How To Stop A Downward Spiral

I was feeling this today… that feeling of caving in and just not making it through the day sober – going through the motions and actions that lead to me feeling very SHITTY the next day. I craved drinks today – for what reason? Well – just because – I feel alone, I am bored, I don’t know what to do with myself and I am restless. The booze calms me and gives me ‘that’ to do. So I went to three liquor stores today – walked in two – held the bottle in my hand in one and walked out… then to the third – I kept stalling, driving around the block until finally I went and as I suspected, I killed enough time to get there and it was closed.

Now tomorrow is another story as I was invited to a BBQ and they don’t know my issue and they are people who have been incredibly supportive for me with my daughter and I honestly don’t know that I will be able to say no (I tried to message saying that I wouldn’t be drinking because I wanted to lose weight and he said – go on the wagon on Tuesday). So while I’m here trying to change my booze habit – I am also trying to lead a normal life and so I want to be able to handle these kinds of situations – have a few drinks and then come home to get back in the sober car without it spiralling into that want/need/search for the next drink.

I used to be able to have a few drinks once a week and it was just that. Now I use it more as a way of ‘calming my nerves’ when in fact the after effect adds to my issues (the guilt, the spending of money I don’t really have to spend). As I write this out – I see my issue in that I can’t buy the stuff and have it at home. I have tried before to commit to just drinking at social events/outings and no booze at home and so do I do that tomorrow or do I stick to my plan and say ‘no’… because I will be honest, right now I’m not sure I can say no tomorrow after the cravings I had today.

I joined the 100 day challenge and failed. I still email Belle and tell her about my plan to try to ride the sober car again and she’s as always ‘ever’ there (you’re incredible Belle).

And so with my day today, this email came into my inbox about how to stop a downward spiral – pretty good timing I’d say… It was taken from Cheryl Richardson’s Newsletter but thought it would be good to share here.

How to Stop a Downward Spiral

We all have those days when life hands us one frustration after another, as though we’ve been possessed by some kind of negative force that brings mayhem to even the simplest tasks.  I’m sure you know what I mean.  You’re running late for a meeting at work when your child’s school calls to say your little boy is sick.  You grab your paperwork on the way out the door, trip and drop the files all over the parking lot, curse yourself and rush to the car (and of course, you can’t seem to get the key in the ignition fast enough). Finally, on your way to pick up your son, you get stopped for speeding and realize that you left your wallet back at the office. By this time it feels like you can’t do anything right.

Sometimes the tailspin begins with something small like an upsetting phone call or an e-mail that pushes your buttons. One moment everything seems fine, and the next thing you know, your mood has quickly taken a turn for the worse. Fortunately there are things you can do to change your mental direction. 

When you find yourself feeling out of sorts, try one of the following actions and see what happens:

1. Clear the air. Do something to shift your energy.  Take a shower, change your clothes, or tidy up your office.  If you’re at home, vacuum the living room, open a window, or even change the sheets on your bed.  As you take these simple actions, imagine yourself clearing energy that might be fueling the bad cycle.

2. Get into motion.  One of the quickest ways to change your mental state is to get up and move your body.  For example, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, resist the temptation to work even harder to get organized. Instead, take a brisk walk or go for a bike ride.  You might even stand up in your office and do thirty jumping jacks.  Be sure to shut the door first   .   

3. Shift your thinking.  Shift your negative thoughts to positive ones as quickly as you can.  Recall a favorite childhood song and start singing it out loud (Trust me, “Row, row, row your boat” or “Twinkle, twinkle little star” will make you laugh and feel better).  Or, you could pick up an inspirational book, open to any page and start reading out loud.  For some people, taking a nap can do the trick.  Sometimes it helps to shut down your mind for a while so you can wake up feeling refreshed and clear-headed. I’ve been doing this lately and it works wonders!

4.  Put on some music.  There’s nothing that shifts my mood quicker than music.  I still remember the days when I felt stuck or anxious while writing “Take Time for Your Life” and I’d put on the “Mambo Kings” and dance around my office.  The wild rhythms were like a secret prayer that calmed my mind and raised my spirits.

Finally, while there are many things you can do to shift a temporary bad mood, sometimes we need to honor the fact that a low mood may be an indication of something deeper.  For example, if you’ve experienced a recent loss, you may need to have a good, long cry.  Or, if you feel frustrated or angry about a negative pattern in an important relationship, you might need to rant and rave before engaging in a discussion with your loved one.  Just like a wound that needs time to heal, sometimes a downward spiral is an indication that your heart needs space, rest, or the loving support of someone who cares.  Be that someone for yourself, first!

