That is all
I have a full time job that I need to keep in order to keep a fucking roof over their heads and fucking food in their bellies. I don’t have fucking time to keep track of everything they have to do for school. One of them is a fucking chronic liar and will tell me what he thinks will get him out of the work, the other is in first grade and can’t do a fucking thing on her own. Then there’s him who won’t do a fucking thing besides playing on his fucking phone when he gets home from work. Then yesterday he fucking gets sick and now because who knows why he’s sick he can’t have any fucking contact with the kids so he doesn’t have to do any-fucking-thing at all. I’m sick of it. I fucking hate my life and then I feel guilty because I fucking hate my life because there are so many people who are sick, dying or out of work. \
FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCK!
It’s day 7 of working from home because of the pandemic. I like working from home but this is a whole different ballgame, there’s too much information and not enough information. According to worldometers.info there are over 381,000 confirmed cases worldwide, 16,550 deaths. Over 46,100 confirmed cases in the US with over 580 deaths. The world is coming to an end. No, it’s not, but some people are acting like it is. People can’t buy toilet paper. People bought all the toilet paper. People don’t understand why people are buying all the toilet paper. I understand but no one wants to hear it so I keep my keyboard silent. But truly, it’s a scary situation. Until yesterday I’ve had the news on constantly. Yesterday I turned it on and heard the same thing I heard the day before and decided I changed my mind and turned it off. They just keep rehashing the same old shit, saying it in a different way with a different expert. I’m tired of hearing it but it’s like an obsession, I want to watch, I want to know all the news. Today I haven’t even turned the tv on; I picked up the remote and put it right back. Facebook is my vice, I can spend hours just scrolling and scrolling, it’s just not healthy, it can’t be. I cannot leave my phone alone, I’m running a query that takes 1 minute and I can’t just sit here and wait for it to finish I have to tap my phone to see if I have a little red dot on Facebook. Fuck – just stop!
I am so happy/relieved that I’m not drinking. Imagine what a cluster-fuck that would be. Drunk every day and starting to drink at what noon because I’m home. I’d be stupid by dinner time and belligerent by bedtime then I’d wake up feeling horrible, promising myself that I wouldn’t drink today, but lose my resolve by dinner time. Also the panic because what if the stores close or run out, I have to have enough wine and vodka, damn I’d be broke too. I can see it now, boxes and boxes of wine lined up in Harry Potter’s room. SO HAPPY to not have that going on!
Instead I run, I Peloton, I listen to life coaches and I do my best to not eat everything imaginable all fucking day long. Yes, food is trying to take the place of alcohol. No, food does not have some magical ability but my brain seems to think boredom = eating. I want all the sugar – GAWD the fucking ice cream. Why did I buy the ice cream? I swear I could eat an entire carton of ice cream in a day. One day last week I needed the ice cream to be gone so I ate it until it was gone and was relieved. That’s ridiculous. I think Corinne would say I’m being an asshole to myself. I don’t outright mentally beat myself up, I’m more subtle about it. Like “that’s ridiculous”. I heard a coaching call yesterday that I think I need to listen to again. She says self-loathing doesn’t have to be “hey, I’m a fuck up”, it can be “I think I’m out of control, I really need to work on this”. Isn’t that basically what I just said to myself – “that’s ridiculous”. See I don’t think I’m doing it because I’m not telling myself I’m a loser and I’m not saying I’m stupid and I’m never going to get this. I’m more subtle just like that – I have to get control of this, I can’t do this again. They don’t sound terrible but they don’t sound great. But I’m still eating the ice cream, the carton will be gone by the end of the day and I’ll be relieved again.
Yeah, I did that. 100 alcohol free days. That commitment to 1 year made all the difference. I haven’t been AF 100 days since I was pregnant 30 years ago.
