Back and Better than Ever!

Man…that was quite the setback in terms of feeling so crappy for so many days. But I am SO glad to be back and reading and posting again. Still feel a little bit behind on sleep, but the sore throat and overall “flu like” feeling is gone…YAY!

It’s August 12th, so we all know what that means for my journey in August!!! Woo hoo )

More later (I hope – been under deadline all day on a project for work), but I’m sneaking a few peeks at so many wisdom-filled and awesome posts!!!

Later…

MG

Off the Grid…But NOT Drinking!!!

I have been snuggled under the covers for the last few days, fighting some kind of end of summer cold, or perhaps it’s just my body telling me to slow down and get some REST!!! But I’m pretty sure it’s more than just that because I have a sore throat, body temp going from way too hot to way too cold, plus just a super yukky feeling. I have continued to work, but if I had to be truthful, I have done only the bare minimum of what HAD to be done, and slept as often as humanly possible. I have MISSED reading the blogs and commenting, and even reading comments on MY blog, but it literally took every piece of strength I had to walk myself to the laptop and get it down so that I could pump out this one post.

I just don’t want ANYONE thinking that I’m back out drinking. All I’m drinking is lots of hot tea with honey, and eating toast with honey. AND homemade chicken soup. Yep – even with feeling how crappalicious that I feel, somehow I cranked out some homemade chicken soup last night b/c it is ALL I could even CONSIDER eating. I grilled some thin pieces of chicken on the stovetop grill, using olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary, and then chopped into small pieces. My broth had chicken stock along with a roux that I made. Oh, and when I put water in the grillpan to get it ready for cleaning (no detergent yet!), I used that water with all the bits and pieces of yumminess from the bottom to put into the broth. Chopped up carrots, celery, onions and green onions, along with mushrooms. A bit of marsala cooking wine (alcohol free from the cooking aisle) and various herbs and spices. Made some wild rice and added that. Voila. A bone warming bit of heaven.

Hopefully this shit will be gone by tomorrow and I can do more of a proper hello, and also take some time to feed my guilty reading pleasures out here!!!

Peace out,

MG

Loud Music and Steep Stairs

Well…I DID survive my first concert without my old friend Char Don Nay. Let’s see – the last concert I went to without drinking was…one about 2 years ago that did not serve any alcohol. That makes sense. I will say that I did better than survive last night, but I am not going to get all glittery with rainbows about it, because as I have read about others’ experiences like this, there is a word that always resonated with me. I felt FLAT. I was excited and giddy and did lots of chair dancing, but always in the back of my mind, I felt just a bit off. My inhibitions felt like they took over my body, and I felt a bit self conscious and anxious.

We were there for about 4 hours, between getting there, listening to opening act, changeover to main act, main act performing and encores. I did actually go TO the bar before it started, ordering a sugar free Red Bull for me and water for hubby. Did I have a fleeting thought that I could suck down a glass of wine real quick without hubby noticing? Of course. Did I consider buying a mixed drink and saying it was club soda/cranberry? Absolutely. But wouldn’t *I* know? Isn’t that the ultimate deciding factor? Well, yes it is. Honesty with myself is of the utmost importance.

Some random rememberings about the evening. The music was LOUD. Hubs even brought ear plugs for himself (he used to roadie at concerts so his ears have taken damage years ago). It was all general admission; there was a giant floor section, and then regular seats. Back in the day, I would have gone straight to the floor – we would have only been about 4 deep when we got there. Nah…seats sounded much better. But DAMN those stairs were steep – and no handrails. I’m sure many a person has done a faceplant there, and I was glad it wasn’t me. Like I said, I did a lot of chair dancing…not many people were standing, and I did not have that uninhibited “look at me” mentality that I usually have.

Funny how you think you know EVERY song from a group – but then they play, and you realize you only know about 1/3 of them. Despite my feeling of “flatness”, I also had a sense of pride and accomplishment. I was glad that my hubs didn’t make a big deal out of me not drinking. He did once ask if I was okay, but probably b/c I wasn’t my usual drunken outgoing self. I’m sure the outgoing-ness on my own will come back in time. We got home at midnight and thankfully, the energy drink did NOT screw with my sleep. I was asleep within about 30 minutes, though 5 AM came awful early to wake up daughter for work. Was able to go back to sleep until about 8:30 and then started my day.

