Can I smell your wine?

Yeah…that’s totally me in the picture.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and emails to help cheer me up.  The hubs is taking back the vile substance and we had a chat this morning about how I need to not feel guilty about stuff like that and about how he needs to stop me when I get like that – BWAHAHAHAHA – he knows better than to try that…THAT’s how I got out of the house the other night on my mission of doom.  30 years of marriage will do that to you.

One of those emails was from a new blogger, Kristin over at http://recoveryrequired.wordpress.com/ .  She is newly sober and newly blogging.  She’s only posted twice but they are both really, really good.  You should pop over and send her some blogger love (mainly cause I told her my legions of readers would be supportive…don’t make me look bad…all three of you get over there now please).  I also told her about the 100 Day Challenge that Belle over at Tired of Thinking About Drinking is doing and how so many people are having such great success.  I’ve followed Belle since she started blogging – it’s a beautiful thing to watch someone grow into the kind of person they deserve to be.

Which reminds me of a old blogger friend who has “retired” but who used to leave the most supportive and wonderful comments on my blog when I first started blogging.  They would lift me up and carry me through even at my lowest and, even though she doesn’t blog any longer, I try to honor that gift she gave me by paying it forward.  It’s the least I can do.  Thank you Lou.

Anyway, we’re in the last of our entertaining for work over the next two weeks.  That means that almost every night I’ll be out at some function.  For the most part, I’m fine with it.  Bars don’t bother me anymore and I even helped my friend pick out some wines for her wedding last night by smelling them for her (yes…you read that right…I smelled them for her).  But the event tonight is at an upscale restaurant where they pour a healthy glass of really good wine and the mood is relaxed and romantic.  Doesn’t really “bother” me so much as it gives me a pain in my posterior.  Or maybe it’s all the pompous ass in the room that gives me a pain there?

But back to smelling wine.  I really really loved wine.  I loved not only the taste, smell and feel of wine on my tongue but I loved the experience of drinking wine.  The special glasses.  The temperature.  Letting certain wines breathe before pouring.  I loved learning about new wines and vineyards and regions as well as learning what made them special. 

Of course, that was all before I settled on big bottles of crap wine and boxes of wine with bota bags that you can squeeze to get every last drop from.  You know…more bang for your buck with those.

Classy.

When I first got sober, the thought of any of that fancy shit would trigger a craving and make my mouth water.  Later, it was just the smell, oops…bouquet, of the wine that would start the juices flowing.  Now?  Nah.  I’m not going to risk the happy for the wine experience that I would only end up ruining anyway.  Let’s face it, you never see an 50+ year old woman who is falling down drunk and slurring her words while crying about how much she hates her life, on one of those Napa Valley wine commercials.  You only see a bunch of normies sitting outside under an arbor of wisteria and grapevines, clinking glasses and smiling, smiling, smiling as the sun sets in the distance.

Because THAT’s so normal.  Um-hmm.

So I smelled it, and gave her my opinion along with her other friend who was actually drinking.  And can you guess what I found most interesting about all of it?  I’ll bet you can.

That they could let the waitress take away half full glasses of the wine they didn’t like. 

What the fuck is THAT about?  Normies freak me out sometimes.  😉

Namaste

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I So Screwed Up…Again

Image courtesy of Google Images

Ugh.  I screwed up.  I’ve done this before, spent money too fast on things that I regret later, but I thought I had moved past that. 

I was wrong.

Last night, I got on the scale and it hit a number that no woman who is a mere 5’4 1/4″ tall should ever see.  I’ll be honest, I’d been expecting it.  I’ve been eating crap like a PMS’ing woman on death row.  But when I actually SAW the number I freaked out.  The hubs has been telling me that maybe I needed some kind of enhancer to help me lose weight.  I know better.  I know there is no magic pill.  I knew I was reacting…

BUT I DID IT ANYWAY.  I grabbed the car keys, jumped in the car and ran to Target where I spent $53 big ones on Alli.  Yes, you heard me correctly…Alli.  Alli of the gross side effects.  Alli of the pull it off the market because of those side effects and then put it back on the market when the hype dies down.  Alli of the “this only works when used in conjunction with a diet low in fat and a solid exercise plan”.  But I wasn’t thinking clearly.  I was VERY upset and in need of something I could hang my hope on.

