Monday Musings

It is a relaxing Monday morning, on this President’s Day.  The kids and I are off today and tomorrow for Mid-Winter break.  I don’t have a lot to say, but thought it would do me some good to put down some thoughts.

I’m still feeling rather funky.  I wasn’t good about working out, meditating or eating well last week, so it’s no surprise.  This is the thing I can’t stand about myself lately.  I lack follow through, with everything.  I’ve talked to my therapist about it numerous times and she feels that as I work at decreasing anxiety and increasing sobriety, the focus will naturally come.  I will trust the process, as I have no other choice, although I’m beginning to wonder if medication would be a good option.

On Wednesday, a young man went into his high school and shot and killed 17 students and teachers.  This definitely affected my mood for several days.  Maybe it would be different if I didn’t work at a school– or if many of the victims were age 14–the same age as my son.  I drove to work last week thinking that school shootings are so common now, schools are psycho killer magnets, not a comforting thought since my kids and I spend all day everyday at 3 different schools.

Since the shooting, we are required to keep our classroom doors locked– a daily reminder of the sad world today.   Staff meetings consist of building safety concerns, not student growth.  I won’t go into a political rant, other than to say that we need better help for those with mental illnesses (I’ve had parents who needed their child hospitalized– turned away and sent home because there wasn’t a bed available) and tougher gun control.

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I miss the days when lockdown drills seemed so unnecessary and silly.  In today’s world,  they are crucial.

Nevertheless, as time goes by and the bad thoughts go away and the procedural stuff dies down, life will return to normal and good.

We did have a fun night last night.  We went to Painting with a Twist and painted our pets!   It was a great 3 hour session.  Hubby was worried that he would be the only guy there, but there were several and it was a great group of people!  It was good quality time spent together and the paintings turned out ok 🙂

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One more thing I want to talk about before ending this.  I now have a treatment plan with my therapist and we set some goals.

Goal #1 — Avoid mind altering substances 100% of the time (including alcohol and sugar) Objective 1– Get a sponsor and work on the 12 steps.  Objective 2 (I can’t remember)

Goal #2– Reduce anxiety by 90%   Objective 1–Go on an outing once a week with someone other than hubby.  Objective 2– I can’t remember– I think it may have to do with meditation and exercise.

I wanted to write these down because as you can see I’ve already forgotten a couple of the pieces.

OK– that’s all I’ve got.  I have to go run errands this morning.  I am feeling incredibly grateful for the day off today, going to get much needed stuff done!  This feeling reminds me that I AM getting out of this funk and that better days are ahead ❤

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Lemonade

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Day from hell, from well before sun up to long after sun down.  OK, none of my family was involved in a major accident AND we are still alive, so it wasn’t THAT bad…  plus, we didn’t get fired from our jobs today, which is another bonus (maybe?).

Here’s the day in nutshell:

–Woke up super groggy–probably due taking the 24 hour antihistamine before bed in hopes of clearing up some of my mucous (after 4 weeks this damn cold is going strong)

–Teenager woke up super groggy also and was moving slower than sludge.  ZERO sense of urgency when I tell him we have 15 minutes and he wants to spend 12 minutes eating cereal

–Finally left the house– about 7 minutes later than planned, thanks to having to change my shirt to accommodate a recent weight gain and my slow teenager

–Sat in traffic for a LONG time because they closed lanes to fix potholes during rush hour, got to work 30 minutes later than usual– had to hustle to get ready for the morning groups

–2 minutes before the bell rang I got called to sub for a 4th grade classroom.  All. Day. Long.  Any work that I had planned on accomplishing today would have to be put off.  This gave me exactly 45 seconds to review the sub plans before the bell rang

— Lunchtime consisted of being on hold, getting transferred to different people and yelling at the medical supply company for the second day in a row.  I just want TEST STRIPS for my diabetic son.  I’m not asking for psychedelic drugs.  I don’t know why it’s been 10 days and they STILL haven’t been able to obtain an Rx from his endocrinologist.  I had to yell, beg and beg.. by this point he is almost out, and it’s kind of important for him to test his blood sugar multiple times a day..

–Rushed home, marathon made lunches, supervised homework, took care of animals, etc in time to leave for the God and Me Scout class with my youngest

–Traffic… again…  Lots and lots….

