Heya, Monster.

A SoberBlog by a TallWoman.

Stretched Thin p.p.s.

To say what Feeling says, I am happy I quit. Truly. 

Thinking of the three years some more, the first was soothing and focused on loving Me for Me. The second was huge transition and feeling kindness all around me as I recentered myself and my family. Now, in Year 3, I’m a good chunk of the way in, but I don’t feel purposeful. I feel like I am maintaining, but not growing. I don’t care for that feeling. Hrm.

…. Just more digesting. And again, spinning a bit. Time for bed, I think.

It will get better. I know it will. 

Day 868. Still.

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Stretched Thin.

Hello, my friends.

Just checking in, as I feel maxed out. There is a list of things I’m committed to – mostly positive, good things, that will help the department I inherited grow and develop. However, it is at least a full-time-times-two job, and high-expectations-me is down about being mediocre in many areas of my life (including momhood), because I just don’t have the time to regroup and get my shit together all at once.

Frustrating as I am not mediocre. And my work is not mediocre. But that is the impression I am leaving on some people.

Argh to that.

Missing time. Particularly time to nourish myself. And hell, I think that was the word I chose for the year. Well, word to the wise – I am totally fucking it up right now. Bah-humbug.

I find myself looking back at my sober journey, and I find in my first year, I was really good and just chilling out and relaxing and focusing on a therapeutic project (cross-stitch). Move into my second year, and I was just a focused beast. Scheduling and executing a million new things for my new job, but also feeling like I had time at home to love my family. This third year, I don’t know. I feel like I am spinning my wheels, but not really accomplishing anything really well. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of work I have in front of me, but then because of a new schedule, I have no time to prepare anything. I am consistently hanging onto my life by my fingernails.

I want the time I had in my first year for me. I want the friendships and solidness I felt in my second year. And I want my third year to be fruitful and satisfying.

At the mo? It’s not. WahWah.

Talking with my Dad today, I realize it is only my second year in the new gig, and I should give myself a three-year window to really feel acclimated. Trying to keep an open mind, but man, it’s tricky with the overwhelm that is a-happenin’.

Alright, vent curbed for the minute. *smile*

I miss you. Seriously. I’m a little lonely in my spinning world of spinning everything.

Day 868, Yep. Still goin’. But snail-like it seems.7027e103d1a4a079e6446af01ae96328--slow-down-snails

p.s. It felt really nice to stop in. …. Love.*

Heya, Humor.

I don’t know how, and I don’t know when. But at some point in the past few months, I have found sense of my humor about drinking again. I am no longer the self-righteous sober person, who feels morally superior. The higher ground I was standing on has deflated a bit so that I am back on the same ol’ earth as everyone else. *smile*

[Tangent: I do still notice how regularly people talk about drinking (almost daily?). And in semi-public meetings it is a pretty standard laugh-line. I chuckle, but I also feel a little like a sheep in wolf’s clothing, to shake-up (not stir) the analogy.

…. Hrm. Okay. I’m not judgey about drinking. Judgey-McJudgerson has definitely ebbed out of my consciousness. However, I am conscious of the frequency others make reference to drinking. Am I protesting too much, methinks? Maybe. …. I find it off-putting that I am still in hiding in my workplace, or that I feel I have to be hidden. I know I don’t. I know the choice to share my sobriety is mine alone. But whenever it strikes me to share it, it is usually/often/always after a drinking joke has been made, or reference to a night or afternoon of drinking has been made, and that would definitely be Not-the-Time-to-Share.

I don’t think it’s a bad situation, or that they are bad people – not by any means. I just think the timing is off. And so, I continue to laugh at the jokes, but don’t share my truth. Not yet. Some people know, but that’s okay, too. I don’t have to spout it from the mountaintops. Maybe my frustration is more with our overall culture anyway, and not the people themselves.]

