Friday, September 30, 2016

Day 133

Tiring day.

Good but tiring. Finally took myself to lunch - the technically my Day 120 treat lunch. Walking up to the restaurant and back felt good. Did some errands on the way which felt productive so all that was fine but I also had a lot of workend of the day and stupid bowling as soon as I got home and changed.   Wish I could say I'm growing to like bowling but I'm not. If anything  l like it less. Still it makes ABL  very happy so I suppose I can keep tolerating it. 

A walk and bowling both on the same day was physically tiring enough that I haven't done anything more strenuous than a load of laundry since I got home with ABL and McD's. Which is fine. 

This week I actually made a list of stuff I wanted to do over the weekend. Not sure I've ever done that before.

Right now, though, I want to accomplish some big time sleeping.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Day 132

A tiring day.

Early morning meeting, road trip to affiliate sites and felt almost-not-quite sick all day after waking up too early out of bad work-related dreams. Need a vacation and it is still 2 weeks away. Sigh.

Comfort food at dinner though: biscuits with butter and jam. Skipped the stupid dishes and am in bed way early. Self care is getting easier and coming more naturally these days.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Day 131

Tough day.

Mood swings galore. Got prescription issue fixed but not without hassle. Tired. Drained, even. Emotionally raw. But no desire to drink. No big bag full of resentment either, which is huge.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Day 130

(I really thought it was only 129 till I double-checked.)

An angry day.

Called in a refill for ABL's primary prescription Saturday morning and the robo-voice told me it needed authorization for more refills and that the pharmacy would contact his provider. This morning I gave him the -last- pill so I walked to the drugstore at 1pm thinking surely it would be a done deal. Well the pharmacy had alerted the clinic but the clinic hadn't responded so no go. I begged four pills (it is an antipsychotic; hardly abuseable) and walked back in a towering g rage, far greater than the situation warranted but there it was. Called the clinic and spent 20 minutes getting treated rudely by people in my own healthcare system. Also getting told the pharmacy hadn't made contact.  I stayed civil but I thought I was gonna blow a head pipe for sure. Eventually I was told that it would be taken care of by the end of the day which in our teaching clinics should be five-ish as they don't book patients after 4:30.

It was actually Spouse who suggested "file a complaint, then."  You would think I could have figured that out on my own but I was ineffectually fuming. It was a good idea though so I emailed the senior administrator of the medicine clinics whom I know because we go to all the same meetings. I didn't complain or express anger just told the story as it happened. I had to go chair the monthly provider meeting in our department so I missed the very apologetic phone call she made within 10 minutes of my email but the message was waiting when I got back to my office.

Unfortunately what was not waiting was the damned prescription when I called the pharmacy at 6 because they close at 7. So there will be a Round 2 tomorrow.

Even at only a month away from turning 50 I still don't do anger well at all and I -really- don't do well with justifiable anger at the poor actions of others. I had huge rage alternating with an inexplicable desire to cry. It is hours later and the anger has passed but the sadness and resentment at having to expend so much energy on what should be an easy process are still in full force. The little kid in me is screaming "that's not fair! Why should •I• have to do more work because somebody -else- screwed up?"  Because that's just how it is sometimes, I know, but I've had several of those lately and it is really frustrating.

I didn't, however, want to drink. One small grace, I suppose. Didn't want to kill the anger with booze. And although I would have gladly eaten a lot of something really good, nothing in the immediate area counted as "really good" in my mind so I didn't even end up trying to kill the anger with food either. That's progress for sure...but I'm not in a very good mental place to appreciate the personal growth. I'm in a rather more whiny place do I'm hoping a good night's sleep will fix it.

At least when I have to Deal With Things tomortow I will be doing so hangover-free...that's always a good one to remember.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Day 129

A frustrating day.

No cravings or desires just wretched meetings and an overwhelming sense of "I should be getting more/better/different!"

Another early to bed night; maybe tomorrow will be less internally whiny.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Day 128

Today I wanted to drink.

