Of course reading about Becky's death today in the Newspaper reinforced the fact that life moves along and time waits for no one.  When our time is up, we have to bow out whether our job here on this plane is done or not.  If I was to be taken today, I would regret so much time wasted in self-reproach, unfinished business and unmet goals.

Living each day as if it was our last is easily said and not so easily done.  Today I put together a list which was originally titled "Sober Bucket List" but I renamed it dropping the "Sober".  It includes modest but important goals I've set for myself.  Learning to dive is on that list.   Staying sober is too.

Because we run a family business and hubby is the brains behind the construction end of the business, we often discuss whether or when he will retire as his expertise will always be needed (or so he thinks). He is almost 68.  I've always enthusiastically joined in and encouraged him to slow down if he is tired.  What I've never thought of until recently is the fact that it goes without saying that when hubby slows down I am expected to keep the administrative end of the company running for my son who will take over eventually.  Recently I drew a line in the sand and declared that at age 65 I plan on removing myself from the company entirely.  The reasons for this are many.  I have never had an interest or passion for construction or finances; both of which are large components of my job.  I wish to pursue my own interests and possible business ideas which is almost impossible with the workload of the family business.  What they will do to replace me is not my problem.

The drinking me would have never even put my needs or desires near the top of any list.  The sober me cares about the quality of my life in the future if I am fortunate enough to be here.  My job for the next five years is to work hard and help create a lucrative company that can continue long into the future with our without hubby's help but definitely without mine.

If after only 31 days of sobriety I am making these kinds of decisions, who knows what the future holds.


Monday, 18 April 2016

The Fun of Sobriety

I was listening to a Podcast about a woman that had taken two months off work to battle her Crohn's Disease with all the modalities she had heard help to heal this debilitating and mysterious disease.  She went to yoga, acupuncture sessions, meditation classes.  She ate no gluten or dairy and ate plenty of the foods that were recommended to heal her.  Her key tool in all she achieved was the one component that drove her sucess with more force that she could have ever imagined.  That key was her attitude.  Right from the start when she began this two month blitz of totally focusing on healing her illness, she decided with conviction that it would be FUN.  And it was.  Having fun and enjoying the process was her number one priority even above her hoped for outcome.  She feels that her final result (which she claims was wellness from Crohn's Disease) would not have been achieved without the essential component of 'having fun'.

This resonates with me for a number of reasons:
  1. I can't stick to anything unless I am enjoying it
  2. I get bored easily
  3. I need immediate gratification
  4. I live to laugh, dance, joke and tease
  5. I could really get into the Fun of Sober Living
By way of applying the 'fun' aspect to my sobriety, I've decided to revamp my brain and it's attitude and incorporate the notion of 'play' into my recovery.

It's pretty exciting even at my age to know that by not drinking empty calories and making myself lazy with alcohol, I can spend the next few months morphing into the woman I was meant to be.  As I slowly transform from cocooned caterpillar to brilliant, free butterfly, I plan on enjoying every moment.  

I will not make monotonous promises to myself to eat whole foods, exercise daily, drink lots of water, take my supplements and avoid procrastination.  Instead I embrace these lifestyle improvements with joy and gratitude.  From today forward I now look at all the components of my recovery as evolving, exciting and profound.  I am thrilled to have the time and the opportunity to work at this glorious rebirth that is of my own making.  

The brilliant, multi-faceted butterfly of my own authenticity is emerging slowly and I am enormously grateful to those who have gone before me, shared their experiences and paved the way for me to happily embrace the care and tenderness that goes into deep, personal transformation.

I matter ! We are really just an accumulation of all our daily habits.  The vision I have of my true self is one of serenity, presence, vitality, love and self-discipline.  As I walk the walk of allowing those aspects of me to emerge through daily habits, I do so with enthusiasm and pride.

When I refuse the drink at the gathering, I quietly acknowledge that this refusal of wine is one of many small steps towards finally being all I can be.  To end my days knowing I gave myself the gift of authenticity, even at the ripe old age of sixty, will be worth every moment of apprehension and fear.

Learning something new and valuable every day.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Sober, Selfish and Satisfied

Almost at Day 30 and still on a doozy of a honeymoon.  I had two of my former co-workers and their husbands for dinner last night so they could finally see our house as a finished product.  These women have been my good friends for close to ten years and we've seen each other through lots of births, deaths and challenges.  We all have kids; adopted as well as natural, we are all grandmothers of young ones and I love them dearly.  We had red wine on hand as there was an Italian contingent among them.  Elaine brought farm fresh eggs laid by her chickens and maple syrup from her trees.  A small jar took forty jars of sap to produce so it was liquid gold.  Pina and Gino brought a nicely wrapped bottle of Chianti (my favourite).  I didn't miss a beat.  I made us women pre-dinner drinks and hubby handled the men.  I poured ice, tonic water, pineapple juice and a few drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil in tall glasses and we were all set.  Not one of them wanted booze.  At dinner Elaine and I abstained, Pina had half a glass of red and the men polished off two bottles as well as a small glass of brandy.