On a related, but different note…. I went to my 20th high school reunion last month, and it was AWESOME. People were amazing and fun and kind and funny and supportive and happy to see and to be with one another. Well-attended. And just like high school, I had two or three groups I floated between pretty regularly. On the first night, a friend turned to me and said, ‘You want to go get drunk?’ (He said it laughing/joking/with a twinkle, p.s.) And I surprised him – and me – when I just said, ‘Actually, I’m Sober!’ He thought it was awesome. And I volunteered to be the group’s DD all weekend. It was fun. And they were sweet, too, because they (three big, burly men) kept me in Diet Cokes to my heart’s content Ha. It was cute. …. Also, no one really got shit-faced, which was cool. It was more about hanging out and being together. Really nice. It made me so happy to know these people and reconnect.

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Day 841, Hardy-Har-Har.

p.s. Not sure this post held its through-line, but that’s okay. Sometimes a person’s just got to wander, right? Or, as the old cliche says: It’s about the journey, not the destination.

Oh, the Irony!

So, my word of the year?

Nourish.

What have I been doing all year?

Nourishing and nourishing and nourishing. 😊

Additional pounds I would like to shed?

An ever-present 15. HeeHee.

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Perhaps I shall look for nourishment in other forms, places, and go in a bit more for ye ol’ metaphor……..

Day 814, Yum! 😉

p.s. Finding lots of great blogs lately. Thank you to the new additions in our community for all the inspiration!

Dear Dad,

Or Dear PapaBear. 🙂

Or Dear Man-Who-Believes-In-Me-Most.

Or Dear Man-I-Look-For-In-Every-Other-Man-I-Meet-Or-Know.

Or Dear Most-Generous-Kind-Man-In-My-World.

You keep bugging me for a blog post. And, well? Here it is. *smile* Just for you (with a few other worldly people dropping in to say ‘hi,’ of course).

As you know, I am still sober. 2+ years now, and doing well. So well, that I drifted from my blog, because I wasn’t thinking about SOBRIETY so much anymore. I had gotten into the swing of things (as a golfer, you can appreciate this metaphor *smile* (Although, maybe it is actually a reference to monkeys in trees? (Not sure. I will have to Google it))). I was feeling pretty even, pretty confident about my new job, my life with husband, my life with kids, my life with friends. It was all feeling good.

But then, it all of a sudden wasn’t. About a month ago. I got real shook up because the hubs said he wasn’t happy. That I wasn’t giving him any energy. That I seemed really depressed and angry. That I wasn’t loving the kids, but rather, I was super-short-tempered with them all of the time. That ‘We’ were not good. That he was feeling really distant, and maybe even separate from me, and all because of the way I treated him, or didn’t treat him rather. He said we were really good roommates, but not partners. He said I didn’t talk to him, or touch him. Anytime he would reach for me, I would swat him away, or more often than not, say ‘I’m busy.’ I didn’t have time for him in my world. I didn’t have energy. He wondered if I liked him at all.

Holy shit. Did that wake me up.

My first instinct was to defend.

Wait, no. That can’t be right. I’m the best I’ve ever been! (I actually said those words.) And then I went on with a list about how great I was – Job, check! New job, check! Current show, check! Kids, mostly check! Learning new things (sewing), check! And the hubs? Well, he made the list only in the way that I don’t worry about him. I trust us and what we have, and I see us as pretty separate, mostly because of how our work takes us away from each other so regularly (theatre). So, Hubs? Semi-middling-waffling-check. (No exclamation point.)

So we walked away from each other, not seething from a blowout fight, or crying hysterically from a dramatic moment. No. I can’t speak for him, but for me? I walked away feeling hollow – like my stomach had been scooped out and there was nothing left inside of me. Shaken, sad, confused. If that’s how he felt, then that’s how he felt.

Over a week, I reflected and watched and tried to understand where his concerns and feelings were coming from. It was an interesting and odd week. We walked on eggshells with one another, but then would talk about the eggshells, and then things would feel if not normal, then at least honest. We talked more that week. When I got home, I would find him and talk with him about the day. We were a little awkward-distant in our text messages, but then we were also thoughtful and considerate of one another. To use a weird metaphor, it felt like we were fourteen-year-olds dancing a slow dance. Awkward steps. Happy, but unsure of ourselves. Hyper-aware of one another and ourselves.