–The class was ok.  I enjoy it but the teacher and her son are very annoying.  That sounds SO mean.  He constantly interrupts her and appears to TRY to test her limits and she is overly fake nice. It was just me and Will and her and him tonight.  It’ll be better next time with another boy and mom–but it was exhausting watching this mom and son mentally battle each other during the whole class

–Stopped at BK on the way home.  STUFFED my face.  Oh yeah, and today is fat Tuesday and a coworker always brings Paczkis straight from Hamtramck.  Wasn’t planning on indulging, but after getting called to 4th grade I had 1/2 while they were in music.   Feeling fat on this fat Tuesday 😦

Finally got home at 8 pm.  Thank God tomorrow is a new day!

Today is my late mom’s birthday.  If there is any lemonade to be made from today’s lemons, then maybe it’s the fact that I had zero time to think and be sad about her today.

Last year on this day, it was my 3rd sober day.  My FIRST 3rd sober day in like 10 years.  When hubby got home, I was in the kitchen making dinner.  I had some wine left in the garage and wanted it SO badly, it hurt.  In fact, when he got home, he hugged me and I started to sob.  He held me tighter and he didn’t question it.  He thought I was crying because it was my mom’s birthday.  I had to tell him that I was upset because I wanted some wine SO bad.  He talked me out of it and we went for a walk.  I will never forget that day– it was such a sad thing to me (that I was crying over WINE and not my mom..)

That was my first attempt at sobriety and it lasted for 93 days.  I read a quote tonight that pretty much sums up the past year:

“When you start doubting yourself, remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.”  — unknown

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So as I say goodbye to this annoying AF day, I am happy to acknowledge how far I’ve come.  I mean come on, after a day like today I am not crying about not drinking.  I’m feeling the annoyances of the day and hoping for a better tomorrow, without the hangover ❤

Rest in Heaven mama ❤ ❤

 

 

 

Stuck in a Funk

Just wanted to write a quick update.

Still feeling pretty pissy, despite efforts of a productive weekend restoring my mind-body-spirit.

Had a great workout Friday and today (Sunday).  This is big because I’ve felt too down the past couple of weeks to even start moving.  Working out always helps my mood/anxiety– still waiting for the rewards to kick in.

Meditated in the bath on Friday and again while working out today.   Bathtub meditation was fine (5 minutes) and I presume as productive as your typical meditation session.  Elliptical meditation seems counterproductive, but I have to say that I was able to focus better than ever while meditating (pretty much the entire 10 minutes– except for a couple seconds checking the clock to see if I should switch directions).  Not sure that I’m seeing any benefits from meditation yet– but it can’t be hurting anything.

Had an extremely productive yesterday.  A big part of our basement has been filled with STUFF since we moved in 3 1/2 years ago.  Stuff that is miscellaneous, AKA junk.  We spent a good portion of Saturday going through the stuff.  I had like 6 tubs of school stuff that I was hanging onto and it was taking up a ton of room.  I went through and kept about 5% of it — all of which I will take to my room at school.  All in all, we unloaded a huge amount of stuff at the Salvation Army Saturday night.  Then we did the grocery shopping.  Still went to bed totally crabby and hating life.

Had an interesting day today.  We went to a fundraiser to honor my uncle and his recovery (he was hit by a car January 4th and suffered severe head trauma).  It was so crazy busy!!  Saw some family that I hadn’t seen in awhile.  It was at a bar and everyone was drinking.  I enjoyed my free diet cokes.  It was nice to connect with friends and family and I was grateful that I wasn’t part of the Sunday afternoon drinking club (I’ve already consumed a lifetime of Sunday afternoon drinks in my 40 years of life).

Diet hasn’t been spectacular this weekend— but I have been taking my vitamins and I’m excited about food for tomorrow.  I have a sweet potato for breakfast, spinach lasagna for lunch (with lots of spinach!) and grapes and carrots for a snack (and a couple other low calorie treats).  I haven’t packed this much whole foods in a long time.  Maybe that’ll help my mood.  I sure hope so!

Honestly, with my crabby mood, I’m thinking hubby (who poured out all of my wine a couple weeks ago..) is about to come home and syphon wine down my throat. OK– joking– that’s not going to happen.  BUT.. I don’t want to be the crabby old lady forever!

I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of making health improvements.  I’m hopeful that if I keep it up then I will eventually get out of this funk.  Wish me good luck, please!  🙂 ❤

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Kicking Negativity to the Curb

It is Friday morning and we are getting hit with A LOT of snow.  Therefore, my entire family is home.  They closed the kids’ and my school district and hubby is working from home.

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This was a very happy snow day because they called it the evening before– so all alarm clocks were turned off and we relished the thought of a three day weekend.