I was in the passenger seat of the car so Youngest could have driving practice and I was hungry and tired and didn't want to be there but I'd promised. Boom! I am having such a stiff drink when this is done. Then I was all "Holy shit where did that come from?! You don't drink any more!!" Oh. Yeah. Right. Duh. Although my brain had already queued up an image of the nice icy glass in hand, first string sip sliding down befor I got to "yeah, right" and it still sounded like far too good an idea. Had to actually tell myself to stop romancing the drink because it would just make things worse not better. The feeling passed - not as quickly as I had hoped but still before the driving practice was over. I never really seriously considered acting on the feeling but I was surprised that after this long it could still hit so hard and in such a sneaky way. Bam.

I suppose it wasn't hugely sneaky given that the whole practice-driving thing is stressful and I was hungry and tired and although I had worked it out with the family member who hurt my feelings last night that was still pretty fresh...but of course I didn't see any of that at the time.

Came home and took a nap is what I did.  Then baked up the now-thawed leftover cookie dough from a few weeks back, ate a good five or six then took a second nap before making dinner.

Now I'm already in bed for the night.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Day 127

A downhill day.

Started off pretty well but then out-of-sorts kicked in. Not boredom, really, although that's what it seemed closest to for the longest time till I realized that lonely was probably closer. Uncomfortable in any case.

On the "up" side I didn't want to drink. Didn't want to overeat for a change either. Also on the plus side is that I found candles at the dollar store which smell just like the ones my mother and I used to make when I was a kid. I have so few good memories of her it was nice to be reminded of one.

On the "down" side: a serious knitting setback. On the "way down" side a comment by a family member which really hurt my feelings....and instead of dealing with it right then I was stunned and shocked enough to let it slide and now the moment is gone. Time to call it quits on this day and try again in the morning. A decent night's sleep alway helps.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Day 126

All's well that ends well.

Neither meeting was quite as bad as I had feared and the pace at work is finally easing up. Middle needed the car so I lucked out of bowling on the very same evening Season 3 of Transparent was released on Amazon Prime. Did a super-easy dinner then binge-watched the whole damned season with my knitting. A real pleasure.

Y'know what else is a pleasure? Staying up late on a Friday night but doing it _sober_.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Day 125

Hard day; easier night.

Work is really kicking my ass lately and I get to end the week with not just one but two unpleasant meetings tomorrow.  Joy. Spent more of the day than I would have liked spinning my wheels trying to get into some kind of productive mindset.

Once I got home things got better though: shower, easy dinner, relaxing. Self-care is starting to become more ingrained, I think.

No major insights other than thinking I'd better take myself to lunch next week.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Day 124

Rough day.

All the work stress and volume weighed heavily and I was in a sad bad place most of the day. However when I finally had sense enough to walk downtown for the first time all week I was reminded that doing for others always lightens one's own head-stuff: started working on "get trick or treat basket" for ABL. Finding goodies both edible and non boosted my mood considerably.

Spending the evening on the couch with a book didn't hurt either.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Day 123

An ordinary day.

Nothing particularly good or bad. No major undertakings.

Just work-home-dinner-knit-bed.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Day 122

Tough day.

Issues on both work and home fronts. Had a quiet little mini-meltdown in my office just after lunch.

Still, like all things, the sadness and frustration and hurt feelings eventually eased up.  All of the after-dinner time was spent with yarn and knitting needles in hand creating a mitten from scratch and it was exactly the therapy I needed. Setbacks and all.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Day 121

An out-of-sorts day.

After the grocery run I was moody. Not all the way to any particular emotion but not quite right either and ended up being angrysad. Took me a while to figure out my vague had become specifically negative because I had been triggered by binge-watching One Mississippi - once I figured that out I still felt just as rotten big at least I'd sorted out the rotten-ness which felt like progress. It eventually passed. Distracted myself with a new chocolate cake recipe   and an old computer game during some of the worst of it. Takes practice but I'm starting to realize that feeling emotionally bad doesn't last forever no matter how much you think it will at the time and therefore it doesn't have to be specifically treated.

