Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My First "Meeting"

I made a blanket! 
Hi y'all!

There is so much to tell you, almost too much. Feel free to take breaks. :)

Right now I'm sitting outside in the driveway, barely able to stand being inside after being in the woods for four days. The house feels so small, so dark, so small. It's hard to concentrate out here with all the singing (Hampton balancing on a ball and needing looking at mostly) and the world going by-ing.

Yesterday I went to my first meeting. Not an AA meeting, but twelve step based and for women. It was such a strange and very cool feeling to be in a room with other women who are rolling along right here in my same boat. I was jealous of the people who had been to treatment (I know, I know. Crazy talk. That being said, I think I could only benefit from some weeks of self examination and help. That being said, we could never afford something like that- money wise or what to do with the children-wise.) I felt so glad to be in the room with these women. I could not help staring, looking at them, seeing me like a mirror right there in front of me.

Today I meet one-on-one with the woman who leads the meetings.

And then look! Here we are this morning, and you didn't even know I'd gone.

Yesterday after lunch I met with my women's group leader. By myself. As in: all eyes on me. (as in all two of them) It was OK- hard to explain my career as a drinker in an hour and a half. Hard because I keep remembering things (the way I had to drive to my senior beach trip alone since I got wasted after graduation, blacked out, and woke up at some dude's house.....ugh.) And then by remembering things like that realizing I had a big problem way before I thought I had even a little one.

I could take all day to sit here and sob and cradle sad me.

To change the subject a bit (we all need breathers from these heavy things) I had fun on our camping trip I was concerned about. Everyone drank all three nights (well, not me or the children) but not the usual booze fest. One night was heavier and people started to get that drunk way and it made me a little uncomfortable but also sort of helped since drunk isn't really cool or all that pretty. And no one seemed to be having more fun just because they were drinking- it actually seemed like they were having less fun the more they drank. Huh. And waking up without a hangover in the woods? Glorious. God, I love being sober at times like that. Not struggling with bike rides up mountains because I drank too much "sipping" tequila the night before. Not wishing the children would just go away so I could drink and smoke and blow off all cares. (i.e. fuck off life, I've got vacation drinking to do.)

I got questioned some, and I was honest about why I quit. For me, I cannot do the "on medication/taking a year off" thing. I have to go ahead and get the awkward so-you-don't-drink-anymore talks out of the way so I don't have to explain again next year.

And then there was the baby shower with guys and drinks last week too. Nothing like a drunk person with red wine stained teeth at five o'clock at a fucking baby shower, let me tell you. Although most everyone was mostly sober it was kind of uncomfortable and small talk-y (which I don't really like) but I made it (and then spent waaaaayyyyyy too much money on food for our camping trip- huh.) and now I don't have any more obligations where booze is involved in the near future. Phew.

One thing talking to my person yesterday showed me was that what I'm doing is amazing. Getting sober without any treatment or meetings is fucking hard. I told her about my blog, and y'all and how much that helps. She was still a bit blown away. So now I'm a bit blown away.

I think that getting to six months also sort of threw me for a loop. Not that I didn't think I was going to make it, but it was a reality check- a sort of I'm really doing this, and it's working! But life is still hard and sad and totally overwhelming sometimes. And now that I gave up my coping skill (ha, "coping skill") I'm sort of flailing around trying to figure out how it is I deal with all the huge emotions and just things that come up- sometimes out of the middle of nowhere. There's a lot more to deal with than I thought. Just stopping drinking doesn't make the me go away. Which is awesome since I'm figuring out that I really do like myself (high five on that) and hard because I still have baggage stuff like regrets and shames. And anger at the wasted time, grrrrrrrr, the wasted time.

Well, that wasn't so much after all. Life has been busy, and mostly really good. :) And there's lots more to come.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm OK! :)

Hi! So sorry to have been gone for too long! I'm working on a post telling you all about it. I realized that my last post was one about huge cravings and then I dis-a-ma-peared. Lord! That was not kind at all. All is well!

Do not let a rolling blog gather moss. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Where Did THAT Come From?????