Only, as I stood in the kitchen making dinner, I didn’t feel happy.  Do you know that nagging thought in the back of your head when something is bugging you greatly or when something has gone wrong?  I had that thought & it overshadowed any joyful thoughts.  I consciously wondered why I felt like that– nothing major is going wrong in my life– maybe just an accumulation of small things.

For instance, I’m in a situation at work where I have to have an uncomfortable conversation with another adult.  I’m not looking forward to it and have been putting it off all week.  It’s something that I really shouldn’t have to deal with, but my principal is slightly lackadaisical, so some of these issues fall on my shoulders– at least if I want them to get resolved.  Now I’ve put it off another day and will have to anticipate it going into a new week.

There are a few other things going on, similar to this but not work related.  I won’t bore you with details– they’re nothing major– just little things that create stress.  They should get resolved soon but I don’t have control over them and that itself is creating stressful feelings.

There in the kitchen, as I thought more deeply about these things that are bugging me, I gave myself a pep talk.  That did help my mindset.

I fell asleep ok, but woke up around 3 am and my mind was running.  My body was exhausted due to a month long cold/virus I’ve been fighting and some insomnia this week– but my mind was wide open.  Sometime in those early insomniac hours I realized what my big problem is: Mind. Body. Spirit.

Folks in recovery talk about the healing of the mind, body and spirit and how each is essential to overcome addiction and to live a happy life.  I couldn’t agree more and usually do conscious and unconscious routines and rituals that support each of these areas.  I realized that my mind, body and spirit were all in a state of negativity and distress– all three of them, and all at once.   No WONDER I’ve been in a state of negativity– not just while making dinner– but for the past 2 weeks.

This cold/virus that has limited my energy, lack of exercise, not walking outside (due to the weather and my cold), not sleeping well (lack of exercise and not feeling well), not going to my 12 step meeting (due to family conflicts that were unavoidable), dark and dreary weather, cold and itchy skin, lack of fresh fruits and vegetables (produce choices have been awful at the store so I’ve been buying and eating less of the good stuff), work stress, and feeling disconnected with certain family members have all contributed to this state I’m in.  And as I write this out, it is CLEAR how the mind-body-spirit health is ALL connected.

Now it’s time to kick negativity to the curb!

I researched this morning to find out how to grow and strengthen each area.  This is what I NEED to do:

  1.  Exercise.  I’ve always known that this keeps me sane.  I have to accept the fact that if I can’t run outside with my dog, I can still do a 20 minute treadmill walk/run and/or yoga routine.  I HATE doing the treadmill because my pup just looks at me sadly the whole time and I feel like I’m betraying him.  I will try to get out for a walk as soon as possible (when they clear the street after this storm) because there is great value for me to be outside.
  2. Meditate.  I’ve failed at this many times.  Each time I vow to spend even just 5 minutes per day, there just doesn’t seem to be time.  I will make time–even if just 5 minutes!
  3. Diet.  As spring gets closer, the produce will get better and it will be easier to eat whole foods.  Until then, I will either get produce from a specialty store if I have the time or buy frozen if not.  I NEED to get more produce into my diet– or at least start juicing again to get some of those nutrients.
  4. Vitamins.  I will continue to be sure to take my daily regimen of vitamins and supplements.
  5. Meditative Writing.  I just learned about this while researching this morning.  This sounds like a fascinating idea to me.  I think it will be beneficial and therapeutic– especially if it helps to get some of the negative thoughts out!
  6. Spirituality.  I don’t plan on missing any of the 12 step meetings in the near future.  Missing two in a row was hard.  This meeting and discussion helps my spirit grow.  In addition to this, we have two Scout Sundays coming up in February (at different churches) and my youngest and I have a “God and Me” scout class for the month of February.  I don’t attend church regularly, but am excited for all of these religious events this month.  I would eventually like to find a church to call home.
  7. Build Connections.  I need to make more time for family and friends.  I DO have some events coming up with family and friends to look forward to.  I need to make sure to continue making plans after this busy month.

I think that this is a pretty comprehensive list.   I don’t want to make a schedule or regimen because I lack follow through.  What I want to do is to journal each night with reflective thoughts of things that I did that day to strengthen myself and things that I plan on doing the next day– or anything differently I would do the next day, etc.

Notice that all of these things are written in the DO form.  There is nothing that I can’t do when implementing this plan.  I am simply adding practices to my life– not taking away anything.

I am confident that the more practice and habits that come out of this will cause the negativity energy to get pushed out and more positivity will get pulled in.

I am ready for a healthier– and therefore happier journey ❤

What are your go-to activities when you feel like you need more positivity in your life?

