Hiatus

Hey guys – I’ve decided to take a little break.  I’m shooting for 30 days (I likely won’t make it that long), but I’m “going dark” at least until the end of August.

I need to step away and stay inside my head for a little while.  All is well – I’m just looking to make it better.

So as the song goes…See you in September!

Love and endless belief.

Namaste

 

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A Date with Me for Tea

One of the main reasons I’m going the therapy route is that I have no idea how to process emotions.  Most people learn how to do that when they’re very young but people from dysfunctional homes like mine just stuff that shit down…ain’t nobody got time for that!  Of course we all know that comes back to bite you in the ass eventually.  For me the bite turned out to be clinical depression and a whole host of other text book behaviors that left me a 53-year-old recovering alcoholic in desperate need of therapy.  Oh well…cest la vie!

My therapist told me about a Buddhist saying that goes something like – rather than avoiding your feelings, invite them in for tea.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that.  First I have to recognize I’m feeling a particular way and name it.  Believe it or not I’m just learning how to do that.  So let’s say I figure out what I’m feeling and it’s knocking like a cop on my front door.  I’m visualizing opening that door with anger and resentment on the other side (or whatever I’m feeling in a particular moment) and instead of shooing them away, I invite them in for tea.  Which of course would be sweet tea rather than oolong because I’m in the south and that’s how we roll.  Which means instead of sitting on the floor on some fluffy pillows and sipping from tiny cups and listening to pan flutes, we’d be sitting on stools around my kitchen counter drinking from Tervis tumblers and listening to Trace Adkins or Colbie Caillat or P!nk.

Don’t judge.

Anyway, I like the way that makes me feel.  Like I could actually get comfortable with my emotions.  Get to know them a little better.  Let them leave in their own good time rather than rushing them out because I don’t want to deal with them.  Because they make me uncomfortable.

Except.

Except that I can’t figure out what to DO with them while we’re at the kitchen counter!  I’ve been trying to practice today and I’m having a hard time knowing what to do with them while they take their sweet time moving right along.  If I were at home and IF I had the time I could go into my closet and just let the feelings be.  But I’m not.  I’m at work and…well…ain’t nobody got time for this shit you know what I’m sayin’?

Yeah…I still have a little work to do.

My guess is that normal people do this on a regular basis and don’t even think about it.  They process emotions and feelings like breathing…it just happens.  I was thinking about how, when my kids were little, I used to make sure that whatever they were feeling was validated so they knew that it was okay.

For example, someone is angry and throwing a hissy fit.  I’d tell them (sometimes having to yell over their yelling) that it was okay to feel the way they were feeling.  That I understood and that they had every right to be angry because it never feels good not to get what you want.  In fact, let’s stomp and little louder and maybe punch some pillows.  But I’m not giving you the _____________ no matter how angry you are or how much you yell.  So get this out of your system and we’ll talk when you’re feeling more like yourself.

And then I’d walk away.

I’d say it worked about 70% of the time.  I mean sometimes an irrational child is just that.  But I notice now that they’re grown, that they are way more in touch with their emotions then I’ll likely ever be (with the exception of my niece and nephew who I’m still working on – but that’s a different post).  So how could I teach that skill without learning it myself?

Who the hell knows?  Maybe it’s just an innate desire to model what I wished was done for me as a child.  Maybe it’s just dumb luck.

For now I guess I’ll just use my feelings journal and me and my emotions will sit at my kitchen counter and stare at each other until they decide it’s time to get the hell out of my head and go bother someone else.

Namaste

 

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The Appointment

Had my first appointment with the therapist today.  I’m not sure how many of my future posts will be about our visits together since many of my friends read my blog AND I gave him the link (I mean seriously…what better way to get inside my head than to read what’s I’ve removed) but I’m going to go through a little bit of my first visit because I think it’s important and I just plain want to do it.  So there!

First of all, I like him.  From the moment he said hello I liked his energy.  He’s young and interested and seems open.  All therapists listen but he seemed to be listening “more” somehow.  He made and maintained direct eye contact – I freaking love that.  He said things like “core work” which I took to mean he wasn’t treating me like a transaction.  He was willing to put in the effort it will take to make me okay.

And I have a feeling it might take quite a bit of work.

I told him at first that my primary goal was to learn to love myself.  Later I said I’d settle for like.  Then it dawned on me that I’d just like to be introduced to myself and maybe start up a relationship.  Like any good relationship I want to take this slow and really get to know myself.  Then I can decide whether I’m the kind of person I like and maybe one day even love.

