Heya, Monster.

A SoberBlog by a TallWoman.

Archive for the month “June, 2015”

Sneaky Blahs.

After I had my nice, relaxing, at-one-with-the-world-around-me morning post, a big ol’ cloud suddenly descended upon me, and I can’t seem to get clear of it.

And for once, instead of fighting it and ignoring it and doing a thousand times more than usual, I am still in my pajama pants at 3:52 pm. Fucking. Awesome. (For real. This is not sarcasm, as I don’t know that this has happened in yeeeeears. The only thing I am not loving is the blah-ness in the way I am feeling.)

The babes and I have had a chill-out kind of a day. They slept-in, while I jogged and caught up on the blogs. Then, made pancake-cookies (i.e. hand-sized pancakes), and we just hung-out downstairs and watched a movie. When the pancakes were done, I made popcorn, so we had popcorn for breakfast. Again. FA.

Then, some more hang-out time with a tubby for the babes. A late lunch. A lie-dee-down, but no napping. Now, back up, eating real cookies (the babes are, while I completely admit to stealing 3 4), and here just sitting in my fog.

Does anyone know of a day-to-day, or week-by-week breakdown of PAWS/the Pink Cloud and all that? I have read several places that it coincides with the moon, which is also probably why I am getting hit double what with all the headache of my cycle this past week (Reality). I am also wondering if the meds I’m taking are throwing my cycle off and making everything more complicated by delaying my cycle, and thus causing further physical frustrations. Does anyone have experience with being sober while on a mood stabilizer (quetiapine/seroquel)?

Day 21.5, you sneaky devil.

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Completely Unoriginal.

That’s me.

In a good way.

Seriously.

In a good way.

I have been thinking a lot about my experience of alcoholism and my journey and ‘my story,’ as so many websites and recovery groups focus on and pinpoint the concept. And I don’t think I am quite ready to put words to my story just yet… Still embarrassing. Still regretful. Still a bit of me wishes I could jump into my time machine and have a do-over (or, more accurately, many, many do-overs).

But, I have also been thinking and listening to so many others’ stories – brave, courageous, vulnerable, open stories… About their lives, all out there in the open for me and the world to look at, and I realize I am not alone or original or more fucked up than anyone else. Our stories are like art – they can’t be compared. They’re not about competition or being the Most… or Least… Anything. There is no winning with our stories. There might be some humor or self-deprecation (well, lots of that), but they stand alone. They are complete within themselves.

In the past 10-15 years, as I quickly and sometimes slowly spun into alcoholism, I thought I was the only one. I’m the oldest in my family as well, so my ego-centrism already had strong beginnings, but in my relationship with alcohol, I thought I was alone and that no one understood or saw or knew what I was going through. The shame I mentioned yesterday (here) only compounded my isolation, propelling me to seek it, to want it, to plan it, and to protect it. (What an idiot.) It was all about Me, and how sad I was, how lonely (irony) I was, and how overworked/overstressed/overeverything I was. I had walls of trophies in my head recognizing my awesomeness in Self-Sacrificing, Martyrdom, and Jack-of-All-Trades. I talk about this a lot, but I thought I had to be a WonderWoman so that no one would notice … so that I wouldn’t notice how desperate my situation had become. How lonely I was. How alone.

I never reached out for help. I thought, because there was no one like me, that I better keep on keeping on and doing it all Better Than Anyone Else. I was first. And best. And unbeatable. Uncatchable. I was so far in front of the pack, I could take a nap, eat an ice cream cone, and read a novel, while I waited for the rest of the world to catch up with me… Except I didn’t. I never stopped because I didn’t think I could. If I did, someone would catch-up and really See me. The me I needed and wanted to hide. The me I thought no one would ‘get’ or understand.

But here and now, and thanks to many stories and blogs before mine, I realize I am not unique. I am not special. I am completely unoriginal. And that suits me fine.

For the first time, I am not hiding from the words: ‘I am an alcoholic.’

For the first time, I do not think I can do it all alone, nor am I trying to. I am asking and seeking and looking for help and connection to Others, who are wiser than me, who know this journey, and who care.