So we’ll see where I will be tomorrow… Closing Day 2 sober…

In a ‘Funk’…

I’m a definitely in a funk with all of this ‘stuff’ … got in day 1 sober again but it wasn’t easy because the cravings were there. Plans to keep it going though as best I can and hoping that day by day I will begin to feel better about everything that is going on around me. 

I’m going to re-read or watch The Secret again – because I do believe in the law of attraction and need to somehow shift things into a more positive light. I need to get that visual or feelingization of being ok again and happy and healthy. I’ve been in the place I’m at before and I have pulled through – I will again… 

I tried going for a walk and even that was a push to get out there. I’m literally emotionally and physically drained and trying to slowly get my energy back – all the while trying to take care of myself. 

I want to be that magnet for GOOD again and I can only do that by recognizing the good that I do have in my life now. A roof over my head, the bare necessities, and my health (well working on my mental health is what’s at hand now). 

It doesn’t help that I had a negative conversation yesterday with the ‘dad’ and how he says “I don’t mean to knock you when you’re down..” and proceeded to put blame on me for things that were happening and how he could care less about my happiness (which of course I understand… it’s not about me)… it’s about my kids dammit! 

I just feel like I didn’t deserve the shit he threw my way yesterday with all I’m already trying to deal with and it brought me down some more. 

I was alone a lot too yesterday – and cried some tears – which feels good, but the reality of my situation hits me like a ton of bricks sometimes and I know it won’t be this way forever but for now it really really really SUCKS!!!

On a pleasant note… I do have my friend who I haven’t seen in almost 3 weeks that I will hopefully get to see on Tuesday. It’s going to be a welcome distraction in all of my home/family drama… a much needed brief escape. I’m hoping that as things slow down for him over the summer we can spend more time together – to balance out some of the stress I’m feeling with the escape and fun with him. 

I’m still praying for other types of relief… and working on my money magnet situation… “The Ocean of Live is filled with Abundance – Money Flows to me Easily”… Ask, Believe, Receive… it’s what must be done.

Things will get better… moving forward into the new day. 

Crossroads

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It’s been HELL the past week for me… and I feel as though I’m at another crossroads in my life. While I did well without booze and did a 33 day streak without… I fell back into the drinking mode to try and cope with the pressure of the crises surrounding me – tried to numb the pain, but realizing it’s only masking it – because each day when I wake up, it’s still there.

The hardest part about this crisis is that it’s outside of my control in that it has to do with my kids – not me, yet it’s starting to now affect me and bringing me back to a dark place I’ve been a few times before… depressed, feeling hopeless, feeling like there’s no way out and that I’m at risk of losing the most positive thing in my life right now… my job. The guilt over being off (even though they have been extremely supportive) and the fear of being able to go back and fulfill my duties worries me to no end. I know I can only take it one day at a time but dammit – I’m so sick of that saying now too.

Today is day 1 again for me to get back in the sober car. I finished off the booze yesterday and even though my nerves were screaming at me for more, I know I need to stop this again. I know I need to seriously consider all aspects of my life – including my financial pressures and accept that booze has no place in my life right now. It’s not the cure but rather another part that will just add to the problems I’m facing. While the very temporary buzz of losing the feeling of anxiety helps – the after effect of the guilt over giving in when I seriously CAN’T afford it is just too much.

I have to accept that I seriously need to lose ‘da booze habit in my life as part of the changes I have to put in place to lead a successful and happy life. I wanted to believe that I didn’t have to forego it for good – and still have a hard time swallowing that thought because the rebel in me hates being told I CAN’T do something… but what I hate more is knowing that I CAN’T go on as I have been or I will completely crash and I can’t do that … because my kids need me.

I have thought of running away and just losing myself – but it’s not an option. It’s really hard to stay strong in all of this and try to be supportive of my daughters going through this too. I’ve reached out for support for myself but I’m also tired of talking about it, meeting about it and so I’m coming back to my writing – which is an outlet I can use to just put it out there.

I have not been out all week while on stress leave and I have a few days before I have to go back to work and need to get a grip. I have some plans in place for the month of July for my 12 year old and I hope with the counseling that things will continue to improve. It was a week ago since the last crisis and I’m hoping for the calm to stay for a while. My 16 year old leaves for Florida to see her grandmother on Tues (to give her a break from all the stress we’ve been living), leaving me alone with my 12 year old for most of the summer.

I need peace again. I need to work through the physical pains that come with the emotional hurt I’m dealing with. I hope that my nerves will calm – I need to get back to basic self-care and nurturing so that I can be there for my kids.

It’s time to take a different road… one that will hopefully lead to a happy ending. Image

Focus

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When life happens – sometimes things either go out of focus or become extremely clear. What is going on for me is beyond my issue about whether or not I have a problem with alcohol, but rather a more serious problem with my daughter who is self-harming.

