Life and My Stinkin’ Thinkin’

My life is slowly spiraling out of control.  I am at ease with it.  I know that I have to make some big changes, I’m just not ready yet.

I quit the AIP diet in the third week.  It was a TOUGH week.  All my meals were tasting so gross, I was choking them down, I was SO tired and felt achy like having the flu and the pain along with a SH**load of swelling returned to my foot.  I’m sure I was detoxing, and probably would be feeling so much better if I had stuck with it, but I’ve been drinking and eating garbage since the Wednesday of that 3rd week.

I’m now taking twice the amount of Humira and am on a low dose of pred everyday.  I’m not happy about having to increase meds.  I had an MRI on my feet and just found out that I have several microfractures and will have to see a foot doctor.

I don’t know how I’m going to get myself under control.  I’ve thought about getting a life coach and/or finding a good functional doctor who can help guide me.

I was doing really good on the AIP diet and had a good mindset.  I think if I mentally prepare better and take care of my needs better, I can do it.  Plus next time I’ll know to expect a hard detox, even a few weeks in.  That was the tough part because weeks 1 & 2 were easy and I felt really good.  By the 3rd week the amount of effort it took to prepare meals was starting to wear on me and then BOOM when everyday I was feeling worse, I just threw in the towel.  It didn’t help that the food was tasting gross.  Better planning and knowing those expectations will help me next time.

Trying to be grateful but sometimes it is HARD.  I am tired of thinking & feeling impaired. I know life will get better, I just don’t know when ❤

Two Me’s

I’m really excited warriors! I’m back on board– hopefully for the last time! I’m not sure why some people seem to have a big AHA…… moment and they enter recovery to never look back. I want that! I’m so tired of relapses and not sure why I keep putting myself through it.

I had an interesting experience today. My school is hiring a 2nd special ed teacher and I was asked to be on the interview team. So… I had to get up early today and was not planning on drinking last night. BUT.. there’s alcohol in the house and I have zero control. So I felt and probably looked like SH&% this morning. We only had 2 candidates to interview (both named Elizabeth, which was kind of funny).

I liked the first one (she actually reminded me of myself– very low key) but my special ed director and principal didn’t really like her. They said she seemed low energy and almost like she took an anxiety pill. She had mentioned that she has kids at home with ADHD and they actually suggested she was nervous and took her kids’ medicine before the interview! Talk about a WOW moment. I don’t know why that was such a surprise to me, but I didn’t pick up on it at all and was kind of annoyed that they were being so mean. The second girl came in with a big smile and clear eyes. She was really good and the one who we unanimously agreed on.

I could l see myself in both women and on the way home I reflected–WHO do I want to be? The tired Me with a constant hangover? Puffy eyes and face, hands shaking, nothing gets done because I spend my evening getting knockered and my days feeling like shit and hating myself? Or the Me that doesn’t drink anymore? The one who can ride my bike 150 miles in a month, who gets up early to walk the dog and spends the weekend doing things that makes me happy because I AM happy and I HAVE the energy to do these things.

So.. I think I’m ready for another serious go at this. Goals help me. Last time, on March 23rd, I visualized 100 days at the beginning of July. I MADE it to 100 days- but then relapsed like 20 days later. I want a year and I want to write a book about this entire journey– my super long journey that has had many pitfalls. I know my mind is pretty serious because I have a full box of wine in the garage. I can’t bring myself to dump it– it just seems like such a waste! So I listed it in my local free group. Other times, I would be like “I’ll finish that box and THEN quit..”  I’m ready– so ready.

Journey

 

Day 90 * 3 Months * Hot Diggity

I’ve been meaning to write, but haven’t felt motivated.  I wanted to do a quick check in at day 90.

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Life. Is. So. Good.  School is out for the summer.  The pool is refreshing and steps from my doorwall.  The garden is thriving and the hot days are lazy.  The highlight of my days are after dinner when hubby and I typically take a bike ride.  I pledged to ride 150 miles this month to raise money to fight pediatric cancer.  So far I’ve ridden 105.

I haven’t been reading or writing as much as I want to.  I’ve been waking up later than I would like and hastily chugging coffee before heading out to daily errands/appointments.  I’m trying to get caught up with things but think it will slow down soon.

Cravings and Urges 

We went up north last Friday to relax and celebrate our 17th anniversary.  I thought I would be fine.  After all, I thought I mastered staying sober at the cottage.  It sure took some practice, but by the end of last summer, I was used to and enjoyed going to bed sober there.