I needed hope. 

But I failed to do what I ALWAYS do, what I’m KNOWN for doing. 

I didn’t Google it.  Damn it…I Google EVERYTHING. 

What I got was a blue pill that will, apparently, leave me with orange underwear and shopping in the adult diaper aisle because of “leakage”.  What the fuck is “leakage”?  Never mind, I don’t want to know.  I just want to return it.  One problem, I was so excited that I opened the package, opened the bottle, set everything up and even left the books that explain the process with the hubs to read.  I don’t think I CAN return it now, but I’m sure as hell going to try.  If…

…If the hubs gets my text about digging the Target bag out of the trash so that I can pack everything back up and return it to the store. (I think I left the receipt on my dressing table…or is it in the bag…or is it in my dressing table draw?  Oh shit.  No…no shit…that’s why I want to take it back.  Ewwww this is too gross even for me to discuss).  We do not have $53 laying around to be wasted on stuff like this.

I hate it when I do stuff like this.  Now I have to look at the hubs and apologize for wasting money we don’t have when I know…I KNOW how I’m supposed to lose weight.  It’s a simple equation – Calories in < Calories Out + Calories Burned.  But I ignored all that and went rushing out to piss away our hard earned money.  Now I have guilt AND I've awakened that bitch that lives in my head who is cranky and has A LOT to say about this situation.  I hate her but when she's right…she's right.

Damn.

Namaste

…but I’m a good mother…

Note:  the following is a rant and nothing more.  It comes from my experiences as both the child of an alcoholic and as an alcoholic myself.  There is no judgement in this post…only my truth.

I’m sorry, but you are not a good mother.    If you’re still drinking and it’s so much of a problem that you’re out here either lurking, or commenting or maybe blogging on your own then you are not a good mother.  But you can be.

If you stay up late googling information about drinking and how much is too much and what are the signs and how to quit then you are not a good mother.  But you can be.
Whether you are drinking all day or wait until they are tucked in tight, or whether you are up at the crack of dawn, nursing your hangover but getting things done or in bed all day and letting them fend for themselves, you are not a good mother.

But you can be.
I’m not writing this to be a bitch or to jam my sobriety up your ass.  I’m writing this because I met someone this weekend who is like this and she believes herself to be a good mother.  She is not a good mother.  She is a good person.  She has a beautiful heart.  She is a good friend…but she is not a good mother.  
She used to be, she could be again.  But she has to make a choice.

Her children are bathed, fed, clothed, read to, played with, sent to good schools.  She volunteers when possible in their schools, never misses a soccer or little league game, packs lunches and makes sure they have breakfast.  She helps with homework, is there with them for dinner…but she is not a good mother.

She spends all day waiting for that first drink.  She is only half present at any moment in any day.  Her brain is busy, busy, busy.  Busy rationalizing why it’s okay that she drinks today.  Busy calculating when she can actually have that first drink.  Busy planning play dates and night dates with parents who drink so that she can both parent and drink.  Busy wondering if she’s a good mother.  Busy wondering how come she’s letting it all turn to shit.

She spends every evening drinking the night away.  Sometimes the kids have gone to bed and sometimes they are still awake.  If it’s late and one of them needs something for school, she may fly into a rage because they forgot when really she’s angry because she knows she can’t drive to get them what they need.  Should one of them become ill in the night and need emergency care, she’ll have to call 911 because she won’t be able to drive them to the ER.  If someone has a bad dream and she can actually be roused from her drunken slumber, she’ll stroke their hair and drunkenly mumble that it’s all right and wake up not remembering how she got in her daughter’s bed.

