Processing… please hold…

When I was drinking heavily, my conversations and interactions (even when sober) were a lot different than they are now. Half the time I don’t think I was really even paying attention during conversations – just nodding or throwing in the odd “mmhmmm”, “oh really?”  or “hmm!” here and there. I had LOTS of conversations that I don’t even remember or only remember bits and pieces of. I lost count of the number of times I’d look at my phone in the morning and exhale with “Oh shit… I talked to my mom/sister/friend last night?? FOR AN HOUR?!!” and wonder what on earth we talked about and if my end of the conversation even made any sense. I’d be cringing every time the phone rang or beeped all day in case it was the person I had “talked to” the evening before, calling to tell me what embarrassing or awful things I had said. That rarely if ever happened. Did they even know I was drunk? They must have. Once in a while I’d get an email from my mom saying “I really enjoyed our conversation last night” and I’d be thinking “What was it about??!” Apparently I really liked to call people when I was drunk, sheesh.

While trying to escape my life by hiding behind the glass, I missed out on a lot of things that could have held some really great memories, and I got a very real eye-opener to that on Sunday.

Sunday afternoon I had all 3 of my kids and the significant others of the two oldest ones at my house for dinner, and it was great. In the past I would have had a glass or two in the early afternoon before they arrived while I was preparing the food, then more after they arrived, more with dinner and after dinner and would have been pretty tipsy by dessert with everyone (except the youngest who lives with me half time) leaving shortly after that. This Sunday I was SO present and sober and we all had such a great visit, the food was wonderful and the company even more so. The kids all hung around and chatted after dinner and as I mentioned in my Monday post I got some great news. So this is my really great news! I’m going to be a grandmother! My oldest son and his girlfriend are expecting. They’re both in their twenties which seems so young to me even though I had him when I was a (naughty) teenager. They just bought a house together earlier this year and they’re settled down with decent jobs. They’ve been together about 4 yrs. I am SO happy for them! And excited. And of course, nervous for them because they just seem so young!  It also took me a day to actually process it haha. The thing is though, if this had happened 2 months ago I would have woken up the next morning wondering “did they actually tell me that, or was it a dream? What did I say? Did I slip and phone anyone else to tell them the news? (It’s a secret til Christmas) Did they tell me the due date or anything else about dr’s appointments or if they’re finding out if they’re having a boy or girl?” I REMEMBER every single minute of that conversation. I REMEMBER the look on their faces when they told me, and the look on everyone’s face, and the conversation afterwards, AND the due date, and THAT has made every hard, frustrating, scary day since I quit drinking 1000% worth it.

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But first… two questions

Question #1 – did anyone else’s tummy area hurt a lot weeks after quitting drinking? Gahhh mine is killing me. Maybe my liver is shrinking and everything is shifting around in there or something. lol

Question #2 – can you imagine how terrifying skunks would be if they were as big as a bear? Yes I know that this seems like a totally random question, but when I was driving to work today I saw something down a side road that looked like a giant skunk (probably a snow pile with dirt on it) and it made me think of that.

Make mine a virgin, bartender

When I quit drinking I was on a quest to find any interesting beverage to have on hand to either treat myself with, or have on hand for when people dropped by with a bottle of wine or a 6-pack of beer and I wanted to drink something other than tea or water. I’m not a big pop drinker so not pepsi, etc.. In my search, I found these sparkling waters with some really unique flavours to them! I finally went on their website and noticed that they even have suggested food pairings. I took a look on their “mix” section and go excited when I saw the “sans alcohol” tab but when I clicked it and saw what looked like a large variety of virgin martini ideas, it was just their drinks poured into martini glasses hahahaha. They’re good though. I think I have tried all except for the cucumber because I can’t stand the taste or smell of cucumber.

