Holiday Meltdown

December 27th here–  we made it through the holidays, some unscathed and others not.

This holiday season taught me two things: to try to find the good and sometimes you have to put yourself first, even if it’s uncomfortable.

I think this is my 1st completely sober full holiday season.   If I’m remembering correctly, in 2017 I was having a good sober run but would keep drinking every few weeks.  I ended up drinking during Thanksgiving, but think that I stayed sober Christmas Eve (I might be wrong).  In 2018 I stayed sober on Thanksgiving and intended on continuing but got into my dad’s vodka on Christmas Eve.  So that is GOOD, albeit the disastrous couple of days we had.

It WAS a disaster.  A complete shit show.  And all of it was created in my mind– in my head.  BUT.. I survived, hubby did too and that alone may have been our Christmas miracle.

The good in this is that we did US.  Well, ok, we did ME.  I say that because it’s ME that has all of this holiday anxiety.

Hubby reminded me, as we had another emotional conversation on Christmas Day, that holidays have always been stressful for me– always.  And that’s typically a time that I numb out with alcohol.  I’ve drank at family Christmas parties for YEARS.  When my mom was alive we would always do Christmas Eve with her family and I would never remember the trip home- or getting the presents ready.  Christmas morning would always be a little rough with excited kiddos eagerly waiting for us to get up early in the wee morning– and me nursing another horrendous hangover.  SOOOO… Christmas 2019 resulted in like 20 years of suppressed emotions from holiday stress coming out with a vengeance.  It was not pretty, and was not limited to just one meltdown.

So what?

We lived and learned and we will not be doing that again.  We are making some changes for next year that will hopefully lower some of the stress and anxiety.  After all, December 25th is just ONE day, not THE day.  Christmas Day this year was extremely extremely uncomfortable.  We stayed at my inlaws for a brief time and left quickly without saying goodbye to everyone, which felt awful to me.  I wanted to escape quietly and leave hubby there to not create a scene or drama, but he insisted on being with me that day (he knew I was struggling so much).

We left to run a present out to my dad’s that we had forgot, while our kids stayed at the in-laws.  We took our time at my dad’s and it was nice to visit him without a houseful of people.  His new girlfriend was there too, we met her for the 1st time on Christmas Eve.  I don’t want to get attached, but I really like her so far.   Since my mom died, he’s had a lot of girl “friends” but he hasn’t gotten attached until now.  It was nice having a feminine touch at his house and she seems well put together and to genuinely care for him and seems like a kind person (which is really most important, right?).  When we got home I was feeling so ancy about us being gone and our kids still at the Christmas party and I wanted hubby to go back over there.  His parents were leaving for Florida the next day and I kept thinking that if something happens to them on their trip, hubby will never forgive me for keeping him away the last day he spent with them (sweet baby Jesus, future tripping at it’s finest).  Hubby said NO.  “It is ok that we are not there.”

Later on it became clearer to me, WE put US first.  We HAD to.  And maybe it was more like he put ME first, but that needed to happen as well.  I wasn’t being selfish, I was literally having a nervous breakdown.  It made me feel guilty to skip out, but it was necessary.  And we will more than likely do it again– but perhaps in a less tacky manner.

The second thing that I’ve learned is to try to find the good in bad situations.  I guess I kind of knew this but it’s hit home lately.

My holiday meltdown started on Christmas Eve day.  I was FREAKING out.  I basically told my husband that our marriage is not going to work, and it was mainly because of his family.  I don’t want to go into a lot of details here, but I was truly convinced for much of that day that my marriage was over.

When we go through rough times I sometimes wonder if I would actually leave.  It’s normally the man that leaves, but since we bought his parents old house and live adjacent to them, I would not want to stay.  I’ve sometimes wondered if I can even afford to live on my own.  Sometimes I’ve wondered if I would stay to avoid living in poverty.  Well, I got my answer, I would NOT stay, not for the sake of comfort.

On that day, that gosh awful day, I did some house hunting.  I found the cutest little house in my old neighborhood right by the old beach that Debbie and I used to frequent as kids.  I got so excited at the prospect of living on my own in a cute little house with a fenced backyard for my dog to play.  I realized that I CAN be independent and happy.  This was a huge realization for me.  I love my hubby, very much.  He is kind, smart & successful at his career, he is an amazing father, he puts our family 1st– always, and he has been my number 1 cheerleader throughout my entire sober journey.  BUT I don’t want to stay for the wrong reasons and this experience made me realize that I don’t need to stay with him, but I do want to.  I believe that deep down I used to doubt this, but now I KNOW and it is such a powerful thing.  That was actually a really great thing to come out of this situation.

