All this Energy is Awesome!!!

I cannot believe how much energy I had today! It was just one of those days when I got everything done and then some. And compared to so many days this past month when I have accomplished NOTHING, it is just such a great feeling. What I love is that I don’t feel like I overdid anything. I went at my own pace the entire day and now I’m able to get some downtime in.

Had a great night’s sleep, although I felt a little groggy upon first waking up. Made some coffee and forgot how amazing it was. When I am hungover, I can NOT drink coffee. The only thing that will do is an ice cold diet coke. I know water is better for me, but I need that sweet, syrupy cold liquid to quench my thirst. But making Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and using yummy creamer got my day off to a great start. After my daughter went to work, I started on some things that needed to be done.

1) Made two casseroles for the teacher’s breakfast on Monday. Now when I signed up for this a few weeks ago, my sick and twisted mind was thinking that I would make them Sunday night, which meant that of COURSE I would have some wine while making them. I bet they turn out much better having made them sober.

2) Went on a cleaning FRENZY. It is amazing how you start to look at things with new eyes. The dirt and grime in some of my kitchen drawers has somehow been invisible to me, but while cooking, I realized that some of the areas needed a major overhaul! Got out the Greased Lightning (love that stuff) and cleaned out several drawers. Probably could have made a meal with the crumbs – JK – it wasn’t THAT bad – but the feeling of accomplishment is awesome. Then I tackled the cabinets in the laundry room. How did they get so bad? How were they THAT unorganized? On to washing all kitchen towels and pot holders so I could put CLEAN ones back in the newly cleaned drawer. My goal is to tackle a few small areas a day. NOT to overwhelm myself like I can tend to do.

3) Tackled the tupperware cabinet. Made sure that every freakin’ bottom had a top, and threw away anything that didn’t. Now when I say tupperware, it’s’ more like those clear round things that Chinese to go soup comes in. But I was also saving containers that said on the label what was in them (example parmesan cheese – not the big green bottle, but the Sargento stuff). Then I would think that I had parmesan cheese, when actually there were leftovers in there. So tossed those and it is all nice and neatly organized!

4) Ran some errands, got some things straightened out at the bank (I had no idea we had fallen under our minimum balance for our account by $100 and we were getting charged $12 per month. I just wanted to get it up to the minimum, and believe it or not, they waived the past fees for me. Missed the UPS store by 5 minutes (was hoping to mail my sister’s birthday present) – DAMN. Oh well. C’est la vie.

5) Let me just tell you – holy SHIT – our house smells amazeballs!!! If you are familiar with Bath and Body Works, they have their air freshener refills on sale right now; normally $6.50 each, but they are 6 for $24. When Belle gives homework, she advises that we treat ourself to something as a reward for not drinking. With my cleaning frenzy this morning and three days of not drinking, I decided that the perfect treat would be a few of those. Of course I over-rewarded myself by buying the six, BUT (insert note – alcoholic is rationalizing), I only used two of them now so that is a reasonable reward. Plus I have 4 more to use when these are out, and they are stored in a nice litle container in my clean laundry room cabinet. What I like is that the scent downstairs is a constant reminder of rewarding myself for not drinking. The Mahogany Teakwood scent is amazing, as well as the Pumpkin Cupcake (saving that for October). Oh and they had the spice smelling ones for $3 each, FYI.

6) Did a little laundry, used some of that washing machine cleaning stuff (does anyone have any home remedies for that?) I tried something with vinegar once and that made it worse.

7) Throughout the day, had some correspondence with some of my pen pals. Love the online anonymity of it, and I am a much better writer than a talker.

8) Thinking I’m going to get on the treadmill for about 45 minutes and watch something mindless, then take a long, hot shower.

EDIT NOTE: Got it in!!!

Thanks for letting me “back in”! Tomorrow I won’t be able to be on until much later in the day – we will be at the church from about 8:30 AM until 2:30 PM for a volunteer thing. Did I tell y’all my daughter and I work with little ones on Sunday mornings for the 9 AM service? It was something that I didn’t even realize was missing until we started doing it, but let me tell you, those cutie pies are one of the highlights of my week every Sunday and I love the bonding time with my daughter as well!

Whew…hugs across the sobersphere!!!

