I’m sober, not boring

I have struggled a lot since I quit drinking 241 days ago. Struggled to deal with my wild emotions, struggled to try to fit in and not feel left out, struggled with cravings and sadness and loneliness and just so many things, even rashes and skin irritations and extra body weight that absolutely refuses to give up camp no matter what I do.

I made a new friend recently, someone who “gets me” – who has the same quirky sense of humour and love of adventure. Someone who is super easy to talk to and laugh with and has just been a breath of fresh air or ray of sunshine in my little life the past few weeks. I’ve always had a very close circle of friends (ie only a few), and part of my struggle since quitting drinking is that they all just don’t get it. They’re nice, they try to be supportive, but they make a big deal about it. It always gets brought up or worked into the conversation like I’m something that they need to poke a stick at and discuss what to do with. Life at home has been pretty much hell on earth for me and has added immensely to the feelings of loneliness these past 8 months. My new friend doesn’t need alcohol to be friendly and outgoing and super duper funny, they may only drink one drink the entire night once a week, if that. I feel SO relaxed and more myself around them than I have in a long, long time, and I am absolutely terrified I’m going to ruin it. I ruined a lot of friendships (and relationships) when I was drinking. Not even fights, just people getting tired of putting up with my sh*t and slowly drifting away. I have that feeling now like “oh godddd what if I do something? What if I scare them away? Be myself? I’m still learning what that is!” I am just enjoying it day by day. That’s all we have I guess.

Break

I have been meaning to get in here to post but I’ve been swamped at work since I got back from my trip. I had an AMAZING time in the Yukon & Alaska. Amazing. It was so peaceful, scenic, beautiful… I just felt so… peaceful, energized and happy.

I did a LOT of driving and exploring and sightseeing. I took about 800 pictures!! I went for a horseback ride which was really nice (mainly really nice because the horses sense grizzly bears and won’t go near them and can run away from bears faster than I can!)

The food is incredible. Every single place I ate at, the food was amazing. Maybe it was all of that fresh air that made everything taste better, or maybe it was the fact that they have lots of time to try new recipes over the winter months. Or maybe they are all just extremely talented chefs and bakers up there.

And I didn’t drink. I was worried about it heading into the trip. Airports and airplanes have always been drinking places for me. I’ve always bought several bottles of wine to have in my hotel room. I knew (or thought anyway!) that I was going to be with a group of drinkers for the majority of the time there.

The BEST part? I found this amazing store in Whitehorse called Riverside Grocery that was fully stocked with the best selection of non-alcoholic drinks I have ever seen ANYWHERE! Actually they had the best selection of a lot of different things – honey, teas, chocolate, you name it. Fabulous. I spent a lot of money there but it was totally completely worth it.

Going out with the group for dinners caused me a little anxiety beforehand but it was fine! No one even really noticed. The last night, everyone went to a bar to socialize and I decided to go for a little while. I caught the waitress as I sat down and asked her if she could get the bartender to make me a non alcoholic drink that looked fun and wouldn’t stand out as being N/A. She made a virgin mojito. I know that some people who have quit drinking don’t like ordering those kinds of drinks (and I had my own close call a few months ago), but I just feel like I’m not out of place when I have one in my hand. Not that I AM even out of place, because no one really notices when you’re not drinking, unless it’s water. Realistically it’s their issue if they’re going to make an issue out of you not drinking, right? Anyway… I actually had the best time. I had so much fun and we had so many laughs and I stayed as late as everyone else, which is something that I haven’t even done here in months.

232 days. No booze, no smokes. The other day I looked at it and thought “holy crow, I only have like 130 days or so to get to a year… wow…”

Differences magnified

Just checking in as this feels like my safe space lately. I love popping on here and reading updates on everyone, even when I don’t have much to say myself. I feel like I’m fighting my way though the struggles that I have been going through the past few months, and it’s a good feeling.

