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.

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Up to Speed

I’ve been away from my blog for a while. It happens. I’ve been so submerged in Allison and her struggle with anxiety, starting to border on agoraphobia, her medication and also EMDR. She is doing much better by the way, I believe she has finally turned a corner and is on her way to some peace of mind.

I’ve been going to therapy for my anxiety too. The EMDR has been working. It’s like magic. I have to work hard and it is bringing up a lot of stuff I don’t want. I hate to have to admit that some of the things I have thought were being done to me were actually me.

My marriage is getting better. My therapist says everyone has the possibility to change. And it’s been since March 30 that I proposed divorce. I’m feeling more comfortable with the situation. I’m going to be pretty upset if this isn’t real to say the least.

And, of course, if it’s not one thing it’s another. I have somehow developed another nervous habit. Clenching my hands. I clench and unclench all day long. I can control it when I think about it, but I don’t realize I’m doing it until I am doing it. So by then someone has noticed. It’s not that apparent unless you are sitting right next to me or across from me. I talked to my therapist about it and she didn’t really come up with any good ideas how to stop except relaxing, other ways to relieve tension, the usual useless advice for anxiety. I’m going back to work in a week and I don’t feel any closer to getting it under control.

Can Housework Fix a Broken Marriage?

I talked to my psychiatrist today. He asked how my relationship with John was going. I started to tell him and then it dawned on me that I haven’t really thought about it lately. Has it happened again? Has he lulled me into a false state of security? I started to panic and blame myself for being so stupid again, but then I said to myself, “It’s okay. “

I’m still not wearing my wedding ring. I still have the divorce papers filed. I still haven’t planned our vacation in July. I may have started to enjoy the new John because he is being very nice, loving and patient, but I cannot forget that it won’t last. It has only been 6 weeks since he said he will go for therapy. He has gone twice.

I am very suspicious that he isn’t telling his therapist the whole story. After his first visit I was asked to write two things that I would like John to do. I wrote a paragraph about how he treats me and the family. The first thing I wanted him to do is to treat us better.

John came home with a chore list from the therapist. Not a chore list of things he should work on, but a list to organize his family to do chores, literally chores. Cleaning the bathroom, kitchen etc. She must have been told by John that this was the whole reason for our problems.

False Idol

I don’t know what to say about the last month. I realized that it has only been a little over 30 days since I filed the divorce papers and John decided to go to therapy.

I must say I was a bit disappointed because I was excited to get on with a new life. One without fear and dread every time I saw my husband.

Nowadays it is just plain weird. He is being nice to me. I am at the point that I feel the need to test his good mood. He hasn’t had a flair up and it’s so unusual that it’s unnerving me. I’ve heard about battered women and that as the tension builds that they just wish he would hit her and get it over with. I suppose as an emotionally abused woman maybe it is the same for me. I’m not sure.

I actually tested him. This really is not like me to rock the boat. Prepare yourself for the ridiculous…….

We’ve had the same dish brush for the last 20+ years. John refuses to throw it out. Yes, that is what you read, a dish brush. There was a fight about it a couple of years ago because I tried to throw it away. I must’ve been in a state of true mania, but there you have it, I tossed it. He went on his usual rant and dug it out of the trash. He didn’t just dig through it, he flung trash all over the floor, yelling and going on like finding this thing was a life or death emergency.

Sunday I was doing the dishes and decided to test the waters. I put the revered dish brush in the trash. Lay it right on top. Kept the cupboard open with the trash can sticking out. It was practically begging to be seen. I wanted to see his reaction.

I know he hasn’t been to the therapist for long enough to see a difference in his soul, but is the way he’s been behaving an act or is he really trying to change? Yes, my opinion of him and our marriage rested solely on an old dish brush.

He didn’t see it. I forgot about it until that night and had to unearth it from the bottom of the trash. I will try again, maybe not today or tomorrow.  Maybe not with the dish brush, but I will try again.

You may be saying to yourself, “This just isn’t normal”.

And you would be right.

The Last Thing I Would Have Expected….

I was already to leave.  I had my mind made up, part of me felt really good and then the unexpected happened. I started talking to John about what I thought would be the 4th and final “I want a divorce” talk. You know what he sprung on me? Therapy. He said he would go to therapy to keep me! Not couples therapy, but therapy for him!

Unfortunately, according to what I’ve read, this is right on cue for a narcissist. He’s been “love bombing” me all weekend. This is what they do when they are faced with abandonment.

I don’t think it will last. He can usually only keep the nice guy routine up for a few weeks, if that. The difference is this year I am not going to get sucked back in, I’m not falling for it again. If the therapy doesn’t work I’ve got all my ducks in a row .

I am keeping the papers filed and am continuing with the divorce process.  I guess I’m playing both sides of the fence. I want to see if the therapy works.

So many emotions today. Disappointment. Apprehension. Suspicion. Strangely no relief or happiness with this new turn of events.