High Functioning Alcoholic

I follow a facebook page called She Recovers. On this page she posts a lot of different things as people are recovering from different types of addition from food to alcohol etc. A week or so ago, she shared a post from Sobercoach1 that talked about high functioning alcoholics and how they are the ones who are working, have families etc. This is also where I classify myself and also why I sometimes don’t think drinking is an issue as I can function and I can go days without drinking; however, this statement hit home. “Alcoholics have an abnormal desire to drink. A constant preoccupation is how I would best describe it. Alcohol is everywhere in an alcoholic’s life.  A constant awareness of it. Life is planned around alcohol. An alcoholic is usually thinking about it. For example; when will I drink next, how much I will drink, when I will buy it, how much I will buy. An alcoholic doesn’t necessarily drink all the time; however the thought of it is not far from the mind. Normal drinkers don’t do this.” Wait, what? Normal drinkers don’t do this? I do this! I think about alcohol a lot. Do I need to get some on my way home? Do I have enough in the frig in case I want to drink tonight? I’m not drinking tonight, maybe I can have one, nope, no, not drinking tonight.

I recently started a Learn to Drink Responsibly program though Living Smart. It is a self help program that has a plan for you to help you realize you drinking habits and to learn why alcohol is so hard to quit. I am almost to quit day. It is making me realize a lot of things about myself and not in a negative way. They talk a lot about drinking habits and how you never needed a drink before you started drinking, but it needs it now because of the habit that was created. Anyway, my plan is to quit on quit day. Day 1 is approaching.

My Beating Heart

Well, with all of my smack talk before, I fell off the wagon and am starting over with day one….and it’s for all of the same reasons as before; however, this fluttery heart thing sure has my attention. In doing research on it, alcohol does cause your heart to do it and I seem to have it when I drink a fair amount. I also have notice that I have no energy. None. Of course, I am making an appointment to see my doctor, but I also want to keep a journal with what I eat, do etc. to know if it is an always thing or just after certain things.

Day one, again.

Going It Alone

Today is day 10 and last night my dad drank and today he is starting over with day 1. I had wondered if he wasn’t contemplating drinking as he kept telling me reasons why I shouldn’t be doing this and that it was ok for me to drink on the weekends. I think my dad and I are quitting drinking for different reasons. I have experienced the drinking me for 17 years and I am wondering what the not drinking me is like. I look at my in-laws enjoying puzzles, reading, sitting on the porch having lemonade and I think, ‘wow, that is what I want’. There is a website called tired of thinking about drinking and yes, I am tired of thinking about drinking. Now that I am not drinking, I seem to think about it a lot though. Not so much in the mornings, but at night. Last night I wasn’t as focused on it, but weekends seem to consume a lot of my energy thinking about it. This will pass, I know it will.

Speaking of energy, I seem to have none. There is this song where the guy talks about not having a drink for 19 days and that his mind is clear and bright without the haze. I think I have that haze that he is talking about. So, this sparked me to do a bit of research on my energy level and when will I start to feel more energy. I found this article and it makes sense.

http://stopdrinkingalcohol.com/still-tired/   2-4 weeks, I am either close to feeling great or half way there, patience.

In thinking about all of the reason why I am not drinking, I am reminded that my mom had a heart attack in her early 40s. I am my mother. I look like her. My body shape is like her and GULP, I even talk like her! (kidding mom!) and this to me is a concern. There may be a heart attack or some other uncontrollable ailment waiting for me in my future; however, I do not want to be the one who causes it. If I have a heart attack I want it to be because of genetic and not because I can throw down a 6 pack or a bottle of wine a night. This is important to me.

It’s Day 7!!

WOW OH WOW! It has been 7 days since I have had any alcohol. I am feeling good, but do not have the energy I was expecting. I am sleeping marvelously, so I am thinking that once my body catches up, I will start to find that energy and spark I am waiting for. Plus, our weather is turning nicer, so that helps bring a little more energy to my life.

Thursday night was very hard for me. I was very crabby that I didn’t have anything to drink and I was even contemplating having just a few; that somehow, Thursday nights could be my night to have a few, but, I know how that goes. Thursday night turns into Thursday-Sunday and suddenly, I am starting over again! Plus, I knew I would feel like crap on Friday. So, instead I forced myself to try to not be cranky with my husband and I took a wonderful bath in the candle and full moonlight. I felt great Friday morning, but here we are, at the weekend.

Last night, which was Friday, once again, on my way home, I am discussing drinking with myself which kind of sounded like this… ‘Maybe I can be a weekend drinker? I like drinking. I have fun while drinking. Ok, these things are great and having fun while drinking is ok, but what is my plan?’ I figured out that my plan was not to have a few while having fun. I was trying to contemplate if I needed a 12 pack or a 18 pack and my thought was I could have 6 on Friday night and the rest Saturday and not drink at all Sunday through Friday. Is this what I want to do? I then started thinking about how great I was sleeping and how, when I drink, I am up several times a night and don’t seem to sleep well; whereas when I am not drinking I am out cold and when I wake up, it is a slow process in the morning and it feels great. So, I ran into our local store, grabbed the makings for burgers and salad and skipped the beer isle. My husband also wanted to go out “for a beer” last night. I went and I didn’t drink. It was fine. I was ok with that and it didn’t bother me at all. I hope I am onto something!