Work is so busy lately and that’s intensified a bit as I have to get a lot done before I head up to Alaska. I honestly CAN’T WAIT to get away, things are going pretty badly with my boyfriend lately and I need the space. I feel like I’m constantly on edge around him and can’t say or do anything right. Drinking is a big part of his life along with the socializing part of drinking and he has been freaking out on me lately for not joining in with him and his drinking buddies. I just have absolutely zero desire to listen to them all get drunk and talk about the same old things that they talk about every single week. If I try to talk about anything I get shot down or talked over. Honestly the only reason I go sometimes is to get some affection from my boyfriend because unless he’s with his friends, in a crowd and drinking, he is completely unaffectionate. No hugs, no kisses, no hand on the back or shoulder, no “I love you”s, no cuddling, no arm around the waist and even no compliments. Well the odd occasional half hearted compliment here or there and that’s it. It has always been like that with him for the 3 years that we’ve been together, but when I was still drinking I’d just obnoxiously push myself on him or cuddle up to him, because boundaries were non existent for me when I was drunk and apparently I’m an asshole that way. I’d also be the one initiating sex most of the time and now that has also come to a standstill. I’m in my early 40’s and this is excruciating for me. I feel like I’m withering away or something ohhh my goddd *insert big dramatic sigh here* (ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I do feel lonely right to the very core of my being). He was happy when I was giving backrubs and footrubs and paying him constant compliments and helping him out with odd jobs and being his sidekick and going to parties or the bar/lounge etc etc, but there was never anything reciprocated. That (to me anyway) isn’t a relationship.

Behind it all though, I’m sitting here wondering if it’s me. Am I too busy trying to find myself that I’m not paying enough attention to him and that’s why I feel this way? Am I being selfish for putting myself first here and craving affection and compliments? Once I get a full grasp on sobriety and feel comfortable in my skin and more comfortable being around his drinking buddies again will it change the dynamics in our relationship again? He’s not a bad person, he’s just different than me, and those differences are being even more magnified now that I’m sober and he’s still drinking. Maybe he is also feeling that our differences are more magnified now and he’s having a hard time dealing with that. Who knows…

Bed it is then

I am at 199 days sober and cigarette free today. I’m also curled up in bed feeling sorry for myself or something. My mood swings this week have been crazy and I am emotionally drained. I think it’s from Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, my emotional turmoil with my own mother and the insane deep seated fear I have of being like her. I have told myself over and over this week that I’m NOT like her. The house is an absolute disaster from doing some minor renos and I should be cleaning or painting or at least making the house somewhat presentable for when the kids come over tomorrow for Mother’s Day brunch. 

Happy Friday? 

Mood swings

Urghhh I think that one of the hardest things to deal with and work through for me are my mood swings. Sometimes they come sliding in swiftly like a landslide, knocking me completely off balance and taking me completely by surprise. Other times it starts off like clouds on the horizon, gentling rolling in and accompanied by soft thunder – a beautiful sunny day changing into something different but not terrible and giving you enough time to prepare for it. Sometimes it’s little things that set it off and sometimes it takes days of letting things slide off my back. Sometimes it is absolutely nothing at all that I can put my finger on. Is this where people’s love of meditation & yoga start? πŸ˜‹

woop!

I made it to 6 months! It was actually a couple of days ago, but I’ve been having a hard time lately so I took some time to myself to go hiking and exploring and get my hair done and take myself out for lunch etc. I took a couple of vacation days to do this but it was so, sooo worth it.

I’ve still been getting up a little earlier in the morning so that I can squeeze in some fasted cardio & work up a sweat for a short 2- minutes. I’ve also jumped on the apple cider vinegar bandwagon – 3 tsps in the morning with some lemon water. It tastes terrible. The first time I had it I was taken back to a time when I was at a friends house and she offered me some leftover wine she had (she’d had it for a while because it was completely vinegary but I drank it anyway because she didn’t have anything else in the house. eep). I have also been drinking Golden Chai tea in the evening with tumeric. I’ve read so many health benefits to both of those and I will say that my knee, which used to get very painful when I was running before has barely beenΒ  bugging me lately. I have also had a lot more energy. My sugar cravings though – still remain super high. I have been experimenting with all sorts of “healthy” recipes (detoxinista.com has some great alternatives to the unhealthy-but-so-sweet-oh-my-god-I-want-to-devour-the-entire-pkg things that I daydream about).

I’m going out to bingo tonight with a couple of girlfriends. There’s one that makes such a big deal about me not drinking – she has to mention it every single *&%$’ing time we’re out and make a big deal about it as everyone else drinks their wine or other beverages. Seriously, just drink your wine and stop saying “Oh, does this bother you?!” before every sip. I think that’s what I find frustrating – that I’m just trying to navigate being around other people in social settings and just trying to enjoy myself, relax and have fun and there always seems to be one person who focuses on the fact that I’m not drinking and makes a big deal about it. Oh well, off I go πŸ™‚