That last paragraph sounds a little wacky but I suspect some of you know what I mean.

The funny thing was I could actually feel and identify some of the emotions I was having while speaking with him.  That’s new.  I mean that’s really new.  Like the last couple of months new.  So it was good that I could share it with him in the moment and get some positive reinforcement that it was normal to feel things and be able to identify them.

Okay…that paragraph might be even weirder than the first.  Sigh…

Anyway, I have homework and I’m excited about it.

There…that was a normal paragraph.  Well…except for the fact that I have never, in my whole entire life, been excited about homework.  But I digress…

I told him about my other therapy experiences.  About the woman who asked me what I thought I did to deserve my husband.  (Really?  WTF?)  And about how I just stuffed down the feeling I had when she said that, smiled sweetly, left her office and never returned.

Or the guy who saw me for a few weeks, pronounced me cured and sent me home.  He did teach me that I should cry more often but cured?  Uh…no.

Or the addiction specialist who, when he got too close or touched a nerve, I bolted and never returned.  Oh…and then I relapsed but you all know about that already.

What’s different about this experience?  It’s really very simple.

This time I’M ready.  I’m ready to listen and put in the work and figure out why I can’t like me just the way I am.  To pick at scabs until the wounds heal properly.  To uncover rocks, scrape all the goo away, hose it down and really look at the potential gem that lies beneath.

They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears.  Maybe this is it maybe it’s not.  But I’m not giving up this time.

Namaste

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

 

inspired blogger

So in my last post I mentioned that not one but two awesome things had happened recently.  Then I did an awful thing and left you hanging without revealing the second thing.  I realize how cruel this was and I’m sure you spent your weekend tossing and turning with worry and wonder because, of course, the world revolves around your’s truly.

Um…NOT.

Anyway, the second event is pretty cool because the lovely Justine over at Ever Upward recognized me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award which really touched my heart.  It always makes my spirit soar to learn that someone finds the contents of my brain on paper inspiring.  I know what it means to me to read someone else’s brain contents and find comfort.  To think I can do that for someone else just makes my day.  Thanks Justine…you da bomb girl.

So there are a few things I’m supposed to do.  I happen to find these things fun so here goes.

1.  Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you.  Check.

2.  List the rules and display the award.  Check.

3.  Share seven facts about yourself.  Coming in just a sec.  You can’t wait can you?  See?  I told you…it’s all about me!

4.  Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know why they have been nominated.  (Like Justine, I am just going to list them and leave their participation optional.  Not “it”…I promise.)  Also…see below.  NOW you really can’t wait!

So without further ado, here are seven fun (?) facts about me.

1.  Project Runway is my favorite show ever.  Nope…not an HGTV show but a fashion show.  I love watching the limited amount of drama that occurs (at least they only show us a limited amount…I can only take so much drama on TV before I get anxious) followed by sometimes beautiful and sometimes downright weird fashion.  Love.  Did I mention love?  Yeah…that.

2.  Even though I’ve been married twice I have only been in love once and I’m still in love with the same guy after 31 years.  No I don’t feel like I missed anything.  Quite the contrary.  I feel incredibly blessed to have found this man who puts up with all my shit and still loves me.

3.  As I mentioned in my Geezer post I really don’t swear that much in real life.  I went through a potty mouth phase in my youth but in the real world I don’t find it adds anything to a conversation…in fact it makes me look cheap and a lot stupid.  Now…I have been known to let fly from time to time but I reserve that for extreme cases in order to ensure maximum impact.  But this blog?  This is the one place I can just let it all go and say whatever the fuck comes into my head.  I let my ghetto show here and I’m damn proud of it.

4.  I did in fact grow up in the ghetto/hood/poor side of town/projects.  No matter what you call it we were poor and lived in some ugly places.  And no, our love didn’t make up for a lack of money…it all sucked.  But through it all I always saw a bright side and knew that one day I’d come out of it and be better for it.  Wish I had been that wise about drinking…sigh.

5.  I have a bachelor’s degree in finance but my real love is English Literature.  I think the only real regret I have in life is that I didn’t major in English Lit in college.  I thought I had to major in finance to work in a bank…boy was I wrong!  And don’t tell me to go back…I have three kids in college, I hate school and I hate debt even more.