For the first time, I do not think I am a bad person for having lost myself in Drink. Still embarrassed, yes, by some of my actions in the past, but I can now separate the drinking Me from the actual Me. Drink doesn’t define me. It is not who I am. The drink had disguised itself (as monsters do), and I mistook it for my Life. I thought it was me – even in the mirror, I thought the drink was me. I couldn’t distinguish between us. But now, having stepped back and gotten a different perspective, I see the cracks in my monster’s disguise. I am slowly separating us one from the other.

For the first time, I am happy not to be a WonderWoman. I don’t have to prove a damned thing because I am here, chugging along, happy in my little day-to-day world as it is. No jumping through flaming hoops, or doing a tap dance on the high wire.

For the first time, I see that I am not alone. That I am not special. That this has happened before a thousand times to millions of people. And although that fact is sad, it is also comforting.

Day 21, plain and beautifully unoriginal.

 

Version 2.0

Hello, friends.

Thank you for reading my flaming, inextinguishable tirade yesterday. Things balanced out… … … Eventually. *smile* And just so you can picture it, I wrote that post with everything happening around me in that very moment. My fingers were flying, my breath was held, my kids were yelling (so was the hubs), and everything was in full-comotion mode, while I zoned in on my screen and reached through the ethernet to You. Thank you for being here. Your words, and levity brought back my sense of humor, and eased much of my distress, if not my physical discomfort. Danke.*

And, so. Here I sit. More than halfway through my doubled-double digits day. Wowza. My discomfort is not completely gone. My body still has a mind of its own (somewhere… in a parallel universe or due to a chemical spill of some kind, I have a second head (which probably has super powers all its own)), and I am feeling better-ish. A headache is growing in magnitude, so that is not ideal, but it’s better than wanting to jump out of my skin.

And, yes. This past week with being so busy, and the weekend is no exception, I have begun to ask myself why it is I am committing to this sobriety path, as it is not all rosebuds and butterflies. In fact, based on some pretty prime evidence from yesterday, it can really suck the big one, if I’m being honest about it. So, why am I here? Writing this SoberBlog and riding my RadioFlyer into the great, wide beyond (i.e. into tomorrow, then rinse and repeat)?

Even though I have missed a celebration here and there with friends, and even though I would have loved to have celebrated the opening of our show last night with a glass bottle of wine, and even though I am to that hazy moment of recovery when it feels like ‘I’ve got this figured out. I’m fine. I’m not an alcoholic. Look at me! I’ve come this far and I’m fine,’ and those thoughts make me think about the stupid M-word more often than not….

The thing I am most grateful for in the past twenty days, and my main, numero uno reason for holding onto sobriety one more day is because when I am sober, I am not ashamed of myself, my actions, or my thoughts. I am complete – messy bits and all, but there is nothing in those bits that I need to hide or keep secret from anyone. I wake-up in the morning unembarrassed of my own actions and choices the night before. I am not furtive with my husband or mother-in-law trying to plan trips to pick-up wine or beer. I am not pushing down my drunken frustrations with my children. I am not proving to myself again, and again that I am a good person in spite of myself. Every day.

Every time I had a night of ‘relaxation,’ those were the hoops I would jump through that night and the next day. And so far, the alleviation alone of all these things is enough to keep me sober for one more day. Yes, I am tempted by moderation. Yes, I would love to be normal and able to drink without worrying thinking about it like so many of my normal friends. But the fact that I can’t think about alcohol in the same way as they do, I know moderation is not for me today.

Oh, and in terms of rewards? I bought my Day 30 present a little early (shoes!), so I have to stay on track. (Another added incentive?) Hee.

 

Day 20, this rain feels healing… And I feel like I am healing, too…

PAWS & PMS?!

Sitting in the middle of a little chaos after a morning of rehearsal (another show overlapping with my opening tonight). Came home and the kids are basket cases because they didn’t go to bed until 11:15 last night. The hubs is using his sharp voice because the kids are asking for me over him (frustrates and breaks his heart). I am in the middle of some of the worst PMS in a long while (sorry, men), and I think it’s complicated because of the PAWS. I’m irritated and cranky and quick to react and have been for 36 hours. I was an asshole to my kids yesterday, and dress rehearsal was good but the day and the hours leading up to it were so stressful. I feel like I need to shed my skin right now. Gah. Fuck. Grr. and Blow it out your ass, world. And PAWS. And womanhood/hormones. Fuck all y’all.

