BEFORE permanent Sobriety

These are journal entries that I have decided to share, to show how 
horrid it was drinking and how much better my life is SOBER!
It was a up and down ride of stops and starts. 
I didn't even WANT this information on the main blog page because - I am no longer in the cycle of addiction!

21/10/15
I rarely drink alcohol. At the moment I feel good about my hair. It's got split ends but it's really long.

20/4/16
I feel fat and ugly. My skin is horrid, dry yet full of acne, scarring and the odd pimple popping up. I feel so fat and fleshy yet I am too irritable to give a dam. I am eating too much and not drinking enough water. Drinking alcohol most day, always a few drinks but no always to excess. My hair is full of split ends, frizzy, porous and dry. My skin on my legs is so itchy, I can scratch until it bleeds, so my legs look gross and I keep them covered. Getting showered and dressed feels a big deal and only when I've plastered myself in make-up do I feel "okay". I feel like a fat, ugly, lazy slob.

1/7/16
Contemplating doing dry July. Take dry July one day at a time, keen on it to lose some weight. When I drink I make poor food choices, especially the next day.

13/10/16 
I have been sober (alcohol free even) 12 days. I am very proud of this. I use Club Soda and also look at the Alcohol Mastery website. I am reading, 'This Naked Mind' by Anne Grace and also 'Kick the drink easily' by Jason Vale. I drink alcohol free beers now, probably every night/most nights. I really like them. I've lost 1 kilogram with no exercise and not trying hard. Pretty proud.. finally have traction to be alcohol free, it is step one, the rest will flow from there.

10/11/16
My son turned 13 yesterday. It was good but I didn't feel I did all I could do. We did take him out to dinner. I drank too much. Maybe not be society's standards, but by mine. Today I was tired and hungover somewhat - I really pushed myself to stick to my commitments. I didn't give my son his birthday card and the present I gave him wasn't wrapped. I was really tired. Thank god kids talk about their birthday lots, so it wasn't even an option to forget. Oh well, I think he had a nice day. The reason I wasn't so organised is that I'm giving him his birthday party on the weekend. I ordered a proper cake and have tickets for a show to give him, it should be really good, I'm sure that will make me feel better.

Feels like anxiety, panic and negative talk are creeping back in. Ugh. Made a stupid comment in front of 30 people and I have absolutely tortured myself since with my brain running in a loop, ugh. Felt so dumb! Dense. Stupid. Literally in my head I was calling myself an f'n loser. I hate those words? Horrid! It was just a bad day, it will be okay tomorrow. I'm sure.

So drinking... drank twice in October. Drank once in November (last night). I really just want to turn away from poison (alcohol) and never touch it again. It's just hard as it's so socially acceptable and people encourage me to drink. Last night I had taken two sippers of my champers (champagne) and the next glass was brought out to me without me asking, this is not a good environment for me, this pub. They are trying to be nice and friendly but it's obviously a heavy drinking culture down there and they see no problem with alcohol.

I will be kinder to myself tomorrow.

11/3/17
Not worth it, drinking. Whole days spent hungover. No "off" switch. Panadol, hydralyte, anxiety and panic. Checking my heart beat every 2 seconds, thinking I'm going to die. Feelings of impending doom. Weight gain. Excessive amounts of money spent on take away food. Lack of productivity. Being "Mum" is more important to me. Damaging health and increasing risk of dementia long term. Staying up too late, music on, disruptive. Lack of focus for study. Constantly feeling sick and tired. Numb left arm from heavy drunk sleep = sends me into a panic.

14/3/17
Bad hangover. Contacted counselling online. I have said I won't drink at home anymore. Had bad dreams. I went to the Doctor, the Doctor said 3-4 drinks per night for 1 week then quit. I have a new Psychologist my Doctor recommended me to see.

16/3/17
I had 3.6 drinks, I wanted more. Hunted around the house, everywhere, trying to find more alcohol. Ended up ordering pizza. What annoys/frustrates and saddens me is if I'd had more, I feel I would have had it. Anxiety is a touch better when I drink less. Only four more days of 'lighter drinking' and then the real fun starts.

