Tuesday 30 September 2014

The Warning Signs Were There

Thanks for all the support, guys!!

We went for Thai food last night and we both just drank water.  I had a mango salad and some nice soup.  I had no desire for drinks which makes sense as I'd been thinking about nothing but jumping back on the bandwagon all day.

I was discussing with a fellow abstainer how the urge to drink seems to blindside us but in hindsight there were signs I was going to relapse.

If I recall with honesty the days leading up to my relapse, I'll admit that I had started romancing the booze again and that I'd taken a sip of hubby's beer on two occasions and a few of his wine.  I was feeling jealous of drinkers.  I had conveniently forgotten or was forgetting that it's different with me. These normies could have their glass or two of wine or mug of beer and that would be it.  With me and probably you, that first glass of wine or whatever you drink only leads to the opening of the floodgates.

When I succumbed on a nondescript evening for no reason whatsoever, I had about three large glasses of red and woke up with a pounding headache.  The next two weeks were a series of a beer here, a few glasses of red there; every where a drinking opportunity presented itself, I greedily accepted. It had no where to go but downhill from there.

As much as I regret starting back at day one :-( I don't really feel upset with myself; just resigned to move forward and learn from this.  No big drunk happened, I had nothing but support with my decision to drink except from my daughter and my neighbor across the street who both said what should have been said by all: "You've done so well.  Are you sure you want to drink after all your progress and all you've said about wanting to quit?"

People aren't "bad" for encouraging me to drink.  They are simply ignorant of the realities of our obsession with booze.  Their brains don't function like ours do so how are they to truly understand the mental anguish of a boozer going back on the sauce?

I am feeling strong again and now will be hyper-aware of any romancing my monkey mind tries to do with the thoughts of drinking.  Like one of you suggested, back to reading Jason Vale's book.  He's got it right.

Last night I went for my second yoga class and already am feeling stronger and more steady (since last Monday) probably because I've been walking in the woods, swimming with my neighbor in her indoor pool (lucky me) and on the weekend I kayaked twice.  I am slowly building up my core and I felt it last night.  The best part about the hour of yoga is that I did not think about ANYTHING for an hour except breathing and holding positions.  I felt like my brain went through a car wash.

Enough rambling!! Have a safe, sober, conscious day my friends.

Monday 29 September 2014

Sober October!

It seems that I am challenged on every front when I go for sobriety.  I haven't found it since my relapse a few weeks ago except for a few days here and there.  Hubby is thrilled to bits I'm joining him for a drink.  Our friends were so relieved to have me accept a beer on Friday night (they had nothing else to offer), my social life has become much more 'fun' in the past weeks as I now am one of the gang rather than the boring, social outcast the drinkers perceive me to be.

But I still want out.  Even two glasses of wine gives me heart palpitations, dehydration, lethargy and, often, that 3:00 a.m. wake-up call.  I am also obsessing over it again whereas I had fallen into a pattern where other areas of life were being explored.  Now I'm back to Should I?, Shouldn't I? How much? How often?

I am from that generation where, for many women, the importance of pleasing others far outweighs that of pleasing oneself.

I thought hubby was on board after our long talk back in March.  He seemed to get it.  He doesn't.

I will start small by abstaining for the month of October (including today my friends) and not say anything to anyone about it.  I don't get support; I get dismay so it'll be our little secret.  Hubby and I have been eating a lot in restaurants lately and I've been having a draft at our local pub.  It's my achilles tendon these days so I'll try to avoid going there at night and stick to enjoying their lovely breakfast options.  Wine, which was my poison of choice, is not calling me although this weekend, since I was drinking anyway, I had one with my meal both Saturday and Sunday.  Sounds innocent but to those reading this blog, it's the beginning of the end; we all know that.

I hope I can do this with your support and not that of my 'real' family and friends.

I wish I was addicted to heroin.  At least I would get support and not scorn.

Day 1

Wednesday 17 September 2014


In my life, I've always felt unsettled; not quite where I wanted to be.  There was always something I was reaching for: to get married, to have a child, to lose weight, to exercise more, to have someone love me, and now, to reach sobriety and, thereby serenity.

I am anxious for the day to come when I finally stop striving and start living.  I can't seem to cross the finish line and just settle happily and comfortably in my own skin.  Part of me feels that as soon as I let my guard down, I'll gradually become a slovenly, disheveled, computer addicted, drunk.   Why do I have to keep my guard up and my voice constantly nagging in order to simply do nice things for myself?  

