Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Day 103

The zinc worked. Nipped that pre-sick bud right off the vine.

Little did I know that would be the best thing about this day.

First thing this morning I found out a colleague has a brand new colon cancer diagnosis - and it has already spread to liver and lungs. This makes the -third- co-worker who has retired late and had a new cancer diagnosis within a few months of the farewell party...and the other two only lasted a few months. While I was wandering aimlessly around the building to compose myself I vowed I won't be working one day past 12-31-2033 no matter what. I become eligible for full Social Security benefits at age 67 and since that is the end of October anyhow I figure working the last two months of the year to make the paperwork easier is fine but no more. Nobody in hospice ever once said "gee I wish I'd worked more."

Didn't make me feel a damned bit better about my colleague though.

Even before I got all the way home the family drama was in full swing. So much so that nobody to whom I'm related has any idea how my day went. I'm surprised I'm not more emotional about it but I'm not particularly - I chose to just figure out various ways to not be around it. Took the dog and hung out outside for a while, made a leisurely trip to the grocery and then after a super-easy dinner hid out in my room the rest of the evening emerging only long enough to make ABL's lunch, decide there weren't enough dishes to bother and bid the rest of the family goodnight. I was in bed by 9:30.

I'm just so pleased with myself for not getting sucked into the drama. Removing myself from the equation was absolutely right for me. I hope I don't get a bunch of fallout tomorrow in the form of hurt feelings but if I do I'll deal with it. "Secure your own mask first" isn't just for airplanes any more.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Day 102


Eldest used that term casually this evening after I made a beeline straight to bed as soon as I got home. I loved it. I used far more syllables to describe exhausted and achy and sleepy all day but no actual cold more syllables for the commentary and opinion about same. Anyhow that was my day. Hadn't expected it at all:when I wanted to go right back to sleep immediately after waking up I thought it was just the overnight cold snap and cloudiness. I finally clued in when I - who always wants cooler rather than hotter - was cold enough at work to dig out a jacket and almost nodded off at my desk after lunch.

I accepted Eldest's offer to make dinner without thinking twice or demurring once -- progress! I also accepted the zinc lozenge Spouse offered. Between those things and a brief nap I felt well enough to make ABL's lunch for tomorrow and at least round up all the dishes and get them soaking...but wisely decided to have a small amount of ice cream and lie down on the couch a while before swapping out the dishwasher...and that too is some serious progress because even a month or two ago I would have pushed myself to hurry up and do ALL the chores at once, pre-sick or not. Now I know better.


Finally bed for real. Always a good feeling. Even the worst of feeling bad physically or emotionally is still better than falling into bed drunk and having those horrible wee-small-hours awakenings. Now when I go to bed I know I will remember -deciding- to put away my book or phone for sleep and I will -stay- asleep six or more hours. We tend not to think about it during the day but that nice solid sleep is a -huge- advantage of sobriety and it takes quite a while. The first two weeks it is hard to get to sleep -or- stay asleep, the next couple weeks are still iffy and then I had a stretch of a good six weeks where I would get to sleep okay but then wake up for a bathroom break after 90 minutes like clockwork. I thought that was going to be my new normal. However just this past week or ten days even that has stopped: I sleep straight through the night. SO much better than before.

And now it is time to begin that process once again.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Day 101

Halfway to my previous maximum.  Feels good.

But I'm so sad.  Gene Wilder died.  I'm crazy about him.

Nope, not for Willy Wonka though I loved that too but for Sigerson Holmes.

How I loved him in that movie.  I was eight and it was my first "R" movie which was allowed because I had already read my father's complete Sherlock Holmes twice and Sign of Four therein another couple besides. Sign of Four opens with IV drug use and closes with Watson getting married; that's pretty heady stuff for a seven-year-old. At any rate, as soon as the sign went up at the new movie theater in the mall I started pestering my mother till I eventually wore her down...and crushed hard even before I knew what "crushing" was. He was my first, my strongest, my longest, my secret favorite. I've seen every movie he ever made, even the lousy ones. And now 2016 has taken him too like it has so many others.  He was 83 so I knew it was coming and can't really complain....and he had Alzheimer's which means I -really- can't complain but it's still sad.

