The Devil Inside

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My WHY

My kids

My hubby

My extended family

My health (mental, emotional, physical)

My students

To remember going to bed and what I said

To be productive at work

To wake up clear headed and energized

To sleep well

To pursue my hobbies and create new ones

To be able to exercise and push myself harder

To finish that book

To finish reading all of those wonderful books

Bed parties

Belly laughs

To shred the shame

To be my best

For happiness and peace

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 🤷🏼‍♀️ 


 

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!!!

Just Another Sunday Funday

Superbowl Sunday– woohoo!!

This is one of the few days per year that my neighborhood has a party.  Well, mainly one neighbor– but she does invite the entire neighborhood, which includes our half mile long dead end street.

I’m not sure if I’ll go to the party.  There is a lot of drinkers and free flowing drinks.  Actually, after the Halloween party, I’m not 100% sure that I’m invited back (kept sneaking the hostesses liquor.. well, she is very generous, so she wouldn’t have mind, just the fact that I took it in a sneaky way.. desperation and addiction is a tricky thing).  I DO know that I DO NOT want to drink today.  I mean, really I kind of do.  BUT, I don’t want to give my Sunday night away to alcohol and I don’t want to start my week hungover.  Time will tell if I will make it to the party.

It’s been a pretty great weekend so far.  I conked out around 10:30 on Friday night and slept all the way till 10:00 am.  I was pretty lazy but got in a 2 mile slow shuffle walk with hubs and also went to Sam’s club.  Sam’s club has the best berries!

Today I was up around 8:30.  I’m washing my bedding and just put in my grocery order.  It’s going to be almost 50 today, and I have a 5K planned (informal, virtual race for February.  Everytime I do it I have a chance to beat my time and improve my status in the virtual race).

I shopped with the Daily Dozen in mind.  I intend on eating more fruits and vegetables this week.

Also, one of my goals was to increase strength training.  I have been doing 8 minute abs (it’s older but really my favorite ab workout!) a few times each week.  I’m thinking about getting a total gym or something else that can help me with weight/strength training.

WELL.. that’s about it.  Running, cooking/baking, laundry, maybe tidy up the house a little… sounds like a Sunday Funday to me!!!

 

Goal Diggin’

Thursday January 31, 2019

It’s been a long time since I wrote.  I’ll try to catch you up while getting to the point of things..

Florida-

This was a fun, yet Toxic, trip that had me wondering what I did to piss off the Universe.  It started out kind of stressful where we flew out of an ice storm and had to deal with the airport closing until 10:00 while we were supposed to take off at 8:55am. Luckily, we weren’t delayed for THAT long, but the whole morning was uneasy and I just wanted to get the heck out of Michigan.  I think it was at the airport that I made the mental switch from “I’m going to live healthy and continue working out and doing all my healthy things in Florida” to “Fuck it.”

Maybe it was that switch that ticked off the Universe.  Something did, because bad things kept happening:

  • My son left his gum from the plane on the floor of the bedroom and my sister’s young dog ate several pieces.  The gum had xylitol which can be extremely dangerous to dogs, even in small amounts.  Thank God, the dog was fine and never had any symptoms of poisoning, but it worried us for a bit.
  • The first morning down there we were woken up early by the alarm on the TV announcing to take cover due to a tornado warning.  Being super hungover, I put my pillow over my head and went right back to sleep with the rain and wind banging on the other side of the outside wall.  I’d like to think that if there was an actual funnel cloud coming, my dad or sister would have dragged me out of bed.
  • We found a man PASSED out cold half-way under his car while in Key Largo.  Hubby assisted to make sure he was ok, and he woke up and got up.  Paramedics showed up and called the police.  By the time the cop got there, the man had ate a frosty (we were at Wendy’s) and was looking much better.  The cop was looking for a tape of him driving into the parking lot totally wasted so he could arrest him, but didn’t have one so he was ticked because he had to let this guy go, and apparently he is a repeat criminal in Key Largo.  The whole situation made me feel really icky!
  • We went to Key Largo for 2 days.  The weather was super cold and rainy and my oldest son got his hand all bit up by a pelican while at a park there (we paid to feed the fish at this park, and the pelicans were attacking us every which way to try to steal the fish food.)
  • The day after Key Largo was our last full day.  It poured ALL. DAY. LONG.  In fact, Florida got record rainfall while we were there.
  • A huge snow storm hit on the day we were to fly back.  We were worried about our flight being delayed and the airport shutting down again.  We were delayed like 4 hours, but it was because our plane was having mechanical issues- not because of the weather in Michigan.  They ended up having to get a new plane for us, which made me feel better anyway.