She spends every morning dreading the day.  The hangover.  The headache.  Her nerves are shot and she’s on edge all the time.  She consumed with guilt and swings between crying and telling them how much she loves them or pretending that everything is fine when clearly it’s not.

She’s not a good mother.  But she was once and she can be again.  She just needs to make a choice.

Her children walk on eggshells because they never know what mood their mother will be in.   Soon it becomes second nature and they can change their behavior based on her mood.  They know whether or not the hangover is a bad one or a not so bad one.  They’ve learned not to ask for much because she’s really not listening anyway.  They’ve learned to say yes when she asks if they want candy, or sodas or a treat from the grocery store because they’re going anyway…that’s where the wine aisle is. 

They’ve learned to play dumb.  To tell her that everything is fine when it’s not because that makes her happy and all they want is a happy mommy.  All they want is a mommy who loves them as much as she loves her wine.  They want a mommy who wants to spend time with them and doesn’t rush them through dinner and story time so that she can get to that bottle of wine.

They don’t get up anymore after a bad dream because they know she won’t wake up and even if she does…she’s not much comfort and won’t remember it anyway.  They suffer through tummy aches or headaches or hunger pangs because they don’t want to disturb her…don’t want to see that look in her eyes, that slurring speech, that flaring anger at the slightest provocation.

They don’t ask her to play anymore.  Sometimes she insists but then they overhear her tell her friends that she plays with them ALL the time when really it’s not that much.  And she really doesn’t know how to play anymore – she always seems so distracted – she’s not really with them even when she’s with them.

So to this woman and to all you women out there who are still drinking too much and you know who you are, you may be a fair mother, you may be an adequate mother, you may be mother of the fucking year…

…but you are not a good mother.

But you can be…just make your choice.  It’s worth whatever it takes.

Just ask my kids.

Namaste

A Place of My Own

My bedroom has always been a sanctuary to me.  Even in our first home, our bedroom was about 10’X12′ and was filled with a lot of huge furniture (all of the furniture in these pictures as a matter of fact).  Still, I managed to create a little place just for me.  A little place to go, read a book, watch some trash TV, do yoga, meditate or..oh yeah…sleep.  It was decorated it in my favorite style, kind of a beachy, shabby chic.   In fact, every bedroom since that one has been decorated in the same manner to create a place where as soon as I walk in I go…”ahhhhh”.

But all that changed as my drinking increased.  My former sanctuary became a place where I retreated to hide, to drink, to isolate.  See that little nook where my meditation items now reside?  It used to hold an easy chair, table and lamp where I would sit, hour after hour, and drink.  Or cry.  Or even pray that I wouldn’t drink.  Or just isolate because I didn’t feel the rest of the world wanted me in it.

Bad mojo…really bad mojo.  I had fucked my zen to the nth degree.

For the last three years, I’ve been avoiding my room to do anything except what a bedroom should do – give me a place to sleep and get dressed.  It just held too many bad memories.  I didn’t want to isolate anymore – I wanted to be among the living.  I built a meditation room in our formal living room and I used it as a place to go while I healed my heart, my soul and my conscience.  For a while my nook was barren which just created more bad mojo.  So I moved the hubs’ desk up there which proved to be a HUGE mistake; not because it created bad Qi (which it did) but because all the crap that was supposed to go in the desk stayed on my kitchen counter because it was too far to go upstairs and put it away.  Again…bad Qi.

But…a girl needs her space.  A space with everything she needs in it.  My meditation room was great, but it was a big huge space that I was only in for an hour a day now.  There was no TV in it, no nail polish, no girly potions and lotions, not even light conducive to reading.  It was a single purpose room in a home filed with multi-purpose rooms.  Bad feng shui.  What started out as necessary to my recovery, had become a waste of space that actually made me feel guilty for not using it (kind of like my formal dining room).

