Day 296 of 365 – Gearing up for #DryJuly

July 1st is just around the corner and boy am I ready to make some changes. Since March – I’ve been struggling… and a big part of that struggle is having fallen back into a pattern of allowing drinks back into my life.

I’m still of the mindset that I’m not ready to say NO forever (for today – although I am beginning to believe it would be the easiest solution to just say “I don’t drink booze anymore)… I do know I need to get back to where I was … like this photo at 3months AF (alcohol free)…

With major stressors – I’ve turned to drinks as a coping mechanism to let go, to forget, to numb myself out… but I KNOW it’s not the healthy way to do things. So I’m gearing up to get back on the Sober Train and one day at a time – hope to finish this year completely sober!

I’m not in control of certain things going on around me – but this is a choice I can make and something I DO have control over….

And so I’ve invited people via my Facebook page to join me  … and there’s our secret group there too as well as the team on SparkPeople (Cutting Down the Booze).

Not everyone has an issue with alcohol and some can take it or leave it – or stop at 1 drink or two… I unfortunately don’t fall into that category and it’s taken me a long time to just accept that. Since 2013 I strived to reach 100 Days AF and finally succeeded in doing to in 2016 and then I started a group to have others join in. It’s a secret/private group because this issue is not something everyone is open to sharing … here on SP the Cutting Down the Booze team nears 1000 members… With the non-judgmental support of the community – I have greatly improved my AF stats and working to continue doing so! My last longest stretch of consecutive AF days was 174 days!

The other factor that alcohol hinders is my advancement to reaching my health goals. I have regained most of the weight that I had lost and my lowered motivation, lowered self-esteem, anxiety, depression has come back into play.

I need to shake myself off and jump back on the wagon to greater health! The stressors in my life will be better handled when I am strong again – healthy and SOBER. I will be stronger because I’ll be eating healthier, and exercising more regularly again. Exercise REALLY is the BEST Medicine!!

So it starts with a #DryJuly …

And I hope it will close the second half of 2018 – Sober & Clean… AND Lean … Health4Life – this is not a ‘diet’ but a lifestyle!!

It’s time!! It’s not too late to make 2018 the BEST year of your life!! Join me!!

Looking for the Light…

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I’m really struggling right now. I’ve talked to a few people about it in email exchanges and two of them asked me if perhaps I was experiencing depression – and I suppose this could be the case. I do know that December and February are tough months for me and ironically they are in the midst of my commitment to being AF (day 43 today).

I honestly thought that continuing to be AF would lift my spirits for the pure fact that I was doing it when so many times in the past I failed but I fail to sense that pride and feeling of accomplishment I thought I would have by now. Instead – I have doubts and thoughts about whether or not this is all worth it. I honestly thought that I’d feel better by now.

I know there are other factors at play here – including hormonal changes, life experiences of grief and hardships with the teens. I just am feeling like life is not fun – that I’m simply going through the motions and despite my efforts to change things by being AF – my motivation to do other things like workout and eat better – well it’s out the window right now. I am craving everything and I know it’s emotional eating (and leading to weight gain making me feel even worse).

I also know that I need to take care of myself and be gentle but I am just having a hard time figuring this all out. I also know that the financial worries I have – not having enough money to pay bills and with Christmas coming up feeling very depressed about not even being able to buy gifts. I haven’t felt this low about the holidays in a long time. I do know that it’s not all about material things but it sure would be nice to be able to at least get a couple of things. The parties I have to attend too – and the gift exchanges – I just don’t have the money, yet I’ll try to make it.

You’d think with my not drinking I’d have more money but it’s not there. The trip back home too cost me money I didn’t plan on spending – just over $200 that could have gone to xmas gifts. I have been struggling this way financially for years and I am just tired of it. The constant juggling of borrowing here and there – juggling bills… I know this is bringing me down big time (even though they say money isn’t everything – it sure would help right now).

I’m not writing this to get pity – it’s simply my own way of trying to work through my emotions and how I’m feeling in the hopes that I can figure out a way to get out of this funk I’m in. One day at a time I guess. I am hoping to see my ‘man’ friend soon and I know that will cheer me up. Loneliness is definitely another point in my life … while I love being a mother to my girls – I miss being someone special for someone.

