i need some help. i’m inside a week of not drinking for an entire year. this is uncharted territory for me. i’ve gone a month, maybe 2 in the past, more as “tests” to see if i could do it. this past year of abstinence from alcohol has come as a result of some very poor choices i made, and a suggestion from my therapist. i really do believe that i was heading down a dangerous path and i’m really glad i took the year to get some distance and perspective on my drinking habits.
i’ve thought for a really long time that eventually i would stop drinking, like many years as i was growing up. my dad quit when he was in his early 30′s, plus i think i have the addict gene. and if not, my heritage certainly isn’t on my side. i kind of just thought it was something that i would do.
i’ve written ad nauseum about this past year, but when i think about what my mindframe / extracurricular activities and desires were a year ago, i feel like a completely different person. i was never one to pass up happy hour, going out for a drink or two (or 3) sometimes 3 nights a week if the opportunity was there. now, the thought really doesn’t cross my mind to hang out after work. on one hand that is great, but on the other there are some people and coworkers that i don’t really see anymore because of that.
another thing that i notice is a stronger sense of self. i don’t second guess myself as much as i used to, and i have an easier time resisting anyone that wants me to compromise my self worth.
this past year i’ve really not had many (any really, after i got my legal situation under control) episodes of impending doom, or the feeling of drowning, it’s hard to not draw the correlation to not drinking. granted i’ve also made efforts to stay on track with my finances, with HUGE help from a friend and that is a very comforting feeling.
recognizing familial dramatic situations as they are unfolding is also a much easier minefield to navigate when not drinking.
my therapist was pretty confident when he suggested that i take a year off and then reintroduce some alcohol that i would not feel so out of control and be able to maintain a healthy relationship with it. i wish i was more confident in my abilities… from my drinker/driver class i learned that you should have 1 drink in a day, no more than 2. max 14 in a week. i worry that if i have one glass, i will want 2 and eventually i will be drinking every day. i’m afraid that drinking will make me say or do things to sabotage my financial progress or my relationship. maybe i’m thinking worst case, but those are my worries.
so, here is where you come in. i’ve written out the pros/cons that come to mind. what would YOU do? leave you suggestions in the comments..
pros for not drinking
i feel like i think very clearly
i won’t repeat past mistakes
no more “swollen” looking photos
won’t be in danger of spiraling out of control
i am less likely to make high risk choices
cons for not drinking
the taste of wine is so delicious
the warm tingly feeling of being buzzed
vacationing and not drinking is sad
not as much social friend time
This year has been like no other for me in many ways.
i have high hopes that 2014 will be equally as great as this year, just with less cancer. Cheers. ;)
so this past weekend and monday i ate candy and sugar like it was my job. fortunately this time last year i was fresh out of surgery and wasn’t even considering eating sugar, i was having dreams of how great it would be to eat cottage cheese.. my how times have changed.. anyway. i’ve discovered that in the moment i can handle consuming sugar, it doesn’t affect me till hours (or more) later. well. i’m at “later” right now and have been here for the last 2 days. i’m a hazard to other peoples airspace. i sincerely apologize to anyone within smelling distance of my cube, to my friends and anyone else at Kitty Hoynes tonight, to my pets.. i honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone calls national grid on me.
i wonder when i will learn not to eat sugar. i was literally disappointed when i ate sugar for the first time and didn’t have immediate dumping like some RNY patients do.
tomorrow is halloween. i waited until tonight to buy a pumpkin. as you can probably imagine my choices were slim. the only normal sized pumpkins were all bumpy. so i opted not to get one. i’ll have to “carve” some paper bags.
tomorrow i have bloodwork taken for my annual health assessment at work. i’m excited to know how my bloodwork looks. i’ve also lost close to 100 lbs since my last assessment, so i’m interested to see how that manifests itself too.
so a whole year has come and gone. as i re-read some of my early entries and think back to what i was doing and how i was feeling a year ago i realize just how far i’ve come, and how major my surgery was. i made some notes this month of things that are major differences.
i remember not too long ago getting up from my desk at work and feeling like i was 90 years old, being stiff from sitting still for an hour or two. that doesn’t happen anymore.
i’ve discovered that i actually have bones. some of them you an even see! the most notable bones i have are collar bones, or clavicles. my knee caps actually touch and can be uncomfortable when i lay on my side while i’m sleeping. if i’m laying down, i can feel a pelvis. :) it’s quite exciting to actually feel bones inside my skin. someday i’ll be able to see my wrist bones. that’s been a goal of mine since figure drawing in college.
this last check up with my surgeon the nurse told me that my bmi was 37 and if i were to apply for surgery right now, i probably wouldn’t even qualify. that’s unbelievably exciting news. when i started this whole thing my bmi was 55..
recently i had a dentist appointment and always dreaded when they would want me to spit, it was really hard to sit up from a reclining position.. this last time, no problem! i kinda wanted to mention it to the hygienist. sorta like i wanted to tell my seatmate on the airplane i last flew in that my seatbelt fit without needing a seatbelt extender. these little victories are so minor to average people, but they are thrilling when they happen, they make me giddy with excitement.
one downside i’ve noticed is the toxic flatulence that i experience anytime i consume sugar. it’s room clearingly bad. i should probably be thankful that i don’t really experience the traditional dumping symptoms of nausea, dizziness, sweating.. but hours later i have unspeakable gas.
another thing that i haven’t really experienced is an aversion or taste difference to some foods pre and post surgery.
so over the course of a year i’ve lost 95 lbs. pretty incredible, and my doctor thinks i will probably continue to lose for another 6 months, “cause i’m short”. :) let’s hope so.
here are some animations, and the side by sides..
it’s unbelievable that it’s been 11 months since my surgery.
one thing i am astounded at every week is how much less i HATE mowing my lawn this year. it is nowhere near as hard to mow this year as it was to mow last year. this afternoon i almost didn’t even sweat!
i’m soo sooo soooo close to triple digit weight loss. i lost 3 pounds last month.. so as of sunday i’m at 94 pounds lost. i’m really hoping i can pull off 6 lbs this month and reach 100…
next months side by sides will be from the beginning of the year to date, and i hope to do an animation of them.