Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Day 256

Surprising day.

Work very low key but I went out to the car to discover two inches of fresh snow with more falling...and I had errands to run on the way home. In the gray dreary rapidly-getting-colder-and-darker evening. Ugh.

So I started the car, cleared off the snow, waited my turn to get out of the parking lot and headed downtown when the surprising thing happened. Just before the four-way stop the thought sprang into my head fully formed like Athena "gosh wouldn't it be nice to just slip right into an alcohol buzz?!? You know...'hello there; I've missed you.'"

It was just so sudden...and so vivid. Kind of shocking. Shocking too was how that same part of my brain was quick to point out that I was going to be -right-by- the liquor store, too.  Yeah, well, I don't do that any more. Or so I told myself as I went as quickly through my errands as possible.

Once home I went into full support mode: had some food immediately and got into my pajamas right away. Got dinner in the oven then had a nice lie down on the couch...and by then the urge was long gone and the whole idea seemed faintly ridiculous but I'm still taking it damned easy the whole rest of the night, just in case.

In retrospect I think having to clean off the car was the one thing too many which drew attention to how -much- change is happening in work and home fronts right now which probably had something to do with wanting to go back to old familiar coping mechanisms but...damn. Wow. And I had been so -happy- with/about my sobriety lately too.

But it is better now. Oh, and cheese enchiladas are ridiculously easy to make and very tasty on a cold nasty night.

Did the bare minimum of chores (which means NOT the dishes) and crawled back under the afghan on the couch. May move from couch to bed eventually; may not. Mostly I've closed down the mountain (to use a Wargames reference for my currrent mental state.) Tomorrow is a whole fresh day.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Day 255

Tired day.

No particular reason - slept well - but draggy the whole day. Melancholy too.

Ate too much and went to bed early. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Day 254

Ordinary time.

Actually now that I think about it, it -is- Ordinary Time - green candles and vestments. However I was writing generally, not liturgically. Anyhow it was just a day.

Well, shopping put me in a foul mood in part because I didn't have my good unloading-putting-away helper and in part because not one but two of the five tubs of yogurt ruptured. I ate one myself and fed the other to ABL and banana bread rounded out a perfectly adequate breakfast but it was still damned annoying. Also peculiarly tiring for some reason but I've gotten really good at just lying down for a rest when I get tired.

Otherwise nothing particularly noteworthy. Well, I did use the "grate" feature of my decade-old food processor for the first time ever...that was mildly exciting. Made quick work out of two different eight ounce blocks of cheese but the verdict is still out on whether having so -much- more to wash (and also smushed cheese-ends too small to processs) is worth it.

Still it is always nice to tick off everything in the mental To Do list so there's that...and bed-with-a-book at 9:15 is always good too. Hoping for an uneventful low-key kind of Monday - I know I've got lunch with a couple of work pals which is always interesting.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Day 253

The days they just keep marching along...

Today was busy.  Middle came home, took a shower, rounded up one last blanketful of stuff then drove us the half hour down to his new-for-a-semester dorm.  I was cool about the whole thing - I'm hoping he'll find whatever it is he's looking for in the next four months.

Didn't go straight home though - went to the local Wal-Hell instead. On a Saturday afternoon. Of course it was packed... but that was fine. I needed a new shower curtain and a place to go while I was getting over the sadness of yet another child leaving. That worked out pretty okay, actually...and I got ABL a new set of sheets while I was at it since the house is suddenly short of twin-sized; fancy that.

Came home, threw the new sheets in the washer, got the stuff out for banana bread and then started in on cleaning up the car enough that I can stand having it be mine again. As long as Middle was commuting and it was "his" car I didn't say much but *I* certainly don't want to be driving in a pigsty.  Removed an entire bag of trash (mostly empty energy-drink cans; glad he won't have those in the dining hall,) filled the tank, took it to the car wash, spent forever vacuuming it then stopped at a discount store for cheap-o floor mats and an air freshener...also duct tape to fix the drivers' side sun visor which has been broken for over a year -- not my problem if I wasn't driving but now that I am, that was just NOT going to fly as I drive east-northeast to work in the morning. Already had those cleaning wet-wipes in the trunk so I mucked out the interior a fair bit too. MUCH better.