MG

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Getting Back in the Groove

Oh how I remember these first few days. Day One is always the hardest, but it’s in the past, and now ALL I HAVE TO DO is not drink today. That’s it. That’s all I have to promise. You’d think that after so many Day Ones I would know how sucky they feel…the whole cycle simply amazes me how crazy it all is. But…I got a good night’s sleep last night. I woke up with that tired feeling, but not hungover – a different kind of need for sleep. I already read two chapters in my book and paid bills with today’s paycheck. I’ve completed a few small tasks for work and made a list for the day. I’ve emailed my buddy Belle to get back in the challenge. I read a few blog posts and made a few comments. I started to make a grocery list for when I go there later. Hmmmm…I probably accomplished more in the past few hours than in the past few weeks!

All joking aside, I have to really just scratch my head to figure out the “whys” of it all. Why after so many days of not drinking and feeling SO good and feeling SO proud would I ever go back to the enemy? It truly is like this god awful lover that you have to fight so hard to get rid of. They promise you so many things, but the promises are empty. Life is hard and no amount of wine will make it easier long term. Maybe it feels good for a little bit – but it is all there the next day, and then some. And once you get back into the cycle of drinking more nights than not, it just gets worse and worse.

A friend of mine sent me an email about gratitude and that is something I really need to focus on. I have SO MANY things to be thankful for and I need to do a better job of focusing on the positive. I need to wake up in the morning being grateful for not drinking the day before and asking for guidance to get through the day. Then, the evening needs to end with thanks for making it through the day.

The “AA Nazi” (as I call her) once texted me in all caps that I CANNOT JUST CREATE MY OWN PROGRAM. IT WILL NOT WORK. I think that is 100% bullshit. My thought process is that MY JOURNEY is a mixture of various programs/activities. I do enjoy the AA meetings, but I’m still not 100% all in on their complete program. I know that MANY have gotten sober from it, and I appreciate many aspects of it, but there are some pieces that I struggle with a bit and that’s okay. I think that the Women for Sobriety program is INCREDIBLY positive and empowering; there are no face to face meetings in my area, but there is plenty of literature and a great website. Obviously, the sober blogging world is a place where I can feel I can be one million percent comfortable baring my soul because you guys don’t live in my city, at least that I know of – well one of you does 🙂 I plan to do a MUCH better job of keeping in touch with my sober pen pals, and if anyone would like to be one, my email address is in my profile. There is the Bible, volunteer work, working out, and relaxation time. I need to practice self care and that is going to include some times when I am going to have to say “no” if it’s an activity that REVOLVES around alcohol.

As I’m reading what I’m writing, I realize I’ve said all this before. So what is different this time? For starters, I like that Day 1 was on August 1st. That sure makes it easier to keep track of for the first 30 days! For another, I had an awakening that made me realize that the fact that I thought my drinking really only affected me was total bullshit.

I feel like I’m back “home” and I’m so happy to be here amongst my friends. Friends who GET ME and can read my ramblings and make some sense of them because they have been there. Thanks for the kind words to welcome me back!

Back on the Grid

Yes…I have been gone…WAY longer than intended. My blissful alcohol-free vacation was amazing…and then I entered back into reality and was totally fine…for a few days. You know what happened. I don’t need to tell you. There was that *one* occasion where I figured it would be okay to just have a glass of wine, and I did. And so on, and so on, and so on.

So with my tail between my legs, I am re-entering the world of blogging and will respond to the kind emails from some of my sober pen pals who were sweet enough to recognize my absence. It truly amazes me how much I tend to ISOLATE at the exact time that I should be SEEKING HELP. I may be the only AA member who only had a sponsor for 10 days; a mutual decision on both of our parts. It feels like such a Catch 22 – until I have the alcohol out of my system for a good 30 days I’m really just not that willing to talk to anyone. But I would have to guess that talking to someone would help TO get it out of my system. When I ‘fessed up to my slip, she was quite kind and non-judgmental. Her response was basically “You’re just not ready to let the alcohol go yet.” I did make a point to go to the 8 AM meeting on the day that she received her two year chip. I was hungover as all hell, but I wanted to let her know that she means a lot to me and that I am oh so proud of all of her accomplishments.

Well, I have had enough of this bullshit and something that I am not quite ready to share has truly made me believe that I AM ready to let it go. It wasn’t anything horrible like a DUI or causing harm to someone or losing my job or my husband – but when I do become ready to share, you will surely know how it impacted me. Ironically, even after I had the discovery, I continued to drink for several days, I guess trying to figure out whether I could continue to rationalize and/or control my drinking and did I really think I was that bad. My hunch – if we even WONDER if we are “that bad”, then we are. And I don’t say bad in a way where I am putting myself down – I just think that I better understand the extent of my problem and what I need to do about it.

