Wednesday, June 11, 2014


There must be something in the spring that makes me go a little off. At this time last year I entered a funk that lasted all summer- it didn't abate until early fall. And here I am again.

I've taken the whole week off from work because I lost my voice on Sunday. I'm still hoarse today. I went to the doctor yesterday, she breezed in, announced what I had was a viral infection, there was no magic pill, I needed to rest and drink lots of fluids and could go back to work in a few days. Gee, thanks.

I suppose I need to back up a little and tell you that I've been having trouble with double vision since around Thanksgiving last year. My regular eye doctor sort of blew it off and so I did too. Then it started getting worse, and so I went to a different non-blow-it-off eye doctor who sent me to a double vision specialist who sent me for a myasthenia gravis blood test. That I managed not to freak out about until the night before I got the results: negative.

Oh yay! Negative! Negative. So now what? A neurologist. Deeper tests. The double vision plus other symptoms mean something is going on, but none of us know what. So we're pulling back on my eyeglass prescription. I'm going to see a hollistic health specialist since I'm one of those folk that believe in treating the source not medicating the symptoms. I have another appointment with my double vision specialist at the beginning of July.

At yesterday's appointment I learned that I gained ten mother fother pounds since last year. Wahhhhhhhh.

I wasn't really going to say anything about all this until I read this post from my dear friend Sherry and knew that I had been hiding myself away too. Yesterday I read this post from another blog friend, Chenoa, and really felt the fear I've been feeling: me, rolling stone, innocently gathering moss. Insulating and isolating from keeping my soul full.

Shit y'all. I'm scared. Scared I'm having something big that I can handle because I'm sober, but so resentful too because goddammit! I am sober! Can't that be enough? Can't it be enough that I suffered for all those years? Can't I just be healthy and happy for one time, ever?

OK, I know. I am healthier and happier than I have ever been! I am, really. All the dealing with life is still something I am not quite used to. It's hard! So hard. Work, and kiddos, and this and that. Sometimes that is more than I can handle without words like "neurologist" and "autoimmune neuromuscular disease" thrown in.

The funny thing about all this is I know what to do. I know how to feel better. I need to eat right which means four pieces of pizza are too many. I need to exercise every day which means go for a walk. Stretch some. I need to read things that comfort me rather than the book I'm reading now (The Goldfinch) that is totally stressing me out. I need to do the things I should do and not the things I want to do- and I know the difference.

The difference is: the things I should do make me feel capable and safe. The things I want to do make me feel fat and wobbly-brained. Fuck. The shoulds are good seems easy enough to remember. So why can't I do them?

The things I "want" to do put me back into my booze cocoon sans booze. It all started with a bad situation in my recovery group and is now snowballing because I'm dealing with things in my old way (i.e. NOT dealing) rather than keeping myself at the level to which I've become accustomed. I got a big shove backwards and it's not easy to regain momentum even though I know overthinking myself into paralysis is not the solution.

I know that I need to not sneak out of the pool and slink away. I need to climb up on the diving board and holler "CANNONBALL!!!" and jump back in. And so when my brain says "coooookies" I'll just yell "CANNONBALL!!!" and when I want to hide under the covers I'll get up on the diving board instead. Because that's all I can do. Because I know my old way doesn't work.

Because really, the water is fine. I am fine. I'm OK. I am capable and able and I can swim. Even though life is hell-ish it isn't hell. It's only hell-ish. And I have to remember that's a big step up from what it used to be.


  1. Amen my sister. But how to we manage that thing they call "self-care" which FEELS like cocooning and eating things that are "bad" while we sit around beating ourselves about the head and neck and "shoulding" all over ourselves.

    It's a delicate balance and one I haven't figured out yet. I had it figured plus cocooning equaled existing.'s that working for ya.

    So I guess we just keep trying? I don't know. All I know is that we're sober and together we can move moutains (to paraphrase Dr. Seuss).

    Love and hugs and prayers that it's all okay in the Whoville that is your head.

  2. Hi Amy. I'm sorry to hear about your eye problem and the general hell-ishness. Ack! I've been thinking about what you're saying here, the question of why it's hard to do what you know will make you feel better. Somehow all that knowing and doing is predicated on assuming that we're rational creatures, but I don't think that's always true, especially when there's emotional messiness involved. I think I do still need something like the booze cocoon some of the time, so that's when I read mysteries, but then I read too many and read them too late too many nights and then I'm in that wobbly-brain headspace you mention. It's hard to find the right balance for sure.

    It's tough stuff, but I like that you know it's not the hell it was. Sending you a big hug and much love. I'll yell CANNONBALL along with you if that helps at all! Take care. xo

  3. Why is it that the things we SHOULD do are often so different from the things we WANT to do?
    I totally get where you're coming from.
    Still Trying

  4. I am sorry to hear about the blurry vision stuff and hope that you find answers soon. It is true that health problems really put everything else into perspective. I think it is okay to take some time to wallow and feel a bit off, but like you said it is also important to jump back into living well. You know what is best for you...sending you a big hug!

  5. Hi Amy! I was diagnosed with strabismus (also had double vision) when I was 36. Most doctors miss it. Have them check you!

  6. I think this is where we are right up there with the "normies" of the world - we have things that we *know* we should or could be doing to make us feel better, but we slink out of them or do the easier, softer things, which sometimes includes nothing. I mean, we all know someone who *knows* they should exercise a little bit more, or cut down on smokes, or not go every week to all-you-can-eat chicken wing festivals, or who know should cut down on their reality tv and do family nights, etc. But they talk about it and don't do it and then feel guilty and continue the cycle. We're no different in those regards. The only thing is that is that those normies don't have that annoying alcoholism that still likes to hang around! not to say that we will drink tomorrow, but sometimes complacency gets us into some trouble :)

    It's funny how we go through cycles in this. I think around 2-3 years, some of get that feeling of not doing what brought us to where we were (feeling great! Sober!) and then wonder why we're in a FUNK. I have gone through it, and recently went through it again. I know it will happen more times. I am human and sometimes the easy way out is nicer...for the moment. So when Angry Birds beckons, as opposed to meditation or doing some inspirational reading...then I am choosing the easier, numbing way out. Not a big deal now and then, but when I skip days and weeks because of distractions...ugh. I get that uncentered feeling.

    Anyway, I am rambling. I hope that you find out what is going on there with your vision...hopefully it's nothing of great concern! Be kind to yourself, my friend :)


  7. So sorry to hear you'e dealing with icky health problems, especially ones that don't have an easy answer. Hang in there. I know what you mean about just feeling off and then struggling to do what you know will make you feel better. Cannonball is a good option, but so is just dipping your toe in. Taking a walk ONE day and not worrying about the every day. Trying to let go of guilt for the things you're doing that you're not ready to change quite yet. At least that's what I'm doing. Sending you hugs and healing light!

  8. Hi Amy! Your double vision might be a symptom of a migraine. Google "ocular migraine," "opthalmic migraine," or "retinal migraine." I had double vision recently that lasted about 2 hours. I've also had weird visual effects like sparkling lights and loss of vision in one eye. I went to the doctor, and he said these symptoms were a form of migraine. Best of luck to you and thanks so much for your inspiring blog!