Shortly after arriving, Betsy started chirping in my ear about how nice it would be to relax with hubby and some drinks. After all, celebrating our anniversary was a joyous occasion and a good excuse to get wasted.  I listened to her enough to bring it up to hubby.  His response was:

“What day are you on?”  and “No.  We’ll get some good snacks and yummy NA drinks to enjoy.”

I know that he would probably have enjoyed a few beers and kind of wanted him to agree to a few drinks.  I’m thankful that he is smart and cares about me enough to not contribute to a relapse.  Let’s get real, it would not have been a night or two of drinks.  It would have been a binge for days or weeks and probably would have taken me months to get back into a total abstinence pattern.  It’s kind of frightening to think that I came that close to throwing away 83 days.

The weekend was good.   We bought 2 hard kayaks and 1 tandem blow up kayak at Walmart.  The blow up one deflated and the hard ones ended up getting water on the inside of the boat (not where you sit.. but on the inside where you can’t reach into– pretty much the worse design ever!).  Needless to say, it was a long and treacherous day of kayaking and we ended up taking them all right back to the store.

We are going back up tomorrow for the weekend and taking the scout troop with us. It should be an eventful weekend…

Self Care

I had my first wellness visit in the longest time yesterday.  It felt good to honestly say that I don’t smoke or drink at all, and that my worst vice is 3+ cups of daily coffee.  Tomorrow morning first thing, I get to have my very first mammogram done!  Blood work from my rheumatologist always shows that I’m anemic and she always wants me to follow up with my dr. So, I did that yesterday and now I have to go to a hematologist.  All of these visits are kind of nerve wracking to anticipate– but at least if there is a problem then I’ll have a chance to get it treated.   Maybe if they can fix my anemia I won’t be so tired sometimes (I am just waking up from a 3:00 siesta as I write this.. my 30 minute afternoon naps do wonders).

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Sooooo..  that is all.   This is probably my most boring and dull post– but I wanted to check in, especially at day 90– a milestone day.  The longest stretch of sobriety that I have ever is 93 days and I am SUPER excited to surpass that and to reach triple digits!

 

 

Birthday, Friends and St. Patty’s Day

I made the conscious decision to drink on my birthday a good 10 days beforehand.  Even though I had been having a nice sober streak & feeling good, I was comfortable with my choice.

My BFF and her hubby were coming from out of town to see a show and stay the night.  While my BFF and I used to drink all the time, she isn’t necessarily a trigger for me.  She can take it or leave it and I haven’t drank with her at all in a year.

I have a history of drinking too much, checking out & blacking out and not remembering things– especially during an outing or party with friends.

My birthday itself was terrific– perfect actually.  It falls on St. Patty’s Day and I love that it’s on such a festive fun day!  We had a great dinner in downtown Royal Oak and then went to see Puddles the clown.   I didn’t know who he was, but my friends love him and so when they asked us to go on my birthday months ago, I had to say yes.  Especially since it at a theater in one of my favorite towns.  It was a pretty good show– different but very interesting!  Afterwards, we stayed up half the night chatting the night away & my boys enjoying our friends’ visit (they are like an aunt and uncle to them).  I drank throughout the day and night, but did not overdrink.  I had a couple here and there, could hold my head up at the show and actually remember going to bed.

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So.. my birthday happened, my friends came & it was a great celebration & alcohol was a welcome and tame guest.  In all regards, it would appear that my struggle with alcohol is a think of the past– right???

I supposed if I was a normal drinker than that statement could be true.  But I am anything but a normie.

How so?  WELL… about 10 days before my birthday I decided that I was going to drink on my birthday with my friends here.  Naturally, I had to practice, right?  I didn’t just drink on my birthday.  I drank everyday after I made that decision up until my birthday.  I suppose if I was going to throw in the towel and reset my counter, I may as well live it up!  I figured my birthday would be a “last hurrah” and then I could focus on long term sobriety.

It is now 5 days after my birthday and I have drank every night since.  Every. Single. Night.

One decision to drink on one occasion has now lead to 2 weeks of binge drinking.

This is extremely problematic.  

I cannot give myself an inch, I will take a mile.  I can’t allow a sip– for I will drink a river.  I must always remember that one decision to drink will lead to a difficult struggle that will last for days at best, months or years at worst.

