Monday, October 31, 2016

Day 164

Tiring day.

Definitely sick - woke up runny-nosed - but not -very- sick so took that 24 hour allergy medicine whose name I forgot and did the day anyhow. Then promptly fell asleep on the couch after dinner again. Have moved from couch to bed now. Even though we all do it all the time I can't particularly recommend slogging through life while pointedly ignoring illness; it leads to a heaping lot of resentment over damned near everything. Or maybe that's just me.

Anyhow the dog and I are bundled down for the night and maybe tomorrow I'll be tons better.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Day 163

A much harder day.

Not in the booze thoughts sense but in the everything -being- harder sense.

Woke up at a bit past one in the morning with a true shaking chill. Did all the chores but it was like slogging uphill through mud the whole way. Sewing a little zippered case for my new earbuds was harder and had more setbacks than all my recent sewing combined. ABL acted out and it rained all day so I walked on the treadmill and even an audiobook didn't  take -all- the boring away.

I thought I was just moody/hormonal/emotionally out of sorts but I fell hard asleep on the couch after dinner and was sick to my stomach after I woke up so the "oh. You're sick, silly" lightbulb finally went off. Now I'm in bed. Just being horizontal and under the covers is ever so much better; think how great it will be when I get solid restful not-drunk not-hungover sleep.

Wow...I just casually accepted as baseline-normal a -huge- level of feeling really lousy for Just Years. Never thought otherwise about it at the time but now I'm thinking gosh that was unnecessarily hard.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Day 162

A Half-Century. Not bad.

It was a good day. Slept in till 8 then we surfed a carry out breakfast so I wouldn't have to cook.

Middle wanted white pants for a costume so off we went to the Wal-Hell...but since it is late October in the Hinterlands of course there were none to be found. No worries though: Wal-He'll sells yard goods. Got twill and an easy-sew pattern.

Went for a nice long walk - farther down one of the local roads than I had ever been before - and very much enjoyed my audiobook. Got back and wished I'd put the fabric in the wash -before- my walk but it was all good. Picked up carry out dinner so I still wouldn't have to cook.

Laid out the fabric but didn't start assembly till around 5:30 -  had finished pants (well except for the hems) by 9:45. Yup, still got the mad sewing skills.

Used both Fray-Check AND Stitch Witchery; that was supremely satisfying as my mother would have a shit fit. I can still recall her bitching about "glued together" and "never survive the first washing" about a blouse I made in Jr high and wore all through high school.

Pattern did not have pockets and called for elastic not a drawstring; I added both. I am woman hear me roar! Plus used both the zipper foot -and- the buttonhole foot of the sewing machine. See previous roaring sentence. I have reclaimed the sewing my mother issues kept at bay for decades and boy does it feel good.

Also there was cake.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Day 161

A good day.

Both my meetings went better than I expected. Spouse sent birthday flowers a day early so they could come to my office in front of everyone. Youngest was waiting in my office after my second meeting with another small bouquet - total surprise there - and a third from a friend was waiting at home. I am awash in roses of varying sizes and colors.

Just as good, though, is how motivated I have become to "get my steps in" now that my new phone has become my pedometer and I have discovered audiobooks. For the past three years I have carried a little pocket pedometer and attempted to get 10k steps per day but not really gotten very far with it. Most days hovered somewhere in the 5 - 6k range mostly because I hadn't been particularly committed to doing the daily 40 min walk needed to boost the step count. However while I was on vacation I had access to a lovely wide well-paved biking/walking lane on both sides of the main road near our house and the elevation is "flat as pancake" so it was pleasant to walk every day. An author I follow had a free download offer with Audible so I gave that a try and discovered I liked it FAR better than music or podcasts because it kept me from getting bored and starting to think "is it time to stop yet?" Not only that but since a book is longer than any given walk it meant I wanted to walk -again- to see what happened next. Also the free pedometer app did a color coded bar graph for each day: you enter the goal and when you are still far away the bar is red then it turns orange as you get closer and finally when you hit the goal the bar turns green and there is electronic confetti on the screen...and the bars stack up next to one another to represent a full week at a glance.

It seems a bit silly in the telling but having the step count on my phone (which I see a million times a day) and having the color coding are effective in a way the black digital numerals in a gray background never were. Don't want to break the streak of green-bar hit-the-goal days, y'know? So far I hit the target every day since I got the phone which I think is is the most consecutive days I have done since starting the whole project years ago. Figured out how to check out online audiobooks from the public library too so I've kept up the streak of "free" too.