 Chocolate cake reminds me: the structure of planning a week of dinner menus, provisioning them and then doing them is an overall good thing which never used to happen so regularly or completely before. Too much resentment and wanting to get out of it altogether or at least hurry up and get it out of the way so the drinking part of the evening could commence. There was always that Little Voice trying to angle for "aw can't I just pick up carry out while I get the alcohol?" Never mind that even I don't think much of the local carry out choices - I was all stuck on " I worked so I shouldn't have to cook TOO" never mind that I'm the best qualified in the family to do it, can produce better stuff than fast food and actually kind of like it when I don't have a packed-full bag of resentment already weighing me down. It was my own version of "gee if you put half as much energy into doing X as you do trying to get -out- of doing X you'd've been way do e by now."

Funny how it takes this long to see that.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Day 120

An achievement day.

It isn't 4 months by the calendar -- that will be Wednesday -- but I've been waiting for it all the same. Probably because it's more than halfway back to my previous best number of 202. Also for some reason 120 feels substantially bigger than 100...more than it logically should.

Having been in a state of wanting to quit for decades and trying to quit for years and having a couple recent serious quits (If I had stayed quit when I announced "this is it" I'd be at damned near 450 days today but hey it is what it is) I thought I'd reflect on some things I've learned.

Days 4 through 10 are the hardest. This isn't original with me; I got it from Mary Karr and she was quoting someone in a meeting.  True stuff though as I can't tell you how many times I've thought "okay I'm quitting" and done two or three days only to have it collapse somewhere between four and ten.  Countless.

Although a week is a good marker, two weeks - Day 14 - is a better milestone.  It feels like real progress and the horrible bones-crawling-right-through-skin really raw stage is pretty much over. Craving still pop up but that miserable how-am-I-gonna-DO this brain running like a hamster on a wheel stage eases up.

The second month -- after Day 30 but before Day 60 -- is also tough but in a completely different way. Lost some good quit attempts in that window, too. This is the insidious stage.  The sneaky stage. The stage where the more obvious trap is something like well I've gone a whole month now and sure I feel better but after that first week I didn't keep feeling better and better and I really wasn't that bad in the first place and now that I've had a good break the whole moderation thing should be a lot easier. That one is easy to see but here is a more subtle one: hey now that I'm dealing with the drinking I really should start watching what I eat/exercise more/tackle that one job I'm putting off/whatever. Seems reasonable, right? Add onto the new healthy lifestyle you've started?  WRONG. This one is a trap too because it's taking a delicate balance and piling on. When you don't manage to do ALL the things, sobriety being one of them, then it is easier to forgive going back to the earliest way it was, which includes drinking.  Even oh just one because... and there's always a because, isn't there? I say be very cautious and aware during Month Two and even though you might feel silly doing it, keep babying yourself as if you were recovering from a bad illness or had mono or something.

The third month, for me anyhow, is when it starts coming together enough to be able to start dealing with The Emotion Superhighway. The actual nuts-and-bolts of being sober is established: few to no cravings, good to great sleep, not as much eat-every-carbohydrate-in-the-house-and-buy-more. The big thing now is what to do with all these freaking FEELINGS?! Also a fair bit of "okay, so how am I going to live my life without this huge coping mechanism I spent a lot of effort to get rid of?"  It's a headspace thing and everyone is different but I discovered I had to get away from my "instant fix" mentality.  Caroline Knapp said lots of great things but the line I kept repeating to myself was actually something she shared from a friend of hers, "when I get mad at my spouse I have to remember that the answer is not 'get a new spouse.'" Or to run away, which I always fancied. Lotta figuring out how to deal with Big Time Negative Emotions starting in the Past 60 Days window.

That work keeps on but Day 90 is a big milestone all the same -- three months is a long time to do anything plus there's that "ninety meetings in ninety days" mantra which even if we're not twelve-step types still carries weight. It's close to a hundred and three digits is a Really Big Deal.  For anything, really, but especially in "days continuously doing something."  Also - and this was a big one for me - enough time has passed that you can objectively look back over the past 3 months and compare them to other three-month time intervals and get that not-drinking is truly better. It really does take that long.

