Grateful for Day 321

I’m grateful to be home.

I’m so grateful that I have next Monday and Tuesday off for mid winter break! Thought it was the following week, but I’ll take it!

I’m grateful that it’s almost mid February. At the same time I can’t even believe that we are heading into spring. The years truly fly by. I’m ready for summer, but I’m not ready to have high school seniors! Both (my son & live in nephew) have done a lot of growing these past few years. I’m excited for their future, but want to pause time sometimes.

I’m grateful that my class is almost over! One more class & I should get a salary bump. After that I might need to quit- or take it slow. This class has been a ton of work & stress coordinating with group members remotely. I’ll be so excited in a couple weeks when it is done.

I’m grateful that I spent all night working on my paper & it’s almost done.

I’m grateful for this blog. As silly as it seems sometimes to write about my drinking in what seems like a diary form, I’m so grateful especially for those early entries. I don’t remember how bad it was, until I go back and read. Then I’m grateful some more.

I’m grateful for you 💙

What are you grateful for?

Day 319

Kudos to anyone who has done a vacation with drinking family members.

I’m in Florida staying at my sister’s house with our dad, sister & cousin.

One of my dad’s favorite places is called The Monkey Bar & he was so excited to take us there.

My Florida sister asked me a couple weeks ago if it would bother me & questioned his sanity knowing that I have a problem with alcohol.

I said it would be fine. It’s close to the beach & we wanted to go there too.

I didn’t realize how not fine I would be. I didn’t realize that by the time we’d be here, alcohol would play a huge part, maybe dictate the vacation completely.

I am SO tired of alcohol, it truly is the devil!!! It has caused numerous problems that makes me feel so grateful that I’m not wrapped up in its ugly grips anymore.

I had to excuse myself & go sit outside for a bit. Texted a sober friend & had a good pep talk. Made a mental note to keep tighter boundaries next time.

Overriding everything is my gratitude. I’m so thankful for the tools that I’ve learned to keep myself from caving to triggers & cravings. I’m thankful that there has been good times on this trip despite the stupid drinking. Grateful that on a daily basis I don’t have to deal with anyone drinking. And grateful for warm sunshine when I’ll be traveling back to snow & cold tomorrow ☀️☀️☀️☀️

#day319

Hard Things

Day #313

I’ve spent a good part of the past couple months far from the pink cloud.  Small joys come and go, but the big undertone is scared, sad and feeling like I’m ready to burst at the seams.

On a superficial level, it is a little bit due to the weather and it being winter.  Actually, January 2020 was my first sober January since 2003 when I was pregnant with my oldest!  I can only believe that the stress of the holidays, plus being in the dead of winter make January a horrific and long month.  At that same superficial level, my anxiety is mostly due to my in-laws and it’s all their fault.

There have been so many times these past several weeks where I want to give up.  I want to give up my marriage and my life for something that doesn’t include my in-laws.

Sometimes we know what is bothering us, but it’s hard to really grasp why.  I realized recently that most (or all) of my anger towards them stems from the fact that we took in our nephew.  The situation is ok– it is manageable, but I get so angry over little things that remind me that no one is validating or thanking us for taking him in.  No one cares about the impact it has on my marriage– or our own children.   Luckily this transition has been pretty smooth, but I would by lying if I said these things were not impacted and it would be nice to get a thank you or some type of recognition.  My in-laws are too busy talking about my sister-in-law and putting her on a pedestal, because now she is DOING BETTER.

I want to run, away, far.  Far from my marriage and this family.  I want to take everything that is important to me and to not look back.

It’s what I know, it’s what I’ve always done.

I ran from my home as a young adult.  As an adult, I ran from house to house.  Almost 20 years of being together, and we are in our 5th home– all my initiating.  For years I ran from job to job.

This thing is hard!  This thing that I’m going trough seems utterly impossible at times.  It makes quitting alcohol seem like child’s play.

And I want to give up.  NOT to drink, at this point in time I have no desire to start down that rabbit hole.  But I want to leave the in-laws and the marriage, because why should I have to struggle so much and go see a therapist to help me through when all my problems stem from them and the situation they caused?