 

All in all, all of this could have been much much worse, and I know this.  It was just all of the small stuff that added up.  Despite all of this, Florida was a lot of fun.  It was nice to spend time with my sister, her family and my dad.  I drank every night and got in zero walk/run miles.  I did not meditate at all.  I ate awfully down there too.  By the last day, I felt more toxic than a nuclear power plant.  Even my urine seemed to stink so bad (sorry for the TMI).  I was excited to get home and resume a healthier way of life and sad that I was unable to keep up the good habits in Florida.  Many days were such slow starts not feeling my best.  Coffee and food didn’t taste as good, the sounds of the kids were way too loud and most everything made me edgy.  Drinking IS truly borrowing tomorrow’s happiness and my whole time in Florida was spent on loan.

I was able to get right back on track after arriving home.  Largely in part to getting 2 cold days off work right away AKA lots of extra time to put my good practices to use.  I had a great workout (for the first time since last week) yesterday, but not sure it would have happened if I had to work and was still catching up from the exhaust fullness of the trip.  While on the treadmill (because, you know, it’s like -15 real feel where I am at right now..) yesterday I got the email that school is closed again today.  It really felt like I was once again loved by the Universe!

Even though I slacked off so bad during the trip, I’ve met my mileage goal of 40 miles for the month of January (currently at 41.15 miles, NOT including the killer at least 3 mile workout I’m going to do today).  Woo hoo!!!  I love meeting my goals!

I’m happy to report that my health is doing great right now.  I have decreased my pred from 10mg/day to 7.5mg/day for about 10 days now and still feeling good.  I think before I made the mistake of decreasing too fast.  I’m going to go down to 5mg soon, just wanted to make sure all the alcohol was out of my system first– probably in the next day or two.

The biggest thing I need to start focusing is my eating.  I have an idea.  Dr. Greger is a world renowned plant based doctor that promotes The Daily Dozen to eat healthily.  This is a list of 12 foods that we should be eating daily.

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I really like meeting my goals.  I really don’t like to limit things in my life.  I don’t want to vow to NOT eat sweets, or whatever it is I want.  BUT.. if I shopped and planned for eating the daily dozen, and was proud each night of meeting that goal, then that would leave very little space leftover for a bunch of junky food.  Just like alcohol.. it’s been helpful to focus on meeting my workout and wellness goals when I don’t drink vs. not being able to meet those goals.  So I’m pretty excited about this idea and hopeful it’ll work for me.  It isn’t even about losing weight right now, it’s about keeping my body feeling good with good nutrition, meditation and exercise.  THIS is the only thing that I can think of that might actually help me get that nutrition piece in.

Since I’m off again today, and it’s almost the weekend, I’m planning on spending extra time making a menu/shopping plan for next week that incorporates the daily dozen.

That’s all I’ve got for today!   Happy almost February ❤ ❤ ❤

 

For more information on Dr. Greger and the daily dozen see attached links 

 

 

 

More Good Stuff

Sunday here– and fabulous one at that!  What a great weekend it’s been!

If one pic sums up the weekend, this would be it:

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Ok– it wasn’t all lazy, but it was filled with comfort and joy 🙂

Friday night I skipped out on an after school work retirement get together.  This caused me a lot of inner turmoil but in the end I gave in to my self needs and care so I just didn’t go.  I had to drive by on the way home and literally wasn’t sure if I would stop or not until I was done past it.  Didn’t feel too bad.  I was eager to pick up my dog from daycare and get a workout in.  I did a treadmill workout when I got home, it was slow and tedious but at least I got it done.  The rest of the night was spent catching up on laundry and laying in my bed while my furbabies flocked to me.

I was in bed by 11:00 and got 10 glorious hours of sleep (had some catching up to do from the week).  I was a little disappointed that while I was sipping my coffee it was already 10:00 am, I felt like the day was getting away from me.  BUT.. not long hubby and I went to Sam’s Club (always a great weekend “adult” thing to do). I stocked up on pantry items and got some delicious fresh fruit (and some freezer junk food to put in the air fryer for Saturday night game night).

Saturday night was a little boring, but hubby and I did get in a nice game of Cribbage. I was in bed by 11:00.

I was up before 6:00 am today (Sunday).   I got a few things accomplished and then went on a great walk/run for over 3 miles at my fastest pace yet.  And now my puppy is wore out– always a great thing.

Now it isn’t even 11:00 am and I am already feeling super productive.  I ordered groceries earlier and they should be here in a little bit. My BFF is coming for a visit and we will probably do some shopping and she will probably bring her dog to play with my dog.

The last thing that I really want to get done today is a little work on some IEP’s (for school) that I have this week.   If I don’t it’s ok– it’ll just make the week a little busier–but I’m not going to stress about it.

I only have 6 days of work left and then am taking a few days off for an impromptu trip to Florida with the family.  I can make it 🙂

Perfect, low key, awesomely refreshing weekend living my best life ❤