I bet that title gets written a lot on trying to get sober journals…or at least I hope it does. I have been struggling every since that stupid trip to LA two weeks ago. Non-valid excuse after non-valid excuse has been flooding my mind and I have just accepted it like a good alcoholic. Clearly, my vodka knows what is better for me than I do. I’ve not gotten completely snockered every night but I am definitely suffering from the “3 AM pounding heart, regret city, I wish I didn’t do that” party. It’s a stupid party in the harsh light of day and I don’t know why it seems so exclusive and inviting after work… I have put an end date to it, however ( I hope). I have a plan of action in the works to not drink for an indefinite number of days starting Sunday. I will post more this weekend in anticipation (don’t we always) of my quitting date. But for now…I am trying to be gentle with myself. I know what I want and I know it wants me back. I will get there.
So I guess if there is anything good about “slips” in the journey to get sober is that it teaches me a lot of things about myself if I let it. So far what I have learned is that I tell myself I want to make sure I am sober the week before any sort of traveling event that will raise my anxiety. The other thing I have learned is that because of that elevating anxiety level before the trip it is super hard to stay sober the last couple of days before the trip. I did this with Vegas in December and I did this just this week with our theme park trip. I mean, I blamed it on other factors that really had no merit. For example, on Wednesday my husband said that was our big day to pack because he had to go see his dad the next night and wouldn’t be able to get as much done. I reasoned with myself that packing is a BIG THING and I haven’t done it sober in a very long time. It will make it very difficult for me to get to sleep because I will be so ampd up (currently I need to be in bed by like seven on sober nights to make sure I get the proper amount reading and relaxing that I require to drift of to sleep, also this is totally an excuse and I’m sure I could get to sleep just fine after nine but these are the reasons my brain makes so I can have a drink). So I drank. We didn’t pack much on Wednesday so Thursday became my deal to make sure the most of the packing got done because the Hubs was still going to his dad’s that night. I reverted to the excuse from the previous night and drank. Now, I didn’t get shitfaced both nights and I made sure to kind of keep hydrated and watch my intake so I wasn’t hungover the next day (because also huge stressful days at work Thursday and Friday that helped fuel my drink demon the nights before). Friday after work we headed off to our hotel. Hubs always drives because my anxiety doesn’t do well even as a passenger on more than a one lane road. This drive involved a four lane road one way for about an hour before we got to our hotel…this freeway is very twisty and turney and goes about 70 to 80 miles an hour. Knowing this in advance was the reason for my anxiety leading up to this trip. It was every bit as much of a nightmare as I thought it would be so despite my vow not to drink at the hotel that night because we didn’t get there and settle in until nine at night, I drank anyway. My drink demon told me that I was far too freaked out from the drive to fall asleep in any kind of timely fashion and of course I listened. Again, I didn’t get crazy, but drank for about an hour and made myself go to bed. Saturday after the 1st theme park all bets were off because I had told myself weeks ago that would be my reward for all the stress of the trip.
So what I have learned is that I will use any excuse when it comes to my anxiety about a traveling event and drinking. I tend to do really well on the couple of weeks leading up to the event but the week of, makes me go into that squirrelly part of my brain that can’t function without a drink to get past the freak out factor. I don’t realize that is the reason at the time…I give myself every excuse in the book to get myself to the bottle but that is the ultimate “excuse” in my brain.
Overall, I felt very disappointed in myself this weekend but I am not trying to beat myself up. The fear on the freeway is REAL for me and there was one moment where I legit felt like I was going to pass out. I know that I probably could have been okay on Friday night with just doing some deep breathing and reading my book but my bottle brain told me I deserved a few drinks for what I had been through. The good news is that we don’t have another traveling adventure until May at this point and I am going to try and get way more sober days in before that so I can WIN THIS BATTLE! If I can just keep the sober days going, I will be in a much better place before we have to fly in May and I am hoping it will just all come naturally at that point. Wow, this is all so rambley, I’m sorry.
So I haven’t written in a little bit. And if I’m honest I had a slip on Friday night that led me to not caring on Saturday…but I reigned it back in on Sunday, so there is that. Friday I was angry most of the afternoon…at stupid stuff. It started with me being angry that my boss was letting everyone go early but me so I walked out a half an hour early anyway. Then I was pissed off because my husband was having to stay late at work for something that isn’t even part of his job, but he feels obligated to do every single time. He is in purchasing and shipping and for some weird reason, even though the company has an entire warehouse full of employees for loading and unloading shipments, my husband feels responsible for the trucks because he either ordered them or signed off on them. This was kind and endearing 13 years ago but now the warehouse totally takes advantage of this and on that Friday night, because the truck was late, they all just LEFT and now my husband had to stay four hours later than normal to load this truck that he isn’t even really supposed to be doing! I was then pissed off at him for even falling into that trap. At any rate, an excuse is an excuse and I used that as an excuse to drink. Saturday, well I fell into the age old reasoning that I had already messed up so I might as well… Sunday, I listened to the voice of reason and gave it a rest. I’m not beating myself up about this. I’m still doing way better than I have in so very long. It’s also a learning process for me now that I have so many sober nights under my belt. Waking up from a blackout used to be the norm for me for like 20 years. Saturday and Sunday morning were no fun. I wasn’t horribly hungover for some reason, but I regretted not having the decompression time I now give myself at night. My time before I go to sleep where I lay in my bed and drink my tea and read my book. That is so soothing to me now as is the slow awakening in the morning, feeling human. Not abruptly waking with a pounding heart and the disoriented feeling of not knowing quite what is going on because I don’t remember going to bed the night before. I’m still very much a work in progress, but progress is the key word isn’t it? My husband is trying to do his best by me for the most part. Last week my Tuesday and Wednesday were hard for some reason. I found myself crying and angry at the fact that I couldn’t drink. And it wasn’t necessarily that I wanted to drink, it was that I couldn’t if I wanted to … which I didn’t. It was weird. My husband didn’t understand, but he tried to help in anyway he could. It’s gotta be a really odd experience for him.
At any rate, I am excited to announce that I cooked last night! Like, not just nuked some prepackaged, already cooked meat and some frozen veggies. I full on cooked a casserole, making the sauce from scratch. I’m talking stirring up butter, flour and milk to make a roux and everything! I’ve mentioned before that the kitchen has been one of my nemesis’s in this journey to get sober. It’s where I did most of my drinking and cooking sober has felt like such a trigger to me the last three weeks that I have avoided it as much as I could. If I had to cook it was something easy like the above mentioned precooked meat and veggies or a salad thrown together in a hurry. So last night, cooking an entire casserole from scratch was a pretty big deal to me and I am quite proud of myself. In fact, I didn’t even think much about it at the time. Hubs was out doing yard work right after we got home and I thought: “Well, if he’s doing that, I should at least get some dinner started.” and looked through the fridge and pantry. I just started pulling things out and whipping things into shape and before I knew it, I was cooking! And it wasn’t scary or triggering. I had some sparkling water in my fancy glass like I have been having for awhile now and I just did it. Like a normal person! This was not something that my husband would have been able to understand, so I kept it to myself. But do me this is a huge accomplishment and yes, I am patting myself on the back. 😀 So that’s my update. I stumbled, but I did not fall too hard. I will probably stumble again, I’m human. But I’m improving and that is what matters to me right now.