Finally, about a month ago, I decided it was time to take control of my zen, fix the Qi and move back into my nook.  Once again, I gathered the forces (my men) and we moved furniture and viola!  I have once again captured the “ahhhhh” that has made me love my room for decades.  Now, after dinner I go to my room to read, relax, paint my nails, meditate, watch trash TV and…oh yeah..sleep.

Because I sleep the sleep of a sober woman and that is glorious.

Namaste

You Really Need to Get a Hobby

I have never been one for “hobbies”.  It’s not that I don’t think they are valuable or that they are silly or anything, quite the contrary, it’s just that at an age when I should have been developing hobbies…my biggest hobby was…drinking.  In fact, Dictionary.com defines hobby this way…

hob·by

1. an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.
 

…and when you put it that way, I guess drinking was my hobby.  I pursued it for pleasure and relaxation and until right up until the end, it wasn’t my main occupation.  I remember when I used to fill out questionnaires or applications and they asked for hobbies and I didn’t have any.  I always wrote something like “I enjoy going out to dinner with my husband and relaxing in Annapolis.”  Translation – I like to go out to dinner and drink myself stupid.

Then when the kids were little…well…they were my hobby.  My world revolved around their needs, wants and hobbies so I built huge contraptions out of Legos, played Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, was team mom and kept the book in Little League, and anything else that interested them.  It was fun and I miss it.

Now that I see myself left with some actual free time on my hands, I’m wondering if I should take up a hobby and what it should be.  Belle over at Tired of Thinking About Drinking has some photography assignments she’s handing out which has resulted in some really cool photos.  My friend Riversurfer over at Rockdweller’s Blog takes some really gorgeous photos with just her iPhone (she posts them on her site if you want to take a look) and regularly blows me away.  Maybe photography?

I never would have admitted it in my former life but I’m fairly crafty and I like it.  I’m always out on Pinterest or Martha Stewart or whatever, looking for cool crafts I can make or learn to make or…whatever.  I might take up scrap booking but holy hell, those women get addicted to it and God knows I don’t need anything else to become addicted to…especially not anything that costs as much as scrap booking does.

I do crochet.  My grandmother taught me when I was about 12 and I’m pretty good.  But you can only do that so much before you are sick to death of it and you need to move on to something else.  It’s the something else I need to find.  Plus, all of my friends already have scarfs, mittens, afghans and anything else you can make out of yarn.  They’re as sick of it as I am.

I enjoy doing those painting classes at those drink & draw studios.  I don’t do the drinking part anymore but they are still a hoot and I’ve gotten some pretty good artwork and gifts out of my efforts.  Jewelry making is also something cool and something I might be good at but it can also be pricey and I need to be careful about money right now.  Three boys in college at one time = no disposable income for the foreseeable future.

I also tend to take up these things, get bored and move on pretty quickly.  I’d hate to sink a shitload of money into something only to put it all away in 60 days when I’m bored and looking for my next avenue o’fun.  Not that I’ve ever done anything like that mind you…not at all…never…

Mainly I like watching TV, painting my nails, baking, yoga…wait…yawn…okay, I’m back now.  I also enjoy redecorating my house and I want to learn to paint cabinets and tile floors and walls.  Maybe I’ll head over to Home Depot and participate in one of their workshops…or maybe I’ll start with the local community college and see what they are offering and start there…

It’s kind of cool that I have all of these options.  Options I would have never had if I were still drinking.  Yay me!

Namaste

Shhhhh….Be Still

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted<sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”> among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~Psalm 46:10

This is one of my favorite Bible verses.  Being Catholic I don’t know that many (we learn through stories instead of verses) but this is one that I carry in my heart.  To me it says, “For My sake Sherry, shut the fuck up…I got this!” 

Sometimes I forget.  Then, when I start the stupid cycle I described in yesterday’s post, any and all hope of remembering flies right out the window.  The bitch that lives in my head starts talking and nothing else has a shot at getting through my very thick skull.

