Another One of Those First World Problems

I feel complaining about insignificant things and labeling them “FWP” exonerates me from being a whiny spoiled person living in the best place in the world.  I’m also a jaded ex-catholic, so there is already a layer of guilt underneath everything I say and do.  

I want to post this for another reason.  With the hell I’ve been going through for the past year from medication side effects, divorce, being ostracized by my children and doing all of this in a delicate mental condition, I welcome superficial trivial problems. 

Here is one now:

Well, so far this is a very good day! I colored my hair this week from an online hair color boasting it is just like the professional color. I don’t know why I bother. The brown of my hair turned out beautifully but the white came out a light brownish reddish. Anyway……I used the last of my root concealer two days ago (forgot all about covering my roots on Tuesday and was out doing errands for four hours). Luckily I wasn’t aware so had all of the confidence of a good looking person. Back to my roots (pardon the pun) I was even debating wearing one of Allison’s hats to hit the Walgreens early before too many people were there to get a new can of concealer. In the bathroom I took one more last ditch effort, fingers crossed, to look in the bathroom closet.  There it was buried under cold medicine…..half a can!!!  Halejuha!

Dear Life:  please keep bringing on those kind of problems.  I really need a break.  xoxo

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Still Drinking Wine

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bottles behind my dresser’s mirror

I am still drinking wine even though the danger far outweighs the pleasure. The thing is, I don’t see or feel any of the dangers …yet.

I sleep well, get up for work on time and do a good job.

I’ve managed to lose 11 lbs. without giving up wine.

I take seven different prescription medications that do not seem to be affected by it.

I am not showing signs of liver damage.

My skin is not aging prematurely.

I’m not suffering from dementia

Blood pressure is healthy.

I have managed to stay highly productive.

I drink a bottle of wine every night.  I actually don’t want to drink until around 7pm.  A lot of the time I dread that time of night.  I just give in to it.  I feel sad, lonely and deprived when I don’t drink.  Crazy, right?

I’ve come up with a few ideas about why I like drinking and why I haven’t been able to stop.

I grew up not being in control of anything at school or at home.  When I finally reached the age of being able to work etc. I started smoking.  It felt good because no one would allow me to smoke and they couldn’t stop me either.  Maybe it was the first thing that represented control to me.   I ended up being in control, but not really.  I wanted to quit, I hated the smell and I felt like a criminal because smoking had started to have a stigma attached. I couldn’t go without it even though I hated it.

Another piece of the puzzle is when I quit smoking, I replaced that with food.  For years I over ate, felt sick and ashamed.  I didn’t really start gaining weight until after bipolar meds I began taking in my forties. So that had to be dealt with the only way I knew how.

The drinking started because I had been used to such highs and lows my entire life and when I started taking medication for bipolar I felt like a big blob.  I didn’t like anything or hate it.  I felt as if I had no personality anymore.  Drinking wine at least changed that mood enough so I felt a little bit like my old self.

So here we are now, five years later.  I’m up to a bottle of wine every night.  I do feel in control when I make a stop at the liquor store and get anything I want.  I have been working all day, made my money and now I can buy some wine.  Just like I could buy cigarettes and go by McDonald’s or eat a pint of ice cream until I was sick.

My therapist says it is crucial to replace the wine and the ritual with something I enjoy just as much.  She also said if I am not experiencing any of the bad side effects of the wine, I should quit to see how much better I could be.   Could I sleep better, lose more weight, have better skin and feel a difference if the alcohol isn’t interfering with my medication?

I’ll have to go cold turkey. Drinking less doesn’t work.  I’m the kind person to eat the whole bar of chocolate instead of “just one square”.  People who do that and say they are satisfied are either on drugs or just not of this world.

My plan this time is to stop drinking completely.  Replace it with things I want to do, but never have the time because I am in bed drinking and doing work at 7pm.  At the beginning of the summer I had five lists of things to do from immediate to whenever.  I threw the last four away.  I’m going to rewrite those lists and start checking them off one by one, night by night.

And if I fail, I’ll try again.

Narcissism vs. Alcohol

Is alcoholism bigger than narcissism? I don’t know.  Maybe they are equal in my marriage right now.  If you read my post “It’s 11 p.m.” alcohol abuse explains it.