And now, at Day 120, I'm circling back to the very beginning: fighting complacency. I don't feel complacent right now but that's because I'm working very hard not to take any of this for granted.  By now the idea of not drinking has become established which is good - great, even.  However this time around I don't want to ever think "okay, got that problem solved, now let's..." Another mantra from the twelve step world is "don't make any life changes for at least the first 6 months and a year is better" and I really see the logic of that. I'm using the newborn child metaphor: you wouldn't expect a baby to walk in the park with you till it was old enough to walk, right?  And before that there's a whole lot of other stuff like sitting up and crawling and creeping and pulling up and cruising, right? That's the model I'm keeping in my head so that I don't start thinking this is in any way "done" yet.

Day 119 catch-up

A skipped day.

Blogging, that is. Wasn't intentional. Had thought about the blog a couple times as I knit on the couch but was drawing a blank on content as "survived lousy week; stayed sober" is only five words. Then right at my usual blogging time, family called and before I knew it I was in bed most of the way to asleep.

I guess the take-home message is that eventually sobriety becomes part of the background...which is a good take-home message, actually.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Day 118

A better day.

Not great, as one of my managers gave notice and a different manager has troubles of their own but just about anything would have been better than yesterday. Also there may be some recourse against the deficiency...or at least a chance to submit additional information.

Made sure to take a moment of appreciation for waking up feeling good this morning.

Took a second moment of appreciation mid-morning when I was powering through the work, too.

Treated myself gently when I got home which includes what I call Minimalist Mode: figure out the absolute least amount of work necessary and do only that. Tonight that meant a throw-in-oven-ignore-till-done entrée and skipping dishes entirely. The act of cutting oneself slack as a way of acknowledging a difficult day is important.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Day 117

A doubleplusungood lousy day.

We had an inspection at work. My department has never had any sort of problem before and is conscientious and well-regarded. When we had this same inspection three years ago my group got 100% so I wasn't worried.  Then the inspector showed up and made a rather insulting comment about my kind of department generally before announcing he would be extra-hard on our particular department.  Which he was. The most strict and all-or-nothing interpretation of the standards possible. It was awful. Not just awful but awful in that sucker-punched not-expecting it kind of way and as the boss of said department it was all on me.

After the horrible session which involved the inspector reviewing paperwork for an hour and a half in silence with his back to us before turning around and saying "your department definitely has a lot of work to do" I was supposed to have lunch with him and others involved in the survey but I, upon finding out that our time had run over by a half-hour, said "Oh I have to get back to work; I have things to do" and excused myself.  The things to do were 1) not break bread with that guy and 2) compose myself in private.

It was the worst day I've had at work in several years.

Commiserated with colleagues for a while (they were even more outraged and angry than I) walked to the library and back and tried not to dwell on it. What's done is done and can't be undone, the issues raised are already permanently resolved in a way that will satisfy even the strictest of interpretations and have been for several months (they look at prior year data, not current) and it doesn't make me or my colleagues _bad_ anyhow. 

Then I looked at tomorrow's workload which is more than half again but not quite double a usual workday.  That was just the icing on the cake. Or, as a colleague would say, the stink-cherry on top of the shit sundae. No changing that, either.

However I dealt with my terrible horrible no-good very bad day better than I would have back in my drinking days.  This would definitely have been a stop-at-the-liquor-store-on-the-way-home kind of event, probably including the rare drink-a-mini-in-the-parking-lot modifier and definitely leading to pour-as-soon-as-you-reach-the-kitchen.  Despite the extra-heavy workday I knew was coming tomorrow.  Oh sure, I'd -think- about the next morning but those thoughts would have been something like "so I need to get my nightly drinking done right away and push a lot of fluids so I won't feel as bad" which may or may not have been what actually happened. And although the booze would have been theoretically to forget my troubles or reward myself for having survived them, I would have ended up dwelling on the awfulness of the day all the more AND felt like crap the next day.

Tonight I shared my rotten day with family who offered sympathy, walked the dog same as always, put on my pajamas, poured a really icy glass of tea, had some cookies and made dinner: chicken soup with matzoh balls which I had never made before.  Middle and ABL had never had them and I'd only ever had the from-a-box-mix kind once decades ago so that was an adventure as was the pineapple pie recipe I got off FaceBook for dessert. ABL was indifferent and Middle didn't like matzoh balls but I did so I fished the rest out of the soup so they can be my breakfast when I start my day from Hell tomorrow. The pie was so-so...but I'm a sucker for social-media recipes.

