Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Day 284

And then everything went sideways.

Eldest and SiL were staying here as they cleared out their apartment - much chaos but they put last load in car, turned in keys and headed for our other house (where I took Spouse and girl-beagle over the long weekend so they would have room in the car) this morning.

Meanwhile I had more work than usual due to not just one but two people being gone...and a noon meeting I didn't expect.

In the early afternoon just as I thought I was getting on top of the day my MiL called. Her older sister's Parkinsonian husband had complained of stomach pain and they had done an x-ray at the nursing home and taken him straight to the emergency room. By report he "had all kinds of tubes" and "didn't look good." I was in limbo a good 3 hours then she called back to say he was in the ICU.

I went up to the ICU waiting room and only after I had been there for a while did I learn that one of the "tubes" was a ventilator. Bottom line: he isn't going to make it at all and has probably a 50/50 chance of holding on till morning. He was miserable in recent months and is pain-free now so that part is okay but of course his wife is in shock. She's staying with MiL and I have cordless phone at bedside.

Got home two hours late and still had most of the home stuff to do...but not all because Youngest dealt with all the animals and offered ABL a snack which he declined. Having her home again has already been a huge help and it was serendipitous that MiL suddenly had a spare bedroom again. Weird how these things work out.

I'm doing surprisingly well, all things considered. Appropriate sadness but no huge emotional spikes either up or down. Made sure to eat real food not junk and that helped as did the shower I decided not to postpone till morning. Having a habit of true self-care instead of "I am -so- having a drink when I get home" makes everything easier.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Day 283

Nothing like hitting the bed by 9:15 after a long weekend.

Drove home, was glad to see the family on this end and even didn't mind doing the grocery shopping on a weeknight...till I was leaving the store. After the checkout it was like someone pulled a string and I deflated - that's how fast and hard "exhausted" hit. Was all I could do to get the groceries into the trunk.

However instead of wondering why or arguing that I "shouldn't" be tired I just accepted it. Not only that but I got my kids and their visiting friends to haul the groceries in - me, accepting help! Big progress there. Made sure that food and bath followed as closely after stowing groceries as possible and that helped quite a bit. Acceptance seems to be a big part of my sober self-caring life - whether it is being hugely tired after doing nothing but driving all day or a crazy family situation or a really frustrating colleague the first step in taking care of  myself is to stop forcing or arguing or pushing or any of those other active verbs. Never mind "ought" or "supposed to" ... if I stick with "is" I can then figure out what the next thing is. It sounds so ridiculously easy you'd think I would have been doing it all along but it was surprisingly hard to build the habit of dealing with the moment. That whole ought/should thing plays right into both expectations and resentments and that plays right into the drinking voice/urge.

But now to bed.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Day 282

A good day. Slept in, ate good food, enjoyed time with Just Spouse and generally enjoyed the day off of my three day weekend. Have to drive back tomorrow which is kind of a bummer but all good things must come to an end.

Theoretically the family chaos is coming to an end too and if so that will be nice.

Finished a really good book and got a kind of chocolate I can't get at home too - good weekend.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Day 281

Long day.

Dog woke me around 1am, got a later start on the 300 mile drive than I wanted and then there was a wretched detour. Got rained on too.

But I survived it all and the payoff is a whole day in the other house which is orders of magnitude newer, cleaner, calmer and emptier. Not driving back till Monday.

At the peak of the detour awfulness I did briefly think about drinking- something along the lines of " I want a drink so bad when this is done" but I think it was more just a stress reaction than serious as I didn't really have a concrete thought of what the drink would be just a sort of vague urge...and since we were in the middle of a eight lane highway at the time it was easy to ignore. By the time I could have acted the urge was long gone.

The urge to sleep, though...that one is pretty overwhelming right now. Looking forward to it too - I sleep better here than anywhere else.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Day 280

Another good day.

Work was light, there was unseasonably warm weather, Middle came for a visit, Eldest is getting her apartment cleared out and Youngest wants to come back home instead of continuing to stay with her grandmother. Chaos has lightened. Plus I'm taking a three day weekend.

That hokey thing on posters in the Seventies turned out to be true: if you love something set it free...if it comes back it is yours and if it doesn't it was never meant to be.

