And the Resentments Just Keep on Coming

When I was doing my step work, I remember writing letter after letter after letter about how and when I was “wronged” and how I felt about it.  As with most people, that was probably the most cathartic work I’ve ever done (the jury is still out on the sexual abuse therapy).  Pouring all of that out onto a page and then talking about it with my sponsor was liberating.  I gained so much freedom during that time.  I was cleansed.

What I didn’t realize was that the work of dealing with resentments is an ongoing thing.  Step work is meant to help you heal and also to give you the tools that help you live in the world without the crutch of alcohol.  (I almost typed “like normal people” in that sentence until I realized that nothing could be further from the truth…everyone deals with this shit.)  I think that’s why people go through the steps many times in the program.  The work is never really finished.  Life goes on and we go on with it.

I’m thinking about all of this because I’m dealing with a whole heap of resentment that has spent the better part of the last year rolling around in my head and belly and making me sick AND I don’t know what to do about it.  Unlike my former resentments, this individual is still alive and on the fringe of my life.  I see her and speak with her from time to time and every damn time it feels like a knife in my gut.

I’ve prayed about this – a lot.  I’ve discussed it with the hubs and the boys and my daughter and I still can’t seem to let it go.  I’ve written emails pouring out my feelings only to delete them all before hitting send.  I thought just by writing it down I’d be able to release it into the universe and let it go.

Not so much.

Here’s why I’m struggling.  Old Sherry would have had no trouble calling a “meeting” and talking about it woman to woman, face to face.  I’d spill the venom all over her and then wait for my apology.  If it came, great, we could repair our relationship.  If not, good riddance to bad rubbish.  I didn’t care if it hurt the other person because I knew how healthy it was to clear the air and confront my issues head on.  If we couldn’t do this then we didn’t need to be friends anyway.

Yeah…I know.

I never stopped to think that, perhaps, the pain I was inflicting was exponentially greater than the pain I was feeling.  I never stopped to think if the carnage and collateral damage was really worth the price of my uncensored honesty.  I just knew that I was in pain and, being a balls to the wall bad ass, I had to confront it and drive it from my soul.

But now…hmmm…now I’m in recovery.  Now I’m learning that feelings are just feelings and they should be honored within my soul rather than banished (read…stuffed down).  Now I’m learning to weigh the cost of bringing this issue from May of last year into the light of this slushy, cold February.  What purpose would it serve?  She’s not even aware that the issue exists and she’s happy – why in the world would I ruin that?  Shouldn’t I be the bigger person and let it go?  Why do I feel like talking about this with her would be akin to punishment?  Do I want to punish her?

No…I don’t want to punish her.  I don’t even think I want an apology because apologies are hollow unless filled with the why.  What I want is to know why.  Why did you behave this way?  Why did you hurt me?  Was I being punished?

What I do know is that I’m sick to death of thinking about it.  Sick to death of it creeping it’s way into my head and making me cry.  Sick to death of dealing with an issue that, on the surface looks petty and unimportant but in my heart feels like a lead weight that is tethering me to the past and won’t let me go.

Being a grownup sucks sometimes.  When I was a little girl and my feelings were hurt, I would go to the offender and say, “You hurt my feelings.”  Then that person would say, “I’m sorry.”  I’d say, “Okay, you want to play?”  And just like that, we’d move on.

I would really like to move on.

Namaste

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Memory Lane

I was writing about my new adventure for the new year and of course I took a trip down memory lane.  That trip included the year I made my resolution to quit drinking.  That’s when it occurred to me that some of you may be thinking about or have already made a resolution just like that.  And maybe some of you are scared.  Or pissed.  Or sad.

Or all of the above.

I was all of the above.

My last drinking New Year’s Eve was spent at a friend’s house who always throws an epic NYE party.  I never seemed to get really drunk at those things, I think because I was at the point where my hard-core drinking was done in private.  I made sure there was wine in the fridge for after we returned home because…well that’s how I rolled.

But that year I was really subdued.  I spent the evening quietly in my head thinking about how my life was going to be without alcohol in it.  I looked around at all of my friends, most of whom were normies just having a fun new year’s eve.  I was sad because I believed I would never be able to have fun again.  How would I enjoy life without my beloved Chardonnay?  What was the point of doing anything if I couldn’t do it with a glass of wine?

Boy was I wrong.

But I didn’t know that then.  I spent the next seven days in that state of contemplation.  No one knew about my decision because, unlike all of the other times I quit drinking and failed, I hadn’t mentioned this to anyone.  You know…just in case I changed my mind.

Cause I was scared shitless.

I was afraid of life if I quit.  I was afraid of who I’d be without the booze.  I was afraid of leading a boring life devoid of all fun.  To be honest, I was afraid I’d fail again and disappoint not only my family but myself as well.  I wasn’t sure I could survive that yet again.

But this time I was more afraid of continuing to drink than I was of quitting.  That was the key.  Everyone says you’ll finally quit when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.  For me that was all based in fear.  I was afraid that if I didn’t quit, I’d lose all hope of getting another job.  I was afraid I’d lose the love and respect of the family I’d fought so hard to build.  I was afraid of losing the love of my life who I still can’t believe fell in love (and has stayed in love) with me.  I was afraid of getting cirrhosis and dying.

I was afraid of becoming my dad and worse…my sister.

