Cruise Control

It’s Thursday and Spring Break is cruising right along, a little too fast for my liking. It hasn’t been a super productful week, but I’m still sober so I’ve felt grateful every day.

The weekend was pretty full. On Saturday, our friends came down from Bay City. My BFF, Debbie, brought a cake for my son’s 16th birthday, but one of their dogs decided to eat half of it on the way here. They brought both dogs to play with mine. We had a boxer for years and years (he died at 13) who lived the first 6 months in a cage (please don’t ever buy from a pet store. Please. Please. Please.). I worked at a veterinary hospital in high school and throughout college. This puppy had mange and by the time he was healed he was too old to be sold. He went to a family with a 3 year old, but they said he was too rambunctious and brought him back. I took him home for the weekend and never brought him back. BUT, he was always strange around other dogs (not attacking them, but acting so strange that other dogs would attack him). My point is that my BFF and I have had dogs our whole adult life but this is the first time that they’ve been friends and we’ve been able to bring our dogs to overnight trips at each other’s homes. And please, if you get anything from this page, please please adopt don’t shop.

That was the main excitement so far. I am taking classes for my Master’s and this is the first morning I haven’t been spending doing homework. I talked to a health coach on Monday and will again today. The first 30 days is free and it’s been helpful so far in pointing me in the right direction. I haven’t been back to see Dr. Tent since January. I’m tired of a billion supplements. I might go back when I’m a few months sober and have had more time to be in control of my health. I’m going to be strong enough though to say no to a bunch of stuff to take. My feet are pretty ok right now. I do need to work on keeping up my sobriety, and eating better and will try to decrease the pred again (every time I get down to less than 5mg a day I’m plagued with pain). My personal goal is to be off all meds and pain free.

On Monday I bit the bullet and ordered a cricut machine. My birthday was back in March and I’ve been thinking about getting one for my birthday, but wasn’t sure I’d use it as much as I think. It was supposed to come yesterday and I was so excited to spend this week playing with it, but now it’s running late and will be here today, tomorrow or Saturday. I HOPE it comes today, I want to play with it especially while I’m off work.

Yesterday I took the boys and Andrew (my teenage nephew) to visit my grandma. I kind of dreaded it but it was a nice visit. We played Euchre with her and it was almost like old times up in Luzerne. Speaking of Luzerne, when she lived up north she taught a religious recovery program for people with addiction. I have always wanted to ask her about it and yesterday I finally worked up the nerve. I also shared that I’ve been to AA and have a problem with the drink. She was shocked and said I didn’t have a problem. I shared that one day I found myself wanting to stop but not being able to and how scary of a place that was. She said her brother was a functioning alcoholic and would stop on his way home everyday from work for booze. It was a tad difficult conversation but long overdo and it felt good to be honest and vulnerable.

I also had a significant conversation with my 16 year old the other day. He was also shocked that I think I have a problem. Does he think that falling over drunk (it doesn’t happen often, but has happened especially like when we’re up north with other drinking family members) and not remembering conversations is normal? At any rate, I hope that I planted a seed that says you don’t have to be homeless and living under a bridge to have a problem. I also hope that I opened up paths that will allow him to feel comfortable talking to me about drinking and addiction. I warned him that addiction is genetic and he would need to be careful. I honed in on the fact that one day you’re in college drinking like everyone else and the next day you’re a 40 year old parent who still drinks and maybe can’t stop, and how awful of a place that is to be.

I think that’s about it. My niece stayed the night last night so I will probably take them up to Airtime for a little bit this morning. Also I’m hoping to get a nice walk in and maybe a bike ride later with hubby if it’s not too cold (it hasn’t been great weather this week– but that’s ok nature is in full force and warm temps will be here before we know it– I just wish it was this week!).

I’m kind of happy that I had that AWFUL day last week. It propelled me into wanting to stay sober. This week could have been very different had I been drinking. I am so grateful for day 8 today and still don’t have a desire to drink (I mean, I have longed for it occasionally at certain points, but shut the AV down quickly. I NEVER want to feel like I did last Thursday, EVER).

God Bless ❤ ❤ ❤

24 Hours

It’s been a busy couple of days. I drank once since the last time I wrote and I believe it’ll be the last. I was SO filled with guilt and shame the next day, it still makes me cry. This is what I posted in my sober circle that sums it up:

Super ugly post warning. I don’t remember having a day feeling this low. I wasn’t going to drink last night, but I did. I woke up in a puddle of piss. I WET the f’ing bed! I can’t even tell you the amount of shame and guilt I have today– over not just this but the enormity of it all. I showered this morning, but still felt like I smelled like piss all day. I hope (pray) it was in my head. I looked like garbage all day and functioned at probably less than 50%.

