Good night, sweet Mother In Law

I’m not sober. Call this an excuse…it could quite possibly be, but I couldn’t face it tonight.
My husbands mother has been sick for quite some time. She was in and out of the hospital with various different things until about six months ago, she was sent home on 24 hour end of life care.
She was bedridden and taken off about 90% of the multitude of medications she took daily.
Within weeks she was thriving. She was out of bed, off the catheter and making trips to Target on her motorized scooter.
We knew it wouldn’t last but we were so happy to get those bonus months.
She took a turn right after Thanksgiving. Disoriented and falling out of bed at night because she didn’t know where she was…and soon turned into bedridden again with Hospice on staff.
I got the call I had been dreading today. My husband doesn’t call my work phone unless we have pre-arranged plans to have him drop off the dogs to me. We exchange emails and texts and that is it.
I knew that when this happened, it would be a phone call at work and I got that call today around 11 AM. When the receptionist told me my husband was on the line, I immediately dissolved into tears and said to anyone around me that it was him and he wouldn’t call unless…<insert sobs here>
My work girls rallied round and I had three people telling me to breathe and be calm as my heart went into overdrive before I picked up the phone.
He said his dad had just called and it looked like it was time, he was heading over there and did I want to go?
I don’t do well in situations like this, I never have. I prefer to remember the person as they were and not how they were on their death bed. I was the same way with both my grandparents and it’s just how I process. My husband knows this about me and he told me that was fine and he’d keep me posted.
About an hour later I was still a big weepy mess still, but I had just started my lunch break when my boss rushed in to say my husband was on the phone again.
She had passed surrounded by her family (minus one son who is stationed in Korea) and went very peacefully according to my husband.
My husband seems to be doing really well, as he thinks he did all his grieving in the last few weeks, but I’m kind of scared that it will manifest itself in the next couple of days.
I tried to tell him we should skip our trip but he says there is no reason. He says that the only reason he would have was if she hadn’t passed and they thought she was ready to right before. He said that he feels kind of relieved because of all the waiting and anticipation that he had been doing for over the last six months.
I get that….I don’t work that way.
I really lucked out in the in-law department as she was an incredible woman and took me in as her own daughter 20 years ago when she didn’t have to. I loved her deeply and she will be missed.

Bad Day

Just a quick note to say that my mother in law passed away this afternoon. It was not exactly unexpected…eventually, but is anyone ever really prepared for that?
I might post more later, too sad right now.

Baby Steps?

So I didn’t update last night, but I didn’t drink.
I was going to sit down and write an entry, but then I realized I wasn’t really thinking about wanting a drink. I didn’t want to start writing and make myself start thinking about wanting a drink, so I put myself to bed instead.
I did have a lovely dinner with my friend that I hadn’t seen in a while.
My sleep was very disjointed. I would start to feel sleepy, like I could start to drift off and then I would jerk myself awake. Either one of my limbs would involuntarily spasm or I felt like I couldn’t breathe just long enough to make me gasp for air. This is not unusual for me with sober sleep after a long period of non sober sleep.
In my experience, I should sleep a little easier tonight.
Of course, all my doubts are now starting to creep in and they are giving way to the “excuses” as to why I should allow myself to drink tonight.
Everything from: “I feel like I’m getting sick and I need to burn it out of my system.” and “My boss isn’t going to be in tomorrow so there will be less stress therefore it won’t matter if I’m a little hungover.” to “My judgemental sister in law is going to bring the dogs home and into our house on Monday (this is last minute news) and I need to super deep clean…I don’t know HOW to nor do I WANT to do that SOBER!” and “Fuck it, I just WANT to drink tonight!”
Believe it or not, the cleaning one is the excuse I consider most valid. In my first days of sobriety (I love how I say that like I do this often) I like to be very gentle with myself and running around my house scrubbing and vacuuming without some alcohol in my body just makes me want to cry. I know that these are stupid reasons and they all stem from the reality of the last excuse I gave. I just WANT to.
The thing is, I’m ALWAYS going to want to, that is the curse of it all.
Meh.

How do I retrain my brain after so long?

