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The Only Thing I Am Doing Right

Do you ever have one of those days? The one where you want to crawl back into bed and start over? I have contemplated this several times, until I realize a statement I have heard “around these part.” Its the idea that “you can start your day over whenever you want” – some amazing person with better perspective than me

Today, the only thing that I feel like I am doing right is staying sober. I guess that’s a good thing, since its the thing that I have failed at so often in the past. But you see, it makes me uncomfortable. I am used to doing well at other things and then rewarding (numbing) myself with the booze.

I am struggling with life – mainly parenting at this present moment. Being a parent is hard. Being an alcoholic parent (in early recovery) is freaking hard. I am trying to juggle all of my responsibilities, and it seems that someone always loses out on something. Usually it was me, and then of course I drank because I feel sorry for myself. Now, that I am putting myself on the priority list – someone else has to wait. And wait, I mean for a few minutes, a few hours, until tomorrow. Try to tell that to a 6 year old, a 2.5 year old and a 6 month old infant. Not to mention a husband who has been through hell with me and of course the house. Ahhh…I know I am doing the right thing and I am a better person because of it.

I know its going to be all right. I know that I am doing what I am supposed to. Its still flipping hard. Today was just one of those days. I’ll try again tomorrow, but at least I will wake up sober.

Hugs to all of you!

Saturday Morning Thoughts

1. I can’t believe I am sober
2. Its a lot easier to wake up with the kids at 7am without a hangover.
3. If I had given up trying to stay sober after my (many) relapses, I might not be here. In fact, I know my life would not be in tact as it is right now.
4. It was a over a year ago that I found Belle’s challenge to quit drinking for 100 days.
5. It does get easier.
6. Some days are harder than others.
7. Drinking again scares the crap out of me. I know where it will lead me.
8. One of the best “tools” I have found is this simple phrase – “Just do the next right thing.” Meaning to me – do whatever you can, in this moment, to move forward (physically or emotionally) in a positive way.
9. The world does not revolve around me.
10. People do not think about me nearly as much as I worried they do.
11. True friends are hard to come by, but they are out there.
12. I have never laughed as hard as I have in the last year.
13. People only have as much power is I choose to give them.
14. I don’t know if I will ever stop drinking Diet Coke.
15. It is a miracle that I am still a living, breathing, human being with most of my life in tact.
16. My sponsor is the most amazing woman I have met in sobriety.
17. This is my first sober summer in a very long time.
18. I don’t have to drink in order to have fun or relax.
19. I am starting to like myself.
20. I am 107 days sober. Triple digits…yippee!!!!!

Do the Next Right Thing

So what is working for me this time around? Well, I think two things are in my favor.
1. My obsession for alcohol has been lifted. I simply, don’t want to drink. I don’t look at is as a solution to any of my problems, in fact, I know it will make any of problem of mine MUCH worse.
2. A simple phrase that I have incorporated into my life – “Do the next right thing.”

You see, so much of my drinking is about my anxiety. My overwhelming anxiety of life. What the hell am I supposed to do when everything is overwhelming? There is so much to do…3 kids, dishes, meals to cook, laundry to do, yardwork to take care of, potty training, the list goes on and on. Oh, and did I mention staying sober while doing all of this? So, my sponsor (its the first time I have ever had one that I actually asked to be my sponsor) gave me the phrase of “Do the next right thing.” Whatever is in front of you, physically or mentally that you can do something about and make the right choice.

Since the obsession with alcohol is gone, I don’t have an alcohol problem – I have a living problem. I don’t know how to live and feel without masking it with some sort of substance. So, how do I live this all new life?

By doing one thing at a time, one moment at a time, all the while asking myself “Is this the right thing to do?” Its been working so far. Try it.

Thoughts on 100 Days Sober (again)

I feel like I have been here before. Oh that’s right, because I have. Today marks 100 days of sobriety for me.

Let me backtrack and apologize for my absence (if anyone is still reading). Its been a very long time since I have written? Why? Oh, I don’t know – life. Let’s see, in a nutshell…started a new job, had a baby, had a severe post-partum episode which lead to a very severe relapse, which lead to more inpatient treatment, which lead to time off of work and away from my family, which lead me to here – 100 days sober.

