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I’m on day 54 of the 100 day challenge!  Woot!!

To celebrate day 50 I went for a nature hike.  I explored two areas that I have not visited before.  Since I have only lived in this part of the country for two years there are plenty of things to check out that are close by.  I’ll post some pictures from the hike at the end of this post.

Nothing very exciting to report.  Day 50 was just like any other day.  Once I hit day 100 I don’t think that I will pay much attention to the accumulating sober days.  Temptation has been few and far between.  Whenever I get a little urge to drink it is usually easy to suppress.  I find that the urge comes fast, and tends to leave just about as fast.  It never seems to be a prolonged fight.

The other night.  Right around day 50 in fact, I had a crazy dream.  In the dream I was drinking and it horrified me!  When I woke up I was tremendously relieved that I indeed had not drank.  I guess I’ve done a good job of mentally conditioning myself to despise alcohol hehe.  The thought of drinking no longer is associated with warm fuzzy feelings or good times.  It’s just pure revulsion.

It’s the weekend so I am back at the lake.  Grandma went in for a routine doctor appointment yesterday and they decided to send her to the hospital.  Looks like she is going to be there for at least a few days.  Being 92 this is not unusual.  The good thing is that not all of the hospital trips are a big deal.  Some of her ailments tend to be mysterious.  The doctors just can’t figure it out.

Being here alone has led to a very nice relaxing Saturday.  I miss having Grandma around but it’s also nice to enjoy the beautiful weather by the lake and just chill.

Everything else is going well.  My diet has continued to move in a more healthier direction.  The binging on sweets is over.  I knew I would get sick of that 🙂  I’m starting to incorporate more fruit now and I am back to my normal weight.  I would like to build some muscle but I’ve never been very good at adhering to an exercise routine.

My positive attitude and good mood are also sticking around.  That’s nice!  I’m still not using my personal time to do all the things I want, but that is ok.  At least I am not drinking.  When it comes to being more responsible and motivated I am willing to give that some time.

Here of some hiking pics.  Enjoy!

– BST

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Ok, so I am not on the super positive high I was on yesterday, hehe 🙂  I finally floated back down to the surface of the Earth sometime this morning LOL.  Still, I’m in a great mood, relatively.

I decided that with this post I would flesh in a little bit more info about my daily life.  I know that being an anonymous blog I keep things pretty vague, but sometimes that might be a bit confusing so I figured that I should explain at least a few things.

You may have noticed in previous posts that I keep mentioning “going to the lake”.  This refers to my Grandmothers house.  Here is the deal.  I’m a city boy.  Lived there my whole life.  My Grandmother lives by a very small town out in the country about an hour and a half away.  She lives in a nice house on a great point of land on a beautiful lake.  This is the house her and Grandpa retired in.

Now she is 92 years old and still living at home alone.  We always came over to visit at least a few times a year.  Starting a few years back I began to visit more often.  I was coming up once or twice a month to help her out with things.  Since I was the only one in the family who never got married and had kids I had the flexibility to do this.

Two years ago I made a big decision.  I left everything behind in the cities and moved out into the country to live with Grandma.  Within a few months of that I was working again and moved into my own apartment in another small town that is just 12 miles away from Grandmas place.

I just got a new job about two months ago and it happens to be in the town by my Grandma.  So now I am driving over to her neck of the woods 5 days or more a week.  Monday and Tuesday are my days off.  The new routine that is starting to develop is that I stay at my apartment during the week and then spend a 3 day weekend with Grandma so it saves gas cutting out 3 trips back to my town.  Plus, I’m spending much more time with Grandma now.

This works great for her as well.  Now that I am coming over every week and spending multiple days at a time I can help her out a lot.  We go shopping, I help around the house and yard.  All that kind of stuff.  And of course we have our time just hanging out.

So, in previous posts when I made mention of going to the lake, or being at the lake, I’m talking about when I am staying at Grandmas.  She does not have Internet so I tether my cell phone to my laptop.  It’s not the best connection, but it is good enough to blog while I am at the lake.  That works because the blog really is the only thing where I need the laptop because I am typing so much.  Most everything else I just do from my phone.  Facebook, email etc.

This current arrangement has been great when you add sobriety in the mix.  I’m obviously much more useful and mindful with my Grandma  🙂  I also enjoy the serene environment here at the lake.