I’ve gotten all kinds of ambitious. I thought I might want to be a life coach back in August so I decided to test myself and signed up for This Naked Mind Live 2019 in Denver the beginning of September. It was a good experience but I hated just about every minute of it because I was so uncomfortable anywhere but in my room by myself. Every break period I ran back to my room to get some solitude and quiet. Amazingly I didn’t become a different person just because I was doing something different. I was still the anti-social, solitary, withdrawn, people-hating person I was at home. The people were nice but I didn’t meet anyone I really connected with and I ended up not wanting to be there at all. The last day I contemplated just skipping it altogether but I couldn’t do that, I paid almost $600 for the conference ticket and hundreds for the hotel room and hundreds for the flight. I would forever regret wasting that much money because it all went on credit cards that I have to pay back with interest. Nope, I decided to do the thing so I had to finish it. It was good information but some activities made me want to run away as fast as possible and after those activities I was constantly on edge for something like that to happen again. I don’t think I relaxed the entire time I wasn’t in my room. So that experience made me realize that I don’t want to make a career out of talking to people… really? WTF was I thinking? I don’t know if I was ever so happy to get home.
I then signed up for the Engine 2 Rescue 10X Program. Living plant-based is on my mind a lot. I have major cognitive dissonance in that I hate the thought of all the animals killed for food, all the animals mistreated for food, all the animals tortured with testing for the products we “have to have”. Turns out even vegan food products are required by the FDA to be tested on animals. How? Why? WTF? I paid $200 and started that the end of September. I was great the first couple of weeks but it felt so restrictive. Actually I wasn’t great because I refused to give up Coffee-mate which has sugar and milk derivatives and Sodastream grapefruit flavored water which has artificial sweeteners. I mourned the loss of peanut butter and saltines and ended up stuffing them into my face in week 3. And as with every other online program I decide I need I didn’t do the work. I’ve written this statement a half dozen times I think trying to get myself to take some responsibility and get with the program. I don’t think it works, it’s equivalent to beating myself up and if I’ve learned anything from all the programs and podcasts and life-coaching it’s that beating yourself up has the opposite effect.
Next is the Run Your Best Life coaching group with Jill Angie, $39 a month. I’m in the first week and I’ve done a thought download and a self-coaching model with it so I’m on a freaking roll. Tonight is the first live group call. I want to run. Remember when I used to run? I got pretty good distance in the end, now I’m starting over. 3 miles is hell. I want to come up with a goal. Maybe I should sign up for coaching in tonight’s call. Get my money’s worth.
In total since January I’ve lost almost 50 pounds. I feel great about that. It’s not a direct result of not drinking but I’m sure that is a driving factor. I’ve been riding with Peloton and running and trying to eat right so all that together is working.
I’ve run into some PAWS symptoms recently. Fuzzy-brained, confusion, super tired, super cranky and headaches. It comes and goes but I will say that it’s nothing compared to the shit I feel like when drinking. I really don’t know how I functioned in that state of drunkenness and hangover cycle. I don’t ever want to go there again. My life is a shit-show but all that drinking and feeling horrible and looking horrible made everything so much worse. I certainly have shitty days and my marriage is not in the best place since I quit drinking but it’s on the back burner for now, I’ve got to get myself in order and kind of figure out who I am and what I want first. I guess it all goes how it’s supposed to so I shouldn’t fight it. It’ll work out, that’s what they mean when they say surrender to the higher power. I can’t control everything and trying to do that in the past has gotten me shit so why keep doing it?
So, there it is. I’m certain that’s not everything because a lot happens in 100 days but these are the things that are the focus of my sobriety at the moment.
It’s all GOOD!
Regardless of what one chooses to do, time will pass. In a year it will be a year later than it is today and what have I done? When I look back, when I read this post on July 17, 2020 will I be feeling regret and loss or pride and accomplishment? My hope is that I’ll feel that I’ve accomplished what I thought impossible and I’ll feel like drinking is just not an option anymore, I’m a non-drinker.
