a memory

I quit drinking in September 2013 and relapsed in April 2015. I quit again in Feb 2016 and am still sober. I was still in the early stages when I remember speaking with https://byebyebeer.wordpress.com because she had just passed her 5 year mark. I could not believe someone could actually be sober that long. Being able to reach out to her to see what she had done and how she kept at it was remarkable. It was just so nice to have someone in my corner, someone who had done it. And look at her now. Still writing and still sober 🙂

If you are going through a rough patch or just need reassurance, you can reach out to just about everyone on this site. They are or have been where you are. You are not alone.

Have a wonderful day!

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i am still alive

I believe it’s been a couple of years or so since I last posted. And this has not been because I didn’t want to. Once I finally got around to starting up again, I could not remember how to access the site. Seriously, getting old doesn’t help and being forgetful didn’t help either. Every time I tried to get on here, I could not remember my password and then I couldn’t access my email for this account.

But through perseverance, I finally was able to get back on. And here I am.

5 YEARS – 6 MONTHS – 11 DAYS SOBER

I have not read any of your posts for at least 3 years either and I regret that decision. But again, I could not get on the site and lost track of the links to my sobersphere pals. I can’t wait to get started reading again.

To recap the last few years . . . . Well I ended my writing with my breast cancer journey. Surgery March 20, 2019, chemo June to August 2019. Losing my hair, feeling like crap and itching like crazy those 3 months. Finally getting my hair to come in and it came in CURLY. Was cute for about 3 months, but then it was unruly. I hated it. I kept cutting my hair until I finally got rid of it. Took over a year.

In 2020, the remote work began. I still lived in my apartment in Denver, CO at the time. I finally convinced my managers to allow me to work from my home (remember my 24′ travel trailer I purchased in 2017?) in New Mexico. They finally agreed. I am now, and have been for the last year, living in my tiny trailer on my sister’s property. Working remotely. . .

Pros and cons – miss my gal friends in CO. We did a lot together and that helped to fix some of my ‘lonely’. I never really felt like part of the group, though. Still an outsider after 6 years of doing stuff together. But, we did have some fun times. Now that I’m no longer there, and with the pandemic, rekindling old friendships here in NM and just trying to create new friendships has been hard. Not being able to socialize for this past year has again taken its toll. Hence, a fear of backsliding.

So, now that you have a little back story – let me fill you in on my sober journey —

I will totally admit that the last few years have been much easier than the first 2 years of not drinking. I re-read all my posts from beginning to end this week. I forgot how hard the witching hour was and how constant it was in my life. I must never forget again. . .a revamp of the tool box is in order.

I DO still think about drinking. Some weeks are tougher than others. As stated, I am incredibly lonely right now, living out in the ‘country’ so to speak and not having any friends here to hang out with has been downright difficult. But I am making it work and still trying to reconnect with friends now that things have lightened up a bit.

To be honest, it’s not my Ms Crazy (aka wolfie) screaming at me to get a drink- thank God. But, I still think about drinking and wish I could have a drink sometimes. But for the most part, my days are good. Love the no hangover mornings – can’t stress that enough. I see a bottle of wine at the store and think, “man that would be nice” heavy sigh… Then I re-live what would happen in about .5 seconds and I move on. Next thought, “should I get plain chips or salt and vinegar?”

One of my quirks I suppose is that if allowed, I smell everyone’s drinks. I enjoy smelling whiskey or scotch or a Cab. I don’t smell mixed drinks though (LOL). They don’t smell of alcohol 🙂 I guess since I can’t drink it, at least I can smell it. Not sure. . .

Being sober is a good thing. I am so grateful that I’m still sober. I haven’t read anyone’s blogs so have no idea where others are at 5 years and how they are feeling. I have no idea if what I’m going through is normal, weird, odd or what. But it’s what I’M going through. I wish I didn’t think about it at all. I wish I could just resign myself to not drinking and not fantasize it. (Trust me, I DO fantasize.) I’m hoping that as the years get farther along that the desire and thoughts diminish to once or twice year. THAT would be incredible. That would be fantastic.

