let the gloating continue

i feel like i should write something but i got nothing to say. not in a bad way, but in a good way. i got nothing to say because all is well, continues to be well. no cravings, no real triggers, no hard moments, no big lows. Just lots of glorious happy sober sleeping-through-the-nights.  went away for 24 hours to have a tiny break (sans husband) and it was divine, and i got to sleep long, read long, run long, drink coffee, buy spices, have a big long bath and generally gloat and wallow in how fucking great my life is.

Yes, ok, the days when i have catering i’m pressed flat, squished by the success of it all. i do not sleep enough on those days and i am unable to run.  But it’s limited to two days a week (i only do orders two days a week cuz the rest of the time i’m working at my REAL jobs, ha ha). But i’m coming to terms with this new life. I make sure to have food on hand, to get enough sleep before and after, and to take real breaks and time-off on the weekends so that the ‘working hard’ continues to seem worthwhile.

while i appreciate that this gloating thing of mine is super tiring, let me say this. I know for a fact that my improved life is due to quitting drinking.  There is a one-to-one correlation between WHEN i stopped drinking and this new improved me. I wouldn’t go back now for anything, i don’t care if i’m on the outside when others are over-indulging (i don’t seem to be, it actually seems fine, i still am too loud and too funny boozeless).

right now, at this moment, there’s an apple cake in the oven, i’ve just returned from a mini-vacation feeling super well rested (hard to believe it just takes 24 hrs alone to recharge), and tomorrow is a holiday for my ‘real’ jobs.

all is well. let the gloating continue. long live the gloating.

… and if you’re lurking and wondering if you should quit drinking, let me say YES YES YES YES YES YES (have you quit yet?) YES YES YES and YES : )

god isn’t she taking this no-drinking thing a bit too far?

i slipped past the 4 month mark without really noticing. i think this is a good sign. never thought i’d get to this place where i’m not counting days, i’m not looking for rewards any more, and where saying ‘no thanks’ is easy and normal.

last night, out for dinner. the same Mr. who’s been curious all along, chimes in with his standard: “you’re still not drinking? how long are you going to not drink?” I say: “well it’s been 4 months now, so maybe for a year? i don’t know.” he starts to talk about how he wants to quit smoking, and we move on from there.

On my other side, italian friend, very kind and supportive, she seemed to understand my explanation of not drinking as needing to sleep better, and so that i can have more energy for job #3… But then the restaurant owner brings us a free round of champagne. I say no thanks twice but am served anyway.  every one raises their glasses in a toast, and i look around for someone to give my glass to.  italian friend says: “you can have champagne, it’s so light.” meaning that it won’t affect my sleep.

and while this is probably true, that a single glass of champagne probably won’t ruin a night’s sleep, what i have left unsaid is that the single glass of champagne would certainly ruin my next day (or more) by dragging me into a pit of “one glass of champagne means i’m drinking now, which means i can have wine like they are, which means we can have nicer wine than i ordered for them, which means i should have some of that calvados too when i get home – the apple brandy that i bought for baking but it’s so freaking expensive that someone should drink it, and that someone should be me.”

So i’m sorry, italian friend, i know you secretly rolled your eyes, thinking “how could one glass really hurt her, god isn’t she taking this no-drinking thing a bit too far? why is she being so rigid, she needs to lighten up” …

But really, my friend, it was easy for me to say no to the champagne, and to look around and give it to the german girl.  it was easy for me to watch you drink that shitty red wine.  and it’s easy for me to smell the calvados and think “holy christ that smells like paint thinner.”

and really, i’m all the better for it.

I actually, really and truly, no-joking, had two days in a row last week where I was struck abruptly with the fear of dying… because my life is so amazing right now, and i don’t want it to end. i just want to press repeat of those two days, and have them recycle like groundhog day, over and over and over again, and i want to never get older and never have anything change, cuz my life is too amazing, and ooooh there’s so much to do that’s cool and there’s not enough time, and i hope i get to live till i’m 115 so i can get it all done.

have a drink? are you kidding me?

Day 128. Rock on : )

solidly sober. all is well.

all is well, busy, getting lots of sleep, running lots. losing weight even with all the apple pie being consumed. solidly sober. no big sober insights, nothing to say at all really (which isn’t like me, i know). life is busy and fulled with jobs 1+2 and passion job #3 thingy (baking/catering). i’ve been trying to spend most of my day offline (checking email only once an hour, no FB, no web surfing) and i’ve found it to be very meditative … create calmness, i get more done, and feel better while getting more done. really, i’m just plain boring over here. no angst, no gnashing of teeth, just regular full life with lots of fun things to do and sunny skies.  oh, and i figured out how to make new york cheesecake with foreign ingredients on the weekend, and my life may never be the same again. all is well. i said that already. well, with cheesecake in your life, it’s easy to feel good.

encouragement

a new blogger (“a beautiful mess”) posted a comment here yesterday. she was struggling, like we all have struggled at one time or another, and she did the brave thing and reached out for help. I responded to her comment this afternoon.  She said thanks, told me about her upcoming quit date, and then she said this:

“Thank u again for taking the time to give others encouragement : ) ! know that u r making a difference in my life and I am sure many others!

so in my post today, here’s what i’m wondering:

  • how important has personal encouragement (online) been to you in your journey to get sober
  • who would you like to say ‘thanks’ to — thanks for blogging, thanks for personal attention, or any other kind of thanks — who helped you realize that you are not alone?