As I start week 2, I want to make some plans for myself. During week 1 I let myself move through the week as I needed to trying to get used to the idea of not drinking and pampering my body and myself. Now that my body has had no alcohol for 7 days, I think it is time to make some things a priority. My health, my family, my home. Each night I have to do something health wise, family wise, home wise. When I drink I get nothing done. Now I am not drinking, so time to get those things back into my life.

I also find that I am not counting down the days, like my friend was. I am celebrating day 7, not stating that there are 93 days left. Maybe this time I am more serious about it? Not sure. I know that there will be more challenges this week. We have a surprise birthday party coming up on Thursday (D’oh, thirsty Thursday!) and as the weather turns nicer, cookouts lead to beer. We also live in a huge drinking state where drinking is completely acceptable with everything that you do. Cross country skiing or snowshoeing? Did you bring the flask? Ice fishing while sitting on your beer cooler. I read somewhere though that 3 weeks makes a habit. Right now, my habit is drinking, especially on Thursday and the weekends. What will my new habit be?

Week 2 begins tomorrow!!! I got this!

Finding a New Routine

I need to say that if I didn’t have my dad going through this challenge with me, I would have drank last night. Instead, I stayed strong, sent an email off to my dad telling him how many days we had left and went for a long intense walk. While walking, I decided that I need to find a new after work routine. What did I do after work before I started drinking daily? I can’t remember, that has been about 15 years ago…Thankfully, our days are getting longer and longer, so I can find a new after work routine that can become habit rather than coming into the winter season where I am dealing with darkness falling upon us before I can get out of work. I am thinking my new routine has to include some type of exercise. If I exercise, I don’t feel like drinking, I feel like water. I also have this crazy, refreshing drink I made up of Sparkling Lemon water and a splash of cranberry juice with a lime. This is not everyone’s drink because most don’t like the taste. I like the fizz, it’s refreshing and I like the fact that no one knows it’s not a drink; sometimes I forget myself!

Today is day 3 and I know I don’t have to worry about tonight. After work I teach a yoga class and by the time I get home it will be 6:30, followed by some conversation with hubs, dinner, a little cleaning and bed. As we approach the end of the week, it will be the true test. Thirsty Thursday, and the weekend are hard days as everyone is celebrating the end of the week.

Here’s to good health!

100 day no alcohol challenge Day 1

Day 1.

Before I even get to that, I want to say that never in my life have I documented…my life! No diary as a kid, no journal about my days. Yes, there have been times when I say I am going to do it, but I never keep up with it. So, this day 1 is the first day for a few things.

Today is the day I am choosing to stop drinking alcohol for 100 days. I have tried to stop drinking before, but then things come up and I would tell myself that there is always tomorrow. I like drinking. I like drinking because it relaxes me. I like drinking because I think I am fun and everyone around me drinks, so they are fun. I like drinking because it makes me slow down and really take some time to talk with people. I like the social aspects of drinking and going out to see and/or meet new people. In a blog I read, the writer asked, what is an alcoholic? I do not think I am an alcoholic. I don’t need to drink, but I like to drink. Does this classify me as an alcoholic? There seems to be no answer to this question.

A quick history on my drinking story; I know as I continue to blog, other stories will come about! I.E. the reasons why I am doing this. I did not drink much until I turned 23. My dad was a heavy drinker and I saw the issues my parents had until he stopped drinking when I was 14. I did try alcohol a few times in high school, only to puke my guts out, but other than that, rarely did I drink and when I did, I didn’t like how it made me feel. My friends all loved me because I was their DD and they knew they could count on me. Fast forward to age 23; at this age I was a mom and going through a divorce. I had a full time job and took a part time job bartending and waitressing to make ends meet. Here is where my drinking journey really began. On the nights when I didn’t have my child I would sit on the phone with a close friend of mine who lived about 100 miles away. She would have a bottle of wine and so would I. When I look back, I am amazed at how fast I went from drinking hardly ever to a full bottle of wine! I would also, at times, stay after work and have a few drinks with the girls. This is where I learned that drinking could be fun. At 25, I met my now husband. He, like me, likes drinking and I think he likes drinking for all of the same reasons that I like drinking. He however, has no issues with it and does not think it’s a problem to like drinking. He also can go all week without having a drink; this, it seems, I can’t do; more on that in a future post.

Day 1. There have been a lot of Day 1’s over the past several years. I have made it to day 14 just over a year ago, but that has faded into a distant memory. I do; however, remember how great I felt coming into day 14 and I wonder what made me start to drink again? Oh yes, because I like drinking. One of my most recent motivations was from a friend of mine. She is on a huge weight loss journey and is at the end of a 21 day no alcohol challenge. These last 5 days she has counted down daily until she can have a drink, but at the same time she also states that right now she feels the best she has felt in years…I am positive that feeling great was not motivation enough and I am sure she drank this weekend….I wondered to myself, why drink if you haven’t felt this great in years? Maybe because she likes to drink too?

Why is today day one (again) and not tomorrow or yesterday? Today is day 1 because it is also day 1 for my dad. Yes, my dad who above I said was a heavy drinker and stopped drinking when I was 14, started drinking again 15 years ago. This blog is not about him though, but I am sure I will make references about our journey together.

100 day challenge, day 1, March 1, 2015.