After reading what I went through those first 2 years – it’s amazing I survived. I do remember crying on the way home from work one night because I COULD NOT drink. I cried hard. I was so mad and so very sad. It was not the first time, nor the only time, but it is the one I remember most.

I remember the witching hour at work. I was consumed with thoughts of drinking. CONSUMED. And they lasted FOREVER. It truly is a ‘dig in your heels’ and wait it out thing. Hopefully there are those out there who have someone who can be there for them when that happens. Doing it alone is NOT recommended. It’s hard.

Thanks for reading/listening to me. I doubt there are many of you who remember me on this site. But if you are reading this, I wish you only the best and hope to read about your journey as well.

Until next time. . .

Debbie

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o.m.g.

I can SO not believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted.  So many other things seem to creep in and then again, time just goes by, you know?

My last post was in September.  Just having recently come back from Iceland.

Now it’s frickin’ 2019.  And as of today, 3 years and 3 months –

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The first of the year, well, the end of February, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in my right breast and by March 20th, I was on the operating table.  They got it all and I am clean.  No radiation for this chica, but it was decided I needed to go through chemo.

The weeks between the diagnosis (Feb 28) and the surgery (Mar 20) were rough.  Can’t deny.  Everything was happening so quickly.  There was appointment after appointment, and ultrasound after ultrasound, the MRI’s then more biopsies.  It was a whirlwind.  Seeing the oncologist, the physical therapist, the plastic surgeon, the surgeon. . .

I was in denial, still am, but hey. . .  it is what it is.  I had only one breakdown on one day, and had I not been blubbering and sloppy I might have stopped somewhere to get booze.  But I was a wreck and wanted no one to see me the way I was.  I cried into the night, but tell you what – that Tuesday morning I felt awesome 🙂  Goes to show what a good cry can do for you.

I have no history of cancer in my family so it was very disconcerting to find out I had it. I read through as much info as I could get.  There is no way to determine the exact cause, but if I had to bet money on it, I would say it mostly likely happened because of all that I drank over those 40 years.  It was listed as a cause in a number of articles.  There were many other causes, but being that I drank heavily for most of my life, I felt it may have been a (large) contributing factor.

I have now seriously taken steps to decrease my sugar intake.  I used it as a crutch during my sobriety.  Each night was a candy bar or a bowl of ice cream or something sweet to curb the crave for alcohol.  And I’m not exaggerating.  Each night.  So, I marked my calendar on the day I quit.  I was good for about 2 weeks, then I started the chemo.  I may give myself a pass for the next 9 weeks, but I will watch myself.  And when chemo is over, sugar will once again start at Day 1.  It is an addictive substance (to which I am prone).  It has to go.

And there you have my life over the last 6 months.  If it’s not one thing, it’s something else.  I still want to drink.  I romanticize those evenings during the summer when I would have a glass(es) of wine on a patio bar with friends.  Having a glass of water just is NOT the same.

Namaste all

Stay strong 🙂

Debbie

 

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long time no write. . .

I was so involved in getting set up for my trip to Iceland that I didn’t have a chance to write any updates.  Not that many have happened.

It was wonderful to be on a vacation to such a great place without having to deal with alcohol.  Although Reykjavik is known for it’s party atmosphere and drinking.  The cost for a beer alone is $10 – burgers ran about $15 – So drinking was out of the question anyway as I was on a limited budget.

But recently, after being home I have had an increased desire to step out for a drink.  It’s been a strong urge – one of those where you almost don’t think about it.  It just grabs your brain and you almost head to the door without thought – ready to head to the nearest pub to satisfy that urge.  Then I would come to my senses, trying to determine what was causing this “need” for a drink.  It could boil down to either just being hungry or possibly lonely.  Either way, I so far have always chosen to stay home.

I’m at day 943

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still astounds me I’ve made it this far. . .

Namaste y’all

 

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odd how some things affect me

It’s been a stressful year – for me anyway.  Lots of moving, lots of planning for my trip to Iceland, lots of stress about my rental home, my 15 year old cat’s health is failing, I’m not feeling 100% or even CLOSE to that.

And that’s my summary 🙂

All this leading to my newest observation – I still need the sugar.  I’ll start at the beginning.