Every single habit I am striving to incorporate in my life are for the betterment of my own self.  Each of them is achievable.  The only person that has the ability to stop me from achieving my goals is myself.  None of my goals are earth-shatteringly difficult with the possible exception of giving up booze at times.  

I am in the midst of the realization that I, and only I am in charge of my life.  I can make my little nagging voice shut up for once and for all by simply making myself happy by:
  • moving my body by walking on the lush, riverside paths that surround my home or, on rainy days, rebounding to my favourite music
  • using my brain by reading some of the fifteen or more spiritual and recovery books that are strewn throughout this tiny trailer not to mention what's on the Kobo e-reader
  • being creative by writing blog posts or working on my novel or hauling my keyboard out and playing it outside under the trailer's awning
  • eating healthy foods which our new neighbors are gifting us on a daily basis from the bounties of their gardens
  • not drinking booze without which none of the above can possibly be achieved
If I did these few things on a regular basis, I would be happy.  I would stop striving.  It's that simple. I am with the man I love, living in a familiar and warm community surrounded by my sweet grandchildren.  We're all healthy for now and no one is fighting (Hubby and Son called a truce).

Have I found the solution or is this blog post just another way of practicing my long-time habit of striving.  It depends on how I go about my day tomorrow.

Post Relapse Re-Commitment

I can find serenity.  It's up to me completely.  How I live my life determines my level of happiness. Happiness is already here and just masked by all the complications I create for myself.

My choices yesterday made me happy.  In the morning I went and retrieved my juicer from my Uncle's and made myself a celery apple, ginger, beet juice which my body was starving for.  I then put on my new rubber boots that don't hurt my tender feet and went for a walk on a lovely path in the bush a stone's throw away from my trailer.  This trail follows the meandering Jock River.  I was moved beyond joy to be caught in the middle of hundreds of Canada Geese flying overhead heading south.  To my delight, I witnessed them skimming the surface and landing in the water all around me and, then, later taking flight en masse honking like the dickens.  This all happened during my hour long hike and played out like the most beautiful dance recital ever choreographed.  The path was loaded with purple wildflowers and was a breathtaking site.

I don't think I'm that important in the big scheme of the world but I do feel that the universe is pointing me in the right direction recently.  Drinking after four months was good in that I experienced the insomnia, headache and dehydration along with the emotional factors once again.  It is a good reminder of everything I have to lose: a clear head, good memory, restful nights, pride, etc.

Today I will choose to do a few things that make me happy.  I will get my work done satisfactorily and eat wholesome, healthy food.  I will drink lots of water, take some time to walk in the bush again and possibly use the carrots my neighbor gave me from her garden to create another nourishing juice.

I will not poison my body with alcohol.

Choose happiness, Debbie!!  It's all up to you.

Monday 15 September 2014

Yoga Tonight

Boy am I out of shape!  I used to be in fantastic shape but these past six months of being in transition have wrecked havoc on my body as well as my soul.  I had never experienced Yoga but wanted to for a long while and I found a Monday night class within a short sprint of my home to be.  By coincidence my new next door neighbor goes and so she suggested we go together.

The poses were easy in that I am very flexible but difficult as you have to hold them for a while which takes muscles and stamina; both of which I've let go to seed.  I will attend on a regular basis I believe.  I am getting to know some women in the village and socializing was one of the things I was looking forward to when I moved to this little English speaking town.  Living in the French world for the past twelve years really zapped my confidence in making friends.  I had a few but being an outgoing person, I often felt alone and isolated in Quebec.

When I really think about it, getting sober is only a small part of the enormous healing I have to do in order to find serenity and to be happy in the depths of my soul.

Baby steps is the way to go... just like the movie "What About Bob"... one of my favorites.  I have to move forward one step at a time.

When we decided to sell the lake house in the past few days, I felt, not a sense of loss, but a sense of relief.  Although it's a beautiful, majestic house and has a lovely beach, we just can't afford it.  The food that goes in that house on the weekends, the gas money we spend the effort to feed the hungry visitors all take their toll on us.

Living a quiet, simple life in our beautiful new home surrounded by my children and grandchildren and making new friends is really what is going to make me happy.  No more rushing up to the countryside every Friday and working our butts off all weekend only to come home to work hard all week.  Getting out and joining activities like yoga is one of the keys to becoming part of this lovely community.