 

Oh, and the cast went out for beers last night while I wrestled my kids to bed. Jealous and frustrated about that, too.

Feeling like a monster the size of the Chrysler Building.

Day 19. A dark cave, a pillow, and a movie (Notting Hill?) would be nice right about now.

The Talk.

Wow.

I love my husband.

And WowWow.

My therapist is awesome (hi).

And WowWowWow.

The Talk (referred to yesterday here) was fantastic, incredible, much-needed, relaxing, supportive, honest, heartfelt, sincere, thoughtful, scary-in-a-good-way, kind, gentle, funny, loving, truth-telling, checking-in, goal-oriented, careful-listening, hand-holding, tea-drinking, sobriety-centered-Awesomeness.

Seriously. You guys should try this. It’s delicious.

I shared a ton with the hubs about where I’ve been with my addiction these past 5-10 years. Was very honest about how much I’ve been hiding it from him. Got to ask him if he noticed my drinking habit and if he just wasn’t saying anything, and he said, ‘Well, you’ve been hiding it.’ Touché, sir.

We talked about his non-addictive brain versus my addictive brain, and the fact that we both don’t quite understand how the other one works. Thought that was helpful as an idea, because it put us on separate planets looking at each other… Not Venus & Mars. I’m thinking more like the Little Prince and all of the different planets and people he encounters.

I admitted that at times in the past, I really wanted the hubs to notice and to say something so that I wouldn’t have to make the choice or see and own the problem myself first. (Is it weird to say I sometimes dreamed about an intervention so that I wouldn’t have to do the work myself? Weirdo.) And, again, he was great, because he just laughed and said he definitely could not do that because I would get all bent out of shape the way I do anytime he tries to teach me or tell me something (remnants of childhood daughter-dad relationship). So again, touché, sir.

He was just so gentle and receptive, as he always is, if I give him the credit he deserves. (I married him because he is Kind (and he loves his mother)). He said he just needed time to catch-up as I have been keeping this journey so secret from him, because I’ve been wary of it and quite ashamed of it as well, and that seemed like a deal I could keep. It’s been 2-5 years in the making, and when I consider it’s almost all been in my head, except for one AA meeting all of a sudden 3 years ago (My Approach: Rip off the bandage and go Right Then), I understand his mild confusion at all this.

My requests were: 1. Check-in maybe weekly and give me a little knock on my shoulder and say, ‘Good job, pal.’ (Which he then did immediately.) 2. Celebrate milestones. 30 days is my first one I’d like to dance-party away with him. 3. Get out and get busy doing things… Festivals, fairs, events out and about the city, carnivals with the kids, etc. Especially on the weekends. I want to remember that I love living and doing and being. And I want to be with my family while I do it. I hid away from so much for far too long.

My favorite moment of the meeting was when I turned to him and asked, ‘Have you noticed anything different in the past two weeks?’ And he looks right back at me with his calico eyes and says, ‘You’re happy.’ … … … … … I am So. Lucky. To be married to someone who wants that for me, and hurts for me when I’m not happy. And who notices. And who knows. And who gets me. Wow. I just. Gah. It makes me get all weepy just thinking how beautiful that moment was. It meant and means so much to me. Lucky. I am. And loved. Wah.

So, yes. Top that amazing heart-to-heart with an equally stunning run of our theatre production last night, and I was on Cloud 9. No shoes were thrown at anyone. I did not want to light the stage on fire. Everyone was focused and strong and playful and fun, and the story was there and gorgeous and funny and poignant. Loved it. Loved the day. Love the hubs.

Today, a little time with the babes, more sewing projects this afternoon, and then a final dress before we open tomorrow.

Day 18 started with a little too much coffee… Can you tell?

Me and Einstein have SO much in common...

Me and Einstein have SO much in common…

A Zen-ish Update.

Yesterday, I was SO Zen. (I think I just contradicted myself by putting so much emphasis on ME and negated the whole sentence, but I hope you know what I mean.) I was so at peace. I was the boss of peace. I owned peace and then passed peace out to people passing by. (Alliteration!)

You get the picture.