I'm just so pleasantly surprised that I'm finally -into- a physical fitness kind of thing.

Pleased but not actually -surprised- to have another day with no thoughts of alcohol.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day 160

Long day.

Work not so great as I was running around from place to place most of the day and didn't get lunch till 3pm. WAY too cranky-hungry for a while.

Once I got home things improved though - chilled out first with Minecraft then a sewing project: case for my new phone's earbuds. It was late when I started and I first had to play Towers of Hanoi with storage boxes to get access to my long-disused sewing stuff so I only got as far as making the insert but that's fine as I'm not at all sure how to assemble the bag. Sleeping on it may help.

Oh and not drinking really pays off in the blood pressure department too: had my annual physical today and the same touch of losartan which barely kept me in the 130s over high 80s when it had to fight against a half pint of vodka a night now has me at 108 over 61. All the walking the past two weeks is probably helping too but in any case it is evidence that sobriety improves health.

Speaking of which, the health maintenance reading material I got said "if you decide to drink alcohol drink no more than one serving per day with the "" in bold text. That was new. 

There'a more stuff but it is late and I am tired so perhaps another day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Day 159

An okay day but tired has caught up with me in a big way. Already in bed and going to sleep soon. Tomorrow will be another day and sober sleep is always so nice and restful. Also it is nice and restful to just not -worry- about alcohol any more. That whole "how much what kind what to eat or not eat with it when to start when to stop" thing took up a whole lot of brain space better used for other things. Sleep, for instance.

It is like that scene in Wargames when the computer is learning about Global Thermonuclear War and finally says A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Day 158

First day back to work.

Moody. Weepy in the morning over a stupid dog story and over going back to work - both seem silly now in retrospect. Once I got to work it was okay though. Deliberately scheduled myself a light first day back and was glad of it as I ended up with another meeting later this week.

Went for a walk at lunch - seemed hard today even though it was the same distance with less grade than yesterday. Stress of also being back to work I guess. Really ultra-tired tonight but no cravings at all.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Day 157

Weird day.

Last vacation day and I'm just not at all looking forward to work tomorrow. It should be an easy day but I'm still not a bit excited.

Made caramel bars from a FaceBook recipe today - I wasn't all that impressed but Middle and ABL seemed to like them okay. Most of them are going with me to work though as they are exceedingly rich: whole pound of butter, both regular and powdered sugar, more than one whole bag of caramels.

Took a walk and that went fine. What did not go do fine was the inspection on the car I drove yesterday: one of the tires has a big bulgy spot. Mechanic said it looked like the tire had hit a pothole or curb and cracked the inside lining/layer in that spot -- the dinged paint on the rim right there supports that theory. Both rear tires will have to be replaced so it is an unexpected and expensive bill but if the tire had popped while I was driving back yesterday ABL and/or I could have been seriously  injured or killed so it is all relative.

THAT was seriously weird: the oh-how-unknowingly-close-we-came part. But it is over now.

Also changed some light bulbs today -  that felt like an accomplishment. Ended up with eight things in my to-do list and got seven done - that felt good too.

Despite everything there were no booze thoughts at all, not even briefly. Glad of that.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Day 156

Long day.

Got up, loaded car, drove ABL and self back to The Hinterlands. Went for a walk, did the shopping...all very tiring in the long run.  SO glad I gave myself a day off at this end too. Of course the to-do list already has six things on it but a couple of them could not get done at all and it would be fine. 

No cravings at all.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Day 155

A great day.

Eldest and I went to the big-box fabric store and I scored The. Cutest. Halloween fabric half off. Brought it home and turned it into a scrub top in just under four hours. Haven't done that since high school; it was very empowering. Have some pretty winter and Valentine's fabric too and the sewing machine is coming back with me. I have reclaimed sewing. Wasn't sure that would ever happen.

No cravings at all, either.

It has been a good vacation.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Day 154

An up-and-down busy day.

Morning walk just like every vacation day.  I'm really enjoying the audiobook component - never got into them till now but it's far more engaging than music or any of the podcasts I've tried...don't know why but anything that distracts me so effectively from the "ohghawd this is so BO-o-o-ring" part of exercise is full of win in my book.

Then I was no longer distracted and started thinking about my mother.  As I mentioned earlier, today would have been her 75th birthday. She died three and a half years ago and the biggest emotion I had then and still do now is relief, which is something you can't really say very many places.  Even on my own damned sobriety blog I have a hard time admitting it. The other big emotion is anger at all of the various ways her version of crazy altered my life: as I told Eldest, "it's like she was a really gnarly fungus and the mycelia went everywhere."