I won’t go into the details of what happened while I was “away” from here, but rather my reflections on the past 100 days of sobriety. I originally started this sober journey because of Belle’s challenge. I made it to 100 days on my second try. But, to be honest, I found out I was pregnant about 40 days into it. Still, that does not discount that I did it sober. I would say that I was dry from alcohol during my first journey but I wasn’t really living a sober life (or as referred to in AA as “in recovery). Each day was a struggle. Each day I had to consciously try to not drink alcohol. Some days were completely unbearable but I managed them without a drink.

Now, this time has passed and I haven’t had a drink since April 3, 2014. It was pretty amazing actually. I went from the deepest binge I have ever had, through a horrible withdrawl and entering of treatment. Within 4 days, after my body was cleared, my mind began to clear as well. And what I had been praying for, it actually happened. I had been praying that I would be able to let go of my obsession with alcohol. Well, with what I was doing with it actually. I wanted a new life, and one where I was able to manage feelings and emotions without literally going insane. It happened. I woke up one morning and I no longer had the desire to drink. I was like the strong, rational part of my brain woke up and fought back against all the feelings that led me to drinking. Everytime I had a moment where the thought of “oh I would love to drink right now” entered my mind – I was able to instantly push it away. Suddenly I could work in life’s problems without obsessing about alcohol being the solution.

I don’t know what it is, but I am calling it a spiritual experience. I have found a connection with something greater than myself (I don’t call it God) and I am working through my desire to drink. My life is SO much better. I won’t say its perfect, or I am on a pink cloud or anything, but I am able to handle life without feeling like I am white knuckling it every day. I can drive by the liquor store and not even feel tempted to stop in.

That’s probably enough for now. More to come in the next days. Here I am at 100 days sober and it feels even better than it did the last time. Next goal? 180 days. That will put me a six whole months of sobriety (without being pregnant). I have never, in my adult life, been sober that long. Scary? Heck yes. Doable? Totally.

Love to all of you – peace and happiness. And if you are having one of those days wondering if it will EVER work for you when it has failed over and over again? It can work, and it does work if you just keep trying. Don’t ever quit quitting. I’m sure glad I didn’t.

Self Sabatoge

Hi all (if there is anyone left reading),

I have always meant to start blogging again.  But I have always found a way not to.  I’m too busy, its been to long, no one will care, I’m not doing as well as I should have…blah blah blah.

Well here goes.  I realized that I started this blog a year ago, and although I am not in the same (bad) place I was at the time, things are not good.  Here’s your quick update in a nutshell.  I joined Belle’s 100 day challenge, and while I failed the first time, I eventually made it.   Oh, did I mention I got pregnant during the second attempt?  I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in January (who is healthy thank god) and am since on maternity leave.

Did I mention that post partum was one of my triggers for drinking?  Well guess what?  It came back with a vengeance.  The worst its ever been, even though I was more prepared then ever.  Dr had me on meds during the last month of my pregnancy and upped the dose after she was born (I didn’t breast feed because of that – don’t judge).  We dried so many different things and I saw my OB EVERY WEEK after delivery.  At 8 weeks I ended up in the ER on a 72 hour emergency hold because my family thought I tried to kill myself (I didn’t, there was some misunderstanding with medication and stuff) but still, my BAC was .32.  Not the highest I have ever gotten to but still REALLY bad.  I had to stay on the psych ward for 3 days, and let me tell you what – I am happy its there for people that need it, but I didn’t need to see what I saw.  I had people offering me pills (OXY, Perc, etc), men offering me money for sex, you get the point.  I told my family I needed to get the fuck out and they agreed.  But I thought that scared me straight.  Oh no.

My life is just filled with never ending boredom.  My husband said I couldn’t take care of the children (which he is probably right) so they are all in school/daycare.  I am not working, and I live in the middle of nowhere without a car.  He took that away too.  Took the battery out and I am smart enough to figure out how to put it back in.  Took a wheel off, I put if back on.  You get my point.  But now, its over. He took my car away, he took me off all the bank accounts and cut up my credit cards.  All I have left is the computer.  Is this a sign from God?  Probably not, because I found the CC number on some paper and hid it.  Took a taxi and bought booze from my favorite liquor store.  They say addicts are resourceful.

Last night he told me, the next time I drank, he was filing for divorce.  He has said that before, but this time, I know he means it.  I’m so sick from drinking last night and have more and all I want to do is drink to take the sting out of it.  But is that true, or is that the alcoholic in me?