Until I have a moment like I had yesterday.  A moment of clarity so sharp that it cuts right through all of the monkey chatter, all of the static and all of the negative self-talk.  I won’t say I’ve found peace of mind yet, but I’m a lot closer to it today than I was on Monday.  In fact, when I looked in the mirror this morning after my shower and the bitch started to spout off, I look in the mirror, and said (out loud),

“Shhhhhh….”  Then I closed my eyes and said, “Be still…be still…be still…and KNOW.”

And a funny thing happened.

It worked.  I managed to get dressed and out of the house with a smile on my face and in clothes that felt good on me.  I kissed the man of my dreams goodbye and was off to a job that I love.

So tonight I’m going to download one of the Tara Brach guided meditations that was recommended to me by many of you and practice what I preach.

Shhhhh….

Namaste

The Fog is Lifting

My fog is beginning to lift.  The anxiety I’ve been feeling over the last few weeks (maybe longer – probably longer…yeah – longer) is beginning to subside.  As I type this I’m coming off a bout of rapid heart rate/shortness of breath/mild dizziness which I’ve come to recognize as my own, extremely mild version of a panic attack.  I’ve had them for years but they’ve been almost constant for the past few weeks which is what initially called my attention to the whole anxiety thing.  Once I started really analyzing it I realized that, when it’s coupled with a wave of depression…well…if you’ve been reading this blog then you know what happens.  Sherry gets a ticket on the crazy train. 

In fact, if I’m honest, this particular train ride started around the holidays last year, culminated over the last few weeks and maybe, just maybe, is on it’s way to being over.  (Hmmm…If I remember correctly – that’s just about the time I started fucking around with my medication…point taken.)  HOWEVER the absolute best fucking thing about this whole mess is that, for the first time in my whole messed up life I’ve been awake, aware and sober for the whole freaking trip!  And, while it’s been quite a journey, I’m beginning to think that I’ve actually learned something about myself this time…little things that I’ve been filing away to look at later.

I think it’s later.

Yeah…it’s later.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

When I get depressed/anxious, I get a little bipolar.  Not in the clinical sense in that I’m not in control, but in the cause and effect way that I totally bring on myself.  The more depressed I get the more I try to artificially boost my mood.  The more I try to artificially boost my mood and fail, the more manic I get about it.  The more manic I get and still fail, the more depressed I get.  Can you say vicious cycle?  I think that you can…

Now, prior to getting sober I would just numb the feelings,when possible, with copious amounts of wine.  But it wasn’t always possible to get myself blotto and escape.  Before I started drinking at home, we only went out occasionally so I had to look for other ways to make myself feel better.  So I did stuff

Stuff that I still do.  Stuff like…

  • Sleeping all the time or wanting to sleep all the time. 
  • Enrolling in graduate school.
  • Looking for a new job.
  • Eating too much sugar.
  • Rearranging one or several rooms in my house.
  • Changing my hair color (length, style).
  • Planning an entire redecoration of my house.
  • Switching templates on my blog, switching blogs, switching back.
  • Either starting or thinking constantly about starting a new (several) diets.
  • Becoming way too critical of myself and listening to the bitch that lives in my head.
  • Exercising to the point of injury (my knee is shot but I’m still thinking about taking up running?).
  • Ignoring my yoga and meditation practices.
  • Making my husband nuts and obsessing about our relationship.
  • Baking (baking, baking).
  • Researching and analyzing (anything and everything).
  • Buying and reading so many self-help books that I end up completely confused about what’s wrong and what I’m supposed to do about it.

And that just in the last two weeks.  Multiply that by 40 years and you can see how I’ve gotten into some of the issues that I’ve gotten into…add alcohol and…boom…instant fuckedupedness.