I remember when Belle quit drinking, she called it “Dry July” (I’m pretty sure it was her!). I have decided to take on this month as “Alcohol Free August”. Just 30 FUCKING days and then I can keep moving on to get to that illusive 100 days that I have seen so many of my awesome friends achieve, and so many who are OH SO CLOSE. I had to make a few small changes that I hope will help. I am still on Twitter (two accounts – one for recovery related stuff) and though I don’t post much, I enjoy what I read. I had to CHANGE the settings on my blog function. I had it set up to where I was getting EVERY SINGLE NEW POST AND NEW COMMENT ON EVERY BLOG I FOLLOW. When I checked AOL email this morning, I had almost 1000 emails. That would make it next to impossible to be able to see the few that were actual individual emails to ME. I still can’t seem to figure out how to get AOL mail on my phone which to me makes no sense. Still working on that which would be a huge help b/c I need to be able to reach out when I need to since I’m not always on my PC/

I’m tired of this all or nothing crap. I haven’t been to the gym in about a month – and that sucks – but THIS is the most important thing right now. That will follow. I am tired of talking to myself in a way that I would NEVER talk to others. I am ready to get on with my life and I think I am officially sick and tired of being sick and tired. I started reading “Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life” by Jean Kirkpatrick, the founder of Women for Sobriety. Boy is it a great book. I was a little turned off by the first few chapters where she describes all of the bad things that were happening to her because of course I kept thinking “that hasn’t happened to me.” And then I would think to myself “yet.”

But then she gets into the meat and potatoes of it all and the writing is geared towards WOMEN alcoholics, though I think it is brilliant stuff for ANYONE. I still plan on starting up AA meetings again – it has been hard b/c most mornings I am either hungover or I have to wake up my daughter for work. I know – she is 16 and should be getting herself up at 8 AM – but let me cross that bridge at a later date. School starts next week, so since she leaves a little after 7:30, I can get back into that routine.

I wish I had the time to go back through and comment on all of the awesome blog posts that I read today, and I still have many more to read…but I will be more active in the future. I will get myself back into a morning routine, getting my day on track by reconnecting with so many of you who are out there who are “like me.”

As they say, it truly is one day at a time. That’s all I have to worry about is today. Perhaps I have overwhelmed myself in the past by thinking too far ahead. My longest stretch has been 28 days, and this time I am DETERMINED to beat that and then why not keep going? Life is hard, but it surely doesn’t get any easier by burying your head in a bottle.

So…as I take a deep breath, I am ready to send. I am scared because even worse than disappointing myself is disappointing others, but I just have to believe in myself. I can do this. Life is too short and I need to seize the day and get excited about tomorrow. You guys mean more to me than you will EVER know. Thank you for just being there to listen b/c I needed to get this off my chest.

The Early Hours

I’m still amazed at how early I have gotten up each and every morning of vacation. It’s like I don’t wanna miss a thing…and I also know this is guaranteed to be MY time when the others are still sleeping.

I love to use this time to simply be. I can look at my surroundings and really truly appreciate the beauty of nature. Each morning has been different – some blazing hot with no breeze. Some rainy with a gray angry sky. This morning is a happy medium. The temps ate cooler but by no means cold. The breeze is gentle and cooling. The sky mixes blues and grays together with a blanket of white pillowy clouds. The ocean rolls upon the shore with white capped waves…neither angry or calm but simply making its presence known.

Birds are chirping and I’m waiting for my morning visit from my friend Bambi. Yep. Deer come right up to you and eat out of your hand if you have carrots or lettuce or the like.

I’m about to start on my fourth book of the week and was highly pleased with the three that I finished. Once hubby wakes up we will go on our fifth walk of at least an hour. It’s fun to ooh and aah over the expansive (AND expensive) houses and form pipe dreams for when we win the lottery. Each house is distinct with character and holds years and years of stories.

Final full day of vacation and a bit sad. I truly could live here and enjoy imagining the peaceful existence it would be. Most people of course do like the beach but its as if its a part of me. I have been lucky enough to live near the beach for 8 years of my life. And I lived less than a mile from it for six of those years.

Calm. Tranquil. At peace. Relaxed. Rejuvenated. Inspired. Motivated. Fulfilled. Happy. These are words that come to mind to describe how I feel right now. What an amazing way to end the week.

Virtual coffee cheers

☕☕☕

MG

15 Minutes Take Two

Seems like by the time I get my coffee made and I do a bit of cruising around the blogs, my time left to post is miniscule. So I’ll just take a moment to try to put into words how I am feeling on this incredible alcohol-free vacation. It started out a bit bumpy. Little things that normally don’t bother me were getting under my skin. I felt myself getting snippy and pouty – like a petulant two year old who wasn’t getting their own way. And then I realized that I had not even VERBALIZED what “my way” was in the situation. Got that taken care of and we will be eating lunch at a dive type restaurant one day this week – just something that I love to do.