I am starting to feel positive again.

Getting My Mojo Back

I did not drink last night and it felt like a day one... not like a skipped day of drinking.  I am starting to feel my old resolve coming back.  I also have a bad cold.  Not sure if those two things are connected.

So far my daughter is the only one who is dissapointed that I drank.  She said "Mom you were doing so well." when I told her.  I felt happy that, at least someone, was rooting for me to stop.

I have a friend, Martine, who is trying to make a better life for herself too and she has started reading this blog and sent me some heartwarming words that mean a lot.  She knows the battle us former partyers have to face when we stop.  She is still living in the world of beer and wine whereas for me, here in Ontario, the pressure isn't half as severe.  If she can do it, I can !!

Today I have an appointment at the foot doctors and I can't wait to resolve my chronic sore feet problem.  Every time I want to walk anywhere my feet kill me.  I know this has added to my depression and tendency to drink.

My husband and I talked about saving the company by selling our lake house and it sounds appealing to me.  It's a two hour drive and we spend a fortune there not only on food but on gas for the boats, repairs, heating, etc.  I am heading towards simplifying my life and this is a positive step in that direction.  In the spring, once we've settled in our new home and emptied the lake house of what we want to keep, we'll put it on the market furnished.  We hope to be able to live comfortably once we sell it and I will make my life's mission to live moderately, simply and frugally.

Everything happens for a reason and I think we are both in favour of selling off the toys and the lake house because that's where we are in our lives.  So the timing is good.

I must jump in the shower to smell pretty for the foot doctor.


Sunday 14 September 2014

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Since I drank a few days ago, I've had a little to drink most nights.  Last night I had wine with dinner and a dessert wine with friends later.  I am not drinking in an abusive way but it surely will end up that way if I am not careful.

When I drank the other day after four months of sobriety, I knew it was the beginning of a relapse.  I felt helpless to stop it.  The four months previous were easy; real easy.

I am posting, not as a sober person but as one who is in the middle of a relapse.  I am dealing with a lot of stress which I am not going to describe again.  Read old posts if you're curious.

At this point I am not sure when or if I will stop.  I know you readers and supporters are staying "Just do it." "Stop already!"  I am not sure I have the ability to do much of anything right now except survive.

As I said I am not drinking every day but have had a few since I relapsed.  I will coast along and report here and hopefully find the strength to get back on the wagon.

I am so sick of regulating myself.

I have decided not to worry about my lack of exercise, junk food intake, computer addiction, procrastination, apathy and other character flaws and concentrate on doing what makes me happy. Maybe by just accepting myself, I will fall into some good habits.

At age 58 (in a few weeks) it's time to let go and let myself live.

I am not implying that I will accept myself getting drunk every night.  I just have to gain some emotional energy in order to get my resolve back.

So, I am stuck in the rabbit hole for a while.  I will be honest about my drinking and eventually, will create a balanced life.  But while living in a tiny trailer, in the bitter cold, on a muddy construction site, running a family business that is about to go bankrupt, I will do the best I can.

Thursday 11 September 2014

Guilt, Insecurity and Self-Loathing

Why am I so concerned about improving myself, pleasing others and doing more for those I love.  I never have a quiet moment without either beating myself up about who I haven't called, what I haven't done, who I've let down or how I've not met my own expectations.  I constantly have lists taped to the fridge on scheduled exercise, meditation, etc.  I have so many lists of goals and new habits to start if I put them all together I 'm sure I'd have enough for a small book.  What causes such self-loathing and dissatisfaction.

I was not an abused child anymore than my neighbors in the lower class ethnic area of Toronto I was raised in.  We, occasionally got slapped, mostly ignored and never got any physical affection. If that is abuse, then so be it.  I was the second of five children.  My mother couldn't stand two of my siblings, adored two others and basically was ambivalent towards me.  I think she hated me a bit for being dark like my father and liked me a little for being easy going.  She is now an old alcoholic living in a nursing home with no access to booze.  My father loved us all the same but had a terrible temper.  We gauged his mood when he arrived home from work and either had fun with him or hid from him depending on his disposition.  He was not physically abusive; just verbally.

My siblings all suffer from some form of depression; two are grossly overweight, one is on strong anti-depressants and another has scary, dark periods where he just shuts down emotionally for weeks... and he was my Mom's favourite.  I've always been known in the family as the thread that ties us all together, the risk taker, the peacemaker.

