the notebook

I am sitting in my office FREEZING. Geez I have never been as cold as I’ve been since I quit smoking and drinking. I used to worry about spontaneous combustion for goodness sake! Seriously! My skin was always on fire and it didn’t matter if it was the dead of winter here on the Canadian prairies (which can be -30 degree Celsius fyi and yes that’s a minus in front of that 30) or just a normal day. I was always so hot that the thought of going through menopause in a few years put me into a state of panic. Hot flashes? More like there’d be a flash of intensely high heat and then a pile of ashes left on the ground where I had been standing because on a normal day I could heat the bathwater up just by climbing into a tub of cold water (I jest, I wasn’t quite that hot).

Another thing I’m sitting in my office doing? Feeling accomplished. I bought a notebook the other day and I started writing down all the things I need to do at work NOW. I filled up two pages right away. Little things (phone this person, reply to this email, write cheque for this person.. etc) and big things. Things that would take 5 seconds and things that would take a couple of hours. Then I started doing them. My poor little beanie brain is hurting but I have crossed so many things off the list and added more to it. I can actually go home feeling good about what I did at work. I think that this is the first time that I have ever had to write everything down like that! I hope that this is just the brain fog side effect that can happen during early sobriety and not a sign of my old age! ๐Ÿ˜‰

125

I had an awesome weekend this past weekend. Thank goodness because my mood last week was nothing short of grumpy.

Boyfriend wanted to meet up with friends for steak night at the pub on Friday night and although I wanted to crawl under a rock I begrudgingly went. The place was busy and there was ONE waitress (a new hire nonetheless!) working. We sat for 45 minutes without the waitress even looking at our table while the owner of the place sat at a table with some of his buddies and then to top it off, the manager came out and stood talking to the bartender, joking around. Well… I was hangry, so I pushed my chair out and went up to the manager while everyone at my table and the neighbouring tables went completely quiet. haha. Trust me I was tempted to be rude, but I just calmly said that we had been waiting for 45 minutes and I was wondering if it would be better to come up to the bar to place our food order. I said “your one waitress tonight has been going nonstop and I have heard her apologize to other patrons, but I can clearly see that it isn’t her fault as it’s very busy tonight”. He sprung into action and came over and took our orders, and then the owner came over and offered a free round of drinks. I laughed and told him to make mine a gingerale. He said “Oh! If you’re not drinking you can have chicken wings instead then!” What? Seriously? Best reward ever for being the sober one. ๐Ÿ˜€ I was the envy of the table (No, not really, everyone else helped themselves to my chicken wings. Jerks)

Saturday afternoon I went to the theatre and watched the movie John Wick 2. It was a toss up between that and the dogs purpose movie but I try to refrain from ugly crying in public. I’m saving the dogs purpose one to watch when it comes out on dvd and I can cuddle my puppies on my couch while watching it. They don’t care if I ugly cry, it usually just means that there’s more snacks for them as I tend to stuff my face too when I watch sad movies.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Saturday night we went to a friends house so I stopped at a grocery store and found some cool non alcoholic ginger beers (great jamaican ginger beer). I’m on a gingerale kick right now so these jumped out at me. They’re in little stubby bottles too, so kind of fun to drink out of. The only downside is that they’re pretty much marketed as a mix. “Add beer! Add dark rum!” Ugh, why? You’ve got a totally cool, fun to drink product by itself. We had a super fun evening but of course people had to comment about me not drinking. There was one person in the group though – the one with the sad eyes. The one who drinks a LOT at every gathering and everyone else has “those stories” about him. He kept asking me questions – why had I quit? Was I going to drink again? Any answer I’d give him he would just nod. He was watching me all night, almost like he was assessing whether or not someone could have fun if they weren’t drinking. It’s weird being aware of that kind of thing.

Sunday I felt great, and I think that I felt even more great simply because NO HANGOVER! Boyfriend was dragging ass and feeling like crap and I felt awesome, motivated and full of energy. So I ran off into the city by myself and took my oldest son for lunch (this makes me even more happy), and then I went grocery shopping.

I am super weird with grocery shopping. I could easily spend about 5 hours in a grocery store just browsing around and looking at different things, picking things off the shelf, reading labels, talking to staff, etc. If I go somewhere on vacation I go to a grocery store just to look around (prime example – Hawaii. Their grocery stores are TOTALLY different than the ones here and their seafood section is ridiculous. Seriously. Also ridiculous – they have spam flavoured macadamia nuts. Obviously I am not using the word ridiculous in a derogatory manner in either of those sentences.) Maybe I should start a blog on it – The Traveling Grocery Store Creeper. Nahh maybe not.

โคย  125 today baby!! โค

Back and forth

I’ve started writing out posts several times a day every day this week. Then deleted. Then re-written. Deleted again. Here I am again. Back and forth, back and forth.

