Day 12…a bit hungover

Yeeup, I did it again. Interesting how it happened. I didn’t sleep well on Monday night. I awakened tired and feeling a bit grumpy. That was my first clue. I honestly cannot remember the last time that I felt grumpy and irritable. Really. Seriously. My second clue was that I stayed grumpy and somewhat irritable for several hours. The only thing that has changed in my life recently is my drinking. Until yesterday I had only drank twice in 10 days, compared to drinking every evening for years and years. Alcohol must be my anti-grumpy medication! So, I sober up and suddenly have a grumpy day—oh GREAT. Being sober means I have to start having regular grumpy days? I sure as hell hope not. Maybe it’s still part of my sobering up; my brain still adjusting to working without the booze? I hope that’s all it is.

Anyway, I carried on yesterday as best as I could. I made a special effort to search for and make it out to a 2 pm AA meeting. I was asked to read the preamble, “How it works”. I thought that doing that might help to jolt me out of the grumps. It helped a little. But as the meeting progressed I felt progressively worse. I felt like my blood pressure was going through the roof. I was a bit feverish even. Withdrawal effects after almost 3 days without a drink? I didn’t feel like that at all last week when I detoxed myself. What was this all about?

Half-way through the meeting I decided that I would stop by the pub on the way home. Have just one to take the edge off. You know. Just one, maybe two. I left the meeting early. As I walked to the pub I felt so strange, like nothing I have ever felt before. Walking was an effort. I felt light-headed, empty, frustrated, desperate, discouraged, defeated. “Whoa”, I thought to myself, “this is something new. Oh great, just what I don’t need, something new”. At the pub, I ordered my favourite draft. Within a few minutes the grumpiness feeling lifted. By the time I finished the first pint all of the other feelings evaporated. I felt normal again. What a relief. Maybe it was withdrawal after all. Then a couple of my friends wandered in and the rest is history. A few hours later I staggered home.

This morning I lucked out, feeling not much of a hangover, thank God. I was tempted to give myself shit, to throw buckets of shame all over myself, but I didn’t. That never did me any good in the past. I need to focus on the positive—in the past 10 days I have only drank 3 times. Only 3 times in 10 days!!! That’s a bloody record for me! Wow! I didn’t know I had it in me! Atta boy Nelson and thank you to my higher power!

Ok, I do feel a little bad about even those 3 days. My two week plan was to have no drink at all! I guess if I had gone into a residential rehab program, then I’d be on Day 11 with no drink. And maybe the same if I had gone to the Daytox program. But hey, I have made progress—until this week, I’ve been drinking every day for 37 years! Give me a break! I’m choosing to give myself a break. I’m not going to drink today, and then again tomorrow, and the next day if all goes well. I’m going to two AA meetings a day now. Those really help. I’m exercising. I’m eating well. If in 2 or 3 days I wake up grumpy again, I’ll push past it. I won’t go to the pub. I’ll go to the gym instead, or call my AA sponsor (who hasn’t heard from me in at least a year). As the AA “Big Book” urges, I’ll do whatever it takes to not drink. I have faith in my higher power to see me through this. Already, amazing coincidences have arisen in the past 10 days to help me, and I expect all that to continue, as I continue on this very interesting but somewhat scary journey to sobriety.

Nelson

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2…1

Still drinking like a fish. I’m quite hungover this morning. I am SO tired of hangovers. I am feeling SO discouraged. I had planned to slowly taper down my drinking this week. Most of my plans go the same way. What can I expect from a DRUNK? Ohhhh, but the good news is that alcoholism is only a SYMPTOM of other underlying disorders. Sobering up doesn’t guarantee a change in personality. Ok, it does guarantee an elimination of the alcohol caused behaviours, like drunk texting. And it does guarantee that our health will improve. Oh alright, I’m being a pessimist. I could use another little miracle again today, like the bank deposit the other day.

So at the beginning of the week I decided that if I wasn’t sober by tomorrow (Saturday) that I would enrol in the Daytox program on Monday. I’m going to revise that a little. If I’m not sober by Sunday evening, then I’ll do it. I’m going to detox myself today, tomorrow and Sunday, using alcohol only as absolutely needed to help with the withdrawal. That’s assuming I have any withdrawal effects. In previous years I’ve had virtually no withdrawal effects other than feeling WEIRD. That and insomnia, but I have med’s to help with that part.

I’ve only gone to one AA meeting this week. Another disappointment, but I’ll go to one today for sure…

I’m really on the edge here. I’m feeling very powerless (Step 1) and not feeling very confident, but I do believe that there is a “Higher Power” of some sort at work, and available to me. I’m old enough, have had enough life experience to be convinced of that and that I’m counting to come through for me now, through meaningful coincidences, the Jungian concept of Synchronicity, just as it did on day 3. That’s MY “Higher Power”.

 

4…

Didn’t do so well today, supposedly tapering back. So, the Daytox program is getting closer and closer. C’est la vie, perhaps. Let’s see what happens.

Ok, well I was bad-boy today because my day was full of all sorts of horrible emotional stuff happening. One of my residents went crazy today. He’s 85, has Alzheimers; Roger. He decided today that he didn’t belong here any longer, that his kids institutionalized him against his will. He’s right, of course, but he doesn’t remember the events leading up to him being put here. This is so sad and tragic. After settling him down, for the most part, I finished my shift (6 am to 2 pm). It was almost 4 when I felt safe to leave work. Anyway, I hit the pub on the way home and pounded down 6 or 7 pints. Not my plan for the day, but that’s the way it ended up. Oh well. And, yes, while I’m the guy in charge of the building issues, I often get called in by the nurse-aid’s to help with the ones who get physical and out of hand, so I guess half my job is as a social worker, or old folks home BOUNCER! LOL

Roger just wanted to go home. So sad. He has no home left to go home to. This is his home now, but he doesn’t really get that, and probably never will. That’s so sad!