Lastly, after this wonderful year that is about to be over (no sarcasm, 2019 WAS pretty darn good to me), I want to work on simplifying my life.  Therefore,  simplicity is my word for 2020.  I have SO much clutter in my life right now, both inside and out and I want to really work on clearing it away.

Today marks 9 month alcohol free.  Boy what a wild ride it’s been!  I am so freakin’ grateful <3 <3 <3

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You, Universe

When I was at a new school in 2013, I was going through severe and random health problems.  I was mad, sad and scared, but the Universe put a woman in my life who was diagnosed with a chronic illness at my same age, and who helped me see that these problems, although seemingly arbitrary, were all connected.  And that it was normal to be depressed after being diagnosed with a chronic and possibly debilitating disease.  This friend’s chronic disease was Type 1 Diabetes and although she was no longer part of my work family, she was back to support me again 3 years later when my 13 year old son was diagnosed with diabetes. Thank you Universe.

When my mom died suddenly in 2014, I was blessed again.  Friends and acquaintances who lost a parent, or another loved one, showed up in droves.   Within a couple months two people in my same department suddenly lost their mom.  The first time I saw them at a meeting we cried together.  It was beautiful. Thank you Universe.

When my son was diagnosed with Juvenile diabetes, friends showed up.  I had 3 friends (all from work) who were Type 1 Diabetics and a 4th work friend who is a type 2 Diabetic.  We handled our 13-year-old’s predicament like rock stars.  We didn’t cry and we didn’t feel sorry for him (in front of him).  But we were not ok, and my friends who would check in during the weeks and months after were a godsend.  Thank you Universe. 

In 2016 when I accepted that I had a drinking problem and decided to stop, I found connections.  I knew NO ONE in my situation in real life, and really truly thought that it was a rare problem.  In due time, I found a tribe of people JUST like me.  People who were happy, successful and GOOD people (if you’ve never been in active addiction, then you may not know it– but the shame involved is super intense and ruins every last bit of any self esteem you may have left).  Within this tribe I found MY people, and made strong connections with certain individuals.  These individuals continue to provide me with friendship, support and love.  They have seen me at my worst and gone through my hundreds of day 1’s with me.  I am SO grateful for each and every one.  Thank you Universe.

Now I’m going through a difficult time with extended family.  Sadly, it’s not a situation that is super rare these days, but really no one seems to talk about it.   I am so blessed to have a couple close friends who are literally going through the same situation.  While I would do anything to resolve any of our situations immediately (and wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy), it’s priceless to have people listen to you rant when you know that they GET it.  They’ve been there– or are there now.  I feel so blessed to have this support.  Thank you Universe.

I think the Universe and God has been so good to me.  No life is perfect and we will always have our suffering.  I have been blessed with so many great connections that are so meaningful to me.

Look for the light when you are in the dark.

Be the light, whenever possible <3

Thank you, Universe!

Holiday Hooplas

Today is day 263 alcohol free!   I think, most definitely, the hardest thing right now is coping with the cold and holidays without numbing out.  I first tried to get sober in 2017 and ended up drinking over Thanksgiving, and some on the holiday break but not on Christmas/Christmas eve.  In 2018 I was able to stay sober during Thanksgiving, but helped myself to my dad’s vodka on Christmas eve.  THIS year I plan to stay sober until it’s all over, but admit that these past couple of weeks have been extremely trying.

I guess I haven’t written since that wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  The one where my MIL was angry and vented to me– which I soaked up and in return poured out my heart, all of which was probably chewed up and spit out like a lump of tasteless gum– if I’m very lucky, maybe I planted a seed, but highly doubt it given her emotional distraughtness.  I haven’t seen her since, and don’t plan to anytime soon, I’m in need of major boundaries and going to protect my sobriety 100%.  I came to a hard and sad realization that weekend, after hearing a conversation between my husband and his father.  I want to say that I’ll never forgive them– but it’s not that.  I’m not really angry at them, I just don’t want anything to do with them– not anytime soon anyways.

Hubby flip-flops on the subject, and that is making me crazy also.  We typically spend Christmas Day at his parents house.  Since Thanksgiving I’ve been stressing out about Christmas Day.  I don’t want to go over there, it’s the last place I want to go.   But I also didn’t want to spend Christmas alone.