Hung the shower curtain, hauled trash out of all parts of the house and then finally made banana bread. Got ABL his weekend McDonald's while it baked. Replaced light bulbs in a few places, put on my pajamas, ate some dinner of my own (NOT McDonalds) and realized "hey, I'm freaking exhausted!"

Had a nice little lie-down on the sofa after that - nowadays I know better than to try powering through "tired." 

After that?  Warm banana bread.  So. Freaking. Good. The vodka, Kaluha and seltzer water that Drinking Me would have had can't even come CLOSE.  Had a second slice, of course...and then with my tummy all warm and full sat down to share with all you fine people. Very satisfying day.

In one of my all-time favorite movies one of the main characters says "...but if you stick around it gets good again...almost like a whole new person."  He was talking about a long-term partnership instead of serial relationships but for me it seems to be true of sobriety: for the longest time - pretty much the entire three months from just past the four-month mark to about halfway through the 7th month - it was just...boring, kinda. I mean yeah, sure, I liked not ever being hung over especially on Sunday mornings but for the most part it seemed like nothing was really different or better or anything just "not also drunk."  The biggest motivator keeping me going was "get past the place where I messed up before."  However recently - I guess enough time finally passed - I have been noticing that pretty much everything is better as a sober person. More stable emotions, better ability at dealing with just about every single aspect of life, way more brain-space because all the parts devoted to drinking (obtaining, doing, recovering) are freed up...and I appreciate things more.  Like the banana bread.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Day 252

Started off hard but got better.

Hard because not only had Middle finished loading all his stuff into the car by the time he usually gets up but then Eldest decided to pitch a That's Not Fair fit about him getting to try a semester of dorm life. Being the latchkey only child of a divorcee only child I just Don't Get sibling politics but in this case I really thought her anger and bitterness were disproportionate to the facts including what-all Eldest had in the past...but of course there are two sides to every coin and I got to hear hers for a good 15 minutes this morning. 

Not too happy with one of my co-workers sitting on a thing I asked be done, either, as I think it is passive aggression from yesterday's thing.

However I got out of the office for a walk at lunchtime and picked up some chocolate when I was getting other things in the drugstore and that seemed to help. So did cheesy potatoes for dinner, too: nice solid comfort food on a day I needed some comfort.

Finally had the energy to start sewing the pants I've had cut out for a good three or four weeks now - made the dog totally jealous. Evenings should be spent lying around on the couch with him, you see. was smart enough to stop when I started getting tired instead of trying to press on - felt pretty good about that.

Feel pretty good about not having to get up in the morning too. Sleep is awesome.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Day 251

Busy day.

Sad news as soon as I got to work though: a former technician, year or two younger than I am, was found dead of an overdose yesterday. Had worked in my department a couple decades and was a fun witty person...would have been working with us still if he had done his part in keeping Human Resources notified of his medical leave issues relating to getting help/rehab the last time. So very sad. We are all choosing very hard to think it was an accidental overdose and not an on-purpose one but of course I wonder. So sad. His drug of choice had been booze - "the clear liquors" as a friend/co-worker said - but in recent years it had expanded to include opiayes, benzodiazepines and at one point heroin.    The same friend said he downed a whole bottle of vodka in the car in the way to rehab the first time...I was rather impressed "whole bottle" turned out to be a liter.

And of course it hurts extra because the substance abuse makes us kin...I'm getting my own shit together after a long run of half-pint-plus-two-minis with occasional extra on weekends and holidays but it's the same damned Drunk Now voice; the only difference is volume.

After that somber start to the day I had my "why are my bones 20 years older and thinner than the rest of me?" appointment. My theory about parathyroid problem was endorsed so at least I'm not a total nut-job hypochondriac. More lab work and a 24-hour urine calcium first and if that data supports the theory then ultrasound and Sestambi scan...and either surgery or follow-up with an endocrinologist, depending.

Fortunately the work itself was super-light today. Unfortunately part of it was mediating a staff issue.