Have not accomplished as much as I would like to so far today, but there are plenty of hours ahead. And I guess I’ll continue to give myself pats on the back for last night’s accomplishment, and also just for re-starting this journey. What has helped the ABSOLUTE most has been continuous interaction with the sobersphere. Pen pals. Reading blogs. Commenting on blogs. Feeling blessed to receive comments on MY blog. You do not know how much those kind words mean to me. Your support motivates and encourages me and helps me make it through another day. THANKS!

Careful…There is Some “WHINE”ing in this Post

Wah, wah, wah. Why is it that the week of Belle’s class that work multiplies by about 127 and I am in full prep mode for my first day teaching the little ones on Sunday, and we are heading out to a concert tonight, and I can’t sleep to save my freakin’ life lately, and I am feeling anxious and grumpy and tired and all of the terrible things you are not supposed to get to b/c they may trigger a drink.

For some reason, Wolfie has not called out to me yet…with the exception of Saturday night. I know he is out there…lurking, hiding, waiting for the right time to skulk up behind me and whisper in my ear. Don’t worry Wolfie, my guard is UP. I know you do not give up so easily and you are probably have a silly grin on your face thinking that you have already beaten me…but you haven’t. You see, I am in control of this shit. Me and me alone, so you can take your sorry ass wolfish grin and those beady little eyes and SHOVE IT. Don’t even think about coming near me tonight or you will regret it.

Yep – that’s what all of these emotions have done to me today – just made me a little bit mean. But it’s all good – better mean than drinking.

I would just about kill for a nap right now, but instead I guess it will be a quick shower so we can head out to the concert. Just me and the hubs (who doesn’t drink) so no plans to drink…although I’m not gonna lie…not sure when I last saw a show sober was. Can I even dance without alcohol? I sure hope so, and if not, oh well. I would contemplate a Monster Energy drink, except I have a headache on top of all this and I think that would make it worse.

Probably the shortest post I’ve ever written and some of you are probably breathing a sigh of relief! Yay – for once she hasn’t written something equivalent to the length of War & Peace. Ha ha.

Looking forward to a FUN evening once I figure out if I even own anything hip and happening so I can go shake my groove thang :)

Peace out,

MG

Ordinary vs. Extraordinary

I had forgotten how much I have difficulty falling asleep during the early days of not drinking. Believe me – NO caffeine after about noon or so anymore, but last night, I simply could not get to sleep, even knowing that I had to wake up at 6:15 this morning. I tossed and turned and just couldn’t seem to shut my brain off. I also know that using technology after 9 PM or so is not good for me – and with getting home so late last night, I wanted to make sure I got a post in so no one would think I was “off the grid.” Also was able to send out a couple of emails, and of course I had to catch up on Facebook and Twitter :)

I’m thinking I may have actually been overtired b/c honestly, I was ready for bed at 8 PM. Instead, hubby and I watched some TV while daughter was working on school stuff for the upcoming year at a friend’s house. What I should have done is say to my hubs: “Ya know what honey. I am just uber tired right now and need to sleep. Do you mind waiting up for XXX to be sure she is home?” Easy peasy, and I 100% know he would have said ABSOLUTELY, but I felt this “obligation” to spend some time with him since daughter and I were gone much of the day. Dumb, dumb, dumb. At least I can recognize it now, and know what to do in the future. And a bad night’s sleep not drinking is BETTER than ANY night’s sleep that is associated with alcohol.

So what’s on tap for the day? Appreciated the awesomeness of coffee as I peeked out at a sky that was tinted with shades of pink and purple. Cooked the casseroles and got them to the school at 7:15 AM. Have done 2 loads of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher and tackled another cabinet. Just went through my inbox for work and so far, looks like a relatively decent day. Just read a few awesome blog posts and made some comments. Making a “to do” list for the day which includes 45 minutes on the treadmill. Have some awesome pen pals whom I will send emails to in a bit. And it’s only 9 AM! I’m having an ordinary day, but I’m gonna make it extraordinary!!!

