I've been doing the right things this week, why am I dysfunctionally tired? It is Wednesday (my Thursday) and I'm on the early bus home instead of working out because I just need to lay down. I have the kind of tired where my eye sockets hurt and I loose my train of thought in the middle of talking, and can't recall my colleagues names to send them emails. Usually I would blame the midweek drinking on my exhaustion and why I might skip the gym toward the end of the week, now what? Could it be that I over-blame alcohol? Is it that my body is working hard to heal? Can I be healing after 6 days?
I almost missed my bus on purpose and struggled through a workout. But, I decided to listen to my body instead. And I need to rest, not workout. In my research about food, health and my metabolism that led to my decision to stop drinking was many articles about listening to one's body. I thought I was doing that pretty well, but I realized I wasn't in many aspects and especially when it came to alcohol.
When I listen to what my body says about alcohol, I definitely have addict tendencies:
#1. I love the burn and radiating warmth in my body during my first few sips of whisky.
#2. When I get buzzed, I drink faster because I want more of THAT feeling.
#3. I get both irritated and self-conscious when sharing a bottle of wine with slow drinkers. "Why is their drink just sitting there?!?!?" "I can't even top of their drink because its full and mine is empty again" and "I'll never get a buzz this fucking way" and "should I offer to pay more because I drank more than my share?"
#4. My hangovers effect me all day long, I don't feel myself until after a full night of sleep the next day. Yet, I have been known to drink over that hangover and it goes away...until the next day. When I say I don't feel myself, I mean physically sick with stomach issues, getting dizzy, really foggy mind, depressed, and not able to really concentrate on anything, no energy.
Four more reasons why I need not to drink.
I'm still in the game. Even after a night of trivia in a smoky bar, with mild surprise and peer pressure, club soda was my only friend. I'm exhausted and have been all day, where is the energy that comes from sleeping early and sober?
If I was not trying to quit drinking [forever] for a month, I would definitely drink a few whiskies and at least a half bottle of wine tonight. I haven't had a drink in a few days and my hangover-self is fading. Also I have reasons to celebrate-working out twice after school this week! Both mornings taking the dog out to play before work! A successful workshop I ran today with some teachers!
This will be the first time in a while to break that pattern of drinking the day after Sober Sunday. Husband is already home and has cracked a bottle open and might even have a drink waiting for me. I will say no. I have to say no.
I have a 45 minute bus ride to remember that yummy fun whiskys are not worth the risk; the risk of how it will ruin my next day.
Let me count the potential ways my tomorrow will be ruined if I were to drink tonight.
#1. I'll go to bed late and sleep like shit. Possibly take a half (I swear) sleeping pill to help and still kick the dog off the bed and get annoyed at husband's snores because I'm the one who can't sleep.
#2. I'll move slowly in the morning and not have time to take the dog out for a walk and fetch. She'll just get the back door opened and me pointing, telling her to go outside. She won't possibly get excercise until the next morning potential. Her hopeful face breaks my heart.
#3. After school I will skip Arabic class, lying about having to work late and go home on the early bus.
#4. Tomorrow is trivia night and I'll either skip out because I can't handle another late night and order in something unhealthy because I can't bear to cook. Or I'll go to trivia and start drinking beer, ear unhealthy pub food, feel good in the moment and have another day like this potential day. The poor sweet dog, it's killing me!
I'm on the bus heading home from work. Yes, it is Sunday. To make things easier to understand I should clarify where I am and a little bit about me.
I grew up outside of Chicago and currently live in Cairo, Egypt. Since the Islamic holy day is Friday, the week-end is Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the new Monday. I've been here for 6 months and I still call Thursday Friday, I don't think I'll ever get it right.
My husband, dog and I moved here to taking teaching positions at an American school, I'm riding the school bus home-at many international schools staff and students both can take school transport home. A good time to listen to music and blog. Bus bloggin'!
I thought that living in a Muslim country would make it easier to cut back on drinking, but no...I've brought myself with me. Alcohol isn't illegal here but there are restrictions which I had hoped to slow me down, but no, that is not the case. These are some of the restrictions: you can only buy foreign-made bottles of alcohol at duty-free shops within 4 days of arrival by an international flight, and you can only buy 4 bottles AND you can only do this 4x a year because they mark your passport. Also, most restaurants don't serve alcohol but the ones I go to do.
But here is plenty of alcohol to be had:
#1 Egypt makes their own crappy wines and beer. They make other liquors too but I don't really like anything but wine, beer and scotch. And to make it that much easier I can order home delivery from a webpage. This is a Husband duty, and we never run out of crappy wine and beer in the house.
#2. We live in a neighborhood with a large expat community. There is a couple of bars with legit foreign whiskies and wines. We even belong the club associated with the U.S. Embassy where they have an IPA. I drank at least 4 of them during trivia night on Thursday night-which we won btw, and received a drink ticket as a prize. We celebrated with a scotch each. Those were my last drinks.
#3. I hang out all expats (Brits, Scots, Candians, Americans) and mostly teachers. Many max out their alcohol imports and drink large numbers of crappy beer and wine at the bar where all the expats hang out in the neighborhood. A prefect storm. And I fit right in. Until I'm trying not too.
#4. Husband and I traveled over winter break and between all the restrictions we managed to bring in 12 bottles of scotch and 2 bottles of gin. Where there is a will there is a way.
#5 I even set up hosting Air B&B travelers and giving them a free night for picking up scotch at the the airport for us.
There is more, but you get it. I brought myself with me and have set myself up to be stocked and to continue having fun the ways I know best.
Husband and I both know we drink too much, but he doesn't get the hangovers I do. We dedicated that Sunday we would designated day of sobriety. It has a nice ring "Sober Sunday" and it is the easiest day to do it, our Monday night. But some Sunday's are too rough and we need a drink, or we watch "Madmen" or "Boardwalk Empire" and have to have a scotch, or sometimes it was a great day and a drink is needed. A drink is aways a great accompaniment for however I might be feeling.
The end of day 2 is when I decided to start to log this journey.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp