Sober but Twitchy Christmas Eve

There were many Christmas Eves when by this time (1o:45 AM) I would have already been on my way to being drunk. If we were visiting relatives, I’d have little wine bottles hidden in my bag, or I’d sneak into the kitchen and find whatever liquor was available and have three or four shots. I’d keep a good base-line buzz until after lunch when I’d find myself alone as family did Christmas things, and then I got down to the real drinking. I’d chew gum, brush my teeth, drink water, even take an alcohol-induced nap…and no one seemed to notice. Perhaps they were so used to be isolating myself–even during Christmas–that they didn’t notice or get to close to me. I spoke little for fear of slurring my words.

During the evening, when it was more acceptable to drink wine, I’d knock it back and replenish myself by darting upstairs and drinking more. To anyone paying attention, I had no more than two glasses of wine on Christmas Eve. I knew the truth, though I vigorously blocked it from my mind: I was probably bordering on alcohol poisoning, as I had many times before. I’m amazed that my drinking history doesn’t include a trip or two to the hospital.

On January 5, 2017, I’ll have two years of sobriety…and I have no plans of fucking that up. But under the guidance of my psychiatrist, I’m in the process of switching anti-depressants. I’m tapering off one, and it’s a quick taper. I spoke to my psychiatrist before leaving down because I felt I was going to explode out of my skin…I also felt like running into a brick wall repeatedly. On top of that, I felt like I had an enormous hole in the middle of myself that I desperately needed to fill. I know what I would have filled it with before, and the thoughts whizzed through my mind, but I didn’t act on them.

Today is hard, but I feel better than yesterday. I have an anti-anxiety pill if things get to bad. I wanted to type this entry to hold myself accountable and reach out to some fellow alcoholics.

I hope this finds you all well. Merry and sober Christmas Eve.




Coffee, Tea, and Me

That’s a right silly title, but it sums up my day thus far. I’ve cut way down on coffee (three cups as opposed to five or six) and then I have orange tea. On top of that, I’ve always consumed an enormous amount of water. One of my earliest memories is walking to the fridge where my mother kept a glass jar full of water for me to drink first thing in the morning.

cat water

I’ve also finally reached the point of looking carefully at my diet and saying, “Hold on now. Maybe I don’t have to eat seven cookies after dinner.” And, “Perhaps chowing down on peanut butter every chance I get isn’t the best thing for me.” During my first year of sobriety, I said, “Fuck it, I’m eating whatever I want.” I baked pie after pie, made cakes on a whim, stopped at the grocery store for Kit-Kats and M&Ms. I ate bread because…well, because I love breadAnd real butter, too. Bread and butter…good lord.

bread porn
Food porn

A few weeks ago, I went to my doctor for a routine check-up and discovered I’d gained sixteen pounds. Oops. I wasn’t surprised, and I told him as much. The doctor (actually, he wasn’t my doctor, who was out of the office) shrugged like it wasn’t a big deal, but sixteen pounds is a bit much. I left that day committed to making a change…and so far, I’ve kept to it. I haven’t given up certain foods, but I’ve cut way down on the bread, butter, desserts, and sugar in general.

The first week was rough. Not giving-up-drinking rough, but I was cranky as hell and felt hungry all the time. I began adding more protein and vegetables and fruit and began to feel better.

Do we still have family pizza night once a week? Absolutely, but I have a salad before and don’t eat four or five pieces. I had one cookie yesterday instead of shoving a handful in my mouth. I just finished my lunch–applesauce, cranberries, and some granola–and I feel full. Maybe my brain and body have decided I mean business and are falling in line.

I’m trying my best not to make food and nutrition a battle, but like so many of us, I tend toward perfectionism, and I expect to lose weight and look better…you know, overnight. I’ve lost four pound in two weeks, and my clothes fit a bit better. Still, I battle the voice in my head that says, “Look, man, just start skipping meals. That’ll drop the weight real quick.”

No, no, no. That’s not the answer, and I know it. It’s just my old way of thinking rearing it’s stubborn, ugly-ass head. It goes back in its slimy hole if I ignore it long enough.

That’s all from the Crisp Sobriety Headquarters. As you were, sober people.