Confused?  Crazy? Thoughts?

I Can Do This

Ahhh…its good to be back. 

I know that I have said this before and I am thinking it now – I should be blogging more.  But, I’m going to stop making excuses for it, and giving you reasons why I haven’t other than this.  Because I have been living.  That’s what I have been doing.  I have been picking up the pieces of my life that was in shambles, and I am putting them all back together (although in a different order probably).  Slowly but surely, sobriety has helped me a assemble a new live – one with things to live for.

In a matter of a couple of months things changed for me.  I went from being a stay at home mom with very limited interaction with others, to working again.  My children are in school and daycare.  I have joined a sobriety based group (not AA).  I have started (slowly) to reconnect with people on a social level.  I went out to dinner with co-workers. 

One more thing has changed.  Did I mention this?

 

This is a picture of a beautiful baby girl…growing in my belly. 

I found out I was pregnant about 2 months after I had gotten sober.  I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I hadn’t been drinking alcoholically when I got pregnant with my first two children.  This time was different.  I was TERRIFIED.  I’m not going to go into detail, but I seriously considered all of my options.  But in the end, here I am almost 7 months later and still sober.  And not that I have to explain this to many of you – but being pregnant hasn’t kept me sober.  I – me and only me – have stayed sober.  Not that having a human being growing inside of me hasn’t been a great incentive.  But, just like anything else (the love we have for our children, the fear of dying, etc) it sometimes isn’t enough to stay sober. 

I am simply amazed at the fact that I have been sober for this long.  My life isn’t perfect, but it sure is a hell of a lot better than it ever was before.  I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think about drinking anymore.  Because I do.  I think about it.  Sometimes I even fantasize about it.  Sometimes I feel sorry for myself that I can’t do (insert whatever here) because I don’t drink.  But the difference is, this time around I am able to recognize that all that stuff going on in my head is just a bunch of noise. 

I can drink whenever I want.  I just don’t want to anymore. 

Thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement and support.  Reading your blogs and emails (even when I haven’t been blogging myself) has kept me uplifted in times of fear. 

I can do this.  So can you.

Update

I haven’t been writing on here very often.  I find myself so busy and some days I sit down to write and my mind goes blank.  I know that I said last month that I am going to take more time to write on my blog, and I find myself almost 4 weeks later without having written a thing.  I have the usual excuses that include: I’m so busy, I’m working, I’m tired, I don’t have time for myself, blah blah blah.  Its all true stuff, its just not very important.

I have been looking back on my almost 6 months (holy crap) of sobriety, and what a journey it has been.  Its unbelievable to think what my life was like that day that I finally put down the bottle.  I don’t even know if I recognize that person.  But it has been so much longer than a 6 month journey.  It has been more like 5 years.  My husband likes to say that I was problem drinking that long ago, and as much as it pains me, he is right.  I have been drinking alcoholically for over 5 years.  but I really have been trying to find sobriety for 2 years.

I meet people in AA and in life that like to remind me that I am lucky to have figured this all out while I am young and that I won’t waste decades like they have.  I say, it sucks, no matter what age you stop drinking.  Its hard work, probably the hardest thing I will ever have to do (God willing).  Its true, I might not waste decades of my life drinking.  But I certainly messed up this past decade, big time.  I have spent time in places that I hate to remember – mainly jail and detox.  I also went to rehab but that doesn’t bring up bad memories.  Oh, I also wish I could forget time spent in courtrooms and lawyers offices.  And how could I forget the numerous (too many to count) trips to the liquor store in search of my liquid poison.   Its been 5 years of many things that I would like to forget.  But, I also firmly believe that everything that has happened in the last 5 years, needed to happen to get me to this point.

To this point of unbelievable joy.  To complete gratitude.  To a sober life.  I simply can’t believe that I am here.

I am still facing things that are challenging.  I am trying to clean up my legal issues and move ahead with my life.  I’m starting to go to an aftercare group at a treatment facility that I once attended (as required by the courts).  I should have started going about 10 months ago when I go into trouble with the law.  But, back then I wasn’t ready to face things.  I wasn’t “really” ready to stop drinking.  So I put it off and now that I am sober and I want to continue to be sober, I’m starting the group.