One thing that I loved about the holiday season is the fun drinks, the drinking while socializing while everyone is in a festive spirit (and into the festive spirits harharhar) and also the whole sitting inside on a miserable day drinking spiked hot chocolate. I would be in heaven if there were non-alcoholic vodkas, irish creams and kahluas. (I’m going to be completely honest here – I bought the bailey’s non alcohol coffee creamer to put in my hot chocolate). I have found a few good recipes that I’m going to pick up the supplies for to have on hand – I can’t see anyone truly complaining if they come over for a visit and I make them a non-alcoholic bevvie! I won’t even tell them it’s a virgin, I’ll just tell them that I have a new drink recipe that I think they’ll like. Serve it in a fancy glass, accompany by some fun conversation, and don’t worry about them driving home after the visit. Sounds like a win-win to me 😀

Here’s some of the recipes I found if anyone is interested!

Crimson Christmas Punch

Pomegranate Sparkling Mocktail

Grinch Punch

35 days today 😀

Cruising along

Something happened yesterday that should have caused me to be bouncing around with excitement and happiness today, and I’m not. I’m thinking, overthinking and worrying. I’m feeling happy and then sad. Relief and then sadness. I will add that this happened after a week of feeling very out of sorts and fighting the urge to pick up a bottle of wine the entire darned week, every single day.

At the boyfriends urging (yet again) I went to the bar with him on Thursday evening. I took my own car and stayed for a few hours and had some good conversation and laughs and then I went home, by myself and just felt sad. During the course of the evening, another couple had said that they wanted to get away during the winter, but were on a tight budget. “Oh!” I said,”I’ve been looking into cruises and you can find some that are actually ridiculously cheap when you think that it includes accommodation, food, entertainment…!”. The wife perked up and replied “Oh really, how much are the cruises?” and before I even had a chance to reply my boyfriend butts in with “unlimited drink passes are $70/day!” Really? We’re looking into possibly going on a (THREE DAY) cruise about 5 months from now and that has been his main focus since I first suggested it. “Are drinks included in the price? Can you order alcohol with dinner? Are there bars/lounges on the boat? Can you take your own alcohol on? Can you buy unlimited drink passes?” I hadn’t even looked into the drink passes for him, but I see that he did! I had hoped that a cruise may be a test of a trip that we could take together as we don’t travel well together. I like to go off on adventures and go exploring and sightseeing while he likes to plop his butt down in one place, drink & cell phone firmly in hand and talk to the people sitting close by, watch tv or browse facebook. He prefers to travel with a group of friends, I prefer to travel with just us so that we can meet other people or aren’t tied down to group activities. I pay my own way, my half of the cost of the trip, plus I pay for any extra curricular activities or tours that we go on since they’re MY idea and it’s something that I want to do, not him. I was so frustrated after our last trip together that I began to think that maybe I should just take solo ones from now on. Then I thought about cruises and how a 3 or 4 day one would be a great thing for us to test out (neither one of us has ever been on one before) because I could go on the shore excursions and he could sit on the beach. There’s lots of entertainment and things to do on a cruise ship so sitting around drinking shouldn’t be a focus, right? I’m beginning to think I’m wrong.

Saturday I went out and did some shopping and he went out and loaded up on booze for the house for the holiday season “In case people drop by”. Yippee.

Sunday I had my kids over for dinner and had a great visit with them (and got some very exciting news!) while the boyfriend mostly watched the football game and drank beer. He did join us off and on at the kitchen table and we did join him off and on in the living room. I’m just feeling really… alone I guess. Melancholy? Sad? It doesn’t help that winter is here and I’m driving to and from work in the dark too. I’m sure I’d be in a better mood if it was bright and sunshiney and warm out 🙂

60/31

Today marks 60 days since I decided to quit drinking, and 31 days sober, so I thought I’d write about the crazy roller coaster that has been the past two months. I’m not going to write about what led up to deciding to quit, I’ll save that for another post. I will say that it had escalated drastically over the past 3+ years to at least one, usually 2+ bottles of wine a night, sometimes followed by vodka if I *really* needed that escape.