Then I had a nice little lie-down with one of my new library books and realized that I had already bounced back from the horrible day more and faster than I had expected I would even four hours prior. Not only that but I will sleep well and wake up ready to tackle the big heavy day -- these are all very real benefits that reinforce the value of staying off the sauce.  Another HUGE benefit is knowing that even though the day was vile, I have none of the shame-cloud which always hovered in the background of the kind of weeknight drinking I did and I'll be able to hold my head up high tomorrow.  Spouse saying "I'm really impressed and proud of you" was a nice side benefit, too. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Day 116

An ordinary day.

But wow, a hundred and sixteen is pretty cool...and cooler still is that I had to stop and double-check to make sure it really was that many days. I've finally reached the point of not knowing quite what the day count is.

Otherwise, though, nothing particularly noteworthy today. Which is fine: calm routine is absolutely to be appreciated. It takes quite a while to get to "ordinary" but it is really worth the effort.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Day 115

A long day.

Had to speak at a work meeting which started at 5:30 and because I was down front I couldn't sneak out when it ran long...and longer. Got far too hungry and angry by the time it was over at 6:50.

I was a hateful vicious thing when I crossed the threshold but instead of spewing vitriol as I poured the first drink of the evening I kept my thoughts to myself and had not just one but two of the good homemade brownies. After fifteen minutes of sitting with the dog and some iced tea I was a whole new person again. Only then did I start making dinner.

It seems like a completely self-obvious and no-brainer kind of thing: come home angry, tired and hungry so rest, relax and snack first thing...but I never saw the simple solution back when it was vodka time instead. I also wouldn't have seen the equally obvious "well if you had a rotten early evening because of a work thing then take it easy tonight; don't pile on." Now, though, I have practice in avoiding overwhelm so all the frustration and anger about my meeting ebbed away.

The more experience you get in self-care the easier it becomes to recognize when and how to do it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Day 114

Another calm day.

All mornings are better when you give up a regular drinking habit but I find Sunday mornings particularly nice. Gas for the car, groceries for the humans and home again all before nine.

I've been doing that very thing long enough now for it to feel like the new normal and that - the fact that it IS the new normal - is one of the sobriety joys that I really want to stop and appreciate in its full glory.

Old way: waking in the wee small hours, glaze of flop-sweat, big cloud of anxiety, fog of shame and self-doubt, tears, nausea and the endless bargaining with self and family over when/if/how to do the dreaded shopping. Possibly have a kid do it instead. No real plan.  Lugging bags in from the car and stowing stuff sucks. Wonder if your life is truly falling apart at the seams or just feels that way right then. Decide how quickly you can get back to a horizontal position and whether you might be able to go back to sleep. The flip side is the late-afternoon-early-evening flurry of activity to get all the chores done so as to be able to start the evening's drinking with a clear conscience while thinking about how to balance the alcohol and the fluids and the dinner so as to feel okay enough for Monday morning.

New way: grocery list and menus done the night before. Wake rested and clear-headed. Get the items on the list, possibly remembering something that didn't make it onto the list or altering on the fly to take advantage of an unexpected special. Follow the plan. Lugging bags in from the car and stowing stuff still sucks. Reward self for doing the sucky thing by sitting down with a pre-planned nice food item for breakfast. Decide what to do with the rest of the day.

It is just so much nicer this way.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Day 113

A restful and renewing day.

Made the brownies for breakfast - big hit all around. Laundry, lunch and menu planning were the only "work" and I didn't get dressed or leave the house all day.

Mostly I sat on the couch knitting in front of the TV. This felt not like laziness, as it would so often in the past, but like proper self-care in response to a difficult week. It has taken quite a while but I'm starting to learn that "emotionally difficult" is still just as draining - perhaps more so - as "physically difficult" or "many difficult tasks" and should be rested and rewarded accordingly. \

A week from today will be 120 days and the Wednesday after that will be the official four month mark. As the time builds up again I find myself turning more toward the newborn child analogy and thinking that a four-month old is starting to be more "a baby" and less "a newborn."  My sobriety has a social smile, is beginning to babble, can cry in different ways for different needs, can reach for a toy and will express happiness or sadness.

