Day 42 – Time off was a gift


I wouldn’t be here right now without taking time off the first few weeks. Almost every day at work is a huge challenge to not drink at the end.

When everyone races to greet me at night, the instinct to push them away is getting less. Taking care of staff and clients all day plus the morning routine of family wipes me out. Walking through the door at night I just want to scream “leave me alone!” Drinking let me interact longer. Not drinking is harder because my edges are sharper.

My evening at home might only last 45 minutes before I have to go to bed. And those are emotionally the worst minutes of the day. Exhausted and cranky, are right now, all I can offer. But, I am not drinking. I am creating new routines that I hope will get easier with time. Sometimes I wish my kids had another parent to help, but mostly I’m thankful to be single and not have to deal with one more human who needs something from me.

So, where are my treats? I have no idea. This is supposed to be a blog about me understanding how to reward and treat myself without alcohol. Sigh… listening to books on CD was great, but now one is stuck in the player and it’s the library’s copy. Now it’s another problem not a reward. Fun coffee was a reward until I have over used coffee to become necessary.  I am drinking two cups every morning which isn’t a big deal but it’s a change in the wrong direction. My body is so tight with stress that when I did the arthritis yoga on Gaiman TV the old people had more mobility than me. I can’t even do the 10 minute yoga stretch for normal people.

But, even though I want to, I haven’t had a drink. The thought of waking up and feeling worse and having a hangover is too much. (Yeah, cuz I wouldn’t have one drink, duh.) So for now, my rewards are double negatives. Don’t drink then I don’t feel bad.

Day 40 – Friends


One thing nice about work is friendship. It seems everyone had a bad Monday yesterday.

Coming home last night at almost 7 pm it was nice to have messages of kindness waiting for me in the Sobersphere.

I had such a crabby morning yesterday, my son very seriously asked me when my next therapist appointment was. That made me laugh! I was also happy he made the association that when things seem way off, that it may be time for a professional.

I did take his words to heart and asked myself how serious was my bad mood. It wasnt. I always blamed these mornings on hangovers, (because I rarely had a morning without a hangover.) I haven’t experienced a bad mood or a couple of down days as a normal thing.

Absolutely, I would have drunk through these days. I would feel sick, tired and shameful on top of cranky.

The blessing, I guess, is feeling cranky with no side order of sick, tired and shame. Just the feeling.

Treat thoughts:

  • New hair color last night – that’s why I was home so late
  • Schwans coconut shrimp for supper
  • Clean house, since cleaning ladies came yesterday
  • It’s Tuesday morning – always better than Monday morning 🙂

Day 39 – blah


Sleep didn’t help much. Bummer. The weight of too many expectations is getting to me.

Tomorrow is day 40. I know if I drink I will go straight back to everyday. I don’t want that, but I don’t want this feeling either.

I am not an overachiever. One regular day of work is enough. This 6 days of overtime, every week, for 13 weeks, is awful. I don’t thrive on drama and chaos. I make mistakes. I’m crabby. I get nothing done anywhere else in my life.

I don’t like asking for help to get through normal activities. I have to pay for extra services (house cleaning, food delivery) when I work too much. Taking care of myself means just that. I am able to take care of the things that matter most.

Guess I’m going to take a good look at my work schedule. Where can I loosen things up? Can I arrange a day off?

I wrongly compare myself to other staff. The 77 year old who puts in 26 hours of overtime every week. My boss who works 12 hour days everyday. Another mom who has a stay at home husband. I feel stupid when they call with problems and I’m at home and they are at work. They tease me in fun, but I still feel judged.

I had an issue with my boss this week and my friend said, Do you want to bitch about it or fix it? For that issue I just needed to vent.

I’m getting a feeling that my work hours need to be fixed. Complaining about it is dragging me down emotionally. My desire to drink is getting stronger not weaker. That scares me.

Day 38 – Still Struggling & Close Call


I drove to get alcohol twice yesterday. First,  – in the parking lot got a text to pick up my son. Second – saw a person I didn’t want to see going in the store and I drove thru the lot and left.

I finally gave up. All the right reasons to not drink were heard. Didn’t care. In the end I was just too pooped to get in the car a third time.

Too tired to go to the store for alcohol.

Poured myself a caffeine free pop, ordered pizza, watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 with kids. Went to bed.

Working 6 days a week. Yesterday, Saturday was at my office at 6:24 am. One night did not get home until 6:45 pm. One night went to school band concert for son.

Yep, one of those weeks. Normal stuff.

Don’t have the coping skills yet to have a normal life without wanting a drink to take me out of here for a while.

Day 32 – Felt the pull


I felt the pull of alcohol this weekend. I wanted a break for a while. Through reading sober blogs, I found so many voices saying the same thing.

  • quit trying to do so much
  • it’s okay to check out, just don’t drink
  • have you had a treat?

A self help course I took a long time ago suggested a small get away every 6 weeks and at least one big vacation every year. The planning, the anticipation, the excitement, are just as much a reward as the actual get away.

I am approaching that 6 week mark the weekend after this. My rewards have been mostly daily treats. This week I am focusing on spiritual treats, but after my longing for a break and some thoughts about drinking, I think I need to plan a run away.