This is me a little over a year ago and me a little over a month ago, obviously I was drinking in the first one, I mean, I was drunk in the first one.
I’m happy I’ve spent a lot of time sober since I took the first one and in doing so have improved my health and my physical appearance. I lost 30 lbs and started exercising again (PELOTON ) and trying to eat more healthfully. I hope to post an even better comparison in 365 days.
I spent the entire month of June drinking every day. I had a 6 day stay-cation over the July 4th holiday and was drunk every day and woke up with a hangover (with varying degrees of shitty-ness) every day. I told myself before the first day of the holiday that I had a lot of things I wanted to do but one thing I DIDN’T want to do was be drunk, hungover and lazy the entire time. Obviously that didn’t go the way I wanted. I write that as if I didn’t make that choice but don’t get me wrong, I know I chose every minute of it. On Friday and Saturday I barely moved from my chair in front of the tv and we had takeout almost every day, some days for lunch and dinner; we spent a lot of money. I even tried to drink stealthily on the 4th because B was at my house and she’s been sober for 9 months. I probably didn’t fool anyone. I drank almost an entire box of wine on 2 separate days, that’s 4 bottles of wine, I don’t think there was a bottle left in the box the next day, maybe 2 – 3 glasses; and I had the audacity to be surprised by that. I was left shaking and anxious every day and by Saturday I swore I wouldn’t drink but couldn’t stand the shakes and anxiety anymore, knowing a glass of wine would help, knowing I would feel better after I drank, I started in the early afternoon and just kept going until bed. Sunday I felt like death, I promised myself I wouldn’t drink because I needed the day to recover so I wouldn’t go back to work on Tuesday feeling awful. I went grocery shopping and the anxiety was almost unbearable; I wanted to run out of the store. By the time I got home I had to stop the shakes so I had the last glass available. It helped almost immediately.
Annie Grace talks about how it feels like alcohol is the answer because it makes you feel better when you do it but you don’t realize that alcohol caused that in the first place, drinking isn’t making you feel good it’s getting you back to not feeling bad. It’s like scratching an itch but you wouldn’t sit in poison ivy just so you could get the relief of scratching your ass. You wouldn’t purposely get a blister on your foot to feel the relief of taking your shoe off. RIGHT?!
I was able to keep it to that one glass of wine on Sunday but man I was in a horrible place all day. That drink may have stopped the shakes but after it processed it left me much lower than before I had it. Monday was better, I felt good, not so depressed but it was the last day before I had to go back to work.
So, ok, I ruined my time off, WTF, why do I do that? I have had so much time AF this year, 134 days total prior to June so it’s not like I don’t know how or I can’t not drink. FUCK. I could have had a fabulous, awesome, productive week but nope. And the worst part is I’m an asshole when I’m drinking and I know it. Instant lazy asshole, just add alcohol.
I didn’t drink all week after that, until this past Saturday and I let it get me. Dave! He sat on my shoulder and nagged and nagged at me until I said fuck it, I want wine, I’m having wine. I drank almost 2 bottles. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling awful and at first I couldn’t figure it out, I was thinking – but I didn’t even drink – for a second or two then it came back – oh but I did, didn’t I! Fuck you, you fucking fuck! I got up to get more water and poured the rest of that bottle down the drain. I woke up in the morning once again asking myself why I don’t just give it up? When it’s going to get into my thick cement brain that alcohol adds nothing to my life; I’m better off without it.
Somewhere I heard, it was probably Annie Grace, just make up your mind to not drink for a year. Then you’ll get through all of the things that happen in a year, all the holidays, all the stressful events and the celebrations. Then your neural pathways will be different, your subconscious will know a different reality; one without alcohol. Why am I hesitating to make the commitment? Is it a fear of failure or is it Dave? Am I afraid that I can’t/won’t do it or am I afraid that I don’t really want to, that I still subconsciously think alcohol adds something I can get nowhere else? Maybe it’s both (I’m hearing Forrest Gump in my head right now), let’s just say it is both, how do I change that? I’ve been listening to podcasts and This Naked Mind, what else do I need to do to get through to my subconscious and realize that drinking is a no-go?
