Triggers – those ‘things’ that tempt us to…

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Part of my growth as I try to become sober is recognizing the triggers that make me want to have that drink – and today was one of them… Whenever my body is tired, achy and I have that lingering headache looming over me all day – a drink was how I seemed to be able to soothe it. 

But NOT today as I wrap up Day 4 sober. There were a few other triggers today – my doubts/worries and overthinking a situation – when I try to tell the voices to shut up … and used to reach for a drink to drown them out. 

I will admit that today I felt tempted to have a drink – but the thought passed relatively quickly and I’m thankful because I am also very ’emotionally’ drained from all the stuff I’ve been dealing with around my kids (another trigger as a single mom trying to juggle it all and like so many used the booze to escape for a bit). 

Today instead I got to meet up with my guy friend for the escape. He’s not someone who can commit too much time to me and I debated if I could handle it because while it’s only been since March – and we don’t see each other often – I find myself more and more attracted to him so trying to play it cool. In all honesty, with all that I’m trying to tackle – getting sober, my 12 year old’s self-harming issues, my 17 year old’s depression/anxiety and talk of moving out again, and now a move… seeing him very occasionally with no relationship type commitment is just about my speed if I am truly honest.

I know that right now is not a good time to begin a new relationship – I think that’s something of a step in AA (or so I’ve seen / heard in movies). So for now going to keep concentrating on me. Learning what my triggers are, recognizing them and managing them – SOBER. 

I still don’t know if I’ll be sober for good – but for today – YES I am! And now I’m going to listen to my body and turn in and get a good night’s sleep since my daughter is out with a friend and I can rest assured she is ‘safe’. 

Growth and Change

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For me to stay trapped in the cycle of boozing it is just not a good place for me. I’m finishing up Day 3 and the thoughts are already creeping in about whether or not when I make my ‘move’ and have people helping me out, if I’ll join in and have a few drinks after a hard days work.

I asked for help to move as I’m a single mom and the easiest way to get the guys from work to help is with the promise of drinks and eats (aka – beer and pizza). It’s cheaper than paying for movers – and I’m really lucky they said yes because I would have been STUCK. It just goes to show you about how alcohol is everywhere – even during a move when people sit down after the job is done to enjoy a few cold ones. It will be interesting to see how I handle this.

I keep bouncing around in my head about quitting for good or learning to be moderate – even though in the blog from a few days ago I recognized I can’t be a moderate drinker.

This is such a struggle – to change my mindset. I know I have to keep blogging and logging on and reading posts and thoughts from others going through what I’m going through.

I know I want change in my life and I want to grow beyond this trap of always thinking about how alcohol is part of life – how conditioned we have become to think that way (well for me it was all around me most of my life with my family as well).

So while I’m still hoping for that ‘clean’ slate when I move to the new place and I have said I would never resort to drinking alone for no good reason – I’m already debating about having some the day of the move (even though it’s not before Sept 28th). I need to keep reminding myself that I need to think in the NOW and TODAY…

For today – I am sober …

Signs of a Good Decision…

What an amazing day this has been!! First – day 2 AF!

Second – I made the decision to bite the bullet and make the move to a new place – and got a DOUBLE rainbow as a sign this was a good decision (here’s my other blog about it).

It’s amazing how ONE day can make such a difference in my state of mind. From yesterday’s high anxiety, worry and wonder about what to do, to this state of elation from making the decision and moving on it!

Now it’s time to clean house! The next 2 months are going to be the beginning of an incredible new adventure for me – and a SOBER one at that!!

Nothing Lasts Forever… Not Even Our Troubles…

This past week has been an incredibly hard week. I continue to learn about myself and continue to ‘get’ the message that in order to change things, I must change things INSIDE.

I was AF yesterday, but every nerve in my body was crying out for a drink. I wasted away so many days sitting in deep thought about ‘life’ and my challenges. My daughters and their own issues and pain, and my own pain… and I know that in order to break this pattern, I need to shift my focus from the troubles to the possibilities in life.

I’m so grateful for those who reach out to me as I struggle with abstinence and accepting the fact that in order for my life to become better, I need to be sober.