Until now I've had a truthfully "easy" time of it as far as craving alcohol. (Did I really just say that out loud?) I don't long for glasses of wine, or if I do it passes and I move along relatively unscathed. Just another passing thought.

Until last night. When I was driving home from work and it hit me like a TON OF BRICKS.

I wanted a drink, a bottles of wine. I could see myself settling in on the porch: wine in hand, I should get cigarettes too. I would drink the first bottle so fast and smooth, light cigarettes one after another until I was soothed and stinky and drunk.

Holy SHIT.

And even more holy shit because then I started reasoning it out with myself in my head.

"I've made it six months. No one would fault you. It would be fine. I'm off tomorrow, and Monday. Plenty of time to recover from a hangover. I can stop at the store, that one right there, where I used to get beer and cigarettes. I MISS that store. It looks so safe, so right. I should stop."

But I didn't stop. I came home. My four year old came down and asked for cereal, not tired. (It's 9:30 PM by the way) So he had cereal. I had water and snacked on blueberries, and coconut, and cashews. Flipped through the mail and found a letter detailing a women in recovery series I've been waiting for.

Rock on universe.

It got me worried about our camping trip later this month: our annual beginning of summer trip that tends to be a bit of a booze fest. A bit- heh heh. How am I going to do this trip and NOT DRINK?

Is it too soon? I'm never around people drinking. And I want everyone to whoop it up if they want to. So I might just be in bed at nine with the children. That would be OK. I'd better start pep talking now. Luckily the first day of the recovery series is the day we get back from our trip.

Luckily I can do hard things.

Friday, June 7, 2013


I am six months sober today.

This afternoon I tried my hand at sewing. After an hour I sort of sighed and moved on. I won't say I gave up since I'm going to try more. But my eyes were kind of crossing, and the picture didn't really make sense, and so before I got frustrated and cranky I did something else.

Today I had a free day- I ate what I wanted. I bought a scarf, and another book for my Kindle. I sort of waffled around the house listening to it rain. I thought about stuff. About how different I am than I was six short months ago. About things I'm ready to try. About happiness. And me.

I thought about the next step. The next part contentment. Goals for the next six months, since I accomplished the one goal I had for the past six months: staying sober.

1. bringing yoga back into my life.
2. eating the way I know makes me feel the best
3.  regular dog walks
4. saving money
5. opening myself to vulnerability

Rearrange all those letters and they spell: SOBER

My challenge-ish thing I want to try for the next six months is living my dream life. Living the life I want- not the one my ego pushes off on me. Listening to my heart, to my me. Not listening to the voices that say "not good enough" or "more more more" or the feelings that run through the cookies blindly. Listening to the voices of joy, of sad. Hearing what I need when I would normally waste an hour on the computer or eating past fullness.

Taking pauses. Chewing it all up. Concentrating on slowing down. On counting to 10. Breathing in. Finding my passion and my patience.

This seems like a tall order for a half year. But I am up for it. I am excited by the possibilities!

Long ago back at the New Year I chose a word. That word was INVEST. I'm ready to put my word to good use. I'm ready to invest in myself. I can now trust that I'm worthy of it.

I thrive on rules. I learn this about myself almost daily. I like a short leash. I like to know what to expect. I don't like the freedom to go with the flow: this does not work for me. When I go with the flow I flounder and flail and always end up taking waaaayyyyyyy more rope than I need, and then I'm either tangled or hanging by it at the end of the day. I need things to be set. I like organization. I like no's. Boundaries. Fences. Lines. All of these things make me feel safe, relieved.

I want to set some goals. Like:

1. lose that 20 lbs I've been trying to lose forever.
2. train for a half marathon/marathon- have a set running schedule
3. yoga class 3x a week.
4. strength training
5. write an hour a day
6. limit computer time- maybe once a week for surfing and wasting time instead of 5 times a day
7. stick with a budget
8. spend more time with the kids
9. have a date twice a month with husband
10. work on my flailing libido
11. give up caffeine
12. stick with a Paleo/whole 30 way of eating. Banish sugar.
13 Get to work on the garden
14. be silly and happy
15. stay sober
16. continue to be open to deeper friendship connections
17. be proud of who i am

But then there's this thing that always happens when I make the grandest plans.