Having a “habit” is such a weird thing. I know that as an alcoholic I am probably predisposed to the way I react to alcohol and I will never get away from that. However, I feel a lot of how I deal with my drinking now is due to the fact that I’ve done it for so long, I’m not sure I know how to NOT do it.
I believe that a lot of my fear of stopping drinking is due to fact that I have done something for SO LONG, who in the world am I without it?
I’ve literally let drinking define how I live my life for almost half of my years on this earth. I feel like it is such a daunting task to try and retrain myself how to live without drinking. Not so much the days I am at work obviously, but everything after getting home. From cooking to cleaning to having relations with my husband. For the last 20 years they have all been done under the influence of alcohol and the thought of doing anything around the house sober scares me.
How it scares me isn’t as easy to define. I feel like there is just no point. My booze brain wants me to believe that there is no happiness or fun in a sober life and I tend to believe it because I know no other way anymore.
Yet, I re-read the entries in this blog from when I had those few fleeting days of not drinking and I know that wasn’t true back then. But my booze brain says no, those times you want to remember of cooking in the kitchen with your husband sober…you know the ones where you were dancing around and laughing and you were both so happy and grateful knowing you were going to go to bed early and chat and joke with each other while you fell off to sleep and then remember it all the next day, those memories are too fuzzy, they couldn’t have been real.
I know deep down that it can be done. I can have and am worthy of a sober life. It’s just so scary.
Wow…deep stuff.
So in other news, the universe clearly wants to help me start off my sober week. This requires a slight backstory, bear with me:
So I live in a small town and my house is on a one way dead end street. We are literally at the end of that dead end. It makes for a wonderful set up when you are an introverted alcoholic that doesn’t ever want to leave the house provided there is enough booze in it.
However, when stuff happens like what is happening now crop up, not so much.
Our electric company our here is currently doing maintenance on cutting down trees that might cause danger to power lines. On Friday they started on a tree right in front of our neighbors house. She notified us via note on our gate the night before with the hours they would be there and said that we wouldn’t be able to leave or get back into our house at those times. It didn’t effect us since we left before they would have started in the morning and because I went to my company Christmas party and my husband went to visit his parents after work, they were gone by the time we got home. They are not done though and spent all day today blocking our way out again. No worries as we had no plans, but they will be back on Monday, meaning I won’t be able to get back into my house after work for about an hour after I normally would.
Thus I need to find something to do for at least an hour before I can get back into my driveway.
I called about getting a mani/pedi because I desperately need one but they were all booked so now I’m thinking that I should just take myself out to dinner. It will be perfect because I will already have taken care of food for the night and won’t want to drink when I get home because I will be full of food.
I’m not the kind of person that can drink after eating. It makes me sick to my stomach at just the thought of pouring alcohol on a full tummy. When I go out to eat with friends or family, I always make sure I don’t eat too much. I make a big show of pushing food around on my plate and then taking really small bites. I declare I am full about fifteen minutes after starting and ask for a doggie bag so I can scarf down the ample leftovers once I have come home and gotten drunk.
So I think it will work out perfectly to see if any of my friends wants to go out to dinner after work and if there are not takers, just go by myself. Eat a nice meal, come home and go to bed early.
Oh and I also made that mani/pedi appointment for Wednesday as that was the soonest they could get me in. That is another night checked off because my reasonable brain knows that I will be home just a little too late to “have drinks” that night.
I’m not sure if this makes any sense to anyone else, but to me it truly does.
I dare say I’m getting excited at the prospect of a sober week. 🙂