Now all three of my big early crushes are gone: Gene Wilder, Harold Ramis, Robin Williams. I must be getting old, huh?  Fifty in a couple months will do that I suppose.

==Much Later===

So before the Gene Wilder thing I did finally go to lunch and it was nice. Good day at work too.

It's weird: 101 days seems like a lot but at the same time not much at all. If this round of sobriety were a baby it would only now be outgrowing its newborn status.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Day 100

Triple digits! Huzzah!

The day started out fine: lovely grilled cheese for breakfast.

Went downhill though: ears driving me nuts (remember the psoriasis?) dogs pesky, weather hot and the put-upon/resentment started building up. Even ice cream for dinner didn't help much. Got stuck in that vicious loop of "family doesn't appreciate me" and it wouldn't let up for what seemed like forever though I suppose was really only about three hours

I grumbled a little but mostly excused myself from the rest of the (ungrateful! Unappreciative! Uncaring! Unsympathetic!) family and played stupid phone games till it eased up. Was painfully obvious that a lot of it was in my head when Spouse asked "what can I do?" with genuine concern and empathy only to have me say "I don't know!"

Eventually it eased up. Like booze cravings it always does even if you think it won't. A snack helped too even though I already had dinner and didn't think I was the least bit hungry. Now I'm in my nice quiet bed and can hear the rest of the family going about whatever it is they think they need to do but I've said goodnight so am no longer expected to be a part of anything or -know- anything like where stuff is or the status of anything. That of itself is a nice feeling.

Not to worry; I haven't forgotten that I still owe myself a lunch. Maybe now that the weather has cooled off and I don't think everydamnedthing is too much effort I'll actually do it this week. And yes, I'm proud of how far I have come and a big part of it is all you fine people. Work doesn't know and family doesn't pay attention especially as I don't bring it up because several are trying to find their own paths that way so my blog and the blogfriends it brings have become an important tool for me. Blogging on my phone from bed as a way to unwind and recharge has become an important ritual for me so thank you all for being there.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Day 99 Post Scriptum

Just now discovered amd after realizing I had read one of the recent posts on Medium I found this gem:

Never underestimate the joy of not poisoning yourself.

Don'tcha just love it?

Day 99

A good day.

Finally got my energy back. Did a lot of odds-n-ends things that have been on hold for six weeks or more. Including some with yarn, which I haven't touched since the beginning of July.

The cannelloni wasn't that hot, actually, which isn't entirely unexpected given that it came from the freezer section of the grocery bakery. I had some Cherry Garcia ice cream later in the day as compensation though which was fine.

There is still plenty of family drama in the background but it doesn't seem to be -getting- to me as much. This I find particularly good.

Tomorrow is Day 100 and I'm happy about it but don't have a single special thing planned. Guess I'll wait and see how it rolls out.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Day 98

Well really still Day 97 and a fraction as it's early in the morning.

I almost never blog from work but I am quite grateful for a small thing and wanted to share before the rest of the day made me forget: I didn't get rained on.

When I walked the dogs early this morning there was a light drizzle but by the time I was ready to leave for work it had stopped.  Unexpectedly I was driving myself: usually someone wants the car during the day so I get dropped under a canopy roof at the front door.  I hadn't read the weather yet so I contemplated wearing my windbreaker with the hood and after looking at the sky decided against it.  Worked out fine as there was no rain at all when I parked and walked up the hill to my building - a distance of most, if not all, of a city block.  Ten minutes later it was pouring.

While I'm here I'm also happy my morning wrap turned out as well as it did. Two bits of gratitude before eight-fifteen---I think this is a sign I'm coming out of my funk.

==Much Later==

There's nothing like bed when you're tired.

The day stayed pretty good. Didn't go to lunch but did treat myself to dessert -for- lunch as I was having a big sweets craving.