And so I keep pushing and praying … for some kind of a break. I do pray 2014 will bring about some relief and positive changes. I do know that I need to try to focus on what I want instead of what I don’t want… I got this letter back from futureme.org … it was a letter I wrote to myself back in December 2012… and it’s still very much all I want for myself … it just hasn’t happened yet… but I have to believe that it IS possible and that it can and will happen!! Maybe not exactly how I expected it… but I have to keep the faith.

Dear FutureMe,

What an incredible life you have! You are living your dreams… You are traveling more, you are healthy and fit, toned and trim and most of all you have love and peace in your heart.

You are sharing your life with an amazing soul mate who truly is your match in every way. You have this wonderful man who is everything you ever wanted… Romantic, loving, caring, SEXY and hot, skilled lover, one who shares your passions and dreams. You are so full of love and joy and you are rich beyond your wildest dreams… You are spoiled by this man and receive the attention that you’ve longed for, that you dreamed of for so long. You have all that you ever wanted in a relationship and never had! You are like a school girl … giddy in love and lust, and the amazing thing is that HE feels the same about you. You trust each other completely and live your lives by sharing special moments, as well as keeping a balance of your own individual activities.

The girls – they are doing amazingly well too and have truly welcomed this new love in your life! They too are happy and feel as though you are a true family again. You enjoy travels together as a family as well.

You are no longer alone to attend events… and you are planning your own dream wedding… by the ocean as you always wanted.

You are financially abundant now and no longer living paycheck to paycheck. You have a handle on your finances and you share with your partner costs and are even saving money for your future voyages as there will be many!

You will be moved into a new home with this new partner of yours and build, decorate and make it YOUR new home together, by the water where your love is. It will be beyond your wildest dreams!

You will be living your passions by writing and working on a manuscript for a book which will be incredibly successful! You will get to travel for this purpose as well and attend conferences, meetings and continue to meet more like minded people.

Your life is the dream you have always wanted and so deserved!

I am so proud of you! I am incredibly thrilled and happy for you because for all the past hurts and trials, you have finally arrived to receive all the wonderful gifts you so greatly deserve!

With love, appreciation and gratitude,

NowMe

I’m Messed Up

I screwed up again – after 4 days AF – not drinking on Friday… I drank on Saturday mainly to get rid of the painful migraine I had (and it worked). But then the cycle happened and I just tonight finished the rest of it and hope I can get back to being AF.

My kids are honestly driving me to drink and I’m feeling so overwhelmed with trying to do everything – quit drinking, get healthy, unpack, focus on work… I always do this to myself and I end up driving myself over the edge and give in … to the booze. 

I feel like I’m never going to be able to kick this. I hate this feeling of being so out of control. I had my last drink at 6:48pm today …. and I wonder now how long can I stay away this time. Is it that my will is not strong enough or that I need more help? I want to improve my life but there’s such controversy when I tell people I’m quitting or not drinking – like I have to explain myself or I have to say “I have  a problem” and I hate admitting weakness. I put up the facade … I keep pushing through and most people have NO CLUE the internal battle and struggle I go through daily. If people knew half the shit I deal with … well I know many of you here ‘get it’… but I feel like I am letting YOU down and there’s more guilt about that.

I need a ‘break’ or some kind of I don’t know epiphany or great strength. I pray to my angels. I read my books. I read your posts. I admire those who seem to be doing this and feel worse for NOT being on track. 

Tomorrow is a new day I guess. I’m turning in at 9 and taking it one hour at a time… I pray for strength… I pray I can do this. Thanks for listening to my rant… SIgned… still trying to loze ‘da booze habit in my life. 

Living in the Now

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On days like today it’s so important to recognize how key it is to live in the moment. I was feeling kind of I don’t know blah or ansy tonight. I got on Facebook and read some awful news about a friend who’s father was badly burned in a house fire. Then this morning I learned of another friend’s young granddaughter (2.5 years) passing.

