Day 269 of 365 – 200 AF Days Today!

It is now post-vacation time and I have re-started my AF consecutive days to finish off my one year experiment. I have 69 days that I’ve had drinks out of 269. I feel pretty great about that! While I did slip back to more drinking than intended – I am back to basics using the #SoberTools that I know work for me. I’ve restarted the Sober Time counter. I’m back to blogging and posting more. I’m back to my workouts and eating healthier. Surprisingly this time (so far) the cravings aren’t too bad and my cravings for sugar haven’t been as out of control (although I am only on day 3 of this re-start).

I’m still dealing with a lot of stress relative to my daughter and her mental health issues – but feel stronger and more renewed after taking that week off ‘vacation’. I’m also working on setting healthy boundaries so that I can stay balanced and maintain my own sanity as we continue to navigate this difficult stuff.

I’m winding down after a successful 3rd day and with the first weekend coming up – I’m confident I will stay on track as I am having gum surgery on Friday so I’ll be on mostly a liquid diet – but it WON’T include any booze! I’m here to get back to taking care of my body and letting go of this booze habit that has been robbing me of joy! I’m excited to have others in the group restarting with me (Secret Facebook Group – Losedabooze 100 Day Success Group – send me a message if you want to join in).

The new month is just ahead and I’m excited about a clean month ahead!! Today is day 150 into the year… and here’s the daily guidance from Doreen Virtue’s book…

Day 250 of 365 – Mentally Preparing for Success

I’m preparing for another long stint of AF days with others in our group. What I’ve found helpful as I gear up for these is to mindfully and mentally prepare for it… Lining up my sober tools and rallying a support group to ensure success.

Focusing on success is KEY! Focusing on what you want and CAN have instead of focusing on what you can’t have is what we must keep in mind at all times! As of this morning – I have 55 days with drinks on this one year journey (today is day 250). I am practicing mindfulness relative to the days I have been allowing myself drinks. I’ve been observing how I feel during and after these moments. I am not overdoing it or waking with hangovers, but my energy is definitely affected. I don’t feel as motivated or positive.

It’s a process and a journey for me. I just started listening to the audible of Girl Wash Your Face and I find the personal development time I put into myself with these books or podcasts or videos are great to help me re-align my thoughts to more positive thinking. I’m honestly feeling some peace as I am letting go of the constant fear and worry and I know with a good chunk of AF time behind me this will only keep getting better.

I will honestly say I do have some apprehensions about committing to this stretch with the summer months and activities but life is life and there will always be something going on. The question is what do I want more?! Right now I feel fluffy and bloated. I feel my legs rubbing together more. My bra is tight and uncomfortable. When I think about how much better I felt when I was leaner and lighter – it’s a no brainer that I want to feel THAT more! Is passing on drinks worth it?! YES – it may be or feel like it’s hard – but the satisfaction that comes with sticking to your goals and health plan gives you such a great feeling of accomplishment and pride! Better this than feelings of failure and guilt.

I asked my group to share some of the positives they noticed when they chose to be AF and ALL of them were great!! Here are a few …

I have been AF for 130 days now and my life has definitely improved. After 2 months of sobriety I read the book you mentioned one day, ‘Always Hungry’ by Dr. D. Ludwig and quit sugar and grains, and have lost 5 kgs. I have more energy, more time now that my evenings are not lost in some black hole of wine. I finally started going to a local yoga studio, something I have been contemplating for years, but never quite got around to. I do volunteer work and I am always finding new things to try. I have more hours in each day. All of this I believe has evolved from my original promise to myself, to join your Lose ‘da Booze group on January 1, 2018. Thank you!  D130

When I did the 100 days last year and whenever I am AF, I notice my attitude and patience on the job, with family, driving or tolerating any frustrations is much better.I certainly have a clearer head, think clearer, and have more confidence. My happy hours used to be filled daily with pilates, weight bearing exercises and walking. Gotta get this routine back. Last year (including oral surgery), I lost 22lbs. I did put a few needed pounds back on as I was a bit under weight. I’ve managed to keep the weight at a good level. However, I know the pounds will come back if I don’t behave myself. I have saved so much more money being AF. I wake up feeling fantastic when AF – not worrying about remembering the night before or fearful of saying something to someone I might regret. When I am NOT AF, I find fighting the demon booze voices are much louder than if I abstain. I manage the voices better when I am AF and in control. I really want to go back to those beautiful AF days and I have to get a grip on this.

It’s been quite a journey to get to this point but I know that I can say my life is better without alcohol in it. I sleep better. My skin is healthier. I don’t ever have to try and remember what I said or did the night before. I don’t have to think about if there is booze, how much can I have without drawing attention to myself, or how can I hide it. I can be present for my children and others in times of need. I find that I am not missing out on any “fun” because I don’t drink. I can socialize and go places but I usually leave before the “party” is over. I am proud of the fact that I could recognize that alcohol was taking AWAY from my life and it’s not anymore.

