A Fear-based Response: to drink or not to drink?

I have an upcoming surgery called Chiari Decompression. It involves tapping into my skull so spinal fluid will flow and a cyst in my spine will decompress (I guess that’s the word).  The symptoms I currently experience will diminish or at least any potential progression will stop. According to the neurosurgeon, the two options to this surgery are death or have another neurosurgeon perform it.

Surgery is scheduled for May 9.

For a second though, I thought, well, if I said forget the surgery and face the rest of my life or whatever is left of it, I think I would indulge in every exotic cocktail with a devil may care attitude. Ok, a second turned to minutes, and I thought about that even more than once since the consultation with Dr. S on April 17th.

I have a pretty good attitude about it overall. By that I mean I haven’t had any anxiety attacks and I am trying to focus on what I think and staying positive. I am also focussing on how best to help the people who are going to be helping me (us), at home post-op.

As for sobriety, today is Day #229. I googled it. I really haven’t tracked it much, except a few times when I was grabbing coffee or powdered creamer in our grocery store. The coffee aisle is also the liquor aisle. How weird.

Sometimes, it’s just another day. Others, a fruity sangria sounds good. Most recently, I was looking for best cold remedies and a hot toddy came up on one website, and I thought about that as part of my arsenal.

I doubt I’ll go to a AA meeting. The few I hit in my area weren’t very newcomer friendly and that’s ok. I’m not into AA. I want to live a conscious, evolving life and self-medicating or getting that buzz kinda gets in the way. Self-medicating is a doorway, or can be, but it should not be a revolving door or both an entrance and the exit.

Just for today, right now, I am aware and I am ok.

My Body is a Miracle. Healing is a miracle. Life, IS a miracle.


GG

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Desire.

Lot of different things can set off the desire to drink. Lot of possibilities and as many combinations of triggers as there are for fine cocktails.

When I noticed that I was starting to “have a little problem”, i.e  when “just one or two” wasn’t enough, I was already drinking to help ease the physical pain of the various physical problems I currently experience, and at times, endure.

The pain is tolerable today. That means I am in pain but I don’t have to take anything for it, right now at this time. But, there is a sort of pain on a soul level, or maybe mental is what I mean. I never use to drink because I was mad or sad, but right now at this very moment, I understand why some people do choose to drown out there emotional pain.

“What ifs” can be powerfully debilitating, especially as the anxiety grows to the point that fight or flight kicks in and the better choice was avoided.

If I had a ride to the store, there’s a very good chance I would buy a fifth of rum or baileys and enjoy every bit until the last drop. I don’t feel like mixing cocktails, so it would be simple: mojitos or on the rocks.

As it is, I do not have a ride to the store. There is a bottle of bourbon up in the cabinet though. But yuk, and so, no. Yep – I’m a picky drinker.

Think I’ll crawl in bed for a while.

 

Addiction Additions.

Apparently, alcohol has company.

I was given the suggestion of having “lollies” around. I assume the idea was to grab one when a craving hit, which was more often than not, even compared to when I was drinking.

I have ate more candy and ice cream in the last month than I care to admit. I have gained weight not because the scale tells me so, but my jeans, yes even the stretchy skinny jeans, are getting quite snug to the point that I’d rather just stay inside and at home, so I can wear comfy trendy yoga pants.

And with Halloween so close, the mountain of available bootie is comparable to Everest. If I keep this up, the only climbing I’ll be able to do is likely from the car to the clinic door so for sugar detox.

I also find myself drinking pop (we call soda “pop” up here in the Great White North), like it’s suppose to be a treat. I don’t even drink soda, usually, though I have admittedly purchased a frozen Vernor’s at 7-11 maybe two times since I discovered it.

STOP! I hear my body’s mind exclaiming, loud and clear. DAMN.

I am consciously aware that I am filling one addiction’s need with other addictive substances.

DOUBLE DAMN.

Breathe. Center. Ground.

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The next 40 seconds …

No meeting planned tonight.

I was working on finding lodging because I invited myself to my husband’s 5 day vacation which included a 3-day run with his motorcycle chapter, but then opted out because he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, when and if he was going anywhere, and the more I tried to “help” by planning an alternate route and finding good hotel rates, it just seemed to frustrate him.