This is the first time since I’ve gotten sober that I’ve gone through a full cycle and been aware that I’m taking the crazy train the whole time.  Now that I’m approaching the station and will (hopefully) disembark soon, I’ve decided to put the brakes on some of my insanity and maybe take a more relaxed and realistic look at things. 

  • I’m deferring my graduate school acceptance to at least the spring semester.  If I’m still gung-ho then, I’ll move forward.  If not, I’ve dodged that particular bullet.
  • I’ve spoken to my boss about what I can do with this job that I have rather than trying to jump ship and get myself into a totally new and maybe not so good role.  After all, that’s how I ended up getting laid off all those years ago – instead of staying with the job I had where people knew and loved me, I sought out and got a new role that ended up being redundant. 
  • I’ll keep my doctor’s appointments because I’m still not feeling right but, since God has my back, the appointments are another 3 weeks away – ample time to slow down and reevaluate if necessary.
  • Stop obsessing about my weight and my diet.  Now that the crazy train is slowing, I’ll bet my reliance on sugar and chocolate will also slow and I’ll be back on a better path soon.  That will also take care of the baking.  I’ll review the material I ordered on bariatric surgery but I’ll probably end up throwing it in the garbage.
  • I’ve begun meditating a little again and I’ll bet money that and my yoga picks up again very soon.

It’s funny what a difference a day can make….well…maybe not.  In the shower this morning I prayed for God to draw me a picture, or hit me with one of His bricks, or just be a little more specific with me because clearly I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to my own sanity.

Poof!  The fog is beginning to lift.

Gotta love those answered prayers.

Namaste

Talk Therapy

Oh you guys…thanks so much for all the wonderful comments and suggestions about relieving my anxiety.  It means so much that you took the time to leave a note.  So much.  I’m going to look up all the authors and podcasts you suggested, I’m scheduled for my doctors’ appointments next month and, as soon as things let up at work, I’ll be walking and doing yoga again.  The breathing I can do NOW if I can stop long enough and remember.  I will definitely try.

While I was thinking about this all freaking weekend, I figured out something else…I have closed down a little and stopped talking.  I’m holding things in that have absolutely no business hanging around in my head where the bitch that lives there can play with them.  Specifically, I don’t talk to the hubs in the same way that I used to.  If I am talking to him and he’s not really paying attention (you know, focused totally on me like I’m the only woman in the world that matters…all while he’s driving or watching his favorite show or trying to do a million things at once for the kids) than I shut down.  I lock it up and wallow in self pity and listen to all the ugly things the bitch is trying to tell me.

Yep…now there’s healthy processing for you.  I oughta write a book on that shit.

See, back in the day, I would verbally vomit on my husband on a regular basis.  Didn’t matter what he had going on or what was on his mind, I would regale him with all of my problems at work, problems with mother and sister, problems with myself…just problems.  Then, once it was out of my face, I could let it go.  And if I couldn’t, I’d wait until date night when a sip of the grape would loosen my tongue a little more and I’d REALLY get going.  He was my therapist.  My personal guru.  Nodding appropriately, not trying to actually fix anything (after we went through John Gray training), just listening and letting me work through it.

I miss that so much.  We still talk, but things have changed.  I quit drinking.  Plain and simple, I don’t have the booze to get me going and lower my inhibitions and shut up the bitch that lives in my head so I don’t second guess everything I say AND read more into this response than is actually there.  Date nights are completely different now.  We end up talking about lots of other stuff going on in our lives…okay – we end up talking about either my work or our kids…but still.  It just seems like so much trouble to even start a conversation about what’s going on in my head that I don’t feel like I have the energy.  I know there’s not enough time – either he’s rushing to get home to the dogs or we’re done with dinner and we have to leave the restaurant.  Where we used to go to another bar for a drink (or six), now we just go home; and home for us (thank GOD) is a hustling and bustling place that is not conducive to deep, extremely private, conversations. 