So there are those things I want to do, ways I want to become the normal rhythm of my life so that I do them without thought or question. Like how I stay sober without the struggle to avoid the wine store anymore. I just do it. It's who I am now.

My mother commented today with her eyes shining wetly with pride, "You are so much easier to be around now" when I shared with her that I was celebrating six months of sobriety today. And we laughed about it, and I tapped myself on the head and said, "It's easier out there and in here."

Something happened to me when I decided to quit drinking. I made a commitment, a whole hearted promise, that I was going to succeed. I made a deal with myself that I would not drink so I could live. So I could be the person I wanted, in my heart of hearts, to be.

And now it's time to do just that. So while all those goals seem silly, or restrictive, or like too much maybe to you to me they seem like a big white bright ball of hope. They seem to say "Look at me. Look how big your hopes can be now, when a short six months ago you were just praying for the courage to not drink that day. Look how your world has stretched and moved to include any possibility you choose. Look how fucking strong you are now." So now that I've quit drinking it's time to be really brave. It's time to see what I can do. It's time to explore the map of who I am. Unafraid. Not worried that it's too hard, or too much; but embracing the challenge of living a life full on- full of love, and of joy- full of failure, full of trying.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Giving a Fuck

I talked myself into a bit of a tizzy this morning- you know how you sort of convince yourself that things just aren't going the way you want them to. Like this: "Ugh. I ate that graham cracker cereal last night. I feel fat. And also so many cashews. Why can't I stop drinking so much coffee? I think coffee makes me eat sweet stuff. I'm blaming everything on coffee from now on. And I have to stay up later so I don't wake up in the middle of the night wide ass awake. The coffee again. Fucking coffee."

And I won't replay the other conversation about the GIANT zit I have forming on my chin from all the sugar I ate this weekend. It is giant, but I'm resisting the urge to mash and squeeze it until nothing comes out and I've made a huge red spot on my face that scabs and peels for a week and a half.

But y'all, at least I give a fuck.

This is my new mantra. My way of making myself seem sane when I'm making myself my own special brand of crazy.

I care about my skin and my sleep. I pay attention to what I eat and what I drink. It matters if something isn't organic, or is pumped full of chemicals. I hydrate. And try to remember to floss and brush every night. At almost six months sober just being sober isn't an excuse for me anymore. It's not a free pass to eat eight cookies, it's inspiration to do better because I know that I can.

Being sober is so much more than just being not drunk. Perhaps we can change it to being human, or being a full human instead of a half assed one. Worrying about all this shit may seem pointless but for me it shows me that I care about myself. I'm concerned for my welfare and well being. How about that!

Belle always asks me a valid question: "What if you were good enough right now?" But what if I am? And what if enough is enough, and better is more me- or to feel like me I need to kind of try things on for size to get the life that feels comfy and fits. What if coffee seems right for a while, but then I can bend another way? And that way is better? What if wondering and trying is my way?

Speaking of trying, and new, and my way- I can't run. This is heartbreaking. Running is my one thing that is ALL MINE. And I can't do it. I keep setting my alarm so I can get up early and walk, but then it goes off and I feel like what's the fucking point? So I'm going to have to wonder and try myself into doing something different for a few months until my foot heals. Another thing to gnash and gnarl over. But I am getting better at noticing when I'm not doing things because I'm fearful in a small or big way. Or knowing that I'm being a big fat ego about it. (walking? Hrumph. That is not running. Walking does not make me a bad ass. Laying in bed ignoring the alarm definitely does not make me a bad ass either!)

So I am good enough right now. And I'll be good enough tomorrow, and the day after that too. And maybe one of these mornings I'll be good enough on a walk. And I won't eat too many cookies when I'm feeling nervous. And I'll keep on trying to do better, not because it's a way for me to beat myself up, but a way to show me how much I really care, that I really really give a fuck.