Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 573

Praise be for Christmas cookies. I packed some for breakfast today and it was like having s little bit of stockpiled love in every bite. On a day which really needed it.

First thing this morning our 4 citations has sprouted 5 friends for a total of 9 which in the grand scheme of things is probably a fine number but which feels like a lot since we are usually in the 4-6 range.

Then I had that big drive and of course my head was full of nothing but that “everyone’s invited” thing from yesterday and I was still just undone. Si when I got back I fixed it by getting it canceled and the relief was stunning in its degree and physicality. I hadn’t realized just how overcome I had been; I don’t do rage well. I suppose none of us do.

Came home and did as close to nothing as possible. Except for eating way too many more cookies and fudge, that is. I had been doing really really well with the emotional eating but tonight I kept having one more of those tasty treats I had made over the past ten days. Plus a handful of almonds. Had to stop myself and leave the kitchen entirely when I realized I was standing in front of the open pantry nibbling a saltine straight from its sleeve.

I’ve since moved from couch to bed but am amazingly bone-achingly tired...this much angst drains a person.

Throughout it all, though, I didn’t want a drink at all so that’s full of win.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 572

What a day.

Three new inspection citations this morning bringing the total to four. Then too much work including several interruptions for -different- work.

Was pleased with myself for doing the lunchtime tasks exactly as planned even though it was bitter cold. Went back, did more work and then at 3:30 the rug was yanked hard out from under me. Email announcing the closing conference of the inspection was now open to -everyone- not just my department. My. Department. The one of which I am boss.

My head exploded, I scraped it all back into my cranial vault, tried to find my administrative-director-and-dyad-partner but of course he wasn’t around. Sent private email to the meeting organizers (COO & VP) saying I would have liked advance warning of the decision or better still to have been part of the decision making process. I’m sure if I had gone to the emergency room and asked for a blood pressure check I would have been admitted - never been that angry at work before and was lightheaded from it. Never thought about quitting before but did that too.

VP wrote back he had been surprised too. I vented a bit to him then had two back-to-back meetings and wasn’t back to my office till 6:15 when I learned it was -my-director’s- idea to do this open-the-summation-to-everyone bullshit. I was so stunned. I’m still stunned. He apologized profusely and said he realizes now he should have discussed it with me first and so on...but damn, just damn.

Got home and there was family drama too. Mild in the grand scheme of things yet One More Thing.

Despite all that though, I did indeed box up tasty baked treats to send out tomorrow. I rock.

I am also -really- happy to be a sober person too. If I were still a drinker this is the sort of thing over which I would have given myself permission to have “more than the usual weeknight amount” for sure-sure...and then I would have started the morning feeling like shit on top of everything else. SO happy not to be -there- any more.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day 571

The inspection continues; it's going as well as such things go.

Came home totally tired, cranky and all-round pissy over all the things on my mental To-Do list but before doing any of it I had myself some fudge for dinner which helped immensely.  It isn't grainy at all. Taking time to get oneself in a better headspace is always well worth it because then everything afterwards goes better - slogging along "because I gotta get it done" is just throwing -handfuls- of pebbles into the bag of resentment.

Once the sugar kicked in I made dinner for tonight, a meatloaf for Youngest to bake tomorrow night and - best of all - the last of the holiday baking. Tomorrow I have to go to the bank so I'm going to combine that with getting those Express Mail boxes from the post office so I can send a nice chunk of all the goodies down to the family in the other house and another nice chunk to my dear friend in Hawaii which is why I've kind of been rushing because the cutoff to get something there by Christmas is the 15th. It's a surprise and would be just as good a surprise during actual Christmastide as opposed to Technically Still Advent but still.

The other thing I'm doing between the bank and the post office is taking myself to lunch again. This feels particularly indulgent since I took myself to lunch last week and on Monday I went to my monthly work-colleague trio lunch. However I'm not going to be able to have a nice lunch out or a bit of shopping on Thursday after my Big Loop as I'd planned because of the inspection so I figure doing it tomorrow, which is ahead of time, is a nice way to prevent resentment on the day itself when I end up swinging through a drive-thru and eating in the car on the way back up.

I'm still kind of in denial about Christmas itself though.  It's my turn to be on-call and since I'm already on regular call I also said I'd be willing to do special administrative call so I am required to stay local from 12/22 to 1/2. I don't really mind this as I've been to the other house in August, September, October and November. Plus the weather is always a variable. However SiL works retail and is thus likewise tied to -that- area so Eldest will definitely be staying down there with him. Me here and SiL there are the two fixed points in this constellation of emotional work; everything else is mutable. There have been many proposals.  Some are more appealing than others but given cars and weather and dispositions and such, what I actually -expect- to happen is that Spouse, Eldest and SiL will all stay there while Middle, Youngest, ABL and I all stay here...and "stay here" in this case will mean spending a good chunk of the day itself at MiL's apartment opening presents and having a bad meal with her and Auntie. Hence my denial. I'm not particularly looking forward to that and don't expect to enjoy it very much so I'm trying, over the next two weeks, to become more resigned to and accepting of it.

Who knows? Maybe something totally unexpected will happen.

Some year - not any time soon, I'm sure - I'll get to do what I -really- want over the Christmas holiday: Take a nice long vacation to a non-Christian country or two. Just skip the whole thing completely.

And so it goes.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Day 570

Today was a lesson in shifting priorities. All that stuff from last Friday which had me so upset flew clear off the radar because our every-two-years surprise inspection started first thing this morning.

Had a bunch of errands after work too but after those and dinner I made fudge for the first time in at least a decade...and it turned out! A combination of worry it wouldn’t set, too-small glass of ice water (couldn’t reach in) and inaccurate thermometer meant it got a bit overdone so I fear it may be grainy but the sliver I cut off one edge was not as bad as I feared. So maybe once it cools the magic of chemistry will make it nice.

Candy-making is definitely something happening because of sobriety. Booze and boiling sugar solutions just don’t mix.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Day 569

The day started poorly but ended better.

Woke up out of sorts and the shopping was horrible: I waited till I knew they'd have non-self-serve checkout lines but it was crowded and there was a lot of restocking going on so the aisles were very clogged. Also I was dragging around a lot of pebbles in my bag of resentment over having to do the menus and the shopping and the meal prep in the first place.

When I got home I made the decision that I wasn't doing anything else at all today apart from dinner - and I was in such a bad mood immediately post-grocery that "dinner" might have been the family sized Stouffer's mac-n-cheese I had in the freezer as backup and not the chicken fajitas I planned. No Christmas baking or fudge-making either...I was way too Grinch-y to even think about holiday festivities.  Other than to set them on fire, that is.

NOT powering through all the stuff on my hypothetical it-would-be-nice-to-do list and giving myself permission to do nothing at all was very helpful.  Self-care means "don't pile on." After a nice lie-down I was able to at least wash the peppers for the fajitas, thinking all the while "I still don't have to make it. See what I feel like when it's time. They'll keep in the fridge." I also told myself that if I didn't want to EVER do any more Christmas baking than what I'd already done that was fine too. It wasn't an obligation, just an idea.  That helped too: instead of letting the resentment build I let it dissipate.

After an afternoon of computer games I felt quite a bit better - amazing how much permission to goof off helps. I considered going ahead with the fudge but thought it was wiser to stick with just dinner instead. Moving away from Grinch Who Incinerated Everything was good enough; no need to jump right back into Suzie Homemaker. So that's what I did.

It seems ridiculously easy in retrospect to respond to "Waah!  The important thing was icky and hard and yucky!" with "Aw, that's too needed done though so to show thanks and appreciation let's just have you take the rest of the day off." In practice, though, it's all too easy to ignore or "power through" the voice saying "hey, wait a minute!" That's not a good idea though because resentment is a big ol' alarm clock for the Drink Now voice. Pro-active self-care, on the other hand, keeps it asleep the way it ought to be.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Day 568

One of the nice things about not drinking in response to a really lousy day is that you don't end up carrying the lousy into another day.  When I got up this morning - half hour later than usual - I was able to just put aside all of yesterday's nonsense and move into cookie-baking mode.

I did lemon bars, pecan tassies (miniature pecan pies made in a mini-muffin tin; it's a Southern US recipe and I have no idea why they are "tassies.") and sugar cookies then decided I'd had enough and had a nice lie-down then a walk in town with my audiobook. It started snowing during my walk so I put the car in the garage when I got home. That's relevant because I'd planned to make fudge tonight then realized the fudge needed butter, of which I had none having used it all on the earlier baking. Didn't feel like going back out in the snow so I put the fudge on hold.

One thing I notice though: even with using freshly-squeezed lemon juice which has sat around marinating with the lemon zest for a while the lemon bars just aren't really all that lemon-y. This is a bonus to Youngest, who doesn't much like lemon, but it is an annoyance to me because the recipe doesn't call for lemon extract but clearly that's what is needed.  Doesn't call for yellow food coloring either but that would be how to get them looking all pretty. The sugar cookie recipe has an excellent texture (uses oil and powdered sugar in addition to butter and granulated sugar) but even with vanilla extract it doesn't have the same intense Sugar! Cookie! flavor of the kind you buy in a tube in the dairy aisle.  It's both interesting and somewhat annoying that all the artificial flavors and colors have changed our collective palates.

Tomorrow will be the grocery shopping as usual, of course. Have the menus planned and the list already written. Need to remember to stall and head out a little later so they have a real cashier line open.

And so it goes.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Day 567

I never write in the morning but I am so angry right now that I need to vent everywhere I can.

Got to work very early this morning because Youngest had 7am jazz-choir practice. As I mentioned yesterday, today is the first day of Bet doing all of the office work usually done by three people (and till recently shared among two.) Bet was off Monday and Tuesday of this week to take her mother for eye surgery at BigCenter 1.5 hours away from here.