Update:  Right after writing this I began to make breakfast.  Immediately I felt lighter & happier.  My clothes even seemed looser 🤔.  The power of the mind is an amazing thing & just mapping out a plan for change had a positive effect 💜

For more information on improving body, mind and soul health, visit:

https://www.motion-effect.com/personal-growth/how-to-strengthen-your-mind-body-and-soul/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-snowise/3-ways-to-deepen-the-conn_b_8905658.html

https://www.doyouyoga.com/25-simple-ways-to-balance-your-mind-body-and-soul-17694/

 

Two Against One

Saturday February 3, 2018

This has been a gross week– all of it.  On Monday I was looking forward to my women’s twelve step book study group after work.  As I was getting ready to leave, I found out via hubby’s text that it was our son’s Court of Honor at his scout meeting that night and I was going to be given a pin (so there was no way getting out of it).

I was bummed, this meant I would have to miss my weekly meeting.  I don’t always deal well with the unexpected, I am a planner– and this was definitely unexpected.  The scout events had been on our family’s Google calendar, but I had recently deleted all of the events off of my calendar because my boss let me know that he could see my events. (I am still trying to figure out how to keep my family and my work calendar completely separate– Google is not always a friend of mine!).

SO…  I got home, did chores like a crazy person (because going to scouts meant I’d be gone for most of the evening) and took my laptop so that I could get some work done during downtime there.

On a positive note, it was a very nice ceremony and I ended up getting all of my work done while there 🙂

During the drive home, Betsy started yapping at me– straight out of nowhere.  I’m not sure if it was partially because I missed my meeting and/or just stress of having to change plans at the last minute– but she was ON it.  I would have totally stopped if I didn’t have my whole family in the car.

Tuesday was fine and Betsy kept quiet.  The urges from Monday were gone!

On Wednesday, it was another busy evening.  My oldest had a swim test and lifeguard lessons at a school an hour away.  I had to rush home from work in order to meet my hubby in time to get him there.   On the way back, I stopped for a quick dinner with my youngest.  Betsy started her nagging again.  Wine sounded good.  The whole time we ate dinner and during the ride home it was a tough mental battle.  I was determined not to stop for wine with my kid!

We got home– where I thought I was safe because I was home for the night.  I finished my chores before 8:00 and the mental battle was still going on.  Finally I said F-it!  Loaded the little into the car and drove to CVS and picked up a box of wine.

I didn’t even want to drink.  I kept telling myself that it didn’t even sound good and I didn’t want to wake up with a hangover, but the mental battle was too much.

On Thursday, I saw my therapist.  I was 100% honest about my week, drinking and my thoughts.  I told her that I would drink every night until the point of passing out and that it would last until the box of wine was gone (about 3-4 nights).  She was empathetic and told me that many people who stop drinking DO go through periods of drinking and sobriety in the beginning.  My mind heard that I had her blessing to keep drinking that box of wine, so Thursday night I drank again.

These nights of drinking were not great nights.  The wine tasted bad and I isolated from my family.  Both nights I didn’t even really want to drink, but it did keep my mind quiet.

On Friday at work I considered not drinking.  I thought I could take a break and just let the box be halfway full for a night or two.  I gave myself a list of reasons why my Friday night would be so much better if I didn’t drink.   By the evening hours, Betsy wasn’t going to let that happen.  I gave in, thinking that I would be done with the box soon and could accomplish another sober stretch.

I went out to get some wine and my box was turned backwards.  I thought that was weird.  I picked it up, expecting it to be half full, but it was empty!  WTF– did I drink THAT much the night before?  Then I noticed a note on the front.  It said “I love you! ❤ ❤ ❤  What should we do tonight?”

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My hubby always complains that when I drink, he loses me.   He is right.  And you might think that this situation made me really mad.  It didn’t.  I felt happy.  I suppose if I had REALLY wanted to drink (and like I said early, I didn’t but was just giving in to that voice), I would have been upset and probably would have driven up to the store to get more alcohol.  I don’t remember Thursday night, but am guessing that I had a conversation with him telling him how miserable I was drinking– but HAD to finish the box..

Well, I thought.  I guess I’m not drinking tonight.  I sat next to him on the couch after that, and told him he had better shut off his computer and give me some attention, lol.

For the longest time, I have been fighting this alone.   Talking to people at meetings is great, but they aren’t there when I’m at home and a mental battle is going on in my head.  It’s like I have two voices– me and then Betsy, my inner alcoholic voice.  For the first time ever, I felt like it was US against Betsy– two against one.  It was an uplifting and empowering realization.  My hubby is a normal drinker and I spilled my guts to him via my blog last month.