Then my phone died. I was in such a negative place I was all "of COURSE it would be TODAY that it died." Stomped and pouted around then realized "dummy, this is civilization: there's a Verizon store less than two miles from here." So instead of being a sulky mess I verified that I was indeed due for an upgrade, took my broken phone and went to the Verizon store.

Amazing how getting out of the house and around people, any people, can help. Can't -keep- being a pouty mess over your dead mother in front of hipsters young enough to be your kids and that means those feelings don't keep auto-reinforcing and thus give way to something more productive.  Walked out of the store with an iPhone 7 and a plan that will actually be ten to fifteen dollars _less_ per about turning a day around!

Spouse needed a computer adapter so Eldest and I went on a road trip later in the day and that was pretty good too.  She and I love each other but we've both said we're kind of like sine waves just -slightly- out of sync...but today we harmonized and it was really cool.

One brief and fleeting thought of booze in the car on the way back from the computer store adventure...just a quick "hey, it's Friday evening and it's your mother's birthday and you're on vacation..." but as quickly as it came it went away with a "yeah, so? Fuck with the groovy thing I've got going for poison? No thanks."

I'm really sad that day after tomorrow I have to go back up northward to home - as I've said before, I have a really great job in a really lousy location - but this vacation has definitely been exactly what I needed. I'm hoping to be able to take some of the tranquility back with me.

I'm also hoping to be able to continue picking away at all the head-stuff I've got about my mother. For now I'll leave you with some bonus content: something I wrote not long after she died.

How to Bury Your Mother: Part One
To bury a mother you first must know that she's dead. This will be a gradual process.
Because you have a strange and troubled relationship you will desire to stay far away from her. Because you are her only blood kin you will have obligation to stay close. Because it is the twenty-first century there will be a solution: email. Though her voice makes your spine hurt and any phone conversation is guaranteed to last at least forty-five minutes, daily -- usually multiple -- emails fill the void. She taught you to read so it is even sort of fitting.
On Friday you will get her usual early morning email. It would be rare indeed for you to initiate the daily exchange. Three emails, actually: two HuffingtonPost forwards and her own composition about the weather, your friends and a local-to-her current event. You will note her inappropriate venom and file it in the growing mental stack labled "why I really must suck it up and go see her during my week off in a couple months." You will be filled with both reassurance and dread knowing you have already investigated hotels and flights. You will take far too much time from your morning to compose a thoughtfully innocuous reply incorporating all three of her messages.
You will notice but not be alarmed by a lack of "The Afternoon Wrap-Up" which is a common but not assured email. Saturday morning will come and go with no message but that won't be a concern either: she always skips Saturday because "you need time with your people." During the afternoon errands you will be exceptionally uncharacteristic and buy a scratch-off lottery card which -- shockingly -- is a forty-dollar winner. You will comment to a family member, "she will say it is because I am such a naturally lucky person and surely bring up a certain story from my past." The comment will turn into a dollar bet. Saturday night you will email her a picture of your winning ticket.
Sunday will be the day you sense oddness. There will be no early morning email as you expected nor will there be any as the day slips along. This will be the subject of much discussion in your household. You will maintain that it is very unlikely for her not to comment on such unexpected news yet remain unwilling to place a phone call which would eat much of the afternoon and leave an evening of emotional pain. One family member will joke that she's run off with someone she met at a Sappho bar and you will reply "I wish." Another will remind you that she's "pulled this disappearing from cyberspace thing before." You will continue to think something is likely wrong yet reflect on how annoyed she would be if you call "what, because you got worried?!" You will buy off your conscience with more email, one of which will ask directly "I'm worried is everything okay?" Sunday evening you will ponder "appropriate concern" versus "respect for her autonomy" to the exclusion of all else. You will announce to your family that "if she hasn't written by tomorrow afternoon I'll call her and if I don't get an answer I'll call the police." You will go to bed Sunday night with an odd nagging sensation.
Monday will be difficult. You will check your email before getting dressed and find only junk. You will go to work pretending all is well and even do some work but pause every ten minutes to check your Inbox. By nine you will give up the pretense of work in favor of worried texting. You will ratchet "if she hasn't written by" back from 1 pm through noon to 11 am. Somewhere along the path from Sunday to Monday you will have reached "if she doesn't email she probably really is dead" but you will spend the hour between nine and ten considering "fallen but can't get up" and googling hip fractures while feeling terribly guilty for having not already called. It won't help. You will discuss via text how angry she will be when the police knock on her door. You will quaff worried with a chaser of inevitable.
At ten-forty-five on Monday you will use the speed-dial button on your office phone to call her. The number for your hometown police station will already be on your computer screen. You will get her answering machine. You will not consider even for a moment that she might be running errands. You will, however, remember that she screens her calls. Therefore you will say, "hi, it's me...I've been worried because I hadn't heard from you so I called to see if you were all right. I'm going to hang up and call right back and if I don't get you the second time I'm going to call the authorities." You will say "authorities" because you know she hates the word "police." You will hang up. You will call back and get a busy signal. For a very few seconds you will think "she's trying to call me back" before remembering that her answering machine is the kind which has to reset itself between calls. You will call a third time and it will ring...and ring...and the machine will pick up again. You will not be ready to accept what you certainly now know.
You will call the police station of her small town. You will, surprisingly, get a recording. You will call a second time before the recording makes enough sense for you to realize you must call "dispatch." You will have to call a third time to actually copy the dispatch number. When you call that number you will get a real human being clearly still in training. You will have an odd three-way conversation with that person and another person in the room to whom she will relay all you say. Eventually you will be told that someone will go to your mother's apartment and call you back.
You will wait.
Shortly before noon your cell phone will ring. After verifying your name and telling you his, the chief of police will say "I'm sorry to have to tell you by phone but I thought it was the fastest way. Your mother is passed away." You will be resigned, not surprised.
Two days later you will read her journal and conclude, among many other things, that she died in the wee small hours of Saturday morning.
Post Scriptum: What I didn't say there but will here is that I found three separate handwritten "buy vodka!" notes: one in the car, one as a hang-tag on her hall closet door and one in the kitchen.  That sort of explains the 6 (yes 6) 1.5 L Gran Legacy bottles I found in her recycling bin in addition to the full one in the fridge the medical examiner had found before I ever arrived.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Day 153

