30 days

The horrible summer of hangovers and barely getting by seems like a long time ago, and now Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here soon.

This relapse started a year ago.  I got to a month sober in last December, and then four months from February to June this year.  Hopefully I can learn from those recent lessons, along with the others decades ago.

I’m stuck still.   Over the last twelve months, I have had trouble getting out of the house, even out of bed – so bad I will even do work in bed.   It is something I have never dealt with ever before.  I used to scoff internally when I heard about those suffering from depression having this problem.  Now I can so RELATE!

Laying in bed has resulted in horrible weight gain along with a bunch of other issues.  It is the biggest problem I need to solve, and stopping it will result in a bunch of immediate benefits.  Like yesterday, it was a beautiful day with blue sky and wonderful fall warmth (but not hot and humid like earlier this autumn).   Just thinking about that is depressing, but I deprived myself of the benefits of the sun and basic movement outside.  How 18 years ago I thru-hiked the 2,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine – doing 30 miles in one day once – and today I can’t get out of bed, is a little mind blowing.

I want to change all the bad habits at once – cutting back on caffeine and over eating, exercising, stopping the obsession of the current train wreck of American politics, etc.   But I just need to set up a reasonable achievable goal:

When I wake in the morning or after dropping the kids off to school, I will drive to the gym where I can do work in the cafe before or after exercising.

It is a simple daily goal.  I no longer have an external office, and especially every other week the kids are with their mom, I can go days without getting out the house and spend most of my time in bed.

This is a cycle and habit I need to break, or I am convinced I will drink again.

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empty stomach, too much…

caffeine = anxiousness……..and thoughts of drinking.

I was in my head as I did the dishes: “I just need to delete that stupid blog and get a six pack.”

Instead, I changed the theme in Word Press.   There is a little corner grocery store the town over.  They usually have a day old salad and cut fruit on sale (that are perfectly fine for eating right away and half off!).  Gonna get something to eat, run an errand and then go to the gym.

Sounds like a better plan.

Two Weeks

It’s a good beginning, and I made it to the the gym two days in a row too, which is a whole other miracle.

Biggest stress right now is some conflicts with my kid’s mom.  Half of their belongings did not make it to my house this week when she dropped stuff off.  Her perspective is the 8 and 11 year old didn’t pack well enough.  I am left with the choice of letting them go without these items this week or make a special trip on Sunday to her house.  When I point out that she forget the items in the weekly transfer, I am “demanding”.  So I make the extra ride, fortunately it is not very far.  My son is involved in a travel sport, new season starting up and it can be expensive.  Last year, I had to foot most of the bill for it because she stated she didn’t agree to signing him up for it, though it’s his very favorite thing to do and number one activity.  I am forced to have son miss out and be greatly disappointed, or bear most of the cost even though the divorce agreement has a more fit split on extra-curricular stuff where she should contribute more.   And to top it off, sometime this summer she went into the online calendar and changed the dates for this fall on the schedule without telling me.  Her response was “it never occurred to me you wouldn’t look at it”.  When I insisted that we revert back to the original schedule, somehow, I was a monster.

I am kinda stuck.  Some of this is “don’t sweat the small stuff”.  However, I have a history over my life of not sticking up for myself and not speaking up.  That is my default.  But when I don’t set good boundaries and let myself be a doormat, it makes my depression, self-esteem, isolation, etc. worse.  At the same time this conflict doesn’t feel worth it.   What I am going to do fight every little battle with her over the next decade?

I am going to try to stick up for myself for awhile to see if things can improve.  All I can really do is not drink and try to communicate calmly and clearly when seem out whack.

Get Out of House & Don’t Drink

From 2009 to 2016, I had a small office in a commercial building.  When I relapsed (again) last September, I got rid of it because I was very near some bars and then I just stopped leaving the house many days.  Currently, I can’t afford an office until I ramp up my freelance work.

Nonetheless, my list from a day or so ago on this blog I guess was too daunting, and I massively failed yesterday beyond not drinking.

Today, I simplified.  Get out of the house (and out of bed) and of course, don’t drink.

So far so good today on both counts.

Thanks for the support and advice.

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying

From one of my favorite movies (up there with The Princess Bride)….

It’s been two half years since separating after 13 years together, and a year and half since the divorce was finalized.   It was a year ago I relapsed.   Drinking again coincided with a six month relationship that suddenly ended by me being “ghosted”, a new phenomenon not in existence during the last time I dated at the turn of the century.    Not sure if she sensed I was falling apart and bolted, or I sensed her distancing herself and started to fall apart.  But it ended in a poof with a brief text and no further contact, and me mailing a key and clothing to her after the disappearance.

Today, I am stuck in self created prison.  Drinking makes the minutes a little better but the days and weeks horrible.   Not to self blame – addiction, mental illness and childhood sexual abuse really alters a person’s brain and these issues are difficult to sustain recovery.  Yet, I need to make some changes.

Right now I am having trouble getting out of bed each day.  The results are horrible compounded by beer drinking when by body couldn’t take any more gin.  I have gained 70 pounds in the last two half years, 50 of them in the last year.  None of my clothes fit, even the bigger shirts I bought at the beginning of the summer.

So tomorrow I will get out of bed sometime before 9am:

  1. Go to a coffee shop or library to do work.
  2. Go to a noon AA meeting (as I can no longer get up at 7am for my home group and can’t go to that meeting the weeks my kids are with me).
  3. Go to the gym for a little time on the elliptical.
  4. Stay out of the house to 5pm.
  5. Come home and do some chores like dishes, laundry, etc.
  6. Relax in the evening watching TV, etc.
  7. Go to bed early.
  8. Do NOT drink.
  9. Repeat Thursday and Friday.

 

 

Each Day Is Better

Today went OK given my son had a late practice last night and we had an early flight, so a little rough with only 4 hours of sleep.   It was the most time I have spent with my former wife since getting divorced two and half years ago.  The kids had a good time with a tour of the city.  It was nice to have my daughter hold my hand as we walked around and my son fall asleep on my shoulder for a quick nap.

We are visiting museums and such but the kids are missing school.  Given the time of year the travel and lodging is really cheap hence the timing.  It was something their mom put together and I am floating along.   I guess it is a trip the kids will always remember, and they are under no illusion that their parents are getting back together.

When we walked to a corner bodega for dinner and breakfast fixings, of course I spotted the local liquor store.  And my ex went back out for a bottle of wine for herself.  Unfortunately fortunately I am am beer and gin drinker.  One day at a time….