6.  I secretly wanted to be a comedian when I was a young girl.  I wanted to make people laugh.  Now that I know what I know about most comedians I’m glad I didn’t pursue it – I’m fucked up enough already!

7.  Just like I love all kinds of music, I love all forms of the written word.  From magazines to newspapers to fiction and non-fiction…I love it all.  I loved reading Othello as much as I loved reading Fifty Shades of Grey.  Don’t judge.  ;)

Now comes the good part.  Fact is, I can’t choose from among those on my blog role for this one.  The bloggers on the sidebar of my this page all, in some way, inspire me, prop me up, make me laugh, make me cry, and have inserted their way into my heart.  I love them all.  Cop out?  Yes…get over it.

So this is obstinate me…I’m not going to pick.  I’m going to make you seek them out yourself.  And if you’re not on my blogroll and you want to be…just let me know.  I’m probably reading you anyway.

Thanks again Justine.

Namaste

 

 

 

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Blog Tour Thingamajig

So the other day two really good things happened.  First, my blogger buddy Bcubed (which is my nickname for her so don’t get attached) over at Bye Bye Beer, gave me a shout out in her blog about an ongoing project that gives bloggers the chance to share their writing process and tag other unsuspecting bloggers (that was right from her blog post – word for word – I leveraged it yo).

Anyway, I always get happy when I see a post from Kristen pop up in my reader because I know I’m going to be lulled.  Yes lulled.  She has a way of writing that just makes me feel calm and easy and…well…lulled.  Doesn’t matter whether she’s writing about sobriety, our shared love of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay, cleaning bathrooms or her grandmother - it’s all lovely.  I so look forward to her posts.  So thank you Kristen for calling me out on this one.  I’m game…let’s go.


 

What am I working on now?

I’m working on getting out of this depression and feeling better about myself.  I’m working on finishing the redecorating of the house.  I’m working on getting my eating habits back on track so I don’t die a sick old woman like my mom and I’m working pretending everything is FINE until the first task in this list is fixed.  At this immediate moment I’m working on getting 60 trainees through their log on activities for their new laptops.  Pray for me.

Oh…you meant writing?  Carry on.

How does my work differ from others in this genre?

I’m not sure that you’d call what I do out here “work”.  I pretty much just mentally throw up on the page.  Kristen called me a straight shooter and I take that as a wonderful compliment because, no matter what, I try to always be upfront and honest.  So maybe that’s how I’m different.  Nothing is TMI where I’m concerned and, mostly because I don’t have to deal with most of you face to face, you get the full impact of whatever I’m thinking. 

Sometimes it’s random like young people swearing around two-year olds and sometimes it’s a well thought out idea or problem with which I’m struggling that needs to be processed.  Often I’ll just sit down and stare at the screen until something comes to mind.  Sometimes it’s a prayer to the Universe or just a thank you to God.

No matter what it is, it’s all me all the time cursing my way through life.

Why do I write/create what I do?

That’s the easiest question of all…it’s my therapy.  Like most alcoholics, I tend to hear voices (demons, beasts, whatever).  It’s the running dialog in my head.  It’s quieter now and not as frequent but it’s still there, annoying the shit out of me.  So I do what I can do to shut it the fuck up.  I write about it.  Once it’s out of my head and on to the page, I can look at it, examine it, process it and, hopefully, let it go.  It’s been working for 460 something posts so I think I’ll just keep going.

Because the honest to God truth is that even if no one read one word I’d still have to write it to stay sane.

How does my writing/creating process work?

Usually while I’m praying in the shower, or driving to work, or having a conversation with the hubs or the kids, or…oh who am I kidding? I have no idea how the hell this works!  It’s in my head, I want it out, I put it on the page, sometimes people read, sometimes people comment, I feel better.  The end.

Now to the fun part.  Now I get to call out bloggers that inspire me and make me happy.  Many have already been tagged, Karen from Mended Musings, Paul from Message in a Bottle, Allie from And Everything Afterwards and of course Kristen (or Bcubed as I like to call her), but there are still a few gems that I get to claim.


 

My friend Amy from Soberbia.  Amy writes directly from the heart and has a way with words that makes me sigh with envy every time I read one of her posts.  Her voice is clear and honest and true.  She’s hip and cool and my friend and that makes me very happy.  She has a wonderful plan about where to take her blog and I hope I get to see it.  She’s helped so many people with her wit and wisdom and I love her.

