The Emo Pulse

Day 56 = 8 Weeks = I can’t even fucking believe it = πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’₯πŸ’«πŸŒˆβœ¨πŸ¦„

Here are my top 6 Sobriety Counter Motivational Messages:

1.  “Sobriety is never owned, it’s rented. And rent is due every day.”

2.  “Man, I really wish I didn’t get sober. – Said no one ever”

3.  “The future depends on what you do today. – Mahatma Gandhi”

4.  “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.”

5.  “It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela”

6.  “Post-drunken face-plants off the toilet are unbecoming, not to mention dangerous, not to mention messy, not to mention embarrassing, at any age. – Poison Grigio”

Hey everyone! Every morning upon awakening I now look deeply into the mirror and take my emotional pulse. My inner psychotherapist asks my inner self  ” How are you Feeeeeling today Poison Grigio?” And lately my daily answer has been ” I feel good Doc! That excruciating feeling of random, hellish anxiety has dissipated almost completely. My motivation to do stuff – even formerly heavy tasks like ummm getting dressed – has enjoyed a hefty boost. Now I’m not wearing pajamas 24/7. Now I’m baking bagels. Now I’m planning a fall travel adventure with the Mr. Now I’m starting to work out again. Now I’m playing the piano, which I could never do before. (Kidding 😬 I couldn’t resist that one). Now I’m excited for the day ahead, for the most part.”

So grab a mirror everyone and take a good look at your (no I wasn’t going to say vajayjay πŸ™„) emotional pulse! 

Blessings to all of you 😘

xoxo

Gifto Incognito

6 Weeks

Yesterday was my 6 week milestone! It has been getting easier for sure. I am experiencing some anxiety but it is now interspersed with feelings of pure inner peace. I’m experiencing days now where I feel great. Still some days where I feel crappy.  I’m through the long days of “meh” and most days I feel a much greater sense of motivation. When I feel anxiety though, I’m trying to just name it for what it is and let it be…… I’m not currently trying to squash it with alcohol.  The Cravings haven’t shown up lately, despite my being around other drinkers.  Officially I’m on Day 43 so as I approach day 60 I will watch out again for the dreaded PAWS.  

My very first post serves as a great reminder of why I can’t consume alcohol. My bungie-less dive was a blessing in disguise….gifto incognito…..Also,  on my good days, I can feel that my brain is healing which serves as a reminder of my goal to rebalance my brain chemistry.  I haven’t honed my relapse prevention plan but the first 2 items on it are: #1. Reread my first post   #2. Remind myself about long-term goal to rebalance brain chemistry and that any alcohol consumption is a setback to the healing process

I just want to ask…. has anyone on WordPress experienced difficulty posting comments on non-Wordpress blogs? I can’t use my google account either. Is it me or is it the blogger’s privacy settings? Just wondering because I’m following a few wonderful souls who deserve some sunshiny comments or a happy face sticker and I can’t convey it to them πŸŒ»πŸŒžπŸ–β€οΈ 

xo

A Zombie’s Guide to Relapse Prevention


Day 32

Just a quick update…..Shoe shopping at Day 28 was a huge success! I couldn’t decide whether to get the more casual cake slippers or the dressier pie mules so I bought both…


I was, after all, celebrating one full month of sobriety at Days 28 (4weeksX7daysperweek) and 30 (one month@sobriety counter) so 2 pair of shoes seemed entirely appropriate.

I actually feel like a zombie today and once I change out of my nighttime pajamas and into my daytime pajamas and put on my cake slippers, I will look and walk like a zombie.  The only heavy lifting I’ll be doing today is picking up my IPad to read what the rest of my tribe is writing. Plus I plan to go outside and move some rocks around my garden. I’m sorry I can’t be more inspiring but can I just say many of you have already inspired me today so Thankyou! All of you inspire me by the way – no matter what your story is or where you are at with your recovery or attempts at recovery. Even those of you who lurk invisibly and are just reading but thinking about quitting (that was me for months). All of you inspire me with your bravery, honesty, insights, hopes, failures, successes….everything!

If there is one intellectual task my zombie brain needs to tackle today, it is not deciding which pair of pjs look best with the cake slippers, it is this…. THE RELAPSE PREVENTION PLAN (thanks to postcardsfromrecovery for the most recent discussion of the necessity of a RELAPSE PREVENTION PLAN). Today my brain is grasping this concept where it has formerly ignored it. I sense that my brain is hiding behind a zombie persona while it is busy healing itself at a subconscious level. It is only capable of this healing because it is not being fed alcohol. It still has a long way to go.