Just now Bet told me she would be off all day this coming Monday to take her mother to a follow-up appointment at BigCenter.  I probably wasn't as tactful as I could have been when I said "Oh!" in tones of surprise and asked "so who will be answering the phones?"  Turns out Manager will be answering the phones.  I don't know who, if anyone, will be doing any of the other administrative work. That was startling enough but Bet then went on to explain that she will be off one day a week for the next eight weeks because her mother needs weekly follow-up at BigCenter.  She will be working four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days because she “has no time left.” 

I do understand that people’s families come first and I understand that we don’t always get the timing we like but I am pissed as hell that I am only finding this out NOW after it’s a done deal as opposed to earlier when I could maybe have used my political capital to ask for some locums help or at least someone to sit at the front desk.  I am FURIOUS that not only will there not be anyone at the front desk one day a week for the next eight weeks but also I didn’t find out until today. I can only assume Manager didn’t know about this extensive follow-up either until Bet came back...but the piece which is angering me the most and has me typing so my head won't explode is the fact that Manager, without getting clearance from anyone, decided it was okay to let Bet work the four 10-hour days so that these appoinments won't affect her pay.  Yeah sure, it's nice to be nice, but the generally-worked hours are 8:30 to 4:30 and the common rule is that when someone is out of vacation and sick time they take any further time as UNPAID time.  We do not HELP the employee screw over the department...and although I may be mean-spirited in thinking this, I suspect that if the time were going to be unpaid, Bet might have been more likely to work out other options like getting other family members to help and/or finding transportation services. I'm even more furious with Manager than I am with Bet.

But I'm doing the self-care thing: walked to the far cafeteria to get tea, vented here, vented in email to my "Administrative Dyad Partner" (the lab director who is Manager's boss) to ask for possible solutions, vented to a friend in email....and now to all of you fine people. A couple years ago this would have been, at not even eight-thirty, the trigger for THIS Friday night to be an extra-big drinking night but no longer...and that feels good.  I'm going to take that good feeling into the rest of the day with me and see how it goes.

MUCH later:

Dyad Partner/Director talked to Manager and the story he got was that Bet -did- in fact have sick time and/or vacation time but Manager -asked- her to do the four tens instead of unpaid time so as to not lose eight hours a week of work. I sat right there and said "Oh well that's better" and also "I'm glad to be wrong, then."  However about a half-hour later I realized both that he had never followed up on the other thing I wanted to know which was "did Manager know about all these extra days off ahead of time or did she find out today just like I did?"and also "wait a minute...'has no time left' is pretty specific."  So unfortunately even though I tend to think the best about everyone and don't -like- being untrusting, my suspicions have been raised. It is quite possible that Manager lied to Director about the four tens being her idea and the more I reflect on it the more I feel like I was "handled" as in "calmed down/mollified/pacified" by Director rather than having my concerns addressed. He was awfully quick to point blame back at the HR department and the hiring freeze not letting us post/interview/fill the position sooner as the bigger issue rather than talking about my issues too.

But in any case I can put it out of my mind till Monday. I also took myself out to lunch, cold though it was, as a reward for dealing with all this shit. The grilled cheese wasn't anything to write home about but the tater tots were absolutely perfect which was as it should be--the place I chose is known specifically -for- tater tots as a side dish instead of fries.  It was way more than I'm used to eating at lunchtime so I took a walk afterwards but was still bloated all afternoon...which is okay.

Self-care included the usual Friday night pizza and more lying around on the couch. Also a small ice cream sundae after dinner even though I'd had a huge lunch.  Now it's time for a nice early bedtime and since it's Friday night I can sleep in as late as I like tomorrow which will be nice....and I plan to make tomorrow a big cookie-baking-and-freezing day. Just looked over my recipes and I think the order will be lemon bars, sugar cookies, pecan tassies.  Then possibly fudge if I haven't totally worn myself out. Speaking of cookies...I decided those sesame cookies I deemed lousy yesterday aren't so bad after all. Had some with breakfast today and another one with my sundae.  Although I wouldn't try to pass them off to anyone else and expect them to be liked, I think I'll be keeping the frozen dough after all.

Self-care is way better and far more productive than sloshed.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Day 566

Better day. Sleep -did- help and I think I’ve finally beaten back whatever stupid sickness was trying to take root as I had more energy than the whole rest of the week combined.

On the other hand today was the good admin assisstant’s last day. My office is usually staffed by three office people - let’s call them Alef,  Bet and Gimel. Bet started out as a transcriptionist but grew into a more general admin assistant over the years especially once the electronic system with voice recognition became widespread. She is capable but easily stressed and a big-time complainer. Alef was the personal admin to the previous boss who also grew into a more general admin assistant over the years. Gimel was the front-desk person who replaced Vav - how I miss Vav; she was the best admin assistant I’ve ever had so of course she moved on to bigger and better things which is excellent and I don’t begrudge her...but boy do I miss her.

Anyhow, Gimel gave notice and quit. Bet was her backup so it made sense for her to apply for and get Gimel’s position although the duties were a bit of a reach and the public-facing part was a big reach. Bet has been in the new position a couple months and is struggling but mostly getting it done. Had to be coached about not complaining so much and especially not to people in the visitor chairs. Alef was picking up slack and things were going okay though everyone wanted to hurry up and get the backfill of Bet’s old position posted and hired because there was a little too much work for two especially as Alef and Bet don’t like each other much. But...hiring freeze. Then Alef announced she was going out on medical leave for a knee replacement, coming back for one week in early March and then retiring. Panic ensued. After much pushing we got approval to post and hire -one- of the two open positions but that approval came on Tuesday.

So now the whole department, which usually runs with three admins, is going to be doing it with just one, the easily stressed often-whiny Bet, for the foreseeable future. Color me thrilled.

Came home and tried a new-to-me sesame cookie recipe. Flop. Picked the recipe because it also had pistachios in it. I love both so what’s not to like? Plenty. Probably screwed up the metric to English conversions as dough was ridiculously oily. Baked up okay but not flavorful and not sweet enough to be something readily identifiable as “cookie” either. I should not have made a double batch - stopped baking after first 2 dozen but couldn’t bring myself to pitch that much dough (yet, anyhow) so it is now languishing in the back of my freezer. I will make something else instead...which is probably just as well as suspect I am the only one who would have eaten them even if they were “tasty” by objective standards anyhow. was kind of demoralizing. Good excuse to crash on the couch and message with a friend of mine though and that was nice. Once again it will be time for bed very soon and tomorrow is a pretty light day. Gotta sober is way more efficient than cooking with a drink in hand despite all the cultural/societal cues to be doing the latter. Tipsy cooking may seem more fun at the time but it is - well, was for me anyhow - way messier and always leaves the dishes for the next day. Tonight I had the washing up done before the non-cookies had even come out of the oven.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Day 565

Trying to keep a balanced perspective but right now sad is winning.

The universe threw all sorts of little kindnesses my way today: co-worker bought my tea this morning, another co-worker brought gifts from her trip abroad and the drive-thru worker was beyond the usual level of nice. Yet still various family dramas weigh heavily and suck the joy right out of me again. Wish that I could let it all roll off me but feelings just -are-; they can’t be logic-ed away.

No urge to -drink- over any of this and I’ve managed not to succumb to the overeating All The Carbs urges either and those two facts alone should give me some satisfaction and maybe increased self worth...but what I mostly am is tired.

So after doing nothing but lie on the couch after dinner - wait, that’s not true because I did two loads of laundry and also cleaned up after dinner. After -mostly- lying around on the couch after dinner I’ve moved to bed. Whether it’s physical or emotional or a combination of both, sleep will help.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Day 564

Busy day.

Had to take ABL to the doctor (med refills) at 8 then reward him with drive-thru breakfast, get him settled at home and take the car to -its- appointment at the shop for sluggish starting.  As I was sitting there eating my own breakfast between appointments I thought to myself "mustn't forget to lay out his lunch before I go" and what did I end up doing? Forgetting to lay out his lunch before I went...and didn't realize it till 1:30 when I was hungry and getting ready to go buy my own lunch from the cafeteria. Fortunately home is only about seven minutes from work. No harm done.

But that makes the third bit of serious forgetfulness in a week and that worries me.  Last Tuesday I completely mixed up "quesadilla" with "chimichanga" even though I've had both many times....ordered the former thinking I would be getting the latter and only after the food came did I realize my mistake. Sunday night into yesterday morning I thought I was having lunch with my friends even though I knew lunch was set for the 11th and the appointments were on the 5th...for some reason there was this curious blank spot making me think that yesterday was the lunch. Also for some reason I've been having a really hard time remembering today is Tuesday, not Wednesday.

Spouse says it's stress and he's probably right but I'm still uneasy.  I've never been a forgetful person, never mixed up days and only once in my entire life lost track of an assignment because it was due the day after the calendar page flipped. That was my freshman year of undergrad and I've always kept a continuous six-weeks-at-a-glance calendar somewhere easily seen to avoid that ever happening again. So this is definitely unusual.  I'm keeping track now, though, and if they keep happening with the same frequency into the new year I'll figure out what kind of professional I should go see. Neurology probably.

But now I'm going to bed - still with this intermittent headache and scratchy throat and sleep is always a good answer for whatever the question might be.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Day 563

Another night of crazy dreams, waking up twice and then sleeping past usual time only to wake with a headache. Thought today was my colleague lunch so didn’t pack any only to realize when I got to work that no, the lunch is -next- Monday. Then realized I had a headache getting worse not better and could have fallen asleep standing right there in my office with my coat still on. Youngest was extra-tired this morning too - must be some illness afoot.