I have been doing a lot of reading and reflecting. The saying that nothing lasts forever can be a comfort or the opposite – very scary. Letting go is hard. Change is hard. But staying the same is destructive and unproductive.

The only constant in our lives is change. I was reading the ‘look inside’ to the book by Lisa Sober Identity: Tools for Reprogramming the Addictive Mind and I believe this is a tool I need to add to my repertoire of tools. Along with my continued journaling – mostly public because I need to put it out there and get it OUT of my head! I need to hear from others who have been there and are on the ‘other side’ – maybe seeing the pink clouds or the ‘better days’ of living.

I have many BIG decisions to make this week including a move from my current home – and that scares the SHIT out of me! I like stability, familiarity and yet, I know I have to move out of this comfort zone and look at it as a NEW beginning and an opportunity to clear out the old in every sense. My issue now is mostly about where to move to – since my oldest dropped a ‘bomb’ on me to say she is not going to move back in again – so it means moving into a smaller place.

I like my current space in that I have enough room to have an exercise room so I need to explore my options and make sure I make a smart decision that I can live with. My budget will change with my daughter moving out. My budget can change if I remain sober – and stop spending so much on alcohol.

I’m working on shifting my thoughts from negative to positive as I accept that change is what must happen – within myself, my decision to stay sober because I can’t be a moderate ‘healthy’ drinker – because I DO have a problem with it and I’m tired of feeling like I am spinning out of control.

I have some blessings in my life and I feel myself losing a grip on those in the numbing process that booze brings with it. I won’t say I’m hopping on the wagon – because I read that too is signing up for failure – so for today I will not drink. To say I will not drink forever again is incredibly scary – but to say I will forever feel like this even scarier.

It’s time… to let go, make room for the positives in my life! Change and growth…

Growth – not Perfection

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It’s so important for me to accept this as I make my way on this daily journey of changing my booze habits. I was sober for 2 days and then allowed emotional and physical triggers to give way and have now had drinks for 2 days. Today – I’m hoping for a sober day, but the voices are there – doubting and I wonder where today will bring me.

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I honestly am taking things one ‘hour’ at a time right now. I feel like my life is so unstable right now with my daughter’s issues… she woke up just before 5am saying she was thinking of all the people who hated her and how she can’t even go outside. My heart aches for her – and I simply don’t feel comfortable leaving her alone so working from home today.

I know that the best course for me is to stay sober but yet there’s a yearning to just lose myself or numb myself from all this hurt and heartache.

As I am trying to help my daughter to stop her own self-harming behaviours, I continue with my own – and see it for the vicious cycle that it is. I read other blogs here and posts from those who have been able to let go of the booze completely and I still ponder where I fit in all of this. Where will I come out of it – it changes from day to day.

All I can do is keep plugging away, moment by moment and strive to make good decisions, or to learn from the not so good ones and keep moving forward.

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I guess this is true … we all have something in common here… where we land is what is unique.

“Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself. ~ Julia Cameron”

Give Me Strength

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I wrote once about in a blog about Focus shifts to other areas of my life and the whole issue of my ‘woes’ with booze become a ‘moot’ point. Just when I thought things were improving for my 12 year old, I come home to discover she has self-harmed again. It breaks my heart to see her do this to herself – but you know – I guess I can view my own booze habit as a form of self-harm. Perhaps if I look at my binge drinking the way I view her cutting – it would be easy to just literally CUT that out of my life.

I need strength and clarity to get me through the tough times I’m dealing with – a 12 year old and 17 year old… both living some hard things and I’m smack dab in the middle of it. The counseling, the doctor’s appointments, the time and concentration it’s taking away from my work – not easy to deal with.

I walked by the river today and prayed to God for Strength… for Help to get us through this ok.

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When one is faced with other ‘life’ difficulties outside of our focus here – well mine anyhow, it just gives me a whole different perspective on things. The thought or debate about having a drink tonight did not even enter my mind. Instead, it convinced me of the life changes I need to make to stay strong – like getting out and walking or doing some form of physical activity to relieve the stress and think things through. My walk by the river tonight did that – I thought about what to do next and came home with a clearer head – putting in another few miles in (I walked over 4 miles today as well as did about 60mins of cardio and strength training).