Day 32….still early zombie days…. still lots of work to do…..but I’m super proud of myself. 

xo

πŸ† = πŸ‘ πŸ‘ 

Day 25

= 1/4 of 100 days = almost 1month 

1 month = 28 days = πŸ† = πŸ‘ πŸ‘ 

1 month also = 30 days = πŸ†πŸ† = πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘‘πŸ‘‘

I’m not a hoarder but I do love accumulating consecutive alcohol-free days! And I also love accumulating shoes so on my upcoming Day 28, which marks 4 weeks of 7 days per week, I’m going shoe hunting as a reward. My sobriety counter isn’t acknowledging a full month until Day 30 so guess what?….I get to go shoe hunting again next week!!!!! According to my sobriety tracker, in one short month I’ve saved enough moola to buy myself a pair of Louboutins  (yikes). However,  I also love a good bargain so my hunting will be limited to local dollar stores and bargain basements. 

So far this year, my longest AF stretch has been 34 days. I got to day 35 and got hit with PAWS which I did not know about then. (I know now because of  you wonderful tribespeeps  sharing.) Then I had a dizzying ride on and off on and off on and off the wagon (why is there no wagon emoticon?!) until I got so dizzy one day  I fainted while severely hungover on the potty (🚽) and cracked my noggin. It’s weird though because I now understand the power of PAWS and how it can over-ride everything and talk us into drinking. But if you don’t know it even exists it is a very dangerous thing. It’s still dangerous because even after hurting myself when hungover, it’s voice is frighteningly seductive. But it has for sure lost some of it’s power over me. 

Looking forward to my shoe shopping excursion in a few days!! And let’s be honest, I will not be buying a pair of 4-inch red stilettos …. they don’t really go with my daily uniform these days of mismatched pjs….

Bye for now

xo

P🐾WS

Day 24

I’m pretty sure I’ve been struggling through PAWS the last few days. I have been absolutely exhausted and a bit depressed. Yesterday afternoon a cottage neighbour dropped by, alcoholic beverage in hand, and triggered a nasty craving for wine. I almost gave into it. Fortunately The Mr. is currently abstaining as well, otherwise I would have given in. My addicted brain wanted that alcohol badly and actually had me at YES for a couple of hours. I told The Mr. I was thinking about having wine and he said “DON’T. Have an AF beer. Have an AF cocktail.” He was going out last evening so I thought “perfect! I will wait till he leaves and then have some wine!” My most favourite type of drinking was the home alone type so I really struggled yesterday. Also, fatigue is a trigger for me.

And his comment pissed me off. But it also created instability in my decision to have that wine. I began to realize I actually wouldn’t enjoy the wine at all. It would give me NOTHING but guilt as I sipped, a hangover, huge remorse, and a regression of progress I have made thus far with healing my out-of-whack brain chemistry.

So I felt miserable. But I started googling “How long does fatigue last after quitting alcohol?” And of course, I was rewarded with tons of information – even from posts&comments a few years old. This is what I love and value so much about my personal choice to use the internet to nurture my recovery. I love being able to instantly garner the support I need exactly when I need it from a wide variety of sources. At 6:15 pm, I took my iPhone and my exhausted ass up to an Epsom salt bubble bath (Dr. Teal’s which is fabulously bubbly btw) and googled away for an hour! Then I tucked into bed and googled away for another hour.  I had a great sleep and awoke to the birds chirping at 5 am.

One thing I read about PAWS that I didn’t know was that it can occur at “regular moon cycle intervals” and “without apparent outside reasons.” Often around days 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 1st and 2nd soberversay. (patienteducation.osumc.edu/Documents/paws/pdf) Definitely I’ll be watching for that! What a roller coaster this is and not a fun one.

The other thing I love and value so much is my morning coffee with all of my sober, or trying to be sober, online tribe!!! So many of you wonderful souls out there sharing your stories and morning is my time to binge read! 
Already this morning I’m feeling much less PAWSY!  I got through a tough few hours yesterday and this morning I’m soooo happy!!!!!

Have a great day everyone!

Xo

Motivacation

Day 20

Well that’s a nice round number!! Tomorrow my counter will click over to 3 weeks! My head still hurts a little bit by the way….. Only a few loved ones and all of you  know that the scab in the middle of my forehead is NOT from a landscaping accident with a shovel handle 😬. (In case you missed, read my very first post Wine.Is.Poison.)