September 26 – first day sober and bound at determined to not drink again. I also decided to quit smoking so first day on the patch. By day 2 I was already bartering with myself. “Make it 4 days and then you can reward yourself with a drink and ONE smoke”. Day 4 – bottle of wine & 2 cigarettes, timed to coincide with a night the boyfriend wasn’t home so that I could hide it. This carried on for several weeks. 4 days sober, 6 days sober, 2 days, 4 days etc. I encouraged the boyfriend to go out often. October 16 I dropped him off at the airport and drove straight to the liquor store for 2 bottles of wine and the gas station for a pack of smokes and got completely drunk (the last time that drunk). Wednesday the 19th I flew down to Texas to meet him, drank at the airport, on the plane, at the next airport and on the next plane. Arrived at the hotel and told him I wanted a beer “to let loose while on vacation!” (To try to hide the fact I had been drinking). Drank in moderation with him (and also secretly when I was by myself) over the next few days. Sunday we flew home. I purposely made sure our seats weren’t together on the flights and that his was several rows ahead and on the other side of the aisle from me (so that I knew when he fell asleep and could order a drink). Arrived home and made an excuse to go to the store and buy a bottle. Snuck it into the house, and said I was tired and going to lie down in the bedroom. Drank 3/4 of the bottle. Had that last glass 2 days later when he was out, drinking it slowly, savouring it and saying goodbye and that this HAD to end. I promised myself that I would use the money I saved to go on vacations, visit family,take my kids out! All the things I “haven’t been able to afford” for many years.

The next day I went to work, and decided to start a blog to vent, write it out etc. Imagine my surprise when I found out that there were other people doing the same thing!

The first two weeks were pure hell – insane sugar cravings, complete exhaustion, jittery, fidgety, itchier than I’ve ever been in my life (and I’ve had poison ivy lol. Ok maybe not QUITE that itchy!) I bought so many books and read non-stop. I bought cookies, chocolate bars and as many different flavours of sugary pop drinks I could find. I baked banana bread. I did not deny myself ANY cravings that I had (other than alcohol). Basically it was two weeks of eating, sleeping, reading, and anger. I was mad, oh boy was I mad. Mad at myself and everyone else. Slowly, slowly things started to ease off a bit and the sugar cravings aren’t as crazy, the extreme exhaustion abated a bit (to where I wasn’t falling asleep on the couch as soon as I got home). More tea than pop, less chocolate bars and cookies. Emotions still running high, and trying to figure out how to deal with those sober. I took MANY long hot showers, went for lots of angry walks, paced, drove, read, cranked up the music and danced, crawled under the covers in bed and hid. I did anything and everything I could to make it through, and here I am! 31 days. 

Ice road truckin’

Had a lovely drive to work this morning! Got lots of thinking done on my drive because I didn’t want to turn on the radio and hear them saying “If you don’t have to be on the roads – STAY HOME”. Thankfully I just had my winter tires put on yesterday. Unfortunately I had to make full use of them this morning. Oh, trust me, I didn’t want to come in to work today but I have a meeting tonight that’s really important, time sensitive, should most definitely not be postponed, AND about a 45 minute drive further from my house than my office is, so by coming to work I got half the drive over with. Here’s a pic of my drive this morning – it’s actually a paved 2 lane highway, but everyone drives down the middle of it when we get snow, until you meet oncoming traffic of course.


And then… surprise detour! Just because the terrible road conditions aren’t enough to add stress to the commute, let’s have to take a detour along some gravel side roads which are barely wide enough for one vehicle.

Things I’m thankful for today:
– Standard transmissions, knowing how to drive standard, and owning a standard
– Winter tires and having them on my car in perfect timing
– The heater in my office
– That I can choose a slightly longer commute to work that has less traffic
– a job where I don’t get in trouble if I’m late to work.

Things I’m not thankful for today:
– My bladder. That one cup of a coffee on the hour long commute was really stressing it out.
– The fact that the oh-so-important meeting was just cancelled by people who would have had to travel less than 10 minutes to get there

Couple more things to add to the I’m thankful for list:
– my bladder being able to hold out til I got to work.
– Not having to go to a meeting tonight after work now, so I can go home instead while it’s still light out maybe.