A much better day.

Did exactly as I said I would and got a solid breakfast and a set of markers after my walk then spent mid morning coloring which unlike the knitting or the sewing doesn't make me think of my mother at all.

We got Japanese food for a late lunch and the leftovers made a fine supper. No cravings or thoughts at all today: a little extra self care makes a big difference.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 152

A mostly good day.

Used a sewing machine for the first time in a couple years - assembled a top I'd had cut out all this time since the last machine died. It went together really well. After really hating and avoiding it for decades I kind of like sewing now. However I'm not all that keen on the finished item. Fun-print pajama top but I'm used to knits not wovens. Still it was a nice experience because sewing is intimately entwined with my mother in my head...and not in a good way. As I told Eldest this morning "I have SO many sewing issues it's a wonder I can do it at all." Proved to myself I still can, though, even with her voice in my head. Perhaps in spite of it.

Thought everything was cool as far as the whole drinking thing went but I was watching an old Mary Tyler Moore Show where a crusty female journalist goes out drinking with Lou and out of the blue That Voice said you used to drink a half pint of vodka; wouldn't that be really nice right now? The answer, of course, was "not in the long term, no," but I was surprised by how easily glamorized it had become. "Fighting complacency" is a whole lot more tangible all of a sudden and I was very glad I've got the accountability of daily blogging.

I'm still surprised the seemingly superficial external cues are hitting so hard. Probably there are multiple factors involved and maybe I will sort some of them out but the bigger issue is that I need to Be Aware. This is skirting a little too close to how things were last time and I don't want to eventually succumb so I need to pay more attention to self care and maybe back off the exercise -and- food control at least till I get my mother's birthday behind me. Big long walk every morning is terrific but trying to also cut calories - on vacation no less - sounds like something I'd tell a friend was "maybe overkill, don't you think?" Yes even if your physical -is- the week you get back. It isn't like your doctor is going to -yell- at you or anything; you've still made progress since two years ago.

I've written - on this very blog no less, and not even that long ago - that the whole "okay now start eating right and exercising" is, for me anyhow, a subtle trap...yet here I have been starting right down that same path. Glad I noticed it and even more glad I have this forum in which to really -realize- it.

Tomorrow I think I'll get something nice for breakfast after my walk. Maybe print out an adult coloring page or something. Be a little more indulgent.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 151

A good day.

Contemplative but good. Continued with my long-walk-first-thing-in-the-morning practice and will miss it when vacation is over. Got a new audiobook for tomorrow. Watched I, Claudius again after many years.

