Still here… still sober (day 69)

Sorry for the quiet. I mentioned my husband and I were getting ready to run a large event over Labor Day weekend. SO much work. SO much stress. It really did challenge me on all my healthy behaviors.  I didn’t do well on most of them but I did avoid having any alcohol.

I’m out of the routine of meetings though and haven’t been meditating and can feel the mental difference.  I’m worried that if I don’t get back to being focused on working on the ways that I think that are the root of my drinking I won’t be doing well soon. I have to run a 7 mile mud race tomorrow though and then will be away for the rest of the weekend, so regrouping will need to happen Monday. 

In the meantime, hope everyone else is doing well too. I’ll catch up here and on twitter soon.

 

 

 

 

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Where I’m At

Day 54 and I’m still sober. I’m going to meetings, but I’m having to push myself to more. I’m fighting becoming complacent. At the same time we host and cook for a huge (150 person) medieval themed feast a week from Friday and preparation for that is consuming most all of my free time and head space.  I feel a bit like I’m deliberately distracting myself and might be getting too obsessive about that but I’m only feeling able to slightly temper it. I also sort of NEED to be thinking about it a high percentage of the time for it to go well. So I’m trying to hang in there till it is done then dig in more on work on my thought patterns.

Oh and taking the anti depressants— WONDERFUL decision. I don’t know why I resisted so much. They make it so much easier.

Bye for now. Thanks for reading.

 

 

In a Weird Place

In terms of sobriety and my emotions in general I feel like I’m in a weird place.

At day 48, I still have so much work to do to figure out the root causes of why I drink and set myself up to be strong enough to resist doing so long term, but I’m starting to feel comfortable as a non-drinker. Most of the people I socialize with now realize I’m taking a break from drinking. I have gotten used to ordering non alcoholic drinks out. I feel comfortable the majority of the time in meetings now. 

I guess in many ways the lack of drinking drama is why I feel in an emotionally weird place. I had someone tell me I seemed sad today. It is more low key.  I am not good at feeling stable, and I don’t actually like it. Drama, adrenaline, fight or flight- while it isn’t “good” for me and stresses those around me, it is what I know, and part of me craves that more than drinking. I’m not going to drink because of it. I’m not in a “bad’ place. I might be feeling what a healthy grown up is supposed to feel and I’m just not used to it yet. I guess we’ll see. 

Have a good weekend everyone.

 

Questions on the 4th Step

I’m feeling ready to start writing my 4th step, make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself, but as I’m reading things in multiple places on it I’m having questions.

One would think that I could ask my temporary sponsor, but the reason I haven’t mentioned her is that her father in another state got sick after we’d only met three times. I haven’t seen her since 7/23 and have only texted with her a few times. She has been clear that I can reach out to her but not knowing what the situation is with her family and not being in a real crisis I haven’t. 

My questions are-

How do you know if you are ready to. I feel like I’ve taken steps 1, 2, and 3 but I only feel I’ve done the last two in the last few days (though I was working to it before). 

Should I write alone. I came across a 12 Step Study Official 4th Step Inventory Instruction sheet and it says pretty strongly, ” IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO DO THIS STEP ALONE”. I feel like I would have trouble doing it with someone else though.  Writing is fairly private for me.

Should your moral inventory be “searching for our grosser handicaps” (again from the instruction sheet), or are you looking at both strengths and weaknesses?  The Woman’s Book on the 12 Steps makes it sound more like the latter.

Do you generally go chronologically through your life as a whole or write snippets as they come to mind without worrying about how they flow together?

Any other tips or resources?

 

 

 

 

How Do I Stay Sober??

I’m here on day 46 of sobriety and I “feel” sober now. By that I mean my head is clear. I’m not having cravings. The anxiety and panic attacks seem to have passed (perhaps due to time perhaps due to having started a low dose of zoloft 16 days ago). I have a bit of a sober routine worked out.

I’m noticing things about myself I didn’t when my head was fuzzy and focus was on either getting to my next drink or recovering from my last one. I’m noticing I’m very needy in terms of attention and affection, and that I am willing to be manipulative to get it. I’m also noticing that I have a lot of jealousy and resentment.  I guess it comes down to judging myself against others and feeling that if they are amazing and loved and appreciated by others I won’t be. 