Bowling was about the same as it ever was but then I had some errands so by the time I got home I was hungry and cranky and achy. Eldest has made her marinated flank steak so the house was full of caramelized meat smoke, my kitchen was a complete disaster and she was in town with her husband. I started to get upset but the realized that the thing to do was to eat and then have a nice lie-down on the couch before even thinking of dealing with the mess. So I did.

Now the kitchen is almost to baseline, I have taken Motrin PM and this day is a wrap. Surprisingly I didn't even get very pissed when I realized the pan she used for the meat is probably ruined. Oh I got angry for a few minutes but then it dissolved just like last night. I'm not sure what this new calm is all about but I'm definitely all for it.

Bought cannoli for my breakfast while I was running errands too - wasn't that smart? Now I can sleep in -and- have a treat without leaving the house in the morning.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Day 97

A better day.

Of course given most of the previous day's this week the bar was set pretty low. Still, it was the best day thus far and I am grateful.

Also tired: the kitchen needed more work than usual to put it to bed. I was doing okay on the resentment front till I saw that in addition to all the other rubble from cooking the freaking second set of grill plates were in the grill and dirty - the first set were still sitting clean in the dishwasher. I got over it pretty quickly though. After a few minutes the pissed-off-ness dissipated like soap suds and I decided it just wasn't that big a deal after all. Sort of surprised myself but in a good way.

So the kitchen is back to baseline and I know I have a particularly easy day at work tomorrow. Heck I might even finally go have my Day 90 lunch since 100 is fast approaching. Especially as it is bowling night and I don't like bowling one bit better than I did months ago. It makes Autistic Brother in Law happy enough that I tolerate it but I'm glad Eldest is doing dinner tomorrow -and- I have ice cream in the freezer as I -only- tolerate it.

But overall things seem to be looking up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Day 96

An up and down day.

Woke in the night with a shaking chill and crazy dreams but got back to sleep right away. Had to give a conference first thing when I got to work but then the eyewear clinic called to say my replacement glasses were ready.

I cannot believe how much brighter my emotional outlook became once I had glasses again. I mean sure it was great to have everything in sharp focus again but I hadn't thought it would have such an impact on my mood.

Good thing it did though as there was plenty of family drama to suck it all away again. Sick family member needing nursing attention too...and a sink full of big greasy dishes. Way to fill the bag of resentment in a big hurry!

Yeah well I got Eldest to help play nursemaid, sent Middle for pizza and got through the night. Had some pretty big emotional dips in there including a bit of private weeping and an equally private few moments of rage but I got through it with an improved family member, an empty sink and the attitude that all those up-and-down-the-stairs were good exercise. Go me.

I sure hope tomorrow is less exciting though.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Day 95

Another not-great day.

Had to stop and think how many days it was though so that's something. Before counting up I was all "more than 90 but I dunno how many more than 90."

Otherwise it was kinda lousy. One of the cars needed expensive enough repairs that we are going to have to cancel our January vacation as this was the latest in a whole long string of unforeseen expenses. On top of all the other stressors that was enough that I had to take time out this evening to have a bit of crying.

Also felt fairly put-upon which is never good...but I'm so freaking tired I can't work up a good case of resentment.

One nice thing: Spouse again expressed happiness for my sobriety and said "I'm so proud of you...and so envious." I said that it was really hard at first but it gets easier and then you start feeling better not just physically but emotionally and you get some self-pride. All true.

I'm starting to wonder if I might be either sick or depressed though because I had planned since yesterday early afternoon that today I would go have my nice 90-day-treat restaurant lunch but when the time came it just felt like way too much effort. That's not like me. I'll give it a couple weeks but if it isn't any better by then I might consider seeing my doctor as I haven't been interested in my usual hobbies for a good four to six weeks now and that isn't like me either.

