Abstinence Ain’t So Bad

It’s been 23 days without alcohol now. Writing it, that number seems so small compared to how far I feel I’ve come.

The sleep is great. I still wake up through the night to pee, and I doubt that will ever change. After I pee, I am able to go right back to sleep, which was never the case before. I am also not suffering from a terrible, unquenchable thirst. That shit was annoying.

My eyes look bright and my skin is almost entirely clear. I still haven’t lost any significant weight, but I feel like I look healthier in general.

I noticed when I was running through the airport yesterday that I wasn’t getting winded, like at all. It was a wonderful feeling.

I am watching what I eat, to an extent, in the sense that I am paying attention and logging, but not necessarily making great choices. Now that I’m home I should be able to get that back on track. I did notice that when I ate healthier foods when I was on the road, they tasted amazing and I had zero order regret. The junky stuff, on the other hand, didn’t really taste all that great.

All in all, I’m super proud of myself that I made it through a conference in fucking Las Vegas of all places, without a drop of alcohol. I didn’t even rely on a backup. I haven’t had a Xanax in weeks.

That brings me to probably the coolest side effect of all. My stress level is waaaaay down. All of the stress I was drinking to relieve was apparently largely brought on by the drinking. Or at least that’s the way it seems.

Don’t get me wrong, all of the stressors are still very much there, I’m just dealing with them. I am getting so much better at living in the present, not worrying about shit I should have or could have done yesterday or should or might do tomorrow. That is exhausting.

Anyhow. That’s my status report. I will be back in the gym on Monday. I thought about going tomorrow, but I’m not committed, so it probably won’t happen. What WILL happen is I’m making my roasted red pepper and tomato bisque with a side of delicious grilled cheese (havarti) on sourdough. Get in my belly.

Vegas Hates Me and the Feeling is Mutual

I flew across the country yesterday. I managed my itinerary well, so there were no long layovers but it still took the better part of the day to get from Florida to Las Vegas.

I really don’t like this place. Everything smells like an ashtray, it’s terribly dry and there are too many fucking people. When I’ve stayed before, I’ve been at hotels closer to the strip, like the Venetian. The room I had was beautiful and that was a point in Vegas’ favor.

For this trip, I’m staying at a place called Green Valley Ranch, in Henderson, which is Vegas adjacent. In my mind, I thought this would be a nicer place, more rustic. It says Ranch in the name after all.

I was mistaken. The place is fine, but the room is just a room. Nothing special. Ok, maybe there’s a nicer tub, but I don’t go for the tub soaks so it’s meaningless to me. They only had a room on the ground floor, so my view is of a parking garage and there is a gaggle or unruly boy children on this floor. They spent the twilight hours last night slamming doors repeatedly and arguing over deodorant in the hallway.

I’m used to my regular routines being disrupted when I travel. It doesn’t really phase me much anymore. However, there has always been in room coffee. Even if it’s nasty, it has been there. I only drink one cup of coffee a day and it’s in the morning when I’m getting dressed. Imagine my dismay when my hunt for a coffee maker in the room yielded no result. I’ve been to rooms where they have been really well hidden, so I called the front desk to learn their secrets.

Turns out, there is no in room coffee. This is some bullshit. This means that if I want coffee, I have to go through the process of getting dressed WITHOUT my coffee, and going downstairs to get some. OR I could order room service and pay $13.00, plus the service charge and gratuity. I just can’t do it. It’s so wrong on all the levels.

So my day will start with sadness and tap water. Thanks, Vegas, for nothing. You still suck.

What’s So Funny??

I made it through another night out with the girls. It helped that there were more of us not drinking than those that were, but honestly, the anxiety leading up to dinner was greater than any feelings of discomfort I actually had. I didn’t even have a moment of temptation. One of my friends was drinking my usual, red wine, and I could smell it across the table and it was sort of repellent. This gives me more confidence heading into the conference tomorrow. I think it also helps that I’ve been listening to audiobooks about alcohol, and the science of how it affects your brain and body in the short and long term. Interesting stuff.

As much as I don’t want to travel, I am glad to be getting out of the house. My dad got a new phone several weeks ago, and there have been daily reports about all of the things it doesn’t do, or won’t do unless he downloads an app. He refuses to download anything because he feels like the phone should just do what he wants it to on principle. Also, he’s pretty sure everyone is trying to steal his identity. Hilarious, when you consider the amount of clickbait and fake websites he falls for on a daily basis.

Then, there’s the giggling.

The door to my bedroom opens onto a little nook thing that leads to the living room. If my dad is sitting in there (the living room, not the nook thing) watching TV, which is often the case, and I open the door, he giggles. I walk out of the room to do whatever and I get bombarded by questions about what I’m doing and where I’m going. I head back to the room. Giggle. The cats meow at the door to be let in or out, so I open it. Tee Hee.

I mean, it’s completely harmless and I’m glad that whatever I’m doing is so amusing to him but it’s super annoying. I’ll feel better after I’m away from it for a few days, but for now I’m very sensitive. It’s like every move I make is being watched and appraised. I am a fan of moving through my own space and minding my own business and this giggling bullshit robs me of that.

But for now, I’m safely in my bed, with a sleeping cat on my feet and all is well.

Almost 2 Weeks Down

Today marks 13 days with no alcohol. I’m not really thinking about it much these days and when I do it’s fleeting. It does feel like it’s been longer, though. For that reason I’m starting to expect bigger changes than I’m seeing.

When I stop and think about it, clearly I won’t have lost 10 pounds in a period of two weeks. I can also say that there have been some obvious positive changes, so it’s not like NOTHING is happening. It would just be cool if it was more.