The other big part of life right now is Middle moving out. The roommate of his best friend at college graduated mid-year so Friend was set to be re-assigned a new room and roommate which he didn't want...so he asked Middle if he could maybe talk his parents into letting him move into the dorm for the rest of the academic year...and in fact he -could- talk us into it. He is hoping it will be the fresh start he's been wanting since he graduated high school because of all the built-in social opportunities. We hope so too. It is still odd though. Saturday will be the final drive down to leave him and take the car back. I shouldn't be all that upset since it is only 30 minutes away and even in the middle of nowhere where we are the bus goes from campus into town and college ID equals free fare...and I'm not really -upset- but it is definitely another milestone.

Once again I find myself pleased and grateful to be dealing with All The Things as a clear-headed sober person. Not only am I more calm about things/events but also it is just so much easier not having all that when-how-much-who's-watching-what-to-do-after churn taking up so much brain space.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day 250

Wow the days keep chugging right along.

Finally getting dug out at work. Home front still too chaotic but I'm still keeping my cool. "Keeping my powder dry" as my Grandma Mary would say. Still just too damned tired all the time but I have a doctor appointment tomorrow so I'm hoping to get things sorted out. Or just plain "sorted" as my U.K. and Aussie pals would say.

My fancy new pillow does indeed bounce back and doesn't stay squished even a little. While I was lying on said pillow I found myself contemplating my one-year Soberversary as an actual thing as opposed to just a nebulous idea. Specifically I was thinking about how to get a really fancy cake and what kind of fancy I might want. That was nice.

And now to sleep about an hour earlier than usual. Hoping to get my energy back eventually; this is getting old. On the other hand listening to my body and following its lead is starting to become second nature.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Day 249

Another really long rough day.

Good food though: the cafeteria had "Asian noodle salad with vegetables and peanut sauce" and at home we had a -really- nice tomato for sandwiches. Little things do matter.

My new pillow came and it does indeed hold its fluffiness. Good thing too as my solution for this day was bedtime at 8:30.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Day 248

'Nother rough day.

Work drama, family drama...even weather drama. But I kept my cool. Did what I had to do; didn't do anything I didn't have to do. Stayed centered...and that's enough.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Day 247


Started the day with an emotional hangover from the drama of Saturday - but emotional hangovers are nowhere near as incapacitating as the other kind so I was out and about got the shopping same as always. My usual grocery was out of a couple things on the list which struck me particularly hard - I was surprised at how much anger I had over such s minor thing but figured it was probably leftover/spillover from the family stuff the day before. It still wasn't to the level I used to just live with when I was drinking and I made note of that: remove alcohol for a few months and the whole rest of your life settles down.

Even when you get to the car and realize you totally forgot the potatoes for that night's dinner. I can remember doing the shopping hung over, having that same thing happen and 1) having to have a little bit of acrylic in the car and 2) saving the incident for later to use as part of why I deserved to drink again that night. This time I was frustrated, sure, but just calmly went to the other grocery store and got potatoes along with the two other things from the list. The little stuff doesn't seem to -mean- as much these days which is good.

Got my library books this afternoon - that felt good because it was the first time since early November. Made a totally excellent white sauce for the scalloped potatoes which was surprisingly gratifying - sometimes it really is the little things.

Only a few minutes ago did I remember "oh yeah; I need to order my eight month treats finally!" A very fancy pillow and a new book are now on their way.

I am so pleased with the sober version of myself that I have been becoming. She's a nice chick; I like her.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Day 246

Eight month Soberversary. Hooray!

Except it was such a family-drama kind of day that I didn't even remember it -was- my day till quite late in the evening. Still, better late than never and I already had the treats in my Amazon cart so clicking tomorrow is just as good as today.

Found a new phone-app game though so that made me happy.

Also even though I was surrounded by all kinds of emotion and had plenty of my own this new calmness helped me not fly off the handle and get dramatic myself even once. Kept the self-pity beast largely at bay too - sure I felt sorry for myself but it was more an in-passing while dealing with other stuff thing not a place to set up shop and wallow.

And now to bed - despite a really emotional day I know I will still get restful sleep and that is a really good thing. Grocery list is all ready to go in the morning too. At first it feels like deprivation and then it feels like boredom but I am now to the stage where it is just so much easier and better to have sober weekends.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Day 245

Another less than stellar day, particularly on the home front.

However I can really tell that I'm more calm and even-handed these days. Things that even a month ago would have had me totally worked up and yelling have been annoying but not particularly overwhelming. It's a better way for sure.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Day 244

Lousy day.

