Day 21: Perspective

I finished Cupcake’s memoir today. Very inspiring. It made me feel like I should quit complaining about giving up wine and just get on with things. After all, I have a pretty great life and if this is the biggest sacrifice I have to make, then so be it. Plenty of people would love to trade problems with me I’m sure.

As I was reading, it also occurred to me that the really good part of her recovery came after a year, or even longer, sober. And, come to think of it, every time I read a memoir related to sobriety I feel a little surprised when it keeps going beyond a year sober. After all, the big stuff happens in the first 90 days, right?

Well, this got me to wondering – were the changes I saw after six months of sobriety perhaps not the only ones to come? Is it possible that I stopped “five minutes before the miracle” could happen? What would life be like now if I had kept going?

I do recall feeling a little let down sometimes. A sort of – is this it? feeling would come over me. Now I’m thinking maybe I didn’t give it enough time. Not only time to get over the compulsion to drink, to find healthy sleep patterns, and to relearn how to entertain and self-soothe without alcohol. I pretty much accomplished those things. Maybe I didn’t give it enough time to gain what I really needed for long term sobriety  – a completely new perspective. To see alcohol for what it really is and to know deep down that I don’t need it in my life.

Ok sober warriors – you know who you are – tell me please, how long does it take? 🙂

Still a bit feverish today but I do think I’m on the mend.

Happy sober day,

Jen (without wine) 😉

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Day 20: Cupcake

I’m reading Cupcake Brown’s memoir A Piece of Cake. It’s interesting to see how she recovered, especially after her truly horrific childhood and extreme drug and alcohol abuse. It makes me think if she can live a sober life, anyone can.

I haven’t gotten too far into her recovery yet, but so far it seems to me that connection with others and daily support of some kind are the keys.

Tomorrow will be 21 days!

Day 19: Gratitude

I’m sick in bed for the second time in two weeks. I blame airline travel and school germs. I think it’s the flu this time. Oh well, the result today is a sort of surprising feeling of gratitude.

Grateful for my sweet family who have been taking very good care of me, especially the darling husband.

Grateful to have the day off tomorrow thanks to MLK.

Grateful for entertainment on the TV – skol Vikings!

Grateful for my comfy bed and cuddly puppies.

No chance I’m drinking any wine today. I’m not ready to say I’m exactly grateful for that, but there you go. 🙂

Day 18: Understanding

I know I don’t need anyone’s permission to quit drinking. And I know that if I say this is really what I need to do to be healthy, those who love me will support it.

The thing that bothers me though is that they don’t understand it. They don’t understand why I can’t just drink the way they do.

The husband is a prime example. He likes to drink sometimes, but he always decides how much or how little he’s going to drink. And he sticks to it. So then when I overdrink, he feels like I’ve done it on purpose.

He has been very quiet about my sobriety thus far. No questions. No comments. I told him I’m taking 100 days off and he’s just sort of taking it in stride. The last time I quit, I tried to engage him in some of my ruminations but it never seemed to go the way I wanted it to, so this time I have kept my thoughts mostly to myself.

It’s very hard to discuss The Voice with someone who has never heard it.

 

 

Day 17: Dad

Since I wrote about my mom yesterday, it occurred to me that maybe I should write something about my dad. After all, it’s hard to think of one without thinking of the other.

Then I looked at the calendar. And realized. Today is my dad’s birthday. Gasp. Wow. I guess this shows how I have tried to push him to the back of my mind. It’s still just too hard to think about him much. My dad would be 77 today.

And now I feel almost speechless.

I used his suffering and my angst over it as an excuse to drink more than I knew I should. He would not have liked that if he had known. But he would have understood. He was very happy when I quit drinking in 2016. And when I started again, he let me know in his way that he understood. I think he was very aware of the struggle that alcohol can bring. I think he struggled himself.

My Dad was my biggest fan and always made me feel loved.

 

Day 16: Mom

I talked with my mom on the phone tonight on my way home from work. She wanted to let me know that she and her sister were both out of scotch so they had to drink wine instead and oh my it was rough. She even went on to tell me exactly how much wine she had and how she was feeling. No, she doesn’t know I’m not drinking. Although to be honest, I don’t think that would have made any difference. Let’s just say she’s not the most sensitive person in the world.

My relationship with my mom has never been great. I’ve always envied women who have close and loving relationships with their moms. My mom is a negative and judgmental person. She gets angry easily and is quick to place blame. I’m lucky in that she usually doesn’t get angry with me, but she likes to complain to me and it’s very draining. I almost always think she’s being ridiculous, but I can never convince her of that.

As you probably guessed, my mom is a daily drinker. And she’s pretty good at it. My husband once asked me why I don’t drink the way she does. She starts drinking every evening like clockwork and seems to stop when she should. And she manages to stay out of trouble, gets up early every day, never naps, etc. I have no idea how she has managed it for all these years. In fact, watching her and my dad and their friends while growing up is one of the reasons I have always felt I should be able to drink every day.

The good news from all of this is I have put a lot of effort into creating a warm and loving relationship with my daughter. She is one of my favorite people on this earth and I love spending time with her. And she tells me often how lucky she feels that we have this bond.

And she hates my drinking and is happy to see me quit.

So life is never perfect, but there is always something good to focus on if you remember to look for it. 🙂

 

Day 15: Commitment

First, thanks so much for all the encouraging words on yesterday’s post. I indulged in a bit of whining and you rescued me from my own crazy self. Thank you. 🙂

Something I have learned over the years (47 years to be exact) is that things really do look different after a good night of sleep (and usually better). Time and time again I go to bed feeling distressed or frustrated or sad only to find a completely new perspective in the morning. And this morning was no exception.

Today I am focusing on the commitment I made to being sober for 100 days straight. Today I don’t need to think about anything beyond that, and so I won’t. In the grand scheme of things, 100 days is nothing. I can always drink again later. And I don’t need to decide anything about “later” until, well… later. 🙂

Happy day 15 to me. I hope you all are having a happy day too.