I know from my own experiences of hurt and loss how hard this is – and I also know that it means I have to give my head a shake. I’ve been feeling off or in a funk. Feeling like I will never amount to anything as I keep trying to ride the sober car and failing… I’m on Day 3 today but BIG deal … and then I’m reminded by blogs like this – that I need to wear the badge of honor for EACH day, each moment as I live in the NOW.

I’m also disappointed in myself because of the fact that I drank again and ate lots and regained almost 10lbs in less than a month. I feel like I could eat everything in sight and I have to get a handle on this out of control feeling.

It’s like quitting drinking makes it that I want more of everything else and I need to find that balance and peace again. I just got my workout space put back together and managed ‘one’ workout so far this week. My energy levels are off with all the bad eating – so I need to get a grip.

I also know too that taking on too much all at once will foil my efforts to staying sober – which is what so often happens with me. I figure FUCK it… I need something in my life and end up caving in. With the weekend approaching again, I need to make sure this doesn’t happen. They are calling for rain most of the weekend and I have no excuses – I have lots left to do following my move here to finish getting organized and put things up here and there. I need to make this place feel more like home. I need to just CHILL and BE. Living in the now is easier said than done though. But I’m working as best I can to do so… inspired by quotes like this… I hope to change … just like that too!

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Driven to NOT Drink

You know the saying “My kids drive me to drink” (or whoever/whatever situation you can think of or often say to yourself ‘oh a drink would be so good right now’)… well in my case, it’s the opposite. With the very serious nature of all I’m facing with a 12 year old daughter who is living with self-harming issues, anxiety, depression, rebellion, dis-respect, experimentation with drugs/alcohol – I have decided that I simply can’t and DON’t Drink!!

I noticed the one night when she took one beer from the fridge – I know we have all done that as kids, but somehow to me it seemed like something I needed to nip in the butt. No more booze in my house.

I had a very trying day with her again yesterday and went to see the counselor (I see her counselor for parental support and help with strategies) and he asked me about how I was coping. I had mentioned to him that I was not drinking because of all of this and he asked me in our session yesterday “How are you doing with your sobriety” and the question threw me off for a bit because I didn’t tell him the depths of my ties with alcohol – only that I was not drinking because of the current situation in my life with my daughter. It was very easy to answer though – I told him “I’m fine – I don’t drink” and he said “with all you’re going through you should congratulate yourself for that accomplishment”.

If I had been asked that question in the past or at a time when I was still occasionally drank I would have become very defensive or feel very guilty inside. It was a great feeling NOT to feel that!

Yes it’s early in the game and NO I’m still not counting except for the fact that on my 47th birthday (September 3, 2013) I made the conscious decision that I don’t drink anymore.

Following yesterday’s hard day – the thought of having one to cope did not even enter my mind. This switch I’ve made has been liberating as the debate is no longer festering in my head about will I or won’t I – it’s plain and simple I just DON’T – just as I don’t drink coffee, or don’t smoke!Image

Through the years…

As I spent my weekend doing some de-cluttering and cleaning, I came across my old yearly calendars which I used to track the exercise, weight and alcohol free days I had from month to month and through the years from 2008 to today. What I saw was the same pattern over and over again… I do well for a bit, then bamm! Something happens in my life, I drink more, and all the work I put into losing weight is lost and the weight is regained. Then I get bummed out and it’s just a vicious cycle!!

I also came across some old family pics and in most of the ‘party’ ones, very few did not include a table full of beers or someone with a drink in hand. It’s no wonder that I kind of went the same route – it’s what I saw and adopted as a norm, but I’m ready to change that pattern.

On day 9 of 100 only, but honestly feel a difference inside about this time being different. I was faced with some huge stressors today (dealing with my kids and their refusal to go to school – along with the myriad of other issues they are presenting around anxiety/depression). It was overwhelming this morning and it brought me to tears. But not ONCE did I ever think “I can’t wait to get home to have a drink”…

Instead, I came home and attended my own counselling session where I was able to basically debrief and be acknowledged in terms of handling things as best I can. I then had a bite to eat and just now finished a 50 minute workout.

Winding down the day and getting ready to get some reading done before I turn in. Wolfie didn’t dare talk to me today lol…