I don’t think we say thanks often enough. well, i don’t. of course whatever I write here, i am really writing to myself!

Yeah, so I’ll start:

how important is online support? it has meant the world to me. it has literally been the difference between success and failure.  i rely so much on the genius of my online friends, to save me from myself.

who would you like thank? Unpickled was the first sober blog i ever read, and i credit her with changing my thoughts and showing me that sobriety was not only possible but that it could be enjoyable. Then Cleo gave me my very first blog comment, and for that I’ll always be thankful. With that first comment, i knew I wasn’t alone.

What about you?

“i ate the chicken”

some of the best (and worst) search engine terms that have brought people to my blog over the last 6o days.

  • tired of thinking about drinking
  • jason vale alcohol
  • gigantic anus
  • how to celebrate 90 days sober
  • ode to red wine
  • where to set up a hot dog stand
  • does your metabolism change if you stop drinking red wine
  • 8th day sober
  • big anuses
  • oh god i wish my husband had a dick this big
  • pink cloud sober
  • hilarious misunderstanding
  • irritated by drinking habits of husbands
  • if shit were a mouthful
  • i ate the chicken
  • swarming thoughts of you
  • why can’t i sleep well after drinking red wine
  • drink every night, brain feels fragmented
  • 4 glasses of wine before bed
  • bored in hotel room drinking beer
  • first day sober from alcohol
  • feeling sad and irritated first 30 days of sobriety
  • how to make wife stop complaining about drinking
  • sober vacation france
  • i want my teacher to notice i throw up
  • jobs which require drinking with clients
  • sample topics for sober thinking
  • 10 things i’m grateful for
  • i’m grateful for my husband

i’m sure the person who entered “i ate the chicken” was super disappointed to be directed to my blog as a result …

making goo-goo eyes at the wine

And then last night, at the end of a very super exhausting week, at the end of a catered 3-course sit-down dinner for 10 guests [yes, #3 job/passion thingy is corporate catering, i’ve mentioned cake enough times in this blog that I probably gave it away – so Imogen wins, but i suspect she had insider help] — last night, at 12:30 a.m., i was faced with an open bottle of red wine, 3/4 of the bottle remaining.  it was just me.  husband was still out.

i quickly went through a thought process like this:

if ever there was a time to have a drink to celebrate and unwind, like normal people, then this would be the time. At the end of this week. This week was too busy. i have to scale back again. i said that exhaustion wasn’t going to make me want to drink and here i am, nearly 1 a.m., thinking that wine would be a good idea.  Come on now, would a normal person drink wine and then promptly go to bed? How could I even enjoy the wine? See, that’s not a normal desire to drink, that’s a desire to ‘fill the space’ with something. Normal people don’t drink wine in bed and then turn off the light and roll over and go to sleep. Yes, I need to scale back job #3, and yes i definitely (starting right now) need to be less tired.  Once that has been achieved, this oggling of wine will end. You’re only looking at the wine with goo-goo eyes because you’re exhausted.

And thankfully the feeling passed quickly. The bottle is in the kitchen, corked, and perhaps husband will drink it later this week.  Or i’ll freeze it for cooking.

During dinner last night, i expressed to one of my good clients who knows me well, that the big new client’s catering was a bit much this past week, and while happy for the work, i’m not thrilled with the KIND of work. i said to the client something like this:

I’ll just say this out loud so the universe can hear me, i’m grateful for the work, i’m thankful for the opportunity, it’s just that i’d like to do more baking and less meals. and i like having many small clients rather than being sucked dry by big giant clients.

then this morning, after 9 hrs sleep, the big client emails me their weekly order:  all baking, no meals. (were the meals last week bad? do they think i’m too expensive? was the cauliflower undercooked (it was).  i don’t care, this is what i asked for, more baking/less meals, and i’m gigantically relieved.) To make it even better, big client wants all of their baking delivered early which means a very early morning shift for me on Wednesday, for which i get to charge them a surplus. So I get to do what I want, i get to charge more, and i get to have a nap at noon for several hours after the job is delivered in my new cute little electric car.

all is well.  it’s very warm and sunny today so i’m going to sit outside in the sun and recharge MY electric batteries : )

vomiting newborn

I have two regular jobs. They’re interesting but not passionate. about a year ago i had a series of light bulb passionate moments, and tried to turn my passion into a tiny job #3.  being an international arriving in a foreign country gives you a different perspective on ‘what this place needs’… you know, bar room talk like: What this place needs is a hot dog stand.  What this place needs is an English-speaking psychologist who specializes in law of attraction.  What this place needs is a Starbucks.  What this place needs is a crunchy granola breakfast place that serves free range eggs and nitrate free bacon (like my favorite one back home in Vermont).

