Coping with Life Stress without Alcohol


The fall is moving along with what seems like should be record breaking speed.  I can’t even believe that we are in the middle of September, wasn’t it just August?   Maybe working at a school makes it seem faster.  Every year, that first marking period seems to come sooner.   Then it’s the second, then third and before we know it we’ll be out for another summer stretch.  Next year I will have a Senior in High School so I wouldn’t mind time to slow down for a bit!

With being so busy I had to scale back on my self care routine.  Along with working full time I recently signed up for 2 fall graduate classes, so I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I told my family I would no longer be buying groceries or making them meals (at 11, 16 and 42, I think they can handle it), but know that I can’t keep out of the kitchen for that long.

It was during that 1st week of school when I realized that my self care needed attention. I was having a rough afternoon.  My youngest and I were scrambling to make it to his school’s Curriculum Night and I was griping about how nothing was going right that day.

“Mom, you should meditate.”

My youngest remembered a time when I told him that when I stop making time to quiet my brain, everything seems to go wrong and he was thoughtful enough to suggest it.

And I never think they are listening.

But he was right.  I was going at near 100% all day, then have to rush home and get ready for all that and I was tired, my brain needed a rest, my body needed a recharge and I was forgetting about all of my tools.  Duly noted.

The first couple of weeks of school has been ok.  We have some things going on in our family, like my father-in-law may have cancer.  It’s a 50% chance and he gets a scan in about a week, but we’ve been waiting for a few weeks now, so we are all anxious for results.  It’s really affecting my hubby, but sometimes in good ways (I think).  He’s spent more time with his parents this month than the whole year combined, but I think that is necessary and important right now.  My SIL has her kids back full time and seems to be doing ok.  Her 16 year old is at our home often and I worry that he seems down frequently.  He’s usually pretty open with me and when I ask him about things he says they are going ok, and genuinely seems to give me honest details about what’s going on at home.   It’s hard to not worry sometimes.  I know it does absolutely no good, but…

Today is Saturday and I am having some of Will’s friends over for an early birthday “pool” party.  Last week was the warmest week we’ve had in awhile so we threw it together in like a week.  And I didn’t remember when we were planning it that my hubby and oldest are gone all day at a wilderness first aid training up north.  So, it’ll be me vs. like 5 tweens.  I initially felt and acted really pissy when I found out they wouldn’t be here to help me. I probably wouldn’t have planned a birthday party, and was originally super stressed out but am feeling fine about it now.  I’m glad that I have something to occupy me while the boys are gone.

We had some pretty significant water coming into our spare room (which is in the basement) last week.  It was leaking a little bit occasionally but it seems to be getting worse.   So tomorrow we will have to take out all of the junk in that room, pull up the floor and the paneling off the walls to see if we can fix it or if we have to call someone.  As a side note, soaking up bucketfuls with a sponge is tedious and mentally draining.  And with as much water that was in there I’m praying that my elliptical and treadmill still work.  The good news is that I’ve wanted to work in that room all summer, but didn’t want to do too much due to the leaking.  Now hubby is going to take out a closet on the other side to make the room a little bigger.  And with the room dry, clean and nice, maybe we’ll actually use it.  I hope the leak isn’t a super invasive and expensive to fix, but I am excited to clean and fix that room.

Above all of the big stuff and little stuff in life I’ve had an everlasting feeling of gratitude.  Today I am 171 days alcohol free.  I no longer think much about drinking.  The magnitude of this hits me at random times.  The other night, as I was getting ice for ice water I thought back to the days where I watched our ice supply closely.  I knew how much I wanted for drinks and would ration the frickin’ ice.  I would easily fill 3, 4 sometimes 5 or 6 glasses each night.  Usually with either wine or white russians made with rice milk.

On this night I felt proud to scoop up a glob of ice cubes to nourish my body with water.  Quite different than quietly sneaking into the ice bucket, because of the awful shame and guilt I felt.

Aging parents, crazy siblings, stressful jobs, expensive home repairs, college classes, teenage diabetes, this is a lot of stress and I am coping JUST FINE.

Better than just fine because I can deal with it without KILLING my physical, mental and emotional self.  Addiction is the highest form of self-abandonment, yet if there was any time that would be ideal to abandon myself, it would be about now.  Thank God, I have too much love for myself right now.

OK, well, I’ve got to get moving.  It’s after 8:00 and I have until 3:00 to get everything done.  I hope this party is a success!


Published by Organic Revival

I am a mom of boys, wife, furmom, gardner, walker, runner, teacher, reader, writer and cook. I am 42 years old and live in the beautiful state of Michigan. I love my job as an elementary special education teacher. The most remarkable quality of mine is that I'm a recovering alcoholic.

One thought on “Coping with Life Stress without Alcohol

  1. “Better than just fine because I can deal with it without KILLING my physical, mental and emotional self. Addiction is the highest form of self-abandonment, yet if there was any time that would be ideal to abandon myself, it would be about now. Thank God, I have too much love for myself right now.”

    So true!

Leave a Reply to Untipsyteacher Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.