Gratitude

I’ve been away for awhile. A lot has been going on in my life and I find when the going gets tough, I go to meetings. I reach out, I call other women and pray. I just don’t want to write.

With these things, even through the hardest of times, I get to stay sober. I continue on my path and find grace in what god gives me every day.

It’s hard to stay positive. I have a violent 14 year old son diagnosed with Autism who has been hurting others. I want nothing more than for him to find his path. Figure out how to uncross his wires in his brain and be a successful human being. Maybe he needs medication. Maybe it’s therapeutic interactions. We aren’t sure and whatever we tu hasn’t helped. Nothing has gotten better and the miracle I pray for every day hasn’t happened as of yet.

This thanksgiving our table had one empty plate. His name slipped off the tip of my tounge a few times to call him downstairs to dinner, but he is not here.

I find it extremely hard to have gratitude in him being away in treatment. I question why god would let me get sober and not help him. I often wonder..”Why God would make a child like this. Why would he make such a little person with such big challenges to overcome in life?”

My gratitude for today is the ability to be sober and present in my family’s life in every way possible. I spent my day surrounded in not only deep love but unconditional support.

MessyJessy

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Stay strong

These are words that I find myself saying everyday.  A constant reminder that “I am strong and can do this.”

Sobriety was never anything I thought would be easy and in the beginning. I really thought it would be down right impossible.  But through the last few months I have realized my inner strength and my ability to get through hard times with out having to use or get loaded.

What I have learned over the last 130 days is that I can feel bad, without being or doing bad.  I always thought they were the same thing. Emotions often dictated my attitude and my behavior.  I have learned over the  time that I can have ” feelings”  with out having to completely loose myself in them.  Yes, the ever so dramatic..FML, I can’t believe this is happening to me attitude is starting to dissolve away.

Over the last four months I have actually dealt with an array of things I never thought I would be able to get through sober. Things that were a sure sign I would need a drink at night have been bestowed upon  me and I have manger to stay sober.

-My Grandmother died on my 30 day mark and I didn’t drink.

-My son broke his jaw at school three days later.

-My grandfather passed away 6 weeks after my grandmother.

-My husband lost his job.

The biggest thing that I  have changed in sobriety is my attitude.  I am no longer looking for reasons to drink.  Situations do not dictate my feelings. I am, with the grace of God, in control of myself for the first time in a long time.  I wake up every morning and say a little prayer to get through the day.  At night before bed I hit my knees and thank God for the gift of sobriety. But most importantly, I take life one day at a time.

 

 

 

 

Sober.

105 days today.

I never  thought I would get to type those words. Really, never.  Towards my very desperate end of my struggle I was convinced I would die a drunk.

I felt completely hopeless, desperate and willing to try anything to change.

Now that I can look back I see that my hopelessness was my saving grace.My complete willingness to do anything suggested was how I got here today.  I won’t go on and on about how or why.  I just wanted to make a short list of things I’ve been capable of doing or accomplished in the last 100 days.

  • I managed to take a month off work to work on myself. It REALY is possible.
  • I can go to the grocery store at 8pm at night to get milk when I’m running low.
  • I’ve been bowling and can remember it.
  • I learned “No.” is a sentence.
  • I started dealing with my past, Therapeutically and learned how to let go. Really let go…
  • I’ve learned to not need to be perfect, hence I now have an extremely messy house and I don’t care.
  • I’ve met Women I like..”gasp” I know..

Tell me some of the thing you’ve gained in early sobriety.

Complacency

Defined:

  1. :  self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies

  2. :  an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction

I’m not sure why that word bothers me. Maybe because so often, in recovery, it is associated with failure?

As in “Whatever I do. I must not get complacent.”

And, it’s understandable. I mean, if I return to drinking – everything just falls apart.

I LOSE MYSELF when I am in my addiction. I LOSE WHO I AM. The ESSENCE of me is suppressed and when that happens, I am in danger of losing everything that is precious to me.

So, how would one go about this? This not living in fear, yet not falling into ‘complacency’ and returning to the cycle of addiction?

I imagine that becoming complacent can happen in many different ways.

For me. The further away I was from the pain, from the desperation. The less real,the less INTENSE it felt.

Sort of like child-birth. I mean you remember that it hurt but as time goes by, it seems that it didn’t hurt all THAT bad (ha!) so you decide to have another baby.