Currently thankful for being sober, taking it one moment at a time.  Reflecting on my mistakes and vowing to learn from them & aiming to be better.

Peace & Love ❤

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Day Drinking

I’ve been dreading this post, but it has to be written.  From the beginning, the most important thing to me was to be honest and transparent.  In the beginning there was a whole lot of ugliness, AKA all of my posts from 2016.  In 2017 things got much better and my posts were mostly positive.  I avoided writing on dark days and tried to keep everything positive.

My last post was from Monday morning and it was entirely positive.  In fact, at the end I stated that “I am feeling incredibly grateful for the day off today, going to get much needed stuff done!  This feeling reminds me that I AM getting out of this funk and that better days are ahead.”   I completed the errands and was accomplishing a lot.  I went to the garage to break up some boxes for recycling.  I had two wine boxes from the past month that were (I thought..) empty.  My plan was to get rid of them and dump the rest of a 5th of whisky I had leftover.  I don’t know what came over me, there was enough wine left for a glass and half and more whiskey than I thought.  It was 1:00 in the afternoon and for some reason, I thought I would drink the rest instead of pouring it out.  I thought drinking it would make me feel worse, and it would be kind of like a good riddance to alcohol.  Only, I finished the drinks and the only thing I wanted was more.  So I drove to the store and bought a box of wine.  I kept drinking.  I made dinner (improperly, I might add.  I forgot some KEY ingredients to the taco salad, AKA chips and cheese).  I passed out immediately after dinner, day drinking is exhausting!  I woke up around 10:00 and after searching the house I found my family in the basement watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  I watched and cuddled with them, contemplating whether or not I should refill my wine glass (I did not).

The guilt and shame I woke up with was unbearable.  I felt anxious and my body ached.

This is an example on how a moment can change in a heartbeat.

Currently taking it sober, one moment at a time.

Trying to learn from my mistakes and avoid making them again.

Peace all ❤

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Let’s Do This!

Day 1 for me, yet again.  This time I feel ready.  I am so incredibly excited for a long stretch of sobriety.  I’m continuing to learn and build up my toolbox and I’m optimistic about the future.

I had two short term goals– one was to attend an evening meeting and the other was to at least schedule an appointment with a therapist.

I attended the local Friday night AA meeting two nights ago.  It wasn’t at all what I expected.  I expected it to be larger and more transient.  There weren’t many people– (roughly half the size of the noon meeting I’ve attended) and most seemed like regulars who knew each other.  This was both comfortable and uncomfortable.  Comfortable in the fact that they were nice enough that I feel that if I continue going then I will probably be able to develop relationships the group.  And it was uncomfortable for the obvious reason of being a new person in an established group.  Overall, I’m glad I went and I do plan on going back.

I don’t actually have an appointment with a therapist, but I do have a call into one who is supposed to call me back.  I also messaged another one just in case the first one can’t accommodate my schedule.  I am so excited to get this kind of help– but I’m not sure that my insurance will cover it.  I really hope it does (the lady who took my call said that insurance many times won’t cover “substance abuse” addictions– but since I also have an eating disorder I’m hopeful that it’ll cover my visit).  If insurance doesn’t cover an addiction therapist then my plan B is to go to a therapist that I’ve seen in the past.   She is really good– but doesn’t have experience with addiction.

Let’s do this!!

One more thing that I want to add is that I have a couple of exciting things to focus on and look forward to in the near future.

Next Friday I have a fun date with my hubby.  We are going to The Creature Conservatory in Ann Arbor to see a presentation on creatures of the night.  At the end of the night, they’ll turn on only red lights and then they’ll open door to the bat roost and 35 bats will be flying in the arena above our heads!  I am so excited that he got us tickets for this, it is going to be such a great evening.

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The following weekend we are going on a Boy Scout trip to Muskegon to have some winter fun.  I will be sliding down a luge!  We will also be skating and going cross country skiing.  I’m thrilled, but better not forget the motrin!  Boy Scout trips used to be a large source of stress for me if I had to go.  There is absolutely ZERO drinking tolerated (well duh..).   Now a Boy Scout trip is such a welcomed relief.  For two days I don’t have to even fight it, it’s just a given– NO drinking.

