Blah

I think I’ve used this as a journal entry title several times. I really am feeling pretty blah today, though.

I’m not really getting anywhere on my social media detox. I really want to quit some of this stuff and use it a bit less, but then I feel isolated and blah.

I don’t really know what to do. I guess noting that I have a problem is an important step, isn’t it?

One good thing, though. I haven’t had a drink in 43 days. My little “quit that” tracker tells me that I’ve saved approximately $172. That’s awesome!

Yahoo!

January is SOOOOO OOOOOOVVVVVERRRRRR.

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I kicked ass! My only real goal was to make journaling a solid habit and…here we are.

The 6th was actually posted on the day of, but I posted from my phone and the calendar was wonky as a result, so it registered on the day after.

A few of the days I missed in the last couple of weeks I actually “mentally journaled” from bed. I think the only day I really missed without registering anything on the matter was the 28th. Just didn’t get it in because I was brain dead.

I am solidly stoked!

Now that I have this journaling thing down, I think it’s time to start limiting my social media consumption. I was hoping to make February my month for tweaking my diet and losing some serious weight, but just giving up wine in January has helped me drop almost ten pounds. I think if I stay off the sauce and keep my carb intake low, while really focusing on nutrition…it will come off slowly. Maybe that’s not what I want, but it’s the best thing for me. Right?

Yay for good things!

Did I forget a day?

OMG I FORGOT A DAY!!!

Old Me, who would have thought in black and white terms, with no grey area, would be screaming right now. There would be a ton of “should” statements.

New Me says “fuck it”.

At least I have the routine in place. I do like journaling. It makes me feel good, I enjoy it, and I honestly need it at this point. I needed something to replace the wine and snacking, something for my anxiety. I’m down almost 10 pounds from the start of the new year and haven’t had any wine for almost three weeks! Sweet. Part of me does wonder if the weight loss is solely from not drinking. Probably!

I feel like today deserves some gratitude rambling. I feel like I’ve been making bad choices for the last ten years. It’s been a VERY hard ten years, though. I lost my job a couple of times because of the economy, lost one job because a close family got very sick and I had to take of them, I had to deal with all of the anxiety of not knowing what course that illness would take (thankfully, knock on wood, it has been less severe than most), and I had my own personal medical stuff to deal with (minor, but still stuff that isn’t fun). I think my 40s will reflect that my 30s were the opposite of what they’re supposed to be: Advancing in one’s career, making enough money to eventually retire, being involved in a healthy family life, making good decisions that counter the craziness of your 20s, etc. I was a pretty responsible 20 year old (grad school, work ethic, had a healthy pregnancy and super mom stuff), so maybe my 30s were designed to be more like the average 20 something experience (full of fear, anxiety, and unpredictability). I don’t know. In any event, my 40s are going to ROCK. I’m saying it now. I’m putting it out there. I will kick ass this decade! I’m thankful that I’m still young enough that I can make these dramatic changes in my life. I want to be healthy in my old age, not bedridden or in an institution because I made really bad choices. Journaling is part of this process, I think. I hope. No, it is. I’m not going to waffle over this one…I have to keep this going.

Anyway, so I missed a day, but I had a lot to say, I guess. Here’s to today, and I’ll be back tomorrow!

Still at it

I’m really proud of myself. I have consistently been journaling for 15 days, plus all of the last week or so of December. That’s a good run!

The one thing I’m kind of bummed about right now is that because I stopped drinking, I feel like I’m feeling aches and pains a whole lot more. I think my body was reliant on my two glasses of wine a night and all of those neurotransmitters in my brain and body upregulated. So now I feel pain and anxiety more. Though I do think, overall, the anxiety is getting better and better. I’m hoping I can rely more on exercise and other healthy things instead of that. But I don’t know if I’ll ever become a less anxious person.

Apple Watch is way more data intensive than the Fitbit. It gives you all of the details, even the ones you don’t really care about. As a total data and visualization nerd, I love it! Still getting used to it but overall, I really like it.

Intervention

I’m doing this 23andme thing and so far, it’s pretty straightforward and not terribly difficult. This is the first day that I’ve really stuck to it. And I just realized that it’s late afternoon and I’m craving salty crunchy things. I just had a handful of chocolate covered almonds (I’m allowed to have almonds, and I’m allowed to have dark chocolate). It hit the spot. But I still want cheese or something (which is allowed, hallelujah!).

That’s my journal entry for today. LOL

So Not Motivated Today

I feel like I’m losing steam.

Last night, I didn’t get in my exercise. Today, I waited until pretty late after drinking my coffee to even think about blogging. I’m slacking hard.

Here I am, though. Trying to stick to the plan because I’m trying to make a habit. Doing more than the people doing nothing. Working on work. Doing good. Staying mentally focused. Blah blah blah.

This really is a one day at a time thing, isn’t it?

Okay, I’m off to do whatever it is I do.

Tired

Finally, I got some decent sleep last night for the first time in a few days. New Year’s Eve, I drank too much. The next night, because I didn’t have anything to drink, I was a little too overstimulated. Last night, I was finally tired enough that I slept pretty great. Too bad I didn’t go to bed early enough. I blame my kid for not wanting to wind down…so today we’re both exhausted.

