One week today and I’m taking care of me

A week!  Whew.  This week has not been easy.  I know this sounds crazy, and there are other factors (hormones/PMS, stress), but I swear I STILL don’t feel normal after last Friday’s binge.  Is it because the more sober time I string together, the more aware I am of alcohol’s effects on my body and brain?  All week I have felt off.  My days basically start out with me feeling like I slept well (always amazed at how great sober sleep is), then noticing that I still feel tired despite having slept well.  I feel foggy and slightly off.  But happy to wake up sober and with no real hangover.  Midday I feel energetic, then by 3 or 4 I start craving wine and thinking about how/why I could abort this mission.

Starting to recognize that as Sheila (my wolfie) and separating myself from her.  She keeps it up until about 8 or 9pm, at which point a switch flips and I find myself literally THRILLED to be sober.  It’s so weird.  The whole time Sheila’s in my ear, I have gripping, horrible anxiety.  My chest tightens up and my stomach is in knots.  It’s a physical reaction, totally.  All the while Sheila’s there whispering, a glass of wine will make this feeling disappear.  And I know she’s right!!!  But I also know that she’s wrong, because it would only go away temporarily but the daily anxiety would never leave.  I KNOW if I stay alcohol-free that the anxiety will start loosening its grip on me.  I know because when I have gotten to two, three, four weeks, it’s less and less.

Some of you know from reading my previous posts that we’ve been trying to conceive for a long time.   (This month’s failed attempt makes 20 months straight.)  We’ve done all the tests, we’ve done some fertility treatments, we’re currently taking a break from those but still trying.  So yesterday I was officially a day late, which had me super hopeful!!  I’m NEVER late.  But, last night, sure enough it is another negative.  We had a family BBQ to go to, which we did and I held it together pretty well.  But when we got home I dissolved into a complete mess, bawled my heart out so hard I got a nosebleed… my poor husband.  I was a total wreck.  Typically when I get the negative each month, that’s like my free ticket to a booze-a-thon because I deserve it, I’m not pregnant, and I’m sad.  No more.  I’m determined to take responsibility for my health and remain booze free to increase our chances of conceiving.  Something I should have done a long time ago, duh.

But you would NOT BELIEVE the amount of people who, when I tell them I’m not drinking because we’re trying to get pregnant, tell me that I should drink.  I’m serious.  Anything from, “well look at Sally, she drinks a ton and she gets pregnant so easy!”  Oh, thank you so much for sharing that helpful fact with me!  Since me and Sally are identical twins, that should work for me, too!  Or the whole, “you won’t get pregnant until you just relax!  When I got pregnant, my husband and I were in Vegas and I was wasted!”  Oh, how romantic and fun that must have been for you.  I’m sure that’s exactly what caused your egg to get fertilized, the booze!  Or this one, “It doesn’t have any effect in the beginning anyway and you need to just live your life and relax.  Drink till it’s pink!”  Yeah okay you moron, I’ll just disregard the studies that show a woman’s fertility is reduced by 65% when she consumes more than 3 drinks per week, since you know so many women who have gotten pregnant while drinking more than that.  I’ve been trying for 20 months, but I should just act like the woman who got pregnant on her first try, right?  UGH!  People are so insensitive.  It really surprises me that people raise an eyebrow about this.  They wouldn’t question my decision to quit smoking for the same reason.  Or to start taking a prenatal vitamin.  Or even to quit caffeine!!!  But talking about quitting booze before the actual pregnancy and people get almost like, taken aback.

Ok that was a bit off-topic, but the point of this is that my husband is in a wedding this weekend, and we were supposed to leave this morning to go to a pool party, then the wedding rehearsal, then stay in a hotel and go to the wedding tomorrow.  Everything in my being was screaming, “Don’t do this!!!”  I just feel so fragile today.  Luckily, my unbelievably supportive husband encouraged me to stay home and rest.  I’ll head to the wedding tomorrow, but for today I get to stay home and hide, and read, and write here, and take care of me.  I have lots of tea and a cooking project to get to.  I have a 4 month old puppy to love on and a good book to read.  I’m flooded with relief that I didn’t force myself into a social situation that would have been stressful for me (I don’t really know this group of people and being in a social situation, in a bathing suit, just did not sound like a situation that wouldn’t have me running straight to the bar.).  So I get to celebrate my one week today by having the house to myself.  I’m going to get a workout in, catch up on my shows from the week, read, take my dog out to play, and that’s that.

Feeling safe with this plan.

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4 thoughts on “One week today and I’m taking care of me”

  1. Bravo for resisting Sheila!!! I know how hard that had to be. Your taking care of you and that’s the best thing you can do right now.

    I found that I was exhausted the first 30+ days. I slept so much. I think maybe it’s our body’s way of making up for the poor sleep booze gives us. If your tired, you should sleep. I found myself going to bed at 7:30 pm on more than one occasion. It was a great way to get past wanting to drink.

    One thing I can say is that I’ve never regretted waking up sober.

  2. Kudos to you for resisting. When I first quit I found evenings were difficult. I would start thinking about drinking from 4pm as my work day was winding down. And that feeling didn’t really go away until about 7pm. But I realized that my after-work drink habit had been fed for so very long that it felt abnormal not to head straight to my favourite watering hole after work.
    But I can tell you, that feeling goes away. They say it takes 30 days to make or break a habit so hang in there. Once you understand what your triggers are, even simple habitual ones like feeling for a drink after work, it will get easy so quickly.
    I agree with Vodka Goggles, I slept a lot during that first month. But I knew it was my body finally getting a chance to repair. I did scare me a little, when I thought about it from that perspective. I imagined that I’d been ruining my body for so long and the poor thing just wanted to repair. There is a lot of damage we habitual drinkers are unaware of.
    Take a deep breath and take care of you. Let your body take the time to heal. And your baby will find you when it is time.
    Hugs.
    Phoenix

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