While I was sober yesterday – I can’t say that I feel anything about it. I simply just don’t care about this matter right now. What I am praying for right now is for a miracle to happen. For me to catch some kind of break in all of this turmoil. It has been going on for 3 months and I’m seriously exhausted. 

I am accessing all services I can and it’s still not enough. Now my oldest will be going away to visit her grandmother leaving me alone with the 12 year old who is self-harming and can’t really be left alone. As a single mom – this poses a major problem. I can’t afford NOT to work. I feel as though my life is just completely out of my hands – and while I know many have it worse than me – I simply don’t want to hear that right now.

What I need is to catch some kind of a break. From the worry, the pressures, a place to find my peace again. 

I dread each day now wondering ‘what next’… and while I have practiced the power of positive thinking – right here, right now… my system is depleted and so I am praying for a miracle… for my daughter to pull out of this… for us to have a ‘normal’ life again. 

It’s crazy how we take for granted just living a peaceful life .. and how I miss it as I live in this constant turmoil right now. I just don’t know where else to turn anymore. And so I continue to pray every day – and hope that soon I’ll be able to focus on good and positive things again. 

Nothing Else Matters…

Right now – nothing else matters or counts… My 12 year old had to be taken away by the police because of her self-harming behaviour and due to the fact that we felt she was not ‘safe’ here. I feel like I’m living a nightmare. I am off on stress leave right now for the week – thank GOD! I pray for this to be over soon… for me, for my daughters…

I have nothing more to share except that I need strength to stick this out…

Fitting In…

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I want to thank everyone who took time out to comment on my “Crashed” blog  and how I questioned about me fitting in – still – despite where I’m at on this journey. We are all so very unique in our trials and paths – but the commonality is that we’re all here to deal with the issue of alcohol in our lives… for some it’s full time forever sobriety, for some it’s figuring out where they fit in all of this – like me.

I re-read some of my first blogs here and I think differently now simply because I’m at a different place I guess. I’m not sure I qualify myself as a true blue alcoholic. A team member shared this insightful article about whether you’re a heavy drinker or an alcoholic and the test they suggest – well it’s not one I plan on taking.

I know that I like to drink and that I can stop. I know that when I decide to make it a night where I’ll have some drinks – it’s not one or two usually and I’m ok with that – if I can keep those nights to maybe 4 to 8 days a month instead of it being the majority of the month.

For May and June – I have some pretty good stats for my own record of days without booze and that’s what I want to build upon. I want to be back at that place where it’s just a social thing and not something that controls me. I want to be the one in control again – and that includes over the drink and eats (the other aspect of this journey for me as I try to attain a healthier weight).

I will continue to experiment with this and while I know not everyone may be able to relate to where I’m at – some may. And the point of this blog is it is in fact MY blog… for me to vent out my thoughts and think out loud. I am doing this for ME – following my love of writing, while also healing in other ways as I discover more truths and learn so much more from the other blogs I’m following here.

So sure enough – I’m still seeking to lose the booze habit I once had and replacing it with a healthier version… One that fits in with ME and my plans and goals for the future – that include living a healthy and well balanced life – mind/body and spirit (just perhaps with a bit less of the spirits 😉 )… Thanks for listening.

Crashed…

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I thought this picture was quite fitting for how I felt as I broke my 33 day streak of being AF – Wolfie I guess came a calling and I answered. While I don’t consider it a total failure – because I did break my longest record of 30 days and I’m back to being AF today… I have come to realize that I have to stop obsessing over the numbers and ‘counting’. 

I have to take things one day at a time and one step at a time. I will say today was tough – after caving in and drinking two days in a row… I felt like it again today if only to calm my nerves but didn’t go there. The night I caved – I didn’t over think it and I actually enjoyed it. I did not wake up hungover or get totally trashed but enjoyed the nice ‘escape’.

I know it’s not a way to escape but my life right now – the loneliness, the drama with my girls, it was like I just wanted a bit of a break. Overall – I want to lose the ‘habit’ of daily drinking – but I’m not sure if I’m ready to be completely sober… so I’m not sure I fit in here anymore.

I want more control over my habits and not the other way around. I am not giving up on changing my habits… and will continue to strive to live a healthier life – whether or not that may involve booze every now and again – well I have to say I’m honestly not ready to say I can be completely AF for life. All I can say for now is I’m AF for today, and that’s good enough for me right now. 