Since then, we talked about going away for that week, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.  I really don’t want to go away, I have a lot to do here.  I decided that on Christmas Day, I’m going to stay home alone and do all of my favorite things.  I’m actually looking forward to it now.

Even though the Thanksgiving holiday was super gross, I made it a great weekend.  The next day in all of my sadness and irritation, I got on my treadmill and ran a full 5K!  This is something that I’ve never done–could have but never pushed myself.  It may have taken me 55 minutes, but HEY that’s 55 minutes that I was in a slow jog burning more calories than walking!  Running a full 5K was on my 2019 bucket list and I felt elated to cross it off.  Since then, I’ve been ramping up my runs and want to sign up for a half marathon in Feb or March.  The running thing is probably the #1 reason why I am able to almost keep it together currently– it is so good for my mental state and I love it.

Anyways, that’s all I’ve got.   Definitely just taking it one day at a time right now <3

 

 

MUD

We’ve been taking care of our 16 year old nephew since early October.  We are trying our best to do right by him, including encouraging him to have a decent relationship with his mom– my hubby’s sister.

We encouraged him to reach out to her to spend some time with her over the holiday break.   I wasn’t sure if he would– but he did, and I was proud of him for doing so.   He went to my in-laws on Wednesday afternoon to spend time with them, his mom and his brother and sister making pies for Thursday.   They called us around 8:00 to tell us that he would be staying the night at his mom’s.  We were excited for him to be spending time over there.

It ended quickly.  I don’t know all what happened, but my sister-in-law drank to the point of becoming psycho.  Her blood sugar was over 500 (she is diabetic).  911 was called, and because she has a history of being combative, they automatically sent cops.  My in-laws got the kids and my nephew came back to our house before 11pm.  So much for that idea!  I’ve been on a super early schedule, so I was fast asleep when it all went down.  My biggest worry when I woke up and told me was that my nephew probably thinks it’s his fault and how do we help him understand that it’s not?

My diabetic sister-in-law spent Thanksgiving in the hospital, and my mother-in-law was ANGRY.

She was ANGRY at my nephew.  He shouldn’t have locked himself in his room when he got to his mom’s.  This stressed her out and it’s his fault.

She was ANGRY at SIL’s doctor.  He changed her insulin to one made in China, and now she’s having a hard time controlling her blood sugar.  Never mind that she has never, ever, has been able to control her blood sugar and has been in the hospital with the same condition countless times before.

She was ANGRY at a lot of other people for a lot of unimportant things.

The only person she seemed to not be angry at is my SIL.

I was proud of myself, I spoke up.  I told my MIL some truths.  Like “She needs to be a parent instead of locking herself in her room and drinking.”  And when MIL was crying that the little had to read a book about “I love my daddy” and that’s why she’s not improving her reading skills (her daddy is in jail and not coming back) and that reading it caused her to regress and have emotional breakdowns, I told her “She has to find a way to help the kids deal with this. They aren’t the only kids who lost a parent but she is going to have to address it with them.”

What I wanted to say was STOP blaming every single external stimulus out there.  In retrospect, I think everything I said fell on totally deaf ears– I don’t even think a seed was planted.  But it was good for my peace of mind.  And looking back, and judging by how I feel this morning, maybe I just need to not associate with them at all.

I’m not sure that I will make it over there on Christmas Day.  I might wake up with the flu.  I don’t know, I do know that at this point in time I am putting my mental health first- but BOY this seems to be testing HARD with every family party we go to.  When that time comes, I am going to listen to my soul.

I literally want to do nothing but cry right now.  I’ve been running hard and intend on soaking my treadmill later with more than sweat.  It’ll be so therapeutic and good though, I can’t wait.  I need more positive outlets, especially with the hard year of lessons approaching.

Ironically, my best friend who I had a falling out with (sort of) last weekend finally messaged me back.  Well, I sent her a happy thanksgiving post in the morning and she finally texted me back last night.  Yesterday, her 12 year old niece got dropped off and will probably be staying with her long term.  Almost the IDENTICAL situation as me and my nephew.  Even the niece’s mom and grandma are so mad at the niece, blaming her for everything, while she cleans and takes care of her little brother.  My BFF says that the niece has always been good for her (I know the niece, she’s friends with my kids and have known each other their whole lives, she’s a sweet girl– always has been).  The nieces mom drinks constantly and now my friend is worried about her little brother– similar to me worrying about my SIL’s little ones.  WTF is wrong with everyone???????   Is it just my circle????  How do I escape????