Even the time we went to stay at Ritz for our anniversary, conversation was stilted.  I tried to start up a little but he didn’t seem interested and, just keeping it real here, since it was my first romantic weekend without wine, I was feeling a little out of sorts myself.  I wanted to talk about how I was feeling but I was sure he was sick to death with hearing about my recovery and how I was feeling so I just kept it to myself.  (I told you…that bitch starts talking and all rational thought leaves my head.)

I’ll figure this out and come out on the other side.  This whole recovery thing, while wonderful and exciting, can be hard sometimes.  I told the hubs this weekend that many times I sit and ponder, what goes on in the heads of people who are not addicts, or clinically depressed, or homonally unbalanced.  I mean…what do they think about?  What would I do with all that free head time?

Namaste my friends…and thank you.

Anxiety

…and I’m here to kick your ass.

I don’t know what triggered it and I don’t know how to circumvent it but this is what I believe is going on with me right now.

Anxiety.

I have never thought I had any issues with being anxious.  It never occurred to me (I know…I’m a special kind of stupid) that it might be an issue.  That’s because every time this feeling would come over me I’d pick up a glass (bottle) (bottles) of wine and make the feeling go away.  I’d go all day, white knuckled until I could get home and get that first sip of ‘ahhhh and then proceed to obliterate the rest of the evening.  And then do it all over again the next day.

In fact, toward the end of my drinking I didn’t get beyond mildly anxious before I picked up my trusty glass, so I know I couldn’t/didn’t recognize it for what it was.

Anxiety.

(This is one of those brick upside the head moments for me so bear with me while I work through it.)

I’ve noticed the last month or so that I’m not sleeping as soundly as I had been.  My shoes don’t fit.  I can’t get comfortable.  I put it off to weight gain but I haven’t gained any extra weight.  My freaking skin doesn’t feel like it fits.  I can’t shut down my brain long enough to pray or meditate.  I don’t feel like I’m being a good wife or mom or coworker.  I’m having trouble breathing.  I’m kind of itchy on my arms and legs.

Heart attack?  Not likely.  The flu?  Nope.  Allergies?  Nuh-uh.  Anxiety?  Um…maybe.  Who am I kidding…yes.

This isn’t just feeling anxious – I, like everyone else, feel that from time to time and it passes.  This is something that has been slowly building like a tidal wave rumbling away, out in the ocean, slowly making its way to shore where it feels as if it will completely overwhelm me at any second.  And I’m trying to run…in sand.

I’ve been thinking about my pink cloud.  It’s been gone for awhile now.  I think it was eaten by anxiety.  I know it was there in the beginning of my sobriety, went away for awhile and then came back stronger than ever.  I can read back through my posts and see that.  But for the past few months it’s been gone.  I’ve been looking around to other things to try and get it back.  Food.  The hubs.  The kids.  The house.  Work (let’s apply for several new jobs shall we?).  School (graduate school anyone?).

Sound familiar?  I’m looking outside for something that should be coming from inside but that can’t get in because anxiety has build a goddamned (little g) fortress around me and won’t let me get to where I need to be.  It wants wine but I have long since moved past that and won’t wake that motherfucker up no matter what happens.

And it’s not that I’m unhappy, it’s just that I can seem to find peace.  That inner smile you get when the rest of the world is losing it’s mind and you know it’s going to be just fine.  You know…Faith.  I had it in my hands for the briefest of moments…I want it back in the worst way.

Funny thing, at the beginning of the year I chose Faith as my word for the year.  I think I chose it because I knew I needed to work on maintaining it.  And that’s what I’ve been trying to do but Anxiety has gotten in the way.  I don’t believe in Satan or hell as we’re taught to believe it when we’re young, but I do believe there are evil forces in the universe that work to separate us from God (Higher Power, the Big Guy…whatever) and I FIRMLY believe that anxiety is one of them.  It clouds my head and my heart and makes me crazy and not able to pray.  Yeah…that’s evil if you ask me.

