Divorce, Suicide and Sobriety

These last two weeks have been super tough. I’m walking through things I never thought possible in sobriety. When I got sober I always had these conditions. If this…then I’ll drink.  I know I was told not too and I had always thought to myself, “How does anyone walk through the super tough stuff sober?” Then March came.

My oldest son has a mental health condition and tried to take his life this week. He’s hospitalized and doing better.  I have written may times about the difficulty in moving into acceptance that I can do nothing to help him other then to hold a safe place of unconditional love.  I have spent my time setting boundaries and asserting myself when necessary.

Then this week I found out my husband has yet another women in our marriage. This is the fourth time we’ve been through this. Not only is he in another relationship, I have found extra phones hidden with them as the screen saver and wads of money stuffed in boxes in our closet.  The whole situation is so incredibly bizarre.  I just didn’t realize that there are people willing to go to such great lengths to conceal the truth.  I mean my gosh that sound exhausting.  When confronted, I’m told he feels trapped, they’ve been together for almost a year, he wants out.  Who is this person living in my house??

I thought about giving up a few times over the last 15 days.  I thought that maybe there was no way to walk through this much pain all at once. I understand that fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth, however it feels like my world is imploding.  It’s a small intense wave of fear and anxiety…  up, up ,up, up then BOOM!  Invariably I slowly come back down.  I had thought that the point was to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t always “get solved”. They come together and then they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that.

I have found quite a bit of freedom in surrendering to all the unknowns ahead of me. It’s almost like once I except it and let the fear in; It no longer consumes me. My minds stops racing and I’m able to start processing. I’m not trying to fix this or figure it out this time.  I’m finally not trying to sweeten it up, smooth it over, or take a pill. I am walking slowly through the pain. I’m right in the middle.  I see the beauty in everything falling apart right now. I’m new, fresh and finally get to start over and walk a new path for myself. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. Today I’m in a state of serenity and can’t quite tell if it’s the promises working in my life or if I’m still just in shock from the last two weeks.

Messy Jessy

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Problems with Ego

When I first came into this whole sobriety thing I thought my problems were all centered around drugs and alcohol.  I thought “If I could just figure out how to get rid of this stuff for good, everything else will be better.”

Little did I know my biggest problem was actually me. I am my biggest hurdle in life.  Overtime I have learned the importance I put on myself, my self worth and my showmanship. The harder I work to prove myself, the farther I am from serenity.  You know serenity was all I was ever looking for.  As I look back.. every drink I took, every drug I put in my body was just a quest for that “Ahhh” moment.  Trying to achieve true serenity over and over again only to find myself hopelessly lost and miserable.

So how do I find the balance of managing my inner drive to be the best and to prove myself, with my desire to be humble? Suppressing the ego, is what it comes down to for me.

I walk a fine line of grace, a very fine line. For me when my inner ego pops up. That voice that says “I’m better than that.” “I shouldn’t have to do this.”  I pause, I pray and I listen to my heart. Often times my ego pops up and I forget who I am and where I came from. I’m constantly having to sit, connect, mediate and sort out what I really need or want.

Today was no different for me. I  have a high stress job where I’m required to fix BIG problems.  I want to be the best, I want to figure it all out.  When things pop up and I can’t “Figure it out”, I start to lose it.  I find myself more aware now of the amount of uncomfortableness that comes with my self awareness of wanting to be in control all the time. Practice the pause  This is what comes to mind…

The question for me is always “Am I doing this for me or am I doing this to prove something for someone else?

If it’s not for me or my desire is not to help others without any expectations of praise or reward in return, than I’m acting out of ego driven fear.

Over the last year my heart has started to become louder than my head. My inner drive is more pure to help others without any returns or rewards. Life has stared to settle a bit and I have been able to start to define my true self. What do I like? What do I do for fun? What is my purpose?

How do you all deal with ego driven thoughts?

Messy Jessy

191

How many days it’s been since I’ve had a drink, drug or pill to make it all go away.

 When I first stopped drinking, I made a list of truths about my drinking. I was told to do this to see my powerlessness in the situation. I tucked this list way in my big book on day 2 of rehab after my first step. There were items I was too embarrassed to admit out loud; today I’m ready to share the full list:

  1. I cannot remember tucking in the kids into bed at night.
  2. I sneak drinks to hide how much I drink.
  3. I drink before I go out so you don’t see how much I drink.
  4. I hide bottles in sheet and blankets around the house and in my trunk of my car.
  5. I promise to just drink a few and I mean it, I can not RELAY do that.
  6. I always want more than one glass of wine, always.
  7. I drive often drunk.
  8. I slur when I read books to my son at night.
  9. I black out often.
  10. I pick fights when I’m drunk and don’t remember them.
  11. I drink to overcome a hangover.
  12. I hate who I am. I am filled with regret and disappointment all the time.
  13. I can’t concentrate on anything at work because I shake all day.
  14. I will drink anything with alcohol in it, even if it tastes awful.
  15. I avoid social situations so that I can drink my way.
  16. I keep my kids out of evening activities so that I can drink.
  17. I drink every day.
  18. I pat myself on the back for taking a day off.
  19. I drink less when people are around so they don’t know how much I drink.
  20. I plan my day around getting the first drink.
  21. I rush my kids through their bedtime routine so I can drink.
  22. I wake up in the morning and don’t remember anything past dinner (sometimes I don’t remember dinner).
  23. I have the shakes in the morning.
  24. I have had night sweats every night for the last three years.
  25. I believe my marriage will fall apart if I quit drinking.
  26. I believe my marriage will fall apart if I don’t quit drinking.

This list reminds me how delusional my thinking is.  Regardless off all the obvious signs my mind would always tell me “This time will be different.” “This time we’ll have fun.”

 

That never did happen for me.  I became so incredibly miserable that I had no choice but to admit defeat to God and give over my will.  I found my self trying to put into words the way I feel now that I no longer have to live in the insanity.
Happy was the word that came to mind but, I’m so much more than just happy.

I wake up in the morning and like who I am.  I can start my day without dread.  I look forward to bed at night and time with the kids. I have peace in my heart I never had before.

 

I really never thought I’d get here.NEVER. But now that I’m here, I feel such gratitude that if the list above was a checklist, I would currently score zero.

 

 Thanks so much for reading. Knowing you are out there, and that you understand all of this, has been an incredible support for me. I thought I was alone.

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”.