Also, as my consequences diminished, that, coupled with hearing others, whose consequences were far more dire than mine had ever been. I began thinking “Maybe I wasn’t THAT bad” and “perhaps I exaggerated how big a problem I had”….again…time is my enemy.

So, those things allow me to become complacent, but those things are all FEAR based.

I was missing something.

I was missing having real RELATIONSHIPS with people in recovery. The relationships that I now have provide me with many things. Many opportunities for growth but, insofar as complacency is concerned. Having these people who care about me and can recognize and call me out on ‘old’ behavior or ‘delusional’ thinking is invaluable. I spoke to one of them today.

Today, I believe that even if I forget how painful drinking was. Even if I decide that I have exaggerated the seriousness of my problems. Even if I don’t attend meetings. If I am engaged in a fellowship (defined: an association of people who share common beliefs or activities) where I am developing new ways of thinking and living and ridding myself of the old, harmful ones, then alcohol just does not fit into my life.

So, changing, growing and remaining committed to relationships that will discourage reverting to ‘addictive’ thoughts and behaviors will help keep me free, regardless of whether or not I’m feeling ‘satisfied, content, or “complacent”.

Fear

Fear is really what it boiled down to for me.  Fear of not knowing what was going to happen next.  That was it..not being able to predict the future.

It was a regular week for me.  Sitting in self pity about my drinking problem.  I felt like shit when I didn’t have a drink and even worse when I did. MY life on the outside seemed great.  Good job, big house, husband, kids, a nice car.  Everything on the outside looked so pretty.  If only you could look in and see the real me.

Finally, I had found myself sitting in my bedroom, with a bottle of pills in one hand and a bottle of booze in the other.  I was in tears writing out my goodbye letter to my kids and husband.  I couldn’t take it any more.  This had to stop somehow.

I didn’t take the pills that night.  I’m not sure why but I threw them in my top drawer and cried myself to sleep.  I woke up the next morning and vowed to never take another drink .  By the next day I was drinking again.

I’ve heard a many times the sense of hopelessness that one feels as an alcoholic.  I had never really understood what that had meant until the very moment the glass of wine hit my lips. I knew  it was bad, I knew I didn’t want to keep drinking like this, yet my brain kept saying “Just one drink.”

That was the bottom for me. It was it, the moment that I realized there was nothing I could do to help myself.  I got on my knees and prayed.  What happened to me over the course of the next five weeks was nothing short of a miracle.

I gave over my will to god and asked for help and it came.  I don’t know how or why it works the way it does,but I have started on a new journey of sobriety and I’m currently 41 days strong.

I googled it.

Can anxiety kill you?  Yup, not the best thing to type in the computer after a few panic attacks.  It went both ways, but mostly with, “I will not die. It will just physically feel that way for an hour or so”  Great news!

Time.

So the hubby took a job in Texas for a few months in July and to my surprise I was sad he was leaving this time.  Not worried, but finally in a place in our marriage again where I like him.  I was crying when he left and he asked what was wrong.  I told him, “I’m starting to LOVE you again and don’t want you to leave for so long.”  No it’s not that I don’t trust him, because, I do.  It’s just that we have or maybe I have, started to enjoy our interactions again and don’t want to lose that.

I mean isn’t that what marriage is about, the companionship that we share with each other?

So last weekend he was in town and we spent the weekend away.  A bit of a staycation in the valley, sans children.  We laughed, swam in the pool, took naps, and had a late night dinner. I slept in on Sunday and brunched at one of our favorite places late in the afternoon.

After the weekend passed he left to go back to his job, but I realized this weekend we are finally back. Wait, maybe it’s that I’m back!

No more obsessing or thinking of the past and it’s good.  We are good, really good.  I had some time to talk to him about the weekend last night, how things just flowed and seemed incredibly smooth.  How I enjoyed giggling and laughing together.  How different our life is almost three years post D day.  I try not to bring up D Day any more but I thought it was something to acknowledge.  I don’t think we could have come this far if we hadn’t been through what we went thought.  I never thought of us as a strong couple and maybe that why everything happened the way it did. I felt strong this weekend. I felt confident and I felt love.

I think this needs to be heard for those of you that follow me in similar situations. It can get better. It’s a lot of work, time  and quite a bit of screaming, yelling and crying in the the beginning, but you can heal.