My hubby texted me twice throughout the day and both times I was reading into things thinking he’s going to boot me to the curb. How can he not hate me? And my poor kiddos– what the hell am I doing to them continuing to drink? It was so hard to go to school today and try to act normal when walking around with a boat load of shame, guilt, etc.

Fortunately, I have some good things to look forward to. My BFF is coming down this weekend to visit for my son’s bday. Next week is spring break and I am SO excited to get back to the things that are good for me and hopefully make it to some AA meetings, maybe even find a sponsor and start on these steps. I hope and pray that this is it. I’ve said that literally like 1000 times, BUT I don’t think I’ve ever felt this low. If you are the praying type, I would appreciate a prayer. I need all the prayers, positivity etc that I can get right now ❤

Now it is March 30th. That day that I posted this ended on a high note. Hubby was forgiving. We rode our bikes that evening up to have dinner. We didn’t talk about “it” other than me telling him that any and all alcohol in house must go (even the kind that gives me zero temptation) and that I HAVE to stop. The dinner, the 8 mile ride with the birds singing and frogs calling, the weather — it all was so refreshing and filled with so much life and renewed hope. I knew then that I can’t go back.

I felt much better the next day and find it absolutely amazing how much things can change in 24 hours.

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For the moment, I’m keeping busy, but not tempted in the least. I tagged along last night with hubby, sons, brother in laws and nephew to see an awful movie (Marvel- I hate action and violence). It was a nice time though and we had dinner out which was delicious. My brother in law got a drink at the restaurant and again at the movies. I had no desire to join him or go home and drink. In fact, I talked to him for a bit about his longtime best friend (who coincidentally was our neighbor when we bought our first house) who lost his wife suddenly over a year ago. He was always a drinker but his wife kept him in line. He’s completely lost all control since she died. I am so sad for him. He’s choosing death over life. I hope he comes out of it.

My kids and I are off school next week for spring break. Timing is a pure blessing and could not be better. This will give me time to read, write, meditate, go to AA, set up an appointment with my old therapist, and work on my soul. And to think a week ago, I was actually going back and forth about drinking over break. I am so thankful to NOT have that internal dialogue in my head right now and the gift of sobriety today. Vacation is always so much better with a clear head and a clean soul ❤

One more thing.. Lately I have been reading some incredible books that I think will be life changing for me. One is The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne. The other one is, The Lotus and the Lily: Access the Wisdom of Buddha and Jesus to Nourish Your Beautiful, Abundant Life, by Janet Connor. I’m just getting started but am learning about some amazing principles. I can’t wait to share more as I embark upon this new and exciting journey!

Anyways, time to check some more things off my list. Have a GREAT weekend ❤ < 3 ❤

The Devil Inside

I’ve been thinking a lot about my thinking. I’ve been researching also and have read some really great books about our powerful mind– and that pesky voice– you know, the one I call Betsy.

I’ve been noticing things that intrigue me, and wondering. Why am I so depressed when I’m not sober? Is it because alcohol is a depressant? Or is it my addiction telling me that my life is so bad and stressful, that I need and deserve a drink.

Is this the same voice that tells me I’m fired when my key card doesn’t work? The same one that tells me parents are going to be angry at me? The one that tells me that I look like a chubby adolescent and should just finish the cake? The one that says I’m not good enough. Or smart enough. Or pretty enough.

WHO is this voice? And WHY does she have so much animosity toward me?

Do you have this voice too? What does yours say? Is yours as much as a negative Nancy as mine?

I’m giving ole’ Betsy (my inner alcoholic voice is named Betsy, after the horrid Betsy DeVos who is the spawn of a devil and is going to single handedly try to turn our public education into prison pipeline) the boot!

No more bashing on me, I’m not going to take it. And no more telling me I need the cake– or I need a drink. I WILL DECIDE what I need or want.

I’m going to give myself so much love and you should too ❤ ❤ ❤

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My WHY

My kids

My hubby

My extended family

My health (mental, emotional, physical)

My students

To remember going to bed and what I said

To be productive at work

To wake up clear headed and energized

To sleep well

To pursue my hobbies and create new ones

To be able to exercise and push myself harder

To finish that book

To finish reading all of those wonderful books

Bed parties

Belly laughs

To shred the shame

To be my best

For happiness and peace

Diabetes Fun

I am not always proud of my parenting skills– I think that is normal and to be expected. Sometimes I lose my temper, or don’t follow through with things.. But I am doing the best that I can and at the end of the day my boys know that they are loved.