He listened.

That was part I of Friday night.  Part II was really weird and felt like a sign.

We were chilling in the living room when we heard loud meows.  It sounded like one of our cats, so we were looking all over to see if he was ok.   We discovered a black cat on our porch.  The weather has recently gotten really cold and I had never seen this cat before.  I went out and he was shy but came to be when I called him.  He wasn’t even close to being a feral cat– he was extremely affectionate.  Surely I couldn’t leave him outside to freeze!

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I locked my animals in a room and let him inside.  I offered him some food and he gobbled it up– all of it.  He was cold and starving!  Knowing he needed shelter for the night, I set him up in my oldest son’s bedroom with food, water and a litter box.  He was a little ancy when we went to bed, but settled down and was snuggling with my son in bed.

Around 4 :00 am, this cat (Sylvester– the boys had started calling him) got REALLY wild.  He was clawing at the shades trying to get out.

I let him outside– hating myself for it.  Knowing that he would probably be lost in the cold.  I watched for him and listened for his meows– all morning and all day long.  He hasn’t come back.

So, it’s been a sad Saturday leaving me wondering why this cat came into our lives and then left so quickly.  It felt like a sign last night that he found us– but now what does it even mean?  He reminded me of my childhood cat, all black and affectionate with scabby ears.  Was he a sign, sent from someone?

I wonder too much about the WHY.  I used to question my journey with alcohol and how it relates to my life constantly– trying to find the purpose.  One late night, I was in a meditation prayer.  I received a message, I believe from Him that was very clear.

“It’s not your job to wonder why.  Just trust.  Trust.”

That message DID help me not worry so much about the why and just trust the path.

I am trying to do the same thing with Sylvester.  Maybe it was just by chance he wandered onto our porch.  I have to trust that I did what I could and that’s all I can do.

I hope you find your way, precious little kitty soul ❤

 

 

 

Curveballs

Life!  It has this way of throwing you for a loop sometimes. I think I’m pretty lucky in that my life is usually pretty low key– not alot of drama and pretty laid back.  If no one got injured, or diagnosed with a life changing disease or died– then it was a good day!

Today was not a low key- no drama kind of day.

I anticipated a terrific day.  Today is the records day & we are allowed to work from home. My kids are home & I miraculously worked extra this week to get my records done before today, so it’s kind of like a free day off.  The temperature is warm and it is sunny and I had planned to get the house cleaned up (long overdue) with the boys’ help and then go for a nice long walk in the sun.

This weekend was supposed to be our luge trip weekend– but it’s been too warm and so the luge is closed and the trip got cancelled.  That is ok, we were planning on getting a hotel room since we have to pay for a night of boarding for our dog either way.  SO, I was going to spend today (Friday) getting everything ready for the weekend.

The day started at 3:30am– I heard my youngest crying in his bed.  His ear was hurting.  I gave him some pain meds and it took a good hour for him to get settled down and back to sleep.

He has had a head cold for a few weeks now & the ear pain is new.  I knew I’d be taking him in today to have him checked for an ear infection.

I had an appointment at a teeth straightener place at 9:30.  I told Will that I’ll be back and then we’ll go get him checked out at the minute clinic.

As I was getting ready to head for home after my appointment, I noticed a message from my oldest.  “Will is bawling and I don’t know what I should do for him.”  I called and told him to give more pain meds and then picked him up to take him in.

I took him to the minute clinic since his regular doctor’s office was closed.  Usually there’s not a long wait there.  I was discouraged to see a gentleman checking in as we were walking in– for I knew it would at least be a half hour wait.  I was signing in when I heard words that no parent likes to hear in public, “I’m going to throw up.”  Crap!!!!!  I asked for a bag and got escorted to the bathroom.  It was then I could see how sick my little really was– he was shivering and shaking like a leaf (I’m not a neglectful parent– and promise he was fine yesterday except for the head cold he’s had!).  On top of that, we had to wait for over an hour to be seen.  Waiting with an impatient 9 year old can be tough– but waiting with an impatient 9 year old who feels like utter crap is just awful.  I tried to keep him as comfortable as possible, but he was totally miserable.

Luckily, the visit was pretty quick once we got in. He did have a pretty bad ear infection and was prescribed antibiotics.  Hallelujah!!!  I was still a little bummed because I knew he was too sick to leave with his brother so I couldn’t go for a walk or get my errands done and I also figured that he would be too sick for any type of overnight trip this weekend.  BUT.. at least it is a long weekend, I was off today anyways and didn’t have to miss work and hopefully he’ll be feeling much better by Monday.  I was trying to look at the bright side!

