Thursday, June 30, 2016

Day 41

A better day.  Took the car to get an oil change at the quickie place which throws in a free really good car wash.  That was nice.

Eldest made "million dollar bars" which are shortbread covered with caramel covered with chocolate. I was totally impressed with her making caramel sauce from scratch. My mother had some bad candy experiences and therefore brought me up to believe that anything to do with it was hard and nasty and likely to go badly.

Now that I think about it she had that message about a lot of things...but I digress.

Anyhow we had a tasty dessert tonight and she finds baking very therapeutic so that was all good. I did, however, let myself get far too hungry this afternoon and that was not at all good--that HALT thing really is true. Had some urges and started getting into that out-of-sorts spiral. Enough so that when Spouse started talking about drinking tonight before starting Dry July tomorrow I was actually considering having some too...but once I got a bellyful of food I was fine again. Seven weeks is enough momentum not to want to mess up.

Which reminds me very much of the drinking dream I had last night. Was in a strange place looking through strange closets for clothing to wear on stage for some unclear performance (that's probably a metaphor but for what I'm not sure.)  Someone handed me a big glass of what was supposed to be champagne but turned out to be sediment-y white wine and I swilled a good half of it before realizing with shock and disgust "wait! I don't drink! Oh NO I'm going to have to start all over again."  Had the classic horror-turning-to-relief when I woke up, too.

That's the first drinking dream I've had since the really early days. If I have more I'll try to remember to mention them in passing. I've also decided to just go with a simple Day X title from now on - easier all around.

Tomorrow Eldest and I are going to get an iron and an ironing board to go with her sewing machine and a bunch of bias binding to go with her apron pattern so that she can finally start getting into sewing the way she's been discussing all this year thus far. That should be an interesting adventure: I can sew quite well but don't sew...or at least didn't for a couple-three decades till she needed a Wicked Queen gown for her high school production of Snow White and haven't since then.  Too many mother-issues which I'm sure will rear their ugly heads during the day. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day 40

One of those uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin days. Not quite irritable, not quite bored, not quite anything but not quite right. Paradoxically lonely even though I was with family. Just plain out of sorts...and putting pebbles in my bag of resentment at every opportunity: dog duty, errands, ABL meals, you name it.

Spouse was particularly understanding though; that was a help.  Carry-out dinner from the good Japanese place was a help too...and now bedtime will be a help.

Having the emotional/mental version of those weird creepy-crawly leg cramps is still better than a hangover and self-loathing. At least today it was "I feel lousy" not "I am lousy."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


It was a good day. No big ups or downs, no major mood swings, no rage attacks.  Not dumb enough to think they will all be like that from here on out but I'll sure take it for today.

Tomorrow is Day 40 and it kind of snuck up on me - I don't have a particular treat planned or anything. Which I think is okay as vacation itself is reasonably treat-y.

Spouse is enthusiastic about doing Dry July.  We'll see how that goes.

Thirty-eight And A Half

Actually the early part of Day 39 but I don't like to tempt the Fates. 

Things always look better in the morning. Sure I had crazy dreams featuring my mother in the rather villanous lead role but there was also a creative supporting actress making fascinating fiber art which was encouraging.  Now when I look at these two Super Saver Jumbo skeins of Red Heart yarn in Soft White (to match everything else she had - my mother was not the yarn-store type) I see not "wasted potential" but just plain ol' potential.

I'm still sad, of course, but in a manageable amount. I had expected that knitting up her yarn on vacation would bring on The Feels which is part of why I'm doing it in the first place. I just hadn't expected to be sucker-punched with them in the middle of a big-box store on a weekday morning and then have that punch linger all through the day. It's better now.

While I was typing the above, Girl-beagle did the cutest damned thing so I'll leave you with that for now.  Eldest taught her "bring my slippers" for treats and the dog is so treat-crazy she will bring any kind of footwear unasked and demand payment. She knew I had a couple treats on the desk so she brought my shoes, one at a time and forcefully and since she did both of them (she often stops at one and looks hopeful) I treated her. Next thing I knew she had both shoes in her mouth at once and was dragging them back over to where they had been so she could bring them to me a second time.

Gonna go rearrange my knitting bag to hold the new yarn and then make tea.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Day 38

Today's emotion was sadness.

My mother died suddenly three  years ago this past April. As her only living relative I went to bury her and clean out her apartment.  There was a box of leftover yarn in her garage/basement. Decided that after I finished the afghan for Eldest I was going to use my mother's yarn for another afghan. Figured it would be good therapy as I was so busy Dealing With Stuff at the time of her death.

Today I went to Wal-Hell for background yarn and that was when the sadness hit. Not because she was dead and I missed her (I don't) but because the last years of her life were so needlessly awful. One of the other things in that same garage/basement was a recycling bin with six empty 1.75 liter bottles of Gran Legacy vodka, some with lines and days of the week drawn in wobbly Sharpie marker. Put a third of a bottle away one Saturday and another third the following Sunday. Her journal had lots of entries about "woke up around 4 again; had my usual three shots to get back to sleep." Which made the handwritten "buy vodka" hang tag for the coat closet and the one on the kitchen counter and the one taped to the dashboard of her car make more sense but be no less sad.

You see why I call it the "Beauty From Not" afghan.

If I had known it was anything like that I could have - would have - offered help and support and "you aren't alone" but she was so busy pushing me away with both hands that I didn't get a chance to tell her anything.

I was sad not just for losing my mother but because it was so pointless. All of that (plus more) got moved to center-stage this morning, hence the sadness.

But it shall pass as it always does.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

I'm 37...

...I'm not OLD!

Oh wait, this is real life, not a Monty Python movie. I'm forty-nine and two-thirds and that might not be old but it's definitely not young...and Day 37 might not be a lot but it definitely isn't nothing either.

Plenty of emotional rollercoaster today. Stepping out of the house for morning coffee was wonderful and bright. On the flip side though, there was a point this evening when I was completely stewing in rage far out of proportion to anything even potentially causing it. Didn't want to drink but wouldn't have minded chewing the legs off most of the furniture and maybe some of the people...but it passed.

I keep telling myself "Raw. The word for early sober emotions is 'raw' for a reason. Also 'volatile.'"  I frequently remember that line from I'm-pretty-sure-it-was-Caroline-Knapp about "you sit there thinking 'these are the exact feelings I was drinking to avoid.'"

It eventually settles down, though, that I know too.  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Day 36

Lot of ups and downs.

Easy morning. Midday nap. Spouse & Eldest arrived around 4 and with them so did a huge craving. Thought it would never pass but it eventually did.

Hoping for an easy Sunday. Peace out.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five Weeks Makes 35

Not only Day 35 but also the very first day of my vacation and - unexpectedly - I'm already in Chaos South.