I met with the counselor yesterday (its a woman I worked with 2 years ago).  She did my intake and had to decide which program I was going to go into.  The DA and the courts wanted me to go to outpatient but it was up to the professional in chemical dependency.  We talked for 15 minutes and she sat back in her chair and looked at me very intensely.  My mind started to wonder….”oh shit, what is she going to make me do?”  I was thinking worse case scenario.  Probably 4 months of outpatient treatment, 3 times a week for 3 hours a night.  I realized this was a possibility and it was one I was willing to accept.  Then she said something that shocked the hell out of me.

“Well, holy crap, you are whole again – not just a shell of a person!”  I must have looked a little shocked and confused at this comment so she said “I’ve been waiting for this person to emerge.  I knew she was in there 2 years ago when you tried to get sober, but you didn’t know that”

Validation.  Someone who knew me before and saw me for 15 minutes and could tell there was a difference.  Someone trained in chemical dependency  and who deals with people trying to bullshit them on a daily basis.  She believed I was different.  Not that it really matters.  Because I know I am different.  But its nice that someone else can see it to.

I’ll leave you with this.  If you are reading this blog and wondering if you can stop drinking – you can.  Now, I am not trying to be all cheerleader-ish and Suzie Sunshine.  I’m trying to be real.  It was 6 months (well actually almost 8 months) that I started reading sober blogs.  I WANTED to stop.  I wanted my life to be different.  But I had lost hope.  I didn’t think it was possible.  I found a few amazing people who gave me a sliver of hope.  That little sliver was just enough to get me started.  Started on an amazing journey that is not over yet.

There is hope…it is possible.  You don’t have to believe that its true.  Just listen to others who tell you that it is.

My Life Isn’t Boring

Well, its been a long time since I have blogged.  I don’t know if anyone is still reading.  Heck, I don’t know if many people WERE reading.  But, maybe, someone is still out there.

My life has changed again.  For the better.  One of the biggest reasons that I haven’t blogged in awhile is that I am now working full time.  I am back to doing what I love, after having to step away from it for awhile.  You see – just about a year ago – my life was falling apart.  I was in a cycle of alcoholism that threatened every aspect of my life.  All the balls that I was trying to juggle started to come tumbling down on top of me.  I quit my job.  Abruptly.  I walked away. 

Since then, I have been on a journey of self-discovery.  I would like to say that things started to get better after I quit my job.  They didn’t – in fact, they got much worse.  I don’t know if my drinking worsened because it was just going that way, or because I had less responsibilities.  Either way, it didn’t get better, it got worse.  Well, let me clarify.  The frequency of my drinking dropped dramatically.  I attempted to get sober.  But, my time sober was always limited to at weeks.  I never made it more than 3 weeks at a time.  And, the severity of my drinking increased.  I didn’t drink as often, but when I did drink – it was BAD.  There’s just no other way to say it.  Just plain bad.

Something changed in April.  I had found this wonderful network of sober blogs a few months prior to that, but something in my head changed.  I couldn’t tell you how, or why, or what, but it was different.  I was different.  I suddenly found the strength to keep going – to not cave to the power of alcohol when I would have in the past.  I put one foot in front of the other, and I took it one day at a time.  In fact, at the beginning, I took it one hour at a time.  Hours added up and so did days.  Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into (gasp) months.  Holy shit…I have been sober for MONTHS. 

Its absolutely unbelievable what sobriety has done for me.  For so long during my drinking, I remember thinking “I just want my life back.”  What life that was…I’m not sure.  But I wanted a life that was different that what I was experiencing.  I wanted to LIVE again.  Problem was, when I was drinking, I was trapped in a cycle of focusing all of my energy on drinking and I didn’t have anything left over for life.

Slowly but surely, things began to change.  I am not going to list all of the things that have gotten better since I have been sober – you read all about them in lots of blogs.  But I will say this – my life isn’t boring anymore.  That’s because I have a life, and I am living it.  I have good days and bad days.  I have emotions all over the board at times.  I have gone through periods where I wanted to drink, but I didn’t. 

What has sobriety given me?  Its given me a life – one that I am blessed to have but I never thought was possible.  I couldn’t have done it without all of you.

Life is anything but boring. 

Back to Normal

Well, at least, I think I am.  I am going to start blogging on a regular basis again – I am committing to it.  And hopefully, my mother isn’t reading anymore.  That’s right – I found out my mother was reading my blog.  I started this blog (this is my second one) anonymously after some family members (not my mother) read my first one and tried to use it against me.  I found this place to be just for me, and I didn’t have to worry about being “found out.”