"Contemplative" because I've been thinking about my mother a lot. This coming Friday would be her 75th birthday had she not drunk herself into a premature death three and a half years ago. Also the knitting I brought with me is a project to use the yarn from her apartment - it sat in a copier-paper box till just a few months ago. She's been in my thoughts a lot today. Never in a positive way.

To make a clean sweep of it - or perhaps to add insult to injury - I went rummaging through the Internet to check on my long-estranged father. He doesn't do FB but his fourth wife does so I found a couple of recent pictures. Odd to stare at them only to see someone aged so much I doubt I would recognize him on the street out of context.

All of the above is really weird but triggered neither the drinking urge nor the overeating urge. That pleases me quite a bit.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 150

Today was better still.

Long walk in the morning with day two of my first ever audiobook and it was great. Much better than music or podcasts; I'm just sad it is a novella and thus will probably be over too quickly. Will have to get something equally engaging after it is over.

Finally starting to relax and accept the vacation for what it is. "Don't push the river; it flows by itself" was a common pop-psych phrase of my childhood so I think I've stopped pushing the river. 

There wasn't anything good at the dimestore but I did better about not getting too hungry and it clearly helped.

No cravings at all.

The sleep could be better though; I woke up at 3:24, 4:26, 5:23, 6:09, 6:39 and then finally for the day at 7:09. The numbers are clustered enough that I'm wondering if maybe it was a TV in a different part of the house - the family all like to pick one of the many series we have on the media server and play a whole season all through the night. I wear earplugs but still.

Being away from work is definitely terrific.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Day 149

Getting better, bit by bit.

Slept in, took a walk, finished a book. All good.

Still with fits of supreme annoyance but they are getting shorter. No cravings today.

Need to be careful about letting myself get too hungry: it really does just tint my whole world black and ugly.

Tomorrow is Day 150 - I think my treat will be some sort of crafty project from the local dimestore.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Day 148

A better day.

The urges/cravings have lessened considerably and for that I am grateful.  My general disgruntlement is improving too. Not as fast as I'd like but getting there.

Lots of sleep and good food can't be a bad thing, right?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Day 147

I sure hope this vacation starts getting better.

The irritable/angry didn't hit hard till early afternoon but it seems to have settled down for a nice visit. That Voice thinks it ought to be part of the visit too, of course. Of -course- what a lousy day of vacation needs is -booze-, right?

Yeah well not so much. If I am having this much trouble dealing with Spouse, Eldest and ABL now, stone cold sober, then trying to do it drunk or hung over would be orders of magnitude worse. I know this to be true but there is still that itch-you-can't-scratch urge. Fueled very much by equal parts of "I can't fucking stand the feelings I'm having right now" and "bored out of my mind; why did I bring -these- entertainments?"

Accepting the things I can't change is surprisingly difficult tonight. Probably because "things" in this case is "the beliefs and behaviors of loved ones." Time to go drown myself in something on my Kindle app -- fiction was my first best drug, after all.


Dinner, dessert and an early bedtime. When in doubt just go to bed. Tomorrow might be lots better.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 146

Not a great day.

Drove down to Chaos South where Spouse and Eldest are -- took exactly 5 hours.  Woke up still irritable for no reason and then got way too damned hungry on top of it.  Food helped but then irritable came back with a vengeance.

You'd think I'd be happy. Well, I think I ought to be happy, anyhow. But I'm not. Don't have any resentment, which is amazing in its own right, but I'm in one of those moods where the glass is not only half-empty but cracked and probably poisoned besides.

What's even worse is that there's a huge layer of boredom pasted on top of irritable: Spouse is napping, Eldest is on the phone, I'm perversely not in the mood for any of the entertainments I brought and annoyed that I can't find anything else. And it's vacation so of course I think I ought to be enjoying every moment I've got.

This is not a good combination. This is a very bad combination, in fact. This is a combination which has awakened That Voice big-time.  I'm keeping it at bay by pointing out that I am not about to start over with a whole new Day One this far along...not when I'm already about three-quarters of the way back to my last personal best of 202 days. It's not coming easily today though, that's for sure.

**Much Later**

Got through the evening and it's finally bedtime.  Watched silly videos (You Suck At Cooking) on YouTube alone for the worst of it then stupid regular TV with family. That Voice finally shut up and went away - thought it would last forever but it didn't just like it never does - and I've moved from irritable and generally cranky to just tired. 