Having a child with a chronic illness can be extra challenging sometimes. Our son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 13 years old. We were extremely lucky. His symptoms were found at a wellness visit and we were directed to the closest children’s hospital. We stayed for 3 days to get educated and we were well taken care of. Most of it seemed more like a hotel stay than being at the hospital. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra even came to the children’s floor to give a private concert. He wasn’t sick, he wasn’t in pain and while the diagnosis was a shock, I was completely grateful that he had an illness that could be completely controlled.

In the 2 years and 3 months that we’ve lived with diabetes, I think we’ve done just fine. It’s not always easy and we make mistakes, but we are doing the best that we can. And I am grateful that at age 15 he basically manages his diabetes without much help from us.

We have to get checkups every 3 months and they test his blood to see if his A1C has gone up or down or stayed the same. The lower the A1C, means his average blood sugar levels are ideal– so the goal is never to have an increased A1C.

Our drives to the hospital are sometimes stressful. He isn’t great about keeping his log updated (we religiously updated it that first year and constantly sent it to the hospital for them to monitor his numbers, but that becomes less necessary as time goes on and he’s able to change doses to meet his needs). So the drive can include me prodding him to backchecking his glucometer to update the log- plus me stressing to get him back to school- or home in time for the little one, etc. On my less than proud moments I might spend the drive lecturing him about high numbers he didn’t tell me about or not taking insulin BEFORE he eats.

Yesterday was our 3 month checkup. I picked him up from school and we had a nice drive. He played his favorite song (Africa, Toto) over and over again. I asked him how he thinks he’s doing. His response was surprising. “Not good at all. I’m always between 2 and 300 and I should have increased my Lantus (long acting insulin) dose. I don’t even know why I didn’t think of it until now. Yeah, this is not going good.”

Boy.

You are managing a disease that even adults have a tough time with. Pretty much, On. Your. Own. He never ceases to amaze me and is one of my personal heroes.

I spent the rest of the drive reminding him of all of the things that he IS doing well. Plus, he’s still alive. HUGE bonus since he has a total nonworking pancreas and must do all of the work himself, manually, at every single meal.

Our visit was fine, although his A1C went up. They didn’t yell at us, but gave us some tips for lowering it. I have a feeling that our conversation in the car will help motivate him to stay on track more so than if I had yelled and berated him.

Yep, I’m not always proud of my parenting, but I feel like yesterday was a win. I’m going to remember to do more talking and less yelling and lecturing ❤

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday was gross, like all of it, just ick.

It wasn’t what happened, so much, it was more how I felt and dealing with those feelings.

Not long ago, you see, those same exact feelings would have me reaching for external comfort– food, liquor, wine, pot… any of it would do.

So.. when what started as a positive and promising day turned south, it was only natural to want to high tail it to the party store. I don’t really, after all, have a problem, I mean I’ve had some good longer sober stretches so WHO cares if I drink like once a week?

Hook, line and sinker… and then Betsy does her triumphant dance.

NOT yesterday.

NOT this time.

What did I do?

I wrote letters that I’ve been putting off for weeks (there is something oddly satisfying to handwriting heartfelt notes). I took the pup for a walk in the balmy cold. I sauteed a healthy dinner of veggies and eggs. I sat in my cozy chair and just thought for a bit. I still felt a tad down and sad after it was all said and done, but not that panicked “I have to consume something toxic” feeling that often overcomes me when I feel sad and lonely.

But I was still scared. I didn’t know how today would be and if these feelings would carry over and if I would be tempted and give into temptation.

But I woke up feeling Betsy’s triumph (MAN it was WONDERFUL). It’s still very early and I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, but I am feeling optimistic. One day and one moment at a time ❤

Drinking today is borrowing tomorrow’s happiness” — not sure who originally said it, but it’s a brilliant quote with so much truth.

White Feathers, Signs, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and Suicide

February 27, 2019– Day 2 and feeling optimistic.  A lot of things are going on right now that are making me feel really weird– but not in a bad way.

I can’t remember when the teeny white feathers started, but I am finding them on or near me all of the time.  I was excited at first, seeing it as a sign from my mom.  BUT.. after finding several of them, I thought they were coming from the inside of my winter coat.  I think it was after the 4th time or so I found one on my coat.  BUT.. then I kept finding them, even when my coat was nowhere around.  Tonight while cleaning up dinner, there was one on my stove.