VICTORY over Wolfie (or whatever that was …)

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The day is coming to a close for me soon … it’s almost 8pm and I finished my workout and settled into my spot in my room reading over the wonderful supportive comments you all sent me. It was real scary for a bit – I was so close to caving in – had the money in my pocket, thought about going for the drive… but I stayed home. I read emails. I blogged. I made supper. I shed some tears today. I talked to a friend. I talked to the crisis line about my daughter. I talked to the counselor about when my daughter will be picked up by a long term worker… I then took my daughter out to buy her shoes, a belt and bracelets to wear with her dress for her graduation on Monday (money I would have spent on booze). I did not drink – but I really really really wanted to today. I was almost resentful about feeling so bad about even thinking that I’d screw up this challenge and have to start over again at day 1. That would be like every other time for me and I know that if I do that – if I fail before I reach the 100 days, it would be devastating to me at this point. 

Sure I’m not doing so great in the food department (yet)… But I am exercising faithfully and have been for the past 9 weeks (well my 9th week starts Monday). 

The voices in my head – I thought they were mine but I guess it’s that fucken asshole WOLFIE invading my mind – knowing I’m vulnerable and weaker right now because of the other emotionally draining stuff I’m experiencing but the ‘pledge’ of not drinking no matter what for 100 days is what I brought up and re-read… Sure things are pretty hard right now – sure it would be easy to give in – but what then?!

Victory is mine and this day 33 is one I won’t soon forget. I have the rest of the weekend to contend with – but for now I’m going to take it one hour at a time… Thanks again for all of your support and words of wisdom… I am very grateful! Whatever it takes right… to get me through this… 

The Pledge… The 100 Day Challenge

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“I will not drink for 100 days.  No matter what.  I can cry, but I will not drink.  I can go to bed or go home early. I might feel distressed … but I will not drink.  Bad things might happen, but I will not drink.  Incredibly shitty things may happen to someone around me, or my neighbor, or my friend’s friend’s grandmother.  But there will be no booze.  Funerals? Weddings? Amputation?  I’m not drinking for 100 days no matter what happens … No matter what.”

I had to pull this up today and re-read it because I have been going through HELL the past few days and months and the voices are screaming at me right now to have a drink. It’s Friday… I took a vacation day… it’s nice and sunny out and dammit I deserve a friggen break from all the shit I’ve been dealing with – to just let go. I’m trying to talk it through – I don’t want to cave but I’m not sure I will succeed today. I feel like screaming this is so damned hard right now.

Belle has been reaching out and reminding me of other emails I sent her when I was in a better place – and I am very grateful – but right now I want to hide, crawl away and fade away in a booze haze… if only for a bit – one day, one night… but that means starting back at day 1 tomorrow or the next day … because I know myself – one day often turns into more.

Fuck my life – I just want to be normal and enjoy life – but I’m not sure telling myself NO to alcohol is working. Day 33 here – not sure if I’ll be able to say that tomorrow. Going to do my best to keep busy … but just really on shaky grounds today.

I found this quote and I guess it’s pretty fitting for what I’m feeling right now…

“If you’re going through HELL, keep going. You grow through what you go through.” – Praying I’ll grow through this day and be at day 34 tomorrow.

Nearing a breaking point…

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This is how I felt today … like I was being put to the test. The plan for the day was to work and then go to my annual meeting tonight. I felt very tired/drained though (got to work just after 6am) and it’s like something wasn’t sitting right with me today. Last night was tough with my daughter and I wondered if she’d go to school or make it through the day – sure enough – just before noon the school called and she had a mini-break down and they asked me to pick her up.

We had an appointment with the psychiatrist on Monday and she said she was feeling better, no cutting or purging – all lies… I found out yesterday she had purged her lunch (her blood pressure was low too) AND today I find out she’s cutting in new places now – from her forearms to her legs/hip/stomach area. Tonight I caught her in the act and it was so gross and it made me sick inside to see my 12 year old doing this to herself. She’s on anti-depressants but this self-harming behaviour is a whole other issue (although related)… 

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I feel like I need a break – but not looking to break down (although mentally and emotionally I’m feeling it)… and so Wolfie came out to taunt me and said ‘a drink sure would be nice to just forget about all of this’ and he cried out for me for a while… so I stuffed myself with food and a few extra diet pepsi’s instead… I still feel like the booze might help – but in the end if I am honest with myself, it will only add to my already heavy burden of issues that I have to deal with.

I booked off tomorrow and Monday as vacation – not much of a vacation but I just need to detach myself a bit and take care of ME in all of this. It’s only after 8pm here and I’m almost done for the day – totally tapped out. BUT I am SOBER… hanging on to this ride…

I just pray that things will settle down soon because this mama can’t take much more ‘tests’ in life around these issues with my kids. Enough already – I don’t need any more lessons… I need some peace again.