The Game of Life is Hard to Play

Gonna lose it anyway?

Well, eventually, but hopefully not for awhile anyway.  (Lyrics from Suicide is Painless)

Back to work, vacation is over.  All good.

Sunday evening was a little rough.  I felt myself get crabby and edgy.  I thought of the Sundays of my past where I would be diligent about getting all of my chores done so that I could start drinking, the earlier the better.  Best if I was passed out before 10:00pm.  But no matter what time I went to bed, the Monday wake up was always brutal.  I fantasized for a moment about drinking my anxiety away, but didn’t.

I was so amped up Sunday night that I didn’t fall asleep till around midnight.  I was so grateful to wake up sober Monday morning.  Even with not enough sleep I felt so much better than a night of drinking.

Getting back to work was good.  I was in a pleasant mood and the kids seemed fairly happy to be back into the routine and were more relaxed than I expected.  The morning went great until I got a text message from hubby.

He found out that his sister had been taken to the hospital the night before with a super high blood sugar (she is diabetic).  He wasn’t sure how she was but his mom said that her organs had started shutting down, but since getting treated she seemed to be improving.  At this point he had very little info, but his parents contacted him to see if he could pick up her kids (who they have temporary custody of) from school.   After talking to him, I got through my afternoon groups but couldn’t focus or get any extra work done.

When I got home, the house was full with hubby and all of the kids (my SIL’s 3 plus our 2).  Everyone was playing and happy.  I made a good dinner (thank you instant pot!) and the kids ate well.  My in-laws picked them up shortly after getting dinner all cleaned up. By then, all of my chores were done for the next day.  I can’t imagine dealing with the stress of a family member in ICU and caring for her small children on top of regular chores with being hungover.  Thank God I was 100% functional!

My youngest has wanted to play the bored game (see what I did there?) LIFE since Sunday night and I promised him we’d play last night, so we made some time for it after the kids left.  We made the mistake of setting it up on the floor, and our dog destroyed it midway through.  It was partially my fault for throwing his ball down the hallway– I thought we was a little more agile and could jump over the game board, but he kind of destroyed it– a few times 😉  So we put it away and had ice cream sundaes instead… perfect ending to a kind of stressful and long Monday.

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Today, Tuesday, has been great so far.  I got up at 4:30 and got in a nice 3 mile walk/run before getting ready for work.  I felt happy, grateful and energized driving in today.  It’s helpful that we are having an unseasonably warm winter (it was like 40 degrees this morning, I got hot).  It’s a great feeling to be getting into the shower at 6:00am and already having over 7,000 steps on my Garmin.

Woo hoo!! THIS is my best life ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Thursday Musings

Hello Thursday!  Four days left of vacation and I am soaking it all in (staycation).

I woke up with a throbbing foot.  I’m not sure if it’s because I decreased my pred down from 10mg to 5mg per day a few days ago or that I drank alcohol for two nights in a row.

I took motrin and am hoping that it starts to feel better so that I can get in a few miles today.  I’m already behind on my mileage goal and it’s making me a little anxious!  NO more alcohol!

Waking up on Day 2 feels really good.  I actually slept very well last night after a relaxing (lazy) night of watching tv.  I didn’t feel guilty having a lazy night because I had a pretty productive day.  I got my hair done, and then went to target (to spend a $20 gift card from Christmas) and Kroger.  I made a healthy vegan banana bread and a yummy vegetarian dinner.  We have a cupboard that has a lot of room but was bursting at the seams, so I cleaned it out, purged and reorganized.

Today I’m going to clean out our coat and linen closet and do a lot of purging (decluttering feels really good).

I’m also taking the boys for haircuts and Panera for lunch to spend my free meal coupon.  Then maybe we’ll do something fun like an arcade, movie or indoor mini golf.  Hoping to get in a workout later, but that depends on my foot.

Soaking it all in before getting back to the grind.

Happy Thursday!

 

Extraordinary

The first day of the new year always seems to feel fresh and exciting.  SO many promises and hopes, dreams, etc.  A new chapter, the beginning of something novel.

I’ve been up since around 5am and it’s been so peaceful and serene around here. I’ve had lots of time to think and reflect.