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Come to think of it, why did I even think my coat was stuffed with feathers?  I knew that it can be a sign, but I haven’t looked it up recently, so, right now, as I’m writing this I decided to look it up.  The very first thing that popped up and was highlighted was exactly what I was looking for.  And the date it was posted happened to be on my mom’s death day.

white feather

The good news is that everything that I read about brought me tremendous warmth and comfort.  An angel is near and watching over me and my loved ones are safe in heaven.  Additionally, it may be a sign that I am on the right path or could be a clue to an answer I’ve been looking for.  Hmmmm.. I’ll take it!

Other strange things have been happening this week.  Learning of an attempted suicide of a parent at my school (and one of my previous parents so an associate of mine– and one that I had much admiration and respect for) left me feeling shocked and sad. Turns out he blogged about it and so of course I had to find and read it.

I don’t understand suicide but it has hit me personally.  The same year my mom died, my hubby’s 22 year old cousin killed himself– totally out of the blue.  A physically fit college athlete with good looks and from a typical family– it was a shock to everyone.  About a year later a parent at my school hung himself.  Great family whose wife was our PTA president.  Another tragic shock.  There have been others as well.  A longtime friend of my mom’s, this one happening many years ago when she had young kids and I was a teenager.  I just learned today that my dad’s cousin is currently in the hospital because of an attempted suicide.  Everyone is impacted at one time or another by suicide.

I don’t get it, at all.  I know that it’s because of a mental illness and that they truly truly believe that the world and their family will be better off without them.  I understand that.  But how can you leave your kids behind?  Maybe I’m sensitive having lost my mother.  I’ve felt pretty low at times these past few years, but I could never leave my kids motherless- especially knowing how awful it is to lose a parent.

So, I’m reading this blog and this guy (my previous parent who recently attempted suicide) got up one morning, showered, got ready for work, dropped his son off at school and instead of going to work, and on a complete impulse, he drove home and took all of his sleeping pills.  His wife found him a few hours later and he was in a coma for days.  I could immediately relate to that mental switch and impulsivity.  It’s like on those few occasions that I was going strong in my sobriety and happily trucking along giving others motivation and advice and then I’m driving somewhere and my brain flips a switch.  All of a sudden I’m hell bent on picking up wine and nobody can stop me, I am determined to drink.  Sometimes I feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Although, I will say that throughout my sobriety journey I feel like I’ve gotten better at controlling that impulsing and shooting down fleeting ideas as they popped up.  It is still such a scary connection for me.  Could my brain flip a switch and convince myself to end my life?  I suppose it’s good to be fearful of this and aware that I am not immune.

Other things have appeared to be connected all week— like super weird coincidences and topics that keep popping up.

I’m going to work really hard at trying to listen to the signs and my soul, I truly think I am being led somewhere.  Or maybe it’s just the Universe, or God or my Angel(s) leading me out of this rut I’ve been stuck in.

I’m not sure, but I’m really excited to see what this life has in store for me.  I have been feeling positive and energized all day, and it’s been a long one 😉

One last saying to leave you with.  “No mud, no lotus”  Maybe this journey is helping me perfect the art of suffering.

I feel full of hope and happiness ❤

Update: an hour later I found another, larger white feather on the living room floor 🤷🏼‍♀️ 


 

In the Devil’s Grip

Ahhhhh…. remember the good old days, with longer stretches of sobriety– and me loving getting in some extra exercise on my glorious and beloved sober weekend?

Either do it.  It seems like a lifetime ago.

This weekend I was particularly brutal to myself.  We had to watch our niece Friday night and I was horrified to wake up Saturday morning not even remembering putting the kids to bed– or anything that happened towards the end of the night — including her parents leaving (how embarrassing and shameful).

I was not only mentally/emotionally a mess waking up, but felt pretty horrible physically too.  At one point I could feel my inside organs aching so bad, I became panicked that I was in liver failure.  I ran to the bathroom to look at my eyes to see if they were yellow.  They weren’t but it was quite a scare.

I have been drinking, and hurting all week.  I know I’m in trouble when I wake up and swear to myself that I am going to stop.  Thoughts of drinking take up more of my day then I will admit.  By 5:00 I’m craving the drink and that drunk feeling so I patiently wait until a more acceptable time to drink (at least 7pm).