If I do it, if I pledge, promise myself that drinking is not an option for a year then… what? I don’t even know what I’m trying to express. Does everything change? No! I know that, I still have the same shit going on that I had before, BUT I’m not hungover, I’m not losing days, I’m not wasting this one and only life, I’m not shameful, regretful and horrified by what I do or say because it’s all done with purpose not sitting on the toilet, raging and sending texts that could get me fired. If I do it, I’ll improve my health, I’ll feel better about myself, I’ll have more good days. I know there will be bad days, angry days, depressed days, sad days – life doesn’t get all rainbows and unicorns just because I choose to be present in my own life. There will be days when I’ll want to drink more than I want anything else and I’ll get the fuck-its. What will I do on those days, in those times of stress and craving and want what will I do? I know the answer is out there somewhere, everyone has written about it or done a podcast about it. I’ll find them.
I’m doing it.
I’m committing to 1 year alcohol free. NO MATTER WHAT!
And it comes out of nowhere for the weirdest reasons, and it’s gotten worse since I stopped drinking… or maybe it’s a different kind of anxiety.
The drinking anxiety was about feeling physically awful, the hangover, about the emotional pain of disappointing myself again, about the stupid things I said or did and about the alcohol withdrawal that I didn’t know was withdrawal until I read This Naked Mind and Alcohol Explained and Alcohol Lied to Me and probably others.
But this anxiety is different, it’s about kids and work and marriage and my house, it’s more about the outward things in my life rather than about me and it’s much harder to manage. Because I can’t drink it away. Yesterday I worked it out with Peloton, so my resources for handling it are better but I need something more to manage this because getting on the Peloton isn’t always an option, or exercise in general isn’t always an option. And the anxiety eats at me and I can physically feel it in my chest and in my throat and sometimes I think I can’t breathe and sometimes I think it’s going to choke me and sometimes I just want to go away because if I’m not here it’s not here either.
Lately it’s been overwhelming. My responsibilities are overwhelming. And alcohol is not an option anymore and that increases the anxiety because I’m either angry that I can’t drink or scared that I’ll give in to it and drink then have more issues tomorrow.
I feel as if my life has been hijacked and for the life of me I can’t figure out why I allowed this to happen.
I don’t like kids. It’s an unpopular opinion that makes people think you’re odd and mean and unfeeling because who doesn’t like kids?! Me! So here I am at 52 years old raising my second generation of kids, my grandchildren who are 10 and 6. I’ve been raising kids since I was 18 years old and I still have 12 years to go. When my own kids were growing up I kept thinking one day I won’t have to do it anymore, won’t have to put others before myself, take care of ungrateful little humans, my world won’t revolve around others’ whims, one day I’ll be free… and I’ll still be young because I had my last kid at 21 years old then had a tubal ligation so no chance of anymore coming along accidentally.
Almost daily I ask myself why I did it. Why did I take on these kids? I hate my life and I see no end in sight and I’ll be in my 60s when they become adults. My life will never be my own and it steals my breath, it brings tears to my eyes, it clenches my chest and puts a huge lump in my throat and makes me feel hopeless. Why? What was I thinking? I know myself and I’ve known for many years that parenthood isn’t my thing. I try to accept my situation, I try to be grateful and I know many, many people have much more difficult lives with so much tragedy and pain so I feel selfish and guilty and shameful.
There’s no winning. What do I do? I feel like I can’t survive like this. This is my life, I have to find some joy somewhere, I don’t want to be miserable. These were my reasons for drinking out of control for so long, escaping the reality in my head. That’s not an option anymore and I’m struggling to find the answer.
According to wikipedia: when the fear of potential error outweighs the realistic expectation or potential value of success, and this imbalance results in suppressed decision-making in an unconscious effort to preserve existing options.