We had planned to take two cars tomorrow morning. Around lunchtime family stuff led to this and that and me saying "well, okay, I'll just take him [ABL] and go tonight."  When we first moved to the Hinterlands 16 years ago it wasn't unusual for me to work most of the day before we made the 300 mile trip but I got out of that habit years ago in favor of leaving the next morning.  However today I was full of both energy and enthusiasm.  We left at 4:30 in the afternoon, took a longer-than-expected dinner break and arrived at 9:45. Took another hour to set him up in the guest room, make tea, clear out the fridge and have a shower but now I'm in my own lovely room typing on an Actual Keyboard instead of my phone and although it's past my usual bedtime I'm wide awake but quite content.

I owe most, if not all, of this unexpected evening to sobriety. If I had still been drinking the way I used to drink I wouldn't have had the energy to work till three, pack the car and hit the road. Not physically because I'd be perennially draggy and definitely not emotionally.  I think a lot of it is the sleep: it took every bit of a whole month but I'm finally going to sleep and staying asleep. That's a wonderful thing. Waking up truly rested is just such a game-changer. 

In fact, this morning I was rested enough to think about how NOT to have a morning like yesterday with the dog and the changes I made actually worked--go me. 

I'm not naive enough to think that now all of a sudden everything is going to be happy fun times or skippety-do but I certainly want to acknowledge that today turned out to be pretty excellent in a way that simply wouldn't have existed if I were still drinking.

I also want to use this day to remind myself: it takes a while. You quit drinking and the morning of Day 2 is awesome because you feel better than you have in a lot of mornings and the morning of Day 3 is still pretty decent but that's when the "oh wow I feel great" starts sloping down and the "gee I want a drink" starts sloping up and for me at least the obvious physical stuff starts leveling off right around then which is why Day 4 is such a hurdle.  I can't remember how many times I would go two days then blow it on the evening of the third or fourth day. The next most vulnerable time was around the 7 day mark because "hell, I've been doing this (nearly)/(more than) a week now and don't feel a damned bit different physically and it's killing me emotionally so what's the point?" 

A day like today was the point.  Working hard AND playing hard in ways I wasn't even sure I could do any more. Hanging in there is worth it.

I hope when the next craving hits and All That Stuff starts running through my head I can remember that this is better...or at least remember to go reread my blog before resetting the counter.  Good things start happening but it takes a while.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Still 34

Finally on the down side of this day. Dinner done and  Autistic Brother in Law (ABL) has his shaving  cream. Better still the miserable headache I had for most of the afternoon is all gone and there was much rejoicing.

Spent all day in a work conference and I had expected tedious and mostly irrelevant but I had not expected such an echo-y conference room or such uncomfortable chairs. Didn't expect no caffeine of a kind I ingest (tea) either. On the other hand I -had- been worried about the "cocktails and networking" at the end of the conference because the co-worker giving me a ride usually likes to stay for one drink. Turned out he was just as keen on getting the hell out of there as I was so when he asked "how long do you think it would be politically correct to stay?" and I said "I'm fine with leaving right now" he was all for it so yay! I saw a few other people doing the same thing so that was all just fine.

Not so fine was the muscle-tension-plus-caffeine-withdrawal headache but even before I got home I downed a whole bottle of tea from the gas station and as soon as I walked in the door I had two extra strength aspirin and one muscle relaxant. I also allowed myself to eat All The Carbs again as the food at the conference wasn't very good or very vegetarian-friendly so between that and lack of tea I was feeling particularly deprived.

Now I'm a pain free mildly bloated sober person lying around on her couch pretty much content. So glad the day has reached this point.

One thing I have learned on this journey: if the Inner Child is feeling deprived in any way it is FAR better to address that than to ignore it because that needy feeling leads to a whole bunch of bad-emotion pathways that far too easily end up at "I deserve to drink" or "fuck it; I'm gonna drink." Much better to offer the Inner Child something else early on.

Day 34 feels like progress. Reminds me of Captain Kirk too as that was his age on the original series.

34 Morning

Wow, 34 -- actually had to stop and count.  Pretty neat.

Of course I can say that NOW after I've been to work long enough to get settled and eat good chocolates for breakfast. If you'd asked me 90 minutes ago I would have been a shrew looking for not just pebbles but a good-sized rock in my bag of resentment to throw your way (I don't say "at you" because I have lousy depth perception and thus couldn't hit the broad side of a slow-moving cow.)


Last night I had issues with ABL. He won't -tell- anyone he's running out of anything so the way I discovered he was out of razors was when he came to dinner with only a patch of his beard shaven (he likes to let it grow out till it starts getting annoying, shave, rinse, repeat.)  Well, fine, after dinner I went back into town and got razors. Only THEN did he announce "shaving cream." His clear expectation was that I would immediately make a -second- trip back into town to procure his shaving cream which wasn't happening at all. We don't bowl till Friday and yesterday was only Wednesday; he can wait till I come home tonight for his shaving cream and still have a day to fix it before looking dumb in public.  He also wasn't happy that someone else had already occupied the washer and dryer so he couldn't do his laundry ("bring dirty clothes down") right when he wanted to do it either. So that was trying.

Rewarded myself with an evening (well, what little of it was left) of quiet knitting instead of socializing with the family. A good way to empty out the bag of resentment is a nice lot of solitary playtime.

This morning it was the dogs.  Girl-Beagle has a tiny nervous bladder and will wet the bed in her sleep if you don't walk her about every twenty minutes (okay, I exaggerate.) Boy-Beagle has the opposite problem: he knows that once he does his business we go back in the house so he will hold off as long as he can in favor of sniffing Every. Single. Millimeter. of grass if he's in a mood...and boy was he in a mood this morning.  We live in the country so I don't know whatinthehell kind of critter - probably just the neighbor's outdoor cat - wandered through our front yard in the night but whatever it was left Really Interesting smells and Boy-Beagle was going to suck up every last molecule through his nostrils.  Was out there 20 minutes getting increasingly mad, took a break, came in for my own morning business, went BACK out....I kid you not, it took that damned dog forty-five freaking minutes before he decided to finally pee. With Girl-Beagle barking her fool head off inside the house the whole time thinking she was missing out on something. (Family slept through all of it which I thought was reasonably stunning.)

First thing back in the house he left presents on the family room floor.

Telling it now even I think it sounds like something out of a cheap sit-com but at the time...oh my friends at the time I was one small step away from having a shrieking crying tantrum. The kind where you throw dishes and wake the whole rest of the household.  That "raw emotions" thing was roaring full force.  I'm not sure how I managed NOT to break down.  One thing I do know though is that even while I was getting madder and madder and madder at the dog, at the family who "ought" to magically psychically realize I needed help and appear - poof -  to offer it, at the day itself, at living where we know how the resentments get rolling...even while I was doing all that there was a little part of my brain saying "and it would be so much WORSE if you were hung over right now."