I haven’t worked out in more than a week.

I’ve gained 10 pounds in less than two weeks.

I starved myself part of last week– only to see the scale wildly go up and down each day.

This isn’t working.

I’m not happy.

My mind and body want one thing, but my addiction wants something else.  WHY am I letting Betsy (my inner alcoholic) run and ruin my life?  HOW is she winning?  Day after day I feel awful– physically, mentally, emotionally…  a dark shroud covering my entire world.  Back in black and white Kansas, far from the colorful land of Oz.  I KNOW how to get there, and I want to get there, why am I letting Betsy hold me back??

In 2017 I stopped on February 11th for 93 days.  In 2018 I stopped on March 23rd. for 127 days.  Stopping this time of year seems familiar to me.  I know I can do it, but every time I swear that I’ll rack up the days, I cave.

I feel like I know what I need to do, but I don’t feel like I have any energy to do it.  So I’m just going to sit here, with my computer and my coffee.  I’m sober at the moment ❤

One Cold February

Today is the last day of mid winter break and I found myself awake before 5:00 am.  I am thoroughly enjoying the peaceful house this morning.

It’s been a nice, low key break.

And the skunk smell is finally gone from our home.

Yesterday was particularly nice and productive, yet enjoyable.  I got up, washed all my bedding and the dog’s bed cover also.  While laundry was going I ran to Meijer to look at RBX (I like this brand and just found out that Meijer carries it) shirts and get groceries.  I was good at the store and didn’t buy any junk food, except for ingredients for strawberry shortcake.

Came home and made homemade pizza dough.  While it was rising, I cleaned up my bedroom and then repainted the frame of a cute picture I got from the Salvation Army last week.

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Hubby was pretty excited to have a good dinner and dessert and a clean house (the boys helped clean while I was shopping).  I felt pretty accomplished by the end of the day.

Today I think I will take the boys up to Lenscrafters.  Will needs his glasses tightened and I want to get some new frames.  Hopefully they can make them in an hour and we’ll have lunch while we wait.

This is probably the most boring post ever.  Oh well.  At least I’ll always know what was happening on February 19, 2019!

Peace and love to you all ❤

A Very Stinky Week

What was supposed to be a fabulous weekend is turning miserable.  It started on Wednesday.

Wednesday was my late mom’s birthday.  I woke up for work and as I got out of bed I looked out into the backyard.  I do this every morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of a deer or coyote.  I immediately saw an animal scurrying across the back of the yard.  It was too small to be a coyote or fox–so I guessed it was a possum or skunk.

Not even thinking twice, I went into the kitchen and let Jules out.  He was back in record time rubbing his face in the snow and then I immediately smelled it.  He got sprayed!

I quickly made a batch of homemade skunk off and wiped down his face.  I didn’t have time to do anything else, however, and just thought I’d deal with it when I got home.  A little later in the morning, I started getting messages from my family (who were all sleeping when this went down).

By this time, I was CRACKING up!  Like, seriously, it’s a little skunk smell– get over it.  I had an early morning meeting with colleagues and after we all sat down I asked them if they smelled skunk.  A few of them said yes.  I told them it was me and what happened.  The ones who had dogs that had been skunked offered me some advice and it was all ok.  My boys, on the other hand, were falling apart.   I thought it was my mom, making me laugh on her birthday and playing a joke.  But now, it’s escalated and I’m not so sure.

I did some major cleaning and bathing of the dog when I got home on Wednesday.  I thought by Wednesday night, it was barely noticeable.

Hubby complained ALL night Wednesday.

And he complained ALL night Thursday.

By Friday it was making him nuts.  He took 1/2 day off work and had Stanley Steamer come out and clean the carpet.  While home he washed all of the coats (they seemed to be the most stinky, not sure why) and the curtains.  He refused to let the dog sleep with us and I let him in the bed in the middle of the night so now hubby has been sleeping downstairs since 4am.  I’ll also add, that he was so incredibly crabby last night about the smell, he is absolutely ruining my weekend so far.  He’s usually not crabby, so I have a hard time dealing with it when he is.

Now it’s 7am and I feel pretty sad.  I hope today isn’t another crabby day.  If it is, then I might as well pack up and go to my BFFs for the weekend.  I promised her I would come up soon and last week was her birthday.  And, sadly enough, I’m smelling skunk more this morning than I did the past 2 days.  I think from the carpet being wet– I told him we should wait a bit before getting it cleaned.

Hoping for a fun Saturday with happy people ❤