Saturday 12 November 2016

Hand on the Bottle...

Hi Everyone, 

I'm starting day 12 and have had the usual temptations, triggers and second guesses.  I am still not drinking.  But I could be.  Even last night I reached (literally had my hand on the ice cold bottle) of white wine in the fridge and said to hubby "Wanna glass of wine?"  He said "No, I really overdid it on Wednesday (he did) so I feel like my body needs a break.  I let go and drank water.  But that is how f&*ked up my head is.  My mind has told me "only drink when no one is around" and "only in restaurants" and when planning a vacation in Cuba after Christmas "only for the week on vacation ... no photos allowed".  So my chances for success are next to nil.  Someone reading this would and should jump in and say "what tools do you have to combat this monkey mind of yours?"

The only tool I have is experience and I have a wealth of it.  I have started a run of sobriety many times and they always end by small exceptions that lead to daily or almost daily drinking or getting drunk.  I inevitably regret that first drink.  Wearing a charm on my brand new Pandora charm bracelet the kids got me for my birthday that is representative of the reasons I want to stay sober is a great idea I just thought of... see writing things down does help.  

My last two years have brought me so many positive changes and I credit many of them to two things: drinking minimally and finally getting a morning routine to stick.  

Today I am meeting some kids and grandkids at the local Santa Claus Parade and we have a lovely sunny day for it.  Temperature is at the freezing mark but dressing warm will take care of that issue.

After that I will put my flower beds to bed for the winter.  Tonight it's Chinese Food (green tea) with my favourite people.

Going on Pandora's website....

Monday 7 November 2016

Spent a Sober Weekend Partying in Tarranna!!

My sister invited me to visit her for the weekend in Toronto.  She treated me to a 60th birthday dinner at a fancy Italian Restaurant and, being the supportive gal that she is, suggested we share a fancy bottle of Italian sparkling water which was delicious.

The next day she invited two of our childhood friends to join us and she prepared a lovely dinner for the four of us.  Everyone drank and I sipped an Italian soft drink called Brio.

A good time was had by all.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Why I Need Total Sobriety

As I indicated in yesterday's post, my life has dramatically improved coinciding with my drastic reduction in my alcohol consumption.  No more sleepless nights, heart palpitations, better skin and less guilt and remorse.

I felt that the 'monkey' was finally off my back.  My pattern was a glass of wine or a beer on tap about once a week randomly timed... often not on a Friday night but whenever I felt I really wanted one.  Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

Last Saturday we had people from my French hubby's past for dinner.  They did not speak English and were now business associates as well.  A little stress was felt by me as these women are chic, have big jobs and know each other quite well.  My French is rusty to say the least.  Within the first hour of their visit, I drank two hefty martinis made with vodka and vermouth and a splash of olive juice.  I did not feel drunk at this point or any point in the evening (that should have been my first clue).  I proceeded to cook, serve and partake of a delicious roast beef dinner.  I had two glasses of red wine.  A good time was had by all.  No repercussions or so it seemed.

Fast forward to Hallowe'en Monday.  I am invited to my son's place where all the little ones were dressed in their costumes.  All five of my grandkids, my kids and their partners and a couple of my son's friend's young families were in the house along with my alcoholic ex... (TRIGGER!!)

The kids were excitingly getting their costumes on and running around as tykes do.  I was offered a glass of wine and contrary to what my heart and head were urging me to do, accepted.  My ex arrived with a 2 litre bottle of red which he cracked open and proceeded to empty.  Most of the others weren't drinking for various reasons.  My daughter and DIL are both pregnant, my eldest son and SIL don't drink much at all and my youngest son who likes his booze a little too much was painfully abstaining in support of his pregnant wife and because it was appropriate behaviour on Hallowe'en night.

The reason I am quitting (again) is not because I drank that evening.  It's because I actually HID my glass of wine behind a table lamp and only took sips when I thought no one was looking.  For the record, I had two small glasses.  I was so uncomfortable with my choice to drink in front of my family (some of whom were struggling with their own propensity to over-indulge) that, rather than honour my own values, I made the decision somewhere within myself to drink secretly.

My plan worked.  No one noticed I was drinking except the DIL who had offered the wine and was, herself secretly drinking in the kitchen.

What kind of an example was I to her and everyone else in that room; my grandkids included.  They may not have noticed it then but, eventually, if I continue with this line of behaviour, they will.

That, my friends, hammers home the truth that moderation does not work.

Day 2

Wednesday 2 November 2016

What I've Accomplished

I turned 60 and had wanted to begin this new decade with so much accomplished.  I was disappointed in myself that many of my goals had not been met.  I was still carrying the extra ten pounds that I had vowed to drop.  I was still gorging on sweets and drinking too much coffee.  I was an almost non-drinker but had not accomplished my singularly most important goal of total sobriety.

Lately, as part of my pursuit of self-acceptance, I recognize what I have accomplished in the past few years or so.  The change is dramatic.

The Woman I Was

I lived a Hedonistic life in a little cottage on the banks of a fast flowing river in the free-spirited Province of Quebec.  I was often perched on the back end of a Harley Davidson helmetless in some mountainous region of North America or at a biker rally smoking doobies by the bonfire.

The construction company was small and the work was simple and quick to complete daily.

I shared at least one bottle of wine each night with my French lover and eventual husband.  We saw our family once a month or so for birthdays or Holidays.  We worked hard but played harder.  The only exercise I got was sex.

My friendships were fraught with communication problems because of my limited French vocabulary and their limited grasp of English. I was just starting to read Eckhart Tolle but had not awakened in the true sense of the word.  I was lonely and filled with self-loathing.

The Woman I Am

I've moved to WASPish small town Ontario.  We've built an expansive home in the village.  I have access to a lovely river close by (Thank Gawd).  Hubby just bought another Harley to replace the one he sold when we moved but the riding we plan to do around here is all about scenery, meandering roads and waterfront cafes rather than rock n' roll, parties and bonfires.

I have drastically reduced my drinking and my toking has become a treat rather than a habit. I walk and meditate daily due to a commitment I've kept with my neighbor for the past two years that we meet to walk and meditate every weekday.

Our company has expanded and office work takes up much of my day.

I am thrilled to say that I have become a Grandmother five times with two more expected this Spring. They all live within a short drive and I see them almost daily.

My elderly, seemingly emotionless mother has moved in and I have become her full time caregiver.  She has broken her hip recently but is recovering nicely.  She is an active alcoholic with me being her enabler/controller (a dangerous combination).  I limit her to one beer a day with the odd exception.

Despite the stress that all these changes have brought on, I am happier, soberer, straighter and more in touch with myself than I ever was.  I still have work to do.

I had my ancestry researched and, to my delight, have learned that I do, indeed carry Native American DNA.  For a long time, I've been attending Native Circles and had felt strongly connected to the family folk lore claiming that our bloodline traced back to the 1600's when the French, Courier du Bois intermarried with the Native women along the St. Lawrence River.

Life is good.  I have moved in the direction I was hoping to go.  I have not accomplished all my goals but I am, for the most part, happy.  Despite this real contentment, today is Day Two of a Sobriety Run for me.  I will tell you why tomorrow.  It's a long story and I've gone on long enough as it is.