Observations on an office Christmas party

So earlier tonight we had our annual office holiday party.
I work for a pretty great company that deals in holistic vitamins and I’ve been there for well over a decade. For the most part, I love my job and I love my co-workers. We all get along pretty well and share warped senses of humor that get us through the day.
We usually have our holiday party at a restaurant with a full bar and people can get out of control.
As I’ve stated before, I don’t like to drink in front of my friends or pretty much anyone that I know other than my husband. I am very closeted about my drinking and in a social environment I can take it or leave it because I know there is an ample supply waiting in my house when I get home to get me where I need to go.
Having said that, I tend to feel uncomfortable when people drink too much in these environments. I’m not sure why and I’m not sure if it’s just because I know how bad I can get in private, but when people get one too many under their belt, I want to run for the hills.
I also think that maybe because of my own experience, I might think their problem is worse than it actually is. Could it be possible that some people can go out on a night and drink to access and not have an actual problem?? Surely not!
At last years holiday party I bailed early due to car problems and I heard later that one of my dear friends had to have her keys and phone taken away while she was in tears. Keys because she wanted to drive home and phone because they needed to contact her boyfriend to pick her up. This is not unusual for her.
The thing is, she doesn’t tend to drink a LOT, but what she drinks hits her hard and fast and then she cannot stop. I’ve seen her completely tipsy after one small glass of wine. After her first drink she gets a sort of gloss over her eyes and looks and acts sort of disconnected. She drives drunk often and was almost arrested for it a couple of years ago but by a stroke of luck got away…hasn’t stopped her.
Her dad was an alcoholic and she has often confessed that she worries she might be.
However, I know that she also has many nights at home where she does not imbibe and she is just fine.
This got me thinking about how different we all are. How some of us can be so dependent on alcohol but on so many different levels. It’s mind boggling to me.
I can’t seem to go a day without it but I do it hidden in my house, able to drink for hours without getting too drunk, while she can go weeks at a time with no booze but once she gets a taste, she is drunk fast and has to have it no matter the cost.
Anyhoo, that was my night.
I had one cocktail at the beginning of the party and drove home three hours later to drink in my house.
I worried about my friend driving home again tonight but she said she was fine and I cannot force her to not drive the two blocks to her house from where we had the party…or so she told me.
I did score some cool gifts from my boss.
Oh and I told my husband tonight about my plans to stop drinking on Sunday or Monday at the latest. He said his usual:
“I’m 100% supportive, let me know how and if I can help.”
I love him, but I wonder sometimes if he has given up on me…

I can drink but I hate meds??

First of all, wow. Just wow.
I was certainly not expecting the outpouring of support that I got in the comments of my last entry. It may have been unexpected, but let me tell you, it was NOT unappreciated!
I read them all at work today with tears running down my face. I had to stop at some points and regroup before I could continue reading them.
My husband is 100% supportive of me, but he’s heard this song and dance so many times before that he’s just kind of like: “Okay, sure honey.” and waits for me to keep on drinking – which I normally do.
If I’m honest, I’m a little nervous to blog now that I know people might read it, but the whole point of this thing is to be honest from here on out so – marching on!
Something I didn’t mention in this blog is that I have been on various anti-depressant medications for over 25 years. Later, I might delve into the depths of a not so perfect childhood but that is for another day. Let’s just say not liking myself has been a lifelong issue.
Over the many years I have taken these meds there have been countless times when I have forgotten to take it for a day. The day after I forgot, I would be so riddled with anger and/or sadness. Crying for no reason, snapping at my husband over stupid things and just feeling a rage that I couldn’t explain.
On those occasions it made me realize that I obviously still needed to be on the medication full force since I had such a poor reaction when I didn’t take it. I was going to have to take this little pill for the rest of my life.
A couple of years ago I felt like the meds weren’t working anymore, and now that I was in my 40’s I didn’t like the idea of being handcuffed to a daily pill. BTW, the irony in an active alcoholic saying that is not lost on me at all.
I discovered CBD oil and that had really helped control my anxiety. I slowly began to wonder if I could see about at least lowering my dosage of Celexa.
I did some research and found that quitting any kind of SSRI cold turkey is not recommended. There is a something that can happened called Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome that is VERY unpleasant. Symptoms include but are not limited to:
Catatonia
Chills
Depersonalization
Diarrhea
Difficulty Walking
Dizziness
Fatigue
Headaches
Impaired concentration
Insomnia
Irritability
Lightheadedness
Muscle pain
Nausea/vomiting
Paresthesia
Psychosis
Shock-like sensations
Suicidal thoughts
Vertigo
Visual disturbances
Vivid dreams
I don’t know about you, but none of those sounded very fun to me, but neither did having to take meds every single day.
However, in my research, I also found out that what I thought I knew about my body and mind needing this medication as evidenced by my missing pills wasn’t necessarily true. I thought that because I felt so icky and mean and sad after skipping a pill meant that it showed how I would be in everyday life without it. What was really happening was that my body was experiencing a slight amount of Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome.
Was in possible that I could feel good without these pills..eventually?
So for shits and giggles on July 12 2018, I cut my daily dose of Celexa down from 40mg to 30mg.
It took over a year but currently I have been completely off my 40 mgs of Celexa for 130 days, so like…four and half months.
It has been hell.
Every taper was followed by two to six weeks of rage and uncontrollable tears for no reason. It would then stable out again and I would start the next taper.
I’m happy I’m off the meds, but I haven’t seemed to have stabilized since my last 5 mg pill 130 days ago. I have good days and bad days but it seems more bad than good.
I feel like the drinking and hangovers are compounding this and that if I could just get to the pink clouds again, I would stop being such and ever-loving bitch to my husband and start to feel like a human being again.
I know that the withdrawals from the meds cannot be helping the anxiety that a hangover brings and vice versa.
But not drinking seems to cause me even more anxiety.
When I wake up in the morning with a pounding racing heart and a feeling of dread, I welcome the thought of not drinking that night. It seems like the best idea in the world, especially after having that small taste of sober life last year. But as the day wears on with all the pressures at work and the unending anxiety, I cannot help but start to crave that first drink after arriving home. The one that tells my brain: “Okay, you win, we are going to drink tonight…you can calm down now.” and it does.
Damn. This shit is hard.
And just FYI, I am not really looking to go back on meds. I feel like I’ve worked too hard to get off of them and I really don’t want to go back there again.
Anyhoo, that was a buttload more than I intended to write tonight.
In case you are wondering…and it should probably be obvious from what I just wrote, I am not sober tonight.
My short term goal that I hinted about last entry is to stop drinking on Sunday (those weekends are so hard tho!) and stay sober the rest of the week to make me less anxious for our flight on Friday night. I am pretty sure that amount of days sober will help me not freak out on the flight (have I mentioned I hate flying??) but then I will be in a place where I have never been sober and am not sure I want to be so I’m pretty sure I will drink that weekend.
Who knows, maybe I will feel so good from not drinking next week that I will continue while on our mini vacay…
I’m not going to bet on it, but that WOULD be the ultimate test…
Yeah, don’t hold your breath.
One last thing before I sign off. After I wrote that last post and was honest getting all that off my chest, even though I didn’t think anyone would read it, I got the first full nights sleep that I have had in a long time. Granted I had been drinking but that never makes a difference. I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night in a panic attack for no reason and though I did wake up once when my husband or the dogs moved, I fell right back asleep until my alarm went off and it was wonderful.
I totally attribute that to getting all that off of my chest last night, whether it is true or not. 🙂