While I trudge through the mud, I’ll be looking forward to the big and beautiful lotus.

 

Lotus

2020

I did something yesterday for the first time ever.  I talked to a psychic medium.  I’m glad that it was over an hour drive there and back and that I had a lot of alone time before and after, because I needed to process the things I heard.

I’m not sure what all to say.   The whole day was weird.  I started the morning by relaxing and finishing a movie I started Friday night called “Brittany Runs a Marathon.”  I should explain that hubby and all 3 boys (my two plus our adopted nephew) left Friday night for a Boy Scout camping trip, and I was totally looking forward to a quiet house.  I won’t dwell on the movie, but do recommend it, it was so good!  Any woman who has dealt with hardships pertaining to self-esteem should watch this.  It makes me want to start training for a marathon, like right meow.

My BFF who lives in Bay City was supposed to come and have girl time with me (her idea, much needed on her end, she said).  She usually flakes out on me and it has made me feel irritated since it happened last spring.  It’s bothered me so much that I’ve talked to a few other people I’m close to about it.  I didn’t think it was fair to be talking about how annoyed I was at my BF without her even knowing, so when she cancelled on me yesterday, I told her exactly how I felt.  I wasn’t mean or threatening and tried to be supportive, understanding that she has needs too.  I was not well received.  She was very defensive, very sorry, very down on herself, gave me a hundred excuses and then didn’t message me back.  I don’t feel bad about this situation. I did at first, thinking that she was already anxious and depressed and by dumping all my feelings on her I made her feel worse.  But after sitting on it for a day, I know the truth.  I could have kept it in and let it fester, it’s good that I got it out.  She has to know how her actions affect others.

So, after that tift, I set out on a journey to a faraway city all by myself, kicking myself for making a good friend feel bad.  A little bit into the trip, there was a car in the left lane that would not move over. Being a jerky driver, I tailgated him. I knew he was getting mad because he kept washing his windshield showering me with water.  I kept on him, just wanting him to move over, all the while everyone was passing him on the right.  I have a problem driving and I am not patient, but I am working on this.  I told myself that this guy is a lesson and I need to chill out and hang back.  But it was hard not to tailgate him and he soon threw a drink at my car (not the cup, just the liquid) and he was going slower than ever.  Well by now I was kind of too frightened to pass him on the right so I just kept behind him.  He moved over after a little bit (not because of me, I think he was exiting) and I was a little nervous to pass him and prayed he didn’t have a gun (people are crazy with road rage!).  As I passed he made a shooting gesture but just with his hand, luckily, but it was all kind of odd.

It was a miracle that I made it to this psychic/holistic fair I was going to.  It was in a little neighborhood church in downtown Saginaw.  I didn’t think I was going to find it for a minute.  I wanted to listen to my soul and didn’t know if I would actually walk inside or if I would circle the parking lot and go right home, kind of like going to your first AA meeting.

I wanted two things: to talk to my mom and to try to figure out my life and if I’m on track/what am I supposed to be doing??   I read about the psychics and picked the one who I felt most drawn to.  I shopped around for a bit while I waited for my turn.

I was apprehensive and skeptical.  Her session was for 20 minutes and she asked if I wanted a Tarot card reading or for her to channel spirits, but really I wanted both so I was able to book a double session.

She gave me the cards to hold (so they could get my energy) while she communicated with spirits.

My mom was there right away.  She glowed with happiness when I asked her if she gave me the message to buy the Glenda house.  She also glowed with happiness when talking about someone who must be my oldest son (was talking about someone performing on a stage- which he has done and is now talking about taking a theater class).  She told me to stop making lists and being so serious and anxious.  She also told me that there’s something big, but I don’t have enough information yet. I’m on the right track but just have to hang tight and wait to see everything play out.  Boy this could describe many situations in my life right now.  I guess overall it was very reassuring and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

My Tarot card reading was a little more unsettling.  The cards I got showed tremendous spiritual growth and change in 2019– which was all accurate.  According to my birthday, 2020 will be a big year for me lessons wise.  This is telling of a difficult year.  The upside of it is that 2021, 2022 and 2023 will 3 really good years.

The main purpose of this lifetime for me is to work on relationships.  Quite fitting to get this reading after the blow up with my BFF.  I don’t even remember the last time we had an argument or disagreement.  I can see this purpose being true though, as its been something I’ve been working on since being in recovery.

