What I have learned being 3 months sober

This past Thursday marked 3 months of sobriety for me.  I’ve been at this point one other time and it was as exciting as it was the first go round for me and my family. The last 3 weeks have been mentally, emotionally and physically tiring for me. The kids are down to one week left of school, my tennis league try-outs are finally finished and I felt like my critics were draining me of what my biggest supporters were trying to give me. 

My kids and my husband surprised me with recovery chips. I don’t know about how everyone else feels about these but these chips to me are frickin gold!!!! They’re pieces to look at and touch to remind me of my struggle. It sucks because just as soon as I think staying sober becomes easy, it becomes tough and exhausting and then I’m reminded that the struggle is real. Real tough and really fcked up that I have to fight this battle. Poor me, why me? Right? Then I remind myself that feeling sorry for myself weakens my spirit and a weak spirit reaches for that drink. Then I think of all the doubters, all my critics. We all know what happens to that person….throw them in with the wolves and they come out leading the pack. 

I’m leading the pack right now and I will continue to. I couldn’t do it without my stubborn attitude and the abundance of love and support I receive every day from my husband and girls. I actually couldn’t do it without the negative shits either! They make me stronger! 

  
The bird for the doubters! Sometimes you just have to……

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51 days and some things are “Still the Same”…

Day 51 for me and I’m really feeling like my attempts of trying to let go of certain things is beginning to work. Still struggling with other things I want to let go of but I’m getting there.

I was getting some stuff done around the house the other day and I had the music loud. I love music. I consistently have it on and enjoy all types. On this day I had shuffled the music and Bob Seager’s Still the Same plays. I love that song but it made me think of my real father….you know, that real a$$hole. When I was probably about 4 years old, my uncle, my Dad’s brother, lived with us for a short period of time and what I remember about that was a guy who took time to hangout with my brother and I. He’d build some pretty cool stuff out of tinker toys and he loved listening to Bob Seager.

A year and a half ago I had finally built up the courage to call my Dad. Let’s just refer to him by Jim. He doesn’t deserve me referring to him as my Dad because he never knew how to be one. Anyhow, I called Jim, he answered and I let him know that I had to build up the courage to make this phone call for a few years. Let him know I had 3 daughters and all I wanted was to hopefully meet up and possibly have him see my daughters. My daughters ask a lot of questions as to why I don’t have a Dad. I was hoping to somehow find some light on how to bring closure to this conversation. They have a loving dad in their life who loves them hard each and every day and I’m thankful they are growing up not knowing any different. Jim obviously has no idea how deep the pain is that I’ve had to endure my whole life due to him not being in my life. To make a long story short, after I explain and try to set up getting together he talks…..he says that he’s not interested in seeing me and therefore seeing my daughters isn’t going to happen either because of not calling him back or by reaching out sooner. So there goes me trying to show them this person who I probably resemble. He says that he had left a message on the recorder probably when I was something like 12 to invite my brother and I to see him and his wife get married. Because I didn’t call him back 29 years prior, he finds that a reason to drive that knife in my heart further. Go Jim! What a man you are….not. Anyhow, I express that he’s got to be kidding me and manage to get off of the phone before he can hear my emotions.  I’m not sure if I cried because of the thought that a parent could do this to their child no matter what their age is, if it was because I had been wanting to know where I stood in his life and it was crystal clear at that moment or if it was because I was really hoping to have some kind of relationship with him. Probably a little of all of those thoughts. That would be the last time I will ever hear his voice or share a conversation ever. Does that hurt? Yes. Interesting enough, he must had called my uncle because later that afternoon I get a message from him hoping to arrange to see me and my family. Although he has a heart and I appreciated that, I really don’t want anything to do with that side of the family. It wasn’t my uncles job to make me feel better. What really gets to me though is the many times I’d hear from people that a girl really only needs her mom. A girl needs both and if you have both or had both growing up you wouldn’t really understand how it feels. I’m hoping that being honest with my feelings about Jim on this blog helps free me from the emptiness that he has put in me all these years. Hell, I might even drop him a letter and a copy of this. You’re an a$$hole, you’re a quitter and a coward. I just don’t want to own the ill feelings associated with him any longer. I’ve held onto them for too long and I’m done. Which reminds me of a few more feelings he left for me to feel for way too long. Like the time he had me for the weekend and got so drunk that he left me at a get together at one of his friends houses. I was probably 7 years old and for the longest time I thought he left knowing he left me behind. Years later I understood what all those Coors beers did to his brain and understood what alcoholism was. But thanks for the gift of insecurity and abandonment. The Dude gets an A+. He still is and will always be the same….I however won’t.

Getting this out feels uplifting and a bit of calmness is setting in. It’s a bit of relief to not hold it in. Plus it makes me realize that my sobriety is gold in my kids world. I can’t take back past mistakes but I can continue this path and create positive, healthy, great memories for me & my daughters. Cheers to one day at a time!

In the funk, out of the funk…..it’s funkin’ driving me crazy!

imageBeen trying to shake the “funk” I have felt all week long. Being a woman isn’t always easy mood wise. Add sobriety, motherhood, life and everything else you juggle in there and it’s a recipe for an emotional breakdown every once in a while. I need quiet time. Quiet time is what helps refuel my zen and helps me function at 110% no matter what veers in my direction. My problem is that I’m not the best at deciding which text messages to respond to at a later time, how to cut off lengthy face to face conversations with other moms I run into at my kids school, how to say no, which phone calls not to answer and how to not go from having patience to becoming a complete stress case in 2 seconds.