Back to my morning check-ins b/c I need to TURN OFF MY BRAIN at night in order to get a good night’s sleep! Speaking of…a nap may be on the to do list for my lunch hour!

Peace out,

MG

Praise the Lord for Not Drinking

Holy shit – there is absolutely NO way I would have made it through the day if I had been drinking last night. First of all, NEVER AGAIN Coke Zero. What was I thinking having caffeine after 9 PM?!? I think I finally fell asleep at 3 AM or so and had to be up at 7:30 AM. From there, my daughter and I did our volunteer gig in the two year old room at church, and all went incredibly smoothly.

After that, we went to Church Service, meeting up with hubby. Then, he headed back home, and my daughter and I went to an outdoor lunch for the volunteers. That would have been HELL with a hangover as it was about 90 degrees. After that, all of us went into the auditorium for a kick off rally for the new year. Again, I could only imagine the panic attack I would have had in a hot, crowded room. I have to say that our church knows how to do it RIGHT. We are part of that “rock band” type church, and they led us in an inspiring, exciting and got us ready for the smaller meeting. When I signed up, I honestly was looking to be more of a “helper.” Well guess what?!? I am the LEAD teacher for a class of 2 year olds with several teenage volunteers. I am excited, scared, motivated, and also moved spiritually. It feels like my life is coming together how it’s supposed to.

We finally got home at 3:30 or so, and from there it was putting together furniture, and doing some cleaning and laundry. I was able to tackle a few more drawers that were making me crazy…figure if I do a few here and there, this whole house might be clean/organized sometime in the near future! On to dinner making…made lamb for the first time ever, and I have to say, it turned out amazing. I seared them in a stovetop grill pan, and then made a peach/mint/jalapeno salsa to go with them. A couscous salad with mint, tomato, cucumber and red onion was added, as well as some steamed broccoli. YUMMY. So glad I tackled lamb, but didn’t realize how much fat it had, so that will NOT be on a regular menu rotation in this household!!! From there, it was clean up time, and FINALLY I am able to log on here to say that it was an amazing day, probably one of the best in a long, long time. I actually found myself praying coming home from the grocery store – literally talking out loud to God to thank him for the direction he has given me and to continue to help me on my journey. I understand that not everyone has a higher power, and that’s because we are all different, but I did find myself feeling a sense of relaxation and spirituality today.

Chilling out now with the hubster, and sipping on a club soda with a splash of strawberry/watermelon sparkling water. Not a fleeting thought today…but I KNOW that will not always be the case. So what I need to do is what I’m doing. Keep checking in here and reading/commenting/writing. Continue my new friendships with my pen pals. Make some quiet time for myself. Make a plan if/when I need to. Realize how much BETTER everything is, even at less than a week.

Gonna fall asleep EARLY tonight b/c I have to be up at 6:15 AM to pop two casseroles in the oven to bring to the school for the teacher’s breakfast tomorrow morning. Would that be possible if I were hungover? Yes. Would that be enjoyable if I were hungover? Hell to the no! So here’s to tomorrow!!!

So again, thanks to everyone for everything! I hate that this reads so much like a diary, and sometimes I get a little wierded out that someone I know might “find” me. And ya’ know what I figured out – if they find me, what does that say about them, searching on blogs about getting sober? So I continue to share and will try to get deep every once in awhile :)

MG

Patting Myself on the Back

When we accomplish things, whether big or small, I honestly don’t feel like we give ourselves enough credit. We seem to minimize the victories, and I gotta tell you, I’m just gonna shout from the rooftop on this one. I made it through a “dinner with another couple that I ALWAYS drink with” tonight. And not just dinner, but we were at their house for FIVE HOURS.