I’m also an 11, which means I could have psychic abilities and I’m also a healer.  I was happy to hear some positives, because I have to admit that I’m a little afraid of the upcoming year though.

She also saw a lot of money around me and said that she sees a huge shift in our finances and a career change for next year. I love my job and we are living comfortably, so none of this sounds like good news to me.  We were poor for the first years of our marriage (we were young plus I was still in college) and have worked hard to live an abundant life.  Are we going to lose everything we’ve worked so hard for?

That’s all for today.  But you know what I can do to make 2020 better?  Train for a marathon, right? <3

 

Gross Realization

I found out something last night that has been bothering me, and it’s not really something that I can talk about with anyone, so I’m going to put it here.

Let’s go back to May 2014 for a second.  We had a 13 year old boxer named Boss.  May 8th was a typical Thursday.  I picked up the kids after work and headed home to make dinner before my oldest’s baseball game.  We ate, cleaned and then headed out to the game.  Everyone was fine and normal.

When we got home, hubby was talking to his dad on the phone and I went in to let Boss outside.  Something was horribly wrong.  He was unable to stand up, kept going in circles and falling over and was extremely anxious.  It must have been a stroke, I thought.  I called for hubby to come and help and we were trying to figure out what to do.  In my mind, the only answer was to take him to the ER to have him euthanized.  I honestly, wholeheartedly thought that he had a stroke and would not get any better.  I thought it would be cruel to keep him alive.  Hubby suggested I hold my horses and he take the day off the next day to watch him.  This didn’t make any sense to me.  Bossy was in such a state and so anxious, I didn’t think it would be fair for him.  I was the one that worked at a clinic for over 10 years, and hubby looked to me to see what we should do. We dropped our boys off at my in-laws and went to the after hours clinic. I don’t remember them giving us any hope with his condition and we had him euthanized.

It’s been 5 years, and I still tell the story the same way.  It was never really a sad story though.  He had a pretty rough start in life, being a ‘puppy mill’ puppy shipped to Petland.  The clinic I worked at took care of the puppies that came in on a giant truck.  I clearly remember the obnoxious boxer puppy who had an autoimmune mange for several months.  By the time he was healthy, he was too old to be sold, so the pet store let the clinic keep him.  He was adopted out to a family with a 3 year old child.  They brought him back a couple weeks later and said he was too hyper with their kid.   Not long after, the weekend was here and we were throwing our german shepherd a birthday party for her 1st birthday.  I had an idea and brought that rambunctious boxer home for the weekend to join in the birthday festivities.  I never brought him back to the clinic. We named him Boss.

Puppy games at Marly’s Birthday party. Boss is not pictured because he was being naughty with the other dogs.

Living in a cage unsocialized for so long left him an anxious dog.  I remember my sister and her boyfriend watching him once while we were on a trip.  She called me to tell me that our dog won’t stop staring at them and she doesn’t know what to do with him.  That same sister (but different boyfriend) watched him again like 10 years later.  He was always good off leash, but must’ve been getting senile because he wandered off. They called me in a panic but found him happily and carefreely wandering the streets a few neighborhoods over.

At age 7 he had a seizure in the middle of the night, and it was determined that his thyroid was off and could have caused it.  He took thyroid medication for the rest of his life and had no more problems with it as long as he lived, plus he lost his obesity.

He had two indolent ulcers around the age of 10 and 11.  These are nasty corneal ulcers that won’t heal, and boxers are prone to getting them.   Treatment both times was brutal, and even with meds he was in a lot of pain for a day or two each time.  I remember sitting with him and crying because I didn’t know if we’d have to put him down if his eye continued to cause him so much pain.  Luckily, both times after about 24 hours of major pain (after they scraped his eye with a needed creating a grid on his eyeball to hopefully create some friction for healing) he improved and his eye healed.  It was a BIG ordeal though, and the veterinary ophthalmologist is very pricy which was also very stressful.

At age 12 they discovered a heart murmur.  I took him in for an EKG and the veterinarian told me that the heart murmur would not cause any problems during the time he had left (12 is considered pretty old for a boxer).

So when we had to him put down at 13, I didn’t have any regrets.  After all, there was nothing we could have done.

