Heya, Monster.

A SoberBlog by a TallWoman.

Archive for the month “November, 2015”

Turkey Surprise

Well, that came out of nowhere. …. Well, okay, it didn’t, but it sure whacked me over the head, took all my money, and left me on the sidewalk wondering what the hell just happened.

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The ‘it’ I am referring to is the brutal saboteur that is my brain/my addiction/my years of wine-training that came full-force to the table (so to speak) on Thursday at our family’s Thanksgiving celebration. As I said in a post that day, I had started the day a little crabby-pants because of a few factors, but that I had come around and was doing a-okay by the afternoon.

Then, POW! Got to the in-laws for the meal, and I suddenly could not focus or breathe very easily. I walked into the garage and felt a surge of old feelings that have laid dormant for the past several months because there have been no reason for them to come out and play. The cliche of being hit with a ton of bricks would be accurate in describing my feelings at that particular moment. I suddenly wanted a bottle of wine, I wanted a glass in my hand, I wanted to already be tipsy because I could have been drinking all afternoon because it was a holiday-day and that’s what this woman does on holiday-days. I wanted to be giggly and silly and a little naughty because the day was designed for all those things to be Okay.

In the moment I did a few weird things to try and find my ground. I went inside and gave hugs and kisses (that part wasn’t weird), then as people were putting their coats away, etc., I went into the kitchen and got down the wine glasses from the top shelf (I’m tall, remember?) for my parents, my mother-in-law, and one for me. Then, without lifting my head up, I walked out to the garage, opened the mini-fridge and got out a can of fancy iced tea for myself, and in the very next moment, opened the wine cooler and picked up a bottle of wine for my family. By the time I was back to the door going into the house, I had the thought, ‘I am an enabler!’ I got inside, handed my dad the bottle – I practically threw it at him to get it out of my hands, then I walked around to my wine glass, opened my tea, and poured myself a glass. (I haven’t used a wine glass since I quit drinking in June, I don’t think, and I thought the having one would make me feel better. But it didn’t. Like I told the hubs, I was just trying to find a thing that would make me feel better. Now I know for next time, a wine glass isn’t that answer.)

By this time, I felt a little spinny and a little panicky, so I just declared I was going to walk home quick and be right back (we live down the street). So I put my coat and hat on and trudged back home. I took 300 mg of gabapentin to relax me a little (needs must in this case), then I wrote that quick update to all of you in the midst of my spinny head, and then walked back down to the in-laws.

I will say the gabapentin didn’t help as much as I had hoped it would. However, having taken it, I couldn’t do anything More for myself, other than what some of you had recommended – find my own space, breathe, center myself, find some calm. And really? The discomfort I felt was okay. I mean, I was doing weird things trying to navigate my way through it, but even just sitting in the discomfort, which I did when I got back to the party, was okay. It wasn’t great, but it was okay. And I survived it. And I didn’t drink. So that was good.

I found the calm I was looking for more towards the end of the meal. It was a small get-together, and my parents, myself, my mother-in-law, and the hubs were all in the same room together, and we just talked for two hours straight. It was the best part of the day. Hands down. And that’s when I was good. I had made it over the hump of wanting and thinking a drink would make everything better, and wondering why it couldn’t be like it used to be for me, and all that baloney bullshit. We just sat and talked and Laaaaaaughed. And it was Wonderful. And I remember all of it. And I was present, I and enjoyed every second. What a gift!

The next day, the hubs and I brought the babes down for leftovers, and the wine bottle from the party was sitting on a counter in the garage -with wine still in it! It was then, 24 hours later, that I realized what a mess the actual holiday would have been if I had still been drinking. I guarantee we would have gone through 3, and maybe even 4!, bottles of wine, because I would have been pushing the stuff on everyone in order to make myself feel less guilty, and to shift the focus away from myself. I would have been embarrassed, even though I was with my favorite people in the world, because I would have worried they would notice how much I was drinking, which probably would have ‘inspired’ me to drink more because that equation is always the brilliant way to go, and then I would have woken up the next day hungover and pretending that I wasn’t, etc., etc., so on and so forth. … … Wow. Instead, all of my normie family members just had a glass, I drank my fancy ice tea, and we all enjoyed the day.

Things are different now. Different in a GoodGood Way. Thursday was hard and difficult and it sucked the Big One, but I’m here and still sober. Almost six months sober. CrazyPants. And Phew! Even with all of Thursday’s surprise mental hurdles, the day really did show me, without any doubt, that it is necessary I am sober. Mandatory. ‘Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.’