I’m not gonna lie – it was hard. Was the not drinking part hard? Today, not in the least. Not one smidgen of me wanted even the teeniest tiniest sip of alcohol. Okay – after I was asked for about the 6th time if I was SURE I didn’t want to have a glass of wine, it was tempting to just have one to shut them up. Ha ha, just one, right?!? At that point, that’s when I felt like I started to stick to my guns to prove to myself that I COULD have a plan and keep with it. I brought a sparkling coconut water with me in a bottle that I nursed on for most of the night. On one of the offers for a glass of wine, I said no, but you don’t happen to have a diet coke, do you? They did not – but they had a Coke Zero, which I said sounded great. It was not great. It was not even fine. It was disgusting. But that was probably better b/c that way it lasted the rest of the night. Sometimes when I’m not drinking I will bring a bunch of yummy sparkling waters and then I look like a camel who can’t get enough water.

While wife and I went to pick up the food (it didn’t help that her and hubs were fighting), she asked again if I was sure I didn’t want a glass of wine with dinner . I said something like “you know me – it’s never just one glass – I’d have 12 glasses and I just have too much going on tomorrow.” Her response. “Well, you could just have 2 or 3.” I said, “It’s no big deal. I’m just not gonnna drink tonight.” And she said “Man. I admire you. I can’t think of the last evening I didn’t have at least ONE drink.” To that I think I countered with something like “I still want you to have fun and enjoy yourself. Just because I’m not drinking doesn’t mean that you can’t!” And it was done for then, until we got back to their house, and a few more asks of me, and finally, I guess they left it alone.

Now some may wonder, why in the world would I EVER put myself in a position this early on to have dinner with a couple that I used to drink heavily with? One that I’m not quite sure has seen me without a glass of wine in my hand more than a few times. A couple that between them had at least 3 bottles of wine, and possibly more – hard to tell b/c one had red and one had white. I don’t CARE how much they drank – I cared how much I did NOT drink. So anyways, we had actually arranged the dinner to talk about some financial stuff – I don’t want to get into the details, but something that they were possibly selling that we were hoping to buy. That never even came up once. My hubs lightly brought it up while wife and I were picking up food, but other hubs was a little evasive, so it was dropped. We are thinking that perhaps wife wants to sell the item and hubs doesn’t. Whatever happens, happens.

These are honestly two of my favorite people in our neighborhood. I absolutely adore them both, and we have always had a special friendship with them. The worst part of the evening was the feeling that I was making THEM uncomfortable by not drinking. Honestly, I think I was just as funny if not funnier than I normally am. They were laughing at all I was saying, and we even did some chair dancing (which I do have to admit I had a fleeting thought that it is much harder sober than loosened up).

On the way home, I told hubby, I’m not gonna lie to you – THAT WAS HARD!!! But he told me he was super proud of me and that I did a great job. And then, as proud as I was of myself, I am even PROUDER of my daughter.

I had texted her to ask when she was coming over and I got back “At XXX’s house – long story.” Well, we got home at 11:30 and she still wasn’t home so I called her. I got a text back immediately saying “Talking to XXX’s parents; will tell you when I head home.” She then called me before she left to let us know she was on her way. We got the story when she got home. Basically, she got a call at about 9:30 from XXX who was at a party and needed a ride home. Turns out, XXX was WASTED. My daughter had to stop to get gas and XXX got out of the car and puked in the bushes. My daughter got her a cup in case she needed to throw up again, and thank goodness, XXX has good aim. They got to the neighborhood and ran into another of their friends and together, they tried to at least help to make XXX look somewhat coherent before dropping her off at home. No use. They took her in and my daughter explained the situation as best she could, and left her friend in the care of her parents.

I kept thinking to myself – what if this story had been reversed? What if we had been the ones to receive a daughter who was drunk (and possibly high) and puking her guts out? I just felt such an incredible rush of pride in my daughter, and even though it was hard to do, I also gave myself some credit. Somehow I have done something right over all these years. I think my biggest fear is that she doesn’t want to drink because she doesn’t want to turn out like me. Even if that is the case, I HAVE DONE SOMETHING RIGHT because I raised her well. So after watching an adorable video on my friend’s blog, I am going to give myself a positive affirmation again – I DID SOMETHING RIGHT.

Hope you don’t mind, Jackie, that I shared the video. It really meant a lot to me watching it today and it feels good to talk nicely to myself!

Everyone have a great day/evening wherever you are!!!

MG