2 Weeks and a Lesson Learned!

Well I have made it to the two week mark. I have now been sober for two weeks. Unlike when I gave up last year I find I am able to sleep quite well and I am not finding it too hard to abstain from drinking. Hubby is also not drinking which helps a lot. Although he has had one day of drinking and intends to again (he is just cutting down) so I will have some tough moments to deal with.

Lesson learned –

Alcohol and prozac don’t mix. Remember I said in my last post that my husband said it was breaking his heart seeing me like I was every night? Well I wasn’t drinking enough to have hangovers and I realised that something had changed, why had I become such a lightweight… I just had to work out what it was.

So I had a think about what I was doing different and the first thing was that I had started taking progesterone tablets…. then because they exacerbated my symptoms of PMDD I increase my low dose (20mg) of fluoxetine to 40mg. I had never looked into what fluoxetine was. I was just told it was a low dose of anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication.

Anyway I googled it and discovered that drinking alcohol with prozac was a bad mix. It will act as a sedative cause people to fall asleep, become incoherent, have accidental falls…. all of which occurred to me once I doubled my dose.

I have been on 20mg of Fluoxetine for around 8-9 years. Once I made this discovery about the effects of mixing prozac and alcohol, hubby and I soon realised that even with 20mg I was having adverse effects from mixing the two.

It was about 8-9 years ago that I would start to fall asleep at dinner parties etc. It was around 8-9 years ago that I got drunk on two drinks and just these two drinks would impair my judgment! I now know if I want to drink I will have to stop taking the prozac. I can’t believe I wasn’t aware of this!

If you are taking Fluoxetine (prozac) please read more about the effect of drug interactions with it HERE.

For more information on the effect of Fluoxetine and alcohol check out the following links.

http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/prozac-alcohol#introduction1

http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/09/03/antidepressants-and-alcohol-interactions-side-effects-recommendations/

http://www.michaelshouse.com/alcohol-abuse/mixing-prozac/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2012/04/7-deadliest-drug-combinations/

sailor penguin

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The sober sailor is back!

No need to tell you where I have been as I’m sure you can all guess. But I will tell you anyway. I fell off the wagon and lost my way. I’ve been stumbling round for nearly a year now, trying to get back on that wagon. Yesterday I did, and I finally feel I will achieve sobriety again.

So what happened? After five months sober I simply thought I was able to have one drink now and then. In the beginning I could. I’d have one and it would be days, some times a week or so, before I wanted another one. But it quickly crept up to being a drink or two everyday. It swiftly went from there drinking in excess daily.

Three times this year I have tried jumping on that wagon and each time I only held on to it for 1 week. I suppose I just wasn’t ready. I am now, I can feel it.

I’ll tell you something. I have never been as bad with the alcohol as I have in this last seven months. I have simple not been able to handle alcohol at all…. one day last week I did manage not to wipe myself out. That was the first time in about a month.

My poor husband has seen me get smashing drunk almost every night for the last two months – drunk to the stage I fall asleep, can’t walk, can’t talk – but keep trying to.

My body just doesn’t seem like it can metabolise the alcohol quick enough anymore. Two drinks and I am already at the stage where I will not make rational decisions. Like maybe I’ve had enough to drink? Or nobody else is going another drink but I will anyway!

I fell last week in the cockpit of the boat when we had people over. I don’t even remember leaving the restaurant and it took two people to walk me back to the boat. When we arrived back at the boat I pulled out the tequila, rum and probably half a dozen other spirits. I then proceeded to throw back straight tequilas until I finally fell off my perch bruising my nose, lip, arm, thigh and knee in the process. I’m lucky I didn’t knock my teeth out. I’m still sore even though the bruising has gone and I think I’ll have a lump in my lower lip to remind myself of that night for a long time to come.

Anyway, so the sober sailor is back. Day two today…. and you know something, I didn’t even once have a craving for alcohol yesterday. I know it will happen and happen a lot, but I will be prepared. Maybe I will just feel the lump on my lip and think about how easy it would be to accidentally kill my self when drunk, or maybe I will just have to remember my husbands words which went something like this…. “it is breaking my heart to see you like this every night.”

Cheers me matey!

12 Weeks Sober – why is it easy?

Ok, I’ve done it! 12 weeks sober… or should I say 3 months sober? Which sounds better? Which sounds like the longer time? Do I keep counting weeks or now go on to counting months? These are just some of the fun little dilemmas that consumer my thoughts now!

On a serious note though, I can honestly say that drinking or not drinking really doesn’t take up a lot of my thoughts anymore. I barely think about it. I am surprised by this. I expected it to be harder. Don’t get me wrong, I did have some hard days, but all in all it has been so much easier than I imagined.