Well, yeah, it would at that.

I eventually got the dogs settled, bitched to Spouse about it, got dressed and got the hell out of there. Knowing that I had a box of Sober Chocolates waiting for me meant the ten minutes between house and work were increasingly pleasurable even though I -did- get stuck behind a big truck with its flashers on all the way up the hill. Now that I've actually eaten a couple servings of said chocolate I'm pretty okay with the day. That may change but right now instead of continuing to drag around that heavy bag of resentment and anger I've managed to empty it out and start fresh again.  That's sobriety for you: if I'd been hung over, even a little bit, which I -always- was, I'd be carrying that weight around all day and adding to it with the all-day conference I've got then using that as a justification for some major drinking which would have rendered tomorrow morning every bit as, if not more, miserable than before.

Chocolate and perspective is definitely better than dizzy and pushing fluids.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Afternoon Quicke

Had to share that the chocolates came!   Couldn't have happened at a better time either as I was getting that after-lunch slump, trying to power through a whole lot of work because I have a meeting at 4pm and was already getting bummed about the remainder of the week, family-wise. Had also suspected they would be held up a day in my workplace mailroom too so there was another handful of pebbles aiming straight for my bag of resentment.

No need for that--I went up for some tea and when I came back there they were. Packed on ice, even!

I picked out one serving (three pieces) and put the box on my side table but of course I got up and walked over to the side table three more times to finish off a second serving just as I knew I would...and thought warmly and fondly of my fellow sober-bloggers while I did it, too. Thanks for helping me get this far and here's to many more AF days.

(You see what I did there? Totally swiped the term "AF" from my overseas blog-buddies 'cause I like the way it sounds cool.)

Peace out - gotta get back to work now. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Two To The Fifth

Yup, that's 32. Also the one-month mark. And although I'm headachy now and in bed to hide out from my still-drinking family it was overall a Really Good Day and that's what I want to remember.

I woke up rested in that way which only comes from many nights in a row of undrugged sleep and that alone was great...but then in the mirror I noticed that my skin really was a lot brighter-looking and the jowl-y-ness had finally gone totally away. Maybe it is unique to me or all in my head or both but I've always thought drinking showed up the next day in puffiness around my chin and lower cheeks - sort of bulldog-esque but very like my mother which is absolutely not a good thing. Anyhow it's all gone.

Although I haven't lost any weight my clothes fit a little better anyhow probably because every cell in my body is no longer boggy and bloated and overworked with clearing out the alcohol.

And there is just nothing like walking from the parking lot to the office feeling completely clear-headed. None of that "ohghAWD what do I absolutely HAVE to do this morning and what can wait till afternoon?" Or the associated guilt and self-beratement.

Speaking of work...around eight-thirty tonight they called wanting to know if I could come back in briefly even though it wasn't my night. It was awesome to be able to say "sure no problem" instead of any of the other possibilities with which I would have struggled not very long ago. Hell, eight-thirty would have been Deeply Booze O-Clock. This was better.

It isn't easy and sometimes it is total sandpaper on one's soul but the sober way is still the better way. I just need to keep a tally of moments like these to help remind me of that when I start getting complacent again.

Tomorrow my 30-Days treat chocolate should arrive...and selfish Only Child me had it shipped to my office so I wouldn't have to share. Well, also so there was a better chance of not eating it all in two nights, too...but mostly the not-sharing thing. I did the sober work; I get the sober candy.

All you fine people in the blogosphere have really helped this time around. I'm not at all sure I could have made it this far this time without you. I'll eat particularly choice bits in your honor. :-)

Monday, June 20, 2016

31 Is Prime

A prime number, anyhow. The day itself was kinda sucky followed by really irritating. Not at all sure how I managed not to blow up at my family but putting myself to bed at 8:30 was probably a big factor and eating a Goo Goo Cluster first thing after I got home didn't hurt either.

(I sure hope that link works; never done one from my phone before.)

Anyhow I stayed sober in spite of others around me not and I got The Gottas done and tonight that is damned well enough.

Tomorrow will be the one-month mark as my quit date is May 21. Perhaps it will be less aggravating.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Day 30!

Night 30 now but that just means it is a sure thing.

Today wasn't as nutsy as yesterday and for that I am very grateful.

I also felt more inner calm than in previous days - grateful for that too. Still had flashes of rage and splashes of sadness but they were shorter and weaker than even a few days ago. I'll take it.

The sober path is full of milestones: Days 4, 7 and 10 were big for me. Day 30 feels good. "Got through the first month" has some weight behind it, y'know? Need to still keep doing the stuff that is working though because I know both from what others say and from personal experience that the two-month mark is a bit of a danger zone. When I first decided to do The Big Quit last July I got to 56 days but then quit quitting so that will be the next Big Milestone...though Day 42 being both six weeks and the meaning of the universe is special too.

First thing tomorrow morning I will "finish checkout" on my box of chocolates. For now, bed.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Day 29

Today's lesson? Just accept the crazy.

I don't mean "say the crazy is okay" or "endorse the crazy" or "enable the crazy" I don't mean "don't get mad at the crazy" either. What I mean is "the crazy is already happening and isn't going to stop happening just because you feel X about it so acknowledge that fact and start work on what to DO to/for/by/with/at/about the crazy."

Whatever the crazy may be.

Oh and don't use the crazy as a reason to drink, either, but that's the obvious part.

My day was totally bananapants pretty much from morning till right now lying in bed for the night. Conditions, situations and people changing rapidly in ways that affected me and none particularly to my liking. But instead of getting wrapped up and stalled out with/in how wrong, unfair, etc. it all was or how put-upon it was making me I made a conscious effort to just keep rolling with things. Sure, be pissed but be pissed -as- the shit is being dealt with. One can have emotions and acknowledge the emotions without 1) trying to not have negative emotions because they are "bad" or 2) taking the emotions out on self or others.

Evwntually things get less crazy.

Didn't get to read blogs today and tomorrow may be no better. However I'm still sober, still thinkin' of  my sober peeps and still working on how to manage emotions.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Four Weeks Today

Y'know what's useful? Yelling in the car. Alone, of course, and it might get weird looks in heavy traffic but out in the middle of nodamnedwhere it is cathartic out the yin-yang to spend two thirds of the trip into town yelling about the trip into town, the people behind it and their ancestry. And no one need ever be the wiser.