After posting the day before (see here), I suddenly went with the flow in all things. During the day, I had a crap-ton to get done for the theatre production opening this weekend, and in the midst of my errands and goings-on, I called the hubs to check-in. And then? The Coolest. Thing. Happened. … I said exactly what I was feeling. I told him I was sad that we were having so much trouble trying to work with one another in this capacity (director-actor). I said I was hurt because he was the kindest person I know, and I found him not being kind or even civil to me in rehearsals. I said the empathy I admire in him so much everywhere else in our lives was something I didn’t see him using with me, and that hurt. … And do you know? I said it without apologizing for saying so. I wasn’t super-emotional, by which I mean these words weren’t fueled by emotion. I was speaking my true feelings and being honest and owning them.

Gah.

Awesome.

Even in the moment, saying them aloud felt so liberating. Saying them and owning them felt so Whole. I felt so whole.

The other cool thing was that I wasn’t looking to fix anything or to get answers. I had been treating him with kid gloves (as his director and somewhat as his wife), and I finally was honest with where I was in the whole thing. He was at work (not great timing on my part), and so when we hung-up, I put the problem down and continued with my day. It was so cool/odd/peculiar, but even though there was/is this unease in one aspect of our relationship, for the rest of the afternoon, I felt so close to him. And so safe. And so in love. I text him and told him so, and he wrote back and said the same. That was kind of cool.

Then, that night, he was awesome. He was a little conciliatory, but really, on a regular day, he would have been just as kind. He helped me with a much-needed project at rehearsal, and then my favorite part? As everyone else was floundering in the rehearsal, suddenly he just soared in his character and made a zillion discoveries. Loved it. The whole night. It felt like a long-awaited present. … Like Christmas.

That put me in such a good place that yesterday I just coasted. With the kids, with the housework, with more sewing projects for the show. …. Everything was just enjoyable. The way of the world, of course, is that rehearsal drove me crazy last night and I wanted to throw my shoe at everyone on the stage, but really? I think it means we just need an audience. I’m ready to hand this one off to performances. That’s a good feeling, too.

… … …

In the works today is an appointment with my therapist (hi, again). It’s a big deal as I’ve invited the hubs to join me so that we can talk about sobriety and my/our history and where I am now and where we will go. I’m excited and nervous, and really trying hard not to plan how it will go. That’s hard. But I’m also very hopeful and happy to have a chance to talk with him in a more structured way as I have hidden away or pretended to not see this problem for so long. Just writing that makes me hold my breath.

… … …

Last thing. One of my show errands was to The Red Ball Store (get it?), and even though I didn’t need anything in the women’s clothing department, I was magnetized to the clearance racks. Damn racks. At any rate, I found two pairs of cute, billowy, summery, print pants, and I just bought them because. They were my little gift for hitting 2 weeks. I love rewards. And they felt so guiltless because of all the money I’ve been saving not wheezin’ the juice. (Anyone? 90s reference? Anyone?)

Alright, I’m going to close this smorgasbord. I hope you all have a great, grand ol’ day.*

Day 17, or as my children say… Day Eleventeen. Zen it up.

A Little Discomfort.

Reader, I do a bit of meandering here in the beginning, feeling sorry for myself and the like, so if you would rather skip to the bottom where I wrap it all up and make some powerful reflections and verbalize (is it verbalizing when it’s the written word?) some depth-plumbing thoughts, I completely understand. I would.

Pity Party, Table for 1 Begins Here:

The inside of my ankle and up my leg to the side of my knee feels like a there’s a constant ‘tweaking’ happening (not twerking). Perhaps it is because I have run 13 of the 15 days since declaring my sobrietence (sobriety+independence)? Perhaps it is because I had not exercised much (at all) for the past year little while?

Then there is my work environment, in which I am currently I am directing the hubs in a theatrical production. He is a brilliant actor, and I like to think I’m fairly mediocre as a director, but he has been reacting to me like oil to water. It’s frustrating. I know he loves me, but he is barely civil in rehearsals and we open our show this weekend. Adding fuel to the oil-water mixture and setting it on fire, I just sent out some major cuts to dialogue last night after midnight, and I am worried he is going to shut-down completely. Argh. I am frustrated that he is the actor I am worried about, when he is the one who should have my back most.

Then, there is yesterday, and how I woke-up coasting on the remembrance of being the most extraordinary mother in the world (I have a trophy) from the day before, but found myself in skirmishes throughout the day with the babes. Not life-shattering, by any means, but still, feeling like I had finally figured ‘it’ out Sunday, and then realizing I had not yesterday, was a real downer. Plus, my crabby-ass-self kept returning in patches with them, and I was mad at myself (guilt!) for not being the adult and moderating my reactions. Drr.