That was my turning point.  I realized that a life spent drinking was not a life.  That I was losing everyone and everything that I held dear.  That I was gaining weight and checking my eyes for signs of jaundice every morning and how fucked up was that?  That’s when I knew that a girl had to do what a girl had to do.

So I did.

And so can you.  And if you’re reading this then you are already ensconced in one of the most effective ways to get and stay sober.  Sober blogs saved my sanity.  If I had found them in the first two years of my sobriety it would have made my journey much easier.  Read the blogs.  Comment.  Reach out to ANY of the authors.  Every one of them (and I say that with a deep confidence) will be happy to offer advice and love if you send an email or connect via the blog.  I promise.  And I don’t promise very often…only when I KNOW I can keep the promise…because I don’t break promises.

So here’s another one.  I promise that after the initial awfulness of the first few months (sorry – it’s a fact – early sobriety can be both wonderful and awful all at the same time), you’ll find something you never, likely in your entire life, have ever had.

You’ll find peace.

And we’ll all be here to love you to it.

Namaste

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope you all felt the joy of the season in your hearts.  This is a time of year that I struggle with getting it “right” which usually ends up ruining at least part of it for me.  This year I made a concerted effort to LET GO of a lot of that crap and just try to be present, in the moment and enjoy all the things I love about the Christmas season.

Guess what?

It worked.

I was able (for the most part – progress not perfection right) to enjoy the holidays warts and all.  Even when my boys showed up Christmas morning without a gift for dear old mom, I was able to laugh and tease them rather than retreat to my pity party.  What’s more, it got me an after Christmas Water-Pik guilt gift which I desperately needed.  Score!

I also let them know that as long as they are on the planet and sharing love on Christmas with me (whether face to face or via phone, FaceTime or Skype) there would never be a “ruined” Christmas.

But I did tease the hell out of them.  Give me a break…I’m old…I’m sober…I don’t smoke (anything)…my pleasures are minimal.  ( 😉 )

I also ate my weight in sugar this holiday season even though I only made three types of cookies and two types of fudge…oh…and a chocolate chip pound cake.  There were days where all I ate were carbs.  Yep…I said it.  Don’t judge.

Which brings me to the second part of this post.

Happy New Year!!!

In a few days we move into 2015.  My 54th year on the planet and my 5th year in sobriety. Also approximately my 10th year carrying extra weight.  All of those things have combined to create high triglycerides (still), knees that are shot, clothes that are a size I didn’t think I’d EVER see, and an overall bad attitude and self-esteem that follows me into every day and hangs over me like a sad little cloud created just for me.

Enough.

I haven’t made a real New Year’s Resolution since I quit drinking five years ago.  I’ve made pseudo-resolutions like a commitment NOT to diet and to be kinder to myself (how’s that working for you Sherry), or to “treat myself better” or some similar bullshit.  It all results in me entering yet another new year feeling like crap and promising to be better to myself.

Sigh.

So here’s how I’m going to roll this year.

I’ve been slowing down on the posts on this site lately.  I think it’s because I just don’t have that much to say about my sobriety and recovery anymore.  When I “go there” it feels very negative (I know it’s not negative but it’s how I feel).  I’m a lot of things but negative isn’t one of them.  So I’ve been struggling with posting.  I guess I’m just not feeling inspired.

I’ve decided to focus instead on a new site.  54 at 54. (It won’t be live until the 5th.)

This site will be dedicated to my 2015 resolution to lose 54 pounds in my 54th year and regain my health.  It’s important.  It’s redeeming.

It’s time.

So, beginning January 5th (I never start resolutions on the 1st…I’m stubborn that way) I will be posting daily on this new site.  Now, before you decide you want to follow me let me warn you about some things…number one being that it might be boring.

Very boring.

I’m going to use the new blog as a way to remain accountable.  I’ll be listing every piece of food or drop of drink that goes into my face.  I’ll also be posting about exercise and my resolution to get up every day, at 5:30 a.m. (jeez that hurts to type) and do some type of exercise.  I’ll write about how I’m feeling, what the doctor has to say about my numbers and whether or not my chronic heartburn and knee pain is alleviated.  There may also be some bitching, complaining and…gasp…whining.

See…don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The plan in the beginning is to eat only protein, fruits, vegetables and complex (very complex) carbohydrates.  I’ll be up at 5:30 everyday except Sunday.  M-W-F will be cardio (I’ll be buying a new treadmill with my bonus this year) and T-Th will be yoga.  At first I will not be counting calories.  I’ll try that on for a while and see how it goes.

I will also be posting my weight.

Yep…I went there.  THAT’s how committed I am to this.  I, a soon to be 54-year-old American woman is going to put her weight and weight loss progress on the internet for the entire world to see.

Oh shit.

Of course I’ll be writing here on my original site when the mood strikes about anything other than those 54 pounds.  Kids, hubs, sobriety, recovery, therapy, work, you know, the usual, but I’m anticipating spending a lot more time over at 54 at 54.  I would love it if you’d pop on over but trust me, I’ll understand if you refrain.  Not sure I could put up with me at this point.

If you do follow me over, I’d love any recipes, advice, workouts, plans, etc. that you want to share.  I’m open to any and all advice at this point because, even though, in a former life, I was a gym rat and really fit, that ship has sailed.   I am an beginner (that also hurts to type and admit) and so I’m open to whatever advice comes my way.

So wish me luck.  Merry Christmas and Happy, happy HAPPY New Year!

Namaste