Anxiety in sobriety

Part of the reason I drank – a big reason, I think – was to deal with anxiety.  Social anxiety, alleviating stress, dealing with a phobia – they are all reasons why I sought out the bottle.  I have forever had a difficult time socializing without a glass of wine in my hand.  I felt like everyone else was so much more witty and clever, and in order to get into the groove, I needed the liquid encouragement.  I also reached for the bottle after a tough day at work or when things at home were chaotic.  It seems like that was a huge trigger for me.  Now, I find myself cleaning instead of drinking – I guess that’s a pretty good trade off! 

One of my biggest triggers is when my vomit phobia kicks into high gear, as it is right now.  My sweet son came up to me about an hour and a half ago complaining of an upset stomach.  Well, about fifteen minutes ago, he got sick, and my nerves are raw.  I don’t do puke very well at all – probably because I haven’t been sick since I was a young child (weird, I know, for an alcoholic.  Seems like I always stopped myself right at the point where I would vomit.  Doesn’t mean I didn’t suffer on the other end, though).  Anyhow, I’m trying really hard to keep my cool and just be a good mom and not freak out.  I’m sure this all sounds ridiculous to the normal people out there, but damn, I am SOO anxious right now. 

I met with a therapist this week – I’ve been in therapy before but I was not receptive at all to it.  My new therapist, Susan, is amazing.  I connected with her instantly, and I’m going back to see her on Tuesday.  We have so many things to work through, my vomit phobia being one of them.  But I really want her to help me strengthen my marriage.  Despite the fact that I ended my affair two years ago, we are still suffering from the consequences of my terrible choices.  My husband has really been so wonderful and forgiving, and for some reason, I can’t seem to connect with him as fully as I’d like to.  For the first time in a long time, after talking with Susan, I really feel hopeful that she can help me become the person I want to be.  She even wants to incorporate my Catholic faith into our therapy.  I honestly can’t wait to see her again.  We are going to work on accepting anxiety as a part of life, and not allowing it to control me.  I really could use that lesson tonight.


I drank today

I had two glasses of wine this evening. And I refuse to beat myself up about it.

I had been thinking for a few days now that I would really like a glass of wine. My family was over for dinner and I debated long and hard about it. Even my hubby asked if I was sure that I wanted it, and he asked if I was going to feel guilty in the morning. I told him that I wasn’t sure about the guilty feelings, but that I wanted to try the wine. So I did.

I won’t lie – it was good. La Crema Chardonnay. I had two glasses that I nursed. I was buzzed but I didn’t get drunk. I really thought I would have enjoyed it more than I did. But I guess I realize now that, for me, sober is my thing. Sober is the new black. Being in control of myself and conducting myself with a modicum of self respect is way more desirable than that buzzy, silly feeling.

So, after my second glass, I poured myself an iced tea, cuddled up with my son on the couch and played a silly whisper game with him. And I fully realized that I have no desire to drink.

I was four months sober. I will not beat myself up that I drank today. I will not count days anymore. I will just continue on this journey and chalk today up as a learning experience, and a valuable one at that!

Sober Vegas

Well, I did it! I spent a weekend in Las Vegas and I didn’t drink. In fact, I was surprised at how little the desire to drink plagued me while there. I really worried about it when Wolfie kept whispering in my ear the days leading up to my trip, but once there, I strengthened my resolve and kicked Wolfie’s ass out. Of course, it helped that I read two sober memoirs on the plane (Saturation, by Jennifer Place and Parched, by Heather King). Wow – while my addiction to alcohol never spiraled out of control like the two aforementioned authors’ addictions did, both books taught me the very important lesson that alcoholism is progressive. I was both riveted and horrified by the stories that these women told of their addictions to alcohol.

What an interesting perspective, being sober in Vegas, which is the equivalent of the adult Disney World. On more than one occasion, I was the recipient of a sideways glance when ordering iced tea, instead of something boozy. Our first night in Vegas, we stopped off at a little bar/restaurant to grab something snacky, and I was thrilled to see a few mocktails on the menu. I ordered a cucumber/club soda/ginger concoction that was delicious; however, I quickly discovered that mocktails are the exception in Vegas, not the rule. When on Fremont Street, I asked a bartender for a diet soda (which I never drink, but they didn’t have my beloved iced tea, so I had to compromise), and he looked at me as if I sprouted a unicorn horn and said, just soda, no alcohol?? Yes, just soda! Jeez!

So my hubby went with me, this was a work function, but he was invited to go. I thought it would be a good way for us to try to reconnect. We had a nice time, but really, I need to fix the crap that is rolling around in my head. I don’t know why I’m so closed off from him, and why I struggle to communicate with him, and why I can’t be emotionally intimate with him. I even got pissed off at him when he touched my leg one day on the plane. I just bury everything, and it is having a profound effect on our marriage. I want to fix myself, I really do. I have so many issues related to self esteem that I am a mess, and all of this is really coming to light in my early sobriety. My goal is to contact a therapist this week and to start doing some dirty work. I need to get to the bottom of why I require so much outside validation of my worth and why I run from emotional intimacy.

Another issue I’m facing is my addiction to food. I have basically substituted one addiction for another at this point, and my eating has become very emotional. I’ve probably gained 8 pounds since getting sober, and it’s just ridiculous that I work my ass off at the gym but sabotage all of my efforts with diet. I eat because I can, and I eat because there is something inside of me that always needs MORE. I need to find out what that is all about.

Today, my husband and I have taken the day off since we didn’t get in from Las Vegas until midnight. I want to do things like clean my house, go to the gym, do some grocery shopping, etc. But I also want to have an honest and thoughtful conversation with him about my issues and my need for therapy. I’m nervous – I don’t open up to him emotionally very much anymore, but I need to start somewhere and I need to try to fix myself. Seems like, for me, getting sober was the easy part. Fixing me is going to be the tough part.

Here’s something we came across on Fremont Street – these guys are called “Bridge” and they play electric cellos. They were really quite good. I wonder if I would have appreciated this if I was drunk?