2018: A Year in Review

Overall, 2018 was a good year.  Here are some fun memories:

  • Buying kayaks for our 17th anniversary, taking them out and having them sink in Lake Huron.  Having to be rescued by aunt Sandy and taking our wet kayaks right back to the freakin’ Walmart.  We bought the more expensive boats too– thinking that they would be nice.  Nothing nice comes from Walmart.
  • Making hubby go to a Refuge Recovery meeting at the Catfe.  The group meditation was wonderful until a cat peed in the money basket and on someone’s shoes.  The meeting only got darker after the meditation and I haven’t been back since.
  • Meeting my goal of riding my bike 150 miles in the month of June.  I wasn’t sure that I was going to make it for a minute.  Smashing that goal felt SOOOOOO good mentally and makes me realize that I need more weekly/monthly goals in 2019.
  • Finding Dr. Tent.  He has improved my health journey immensely.  I was like a lost soul trying to navigate natural wellness in the dark without a flashlight.  He’s lit the path for me and I am continuing to improve physically and mentally.
  • Discovering meditation.  I have found myself recommending mediation to practically everyone for every ailment.  You’re anxious but highly against taking medication?  Meditate!  You’re depressed?  Meditate!  You can’t focus to save your life?  Meditate!  You’re in pain? Meditate!  I can’t say it enough and the benefits are countless.  I even integrated it into my curriculum at school and created “Mindful Mondays”  where we start off our week by practicing mindful thinking for 5 minutes and writing a reflection in our journal.  This has been so successful that one of my parapros suggested we do it everyday the last week before break because the kids were so amped up and needed it.
  • Reading “The Four Agreements”  This book has become my bible.  I will blog about it sometime soon.  I have also found myself recommending this book to everyone for every which reason.  Understanding the principles of this book has provided me with inner peace and self love and respect that I was missing before.
  • Braces!  I. Still. Can’t. Believe. I. Did. It.  13 months ago my teeth were SO neglected.  I was terrified of the dentist and it had been over 5 years since I had a dental cleaning.  One broken tooth and a new dental office that I love changed everything.  Over the course of a year I was able to get all my problems fixed and my teeth cleaned (twice!).  Then the braces.  I’ve had them for almost 2 months and my upper teeth already look much more aligned.  It definitely has been a self-esteem boost.

Whew–  I am grateful for all of this!  I think that 2019 is going to be a great year.  I want to do more of the things that make my soul happy.

One area that I really want to rev up is my fitness.  I’ve been a workout slacker who is good about getting out there, but doesn’t push myself like I should. I’m going to be paying more attention to my pace and setting goals for myself.  I also want to incorporate strength training into my routine, even if it’s just twice a week (I HATE it– I just want to put on my shoes, go out and move without having to think about it).

I want to read more, write more (hello book, maybe?), meditate regularly, work on the steps, spend more time with family and friends, and I think I’m ready to take the vegan plunge.

Hello January 1st, Hello 2019– I am going to make you extraordinary ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Little Lost Soul

I have a soft spot for lost cats.

When I was around 5 years old, we took a trip up north to my grandparent’s cottage and brought our white cat, Bozo, with us.  When it comes to pets & animal care, my young parents were not the brightest.  Bozo was antsy by the time we got to the cabin almost 3 hours away.  They thought he might have to go potty, so they let him out of the car as soon as we arrived (not attached to a leash or anything) and he quickly disappeared into the woods.  I spent the rest of my childhood asking my grandparents if they found Bozo at the cottage yet.  We never saw him again.

Fast forward 35 years.  It was 2014 and we had just moved to our home in Novi.  We have indoor/outdoor cats but were cautious with letting them venture outside.  We slowly let them explore the outdoors and all was well.  

A couple weeks after moving in, our cat Milo disappeared.  We posted online, hung up flyers all over the neighborhood and prayed.  It was already an awful year, we had suddenly lost my mom a few months before and lost my grandma around the same time that Milo disappeared.  

