1. I ignore important tasks when I drink, then in the morning I feel terrible that I didn’t get things done.
2. I sleep like crap. I wake up at 2-3 am – then it takes me ages to fall back asleep. I end up tired in the morning and not able to give my best at all.
3. Besides being tired I generally feel like crap. Not really hung over, but not good.
4. It’s just throwing money down the drain- or my throat.
5. I end up angry at myself when I drink for choosing to drink when I know it’s an awful decision. Waking up berating yourself is a horrible way to start your day. I end up starting my day feeling defeated and guilty. It rarely improves from there.
6. When I don’t drink, I feel better physically in the morning. I rarely had awful hangovers, but just felt blah.
7. When I don’t drink, I wake up in a better space mentally, which starts my day so much better.
8. When I don’t drink, I think more clearly throughout the day. I feel more in control.
9. When I don’t drink I feel proud of myself and more like a functioning,responsible adult.
10. I sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed instead of ick.
Not just today, I have actually been sober for 5 days in a row. I am feeling good, but that feeling isn’t coming from a number, it is coming from inside me. It is such an incredible change!
A week ago I knew things were not going well, but as much as I could tell myself that drinking wasn’t doing me any favors, I still kept popping open that bottle. Night after night. And the opening came earlier and earlier. Soon I was finishing 1 1/2 -2 bottles a night. I was waking up, not remembering going to bed or what I had done prior to going to bed. Mystery Facebook posts I would see in the morning, in all their embarrassing drunk-typed glory, would clue me in. I was getting behind at home and work and school. I was in danger of being kicked out of my master’s program. If that happened I would lose my job. I had lost out on enough in my life. I wasn’t going to lose this too. So the last half-bottle of a really nice wine was poured down the sink and I faced the daunting specter of sobriety once again.
Now I know I have said I am not looking for the “never ever will I drink another drop” sobriety. The never again is where I trip up. I have a deep rebellious streak that makes me challenge all the “never”. Perhaps it is where I will end up. But for now, I am just taking it a day at a time. Today is all I am worrying about. Just today. Not yesterday and not tomorrow. And today is a good day. Today I am sober. Again.
Once again, burying myself in the fog of a heavy buzz has become my nightly routine. Then clearing the empty wine bottle from the kitchen counter every morning while silently admonishing myself for drinking again instead of attending to my anxiety-inducing mountain of responsibilities, is how I start the morning. Not the way to start, or end, a day. I am having major surgery in a few days. I know that will mean no drinking for at least a couple of weeks. I am hoping that will jump start me back to a mostly, if not completely, sober life. I need to confront all the things I have been hiding from. I deserve better for myself. So back on the wagon I go.
Being alone terrifies me. I have been with a romantic partner pretty much non-stop since I was 12. Even in the brief periods between partners, I have almost always had my children. I became a mom for the first time at 17, and now at 50, my youngest child is 11. I truly don’t know how to be alone. I don’t know who I am alone. Now I am facing a life on my own. Yes, I will still have the younger children, but only for another 10 years or so, and really, it won’t be even that long before they are spending most of their time off with friends. No, I am not closed to a relationship in the future, but I am realistic that it probably won’t happen at my age. So I need to figure out who I am, what I like, and what I want. I don’t have a clue where to start. Today my therapist talked about relying on my friends and I realized, I don’t have any close friends, especially not here where I live. I have wrapped myself up in being my husband’s wife and my kid’s mom, a teacher and a master’s student, and I have forgotten how to make and be a friend.
How do you even make friends at 50 when you are painfully self-conscious, socially awkward, going through a complicated divorce and trying to stay sober? It doesn’t help that my go to assumption is that people don’t like me. (Damn those mean girls from middle school for scarring me for life!) If I am looking at living on my own I am going to need support, and while my family is great, friends are what I need. I just have no idea where to look for them.
Then there is the sober thing. Although I am not practicing complete abstinence, drinking seems to be a big part of socializing with friends. I didn’t do so great with moderating my drinking the last time I was hanging out with people. I felt horrible the next day. While I don’t need or expect my friends to approach alcohol the way I do, I am worried that by looking to put myself in social situations I will be putting myself in the position to drink much more often and that will lead to regrets much more often and frankly, I’ve reached my lifetime limit for regrets.
As always, I guess I will approach this problem by reading all the books. Are there even any books on making friends? Something like “Making Friends for the Incredibly Hopeless” would be nice. Maybe I can find a blog or a podcast about socially-awkward middle-aged women learning to make friends again…If not, maybe I will start one. Who knows?
It’s late. Well late for me at least. 10:00pm. Today I have been plagued by a hideous headache. Not sure if it is related to the not drinking, the lack of sleep last night, or if I am coming down with one of the awful viruses that have been going around.
I was disappointed in the sleep situation last night! I was hoping that without drinking I would not be waking up at 2:30, unable to get back to sleep until just before my alarm goes off , but it was a night like all the others with tossing and turning for hours. Maybe tonight will be different.
Then, of course, the first news story today was about the bumper crop of California grapes which is resulting in wine prices going down! Of course it is. I stop drinking, motivated in part by the expense, and the price goes down! HA! The universe has even decided to tempt me!
I ordered some books from Amazon that arrived today.
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
This Naked Mind Control Alcohol by Annie Grace
Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston
So now I have some real life reading to try to squeeze into my schedule.
I did help my daughter with her accessories for “Meme Day” at her school tomorrow. Baby Yoda and Welch’s fruit gummies (It’s a meme I am told). Even though she remembered late, the time didn’t matter since I wasn’t drinking so I could take her myself instead of having my husband do it. Then I was able to help her get her things together while we both had decaf tea. A nice evening.