Add to all this the glories of my body returning to a normal-ish diet, and the fact that it is expelling (no further description than this, I promise) all the gunk from years of stored up drink-nights and gorging-nights on a pretty regular basis, I am feeling a bit the worse for wear.

Party Over. I have kicked myself out of my own party. (What an asshole.)

Regularly Scheduled Post Begins Here:

So what? A little discomfort is said to lead to growth. That’s a good thought. A good ol’ adage. I am trying, at the moment, not to get ahead of myself and anticipate the discomfort lasting…. err….. Into Infinity, as the world tips away from me and I can look into the future of all my days to come. Forever. And ever. And ever.  … I suppose that’s also why the other ol’ AA adage is One Day At a Time, and I am trying to hold onto that.

And I’m excited about the new growth (Confession: I keep picturing a new stubby appendage growing from the side of my leg, or out of my head, or back, or something bizarre … I think there’s a Shel Silverstein poem with a similar image out there somewhere.), but am also a little anxious to skip the discomfort and get me to the There that will be … right now. Which, if we look at our word problem above, does not then create the Growth as I would not then sit through said necessary discomfort in order to do the growing. Gah. Why does Life have to be so Awesome and Hard?

Without trying to entertain for a moment, honestly, one bit of that discomfort for me is really sitting in and owning my emotions. In the past two weeks, I have noticed when I am really happy, or when I am confused by someone’s choices, or if I felt left out or overwhelmed or content. It’s like I’m keeping a constant inventory of how I’m feeling Now and Now and Now, because usually, I would note them and stuff them down for ‘later,’ when I could drink and forget all about them. Even the happy. … Because I was avoiding feeling all of the emotions I had. I think I may have been trying to hide from the depressive side of my bi-polarism most of all, but with the drinking, I ended up stuffing all of my emotions down, and with the mute button of drinking on, I didn’t feel much of anything – sad or happy.

What was I afraid of? A lot, I think.

  • Being a good enough mom. I thought my letting-go-of-the-Pinterest mom-challenge was enough (I hate crafty shit), but there was/is always pressure anyway to be the best mom in the world.
  • Being a wife my husband wanted and trusted and loved. Who was good enough for him. (I compare his generous, kind heart to my own less-kind and less-generous heart on a pretty regular basis, and often feel I don’t deserve him (The exception is when he is my actor (our first time working together). He does not win as my actor.))
  • Being enough at work. Being inventive and creative and generally awesome in all things. Always building instead of only maintaining.
  • Being awesome to myself, which I never was. I thought the drink/the wine was My Time, my way of rewarding myself for the rigmarole I put myself through every day, but really it was taking time away from me. Tons of time. Years.
  • I was scared to ask for help. Ever. I needed to prove to the world that I could do it on my own. That I could make it. Look at me, I’m WonderWoman. I just kept going and going and never stopping, because if I did, it felt like everything would fall apart. … Me, most of all.
  • The depression. The bi-polar. Mourning the loss of my freedom when motherhood came along. Feeling alone. And with my second, the depression was happening along the whole pregnancy, and then with the birth, it seemed to multiply ten-fold. I was at the bottom of the deepest well, and I joke now, but it lasted three years. I hated myself for feeling sad, and didn’t know why I did. How I could keep mourning for my ‘youth’? … It felt so selfish and immature to feel that way.
  • And finally, there was my general avoidance of emotions or moments or connections… When the universe would throw an opportunity at me, and I would look down at the ground and pretend I didn’t notice it. I remember a bazillion conversations with the hubs that would I would shut down just as they were starting. I would say, ‘Let’s talk about this later,’ or ‘Can we talk about this later?’ And I would table whatever was going on, because I knew, deep-down, that we usually would not return to the conversation.

I drank to avoid everything (and more). If it was an uncomfortable topic, I would drink that night to forget about it and especially to avoid it. If I was drinking, then things didn’t happen – from the kids to my work to my personal needs to the hubs. I used the glass as an excuse that it was time to relax and take a break. I would hide from Everything. I never looked at anything head-on. And, I think, I didn’t want the world to see me head-on either. I was living a paradox of doing it all and silently inviting the world to ‘Look what I can do!’ while at the same time trying to stay completely invisible.