This is my third “official” day of journaling, though I’ve been at it for over a week now. Feels pretty good. I’m not quite to the point of official habit, but I think I’m to the point that I feel like I need to get stuff off of my chest instead of holding it all in. Almost like I need it. It takes 21 days to make a habit, so I guess I’ll just keep going. Tying it to my morning coffee has been super effective. I pour my coffee and automatically think “oh, it’s time to write”. Now if only I this strategy would work with literally anything else.

The only thing that’s bothering me right now is that, since trying to not drink, my body is sore. Not so bad that I’m worried, but stuff that normally wouldn’t bother me is bothering me. Wine is definitely an analgesic, physical and mental. I have neck and lower back stuff that I’m working on that I do physical therapy for. Nothing serious, but definitely annoying. I’m always one of those people who takes forever to respond to PT (pain wise, even though I respond with strength faster than most people thanks to lost of muscle mass), and usually only after I’ve focused on nutrition instead of exercise. I know that’s my problem now and I can’t really do anything about it just yet.

Hoping I get even better sleep tonight and feel amazing in the morning. I am down a couple of pounds already, just counting calories. I’m not focusing on carbs yet, but I am tracking everything. I started to get overwhelmed last night, thinking about it, and reminded myself that I’m not on the hook for anything right now except for journaling. I just need to keep track of how I’m feeling. Even then, it’s not like it’s a gulag. Haha. I’m just accountable to myself. There’s nothing in it for me except it is its own reward.

And with that, I’m back to my coffee…

Better

What a difference one night makes. I feel better this morning. Clearly, though, evenings are my weak spot. I can go strong all day long and then five minutes before bedtime, I’m a mess. Something about the end of day makes me realize the big picture way more than when I’m busy during the day. Even when I’m not busy, when I’m being a lazy bum, I’m still occupied by random things that keep my mind off of everything. But at night, at bedtime, it’s like, everything in my head is just sitting there, waiting to be sorted and cataloged. I wish I was like my husband, who is wide awake and ready to go at 6 am (and therefore totally productive and awesome), but at night he can’t function and his brain shuts down. What hell kind of evolutionary advantage does being a night person bring? Is it like being a cat or something? Can I stalk squirrels and field mice easier this way? Haha.

I wouldn’t have realized how big of a problem my feelings are at night without this journal. So there’s one big up-vote for journaling so far this year. Hope to keep this insight going!

Anxiety

Now we’re at the point where I figured this whole journaling thing was going to come in handy. I realize I’ve published more than enough posts in this last week, but they were more polished, more “this is a good thing to write about”, more planned. What I’m going through now is what I need this journal for.

My son got sick a few years ago. Sick to the point of hospitalization. He’s still dealing with a chronic condition, though now it’s managed very well. When he got sick, though, I was just starting to work full time again after having been unemployed or underemployed for several years following the economic crash in 2008. I finally felt like I was doing pretty good for myself and that finally, FINALLY, life was getting good. And then he got sick and I was laid off (no FMLA because it was a small company). I felt out of control, like I didn’t have anything grounding me. I had a handful of close friends, but it was still something I couldn’t handle by myself. I wasn’t seeing my therapist, and my husband was working long hours. So I did what any mom with no outlet does…I drank wine.

I had my glass a night, which would often be two glasses. It took the edge off and let me relax because I couldn’t leave my son alone. I had to be there to take care of him. There was no daycare I could send a sick kid to. 24/7, it was my son and I, and my little glass of anxiety relief.

Once he got stable enough to send back to school, it was still really hard and I couldn’t work. There were lots of absences from school and the school district breathing down my neck…even though we had a 504 plan and all of the legal protections because he was still a very sick kid. I felt like a failure in the system I had felt like a super mom before. My kid was failing, I was failing him, and nothing was good. Except for my wine.

I clung to that glass or two a night for years. Some weeks, when things were really bad, it was three glasses a night. But mostly two. Last year, I tried several times to quit, and made it for almost two months earlier in the year, and almost a month around Thanksgiving. But then I always say, “You know, a glass out with friends shouldn’t* be a problem at all. I can do that and not drink for the rest of the week.” And, every time, I would end up picking up another bottle, sometimes on the way home from hanging out with friends, because one glass just isn’t enough, y’all! I know I’m not like the fifth-of-vodka-every-night-black-out-drunk alcoholics, but I am chemically dependent on a substance that is no longer necessary.

So here I am, with a new year presenting itself as a super pretty, glowing fresh start. The folks who run stop drinking programs always say, “Don’t think about a year from now. Start with today.” I am trying really hard to think about just this night right now, with my glass of chamomile tea right in front of me, and how I will not be drinking today. I don’t have to think about the morning, I’m just thinking about right now. This chamomile is similar in ritual…except it’s even better. It’s warm, it’s soothing, and I know it won’t leave me feeling bad later. Sure, it’s not potent as that glass of Cab, but I know the pay off of drinking this is so so much better.

I do have anxiety, much of it from the neurotransmitters in my brain having up regulated for years of having a depressant in my system that which will now need to down regulate in order to not make me go nuts. That will take months (even years) to readjust to. Which totally fucking sucks. Chamomile will help a little, but it just isn’t the same. Exercise will help. Journaling will help. Nice hot bubble baths will help. Sleep will help. Ultimately, time will help. And that’s all I can hope for. I hope I have the resolve and mental fortitude. I’m going to need it. Until then…

I’m not going to drink today.

*I just noticed after I wrote this and hit publish, that I have one “should” in this whole thing. Son of a bitch, as usual, it’s a dirty word.