Day 172 and still learning…

 

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A Crabby Turkey Part 2.

From my phone. Walked in and lots of unexpected triggers and some sad. Nostalgic and wishful thinking. Staying positive. Focusing on the fooooooood and the fam. And breathing. Lots of breathing.

A Crabby Turkey.

That’s been me today. I just can’t seem to get to zero. I think I was a little off because the house wasn’t quite presentable when we woke-up, and we were expecting my parents to be with us all day today. Plus, an up and down night with the girl – nightmares, and no exercising for two days (kind of nice, but kind of not), and I am a bit of a crabby bird.

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So, now, after a little quiet time, I am feeling much more relaxed. The six of us will all pile into the car in about twenty minutes and head to my in-laws for a scrumptious meal, conversation, and goodness. *lesigh* That is just what the doctor ordered, I think. … And who really cares about the house anyway? My parents have known me all my life. A few piles won’t make or break a visit. Oh, Hindsight, where were you when I needed you? … Oh, yeah. Waiting to arrive …. Later. (Dammit.)

I know today is a day full of gratefulness, and I truly am that. Thankful to have my parents here with us, grateful to know my sister is in the midst of yet another adventure in Melbourne (hi*), and happy to have a family around me who is full of love and kindness. I am a very, very lucky monster indeed.

And though I consider myself more spiritual than a specific denomination, I am finding myself up against those words ‘prayer’ and ‘praying’ a lot lately. And really? I think the words are right and accurate, because the essence of my hopes are healing and safe-guarding those in my prayers. … I’m branching out, people. …. And my prayer for today is one of safety and love and healing and hope for our world. The spirit in me recognizes the spirit in you.

Light Through the Clouds

And for anyone who would like to partake in one of my favorite family recipes…. I give you: Broccoli Salad. Here is a recipe, but whenever my mom or I makes it, we just eyeball it. More of the good stuff (grapes, raisins, sunflower seeds, and bacon) is always a good idea. Oh, and use the broccoli stalks! They taste really good soaked in the dressing on day 2.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Prep 15 m

  • Cook 15 m

  • Ready In 30 m

  1. Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Cool and crumble.
  2. Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-size slices. Combine with the bacon, raisins, your favorite nuts and mix well.
  3. To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad, let chill and serve.

Broccoli Salad

Day 170, I am grateful for You.

15 Miles to the Looooooooove Shack!

 

And a funky little shack it is. Full of all kinds of knick-knacks and doo-dads, and some old smelly piles of who-knows-what? Isn’t Sobriety wonderful? *smile*

It’s only been a month since my life screeched to a halt, and I am really surprised by where I am now. First, my Daddio is recovering well. I’m looking forward to spending time with him and my mom over Thanksgiving. Then, my slight med boost (Monster #2 = Bipolar) has really smoothed out my anxiety, mood-swings, and tension. I take my meds before bed, so in the mornings on my drive to work, it feels like the meds start swimming through my brain in order to prepare me for a calm, even-keeled day (mostly – I am a high school teacher after all). Time with the hubs and with the babes seems more centered and more connected. And? Most surprising news of all for me is I am turning into a runner!

This week, I set myself the goal of running 15 miles (approx 2-3.5 miles per run), and? Mission accomplished! 15.75 miles to be exact. I am feeling good. Strong. More confident. A little bonier (which is nice). The hubs and I (again, mostly) changed our diets a few weeks ago so that we would be eating more Real food – fish, chicken, rice, lots of veggies, etc. I’m finding I am feeling less snacky, more full, and just more nourished – if that is actually a feeling a person can have. And? Bonus: I think it is helping me lose some more of my marshmallow fluff. Oh, and I hadn’t considered it until I began to write, but the food change has possibly contributed to the mood shift and overall feeling of contentment as well. Hoo-rah.

Oh, and the other connection to ’15’ is that I am 15 days away from KOing my next sobriety goal of 180 days. As I was telling Riding on Empty the other day, I will have to trick myself to keep going with sobriety by setting the next 180-day challenge as soon as the first one is up. It’s kind of nice, though, because I think I m going to do a short-term goal of hitting the Winter Solstice first, and then creating a natural goal of getting to the Summer Solstice after that. A short-term goal after these big-number hills will be a nice change of pace, especially around the holidays. Then, it’s off to the races again!

Day 165, Knock a little louder, Sugar.

 

A Sunday Reclamation.

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Houston, there is no problem.

Well, hello, again. This is just a quick post tonight to check-in. It’s been a good weekend. And truthfully? I am just feeling more whole and more balanced.