It was a hard week, but a good week. I realized, he was right. (He usually is. Psh.) I was without a doubt, one-hundred-and-fifty-seven percent taking him for granted. I trusted him and trusted in us so much, that I forgot that marriage needs work. And time. And energy. Of course it does! Of course he needs my attention. I was being a selfish, solely-functioning woman of the world. I was conquering all that I saw, but forgetting the treasures I had right there at home. (That metaphor was a little squishy and cliche, but right? It’s the truth!)

And most of all? … Well, sort of ‘most.’ He/The Hubs was the Most. His feelings in our relationship were the most important in that moment of upside-down.

Secondarily-Most of all, was the feedback from this man who loves me most in the world (tied with you, Dad *smile*), and here he was saying I was depressed. I was angry. I seemed really bad. And my reaction was disbelief and surprise. Over that week, I started reflecting on what he had said, and really trying to notice myself and my ways. ….. I had caught myself isolating in May/June, but I thought maybe that was old drinking habits trying to take hold. Not that I would drink, but that my tendency is to isolate. But then, I noticed I had been having loads of trouble waking up for the last three months, ever since my spring show closed. During the school year, I wouldn’t wake up until 7:30 most days (school starts at 8:30), and during the summer I was sleeping until 9 am every day, no matter if I put my alarm on or not. I had ballooned up again and couldn’t get control of my eating. I kept thinking, ‘I deserve this.’ *munch* ‘This is my reward.’ *bite* ‘I’m not drinking, so I can afford these calories.’ *gobblecrunchsmackswallow* Over and over and over again. Worst of all? I was really angry with my kids. Short-tempered. Short-fused. Over stupid shit. ….. Who was this woman? And how in the heck did she get here when I was feeling so strong, vibrant, and amazing in my Working Life?!

GAH. Life is so dang hard to balance. GodDamnFuckAssShitFuckFuck.

Okay, so the Hubs was right. Absolutely. No disputing him. All the facts were there. I just hadn’t seen them at all. I felt them and was going through them, but gah. Depression. Addiction. They’re hard to see when I’m in the middle of them, which is such a weird factoid. One would think that being in the middle of a months-long depression, a person would eventually get the kick-to-the-head they would need to realize, ‘Oh! I’m depressed!’ But no. For myself, I go through my days slogging and dragging, while simultaneously kicking ass at my job, because over-achiever? Driven? WonderWoman? But then on the flip-side miss the clues of me dropping my HomeLife, my SweetLife, my LifeLife…. And letting it drift through my fingers without even noticing. Or, really? Without even knowing.

So. Self-reflection? Check.

And then, I did what I was taught to do by you, PapaBear, and by MoM. … Take care of shit! (I wasn’t really that flippant, but for purposes of this post, and, if I’m super-honest, to sound a little cooler than I actually am, I am pretending to be a little flip. But only pretending. (For real? I was core-shook and scared.))

So, that same week, I actually had a 4-month check-up set-up with my psychiatrist. I unloaded on her in our 10-minute session. She was very sympathetic and she asked if I needed help on the meds side, but at that point, I hadn’t got down to the deepest layer. So I said, ‘No.’ I thought I was just crappy because my Life was suddenly horribly crappy. I didn’t think there was more to it. (Hey, Monster: Wrong!)

I kept on, keeping on. I started working on fixing the little things. Being more aware of the Hubs. Being more aware of the Babes. Being aware of my isolating/drinking behavior.

Things started to feel like they were moving in a better-than-bad direction, so that was good. My summer show opened. The Hubs and I were doing better-ish. I was doing things with friends. My Life was looking better. Looking Good. But it still wasn’t feeling good-good. You and Mom came down for the show, and if you remember, Dad? I was just cranky. Okay, but not Good. Not great. I had started noticing I was also still really short and quick-tempered with the babes. There was a low-lying feeling of dissatisfaction permeating most of my minutes.