Good2begone.  This dude had me at hello.  He writes about sobriety and life and parenting and a whole host of other topics too numerous to mention.  What he REALLY does well is write short stories that he unfairly breaks up into segments that leave me begging for more like one of Pavlov’s dog.  I keep telling him he needs a publisher (as does his wife I think) but to date I don’t believe he has one.  As long as he keeps writing them I really don’t care.  He did give me a wonderful gift last Christmas.  He sent an email with a picture and his real name.  I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.  He’s a cool guy who also happens to be laid up right now because of a recent injury.  Pop on over and give him a read and leave a nice comment.  It makes people heal faster I swear.  Oh did I mention funny?  Yeah…that too.

Annette at Just for Today.  I’ve been following Annette for a few years now and we’ve become friends.  Whether it’s over our kids or dieting or the most recent facial cleansing method we’ve posted/commented about all of it.  She’s active in Al-Anon and I’m a recovering alcoholic so maybe it’s the opposites attract thing but I just love the way she writes.  She has a beautiful way of stringing words together and often I think I can actually see her heart in her words.  She’s kind and compassionate and I love her guts.

Sober Learning.  I was going to mention her and say that I hadn’t heard from her in a while but go out and read her anyway cause she’s awesome and blah, blah, blah.  Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link to get the link to link to this post (are you following me…cause I’m lost) and realized THAT I HAD THE WRONG LINK AND SO HER POSTS HAVE NOT BEEN POPULATING MY READER!  So I’ve got some catching up to do, I suggest you do the same.  She’s in her first year of sobriety which means she can always use some additional encouragement.  Plus she’s pretty damn cool imho.

 


 

 

As usual, there is absolutely no pressure to follow through with this if I tagged you.  You are not “it”.  It was just my way of saying thank you for filling my days with love and understanding and laughter.

Oh, and the second thing I mentioned at the beginning of this post?  Well I think I’ll pull a Good2beGone and make you wait till my next post.

 Namaste

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Geezer Alert

I’m about to rant about something which makes me sound (and feel) really old.  I’m not going to rag on the most recent music (I love ALL music), I don’t particularly care what the younger generation wears, and I don’t really care if they spend all day with their noses in their phones on their personal time, but a lack of manners and decorum really pisses me off.

I know that times have changed and blah blah blahdy blah blah, but good manners never go out of style.  Look, I was raised in the projects.  My parents had no social skills and certainly didn’t pass them on to us.  My grandparents were immigrants.  But I knew better than to show my ass in public from a very, very young age.  I knew the difference between my inside persona and my outside persona. (Forget voices.  I’m Italian…I have no inside voice.)

When my kids were at that “magic” age when they began to flex their potty mouth muscles, I made sure to have a conversation with them about their different personas.  I explained that I knew they would be trying on expletives to see how easily they rolled off their tongue and while that was perfectly normal, there was a specific time and place for that behavior, i.e. only with their friends and only out of earshot of adults.  Who could be lurking around any corner.  So be careful.  Very careful.

I made sure they understood that they were a reflection of me and that no matter how “good” they were, a foul mouth and rude behavior would have people thinking poorly of them and that good manners, kindness and a polite demeanor would cast the impression that they were trustworthy, mature and well behaved…even if they were the heathens I knew them to be.  I also made it clear that a poor first impression was very hard to overcome and a good first impression would pave the way for forgiveness of future sins.

In other words…don’t fuck up and make me look bad.

No…of course I didn’t actually say that.  My foul potty mouth is reserved only for this blog and my husband’s ears (and a few close friends).  Otherwise I have daisies and rainbows flowing from my mouth on a regular basis.

It worked.  I am consistently complimented on my kids and their behavior and they make me proud everyday.  They have an excellent vocabulary.  Wouldn’t think of cursing outside of their inner circle.  They open doors, pull out chairs, say please and thank you and blah blah blahdy blah blah.

Here’s the thing though.  Yes, my kids are well-behaved adults but I honestly think the reason I get complimented so often is that the rest of the world has lost their freaking minds!!!  Since when is it acceptable to drop the f-bomb every three minutes within earshot of perfect strangers?  Strangers with toddlers in tow?  Or at a work function?  Or directly to your boss?!

Again…I must be geezing.  I know they are just words and that, as I told my kids, they only have power if we give them power.  But the fact remains that society has given them power and we have to respect that.  Or not.