Yesterday, I spent a great amount of time in the morning reading many of the sober blogs I follow, and writing. It felt good to catch-up.

Then, off to an adventure with the babes, and then to the in-laws for a much-needed dinner. When I’m in rehearsal, I miss the daily check-ins and hang-out time with them, so that was grand and wonderful.

Oh, to top it off, the hubs and I had a bit of a date once the babes went to sleep, so that was love-ily, too.

Today, we had incredible weather. Play-outside-with-no-jacket-on-Nice. So? We took the babes to our usual bookstore for a quick treat, then off to a playpark nearby. They had the best time running and climbing and sliding and playing. Gah. So nice to be outside at this time of year. So lucky! It was love-ily to share with them. Plus, I love watching the hubs when he plays with them, too. He is so good at playing. Truly. It makes me fall in love with him even more every time I see him play with our two monsters like that. Love it.

Then, when we got home, my first order of business was to reclaim the living room! And our house, in general. For those who don’t know, we have a 3- and a 4-year old, respectively. And less respectively, they drive me crazy with how much stuff they accumulate! I don’t know why, but I have never been very sentimental with ‘stuff.’ In my 20s, I loved to move because it meant I would end up gutting my collection down to a reasonable amount again. Well, the man I mentioned above happens to have the opposite sentiment to things, particularly collecting. (Ugh!) And my children, well, everything is a dearly beloved treasure, so needless to say, things pile up quickly.

So today? I took over. I put away a ton of stuff into these huge bins, and promised the babes that I wasn’t going to throw anything away (I wasn’t lying). However, I did put them in our attic in hopes that they will be forgotten, at which point in the future, I will then be able to toss the whole lot. We’ll see.

bin-of-toys

Then, this afternoon, instead of attending my weekly AA meeting, I decided to enjoy the weather and go for a jog while listening to The Bubble Hour. I really think it was the best decision ever. I feel like I made it to a meeting, because of the podcast, and I also feel happier in my bod because of the exercise. Win-Win.

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And now, here I sit, smelling some love-ily smells, as I take some time to make dinner, as well as lunch/dinner for tomorrow.

What a brilliant weekend!

Day 159, I just feel happy. …. In which case, I will share my happiness with all of you and leave this yummy stake-your-claim-style-doughnut here for you each to try…. *smile*

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L-s–g -y W-rd- …

Losing my words! Yikes.

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The past several weeks (2-3 at the least) I have found myself in the middle of a conversation completely stuck, searching for a simple, elementary word or concept. Truly bizarre, especially for a linguist/actor such as myself.

A significant example of this phenomena happened last weekend when I brunched with my girlfriends. One of the gals was updating us on a spinal injury she had suffered – a slightly slipped disc. I began to ask her about the muscles surrounding the disc, and wondered if they were __________, or if there was any ___________ that might be making the recovery slower. For the Life of me, I could not find even the sounds of what I wanted to say. I kept gesturing with my hands, holding them together and then growing them apart, but again, I just could not find the words. I started trying to find synonyms, but even those had deserted me. All I had were my flailing hands, a big spoonful of embarrassment, and worrying if my friends thought I was actually drunk at 9 in the morning. Gah.

Finally, another girlfriend read my rudimentary sign language, and asked, ‘Swollen?’ Yes! Thank you, God. The conversation continued. … And for the record, I didn’t think of the second concept until I was driving home from the date. ‘Scar tissue.’ Scar tissue, people. I couldn’t think of ‘scar tissue.’ Dear lord.

And really? This is only one example! Losing words, phrases, and names, or mixing sounds from one word with another, has been happening every day for the past 3 weeks, or so. I really do believe it is PAWS. I am rather certain of it. But for it to last so long, man, it is such an odd, uncomfortable, completely halt-me-in-my-tracks feeling.

On a nerd-level, I am rather curious about what is going on in my brain. I wonder what’s getting fixed up there, while my Vocabulary has gone on a Caribbean vacation and failed to take me with it.

The last several of months I was still drinking, I found a similar lapse in language, and really Memory in general. It was perhaps the biggest sign that I was in trouble. I started to worry what memories I was actually making, versus what memories I had begun to lose and blur out as a result of my heavy drinking. As a 30-something year-old woman, I had begun to worry if I was headed towards the true Stage 5 of Alcohol Addiction. I knew my loss of memory was not normal. However, it was something I could mostly hide from others because it was all inside, locked away. But deep down, I knew. And as I said, I started to get scared.