Yup, sounds about right: I can (mostly) be around other people without thinking I'll go mad, am starting to express my emotions in a more effective and rational way, am reaching for self-care tools and non-alcoholic pleasures and can sit with my emotions tp figure out what they are and whether or not I should do anything with them.

Can't roll over both ways, much less crawl and walking is still about five months out but I'm slowly growing a new and better person.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Day 112

An unsettled day.

Not comfortable in my own skin. You know the feeling. No particular issue or problem just a vague emotional discomfort leaking into everything. Lousy attention span. Wanting something but no clue what the something is. Lots of consideration but no action.

Yeah, well, I rolled with it. Put myself to bed early and am delighted to have zero - not a single one - items on my To Do list for tomorrow. Oh I have a vague desire to try a new brownie recipe and if I do it first thing in the morning there's breakfast but not doing it at all is fine too.

I am slowly learning that it is okay to Not Do. There is no scorecard, there are no midterm grades and the people who love you do so because of who you are not what you do for them. Emphasis on "slowly" because it is a lot easier to type than to live. I've spent pretty much my whole life thinking that if I did everything Just So then I would get praise and emotional rewards from others and they would be inspired to do nice things to/for/by/with/at/about me in return. Ideally they would also know intuitively -which- nice things I would like. Yeah, well, that led to lots of resentment-filled "I -deserve- this" drinking so overall not a successful strategy.  "Fuggheddabouddit" seems to work better.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Day 111

Emotionally tough day.

Meeting at work which included an individual I find exceedingly frustrating. Also spent a big chunk of the day dealing with a supremely upset and difficult family member. Had SO much anger today.  Great huge waves of the stuff bad enough I had to go walk around outside for a while after the first difficult-family-member phone call and slammed the back door three or four times after a later phone call.

Did not, however, escalate the family-member interactions into a full blown fight even though part of me really wanted to respond in kind and treat like with like. I wish I felt more satisfied and accomplished about that but mostly I feel drained...with side dishes of self-pity and frustration.

Didn't have any urges to drink. Intellectually I can appreciate how much progress that represents as interactions similar to these in the recent past would have led to intense cravings and in the more distant past would have been an excuse to drink at least my usual nightly amount (half pint and one mini of vodka plus a mini of Kaluha for flavoring) but likely a bit more (add another mini, possibly two if I started early or could go in late the next day.) Emotionally, however, the progress doesn't provide much comfort.

Well, no, I suppose that's not quite true. I can feel that I'm starting to bounce back from the day and it's much faster than I would have done (weebles wobble but they don't fall down) in early sobriety.  That's somewhat of a comfort. If I'd still been drinking I'd be an emotional train wreck right now and probably having a terrible argument or crying or vomiting or some combination thereof which means not-drinking is clearly a much better choice. It's just that sobriety is a staircase for dealing with life, not an escalator and damn I wish I had an escalator right about now. Also a better metaphor.

Robin Williams once said about sobering up "I'm still the same asshole; I just have fewer dents in my car." I always loved that because it's so freaking true.  I still have the same holes in my life; I'm just not constantly making them bigger.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Day 110

A good day.

Heck, a better than good day. Night 2 of a methylprednisolone dosepak and I feel, as Tony the Tiger says about frosted flakes, gr-r-r-e-AT!  Apart from the flushed face, that is, but even that doesn't bother me overmuch as the itching is gone and I have this not-quite-wired but somehow-more feeling. Spouse says I sound edgy and anxious on the phone but I don't feel that way. I feel like I could stay up far too late tonight is what I feel like so I may be taking Motrin PM later. Will definitely be knitting here in a little bit; got way too much energy for this time of night.

Anyhow, the thing that made it a better than good day wasn't just pharmaceutical side effects but also the resolution of an event I had been dreading. A while back my workplace decided that the fleet cars (for use on work business to our regional sites) were no longer going to be parked on-campus but rather at an off-campus site about six miles away. Security said that the policy would be for the individual using a fleet car to sign it out in the security office same as always but then drive their* personal vehicle to the offsite lot, park it and take the fleet car then reverse the process on the other end of the trip.