Oh and speaking of saying things...a really long time ago I followed the blog of a twentysomething fellow who'd just kicked crystal meth and he shared something I liked: before speaking ask yourself "does this need to be said at all? Does it need to be said now? Does it need to be said by ME?" If the answer to all three isn't "yes" then just don't say whatever it is and it will make life easier. I might have the second and third questions inverted but it was that set of three for sure. (He suddenly quit blogging one day and though I checked back for a couple months he stayed gone.)

Bowling didn't suck so much tonight largely because that other family finally acknowledged us - when they came in Daughter (who is older than I am) waved and smiled and later Mother smiled too. I know it is dumb but it smoothed my hackles considerably. Seven weeks was a long time to play Ignore in an eight-lane alley, y'know? They had another couple with the three of them; maybe that helped. The male half of the add-on couple bowled left-handed; never saw that before. Or if I did I long since forgot.

At one point during the Red Zone (that miserable early evening time) I did in fact think "oh to hell with this. I wanna drink" but the urge passed quickly. I didn't even have to run through the -entire- litany of "it won't will only make things don't need hung over and zero self esteem on top of Everything Else" before it left...although that is a good litany all the same.

Carry-out for dinner, left the dishes for morning and didn't have to make any stupid lunches...all those things helped this evening a lot. Saw the tiny fawn and its mother again too - that was pretty special. It had visibly grown (not much but still apparent) since whichever day I mentioned it before.

And now to bed.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Yup, twenty-seven days. Three cubed. Thirty minus three. Almost four weeks. Pretty neat.

I can write that now, of course, since the simmering frustration/anger/irritation which so often rules my evenings tends to miraculously vanish around nine. It's the getting from "home from work" to "finally myself again" which is the hard part.

It is exactly those feelings which were my biggest trigger and I think they all sum to "hey wait a minute; you should all be sucking up to/doing for/praising me, not the other way around!" Did I mention I was the only child -of- an only child? Yeah well selfish or not that is still pretty much my baseline when I walk in the door a lot of - hell, most - nights. Gonna have to work on that but not right away. Right now I'm happy with getting through Family Time without being overly sarcastic, hostile, weepy or maudlin.

Close enough to Day 30 I put my box of chocolates in its online shopping basket. Deliberately going with the chocolate despite all the food/body image issues because I think one of the reasons why I quit quitting last time was that I had started in on too much "no sugar, must exercise, avoid additives and junk" fix-up-whole-life pretty hard thinking "well I quit this one Really Bad Habit so now it's time to knock off these others." It was still too soon. Six months doesn't seem like it ought to be "too soon" but in my case anything that felt too much like "deprived" got big bounce-back. This time I am actively telling myself "sure the food thing is important but right now the sober thing is way -more- important so do not - I mean at all - try to actively give up anything ELSE." Also "Definitely don't try that no-sugar thing again any time soon"

Staying sober and remaining both functional within and civil to the rest of the family is more than enough challenge. Everything else can come later.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I thought the sadness and moodiness would never end tonight...but they eventually did. Lots of people - heck, everyone I've read I think - use the word "raw" to describe newly sober and "newly" seems to be at least the first three months if not the whole first year. I get that. Sad for no reason at all, surprisingly angry over little stuff - that kind of thing.

Uncomfortable to be sure and I would have loved an excuse to go to bed at 7:30 (I did "nap" on the couch from 7:45 to 8:30) but it still beats some of the ugly alcohol-fueled emotional scenes of nights past. And even though I felt pretty pissy pretty much all night I know that when I do finally get to sleep it will be decent sleep and that I will feel good in the morning. Sober emotions may be like someone sand papering one's soul but they do - no matter how much it seems otherwise in the short term - still beat drunk emotions.

Twenty-six. That's pretty cool.

Twenty-Five And A Half

I never write in the middle of the day but I have some time and wanted to share some thoughts.

Thought One: anything new is easier if you bring friends along. Trouble with giving up something is that usually most of your friends and quite possibly your family are still into the Something. That's okay and you don't even have to give up your friends - and certainly not your family - but it does make it harder. That's why even a little reaching out can help.

Thought Two: hard new things often don't happen the first time around and that's not a sign of total failure or personal weakness. If your goal is swimming ten laps in a regulation-sized swimming pool but you haven't been swimming in twenty or thirty years sure you try for all ten the first go but maybe you only do five. Or three. Or one leaves you coughing and gagging so much at the other end of the pool that you rethink that plan and get some floats or a kickboard. Doesn't make you a Bad Person or Morally Weak or Damaged, just out of shape. But you keep thinking of eventually being able to do those ten laps and you keep getting back in the pool. I've been telling myself that one a lot as July 2 comes closer because if I'd managed to stay quit when I first decided I'd Quit For Real it would be my first soberversary.

Okay, that's a lie.  If I'd managed to stay quit when I FIRST decided to Quit For Real it would be about six months past my 12-year soberversary.  If we stick with the swimming analogy it's awfully easy to just say "fuck it," stop going to the gym and hang out with people who aren't into physical fitness. Especially if being a good swimmer or not knowing how to swim are both tied up with a bunch of emotionally charged stuff going all the way back to childhood and although that's not usually true for laps in a pool it's almost always true for alcohol. But if you eventually want to be able to swim those ten laps the important thing is to keep getting in the pool. Maybe it's just to do aqua-robics in the shallow end but every time in the water makes it easier to try at least one lap. After those 4 months back in 2004 I conveniently quit listening to the part of my brain which observed that I might be drinking too much and it wasn't doing a damned good thing for me...though it didn't go entirely away or I wouldn't be typing right now. I started keeping record of my alcohol consumption (on 3x5 cards - very old-school) for a couple years before I Actually Quit again last July.

Here's where the metaphor falls apart though because unlike learning to swim, the big big BIG take-home for learning to be sober is this: Abstinence is easier than moderation. It doesn't seem like it on the first day or the first week but it is just so much less emotional work and grief to Just Not Go There when it comes to any kind of alcohol than it is to keep thinking about how to drink "socially" or "moderately." That part was pretty hard for me till I did it a couple times recently, fell back onto the endless loop and had to get off a third time. I spent more than a -decade- in various places on the "I don't drink that much"/"gee I'd like to quit"/"Okay today I'm quitting for sure"/"what the hell, why not?"/"I was never that bad in the first place" treadmill and for big chunks of time it didn't even seem to be A Problem....but like a river running through rock (gee I'm into the water symbolism today; that's not stunningly obvious or anything, huh?) it wore away at my self-esteem...which is a fragile enough thing on a good day.