We recently took a group of our trainees to a community service function.  We were asked to leave.  Let me type that again.  This group was asked to leave a VOLUNTEER function because they didn’t know how to behave.  From the time they walked in the door they were rude, foul-mouthed and not helpful at all.  These are young adults – not high school or middle school kids.  We didn’t accompany them because we thought they were adults.  We were wrong.  And let me assure you, they knew what was expected of them.

And let me also assure you that they heard from me upon their return.  But digress.

On what planet is it EVER okay to be rude, foul-mouthed and disrespectful?  I’m no Emily Post but damn people, it doesn’t cost a dime to be kind and respectful.  But it costs a lot for my company to have their reputation drug through the potty because of a few obnoxious frat boys and girls…yes girls…even they were in on it.  I think that pissed me off the most because, in a male dominated industry like mine, I expect more out of the women.  I expect them to be better than their male counterparts because that is what they’ll have to do in order to get ahead.  Is it right?  Hell to the no!  But it’s a fact so get over it.

What I do not expect is for them to show their ass while wearing a t-shirt with the company logo on it.  Show your ass in your own clothes…not mine.  And while you’re at it, bring me a bar of soap because I’ve got a line of people who need their mouths washed out.

See…told you I was geezing.

Namaste

 

 

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What I don’t know how to do

In preparation for my upcoming therapy appointment, I’ve been thinking about things I’d like to work on and, ultimately, improve.  A comment I made either on my blog or on someone else’s (who can keep track?) about how I don’t know how to be normal has got me thinking…what else can’t I do?

First, I don’t feel emotions like other people do.  I tend to either feel them too deeply or not at all.  And if I feel them too deeply and they become painful then Mr. McStuffins shows up and stuffs them all…well…someplace…I actually have no idea where it all gets stuffed.  Someday some well-meaning therapist is going to find the key to that “someplace” and things will likely get very, very messy.  I’d like to work on opening that someplace slowly rather than all at once.

I can’t drink Donald Duck Pineapple Orange Juice, look at an old-fashioned billboard, or a box of broken crayons without feeling…well…weird (in fact, just typing those words did it).  There’s a deeply buried memory associated with all of these things that brings up feelings that seem to be uncomfortable, but my psyche doesn’t let me really “see” what it is.  Usually we suppress things that are too painful to remember.  I hope this isn’t one of those times.  If it is?  Let’s approach that slowly as well okay?

I don’t like myself.  I try…but that damned voice in my head keeps repeating the shit that was put there long ago.  THIS is my biggest challenge – to get to the root of all of that and figure out how to stop the message.  But shit is messy yo.  And it stinks.  So I don’t expect this part to be easy but it’s got to happen because, at the end of the day, shit is also toxic if not handled properly.  However, if handled properly, it can be used to feed and nurture and make beautiful things grow. 

I don’t know how to let go.  Again I try…I really, really do.  So much that I had the words tattooed on my body.  All that did was give me a bad ass looking ankle, which is fine, but not exactly what I was going for if you know what I mean.  I need to learn how to keep the good stuff from a situation – you know, all the learning and positive spins – and let the hell go of all the bad stuff.  Just, you know, release that shit into the Universe to be dealt with accordingly.  Yeah…I’m gonna need to work on that.

I don’t know how to forgive.  Okay wait, let me clarify.  I have worked very hard to learn to forgive others and I’m doing a fantastic job and it feels amazing.  I love looking a people with love and understanding rather than anger and resentment.  Believe me when I say that it makes a big ass difference in my gut to not carry that shit around anymore.  Where I fail is when it comes to forgiving myself.  I’m not very good at that.  Down deep I don’t feel worthy of my own forgiveness and even I know that’s fucked up to the max. 

Speaking of “not worthy”, I don’t know how to effectively administer self-care.  Sure, I talk a really good game but when it comes execution?  I suck.  Big suck.  Mammoth suck.  I’m not even sure I really understand what the fuck it means to practice self-care!  I know what it’s not!  It’s not mani-pedis or chocolate or a new blouse.  Those things are nice but they’re temporary.  I may not know what it is exactly, but I know I need it and I know I need someone to take me by the hand and introduce me to it.

“Sherry, this is self-care.  It’s here to help you heal in a healthy and balanced way.  It’s good for you and should become part of your life.” (Said using tones like you’d use when talking to a frightened four-year old.)

“Self-care, this is Sherry.  Chick is all kinds of fucked up and needs you to slap her upside the head from time to time to get her attention.  But yo, she’s a quick study so it shouldn’t take her long to recognize you.” (Said in tones like you’d use talking to 50 Cent.)