On the other hand my stupid noon meeting was less stupid than usual because it confirmed the more positive (to me, anyhow) interpretation of recent work-politics events. Plus I got to leave at four which is always nice.

Saw a social media video which gave me mixed feelings: “virgin” holiday drinks like mulled “wine” and hot buttered “rum.” Although I think it’s nice to have an alternative, any alternative, to all the extra over-and-above-usual boozing I thought the drinks themselves looked kinda icky and that fake versions of real booze were sort of lame compared to something original that wasn’t trying to be something else. Don’t want to rain on anyone else’s parade but it’s definitely not my thing. Of course I don’t like fake flowers, either.

And on that note I’m going to bed as I have both an ABL appointment and a car appointment tomorrow. The Great Cookie Caper continues...did the. 7-layer bars while the chili simmered as those aren’t real cooking and also ground the pistachios for sesame cookies. Got out first Christmas card today which reminds me I gotta do those too - forgot an obligation. Fortunately there are very few to do - less than ten for sure.

I was sober last Christmas too but this year it seems to be overall happier. I’m all for that.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Day 562

A good day. There was early morning family drama which annoyed me because I wanted to get to the grocery before it got crowded but it worked out to my advantage: after nine there still aren’t many people but they open up a non-express real-cashier checkout line. I had been fully prepared to do the whole self-serve thing again but praise be I didn’t have to.

Decided not to get lemons yet as I’m not at all sure whether lemon bars will freeze but I did order myself a 9x9 pan. Plus started planning a line of attack: tomorrow will be 7-layer bars because they are ridiculously easy and will totally freeze well since they’re basically just candy. Or not, depending on my mood. The beautiful thing is that there is no rush and I only have to do as much as I want. I could get fed up and ditch the whole project and it wouldn’t hurt a thing.

More family drama later in the day but I didn’t let it get to me. Progress!

And now sleep.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Days 560 and 561

Wow I totally spaced writing a post yesterday. That’s because I came home so out of sorts I ended up going to bed way early and then falling asleep right away. Wasn’t a bad day or anything just one of those evenings where nothing appeals: not my computer toys, not my yarn toys, not my book toys...nine of it. Didn’t want to drink but didn’t want to do anything else either.

Today, however, has been much better. Spouse had a big EBay box which I needed to re-label and send down to the other house (EBay only lets you ship to billing address) and I was feeling some resentment about it so I took myself for breakfast afterwards and that was a really smart choice. Food made by someone else always tastes better and I can’t remember the last time I had a -hot- breakfast. Was very nice. The cafe was pushing the booze though: in addition to Mimosas, Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers all being listed on the breakfast menu they also had a breakfast -drink- special which today was Bailey’s in coffee. I suppose if you are a tourist it isn’t unreasonable but damn, even decades ago when I didn’t think I had a drinking problem I would never have started that early because it could only lead to disaster. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

After breakfast I was brave enough to stroll over to the sidewalk I mentioned and they -did- fix it. Was surprised to find, in among the relief, a bit of disappointment that my feet were -not- forever memorialized in front of the Presbyterian Church.

When I got home I put butter out to soften. You know that saying “be the change you want to see in the world”? Well for the past week or so I was thinking maybe I should be the Christmas I wanted to see in the world. The one thing I -do- like about the holiday is the cookie trays - you know, where there are a bunch of different kinds and often fudge or that stuff with colored mini marshmallows in white chocolate. (Upon reflection, the cookie tray was something -no- body in my family did...of course -that- isn’t significant hahaha...) Well since I had all the obligatory gift-stuff done and had already decided I wasn’t doing any decorating I felt positive enough about everything to say “y’know what? Let’s do it. Make a batch here and there and freeze it all and then won’t you be all set?!?”

Plus there was a vegan gluten free recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip bars I had to try because curiosity was killing me. It was first on the list. My own feeling was “meh” and Youngest was “not a fan” so I will see what the people in my office think on Monday. Belle’s shortbread, on the other hand, was a huge hit. Most of it is already in the freezer for safekeeping as it would have gone very quickly otherwise.

While I was doing the baking Youngest decorated - how cool is that?! I was really happy to see lights and a tree go up so I guess there is a difference between being Scroogey McGrinchface and just not wanting to add onto one’s To-Do list. Things could change, of course, but right now I’m feeling better  and more excited about Christmas than I have in several years.

Also I made sure to get the bulky/heavy stuff (beverages, cat litter) at the grocery this evening so that when I go tomorrow morning I can use the self-check out. And now I’m taking time out to have a nice lie-down and appreciate my fine forethought.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Day 559

Peculiar day. Woke up a half hour late after the most unsettling bizarre dream - not a nightmare but weirdly unpleasant in its own way. Car acting up a little - enough to make me worry disproportionately even after making an appointment for service. Must be stress.

Took a walk at lunchtime and stepped on a sidewalk I didn’t realize was still wet till after I left two footprints - and then the village works truck drive by. I alternated between horrified with fear of reprisal and annoyed that no barricade or warning sign was in place. I hope someone from the works truck actually fixed it otherwise my feet are going to be forever in front of a local church.

Got a nasty headache in the late afternoon which might explain why I hit “self clean” instead of “start” on the oven...didn’t realize that till I wondered why it smelled odd and hadn’t beeped to let me know the preheating was done. So dinner was delayed by the half hour it took to cool down enough do the auto-lock would unlock. Once again I gave myself dementia (TWO fuckups the same WEEK! said the Inner Critic) but this time because of the headache I threw in brain tumor, multiple sclerosis and impending TIA or stroke.

Family was difficult because ABL acted up and I’m pretty sure my overdrinking relative has abandoned the most recent quit attempt. But hey at least it is early to bed tonight which will definitely not make things any worse and has a good chance of making them better.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Day 558

The first truly easy day at work I’ve had in a long time. Took a walk at lunch which was kind of amazing. Even so I realized after the fact that every single day this week had two separate instances of...of...oh yes: “providing clarification.”  Not nice to say “fixing stupid.”

The big thing, though, is that all my Christmas shopping is done. Praise be for mail order. This is definitely a new personal best as it isn’t even December yet but it feels like a huge weight off my back. Now I wouldn’t -have- to do any other thing and I’ve met the societal obligations. Well...except for having a meal with MiL on the day itself but I’m still in denial about that since it’s practically a whole month away.

Can you tell I don’t do well with holidays? Thanksgiving is by far the worst but Christmas runs a close second place. I’m going that by making everything from this point out an optional thing I might be able to enjoy it more. (I’ll spare you all my “women are the keepers of Christmas” platform.)

Spent too much time on the computer again tonight but it’s not as bad as two nights ago - I think I can still get a decent amount of sleep. Which I should start doing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Day 557

Early to bed tonight - can’t even think of doing another way-too-late night like yesterday. Didn’t get to sleep till something like 1:30.

Which is probably a big part of why today was sad with a side order of angry - no particular reason so I’m thinking it was the overtired toddler factor at work. Ended up having Mexican for lunch because I got too hungry and the immediate warm chips/cold salsa sounded really good and it was...but I had forgotten their iced tea is undrinkable. Also I had planned on an enchilada but once there I obstinately didn’t want to pay dinner-menu price so ended up ordering off the lunch menu...and for some reason had quesadilla and chimichanga mixed up in my head - ordered the former thinking I was getting the latter and only after the food came did I realize my mistake. Every time something like that happens I instantly panic “ohmahghawd is it the Alzheimer’s ?!” even though I’m only barely 51...that’s the downside of 23&Me. I have two copies of the gene associated with _late_ onset Alzheimer’s which means I have a 40-something chance of having it by age 75 and a 60% chance by 85. This is not thrilling to me but on the other hand I wouldn’t dream of trying to win with 60/40 odds so I don’t really worry about it...except for the odd bit of forgetfulness like today.

Anyhow the food, although a little unexpected, was fine and I particularly like their black beans. However between that, all the vacation food and the iced coffee with sugar-free hazelnut syrup I got on the way home to prevent afternoon crash I was bloated like the Willy Wonka blueberry girl all evening.

Even a mere five hours of sober sleep is still way better than the whole routine of crashing hard at 11 only to wake up sometime past three with thirst, palpitations and sweat...which now seems so far removed and alien that I am more puzzled by than disapproving of having lived that way for so many years. It’s insidious, that’s for sure.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Day 556

Work started off badly and ended badly - sometimes it is like that. Oh, and there was a rather wretched meeting in the middle.

Got home an hour late which pushed everything else back an hour so I’m just now trying to go to sleep at half past midnight. Stayed up far too late goofing off with a computer game: unlike last night I just didn’t get sleepy. Not really sleepy now but gotta start doing the relaxation stuff as I will still have to get up in the morning.

Ah but tomorrow I’m taking myself out to lunch so there’s that. Gonna save the sheets for a different day though; don’t feel like shopping for anything anywhere this week.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Day 555

Home again.  Long drive. Saying goodbye gets harder every time; I don't know how I'm going to do another two and a half years of this. It is what it is, though.

Made things as easy on myself as possible once we got here though: frozen pizza after the shopping and sent Middle to the gas station so I wouldn't have to go out again. Shower, jammies...and early bedtime for sure. Laundry can wait till tomorrow or later in the week or something. Speaking of later in the week: I have to do my "big loop" of driving for work on Tuesday so I'm going to treat myself to lunch -and- finally pick up those sheets that were going to be last month's sober treat.  Changing the sheets once I got home this afternoon reminded me.

I'm hoping that in a couple days I'll bounce back because right now I feel like at least half my energy and life-force has been sucked right out of me. Combination of missing Spouse and Eldest, long drive and 15 degree drop in temperature between the two houses I think, but it's no fun whatever it is. Work should be easier than it's been these past couple months (notice I qualify it with "should") which will help.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Day 554

Now that all the holiday pressure is over it was a really lovely day. Of course it was also the last day - life is like that. Took a walk with Eldest, ate good food ... it was all just so nice.