I did win $5 on a $1 scratch-off lottery ticket which was nice but there again I seem not to have my usual glee over such a thing. Y'see gambling is tegulated at the state level and I grew up in a state that was very anti-gambling: no horses, no casinos, no riverboats and definitely no freaking lottery anything. That started changing when I was in college but the prohibition had been so deeply ingrained that I was stunned to see lottery -vending-machines- the first time I was in a grocery in my current state. I still find them decadently amusing so I play the cheapest game ($1) with the highest odds of winning something: 50% chance of getting a free play for the next time. It is all for fun as I don't really expect to win anything other than a free play although once three years ago I won $40. Anyhow the one-dollar cross are usually a source of fun and a $5 win is rare enough that I would normally be more happy/excited about it. Can we say "flattened affect"? Maybe.

On the other hand I enjoyed this short story very much today so I'm not completely shut down

We will see how it goes. I'm happy to be getting closer to 100 and looking forward to that milestone.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Day 94

Lotta lousy stuff today but I'm finally in bed.

No cravings at all despite the really lousy day and people drinking right in front of me. That's a positive at least.

Maybe I'll manage to get myself out for lunch tomorrow. That would be nice. If not then another day.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Day 93

Not a great day.

Well, apart from the staying sober, that is. Only a week to triple digits now.

Woke up at 4 am sharp for a bathroom break and discovered dog puke on the floor. Was grateful to have seen it rather than stepping in it. Grabbed cleaning stuff on the way back from the bathroom and set it nearby with plan of sleeping in nice and late -then- dealing with it.

Up for the day at 7 anyhow. Joy. Grocery was particularly vile: restocking carts everywhere and only one actual human cashier. Though I like self serve checkouts just fine the ones at this store don't work for a whole week's worth of food as they are weight based and smallish.

More family drama and today I was piling up pebbles in my bag of resentment pretty much with both hands. Thought a nap might dump the bag and reset the balance but it wasn't long enough as the dogs got excited over somedamnedthing and once I was awake there was no going back to dozing.

But I got through dinner and the evening chores and am now already in bed with a book and thinking tomorrow will at least be a new and different day even if it isn't particularly improved. Bed with a book really -is- a way better solution to a crappy day than a half pint of vodka but it has taken years for me to finally know that fact. Ah well, better late than never.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Day 92

Chaotic day.

Dog issues, car issues, kid issues...had to work really hard not to fill up my bag of resentment. Well, more like I forced myself to just dump all the pebbles out every so often. One of the ways is that I excused myself for the night far earlier than usual and left the rest of the family to their own devices.

I also physically babied myself because of yesterday's Big Tired. Self care seems to be paying off: despite a lot of fairly lousy stuff happening I'm not tired or sad and even though all the other family is drinking I haven't had any urges -or- the critical voice in my head about them. This is all just full of win

Hoping to keep the better outlook.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Day 91

Getting close to triple digits again. That feels good.

Not nearly as sad today but doubled down on tired. Super tired from the moment I got up right through the whole day. Tired enough I decided not to go to lunch after all which is okay - I don't mind owing myself a nice lunch out one day in the near future.

I know some of the tiredness is in response to stress and emotional upheaval. Just want to go to sleep and Not. Deal. for a while which is a way better response than getting drunk so as to Not. Deal. so I'll take it.

Hoping to sleep late tomorrow morning - it will be quite a bit cooler than last Saturday.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Day 90

I did it. I got here. Feels like a nice scenic vista along the path.

Got myself a bakery cinnamon roll for breakfast and little did I realize that was gonna be the best thing to happen all day. Work hassles, BIG time home hassles and on top of it all I thought my last library request had arrived but it hadn't so I stopped in for nothing.

At one point drinking -did- cross my mind but the immediate response was "what, blow 90 days and have to start over -now-?!? Over -this- shit?!? No way!" The next thought after that was "besides, it won't help." 

Still planning on taking myself to lunch tomorrow. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Day 89

Another rough day.

Spent the whole day weepy, exhausted or weepy -and- exhausted. Since 9:30 this morning I have wanted to crawl back into bed and now at just past 11 I finally have.