There are a lot of contributing factors to staying sober on this vacation. First and foremost is the fact that I did not pack any alcohol. The only “opportunity” I would have would be to go to the Tiki Bar that is about 1/2 mile from where we are staying. I already told my husband that if I went there by myself, even if I tried to disguise it by saying I was getting HIM something, it only meant that I would be having a drink, or multiples. It called my name momentarily Saturday night when they had live music and the place was hopping. My husband and I walked by it and I longed to sit at a table and listen to the music. Of course a chardonnay in a cold crystal glass with sweat beads dripping from it in the humidity completed the picture, but I was even able to visualize myself there sipping on my standard club soda and cranberry. Needless to say hubby was tired so we never did go.

The next night, the beach club only had a few people and they were playing terrible music. We did go to sit on the upper deck for a few minutes, but I quickly felt myself bored and anxious, mainly because it really wasn’t where I wanted to be. We went to the beach to sit, but with the winds coming up off of the waves, it was FREEZING. So back to our condo we went so that I could read as he channel surfed.

With all of the water/Crystal Light I am drinking, I am a peeing machine. I guess it would be the same with beer (that was never really a favorite of mine), but I feel like my internal system is being well taken care of 🙂 We are eating healthy meals (sue me – they are not organic!) and I find myself being the “leftover patrol.” I know that we bought way too much food and I’m determined not to let too much of it go to waste. I’m becoming even more creative in the kitchen, though figuring out WHAT to cook in is a challenge in itself. For a mac daddy kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a beautiful tile backsplash, the actual kitchen tools are less than to be desired. The pots and pan set is awesome – but there is but ONE cookie sheet and not a single dish that can be cooked in the oven – no pyrex or square baking pans or anything. It’s all good. I have managed to cook 4 delicious meals, taking advantage of the fresh fish and seafood that are here.

Well – that was yesterday morning and now it is Wednesday. What happened was that our next door neighbors came by the patio with their adorable little kids and in the midst of playing with them, I lost track of time and my computer battery died. Today will be a different story – it is RAINING. How dare it rain while we are at the beach. But honestly, I am okay with it. My fair skinned hubby was starting to get really really red and this will give him a break from the sun. Even I, though mainly a toasty brown, was starting to pink up a bit around my bathing suit edges where the sun never really has a chance to shine. I’m completely fine with finishing up my second book of the week and starting a third. I want to drive into town and eat lunch at a dive. We can play games or watch a movie. I have not watched ONE SINGLE SECOND of TV since we got here and that is a good thing. I have focused on peace and serenity and relaxation.

I got up an extra hour early this morning so that I could be SURE to have MY time. It’s off to the sobersphere I go and I hope that everyone out there is making it a GREAT day – even if it is pouring rain in the middle of your vacation 🙂

MG

15 Minutes

I never realized until this vacation how much I DO need my alone time to read, comment and write out here in the sobersphere. At home, I naturally get my time b/c once the 9:00 hour or so hits, I am “working” from home which means that everyone leaves me alone and I am free with my PC. Here, I am trying to wake up earlier to get my alone time in, but inevitably, my husband is up. It’s not that he is completely annoying me, but he is asking “are you blogging” as he also tries to make small talk about everything. I am happy to have the company, but do appreciate complete and quiet solitude.

Things did get better yesterday and other than the occasional brag (I’m not used to waiting for the water to boil – we have this thing at home that pours out hot water automatically so we don’t have to wait), things were smooth. The girls did what all teenagers did in regards to negotiating a later curfew (finally gave in and gave an extra hour – if I had been drinking who knows how much longer I would have given just to get them out of our hair) and hubby and I had a perfect day start to finish. We kicked off “Father’s Day Week” and our first gift to him was a cool t-shirt from a local shop around here.

Fifteen minutes was this title b/c by the time I read and did some commenting on blogs, I only had 15 minutes to type up my post before my PC battery dies. So one last thing – discovered a new yummy yummy drink. MOJITO FLAVORED CRYSTAL LIGHT with a SPRIG of MINT. Refreshing an almost calorie free. Still not quite sure of what aspartame is gonna do to me long term – is it yet another vice I will have to give up? Alrighty – down to about 2 minutes so signing off and heading out for another LONG walk on the beach followed by some sunbaking – I mean sunbathing!!!

Cheers,

MG