On the other hand it's damned hard to balance the new positive of "More self-esteem! Doing something GOOD for myself!" with the onslaught of a million different up and down emotions, most of them negative, all on the same afternoon. For days on end. Among all the other things it is, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant at the cellular level so if like me you've been basting yourself in a nice regular bath of the stuff on a near-daily basis for years and it's suddenly gone, every cell in your brain is going to be confused and spitting out more chemicals than it has in ages which will turn into weird emotions, vivid dreams, tears for no reason and memories of stuff from who-knows-how-long-ago and although it's normal, it's not very much fun. In fact it downright sucks for big chunks of my time, not gonna lie.  The thing keeping me going though, is the knowledge that if I give in I'll just have to start back at the beginning all over but if I manage to get through another day then the cells will spit out fewer icky chemicals the next day because they will slowly over time adapt to the New Normal. 

Sugar helps.  Not just because it's comforting in its own right but because both the brain and the liver run on glucose.  That sweet tooth is real because the body's cells have been working overtime way WAY long dealing with all the alcohol and they don't slow down to zero just because the alcohol is gone--they want something by gosh by golly by gum by gee and they want it usually whenever the drinking started.  The good thing is that feeding myself sweets every evening has helped even out the moods a lot; the bad thing is that you don't lose one gram of weight that way.  Not right away anyhow.

I do know, though, because of personal experience as recently as this late winter and early spring, that if I can get past the first month into the second it gets better and if I can get past the second into the third it gets better still. It's the getting there that's tricky.  My issue is not so much "I want to drink!" but "I want to stop FEELING like this and I know booze will punch the off-button." 

And now I've droned on long enough to start boring even myself so it's time to find things to do other than dwell/contemplate.  I'll try to check back in when it actually IS Day 26 ie done and in bed and no chance of screwing it up for another day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

25 Already

Seriously I counted twice to make sure because I thought it was still 22 or 23 for most of the morning. Lots of emotional ups and downs today but it ended with a surprisingly bright falling star just now as I walked the dogs one last time.

Up too late - maybe I will write during the day tomorrow. Peace out.

Monday, June 13, 2016

24 And Doing Okay

Slept better/more soundly although I have for the past two nights had vivid crazy dreams. Still not back to the really great sleep I had last time but getting closer all the time. Trying to remember and I think it does take every bit of a month. But it happens eventually.

Despite better sleep was -totally-exhausted- today. Lie-back-down-in-the-morning before work and again as soon as I got home exhausted. No clue why. Hormones, emotions, early sobriety, fighting a cold - any or all of the above and it doesn't much matter really. Dinner was carry-out which helped

Same deal with Spouse and drinking: no attempt to get me to join. Total acceptance of my choice without trying to influence it so must have been the booze talking the other night. So much the better.

Likewise I have officially not said a word pro or con Spouse's drinking either. Not me, not my choices, not my issue. I say "officially" because of course there have been angry moments in my head about it but they have passed quickly and I have wisely kept those thoughts to myself. Not helpful to either of us. 

Twenty-four not only feels like progress but it is getting close to thirty which is a nice milestone. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

23 And Holding

It turned out fine. Spouse got rum while I was out doing errands and there was never any consideration or discussion of my imbibing. Just like last time. So far so good.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

22 ... Better

Everything always looks better in the morning including the whole don't-stay-sober thing. It didn't come up again in the light of day which is kind of how I thought it might go down. I expressed some frustration over the drinking generally which made me feel better. They're coming back tomorrow and I think it will be okay.

Otherwise it was a pretty quiet day. Well, no, not really: the beagle-dog was just In A State all damned morning what with barking and carrying on and wanting to go out and not doing anything once out there in favor of the family room floor...very annoying. Also an opportunity to berate myself for not being a better pet owner because if the dog had been raised better in the first place then none of this would be happening never mind that every beagle owner I know has all kinds of similar stories. Managed to shut down that line of thought and the stupid dog eventually settled down.

I eventually got less angry too.  Didn't eat quite all the carbs today either which is progress. Had some mild cravings for alcohol but the mantra which worked pretty well last time, namely, "it won't help" worked pretty well again this time. It -won't- help in the long run no matter how much of a short-term good idea it might seem to be.

I'm hoping three weeks is enough momentum that I won't want to trash it all in the upcoming days.  It will be so much nicer to be able to blog about getting through it and keeping my day count than it will be if I have to reset right back to Day 1 again and blog about that instead.  Speaking of blogging, though, it might get really short once the Whole Family is under the same roof again.  I don't call it House of Chaos fer nuthin' ya know.  I'll try to check in with at least a sentence or two from my phone as I go to bed but there may not be much more than that and possibly there might be less than that.

I won't drop off the face of the blogosphere though, no matter what happens. What's happening right now, however, is just plain ol' boring bedtime.

Friday, June 10, 2016


Three weeks. Two-thirds of the way to 30. Ten percent of the longest sober time I've ever had (202 days.)

It was a lovely morning: used some unexpected free time on a lovely cool breezy day and walked to the  public library for the first time in at least five years. Renewed my card, checked out a couple books - was very restorative. Libraries saved my childhood so I have a particular fondness but the whole Kindle phenomenon coupled with never seeming to get the books back on time made me drift away from that fine institution. Going back was wonderful. Probably like returning to one's beloved home church or temple for a religious person. Good stuff.

Got two extra bonuses: walking back via a pretty alley I'd never been on in 16 years of living here and meeting up with a colleague on the street.

Then evening came and with it the phone call from Spouse which included "you should stop that [sobriety] while I'm up there; it will be way more fun."

Oh Lordy.

I'm hoping it was just the booze talking and that things will be more thoughtful once Spouse and Eldest are up here. Hoping a lot, actually, because "we are only going to be here five days" will just be the tip of the persuasion iceberg otherwise...and I'm not sure I'm strong enough to stand - even with the support of the blogosphere - against that kind of targeted opposition.

Maybe I'm worrying for no reason. When I did the six months not so long ago there was no active sabotage or derision. Perhaps things will seem different in the morning.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


...and barely hanging on.

Full of the negative emotions. Can barely stand to be in my own skin.  Water heater in the other house went out which has caused Spouse and Eldest to have all sorts of emotion-laden conversations with me in the past 24 hours, some of which contained really choice passive-aggressive barbs. Family can push one's buttons better than any other humans on the planet.

I'm managing but not particularly well. "Put-upon" was how my mother always called that particular feeling of resentment and it was an absolute guaranteed free ticket to drink. I'm fighting with all that baggage on top of everything else.

Some of the everything else is that Spouse was all hot to quit drinking along with me and in fact that's a big part OF the being in the other house as that neighborhood and climate is much preferable and thus "it will be so much easier."  Yeah, well, that went all to hell. Two nights ago it was, "well Eldest bought it and brought it home without even talking about it" and last night was "oh after all THAT [water heater didn't stay fixed after service call] are you kidding?!?" and this evening it's just "my nutrition tonight will probably be in liquid form" and in retrospect there were a couple other nights too. We all have That Voice, we know how to play the "deserve it because" and "reasons" cards....