Work busy -and- full of politics. Family with issues of their own. Even the dog misbehaved. But no matter how miserable or self-pitying I get it will eventually fade as we just aren't chemically designed to keep feeling the same thing indefinitely...and indeed now that it is bedtime I'm doing better. 

It sure won't take much for tomorrow to be a big improvement over today. Good thing I've gotten into the sober habit or tomorrow would be starting off with a hangover instead of with lunch and dinner already good to go thanks to a grocery-store run at eight thirty. Imagine! Going -out- by -car- at that hour! Sure couldn't have done that before...eight thirty was deep into drinking time. Given my mood I might well have drunkenly picked a family fight, too. 

Takes a while to get there and even a month or two ago I don't think I truly felt it but tonight I really am sure that even the crappiest day without alcohol is still better than a drinking day. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Day 243

Long tiring day.

Made time to eat when I was hungry though and that helped. Bed at 9:30 is helping too.

Requested some library books for the first time since I broke my leg - that felt like real progress. So did trimming my to-read list down to the stuff I remembered why I put there.

Still feel this growing inner calm - hope it is a new permanent feature.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Day 242

They can't all be winners.

The stupid morning meeting I thought would be only thirty minutes went a full hour, I didn't get to the cafeteria before they closed the hot line and the stupid afternoon meeting I thought was from 3:30 to 4:00 turned out, upon closer inspection, to be from 3:00 to 4:30. There were other annoyances too including freezing rain. Total have-a-mini-in-the-parked-car kind of day back in the day.

However that thought didn't even occur to me till right now in the telling: That Voice stays silent more and more of the time now. It has become second nature when having a day like this one to plan before I ever leave the office just exactly what food I will have as soon as the dog is walked and how much of a rest I can take before starting dinner. Tonight it was good homemade eggplant dip (baba I'm-not-gonna-try-to-spell-it) with crackers and some particularly nice fresh pineapple. After that and a shower I was a whole new person.

Speaking of "new person" one thing which has been happening lately - like just the past week or two - is that I find myself not only -able- to sit or lie down quietly doing nothing but actually choosing it. This is both stunning and fascinating to me because my whole life I have had to be doing -something-     at all times: some of my earliest memories are of rolling modeling-clay snakes while watching our old black and white TV. Sitting in a quiet room doing nothing by choice is something I never thought would happen to me. I guess it is a sign my brain and body are becoming overall more calm.

I get the sense that subtle but profound things are happening/shifting in my mind of late. Not sure quite what but I am sure that 1) it is a result of this long-term sobriety thing 2) I like this new version of me far better than all previous versions. Sobriety is a major operating system upgrade.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Day 241

A decent day.

[an aside: only now did I realize I left a terminal zero off yesterday's post title. I fixed it but damn I should pay more attention.]

Back to work and for once I didn't have a whole lot of cases needing done so there wariness to ease back in rather than jumping feet first. Lots of the usual issues but I dealt with them and was in a much better frame of mind having been away.

However I was surprisingly exhausted by the time I got home. Tired way beyond what my activities over the day would suggest. Had planned to actually Do Stuff tonight but ended up lying on the couch all evening instead and only even -reading- some of the time. But hey, I've started listening to my body instead of arguing with it. Things go more smoothly that way.

No words of wisdom, wit or  worldliness; I'm going to sleep. Maybe by tomorrow whatever-it-is will have fixed itself.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Day 240

A milestone day. Eight times thirty. Eight months, essentially. Saturday is the actual Soberversary but today counts too in my book. Ordered myself a new pair of house slippers as a treat.

In addition to the lack of hangover-y stuff, the good sleep and the complete absence of shame, all of which have been around a while, the thing I noticed today as the biggest new-since-the-six-month-mark is centeredness. I get upset but bounce back more quickly and don't seem to get -as- upset in the first place. There is a lot more inner calm than I recall ever having before. Also I'm starting to like myself better. Not just for the sober thing - though I think that is a huge base on which everything else rests - but generally.

With this new calm I got all the post-vacation pre-work things done: shopping, laundry, some cooking, a little cleaning...and a nice afternoon nap for no particular reason. The leg is pretty much fine now - it gets achy but regular over-the-counter stuff fixes it right up. Have an appointment to follow up on possible underlying parathyroid issue on the 26th.