The more I think about it, the more I think I should just email the link to my blog to my therapist so he can read and understand and save us both a hell of a lot of time and money.  Okay…save ME a lot of money.

But I don’t want to risk sending him screaming into the night.

Just kidding!

Sort of.

Namaste

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Weekend Thoughts

Lots of thoughts this weekend about drinking.  Before you get your panties in a wad or your boxers in a bunch, I’ll explain.

These weren’t the normal pangs (or is it pings) that knock me for a loop and scare the shit out of me.  These were thoughts about why I drank, what I missed and how I was going to battle this bout of depression without it.  Processing thoughts.  Analytical thoughts.  Thoughts that kept me mostly in my head this weekend instead of being present in the world.

Hmmm…I haven’t decided whether that’s good or bad.  For now it just is.

I noticed a lot of silence and deep sighing went on while driving in the car with the hubs.  Very unusual.  Usually I’m talking his ear off about one thing or another and since we’re rarely completely alone, it’s often in the car that we connect.

Not this weekend.

I thought about how lovely a glass of wine used to feel…about how it was an escape…about how I used to float away and be happy…for the first glass anyway.   I also thought about how odd it was that I NEVER (and I do mean EVER) thought about drinking as an escape.  How could a woman so seemingly aware of her own mind NOT consider things like drinking, smoking or eating an escape?  Or even a coping mechanism?  What in the name of all that is holy is THAT all about?

Denial’s not just a river in Egypt people.

I never thought about it because I really and truly believed I had my shit together.  I was successful, a good mom, a good wife, a decent cook, a not too patient but still good daughter and part of that persona was that I, like every other woman on the planet it seemed, loved my glass of wine in the evening.  I mean, wine with the other mommies was a thing.  Wine with colleagues on a business trip was a thing.  Wine on date night was a thing.  Wine was a thing!

But of course then it became so much more.  I remember thinking to myself, “This can’t be right.  I think I must have a problem because once I’ve started I just can’t stop.  I need to put more controls in place.  I mean seriously?  I am the Queen of Control!  I can do this!”  Except that it stopped working.  Moderation wasn’t an option and stopping, even for a 24 hours, just wasn’t happening.

I had crossed over from occasional binges to problem drinking to full-blown alcoholic.

And it never occurred to me that I was using alcohol to escape?!  I just figured I inherited alcoholism like my green eyes and slow metabolism.  Get sober and everything will work out.  Get sober and get skinny like I used to be (but of course didn’t know it) and that will fix everything.  Get sober and I’ll be a better mom (okay – that one is true).  Get sober and all my problems will magically float away on a big pink cloud.

Uhhhhh…not so much.

Even after getting sober, even after going through the steps with a sponsor, even after blogging myself stupid, I’m still battling the same damn demons that sent me running for the smokes/bottle/chocolate in the first place.  Dude…that is fucked up!

Yep.

Let’s take a look at an example shall we?  I started this redecorating thing in the spring, I think, as a way to make me happy.  At that point I didn’t realize that I wasn’t happy and I certainly hadn’t figured out that I was depressed.  In fact, I’ve had two touch point visits with my shrink where my response to his questions were all, “I’m fine!”  When clearly I wasn’t but since I didn’t know it – I couldn’t tell him.  Are you following?  Good cause I’m confused.

Anyway…

I truly LOVE the way the house turned out.  It’s beautiful and just what I dreamed it could be.  Time for a gut check.

Nope.  Still depressed.

I know!  I do another Whole30!  Yep.  If I can get skinny again surely that will solve everything!

Except that everytime I get going on one of these things I self-sabotage and end up back where I started.  As soon as I’m having some success, I end it and fall deeper into the pit.

I’m no therapist but even I know that means there’s a lot more going on here than a few extra pounds and some tired ass paint colors.

I’ve been reading back over some of my old posts and what jumps out at me clearly is the roller coaster of emotions.  I know this is normal for anyone AND I know that it’s especially normal for someone in recovery.  I’m just really, really tired of this particular carnival and I’d really, really like to move on now thank you very much check please and someone call me a taxi because I actually thought this weekend, “You know, a glass of wine would make this all go away for a little while.”

Okay, I lied.  That one really did scare me.

More work to do on me.  I think that’s going to be my new mantra.

Namaste

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Therapy

So I made an appointment with a therapist yesterday.

