Monday, October 21, 2013


Life has been a little roller coaster-y for me lately. I feel exactly like that: here is a solution but I'm busy being busy and won't stop to look. Plus there have really been some big things going on.

Y'all, I met Sherry from Oh for the love! After much planning and arranging and finagling we found a free Saturday for both of us. It was so damn good to give her a hug, to know that there's another person out there who gets my crazy. She gave me some great perspective on some things like saying "I need" rather than "You never".

We talked like we'd known each other for years over five hours at a Starbucks halfway between our houses. We talked freely. We told stories about ourselves, our drinking, our families, the way we are exactly the same about papers all over the damn kitchen counter. :) We had a few moments that made us both get goosebumps. We got to look into each other's eyes and hug each other hard and promise to do it again.

There's just something about talking to someone face to face who knows mostly exactly what you've been through. There's something so comforting about that "Mmmmhmmmm" and head nod. There's the way you hug someone a little tender tighter because you know they've been where you've been and you know it was a hard place to be. It was such a pleasure to spend the day together.

Another big thing is that my women's group ended.

I knew I was learning stuff, but I didn't really realize how it all sort of came together. You know, like being sober. You start and you try and then you kind of go, "Oh. Here I am. Whoa. I have been changing! I am flowing along! Really?"

We wrote about ourselves in six months, but it had to be in the present tense. (So like the stuff was happening) I wrote that I was running again. And meditating. That writing was a bigger part of my life. That my husband and I were partners, intimate and life. That we moved to a smaller house and were saving money, paying things off. She told us to dream big and so I wrote that my website was a success, and that I was working on a book, that Soberbia was going to be a real place, and that I also had stopped yelling at the children. I wrote that I was strong enough to handle what life gives me- good or bad.

I have to say, that writing was cool. Like, all of these things are totally possible! And not only are they possible, but I believe they can happen. Wait, that the future? And does it look.....OK? Dude.

Another big, big bigger thing at our last meeting was that I realized I had reached a point of peace with my mom. We had a conversation the other day that was sort of crying and disagreeing and sort of spouting out some feelings. My mom is tough to crack, she isn't mean, she's just....protective of herself.

"While you're busy living your life you don't know other people's pain!" she said to me. Oh. I realized that she is the way she is not out of anger at me, but that she was hurt A LOT as a child and that she doesn't know how to be open and tender without feeling totally out of control. And so she acts abrupt and curt to protect herself. So now I can try to take it differently: now I know when she's acting bitchy that she might be just scared underneath.

I'm still considering how I feel about the group ending. What is my next step? Um, AA? Join the ongoing Tuesday group? I'm going to take advantage of my five free counseling sessions I get with my health insurance. (woooo five y'all! I'll be healed in no time!) I have great admiration and respect for the therapist who ran the women's recovery group and maybe I can see her once a month.

Another biggest thing that happened was sitting in on my son's first counseling session. My kids have been fighting like crazy lately. As a family no one is happy much. We don't laugh, or joke. Or relax for fuck's sake. We have been a "me first" family all year. Except there are four of us.

We might ALL need some therapy. Really.

Yesterday my mom said, "I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, but they act what they see." It was spoken soft, and with open kind eyes so I knew there was no judgement.

And after Jack's session I was really knocked for a loop. In a "Oh! This merry-go-round is so fun but I think I might throw up" way.

He's so pent up, and frustrated, and angry. He's so hard on himself. So hard.

He's also really well spoken, and funny, and quirky. And so fidgety!

I realized that he is being a lot like, um, ahem. Me.

Hard on myself. So hard. Quick tempered. Needing perfect. Chasing the end and upon reaching placing another rung just too high to reach. Never feeling relaxed or happy because it just isn't happy enough or relaxed enough. Never good enough.

Here I am, there again. In that wonderful cringe-y moment where I am seeing the light and dang, that is real bright and a little painful. But oh. It's so good to be able to see my way again. And I'm OK, and the therapist seems to be a good fit- he talked to Jack like he was a person and not a little kid. It made me realize that there is a lot of anger running through all of us. That these qualities that are so easy to pick out in my little boy (anger, perfectionist, never good enough) are wild and alive in his dad and me. Well, shit.

My husband and I are meeting with the therapist together without Jack on Thursday. I am really nervous and glad. Inviting a trained to see stuff stranger into our family dynamic is nerve racking, but if I can help Jack deal with the bigness that life can be it's worth it. So much of sobriety is uncomfortable, and this is one of those things. Doing this feels like I put on a too small sweater and now I can't get it off. Which is why we need some help. Just a little help.