Now, my story is a little different than most.  I am “out” in real life.  My family and friends know that I am an alcoholic.  Well, lets just say, I didn’t do a good job of hiding it.  Well, that an two trips to rehab, a visit or two to detox and a couple nights stay at the local police station didn’t make it very easy to hide.  But my blog, that I did on my own.  Not because I had anything to hide, and not because I wasn’t truthful, but because I could write without having to worry about filtering anything.

I’m have spent my whole life as a people pleaser – always taking care of everyone else.  I worry about what people think and I don’t want to make anyone feel bad or uncomfortable.  Since I have been trying to get sober, I have found that a new person is emerging.  Someone who realizes that the only way I am going to get healthy is to worry about me first, and everyone else later.  Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about others, but I don’t worry so much about what other people THINK.  In fact, I love this quote “What other people think of me is really none of my business.”  Perfect.

I digress.  I had mentioned to my family that I was writing a blog and it was really helping.  I thinking I might have even mentioned WordPress at one point and time, but that was it.  Apparently, my mother did some searching and found my blog.  Then she started following it.  I found out while I was visiting them and using their laptop.  Gulp.  Double Gulp.  I started racking my brain about what I might have said about them (nothing negative that I can find) but still.  Geez.  My mother?  Reading my diary?  No thanks.  So I did what any passive aggressive person would do – I asked her to stop reading my blog – in my last post.  She text me the next day and told me she would stop reading.  I didn’t respond.  She didn’t tell me she was reading, I didn’t tell her I found out, so I figured, why start talking about it now?  Ahh…well, whatever.

So, life is getting back to normal.  In fact, a new normal.  I started working this week.  That’s right – after almost a year of staying home with my children (without a car I might add) and now I am back to work.  I get up, take a shower, leave the house and go to work.  I spend 8 plus hours on my own (without my family) before heading back home.  I have the ability to buy alcohol if I want it.  But, I don’t.  I come home and enjoy the evening with my family. 

I feel like a REAL person again and I like it.  I’ve been waiting for this girl to show up for a long time.  I am so glad she is here.  I’m going to do everything in my power to make her stay. 

A Breath of Fresh Air

Hey there,

I realize that I have been MIA lately – but well, I have been living LIFE.  That’s right, I have a life again.  A life full of fun and sorrow, sunshine and cloudy days, and ups and downs.  There are grocery store trips, school shopping, laundry to sort, dinner to cook, vacations to be enjoyed and a ton of sleep.  That’s what my life is now. 

What was my life 4 months ago?  I shudder to think.  I hate to remember, but I must remember.  Because remembering what it was like before, helps keep me in the here and now.  Reminds me of why I have worked so hard to get where I am.  I have learned to feel real feelings without the numbness of alcohol.  I have experienced life without retracting into my own little dark world.

Living my life now is like finally coming up for air after being underwater for years.  This blog has been my lifeline.  I remember when I started this blog, I committed to writing every single day – even if I didn’t think that I had anything to write.  I woke up (sober thank god) and I started to write.  I spent hours reading sober blogs and emails from a lot of you wonderful people out there.  If I had a moment when I wanted to drink – I poured myself back into the computer.  I felt like I could be myself on here.  I was able to say whatever I wanted in my blog without worrying about what others would think.

The great thing about this blog world, is that most of the people reading this blog are struggling with the same things that I struggle with.  You understand what goes through my head on a day to day basis and you don’t judge me.  That’s why I am completely clear about who I am on my blog.  That’s why I don’t write these things on Facebook to been seen by 300 of my “closest” family and friends.  Because having a blog is kind of like having a diary.  Except this a diary that you share with those that you WANT to read it.  Because, let’s be honest.  Who wants their mother to read their diary?  No me.  (So mom, if you are reading this – will you please stop reading my blog).  I want my blog to be read and enjoyed by those of you out there that can relate to my story.  And maybe, just maybe, there is a small chance that the blog might help someone else. 

So if you are reading this and you feel like drinking – DON’T.  Believe me, I know what its like to want to drink.  To feel with everything in my soul that life couldn’t get any worse and the only thing that will make it better is a drink (lets be honest – many drinks).  It won’t work and it will not help.  Things will get better – I promise.  Just hold on a little bit longer.

If I can do it – you can do it.

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