Most of these ‘bar room’ ideas won’t work. And you begin to think that your idea won’t work either. I mean, if it’s such a great idea why hasn’t someone else done it? This place needs a running group just for slow runners, not elite athletes, just people who want to get off the couch (like couch to 5K but in real-life).  This place needs a big swapmeet/flea market/buy&sell shop just for vinyl albums.  This place needs a fine arts daycare/after-school program for latchkey kids.  This place needs kids’ music classes that aren’t so serious – how about teaching them music but doing it through teaching them the Beatles …

like i said, most bar room ideas don’t work. but they’re really cool dreams.

i had one of these cool dreams, and a year ago I started to to poke away at it.  frankly i didn’t care if it didn’t work financially because i loved doing it so much.

then in March something happened:

when this hobby/passion started to really take off and be successful back in March, i had to quit drinking for 5 days straight to make it through a big client job (cuz this is all in addition to my regular job).  i knew then that to deliver the kind of work it required, i would not be able to drink at all. i remember i pulled an all-nighter, and celebrated by having a bath in the morning with a cup of tea before crawling into bed at 9 am.  now i realize that this passion — the work it requires, the sacrifices in time — it is what led me to KNOW that i had to quit drinking (eventually) for good.  There just wasn’t room in my life for passion and booze.  i knew that booze had to go, even then, even back in March (4 months before i actually quit). there was never any question about not pursuing the passion once it got hold of me.

Then my small puttering at #3 led me to the Big Contract.  Then my smaller clients seemed to love me MORE. then i preached (to myself) to avoid exhaustion at all costs.

I’m sure everyone with a newborn would say they’re exhausted but it’s worth it! i’m sort of like someone with a newborn – EXCEPT i get to control when my newborn cries and i get to control how much sleep i have … at first i was just so damn thrilled that #3 was working (after a year of very small successes). now it’s like “ok, what happened to my regularly scheduled lazy life?”  and while i will be fine, i have to find a new normal …

And I can happily and thankfully say that drinking never comes up as an option on how to unwind.  Even as recently as the end of September, when exhausted i would think of drinking.  That reflex or instinct seems to have left me now. There’s just not a shit hope in hell of me having a drink and being able to thrive in my current life. The only analogy i can think of … it’d be like being up with a colicky newborn at 3 a.m., and the baby is vomiting every twenty minutes, and you think that drinking two bottles of wine would make it better … it is Just. Not. Possible.

finally, i wonder if it’s ridiculous to continuously refer to my “job #3 passion/thingy” … maybe it’s already clear what i’m doing. Is it a little bit irritating when people share parts of their story but not all of it? (i know, i know, we all want some anonymity but i’m wondering what that serves exactly, in my case, and honestly now it feels weirdly pretentious to keep talking about something without saying what it is… it feels forced now).

i think i’ll have a contest where you guess what #3 is (everyone except Mrs D can guess).

what are your thoughts on “what this place needs” or “exhaustion” or “filling your life with passion” or what my “#3 job passion/thingy” is?

Or you can just press “Like” and keep going … : ) Happy Saturday everyone!

busy, tired, well

remember how i said that i was going to ensure that i got enough sleep and could run, even as this new job kicked my ass? time to re-evaluate. it’s kicking my ass! i have no interest in alcohol, have lost track of days, am working as ‘hard’ as i have in my whole life (i look longingly at my desk and wish i could sit here more often, the new job is much more physical than i’ve ever been, ever). in a physical job, you need your body to work. reliably. not be hung over, dehydrated, or feverish. i have so much good going on right now, i simply don’t have time for booze or thoughts of booze.

i remember once hearing some self-help wanker saying something like “don’t worry about trying to change bad habits, just fill your life with good habits and the bad habits will fade away on their own.” this clearly is a bunch of hollow advice, and yet … back in march when i started this new job #3 passion thingy, it was super clear that i couldn’t do it and drink at the same time, and the drinking left.  albeit only for days or weeks at a time, but it was on its way out.

i’ve got nothing to say here except: i’m busy, i’m tired, i’m looking forward to this day and i’d like it be finished. i only got 6 hrs sleep last night. driving in a new country is scary and exhilarating. i have NO thoughts of drinking. i’ve finally lived up to the title of this blog. (just looked it up, i’m day 111 – that’s seems like a good number!) wine is no longer a daily part of my thoughts, of my coping mechanisms, or how i choose to ‘have fun’.  i haven’t been posting as often or leaving comments on other blogs as much as i’d like. i’m reading everything, just not commenting as much. please know that i’m here, that i’m well, and that i’m THRIVING.