This leads to the admission that I’m not completely getting sober for me. The things I regret most are things that I did drunk that hurt my relationships with people or their opinions of me. The catalyst for my stopping was my husband telling me he would leave if I didn’t, and recognizing I was destroying my relationship with one of my best friends. 

Now as I’m getting sober a motivator is making the people who know I am in my life proud of me, and much of my fear of lapsing is fear of their judgment. 

It scares me because were I in a situation where it felt the people I was closest to would be more pleased by my drinking, I’m not sure I could resist. The good side is I’m friends with some quality people and while I’ve been around them drinking at this point have never felt pushed to do so (though I have been offered things to “just try” that I’ve needed to turn down, and had comments about things I should do “once your drinking again”). The bad side is I’m sure I will be pushed/peer pressured eventually. I need to figure out how to be strong enough to resist those moments.for me, without a cheering squad or applause. 

I downloaded a cognitive behavioral therapy diary program this am and am going to try to do some tracking of my thoughts/emotions.  Still trying to keep up on exercise and meditation. Starting to work the steps more consciously. Still making 3-4 meetings a week. Starting to pray with a higher level of emotional commitment.  Much of what I’m doing though is still keeping my fingers crossed.

The Story Of My Sober Ladies Night

My girlfriends and I do occasional ladies nights. Sometimes they consist of hanging out at home, games, and kitchen dance parties. Other times they involve going out or karaoke. They always generally involve binge drinking, to the point where more than once cleaning of vomit was necessary.

There was one scheduled to be at held at my house this past Saturday since before I was sober.  I had one friend who had stayed with me since Thursday. Three others came and we went to a beautiful outdoor spot to take pictures of each other (a mix of nice ones and silly fun ones). A couple people expressed self consciousness and mentioned they would have felt more comfortable posing if they’d drank a bit first.

We then went back to the house. A couple people were drinking but three of us weren’t. In addition to me one of my friends is on a medication she can’t mix with alcohol and another is hardcore dieting. We had some wonderful food and conversation and a fire in the back yard.

Two more friends showed up, the ones that are generally the heaviest drinkers. They’d been at another event, out in the sun all day, and had already drank and then sobered up once. They drank but not much.

I learned I’m horrible and peer pressure people when I’m sober. I guess I’m used to being the fun girl who pulls everyone into being a bit crazier,and when I can’t do it and no one else is stepping up I feel like that means people aren’t having fun, and I have a responsibility to try to get them to. In my mind that equals drinking. I’m not sure if that is realistic or not. Part of me suspects I was the person least comfortable with the event as a whole being more low key.

It was the most tempted I’ve been to drink. Not as much because I was tempted to feel the way I do when I drink but more because I was tempted to be the person I am when I’m in the sweet spot of just a bit buzzed (which sadly always eventually gets to the less than sweet spot of way too drunk). I feel like people like that me more.

I also wrestled with part of me feeling like if I’ve gone this long without drinking maybe I can drink very occasionally and then got back to not drinking.  That even if I know I’ll binge drink, as long as nothing really bad happened would it be a big deal?

The smart part of me realized that I’d start moving my “very occasional” special events closer and closer together.. then, assuming nothing really bad happened, say that if I can do that then occasionally at dinner or out to eat is ok too, and it would drift back to all the time till the next crisis.

The smart part of me won. Still sober day 45.

The 11th Step

I went to a meeting on the 11th step today. 

I’ve heard it said that you should work the steps in order, but the reality is meditation is something I’ve valued for a long time (though I’m not close to as consistent with my practice as I wish I was). 

Prayer is new to me though. I recognize the pure anguish and frustration I’ve felt trying to control other people’s emotions and situations outside my control, and since getting sober have clung to the sobriety prayer as a reminder to at least try to let that go.

I’ve also been consciously trying to work on gratitude, and while I don’t always get my post up in the gratitude group I’m a part of I do try to regularly reflect upon what I’m grateful for. 

In group today we read the St. Francis Prayer. I actually appreciate it and want to memorize it. It also made me want to seek out prayers from other traditions that speak to me. 

Day 41