This fortune gave me much needed hope in my search for Milo

Milo would be on the lam for about 4 months.  During that time we would also lose a young cousin and my grandpa, it was an awful year. Shortly after leaving my grandpa’s funeral up north in early January 2015, we got the call that someone found Milo, halallulah!  Surely this was a sign that despite the tough year, everything was going to be ok.

Milo was a more cuddly and loving cat after being lost for 4 months

Fast forward to Christmas this week.  While at my in-laws, the porch camera was activated on my phone.  I checked it and saw a strange white cat on the porch, but he quickly went away.  I saw him again the next day.  By this time I was concerned and tried to get him to come to me, but he ran. Two days later my youngest came downstairs to tell me there’s a white cat on the porch.  Long story short, I’ve been seeing him about once a day since then.  I posted him online, worried that he was lost. We have new neighbors next door and I’m hoping it’s theirs or maybe someone else got a new kitty (there are a couple outdoor cats in my hood – but not an unfamiliar one like this one).  Deep in my heart I’m worried that he is lost in the Michigan winter – like Bozo & Milo.  

The white kitty is coming closer to the house day by day

I hope this kitty is able to find his way home and is not cold and hungry.  I am keeping my eye out and trying to sweet talk him in case he is lost. 

After all, aren’t we all little lost souls in some way or another? 

The Exhausting Addiction Cycle

I read a blog some time ago that has really been on my mind lately. It was about relapsing and going through the most difficult part of sobriety over and over and over again.

I feel like this has been where I’m at since July (UGH, like a whole 1/2 year wasted.. makes me feel kind of sick to think about). When I’m not drinking the first month or so is the hardest physically, mentally and emotionally. Especially weeks 2-4 where I could sleep like 12 hours a day. Even those few drinks Xmas eve messed me up for days (sleep, irritability and piece of mind, etc).

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Not sure what my point is here, other than to be annoyed at myself. BUT I’m hoping that this knowledge and experience can help douse the PAWS fire that tends to heat up around days 10-14 and randomly pops up throughout early sobriety (and probably later, although I’ve never been past early sobriety– so I wouldn’t know).

I’m really tired of starting over and this awful cycle 😔

Time to pull up my bootstraps and conquer this “thing” that only wants to take over and ruin my life.  I am so much more than this stupid alcohol addiction.  F*** You alcohol &

Betsy too!!

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Namaste: Deep Breaths after the Holiday

I bow to you, you made it.. WE made it!!  PHEW!!

Christmas for me, was actually really pretty nice (besides being overly tired from too little sleep the night before).  We leisurely spent the morning enjoying our gifts and cleaning up.  We walked to my in laws and had a delicious dinner (I can’t believe I actually was ranting a few days ago about it all being too ‘fancy’ – It was good food and pretty laid back.  Shame on me).  After dinner we played a few games, had a lot of laughs and then had time to chat.

My sister in law (the one who had her kids taken away last summer and is going through a divorce) was there and appears to be doing well.  She looks about 100 times better physically and we had an honest chat.  For a long time, it felt like we were fake and she was fake– having to fake smiles and not talk about this situation.  My hubby and I had some good one-on-one time with her and for the first time in a long time it all felt honest, raw and good.  I told her a few things that I had been meaning to over the summer (like acknowledging that any one of us, especially me who is prone to addiction, could be in her same situation had we married someone who spiraled down like her husband did and we also got to talking about going to AA).

I hope that my honesty and the things that I shared were helpful, but sometimes it’s hard to know and you question whether or not you made things better or worse.

We left around 8:00, which gave us some time before bed to chat about the day and get in a game of Cribbage.  Unfortunately, I had a hard time sleeping again (damn that Christmas eve blip– messed me up for days), but woke up without a hangover so I was still able to have a productive day.

I was busy the day after Christmas!  I packaged up and mailed my Avon returns, picked up meds for Jules, got my license renewed, had a lunch date with hubby, went to Sam’s club to get berries and cherries (hello toxic food detox), took Jules for a 2 1/2 mile walk, washed all of ours and our oldest’s bedding (he spent the day cleaning and organizing his room to make way for his new huge TV), took a nap, had lots of coffee and watched a movie.