Here are some of my thoughts on why it has been easier than expected

  • I didn’t hide from socialising at the beginning.
    • I think this helped because I learnt to deal with the difficulty of not drinking alcohol when everyone else was around me, right from the start, while the reasons I wanted to give it up were fresh in my mind.
  • Meeting new people.
    • As I have mentioned on my home page and about me page I am a sailor and a live aboard cruiser which, I believed, was going to make giving up alcohol very hard… and I still believe it made it very difficult for me to take the first step to give up and it constantly puts me in an environment in which drinking alcohol is almost obligatory!  BUT, whereas I thought meeting new people and not drinking would be difficult, I have found that if they don’t know me as “a drinker” then it is actually easier not to drink.
  • I’m not in Australia.
    • I say this for two reasons. The first is that when we lived in Australia we entertained once or twice a week, went out once or twice a week and celebrated or enjoyed a quiet drink once or twice a week. Alcohol, food and friends were a big part of our life and habits had formed. My life now is very unstructured so I find that breaking the habits of the “afterwork drink”, the “pre-dinner drink” and the “lets kill time at the pub drink” easier than if life had more routine.
    • The second reason is that I love red wine… I mean really love the stuff! And Australia has some of the best! I know that is bias but I really doubt I could have given it up if I was still in Australia and could go to the bottle shop and by a good red wine for a reasonable price. Here in Southeast Asia, where we are at the moment, the affordable wine is unpleasant and I have discovered my homemade ice tea tastes better!
  • My blog.
    • I believe my blog has helped me exactly as I was hoping it would. I don’t have a big following, but it was never about that. It was for me to keep a diary, jot down my thoughts and correlate information I thought would be useful. It was a lifeline when I needed it – the guiding light of a lighthouse when the night was dark and the seas were wild – it kept my head above water. I don’t need it quite as much as I did in the beginning…. grasping at it like a drowning sailor to a life ring. My blog/diary is here for me when I need reaffirmation of why I am now teetotal; I can read back through my thoughts. And of course this blog has given me the support and feedback from others that I found invaluable. Thank you to everyone that has read, liked or commented on my blog.

So there it is! The first 1/4 of a year done and dusted. I know it is not always going to be easy and that there are, and always will be, hard times ahead. I also know that in my new sober state I am stronger, healthier and more determined to succeed with my goals.

 

9 Weeks Sober – No Regrets

If you are an alcoholic, or have ever been a heavy drinker or unable to control the amount of alcohol you drink, you will understand why I say I have NO REGRETS really really loudly.

I have now been sober for over 9 weeks and I am lovin’ it! I feel awesome. I have no regrets about being sober.

It is becoming increasingly easy. I now go out for dinner or socialise and very rarely think I am missing out by not drinking…. in fact, during these times, I very rarely realise that I haven’t had a drink…. you know what I mean? My life does not revolve around drink anymore. That includes not waking up with regrets in the morning!

Being a Sober Sailor? I’m Lovin’ It!

 

Seven Weeks Sober!

It’s been seven weeks! Yay! We are still on the road travelling through Laos and now we are in Thailand. Had a very long day. A boat from Don Khone island back to mainland Laos, and then a bus to Pakse, Laos, and then another bus across the border and on to Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. Didn’t once think about a drink today. We have visitors arriving in Thailand on the 12th of July. They are coming to spend a couple of weeks on the boat with us. There will be some hard times coming up, but I am feel very strong.

sober

Six Weeks Sober, but…

I am now six weeks sober! And lovin’ it!

sober and loving it

That is not to say I do not get pangs of regrets and yearning for a nice glass of red wine! I do. Lately I have found that I don’t have many cravings and when I do, they pass quickly. BUT, I now find myself dwelling on the fact I can never drink again. NEVER! Now that just sucks. And I’m not entirely sure I can, or want to, do that. Having said that, never drinking again was exactly what I had in mind when I gave it up six weeks ago, and there was, and is, very good reasons for that. It is like now that I have been sober for 6 week I am beginning to think …surely I can just have one drink occasionally. YEAH RIGHT! That worked before didn’t it! OK so this is all the shit running through my mind on a daily basis lately.

So my next step is… what? Just to keep reiterating to myself why I don’t want to drink? How great it feels not to drink? Maybe that is what I have to do! Think about all the times I couldn’t remember the night before, or speaking to someone that was acting like they knew me…. but who are they?… have I met them before? They know my name, so oops it must have been the other night when we were partying at the bar. I hate being that person. If you meet me when I am drunk I would be extrovert, talkative and full of life. The next time you see me, I will act like I don’t know you because in reality I don’t… I don’t remember anything!

OK, I am already feeling better about never drinking again. Good therapy!

Now for positive reinforcement!

Now that I am not drinking I –

  • have lost a little weight
  • my skin is looking extremely healthy
  • the puffiness has gone
  • I am feeling very healthy
  • my blood pressure has gone down a bit
  • I am sleeping better
  • My hubby is not telling me off, every morning, about drinking too much the night before.
  • I don’t have to stress over having a plan to not drink so much when we go out
  • I am getting so much more work done on my travel blogging
  • Saving soooooo much money
  • And I am sure my liver, kidneys and brain are thanking me for it. 

So thanks for listening. xx

 

I suppose it will never end!

It has been hard today. Here we are exploring gorgeous Laos and all I can think of is having a drink. It is really becoming obvious to me – the when and why I would drink. Well that is not to say I didn’t just drink for the heck of it, because I did. But what I am talking about is today I was uncomfortable physically and all I thought about was having a drink. I won’t have a drink but this entire afternoon I have felt like I need something… ice cream, chocolate, soft drink, chips….. my body doesn’t know what it wants. Last week I had no appetite, this week I want to eat continually.  I enjoy an ice-cream cone but felt like I could have eaten four of them! Feels a little nuts.

On a brighter side I’m still the sober sailor and today in Laos we had a look at some ancient stone jars. The history of these jars is not 100% known. Very interesting.