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.

 

 

 

 

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”.

The reminder

I had someone send me an email yesterday.. just kind going through their drink days when they first stopped.  The off three,on two. Off one, on nine… and so on and so forth. Just the pure turmoil of what it was like for them in the begging.

And I had a thought! What If I could bottle up the way I feel on day one; the anxiety, the guilt and the depression.  I’d keep it next to the bed, really I would, on the end table.

I’d open it every night when I get home from work and just take a small gulp.

The remainder of my past failures, the shame, feelings of remorse and the guilt. Believe it or not guilt has a taste. It’s bitter and dry.

If only we could remember day one and keep moving forward. I personally have a low point that is fairly recent enough to remind me to stay sober today.

Day one in a bottle!  Something to think about.  I bet that shit would sell.

He came to believe.

I’ve been reading through an AA book recently based on spirituality and Devine experiences of God removing the obsession of drinking.  As I was paging threw this book last night, I read over and over of numerous experiences of God just removing the desire to drink once you’ve taken the third step to let go and let god.

There was a prayer “God, I offer myself to you  – to build me and do with me as you will.  Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do your will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of your power, your love, and The Way of life.  May I do your will always!”

See here is the thing; I’ve said this prayer maybe not word for word many times in my life over the last year.  I have been removed a few times of my obsession from drinking and find that as time goes on I find the obsession fades away slowly, as with any other thing. Then it comes back one day; and yes I do pray to my greater power every night.  Not to ask him to change me or make my life easier but to take me into his hands and do with me as he wills.

I do believe my higher power defiantly has a say in my life, I would not be here without him, but what are these Devine experiences that as these people speak of.  I haven’t had that “Ah ha!”  Moment yet in life, like a whoosh and all obsessions are gone.  Is it really true that this happens to everyone at some point?

I guess what I’m asking is what has your experience been of taking the third step and any advice that you may have for me.

You can’t have it!

So the other woman called my hubby last night. Actually it was her new boyfriend. Lovely, they know each other because they use to work together.(Nice to know she’s keeping it in the workplace still, management must be so proud.) He called to asked something about how he cooked a steak or some other bullshit. Basically to fuck with us, I mean me.  Huge trigger by the way when this stuff comes up and it’s been two years.

So. BIG HUGE FIGHT WITH HUBBY. Actually, it only lasted 3 minutes.  I took the advise of a blogger on here and when huge trigger shit comes up, Belle says go to bed. So, I went to bed! First thing as I climbed into bed sobbing was my voice in my head “Let’s go get a bottle of wine, it’ll make us feel better.”

My doctor recognizes I have and alcohol problem but also panic attacks are a real thing for me.  I get ten Ativan a year for emergencies. I went down stairs and took an anxiety pill. It’s been five months since I took one. I woke up at 12am.  The voice in my head reminded me I had one more hour to get booze. I went back to sleep. I woke up at 3 am and the voice was  pissed! “Now we’re fucked, we’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to get booze, great job!”

I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought was “DRINK!”  I thought, fuck, I’m seriously screwed today, how do I get through this?  I put on my running shoes and stepped outside.

It was raining lightly this morning and I thought that would help to wash away the pain I was feeling. I decide to run until the voice stopped. One hour, 22 minutes and seven miles later the voice in my head went away. By the end of my run, soaking wet, because a small drizzle had turned into a heavy rain,  I was at peace.

“Ha, take that!”, I thought. It’s mine and you can’t have it! “I’m having a good day today!”  Today is my day 52 and I wasn’t going to give it up.

So It’s been awhile..

I haven’t been writing as much, just working lately, doing, changing, actions, no longer just words.

I’ve been working on letting go, something I find I have an incredibly hard time doing.  I’m still constantly punishing myself for my past choices in life and thinking that my life is still not good enough, or perfect or whatever. I have guilt that I’m trying to let go of two, for the things I’ve done while drinking.  the other day I was sitting down with my life coach, yes I have one, and she told me I was great, doing wonderful.  No need for perfection.  She asked me to sit down and make a list of three things I loved the most about sobriety and myself right now. So, here we go…

1. SOBER SLEEP – Yup, I never thought it was possible to sleep through the night.  I would often wake up in the middle of the night with horrible nightmares and not be able to get back to sleep.  Thoughts would race through my head as I stared at the ceiling until the sun rose. Now I sleep through the night, no more sweats either.  I find when I wake up, it’s from a pleasant or weird dream and I calmly find myself drifting back to sleep again. IT IS AMAZING

2. LESS ANXIETY – I thought I had a serious, incurable form of anxiety. True it started that way, just anxiety when I was 23. I had my first panic attack, no drinking was involved.  I had a mild case of PTSD from a vicious assault earlier that year.  But never less, as the year went on my anxiety got worse, and worse. Eventually, I started to drink to keep it at bay. It got to the point that my doctor had me on three to four different pills every day.  When I would awake in the morning it was the worse! I would be taking Xanax, volume and Ativan all day.  This was  usually combined with a sleeping pill at night, “I Never slept” and antidepressant as well.  As soon as I came to the realization that I am an alcoholic and told my doctor, we changed all my scripts.  I take just a mild antidepressant at night that also helps me sleep.  This whole time I thought was going to die of a panic attack or the amount of pills it took to keep them at bay. Turns out it was my drinking that made it worse. I can now wake up in the morning without racing thought and haven’t had a panic attack in over six months.

3.MYSELF – OK, I’m still working on this one.  But for once I have dreams and hopes.  I no longer have this feeling of being stuck forever and not knowing how to change. I have goals, that I’m actually reaching. I have plans, that I have actually followed through on, and most of all I have hope.  I didn’t have any hope for myself for a long time.  Those of you who have been drinking the way I did, everyday after work and most of the weekend get it.  I felt like I was stuck and just going to keep on doing what I was doing because there was no way to stop.  I would die this way. Lonely for sure and without my children.  I didn’t know how long it would take, but I could see it coming.  Now that I’m not drinking I have “Me” back. I’m changing and still evolving and constantly reminding myself of the way it was so I never go back there.