Emails

Today I sit still with a profound sense of gratitude for my life.

When I first tried to get sober I started blogging and a blogger on here who started about six months before me friended me and we started chatting via email. She was amazing. I identified very much with her. She had figured it out and stayed sober. I relapsed over and over for the next two years and just couldn’t figure out why.

Often we would reach out to each other via email she would encourage me to stay strong, give me hope for realizing that it was time to change. She was a runner like me. She had depression like me. Her Marrige was like mine. We were warriors of anxiety.

Over the last couple of years we’ve stayed in touch here and there. I emailed a few weeks ago, just to see how she was doing and received an email back from her mother.

She told me that her daughter had ended her life. She had mentioned that she relapsed after four years and after picking up a 24 hour chip she ended her life three days later. She talked about her having a profound sense of grief for not being able to figure it out. She was just hopeful that she finally ended the pain and was in a better place.

I have this overwhelming sadness but also a profound sense of gratitude for the tiny tiny tiny sliver of grace that God has given me to stay sober and alive.

Through the emails from mothers who have lost their daughters. I am reminded today of where I came from and how lucky I am to still be alive.

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

Good Enough

I woke up today and I found myself realizing how different I feel about my life and the things going on in it.

LETS JUST START WITH.  I’m sober, like REALLY FUCK’N SOBER.

I thought that was NEVER going to happen!  It kinda makes me feel like a bad-ass or magical. It’s actually a little bit of both and quite frankly that’s cool, because for the most part I’ve never really liked myself.

I have found that most of my life I measure my success on quite possibly the most immeasurable things.  Like, I’m a good mom if my kids are doing well.  I’m a good wife only if my marriage is prefect.  If my house is a mess, I’m clearly not a good homemaker.

TRY Harder, that’s what my brain always tells me.  DO MORE, KEEP GOING!  It’s exhausting to think about and it unravels my emotional stability far to fast. Will I ever be enough?

Over the last year a a half I have started to measure my success not on the things I am able to do physically or how the outwards appearance looks, but how I’m doing emotionally and on how I feel inside. Do I like myself??

This has been one of the hardest things for me.  I am in a marriage that is not only imperfect but sometimes not what I wanted at all.  Yet I’m able to support another human being in life.  I am a mother to a son that does not live in my house. He has severe mental health issues and lives in an institutional setting. I am still a wonderful mother and I’m proud of the path I have walked over the last year making the tough decisions I’ve had to.

I show up every day with a new perspective on how to handle situations and how to deal with life. Instead of trying harder in life, I try something different.  I let go of control and as soon as I do everything falls into place.  I stop being so self critical and realize it’s just me judging me.  I try to listen to my heart.  I am no longer striving for perfection or trying to fix the situation. I am now starting to realize I am good enough.

 

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.