I think I might be ready to try again?

Soooooo, yeah. It’s been a minute since I updated and that is for a reason.
I went from having lots of sober days to none again. I kept a calendar but I left it at work, I will update it when I get to it. I gave up.
And I guess I didn’t hit my bottom and if I’m honest, I’m not sure I have yet either. I’m not sober tonight, and I haven’t been for over a year…
But I WANT to be. I really do. The last few days I have been reading sobriety blogs and am so glad to see that even the best ones have slipped up every so often. This shit isn’t easy, but any stretch of the imagination.
I want to get back into the sober life.
I feel like in this last (and pretty much ONLY) shot at sobriety I tried, I was all for it at first and then got caught up in the Instagram world of sobriety…”I had five hundred followers…they are not going to watch me crash and burn!” and it worked for a minute. I was working for my followers…but not for me. I even fudged some posts because I was not sober, but it seemed everyone wanted to root for me being so.
I can’t do that any longer. I need to be honest. I need to tell you that I am planning on being sober next week to kill my anxiety for the fact that we are flying out to Vegas the week after and I will probably drink for those next couple of days because…well, I’ve never been sober in Vegas. And then I will try to be sober again.
Even I, in my vodka soaked state, know that is a fucking lie. You only want to quit the booze for a few days so you won’t have a panic induced heart attack on the plane and once you are home safe, you will continue to drink.
Yet there is hope in the blogs that I am reading and even re reading my own. I have a small sense of hope, but my crippling (booze induced) anxiety makes me feel like I will never be able to escape it…mostly because stopping drinking makes me feel so fucking anxious.
Am I ready to try again, or am I just making excuses as to how, when and why I will be okay with either not drinking, or drinking?
Either way, I’m not a fan of myself right now…