I was reading an article the other day about the benefits of not drinking over time and it said that the accumulated liver fat starts to reduce at around the one month mark. That, coupled with the increased efficacy of a slimmer liver should manifest as some weight loss. At least that’s what I’m hoping for.

I’m not going to go all crazy if things don’t change on the scale in a month, but it would be nice to see some movement. I’ve been holding steady at this weight for so long, it’s my normal, but I’d like to establish a new one. I’m not going for supermodel. That ship was never in port, so I can’t say it sailed, but suffice it to say that’s not my goal. I’d just like to be healthier and sit down in jeans for an extended period of time without suffering injuries from the button digging into my muffin top.

Now that I’ve got the drinking somewhat corralled, I’m going to start paying a little more attention to my food. I’ve been logging meals for as many days as I haven’t had alcohol, so I’ve gotten into a groove with that as well. Maybe I need to lay off the mini corn dogs and Slim Jim’s. They are skewing my numbers heavily in the fat and sodium categories and I don’t want to replace one unhealthy thing with another. They are tasty though.

The biggest upcoming challenge will be my trip to Vegas. I leave Saturday and won’t be back until the following Friday evening. I’ll be at a conference, which is where I’ve historically done a lot of my drinking. At the moment, I’m feeling confident that I’ll get through it ok, which is kind of amazing because ordinarily I’d be shitting my pants with anxiety.

Time will tell, but all in all, things are looking up.

Air Frying and Chaos Blankets

I decided to get an air fryer and boy, am I glad I did!! This is my new favorite appliance. It arrived yesterday and we have already used it at least 10 times. Not only does it do a fine job on yummy snacks like popcorn shrimp from the frozen section, but it also cooks a fine pork loin.

I recognize that cooking a bunch of fried shit in the air fryer kind of defeats the purpose of air frying, but we had to have stuff to test it out on. I haven’t had pizza rolls in years, but I did yesterday and they are still gross and still shoot hot pizza sauce across your face.

In addition to my air frying adventure, I dug out my crochet bin and started working on some old projects. I thought I had a ton of yarn, but I don’t, at least not good yarn. This means that once I blow through the last skeins that I had, I get to get new yarn!! This is as cool as getting new school supplies. I haven’t been creative in a while so this has been fun. Granted, I still suck at following patterns, but I know how to make a rectangle, damn it, and that’s good enough for me.

I completely deviated from the original pattern of my last in process project. There are actually 2, but the second one is what I call my ‘scrap’ blanket. It’s what I use for yarn leftovers. It’s pretty fun because there is no rhyme or reason to it. The other one, I had started pretty seriously. The stripe widths were consistent, as were the colors. But when I picked it up I realized I didn’t have nearly enough to finish it the way I started it, so now it’s a free for all. I’m maintaining the stripe motif, but the colors and shapes are no longer consistent. This is fun because when I get bored of a color, I can just finish my row and switch.

I think this is where I got burned out before, making blankets. I would commit to this project and it’s associated parameters and then it became tedious. I think next time I go to the yarn store I’m just gonna buy a bunch of random shit and bring it home and make chaos blankets. I’ll give them to people and they’ll say, “thaaanks….” all slow and weird while giving me a nervous smile and glancing away because they will look like they were made in the loony bin. No matter. Maybe they are what I’m making to keep myself out of the loony bin.

I’m pretty excited about my yarn shopping trip. But I’ll hold off until this last official project is finished. At the rate I’ve been going, I think I can wrap it up this week.

This Isn’t Easy

I spent Halloween in the neighbors driveway. It ended up being a pretty good time. It was nice to have some entertainment during the lulls when there were no children, and there were many lulls.

I struggled pretty hard prior to going over there. All I could think about was how it sucked because everyone else was going to be drinking except me. I came closer than I have so far to caving. Luckily I didn’t, and the episode passed. Turns out I wasn’t the only one not drinking, not because it was a big topic of conversation, I just happened to notice.

I felt good that I didn’t drink. I got up this morning and went to the gym.

But here I am again thinking about how it’s Friday and wouldn’t it be nice to just have some wine. Just chill and relax. I’m not going to but it’s frustrating that there is this part of my brain that is still working so hard to derail me even though everything else is screaming that this is the right thing to do.

Super Interesting Post

It’s been 6 whole days without alcohol. Seven if you count today, but I’m not counting it until I’m in bed. I have no plans to drink, I just don’t want to get ahead of myself.

I did well at the gym again today. I mean, I still have a lot of work to do, but my heart rate didn’t get into the 180s, and even when it was in the high 170s it came back down really quickly. I still have to focus on the cardio piece, which Ralph reminded me of, but for this week, this first full week since I started taking the antibiotics and laying off the sauce, I thought maybe going hard wasn’t a great idea.

Tomorrow I will run. Maybe not fast, maybe not far, but I’ll do it. I needed these few days to gear back up. Heck, if I go out for a run and decide I’d rather not, I’ll just walk instead. I’ve been enjoying being outside, listening to a book or music.

I’ve been particularly enjoying my music these days. I’ve been going back & listening to old albums that I loved and listened to on repeat and then just abandoned for some reason. I scrounged up Bare by Annie Lennox today and it made me happy. It’s not a big popular album, but I think it’s great and I don’t really care what anyone else thinks.

For Halloween I am going to wander over to my neighbors house in sweatpants and hand out candy from their driveway. They are doing a chili bar and we are bringing some crackers and dips. I prefer this to having the kids come to my house because of all the cars in my driveway and my fear that one of my cats will escape.

I really don’t have much of anything to write about, but I hadn’t in a while so I figured I would.