Had ice cream twice tonight which didn't hurt although it didn't help as much as I hoped it would. Spouse commenting once again "I am so envious" about my sobriety helped as much if not more. Felt      nice to say "thanks...tomorrow will be ninety days."

Wish I had a treat planned: my original "take self to lunch" idea isn't going to fly because I have to be physically on-site at work all day. On the other hand doing it day after tomorrow would be fine too. Plus I need to get some tangible item too so that I can be reminded "yeah, that was my Day 90 present." My swell tie-dyed T-shirt has become my Day Seventy Shirt which I like very much.

Oh and the other thing: only in the past week to ten days - Day 80-ish - have I finally started to move past the Must. Eat. Lots. stage. I've still got a big sweet tooth but I'm not needing such big portions and I haven't done that All The Carbs thing in long enough I can't remember exactly when it last was. I knew from last time that eventually that bottomless pit thing eased up but I couldn't remember how long it took. "Far longer than you want or think it ought" seems to be the answer.

And now to sleep.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Day 88

Not a great day.

First thing this morning I discovered boy-beagle had chewed my eyeglasses to bits in the night. He's stressed and jealous because Spouse, Eldest and girl-beagle are all home but he has never been into my eyeglasses before and had to get up on his back feet to pull them off the dresser so it was a heck of a shock. Less than a year old but warranty doesn't cover dog mauling. Joy. My first pair of bifocals with all the bells and whistles so not cheap either.

Then at work someone decided to plonk a bottle of soda in the biohazard for-specimens-only ice machine. Not. Cool.

Home was hard too for various reasons. One of which is that I have given up my personal PC to another family member so my sober-blog cruising has been really constrained - I don't like to do it on my work computer so I'm limited to the phone...which doesn't do blog roll so I haven't been reading or commenting nearly as much as I'd like and I'm feeling the loss.

Lots of emotional ups and downs too and things I think pretty much have to be hot flashes. Weepy over stuff in novels and that isn't like me. Just generally not doing too well.

But hey still sober. That's full of win.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Day 87

Another hard one.

Work busy as one of my colleagues is on vacation.

Home worse though as still no internet or cable and boy did I hear about -that- all night. Nothing but complaints the entire evening. I know one can't enforce or expect enlightenment or gratitude but there are people in the area who were without -power- from Saturday afternoon till tonight. 

I practiced a lot of patience tonight. Grateful to have a nice big chunk of sober time under my belt to make it easier. If I had been drinking or on a low-number day I am certain I would have lost my temper and escalated grumbling into an all out verbal war. Didn't do that. 

Gotta get off here though; data plan is finite. Maybe tomorrow will be better...and even if it isn't I'm still another day closer to 90. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Day 86

Another hard one. Power restored last night but had no land line telephone for a while, many power flickers and still no cable or internet -- I'm using data plan on phone to check in so my blogfriends won't worry.

Refrigerator is sick, possibly dying - shits off every so often for no particular reason. Gotta call repair people tomorrow.

Much tension in family.

Today the only thing keeping me from saying "fuck this shit" and getting good and sloshed was the sure knowledge "but it won't help. I'll still have all the other problems plus guilt, a hangover and a new Day One. No point."

Of course then I fumed because I had NO coping mechanism/crutch. But I knew I had felt that way before - and even blogged about it - so even though I hated it and thought at the time it would never pass I also knew remotely it -would- eventually pass. And it did. Sulked myself to sleep for an afternoon nap like a cranky toddler but was better after.

We watched The Godfather 2 tonight - I had never seen it before. Good movie generally but I also noticed that Michael Corleone - the Don - doesn't drink.

Maybe the week will be better than the weekend was.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Day 85

Power out, phone nearly dead, hot and humid like crazy.
It totally sucks but I'm staying sober.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Day 84: 12 Weeks

Unexpectedly busy day at work.
Got drenched by rain twice.
Spouse and Eldest home from the other house.
Surprisingly tolerant of family drinking - hope that lasts.
Cold trying to resurface - hope that doesn't last.
No cravings at all even when I was in the liquor store. Definitely hope that lasts.
For today anyhow it really was "that's just something I don't do."
Tomorrow who knows but tonight was good for sure.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Day 83

Good but tiring day.