The ‘it’… The Ick didn’t start lifting until I got out of here. Until I got to my hometown with you and Mom and got some time to just rest and not rush. To relax. To just Be in the place and the Home that felt good and felt soothing and healing. And so much of that goodness comes from feeling cared for and loved. I know how lucky I am to have had a great childhood and adulthood with two parents who love me and care for me and put up with me and my ways from time to time (let’s be honest, right, PapaBear? *smile*). Being Home always spins me back to Center somehow. It realigns me and my two poles, if you will. Ha. There is the gift of not having to worry. Not having to ‘Be’ for anyone. I mean, yes, I am still a mother. But somehow, being in the primary role of Daughter while I am with you and Mom is really comforting in a way I don’t get when I am a Woman of the World. So thank you for that. Times infinity.

While I was home with you, I realized I hadn’t been Good through and through, and I caught myself getting sharp with the Babes still, too. So I finally picked up that book you kept telling me about – The Happiness Project – and I started to read it. I am only three chapters into it still, but I while I read, I kept and keep thinking about how profoundly it touched you and where you were those few years ago, when you were LowLow. And some of the beginning stuff is basic and good for just Life and living. It’s made me look and see where I could prioritize myself and my needs (Hungry-Angry-Lonely-Tired, anyone?). It’s reminded me to step outside of myself and Give, as opposed to looking for what I might Get. And honestly? It’s just made me happy knowing how lifted up you felt after reading it.

As things were going now, I felt the gears start moving a little better and a little less muckity-muck. And with the layer of ‘Hmph-ness’ still somewhere inside of me, I thought, ‘Nope. I need more Help.’ And so? I upped my meds. Not a lot, since I was already taking basically the lowest dose one could really take. (I often wonder as someone who is very susceptible to meds and their affects, do I make doctors scratch their heads that I can actually feel what I feel from meds? Kind of like the Princess and the Pea. …. I wonder if they wonder if I’m faking it. Or if I am actually feeling it, or if it’s in my head. …. Anyway. Another post.) So, yes. I upped my dose by milligrams, and? About five days later? The crud and the crap and the junk? It kind of left. Just lifted. … I mean, Life is still up and down, and the children still drive me batshit-crazy sometimes, but I don’t hit the top of my Anger Meter when I deal with them. I lost my temper yesterday, and do you know what? I gave myself a timeout. And it was a really good choice. Woot. Go, Me. *smile*

I don’t know. Sometimes (Read: ALL the Time) I feel like I can do things all by myself. And do you know? I am going to call ‘Bullshit!’ on myself. Because I can’t. People can’t. We’re not built that way. We’re not meant to be that way. Looking back, I see the steps and the incremental improvements I made by adjusting myself and my world slightly and differently from day to day, and honestly? Yes. I absolutely got a little better, and truly, I thought I was better-better. But until I stepped away from my Regular, I couldn’t see the fact that I was Not. Having the space and the love and the support from you and Mom, even though neither of you even knows that that is what you give me without even trying, I finally saw where I wanted to be and that I was Not There Yet.

PapaBear and Friends, this is seeming to be more of a BiPolar-Post than an Addiction-Post. However, I will say, to those of you new to Ye Ol’ Blogge here, that for me? They go hand in hand. I am no longer a drinking-drinker. I got rid of that garbage (Woo-hoo!). But? I did not get rid of the garbage that comes with the garbage. All of the isolating, moodiness, rewarding, woe is me, I deserve this, resentful, yucko crapola that is Addiction down to its bones. That shit? That shit is still around. Added to the fact that I am a BiPolar, who has of late favored my depression more so than my mania, and you have a lovely combination that simmered, stirred, and served is enough to knock any optimistic-peace-loving-goody-two-shoes onto her ballet-flatted ass.

I am SO beyond lucky that I have people who love me. People who love themselves. People who are honest. People who care. And sometimes? PeopleLikeMe need a little more help than even those awesome ones. We need a therapist to talk to, or we need daily exercise (okay, we all do need that (Goals)), or we need a pill or a combination of pills.

