Today

This is some hard shit y’all.
So yesterday I did about the same as Saturday.¬† Started late and drank slow…about half of what I would normally do.¬† Ate and put myself to bed around 7:30.¬† Not feeling drunk at all.¬† Not even really buzzed.¬† I read for an hour and a half until the light had faded from outside and my eyes were closing on me.
I snuggled in with my favorite fluffy comforter and drifted a bit, but I’ll be darned if I could get to sleep.¬† For hours.¬† I tossed and turned…drifted for a minute or two and then tossed some more. Long after my husband had come to bed.
Finally around one or so I took a hit of CBD vape and still had a hard time.  I would finally start to fall asleep and would then jerk myself awake.  I would say that I probably would sleep after that for about an hour at a time before something would wake me.  Either myself or one of the dogs.
Of course once my alarm went off I was sleeping like a baby and didn’t want to get up.
Having said that, I still felt better rested this morning and today than if I had passed out drunk like I normally do on Sundays.  I was not expecting that.  I was expecting to drag today.
So other things of notice — In my bloodwork panel from last week, my doc told me that I was highly deficient in vitamin D.¬† She gave me a script for some high dose vitamin D pills and I was going to start taking them today but the sheer dosage made me scared.¬† (The irony that I can pound vodka on a daily basis just fine, but I am worried about a high dose vitamin is not lost on me here.)¬† I am lucky enough to work at a place that sells holistic whole food supplements so I went looking for an alternative.¬† I found a vitamin that contained 1600 iu’s of D per two pills and paired that with some magnesium capsules, I decided I would give that a chance.¬† Apparently the Magnesium helps you absorb the D better.
So having said that, and having not drank as much as normal yesterday…I have to say that after taking those pills and getting into my work day, that I felt like a million bucks. My anxiety was GONE.¬† I felt good.¬†
I was of course cautious, because this hasn’t been my mood in a long time and it was very foreign to me.¬† I felt…dare I say, happy?¬† I was laughing and joking with my coworkers.¬† Something I haven’t done much in the last two weeks.¬† I didn’t even have to touch my CBD oil today.
This feeling lasted throughout the day.¬† I felt like I was on a high.¬† I couldn’t wait to get home and NOT drink.¬†
That stayed with me until I walked through my front door.
You see my husband is at rehearsal tonight and that normally means I get the house to myself to imbibe and do things at my leisure.¬† Not that I don’t normally, but I don’t have him around silently judging.
As soon as I walked in the house my brain said: “Oh Xay, just have one drink.¬† It’ll be fine.” and the nerves were back.¬† Not full on panic, and if I had been true to sticking with my plan I would have CBD’d and told my brain to fuck off.¬† But that pull….that draw is so strong.¬† It’s not even so much as physical.¬† Although TBH, I did a lot of research today on withdrawls and what I will have to look forward to and it scared the piss out of me.¬† But in full disclosure, I also remembered that two years ago we went on a two week trip overseas staying with relatives and I didn’t touch a drop the entire time.¬† I was FINE.¬† In fact it was probably the best vacation we have had together because I was engaged and we were filling our days with activities instead of holing up in a hotel to drink most of the evening away.
This isn’t easy.
I am determined to keep trying though.¬† I’m hoping that with my hubby home tomorrow night I will feel more willpower.¬† He knows that I am trying and he is totally my cheerleader without being preachy.¬† He knows what I am going through.¬† He’s been there.¬† It helps a bit I think.
I still don’t plan on drinking to excess tonight, but it was hard not being able to sleep last night.¬† I read somewhere today that that is the reason for a big percentage of relapses.¬† Trying to get to sleep after simply passing out for so long is fucking difficult!
Hmph.¬† So that is where I am right now.¬† I’ve just made salads for our dinners and lunches tomorrow and I think I’ll fire up the telly to see what kind of documentary I can get lost in.
Tomorrow is another day.