...which is why it's all super-annoying even as I keep telling myself over and over "not MY issue.  Not MY problem." Talk about adding fast-burning kindling to the fires of emotion!  But hey, it is what it is...and part of that is "an SEP: Somebody ELSE's Problem."  I read somewhere 12-Step based "don't take anyone else's inventory" and I'm coming back to that statement over and over. Also "Spouse's sobriety is not my sobriety."

Between thinking those like a mantra and perusing the sober blogosphere I think my head may not actually explode tonight. Was touch-and-go there for a while.

The funny thing is that as of twenty minutes ago the car is gone so I couldn't get booze even if I wanted it.  Well, okay, that's not quite true: I could walk 10 minutes along our road and another 20-25 along a state highway, neither of which have sidewalks, to the General Store (yes, it really is called The [name of village] General Store) to buy beer of up to 13% alcohol in amounts ranging from individual bottles to a case. Not gonna do that though...hadn't even considered it till I was typing the words "couldn't get."

(There have been times in my life when I might well have given the above plan serious consideration though.  Hell, even a month ago when I was in my most recent phase of "not quit" if I had been sitting around with a friend who proposed "hey why not? It's a pretty night; let's walk up and get some beer--it'll be fun!" I would have been totally on board. "Easily corruptible" has always been one of my problems.)

Yeah,'s not so much the drinking as much as it is the Not Feeling These Miserable Feelings and that's starting to happen on its own.  I keep telling myself on a regular basis that humans can't feel the same emotion for too very long no matter how intense or miserable it is because the neurons just plain run out of neurotransmitters and have to make more.  That seems to be what's finally happening to me and I'm grateful for it.

Gonna get some more iced tea, put my last lemon wedge in it and work on finishing that afghan I've mentioned before. May check back in with another post; may not.  But in any case this whole blogging thing--reading others and writing my own--has once again paid off.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Day of ups and downs. Slept better: asleep before 11:30 and only woke up once in the night at quarter past one...and it was just as well because as I was settling back into the covers Youngest woke up shrieking with a nightmare. After soothing her I reflected on how much better that went than it would have if I'd been drinking because either I would have been out so cold I slept through it or would have been up but very cranky. 

Slept straight through till five, dozed back off and was up for the day at 6 which turned out to be nice because an amazing thing happened at 6:13. I took the dog out and while he was on his leash a tiny fawn emerged from a clump of grass at the edge of our yard, trotted right over to him and put its nose not six inches from his. No fear at all, just curiosity. I was on the other end of the leash not 6 feet away and I think it was the closest I've been to a deer in the wild of any size or shape and this one wasn't even a full eight inches taller than our beagle. It was amazing.

Of course a moment later Mama Deer came 'round the side of the house not at ALL happy with the situation--she stomped in front of the dog, splayed her front feet in a tripod, got her head down, her tail up and hissed while Baby scampered off along the fenceline to the woods at the edge of the property. I didn't know deer could even make that sound. Our dog backed up, clearly intimidated (he's a lover not a fighter) and started growling but since he was done with his morning micturition I got him back in the house super-quick.  I doubt we'll see that mama and baby again any time soon and it was so early in the morning and over so quickly as to have a dreamlike quality at the edges but the grass stayed pushed down where the fawn had slept so it was real for sure. Also quite special.

Too bad I ended up being totally cranky and out of sorts the whole rest of the day anyhow. Had to make a trip to my least favorite branch site and that always puts me in a bad mood but I was already there from the git-go.  Headachy, tired, whiny but mostly angry at the world for no particular reason. Stayed that way the whole day, too.  When I got home I gave myself permission to eat All The Carbs like whatever day it was last week when the same thing happened and that helped enough for me to be civil to the family and get the Absolute Evening Necessities (dinner and the lunches for tomorrow) done without having a meltdown.

It may be an illness I'm fighting off: Youngest was asleep on the couch when I got home, woke around 7 only long enough to eat some dinner and sneeze a few times then announced she was "really tired and going to bed" a little before eight. This would be the third or fourth day she's been sneezy; I'd been writing it off to seasonal allergies but maybe not. In any case I'm putting myself to bed super-early too...just got word that the family at Chaos South are back to routine drinking and since they're coming back here from Saturday to Wednesday I need to get my own ducks in a row, have my tools and coping mechanisms all nice and ready and be well rested so that I'm not tempted. 

And so it goes. Tomorrow makes 20 and Friday is three weeks and Monday will be Day 24 which now that I've counted out I'm holding onto tightly.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


My sobriety is old enough to vote. It votes to continue.

Still waking up several times a night; don't know whether it's the not-drinking thing or the nearly-fifty thing or some other thing but I was able to roll over and go back to sleep pretty quickly each time last night so I was much better off today than yesterday.  Don't want to go down the road of Unisom or even Benadryl because I want to have good un-modified sleep so if it means another couple-few weeks of night-waking so be it. It was good before; it will get good again.

Earlier today I realized how much I'm genuinely enjoying/getting a kick out of/having fun with my latest dumb phone app game and I wanted to make sure to acknowledge that. Years and years ago when Transactional Analysis was a thing I recall reading that overdrinking was the "no joy" script and I think there's truth to be found in that so I'm trying to make a point of paying attention to the positive/happy emotions. Other people might call that gratitude but I'm not ready for such a loaded word.

The other really good thing which happened today was the early heads-up announcement of a change in dress code at my job to something I like MUCH better than the current one. So that was grand.

Also pleasing: I finished making all the afghan squares for Eldest. Now it's just assembling the last three strips and doing the border--it's possible I might have it done by this time next week. That's the plan, anyhow. I caught up on Belle's podcasts while I did it which felt good and supportive

Finally my new book turned out to be every bit as enjoyable as the last one but in completely different ways.  I'm still awfully happy with that bunch I ordered up last week. The only down side is that I seem to be chewing through them awfully quickly.  I still have the three freebies Amazon threw my way at the end of last month and sometimes those turn out to be really good but often they don't.

So far so good...but now I've simply got to see what this dog is on about. 

Monday, June 6, 2016


I tempted the Fates with that sober-sleep-is-great stuff a few days back.

It was still better than waking up slimy with flop-sweat, a racing heart and an impending sense of doom or waking up parched trying to remember how exactly the night had ended but I got lousy sleep last night and it affected my whole day.