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Yes, I am so ready to do this!  I haven’t been able to stick to it since the holidays.  THIS is what I’ve been missing:

  • Exceptional Sleep
  • Feeling well rested every single day (even after late nights or early wake ups)
  • Full engagement of an activity (without rushing home to drink and/or thinking about it)
  • Ability to focus
  • Feeling carefree
  • Feeling like I have my life under control
  • Reading every night
  • Remembering going to bed & the night before
  • Positive self awareness
  • Feeling confident at work
  • Having the energy to teach 7-8 small groups per day
  • The desire and ability to exercise daily (or at least almost daily)
  • Belly laughs
  • Appreciation of delicious drinks that aren’t filled with poison

Let’s do this– I am so ready!

One more note on self care.   It is so easy as a mom to neglect yourself.  Up until now, my teeth have been grossly neglected, due to a lack of time, but more than anything due to my fear of dentists.  Two years ago I cracked my back tooth.  I went in and the dentist quoted me thousands to fix it and all of my other tooth problems.  I didn’t want to pay all that and it wasn’t painful so I never went back.   About a month ago, that same tooth chipped even more– now I had a gaping hole.  It wasn’t sore but was sensitive to hot and cold, so I found a new dentist who could see me right away (and had WAY more reasonable prices than the last dentist).  He did a root canal and put a crown on it.  I almost told him to just pull it because I was terrified of the root canal (it wasn’t my first).  I had gas and it was actually a pleasant experience.   I’m not sure if that was cheating on my sobriety– but I’m going to allow this for me.  In fact, after my crown was put in, I scheduled a teeth cleaning.  I was SO sensitive that the last dentist wanted to numb me and clean it in quarters– so I would need 4 visits to get them all cleaned.  That was like 6 years ago and I never followed up.  So I was super excited to have my teeth cleaned up.  I had the gas and again, it was not bad at all.   I still need a couple fillings dug out and crowns put on (but no root canals, yay!), but after that my teeth will be in TIP TOP shape!  This is so exciting for me, as my teeth have been a huge source of stress, neglect and self loathing!  I don’t like how crooked they are, but haven’t done anything about it because I knew there were problems in there that needed to be addressed.  NOW I can see about getting them straightened– guys this is huge 🙂 🙂 🙂   

Moral of the story?  A little self care can go a long way.  Since my cleaning, I have been diligent about taking care of my teeth properly (something I’ve never done before in my life).  If you are putting off something that you dread, it can be life changing to finally face it.

Ok..  that’s all I’ve got.  I am so ready to do this ❤ 

 

Surrender

I am so incredibly tired.

Another morning of waking up in a fog with a pounding headache.  After 2 weeks, this is becoming the norm and my body is becoming accustomed to functioning in this fog.

One more wake up, frantically moving the elf because I forgot to last night.

A box of crackers hastily opened and eaten at midnight– that’s the taste in my mouth– why did I have to eat them all?

Sunken eyes, puffy skin, general aches and pains– am I 40 or 90?

My addiction is winning, it is the devil.  I want to fight– I CAN defeat this monster.

Day 1, I surrender ❤ on-my-knees

 

 

This is Hard

This week my addiction has won.

All due to a number of events that lead me to stop on the way home from my union meeting to get wine and succumb to my urge.

This time of the year has been difficult.  I am not happy that I threw away 55 days.  I am not excited to start counting from Day 1.   I’m not even sure that I want to count at all.

Addiction is tough and it can seem impossible to beat.  It’s like a bump in the road.  You’re riding along all smooth and fast, cruising right along, singing and relaxed.  Out of nowhere appears a Michigan pothole. You come to a complete stop, you break your tire and rim, your front end gets bent and you then have to hobble along– all at a super slow speed sporting a donut.  Sometimes you see the hole and can avoid it– but sometimes it just seems to appear from thin air.

I’m not sure what to do next.  It’s Saturday and I think I’m going to stay sober tonight.  I do feel much better not drinking.  I have liquor left (that was yesterday’s purchase) and intended on drinking tonight as a last hurrah for awhile– but I’m gathering strength to abstain.  I may or may not dump it down the drain.

This is hard.

Addicted to Day 1?

The promises of a new Day 1 is both electrifying and delicious.  The hope that follows is optimistic and promising.  The idea that I don’t have to feel like Sh#% anymore gives me goosebumps.  I reset my counter, examining the date.. looking for something significant, a sign that this time will be the last.

I’m beginning to think that I’m addicted to Day 1.

The last stretch of sobriety was perhaps the best I’ve ever had.  Almost 2 weeks and all but one day were great days.  Great meaning that I was happy, found joy in my everyday work and activities, exercised, slept well and had an overall sense of well being.

