Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Gratitude Lists

When I visit the blogs of other people struggling to conquer the hold alcohol has on so many of us, I notice they usually will have either as a post in itself, or as part of a longer post, a listing of what they're grateful for. This must be an AA thing that I never stuck it out long enough to get to. I'm curious to know what gratitude has to do with not drinking. Maybe counting your blessings, and realizing that life doesn't completely suck? I'll have to check out my Big Book (yes, I have one) and see if it's in there.

Keeping this short, because I need to get to bed. Anyhow, I'll give it a shot.

Things I am grateful for today:

  1. That my cat didn't get eaten by a coyote (he was out really late, and we have a coyote problem around here, so I was pretty worried).

  2. That my client seems happy with the work I've done.

  3. That I won't wake up with a hangover tomorrow.

  4. That I can snuggle up to my husband when I crawl into bed, and won't have to worry about not breathing on him so he won't smell the alcohol on my breath (although we actually each had a beer with our pizza at dinner, so I probably do have a little still on my breath, but it's okay because we drank the beer together, and that's all I've had).

I'm too tired to come up with anything better.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Comfortably (??) Numb

I really don't feel much like posting, but do feel I need to do something by way of an update, anyway.

I went skiing again in the last week of March, and the week before that and the next 2 weeks after, I had to work like crazy to get a client's site finished up and launched.

I've been doing okay to good in the sobriety department, but mostly because 1) I don't tend to drink very much when I'm working, and when my husband is around consistently, and 2) the week I went skiing in March, I started having some very weird physiological occurrences that scared the crap out of me, i.e. rather chronic numbness/tingling in my fingers -- my hands would go to sleep about 5 minutes after I woke up and would stay that way for a good 10 to 15 minutes, and then I'd have several pronounced episodes throughout the day, as well, and just a general, constant mild numbness. I finally googled my symptoms and guess what one of the causes for numbness in the extremities, or peripheral neuropathy is??

You got it. Alcoholism.

This is what one of the articles I found says:

Peripheral neuropathy often affects people with diabetes and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Certain vitamin deficiencies, some medications and alcoholism can also damage peripheral nerves.

So, anyway, that kinda dampened my enthusiasm for tying one on. I'm not saying I've had zero alcohol since then, but I can count the number of drinks I've had on one hand (4 beers to be exact, and each on separate occasions, and not in secret).

I've realized that when I'm not drinking to get drunk on a regular basis, I just replace that behavior with other coping mechanisms that aren't too healthy, either, such as staying up all night working on websites, and surfing the internet. It's freakin' 4:10 A.M., and I've got to get to bed, but I've just gotten my day completely turned around. Last night/this morning (it's all your perspective, right?), I literally went to bed after my husband got up.

What's really more than a little ironic is that the main reason I drink is to numb myself emotionally. I don't want to, or I think I can't face whatever it is that's stressing me or depressing me, or both, so I drink to escape the reality of the stress and/or depression, even though the root of it is still going to be there, and probably bigger and uglier, in the morning, or when the booze wears off.

I think I also drink to make my husband aware that something is affecting me negatively, because it's the one thing that really seems to get his attention. I don't do it on a conscious level, but I think the motive is there, beneath the surface, and it's based in the unspoken resentment I have toward his self-absorption, and his inability or refusal to see my pain, or my struggle.

I've got more I need to write about, so hopefully, I'll do that tomorrow, and not keep all this crap bottled up inside. It really does help just to put it into words. At least then I'm forced to think through things a little bit, and maybe even begin to face the reality of what all that thinking reveals.