In the 90’s before my drinking crushed most everything I was high flying with the tech boom.  I mostly did Web site development and some other Web related programming and database work.  I did a lot of freelance work because I also produced the graphic designs and layout which allowed me to be sort of a one man show.  As one of my hobbies I pursue photography.

This is why the sober blogging community and the idea of starting my own blog appealed to me on so many levels.  I’m an Internet techno super geek.  It’s just that alcohol shattered all those pursuits, and only now am I starting to pick up the pieces.  Where the fuck did the last decade go?  Sheeeesh.

This blog has been a great start, but now it is time for me to really shake off the rust and re-train myself on the current development languages.  It’s also time for me to fire up my graphic editing programs and start practicing that too.  I plan on getting back into Web development in a big way.  I’m going to start at least one other blog along these lines.  I’m also interested in moving into such areas as Android app development and tying my photography and graphic work into all of it.

Writing is another area of interest for me so the blog was a platform I could use for practice.  As I expand in this area I am sure I will be writing more outside of just this blog.

So there you have it.  Just a little background that I thought would help shed some light on what the hell I’m talking about in my blog some days 😉

P.S.  The massive sugar cravings that consumed me for a few weeks seem to have abated.  I’m eating fairly normal again and already lost the 10 pounds I gained.  That’s a good feeling.

P.P.S.  The Loons are calling outside.  I love the haunting sound of their call.

– BST

After work tonight I hit the festival.  Once again I passed on buying a wrist band for the beer garden.  I sat on a wall for a bit watching the band over the fence and quickly determined that they were a pretty shitty cover band.

Did a few more laps walking around the festival and the carnival area, then stopped into the bar.  I had a really good time tonight.  With the festival going on the bar was busier, and very lively.  I met some new people, and chatted with a lot of my old friends.

I rolled with ginger ale again tonight.  I get the feeling that I’m going to turn into a ginger ale aficionado.  That and tea hehe.

The festival was a good test.  This event is completely designed around alcohol consumption.  I saw a shitload of hammered people, and I’m sure I’ll see more the rest of the weekend.  The temptation was there.  It was not a sharp temptation.  It was in the background, kinda dull.  It was also fleeting.  Within moments it would go away.

As the night went on I got stronger and felt better.  At the end of the night I relaxed on the bench outside in front of my apartment.  There were drunk people stumbling up and down main street and a few that could no longer walk being dragged by their friends.  Watching this at the end of the night always gives me a sense of strength.  It reminds me of what I don’t want to be.  Yes, it is always rewarding at the end.

Well, I managed to stay up VERY late tonight hehe.  It’s 4am.  *yawns*.  Oh btw that means I have officially passed the 1 month mark!!

– BST

Day 26.  I’m past the quarter mark for the 100 day challenge!

Still going strong!  Temptations to drink have not been a problem.  The only thing I have really noticed within the last week or so is that I do feel different.  Like I’m a different person.  Now I have to take some time to get to know that person 🙂

I don’t always feel good.  I didn’t turn into a sobriety super hero by any means.  I just feel different.  I find my self doing things I usually would not have done in the past.

I have not been to the bar since that first visit a couple weeks ago.  It was fine.  I just find that I’m not hanging at the bar as much right now LOL 🙂  Last night after work I was thinking that I would stop in again.  I got home from work and chilled for a bit, and then went out for a late night walk.  I did a loop around one part of town, and then came back around towards the bar.  I saw some drunk people around main street.  I could hear unruly sounding drunk people from the bar as I approached.  This was right around midnight and things in town were hoppin.

I stopped.  Thought about things a little bit.  Stared up at the moon a little bit.  Aaaaaaand, just kept on walking hehe 🙂  The bar sounded annoying as hell!!!  I just didn’t want to deal with it.  I took a longer loop walk around the other side of town instead.  It was a beautiful night out.

Randomly walking around in the middle of the night is something I would have done when I was 18.  It felt funny doing it.  I saw the town from a different perspective.  Then I rolled up on the canning plant.  This place is huge.  During the summer it runs 24/7.  I looked up at a giant conveyer belt that was dumping green beans.  Like some weirdo I just stood there on the curb after midnight staring at green beans falling through the air.  After a few minutes of this I had attracted the attention of a few workers inside so I decided to move on 🙂

I felt kinda good when I went to bed last night.  I guess walking was more relaxing than the bar idea 🙂

We’ll see what Saturday night brings!

– BST

Here is a not very good picture of the bean plant.  This is just one building.  The whole place is huge.