Did the employee evaluation and it went fine - far better than o had worried it would. Of course she could come back in tomorrow all pissed off about it but I got the hard part done. Had cafeteria frozen yogurt to celebrate.

Then walked from my work to the high school and back with Youngest to pick up forms...nice company and good exercise but miserable weather as it was 88 F with 60% humidity and no breeze.

Then a weird thing happened: when I got back to work I was delighted  when a downgoing lobby elevator opened in front of me. Large Local Couple pushed their way in first. Other Local Group saw the on-wall requesting-down button go out and observed the brightly lit down arrow in the elevator car so they asked "going down?" The couple said "no, up." Membets of the group showed confusion but shuffled off without getting on. I entered car, noticed button for 2nd floor lit, pressed button for the basement and said "I think it will go down before it goes up, see?" _while_pointing_to_ the lit-up 8" tall down-pointing arrowhead I side the elevator car. Elevator descended. While exiting I heard female half of couple say to male "that pushy bitch stole our elevator!"

Sigh. I live in a rural enough place that people are frequently confused by the whole elevator concept - that wasn't the first time this week I used the "I think it will go down first" line - but the attribution of malice is a new twist. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day 82

First day I feel more or less decent and now the muse has vanished. Life is like that.

I think a big part of it is that I have to give an annual evaluation to a difficult person at work in the upcoming days so my whole verbal-language skill set is pointed there in my head. Diplomacy and business-speak don't come easily to me and there's s huge fear-of-the-Unknown (the individual's response) component. I know I always-always-always make things out in my head ahead of time to be scarier/more intimidating/way worse than they ever turn out to be in real life...but knowing I do that doesn't equal not doing it.

I am, however, glad to be having the mental fussing from a sober state rather than from the spike-y jaggedy emotional and physical state of regular heavy drinking.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day 81

Another early to bed night. Feeling overall better but the thing has settled in my chest so I'm wheezy and really tired. Dozed-off-after-dinner tired and I never do that.

My mother would, of course, be pushing strong hot toddies with Christian Brothers brandy right now and would  have made a special trip to get it. Even back when I was a tween. She used to like to get me liquored up. We'll put a pin in it as I'm definitely not up to the task of unpacking all of that tonight but I probably ought to look at that piece of past one of these days.

I prefer a Ventolin inhaler.
[kicks no-generic-albuterol soapbox firmly under sofa.]

The cause of death when she died unexpectedly in 2013 was gastrointestinal bleeding due to or as a result of chronic alcohol abuse. Pin that too.

Gee, whip a little chest tightness on me and I'm leaping down memory lane right back to my asthmatic childhood. Guess that would be the "body memory" I wasn't even sure was a thing.

I know it's my blog and all but I hadn't meant to be such a Debbie Downer as Day freaking 81 is pretty groovy. Nine times nine. Three to the fourth power. An old human. A good number no matter how you look at it....unless there's a culture out there in which 81 has some horrific connotation or implication and I'm gonna get half a dozen comments about my cross-cultural insensitivity...can you tell I'm a little wired from the inhaler?!?

I'm happy to be piling up days. It feels good and right overall even if it isn't always pleasant in the moment. Shit, I should really start thinking what my 90-day treat will be, shouldn't I?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Day 80

Still a little sick but only a little - mostly better.

Really pleased and happy to be at eighty days but don't have a single profound thing to say about it. Am in bed a full hour early after taking naproxen and diphenhydramine, actually.

Though I -do- keep hearing Whoopi Goldberg in my head doing the opening to her "Fontaine: Why Am I Straight?" show, which amuses me on multiple levels. If I were still at my computer I'd paste in a nice link but I'm doing this flat on my back in bed with my phone so I will leave it as an exercise for the readers.