All this to say, I was the belle of the ball, happily serving up salmon with anchovy lemon sauce, rapini and fritters.  The meal had it's flaws as I tried new recipes and I was OK with that. My dessert was a No-Fail Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk concoction served with coffee and tea.  I was not tempted to drink the wine.  I don't know why but I hope it's because of the new reality in my mind;  The one I've been denying for years.  One leads to another and another and another until eventually I end up 'Quitting' again (an oxymoron if I ever heard one).

After the company left, I finished tidying up which the sober me had quietly kept up with all evening.  Hubby then joined me on the couch.  I was sitting and he was lying with his head in my lap complaining about feeling dizzy and drunk.  No envy coming from this happy abstainer.

My cousins from Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Ottawa are all converging in Montreal at the end of the month for s 'soiree de les cousines' and I am attending.  I am so excited.  My sister just posted on Facebook that she's going to drink us all under the table.  Let 'er at it!!

I now accept my problem with alcohol for what it is: All or Nothing.  To live an authentic, fulfilling life, I choose Nothing.  It's black and white for me.

We have a 22 degree Celsius day ahead and I plan on being outside for most of it.  In American, 22 degrees is somewhere between warm and hot.  My son may bring his 2 year old over to play and my daughter may bring her 8 month and 20 month old girls over.  I told them both I am open to having them over but I'll be outside all day.

Hey more good news:  I offered my sister from Seattle who is coming in for a wedding the use of my car but the catch is that she has to fly into Ottawa to pick it up and drive to Toronto for the wedding then drive it back to Ottawa even though hubby and I'll be in Toronto at the wedding too.  Her logic was that I could drive the car home and she could fly to Seattle out of Toronto.  I am being generous with lending my car and the drinking, insecure me would have said, OK.  I told her I don't want to drive in Toronto so I will not be doing so.  She is so used to me caving so she tried to use her wit and charm to guilt me into it.  The selfish me said "No." Use my car, that's all I am offering.  This is huge for the usual pushover me.

I am rambling but thought I should post on my blog as this is a huge part of my recovery and to skip more than a week spells trouble.  Have a great week and I'll check in soon.


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Three Weeks and Still Honeymooning

It's been three weeks now and I'm in the honeymoon phase of abstinence.  For the most part it's easy.  Hubby and my Mom who lives with me are drinking on a daily basis and I'm pouring it for them.  I have been enjoying our cold well water with a few drops of essential oil.  Cassia and Wild Orange, Lemon and Lime, Spearmint, whatever tickles my fancy.

I've been away at the lake house this weekend doing some spring cleaning, etc. and it will be a busy partying summer up there; that I foresee.  I love the friends and family that visit but the booze will be in my face all the way through.  That long period of abstinence I managed a few years back started in the Spring as well; April some time.  I went 138 days or so.  I remember the situation exactly when I fell off the wagon. It was ridiculously inappropriate.  Our house was just about fully built and my son and his wife came over to help paint one week night and for no discernible reason and with no pressure from anyone, I just drank wine.  There went that string of perfection.

I am really delving into meditation and recently was able to go into a deep trance like state where I felt totally one with the universe.  The experience was life-altering to say the least but it was also a kick in the pants in the direction of sobriety and authenticity.  I picked up a book called Spirit Walker and have been floored by some of the writing on our sub-conscious mind and our endless possibilities as souls in human bodies.  The last line in the book is "If We Don't Change Directions, We May End Up Where We are Headed"  which is the same quote I've used for years as a tagline on one of my sobriety chat rooms.  Pure Coincidence, ya I know.

I am done rambling; just checking in.


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Recovery is Raw

As I explained in the last post, I was sent into a tailspin this morning because of a decision my sister made that I perceived as selfish and insensitive.  I went through the  mine field of normal family conflict for the first time since I quit drinking 15 days ago.

I acted out of sadness and disappointment.  But I did not drink.

I jumped on my rebounder and listened to 21 Things to Do on a Sober Weekend on my new fav podcast .. but I did not drink.

I had a long bath and cried but I did not drink.

I went out in freezing temperature to walk to the post office and back ... but I did not drink.

I ate a monster cookie, two chocolate Easter eggs and a handful of Sun Chips .. but I did not drink.

My Uncle and his partner dropped in for supper unexpected with a large bottle of my favourite red wine.  I uncorked it and poured a round, served it up and set the table .. but I did not drink.