Mindless TV then bed -- not a bad evening at all.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Day 239

Decent day.

Sad to leave some family but happy to see the other family and get back to routine. Grocery list already made. Sensibly got carry-out for dinner as the four and a half hour drive plus unpacking and dealing with the mail were plenty enough. Yeah I -could- have pulled together something from the pantry but that would have been stressful and it is dumb to -add- stress.

Besides, one of my biggest drinking patterns was to pack all sorts of things into one day, wear myself out doing them all then use alcohol as the reward. All the completed tasks were proof I deserved it and also proof that the booze wasn't a problem. Yeah well...I deserve lots better than mere alcohol and so do you.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Day 238

Good day.

Ate new food. Saw a bluebird for the first time ever. Enjoyed lots of good family time with Spouse and Eldest. Sad I have to go back tomorrow.

Spouse once again said how proud and envious of my sobriety he is - that was nice. I told him that....Some days are harder than others. The farther away from the beginning you get the easier it gets. Days 3 through 10 suck the worst. The whole first month is hard but if you can get to thirty days it eases off a lot. The thing to do is just keep trying - one of the times will stick. You can't say "only if [super-horrible bad thing like death of child] because then you've already started bargaining with That  Voice. Turn it around d and say "even IF a Really Bad Thing happens I still -won't- drink.

That's it for now; falling asleep as I try to think and type. Long drive tomorrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Day 237

Great day.

Up for the day at 7 feeling rested and fine because nobody ever got a hangover from too much ice cream. Went to my favorite chain deli for coffee and a breakfast quesadilla - first time this vacation.

Taking Eldest into the city was both fun and nostalgic because her interview was a block over from my first good job after college and I hadn't been to that part of the city since then which was 25 years ago. 

Got -way- too hungry by the time we got back but had the good local pizza and became agreeably stuffed by six. Spouse fell asleep early and I'm in bed myself enjoying a slow unwinding. I don't often  have this thought - or at least not so directly - but I am lying here thinking I really like being a sober person. It just works so much better for me. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day 236

Not a great day.

Weather much warmer so I wanted to go for a walk but since Eldest and I are going into the city tomorrow and yesterday the short walk I did got me achy I decided not to risk it. So I started off the day a little irritable.

Got more irritable as the day went on because gee, guess who ended up changing the toilet paper in all the bathrooms -and- changing the paper towels? Meanwhile, Spouse was irritable and sarcastic too.

The fact that my vacation is now more than half over was getting to me as tomorrow is all about Eldest's interview and I leave Saturday. There was some usual low-level family drama in the background which wasn't helping either. Had a nice quiet lunch with ice cream afterwards and was reasonably successful at the self care...till Spouse decided to drink tonight. Usually I'm good at remaining completely detached from anyone else's drinking but today it just really got to me. As in "pissed me the hell off" which wouldn't have been at all productive to share -- everyone dances their own dance with that particular demon. Nobody wants to hear any disapproval while the music is still playing, either.

It took me a while to work through all my feelings, starting with admitting I had them in the first place. That of itself was helpful: being able to acknowledge to yourself "hey, I'm really x and y and z right now...and that's okay" does a lot to de-fang whatever the emotions are (angry, hurt and melancholy.) Gave myself some distance too: announced I was going to go downstairs to eat and then have a shower. By the time all that was done (including more ice cream; the sugar seemed to taste particularly good) I had worked through enough of my thoughts (including a fair bit of self-pity) to be able to spend another few hours with Spouse and Eldest before calling it a night.

If I were less tired I think I would be more impressed with myself and my adaptive self-care. First of all I didn't drink and in fact wasn't even tempted. Secondly I acknowledged the emotions I was having. Then I decided not to act on them because reflection and rational thought said nothing good would happen if I did. Finally I figured out something to help ease my feelings which -wasn't- picking a fight, being sarcastic, excusing myself so early in the evening as to cause an issue or getting all weepy: dinner, dessert and a nice long shower. It doesn't seem like all that much written down but it worked. Everything remained amicable.

A year or so ago I would have been drinking also, right on top of the bad emotions. Meaning there was a better than 50% chance we would end up having an ugly verbal conflict which would have to be resolved in the wee small hours of tomorrow morning and would have cast a shadow over the last bit of my trip. Sober is definitely better.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Day 235

Decent day.