But I know I can’t, because this is why:

It’s not them, it’s me.  It’s me.

This is my issue, my thing to get through.

I’m not running from them, I’m running from me.

At some point, now that I’ve got some mental clarity from not binging every night, I realized that there will always be a situation to run from.  Always.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the alcohol lately, while reading my recovery books.  It has become clear that there are many levels to quitting.  Level one is to quit.  That’s what I did for years, up until the past summer when I started to dig on the inside.  The next level is to clean up the junk that’s been piled inside for years and years.  The junk that got packed in a little more each time I drank to avoid my feelings.  Garbage.  An entire landfill sitting on my heart.  That’s what it feels like.  I’m not sure what level 3 is, maybe continuing to clear the junk as it comes in- or maybe helping others clear their junk– not sure.

Level 2 is tough, really tough.

This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through– tougher than my mom’s death.  I guess it’s not fair to compare, that was different, that was final and 100% out of my control- and put me into a tailspin for a couple of years.

This is tough, but it’s not impossible.  We create our own heaven or hell on Earth and since the holidays, I’ve created a real hell hole.

My soul spoke to me around 3:00 am the other night.  Resistance. I heard it loud and clear and immediately thought it came for an idea as a book topic that I can write about.  As I thought about it the next day, I realized that that’s not it.  Resistance is the thing that has been causing my hell. I’m resisting my in-laws and even trying to be open and loving.

I’m at work and as I just got up to put my food in the microwave, my mantra came to me.  One that I told myself a few weeks ago at 5:00 am when it was freezing outside and I didn’t want to get up early and run.  Instead of hitting snooze, I told myself: “You can do hard things.”

You can do hard things.

I think this will be my mantra for a little while <3

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Seasons End

Summer nights and long warm days 
Are stolen as the old moon falls 
And My mirror shows another face 
Another place to hide it all 
Another place to hide it all 
And I’m lost, behind 
The words I’ll never find 
And I’m left behind 
As seasons roll on by 
Sleeping with a full moon blanket 
Sand and feathers for my head 
Dreams have never been the answer 
And dreams have never made my bed 
Dreams have never made my bed 
And I’m lost, behind 
The words I’ll never find 
And I’m left behind 
As seasons roll on by 
Now I want to fly above the storm 
But you can’t grow feathers in the rain 
And the naked floor is cold as hell 
The naked floor reminds me 
Oh the naked floor reminds me 
That I’m lost, behind 
The words I’ll never

~ Chris Cornell

This post is dedicated to the ones who lost the battle with their demons.

Especially the young mothers & fathers who had to leave their babies 😇💖💕

Addiction doesn’t discriminate- it can affect anyone. May these beautiful & scarred souls rest in a better place 🙏🏻

Almost 300 Days

Today is day 298 alcohol free.  Do you know what sucks most about abusing and then abstaining from that wicked poison?  It is so easy to forget how deceitful it is.  Already, I’m humoring the thoughts of drinking after that year mark.  But WHY?

I KNOW, 100% for sure, where it’ll lead me.  It’s not like I will decide to drink on a Saturday, nurse my hangover on Sunday, and then continue on with my non-drinking, productive and joyful ways.

It could go one of two ways.  It could start slow, with not even finishing my drink (ha! that actually happened after my 1st relapse back in 2017).  I left my 1st drink post relapse with poison still in it on the restaurant table.  And I left the restaurant thinking I was CURED.  That was after my 1st ever (besides pregnancy) 93 days sober.  Not quite sure what happened after that, but within a week or two I was back to daily drinking.

OR… it could go fast.  Maybe after an entire year, I will be so thirsty that I will drink glass after glass of bittersweet wine.  I will feel awful the next day, mentally and physically, maybe I’ll swear off drinking ever again.  My anxiety will be at an all time high.  I will be unable to breath easily and every muscle will ache.   One thing is for sure, the intense cravings will come, and they will be relentless.

So no, I cannot drink after March 28th.  If I do, I will quickly go back to being sad and desperate all of the time.  I have worked WAY too hard this past year to go that far backwards.  I may need to often remind myself of this.