Tomorrow is a whole new day and it may be tons better. Even if it isn't I'm at least starting it sober with all my days intact and a good night's sleep I'm about to go have. I'm still out of sorts enough not to feel entirely all the way to happy about that but a kernel of quiet contentment is definitely there.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Day 145

A long day but... vacation started after a really tedious meeting that was supposed to stop at 6 but ran on till 6:30.

Not a moment too soon as the stress was seriously catching up to me. Not only did I completely forget about last night's post but I damned near forgot to take my blood pressure medicine - was in bed and halfway to asleep before I remembered "duh, you take it at night now dumbass."

Yes I know I shouldn't call myself a dumbass. I'm working on it.

Yesterday's big realization was that the basement heater wasn't leaking after all though. Fortunately I realized this in time to cancel the service call. 

You would think I'd be elated or st least quietly happy but my biggest emotion right now is pissed the hell off and damned if I can figure why. Middle not only cleared the table but uncharacteristically did the dishes while I was in the shower because "you're on vacation, Mom." I almost started crying. My emotions are all over the place right now because then I went through a phase of anxious for no reason, a round of feeling bad that the -dog- will miss me and not understand where I went and am now, as mentioned before, mad for no reason. 

Maybe these are all the emotions I put off having in favor of Getting Shit Done in the previous weeks finally come home to roost. Maybe it's a brain tumor. (No I don't really think that.)

In any case I don't have to be back at work till the 25th which is absolutely mind-boggling to me. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Day 143

A better day.

Got first estimate and set up heater repair for tomorrow. Finished my morning work then took myself out to lunch. Started a new knitting project.

Also took a few minutes on my walk to and from lunch to appreciate being in the moment. Nice not to have any lingering physical or emotional effects from the weekend which used to always be the case.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Day 142

Such an up/down day.

Grocery was crowded at barely 8 on Sunday morning. That sucked. The bialy I got for breakfast was good though, so that helped.

The whole load of resentment I've been carrying about a kitchen repair came to a head today. A while back we needed the fridge reapaired which was fine but the serviceman accidentally tore our vinyl flooring while moving it. He was apologetic, we were understanding and Sears was notified of the whole thing right away. That was all good. Not so good is the fact that I have to get two estimates for Sears' insurance company. The first of these is tomorrow morning which meant today was the day to clean the kitchen. Given that I've already got a Cinderella thing going about being up here working at my -job- while all 3 kids and my son-in-law are down in the other house with Spouse you can imagine how well having to -clean- was going over.

Especially the floor. It is a big kitchen and the floor hasn't been cleaned in far too long. I broke the surfaces up into five-minute bits and that wasn't too bad. Sweeping wasn't all that horrible either but when it came time to get down there with a bucket and a scrubby-sponge and some cleaning rags I had worked myself into a first class snit. Got the little bit right in front of the fridge done and about the same amount to one side and was glad the family called because it meant a break but then I still had all the rest to do and was getting more and more worked up -- bag of resentment clear full not just with pebbles but some good-sized rocks.

Then I remembered: the carpet cleaning machine works on bare floors. Hot damn.

Floor done; bag of resentment emptied. Had dinner and a shower and everything was grand

Till I discovered one of the baseboard heaters in the basement has been leaking. That happened just now and since I was going to bed anyhow that's where I am but now with the knowledge I will have to call yet another repair person tomorrow. Crap.  And since the whole basement-finishing project is still a sore point between me and Spouse because the contractor for whom I argued and won turned out to be fly-by-night, inexperienced and borderline crooked (the other heating unit in the basement leaked like this several years back) I've got an unpleasant conversation in my future too.

I'm surprised I'm not more angry, anxious and upset. Maybe it hasn't kicked in yet but I'd like to think it's because my brain realizes that it isn't worth tearing myself up inside about this -- it needs fixed so it will get fixed.

I'm also surprised - but very pleased - that in looking back over this day and all it contained I didn't want to drink.

Still...I'm more than ready for something unexpected and -good- to happen y'know?

Post Scriptum: Just spoke with Spouse who was stunningly sanguine about the whole thing. How 'bout that? I guess that qualifies as "unexpected and -good-." At the risk of seeming ungrateful I wouldn't mind something -else- unexpected and good though.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Day 141

Long and out of sorts day.

Middle and Youngest went down to the other house for the long holiday weekend to be with Spouse and Eldest -- Monday isn't one of the 6 hospital holidays so I stayed here with ABL. When they called to say they had arrived I was hit with such a wave of loneliness and self pity I thought I would explode so I took myself to work to get less behind for Monday and distract myself all at the same time. Got carryout for dinner and have decided the dishes can wait till morning.