I dropped him off at home before picking up his prescription.  While at home I made him some lunch and started the dishwasher– then headed up to the pharmacy to get his medicine.  I was poking around stocking up on Tylenol, kleenex, Gatorade, etc when my phone rang from the house phone.  SHOOT, I thought, what now??

It was my oldest, “It smells like gas in here.   I think it’s the dishwasher.  Oh it’s smoking from the bottom.”  I instructed him to cancel it but no matter what he pushed it wouldn’t turn off.  I left my full cart at the store to rush home thinking my house was about to burn down.  “FFF—————-!!!”   In the meantime, my oldest was smart and turned off the fuse and it was off by the time I got home.

My house is still standing.  It smells like a burnt up motor in here, half of our electricity is off because when we turn it on the dishwasher starts back up, but everything is ok.  Well, except the dishwasher– but I don’t feel like it has been doing a great job of washing our dishes for awhile now, so it will be good to get a new one.

Now it’s after 2pm. It is not how I planned to spend the day and I found myself uberly frustrated at times, but I am grateful to be able to see the big picture.

My little has medicine that will help him get better and I have health insurance to help cover the cost of the visit and medication.

I have a car that allowed me to solve the various problems of the day.

My son had enough knowledge to turn off the breaker to stop the dishwasher from burning up.

We have the means (and probably saved about the same amount from the cancelled luge trip– perhaps that was a blessing) to buy a new dishwasher.

This weekend surely isn’t turning out to be the fun long weekend we anticipated.  But I will still dance in the sun when I step outside because even with all of the curveballs life is good ❤

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F-E-A-R

Fear– an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Fear is necessary. 

The bottom line is that fear is intended to keep us safe. Most people are familiar with the fight-or flight response. When our lives are threatened, physiology kicks in to protect us. We are hardwired for self-preservation.

Unfortunately, we may also feel a similar response to unfamiliar albeit non-threatening situations. Things that feel uncomfortable to us also put us on alert. For some, the response is just as intense whereas others experience an attenuated version.

Fear has been a familiar feeling lately.

It’s been plaguing my dreams.

My uncle was hit by a car two weeks ago and is still in ICU.  First I dreamed that I saw on the news not that a deputy was injured, but that a deputy was killed.  Killed.  More recently (last night) I was on his facebook page and it said Remembering “his name” (the thing that facebook does now to deceased people’s pages).  I don’t normally have nightmares, but these quick thoughts that passed through my sleeping mind awoke me with a jolt– and filling me with fear.

We’ve had coyotes in our yard lately.  One day, a few weeks back, there was two.  They kept leaving but then coming back, scaling the back lot line like they were hunting something.  I did a quick double check to make sure both cats were in (I would have been 1000 times more frightened if it wasn’t the dead of the winter and -15 outside– for they rarely go outside right now..).   Since then I always have an eye on the backyard everytime I go through the kitchen.  I spotted another one 4 days ago, around noon.  They make me uneasy–they are so close and capable of killing my pets.

More bad dreams.  Dreams that they are stuck in our yard, unable to get out due to hills in the yard (that don’t really exist)– so they are right outside the doorwall.  Last night I dreamed that one got in the house.  It is too cold to walk in the dark early hours before work– but when the warmer temperatures come will I ever feel safe walking in the dark again?  And if we keep seeing them in our yard in broad daylight, how many are coming through at night?  Come warm weather, how will I keep the cats in and how will I not worry about them ALL the time when they are out?

I have many fears– and many dreams. Dreamed that my special education director directed me to sell a young couple a house (I’ve ALWAYS wanted to sell real estate– so it kind of was a dream come true!).  I told them that I’ve always lived in the area that they were looking at and that I would help them find an awesome house.  They were directed to an office upstairs and I was supposed to meet them up there. I went upstairs and the area was huge with many offices and tons of people.  By the time I found my couple, too much time had passed.  They were SO mad at me and stormed off.  I was fired as a real estate agent before I even begun.  What does a dream like that mean?

How do I deal with these fears rationally and what purpose do they serve?   To be continued….

Update on goals:
Last Monday I found an evening women’s 12 step book study meeting and I went.  It was perfect!  Much more comfortable than the Friday night meeting I went to 🙂   There was about 12 of us, various ages and everyone was so sweet and kind.  I am actually very excited to go back on Monday.  I hope to maybe find a sponsor in this group.