I began a new keto-like diet (Wahl’s Protocol) in March.  I wanted to see if eating no carbs and eating a more natural diet would help ease my RA symptoms as well as make me feel more awake and present.  I have been eating WAY TOO much sugar on a daily basis and wanted to stop that craving.

This was all while living in a double garage being renovated into a 1 bedroom apartment. The apartment had no kitchen yet and no hot water.  Fortunately, it was my daughter’s home so I could go cook over there, use her refrigerator and take showers.  But what a hassle.  Not conducive to meal prep but I did the best I could.

I also hired a personal trainer to help get me in shape for my Iceland trip coming up mid-summer.  So I’ve been working out 2x’s a week with him and hiking (rappelling, canyoneering) on the weekends.   Trying to stay on a good diet while doing all this just wasn’t helpful.  And not having the carbs to keep my energy levels up was noticeable.

Then I moved again into a real apartment that had a shower and kitchen :).   I am so tired of moving.  Anyway, with all this happening, I found all I could think about was going to a bar and getting a drink.  The stress was killing me and having no sugar made me think about alcohol.   It was so tempting.  It was like, in my head, I was thinking “Well, if I can’t have the ice cream/candy bar/chocolate, then I’ll go have a drink”  You’d think after 2 years and 5 months, that wouldn’t come up.  But it did.  It was not the usual witching hour or craving, it was just the desire to “stop my madness” with all the moves and changes and go sit in a bar and drink.  Seemed like a normal conclusion and it shouldn’t be.

So, of course, I went out and bought a gallon of ice cream.  So much for no sugar.  That was scary and I’d rather crave the sugar than the alcohol.  Can’t believe that after all this time, I still need something.

Hopefully, now being in a place with no renovations, I can settle back into a routine of good eating and healthy living!  haha

Thanks for listening

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my next steps

As most of you know, when you were drinking you were consuming lots of sugars (especially from the wine).  When you quit drinking, your body screamed for sugar in Cokes, candy, cakes, etc.  You know what I’m talking about, right?

Well, some people can disengage from the addiction to sugar quickly.  Give them 6 months or so and they don’t feel the need to keep up the sugar intake.

Me, on the other hand, I am SO addicted to sugar it’s now become a big deal.  I quit drinking in early February 2016.  My after meal treats started consisted of either:  a full sized candy bar or a huge bowl of ice cream (and whipping cream if handy) or fresh baked cookies or a run to Dairy Queen for a small Butterfinger Blizzard.  Whatever I could get my hands on.  And yes, this was nightly.  It became where I was looking for the 7-Eleven on the way home instead of the LQ so I could get my sugar fix.  Not horribly scary but scary enough.  I tried to quit after about a year free from drinking and could not do it.

Well, it’s been 2 years and 3 months since my last drink and I think it’s time to set my sights on not eating sugar for a while.  You know, strip it from my life as completely as possible then add a little back in at a time until I get to a reasonable intake.

Anyone out there have the same issue as me?  Please share!

So I’ve decided I need a total diet change and I’ve started a Paleo type diet using Wahl’s Protocol as a guide but limiting my sugar intake – that means no fruit.  As some of you know, I also have RA and the inflammation in my hands has gotten worse.  My fatigue is another issue.  I could go on and on with my list of ailments. . .  But I will not 🙂

What I’m getting at is I’ve decided to clean up my diet – especially the processed and sugary foods – to see if that helps my overall health.

So, here’s to saying “Baa Bye” sugar addiction – you are the next thing to go 🙂  Wish me luck!

 

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2 years came and went

and I hardly noticed.  Don’t know if I should have made a big deal about it or not.  I still have some deep thoughts about wanting a drink.  I talk myself out of it rather quickly but the thoughts are STILL there.  I want to relax like I did before but without the continued drinking.  I know I can’t and that’s what stops me from even starting.  I just haven’t found whatever it is that can help me ‘unwind’ at the end of a day like a couple glasses of wine.  aaaahhhh

But on to more exciting stuff.  I’m headed to Iceland this summer for 16 days.  So E.X.C.I.T.E.D.!!!