Middle worked "till close" for the first time last night and I didn't realize the store had gone to summer hours so that meant 11 not 9. I started expecting him a bit past the 10:30 which had tentatively been on the schedule. By 11:15 I was concerned enough to use "find my iPhone" but his battery had run down so that was no help. I kept telling myself if anything were wrong he or the authorities would call but there was definitely no sleeping. He got in at 11:50 with a story of some tourists from Down South who had wanted 8 sandwiches at five till closing.

So fine, all's well that ends well but now I was frigging awake. Read my book till 12:30 then started trying to go to sleep with little luck. Made one last bathroom break for myself and the dog and I don't know what he smelled or heard but then -he- was up rooting around at the foot of the bed and chewing his feet and generally carrying on.

Finally dozed off sometime a bit past one...and damned if I didn't wake up at 1:47 for no particular reason. Again. Right out of a crazy dream which was vivid at the time but completely gone now. I've been doing that not infrequently: instead of drifting back down into deeper sleep after a REM cycle popping all the way to "awake" instead. Annoying. Anyhow I got back to sleep and the same thing happened at four-something and then the stupid crows decided to have their morning social club right outside my open window around five. I managed to doze after that but I was up for the frigging day at 6:13 and draa-a-a-ggy.

Which is why I'm typing this from bed. When my head hit the pillow at not-quite-eight I thought I'd probably sleep right away but those three Greek bit--no, wait, those three Greek beauties...yeah that's the ticket--weren't done because the phone rang. But hey, at least I'm still horizontal.

All through the day I felt lousy and out of sorts but I noticed at the time and am reflecting now that it was still much better than -any- post-drinking morning and WAY better than some. "Sucky" is definitely relative and sober sucky is tons better than hung over sucky.

Not drinking doesn't magically make things good, much less wonderful -- and even now I have to remind myself of that fact with regularity. Sobriety does, however, make it physically and emotionally easier to deal with all the unchanged Everything Else.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Four Squared

Because somehow "squared" makes it sound bigger. But hey, 16 is closer to 20 than 7, right? It's also slightly over halfway to 30.

Definitely made the correct choice in fighting the drinking urge yesterday.  I was up for the day by 7:15 which meant out the door to the grocery store by 7:45 in plenty of time to beat the crowds.  I made a point, in the car on the way to the store, to say out loud, "aren't you glad you didn't sneaky drink yesterday? You don't feel guilty or dizzy and you'll be at the store before eight.  Isn't it worth it?!?" Then I quickly amended that last bit to "aren't YOU worth it?!?"

I also saw a ginormous snapping turtle in the small side road along the way.  I appreciated hell out of that turtle. You see, several years ago I was up even earlier on a summer weekday and Spouse was out of bottled water which is a mission-critical item so I had offered to make a quick run to the store before work.  Along the much-busier main road I'd seen something I -thought- was a black cat walking across the road far too close to where I'd turned and swerved in a way that would have allowed the cat to go safely between the wheels....but it was a turtle and I smashed right into it. Can still hear the sickening sounds in my head now.  No doubt it looked like I was deliberately aiming for it which made me even sicker at the time and still does, frankly. Of course I was slightly hung over (I recall waking up thinking "hey, I don't feel nearly as bad as I -thought- I would after that much") and I don't know whether the outcome would have been different if I were as with-it as I am now but it's still a sad reminder cloaked in dizziness and guilt. I've forgiven myself and moved on but "forgive" doesn't equal "forget."

Today was different.  The even-bigger turtle lived and I was rewarded. First, the donut flavor of the week (month?) was Chocolate Banana.  Second, since I had made the list fairly late last night (and was completely sober when I did it) I pretty much remembered everything on it and was only occasionally glancing as I wandered the aisles.  However at the end of the shopping I always make sure to read through carefully lest I forget something and down at the bottom in printing sized to match my own Middle Child had carefully added "1 bag of fucks to give." 

I laughed so hard in frozen foods that an old couple gave me the serious hairy eyeball.  Then I drove my cart back to the toy aisle for a bag of green army men except they were half beige and half some weird not-quite-navy shade of blue.  Those are waiting at Middle's place at the table along with that piece of the grocery list taped to the top.

That's all I have right now so I'll save this much with plans to add more stuff later in the day.


We were without cable or internet a good four hours this afternoon into evening.  Not a huge deal though as I was deep into domesticity: laundry, Sunday dinner, working hard to finish the afghan for Eldest. Which probably explains why I'm so tired and achy now that I think about it...ever since dinner I was thinking, "gee, I'm exhausted and I ache but I haven't done anything..." Yeah, right. Puttering adds up and I should do well to remember it.

Middle works till 10:30 tonight so I think I'll bed down on the couch with a book  Looking ahead,Thursday is Day 20 and that's two-thirds of a month.  Yes I have a Day 30 treat already picked out: a box of chocolates from my current favorite company.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Day 15

Today I wanted to drink.

It's a boring Saturday and the phone call which woke me up from my nap wasn't worth it and because I was looking at the charge-card online site I knew the family down in Chaos South had bought booze but not mentioned it which just irritated me no end and then the mail came with Eldest's last college-job paycheck and when I mentioned it we agreed I'd just deposit it in our account and transfer the amount to her account the next time I was at the bank machine.

The car was at home so I thought "and I could do that now, I suppose, as much for something to do as anything," and immediately That Voice said "sure, because the liquor store is just half a block up the street and you could get a half-pint of vodka while you're there and that will make the afternoon much less boring, won't it? And besides, look at all the stuff you got through this past week and none of the rest of the family gives a shit anyhow so why bother?"

Because I feel better without it, that's why. Took a fair bit of doing to get over that particular hump, especially as it -is- such a dull afternoon and I decided not to leave the premises at all since it's safer that way when I'm in an "iffy" mood...but the urge seems to be passing.  Mostly passed, in fact.

This blog has already paid for itself in accountability because part of what helped shut up That Voice was knowing that if I did drink and reset my counter to zero I'd have to share that fact and I'd much rather share that just as Caroline Knapp said (more or less) "you sit and wait for the urge to pass and you think it never will but eventually it always does."  Which the rational part of my brain knew despite how much That Voice was throwing a tantrum.  The tantrum is pretty much over now and the urge seems to have passed...though I'm still staying home just in case.  Can do the shopping first thing tomorrow morning when the liquor stores aren't even open yet just to avoid temptation. Why make it hard on myself?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Two Weeks

Yes, Day 14 is winding down and although I've been out of sorts I haven't felt like drinking so that's something.

Woke up just utterly exhausted despite having decent sleep. Draggy all damned morn--no, make that really draggy all morning and then just sorta draggy all afternoon and of course Friday means taking the autistic brother-in-law bowling which I was in no mood to do but did anyhow and broke out in a weird sweat during the first game.  Got that same sweat last night out of the blue too. I can't imagine it's serious at all but it's annoying and unpleasant, that's for sure. 