17/3/17
Went to the Doctor's today and had a plan done to see a new Psychologist. Had 3.6 drinks again today but wanted more. I knew none was in the house. I breathalyzed myself, I was 0.049 so I didn't leave. I told myself my MIND/self may not have had enough but my body had. Worst thing is I feel like if I'd of been 0.03 I would have gone and got more, so I'm definitely still not in control of this. I feel I'm really 'not that bad', as I'm 'doing okay' on 'only' 3.6 drinks a night but it's still a daily crutch and is being 'just managed'. Tomorrow's goal is 3 drinks - which ironically costs more money than the bottle of 3.6 drinks, but I want to 'claim' that 0.6 of a drink drop. It's not much but it's heading in the direction I want to go. Just keep edging lower and track drinks. Trigger today was probably being alone Friday night and being stressed about study.

18/3/17
Had 3.7 drinks - it was a half bottle of a New Zealand Sav Blanc, one of my favourites. My husband has been kept in hospital overnight.

19/3/17
Husband still in hospital. I'm eating a lot, I can feel the weight really starting to stack on around my middle, quite thick and chubby around the belly, would love to be really slim. Had three even standard drinks today (good), but still had that urge for more. Really want to keep pushing forward, goal tomorrow is 2 standard drinks. If I do two drinks only from tomorrow on, I'm moving in the right direction. I have been finding I am climbing into bed earlier, 9:30pm tonight, even though it still takes me hours to get to sleep. Just want to get to 2 standard drinks a night, then 1, then re-assess.

Exact date unknown, but next entry
I want to make healthier choices. I feel like I am impacting my brain when I am all woozy and can't think straight. My bones (especially my knees) ache after drinking. I am tired and spend a fortune on take away food, hydralyte and Panadol etc.

I feel I just keep doing this cycle over and over again. People try and tell me to 'lighten up' and 'just have one or two'. I love the taste of wine so much, I don't want to stop. I love the escapism, I love the perceived feelings of relaxation.

I hate waking up feeling my heart pounding. I hate thinking of what I have said or done the night before. I hate worrying that I may suddenly die or that I have given myself alcohol poisoning.

I really feel I need to 'not drink', to just come to peace with that decision and then to try not to think about it anymore. Yet everyone wants to convince me to drink casually. I need to just go out and have a coke zero. Yes, it's not healthy, it has to be better than alcohol for you though!

I know I can get out of this cycle. It's hard but I know I will because I keep reaching out for help and trying. I have now talked to my Dr, to a phone service, to an online service. In the past, I wouldn't even have wrote this for fear someone would find it and judge me, well so be it and then what kind of person are they anyway.

Things I know that are helping are using my journal, essential oils, guided meditations, yoga, reading books about self-care and being sober etc. Reviewing different recovery materials, setting goals, health and fitness. Things that don't help are taking on other people's moods and energy, lack of sleep and STRESS. Overloading myself with study does not help.

22/4/17
It's all sort of the same. Last night, 3.6 but the night before that, who knows. 5.3 drinks of wine and then 4 (? maybe ?) drinks of rum and coke. Felt SHIT. Tired all the time. Fat. No energy. My dog just had surgery. $2,500. Can't even be bothered writing. Everything an effort. Tired.

23/4/17
Last night, 3.6 drinks then 30ml run, 32mls rum and 43mls rum.
Just got really stressed, heart beats fast, chest feels tight. Feel fat, ugly, tired, stupid. My brain jumps from one thing to another. Yet I have no energy. Overwhelmed. Need to cook, study, shower, put clothes away, wash my hair. Is this what weekends are about? I feel sad. Lonely. Lost. Stressed. Overwhelmed. Keep writing - then trying. EVERYTHING feels a mess. Disorganised. Tired. Feel like 'I have nothing left'. Exhausted. Fried. Disconnected.