I’m struggling this week. I’m tired, I’m mentally exhausted and I’m feeling sad. I just want to curl up in bed under the covers and feel sorry for myself. Actually, I want to verbally lash out at people and THEN go and curl up under the covers and hide. I’m feeling really overwhelmed at work and in my thoughts. I work in a really fast paced, no supervision environment and I usually excel at it. I need to be creative and I need to be able to jump back and forth between multiple different things, and I need to always be friendly when dealing with the public, which I have to do a lot. I have to plan ahead and yet be on the ball with deadlines. This past month I have been none of these. I don’t feel creative and I am missing deadline after deadline and I do NOT want to put a smile on my face when dealing with the public but I have to anyway, so I’m spending most of the time hiding in my office hoping that no one knocks on the door. Yes, I’m sure THAT’s going to help, lol.

I have had an uneasy feeling this week too, something that I can’t put my finger on but that feels scarily like the morning after a blackout. Did I do something that I can’t remember? Is my poor brain struggling with the fact that I HAVEN’T had a blackout for over 122 days now?

Anyway, I promised myself that I would take the afternoon off work and go home and have a nap today and here it is, the middle of the afternoon and I have about 2 hrs worth of work that I HAVE TO DO before leaving work. Geez I need a good old kick in the butt! Somebody please dangle a piece of chocolate cake in front of me for motivation or something! ๐Ÿ˜€

ramble

I had one of those weekends where I can look back on it and say “thank god I was sober. Seriously.” The whole weekend would have taken a completely different turn if I had still been drinking.

It started off with the Thursday night drink mixup at the bar.

Friday night my boyfriend and I went out for appetizers and bowling with my oldest son and his fiance. I was just going to go by myself but my boyfriend decided that he wanted to go as well. My boyfriend sat back while I paid for everything, then proceeded to tell me on the way home that he had just received a huge bonus at work. He and I are very different with our money and although we live together we keep separate finances, thank goodness. I have a pretty low income with my field of work but love my job as it is a feel good job haha. For me it is all about the memories; for him everything has a monetary value and he will even bitch about the cost of something that he doesn’t even pay for. (If I had been drinking – restaurant bill would have been a LOT higher. Bowling would have included drinking and then I would have been itching to get home to continue drinking and not fully appreciating just being there having fun. Maybe I would have been upset and confused at the boyfriend not chipping in for appies or bowling and made a snarky comment to him over it)

Saturday the boyfriend went snowmobiling with friends (I’m too slow to keep up with them apparently). I had a wonderful day with my two youngest kids, did some touristy stuff and went out for lunch. It was awesome, laid back and fun. Saturday night boyfriend and I went over to his friends house that he had gone snowmobiling with. There was a new addition to the group – a single woman who had been snowmobiling with them the last few times too. I’m not sure how she joined their group, but I do know that she was quite flirty with my boyfriend that night and he couldn’t keep his eyes off her, and damn it she was a heavy drinker and tiny framed! I could feel myself getting more and more anxious and upset but didn’t say anything or let it show. We stayed late, but left at a decent hour before everyone was stupid drunk. (If I had been drinking – probably would have had drinks with lunch with my boys (why?), and Saturday night I know for sure that I would have really let it upset me and freaked the hell out on my boyfriend on the drive home, blowing everything out of proportion, drank more at home and carried my fit through to Sunday)

Sunday I texted my sisterย  a simple question, innocently asking her if she was mad at my sons fiance (my son had asked me if I knew what was going on due to something that had happened online). She responded with a “oh no, of course not!”, and changed the subject. Fine… well then my son texts me all upset because my sister just texted him a big long super nasty text! What the heck! I assume that something else is going on with her so I text her to ask her if she’s ok. She then freaks out on me and tells me that I’m upsetting her. What?? I’m so confused. I apologize for upsetting her and leave it at that. It really upset me though because I had no idea what happened and why she reacted the way she did, or how I should handle it. I just “turtled” lol, and when I drove by the liquor store later that day I almost longingly thought that it would be soooo nice to bury my racing thoughts and emotions in a good old drunk up. I didn’t act on that thought. It bothered me all weekend. It is still bothering me. This is on top of a few other things that she has done lately that I have let slide. I live so far away from my sisters that it’s hard to connect sometimes. It shouldn’t be with the modern technology, but it is. I apologized to my son for my sisters behaviour, and that I somehow set it off. He did nothing wrong, and my sister is lashing out at his fiance for something that happened after they first got together when they were teenagers for gods sake. Almost 5 yrs ago! Ughh… (If I had been drinking – I would not have dropped this. I would have used it as an excuse to drink even more, maybe pick up an extra bottle of wine, and there would have been lots of angry texts or phone calls. My anger towards that would also have spilled over into the angry emotions that I had on Saturday night so I probably would have found a reason to lash out at my boyfriend as well. Instead of sitting here this morning trying to focus on the positives of the weekend while trying to figure out how to handle the sister situation, I would have still been angry, upset, felt justified in whatever course of irrational action I had taken.)

