I think about writing all the time, but I can’t seem to get into the routine of it. I have developed other routines that I’m not willing to give up to bus blogging. I’ve been listening to my book club books on Audible and crocheting granny squares. I have aspirations to make a blanket. Outside of my work commute I don’t have the mental space or time to write either. I’m so extra busy with work and figuring out life here that I don’t have space like I did in Egypt, and I guess I don’t feel as needy to have this blog to keeping me going every day. It doesn’t feel as scary to not drink, nor do I have the daily mental battles over it. I won’t lie and say that the little voice in my head doesn’t speak up about the “no harm for one drink” but it is no where near as loud as it once was.
I will confess that I did have two drinks on Thanksgiving. It feels like a confession because this is a place to contemplate sobriety, but I don’t feel like I’m back to square one because of it. I didn’t fall off the wagon and go on a binge. I had two drinks at a Thanksgiving buffet in an Irish Bar in China. In the whole scope of things, its okay. Here I am a few days later, gone through another week-end sans booze.
Since I stopped drinking again (besides those two drinks) I’ve already lost 2 pounds. I feel better about myself and my week-ends. I actually picked up my violin and played tonight. I haven’t played in about 4 months. I’m slowly finding my way back to my healthy habits and hobbies.
It’s amazing how just committing to writing about not drinking works for me! For now anyways, until it gets hard again. I was just telling Husband that maybe a rule I should follow is that I can drink in countries that I don’t live in. Would I want that? Would that open me up to slippery slope? Would that just make me hungover throughout my vacations? Why do I need to drink at all?
I am considering this option I must admit. But before I decide, I need to read through my old blog journey to here in order to remind myself where I have come from. Do I need any drink in my life to be contented with myself and my life? Do I need a pressure release a few times a years to allow for a simple pleasure?
Today was Family Fun Day at our school. An all day school event that was mandatory attendance. I didn’t get any of the beers on tap and it was “forced fun” but I still managed to have an enjoyable time.
I went right through Hump Day forgetting to write. I guess that is a good thing? Work keeps me in the present moment and then after work I made dinner: Chinese broccoli with beef and ginger. After that I couldn’t bring myself to work more, since today I will be at work until 8:30pm for a talent show, so I went to get my nails done. The lady was overly detailed and it took two whole hours! I was thankful that had headphones and battery life to listen to audio book.
I’m listen to “Big Brother” my Lionel Shriver, which is about a sister-brother relationship after he comes for a visit and shows up close to 300 lbs. There are addition issues, fat politics, underbellies of families and relationships woven it. I recommend it.
So yesterday was filed and drinking didn’t enter my mind. Today I will get home after my bedtime, so I feel safe. Especially since I has mostly kept the rule of not drinking at home during my 3-month experiment. What is next is negotiating the week-end. We have a two campus K-12 staff and family event on Saturday, mandatory attendance and free flowing wine and beer. Standing around at forced social event with drinking staff members will be my next test.
Day 3: Tuesday
In Egypt Tuesday was Hump Day, halfway through the work week and so a hurtle to dryly cross over. It is Tuesday here in China, which is like any Tuesday. I’m feeling okay today about the not drinking. There was a slight pang of outsiderness and loss when my boss slumped into my couch and said, “God I need a beer” and I thought “Yeah, me too…oh, no, not me too.” I’m back to the re-think and re-direction of what sooths me during stressful times. Without booze I have to ask myself what will really help me to have some release, escape or bolstering. For me, booze is the lazy way to feel like I’m treating myself, but then the next day I’m thrown back into the same mix with a hangover that led me to want to drink in the first place. Sound familiar, self?
What will I do to relieve myself from the stresses of the day?
My Tuesday night looks pretty good in list-form. My world looks full, diverse, interesting. Way more interesting than eating a pizza and drinking 3 pints of IPA at the local Irish Pub, right?
It’s a rainy Monday morning in Guangzhou, China. I am bus blogging again so I have a friend to start the journey anew. I feel, unknown witnesses, that I need to expand a bit about why I want to quit again at the same emphasis that I have not been out of control since I started drinking again. I would venture that I have only gotten drunk a few times in the last three months. But the changes in me I haven’t liked and the stress of holding my own lines feel too much to bare indefinitely. How many times can I say no? How much effort to I want to put into negotiating the terms of my rules and exceptions. There are always exceptions.
Some of the rules I tried and their success rates:
Changes I didn’t like seeing:
Hello old friends. I'm back. Back for many reasons, but the main reason is that I started drinking again and now I want to stop. Blogging it out worked last time to take one step at a time, maybe it can work this time as well.
Why did I start drinking again?
That is what I have to tease out, but on the surface I really did think that I could re-enter the world of drinking and do alright. I wanted to be less extreme, more in the mix, casual. I didn't drink for 2 1/2 years and it seemed enough of reset button. I was in a new country, a new context and new desire to be out in the world and make friends. I live in China now instead of Egypt. The bar scene here is cool, IPAs and good wines compared to the regular shitty alcohol of Egypt. I wanted to be part of that world.
Why do I want to stop again?
I've been back in the world of drinking and drinkers for 3 months now and I've had enough. I see where this is going for me. But strangely, and I do really think it is strange, it feels hard to stop. It seems like it shouldn't be hard to stop because I've done it before and came to love it. The benefits still outweigh the losses, so what's the deal? Well, as you know, drinking is easy. It makes you friends. It's fun. Until its not fun the next day. I made up rules, adjusted them when I broke them, but did alright for for the most part. Until I didn't. I get hungover so easily too, and for the whole day. Like now. I'm hungover right now and will be all day because I drank 4 tasty IPAs last night.
I can't concentrate very well to even write this. I have so much I want to say but can't organize my thoughts because I'm hungover for the second day in a row. I'm not proud of myself. But here I am right? Day 1, the last day of hangovers, the first day of getting back to the business of being me. Me without the drink.