In any case, breakfast was surprisingly excellent - the cafeteria special was a  lacto-ovo "Mexican Breakfast Bowl." I'm such a cockeyed optimist I thought that was the herald of a great rest-of-the day but no, that pretty much turned out to be the highlight. Work wasn't especially awful but it wasn't great either.  Oh well, it is what it is.

Got through work, got home, took ABL bowling where everything rubbed me the wrong way: after every frame he had to traipse off to the water fountain and take a drink because bighawd it was -there- and although usually his ritualistic behaviors don't bother me too much today was one of those days where everything annoyed me.  When the Other Bowling Family showed up I thought I was gonna blow a head gasket just because of their presence....which is absolutely ludicrous because if anything we're invading their turf, not the other way around.  Open bowling is from 6 to 9 so I take ABL right at six and we're the only people in the place. Then at 6:30 an older couple and their probably-about-my-age daughter all come in and the three of them take two lanes because they each have their own balls and one of them has a second ball and they spend some time chatting up whoever is behind the counter and they have their own shoes too so clearly they are Way More Serious about bowling than I or anyone in my family will ever be...and for three or maybe four weeks in a row now not one of them has ever smiled back at me (or Youngest when she's with us.) It's not like I want to be their friends or anything but since we're the only people ever in the place and we're the -same- only people you'd think they'd at least kind of acknowledge our presence, right? Wrong. Most of the time I'm all live-and-let-live what-EV-er about it but tonight -that- really got under my skin too. 

Went to the grocery store after bowling and that was a prime example of "no good deed goes unpunished" because ABL decided to haul out ritual shoe-tying behavior not once but three separate times in the space of a 20-minute shopping trip which wouldn't bother me if he didn't block a whole damned aisle while he did it. After the second time I told him if he did it again we were leaving but of course he waited till we were in the very LAST aisle and -then- did it a third time thus calling my bluff because although I've done it in the past he sensed correctly that I was too tired/cranky/fraught with emotion to just walk away from the full cart that close to being done.  Especially since I had put the good chocolate in the cart four aisles back and was almost to the deli case with the prepackaged Indian entrĂ©e that was going to be my dinner. Ran into someone I know with whom I would have liked to chat longer but ABL, upon seeing two-liters of soda in the deli area, interrupted with "Canada Dry!" not once but twice and started the wind-up behaviors which ultimately lead to "Agitated Autistic Adult In Public" if left unchecked. Sigh.

He and I had a discussion about that in the car on the way home - well, okay, I did all the talking after he announced in that sort of hesitant-yet-still-a-statement tone he has "been good boy in the supermarket."  Kept my cool and even started with "well, mostly good," but informed him that we weren't going shopping again till he had Velcro sneakers.  He seemed fine with that, actually.

I started in on the self-care just as soon as the groceries were stowed - pajamas, some of the good chocolate, a tall glass of iced tea, saag paneer, more chocolate and lying down on the couch. Took every bit of a full ninety minutes but I finally started feeling less like chewing the legs off everything. In fact I feel better now than I have at any point during the day thus far.

Better enough to be able to finally appreciate that two weeks ago right now I was already drunk enough to be getting emotional and forgetful and ultimately sleepy...and had started in just as soon as I'd gotten back from bowling because I disliked bowling so much. This way is better. I had an even lousier day but getting through it and not immediately starting to numb myself means I can take time to -acknowledge- that I did the unpleasant things and survived. Sober also means that although I'll still probably wake up at 1-ish for a bathroom trip because I've been thirsty and drinking lots of tea and water tonight, I won't -also- wake up sweaty and heart-poundingly miserable at 3:30...and again at 4-something and again at 5-something...possibly for the day despite lying there -trying- to go back to sleep. Once I'm finally up for the day I won't spend the first half of it in that nonspecific n 

I just can't praise sober sleep enough. It is totally worth waiting for. In fact "I sleep so much better without it" and/or the converse "It ruins my sleep" are both great reasons all by themselves to offer up to anyone asking why you're not partaking. Takes every single bit of 7-10 days if not two full weeks to -get- to the decent-sleep stage and it's got to be every night sober without skipping or you're right back to Square One but for someone like me who was drinking pretty much every single night and no less than every third night the difference is just amazing.  There's something about non-drugged sleep that makes it easier to deal with all the rest of the shit going on in the awake parts of the days.

In fact I'm really happy that it's Friday night because that means I can stay up till I get naturally sleepy then sleep until I wake up tomorrow and at two weeks sober that's a pretty big deal.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Almost two weeks--starting to feel like real progress.

Thanks to Ripleybelle for "your excellent self!" That was nice! Needed to read that today because of course there was more family drama. However I did indeed take good care of myself because by noon I'd bought not just one but a whole handful of Kindle books and got fries for lunch.

Because of the car-sharing adventure I took the bus home today and it was...novel for sure. I've used public transportation in and out of Chicago, Philadelphia and NYC but in a small town in sparsely populated county "bus" meant something rather different: a half-sized one with only eight other riders who all had been using it for Just Ever.  Two from my department though, so that was nice.  Easy enough to do again if need be and the walk from the bus stop to my house was right at eight minutes. I was "New Girl" to the bus driver which was strangely delightful--I told my colleague, "I haven't been a new girl in EVER."

Once home, though, I went into full Escape Mode: put on jammies first thing, ate All The Carbs and called it dinner then collapsed on the couch with the first of my new acquisitions. I loves me some Augusten, baby. I told someone over a decade ago, "he's the only person I've read who had a childhood worse than mine that didn't involve physical abuse."

And y'know...the babying oneself really does work, eventually. By the time Middle came home from work an hour ago I was in a much better frame of mind despite another small dose of family drama by telephone. ABL asked about bowling over dinner so that's on...I figured there was No Freaking Way he'd forget about it but had decided that if he didn't mention it I wouldn't either. I don't really mind it once I do it; it's just getting over the mental hump...which I suppose is true of a lot of things in my world, actually.

So that's about it from this corner of the world--I've done the Minimum Nightly Requirements and am on my way back to horizontal-with-reading-material which is a fine way to be.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Day 12

Rough day. Lots of family drama, some friend drama. Not really liking my current novel all that much (Aftermath and I like Chuck Wendig but I'm just not that into Star Wars.) Stayed late at work due to car-sharing. Dog misbehaved on the floor.

Didn't feel like drinking, still don't feel like drinking but am pretty damned drained. Not very verbose but wanted to check in just the same.

Good things: took a walk at lunchtime, didn't overeat, had a nice laugh with colleagues this morning.

Tomorrow is lucky thirteen.  Maybe I'll get myself a new book.