Took car to dealership for some service which was supposed to take only a few minutes and for various reasons mostly "packed and many others ahead in line" I was there for damned near three hours. Got WAY too hungry and angry. At one point texted Spouse "If I were still a drinker I would go home and proceed immediately to getting smashed." Was told "Fortunately for you you're a better person than that" which is true.

Eventually got back to the house. Had a big glass of iced tea, ordered carry out and had Eldest go get it. Took a walk followed by a little nap...lo and behold it was like the morning had never happened.

Had a sundae for dessert tonight. Kinda stunning I think that's big deal calories but used to drink twice that and not bat an eye.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Day 234

Another good day.

Eldest got a law school acceptance email so she and Spouse got champagne - I was perfectly fine holding a glass with a small amount for a toast then handing it off. Didn't set off any desires.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Day 233

A terrific day.

Woke up feeling great which is one of the best parts of vacationing sober. Good sleep followed by waking up rested is always nice but even better on vacation. Walked outside first thing in the morning and then had a great shopping trip with Eldest. Good food and good conversation the rest of the day and none of it blurry or overly emotional. Sweet.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Day 232

Vacation Day.

One of the great things about being a sober person is waking up ready to go....and "go" I went before it was even daylight. Got caught in terrible weather the last hour of the drive but I stayed calm, cool and collected because that's another good thing about sobriety: better emotional control.

I admit though that toward the end of that last hour the idle thought "wow, I need a drink after -this-" popped up but it was quickly replaced with "no I don't; that's crazy" and "-not- drinking is how you are able to be dealing with this so well."

Had good company and good food instead. Nothing is ever really improved by alcohol.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Day 231

A really good day.

Not only did my vacation start after work today but also I got to use the written word to great effect in email negotiations. I particularly enjoy that.

Best of all? Found my earbuds! In the pocket of a jacket I had worn and hung up in the closet. I though I checked all the jacket pockets last night but did it again to be sure and boom! There the case was, safe and sound.

Good thing too as I checked two audiobooks out from the library hoping I could do at least a little walking next week.

Everything is all packed and ready to go down to the other house first thing in the morning and I'm lazing about already in bed because bed is warm and cozy but the couch is near a drafty bay window. Formerly "vacation" meant "drink as much as I like because I can sleep in as late as I want and not leave till I feel like it" which may have sounded good in theory but in practice meant staying up far too late, waking up thirsty and miserable in the wee hours and being up for the day too early and untested despite attempts to sleep. Not very loving or caring of myself.

It took quite a while but today I had moments of quiet giddiness just tickled silly to be having time off and NOT having to be responsible for Middle, ABL or even the dog...they will all look after one another while I am gone and have plenty of food and beverages with which to do so.

'Bout damned time I get a bit of pink cloud. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Day 230

A mostly good day.

Got all my work done and did much better about not getting too hungry. Planned on a walk but my leg had other ideas. Starting to stress over the whole food/activity thing but also realize that it is dumb to get all into healthy eating right before a vacation and if the leg is sore without doing anything in particular then maybe that whole "oh boy I can start working on 10k steps every day again" is premature. But the Inner Critic still nags.

The one thing which makes this -not- a nice day is that I've lost my earbuds. The fancy iPhone 7 ones that have a mini-USB instead of a standard RCA jack. I made a special holder with a felt covered card that had elastic loops for each earbud so the cord could be wrapped around the card and the whole thing slipped into a zippered pouch just so I -wouldn't- lose them....and now the whole damned case is missing. Tore the house apart looking tonight and for a while was far more upset than the situation really warranted...but no luck. I know I can buy another set but still.

I did notice that even though I did get hugely frustrated and angry I also got over it more quickly at least in part because I specifically told myself to take a break, lie down and distract myself with web surfing for a while. This is emotional progress and it pleases me. Instead of using it as an excuse to "oh fuck it; let's drink" or as an excuse to fume and sulk while virtuously -not- drinking I did a bit of.self care instead. Amazing how that works.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Day 229

Today required more than usual self care.

