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Temptation

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

Yesterday I had a good day.  It was nice to have a good day because over the past few weeks they had been few and far between.  Finally, yesterday it changed.  I started the day with a nice walk outside and then took care of some errands before I went to work.

Work was fine, it usually is.  It’s my personal time that is always the issue.  That is when I struggle with motivation.  The simple fact that I took care of some of the errands made a big difference.  I also think that the beginning of the day walk is a very good thing.  I might have to try and do that more.

I get done with work late in the evening and I’ve been starting to hang out at the bar across the street  more often.  I live in a small town and it’s really the only place I can socialize.  Being in the bar does not seem to be an issue in terms of temptation so it’s been ok.  I just drink my Ginger Ale.

What I have been doing is beginning to experiment and practice normal socializing skills.  I realize now that when I was drinking I actually did not socialize very much.  I knew who most of the other locals were who hung out there every night, but I never sat down and talked with them face to face.  Now I am purposely forcing myself to talk with everyone there.

This is different for me.  I’ve never been outgoing.  I can tell that it is already working.  Instead of just being a lump sitting on a stool I am now an integral part of the “regulars”.  People don’t just know my name now.  They really know who I am.  It’s been fun!  And then when a stranger comes into the bar I enjoy going over, introducing myself, and getting to know them.  That is soooo not like the old me 🙂

So, a lot of things are going well.  I’m not drinking.  I’ve been interacting more socially instead of hiding, and I feel good about what I’m doing.

The only area I need to keep working hard on is achieving my personal goals.  This is where motivation and using my spare time come into play.  This area is still difficult.  I have dreams of all these tasks I wish to work on during my non work time and I rarely seem to dig into them.  I’m going to start easy and just try to work on something small each day to get me into the groove.  Just like yesterday when I took care of a few simple tasks and my whole day was better.

Time to wrap up this post.  I’m going to go out for a walk.  Later I will head back down to the lake for the weekend.  Most likely I will be staying at the lake almost every weekend now.  It’s close to my job so I save a couple trips back into town.

– BST

I’ve been slacking on the blog!  My last entry was Saturday during the festival.

Well, the rest of the festival went fine.  It was sort of a coming out party for me.  Almost everyone is aware now that I am not drinking.  Overall, I would say that I am happy with how it all went.  It can be depressing to be around so many drunk people, but I managed to enjoy myself.

Some of my friends are struggling a bit with my decision.  I have not had a drop of alcohol in over a month, and I noticed that some people are starting to evaluate their own drinking habits.  This evaluation seems to lead to the conclusion that they are drinking too much.  Then they get all depressed and ask me my opinion on their drinking.  I don’t want to advise them on their drinking habits.  I don’t want to go around telling everyone that they should stop drinking.  And then after all that I feel depressed!!  Sheeesh!

The past two weeks have been difficult.  The shiny newness of sobriety wore off and regular old life just kept grinding on.  Sometimes I feel like shit.  Sometimes I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything with my life.  Sometimes I wonder why the fuck I’m not drinking because everything else in my life is still the same as it was before!

I know that I am prone to depression so this is expected.  I think that being 40 might have something to do with it as well.  We got ourselves a good ole fucking fashioned mid life crisis going on here methinks! ;-p

My head goes down that rabbit hole I don’t know how many times a day.  Then I stop and think… think…think…think.  Ya know, I do have a lot more money in my bank account this month.  I have a job.  I have people who care about me.  I have my apartment and I love where I live.  I’m staying sober.  No matter how many things I feel down about not accomplishing I can point to sobriety and say “HEY!” this is an accomplishment sitting over here.

I have a lot to work on, but I’m lazy.  What is the cure for that?  There is something deeper here.  Drinking was not the cause of all my problems.  It was a symptom.  Getting rid of drinking is good.  I can honestly look at that and believe 100% in my mind that abstaining from alcohol is a good thing for me.  It just didn’t miraculously solve all my other issues 🙂

Thank God the full moon is well past us now.  I think that my depression gets worse around the full moon.  I’m not sure about that though.  Just a weird thought.

Today felt a little better.  The fact that I decided to write after work tonight is a good sign.

There has been a song playing a lot on the radio the past few weeks and it has been the perfect soundtrack to my mood.  It’s called “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey.  I guess the album came out last year but I just started hearing the song recently.  It’s a beautiful song.  I love it.

Check it out.   Summertime Sadness

– 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.

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

I survived my outing at the bar last night.  It was the first time entering a bar since I went sober.  I ended up having a great night.  Being sober at the bar was actually fun!

Tonight was another test.  A Major League Baseball Game!  The game was a blast.  Our team won.  I went with my Dad, Brother and a friend of my Dads.  We all had a good time.  It was interesting being surrounded by about 30,000 plus drunk people LOL.  It irritated me a few times, but I was quickly able to refocus my thoughts and recover.

One of the lines I always repeat in my head when faced with these situations is “would alcohol make this moment any better?”  That always brings me back down to earth.  I realize that anything you do can be just as, if not more fun sober than it would have been drinking.

Once again, just like the bar, I saved a lot of money.  Beers at the ball park are $8!!  I could have spent a small fortune getting drunk at that game.  Instead, I bought a $10 item from the gift shop.  Going to a baseball game, and then walking out only having spent $10 is pretty amazing.

Here are some pics from the game!  Enjoy!

– BST

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