Finished that book - A Little Life - I started last week and although parts were beautifully written mahGHAWD it was bleak overall. That probably didn't help either. through the day okay and didn't have any big cravings or anything so that was good.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 140

Long hard day.

Exhausted - at least as much emotionally as physically Maybe more.

Had the urge to drink a few times today but it wasn't a very strong urge. Didn't succumb.

Way tired right now though... gonna fall asleep right here.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Day 139

Really lousy day.

Work has been fairly wretched all week but today was just the worst. Conference first thing then the daily huddle then off to a site visit and back to a whole slew of problems plus work.

On the home front I'm still trying to get used to the idea of Middle going down to Chaos South for a long holiday weekend ... Spouse and Eldest are already there and Youngest is with her grandmother in town so it will be just me and ABL and the beagle. Even though my own vacation starts a week from today I spent most of the day grumping to myself about being Cinderella stuck working while the rest of the family had fun.

All that and nothing good on the lunch line either. In the late afternoon when I realized just how much I had still to do before I could leave the fully formed thought "and wouldn't a nice cold beer really hit the spot once you get home?" popped right into my head. That was startling as I don't even much -like- beer. It passed quickly enough but it's kind of weird to go so long not even thinking about it only to have it be there again.

O e good thing in all the bad though: instead of struggling with a case I asked for help. Just flat-out said to the one colleague in my department whose opinion I value and to whom I hate looking dumb "I haven't seen this since residency and not much then so I have no freaking clue what I'm looking at."  He was not only happy to help but totally gracious about it and I am pleased with myself for being able to cut through all my internal bullshit and get to the right place relatively quickly. Progress.

Worked on self-love too but that isn't going as well. The Hypervritcal Asshole who lives in my head doesn't shut up easily.

Got way too lonely, angry, tired and hungry this afternoon so once again I made sure to sit down with a snack first thing when I got home. Made a huge difference too.

The bad thing about getting sober is that you have to feel all the feelings but the good thing is that you get to feel all the feelings because then you can work through them and actually have some personal growth. I could do with a few more -positive- feelings though.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Day 138

Moody day.

Productive at work. Managed to stay away from the candy and noticed that the Eat Now voice is very similar to the Drink Now voice and their buddy Have More shows up just everydamnedwhere.

Home not so great...there were bouts of relatively mild family drama and I found myself collecting "unappreciated" pebbles right along with "sick of the grind" and "why do everybody else's issues take precedence over mine?" These would have all been cues/justifications/triggers to drink in the past...and to start doing it -while- making the meat-based dinner I wouldn't be eating anyhow.

Tonight I said to myself "now wait just a damned minute" and sat down with a nice handful of fruit-and-nut mix before doing -anything- else then decided to have my dinner first as I would resent cooking less if I weren't hungry myself. That turned out to be a good plan. I have to -keep- reminding myself that the solution to "hungry and (resentful/angry/sad) " is not to nibble here and there while doing the evening tasks but to -sit-down- with a proper amount of food, be it snack or meal. The resentment/anger/sadness may still be there but dealing with it is easier if I have taken the time to acknowledge the body and its needs first.

I seem to have a lot of trouble with that whole "acknowledge the body" concept -- too busy being a harsh and unkind critic. Self-care is still such a struggle. I can tell I'm going in the right direction but it is at an awfully slow pace and it is easy to backslide and even easier to self- criticize. I -really- need to fire - or at least reprogram - the asshole who lives in my head.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Day 137 (still)

A better evening.

Spouse remotely guided me through something which fixed the internet which was a huge de-stressor    . Created a ridiculously easy but surprisingly tasty entree for myself (package of baked tofu diced into a bowl, add small jar slivered pimento, microwave till hot, stir in a generous tablespoon toasted sesame seeds and two of hoisin sauce - done) and that was a help too. Still out of sorts and achy and already in bed for the night but a good meal and a shower made things much less miserable.

Really making an effort not to criticize myself didn't hurt either. Seems like now that I don't have the drinking to use as a club to beat myself That Voice is trying to latch onto other things like food and exercise and use of free time...where did I get this asshole who shares my headspace?!!? Definitely need to change the terms of -that- lease...which is far easier said than done.

Days 136 and 137

Kinda lousy days. 

Still no internet at home - service provider has a call scheduled for between 2 and 4pm tomorrow.  It's the one thing too many this week.  Not a HUGE issue but enough of an issue to be deeply annoying rather like a bug bite or a paper cut.