Miserable day at work. I had expected some of the issues but others were ugly surprises. Was inadvertently hungry for too much of the day also. Was a short step away from tears of frustration much of the afternoon and then Middle forgot to pick me up. Temperature dropping like a stone all day didn't help either.

In the past this kind of day would have meant stopping at the liquor store on the way home and pouring as soon as I got to the kitchen. Today I came straight home, sat down with a snack and a big glasss of tea and decided -not- to make the after-dinner grocery trip I had planned. Hell, decided not to do -anything- not absolutely necessary...removing things from the To Do list is always a good idea if there is any extra stress in the day. Had a little lie-down before dinner: Pounded Chicken (tenders or pieces of breast whacked thin and sautéed in butter) which was therapeutic. Dessert, mindless TV and more lying about on the couch then broke the evening chores (dishes & tomorrow's lunches) into two separate intervals instead of one big pushing-myself thing.

I was kind of amazed at how second nature "hard day equals extra self care" has become. Instead of flailing about and having a bunch of negative emotions and that mental running-in-the-hamster-wheel thing I thought "okay, what can go?" and "definitely dessert tonight" and "fuck I don't even want to do any of my hobbies tonight - the sewing can wait indefinitely." I lightened my load. I didn't dwell on all the wretchedness of the day, either, which is another thing I never thought would become second nature. Acknowledged it, sure, but opted for distraction over rumination which is another  healthier-by-practice response.

Big take-home message? Stress relief -without- alcohol can, with repetition, become as routine/automatic as wine o'clock was. Never would have believed that a couple years ago but here I am living it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Day 228

Another good day.

Woke up out of the blue - not just weird-dream half awake but all the way awake-awake at 3:30 in the morning then tossed and turned for an hour before getting back to sleep but got up just fine at 6:50. I was annoyed of course but as I was doing the morning stuff I realized that I used to -always- do that...and down a lot of water and try frantically to get back to sleep and hope I wouldn't feel too terrible when I did finally have to get up...and have all sorts of unpleasant emotions and about zero self-worth. Now? Not a big deal. Huge plus for sobriety right there.

Work went well and I walked downtown as planned. Didn't even care about the rain; I had an umbrella. Made the leg ache a little but I was due for more Aleve anyhow and that fixed it up. It felt so good to be out again even though it was slow going.

At home I not only cut out a pair of pants but had another major sewing triumph besides. My dear friend - another only child so we have become "sisters from different misters" - lives on the Big Island of Hawaii and sent me two pieces of yard goods in aloha prints. I love them of course but wasn't sure how to lay out the pattern to take advantage of the print or at least not have it look stupid. I remembered seeing an exceedingly experienced seamstress with a sewing blog open up a patterned fabric and lay it flat to figure out where the pattern pieces ought to go so I did that...but then I realized my pattern was opaque. The triumph came when I realized that the roll of 4-mil plastic we already had would be perfect: trace pattern onto it and boom: see-through pattern pieces. So that's what I did from about 8:45 to 9:30.

That just couldn't have happened back in my drinking days. I wouldn't have made all the connections, I don't think. Even if I had, I wouldn't have gotten busy and acted on them because 8:30 would have been the peak of drinking time. I might have -thought- about the plastic sheeting but then forgotten about it entirely or put the idea away till later and I sure wouldn't have been able to easily trace the pattern pieces as if I'd been doing it all day.

Sober is better. For everything. Doesn't seem like it at first but it definitely is. You don't notice it for a good long while but if you stick with it you realize one day, "Hey! My brain is back!"  It's a nice feeling.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Day 227

A good day

Finally didn't need -any- NSAID for my leg. Back to normal at last. Plan to walk downtown tomorrow; it will be the first time since early November.

No cravings at all even when some Mexican cooking show on public television went on at length about various different margaritas. Finished a new scrub top for tomorrow - took bits and pieces of all day because the dog was exceedingly jealous: he got used to "hoomin home iz hoomin on couch with ME."

Not too keen on going back to work tomorrow, actually, which is almost never the case for me. However I have -next- week as vacation and I can do pretty much anything for four days.

Lab work finally back and normalized just enough that primary care doc doesn't want to do anything further right now which is fine. Check again in 8 weeks or so.