On a positive note, I had an experience on Friday that was kind of weird but made me feel good.  I had an appointment to get an exam for contact lenses.

The Dr. is super nice (2nd time I’ve seen him). We talked about long cold January & how we both have trips coming up. He brought up alcohol a couple times (just stating that he wants nothing more than to sit on the beach & watch the water & drink). Said he keeps his glass full but that’s the only time he drinks. I told him I’m a recovering alcoholic so I would be drinking tea. I’m not sure why I felt compelled to tell him that– it’s not like I often walk around in public telling random people about it.

He then opened up to me.  He told me that he grew up with 2 alcoholic parents & was shuffled around and in and out of different homes growing up, ,and this is why he only drinks on vacation, no other times.  He said he speaks sometimes at Alanon meetings at the local inpatient treatment center about growing up with alcoholic parents & becoming a doctor. It was a lengthy & very enlightening conversation. It gave me faith that my nephew, who we have custody of, and who I worry about constantly due to his past, and even the little ones who are still in her care can be- or will be ok.

I think we may have crossed paths on purpose, so thank you Universe!  😉🌏 

 

 

Day #291

Yesterday was absolutely craptastic.

It started at 6 am and was nonstop until about 7pm.

Frustration #1 was the Saturday forecast. I wouldn’t normally stress on the weekend but I had a work training & could possibly have loads of ice to drive home on. My 30 minute commute could be exponentially longer, terrifying & unsafe.

Our trainers appeared to take mercy on us & sent us an email the night before letting us know that we would work through lunch & get out early & hopefully avoid any ice.

Only the ice didn’t come. And we really didn’t get any breaks (attending a training on a Saturday from 8:00-4:00 with one 20 min break is brutal!). And we got out LATER than scheduled. And I had arranged to do a group project via Skype that I needed to get home for and would now be late. I had to delay my group & that felt so crappy.

I rushed home & called my group within minutes. I thought we would divide up the project & I could leisurely work on it the next day, Sunday.

Nope. The girls & worked with were determined to get it done. So I spent about 2 hours writing a lesson plan with them. By the end I was starving, exhausted & extremely cranky. To top it off nothing got done (AT ALL) while I was busy, so my house was a disaster. I didn’t have to clean it, my boys got it done, but just coming home to that stresses me out.

Not long ago, I would have been white knuckling, craving alcohol through all that stress. Actually, I probably would have made a drink after an hour into that phone call and finished it buzzed. Didn’t even cross my mind yesterday.

Towards the end of the call hubby left to pick up dinner. We finished our lesson & one of the girls promised to submit all of our work. I instantly felt grateful. I was ecstatic that our work was done and wildly excited for dinner. I knew I had a good chunk of time before the food arrived, and I had been consistently meditating after work this week so that’s where my mind went. I grabbed my journal (for soul writing after meditation) and went downstairs in high spirits.

The rest was great. Meditated, ate delicious food and then we watched a movie. We have another busy day today so we all got to bed at a decent time.

This morning was awesome. Got up at 6:30, chatted with a buddy & then my sister while doing laundry. Had a killer workout on the treadmill, then got ready for a Scout ceremony we are attending today.

I have so much less stress & anxiety when I take care of myself, it’s incredible.

I have a lot to do later. I have to order groceries (I’m thankful to not have to go to the store, but still need to meal plan & organize) and write a paper that’s due tomorrow, but I don’t feel stressed.

What do you do to help you manage stress? Especially when it starts piling on?

Out of Alignment

I haven’t felt aligned with the Universe for a very long time (well, since early fall or late summer).  I really don’t know if it was a very gradual shift, or if it was sudden and I just didn’t notice.  I’ve been at odds with people and situations in my life and it has been overwhelming and increasing more often lately.  I have no idea how much is made up (in my head) or created based on that psychic session I had that predicted a difficult 2020.

After another argument with hubby last night, I heard words that made me want to drop kick him and start packing my bags.

“You need to take care of your anxiety.”

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Let’s start off by talking about the poor word choice there, and I was pretty ticked for a bit, but you know what?  I think he’s right.