Of course life isn't ever totally perfect: a mouse died in the laundry room wall. That's ten days of ugh.   Note to self: buy more Glade candles.

What I've noticed lately is how much more _present_ I am in life these days. That's a really good feeling too.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Day 279

A good day.

Objectively speaking I ought to be saying it was a lousy day as work exploded with all kinds of ick -- the stuff I had planned to finish by 10:30 this morning didn't even get started till 2:30 and some of it isn't done yet. Home also hugely complicated.

But...I just rolled with it all and didn't ever get seriously angry. Well, okay, I did for maybe five or ten minutes when I  got a seriously condescending email but I breathed it off. Long term sobriety is really good for anger issues apparently.

Had a serious flash of anger at home too when there were too many people in the kitchen but I solved that one by not just getting out of the kitchen but out to finally-finally- cut out the fabric that's been on the table six weeks or more. Then when I -did- get the kitchen back I made brownies.

Most productive evening I've had in two solid months.

But now it is late and I need to start unwinding for sleep. Good sleep which I now take pretty much for granted...though I shouldn't as it truly is one of life's pleasures and health benefits.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Day 278

Moody day...but I smelled spring in the air for the first time.

Otherwise it was just another sober day. And that's enough.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Day 277

Nine month soberversary! Woot!

And only you, blogfriends, even know about it. Family is so full of different stuff going on here and there with varying degrees of chaos and angst that I didn't even mention it.

Which isn't to say I didn't celebrate. ...not only did I take myself to lunch but I also ordered three new scrubs jackets for work. Plus read a whole bunch of a good book and let the family fend for their own dinner. It was a pretty good day, all in all.

Totally looking forward to ten months and learned today that the next solar eclipse is on -August- 21 which will be my 15-month soberversary--how cool is that?

I'm still keeping vigilant and not getting complacent though...the daily blogging is the biggest part of that. Another thing: today the restaurant was having a big lunch rush and I opted to wait ten or so minutes for a table rather than be seated at the bar immediately. I didn't think that staring at a whole lot of booze bottles -or- sitting next to people with real drinks was any kind of even half-good idea.

Mocha mousse on the other hand...that was a great idea.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Day 276

Decent day but had a lot of free-floating anger. Not sure what that is all about but it was of an intensity more like the first couple-three months of sobriety than here lately. Probably having so many family members with so much lifestuff going on is part of it and probably work is part of it and I know there is a big component of resentment but I just sort of rolled with it.

Part of rolling with it was doing prepackaged food for dinner and completely ignoring the dishes. Ended up eating a little too much - anger is still my biggest food trigger - but it wasn't a -lot- too much which is something I guess.

Tomorrow is my nine month soberversary. It's finally here - hooray! I'm planning to take myself to lunch though I'm also reserving the option to change my mind if I feel like it. But hey, nine months is a lot: half again as long as my previous longest time and more than double the longest time before that. Pretty cool.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Day 275

The days keep piling up and that is a good feeling.

Better day today: finally starting to feel pretty much normal again. Doing better with food too - not nearly as much stress eating. The stress is still there but for today at least I realized that eating a whole bunch of whatever is close-to-hand isn't going to help one damned thing.

Took a nap this afternoon; that was nice. Still making sure to baby myself this week though.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Day 274

Emotional day.

Could be any combination of accumulated stress, sickness, hormones, all-day non-drowsy allergy medicine or plain ol' resentment but today has been super sized crabby with a big side of sad. Woke up just annoyed as hell and everything the family did or didn't do irritated me more.

Wisely got out of the house as soon as the library opened: I'm getting better at figuring out how to deal with unpleasant emotions in ways that don't involve messy loud blowups. For the first time in Just Ages I nearly started crying in the car. However after getting my library books I ran into a total of four separate people I know which was just the sort of distracting I needed...and the Radio Gods arranged for a particular favorite of mine to be playing for the ride home.

Finally after many weeks finished sewing the pants I had started ages ago. NOT a good time. The crabby irritable frustrated thing didn't add much overall. Neither did the fact that they didn't fit very well after they were done, either...but the whole project was basically to see if I -could- make a pair of pants and the answer was yes. Even if it took me ten minutes and two videos to figure out I had attached the buttonhole foot backwards.