I have absolutely ZERO MOTIVATION.  My motivation has gone on vacation. I’ve been reading up on the neurotransmitter Dopamine and not only is it referred to as “the pleasure pathway” neurotransmitter, but also “the motivator.”  My daily wine consumption was increasing from one bottle daily to one bottle plus and sometimes 2.  Classic scenario. I needed increasingly greater quantities of alcohol washing over my brain to get the GOODVIBES.  As a result,  my dopamine is now depleted, or at least my Dopamine neurotransmitters are not working properly now. 

How long is this feeling of meh, or BLAH, or πŸ‘Ή, or πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’© going to plague me?!!!! A lot of you talk about the magic of 100 days. It can apparently take a minimum of 100ish days to restore neurotransmitter balance in our brains after we quit drinking. (I gather that is variable for each one of us). That is the one thing that is speaking to me right now.  So I’m aiming for 100 days. Hopefully I make it and when I reach it, I can assess my level of  mehBLAHπŸ‘ΉπŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©. In the meantime, I’m focusing on a whole-foods based,  nutrient dense diet and a few vitamins. Also, I’m planning on checking one project off my list each day because the mere act of getting something done gives our dopamine a boost.  

PG’s List for Today:

Unload dishwasher? …check βœ”οΈ
Make bed?….check βœ”οΈ

Blanche and freeze a bushel of asparagus?…  hey The Mr. put that on my list!

Post on Poison Grigio?……check βœ”οΈπŸŒˆπŸ˜ƒ

20 down, 80 to go!

xo

This Ain’t My First Rodeo

Day 15

Cautionary tale…I relapsed a year and a half ago after 10 years, 8 months of sobriety. The stats say that the percentage of addicts who relapse after 5 years of sobriety is very low. The longer you remain sober, the less chance you have of relapse. It is considered a rare occurrence but it does happen.

So my brain is still going ” wait….what?!?!” I was DONE with drinking. No I hadn’t gone to AA, or an addictions counsellor, and the soberverse didn’t really exist back then,… but I had successfully quit. Every day I woke up and thanked the universe for my alcohol free life. I was so very grateful and so very proud. I weathered many of life’s storms without picking up alcohol. So what the fuck happened???

This is where the tale gets even more cautionary. *DISCLAIMER: DO NOT QUIT YOUR ANTI-DEPRESSANT WITHOUT Β YOUR PHYSICIAN”S GUIDANCE.”Β My theory of why I began craving alcohol again after so many years involves an anti-depressant called Prozac, which my doctor prescribed to get me through the physical and mental roller-coaster of menopause. Β Yes – some doctors are prescribing Prozac to relieve symptoms of menopause. Anecdotal evidence online (and plenty of it) points to a correlation between certain SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Prozac and increased alcohol use. There is no science behind this claim. Prozac has apparently helped reduce alcohol cravings for some people. But I wonder if I was one of the few who experienced a different reaction. Because about one year after being on Prozac, I can now see that’s when the cravings for alcohol began. Once the cravings began again, I started entertaining thoughts like ” it’s been so long, Β maybe I can now be a moderate drinker”…And then one day I gave into the cravings.

My wine consumption quickly ramped up to a bottle per day and more sometimes. The compulsion to drink wine was overwhelming and I found lots of excuses to back it up. I also knew I wanted to quit again but it wasn’t until I discovered a possible connection to the Prozac, in January of this year, and then tapered off that drug with my doctor’s guidance, that I gained more traction with quitting. And by traction I mean that I’m finally putting together more consecutive days sober, more often.

This all makes sense to me because the puzzle of addiction involves, in part, brain chemistry – namely the neurotransmitter Dopamine, the brain’s pleasure pathway. The whole point of going on Prozac was to alter my brain chemistry so I felt better, and it worked for it’s intended purpose and I did feel much better. So I altered my brain chemistry but the drug may also have inadvertently altered the way Dopamine works in my brain. Here’s an interesting article published by McGill University: “Alcoholism: effects on the brain’s dopamine system.” It makes sense to me that the change in my brain chemistry could have caused me to crave alcohol again after 10 plus years, especially since I was already predisposed to alcohol abuse.

Don’t quit Prozac or any other anti-depressant you are on without your doctor’s guidance. Maybe you just need to switch to a different one. But your doctor won’t know about the possible correlation between cravings and certain SSRI’s because there are no proper scientific studies to back up the claims, so do your own research first. Β Anti-depressants are life-lines for many people, as mine was for me for a time. Β Sometimes we just need to find the right one, the right fit. And that is different for everyone.

Like I said, this ain’t my first rodeo but I hope it’s going to be the last of my hornswoggling addiction.

xo