No booze update: coming up on 6 months since I hopped back on the wagon. But for the 10 months in between where I swung back into the old habit, I'd be coming up on 2 years in March. 1 year of that 2 year span has been without alcohol and the results are in: I feel better, physically and mentally. I have gained some weight due to sugar cravings, but I don't crave alcohol at this time. The hardest part this time around was getting through the holidays. All the top shelf wine that comes out of the wine cellars of our awesome family, I thought resisting that would be the hardest part. It really wasn't. The hardest part was getting through thoughts and feelings of being unfairly singled out. Loved ones and friends can keep on going like nothing's changed, but dear old me flew too close to the sun and, oh the agony and woe! Truth is, those thoughts were fleeting, and have also dissipated with time. I have nothing to be ashamed of now. No mornings wondering what the fuck I did the night before to result in one of us sleeping on the couch.
It's been a while since I've gone to a meeting - recovery dharma is the place I'd settled on. One thing or another has come up, but I am preparing to start going again soon, especially once get to my previous mark (I think it was 203 days before I grabbed a couple of pints at Oaktoberfest 2018. I had, after all, reached my initial goal. Then fell right back into the shit). Anyway - I needed to process some time for self care, and to enjoy just feeling good about myself, by myself. But I have a big birthday coming up, turning 50. We have rented out BBQ terrace for about 80 people for an A's game on Friday night, May 1st. If I don't take a drink at that party, I can't see really what the point would be to pick the drink back up. I'm not substituting real beer with NA beers this time around. By the time I got to 6 months last time around, I was doing that, having a six pack of Clausthaler a night. Kind of a waste. And then when I picked it back up, there was a part of me in the back of my mind that said: "Do I even really like the taste of beer anymore? What's the point?" I think it was shedding that feeling of being an "outlaw" or something. Wanting to feel like I'm doing something I'm not supposed to be doing because being an adult is boring. Or maybe I was seeking the thrill of sneaking out somewhere and looking for a shrink behind the bar who would listen to my stories without rolling his or her eyes. Or something...I don't know. I think I've worked my way through that now.
I've learned there's a new dry bar in downtown Oakland. I'm planning on going to that soon to see what it's all about. I hope it's not some straight edge shit. I don't think I need to be sanctimonious about my choice to give up the drink. I want to be able to help others get to that place now, not to feel how cool I am compared to all of those losers who still booze it up. I don't think it will be like that though. I'm going to keep an open mind!
Since the beginning of this year, I've been going to the gym a lot more. I'm to the point now where my body is craving it. "More of this, please." That feeling of relaxing after a boot camp and a shower to a nice meal with my blood still pumping is starting to replace where I was concentrating those faculties before. If I cut the sugar on this regimen, I think I will shed that gut. I know there's an awesome six pack of abs under there somewhere!
So, that's the thing for the next 6 months: Keep replacing those old habits with these healthier ones, and to start helping others. I know a bump in the road is probably coming soon, it's only a matter of time. There will be tests, and I want to stay prepared and strong. I'm feeling confident I can face whatever comes - but mindful of the overconfidence that has been called the "pink cloud."
The last thing is - my feeling that quitting drinking has reduced or even eliminated my anxiety still holds true. I do not feel the levels of anxiety I had before. I'm also really working on not trying to be a spazz. A friend of mine shared some old super 8s of us from our summers in the early 90s with my old boat in that lake life. We were young, thin, and carefree, drinking Leinenkugels out of cans, spreading mayo on makeshift sandwiches with a wrench. Silly stuff. When I look at myself now I think: "Have I always been that much of a spazz?" I'm told that is true. So I've been working on calming the spazz, and I had thought alcohol might have been the depressant I needed to do that, but I'm finding the opposite is true.
For now. It's working for now. And I'm feeling good!
One more thing: This article speaks to me.
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