Got briefly excited thinking about getting back to the scrub tops which DO fit. Then I realized that the dining room table was in use for computer assembly...and my fabric layout was under the tablecloth under the computers. THAT project will have to be on hold a while. Probably just as well given my vile mood.

Wisely got pizza for dinner - if you're already hip deep in bad mood the last thing you wanna be doing is having to deal with feeding more than the usual number of people. Now I'm calling it a night at eight freaking o'clock. Well, not entirely as I have a load in the washing machine but I've bundled down on the couch under an afghan with my book and if I fall asleep gee shucky-durn.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Day 273

Ah. Blissful solitude.

Only 60 pages left in my new novel so I was an extra-good sport to spend all evening socializing with my still-drinking family. I even mostly enjoyed it. Mostly.

Otherwise it was an uneventful day but I am definitely planning to do something nice for myself on Tuesday as it is my nine-month soberversary. Still not sure what yet but I have some time.

Now if only everyone would -stay- gone to bed and let me slip in the rest of my book before it gets too late even for a Friday night.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Day 272

Today the difference between what I -was- doing and what I -wanted- to be doing was huge. Probably explains why I spent so much of the evening either sad or angry.

What I wanted to do was come home and lie down with my book. What I ended up doing was socializing with the family, taking Middle back down to campus (he had come up for a brief visit,) doing some laundry and listening to increasingly inebriated and pessimistic family members. Only now at bedtime have I got any peace at all.

Work was no great winner either; I'm back on service so I had a lot of cases and several were quite complicated. Tiring but at least in a meaningful way as opposed to the frustrating tiredness from dealing with business-speak and BS. Still.

The weather is lousy too. Joy.

On the other hand I still have this swell sobriety thing going and that's always cool. Next week is my nine-month soberversary and that's cool too.

Time for sleep though - even though I'm not still going to bed at 8 this cold (which has lingered as hoarseness and a cough) is keeping me awfully tired.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Day 271

A maybe slightly better day.

Utterly tedious meeting from 7:30 to 9:00 this morning in which I started coughing badly enough to leave and come back. More ridiculous work stuff as the day progressed. Nothing good at the cafeteria , either.

Had a -good- grilled cheese once I got home though and even though I have the gunky-throat cough thing I think I feel overall a bit better.

Once again tired-and-sleepy has struck early in the evening though...and I need to call it a night.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Day 270

Made it this far. Huzzah!

Wish I had more excitement about it. Mostly today was an angry day: work stuff, home stuff, health stuff...it's all just getting to me. And on top of it all I decided my little treat was going to be a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch which was going to push my limits a bit because I dislike asking the grill/server person for a custom order...and it turned out lousy. Wrong kind of bread, panini press so no buttery (or even spray-stuff) outside and USDA bad choice American cheese. Sigh.

A better treat was hiding out all alone in bed with a book for a good hour and a half after dinner this evening.

Eventually things will improve but I wish eventually would happen faster.

It's still a good milestone.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Day 269

Another bed at 8pm night.

Everyone at work commented on how sick I looked and/or sounded...guess I am correct in thinking this is a -doozy- of a virus. The coughing hurts my muscles; sleep will be most welcome.

But hey, sick or not tomorrow is 270 days and that is a cool thing.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Day 268

The cold not only didn't vanish but had gone into my chest. Joy.

Babying myself plenty though: carry out for dinner and minimal everything else. Bed for the night at 8pm. Trouble is that even with decongestant on board I get clogged lying down...and we haven't owned a recliner chair for a few years now - Youngest was a rocker so between her and two puppies in as many years the last one had a prematurely shortened lifespan. Sigh.

Oh and my computer monitor died earlier this week - that didn't even make the top five of the chaos list. That's part of why I haven't been making the blog rounds although only part - the biggest reason is that I haven't done -anything- more than stay sober for about a month now. Had that nice vacation at the beginning g of January but ever since it has been chores-then-horizontal every single night. Put a tablecloth on top of the fabric I laid out on the dining room table -before- my vacation because I caught a cat lying on it..actually finishing the layout and cutting just wasn't even a consideration.