Oh and when I was awake 1/2 the night on Christmas eve, I found a great Groupon deal to test for food sensitivities and gut issues, so I bought it.  I got the form completed and printed and mailed it off yesterday with hair samples for the test.  Hopefully this will help me on my journey to good health.

Last night I slept much better.  I had to get up at 8:30 because I had an appointment to pick up my orthotics.  Thank goodness I set my alarm, I probably would have slept past 9.

I just got back from my appointment and am going to take Jules for a walk before the rain starts.  I’m hoping to get all of the Christmas decorations put away and the house back to normal.  Need to get groceries but thinking about having them delivered (I shouldn’t since I’m off work right now, but MAN this service is really fantastic!).

Whether the holidays were joyous or stressful, or maybe a mixture of both, we made it!  Pat yourself on the back, indulge on the self care, take a minute (or two) to slow down and be thankful ❤ ❤ ❤

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Merry Christmas

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I’m feeling a mixed bag of emotions this morning.  I’m really upset with myself because I drank last night.

We were celebrating at my dad’s and my sister was drinking wine (as usual).  We brought a bunch of La Croix and Bai drinks and while I considered but then talked myself out of drinking wine, I ended up pouring vodka into 2 of my bai drinks.  My dad had a collection of liquor bottles on his counter (no one but my sister was drinking last night, this was from a party or something that he had previously).  I was bored and slightly irritated and it was there.

Didn’t plan on drinking and I’m not happy about it one bit.  The vodka actually stole my Christmas eve.  We got home early (around 8) and I passed right out.  Didn’t help arrange the kids’ gifts, didn’t leave out milk and cookies and didn’t move the elf.  On a positive note, since I crashed so early, I got up at 2 am to move the elf and leave out milk and cookies.  Then I proceeded to lay in bed for the next several hours, trying to sleep and trying not to hate myself for drinking poison last night.  I hate the drink!

Here’s the cool part:  MY relapses in the past have lasted days or weeks.  I’ve never had a one night blip.  I do not believe that I will drink tonight- or tomorrow night.  It wasn’t very fun to drink last night, it made me feel like crap, it stole the night with my family and now I’m going to be overly tired today from a night of messed up sleep.  Hopefully I will never drink again– and if I do– hopefully I can recognize for what it is– shit!  That is progress.

My day counter…

Today my day counter says that I’ve been sober for 16 days.  I’ve been meticulous about setting back my counter whenever I drink.  BUT… I’m considering not setting it back to zero- but to set it back one day.  Not that I care about losing the 16 days, but I’ve been diligently tracking my patterns and I’m sure that a month from now I won’t forget the one night blip on Christmas eve.  Also, I know this is very mental, but resetting back to zero almost gives me permission to drink the next few nights, because what the heck, I’m at zero already anyways right?  I’m still torn on this but will probably end up resetting.  I won’t forget that I had 2 weeks sober before Christmas.

Christmas Day

Despite the blip, missing last night and sleeping horribly, I am feeling pretty optimistic today.  Physically, I don’t feel bad (hungover).  My pred is working and I’m going to take a morning walk in a bit and am going to try to run a little.  It’s 6:30 am and I’m anxiously waiting for the kids to get up.  They only got one present from us, but have a few things to open from their grandparents and also full stockings from Santa.  Hubby has a few gifts for me (I have NO idea what they are– just small things we shop for ourselves for our big gifts) and I have nothing for him.  We may have a present for us from his parents, I haven’t checked under the tree yet (they drop off the kids and our gifts the day before Christmas).

We will be heading to his parents house later.  I decided that it will not be a repeat of Thanksgiving.  I will not listen to my SIL or MIL while they rant for hours.  I will listen for a few and then remove myself from the situation.  Hopefully there won’t be a repeat, but I am setting my boundaries just in case.  It’s nice because they live behind us.  I am going to excuse myself early and come home and hang out with the dog and watch a chick flick.

Soooo.. that’s it.  Kind of excited to get today over with and get on with this wonderful vacation.  Merry Christmas ❤

 

Christmas Eve Eve Morning

Day 15 today!  Feeling good about being sober, but the rest of me might be falling apart.