Today was the second time in a little over a week I’ve heard Rich Roll reference this phrase. The first time I heard it I knew it was me. I tend to buy stuff to get rolling on a new project or lifestyle or event but then end up doing basically nothing else until the idea fades away and I’m left with a lot of stuff.
I can apply this to drinking as well, I have purchased a plethora of e-books and audiobooks and I’ve borrowed some as well. I’ve even considered taking Annie Grace’s Intensive program which costs $900, or Craig Beck’s program that runs between $500 and $5000 (no! I have drawn that line), joining Cafe RE for like $15 a month and I know there are others I’ve considered but decided against it. I’m still stuck, I still fight it almost every day and sometimes I just give in because it’s easier I guess, and apparently I’m still fooled into thinking that it offers me something. I have a whole lot of knowledge, the big test is applying it. I’m still working on it and that’s a positive.
Today’s Rich Roll podcast featured Josh LaJaunie who lost over 200 pounds by basically changing his life completely. A self-proclaimed bayou boy, he grew up in a culture of fried food, fishing, hunting, drinking and football. He says changing his lifestyle was difficult because it flew in the face of his heritage, it’s an insult not to eat the uncle’s delicious fried fish.
So much about him is an inspiration, not just because he lost so much weight and became an athlete (marathon and ultra-marathon runner, winning one ultra) but the theories behind the change. There were a bunch of idioms to describe the purposeful changing of habits or how the growth mindset works. Majoring in the minors, where you worry about all the tiny minute details like arsenic in your rice or glyphosate in your oats but you ate fried chicken or pizza last night. Annie Grace has a great analogy about that as well; it’s like worrying about the chemicals that might possibly leach from the bottle that holds your water while sitting at a bar drinking what Craig Beck calls “attractively packaged poison”. I think that’s what people (I) use in the analysis paralysis,… “well I can’t do that cause I can’t get past this tiny, little thing”, instead of worrying about perfection let’s try some progress!
It’s about doing something on purpose that’s different because we want different outcomes and we understand we have the power to manifest those. -Josh LaJaunie
It’s a growth mindset. Identify the low-hanging fruit, just stop eating pizza right now, it’s about the purposeful habit change, love yourself enough to perpetually creep forward.
Consistency over intensity, don’t let one or several setbacks totally derail the progress you’ve made. It’s much easier to get back to where you were when you’ve adopted the growth mindset, don’t shame yourself, look forward, what’s the next best thing, don’t allow the momentum to lose it’s acceleration.
All of these ideas can be applied to just about anything you want to achieve. I need to remember that.
For more inspiration listen to the Rich Roll podcast.
It’s Halloween and at work everyone is dressed up – the theme is witches/warlocks/wizards. I made a decision long ago that I wasn’t going to dress up anymore because it ends up costing so much money and everything I buy I never use again. This year money is tight; that magic dust is expensive, I know we shouldn’t but we do so that money is gone in 2 days. Anyway I digress. Money is especially tight right now so there was no way I was wasting money on a costume, I have much better things to waste money on (I waste a lot of money – over $600 a month on pets alone! WHAT?! – yes, it’s ridiculous). Anyway, there I go again. ugh! So, by making this decision I set myself up for feeling awful all day. I never feel like I fit in to begin with, so anything I do to participate feels fake and then I just feel stupid. So, if I had dressed up I would feel like a fake and probably wouldn’t feel any better than I do right now. I feel not good enough, not enough, like I need to disappear because I’m just so uncomfortable AND because I didn’t dress up I actually stick out in the crowd. My friend tells me I tend to make things a lot more difficult than they need to be to either make a point or because I don’t want to participate, I don’t like forced fun. And I feel like I can’t win inside my own head, I feel like I won’t fit in if I participate and I absolutely don’t fit in if I don’t participate.
What happened to me that I always feel like this?