… … Talk about discomfort.

Ouch. I hurt writing all of this. With my new-found honesty, I am letting my eyes well-up and I am sitting with these thoughts for a moment. … There is a freedom in the past fifteen days that has felt particularly lovely. I do and feel and I don’t stop myself. My dad has always commented on the way I am as ‘Monster, you just feel things SO MUCH.’ And it’s true. I do. Instead of trying to avoid them, or quiet them, or hide them away from myself or others, I am working on embracing them. So far, it is less uncomfortable than I thought it would be.

Day 15, you surprised me. And it’s only 8 am.

p.s. I was being glib and silly at the top of this post, but I really did plumb the depths. Feeling better.

 

A Few To-Dos.

G’morning to some and Good evening to others. I’m here with a few things in mind and in the works…

First, last week I met with my therapist (hi (*smile*)), and in our meeting, I told her I had taken the plunge into sobriety. She was elated, as she has been encouraging me to consider it for, oh… The past 2 years. And I finally did it! So, there was that huge step in our work together. Woot-to-the-oot. During the meeting, I also mentioned, kind of from the hip, that I was going to shoot for 100 days sober, and sign-up for Belle’s Sober Challenge, which I have been thinking about off and on since. And, do you know? I did it. I signed up. Waiting for confirmation, but receiving the readings and such from Belle, so that is cool and happening.

 challenge2

Second, why do anything in a great way when you can do it in a smashing (not smashed) way? … There was another challenge offered via the one and only Belle yesterday, which connected to the Summer & Winter Solstices. The Solstice Challenge really spoke to me, particularly the part about having the earth move with you, and as I said in my comment – perhaps, sometimes, moving me along.

From Summer...

    From Summer Solstice…  

... To Winter Solstice

… To Winter Solstice

So, yes. I’m onboard for both exciting challenges, and already wondering what my life will be like then, as I am already loving the small changes here and now.

For smaller, more personal goals, I am planning on staying part of this whole Blogatropolis a-happenin’ around me. I also have a few sober memoirs tagged, which I am going to get started on today or tomorrow. Thanks to How to Vomit Politely’s blog post yesterday, I found Sarah Hepola’s beautifully written memoir Blackout. I’m very excited to read that. I am also hoping to declutter our teeny-tiny-itsy-bitsy house some in the coming weeks. I feel like we’re being slowly squeeze out of our space with all the shite that accumulates so stealthily and ninja-like. And finally, I picked up a dorky creative writing prompt book yesterday at the book store. I did the first exercise last night, and am thinking I may finish my evenings with that each night – when I feel like it.

So, cool. Lots to do.

And also, a mini-big-to-do (they’re possible):

Day 14. 2 weeks, baby. Fuck yeah. (There was not nearly enough swearing in this post, so I had to make up for it a bit here.)

 

Creaky Cranky.

That is my state today.

I cannot seem to find a solid place to put my feet. I am growly and irritable, sad, then sweet and loving, and laughing the next. I am a nutcase. One-hundred percent.

My run was off. My breathing was horrible. The air was humid and it felt like I was swimming my way down the street under a hot sun. Yuck.

I was cranky with my sweet babes. Snippy with the hubs. And overall just ‘meh’ inside my head.

I’m missing the drink. I love the word moderation and hate it more. I am mourning summer nights in the backyard with friends and beer, and evenings on the driveway with friends and wine. The brilliant part of me knows those moments can still happen without the booze, but I am sad about the drinky today. And I am mad at myself that I’m sad.

Moments have been good, too. Spent much of the day with only our boyo today, as his sister went to her first professional baseball game with her gram. It was sweet to spend time just with him. He lit up like a Christmas tree and talked our ears off the whole time. (His older sister usually does most of the talking.) … During naps the hubs and I actually broached the conversation of sobriety. … Finally. After almost 2 weeks. It was nice to start the process, but I know we have more emotional places to dig into, and thoughts to share. Que sera. (Is that how you spell that?)