I’m really sad to be getting in the car and driving 4.5 hours back to the regular house but that’s where the good job and the kids’ schools are. It sucks to live apart from Spouse and Eldest but it’s the best of the options so that’s what we are doing. Although all five of us felt and commented on how nice it was to all be together under the same roof: parents, kids and dogs. No ABL, no MiL and no Aunt, just nuclear family and SiL when he wasn’t working.

Really happy to be sober though - it makes everything else, even sad stuff, easier.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Day 553

Today was easier.

Eldest acknowledged my efforts yesterday with a pair of fuzzy socks which was sweet. I had two and a half hours all to myself at the car dealership waiting for service so I got to enjoy knitting and my audiobook which normally I save just for walks...but I decided on Wednesday that my ongoing treat for this whole trip was to listen to my audiobook whenever I wanted.

Oh there was still some annoyance...but it was fairly easily dealt with.

Holidays are stressful enough: I’m so glad to be doing them sober now.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Day 552 US Thanksgiving

Eight fifteen in the morning and I am writing lest I start breaking things.

I am, of course, the only one of this six-person household awake. I slept in an hour past my usual time for which I was grateful so the day didn’t start off -immediately- lousy. So fine, snapped the leash on boy-beagle to go do his business since he didn’t have his bedtime pee because there are far too many New! Different! Exciting! smells in the backyard down here.

Twenty minutes: nothing.
Fine, I did -my- business but kept him on his leash because I didn’t  want him peeing on the carpet. I poured some tea and tried again. Another 20 minutes: nothing. I decided to come in and actually drink my tea and maybe have something to eat and feed him while I was at it. Kept him on his leash.

He wasn’t interested in breakfast. While I ate mine I started thinking about the day’s cooking and realized I had no idea when to actually -serve- the dinner because despite asking multiple times I never found out whether SiL works today at all and if so, when. But that’s when I realized that the pie had to go in regardless...and that’s also when boy-beagle managed to wriggle out of -another- (this makes three) harness to go climb on Youngest who was sleeping on the couch. Given the recent escapes and how much trouble I’ve had getting and fitting harnesses you can imagine this was more than a little upsetting but I had a frozen pie in my other hand so I didn’t do anything other than put the leash with harness still attached aside, take a small moment to be grateful it happened -inside- for a change and put the pie in the oven.

Turned around to find him peeing on the carpeting. A lot. Dead center. Of course.

I poured hydrogen peroxide on it and got out the carpet cleaner (on a whole different floor of the house, naturally) and have now dealt with the whole mess and am sitting quietly with my tea typing into my phone but for a while there the rage and resentment were pretty overwhelming along with the simultaneous desires of “anything -not- to feel this way” and “I deserve more recognition than anyone is ever gonna give.” Those are feeling which on other holidays in years past would have started me drinking by noon. Probably lots of people - mostly women - are having mimosas and Bloody Marys and wine spritzers and plain ol’ white wine from the bottle open for cooking right this very minute...because they too are up and about making the holiday happen while a whole lot of other people do other things around them.

Blogging was the right choice: my resentment has mostly abated and —-

—-and that was where I was when Eldest arrived on the scene. I told her my story and when I got to the part with the harness she interrupted to start in about “yeah but that’s the same -kind- of harness you got last time and thats probably your problem. There are different -kinds- of harnesses you know..” I was, thanks to blogging, composed enough to say in a conversational tone  “yes I know but that was the only kind they sold and if you interrupt my story to be all knowledgeable I’m going to get my feelings hurt.”  She was clearly taken aback but rolled with it and said “um...okay, moving on...” so that was progress.

==much later===

Survived the day. As Thanksgivings in my family go, it was a good one. No big ugly fights, no weirdness just food on the table at a set time. I think that was because we had 1) no extended family and 2) no booze.

I had a few other big chunks of resentment but they eventually went away. Definitely ready for bed though.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Day 551

Better day.

Not great but at least better. Got all the stuff we need for the meal tomorrow, had a walk and also got the car’s oil changed and new wiper blades at the while-you-wait place near here. Normally I would make an appointment at my usual place back home but the wipers drove me nuts on the drive down. Given cost of high end wipers (and I know it wasn’t a huge markup since the old pair had come from the parts store and been self-installed) I ended up spending what I would at home but got free inside&out car wash AND they reset the oil life button which the local place never ever does. Less time, too - very pleasing retail experience.

So I was grateful for that. Also grateful I finally got a harness for the dog which fits.
My treats today were the onion dip I like and the seasonal cherry cookies I used to really like but which now seem a smidge too artificial.

Was glad of the treats as I’m still fighting resentment a lot.

Was also glad nobody drank today.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Day 550: 18 months.

Finally in bed and that’s a good feeling.

Drove 4.5 hours with practically no conversation from two kids only to get know-it-all from the third so I had worked up a good case of resentment by 12:30. Hubby suggested I take my walk which turned out to be a really smart idea as I traded my resentment for hunger which was more easily fixed.

By then overdrinking was occurring among other family members so the whole rest of the evening was about that in one way or another. On the one hand it made those earlier thoughts about “GhAWD I wish there were -something- I could do to get rid of these feelings but I don’t freaking drink any more so I’m stuck like this” seem silly. On the other it means nobody but y’all out in the blogosphere know what a milestone today was for me. I mentioned it briefly to two of the kids but I doubt either will remember.

Doesn’t make it any less a milestone though. Not sure what I’ll do for a treat as I still haven’t bought my last-month’snew sheet set treat but there definitely needs to be something. Can’t think of -what- yet but I’m hoping it will come to me.

So glad to be a sober person. So very glad and grateful.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Day 549

I think it’s all catching up to me. The dog chasing. The family stuff. The work stuff. I’ve had a good full meal with the kids at our new favorite restaurant and I’m just exhausted. Emotionally even more than physically.

But hey, I’m on vacation again so that’s good. Tomorrow we drive down to the other house - with the dog for the first time ever. Of course this upsets MiL who thinks having her son and sister isn’t enough and has expected at least one kid to stay behind - presumably to watch the dog - so she could inflict Thanksgiving upon them. Yeah, well, not so much.

I don’t want to drink but I feel out of sorts and generally blah in a way not unlike early sobriety. I think bedtime is the answer.

Eighteen months tomorrow. That ought to have exclamation points but I’m just not feeling it right now.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Day 548

Drove all the way to an actual pet store for a dog harness and damned if I didn’t put it on badly/wrong the first time so he had -another- Great Escape today. Into the woods behind our house. In the sleet. He eventually came back but boy did that 90-120 minutes seem like forever. Got my shoes soaked; glad I’ve got another pair for tomorrow.

Otherwise it was a reasonable day - finished enough of the sweater I’m knitting to try on and it will fit for sure...though it’s shorter than I’d prefer. If I have yarn left after it’s all done I might add to the bottom but more likely I’ll learn to love the length it is.

Tomorrow is my last working day before my Thanksgiving vacation and I have more work than expected — need to stay on top of things all day. At least I know I will be able to start the day full-speed....I can -always- start the day full speed now that I don’t drink.

Also tomorrow a treat I’ve planned for a good half, perhaps whole, week: kids and I are going out to dinner. ABL is with MiL for the holiday so we -can- go to a restaurant easily which means we will. All of us are pretty excited about that.

Not so excited about the fact that MiL has already told Spouse about the leftovers she plans to give me after the holiday. She has ABL but the rest of us (including the escape-artist beagle) are driving down to Chaos South as Eldest has law school and SiL works. Probably at least part of the actual day itself as his job is in a bar/liquor store combo. Anyhow MiL bought a 16-lb turkey for three people. Sigh.I’m only doing a breast for six especially as one of them - me - doesn’t eat meat in the first place.

Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday. In fact I pretty much hate it. I’ve had too many really awful ones over the years, especially growing up. If it were up to me I’d either order Asian carry out or vacation outside the country. Unfortunately those aren’t options; the whole rest of the family likes the holiday. Sigh.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Day 547

Tired.  Had enough energy and motivation to go for a walk - first time in a week- then got a bag of de-ice and replacement bulbs for the outside lights so we would be ready for the first real snow of the season due tomorrow night into Monday. Six trips up and down the ladder. All was well and good...till the dog popped his collar and took off across the neighbors’ yards. Middle finally got him just inside the woods which border all the houses...and I went back to the hardware store for a harness. I need to go another size up as this one only barely fits at full extension of the buckles which is okay for a quick walk as it doesn’t bind him but I want to get a nicer/looser one tomorrow.

On the other hand I got a surprise no-reason package in the mail from my dear friend...on a day I really really needed it.

Exhausted. The dog is too.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Day 546

Hey I just realized: Monday will be 18 months. Pretty cool.

Glad the day is ending with that bright note. Had way-cray (crazy) dreams last night, woke up angry and stayed that way pretty much all day. Got plenty of things to be angry about and anger is at least more productive than sadness or despair but I’m hoping I’ll wake up better tomorrow. Angry isn’t a very good emotional neighborhood.

Early bedtime always helps though, so that’s what I’m doing. Plus some extra sweets throughout the day. If I’m already angry it wouldn’t do to be hungry or tired or lonely. Time to see whether I get better dreams tonight.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Day 545

Bah. Woke up sneezing again. Foul mood all day and even now in bed still angry at the world both on  a macro and micro level. Hoping tomorrow will be better.