Yesterday was full of work drama which spilled into today--I have learned that I have the complete and absolute support of my boss and that I am highly thought of, both of which are good things, but the drama is still drama nonetheless.

Had to get a jumpstart for Middle's car at the local McDonald's last night because he needed internet access to do his online homework and decided not to go in, like a civilized person, but to stay in his car in the parking lot which would have been fine if he'd either not played the radio or kept the engine running.  I thought he knew better. 

Haven't wanted to drink but the proximity of Halloween candy hasn't been a good thing. There was a lot of rage going on yesterday related to the work stuff and I overeat more due to anger than just about any other reason.  I keep telling myself that overeating isn't nearly as damaging as overdrinking was but then I have That Voice which is saying things like "you're just substituting one for the other" and "who do you think you're kidding?" and "well if you can get a handle on your drinking why can't you get a handle on your eating?" and a lot of other critical things and this is in spite of the fact that I wrote right here in this blog that I wasn't going to even -attempt- to deal with the whole Food Thing till I was farther along the sobriety path as I knew that was part of what contributed to my going back to the booze last time around.

The voices in my head don't treat me very well or think too highly of me and that's a problem because then I look to external validation to shut them up and seek praise and all sorts of other things from people who don't have a clue that they're supposed to be fighting demons and goblins not just being a decent caring human being.

I'm hanging on but that's about all I'm doing right now.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Day 135 (and a half)

What a day.

Groceries were delayed because Middle stayed over (with the car) at a friend's and the internet service went down an hour before my mother-in-law's visit to see ABL so I went from playing pair-of-hands with online tech support to prove that it really was their problem and not our equipment to family politics in the space of about fifteen minutes.

Internet is still out; that's why the "(and a half)" since it's actually morning of Day 136 now and I'm at work because in town they never lost internet. Yes, there's a bit of bitterness there.

After MIL left I realized mucking about with hardware loosened one of the local network Ethernet cables because ABL didn't have access to all his old TV shows and told me about it.  Didn't figure the cable part out on my own though, so I had to call Spouse for troubleshooting by phone which made me feel exceedingly stupid.  Back in the days of TRS-80 and original Macintoshes I was highly computer literate and the grade of which I'm proudest in my entire undergraduate career was an A- in Digital Computing (a 300-level hardcore course designed mostly for majors) but now 30 years later I'm utterly incompetent in part because "tech" is one of Spouse's major domains and has been since before we met so I stopped doing any of it at all ever.

I was doing reasonably okay with all of the above.  Well, "reasonably okay" might in retrospect have been "barely holding on without a tantrum."  Then Eldest wanted to rehash every last detail and nuance of the MIL visit by telephone and for some reason that was the straw which broke the camel's back.  I didn't want to drink at all but I ended up eating way too much stuff including half the super-easy raspberry tart I made as an experiement (tube crescent roll dough--without the perforations if they sell it in your area--flat on a cookie sheet, half a jar of jam down the middle, fold sides over, bake -- it works) This of course on the very day I had said to myself "how 'bout we try switching down to dried fruit instead of all this chocolate, hmm?"

I finished one good book and started what I hope will be another but I'm still pretty bummed about life, the universe and everything right now.  It's not that anything particularly bad has happened but on the other hand nothing particularly good has happened either and I feel somewhat at odds with my family these days.  Not in the fighting or arguing or not-getting-along sense but more in the I-feel-so-different-from-these-people sense.  Which admittedly isn't very far removed from plain ol' you-don't-understand-me resentment so it might just be that in disguise.  Probably is, in fact, as there felt like an underlying vein of "unappreciated" running through most of yesterday.

A night's sleep has helped and I'm hoping another day of routine will help more. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Day 134

A good day.

Combined morning bakery run with a walk and it was nice. Fall is my favorite season.

Did more than half the things in my to-do list so felt pretty good about that too. 

Now if only I could get rid of this nasty back-of-thigh muscle cramp thing. Took a muscle relaxer just as I got into bed so am hoping to wake up without it.

Speaking of "wake up".... Today I was up for  the day at 6:50 and felt perfectly rested. It is just SO damned nice to do that on a Saturday morning. When you quit drinking you get so much time back.Some days - especially early on - that didn't seem so great since it was also time to -think- about stuff (ruminate, more like) and ghawdforbid feel stuff but now I'm just so happy to hit the ground -- well okay not running but definitely functional. None of this trying to figure out when I'll be "back to normal" again because I am -always- normal now. Well...always my regular sober functional self, anyhow. Better set that whole "normal" thing aside.