I’m supposed to take my Humira every 7-10 days.  It’s been about 3 weeks since I took it.  I thought I had a Parvo Virus that mimicked RA and that I could not take it and not be in pain.  WRONG!  I woke up on Friday pretty sore all over.  Yesterday was even worse.  It gets better as I get up and moving and get Motrin in me, but it’s so discouraging to wake up in so much pain.  It robbed me of a productive day yesterday and I ended up restarting my pred last night.  My goal is to start decreasing it again after Christmas all while I clean up my diet.  I haven’t been eating awfully, but definitely have had too much sugar since Friday.

So.. another disappointment this season.  I’m going back to the natural guy on January 8th.  I’ll be able to tell him that I haven’t been drinking, but I’ll have to tell him that I’m still flaring everywhere when I’m off my meds.  Hopefully he can help me figure this out, as I truly don’t believe that Humira is the answer– rather it is a potentially dangerous band-aid.

Today is Sunday morning and it’s been a good weekend.  Yesterday we watched my little niece and nephew for a couple hours because their social worker was dropping off Christmas gifts and they weren’t allowed to be home.  They have improved SO much since last summer, it is truly a miraculous transformation.

Chris is 4 and when he was over a few months ago, it took him like a half hour to clean up all of the cars he was playing with (constantly got distracted, needed a million prompts to keep cleaning, etc).  Yesterday I heard him say, “I want to play something else.” He then proceeded to clean up his cars (in about 5 minutes) without us telling him to and gave the bin of cars to my teenager and asked him to get him the “guys” out to play.  It’s something minor, but just these little things make me see how far these kids have come.

After they went home, we drove out to my sister’s house to help her fix a few things.  She is going to be selling her house and needs some minor things done.  Unfortunately, she didn’t have everything she thought she did, so my other sister’s boyfriend had to run to Home Depot and the guys didn’t get a lot done.  They did get a few things done and now know exactly what tools they need to bring for next time.   It wasn’t that much fun hanging out with my sisters yesterday while the guys worked.  I was just kind of crabby due to my body pains and didn’t really talk about it because they just wouldn’t understand.  It’s ok I’ll see them again tomorrow and should be happier, the pred should kick in by then!

So now it’s Sunday and we have to go do last minute shopping for our nieces and nephews– oh and some food to bring with us tomorrow and Christmas.  It’s almost 11:30 and I actually slept in past 10!  It was SO nice.  Would’ve maybe slept longer but stupid Milo was meowing and scratching at my bedroom door.

My whole family is downstairs so I’m enjoying waking up with my coffee by the fire, thoroughly enjoying the peace and quiet!

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I was feeling so unprepared this holiday season, but I’m glad that I didn’t drive myself nuts stressing about being overly prepared.  It’s ok to do the minimal– in fact, sometimes it’s necessary ❤

The Pain of Not Drinking

I know I said this before, but I am just not feeling it this Christmas season!  It’s days away and I’m barely prepared and don’t even care.  I’ve felt extra sad this week about my mom not being here.  She has been gone for over 4 years and I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out why this is hitting me so hard this year.

I’ve been so irritable this week!  I got a group message from my dad yesterday about getting Walmart subs for Christmas eve dinner.  It about made me lose my SH**.  WHY the F*** do we have to eat nasty Walmart subs?  They will be paired with pizza– probably $5 hot and readys from Little Caesars (BLAH!!).  If this isn’t bad enough, Christmas day will be spent with hubby’s fancy family with a super fancy meal.  ALL of this is making me so cranky!

This is all so different than the Christmas we’d have with my mom.  She made GOOD food.  Not too fancy, but not garbage food.  PERFECTION.  She made plenty of hor d’oeuvres and desserts and then we would do something GOOD like a party sub from Subway.  Now I’m stuck between two parties on opposite spectrums– both which I despise.  I want familiar, the way it used to be.  All of this has been too much, I am literally crying every time I think about it.

How freakin’ ungrateful can I be???  My dad would be crushed if he knew I felt this way.  Hubby’s family would probably be pretty annoyed as well.  My dad and hubby’s parents will not be here forever.  Realistically, they probably won’t be around for a ton more time, they are all nearing 70.  WHY can’t I forget the food and the process and just be thankful that we have family left to spend time with.