But hey, didn’t drink and didn’t take my emotions out on anyone else so it’s another winning day. Go me. Just wish the overall positive/negative balance - or at least my perception of it - would improve. Oh well...they can’t all be gems.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Day 544

I thought I was All Better today so I tried doing spinny-bike (what Youngest calls the stationary bicycle) but got awfully exhausted awfully fast - spent rest of night on couch without even energy to knit. Also my throat started hurting. I suppose I’m not all that surprised given my baseline stress level what with at least minor family drama on a pretty much daily basis and at least minor work headaches every darned day.

But I’m 1) staying sober and 2) not taking my emotions out on others and those two things are enough to call the day a win. Not overeating, either, which is just icing on the cake...though that’s probably a poor metaphor to use.

I wish I did have more energy for walking or spinny-bike as I was enjoying my new audiobook before I got sick. I had also kind of hoped to not have to renew at least one book once...but no matter as they go right back to “available” as I don’t get anything so new as to be a hot commodity. All the same, Overdrive (the app most libraries use) has changed my fitness world.

There’s a whole lot of stuff in my life completely beyond my control and I’ve found enough serenity to acknowledge and accept that so I’m not still trying to push the river - I know it flows by itself - but I’m getting awfully tired of many things on this particular boat ride. Yeah I realize how well I have it in many ways and am grateful for lots of things...and I know life will ease up as it always does...but tonight is one of those glass-not-only-half-empty-but-cracked nights. Time to walk the dog and call it bedtime.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Day 543

Healthier. Not so much in the morning but now that it’s bedtime I seem to be back to baseline — which makes sense. Got all the way sick Saturday night so that makes 3 days which is about how long a cold ever lasts for me.

Normally I blog - as I am now - from my phone while in bed: makes a nice ritual to close out the day.  However I didn’t start out that way: I started blogging from my computer where I read many other sober blogs - it was the push I needed to stay focused as I had just lapsed after a little over six months of sobriety. So I had a whole slew of blogs on my Favorites bar. Many were those I considered my cohort: people who were sober roughly the same amount of time I was. This evening I web surfed from that computer for the first time in ages...and it was stunning how many blogs had closed up shop. I should probably check my own blog roll for broken links but not tonight - still too somber a thing. I always wonder what happened. Even Mr. Sponsorpants hasn’t posted since January and although I’ve noticed that fact since February there’s no way I could ever delete him from the list ... or Mrs S, either, even though it’s been more than a year.

This is a hard thing we are all trying to do.

Totally worthwhile, of I was telling Eldest the other day on a completely different topic, anything worth doing is gonna be at least a little hard...but definitely no cake walk.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Day 542

Not as sick. Still plenty of room for improvement but hugely better than yesterday.

Did my Big Loop double site visit day and neither of the people I was supposed to see were there because my secretary hadn’t scheduled the visits with them. Was on my calendar but not theirs. Sigh.

Had crazy dreams all last night the most vivid being of my mother trying to get me to drink various kinds of alcohol. Didn’t but got tired of arguing in the dream and woke up annoyed. Weird way to start the day.

Hoping for a more peaceful week.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Day 541

Head cold. Yuck.

This week, though, I was prepared for and not taken aback by the self serve checkout. Made all the difference getting the big items early. It’s always something though: the frozen rolls my family really likes were in the “discontinued items” freezer case. Sigh.

After the groceries I spent all day on the couch with brief interruptions for a load of laundry and an oven dinner: roast with baby potatoes and carrots. Youngest just got home so now it’s bedtime and I wisely made -her- take the dog tonight. I like him but I will sleep better without his constant pressing up against me and my resultant scooching closed and closer to the edge.

Boy I hope I sleep this off.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Day 540

Wow five hundred and forty is a lot of days.

Phone woke me up this morning and unfortunately the irritation stuck around. Now that it’s bedtume I suspect at least some of it was/is impending illness: fell asleep on the couch right after dinner and woke up all sneezy and with watery eyes. On the one hand it’s good to have an explanation for why I’ve been so down and draggy - I’m always willing to think it’s entirely emotional - but on the other who wants to be sick? I’ve taken Zicam, that zinc thing, which I’m not sure works or not but at least it makes me feel like I’m doing -something-

I did get quite a bit of knitting done today which felt nice. Also, remembering last week’s self checkout fiasco I planned ahead and got all the bulky beverages for the week tonight before picking up the pizza. And I cleaned the bathroom so that’s two productive things which is totally enough. I no longer have to do everything I can think of and then some to “earn” the right to get drunk on Saturday night.

Don’t have to get drunk on Saturday night either.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Day 539

Better today but there’s still room for improvement. Did the work stuff I had to do but left way too much for Monday - mental state was largely “sick of all this” so I spent far too much of the day websurfing. Didn’t walk, either - it was freakishly bitter cold and I couldn’t force myself to do the treadmill - even with a decent audiobook it’s still pretty dull.

Middle fetched dinner for everyone though so that was nice and I had a new book which was also nice. No plans at all for tomorrow so I’m hoping to sleep in and maybe get back to baseline. I got a box of donuts so breakfast is already set.

Wish I had something wisecorcwitty or at least silly to offer but I’m still kinda tapped out and barely getting by emotionally. Well I do have one thing: in the long run, self care works way better than booze. May not feel like it in the short term but it totally does.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Day 538

A “close down the mountain” day. Haven’t had one of those in a long time.

Woke up 20 min early after not-great sleep and was completely exhausted both physically and emotionally. Like put my head down on my folded arms at the kitchen table while the dog ate his breakfast exhausted which isn’t me at all.

Knew I had a big pile of work and opening night of Youngest’s musical so I cut everything to the bare minimum. No trying to squeeze in a walk, no trying to get a little cleaning done, microwaved leftovers for family dinner...and I had chocolate cheesecake for dinner. Wasn’t as good as I had hoped but it felt indulgent all the same which was the point.

I’m hoping tomorrow is better.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Day 537

Another really long mostly unpleasant day. Too much work at the office and too much emotional support to give at home. Lost my cool detachment and got frustrated with my drinking family member...which, predictably, didn’t go well. We all know from personal experience how poorly someone who overdrinks reacts to anyone not on board the good ship ethanol. I wish I could have expressed my worry and concern in a more effective way but I had just run flat out of compassion at that point.

It’s better (the verbal tension and arguing; no clue what will happen with the drinking) now but I realized that I am still trying way too hard not to have negative emotions and apologizing for them when I do. I might be getting better at the more tangible aspects of living life but there’s still a lot of mountain to climb on the emotional side of things.

But hey: didn’t drink and didn’t -want- to drink so the day was still a success.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Day 536

Another long hard day

Tonight I skipped my walk in favor if doing some housework and it made me feel a lot better psychologically.

Good thing too because afterwards I had a really draining family phone call.

Something which has occurred to me a few times this past week: sober living means never waking up with new regrets. That’s a big thing.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Day 535

Really lousy Monday at work.

But I took care of myself by not getting too caught up in the chaos and by making nachos as soon as I got home because, as I told Youngest, melted cheese makes everything better.

Then I got a big ol’ belated birthday present from the woman I call my sister - Mac nuts from a Big Island Farm not 20 miles from where she lives. That helped.

Lying around on the couch all night helped too. I’d be in bed already if it weren’t for Youngest still being out at rehearsal.

Tonight I’m specifically glad not to be still drinking because this is the kind of night where, because of the lousy day, I would have started the second d I got home, been resentful of having to do dinner and been up too late and that’s not even taking the effects of the alcohol itself into account.  This is better.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Day 534

I think Daylight Savings Time is categorically silly but in the fall it is kind of nice that getting up at what my body thinks is the usual time turns out to be an hour earlier. I was at the grocery a smidge before eight which was astounding. Practically nobody was there, either...which cut both ways. I like self serve checkouts: they are efficient and usually have no line. However this morning I had to run the week’s groceries for a family of four through one because there was no _non_ express-lane cashier. That -really- sucked a lot. Balancing All The Things on the bag area, even with shelf and turntable, was nigh impossible...and I got the “please wait for an attendant” warning a good 8 or 10 Times. The attendant was very quick to punch whatever buttons at the control station fixed things but I was still just about ready to have a breakdown by the time I got everything rung up. Then I had to reload the cart, unload it into the car then bring everything least Youngest was awake to help put it all away. Such an ordeal.

Treated myself right away to an easy tasty breakfast though - that helped.

Otherwise it was just another pleasant valley Sunday. I cooked - “Five pounds” sounds like a lot of mashed potatoes but it turned out to be 11 medium-sized spuds which became one big serving bowlful. Since I needed more than half for the dinner shepherds pie and I wanted extras to have both plain (I don’t eat shepherd’s pie) and for leftovers,  I was glad I did the whole bag after all.

And now to bed...on fresh sheets. Still not up to changing them weekly and still haven’t bought the new set of sheets I was planning a while back but every other weekend is progress nonetheless.

A whole new week awaits.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Day 533

Dog woke me early but after doing the Critter Stuff I went back to sleep on the couch for another hour - always pleasant. Once I was up for the day I realized sleep had largely fixed the loneliness of yesterday.

Not nearly as ambitious this Saturday as last but I did all the stuff I needed to do. Also a lot of knitting which had to be ripped out and re-done because I didn’t read the pattern carefully enough - live and learn. I fixed the problem and recovered about half of what I lost before I realized that Daylight Savings starting night or not, it’s bedtime. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Day 532

Today was all about the “L” in HALT. This whole living-apart thing really hit me hard today. Yeah yeah, we decided this was the way to go and theoretically it’s only for a total of three years but today it just really got to me.

And of course this was the evening Middle went out early to spend the night with friends and Youngest had a rehearsal which will run way late. Given how hard it’s been not to overeat I’m really glad there’s no booze in the house. I don’t think I would have any but I wouldn’t want to have the struggle.