Today I had my first visit with an addiction therapist.  I’m not so excited about it.  She just asked me a TON of questions.  I’m not sure how future sessions will go, I’m sure she just needs to get to know me to figure out how to help me.  I hope that I see a benefit from it.  I go back in two weeks– so wish me luck ❤

 

 

Let’s Do This!

Day 1 for me, yet again.  This time I feel ready.  I am so incredibly excited for a long stretch of sobriety.  I’m continuing to learn and build up my toolbox and I’m optimistic about the future.

I had two short term goals– one was to attend an evening meeting and the other was to at least schedule an appointment with a therapist.

I attended the local Friday night AA meeting two nights ago.  It wasn’t at all what I expected.  I expected it to be larger and more transient.  There weren’t many people– (roughly half the size of the noon meeting I’ve attended) and most seemed like regulars who knew each other.  This was both comfortable and uncomfortable.  Comfortable in the fact that they were nice enough that I feel that if I continue going then I will probably be able to develop relationships the group.  And it was uncomfortable for the obvious reason of being a new person in an established group.  Overall, I’m glad I went and I do plan on going back.

I don’t actually have an appointment with a therapist, but I do have a call into one who is supposed to call me back.  I also messaged another one just in case the first one can’t accommodate my schedule.  I am so excited to get this kind of help– but I’m not sure that my insurance will cover it.  I really hope it does (the lady who took my call said that insurance many times won’t cover “substance abuse” addictions– but since I also have an eating disorder I’m hopeful that it’ll cover my visit).  If insurance doesn’t cover an addiction therapist then my plan B is to go to a therapist that I’ve seen in the past.   She is really good– but doesn’t have experience with addiction.

Let’s do this!!

One more thing that I want to add is that I have a couple of exciting things to focus on and look forward to in the near future.

Next Friday I have a fun date with my hubby.  We are going to The Creature Conservatory in Ann Arbor to see a presentation on creatures of the night.  At the end of the night, they’ll turn on only red lights and then they’ll open door to the bat roost and 35 bats will be flying in the arena above our heads!  I am so excited that he got us tickets for this, it is going to be such a great evening.

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The following weekend we are going on a Boy Scout trip to Muskegon to have some winter fun.  I will be sliding down a luge!  We will also be skating and going cross country skiing.  I’m thrilled, but better not forget the motrin!  Boy Scout trips used to be a large source of stress for me if I had to go.  There is absolutely ZERO drinking tolerated (well duh..).   Now a Boy Scout trip is such a welcomed relief.  For two days I don’t have to even fight it, it’s just a given– NO drinking.

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Yes, I am so ready to do this!  I haven’t been able to stick to it since the holidays.  THIS is what I’ve been missing:

  • Exceptional Sleep
  • Feeling well rested every single day (even after late nights or early wake ups)
  • Full engagement of an activity (without rushing home to drink and/or thinking about it)
  • Ability to focus
  • Feeling carefree
  • Feeling like I have my life under control
  • Reading every night
  • Remembering going to bed & the night before
  • Positive self awareness
  • Feeling confident at work
  • Having the energy to teach 7-8 small groups per day
  • The desire and ability to exercise daily (or at least almost daily)
  • Belly laughs
  • Appreciation of delicious drinks that aren’t filled with poison

Let’s do this– I am so ready!

One more note on self care.   It is so easy as a mom to neglect yourself.  Up until now, my teeth have been grossly neglected, due to a lack of time, but more than anything due to my fear of dentists.  Two years ago I cracked my back tooth.  I went in and the dentist quoted me thousands to fix it and all of my other tooth problems.  I didn’t want to pay all that and it wasn’t painful so I never went back.   About a month ago, that same tooth chipped even more– now I had a gaping hole.  It wasn’t sore but was sensitive to hot and cold, so I found a new dentist who could see me right away (and had WAY more reasonable prices than the last dentist).  He did a root canal and put a crown on it.  I almost told him to just pull it because I was terrified of the root canal (it wasn’t my first).  I had gas and it was actually a pleasant experience.   I’m not sure if that was cheating on my sobriety– but I’m going to allow this for me.  In fact, after my crown was put in, I scheduled a teeth cleaning.  I was SO sensitive that the last dentist wanted to numb me and clean it in quarters– so I would need 4 visits to get them all cleaned.  That was like 6 years ago and I never followed up.  So I was super excited to have my teeth cleaned up.  I had the gas and again, it was not bad at all.   I still need a couple fillings dug out and crowns put on (but no root canals, yay!), but after that my teeth will be in TIP TOP shape!  This is so exciting for me, as my teeth have been a huge source of stress, neglect and self loathing!  I don’t like how crooked they are, but haven’t done anything about it because I knew there were problems in there that needed to be addressed.  NOW I can see about getting them straightened– guys this is huge 🙂 🙂 🙂   

Moral of the story?  A little self care can go a long way.  Since my cleaning, I have been diligent about taking care of my teeth properly (something I’ve never done before in my life).  If you are putting off something that you dread, it can be life changing to finally face it.

