I am exhausted and I think the novelty of feeling good instead of perpetually hungover is wearing off. As a result I am feeling very meh. Tonight I had a strong craving for a big glass of red wine (which, had I indulged, would have turned into six or seven) and I had to fend it off for a good hour. There’s something about NFL (my partner is a huge football junkie and tonight is the start of the official season) and the cooler temps that just reminds me of booze. Kind of a sick nostalgia, I suppose. The urge did pass finally and my sobriety is still intact.
I started this blog intending to post daily, especially in these early days of sobriety, but I’m working my tail off (and instead of hating work because, duh, hangover, I’m actually enjoying it) and just haven’t had time to check in. I’m spending a lot of time over here. I’m trying to make a meeting, but damn if this small town only has a few meetings a day that I have a difficult time getting to because of my work/family schedule. Anyhow, still trucking! Next up: quit smoking. I think this week, I just need to pick a day.
I woke up this morning feeling amazing. Eight hours of solid sleep. I actually woke up after six hours and almost got up to enjoy a quiet house to myself, but ended up falling back asleep quickly, which is good; otherwise, I would probably be ready for a nap mid-morning.
I’m amazed at how wonderful I feel in the morning. The irritability I always woke up with is gone. When I was drinking, I would classify a hangover as strictly when I felt headachy and nauseous, which wasn’t that often because I was really good at spreading my 6-8 glasses of wine out over five or six hours. I became very good over the years at drinking at a pace so that I maintained an extremely buzzed state, but was rarely fall-down drunk because that would make me an alcoholic boozer loser and a bad mom, duh. Never mind that I was all these things when I spent every single night buzzed up to the point that I couldn’t safely drive, was completely checked out of my kids’ world (go play, go ready, go practice violin, just leave me alone so I can drink and smoke), and sleeping like shit. God, that’s so sad to write, but I’m in a brutally honest place and I have to recognize the trickery my addicted mind played on me and how dysfunctional my drinking really was.
What I’m realizing is that even though I didn’t often wake up with a headache or an upset stomach, I was still, every morning, very hungover. I woke up puffy, extremely irritable, unable to function (would grouchily make lunches and haul the kids off to school last minute and then come home and go back to bed), and tired. I would kid myself that I wasn’t hungover because I didn’t hurt, but who was I kidding? Oh, myself. Definitely not may family who I’m certain felt my pain as innocent bystanders.
I took my daughters out for fro-yo and to the library yesterday (so much fun and something I would never do before because I was a lazy, hungover fuck of a mother) and while we were eating our creations they announced they would never drink alcohol. It was a very random outpouring and I’m not sure what triggered it, but it nagged at me. I told them I hadn’t drank all week and that I wasn’t sure why I did drink wine. They seemed interested. I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than I’ve been thinking that my kids have been subject to my drinking for years, all the time I was kidding myself that nobody really noticed because I was good at hiding it. I’m realizing this isn’t the case and that a slurry mother who hides white wine in the veggie crisper isn’t normal. Now that I’m clearing the mental space to reflect on this, I’m wondering, soberly, how this has affected them and how I can make amends.
So today is Friday. I’m cool with that. I have to work all weekend. Know what’s great and what I’m excited for? Experiencing what I do without a fucking hangover. My work is very taxing and physical, and it’s typical for me to come home late after a long day and pound wine until 2:00 a.m. I’m always extra hungover the day after work. This weekend will be different and I’m looking forward to experiencing it.
Insomnia last night so I only got four sober hours of sleep. I still woke up feeling 100x better than I do when I’ve gotten eight hours of drunken sleep. Pediatrician, shopping (saving up for some expensive jeans with the money I am saving by not drinking), a nap, fro-yo and library with the kids, and tonight I am watching NFL. And I am sober as fuck. No cravings today. Just feeling grateful for being in the present with my family and at peace with not having any booze.
I will not drink today.
I’m here. Still sober. I did have a ciggy this morning. I wish I could say I felt bad about that, but it was the last one in my partner’s pack he leaves out back and I enjoyed it.
Last night I was restless, but my cravings were for nicotine more than wine. I have just decided no alcohol–no more of that flavor of poison in my system–and now that it’s off the table I’m just not going there. I know it’s just a matter of time until I hear a cork pop and will face an internal battle, but so far, so good. Nicotine is tougher because my partner smokes. I had quit for 14 years prior to meeting him a few years ago and started up again a few months into our relationship. (Oh, just one here or there, always while I was drinking, which turned into sneaking them when I was sober.) I’m not beating myself up too much because I know I’ll quit soon. But for now, I’m focusing on the alcohol abuse.