Survival mode sober is still way better than the drinking life. Even with bronchitis.

And now book till my sleep aid kicks in.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Day 267

Bah. Sick all day. Up for the day at six despite best effort getting back to sleep.

On the other hand I wasn't the family member dragging around a gin hangover so there's that.

Bigazz snowstorm hitting us tomorrow so I did the grocery run earlier this evening...I can stay in my jammies all day tomorrow if I choose and I'm pretty sure I -will- choose.

There's still too much chaos in my life right now but I'm really glad booze is no longer part of the chaos.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Day 266

Bah. Wrote too soon about healthy.

Woke up with itchy/tingly/sneezy right nostril and managed to convince myself for a whole 90 minutes it was just allergies but then spent the whole rest of the day blowing and sneezing. Good thing I had exceedingly little Actual Work today.

Early in the morning I had that weird burst of energy that comes right before one gets sick and actually thought I'd spend the whole weekend sewing all the lengths of fabric I have - clearly that was delusional.

Despite the cold I was really grateful for two things today: one minor and one major. The minor one was that they had broccoli cheddar quiche for breakfast in the cafeteria. The major one is that I don't have any truly -serious- illness. That latter was triggered when I wAlked by someone doing their home-oxygen-necessity test in the hallway...and I realized that routine aches and pains aside, I still CAN take for granted the ability to walk pretty much wherever pretty much whenever.

Time for sleep though...or at least attempting sleep. So happy I can sleep as much as I like tomorrow. No plans of any kind. Seems stunning now that not so long ago I would have thought drinking on top of sickness was a fine thing to do but I would have. Probably something along the lines of "it will take my mind off how miserable I feel." This way is so much better.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Day 265

A little easier.

Slept really poorly but woke up for the day overall healthier. Work easier and home somewhat less chaotic. The dog-cat conflict seems to have reached detente...for a while at least.

Still kind of withdrawn, still eating too many carbs and sweets and not moving nearly enough but I'm at least a baby step or maybe even two away from the pure "hunker down and aggressively baby myself to get through life sober" stage of this past week.

Haven't had inclination to do -any- of my hobbies for a freaking month now - did I blog about that already? - but figure the spark will come back eventually. For now I'm happy not to be totally exhausted and crashing hard for the night at just past dinner.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Day 264

Long busy day and sick besides.

Got through it all though. Ate way too much - took that "feed a cold" thing WAY too literally - but got through it.

Sober helps.

So does early bedtime.

Oh and also? Even though I had that random drinking thought recently (last week?) and even though other family keep booze in the house pretty much all the time I have had no desire at all. None. For THAT I am plenty grateful.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Day 263

Another stressful day.
Work finally eased up a lot but home just grew to fill it. Had a fair bit of serious resentment and anger going on tonight; more than I've felt in quite a while.

It's still not nearly as bad as it used to be though. I was thinking earlier today over lunch how surprising it was that despite all the events of the weekend and yesterday I hadn't once broken down crying...which happened far more frequently over far less stressful stuff back when I drank. Can't even remember right offhand the last time I -did- have a meltdown though it can't have been that long ago. It isn't that I'm not having feelings it's just that I seem not to need the extreme ends of the bell curve. Nice.

Still not eating as well as I was but I haven't done anything too crazy either. Dessert twice in the same day is about it. I'm keeping aware of the whole food thing but not -worrying- too much about it because this is no time to try anything that even hints, however remotely, at deprivation - screwed up several past sober attempts with too much "getting totally healthy." Right now protecting this baby sobriety (nine months soon! Cruising around the furniture and a handful of garbled words!) is the only health-related self improvement project I need. 

Oh and I have become a big fan of the frozen single-serving pies/pie slices - much better than keeping a whole pie around. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Day 262

Long tiring day.

Did my early morning presentation thing and it went really well but much of the rest of the day was just a loss. Emotionally and physically drained from the weekend. Definitely still fighting off illness -  getting hoarse.

But it would be ever so much worse if I weren't a sober person now - this I know.

Had cake at -lunchtime- which I almost never do...have had such a sweet tooth of late and suspect it is at least in part a stress response and substitute for the booze.