If I want to be happy and sober I must find a way to accept all of me: the procrastinator, the complex woman I described a few posts ago.  I am at a loss as to how to start.  I thought I was doing fine.The recent stresses have kick-started my insecurities.

I need to practice self-nurturing and love.  It's so hard to let go of, not only my expectations, but those of others.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Amp Up the Ammo

I just can't say 'day one' without cringing.  I am not at day one.  Since I cannot tell a lie, rather than ignoring my blip, I'll say I'm four months sober with one slip.... anything but Day ONE!!  I have had trouble counting days since I started and kept having to go to Mrs. D's new amazing site: Living Sober to get the number on her handy dandy sobriety tracker.  So no more bragging about how many days I've been sober.  I lost that privilege with my slip.

Tonight was a great, big, fat test.  I suggested we order a pizza and hubby said he preferred to go to the local village restaurant.  I knew they served draft.  I really like draft beer.  We went, he ordered an amber draft, supportive angel that he is, and I ordered a lemon water.  I did have a struggle though. I'm not out of the woods yet.

I am not one hundred percent sure of this.  I know I should not drink but now that I've slipped I can see how easy it would be to slip again.  I have a voice in my head telling me that I can drink just the one occasionally.  The celebration of my renewed drinking last night really threw me for a loop.  It's like everyone wants me to be the person with the drink in my hand.  I feel a lot of pressure to drink now that I know hubby found me boring when I was sober.  Even tonight at the restaurant when we were half done our meal I said "I almost ordered a draft beer."  His reply was "There's nothing wrong with having a beer; go ahead."  I did not.

The past four months were really easy compared to this.  Since I quit, I never truly struggled; not like this.  Now I am going to learn what people are talking about when they say quitting is the hardest thing they've done in their lives.  If I can get through these next few weeks sober with the family, business and living conditions being as stressful as they currently are, I CAN DO ANYTHING!!

I must get my hands on some A/F drinks so I fit in as that seems to be my weakness right now. I'm going to check out Living Sober's list of great A/F drinks.  Tools are what I need right now.

It might be time to amp up the meditation practice.

Moving Forward After Relapse

I see how easy it would be to continue to drink.

My alcoholic neighbor came to visit just when I had taken my first glass of wine and cheered me on. Him and hubby both talked gushingly on how drinking wine is good for the health, sociable and, generally, the right thing to do.  They actually thought they were very wise and helpful.

By coincidence, after my second glass of wine last night my son who is trying to cut down his drinking called to say he'd be dropping over.  When he and his wife arrived I held up my glass of wine and announced that, after four months of abstaining, I was having drinks.  They were both HAPPY!  My hubby chimed in and said he was glad he got his drinking buddy back and that I had been boring while abstaining.  I have to say that my son told me he was proud of me for abstaining for that length of time; only he, a fellow problem drinker, knows how tough it can be.  Everyone excitedly discussed how we can have drinks together in the new house and how it'll be so much fun.

I woke up this morning with a pounding headache and the determination not to let this slip result in the daily drinking of tons of wine.  Last night, I buckled under intense pressure and stress and am still feeling like I don't want to be here, in this trailer, in this mud, dealing with business and personal issues waiting for the house to be completed.  Escape is tempting.

If I drink tonight I am doomed.  I can't go down that road again.  I want to be able to say in a few weeks that I've done five months sober with one little hiccup.  It will take every ounce of strength I have to follow through.

I am NOT boring when I am sober.  I think hubby and everyone else would think I was fun to be around if I had a glass of something red in my hand; no matter what was in it.  I feel like I have to 'secretly' not drink.  I have the opposite problem of those who secretly drink.  Go figure!!

Screw everyone!  I have to do this for me.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Day 138: I Drank!

I've deleted the problems I described that led to my drinking just in case the wrong eyes see it.

Besides the family business the living conditions here at the trailer are horrendous.  We finally got electricity that stopped the constant drone of the generator and today the guy came to dig the well. He noisily drilled two hundred feet, flooded the place and left me tense from the audio assault and very vulnerable.

I wanted a drink.  I've wanted one for days.  I did not take it easily... I lusted for it for twenty minutes before I lunged. I had been avoiding the sobriety blogs and resources.

I drank.  I drank enough to get tipsy.  I blew 138 days.

Not sure what is going to happen next.  Will I continue to slide down the slippery slope?  Will I stop dead in my tracks and reverse my trajectory?  Please God... let me choose the latter...