And the hardest part of it all? Is getting off our cute little butts and going out there and getting the help we need. Dad, I always laugh when I think of you telling me I am the dumbest smart person you know (when I started smoking (Update All: I quit 10 years ago))…. But I always think of that because You Were Honest. And you Love Me. And? It always. Seriously, ALWAYS gets me off my ass to do the thing I think is stupid because it is the smart thing to do and I just don’t want to (whiny-whiner voice). Or, because I think, ‘It’s not fair!’ (Also whiny-whiner voice.) And just this last visit, Mom said to me, ‘Well, I’ve just learned that Life isn’t fair, so I can stop griping about it and just get on.’ YES. Life isn’t fair because I’m BiPolar and I’m Addicted and I’ve got a temper and I’m too tall and blahblahblahblah ….. It isn’t fair, but let’s get the ThisThatIsNow figured out Now, right? *smile*

I learned that from YOU, Dad. You and Mom.

And oh, my dear Lord, has it …. Have YOU …. saved me a million-and-one times.

Day 780, Thank you and I love you.* Your, -HM.

p.s. Hope you liked your post. *smile*

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You changed my world, PapaBear.*

April: I Was Here.

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(Aren’t drama masks creepy?) 

Good morning!

‘Theatre is a lifestyle’ is not an exaggeration. My sister summed it up beautifully, painfully, and accurately….. *smile*

This month has seen the first big musical production at my new school. Production staff was fabulous to work with, the kids have been positive and have grown even from just a few months before, and the families have been so supportive. Now that it’s over, we’re all exhausted, happy, and proud. A good combination, I think.

My own parents were also able to make the show, which was my favorite part. And they came to the show that far-exceeded any of the others. Which makes the time and the sharing all the sweeter. Pluuuuus, the show was being recorded that same night – something that never happens!

This morning, I actually slept in a bit. Luxurious!

And now, I am about to get ready to go in one more time to run Strike – when everything gets taken apart, cleaned, organized, and put away. My favorite day actually…. Because it takes us back to zero, and that is the place where the next show will start from…. I love it. So cathartic and healing and satisfying. And beautiful in the promise of the unknown and the daydreams and the what if’s….

Still here, still sober, folks. Two loooooong weeks away from my fam, but in actuality? The demand seemed better-balanced and shorter in duration than it has in the past. When I dug in two weeks ago, I could visualize the ending, and knew it wouldn’t be too bad. Plus, lots of podcasts to keep me busy while I worked kept me happy, and the nutritious lunches I ate at school (fact, not facetious) kept me better fueled and even-keeled than I usually am eating gas station snacks and coffee. *smile*

Day 691, What’s up next?!

 

Marchin’ Along…

Hello, friends.* Happy last day of March.

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It has been a full and not-full month, which has been lovely. I am currently on Spring Break through Sunday, and am trying my best to relax and enjoy the time I have left with my babes and the hubs. Currently, I have a bit of chasing planned (or ‘errands’ as the rest of the world calls them). Then, I hope to spend some time outside this afternoon, followed by some ice cream time with the babes (yum!), and then dinner at friends’ house, with all our babes in tow. Tomorrow, we celebrate our dear friend’s baby shower, which is made extra special by the fact the couple has had such difficulty conceiving. I am so excited to rejoice with them. (SideNote: Why is the word ‘rejoice’ so biblical? It really is, I can’t get around it, but it is the sentiment I am going for. Hrm.)

Other news in ‘March’ ….. As I said in my earlier post, ’twas my birthday, which was lovely. I am feeling so much wiser, if not older. *smile*

I’ve been feeling a bit moody and low lately – maybe the last 2-3 weeks, which has erupted in irritation and short-temperedness these past 6 or 7 days. Some of it is anxiety-related, I know, based on getting back to school on Monday and diving into our show. The following three weeks will be the home stretch of our show, which opens the end of April. I am just feeling worried about getting it all done, and on top of ‘done,’ fucking awesome. No pressure, though, right? *smile*

With the mood-stuff, my meds have been out of whack since I got so sick last month. So I headed into my shrink yesterday, which was helpful to share, and then to also come up with a plan of attack if things don’t get straightened out. She also recommend I check-in with my therapist, so on the way home, I called her and set-up and appointment in about a week. All good. All productive. (See? I do feel wiser. *smile*)

Lastly, I love March! I love that we are lucky enough to have a bit of an early spring this year. The smell of spring is in the air, and it makes me So. Happy.

