“I like me”

I don’t know exactly how it’s come about, but I’ve found this sense of complete and total acceptance of myself, and I know for sure that it wouldn’t have ever come about without getting sober.  I feel so content just being me, not worrying about measuring up, not worrying about having the latest and greatest, the nicest house, the newest handbag, the smallest waist, the most fashionable clothing.  I don’t worry if I’m the smartest in the group, the most polished, the most witty, the prettiest.  I don’t worry if my child is the brightest or most athletic, if my husband is the most successful, or if my dogs are the most well behaved (thank goodness!).  In the immortal words of Del Griffith (“Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”), I like me. I’m just truly fucking thrilled with the place I am right now.

Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have my struggles.  OH BOY, do I have my struggles!  Making ends meet to pay A’s tuition, reining in my anger sometimes so that I can parent in a caring, compassionate manner instead of a punishing, cold manner.  Igniting the spark in my marriage when full time job, full time mom, housekeeper, short order cook, etc, all comes first.  Worrying that maybe I’m not exercising as much as I should, or eating as healthily as I should, or reading enough to my son, or walking the dogs enough, or working hard enough at work, or keeping the house as clean as I should, or neglecting friendships that I shouldn’t but that I just can’t seem to make enough time for….yes….I have these struggles, and more.   But I’ve come to accept them, to keep from letting them distract me from the most important thing, which is being present in the beautiful life that I’ve been blessed with, and accepting the bad with the good.   And honestly, I owe it all to being sober.  What an amazing gift it is!

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30 Days

30 days today!  I’m feeling so strong in my sobriety this time.   I know it won’t always feel this way, but as I said before, a wave of acceptance has washed over me and I’m feeling so content.  I know that 30 days is only the beginning.  I know that I shouldnt be over exuberant to the point that I’m not humble.  I realize that I’ve been here before and I’ve failed.   And I know that my time of year is coming – when spring first blooms and we have our first really nice, warm day, that I will want that cold glass of chardonnay in the back yard.  But I will try to remember to play the tape to the end, because it never turns out that its just one glass, and the fifth glass of wine is sloppy.  Its never as enchanting as that first sip.  And since I can’t have just one, I really cannot have any at all.

And so, on day 30, its fitting that my son brought this picture home in his folder (please read the caption).

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Sober Saturday Musings

It’s been such a crazy week that I’ve barely checked in, but I’m still sober.  Yesterday was crazy, from Mass and breakfast at my son’s school at 7:30am to a busy day of meetings at work to the kindergarten fish fry at my son’s school – I felt like I was back in school I was there so long yesterday!  I feel so blessed that he goes to such a wonderful school; it’s a small community and so many amazing people are involved to make it feel like one big family.  We definitely sacrifice a lot to send him to parochial school, but I do think that (in the case of our public school district) he receives so much more attention and direction.  As my sober days continue to grow, I hope to become more involved with volunteering at his school.

Today, I had an “Ava Anderson Non Toxic” party at my house.  If you haven’t heard of this, it is an amazing line of non toxic cleaning and personal care items that a friend of mine turned me on to.  Anyhow, after Monday’s shit show (my mom getting bombed), I decided to make this afternoon’s party alcohol free.  Since it kind of goes along with the “healthy” theme anyhow, I decided to make some healthy snacks and serve iced green tea (my fave) and some sparking water and fancy Italian sodas.  I had my two best girlfriends, my sister in law, my mother in law, and my mom in attendance.  We had such a fun time!  It felt good to just socialize without worrying about how much everyone was drinking.  And, bonus:  I cleaned my house top to bottom before everyone came over, so now I have some time to just relax on the couch and snuggle with my son.

Tonight, our son is spending the night with my mom and my hubby and I are going out to dinner with another couple.  They are our big “wine drinking buddies,” however, they know I’m in training for a run, so I’m using that to explain why I’m not drinking tonight.  I hate to lie to them, but honestly, some people just don’t get it when you tell them that you have a drinking problem.  So, I’m a runner in training tonight:)

I know that EllaBee posted something along the lines of finally starting to feel more comfortable in her own skin these days.  Well, I have been feeling quite the same way.  I love this feeling of contentedness and satisfaction with my life that has been washing over me these days.  I honestly feel as if I’m coming into my own, and caring how people view the physical me is so not a priority these days.  I have heard this song more than once on the radio, and every time I hear it, I cry.  I think to myself of how many years I’ve wasted as the girl with zero self esteem that did everything she could to please other people.  I mourn those lost years where I wasn’t true to myself because I chose to be the someone that might be more likeable to others.  And, it’s so freeing to let that go.

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Relapse and refocus

I relapsed. Not a hot mess, drunk as a skunk, acting ridiculous type relapse. But since hitting my 100 days, I’ve drank probably on five or six occasions. Justified my actions by being proud that I didnt get too drunk. But really, what the hell was I thinking?

Yesterday was my son’s 5th birthday. We had lunch at a restaurant after church with our friends and their two kids, my sister and my mom. For some reason I felt like I deserved a glass of wine with lunch, which really ended up being two glasses. Then my girlfriend brought wine back to our house, where our family was joining us for cake and ice cream. Of course I had more wine. But I paced myself – I drank sparkling water between glasses. Yay me!

