My Weekend of Sobriety #2

My first weekend of sobriety went pretty well, but I was nervous about my second weekend because I’d be going back to Helen. Practically everyone in Helen drinks, plus we were going to a party with friends who’d all be drinking.

We had our son with us, making it a family weekend.

The boys had gone up Thursday night, giving me a night by myself. Alas, it went by way too quickly. I got there Friday late afternoon fully expecting the tug of alcohol.

Fortunately, it wasn’t so bad.

Friday night was very relaxing. After little man went to bed, Josef and I watched a Jim Gaffigan special, and neither one of us made it to the end as we were tired from the week.

On Saturday, I ran 10 miles in 1:35. That’s a 9:26/min average pace. This was one of the best runs I’ve ever had. I could have kept running but I had told Josef that I would only be gone for an hour and a half max.

At the end of the run, I was in the middle of town. There was a scavenger hunt going on that was related to the party that night, where someone would be awarded a prize for getting all the answers and visiting all the businesses on the game sheet. I chatted with our friends who were trying to get folks to sign up to play the game, and I took a game sheet and took it back to the house. Later, our little family went on a walk and looked for the answers to the scavenger hunt from the game sheet.

My first reaction when I hear about participating in a scavenger hunt is something akin to hives. It stresses me out. It’s the last thing I’d ever sign up to do. My theory is that I did too many overwhelming educational ones as a child on field trips. I remember one in particular was very difficult. It was at Space Camp and our teachers had created this scavenger hunt where we had to work in groups, go through the museum to find answers to very vague clues, and the answers somehow lead to a final clue (made a sentence, maybe?). Ugh, it was so awful.

I’m happy to report that this past weekend’s scavenger hunt may have made me a little less apprehensive of future scavenger hunts. It was fun. We had a good time figuring out the answers, and we got most of them by the time we finished our walk.

We hired a sitter so we could go to the party as a date. The sitter was very sweet and we’ll ask her back. Her mother and older sister were at the party. Ah, the beauty of a small town, I suppose. Josef and I stopped by one of our usual bars and he had a beer while I enjoyed a Coke. Then we went up to the party where, again, he had beer and I had a (wait for it) Coke. A few people commented on my lack of drinking, but most did not notice. They were too busy having fun. Those who did notice and asked probably think I am pregnant. They will be disappointed, I imagine, when I don’t have a baby eventually.

The party was okay. There was an overly-friendly accordion player who was looking at me each time I happened looked his way. He cornered me at one point when he was taking a break, whereupon I learned he was fairly harmless and was not the best conversationalist. I got away politely and joined another conversation group.

The crowd there was generally 20+ years older than we were, plus I was pretty tired from my run, so we didn’t stay out as late as we thought we would. Josef walked me back so I could send the sitter home and he headed back out to the bar (literally a 3-5 minute walk from our house — I really should time it as it’s ridiculously close). I curled up on the couch and got through half an episode of Versailles before he came back. Then we watched more stand up, again not making it through the whole episode. It felt good to hang out together and laugh. It felt like the old days.

It was a mild and good weekend. I am a whole lot more prone to seeking out snacks now on weekend nights, so that’s not good. I’ve been researching how to snack and not gain weight.

I did some weight lifting last night. I’m not well acquainted with the machines in my little apartment gym, but I figured my way around some of the options and lifted to work out my quads, inner thighs, and shoulders. Safe to say I don’t really know what I am doing, but maybe I can find someone to train me. I love to do pliés as I hold weight in my hands. I can incorporate a number of stretches and lifts in this position. It has really helped my running. I need to work on my upper body more, though, as well as abs.

I continued with some stretches when I got back home, after I put our son to bed. Strangely, I am not all that sore today, even though what I lifted felt challenging last night. I guess I was being cautious without realizing it. Typical of me.

Tomorrow I will get to run again as tonight we have a meeting at the school. I’m hoping to go for distance again. I’m definitely seeing a performance improvement by not drinking, and I hope weight training will also help me with running.

I’m still holding on to some emotional junk, unhealthy obsessions, and am still faced with triggers that get me down sometimes, but for the most part, by putting in the work, I am feeling better on the whole.

I started a secret Facebook group (it’s not so secret any more, Susan!!) for moms dealing with mental health issues, and one of the members posted some things she wrote on her mirror to help herself. The approach of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) includes working to change your thoughts. It all rolls into the Thoughts – Feelings – Behavior Triangle:cbt-cycleChange your thoughts and you can change how you feel and what you do. Identify behaviors that make you feel a certain way, and recognize them so you can work on how you think about them.

If you know me at all, you may have heard me stop you if you have ever talked negatively about yourself in my presence. Even if you are only making a humorous self-deprecating statement, I will call it out and say, “hey now, no negative self-talk.” It’s because I am hyper aware of these types of thoughts now.

The mom in the Facebook group who shared some thoughts shared hers and then asked us to contribute ours. These are geared toward anxiety, but I can see these would be helpful for someone with depression, too.

Here are some, which I hope may be useful to you:

-Can any one of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life? (Yay, Bible)

-It may not be okay now, but it will be soon.

-It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.

-This is not then.

-Feel the fear, and do it anyway.

-Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.

– That thing you’re worrying about? It is not happening right now. Everyone is safe. You are safe. (This one is mine. I created and used it when I was having horrible fears present themselves to me right as I was trying to go to sleep.)

– Avoidance behavior reinforces anxiety. (YES. IT. DOES. Ugh, guilty.)

I’m working on getting clear-headed and clear-eyed so I can most effectively change my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. My feelings are my weakness right now because they don’t line up with my behaviors. It’s hard work and I am not going it alone. I think exercise is really saving right now, along with meds of course.

Thanks for reading.

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