My longtime friend, who worked at the same clinic as me posted about her dog on Facebook last night.  She was at an emergency clinic with her 13 year old dog who was having a Vestibular episode.  I didn’t know what that was, so I looked it up:

You can imagine what I thought right away when I read this.  2014 was HORRIFIC.  I was diagnosed with RA, lost my dog, then lost my mom, then my grandma, then my cat ran away, then we lost a cousin and then my grandpa on the very last day.  What if Boss had made it through?  What if I listened to hubby and waited before making a hasty decision?  These are some hideous and intense thoughts and I don’t know what to do with them.

Hubby and I went to the movies last night on a rare date.  We had a few extra minutes before going in, and that’s when I made this realization.  My heart felt broken and betrayed and I felt so sick and sad, but didn’t say anything.  I still haven’t and probably won’t.  What’s there to say?  Nothing.

The only good thing I can think of is that I have Jules, and wouldn’t have him if Boss didn’t pass when he did.  We had decided to wait for a year before getting another dog, but after my mom died in July, I needed a puppy and found the one who would become Jules on the same day she passed.  And also, I’m sure he was there to greet my mom into heaven.  They had a special bond over pizza and I imagine them hanging out together.

Boss lived a long life and was very much loved <3

Messy Heart; House & Body

It’s the weekend and I am ecstatic to say goodbye to last week.  It was a good week, I mean, no one died or fell seriously ill or injured, so yay!

It was just gross.  We had a birthday party at my dad’s on Sunday and it was full of tension, emotions and stress.  It was for my son and my niece, but I regretted even showing up after being there only a few minutes.

I have no idea what’s going on with my dad.  Maybe it’s just a ton of stress.  If you’ve followed me for awhile, you’ll remember when my deputy uncle got hit by a car in January 2018.  He suffered a traumatic brain injury and has since gone through a divorce and currently lives at an assisted living facility.  That’s my dad’s brother and he stays with my dad during some weekends.  I know that his whole situation stresses my dad out, and how can it not?  It’s also caused tension within the family.  I can only imagine how difficult it would be to have to take care of one of your siblings– especially after a whole life of heath and independence.  And my dad’s future son in law tried to burn down the house, with my sister and niece sleeping up stairs.  That was in May 2019.  My sister and niece have since moved in with my dad, and he has become a major caretaker for my niece (who is 6).

So yeah, last Sunday was awful and I know I’m not over it- or done dealing with it because all week my house has been messy and I have been stuffing my face ALL week long (this was after months of clean eating and honoring my home and body).  But, the good news is that I have been showering all week– so yay!

Even Halloween was sad.  It was cold and rainy.  We usually have all the cousins on hubby’s side over, but nobody came.  My niece was sick with strep.  My other SIL declined bringing her two youngest over.  My MIL and FIL stopped by, but left as soon as the kids started trick or treating- which they always do and I’ve never understood (they live on the main road and don’t get many trick or treaters- if any at all).  My neighbor had a party like usual but didn’t text me like usual so I didn’t really feel welcomed (I thought maybe our irate new neighbor shit talked us).  It was ok, I didn’t really want to go anyways.  One year, my whole family went and stayed way too late and all played hooky the next day (without even calling the kids in- one of my Hall of Shame moments).  Last year we went and I was not drinking, but decided to that night and kept pouring their liquor.  I think I drove to work the next morning still buzzed.

I did find out from my kids the day after that we were definitely invited (they’re friends with the son) and she said to make sure we were coming.  Dang, I felt bad for not even texting or stopping by– damn assumptions I should have known better.  But I am glad that we didn’t feel obligated to go, that was a blessing.

So yeah, this pity party for myself stops here and now.  I know what I need and what I want.  It’s time for me to stop allowing fear to influence me in unhealthy ways.  I mean, a bingy day or week occasionally is fine (I think), but I do need to STOP.

It’s Saturday, around 10:00 am and I am almost ready to attack the day. I plan on exercising, eating right (spending some time cooking in the kitchen- which can be healing to me) and cleaning some things.   One good thing that happened at that birthday party is that my sister brought me a good book I loaned her a few weeks ago.  It’s a 40 day guidebook for (basically) happiness.  I’ve been reading it all week and going to start tomorrow.  Its to help identify those fears that cause us to be destructive.

I think after Sunday I felt like I did as a child (sad, angry, confused).  I now can understand better why I overate and then drank too much when younger.  I had a father who could be difficult and I had no idea on how to cope in non destructive ways.  My mother could be very difficult too.  I will say that they were good parents and always wanted the best for us– but nobody is perfect.  They did the best they could and I do know that.