Well the whole point of my needing a fleet car in the first place is because Middle and I are sharing a car again now that classes have started. When the decree came out I emailed the head of Security who said "we will help out in any way we can" but I also knew they were very short staffed and were the backup for the transporters, who are even more short-staffed.  So I worried. Over the summer it was fine as I could drive myself and claim mileage but today was the day that I had to chair a meeting at one of our other facilities and didn't have a car. Was worried how it would work and whether they'd be able to drive me and of course had the whole don't-want-to-be-an-imposition thing going on too.  This has seriously been a nagging stressor in the back of my head for over a month.

I shouldn't have worried at all.  One of the security guys was more than happy to drive me to the site and kept falling all over himself apologizing for not being able to leave the very second I showed up in the office. For the return I was told to park the car right in the front-door circle and they'd take care of it...and they were apologetic they hadn't brought the car up from the lot to the front door in the first place!  Here I was all worried about their reaction to my request for no reason at all and they were not only worried about my reaction to -them- but also happy to keep helping out any time I need to make a site visit which should be every single week but usually works out to 2 or 3 weeks in any given month.

I know I've blogged about this before but once again that "fear of the unknown" thing had me mentally turning it into something -far- worse than it ever could possibly be in reality and making much worrisome ado about nothing. Clearly I can't stop that habit entirely but I'm hoping at some point to start being able to -listen- when I tell myself "it can't possibly be as bad as you're making it out to be."

At least now I don't end up drinking over the made-up stress in my head about impending events. That used to happen pretty regularly in days gone by.

* I am old enough to very much prefer s/he or his/her but I must cede that "they/their" is far more inclusive so I'm trying to change my ways.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 109

I have my computer back!

Okay the trade-off is that Spouse and Eldest went back to Chaos South today which is sad but it's kind of unbelievable to be blogging from an Actual Keyboard at only eight in the evening...and of course now I don't have one pithy or profound thing to say.  I did, however, get a steroid burst for my totally annoying psoriasis and almost as annoying stress-induced intestinal problems. Never had one myself before but everyone I know including family members say they work like a charm though Eldest said it made her bitchy and hungry and sleepy.  We shall see. And now I'll hit "save" and go put on pajamas and have some nice relaxing quiet time before doing the whole lunch-dishes-kitchen thing.


Well I think the sleepy thing is true. After writing the above I sat on the couch thinking "I'll watch a movie and knit." Decided finding the various remotes and dealing with the media server was too much work so I was thinking "I'll listen to music from my IPhone and knit." Then I was thinking "gee knitting sounds like way too much work" so I went from sitting to lying and ended up doing nothing at all for a good hour.

The hungry thing might be true too given how absolutely terrific the black-amd-white cookie (not homemade - saving the last 3 of those for Middle) tasted...tasted like another one and a small bowl of ice cream is what it tasted like. Hope the bitchy thing isn't true.

Anyhow I ended up doing Not One Thing other than the bare essentials and am now already in bed -- very much like the earliest days of sobriety, actually. Got kind of a flushed thing going on too. However for the first time in ages-and-ages (okay, a month or six weeks) my ears Don't. Freaking. Itch. Even a little bit. Praise be.

Maybe tomorrow I'll get back in the swing of things. If not that is okay too.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day 108

An easier day. Much.

Only had two tasks on the To Do list (fix lamp & clean bathroom) so anything else was extra.

Potential last minute changing of long-set plans got me way upset earlier this evening but again I sat with the emotions (okay I was lying down on the couch) and eventually I became more calm. I'm learning that one doesn't necessarily need to do or say anything about anything really...and sometimes "wait and see" is a fine choice.

Over a decade ago I used to follow the blog of a twentysomething man in recovery and somewhere in his journey he learned the following test for speaking: Does it have to be said at all? Does it have to be said by -me-? Does it have to be said by me -right-now-?  Left a deep impression on me (as you can tell.) Just the act of sorting through those questions gives perspective.

Ate a bunch of the Good Cookies today too. It is so nice to have a really tasty quality thing to satisfy the sweet tooth. I hope the rest of the dough turns out okay after having been frozen since that's what I did with it.