Normally I’m just fine keeping my own company but it has been s long and often frustrating week which seems to make it all worse. None of my usual activities had any appeal - didn’t want to knit or do computer gaming or even read...but wasn’t sleepy enough to nap either. Mostly just crashed on the couch and played freecell solitaire on my phone. Which is okay, I suppose, but not how I had envisioned spending my Friday night. I had thought there would be more phone time with the Away Team family, more knitting, maybe something on TV...but it is what it is.

And now it’s late enough to be bedtime. Sleep never hurts and often helps.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Day 531

Better day. Still room for improvement but not as draggy or moody. Got off work an hour early which helped a lot: had a nice leisurely showerbath (shower to get clean then fill tub for a soak) before dinner.  Youngest got her driver’s license on Monday so I didn’t have to worry about taking her to/from rehearsal which also helped.

Now to sleep. Quiet self-care is starting to feel normal and reflexive.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Day 530

Another very out of sorts day. No motivation, no drive...just hungry and tired all day long. Moody too.

Cut myself a lot of slack - microwaveable dinner, skipped my walk (first time in 6 weeks,) had an extra snack. Early bedtime. I think I might finally be getting the hang of not pushing myself or mentally scolding myself when I get tired and cranky and recalcitrant.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Day 529

Spent too much of the day emotionally out of sorts. Cranky, melancholy, no motivation...some days are just like that, I guess.

But the treatment is bed, not cocktail hour-which-becomes-all-evening.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Day 528

A day which started off poorly but ended well: bad HR decisions at work but Youngest passed her driving test.

Joy is more joyful without booze. My drinking self would have never believed that but it’s true.

Steadily pushing along toward 18 months. It’s good.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Day 527

Day was ... okay I guess. Pretty much forgot that Sunday was my birthday on Friday and Saturday so I ended up planning menus not taking anything special into account. Then got up and did grocery like any other Sunday morning. If the grocery is any harbinger of my upcoming year I’m asking for witness protection program though!  Just since last night they had rearranged/restocked in ways which included no longer selling any kind of jarred pimentos, the Santitas corn chips we like or plain ol’boring Red Hawaiian Punch. (I mean seriously how could they be out of -the- Hawaiian Punch flavor?) Had to take whole order through the 15-or-less cashier because no other lanes were open (how I hate that) and they redirected me when I tried to use the self checkout which is designed for smaller/less heavy orders. Then I got home and discovered the milk had a leak.

But instead of using all the above as an excuse to start drinking closer to noon than dark I used some coping skills. Made a nice grilled cheese sammich for brunch and calmed myself before venturing out again. I went to Dollar General for the jar candles I like thinking it would be a stop on the way to the other grocery but surprisingly they had all the stuff I needed and the local-dairy milk had better outdates than the leaky one.

So I suppose all’s well that ends well. Spent big chunk of time error-correcting my knitting pattern - someone did not carefully proofread it before posting to Ravelry but since is free cannot complain. Had good FB Messenger chat with a friend from high school with whom I had fallen out for a while but we made up a couple months back.

Quiet but good.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Day 526

Oh blogfriends I got so -much- done today! The most important was troubleshooting the dishwasher door, which wasn’t closing properly. The most satisfying, though, was fixing the flapping weatherstripping on the front door. That stupid thing had been annoying us for probably a year now which sounds shocking when I type it up. I guess it is an example of living with something so long you don’t even think about it - oh some months ago I had tried fixing it with a hot glue gun but that glue didn’t last through the first serious temperature change and somehow it just became one of those live-with things...till Youngest asked, one morning we were leaving together this week, either why it was like that or what it would take to fix it or some other words which brought the whole thing into focus. When I said something about “I need to go to the hardware store and get some special kind of glue” the first voice in my head was “so whyintbehell didn’t you do that already?” but the second was a much nicer “I don’t know but I can go this weekend.”

I also did more cleaning than usual, a -lot- more laundry than usual and finally attacked - and completed - a bunch of small sewing jobs which had been piling up - mostly replacing safety pins with stitching.

“Accomplishment” is a really good feeling. Rewarded myself with some books instead of some booze and the fact that it was such a normal built-in kind of response felt pretty good too.

Tomorrow I turn 51. Had to remind myself; it feels like any other Sunday and I’m not planning anything special. Used to care a lot more about birthdays but this year not so much. Got a list of other stuff I want to get done tomorrow though.

Being able to wake up -functional- without a delayed re-entry into the affairs of living is another one of those not-to-be-underestimated sobriety benefits.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Day 525

A very long day with many ups and downs of mood. It is ending well though, and a big part of that is because I’m sober. I’m up an hour later than usual but things are just as in-focus as they were six hours ago, I haven’t had any big sloppy emotional issues with the family, I haven’t done any of that crazy late night eating and the sleep, when it comes, will be restful. Best of all, though, is having absolutely nothing to regret in the morning. One of the quietly massive things about long term sobriety that I didn’t even consider would be as life changing as it has been is losing all that morning after regret and the self-recrimination which accompanied it. It’s like a glacier: quiet but huge and most of it is hidden.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Day 524

Long day. Too many extra add-on tasks at work and too many errands at home...but it all goes so much better without the added complication of alcohol. So glad to be off that roller coaster.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Day 523

Another long day. Once I did have free time I was too tired to do much other than lie on the couch. Which is fine, I suppose.

Got really lousy sleep last night; I’m sure that’s part of it. Stayed up a little too late then the dog acted  up just as I was getting into bed which got me all awake again...and then I woke up at 4:30 for no reason at all. Got back to sleep but still.

At least the sleep I -did- get was restful...and the waking up was just awake - no dry mouth, no sweating, no heart pounding, no self loathing. So much better than the old days.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Day 522

Long day.

Work hard, home hard, found out a co-worker is having elective surgery tomorrow and a friend had bypass surgery today which I -hope- wasn’t emergent.

Then just as I was calling it a night the dog pooped on my bed.

But hey, still sober so there’s -something- positive.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Day 521

Back to work and bad news: boss stepping down after all plus poor financial performance overall (not my department, praise be.)

Despite that my emotions seem to have evened our a bit and I feel like I’m getting back into a good routine. Haven’t bought my new sheets yet but I’m not letting them fall off the radar either.

I really like not being around drinkers. Like my personal sobriety it’s just so much easier.

And now bed. Even seventeen months in, the pleasure and power of -good- sleep is never to be underestimated and always gratitude-inducing.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Day 520

Long day but ended well.

Drove home in the morning - sad and put out the first half or two thirds but by the time I arrived I was doing better with further improvement every time I knocked something else off the To-Do list. Groceries, walk, gas, fresh sheets (I have got to get into the habit of changing the bedding every weekend— it is just -so- much nicer) mail sorted, critters fed - then we tried the newest restaurant in town and were stunned at how good both food and atmosphere were.

Anyhow I’m not all that keen on going back to work in the morning but being home worked out well so maybe the work thing will be good too.

Five hundred and twenty consecutive days. Way cool.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Day 519

17 months. Huzzah!

It got lost in the shuffle though. The Afghani place closed ages ago so that was out and nothing else particularly appealed. Ordered myself a new pair of pants one size down; that will be a nice reminder.  Planning on getting myself a new set of sheets, too.

But mostly the day was about other stuff and by “other stuff” I mean parts of the family bent out of shape over what other parts were doing. I would have liked to talk about other stuff but that didn’t happen.

This week off was markedly better than the week off I took last month but I’m still ready to go back. I suppose that’s good because I was really sad about it for much of the early part of the day. In any case, much driving tomorrow.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Day 518

Today has been hard.

She’s been dead four years this past April and I dreamed about my mother for the first time last night. She’d be turning 76 tomorrow if she’d lived. She came to me with this big 3-ring binder of stuff in page protectors that she had been doing as a school assignment and wanted me to review even though I didn’t really want to. I leafed through it and it was weird and had a hard time, in the dream, figuring out what to say about it. I could tell she wanted some sort of support but I wasn’t sure I could give any.

As if that weren’t disconcerting enough it then morphed into my first drinking dream in many months. I wanted a big martini half Ketel One half gin. Had to repeat the order twice then after I finally got it realized “wait a minute I don’t drink.” In the dream I ended up not drinking even though I wanted to do so pretty badly.

That was a lousy way to start the day. My walk didn’t help as much as I had thought it would, either, and then I went shopping for a new bathroom mirror and the whole experience wasn’t particularly pleasant. Also I had - heck, still have, the overwhelming thought “tomorrow is my last day of vacation.” The brightest point of the whole day was restaurant leftovers for lunch.

Family drama and drinking became that afternoon/evening double feature and I found not drinking to be harder than it’s been since the very start of this whole enterprise. Eldest was having too-shelf vodka with San Pellegrino water - she switched from gin to the drink which used to be mine. I have a lot of complicated feelings about that but for many minutes at a time the biggest feeling was a bizarre urge to drink a huge swig from her glass. I didn’t but it was far more a struggle than I had expected and I was hugely grateful to have this blog as part of my armor.

It changed me from sad to glad I only have one more day of vacation. Being around all this drinking is taking more of a toll than I thought - especially now that my mother - whose death certificate flat out says “gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to or as a result of alcohol abuse” is so much on my mind.

Winning my battle against the bottle tonight was worth it though as not 30 minutes later all the drinkers were asleep where they sat. Reduced the appeal greatly. I was even able to take Eldest’s full glass away from the precarious place near her sleeping self and put it in the fridge without furth—well, without -much- further temptation.

Tomorrow I will finish my current good audiobook on the morning walk. Tomorrow is also my 17 month Soberversary. I’m trying to think of what I could do to make it special - I’ve been giving serious thought to trying the Afghani restaurant near the local office supply store. If it’s still there, that is. This would be in addition to, not instead of, a purchased sober treat of some kind.