Speaking of phone...we didn't get the transporters or the replicators or the faster-than-light travel from Star Trek. We did, however, get not just communicators but tricorders. That's pretty cool.

Sober is pretty cool too. Carrie Fisher, John Larroquette, Stephen King, Sherman Alexie, Elton John, Daniel Radcliffe, Al Pacino, Anne Rice and her son Christopher Rice, Clapton, the late great Bowie...all the cool kids are doing it.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Day 79

Cold clouding all sensible judgment.  Everything sucks, life is stupid, nobody loves know, all that bullshit. Just took half an over-the-counter sleep aid in hope that tomorrow will be less sucky.

I am, however, very grateful my yesterday-self went to the grocery as I did indeed stay in my pajamas all day.

This too shall pass.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Day 78

A head cold. Joy.

I suppose it's not entirely unexpected given that I've been having a lot of negative emotions in the past week and then rode all those rides at the county fair three days ago...but that doesn't make it any less unpleasant.  I very seldom get sick so I'm an awfully poor sport when I do, although it's all internalized. I have a couple relatives who just will not shut up bitching and moaning whenever they catch a cold and it annoys me no end so I refuse to be the same way.

Anyhow.  It was definitely a plus that the cold decided not to start in until midafternoon as I had promised ABL Red Lobster for lunch.  We were there and back again before the left side of my face started watering up and it was another good couple hours before I realized that no, it wasn't just a temporary allergic reaction, dammit...but it did explain the weird hot/cold/clammy/sweaty most of the day before that I was chalking up to hormones. Hell, it might even explain some of the big unexpected sad yesterday too.

Speaking of yesterday, I totally forgot to mention that night before last I had a drinking dream. Yup, was with people I know only slightly in an unexplained social setting and was blithely standing around a table of mix-your-own talking away about this and that and mixing a hefty gin and cola (!?)  Sat down with it at a long table still chatting away, slurped a good third of it down (not tasting anything at all other than vaguely sweet - again !?) and only after, in the dream, feeling flushed and hot in my forehead and cheeks did I realize "OhmahGHAWD!  But I don't drink!  This is BOOZE!" Then of course the instantaneous guilt set in and one of the big thoughts was "but I'm past seventy days!" and another passing thought was "If I dump the rest of it does it count?" followed immediately by "of COURSE it counts; you're FEELING it!" Then there was a general feeling of emotional awfulness and the setting/people faded to black...

...and then I woke up.  Instantly incredibly grateful to realize it was only a dream.

Didn't have anything like that today, praise be. The other praiseworthy thing is that once I realized I did in fact have the early stage of a head cold I quick figured out menus and did the grocery shopping now, on a Saturday night, so that tomorrow I don't have to get out of my pajamas at all if I don't want. Really good timing too because in the half-hour since I've been home the cold has evolved from scratchy/watery to sneezing/running with mucus.

A year or so ago I would have used "head cold" as an excuse to drink a little more than usual.  Not that it took much of an excuse.

Which reminds me: although I'm definitely proud of every milestone along the way and will enjoy the heck out of getting back to 100 days, the Big Prize this time is definitely a year.  I want a sober birthday really badly...and only after stumbling at the Day 202 mark did I realize just how long I've envied people who have them: years. Probably decades, even.  I can recall still being in my twenties and thinking that people who had given up alcohol had something I wanted...

...and now I finally want it badly enough.  I think. I hope.  This time around the Big Quit was July 2, 205 and I got to 56 days, fell off for 9 and got back on for 202...but then it took 45 days - six and a half weeks - to get the momentum going again.  I'm scared it would take even longer if I started back up again now and although intellectually I know there's no fun in it any more the whole booze game is so insidious and sneaky.  Since my dream I've been thinking maybe I better be a little hyper-vigilant about the fighting complacency thing.

But I can be hyper-vigilant while lying on the couch with a box of tissues.  I'd go all the way to bed but it's too early to walk the dog one last time. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Day 77: Eleven weeks

The numbers are piling up which is nice.