As the day went on I became more and more disgusted with myself. My son’s birthday was overshadowed by drinking. What the hell? And as I think more and more about it, as I have let my sobriety go, I have also stopped taking care of myself in other ways. Gym? Not much. Healthy eating? Hardly. Relationship with hubby? Not great. When I toe the line with my sobriety, everything else falls into place. When I don’t, I’m a hot mess.

I am pulling myself together now before my life turns into a shit show. I reached out to Belle so that I can do another 100 day challenge. I’m texting a sober buddy to be accountable. I’m going to get my ass back in the gym because I always feel better when I work out. I will blog more often. It keeps me on the right track.

Day one. Again.

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!

Today is day 100!!

Wow – here I am at 100 days.  Feels amazing!!  It’s really hard to believe that back in June, I decided to quit drinking.  And yes, I stumbled a few times, but mid-July, I just plain and simple had enough.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

– I really enjoy (and look forward to) sleeping.  I get a solid 7 hours of sleep every night and wake up feeling SO refreshed. 

– My skin looks so much healthier.  And my eyes – wow!  No more bloodshot eyes staring back at me in the mirror.

– I’m so much more productive, especially in the evenings.  If I’m really on my A game, I can even make lunches, pack my son’s book bag, and lay his clothing out for the next day.  That REALLY makes my mornings so much less stressful. 

– Big one here:  no regrets.  I don’t have that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I wake up at 3am, still in a wine induced haze, wondering who I drunk texted, what I said to my friends/family, how the hell I got into my bed, who tucked my son in, etc, etc…  This might be the biggest benefit of my 100 days of sobriety so far. 

– I am more present in EVERYTHING that I do.  from working out to doing laundry to washing my face to reading to my son to answering emails at work. 

– Just because I stopped drinking, the problems I had before in my marriage haven’t magically gone away.  If anything, they are more pronounced because I’m not drinking to ignore the fact that I’m married to my roommate. 

– I’m not necessarily any more patient than I was before, but I try very hard to slow down my emotional responses so that I’m not as reactive as I was with wine on board. 

– I’m happy.  Even though I’m now in so much more of a different place than many of my family and friends, I’m still so very happy that I did this.  I’m happy that I feel GOOD all day long. 

Some accomplishments during my 100 days:

Completed a triathlon, lost 2% body fat, can successfully do pull-ups.  These are all great physical feats, and I’ve really channeled a lot of my nervous energy (fuck you Wolfie, you can’t make me drink, but you sure as hell will drive me to kick ass at the gym) into pushing myself physically.  For the past several years, I’ve been pretty physically active, but since getting sober, I’ve accomplished feats that I never thought possible. 

Some things I still have to accomplish:

Mainly the emotional stuff.  The physical stuff is easy, relatively speaking.  But I’m still trying to learn how to communicate effectively, how to not run away from tough situations, how to be more understanding and patient, and to be the kind of person ALL THE TIME that I am SOME OF THE TIME, if that makes sense.   I really need to decide if I want to dig in, do the hard work, and fix my marriage, or if I want to continue to live in the same house and simply coexist with my husband.  He is a good man and my son deserves to grow up as part of a happy family.  I just need to get my head straight. 

Maybe those accomplishments will come in the next 100 days. 

Sometimes people just don’t want to understand

Today I decided to take a half day. It’s a balmy 77 degrees and sunny, and next week is hell week for me at work (I have a huge marketing conference next Friday night that is basically MY project – I plan from June to September every year for this thing). I decided I needed a couple hours of ME time. I decided to meet my mom for a little shopping and lunch. We went to this adorable little gift shop that I’ve never been to before, but always wanted to check out. As with most gift shops, there were quite a few wine related gifts. My mom pointed out EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of them to me. I know she isn’t trying to ignore the fact that I’m sober, but I really think she either doesn’t want to understand or that she simply FORGETS that I’m no longer a wine drinker. I’ve been one for so long, and wine has been such a theme around my house that I’m really hoping she just keeps forgetting that the NEW me doesn’t drink wine.

The topic of my (not) drinking has come up several times with family and friends, and most of them think I’m making mountains out of molehills. They simply do NOT WANT to understand that even if THEY don’t think I have a problem with alcohol, that I do in fact have a problem if I FEEL that it’s a problem. I know I’ve outlined some of the horrible stuff I’ve done while drunk, so I won’t outline it again to justify my decision. But seriously, even if I tapered off and wasn’t drinking my face off every single day, I definitely have a problem when I DO drink. And who the hell has the business to tell me that I’m being too sensitive, or too hard on myself, or too dramatic?? The fact of the matter is that I feel amazing, I look amazing (compared to my drunken unhealthy self), and I feel like I’m finally living the version of my life that I should be living. Why, then, are people so put off by this?

On a separate note, I’ve been carb cycling – and I’ve lost five pounds this week!! It seems to me to be only a short term diet – there is no way in hell I can live on protein and vegetables alone for two to three days in a row before I get some healthy carbs and fruit in my diet, but it certainly works to drop weight quickly. My hubby and I get measured a week from Monday for our body fat challenge, and I also want to be nice and svelte for my marketing conference next Friday night, so this diet has done the trick. I guess it’s common in bodybuilders who are trying to shed body fat quickly. All I know is that on October 1st (the day after our weigh in), I’m having me a big ass apple fritter! Anyhoo, I’m off to run a few miles before getting my little boy from school. Today is day 70, and I’m loving it!!