Weekends

When my husband and I were in the height of our drinking days together, we would have what we called “four drunk weekends”.  What that meant was that we would start drinking as early as possible on Saturdays to pass out in the early afternoon.  Wake up in the evening and start over again.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
As we got older, it got increasingly harder to drink through a hangover and we switched to a slow day drinking to pass out in the evenings and sleep the whole night through.
As I thought about the journey I am going to attempt, I somehow thought that weekends would be the easiest.  Thus starting my non drinking trial on a Saturday or Sunday would be the best option.  I’m really not sure why I thought that, but it seemed justified.
Yesterday, I wasn’t sure what the plan was.  My husband(let’s call him Marty), was out most of the afternoon with rehearsal.  I woke up, lolled around in bed on my phone and saw him off to practice.  I then got up and headed to the grocery store.  I dosed with CBD oil and took my herbal calmative…forgetting to space them out with my antidepressant.  I don’t have any solid evidence that they might have any interactions, but I don’t like to take chances.
I was feeling pretty good in the car and even drove to the further and better grocery store because I felt pretty okay.  Once I got there and started shopping I started to have a mild panic attack.  I think it was because I had to take a pretty severe poop and I hate doing that in public.  I went to the bathroom there anyway, but then couldn’t seem to shake the panic.  I started to have some pains and palpitations.
When I finally finished at the store and loaded the groceries into my car, I had to sit in the drivers seat and just breathe for a few minutes.  Once again, convinced I was on the verge of a heart attack.
I had to stop at the other store on the way back home to pick up a prescription so I did that and then stopped for gas.  Once I got home and I had brought the groceries into the car I stopped to evaluate the “palpitation” I kept feeling and realized it was kind of below my breastbone.  Like half there and half below.
Now, I’ve been researching what could cause chest pains other than heart and there are three factors that could possibly be my problem.  The first one is called Spinal Angina or something like that.  It’s when something is misaligned or pinched in your back and can cause pains that can be felt in your chest.  I got the first pain in the middle of the night, the night after I had just been adjusted by my chiropractor.  Normally he’s really good and thorough, but he was closing his practice this month and he kinda rushed me through the adjustment because he had patients waiting after me(normally I am the last patient of the night).
The second is the panic attack itself.  The panic attack can cause chest pains and heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat ect.  It’s just the state of panic that you are in.
The third is a hiatal hernia.  Now I have long suspected myself of having HH.  I always feel like I have to sit up super straight to get a deep breath.  My midsection right under my boobs always feels kind of full and bloated.
The reason I explain all this, is because as I was convinced I was having a heart attack after bringing in the groceries and feeling that palpitation might be more of a gurgle, I decided to try an exercise I had read about in my research.  It’s a stretching kind of thing to move the hernia out of the chest area and back into the abdomen where it belongs.  It’s kind of a weird thing to do and I didn’t know if I was doing it right, but soon I felt that “palpitation” go lower, into my upper stomach area instead of my chest.
I wish I could say that it cured my panic for the rest of the day.  I think if my husband had been home to distract me, it might have been better.  But no, I was alone to think about all the things that could go wrong in his absence.
So I put the groceries away, took another dose of CBD oil and laid down in bed to read.  I finished the book I was reading and sort of got up and putted around.  I got a text from Marty that he was on his way home and would be there in about an hour or so.
The problem with the weekend, is that there is too much time.  Too much time to think and to contemplate whether or not you should drink.  The thought of not drinking causes a panic to seep into my body and that starts the vicious cycle of panic/chest pain all over again.
I should point out that as a general rule, I don’t have the pains that often without the panic and if I do, moving position generally makes the pain go away.  *knocks wood*  That makes me thing it is a muscu-skelital issue as well.
However, since Marty had his heart attack and I found out my cholesterol is pretty high, I’ve been paranoid about my heart to the point of insanity. (Side note: I will be getting a CT scan done to check for calcification in my arteries, but the first visit they had available isn’t until the 11th)
So what did I do yesterday?
Well, I spent most of the afternoon in bed reading.  I did have a drink around three thirty, right before Marty came home.  Normally I start at noon.
I’m sure you are rolling your eyes, but this was a pretty big step for me.  I also only drank about half of what I would normally do on a Sunday.  I didn’t drink myself into a black out.  I ate dinner and went to bed early, reading some more in a new book.
So yes, I drank.  But I did make some progress towards my goal I think.
I woke up this morning feeling NOT hungover and a lot less panicky because of that fact.  I know that drinking only increases my anxiety when I am not actually drinking.  Hangovers are a breeding ground for panic attacks and paranoia for me.  That is one of the major factors in my wanting to finally stop for a while.
It’s hard.
So I might follow in yesterdays steps today too.  Marty and I had talked about going out and doing something tonight, but I don’t think my anxiety is in a place where I want to do that yet.
My hope is to just do CBD oil when I get home from work.  Cook dinner, relax and go to bed at a decent hour.  Hit some CBD vape if I can’t get to sleep right away.  I found that on Thursday night when I had minimal drinks and did the above that even though I got less sleep than normal and it was only one hour at a time, the sleep was of a much better quality.  And even thought I got three or four hours less of sleep than I would on a regular drinking night, I felt more rested than normal.
Anyway, this is my way of chronicling my journey, so I know what I  have done and how it might have helped.
I can’t promise to be an inspiration, but I can promise to be honest.

Introduction

This is a pretty serious diary for me.  My name and all listed in here will be fictionalized to protect the innocent and the guilty.
My name is Axalea, and I’m an alcoholic.  Truly still.  I am drinking vodka currently.
However, this journal is going to chronicle my journey into taking a break from drinking.  I’m not sure I want to even get sober, but for health reasons, I know that I need to at least get control of my drinking.
I have been a steady drinker for the last 20 plus years.  It started as a social thing after turning 21 and increased from there.
I have a lot of issues in my childhood that probably helped my drinking along, but no one put that bottle in my hand but me.
When I was 25 in 1999 I met a fellow drinker and we married.  We are truly in love and the fact that we both boozed was a bonus.
We drank nightly until he developed pancreatitis in 2004ish and he had to quit to save his life.  I swore I would quit with him, but I didn’t.
He switched to pot and it never really became an issue as we both had our vices.  He would occasionally talk to me about taking a break because he didn’t want me to go thru the same health issues that he did.
He had a heart attack in December.  He had been off the sauce and on pot since the pancreatitis, but his eating wasn’t the cleanest and neither has mine been.
I had a blood panel done for the first time in 20 years last week and my cholesterol is thru the roof.  I am having chest pains and generally feeling like crap.
Last night I only drank a small amount and used CBD oil to get to sleep…I slept poorly but the sleep that I did get seemed better than what I would normally get on a full night of drunk sleep.
Tonight is Friday night and I’ve been drinking, but doing research on CBD oil and quitting drinking.  It is proving to be quite impressive.  I cannot do a great deal of THC because I have major anxiety (a product of the drinking?) and it makes me that much worse.  However, CBD oil is proving to be a valuable asset in the calming of my nerves and depression.  It looks like it can also help with the booze cravings in a higher dosage.
So this is a readers digest version of my background and how I am hoping to turn it around.