And now to sleep.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Day 261

I'm often happy to be sober, occasionally relieved, always accepting...but right now I am big-time grateful.it has been a hugely stressful weekend on several fronts and there is no way I would be in any kind of decent shape right now if I were still a drinking person. No. Freaking. Way. Even knowing I had to get up early to speak in a group meeting at 8 sharp tomorrow.

As it is now I've been surviving the stress, did all the chores and have even practiced what I'm going to say at the meeting tomorrow. The sober life is just so much better for me. So. Very. Much. I am grateful to the person I used to be who made the decision to start this journey. She was smart.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Day 260

Wow closer to nine months than eight now.

Long hard day. Boy-beagle just -wouldn't- stop barking at the cats. Hope he grows out of/past -that- in another day or two. Plus family chaos. But I didn't drink. Didn't blow up at anyone or have a crying fit either...so the day is a win.

And now to sleep. I sure hope tomorrow goes more smoothly.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Day 259

Not a great day but I'm piled under two blankets with two dogs so it is better now.

Work lousy. Phone meeting at 10 -really- lousy. Definitely fighting off sickness; mostly winning.

Home total chaos for a while. Two cats, two dogs, six humans.

Finally heard back about my lab work: surgeon not doing anything,even ordering the neck ultrasound, till Endocrine has weighed in and that appointment isn't till mid-April. On the one hand I suppose that is good but on the other I still have the flimsy bones more likely to break. So it goes.

Part of the family drinking again tonight - still no desire on my part though I caught myself hitting the sweet stuff more than usual. Not beating myself up about it though as all things considered it isn't that big a deal.

Grateful the family is letting me call it a night early (not even nine) and doesn't feel rejected or anything. Grateful it is Friday and I do -not- have to work in the morning.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Day 258

Long day.

Work way too busy: on top of everything else had a road trip to an affiliate site.

Spouse and Eldest arrived in the evening after a particularly lousy drive up (detour, construction, upset dog) so that was chaotic for a while...and I'm still fighting this sickness that keeps trying to funk my chest but good. So far I'm winning (thank you two decades of flu shots) but I had to use my inhaler twice in one day which is exceedingly unusual. Middle says there are influenza tip sheets all over his campus though and he himself was laid up for a solid four days so I suppose it all fits.

Spouse wanted rum and was even willing to go get it himself even though his back was acting up after the long car trip. Despite that thought earlier this week I didn't even think twice about going out and getting it and was actually more interested in what potential desserts the grocery store next to the liquor store might have. No interest whatsoever even while buying the Bacardi. I did, however, think to myself "gee, it's been so long since I was in here he got whole new help while I was gone" and that was a -good- feeling to have, lemme tell ya.

As for dessert I had an individual-sized coconut cream pie but made sure to also get single-serving mixed berry for another night.

Less than three weeks to my -nine- month Soberversary...that's kind of exciting. Persued online bakeries - wait, make that "bakeries which take online orders" today in anticipation of May...there are definitely some options. The one-year mark is starting to feel like A Thing which is really powerful.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Day 257

Busier but better day.

Got called twice in the night about work stuff which almost never happens. Was able to get back to sleep both times though so that was good. Woke up with a sore throat but attributed it to sleeping on my back with my mouth open and then forgot all about it once I crossed the threshold into my department because it was just one thing after another all day most of it having to do with a really difficult administrator at an affiliate site.

Given yesterday evening I remained in Highly Protective Mode and didn't let myself get very hungry or the least little bit thirsty at all the entire day...and ordered carry-out for dinner.

Good thing I did too because right after dinner I crashed really hard. Like a windup toy all wound down: legs achy, back achy, NO energy, freezing cold and gunked-up chest. Rested on the couch till I could manage a nice hot shower and have now called it a night at not even quite eight. Flu is widespread in our area and I suspect this is the version one gets after two decades of annual flu shots. Or maybe it is something else entirely but whatever it is I don't mind letting it win tonight.

No thoughts/urges/cravings at all today for what that's worth. I suppose it is like breaking up in a small town: you can't really expect to -never- see the ex again but you can sure cross the street and go the other way.