  1. Getting help is good. Acknowledging that we aren't doing this job perfectly can be a relief. Saying out loud, that we need help to figure this stuff out is freeing. Its shining light on the dark corners where the dust bunnies live and saying, "Ha! There they are!" and then shooing them away. Its scary to let someone in and to let them see the *real you,* all of you, but its also so good. Its opening a door to all of your freedom.
    And I say all of the above from my own experiences of shining light on my dark places. <3
    Your sweet boy is so lucky to have you. I don't believe that the kids we end up with or the parents they end up with, is ever a mistake.....I think its a well put together plan by a power greater than us. You are exactly the right mama for your boy and this post shows all of us some of the reasons why.
    I love that you can see your mom with gentle eyes also. That made me cry. I hope my kids can develop that sort of vision for me. It took a while, but I was able to have it for my mom and it was a gift for the both of us. I am loving reading here.....and I am so interested in what your website is and what your book is all about.

    1. Asking for help is so....helpful. Thank you for all of this. Every bit.

  2. I can only second what Annette said, God gives us the children that need us as parents. You are so brave to confront all of his trials and your own imperfections, so many parents just say, "They'll grow out of it." We don't grow out of our childhood, we carry it with us.

    And OMG!!! The papers, the stacks, the receipts that we must keep that never get looked at, the cap'n is a hoarder and he's driving me crazy. I threw away a shirt with battery acid holes in it the other day and he pulled it out of the trash. "I can use this as a work shirt." Argghh!

    1. Gah, grow out of it. Bullshit. I think you grow even more into it!

      Yes, YES! My husband has pants with a hole in the crotch that he wears in public ALL THE TIME. He says the same thing about his 20 yr. old t-shirts, "No! I can do yardwork in that!" :)

  3. You. Are. An. Amazing. Woman.

    To bet that brave to dig that deep and get that raw for yourself AND for your son...there are no words.

    After our day, I'm looking into some therapy for me as well. I've done it before but was never happy with the results (or lack thereof). Maybe I wasn't ready...we'll see.

    And in your spare time, could you get the counters cleared and cleaned? It's driving me bat shit crazy!


    1. So. Are. YOU!

      The thing about therapy is.....being honest. It is fucking hard not to sugar coat it. To make things better so the therapist doesn't think you suck. Once I just let go and said the ugly stuff and she stayed in the room I was OK.

      The counters, and this week also the coffee table is covered in Legos. Lord.

  4. So much going

    One of the great things about a group, or at least having some others who know you a bit and see you like those women in the group, you get *perspective*. And when you hear their feedback, and when you do that writing exercise of what it has been the last six months - you get a whole new way of looking at things, don't you? It would be great for everyone to do that - and have others add their 2 cents. We are so hard on ourselves, and are usually the last to see what changes are made. It's illuminating to hear how others experience you and see you. What a difference it makes.

    As for the group - sorry to hear it ending! Is there another one starting again?

    Glad to hear that Jack is in therapy. sometimes we just need a nudge in the right direction, and that might just be it. Hell, I had to learn how to live and act when I turned 40! I had not much of a clue until then...think of others? Do things for people? Not fly off the handle on the dumbest thing? Think before I act or speak? Huh? So I don't see a problem for a boy to be learning this too, before it gets too far gone.

    And anger? We all have varying degrees. It took me years in therapy to finally, finally see that I had ANGER ISSUES. Boy did I have them. But we learn to deal with anger, and not have it be the scary thing that it may seem.

    Great stuff, Amy, and glad to hear that you and Sherry hooked up. So jealous!


    1. Oh, the anger thing. I thought I was this peaceful person until I realized um, wait. You are pretty damn angry! I need some help with that.

      There is another group, but I'm feeling sort of gun shy since the level of commitment in my last group was meh. I think out of 8 of us only 3 of us stayed sober for the duration of the group. Welcome to alcoholism. I'm going to talk to my therapist about it today. And the anger thing too.

      I hope that by giving Jack someone to talk to that is "his" he will feel good about his place in the world. Listened to. Heard. I think that if I'd felt more listened to and heard as a child I would have been better able to handle growing up.

  5. Help me? I would like to talk/internetwhatever with you. N.

    1. Email me! My address is posted above. :)