I’ve also been doing some reading, one trilogy in particular, which is aptly named ‘March.’ It’s about and by John Lewis, and follows his career and call to action and justice work. Very informative, and inspiring. It should be required reading for all 14-year olds everywhere, I think.

With that, I must run. Hope all is well with you and you and you and you…. *smile*

Day 661, Nevertheless, she persisted. (So many meanings, right?) *flex*

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Tres Belle.

Hello, friends.* A check-in email I wrote to the fabulous Belle (tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com) this morning…..

Hello, dear Belle.*

I am doing very well. Getting my life slowly reconfigured with a new job, new community, new school for my babe. Yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated in style and not-style with new friends and family. I attended a lovely gala event in the evening and all night, I kept finding myself watching another woman who looked like she had a had a long, hard week planning it all, and last night, she decided to celebrate and let loose. All the signs were there, and I kept thinking I was looking in a mirror to my not-very-distant past. I kept wishing good things for her and also, that this is not a regular occurrence. While at the same time, I felt thankful to be enjoying the evening 100% as myself. My water tasted delicious, as did the food. And even in a few moments of awkward quiet when my seat mates’ attentions were directed to the other sides of them, I was good and okay in the awkward. And this morning? I can remember the whole damn evening. A birthday gift indeed.*

Day 635, sobirthdays are the best.*

Heya…

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Day 619, Just to say. *smile*

Under the InFLUence.

Ugh.

Our household has been hit hard these past two weeks with sick of all kinds. The worst being the horrible, ugly, unrelenting Flu. (Go to hell, Flu.) Our sweet girl started the cycle, which then passed to her brother, then to me the past four and a half days, and has now found its way back to her. (Poor babe.)

So, as a sober adult, what can I tell you about the flu? It is a mind-altering, body-wrenching revisit to days of old.

First, let go on record without hyperbole, that this was probably the worst illness I’ve experienced as an adult. (I still shiver thinking our daughter went through this at all with her little body of muscles & bones.) Second, it lasted from Monday evening through to… About this morning really. My stomach is still tender.

I apologize for the specificity here, but even in the midst of my illness, I kept thinking to myself the audacity and stupidity of putting myself through hangover purges voluntarily and on a regular basis. (‘Regular’ as in once every week or two.) Stupid. Stupid. Stupid! It has been almost a year and a half since I’ve been sick like this, and the pain accompanying it all…. It all felt so familiar. In a horrible, nightmarish way, I felt like I was going back in time. The dizziness and disorientation. The aches. The tiredness and complete body fatigue. The ‘grey’ feeling that hangs around all day …. Usually until 5 pm when I would have had a drink to take the feeling away (NOTE: I did not drink to get rid of my flu symptoms. Not recommended.). The sweats and chills. The stink. The stomach churning. The brain fuzz. The feeling of Time pressing down like a dead weight just sitting on top of me. Minutes going by so slowly. Painfully, painfully slow. …. Just thinking about it all makes me feel gross.

Thankfully, as my mom pointed out, the Pavlovian guilt I was feeling off and on this week was only that – a learned behavior. The flu was 100% actual virus, and not induced voluntarily.

Looking back in time, why would I ever choose to POISON myself to the point of sick? … Okay, yes. Alcoholic. Yes. Little to no control. Yes it was about escape. … But wow. What a price I paid for it.

This jog down (gross, painful, miserable) Memory Lane has been illuminating, and a positive, but sore reminder of what I have gained by what I gave up.

Day 613, Ugh, but betterish.

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