Now comes the hard part.  What in the name of all that is holy do I do about it?

I’m taking calls…the lines are open.  What do you do about anxiety?

Namaste

Cars in the Key of Life

Before he lost his eyesight, my father was a mechanic.  Being the daddy’s girl that I was, I became interested in cars from a very young age.  Even after he was no longer able to do the work on cars, he would coach me through it and I would do it.  I loved those times with him.

It’s no wonder then that my first husband was a mechanic as well.  We used to work on cars together.  He purchased and we rebuilt the engine (383 although it ran like it had a 427 in it) on a 1969 Plymouth Fury.  It was an ex-police car (the doors in the back wouldn’t open from the inside) which is funny because we got pulled over one night drag racing and the cop was pissed because we were pulling away from him when I finally convinced my (then) boyfriend that we had to stop.  I don’t think he ever forgave me for making him stop.  He was too stupid to realize that the cop had his tag number.  It’s one of the many reasons I divorced him.

That was the foundation for my car knowledge.  I have changed motor mounts, head gaskets, transmission fluid (including the gasket which is tricky), oil, spark plugs, carburetors, fan belts, alternators, generators and a whole host of other equipment under the hood of most cars built before fuel injectors.  Once fuel injectors replaced my 4-barrel Holly I gave up, shut the hood and relied on the overpriced mechanics at the dealerships to make me bend over and grab my ankles (to put it gently).

Although I do still love the looks on their faces when they try to blow smoke up my ass and I start giving it right back to them.  Priceless.  Plus I’m much less likely to get ripped off than the average woman since I actually read the bill and question them about the charges.

Mine had a white top and I had stock wheels…not these gorgeous Cragers.

My first car was a 1974 Chevy Malibu Classic.  Two door in a mint green (it was the 70’s!).  It had a 350 engine and a turbo hydromatic transmission (rear wheel drive) which was great for getting out of snow.  My husband kissed me for the first time beside that car.  He nicknamed it the “Two Bedroom Chevy” because rather than put my clothes away in his dresser, I carried them around in my car (I was waiting to be asked to put them away).  I drove that car until it quite literally fell apart on the way to the new car dealership.

Then I bought a 1986 Ford EXP.  Those cars didn’t stay on the market very long.  They were cute…but that was about it.  But it was cute AND it was my first with front wheel drive.  I could drive circles around all my friends with rear wheel drive in the snow.  But it only had 4 cylinders so they drove circles around me at all other times.  But it really was adorable.

Then…ah then…THEN came the creme de la creme.  In 1985, we bought a 1984 Nissan 300ZX Turbo (automatic…what?).  It was the only car I ever loved.  That car defined me…or at least the way I wanted to be defined.  It was cool, it was sleek, it was fast and it was bad ass.  I drove that car for 10 years and I loved every fucking minute of it.  I also miss that car every fucking day.  sigh….

Then came a series of plain old in between sedan’s and coupe’s that filled the gap in my life until the next big turning point.  The point at which my world turn on itself and I entered the world of the grownup.  The vehicle that, when told we were having twins by the doctor made me exclaim, “We have to buy a fucking…

MINI-VAN.”

Yes the mini-van.  I had three and had a love/hate relationship with all of them.  I loved them because they were practical and I could fit a boatload of kid shit in them, get decent gas mileage and separate the kids so they couldn’t touch each other.  Later they were used to transport other kids, baseball gear, furniture, and anything else anyone wanted to move.  I hated it because it represented that boring, middle class life I thought I hated.  (What a dumb ass I was.)

Now I drive a sensible car which pretty much represents my life right now.  I’m sensible.  I get fairly good gas mileage.  I don’t cost too much.  I don’t go too fast but I go fast enough.  I’m pretty, but not particularly sexy.  I’m normal.  And normal is a very good place to be at my age and after the events of the first part of my life.

But I’d give almost anything to drive that Z car one more time….

Namaste