Oh and the new tile floor looks fantastic.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Day 517

Almost 17 months. Pretty cool and I know the daily check-in is a big part of my success. Without it I would have far too easy a time drifting away into the lands of Doesn’t Really Matter and Not Really A Problem. Especially with all the other drinkers in my family.

Speaking of which....

Today was a really good day. Went for a nice long walk with an engaging audiobook then Spouse and I got carry out lunch from a seafood place - haven’t eaten that much or that well in ages. In between those two events I got a decent amount of knotting done and binge-watched a few episodes of Transparent season 4.

So I was really surprised when out of the blue in the early afternoon I started getting a Big Sad for seemingly no apparent reason. Everything was good so what the heck? Then I realized, belatedly, that it had started right after the drinkers in the family had decided they would be doing so tonight. On an intellectual level I’m totally fine with “different strokes for different folks” and “their lives; their choices” and the previously popular “not my circus; not my monkeys.” However that doesn’t mean I still don’t have a whole lot of “well that didn’t turn out so well” stored in the memory banks including a few still fairly recent still fairly ugly things...which makes Sad a perfectly understandable thought.

Also “frigging annoyed” when they got to the boisterous stage. I don’t like raining on anyone’s parade and see above for not getting entangled but still. It’s hard when it’s family. But I’m managing. Excused myself for a shower and I believe we will have reached the going-to-sleep-early part of the evening by the time I get back.

Pretty sure my Seventeen-Month treat is gonna be bigger than usual though.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Day 516

Up and down day.

Did my walk early in the morning which always feels good.

Mostly the day was about the home repairs which were finally finished at six thirty this evening. The tile guys wanted to start late since they had a nearby job which couldn’t start before five but they underestimated what needed to be done and how fast they could do it. They tried to tell me it was all done at 5:45 but they had very much rushed the edges of the grout where it abutted the cabinets so I politely made them fix it. I am very proud of myself for that as I am usually non-confrontational to a fault and have difficulty with conflict. However I kept saying to myself “we are paying X for this floor so it needs to be done right” along with a side of “after this they will not be coming back.”

Sobriety didn’t directly help with the above but I’m sure it did indirectly. I’m more centered and have a greater sense of self worth (absence of drinking shame will do that) so it’s easier to expect good things and to have potentially difficult conversations.

The floor looks great. Got too hungry, angry and tired for too long during the process though. Made sure to get something to eat and take time to sit and relax while I ate - that fixed me right up. At almost 17 months self care is finally feeling like a natural next step. Oh and speaking of self care, sometime between 4:30 when they had thought they would be done and the 5:30 walk-through I ordered myself a couple tops online from my phone as a reward for Dealing With the three days of removal/installation. I think it is important to reward oneself. Not only because it’s a way to show self-love but also because so many years were spent thinking drinking was the reward for everything and I don’t want that idea anywhere near me.

Tomorrow I’m sleeping in.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Day 515

As vacation days go it was okay. Definitely this week of vacation is going better than the one last month. And now I find my mind a complete blank. Guess that’s okay. Between the contractors and the driving to get food and the old sit-coms I’m kinda brain dead.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Day 514

Bah. Getting new flooring which will be lovely when done but was horribly loud and echo-y all day. Plus dust all over everything. Gonna take 3 days instead of the 2 originally estimated. Praise be the dog likes them but what an icky day.

My walk helped and of course I was in pajamas by six thirty. Soon to an early bedtime. Always a good choice.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Day 513

First real day of vacation was good. Went for a very long walk with Eldest in the morning and got all my steps done early in the day. After that I got plenty of good knitting time. Best of all? Nobody’s drinking. Tomorrow and Tuesday we are getting tile installed which won’t be entirely vacation-y but it needs done and will look really nice afterwards.

I’m really appreciating this down-time.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Day 512

Ah, vacation.

Icky drive due to detour and being far too hangry for most of it but good pizza fixed me right up. Took my walk and was showered and in pajamas by 6 which felt delightful.

I realized today that -next- Saturday is my 17 months Soberversary. That’s quite cool. So is not having -any- responsibilities for the next week.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Day 511

Glad it’s Friday and even more glad I have a week off work.

Glad too that I’ve managed to excuse myself off to bed. I’m okay for most of the night but there always comes a point where something small but significant inside me snaps and I just can’t wait to be away from the drinkers. Who, paradoxically, never want me to leave.

Tomorrow will be better, I’m sure.

I look now and think “how could I -do- that all those years?” and yet it wasn’t long ago at all that I thought it was not just -a- necessary thing in life but -the- necessary thing in life for celebration, stress reduction, any random without drinking at all, ever, seemed impossible.

Boy was I wrong.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Day 510

Wow five hundred and ten is a lot. Of anything, really, but especially of sober days in a row. Feels good.

So does having this week wind down. I’m off work next week so I will take Spouse and girl-beagle back down to the other house and have a week of doing pretty much nothing which will be very welcome.

I just have to get through a lot of work tomorrow first. Sigh. But a good night of sleep will help and that’s what I’m getting ready to have.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Day 509

Long day.

For the first time in ages - well, months anyhow, I had a passing thought of drinking. Didn’t last at all but it was there. I’d just come from the liquor store (yeah yeah I end up buying for other family members “since you’re going out anyway”) and put the booze in the trunk and in the time between sliding behind the wheel and starting the car there was “you could have one of those you know. Remember how good it felt?” That was immediately followed by “what?!!? And give up five hundred some odd days? For something that wouldn’t either be that good? Nothing is worth starting all over again at one after this long.” And that was that - the end.

Except it wasn’t really the end because I realized it was a sign that life is currently a bit too much for me. Can’t fix any of it just yet but I have a week of vacation next week which I am hoping will help. In the meantime I’m trying to make things as easy on myself as possible. It’s mostly helping although I am still doing a bit too much self-martyring I think.

But now sleep.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Day 508

Emotions all over the place today. Definitely not drinking and not even overeating but I couldn’t manage any family togetherness tonight. Crashed on the couch till 9:30 when I threw together a lunch for tomorrow, moved laundry to dryer and adjourned to bed. Whatever the problem a good night of restful sleep is always part of the solution. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Day 507

Better day.

Got a long-awaited home repair done - by a contractor not us - so that felt good. Got two compliments on my new scrub top (autumn leaves) and decided that even though it is far brighter colors than I usually wear I look good in it. Also skipped another not-applicable-to-me conference in favor of getting Actual Work done so that felt nice.

On the other hand, I had a case of The Sads in late afternoon, the dogs are getting tired of one another and ABL is starting in on his third or fourth week of “let’s see if I can get SamKD mad enough to yell at me.” So it’s a mixed bag...

...but it’s a sober mixed bag and that makes all the difference.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Day 506

Did all the things I needed to do and some of the things I wanted to do. Stayed sober in the face of much drinking. Would have gone to bed at eight thirty if it wouldn’t have raised too many eyebrows. Nine forty five was still enough to generate comments.

Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Day 505

Another long day full of family issues. Did not drink or even have a fleeting desire to drink but -did- have my nice long daily walk. That’s full of win.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Day 504

“Tired” caught up to me with a vengeance today. Woke up out of crazy unpleasant dreams and stayed ridiculously sleepy all day. Got all the stuff done that I needed to do but it was a slog.

Didn’t need to deal with dinner which was a help but didn’t baby myself enough otherwise I don’t think. But at least now I’m crashed on the couch which is at least horizontal if not all the way to bed.

It’s been a rough week, family-wise. Every single family member had their own set of issues and I’ve been doing, IMHO, far too much emotional care-taking. Starting to be work not to fill up the bag of resentment despite my best efforts to carve out plenty of me-time. I don’t want to drink but I have found myself thinking “yeah, this was the shit you drank so much to avoid and these are the feelings you kept trying to blunt.” It’s better to feel feelings but not always easier. Well, -is- easier to deal with all this stuff sober and alert but it’s still not necessarily pleasant.

Definitely more pleasant than a booze-fueled argument or breakdown or the inevitable hangover. So at least there’s that.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Day 503

A good day.

Woke up with a headache but Aleve cured it by eight - how cool is that?

Got all the stuff done today that I wanted to get done and managed not to get sucked into too much family drama. Ankle-deep at most.

My Day 500 treat of the two new scrub tops will arrive tomorrow so now I have two new things for next week which will be will thinking “five hundred days!” every time I wear one or the other.

Best of all: my new audiobook is engaging enough to make walking enjoyable. I finished my Really Good audiobook yesterday and had worried nothing would be able to hold my interest after that but I was glad to be wrong.

My new nightly routine of writing a blog post is just -so- much better than my old nightly routine of drinking water and making sure there was more by my bed. Never gets old, this restful-sleep thing. Never.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Day 502

Such an up and down day today. All the emotions at various times and a distinct desire to run away from home. But I did it all sober which I am absolutely certain made it easier in the long run. Not only could I think thoughts and feel feelings (I remember when I hid in the bottle from both of those) but I could articulate some of those thoughts and feelings in constructive ways.

Could also keep less constructive thoughts and feelings to myself, too. Those tend to be the ones which explode out of the bottle anyhow despite best efforts.

A good thing: first blood pressure check in almost a year was fantastic: 114/70. Granted I’ve been walking regularly these past two weeks but the greatest part of that number is abstinence. Read a Canadian blog a while back which stayed that regular alcohol consumption was -the- biggest cause of so-called “essential” hypertension in middle aged individuals of both genders. So that was nice.

What’s not so nice is that it is after 11 and I am still wide awake but that’s what the Kindle app for iPhone is made for: reading easily while lying down in the dark.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Day 501

This day had good things in it.