Ok, that’s all I got!   I already feel better than I’ve felt all week.  It’s going to be a great day!!  Day 220 <3

 

7 Months

Today marks the 7th month I’ve been alcohol free.  Sometimes I go back to that last Day 1.  It was horrendous.  I can remember the shame in my heart and the tears in my eyes as I talked to my sister on the way into work.  I did not tell her how awful I felt and that I was finally done with alcohol.  The workday was painful– both physically and emotionally.  My head pounded, my skin was clammy and sweaty and my hands wouldn’t stop shaking.  My hubby has never threatened to leave me, but I was sure that day that he would decide that he was done with me.

That horrible day had a nice ending.  It was a mild and sunny day in late March and after work hubby and I went for a bike ride and stopped at a restaurant for dinner.  I opened up and told him that I was DONE drinking and that I wanted any last drop of alcohol out of the house.   I went to bed feeling more optimistic than I had in awhile.  That awful, horrible day 1 helped get me through the first few weeks– the weeks in which I was famous for saying F*** it.

Seven months later and I can’t believe how far I’ve come.  Not just in these 7 months, but since 2016 when I first started thinking about my drinking and deciding that I needed to make some changes.  The process for me was pretty long, but very productive.  I am SO grateful every single day <3

I think the biggest change I’ve made is not feeling so shameful about my recovery.  I plan to come out on facebook when I get to about a year.  I’ve already posted things here and there about being alcohol free.  I only do it for one reason.  I have a lot of friends/family who are big drinkers, and many have been for a long time.  I want to be an example and for them to see me looking and doing well and hopefully I can plant a seed.  A seed that persuades them to question their drinking.  That’s how it started with me, questioning my drinking and wondering how my life would be without it.  This “questioning” phase and wanting to quit– but having no idea how– lasted almost a year.  Finding sober groups and sober people is what helped me to take the first plunge into sobriety.  I hope to be that positive light for those who are still suffering.

I’ve also started writing a sobriety book.  Up until recently it was a distant thought of something I may or may not pursue in the future.  Of course I hope to publish a book that ultimately helps someone, but really I’m doing it for me.  I’m pretty terrified of sharing my story and having people that I actually know read it, so I’ve been sharing my blog more to real life people to help break down my walls of paranoia.  It’s working <3

So that’s that <3

 

Deer Day

I took a mental health day last week, and it proved to be extra beneficial to my scraped up soul.

I had been really upset with events that happened and knowing that we have to take our nephew and worrying about the impact of that on my own kids and family– along with questioning whether or not he will thrive in our home and the pressure that comes with that question, etc.  Plus I was getting behind in my classes, so I wanted to catch up on some work.

After getting everyone out the door for school and work, I made some coffee and then set up my computer and school work at the kitchen table.  Before getting to work, I noticed my kitty staring at something.  I got up and was greeted with this face..

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I always wondered if they came up to our small pond.  Now I had my answer!  I watched it for a bit, in aw at its beauty and grace.  What a blessing <3

 

The entire day was just as wonderful.  I was productive and decided to take a break around noon.  I sat on the deck and was enjoying the warm sunny day.  Once again, I noticed my kitty looking at something off to the side.  I looked and noticed a deer just laying in the side lot.   It was surprising and awesome at the same time.  I couldn’t just go in, so I laid on the deck for a bit, next to my kitty, just looking at its face while it stared at mine.  Not too long after, the deck got too hard for my old body and I had to go in to sort laundry.  THIS was the view outside my window as I sorted.  What a blessing <3

laying outside

The buck didn’t stop there (see what I did there)…

Shortly after hubby got home in the evening, we noticed a deer laying in the front yard and watched it for a bit.  Soon after I had to go out back for something and a large deer comes running from the tree line in the back and off to the side yard.  Then I noticed a whole group of them in the side yard.  By this time it was getting dark and they were hard to see,  but I was ecstatic.  We sometimes go several months without seeing a single deer.  Having so many around all day long was such a blessing <3

I woke up that day feeling desperate and sad.  Having deer all around all day long raised my vibes like nothing else.  I have to believe that this was a gift.  From the Universe, from God, from my spirit guides and my angels.  It was enormously comforting to think about and I will always be grateful for these beautiful and abundant signs <3

The Magical Mandala

 

Weird things can happen when you create something that has intentions.  There are expected intentions, and then there are unexpected intentions and it’s the unexpected ones that make your head spin.