We continued to talk & I started to see his point. He has been accommodating to my increased needs lately. Even so, I have no patience & shitty with him too often. He pointed out that he himself makes me anxious, a recent visitor/friend made me anxious, his family makes me anxious, my family makes me anxious– increasingly more and more people and situations are putting me into a tailspin.

I haven’t even shared with him some work drama going on (I’m not involved really but it still makes me so anxious), so work has been causing me problems too.

So yeah, I’m full of negative chords and my soul is screaming in pain.

I sometimes wonder if I’m anxious with not drinking and just now finding out because I spent the past 20 years self medicating with alcohol.

Additionally, I haven’t been very healthy lately.  I haven’t exercised this week & have been eating pretty carelessly. I haven’t meditated either. Also I’m using pot.

I have a long love story with pot.  I used to use it when I drank.  When I first started to sober up, I avoided it because I felt it triggered me to drink.  So during drinking periods I would use it, but would abstain during periods of sobriety.  This summer I discovered that I could use a vape pen (mildly alters the mind) and not be triggered.

It was nice, that I could do that at a party where everyone is drinking and alter my mind a little.  But it wasn’t limited to parties and I started to do it all the time.  Even though it doesn’t have nearly the amount of repercussions as alcohol does, it still feels like I’m going down that rabbit hole.

I think this might be a huge part of my problem along with the other lifestyle changes.  Taking in our nephew has also created extra stress and I’m sure that’s a factor as well.  As long as I’m not taking care of myself and continuing to shove in food and drugs, I would imagine NOT being able to cope with stress, at least properly.

Sooooo…. looks like I have some work to do. I want to make these changes first but realize that I might still need anxiety meds, we’ll see.

It’s Day 287 alcohol free today, I’m thankful for that! 🖤

Hope you all are having a great week!

 

Day 283

The lessons never stop coming, good and bad. I spent way too many years numb to them, just snoozing through life barely surviving, with no understanding of true happiness & fulfillment.

I’m feeling clearer & clearer with each passing month. I am happy, but the joyous feelings come & go– which is normal and ok. Instead of being numb 100% of the time, I feel the highs and lows of everyday life. This is a blessing. The natural highs are truly wonderful. And the lows keep us grounded and grateful for the good times.

I look back at my first blog posts and am astounded at how much I’ve grown and changed since that 1st little voice piped up & told me that I was drinking too much and needed to stop.

Now, a few years, some relapses, many many day 1’s later and here I am at day 283 😎☀️

Stuff It

This holiday season I’ve had a gigantic aversion to stuff.  It may have started this fall when I was so busy with classes, plus we adopted a 3rd kid and all of his stuff, and our basement is still in disarray from the flood and then not finishing the bedroom down there yet.. my entire house is getting taken over by stuff that we hardly ever use.

Christmas shopping for my nieces and nephews, especially the young ones, is usually easy.  There are hundreds of toys to choose from and I usually pick out something that I would have loved, like a fur real pet– or a cool science set.  This year it was torturous– I’m not sure why.  I must have picked up and put back dozens of toys.  It all felt cheap, and pointless and meaningless and cluttered.  I just kept thinking that instead of picking out a stupid toy, we should be planning a fun event with them instead, even if it’s a simple as a sleepover with snacks and a movie night.

Shopping for our parents was just as stupid.  I would have rather given them tickets to an event- or a night out.  But I didn’t plan good enough for that (we did our shopping on December 23rd).

Next year I want to alleviate a lot of my holiday stress.  I mentioned to hubby that next year maybe we shouldn’t do any gifts at all and just do experiences around November/December.  Would this be better or more stressful?  I’m not sure.  I feel good about this, but pretty sure I got called a Scrooge when I mentioned no gifts.  I guess I just meant no tangible gifts– there’s a difference.

In today’s world, I think we have way too much stuff.  We think all of this stuff makes us happy.  It’s an illusion, a false belief.  Buying X, Y and Z only fills that heartsick void for so long and then you’re back to longing for that happy feeling.  I want to be conscious of every new thing I’m tempted to bring into my already cluttered up home.  I want to purge all of those things that haven’t been used in months.

What do you think?  Do you think that giving out experiences for Christmas gifts is lame?  What makes your holiday less stressful?