My audiobook was so good I ended up taking an extra long lunchtime walk just to reach a decent stopping point.

Used my words in good and careful ways to - I hope - improve the family dynamic.

Recognized an oncoming cold and went to bed early.

Couldn’t have done any of those things without being sober first.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Day 500

New milestone.

Kinda wish I’d made more of a fuss about it but that’s not where life is right now. Spent far more of the day having feelings about somebody else’s drinking than my own sobriety which is sort of weird. Did, however, skip the meeting I had planned to skip and had a nice walk with my awesome audiobook - I’m going to be sad when it’s over as it set the bar really high.

I am more emotionally tired than physically tired but bed is a good solution for both...and five hundred is a really cool number even if I didn’t make a big deal of it.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Day 499

Nobody ever writes grocery shopping into their novels. Even in the stunningly brilliant (Amazon's Best of 2015) one I'm reading now the food is already there being cooked, being eaten, making plot points...but never being purchased. The weekly trip really rubbed me the wrong way today; can you tell?

Other than that it was an okay day. Bought myself two new mail order scrub tops for work as my Day   500 present - then turned around and spent the same amount of money on frigging drain-fly goo because no matter how often I remind the kid with dish duty to empty the sink and clean the drain screens regularly they seem to think "regularly"means in the celestial or possibly geologic sense. Oh well; it's a relatively easy fix.

A bright note: Middle will be quitting smoking this week. Praise be and how I hope it sticks. It's a group project he and several friends are doing. Not sure there's any analogy with quitting drinking and even if there were I wouldn't want to -say- anything as I'm sure it wouldn't be well-received but I did make sure he's got a Zyban script waiting in the wings.

I really hope it's a good week. As another Day 500 present actually ON the day I gave myself permission to skip my dumb noon meeting tomorrow. That should help.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Day 498

Hey, nearly to 500! Pretty cool. Only now registered on my radar.

Very up and down day. All's well that ends well I guess. I tellya though it's getting harder and harder to be around seriously drunk people. I have plenty of compassion...just not much patience.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Day 497

Bed at 9 tonight. Sometimes the emotionally safest place to be is under the covers. Let the world turn without me tonight.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Day 496

Bah. Long day with a fair number of difficulties.

Dropped Youngest off at home before returning to work for a 4-5pm meeting and found myself telling Spouse "I go to work at a job I kinda hate right now then when I get home I've got all this other stuff to do and now I'm doing all this eating right and walking because I don't want to have a heart attack...I feel like I'm doing everything right and got nothing to show for it." He hugged me and probably said something I don't remember.

Later in the night Youngest said "I heard you tell Dad..." and repeated my words back before saying "and it made me wonder if when I get to be fifty I'm going to feel that way."

That was reasonably stunning. Got no clue what to do about any of it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Day 495

Today's self care was recognizing that I had to get Away From all the emotionally draining humans and go to bed at 9:30. Fortunately none of them gave me pushback. I write "fortunately" because it's still a little hard for me to just excuse myself from the family stuff. However it is way better than filling my bag of resentment up especially as I no longer cash in a full bag for a full bottle.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Day 494

Long day and I'm tired but it was a better day than yesterday for sure. Tomorrow is already better than either previous one because my big site-visit road trip got canceled.

I am way better than I used to be at taking care of myself and not pushing or martyr-ing myself but there's still room for progress: even though I was complaining about the heat before I crossed the threshold it took Spouse suggesting more than once that I should abandon cooking in favor of carry-out before I said yes. Silly.

Overall though, the whole stress/life balance is so much better than it used to be.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Day 493

So. Tired.

Many frustrating things today, not the least of which was the continued heat wave...but I got through all of them and am now finally in bed. Such a good feeling; bed when tired. And how nice to fall into the bed full of appreciation rather than vodka.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Day 492

Long day.

The unseasonable heat wave had me irritated like a bug bite most of the day but once it cooled off I got better. Got a lot accomplished for the week food-wise, too. 

Tired, though. Started walking again and it's showing by the end of the day. 

Speaking of days, I'm kind of amazed at creeping up to 500. It's very cool. Everything - and I mean everything - is easier. Ya gotta stick with it though - I was telling someone working toward bigger chunks of sober time that the good stuff doesn't happen right away. After the first few days of "hey, I'm not hung over" wear off there's still the messed up sleep for a while and once that sort of fades the one-month mark is all "hey, I did a month, hooray!" But then there's this whole long haul where you don't feel particularly better physically and it's way easy to start thinking all those "maybe" thoughts so getting to 60 days requires more self-care and effort than one would think...and although I may be totally remembering it wrong, I think I felt the -really- good stuff didn't start being obvious till after 6 months and maybe more like 8. It is SOOoo worth it though. If you stick with it you become this whole better version of yourself.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Day 491

Re-supply day.

When the 17 and 20 year olds run the house for a week they don't do much in the way of shopping. Therefore that was a huge chunk of my day. Got tired and frustrated at one point and almost had a breakdown in the dairy aisle of the first grocery but instead of loading up my bag of resentment I decided it was checkout time and had one of the newly-bought bananas on the way home as "too hungry" was part of the issue.

I was pretty pleased at how well I took care of myself -- it's a little thing but moving past that "power through it"/"gotta do All The Things" mindset is still a work in progress. Important work though because anger and resentment over the food shopping used to be a seriously big trigger for me.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but for so very long I used to push myself way too hard to get all the chores done on any given day and then use that to justify the drink I -deserved- because after all look at how hard I worked! Harder in the short term but healthier in the long run.

The trip is catching up with me; I'm so sleepy I've dozed off just while writing this much. Bedtime.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Day 490

Long drive home, short stop in office, carry-out for dinner.

Good to be home. Better to have Spouse here too. Best to not have alcohol dragging any of us down tonight.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day 489

Sixteen months. Huzzah!

Meet-up with my friend and her family went okay. Good to see her again. However the pix on my cellphone were depressing not because I'm fat but because from the nose down my face looks -exactly- like my mother's which is not a good thing. Between that and the indigestion from dinner I was a pretty unhappy cowpoke for a while but seem better now. My emotions get back to Center/baseline so much more quickly now.

I am so glad I started this journey and stuck with it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Day 488

Good day although it's ending on a cranky note...but that's what bedtime is for.

Turns out I'll be spending a chunk of tomorrow late afternoon/early evening meeting up with a residency friend of mine and her family. Have mixed feelings about it but it's been several years and I have mixed feelings about everything so it will probably be wonderful.

I do not, however, consider it a sober treat. Will still have to think about what I want for that. Well, what I want which is actually possible, that is, because "drastic reduction in the level of daily family drama" isn't something over which I have any control. On the other hand, quitting drinking has led to a vast reduction in my level of daily inner drama which is probably overall helpful to the whole.

Sad tomorrow is my last vacation day but all things, good and bad, eventually end.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Day 487

Good day: major knitting, long walk, tasty food. Day after tomorrow is -sixteen- months. Very exciting but as of right now I have no plans. That might ought to change.

If you are a regular overdrinker who still keeps life together and wonders "does my family even notice or care about my drinking?" Trust me: they do. Very effing much.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Day 486

Better day.

Long walk with new audiobook was a good start and getting the car back from repairs meant I was all done with Actual Tasks and can now have another three days of -just- down-time with nothing hanging over my head.

Less drama within the family too. Always a good thing.

Thursday will be sixteen months. That's pretty cool.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Day 485

If you ever once thought "but will they like who I am without the booze?"

Yes. Yes they will. Promise.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Day 484

484 is a nice number. Good symmetry.

Glad I still have five whole vacation days after today because so far it's got significant room for improvement. Don't particularly want or need yet another learning experience about how best to deal with my own emotions in the face of others' actions, emotions and issues.

But at least it's different from what I -was- doing and the food is quite good. Plus I got at least a little knitting done today.

Hey maybe tomorrow morning is when it all turns around and becomes wonderful. Even if it isn't it will still be a sober morning and that makes everything easier to sort out.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Day 483

Much better day.

Got the one actual -task- for this vacation (car repair) underway and had a nice shopping trip with Eldest. All of the strange emotions from family last night seem to have resolved into something much more recognizably normal in the light of day.

My own emotions were quite up and down last night and this morning - never fun to deal with big change and even less so when it is largely substance driven. But things are looking better on all fronts.

Day 482 (and a fraction)

Still sober; it's just weird. Went to other house and family is, as my youngest would say, "all different-y."  More if/when I can.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Day 481

Today was proof that moods change without active intervention.

Woke up twenty minutes late with a bad case of the mean reds and everything went wrong on the way out the door. Was still all angry and tense (for no particular reason) most of the morning.

But then it just faded. By the time I was done with site visits and on my way to lunch I felt totally normal - without having done anything specific. Had a nice lunch at the mall and even found a new top just because I happened to walk by it and think "Ooh - pretty!"

So all those years when I saved up that anger so that I could "reward" myself with drinking in the evening were actually counterproductive. Fancy that.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Day 480

A good day. Dreaded having a contractor over to see about some home repairs - why I dreaded it I don't know but I did - and of course it went just as easily as the logical part of my brain knew it would. I don't know why I tend to always tend to dread/fear new interactions since I have a -huge- long list of things that turned out Just Fine but I still do it. Go figure.

So glad work calmed down. I never realize quite how stressed I get till after the pressure lifts.

Finished a really good book too; that was nice. You get so much -time- back in sobriety.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Day 479

The meeting went -way- better than I had feared. My treat was a new e-book which had been recommended by a friend and it is turning out to be quite enjoyable.

Took a walk today just to be outside in the unexpectedly warm pretty day - that was nice.

Not this Thursday but next will be -sixteen- months. That feels good. So does bed.