And I am gobbling up sober blogs for the life of me in part, to keep my grumpy-ass self from getting off this train. I am reading everyone’s words and writing comments like a woman possessed, because I am feeling rather isolated in my RealWorld-life. Had thought I might try an AA meeting this am, but it wasn’t in the cards schedule-wise. May try a meeting some time this week, since I am having some steering troubles on this little Radio Flyer I’m on. (Sorry to mix the metaphors, fellow English majors, out there.)

Good things? I’m sober. I’m writing. And now? I’m going to make dinner…. Curry. Yumbo!

Day 13, fuck you. I’m going to make it.

Saying ‘Yes.’

As a theatre teacher & director, it is my job to teach actors (and production staff/members) to say ‘yes’ to the moments at hand. Things happen when a group of people has acceptance and drive running through it. Moments on stage are funnier or more sincere, sets are completed with panache, and everyone is invested. It is such a beautiful thing to work in this artistic world. I am so lucky.

So why then am I such an asshole to myself in the rest of my life? By ‘asshole,’ I mean a nay-sayer. Over the past decade, I have turned down countless numbers of invitations or talked myself out of events because it would take away from the little fort I had built up around my evenings and weekends. My MeTime that I was so possessive of and determined to protect… So that I could drink. Whoop-dee-fuckin’-doo.

What was I thinking?!

I have always been jealous of my sister, who is 8 years younger than me, because she is the person I want to be when I grow up. (See why I included the age difference now?) She is so together, and with it, and passionate for Life. She does things, and joins groups, and meets people, and puts herself out there every day… And I just think she is the coolest person I know because of all those things. She sparkles and shines and is dependable and someone her friends lean on for help or comfort. She has networks of people she can reach out to who would do pretty much anything for her if she just asked. She is so fucking cool. And I want to be just like her.

This past week, I have put myself out there a few times, even when it wasn’t the most convenient or easiest choice to make. In fact, yesterday was full of hassle because I said ‘yes’ to something and had to juggle mountains of snags that rose up as a result. … But the production (which was the ‘something’) was awesome. And my babes were super-happy. And even though the hubs was slightly out of joint, the day was full and great and fun. … And I wasn’t holding my breath, or counting the minutes until I got to enter my Fortress of Solitude and drink my brains away. Each minute – even the walk around the city block to the theatre – was enjoyable because I wasn’t holding my breath for my Main Event later in the day. I was in This minute, Right Now. That was a cool feeling. It is a cool feeling. And I found it momentarily. Cool.

Working my way into making the first step into sobriety has taken a lot of mind-suckage, as in when I wasn’t thinking about when I would drink in a day, I was thinking if I should be drinking at all and wrestling with that and the guilt and the shame of my habit. One thing that kept surfacing in my thoughts were my ‘Good Ol’ Days,’ which (not surprisingly) happened before alcohol ever showed up. I think my favorite year was when I was 17 and pretty much as awesome as my awesome sister is Now. Seriously. I did everything and loved doing everything. I filled up my days with academic challenges, social engagements (Coffee at a gas station? Why, yes, please! Midwest girls know the hippest joints.), athletics, dance, family dinners, dreaming about the future, theatre, writing poetry and short stories, and having the deep, heart-to-heart conversations with girlfriends that just shook me to my core. All on a daily basis. What an awesome, Full life I led.

These past couple of years, I kept thinking it was the weight of motherhood that was sucking my energy and my want to do anything fun or daring, but really? When I look back on it, I haven’t been much of a go-getter for yeeeeeears! All through my twenties, I was clinging to the bottle on a nightly basis as well. It was just a little more ‘acceptable’ because I was hiding my drinking amongst friends and boyfriends and being out and glamorous in the adult world. But really? I was just a drunk who wanted to drink. How boring! And, more so, what a waste. Of time, and energy, and money. All those years spent investing myself into something I thought was making me happy and ‘an adult,’ but really, alcohol was just stealing moments, memories, and relationships away from me, because I didn’t have energy to pursue anything else whole-heartedly. I was distracted by booze, and I moved my world around It, rather than moving my world around Me.

Gah. Mind blown for the day.

In the past week, I have felt more like Myself for longer periods of time than I have in a long while. That flicker I felt yesterday of the 17-year old awesome-chick inside? I’m going to keep reaching for her. Keep looking for her. I am going to say ‘yes’ to Me and to the world around me. … I’m excited…. *smile*

Day 12. Here’s to Awesome.

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