For some reason, I’m carrying these burdens of these desperate few souls upon my back. I do it gladly, proudly, in fact, because there isn’t anyone else in their lives to do it. The residents seem to know that, though, and are often better with me than with the ones in charge of them! Not what I signed up for, but, I see the meaning in it and am grateful to be able to help.

God help them, help me to continue to help them and please free me from my alcoholism so that I can continue to help us all…….*sigh*……

Nelson

5…

The countdown has begun. I have 5 day’s to taper down and quit my drinking. If not accomplished by this Saturday, I will be enrolling myself in the local Daytox program as I described earlier. Last night I was at my usual watering hole and had my usual fill, but starting today I’m beginning my taper down to zero drinks by Friday. I think I can do this. While I don’t have what AA would describe as a classical “Higher Power”, I do believe in a higher power of sorts; call it the “Universal Intelligence”. And aside from that, I do believe in the power that an AA community can provide. Even AA suggests that for those who have a problem with believing in God, that the AA community can be substituted for that.

So, starting today as well, I’m going to be going to an AA meeting every day for the rest of this week and will likely continue doing the same indefinately.

For those interested, I’ll be reporting in every day this week as the countdown continues, with actual numbers of drinks consumed each day.

Cheeeeeers!

Nelson

 

Shake hands…

Yes, my hands are shaking this morning. Well, a couple nights ago I had a few. Yesterday, I met my buddy at the pub, at 1 pm, for what we amusingly call, “Hangover Relief”. Of course everyone knows that a hangover is alcohol withdrawal, so the “logical” thing to do is to use alcohol to help with the hangover, right? Maybe right if I had only one or two drinks, but I stayed at the pub until 7!

Needless to say, I’m not feeling very well today. I’ve been worse, but that’s beside the point. I have 7 day’s till my deadline. If I haven’t quit drinking by next Friday, I’m enrolling myself in that Daytox program. Seriously. I really don’t want to do that program. Something tells me that I will though. Oh what confidence I have in myself!

 

 

I have a plan…

Ok, yesterday I talked about possibly going to the “Daytox” program during my vacation time. Can’t say that idea thrills me. In fact, I’d rather not go (just a bunch of real drunks there remember…!). So, here’s my plan. If I am not able to stop drinking between now and then, then I will go. I think that’s a fair challenge because if I’m not able to stop drinking between now and then, then that’s even more evidence that I am a real drunk myself and need a program like that. Makes sense doesn’t it? I think so. Going would be the best thing that I can do for myself in that case. So, we will see….

On another note, I’m appalled at how bad my memory has been lately. Certainly the booze is to blame. Age might play a role in that as well, but I’ve noticed for years that when I quit or cut back on my drinking, my short term memory improves dramatically. It’s never been this bad, however. It’s well known that excessive alcohol consumption has a host of negative health side-effects, with memory loss being one of the many. Well, I hope that the alcohol is causing it! Heaven forbid if I’m showing early signs of Alzheimer’s. Mind you, my father had Alzheimer’s, and in the last few years of his life he simply FORGOT to drink!!! That’s not the way I want to go, however. No sir, no thanks.

And on yet another note, I’m going to search out and join some online communities that are devoted to alcohol addiction. One I know of is called…oh for crying out loud, I can’t remember the name!!! I’ll report back on the name. My point is, one thing I learned in AA is that sharing our feelings, our struggles, frustrations, joys, experiences etc., and reaching out to others (Step 12) is very therapeutic for everyone involved. So, I’m going to explore that route and join some online communities in an effort to help both myself and others.

Last note for today: I’m not going to go to my usual watering hole and drink my evening away. I’m just going to stay home, have as few drinks as possible and make this day one of my plan to taper down and quit my drinking before that vacation time roles around. That’s my plan…let’s see if I can do it.

More research…

In AA, “more research” means you are still out in the field drinking. That’s not the farmers field, it’s the bars. And that’s where I’ve been every evening since last posting. I’m not discouraged, though, not as much as I have been before anyway. I KNOW I’m close to quitting. In fact, I have arranged to take two weeks of my vacation time in May for the very purpose of getting myself sober. I may even attend what they call “Daytox”, which is an out-patient program designed purely to help people get sober who otherwise cannot (or don’t want to) attend an in-patient rehab type program. It’s a 12-step program (AA based) and runs for six weeks. Once finished, they expect you to continue to attend regular AA meetings.They ask for just a few hours per day attendance for various classes.

Not long ago, I wouldn’t have given a second thought to attending a program like that. That was beneath me. I was too good for that. Real drunks go there, I smugly thought to myself. Hmmmmm. That thought has also kept me from going to AA meetings as well, for years. Well, guess what this guy is going to start doing in the meantime? Yup, go to AA meetings in the evenings. I need something to do with my time in the evenings, rather than go to the pub. I hate being at home alone. There is no other alternative!!! God knows, I’ve tried. I’ve tried everything, from reading, to watching movies, to playing video games, to going to the gym, to…to….to….everything. But look at that. On any given night, there must be 20 or 30 different AA meetings being held around the city (I live in a large city). I could even go to one at 5 o’clock, 7, 8, 9 and 11!

Will I do it? I dunno. I want to, mostly. I know I need to or this damn disease is going to kill me. I’ll let you know. Right now, all I want is a drink to help me get over today’s hangover!!! But not while I’m working (I work in a support staff position at an Assisted Living care home).