Not only get out of my head but get out of my house.

Spiritual Treats this week:

  • Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey daily devotions
  • writing and creating cards to send
  • going to the library at break and getting magazines for the office, so they can get out of their heads a little too during the stressful day

Day 30 – A Series of Small Treats

  1. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – fabulous psycho thriller! Jodi Piccoult’s new one is up next.
  2. The Grand Budapest Hotel – watched in the morning with my son who also appreciates smart movies.
  3. Pizza dough flavor from King Arthur Flour. My package arrived yesterday with lots of goodies, such as
  4. Vietnamese cinnamon
  5. Buttery pretzel mix
  6. Chocolate donut mix
  7. Very vanilla – very expensive! YUM
  8. Cheesy vegetable chowder soup mix which I made for breakfast while watching movie.
  9. FranklinCovey Planner  with new garden pages to organize my work life.
  10. Waking up and being able to do all the things I planned on a Saturday because I feel great! And very grateful 🙂

Day 29 – Belle phone call


Just got off the phone with Belle as part of the Sober Jumpstart. I’m sure she was there but I talked the whole time! I had 6 items to talk about but when she asked how she could help support me going foreward, I didn’t know! Next time I will be better prepared.

One of the big ideas we discussed was the statement, “Why is this so hard?” relating to laundry, making dinner, driving to work, yada yada. That statement is actually a victim perspective. That really caught my attention.

The other big issue was the feeling of getting whipped into a frenzy and then needing to drink to relieve the pressure.

She asked how I now dealt with the issues.

I have recognized that one reason I drank was to stay awake at night. Now I understand the feelings I thought were too much stress were symtoms of being tired. Since I have drunk almost every night for 34 years, I did not know what those feelings in my body were.

My attempt of at home rehab was also successful. Now that I’m back to work I recognize the amount of interruptions that happen during my day. By stepping away I got a better plan in place to get my goals met, even with excessive interruptions. The interruptions equaled stress amd resemtment, and a feeling of no control.

I am making great strides to not be a victim of my day. If I don’t choose the outcome of my day, then life will choose for me and it will be harder than it needs to.

Treat thoughts:

  • I ordered myself a Franklin Planner for work. I want to focus on goal setting and they have a good system.
  • Casserole – I have eaten off one I made up from 7 leftovers in the fridge and it has been filling, hot & comfort foody to take to work. My typical thought is they are so full of fat. But I’m happy & full and content and not edgy from trying to eat light. I’m actually eating less over all. So MORE Casseroles!

Day 28 – Headachey


Dreamt of work all night. Stupid racing thoughts.

I’ve woken up to this bad headache 3 times this week. Ouch. This was normal while drinking.

It certainly could be PAWS but pretty sure it’s stress. I’m already forgetting to take a break during the day and give myself treats.

In my profession these are some of the toughest weeks of the year, so this isn’t a ME problem. The situation would be tough no matter what. The long hours must be worked and paperwork must go out the door.

It’s 3 months of chaos and 9 months of cake walk. Right now there is no cake, but having almost no work or stress for 9 months is a huge perk.

Treat thoughts:

  • Tomorrow is the Belle phone call. That reward is definately helping.
  • In 2 days I will have 30 days. I have already put colorful star stickers on my day planned as a pretty reward.
  • Is caffeine a reward? I sit the fence on that. I am normaly a one cup in the morning girl. Right now it’s two cups in the morning (before 5 am) and maybe a caffeine pop at lunch for pep. Guess I’m going to have to say no to that one.
  • I think I’m going to ask the boys to cook dinner tonight and see how that goes.

Day 27 – no comment


Work is kicking my butt and taking names. All of my great treat plans get thrown out. Too many fires.

But no drnking.

Even after this little bit of time it is almost inconcievable to understand how I drank through this for, like, all my life!!!

In two days is my reward phone call with Belle and in three days I will reach 30 days. Yee haw!

Day 26 – Reward Plan


Crazy. Hectic. Exhausting. A regular day at work.

I planned for it and it helped. I pre-ordered my Schwan’s delivery. Chicken nuggets & ice cream appeared at my door before my coat was even off. Mr. Schwan is handing me dinner, even as I’m fielding a work phone call. Good plan.

I got my coat off & poured myself a caffeine free, full sugar cola over filtered, clear ice cubes. Made toast and read some sober blogs. Good plan having a fun drink in the house.

My kids didn’t have school. I told them to do the hand dishes while I was gone. It was a disgusting, tall stack. I never dreamed they would actually do it and it felt weird to let that mom chore go. They did a great job and I went to bed with a clean kitchen. A miracle.

I put me first, and left work at lunch time to go to book club. Moloka’i was our read. Definately a good plan.

I listened to Amy Tan read to me in the car all day. About 2 hours total driving. Thank you to my library for carrying books on tape.

All these things got me out of my head. They kept me out of the store. I spent valuable time doing stuff I liked.

Treat thoughts:

  • Time I spent planning treats and rewards over the weekend paid off.
  • I am bringing tea & cookies to work to share. If I do a planned break with staff maybe there will be less random talking  (by me) and I can stay focused on my work.