Like I said – I have an addictive type personality so when I decide to do something, I dive right in. I need this diversion right now – to get me to feel better and stronger. I will be turning in soon – Day 2 done… with much more important matters at hand, it was a no brainer today.

Confession

confessing  present participle of con·fess(Verb)

Verb
  1. Admit or state that one has committed a crime or is at fault in some way.
  2. Admit or acknowledge something reluctantly, typically because one feels slightly ashamed or embarrassed.Image                   Here is my confession…  I have been drinking daily for the past 11 days. I guess I thought I had control of the drink after doing a 33 day AF stretch, but allowing myself that ‘break’ showed me yet again that I can not be a moderate drinker. I really thought I could be and hate admitting that perhaps I never can be that social drinker who can take it or leave it.

Instead – I’ve seen myself self-sabotage again. I have allowed the trials in my life (issues with my daughters, lack of ‘love’ in my life) to lead me to self-harming behaviours by over-eating and drinking too much again.

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So I need to accept the truth – my truth in that I have a problem with alcohol. If I have it in the house, it’s like I have to drink until it’s finished and then, once it’s finished, I crave more because it’s back in my system.

So here I am again – trying to get that “DAY 1” in again. I managed 8 AF days earlier in the month and now aiming to get back to being on the sober train. I already am thinking ahead to times that may come up that will challenge my resolve to stay sober… but I have to learn that I can only think in the now moment. As Belle’s blog so poignantly pointed out – I have to “Stay Here” … and for today, that will mean in the moment, minute by minute really.

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The biggest thing for me is to let go of regrets, of days gone by… and to STOP the self-sabotaging behaviour! I am far from perfect and my journey here is a learning one… I accept my mistakes and trust that as I move forward, the real ‘me’ will shine through.

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Don’t Bring Me Down…

Had to listen to this song today… and affirm “Don’t Bring me Down“…

You know those people in your life that you haven’t let go or that you allow in thinking they may have changed – well NOT!! You see my ex-mother-in-law is the person I’m speaking of right now. My oldest is currently there with her visiting for the summer and while we generally don’t exchange communications, of course, now that my daughter is there, we got in a heated back and forth exchange that was NOT good!

I’ve been divorced for 11 years and yet she’ll always kind of be connected to me as the grandmother to my kids but it ENDS there! I will NOT allow her to drive me batty or drag me down. She said I needed to rid myself of the bitterness and negativity – goes to show you how she doesn’t know me at all! They see what they want and judge me without understanding the entire situation. She said some very hurtful and harsh things and I decided to end the communication and no longer engage. I removed her from my FB friends and blocked her. I’m DONE!!

Today was my planned AF day – first one in a while, but as I last posted, yes I’m having drinks but I’m ok with where I’m at today. I know I won’t let THIS drive me to drink either because then she would win and hell – I am a rebel you see … I like to prove people wrong.

People often judge when they are viewing things from their own perspective. What I find refreshing here is that we all have our own respective places on this journey and mine right now does not involve quitting drinking, but simply achieving a moderate lifestyle approach to all aspects of my life.

I am removing the negativity in my life – which at times included the obsessiveness over alcohol. I’m thinking about it less. I don’t have the guilt when I do decide to have drinks and choosing when I’ll be AF or not.

I read blogs at times on here and feel disconnected because my choice is different from those who are completely abstaining and I guess I wonder if they will judge me too. I do know that I need to stop worrying about the outside world and make the choices that are right for my life. If I feel that I’m losing that grip or control on the alcohol again, then I will decide to abstain again for a while – but not forever (and not likely for any ‘set’ amount of days where I have to count)… but rather following my own instincts on what is right for ME.

It’s hard at times to ignore the outside world, those who judge and criticize, but in order for me to move forward I have to follow my own instincts and I will keep blogging and journaling as a means of channeling my energy and thoughts in a positive direction.

I will NOT let this incident bring me down … and I will make the rest of this day a great one!!