I will be blogging about it.  I am still trying to figure out a way to upload the photos so they are “real time” but I won’t have a laptop, and I’m using a ‘real’ Canon camera – not my iPhone.  Although the phone may be what I use so some of the pix get on the blog!

My first post goes out April 1 and will continue with a post every few weeks until the big event.  Go to wanderlust after 60 after April 1.

Because of having 2 years of sobriety and feeling more aware and in the “now”, I have the strength and wherewithall to do things like skydiving and rappeling and now, hiking Iceland.

Hope you will join me on my newest adventure!

Namaste,

D

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happy new year

Hadn’t realized so much time has slipped by since I last put fingers to keypad.  But that happens when life takes over and alcohol is not in the picture.

It’s not really been busy, but things occur.  Broke a bone in my elbow the first of November; went to New Mexico over the Thanksgiving holiday to see my sister and some friends, went hiking and also stayed in my travel trailer; went to NYC for a company holiday party and did some site seeing; drove to Nebraska to see my son, daughter-in-law and 2 adorable grandkids for Christmas; then the first of the year, got some sort of flu.   I tested negative but I was sick with a virus nonetheless.  First time I have been that sick in a very, very. . . . very long time.

And here it is, mid-January AND it’s 2018.  Who’da thunk?  Two (2) years for me is just around the corner – 11 more days.  Wowzers, right?  That 4pm witching hour still hits from time to time.  It always goes away after some firm mental blasting on my end.  Annoying for sure.  There is nothing that I’ve found (so far) that takes off that edge/ relaxes me more than that first glass of something.  I miss that.  Don’t miss drinks 2 and beyond though. . .

Christmas was a little rough.  Drinks ran amok the whole 3 days – Mimosas, scotch, wine, beer, you name it.  It wasn’t horrible, but man how I would have liked to have shared in a glass or two.  But, I did not.

My goal for this year?  I am headed to Iceland in August and need to get back in the workout routine to gain my strength back to go hiking while there.   Don’t know about you, but I cannot workout with a hangover.  So another plus to not drink!!

Chin up to those just getting started.  It does get easier.  For some easier than others, but don’t give up!

 

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i remember when

Do you remember the first day when you realized you hadn’t thought about having a drink all day?  I’m not sure why, as I was falling asleep last night, this thought came to me.  I suppose because I didn’t think about drinking yesterday and got to thinking about how WONDERFUL that feels.  That, in turn, got me thinking about when I had my first “didn’t think about a drink all day” day.  Of course, I can’t remember the day, but it had to have been somewhere around the 150/200 day mark as I know it took a while this time. I may have written about it, but I’m not going to go back through all my posts and try to find it.  But, that feeling is so huge.  Knowing as you fall asleep on that night or waking up the next day and realize that you did not think about a drink all day long.  Such a wonderful thing.

I am now at 2 days without thinking about it, possibly 3.  (I’ll have to jot it down so I know for sure!! LOL)  I should probably be at more days but I know, even if it’s for a second, I do still think about it frequently.  So, I’m looking forward to when it’s 5 days or a week. . .

Well, that’s it.

Namaste 🙂

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belly up to the bar

Closing in on day 600 (next Thurs).  I’ve surpassed my previous milestone of around 550 days or whatever it was before I dove head first back into the drinking pool.  woop woop

Last night I was at Applebee’s for their Monday night 1/2 price burgers, belly up to the bar drinking a deliciously cold glass of water, waiting for my greasy burger and fries to arrive.  When, I saw out of the corner of my eye, the bartender clean up a shot glass from a patron and oh my. . . . .   For a moment, just a split second, my thoughts immediately went to asking the her (bartender) to serve me a shot of . . . whatever – didn’t matter.  I had this temporary feeling of relief, excitement, warmth, yum.  It was going to happen.  I felt it.  I was going to throw it all away again.  Then, poof.  The feeling was gone.  I shook my head (not literally) and thought WTF.  That’s SO not going to happen.  And life goes on.  I must say, though, it was a very scary at the same time really odd, feeling.  Seriously, that all happened in like 0.5 seconds.  How quickly that could have totally turned my life upside down.

Namaste y’all

 

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