So today was the second day of moving my buddy into his new place.  Uh, it certainly did not go as smooth as yesterday LOL.

We had everything set to drive over to his other place to pick up the stuff, then my truck starting acting up.  The transmission was slipping, the speedometer stopped working, and the dreaded “Check Engine” light came on.  We pondered what to do next.  At first, thinking that it was still able to drive we should just get it over to a shop.  Then my buddy suggested that we stop by the “Auto Zone” car part store first, since it was very close.

We made it to Auto Zone where they do computer checks for free.  They scanned the system and it came up saying “faulty speed control sensor”.  My buddy and I hopped into the truck, jumped on our smart phones, and in about 10 minutes became experts on the location and method for replacing the sensor via a mix of YouTube videos and forums 🙂  Thank God for the Internet!

The part was $67, and after about half an hour tinkering around on my back under the car we got that damn thing replaced and it worked!!

There are certain things in life that give most men a sense of masculinity.  Like grilling a steak, mowing the lawn, or killing that dastardly spider.  I think that fixing a car ranks pretty high on that list. LOL 🙂

After the car fiasco we hit the reset button and went back to the moving plan.  Everything worked out great!  We finished the move, and I still had plenty of daylight left for my drive back into the country.  I love the city, but I also love coming back home to my small town.

Overall pretty awesome day.  We overcame adversity.   Sober!    Que the weekend!!!

Out

– BST

Put Tuesday in the books!

Another day.  Another experience being sober.

When I quit drinking I had this vision that everything would fall into place.  That I would turn into a super man who would suddenly accomplish all those things that I never bothered while drinking.  Things are certainly going better than before.  I need to keep reminding myself that all the time.

I’m still lazy.  I don’t get done all the things that I want.  I have times when my brain decides it’s not going to fully function.  Sometimes when I evaluate my actions I wonder if drinking was really that much of a problem.  Then I start to think back, and the stark reality hits me in the face like a blast of freezing air.  I’m afraid.  When I think about drinking it actually puts the fear of God into me.  I guess that is a good thing.  My response to drinking has become the same as someone who is deathly allergic to something.  My Mom cannot eat shellfish.  If she does it could kill her.  She has to accept the fact that she will never eat a shrimp again for the rest of her life.  But she does accept it.  Because she has to.  She has no choice.

This is how I see alcohol.  A deadly poison.  There is no middle of the road.  There is no “maybe just a little” or “I can manage it”.  Whenever alcohol related thoughts enter my mind I quickly associate them with feelings and mental images of death.  Sobriety is a day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute experience, but in the back of my head I have a cornerstone.  A foundation.  This foundation is what everything else in my life will be built upon.  That foundation is the idea that I will never consume alcohol again (unless by accident or some freak shit).

I may still be kinda lazy.  I might not be meeting my personal expectations.  My sober mind might not always be as sharp as I think it should be.  But, as long as my foundation is in place I can continue to work on these other aspects of my life and improve them.

I can play chess and math games.  I can practice the harmonica.  I can study Spanish.  These are all activities that should enhance my mental faculties.

I’m a believer that the human body can heal and grow at any age.  My brain and liver may have taken a beating, but I truly believe that with a healthy lifestyle I can heal my body.  I don’t expect perfection.  But, I don’t think that what was once lost cannot be attained again.

Remember to take some deep breaths once and awhile.  Take a real deep one right now 🙂  It will make you feel good.  Maybe not super man.  But good.

– BST

Day 21!! Woot!  Woot!

Still going strong!  🙂  Looking forward to day 25 just around the corner.  Those hundred days are going to be here soon.

I’m  still eating more sweets than I normally would, but in the past few days I finally started to dial it back.  Yesterday I weighed myself and was stunned to see that I had put on weight.  This is unusual for me.  I’ve been around 155-159 lbs for AGES.  Yesterday I was 170.  That might be the most I have ever weighed!!  Just from about two weeks of loading up on sweets and sugar stuff.

It’s ok.  My exercise program is at least attempting to resurrect itself, and I know that I can’t munch on the sweets for long.  I get sick of them, and start to get cravings for healthy stuff again.

I’ve been at the lake for three days.  Early tomorrow I’ll head back home to the apartment.  I have the next few days off and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous.  I need to figure out some fun out door things to do!  Swimming, hiking, taking the bike out, or visiting a nearby town that I have not been to before.  Lots of options to consider.

Maybe I’ll get some pictures in as well 🙂

Night!

– BST

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