Tag Archives: alcoholism

I had two days in a row without drinking–Monday and Tuesday–which is a real rarity for me, especially for the past two or three years.  It helps that I had doctors’ appointments and errands to run both days after work, so by the time I got home the seroquel was in effect and I was ready to go to sleep.

I didn’t have night terrors these two nights, but I did wake up Monday to a drunk man screaming at a woman on the sidewalk outside my window about how he’s going to die alone and lonely because she won’t leave her husband for him even though they’re already having sex.  Stay classy, Chicago.

Bursts of inspiration and motivation have been hitting me lately, but I’m unable to follow through with my whims due to a lack of money.  I tried to start an e-commerce business and lost money.  I watched a comprehensive bookkeeping tutorial, and at the end I learned the start-up costs were too high.  I’ve thought about learning how to work the stock market, but I still have credit card debt anyway.

Some other whims I’ve had recently:

  • Buy and renovate a home
  • Buy and renovate a house boat
  • Turn my janky stairwell into a welcoming deck space
  • Actually learn how to use my fairly decent camera
  • Learn latchhooking or macrame
  • Blog about my experience with naltrexone and the Sinclair Method (oh hey)

Tonight I’ll probably end up drinking, but I don’t know how much.  If I’m at home cooking and doing chores, I’ll probably drink a lot.  If I go over to my boyfriend’s place, I’ll probably just have a few glasses of wine.

I look forward to seeing how this week plays out.

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Drinking yourself sober?

It’s the idea employed by the Sinclair Method (TSM), and it’s my first real attempt to scale back from alcohol abuse to recreational, situational alcohol use, which is the program’s ultimate goal.

I started on naltrexone a little over two months ago, but without any guidance.  I had a vague inclination to keep a drink log, but it was sporadic and not detailed.  After learning about TSM and deciding (hoping) it could be right for me, I’m now starting to keep a better log and a journal about my experiences.

I take 50 mg of naltrexone every day at least one hour before I expect to start drinking.  Of course I’ve been doing this for two months already, but now with TSM, I’m engaging in what they refer to as “mindful drinking,” or really considering and contemplating each drink I take.  How badly do I want it?  What do I like about it?  Was it as good as I thought it’d be?  These types of thoughts, along with the chemical effects of naltrexone, are supposed to work in tandem to reduce cravings and dull the pleasure receptors that make drinking such a rush.

When I was prescribed naltrexone, I was also given the sleep aid seroquel.  On nights when I’m committed to not drinking, I take seroquel before I leave work so that I’m ready to pass out when I get home.  This does help, but I’ve found lately that seroquel has been giving me vivid nightmares.  I had the same problem with trazadone and gabapentin before.  Many of these nightmares center around me being in my bed, aware that someone is breaking into my apartment, yet I’m paralyzed and blind and can’t do anything about it.  After a few of these terrifying episodes, I’m considering switching meds when I see my psychiatrist next week.

But I’m going to stay on naltrexone and continue to practice mindful drinking, with the end goal of deciding that drinking just isn’t as fun as it used to be.  The process can take six months, and I’m more or less in the beginning of month two.  I will post updates as time goes on, or maybe even start a separate blog for this topic.

So many people are doing so many good things and, for the most part,  I’m not.  That’s not to say I’m doing anything wrong, either, but my existence is pretty neutral.  I’m not doing much to make the world a better place, and as a middle(ish)-class white person, I really should be.  I feel great about doing my part to get a dangerous man slapped with the label “criminal” by the penal system*, but that only affects the handful of women who may encounter him before his unhealthy choices kill him.  I want to help effect broad-scale change, because so much change is needed.

What holds me back is my inability to be a leader.  I can’t be the one to start things, to do the planning and organizing, and especially the outreach.  I can’t join others’ organizations either, because of my social anxiety.  Walking into a room where I don’t know anyone (and staying sober) is more than I can handle.  I’ve been to a couple protests before, but all I could do was stand to the side holding a sign.  Chanting and marching in a group of strangers is far too scary.  Plus, I’m also afraid of the commitment, of people relying on me.  What if they want me to do something I’m uncomfortable with?  What if I get too depressed and just want to lay in bed?  What if I’d rather drink instead of do work?  I don’t want to put myself and others in a position where I fairly likely may let them down.

Part of me wants to give myself more credit than that, but I know my own flaws too well.  I love my comfort zone, and my comfort zone has become drinking and listening to music with Bunny.  They might ask me to write a press release or paint some signs, but I’d rather get drunk and sing songs and play on Facebook.  These habits have me in a spiral of self-loathing at times, but I’m not sure I have the willpower or the drive to break them.

A long time ago in this blog I made mention of a girl I had a one-night stand threesome with.  I knew her first name and had a vague idea of a last name.  About a month ago a name popped up on Facebook, and I was pretty sure it was her.  It was.  Since that crazy night/morning, she seems to have been very ambitious and gotten some cool things done, including an upcoming plan to start a garden.  I think, maybe, I can handle starting there.  A community garden won’t enact major policy change in our sexist, racist society, but at least it’ll benefit some people.  I’ll be doing something positive for the greater good.

 

* I won’t go into detail for both legal and privacy purposes, but I’ll say that it has proven to be a very good idea for me to write the below post about intimate partner violence.  It turns out I’m not the only one.

A First Post

I will feel so much better once I achieve at least minimal financial independence.  Emotional independence might be nice too.

Life has improved since I’ve cut back so much on drinking.  The first year of alcoholism was fun, but at this point, it’s just not anymore.  It started as a pity party, but then the “party” part sort of faded away and all I was left with was a whole lot of self-pity.  I’d sit on Facebook all night spilling my guts—fighting the urge to also vomit the contents therein—with endless drunken tales of how the world has wronged me.  Since I’ve been drinking less, I haven’t completely humiliated myself in a few weeks now, and it feels really good.  I have more self-esteem.

At nearly 25, though, something resembling a career track would be an excellent improvement.  Shortly after college, back in Chicago, I somehow landed a job at one of the world’s biggest media agencies.  I worked there about six months before leaving to spend a summer in Raleigh, North Carolina, and I haven’t been able to get back into the working world since.

As my desperation in the job hunt increases, my standards have to keep lowering.  Seven months after relocating to Long Beach, I’m throwing my hands up and just desperately seeking any admin job.  Forget that I have a degree and some experience.  I’ll just start trying to be a secretary.  We’ll see how many months go by before I aim even lower and go back to being a cashier.  Seriously, shouldn’t I be a junior executive by now?

Today was supposed to be Day 1 of achieving a short list of simple, daily benchmarks my therapist and I set together.  I’ve already failed, though, to wake up by noon, which is naturally first on the list.  At least I showered within an hour of waking and washed some dishes.

I’m getting out a bit, though, too—drinking a lot of green tea at the hipster coffee shop, the Library.  I refill the cup over and over and reread Wuthering Heights or enter data for my boyfriend’s small business.  The doors of the Library are always wide open to the sidewalk and they play a lot of Kinks quietly.

What I love about Southern California is that you can tell when you’re near the ocean even without seeing it, because you can smell the brine and feel the dampness in the breeze.

Short-term goal: Spend more time outdoors.