What happened?  Life happened.  I had a day that was a good day but the night was frustrating.  It was last Thursday and Anthony had to go help his parents with their home cameras, as they were heading south for 6 weeks the next day.  He was gone long past my bedtime, but I couldn’t sleep.  He was going to be going out with work friends the following night and I just felt so lonely.  The following night was the high school’s homecoming game and I wanted to go but none of my family would go with me.

I layed in bed for hours not being able to sleep and wanting to drink my sorrows away.  Miraculously, the urge to drink was gone when I woke up on Friday morning.  I didn’t feel so lonely either.  I vowed to relax and watch a chick flick, maybe walking up to see the game for a little bit.

Anthony really wanted me to go out with him and his work friends.  That was very nerve racking for me.  It would be mostly guys and I am very shy.  I really would have rather stayed home, but I didn’t want to disappoint him.  When he was urging me, I asked him if I could drink (meaning he would be the DD) and he said yes.

I had a good time, but probably would have had a better time if I didn’t drink.  All of his work friends are Indian and I am so curious about certain things and traditions but could hardly hold a conversation.  They were all very nice and probably think I’m a drunk, I feel ashamed.

Then next night was even more ridiculous.  I picked up a box of wine.  We went to the Astronomy in the Park event later than I had hoped.  We didn’t get home until after 11.  I was pretty crabby there, I just wanted to get home to my wine.  Talk about robbing me of the experience!  So.. it’s 11:30 on a Saturday night, my whole family is in bed and I’m filling my first (of many) glasses.

I drank Sunday and Monday night too, because it was there and why not?  I think my box is about gone now, or close to it.. so I will throw it away and start all over.

This time around was a valuable lesson.  I learned that I will get more from going out with new people if I don’t drink.  It may be uncomfortable at first, but I will make it through and will be able to have a meaningful conversation that I can remember.  I also learned that if I have wine (or anything else) at my house, the anticipation of drinking it will overshadow and ruin any and every experience I have beforehand.

Day 1, again.. today.  I feel oddly excited and hopeful.  I am eager to sleep well and wake up without this awful headache.

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During my first try at sobriety I didn’t drink for over 90 days.  I didn’t know what relapse meant, and my journey was fairly shallow.

I listened to The Recovery Elevator Podcast regularly and would hear the interviewer say things to his interviewee like, “I couldn’t string more than 5 sober days together” or “I saw more day 1’s during that bout of sobriety than I can count on all digits.”  I had no idea what that meant or how that could even be possible, it made no sense to me.

Then, in the summertime, I started to go to noon AA meetings.  I heard people say things like “I’ve been sober for 10 years.  Before then, I was on & off again sober for 2 years, I came to AA but my heart wasn’t in it, I wasn’t 100% committed.”   Again, I wondered what that meant, how can you go to AA meetings and not be committed– did you go to the meetings drunk?

My journey has taken me to a place where I get it now.  I know what it’s like to not be fully committed and to have a handful of day 1’s in a month.

I don’t always understand the why.  To help look at it in a scientific fashion, I put together an alcohol and sobriety cost/benefit table.  Looking at the table, sobriety clearly is superior to drinking.

                                             Alcohol Use Cost/Benefit Analysis
Benefits of Drinking Cost of Drinking Benefits of Sobriety Cost of Sobriety
I like the fuzzy brain feeling, especially during the first drink Wake up with headache, other physical ailments, body aches, etc Sleep better Physically uncomfortable when I get urges or cravings
Not having to count days and/or think about sobriety Wake up worrying about what I said or did Wake up feeling good Social anxiety when put in certain situations
Can’t hold a conversation, even if I want to talk about something, physically unable Significantly more time for hobbies & fun activities
Money Less anxiety, generally a better feeling of well being
Increased anxiety Spend more quality time with the family
Alienation from family The ability to drive at any given moment

As I mentioned in other entries, I DO believe that one day I will be 100% AF.  I certainly don’t feel like I’m “white knuckling” it during my periods of abstinence.  I am not miserable, I am happier than ever.  It is clear though, that I’m not working my recovery– or rather my recovery is not working for me.

I will work towards my goals and keep building my toolbox.  No one said that this would be easy & I have to focus on and appreciate the journey.  I have learned & gained so much in the past 8 months and I am grateful ❤