So, is it my trying to handle the details so everything goes smoothly?  Yes, in my opinion and experience, I can certainly justify that yes with several facts and examples of how hotel rates jump up because the more reasonable hotels are nabbed by people who plan ahead.

Hubby wants an easygoing trip. He didn’t ask me NOT to go, but I opted to stay home. Fuck it. Go on your motorcycle ride and I’ll stay home. Just leave me some money since you’re going camping anyway.

I sit here and wonder if I’m a control freak. What does that gave to do with recovery? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.

I said I wasn’t mad and I meant it. At the time.

It doesn’t matter why I drank in the past. I suppose there were times I did because I wanted to feel better about something. sometimes, it was for the physical pain I live with, as in self-medicating.

Self-medicating worked for the time I was enjoying it. But then I couldn’t stop at a couple, until I realized I was hiding how much I was drinking, from the husband. Tossing bottles, instead of recycling them. Planning ahead so that when I knew I was going to ‘have a cocktail’, I would have enough to get my buzz going.

The point I am trying to make to myself, I believe, is that I am slightly aware that being home alone for a few nights, that may be a slight risk. But so is going to a nice hotel with a nice restaurant with good food and a martini bar, ‘on vacation’.

I’d say it’s a good idea to get myself to a meeting, stat.

I’m going to hit one, maybe even two, tomorrow.

Stuff is always going to crop up. Life happens. Gotta have or make a plan. I need to get some numbers.

On the upside, there was a woman in my family’s circle of friends who was saying she has been sober for 40 years, on October 12th. How cool was that. 🙂

I’m just working on my next 40 minutes. Even, just going to make sure I get through the next 40 seconds. And that’s how I’m going to make it. For now. For today.

-GG-

First Post

Hi. My name is GG, and I’m an alcoholic. (Insert slight cringe here.) Today is Day 18 of being in recovery.

I went to my fourth AA meeting  last night. I’m still trying to find the group or location to call home. I guess if I need a meeting, I don’t need a home group per se, but it’s nice to see or be somewhere familiar. The place may remain stable, but the faces may change over time because that’s the nature of addictions. Sometimes it takes you out and woos you into having “just one or two”, so you’ll fit in. As one fella said, it’s out there doing its push-ups, waiting to have its way with you.

Last night’s closed meeting was about newcomers and the importance of hearing the stories.

It was interesting to hear the different views on what works and pitfalls.  A commitment is not enough if one is not doing the work (the steps), has a lack of commitment to one’s program, has no sponsor, isn’t hitting meetings, or isn’t reaching out to others who have been in the program for a while.

I left last night’s meeting invigorated and ready for the battle ahead. I got home and ordered a few books about nutrition and recovery, the A.A. Big Book 4th Edition, and felt on my game as I prepared for battle.

Today, right now, I am flat out craving a tropical cocktail and some Mexican food. I’m hungry and ornery.

Earlier, I went to a movie at a theatre I have not ever been to. They serve tasty-looking cocktails that on any other warm autumn day, I might have enjoyed. After passing through that closed section, I forgot about it. Later during the movie, one of the scenes had a full-swing party in celebration of the success of the main character, including the not so fun part of the day after, the hangover.

I honestly miss getting a buzz on. But one or two isn’t enough these days. And truth be told, that pisses me off because I LIKE the flavor of cocktails. Forget the IPAs, the wine snobbery, and the sweet yumminess of well-made mead. I enjoyed the hell out of anything tropical with rum in it, a chocolate martini or even a white Russian, make it a double.

But it certainly isn’t very elegant or classy to find oneself on the floor in the kitchen, unable to get up off that floor. I was painfully aware that I didn’t know how I got there, let alone not even knowing if I actually passed out or blacked out. That was 25 days day ago. That was my low point, or my bottom, as they call it, I guess.

I felt so physically and spiritually ill that Sunday after, my very own September 11, that I wanted to die that day. I could not seem to find my equilibrium, and I swore that if I was still that bad in 24-48 hours, I didn’t want to live.

Here I am. Still.

And I’m going to go cook myself some dinner. And then I am going to read something good about living sober. Because I want to. I need to.

They say it’s never too late to start over. Even though I can see the distant horizon of the Age of Crone, today I am born again as the new day, down to the hour, minute and even next 30seconds, if need be. Yeah, that’s what it is going to take sometimes. And I’m cool with that.