I just wish I'd have some of that pink cloud stuff I read about. Today by all objective criteria should have been a great day: off work, went back to sleep for an hour, did essentially no cooking or cleaning, had frozen yogurt in the middle of the day and a whole stack of new library books...but I still had a big sad going on.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Day 76

Well, technically 75 1/2 as I'm starting this post in the early afternoon because I'm fading fast.  So. Very. Tired. Both physically and emotionally. Probably more of the latter.

However I wanted to share today's discovery which is that my renewed interest in the local library system has become a big sober tool. That part is a bit "well, duh!" but the why came to me today: it's because escaping into the written word was one of my major childhood survival skills. I've said many times that books were my first best drug and although that's probably a rotten way to phrase it on a sobriety blog I think you get the idea. The author Lauren Groff, in her first novel The Monster of Templeton had one of her characters say

   When I was small and easily wounded, books were my carapace.

That line was so profound for me that I have it stuck to my office wall.

 (Right between Oscar Wilde's "the truth is rarely pure and never simple" and "Ce n'est pas à nous" which I found in a Michael Gruber novel and means "ours not to question" but I'm seriously digressing. The stuff on my office walls is a post unto itself.)

Now that I'm having to live through All These Emotions without anesthetic I've rediscovered my carapace and it helps. Lots. Maybe there's something from your own childhood - single-digits childhood, well before that whole tween thing started - that was a carapace or a comfort then which might be one again now.


In keeping with self-comfort, dinner was a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich.  Haven't had one in so long I can't remember - maybe a year or more - and it was really good. Had to stop on the way home for ice at the grocery (yes the fridge makes ice but 1) it isn't as good and 2) I can go through a whole hopper in half a day - I like really iced tea) so I also got a prepackaged two-slices-of-cake from the bakery department. For the next few days it's just ABL and I: Middle and his brother-in-law went down to Chaos South to see the rest of the family and Youngest is back with MiL to be closer to the school for her driver's ed course.  I had some cherry ice-cream topping for the cake so we had total mega-dessert which we both enjoyed very much.

From dessert I went straight to the couch with a book.

It's now about three hours since I crossed the threshold and I'm orders of magnitude better than I was. Not yet baseline but getting there. Self-care works.  Soothing instead of ignoring the inner cranky tantrum-y child is always the better choice yet I find it surprisingly hard to do.  Something to ponder.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Day 75


Stayed up past one finishing my book which I knew at the time wasn't the best move but I knew if I tried to put it down I'd just toss and turn thinking about it. So I started the day draggy although not -as- draggy as I had feared. Score one for restful sober sleep even in reduced amounts. 

Ended the day with the county fair which was a lot of walking but also fun rides and greasy fair food. Took ABL and Youngest for one-price rides night which I had thought was tomorrow till I went to the fair website and a damned good thing I did too. Anyhow fun was had by all though I was awfully tired and definitely ready to come home by the time we did. Quick shower and boom - already in bed.  Didn't even make ABL's lunch which I must remember to do in the morning - ditto the dishes.

Fortunately thanks to being sober I will actually -remember- about the lunch tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Day 74

Everything is okay. Got caught up in a good book. Up far too late but must finish it now. No cravings today.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Day 73

Another day.

I don't want to drink but I do want a whole different life.

Nah, not really...but there were more challenges on the home front today and I'm tired of challenges. I was appropriately angry and appropriately sad by which I mean I didn't blow up or break down or go to any particular extreme. Just sat with the emotions and eventually they mellowed out on their own.

This is definitely an improvement over the pouty "not gonna drink but mad/sulky/sad that I can't and have to feel all these unpleasant feelings" of just a day or two.  Don't think it's any sudden huge personal growth on my part; probably just a better balance of brain chemicals and possibly just fatigue but I'll take it.

I'll also take bedtime with a side of light fiction - I find "ah, fuck it. Go to bed and start over in the morning" to be a fine coping strategy.