Yesterday was a stat here and I got out and enjoyed the beautiful weather we’re having. Lots of fresh air, by myself. Made a nice dinner when I got home and did a 1/2 workout followed by a 1/2 sweaty jog on the treadmill. Had a good sleep. (If I had been drinking – after the other events of the weekend I would have been in no shape or form to get out, to exercise or to run on the treadmill. Stat day = extra drinking day)

119 days alcohol free / 122 days smoke free / 148 days since I started the journey to sobriety.

 

F’ing mixup

I went out with friends tonight to celebrate someone’s birthday.

I ordered my usual alcohol free fun drink (virgin Malibu rain = cranberry & pineapple juice with a splash of 7-up). 

Person next to me decided to order the same but with alcohol (Malibu rum & banana liqueur)

Waitress comes back with two identical drinks, but one has an additional white straw. The one with the extra white straw gets put in front of me.

I have no sense of smell (from years of nose being buried in a wine glass?) but I sniff my drink anyway because I’m nervous for some reason and I think I smell alcohol. I ask the person on the other side of me if she thinks there’s alcohol in it. She sniffs it, then a little taste. No she says, it’s fine.

I take a little sip on the straw, just enough to touch my tongue, and there it is. I knew immediately. I sat there frozen and you know what went through my mind? “I could drink this all and no one else would know.”

I told the girl next to me that I thought our drinks had gotten mixed up and she took a taste of each and said “oh! Haha yep you’re right!” And we swapped, but man that just changed the whole evening for me. I didn’t want to order another drink all evening in case there was another mixup because I knew if it happened again I honestly think I would have drank it. I hope that I wouldn’t have, but I think maybe I would have and that bothers me a lot. 

114 days. I’m not restarting the counter for something I didn’t even swallow so tomorrow will be 115 days damn it!

Can I do this?

Whenever I’ve been in a situation where I’m super nervous, I have always given myself the little pep talk “I can do this. I CAN do this!”. Honestly it doesn’t help much and I have still been super nervous and on the verge of passing out because my heart is racing so much and I’m forgetting to breathe.

The other day a speaker I was listening to was talking about how we should be asking ourselves “CAN I do this?” instead of telling ourselves that we can do it. The reasoning was something along the lines of our brains will then come up with a bunch of different reasons why we can do it, and will try to protect us from failure or something (I’m sorry, I actually wish I had taken notes!). He was a really great speaker and I did pay attention to what he was saying, honestly. This one part really stood out for me though, I guess because I have to give myself little pep talks quite often.

Almost right after listening to him speak, I had to stand in front of a (smaller) crowd and do about 1 minute of public speaking myself. The thought of public speaking makes me want to cry. I get so nervous that my heart races and my throat squeezes tight and my stomach does flip flops and I feel like I’m going to pee my pants and then I get so nervous at the thought of maybe peeing my pants in front of a crowd that my heart races faster and I forget to breathe and then I feel like I’m going to pass out and what happens if I pass out AND pee my pants… (deep breath)… and the worst part is that I would actually love to be a public speaker – I do love to speak and I have lots to speak about haha (that’s what I tell myself to try to psyche myself up every time my begging not to be made to do it falls on deaf ears) Anyway… when I was starting to feel nervous, I asked myself “Can I do this?” and seriously… it turned it around and I came up with a bunch of reasons why I could and laughed at myself for being nervous. (ANDDD I did not pee my pants).

I wish I had heard that a few months ago when I was trying to get through those crazy first few months of sobriety.

“Can I do this?”

Hell to the yeah you can!

I’ll just put it back

I had a funny little drinking dream, well, NON-drinking dream last night. 

I was out hiking and exploring an amazing area, staying at this fun little inn or b&b with friends and just having a great weekend all around. I decided to let myself have ONE night to drink. Just one. We were all celebrating, and it was definitely a night that I would have felt that “I’m missing out” or whatever pang if I stayed sober.

In my dream I was excited about going to the store and choosing what I was going to drink, and I loaded ( yes, loaded) up my basket with all of my old favourites. I headed towards the til and stopped dead in my tracks. I thought “I’m at 119 days today. If I drink I won’t get to 120 tomorrow”. (I’m only at 113 today) And I was sad, super sad actually haha, and I slowly went and slowly achingly put everything back one by one. Everyone was staring at me and I was just sadly putting things back on shelves where they belonged. 

These past few days at the conference have been pretty… interesting. Lots of pangs. Last day today, so before I’m late as usual… happy hump day everyone!