How do I feel?  I feel drunk... a little sick to my stomach and tired... so tired.

I knew it was coming.  I was scared. I did not stop it.  I could not stop it.  My life is full of tension and stress and I deny it all the time.  There are undercurrents of jealousy, greed and hatred in my family that I've chosen to ignore.  I could manage not drinking when I was strong but things have beaten me down lately.  Not having a solid home for six months; living like a gypsy, has taken it's toll on me and I succumbed because I feel crushed.

I wanted the drink bad enough to give up 138 days of sobriety.  So I guess it was worth it.  But only if I stop right now.  I have to not look at this as a relapse but as a hiccup.

I`ve got 138 sober days under my belt.  If I drink tomorrow, I`m screwed.  If I don`t then I can continue on this awesome journey.  It`s up to me.

Monday 8 September 2014

Remembering Why I Quit..

Every once in a while I have to remember the negatives of drinking in my own personal life.  I was not a down and out drunk; just a daily drinker who got out of hand once a month or so.  But since I've stopped drinking I've noticed some reversals in the horrible side effects of the daily intake of alcohol.
I tend to forget these life improvements; therefore fall into the 'it wasn't so bad' mode.

I am falling down that rabbit hole lately and even had a swig of my husband's beer on Saturday night. We were just finished with the funny business, I was naked and very thirsty and it was on the dresser. We had company so I couldn't go out of the room without throwing some clothes on... so I took a swig.  As I did, I joked to my husband ".. and it all started again with a swig of beer..." But the words rang true.

So here is the:

Before and After Version of Drinking Verses Not Drinking at 137 Days Sober

Before: Daily heart palpitations
After: No heart palpitations ... EVER !!

Before: High blood pressure and being followed by a doctor
After: Lowered blood pressure to the point of (so far) avoiding medication

Before: Waking up at 3:00 a.m. many nights filled with remorse, regret and feeling ill
After: Sleeping soundly every night

Before: Waking in the mornings feeling groggy, dehydrated and head-achy
After: Waking up feeling clear-headed, thirsty for coffee and alive

Before: Always fighting a middle age paunch
After: Eating whatever I want and staying slim and toned

Before: Often forgetting whole conversations and promises I've made
After: Still a bit forgetful but not in the same way; keeping my promises to the best of my ability

Before: Getting drunk to the point of throwing up and pissing myself about once a year for the past five years
After: Obviously not doing that shit

Before: Feeling like a loser and not accomplishing or following through on anything of importance
After: Still struggling with my self image but meeting small goals on a weekly basis.

Before: Always thinking about drinking
After: Still thinking about what I need to do to better myself but not enough about (not) drinking which I find dangerous.

There is still a lot I want to change about myself but I really am trying hard to be realistic and to maybe just accept myself for who I am: a pre-menopausal, procrastinating, indecisive, wishy washy, loving, placid, funny, warm woman with a whole lot of goals and too little passion to follow through on most of them.  And that's a subject for another post.

Monday 1 September 2014

Easy Today... Drinking Tomorrow

I had a relaxing weekend at the lake.  I read two books and cooked great meals.  Hubby drank copious amounts of wine and beer.  He said he needed a weekend like that to recover from his week.  I didn't care as he didn't get stupid or smell bad.  I was able to keep the place up and running, go for a crisp swim in the frigid lake water, wash and hang clothes on the line, bake pumpkin applesauce muffins, a chicken curry, home made burgers, delicious veggie, cheese omelettes and other delectable dishes.  I was also able to treat my bladder infection by taking two D-Mannose capsules every two hours or so.  I never would have done all that with booze in the picture.  I would have had to go on anti-biotics and felt bloated and tired at the end of the weekend.

But still, the thought of taking a wine soaked trip to Europe appeals to me.  I've been telling myself that I could drink to my heart's content on a trip away and come back to sobriety.  Not sure if that is a reality or a fantasy.  Any idea?

I also sometimes think that at Christmas I can buy a bottle of Sambuca and nurse it over the holidays.  Ya right! 

As much as I can pour hubby a glass of red without a twinge of craving, I still feel very vulnerable.  I believe that "Wolfie" will come a calling when my guard is down.  I have to keep posting and keep reading. 

Cockiness is my usual downfall in the sobriety department.  Granted, I've never had four months of sobriety under my belt but I am worried that I will one day have to start at another day one.

Easy today, drinking tomorrow.