I spent time actually feeling my emotions (they were in my belly) and sitting with them and sure enough they are passing now.  I know my sister is upset that I am upset with her.  The old drinking, Libra, insecure me would have called her up to apologize for feeling upset and asking for HER forgiveness.  The New Me is going to let it be.  When we do speak I will not hold a grudge.  There are two sides to every story.  My hurt and disappointment is real but I will not be stupid enough to hold on to anger or resentment.

Enough said about that.  I will stop beating a dead horse.  Most importantly, I did not drink.

Thanks for all the helpful comments.

Grrr !!

I am dealing with a big disappointment and trying to allow the emotion to wash over me and not try to find a way to un-feel my pain.

We have a family wedding in Toronto in July and my elderly mother, myself and my husband will be attending.  My sister has made it clear she does not want my Mom or hubby and myself staying with her as she is hosting my brother, his wife and son who are also from out of town.  Whenever there is a family function in my part of the country, I open my small home to everyone.  Hubby and I have even stayed at a B & B across the street to free up a comfortable bed for her and her husband.  She lives in a four bedroom huge home with plenty of room.  My mother does not do stairs well and if she stayed there she would take up a couch on the main floor.

My Mom loves my sister and will be hurt if she knows she is not welcome.  My mother never sees this out of town son as he lives in Vancouver.  If we (or she) does not stay with family we cannot stay longer than one or two nights because of the cost of hotel rooms.  There is no where else for Mom to stay with a bathroom on the main level.

Hubby and I DESERVE a break to stay away from Mom for one or two nights.  My sister should welcome my Mother.  My mom is quiet and actually afraid of this sister of mine so she would be no trouble.  She would just be there to enjoy spending time with the out of town family.  She would love to be there despite the fact that my sister is a little harsh with her at times.

I accept the fact that I am not welcome; I can crash anywhere.  My mother does not deserve this.  Although she is an alcoholic and sometimes a little negative, she is no trouble to have around as she talks little, eats little and sleeps a lot.

I sent my sister an email expressing my bafflement and hurt and asked her to give me some time to digest her coldness.

I will not drink.

Monday, 4 April 2016

The Wine Bitch Rocks!

Oh Jackie, she is brilliant!  While I was jumping on my rebounder I listened to Jackie's latest 2 Podcasts over at Sober Sassy Life with Jackie Elliot.  You can download the free app called OneCast to your phone and find it there or listen using i-Tunes where you can leave comments.

On the first podcast, Car Camping and AA she talked about AA and it's steps.  She explains how she's coming to see the sense of some steps now that she's had some sober time under her belt and talks about coming out and apologizing to those you've harmed in your drinking days.  Her subject is AA but her insights are A+.  This woman is not only very intelligent and highly skilled at expressing herself, she is very insightful and able to relate and empathize to a high degree.  Listen to this wonderful podcast.

The second one was award worthy.  Her subject was relapsing and it was titled Rebounding from a Relapse.  She spoke of many bloggers, blog followers and members of cyber communities; people like you and me who are on an abstinence roll and very present in the cyber world.... until suddenly, we're NOT.  We've had a drink or more.  Jackie hits the nail on the head with this one as she touches on how it's not the end of the world; it's just a blip.  Her take on this subject is so encouraging to me, a chronic relapser.  Also she explains that a relapse is usually not thought out or even debated.  Rather it's a sudden, inexplicable decision made on the spot.  I won't go into any further detail except to say, this one was very much a sobriety tool that I will keep and cherish.

Jackie is a big part of my sober toolbox along with exercise, meditations, non-drinking friends, accountability, healthy food and hard-headedness.  Yes, that's a word here in Canada!! Eh!!

I hope I never relapse again but if I do, I will come back immediately and start where l left off.  I am as sober as a person who has ten years under her belt even if I only have 15 days.  Thanks for reminding me Wine Bitch!  (Jackie's blogging name)

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Morning After My Close Call

I work up this morning and have no regrets about abstaining last night.  Duh!!  I asked Hubby on the way home from the pub last night if it bothered him that I didn't drink.  He let out a rousing "Bain Non!!" He's French.  LOL.  He could care less if I drink - bless his ethanol infused heart!! He only had two drafts last night.  We both agreed that it was a great evening.

For me, it was a reminder that Jason Vale is right.  One can have as much or more fun partying sober (and straight) as those having a few brew.  My internal clock woke me up at 5:30 am this morning as that's when I arise during the week to meditate.  It feels fantastic to be sitting here in my jammies, sipping coffee, listening to a soft music playlist and watching the birds at the feeder and the geese returning noisily.  I feel fantastic.

Today I am treating myself to a movie matinee of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 with a girlfriend then we're picking up Indian food and bringing it over to a mutual friend who is house bound.  Oh but times have changed.  I am so glad hubby and I moved to Ontario.  Quebec was a great experience and I learned to speak French but being back in my own culture makes staying sober easier.  In Quebec I felt I needed to be loaded to fit in.  My idea; no one else's.