Close your mouth – it’s not THAT big a deal.

Okay…maybe it is.  It’s no secret the way I feel about therapists.  I have three and two of those were a disaster.  The third could have probably turned into something but that was during my quit/relapse phase and I wasn’t ready to hear what he had to say.  Add to that the therapist that my nephew had when he lived with us that not only robbed us of our money but then refused to assist when we were fighting for custody and…

Well, you get the picture.

But I can’t shake this depression! I’ll go for a few days and be okay (not good…just okay) and then I find myself back into it again.  It’s not the crying nonstop (yet) it’s the “I don’t give a fucks” which are far more dangerous.  I’m bored.  I have no initiative to DO anything and so I stay bored.

If it walks like a duck…then it’s probably a depressed duck.

So yesterday I pulled up the website for my psychiatrist’s practice so I could make an appointment with him and get his opinion when I saw that they just added a new therapist.  Hmmm….  I kept reading.  Turns out he specializes in addiction, cross addictions and adult children of alcoholics. 

Whoa.  Rewind.  I read it again.  Then I called and made an appointment.

THEN on the bus on the way home, I read my Twitter feed (which I only read when I ride the bus which I haven’t done in weeks…just sayin) and there was a post from a website that I frequent called Band Back Together - here’s a blurb from their website

Welcome to Band Back Together, a community weblog open to all, created by Aunt Becky from Mommy Wants Vodka.

Who are we? We’re The Band.

We’re a band of survivors. We’re here to put a face to everything once kept in the dark. We’re here to show the world that you can go through hell and come out the other side.

So, pull up that old tattered leather chair and make yourself a drink. Pull your skeletons from their closet and make them dance the tango. Alone, we are small. Together, we are mighty.

We are all connected.

We are none of us alone.

Share your story.

It’s time to get the Band Back Together.

I can’t read it all the time because frankly, it’s just too depressing.  But it gives a voice to people who don’t feel they have one – they do good work people.

ANYWAY, the tweet in question was one on adult children of parents with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  The level of anxiety reading that damn thing created made me cry…on the bus…with other people…not the snotty ugly cry but still.  I sniffled all the way home.   Hmm…

So let’s recap – 1. new therapist that specializes in the effects of my father; 2. specific post about the effects of my mother = latest brick upside the head from God. 

So I’ll go and see what this guy has to offer.  I have to do something.  I’m not myself and while I’m not opposed to changing my meds, I want to see what a little talk therapy will do before I go that route.  I feel like I’m in a rowboat with no oars and so I’m drifting into a storm.  My oars – smoking, alcohol, food – have been cast aside and I don’t know how to replace them. 

BECAUSE I have no idea how to be “normal”.  I have no idea how the non-addicted people of the world process their feelings, thoughts, events, etc.  I never learned and I’m tired of relying on other people, substances or meds to do that for me.

Time to get to work.  Time to chart my own course.

Namaste

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Wasted Time vs. Time Wasted

I’m getting old.  No no…don’t try to make me feel better by telling me how young I look…well…okay you can try.  Fact is that I’m 53 damn years old which means I’ve been on the planet longer than I have left on the planet (unless I live to be 107 which is highly unlikely…possible but unlikely).  PLUS the time I have left is time this body and brain will be winding down rather than gearing up or coasting.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing my hands in the air like I don’t care and giving up!  Quite the contrary.  I’m doing all I can to keep the body and brain “hittin’ on all 8’s” for as long as possible.  That means working, exercising, learning, eating well, sex and all those other things that More magazine says will keep me young.

After all, 50 is the new 30 right?

What the fuck does that mean anyway?

Anyway, I’ve become very contemplative of late.  I’ve been looking back and thinking about all the time I wasted being trashed when I could have been doing something else.  Anything else.  I spent so much time wasted that I wasted a shit-load of time.

See what I did there?  Yeah…I’m a regular Bill Shakespeare.

But seriously, I did waste a great deal of time that I could have spent enjoying…well…anything!  Specifically I’m talking about my 40’s.  Yep…pretty much the whole freaking decade.  That’s my lost decade so to speak. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I drank in all of my decades from my teens to my fifties and I didn’t know it then but I drank alcoholically for all of it.  But my 40’s?  Yeah…that was when it all went to shit and I dove ass first into that big bottle of Chardonnay.  That was when it went from being “fun” to being tragic.  When it went from being an occasional way to blow off steam to a necessity.  That’s when I began to isolate and spend “quality time” with my bottle(s).