 I havent been around much but I am 130 days, minus 10 days moderating on spring break, sober. I feel like a different person. I work out regularly, cook & eat healthy foods, and have lost 18 lbs. I sleep better, am present at home and at work, Im more relaxed, breath better (no congestion), my digestion is so much better, what I thought were perimenopause symptoms were just alcohol symptoms. I could go on and on. I dont ever want to go back. I dont miss it anymore and have so much more fun without it.’

I just feel and do better in every way when I’m AF. I sleep better, look better, take much better care of myself. I have confidence and determination and feel good about my life no matter what’s going on. Booze just drains the life force out of me and steals my well being. I actually enjoy myself so much more socially when I’m AF too. Once I get past any initial weirdness when around others who are drinking, I like being fully present and knowing I won’t cause myself any regret later.

Positives: More energy was BY FAR the biggest advantage! I have lupus & Sjogren’s, so my energy levels are never where I’d like them to be, though I am “ON” when I’m at work or in social situations, regardless of how I’m feeling. It just takes me longer to recover my energy when I’m drinking and I am also suffering from lower energy levels again since I’ve been moderating, although they are not nearly as low as when I first joined the challenge last year due to the heavier than normal drinking I was engaged in at the time. I did lose weight, and I never had to worry about a sudden call to work or anything else life might throw at me the next day because I KNEW I wouldn’t have a hangover! I have more patience without da booze and I make smarter decisions. I am more engaged with family and friends and I can stick to projects for longer periods of time.

Reading this helps me to remember WHY I am choosing to do this again and also re-reading my own testimonial following my own FIRST 100 Day Challenge and how I felt… It all comes down to what do you really REALLY want? And I really want to have THAT feeling again! Counting down to the next success!! If you want to join in, message me via Facebook.

Day 242 of 365 – Transitions

I have 192 Days AF – alcohol free (193 if I make it through tonight) since starting my one year journey … and I felt compelled to blog today because I have a LOT of thoughts and uncomfortable feelings going on. My daughter left home unexpectedly / suddenly just about 2 weeks ago and I feel like I’m in a state of worry and fear – about how she will make out and what will happen. Because I don’t know if this will be ‘for real’ permanent I am finding myself feeling kind of like suspended in life – not knowing how to deal with it.

On some nights I toss and turn and play out all kinds of scenarios and worry how this will all turn out. On other days I try to just be in the moment and try to practice mindfulness and stay at ‘peace’ but it’s easier said than done. I have been AF since Monday but really struggling with the cravings – and I attribute it to the fact that I feel so lost in all that is happening. I know booze won’t give me answers – but it will calm my ‘nerves’ down for a bit at least.

I’ve been listening to This Naked Mind audible (I’ve read the book before and recommend it to my group all the time). While listening to it – I can feel myself cringe inside because I’m not of the mind that it’s black or white – or I guess that my mind is not yet naked and I’m not yet ready to give up alcohol.

What I am ready to give up is this constant worry and uncertainty in my life – over which I really don’t have any control with respect to what happens with my daughter (although I’m still invovled – as I write this I am still the one getting reminders for her appointments and trying to get her to them). It’s like she is dipping a toe on both sides wanting to be independent but not able to get to her appointments. I haven’t been messaging her as much this week. We did have a conversation one night where she told me she is so depressed that she hasn’t gotten out of bed for 2 days and had not eating for that long either. ENTER more worry and fear – but what can I do?! I urge her to get help and go to her appointments. I offer to make another one… but she doesn’t show up. As her therapist told me – you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make her drink.

All of this has me re-evaluating my entire life – how it will be if she stays moved out this time. How things will be and what will my daily routine be like now with my fiance. Again – not being in the moment here and thinking too much…

At work – I have a hard time focusing and staying on course. I am getting by with a few ‘slips’ with some minor things – but I worry about that too – will someone notice how I’m really not here?!

I’m struggling and yet trying to go through the motions of getting myself back on course with reading my affirmations, eating better, being AF, posting in my groups… and for a while that works. I hurt my back last Friday and have been unable to do workouts which is really bumming me out too – not being able to even get my 10,000 steps a day urks me!

I do have things to look forward to – including a trip to Cancun May 18 to 25 where I hope to be able to spend time reconnecting with my fiance (who just had hernia surgery yesterday). I will be spending time with my older daughter on Friday (she is doing better – and she too went through a phase similar to what my youngest is now going through). I guess I just have to keep the faith. Keep plugging away moment by moment.

Journaling helps – and so maybe I need to do more of that again. This blog was started about my wanting to lose ‘da booze voice in my head – well I can say that besides some of the physical cravings – my head is now mostly occupied with worry about my daughter…

Life is one big BOOK! I can’t wait to be past this chapter… hopefully onto a brighter one! But I am blessed and grateful for the good in my life – my loving fiance, my health, my work, my friends and more financial stability than I’ve had in years. I just have to keep focusing on the GOOD and let go of worry!