I am VERY happy I abstained last night... EXTREMELY pleased with myself.

I just arranged a bowling evening for hubby and I and another couple.  He is trying to quit too so it'll be a nice distraction from a home get-together where the booze is the focal point... for both of us.

Have a great day!


Friday, 1 April 2016

Draft Beer and Moon Women

Tonight hubby suggested we go out for dinner.  I hadn't mentioned to him that I've been sober for 12 days.  I've done it so many times that it's a non-issue.  He really wanted a pub atmosphere with live music and draft beer.  Yikes.  I tried to maneuver our way to a Thai Restaurant so I could drink tea but that restaurant was dead and, like I said, he wanted action.  

I was arguing with myself and making deals about drinking a virgin caesar (Canadian version of a Bloody Mary) or a beer but not tell anyone or maybe I can only drink when I'm out with hubby; not at home.  I can't believe I was suckered into this song and dance.

We sat down and he realized he had forgotten his phone in the car.  He suggested I order a pitcher of draft beer and left to grab the phone. I was desperately searching for the waitress so I could oreder our drinks.  My mind was spinning.  I finally caught the her eye and asked about virgin drinks.  She suggested a Shirley Temple.  Bars aren't very accommodating to us abstainers.  I then ordered him a large Keith's Draft and myself a club soda with lime.  

Ya I know, hurray for me.  But I came close.  I did go through the should I, shouldn't I  conversations in my head.  What stopped me:  mostly that one of those Moon Women from my big confessional outburst might be at this same bar.  They did not seem much like Bar Flies; more like Tea Room Hippies but there was a chance.  Another thought that stopped me was that I knew I would regret it.  From countless same situations, I do not recall one time that I drank after a period of abstinence and afterwards, declared that it was a 'good idea'.  Inevitably and predictably, I would regret it.  That I knew to be true.

Being at a bar and having access to draft beer is a BIG TRIGGER for me.  I love cold draft beer even thought I am fighting my wine addiction.  I had no business being there.  Hubby is so good to me and my elderly Mom and he works so hard, when he expressed such enthusiasm for the Bar Scene I wanted to please him by being agreeable.

Did not drinking affect my good time?  Not at all.  I did consciously decide at some point to get high on life and I was tuned in and focused on having fun.  There was a loud, guitarist playing and singing and the whole bar was singing along with him which was fun.  The food was good.  While we were there my son texted us to announce he had finalized the deal to buy a house 15 minutes from us.  We were both happy about this news and toasted our good fortune.

All in all it was a close call but I really have a hard time believing I would have had a drink.  I am too fed up with the absolute stupidity of me drinking.  I just can't handle it emotionally.

Just letting you know I am still here and sober.


My Mother, Myself

My 85; soon to be 86 year old mother is a gift from the universe.  She has been living with me since September and has become such a symbol of 'life if I don't quit drinking'.  At her advanced age, she is still in the throes of the disease of alcoholism.  If she's not puffing on her e-cigarette or scratching 'scratch 'n win' tickets she's eyeing the liquor cabinet or pining for a beer.  Often she's doing all three.

When she moved in the only 'rule' we had was that she could only have one beer a day.  Her mission in life is to break that rule on a daily basis.  Although she is basically, anti-social, she hangs around the dinner table each evening, not to continue our mealtime chats but to wangle another beer out of me.  She is often willing to humiliate herself by asking me for another beer or a shot of a liqueur.  Being a soft touch, I sometimes give in and pour her another.  She plays on my kindness which she perceives as weakness.

She is my future.  I am a younger version of her.  The only difference between us is that I finally recognize my alcoholism for what it is and she is in denial as she likely will be for the remainder of her life.  I try not to keep her favourite liqueur in the house.  Yesterday she gave hubby $30 when she thought I couldn't hear her and whispered for him to pick her up a bottle.  He's caught between the 'live and let live' school of thought and the 'protect her from herself' theme that I try to instill in, not only him but in myself.

I feel bad for her because I know how an alkie's brain works.  I remember when I was in my heavy drinking days that I would manipulate situations to allow for my glass or three of wine.  I have a lot of patience with her addiction but it is my responsibility as her caretaker to try to ensure that she doesn't do a face plant on my ceramic floor.

I am really hoping that this dozen days of abstinence becomes a dozen months and a dozen years.

Today I am meeting my old work friends for lunch and then spending an hour with my favourite Uncle (my Mom's 83 yo baby brother) who is a sweet guy.  He plans to have a glass of wine with me.  Not going to happen but he has seen me abstaining before and adjusts quickly when I drink tea during our visits although I know he is disappointed.

Spring is in the air!!  Cardinals are at my birdfeeder.  They are magnificent!