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.

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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 ❤

 

 

Love, the Universe

Thursday February 14, 2019

I haven’t written in quite awhile.  Things have been pretty good.  I DID end up drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, my last post.  I think it was the anxiety of thinking about whether or not to go to the neighbor’s party plus thinking that I deserve to have some fun on such a festive day, plus downplaying this “problem.”

I’m tired of weebling back and forth on this issue.  It’s either a life-or-death problem or no big deal at all– depending on my needs for that moment.  I’ve decided that I really need to see it for what it is– ALL THE TIME.  So I will keep trying.  Right now I have 7 days sober.  I don’t pay too much attention to my counter, but have it on so I can see my milestones.  I want over 30 days, 100 days and I want a year.  After a year, I want to keep living healthy.

All else is good here.

Yesterday was my late mom’s birthday.  It makes me think of a time 2 years ago.  I had JUST quit drinking– for the first time ever, February 11, 2017.  So I was like on day 2 (which when you FIRST stop drinking, I think days 1, 2 and 3 are probably the very hardest– this has gotten much easier for me after many many day 1’s) and in the kitchen with 1/2 box of wine in the garage.  I just wanted the wine SO. BAD.  When hubby came home from work he came to hug me and I burst into tears.  He immediately thought I was upset because of my mom’s birthday.  Hugging him, and bawling, I felt SO ASHAMED.  I was ashamed because I wasn’t crying about my mom.  I was crying because I just wanted to drink– and knew that I needed to stop.

I will never ever forget that awful memory.  The shameful feelings and the significance will always stick with me.  It will always be a reminder of how low and desperate I was and how much I’ve grown and learned since then.

I took today off to volunteer at Will’s (my youngest) school.  Sadly, this is probably one of the last class parties.  I mean, we still have 6th grade next year, but after that it’s middle school.  I’m glad I took the day off, it was fun to watch Will pass out all of his valentines and partake in the festivities.  Also, I missed the cupcake sale at my school.  Every year, the teachers make 24 cupcakes and sell them to kids for $1.  The money raised is given to a graduating alumni (from our elementary school) for college.  I wasn’t too sad to miss the cupcake sale this year 😉

Anyways, that’s all I have to say.  Life is good.  2019 has been good.  March will be good.  THANK you Universe!!!

Sunday Runday Funday Wonderful Munday

Ahhhhhh… sweet sunny Sunday morning 🙂  We had a bit of a snowstorm yesterday– the first of the year.  We got about 5 inches or so, so everything outside is covered, and white and peaceful.  The sun is shining brightly and it is a very brisk 1 degree at the moment.

It’s been a pretty great week/weekend.  We are leaving for Florida on Wednesday and I spent the first part of the week totally stressed out.  My kids were sick and both stayed home on Monday and my oldest also stayed home on Tuesday.  This was extremely stressful since the oldest has finals this week and I was already stressing about him missing 3 days for our trip.  Plus, I had a lot of things to wrap up for work including 3 IEPs last week, assessments and report cards, and sub plans for 3 days.  I didn’t even want to think about Florida– anytime anyone talked about it, it put me in a sour mood and I vowed never to plan a trip again unless it coincided with one of the breaks.  By Friday I was feeling a ton better.  My IEPs were done and filed, testing was all done, most of my report cards were done and my sub plans were complete.  I only have one more day of work until we leave and if something unforeseen happens like a snow day– everything is all ready for the sub.

The only disappointment this weekend is that I missed an intro to Buddhism, Zen and Meditation class at the Dharma temple.  Going there is on my bucket list and I thought that this class would be a good opportunity.  It’s like 30 miles away though, and there was just way too much snow.  It would have taken me around 2 hours to get there.  So I skipped it.  They offer the class every couple of months though, so I do want to go to the next one.  In the meantime, I’d like to go to the Sunday service there.  I didn’t go today, because my youngest had a sleepover last night and next Sunday I will be in Florida.  Maybe the next Sunday.

The sleepover last night was fun.  The boys played the board game LIFE, and Minecraft and just acted like lunatics.  One of the boys had to leave around 8am for church and Sunday school.  It was a little bit of a bummer to have to set my alarm, but I was so grateful for my sobriety and being able to get up bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Hubs got up with me and we made waffles for the boys.

It made me think of a time years ago that I’m not so proud of.  My oldest had a friend over and my best friend came down from up north for the night.  We were drinking (she’s not a huge drinker–but this wasn’t long after my mom died and I was annihilated).  My son’s friend felt sick around midnight and wanted to go home.  I’m not sure if he called his mom or if I did, but I can’t imagine what I looked and sounded like when she picked him up.  I’m not sure that he’s ever been back.  I have always felt very guilty about this.  He was a friend from the town we used to live in, so my son doesn’t see him at school or have much opportunity to talk to him–which might be partially why he hasn’t been back. But I’m guessing my behavior has something to do with it as well.  I made a mental note to add his mother to my amends list.

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King day and we have the day off of school.   I’m planning on getting a good workout in, getting my nails done and doing a few other preparations for our trip (we leave Wednesday morning).  Tomorrow night my sisters and niece have tickets to dinner with a psychic.  She is a popular local psychic.  My only hope is that my mom shows up to dinner and this psychic can put our mind at ease.  My hubby thinks that psychic are utterly ridiculous and a total sham. I don’t know how we can have such different thoughts on this topic.  Other than this we pretty much share the same values and beliefs.  Maybe if it was his mama in heaven he would feel different.  I kind of think not though.

Today is going to be a nice day.  I’m going to put on about 6 layers and take my dog on a walk. It probably will be pretty short because I don’t think any of the sidewalks are cleared and it’s probably going to take a lot more energy to trudge through the snow.  That’s ok– I did a little more than 3 miles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday so I need less than a mile to complete my goal of 10 miles this week.  I’ve been smashing this goal!  I have 11 more days of January and already have almost 30 miles logged.  My monthly goal is 40, I got this!  Other than that you can find me hanging out with hubs and doing some good relaxing today 🙂  We had our fireplaces converted to gas in the fall and we are fully taking advantage of them this weekend!  I think I’m actually going to miss winter, come spring.  Cozy drinks and games by the fire have been so nice!

I’m feeling a little sad about dropping my dog off at the kennel before work on Tuesday morning.  He goes there for daycare once a week and is always excited to go, but they have cameras that you can use to check in on your pet. Towards the end of the day he usually seems like he’s ready to go and often waits by the exit gate.  He is not going to like spending 6 nights there 😦   I’ve felt so bonded with him lately, with our frequent run/walks, which we both enjoy so much.  I wish I had a friend who could stay at the house and watch him.  Oh well, at least he’ll have lots of dog friends to play with.

Well…  I think that’s it for my update.  I have been pretty happy and optimistic this month.  I think a big part of it is that self-care piece.  I’m working out, meditating (for awhile I was doing it daily– I’ve let that slip a bit- but still try to do it at least every day or 2), and making a conscious effort to meet my goals.  I’ve thought about buying wine a few times, and there just isn’t any benefit that I can see at that moment– so it really isn’t even an internal argument.  It’s just like, “um, no thank you, no need or want for that!”  So that has been a blessing.  Staying sober in Florida should be ok.  My sister said she’s not planning on drinking at all.  Even if she deviates from that plan, the last sober vacation at her house I stayed sober even though she occasionally drank wine so I think I’ll be ok.  I have too many miles to cover in Florida to be drunk or hungover 🙂

Happy Sunday Everybody ❤

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 ❤ ❤ ❤