So yesterday was the most recent “Day 1” sober. And like so many Day 1’s, it was spent in self-loathing reflection as I nursed my hangover. But mixed in was some confusion to how I ended up largely unfunctional from when I woke at 7am to 2pm. What I was confused about was how 5-6 beers led to that! Six IPAs doesn’t seem like that many to have destroyed me like it did.
In I’m talking with Husband about if I should really give up the drink again, he said, “You should be proud that got destroyed after only 6 beers, it shows you are no longer a big drinker!” Ha! My husband is so supportive, but definitely not the accountability partner I need to examine how much joy/sorrow drinking provides me. He was also proud of himself that he felt great the next day, no hangover at all. So strong!
Anyway, we did talk the pros and cons of my drinking as much as it can be interesting to anyone but me. Husband will support me either way, but this time feels less scary to him because we have done this before and our relationship wasn’t negatively impacted by our differing drinking habits. Basically he is fine with drinking alone and doesn’t want to be judged by a high & dry wife. I get it. I do me, you do you. It worked before, it worked quite well.
Husband and I were talking about finances. We have been fortunate with my misfortune: my dad died over a year ago and we were able to get ourselves out of debt completely with the money he left behind: no more student loans! Thank you dad, what a gift. So we have a nice problem: what to do with the extra money we have each month and examine our spending habits. Neither of us are big spender on hot trendy items. But we have been freer with our spending because we have the money and we are out of debt. We talked about looking at our spending habits a bit more closely so we can capitalize on this time of our lives to get our retirement funds where they should be for our age.
I like a challenge and ran with this idea. I researched and tried out some different apps and software to monitor spending and budgeting. I do have Mint but it doesn't work for currencies outside the USA. We settled on using Toshl, a simple app that we aren't connecting to bank accounts. Just putting in our money for the month and tagging how we spend it. I like it, and it can work in multiple currencies.
I then decided to start listen again to Her Money, a podcast about women, finances with guest speakers who connect money to leadership, life and happiness. While her music is terrible (I just don't like the saxophone) the content is interesting. The episode had Cait Flanders on as a guest, who talked about her book: The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You can By in a Store. I decided to download the book on Kindle. I was hooked and read it in 3 days.
The book is more memoire than a how-to book to start your own shopping ban. She used to be a drinker, eater and a big shopper with the root of all being the emotional numbing that each could briefly provide. I could relate! While I'm not a huge eater or shopper I do see how they add to my emotional tool bag. This year my job has been very stressful and both Husband and I have purposely and honestly gone out shopping to avoid doing work and to make ourselves feel better. Shopping can do that: you have a need, you search for it, find it and buy it. Done. It can feel productive, it is a tangible sense of accomplishment that my work just doesn't provide sometimes.
I want to do a shopping ban and I want to quit drinking again! Then I thought about starting a new blog where I could do both! I was going to call it "It's a nice problem to have". But I deleted it, because I have history that has brought me to here that I want to honor and hold up to the light. I'm not going to hide my fresh start. Here I am. Let's do this! I have so much to tell you....
I created another blog yesterday so I could start fresh. A fresh place of being anonymous and starting a "Day 1" where I will be sober again! A place where my 2.5 years of sobriety had "a lapse" and then I easily just started to be dry again. Not like my reality. I think I have a few personal friends who still check this page and I feel shame that I failed. I feel extra vulnerable that I did it right, and now I'm not getting it right. I judge myself and feel others must be judging me too. There has been too many Day 1's of Sobriety in the last few months.
I want to be sober again, not be because I fell off the wagon and ended up where I started. I would venture that I'm a pretty good moderate drinker. Usually keeping to 3 drinks a few times a week. But I don't want to be that "proud" moderate drinker, I'm still working to monitor that 3 drink rule, and easily overstep it. I don't feel good about my lapses, I don't feel good about the hangovers; they get in the way of my mindful living, the best version of myself that I'm crafting to be.
Another reason why started that other blog was that I also want to talk about things besides sobriety. My sobriety blog made me feel boxed in, that I had to only talk about sobriety here. But I can do that. I'm doing this whole thing to help me, if you want to read along dear reader, please do but I need to give myself the permission to be who I am and blog what I need to blog.
So I'm back. Please welcome me without judgment. Let me have my new Day 1, my fresh start, but not in secret and not on a new blog.
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