Picked up my knitting for the first time in months; that was nice too.

Starting to feel centered. Hope it lasts.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Day 107

Another calm day.

Me, not the stuff in it, that is. Got up early and did the grocery thing. Came home and had a-huge- scoop of pebbles for my bag of resentment as I put everything away -around- the other family members. Was pissed they didn't even have a kind word for the process, even. Was far too angry to communicate effectively and didn't want to just spew emotion and end up having -myself- look like the Bad Guy so I took a dog and did yard work instead.

Discovered I have more stamina than when I was drinking. Still get just as achy afterwards but don't tire out as quickly.

After I worked off my anger I managed to have a rational and calm conversation about the grocery-arriving but I doubted then and still do that any true change will come of it.

Made some really good chocolate chip cookies from a new recipe then took a nap - both those were good. Entree for dinner was good but the sides were disastrous first time around and had to be re-done. Family was gracious but I was awfully pissed.

After dinner I had both dogs on the couch and thought we were having a nice lie-down...till I noticed my leg was wet. Girl-beagle had either fallen asleep and done the dog version of wetting the bed or else deliberately expressed her discontent at being stuck with me and boy-beagle instead of Spouse. While I was dealing with all that some lesser-in-my-opinion family drama was happening with the upshot being that I was invited to go hang out in a different part of the house with drinking family. Normally (like even last night) I would allow the guilt to pull me along but tonight I politely declined, read for a while and put myself to bed early...but not without spilling my tea first. Overheard Elsest saying "it just hasn't been her day" and couldn't agree more. Except for the cookies, that is...though even then I discovered I was out of parchment paper midway through.

What strikes me about all of this is that although I had a bunch of stuff pushing me off-center I bounced back relatively quickly. Sure I got mad and sure I did plenty of cursing but I got -over- it much faster. Returned to steady-state sooner. In previous times the morning grocery resentment alone would have been enough to justify not just drinking but starting earlier and having a bit more especially as tomorrow is a holiday.

Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Day 106

Another decent day.

Very little activity - spent most of the day finishing the novel I started yesterday. Some of the family drama seems to be resolving.

Had a lot of the Bad Trio: anger, resentment, sadness. Didn't let them become my day though. Was aware of them, reflected on the possible reasons and eventually moved on to other emotions. Not saying I had any sort of personal enlightenment or moment of zen or any damned thing like that -- just got through the day without being totally consumed by negative emotions which I count as a win. Didn't totally consume the contents of fridge or pantry either - emphasis on "totally." Ate too many sweets but given the past couple weeks I've had I cut myself some slack especially as it was only a little too much and not a lot too much.

I think I'm becoming somewhat better at having to actually feel all my feelings. Not a lot better but some.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Day 105

A better day.

Still plenty of room for improvement but at least things are moving in the right direction. Plus all my holds were in at the library so I'm already in bed with a big fat book and I can stay up reading as late as I like because tomorrow is Saturday.

My baseline seems finally to be getting back to something closer to what I consider normal as opposed to "too sad/down." That is good too.

Had to count to be sure it was really day one hundred and _five_ -- that seems huge. On the other hand a new person in my department was talking about his six month old baby and that's still Baby One (as opposed to Newborn, Baby Two or Toddler - we were big Penelope Leach fans back in the day) so it is all relative.

Anyhow it is just so nice to be headed into a three day weekend and not already drunk.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Day 104

Another not-great day.

However I'm rather strangely detached from all the drama. I'm starting to get accustomed to -having- emotions but not necessarily -doing- anything with them. "Just sit with the emotion" is getting easier to actually do. I sat with a whole lot of sadness during the day and it eventually eased up. Had a fair bit of a he and disgust this evening and that is easing up too. It is okay to -have- any is what you do with it that matters and not doing anything is a fine choice. Well, other than just acknowledging their existence, that is. One of my all-time favorite lines from television -ever- is when the captain of a ship shares with the ship's Doctor that he (the captain) is crushing on a totally inappropriate fellow officer. After agreeing the captain shouldn't act on these feelings in any way, the captain asks "but what should I -do-?" The doctor says "just -be- _aware_. You may be surprised at what a difference it makes."

Guess what? He was right.