This morning I woke up happy, but turned cranky when the kids were dragging while getting ready for school. I felt bad and started bawling after I dropped the last one off for the school day. I came home and bawled some more and my partner sweetly reassured me that I’m strong, that he’s proud, and that it’s completely normal to be emotional and exhausted while I’m going through the “DTs”. (He calls them that–I haven’t felt like I’ve been detoxing per say, but he’s right that my body is likely dragging with a broken liver and who the hell knows what else.)
Now it’s almost dinner time. Happy hour. Whatever. I’d normally be almost to the bottom of my first glass of wine, but today I’m sipping coffee, writing my accountability post, and letting you all know I feel grateful for my sobriety today, even if I am feeling totally BLAH.
Today is day 2. I only slept about six hours last night. Went to bed with my phone and stayed up too late reading the Stop Drinking forum on Reddit. I woke up at 5:55 this morning without my alarm and felt…pretty darn good and not hungover. Got the kids off to school and my partner off to work, answered emails, showered/dressed, and browsed the internet. I just had an early lunch and am so sleepy. I want to power through, but I’m thinking a nap might be a good idea. I’m not sure what sort of detox effects I should expect, but I was averaging no fewer than six units per day of wine, so I imagine I’m going to feel something as I bring on sobriety.
I was thinking about what my life looked like just 48 hours ago. Actually, more like 36 hours ago. It goes something like this.
Sunday – I wake up tired and hungover. If it’s football season, wake up and make a mimosa to pre-funk before the game. One mimosa quickly turns into four. Then a bloody mary. Then white wine. And this goes on the whole day. I always pace myself so I’m not stumbling or visibly drunk (I’m sure I would like and smell quite drunk to a sober person, but in my mind if I could still stand, walk, talk and get stuff done in the kitchen, I was on top of it). Go to bed at 11:00 after 8-10 units of alcohol and 12-15 cigarettes over the course of the day.
Monday – Wake up really tired from the day before. Pick up kids from their weekend at their dad’s and get the kids off to school. Come home and sleep away the morning. Wake up still tired and puffy. Shower. Eat something and choke down a cup of coffee. By now it’s already noon and I’ve accomplished nothing despite having work to do (I’m self-employed). It will be time to pick up the kids in a few hours–I try to hammer out some work, but can hardly focus. 4:30 rolls around. Time to take my daughter to soccer (it’s in the neighborhood). Open a bottle of wine. Have 1.5 glasses before I take her to soccer at 5:30. Come home after dropping her off and down another 1.5 glasses. Sneak cigarettes (my son is holed away in his room gaming). Try to washing the smell off (who am I kidding?). Pick her up. Come home, get dinner on the table, finish that bottle, open another. Two more glasses. More smokes. 11:00 I head to bed. 6 units today.
Tuesday – Kids are with me, but everything else is rinse & repeat.
Wednesday – Rinse, repeat.
Thursday – Rinse, repeat.
Friday – Rinse, repeat, except the kids’ dad comes to pick them up for his weekend with them. I kiss them goodbye, feel sad that I’ve wasted another week with them not really spending any quality time together because I’m too busy sitting outside “enjoying” my wine and getting some “much-deserved” me-time. Crack a bottle of wine and drink it over the course of two hours. Might have a beer or two with my significant other. Maybe more wine. It’s always more than what I have on a weeknight. Stay up too late. Go to bed at 1:30. Sleep like shit.
Saturday – Wake up HUNGOVER. Dammit, not this again. My stomach is rotten, my head is pounding, and I can’t get enough water. I suffer through the morning. Lunch date with a friend (she doesn’t drink). We meet at a pub. She orders an iced tea and a hamburger. I have two pints of beer and a burger, figuring I need some hair of the dog that bit me. Lunch wraps up, head still hurts, but I’m happily buzzed up on IPA. Wine date with a group of girlfriends for afternoon “day” drinking. Sip wine all afternoon. Drive home when I shouldn’t have. Drink more wine. Go to bed and sleep like shit again.
This is the first time I’ve typed out what my week looks like. It’s shocking–it’s absolutely no way to live. Thank God for today. Today I will not drink or smoke.
Today is day 1. I just woke up and decided not today. No cigarettes either (for me these two things go hand-in-hand: I smoke to drink and drink to smoke).