26/4/17
Literally wake up and say to myself, 'you are an f'n loser, what the f#$@ is wrong with you'. Not a kind or loving way to talk to myself. Numb left hand, tingly. My eyes are bloodshot, I feel unbalanced physically. I feel like a 'total failure', I let myself down over and over. My major worry is I will do something horrifyingly embarrassing that I cannot take back, among other worries, injure myself or lose a tooth. Stuff like that you can't take back, I think my husband is being very patient with me. The number of times I have tried to get hold of this and he has not thrown that in my face. I

I used to be able to quit when I felt things were out of hand. I don't know if it's stress but lately I have the best of intentions but then still find myself having a drink. I am feeling really 'down and out' on myself. I feel like I am risking a lot of things, including my marriage. I know (think?) my husband would never leave me, but who knows, one day he may want a partner who DOES have an off switch.

I suppose before I drink I just start thinking about taste, about relaxation and escaping. I'm often tired and IT is that thing, that thought, that keeps me going through the day. I just think 'screw it' and then off I go. Or I think, 'it's just all too much'. I talk so much crap when I'm drink. Especially about the past. Hate this feeling of dread and shame. Thinking back to last night. Thinking whether I did anything to embarrass myself.

I had 2 BIG wines out, most of a bottle of Chandon, a mini chardonnay (2 standard drinks) and I think at least 2 rums? Holy shit! Such a fricking idiot. Really hard NOT to have a negative internal dialogue when you make such shitty choices.

Need to go cold turkey or motivation wears off?

27/4/17
Spoke to my Doctor yesterday, going to start this new medication, Naltrexone, for 12 weeks. Yesterday I had 2 standard drinks. Today I had 1 standard drink. I had it with a meal and I took a photo of it, trying (once again) to signal to myself 'a time for change'. I do feel hopeful as I have read a lot of reviews about Naltrexone.

I'm just a bit nervous about 'anything bad' happening when I come off alcohol. I have to work through that fear and anxiety. Feeling pretty positive!

28/4/17
1st day of sobriety

29/4/17
There is no denying I feel a bit 'different'. Yesterday I was too tired to write. After Naltrexone, I don't really have a desire to drink. The thought of having a wine seems 'fine', but then so does the thought of a tea or another drink? It's difficult to define. My joints are sore and achy. Just a feeling of calm and extreme tiredness. I feel like I move slower and it's nice, to have that feeling. My husband is away and I am hoping when he gets back he can see I have done some real work and no longer look to alcohol to cope.

29/4/17
I feel 'sort of ridiculous' that at 32 years of age I am trying a medication to stay away from alcohol. I feel like I'm meant to be 'better than that', but it is what it is and I must accept it, even though I feel ashamed. I hope it keeps staying this easy, not to say 'easy' really - it's hard feeling this tired, it's hard feeling unproductive - but in reality when I'm drinking, I'm also unproductive. It's hard worrying about my heart, about detox, about my health. It was hard thinking about seizures before I stopped and started medication. But it's all easier than constant thoughts of alcohol and feeling sick and saying stupid stuff when drunk that 'isn't ME'.

I'm noticing I'm better at remembering what needs doing. I'm recording this so if I think, 'it's just a drink', I can remember it's just all 'smoke and mirrors' in bars and pubs and it doesn't show the reality of the next day.

If it's 'just a drink', then 'just' order a diet coke on autopilot, no matter where I am. I can do and enjoy anything I want but I don't want that lifestyle or the poison harming my body. Time to let my body HEAL'.

30/4/17
Needing a lot of sleep, tired and achy joints - I didn't feel very well today, felt hot then cold. Felt like I was shaking but when I looked at my hands I wasn't. It sort of felt like a panic attack and I did have those sort of thoughts like 'what if I collapse and need to have an ambulance called, how embarrassing. I also noticed my words aren't coming out sometimes - but with anxiety I'm used to that, doesn't feel like a huge side effect but more 'the norm'. Tonight it's the second full dose of Naltrexone. I think day by day I will get more confident. Have also had a numb left arm. Not alarming though.

I think the panic would be less if my husband was with me but I need to be brave and do this on my own. Trust in God. I just feel overall a sort of 'weak' feeling physically in my body, some of it could be withdrawal from alcohol. The last night I drank was Thursday night, it's now Sunday night. Still early in my journey but Wednesday when I had 2 drinks the alcohol should have started lowering out of my body. Hoping I just temporarily feel this crap.

To be continued - work in progress writing these entries out.

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