Last summer I wrote often about reading the Lotus and the Lily book.  I had many profound experiences as I worked through this 30 day program.  Books such as The Universe Has Your Back, and The Secret introduced me to the Law of Attraction theories and practices, but it was the Lotus and the Lily that REALLY accelerated and amplified my spirituality and made me believe that the world is a playground and it is up to me to make my desires and passions come alive.

I finished the book and created my mandala (which is similar to a vision board) shortly before school started.  After going back to work, my mandala sat on my shelf and I didn’t pay much attention to it.

My sister had been reading the book with me, but was a bit behind me.  She just finished her mandala yesterday.  I was so excited, because I wouldn’t show her mine until hers was done, so I could finally share mine and I was excited to see hers too. I  quickly sent her a photo.

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Then I made some connections…

A month prior, I was picking up meds at the vet (the same one I used to work at for years and years).  Terri, my friend and awesome cat sitter, was checking me out and went into the back to get my meds.  The phone started ringing and I just had the biggest need out of nowhere to answer it, like I’ve answered it hundreds of times before.  But I didn’t know anyone else who was working, and they would think I was a crazy client if I just grabbed the phone, but it rang forever and I couldn’t stop it.

I didn’t think too much of this, until I was back last week.  Jules had a recheck for his toe (which looks GREAT) and I was checking out with him.  My old boss, who is like a mother figure to me, was taking a puppy who had surgery out to go potty. When she came back in, she saw me and jokingly asked if I could just help hold this puppy for her like old times.  I thought she was serious and nearly dropped my pooch and all of my belongings there in the lobby to go restrain a puppy.

That got me thinking.  Going back was always a thought in my head.  I always told them I’d come work in the summertime, when the kids are older– but it was always a faraway thought.  I suddenly had the desire to go back, like now.  Well, not right now, because quite frankly with work and the two classes I’m taking, I don’t have much spare time.  But come January, I will probably only have 1 class and could easily just volunteer one night a week.  I even brought it up to hubby- who was equally surprised as me.

Wouldn’t you know that I put a picture of me in full out VetSelect uniform holding a puppy onto my mandala? 

Silly mandala!  I put that picture on it because I want my long hair back and this was the only pic I could find with my long hair.  I just unintentionally found a passion of mine <3

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Other aspects of my mandala are coming true too.

I chose Healthy for my ‘word’ because I wanted that to be my direction and focus for the next several months. I intend on doing this program again within the year and making another mandala, so I didn’t have a lot of pressure when making it (nothing being final).

I had another realization after texting a picture of me in my new glasses to my sisters.  I was joking because they are big and nerdy and I love them.  My older sister said that I look like an awkward teenager (big nerdy glasses and braces) and I told her that I call myself a chubby adolescent, especially when I was on pred.

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There is a drastic difference in my health over the past few months

That got me looking at pictures and realizing that right now I am the healthiest I’ve ever been, both inside and outside.  Hmmmmm…

Lastly, I have some beach/rainforest pics on my project.  About a week ago, totally out of the blue, my dad invites me and my family on a caribbean cruise for August 2020.  Honestly, I’m not sure if we’ll go, the dates aren’t the best for us, and it is going to add up, especially with just going from a family of 4 to a family of 5.  But we did have a few days there where we were seriously considering jumping on board.  We might still go, we are unsure.  The thing is, about 17 years ago my hubby’s grandma left for a cruise totally healthy and ended up dying on it from the flu and/or pneumonia.  We are apprehensive about crowded cruise ships and being “stuck.”   So even though we might not go, or maybe I will just go on my own- but again I didn’t even connect this situation to my mandala but can’t help but think about it now.

I think I will keep my mandala off the shelf where I can’t see it and move it to a central widely seen location.  If this amount of magic is happening from it when I’m not even thinking about it, I can’t imagine the things that could happen if I actually look at it and visualize/pray/etc.

You can read about my spiritual kookiness and roll your eyes and think that I am crazy.  Or you can jump on board and partake in the magic. I am going to link the books I talked about below.  Start with any of them.  I love them all.  I don’t think you need to read them in the order that I did.  They are all different, but all are great.

https://www.amazon.com/Lotus-Lily-Nourish-Beautiful-Abundant/dp/1573245860/ref=sr_1_1?crid=HLZYAEY1BXJG&keywords=the+lotus+and+the+lily&qid=1571573069&s=books&sprefix=the+lotus+and+%2Cstripbooks%2C164&sr=1-1