I drink too. I am not supposed to because of the medication I’m taking. I’ve only ever had an interaction with one medication, so I keep drinking. I don’t tell my psychiatrist because he would tell me to stop. He would also be very serious and maybe even a bit annoyed with me.

I drink wine every night. And because I can never be completely happy or content with myself I wonder if I have a drinking problem too.

I have read a lot of articles about how to stop.  Tips like taking a hot bath, a long walk or read instead of that second glass.  WTF?  Does that stuff work for anyone who is craving a drink?  No. For me, white knuckling it for a couple of weeks is the only way to go.  It’s just like chocolate, I either eat the whole king sized bar or nothing.  Breaking off two “squares” doesn’t work for me.

Hey, wait a minute, how did this post become about MY drinking?  Typical. It’s always been easier for me to take it on than to trust someone else to change.

Stay tuned for my next post, EMDR treatment…will it work?

Quitting the Habit

After drinking wine disguised in a mug last weekend I decided I should do something about my habit.  I stopped drinking on Monday.

Yesterday after an argument with John, I decided a nice glass of wine would be just right, and since I hadn’t drank in two days I could do it.  I went to the store on the way home and bought a box of wine. If I needed a glass it would be there. Turns out I didn’t need it!  Yippee!

The deeper question has yet to be asked, “Is it a habit or a dependency?”

I think it may be too soon to tell.  I’ve been drinking wine every night for the past five years.  It coincided with the beginning of my medication for Bipolar II.  I used it as a way to make me feel something because the medication seemed to squash my feelings.  Now I feel great with my cocktail (no pun intended) and enough time has gone by that I have adjusted to the new me.

Of course, the ultimate goal is always to lose weight 🙂 and that side effect will be welcomed with open arms.

Drinking in the Afternoon

You know what I did today? I drank wine out of a mug so my son wouldn’t question me.  It was 12:30 in the afternoon.  I was feeling so depressed that I thought it might help. It was that second mug that finally put a dent in it.

I realize that the trauma of my mother dying is making me depressed. Very understandable. This may be the most normal reaction I’ve ever had to anything.

I have to get my act together. I think it’s the three weeks on overdrive trying to make her feel comfortable, help my family and come to grips with her dying. Now with nothing left to do I feel like I’ve fallen off the edge of a cliff. That’s when the  depression set in.

It’s “normal”, but when have I ever been normal?

Sin City

Day 1

John was invited to Las Vegas by his daughter, Ashley, who lives in North Dakota. His son in law was in a huge race that weekend. John didn’t see it coming when I said was going too. I am known as a “stick in the mud” among his North Dakota family. Me? Going to Las Vegas and to watch dirt track racing (whatever the hell that was)! I just wanted to get away and do something different.

John began to interrogate me, I was getting a little irritated.

“Are you sure you want to go? It’s going to be really cold during the race.”

“Are you sure you want to go? It’s going to be really dusty during the race.”

“Are you sure you want to go? We’re going to be staying up really late.”

I’m not sure if he was trying to protect me from the cold, dust and lateness or thought I was going to cramp his style. I guess we’ll never know because I went.

This time John made all the travel arrangements. I didn’t know when we were leaving or even what airline we were flying. Turned out we were flying Spirit Airlines. I didn’t care that I had never heard of them until we got onto the plane and looked at the approximately 1 foot between the ripped and worn seats. I am not tall and even my knees barely fit. The passenger next to me sat down and we immediately became very intimate, rubbing knees and shoulders. This passenger turned out to be named Chad, an entrepreneur in ATM machines, custom motorcycles and the owner of his very own pot shop! Fascinating conversation ensued.

We made it to the hotel and got settled in and, of course, went down to the casino to drink and gamble all of our money away.  When I first got there I was stuck to John like glue (social anxiety). He plays black jack and so does Ashley. I don’t have enough confidence or concentration to play. I must have stood there for an hour watching them not being able to venture out among the other gamblers by myself. It’s a good thing I stand all day….an hour was nothing! I ended up making it to 12:30 until I went up to bed. I thought that was pretty good considering what a “stick in the mud” I am.

By the way-I’m going to drag out this Las Vegas story for all its worth,  Day 2 coming soon!