I feel like that whole period is one big blur.  From 2001 to the end of 2009 the following events happened…

  • September 11th (we lived in DC then)
  • My husband’s company failed (due to 9/11)
  • We moved to my dream home (near the beach)
  • The hubs had emergency triple bypass surgery and then gall bladder surgery two years later
  • One of my twins broke his arm which required surgery and then a while later contracted a serious bout of strep that landed him in the hospital
  • I had to fight to get the other twin diagnosed with ADD and then found out he was clinically depressed as well (which of course I blamed myself for)
  • My mom passed away after spending a great deal of time in and out of the hospital and running into a house with her car which almost killed her in and of itself
  • I accepted a new position that relocated us to another state leaving the dream house behind and plunging me into a prolonged depression
  • I got laid off from that job about a year after we moved
  • I decided (with the help of my wonderful husband) that enough was enough and got sober

Looking back you’d think all of those things would be etched in my brain for a lifetime right?  Well they are…sort of.  Most are kind of a blur because I spent so many evenings drinking and so many days wondering when it would be okay to crack open a bottle.  Date night became an excuse to get plastered and escape, for a minute anyway, all the bullshit that was happening. 

What I do remember was using all of that as an excuse to put on some diving gear and go deeper and deeper into that bottle like the scary dude that sometimes shows up in Bikini Bottom to try to capture SpongeBob and Patrick.

Let’s try this again with my internal demon adding her two cents.

  • September 11th (we lived in DC then) – the more I watched the coverage, the more I want to drink
  • My husband’s company failed (due to 9/11) – I’m sorry honey, let’s go out and drink talk about it
  • We moved to my dream home (near the beach) – Let’s celebrate by having all our new neighbors over so I can get shit-faced the first of many times and embarrass myself the first of many times to know them
  • The hubs had emergency triple bypass surgery and then gall bladder surgery two years later – Okay I can’t drink because I never know when I’m going to get a call from the hospital…gotta keep it together…I could really use a drink
  • One of my twins broke his arm which required surgery and then a while later contracted a serious bout of strep that landed him in the hospital – My boy needs me, I need to be ready to go to him in the middle of the night or, when spending the night at the hospital, oh well, I can have a drink when he’s home and okay
    • Let’s pause this part of our broadcast to pose a question: “Who the fuck has thoughts like that when their son is in the hospital being stuck with nine million needles?”  Answer:  An alcoholic in denial…that’s who.
  • I had to fight to get the other twin diagnosed with ADD and then found out he was clinically depressed as well (which of course I blamed myself for) – I’m a terrible mother because of course I caused his depression…better get two bottles tonight
  • My mom passed away after spending a great deal of time in and out of the hospital and running into a house with her car (which almost killed her in and of itself) - drink, drink, drink, drink
  • I accepted a new position that relocated us to another state leaving the dream house behind and plunging me into a prolonged depression – Let’s celebrate because I got the job…oh my god I hate this job…I hate this house…I’m homesick I want to go home…drink, drink, drink, drink, drink
  • I got laid off from that job about a year after we moved – I hate my life, I’m so depressed, no wonder I drink, I hate myself, I CAN’T STOP DRINKING
  • I decided (with the help of my wonderful husband) that enough was enough and got sober

Here’s the saddest part…rather than remember, with clarity, all of the life events that usually serve to build character, provide wisdom, and make us appreciate all of the beautiful things that life has to offer, I have clear memories of trying to figure out where my next drink was coming from.  And I was supposedly high functioning!!!!!!!  There was no functioning happening there people.

That’s a WTF moment if I’ve ever heard one.

Sobriety has taught me to look back only so much as it will help me stay sober.  I need to wake up and realize that sitting around “contemplating” how much of my 40’s I wasted getting wasted isn’t going to change one motherfucking thing.  No matter how much I wish I could go back and change things, the fact is I can’t.  God put me right where I am supposed to be exactly when I’m supposed to be…here…there…  Attention:  Is there a grammar nazi in the house?  I think this post could use one right about now.  Just raise your red pen…I’ll see you.

It’s time to get back to enjoying and experiencing the time I have right here, right now.  Time to get my pink cloud back.  I’m sober and moving solidly forward.  And being sober has helped me learn to be present and pay attention to what is going on all around me every single solitary moment of every single solitary day. 

No more time wasted…no more wasted time.

Namaste

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