Ok..  that’s all I’ve got.  I am so ready to do this ❤ 

 

Reflection

I’ve been dreading writing this post, especially after my last post Life on Life’s Terms.

The good news is that my uncle, while still in critical condition is making some really good progress!  We were told on Saturday that if he makes it until Tuesday then his chance for recovery is good (for those who missed my last post, my uncle who is a police officer was hit by a car while directing traffic and suffered major head trauma).  It is already Wednesday and he has made daily small improvements and we are hopeful for a full recovery ❤

The bad news is that I let Betsy take advantage of the stress of this situation.   I was sober that first night.   After being at the hospital, dealing with family stress and drama, I had to stop and get cough drops for my kiddo and I picked up wine.

I can list 50 reasons why/excuses, but will spare you.   THIS is what I want to get out of this situation:  When the next crisis happens (and it will– it’s called life!), WHAT can I do differently?  I was so strong that first night but then as more stress was added I just DID NOT want to feel anymore.

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SO.. this week I’ve been doing a lot of self reflecting.  I need to add more tools to my toolbox.  Specifically, I need to find a regular meeting or program to attend (if not AA, then Celebrate Recovery, Smart Recovery, etc). I also would like to find an addiction therapist to meet one-on-one with.  I think this would be super helpful with creating some realistic goals for me.

I did sign up for an online recovery class and have been progressing nicely– but do think that outside groups and therapy would do me a lot of good.  I’ve been saying this for awhile now.

NEXT time I post I want 2 things:

I want to have attended an evening meeting and will write about how it went.  I know that once I attend that first one, it’ll be easier to go back.

I also want to have set up an appointment with an addictions therapist.  I probably won’t have a visit before my next post (sometimes it takes a bit to get in)– but if I at least have it scheduled then I’m unlikely to back out.

Life on Life’s Terms

Today has been a whirlwind– a true test.

On a small scale– it was tough.  It began with a sick kiddo coming in an hour before I had to be up. By the time I got him situated, I wasn’t able to get back to sleep and brain fog consumed my morning.  I was grateful that I wasn’t hungover– even the most severe sleep deprived brain fog has nothing on the dreaded hangover.

Work was dismal.  I spent the majority of my morning in a meeting with the grandmother of a new student I was about to get.  Grandma gave an extensive history of the child’s sad upbringing and I was left wondering how I was going to help this 7 year focus on academic skills when she was dealing with a horrid home life.

On a large scale, the day was serious.  Luckily, my afternoon meeting was much better.  It was for a student who has made great growth and with parents who cannot be nicer or more supportive.  Early into the meeting I saw a text from my dad come through.  “Call me when you get out of work.”

This type of text always makes me uneasy.  I knew my dad has been having lung/breathing issues and is supposed to see a lung specialist tomorrow.  My mind wandered throughout the meeting… did he have to go in early– was he at the hospital– did something happen to my grandma???  It took real effort to focus on the meeting that I had to facilitate.

When I called my dad, my fears were confirmed.  My uncle, an officer, was hit by a college student while helping at the scene of an accident.  He was in ICU with an extensive brain injury and the next few days will be critical.

I was dazed.  I went on with the end of my day, going through the motions, acting as though everything was ok.  I picked up my dog from daycare on the way home.  When they brought him out, they used a different door so I didn’t even notice him.  When I looked at him, I didn’t recognize him right away.  I felt like the biggest ditz!  While I was waiting for him I pulled the article about my uncle up on my phone and was immersed in the story.  I wanted to tell the girl why I was zoned out but the point was moot.

I turned on the news after I got home and news of my uncle was the leading story.  It hit home then. Since then just misery– sitting here with my feelings.  This is it– feeling the feels– life on life’s term.  Betsy has been chirping in my ear since the ride home.  I have just started humoring her– and that’s why I’m writing this. Getting these thoughts out helps me cope. I’d like nothing but a stiff drink right now and to numb out.

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This has been challenging  and I’ve felt more anxiety today than I’ve ever felt sober.  Taking it one moment at a time– I surely don’t want to wake up head sick, hungover, anxious and full of guilt and shame.

Extra prayers appreciated for my uncle, his wife and his teenage twins ❤