It finally dawned on me tonight– why I’ve been so upset and emotional about it.  This will be my first sober Christmas.  No wonder why it seems like I’m just processing my mom’s death– I was always too drunk before to deal with my feelings and emotions.

Betsy took this opportunity to tell me that I should drink up.  I took an imaginary sledgehammer and squashed her between the eyeballs!

I’ve dealt with difficult holidays sober, such as my mom’s birthday, my birthday, her death day, 4th of July (which is a heavy drinking day for me, one day after her death day), Easter and Thanksgiving.

I know I can do this and I want to.  Even if I’m sad, miserable and irritable until Tuesday.

It actually makes me feel a little bit better knowing that there is a logical reason why this week has been so tough.  I’ve got my eye on the prize of staying sober and accomplishing another first!

On a happier note, tomorrow is the LAST day of work for 2 weeks!  Tomorrow will be such a fun and festive day at school, for the first time this week I’m looking forward to getting up and going to work.

On another happier note, I do not think that we are going to have a white Christmas.  It’s been in the 40’s and I’ll be overjoyed if it stays that way.

See, lots of great things going on, I just need to focus on them.  But it’s ok to be sad too and feel the feels.  This too, shall pass ❤

Triple Digits: Highs and Lows, and the Waiting Game

Life is filled with highs and lows.  I used to use it all as an excuse to drink.

Promotion?  Celebrate!  Stressful day? Drink it away!  Upcoming nerve racking appointment or procedure?  Drink!  Hanging with the girls?  Cheers!

It was all an excuse to drink.  I’m thankful that this isn’t my life right now.  The crutch which can hold you deep within its grasp is non-existent to me right now– and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Lots of highs this past week

We spent last week up north with family.  It was tiring, but nice.  It was the week of the 4th of July.  We got new beds for the cottage (sleeping is SO much better!), rented a pontoon boat (SO much fun!) and the weather could not have been better.  We went to Luzerne, after not visiting for about 2 years.  We got to visit dad and my kids stayed the night with him and got to ride the quads.   Hubby and I got in 2 decent bike rides, which was nice.

Lots of lows too

The anniversary of my mom’s death was on July 3rd– always a difficult day.  This is the day we rented a boat, so I guess it was a mixed bag.  We were thankful to be with family and having a great time.

I was trying to forget about real life up north, but my dad is having a long heart procedure today (Monday July 9th) and I have an appointment with a hematologist tomorrow, which I’ve been anxious and dreading.  It all was in the back of my mind.  And sadly, on the 4th I almost threw in my sobriety towel.  I would have thrown away over 100 days!  My dad had our kids and hubby and sister and I went to a karaoke bar and I felt like drinking.   I was the DD and did not drink at all.  I still had fun, so I suppose it was a success, but I still can’t believe that I almost listened to that witch Betsy!  Thought she was dead already!

The waiting game 

Oldest sister and I have been at the hospital since 6:30 am.  It’s almost noon.  Dad is half-way done with his procedure.  Things are going good so far.  I am praying hard that this will fix his afib.  Afib is awful and when his heart is out of rhythm he can hardly breathe.

I’m running on about 3 hours of sleep.  Slept at dad’s last night so that we could get him here nice and early.  Couldn’t sleep due to being in an unfamiliar place and having anxiety about today.  We lost our mom in July after she had surgery.  Can’t even imagine losing another parent right now.

I’m trying to live in the moment, relax and not play a horror story in my head that hasn’t happened.  That’s easier said than done.

I’d just like today to be over and everything to be ok.  Even better after my appointment is done tomorrow.  Hopefully they will give me an oral iron supplement– or worse case iron infusions.  I hope they don’t need to test my bone marrow or find blood cancer! (there I go again, making up a horror story– nonsense!!!).

Ok– just wanted to give a quick update.

Overall this has been my favorite summer so far.  Besides that one small spell, I haven’t been in a funk and am in a good place physically, spiritually and mentally.  Today is day 108 and if you would have told me a few years ago that I would have a summer of no drinking and it would be my happiest summer yet, I would have told you to shut the front door!

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