The good thing is that I’m not using any of this as a way to sabotage my sobriety. None of this funk has made me think about needing a drink in order to deal or as a way to relax. It actually creates a fire within me that burns at the right times. It ignites before I workout and when I pick up my racquet before I walk out on the tennis court. These are a couple things I do to fight back when I’m pissy and these are 2 things I do to make me feel good period. I’d go crazy without them.

Despite the funk that was sprinkled on top of a pretty good week, it was overall good. 2 of my daughters were in the school talent show Friday night. It was fun seeing them so excited about dancing around on stage with their friends. I sat there watching, thinking how quickly they are growing up. I love and appreciate their unique, individual personalities. Even when I find them challenging. I was also thankful for my sobriety. I was physically, mentally & emotionally there and sober! Thursday was good too. My usual tennis inter club match day. The typical, let’s win and celebrate day. The kind of celebrating that ends in a black out. The day where I forget everything. The day I let the alcoholic take over my world and sadden, disappoint and destroy my family. We got a team win and my doubles partner and I battled (2-6, 6-1, 7-6) and won. It was also a celebration in my mind that this is the last match of the season that I have to play with her. She’s a total alcoholic who does not want to own it. She shows up about 40 minutes after the rest of us do. Looks torn back, probably hung over and only has about 5 minutes to warm up.  A year ago when we decided to be doubles partners, I had no idea that I was walking into all of this. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise. I’ve never been in a “relationship” with an alcoholic. When I started to play inter club everyone warned me that your on & off court relationship becomes a marriage and ending it is like a divorce. This made me laugh. No way! Well….it was. Things were great on Thursdays as long as I was along side her throwing drinks back and I have felt the resentment from her beginning in January when I told her I will be trying out for the following season with my ex (partner). Resentment since I’ve become sober too. I haven’t told her what I’m doing to change my life in order to not lose my family because I don’t feel I need to let her into my new world. She should try it though because hydrating with water between sets works much better than vodka.  Besides match days, I’ve been avoiding her like the plague. I’m happy to be free of that toxic on court relationship.

The not so funk is the fact that I’ve got 44 days of sobriety! I’m sleeping better and have no regrets! I’m present and I’m a believer that the worst day sober is way better than the best day drunk. Yesterday, my oldest daughter M and I went to a mother/daughter event that her girls group planned. It was awesome! Perfect bonding time. We danced, sang songs, made crafts, asked each other questions we never asked each other, took silly pictures, had lunch and made s’mores. I’m proud of what an incredible young lady she is. My favorite moment was decorating a journal for her and me to write in. The purpose of this journal is to write letters, doodle, write about past memories and dream together about the future. I love this idea and we have already started writing in it. I’m excited about this opportunity to have with her and will definitely be doing this with my younger 2 and think it would be fun for them to do with their dad as well.

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 Even through the funk, I’m believing that my recovery is the greatest gift I can give to my family. I need to realize that there will be times that are not spectacular. Times that will not have “wow” moments. Funk will show up to keep things real and teach me to grow, teach me to handle situations with grace rather than choosing to ignore. I’m an alcoholic, I’m continually looking for my next high. It’s brutal. Cheers to honesty, living one day at a time, courage to change the things I can and accepting things I cannot change.

Cry a river. Build a bridge. Get over it.

imageFor years, I couldn’t watch A&E’s Intervention. I was uncomfortable relating to many of the same things I was watching. Why would I want to draw more attention to my addiction that I wasn’t yet ready to admit was a problem? I watch it now. My throat gets tight, my stomach sour and sometimes my eyes fill up with tears.

Last night, while watching an episode of two female alcoholics it dawned on me that most of the time these addicts started their battle just like me, taking their first drink at an early age. Coming from a divorced family where one parent becomes absent from their life. Then comes the blended family and family members stating facts of the addicts early years and the troubles that were faced.

One of the addicts says something to the effect that she has grown to hate alcohol, that she doesn’t even like it. I can relate. It gets to the point that it doesn’t even taste good. Probably because of the taste it leaves in my mouth the next morning, the pain I see in my husband’s and kid’s eyes and because of the toll it takes.

Freaky!

When I started this blog, I promised myself I would not hold back on what hurts me no matter who reads this for fear that I would upset someone I love. The sober me doesn’t want to hurt anyone. The intoxicated me doesn’t care.

Sobriety makes me feel everything. My mind is sensitive as well as my heart. I was upset last night. How could I be in such a good place and Bam! Like a switch. I’m angry, resentful and not really at peace. I vent to my husband because I trust him. He’s heard it all before. Again & again. Over & over. I cry. I cry hard. Crying sometimes makes me feel uncomfortable. Shows I’m weak. Admits I’m hurt. Makes me feel foolish. I hate that. Hate brings on resentment and there you have it, a vicious cycle.

Talking to certain people or even seeing certain people make me question myself. I understand the whole, you allow people to make you feel a particular way. When they’re friends it’s easier to do than when it’s family. My expectations on how a family should be with each person having an exact role and behavior must be where this blows up for me. Are my expectations too high? Are they insane? Wrong? I need to be comfortable with the fact that just because I’m making changes doesn’t mean everyone else needs to be on board. I need to get over it, reset boundaries and realize this is not going to change. Ever.

I struggle with a couple relationships. I dream they become different. I even wish. I’m admitting that I am powerless to make these relationships different. C’mon, how much more time can I spend trying or hoping things are the way I hope for? When people tell you to trust that everything’s going to work out I want to storm off. Hello! Trust is hard for me. So more importantly, I’m learning to focus on me being 100% present for my daughters and husband. Eventually every storm runs out of rain? Right? I want the calm and I want it really bad. I don’t want to look back 10 years from now and realize that I wasted time I had with my kids by living in a state of perpetual distraction.

I’m learning from my mistakes. Repeating them over and over would be insanity. I won’t go there.