I'm so glad to have all the holidays finally done. Between that and the leg being done it's almost like being a whole new person.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Day 226

That number sure feels good. Being that far along on New Year's Day feels nice too. Not in a gloating sense at all - far from it! - but in the sense of it totally IS worth the effort with "it" being continuous sobriety.

To anyone cruising the sober blogosphere in their shiny Day One vehicle: welcome! The first week is the hardest. Getting over the Day 4 hump is a big deal. Hitting double digits helps a lot and ferpitysake don't try to do diet-and-exercise or quitting smoking at the same time. Getting off the sauce is plenty enough. Go you! It won't seem like it at first but life without alcohol in it is -easier- on every level.

Today was a much better day than yesterday for me. Waking up clear-headed at a bit before eight on New Year's Day is a nice thing no matter what else happens. The leg is getting progressively better too: I was out clearing the snow off the walkway and driveway (an inch isn't enough for the snow removal guy to come but Scylla and Charybdis were coming for dinner) without any NSAID at all and it was just fine. Very heartening to be -able- to clear the snow. That also helped my mood as it is the one household chore I genuinely -like- doing: such a feeling of accomplishment.

Did the shopping and saw quite a few unhappy-looking people. I would have been one of them a few months ago. Only one cashier was open; I suspect they didn't expect the usual Sunday morning crowd.

Family dinner was unpleasant but relatively brief and didn't trigger any urges or cravings at all for which I was very grateful.

Totally lazy evening: first couch and then bed. Feels like a nice new beginning but a very low-key one. I'll take it.

Day 225

New Year's Eve.

Working on making the evening better than the day has been. Was lonely and irritable most of the day so I went out and did some retail therapy at the grocery store. Bought all sorts of munch party-type food for this evening even if it -is- only me and my autistic brother-in-law. Middle got invited to a party at the neighbor kid's house. Not looking forward to the New Year's Day meal that MiL railroaded us into having but am hoping that, like Christmas, it won't be as bad as anything the mental possibility engine is generating.

Did in fact work on my sweater for a while today and may well go back to it in a bit. Got a bit more than halfway through _Princess Diarist_ but needed to put it down because Carrie Fisher at 19 was so smart yet so sad in a way that was amplifying rather than lessening my own negativity. Switched off Create TV and The Food Network because there was too much booze being splashed about - the craving has lessened but it hasn't gone away so I do t want reminded of what I don't want.

Deliberately wrote "don't want" instead of "can't have" because I'm trying to get away from that whiny "it's not fair; everyone -else- gets to drink but I can't" voice since that really isn't it at all. I -could- drink if I wanted to do so - there's nothing stopping me except my own better sensibility - but I don't like that person nearly as well as the sober version of me. And even though I'm having negative emotions on THE drinking night of the whole year it doesn't mean that drinking would help one thing and would, in fact, make everything worse. And I wouldn't mess up 225 days anyhow nor do I -really- think adding alcohol would do anything but increase the sad/bored/lonely and add huge amounts of guilt and self-loathing to the mix. So it isn't like I'm going to -act- on these urges.

But on the other hand I damned well don't want to see Ming Tsai make a cucumber martini with lemongrass-infused vodka, either.


Much better now. Stuffed nigh unto bursting with all the good party-style food I bought earlier. The dog even got leftover chicken with a slice of salami for dessert. Now I'm on the couch with my knitting waiting to see what abusive things Kathy Griffin says to Anderson Cooper. Right now, however, I'm creepily captivated by the big gaudy wristwatch she's wearing on -top- of her sweater sleeve. WTF?


Still doing fine. Better, actually, as not only have I seen drunken shenanigans as part of the evening's entertainment (one of the CNN anchors in New Orleans is going to get a tattoo FFS) but also I've been talking to real-life in-person drunk people and it reminded me again why I don't do that any more. So that's all good.

Might not make it till midnight; I'm awfully sleepy right now. Just in case let me wish all of you a happy healthy and prosperous new year right now: Have a wonderful new year filled with fun, happiness.

=Sunday Morning=

Fell asleep on the couch but woke up st 11:50; how's that for timing? Watched the ball in Times Square drop, called family, went to bed and forgot to post. Up a little before 8 all bright eyed and bushy-tailed and that is a -terrific- feeling. Out to do the shopping now...sober is just SO much better. Even when it is hard...maybe especially when it is hard.