what ‘good’ thing could you fill your life with, that — when placed next to drinking — would make drinking look like a gigantic waste of time?  a new relationship. a passionate hobby. your second half-marathon, the perfect apple pie …

i’m curious 3

First, my brief update: i am well, just very very very busy with job #3 passion thingy, it’s literally taking over my life in a good way. it’s freaky busy/successful and my biggest challenge isn’t growing and advertising, it’s balancing the growth that’s happening without me doing anything. now that i no longer have to think about ‘not drinking’, i’m focusing on getting to bed early and running. these two things (combined with not drinking) are my survival tools. I am surviving and thriving. my job #3 passion thingy is so fucking busy that i crashed for two days on the weekend, like nearly had a coma:  i just read and sat inside watching the rain.  i did run, eat well, slept well, and did nothing else. nothing. no tv. no cleaning, no food making. i did play cards with my husband and he beat me 7 out of 8 times. this morning, back to work, and it looks like it might be busier than last week. And the new client who had hired two of us to share the work? the other chick ain’t doing so hot, they let me know, so they want me to step it up a bit. a bit more. i even have to rent a car and start driving in this new wacky place. i drove today and, of course, it was fine. i’m adaptable. i can drive in foreign countries. i’m a smart, sober chick. i’ve got this covered…

but anyway, the point of this post is the CURIOUS part : )  This is becoming a monthly thing, and i look forward to it : )

I know that i lurked on a few blogs for a while before I actually quit drinking for real. I was looking for motivation and i really wanted to hear that other people had been successful at what i was contemplating/struggling with.

This blogging community really does have all that, and then some.

So here’s what i’m curious about. Can you do me a favor?

  1. Post a comment with your number of days sober.
  2. If you are an anonymous lurker, and you’re sober, you can just put Sober as your name, and then use a fake email as your email address (12345@12345.com) – tell me how many days sober. You can remain anonymous of course.
  3. If you are a lurker, and you aren’t (yet) sober but you’re looking for inspiration, you can put Hoping as your name (or whatever), and use my email as your email address (12345@12345.com). And you can pick a date when you’d like to start your sober journey (i.e. in 5 days, or november 1st, or whatever). You can remain anonymous, too.

I also sometimes forget how far along in the sober journey some of you are … so this will help me remember and help me celebrate with you.

Really, if you’re an anonymous lurker that’s totally fine! Just chime in with where you are : )

PS/ HERE’S MY GUT REFLEX: I have no proof of this and am only going on a gut feeling here, but if you are a lurker and still drinking, then by posting something anonymously, it’s like raising your hand and saying “ok, yes, i could use some support” and i think that makes a big difference in what happens next for you.  Well, if you don’t believe me, you can try posting something and see what happens : )

PPS/ I hope to hear again from “Hoping!!!” and from Jen and from NoMorePinot

well, it’s official

yes, it’s official. i not only need glasses to read my book in bed, but as of this past weekend i also need them to read menus, to fill out hotel registration forms, and nearly to tie my shoes. I’m nearly 46.

this doesn’t bother me much — except that it’s irritating to carry my glasses around all the time — it doesn’t bother me, because aging doesn’t really bother me much. i’m in good health, i look younger than my age, i don’t have to color my hair (no kids! no gray hair!).

I’ve heard 45 called “middle-aged.”

Me, I see life like this: from ages 0 to 20 years old, you’re growing as a body and as a personality, and you’re under the influence of parents and peers.  Stating at age 20, your life really begins.  If you live to 80, that means that you’ve got 60 really productive, adult, fulfilled years in your life.  OK, from age 20 to 40 you’re still figuring out a lot about who you are, and hopefully you stop doing a lot of bad shit, and you get yourself together, and you figure stuff out. More or less. That means from 40ish to age 80 is a huge bonus time, where you know what you want, and you set about having it …

So, at age 45, my life is really about 1/3 finished.  Disregard 0 to 20.  I didn’t really have any choices then.  My life started at 20.  I’ve lived from 20-40; I still have two more thirds to complete:  40-60, and 60-80.  And really, i may well live beyond 80… or i might get squished by a big bug, but i’m not counting on that.  i’m a non-smoking, non-drinking girl in a happy marriage, who runs.

i’m a girl who blogs OUT the bad shit before it takes root in her head.

i’m a girl who does NOT have to learn everything myself, the hard way. I take direction, I learn from mentors … so i can get where i need to go more efficiently. Stop wasting time. Start having fun.

and this is my plan.  even if i need bifocals to help me find my way!