Having my language disappear at certain moments has been a reminder of those scarier, darker last days of drinking. From my sober vantage point, it is actually kind of nice to revisit the past, because even though my words are a little wonky at times, I am safe to remember those days – and I do remember those days! Rather vividly, actually. And those days remind me why I gave up drinking. Why it was an absolute necessity that I gave up the drink. I was getting slowly erased from the inside out.

And for the record, losing my words here and there is actually kind of funny. I wonder each day what’s going to come out of my mouth. I have no idea. *smile* It keeps me on my toes, and anticipating a rather ridiculous social moment, or many. Ha.

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Day 158, Ab–c-da-ra.*

Si, Si, Senora!

It’s been a good week.

A stress-filled week.

But a good week.

I got rolling pretty quickly downhill on Monday into a stressball, as we say in our house. So? After a day of running around, teaching, organizing, designing a brochure, prepping the set design for the next show, as well as prepping for auditions, I was Done.

And do you know? A cool thing happened….

I did not have the urge to drink. (Wa-hoo!)

Nope.

I had the urge to scream and cry a little,

I ran - like the wind!

so instead of actually doing either of those things….

I ran.

Like the wind.

Seriously. I ran So fast on Monday. Usually I hover around 6 mph doing intervals, and Monday, I cranked up the treadmill to 6.5 mph for almost all of the intervals, and then even hit 7 mph for the last one. Man, did it feel good! And such a healthier way to deal with stress than drinking it away.

Then, the rest of the week went by in a bit of a blur. Classes, auditions, show stuff, cramming in time to run 4 out of 5 days…. But it was good. By Friday, I was ready for the weekend! The cast and crew lists were posted, and it was time to par-tay! And by ‘par-tay,’ I mean go home to the babes, drink a bunch of glasses of iced tea, enjoy dinner with my fam, and then read sober blogs and Mindy Kaling’s first book before I fell asleep. Party on, Wayne.

It’s been a good weekend.

Yesterday, I had time with my girlfriends for our brunch & book club. We sooooort of screen-shot-2013-02-01-at-1-46-09-pmdiscussed Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which as my girlfriend says, “Breaks your heart twice in the first chapter.” SO incredible and well-written. I’m a huge Gaiman fan – HUGE – and have personally decided this is the book he has been trying to write for his whole writing career. It is beautiful and poetic and core-shakingly brilliant. Truly stunning. … And the time we spent discussing it? Oh, about 10 minutes. *smile* The rest of the time was spent on some much-needed catching up. Wonderful!

Then, last night, the hubs and I were Clark-Gable-Peter-Warne-It-Happened-One-Night able to enjoy a bit of a date-night as our babes fell asleep pretty quickly. I was in the mood for a romantic comedy (because Mindy Kaling mentions the genre more than once in her book that I had been reading – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns). As I was picking through our collection, it was (re)discovered that the hubs had never seen the classic, hilarious, and wonderful movie It Happened One Night, starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, directed by Frank Capra, and written by Robert Riskin. Oh, my goodness! I forgot how much I love this movie! So funny, and so sweet. I mean, look at this still from the movie – that look! Doesn’t it make you melt? And the love-ily thing is that Colbert has more than one moment of that sweet look as well. Gah. Love it.

So now, today, in about thirty minutes, imgresthe hubs and I are headed to another date out. Wow! We are so full of awesomeness and together-time this weekend! … And I can’t wait because we are seeing The Martian. I am not usually one to have the quick instinct that “I have to see that!” But with this one? The first time I saw the movie trailer, that was the thought I had. I’m so excited, and am perhaps looking forward equally towards the movie itself, as well as the popcorn and/or candy that will accompany said movie. Hee. Yum and Yay!

Okay, and? Now for the last good thing on my current list (there are so many today – so cool)… I was kind of losing track of my sober days, what with all that has been going on at work, and then on Thursday, I realized I was pretty close to 150/5 months. I checked in on line for a minute, and tuh-dah! Sober Day 150 was on Friday. Huge achievement! And my official 5-month happens tomorrow. So great! Now I am just 30 days away from my 180-day challenge finish, as well as edging up on that Winter Solstice/Solstice-to-Solstice Challenge. As I like to say, Woot-to-the-Oot, People!

So, here I was basking in the goodness of sobriety and achievement and not really feeling the worse for wear (as opposed to the time around the 100-marker), and was thinking I might splurge on a little Aveda perfume, because it’s waaaaaaaay cheaper than the perfumes I am in love with. Giorgio-Armani-SiI mentioned it to the hubs yesterday, and do you know? That man came home in the afternoon with a 5- and 6-month combo celebratory present for me. Gah. So sweet. And so deliciously amazing! As you can see here, it was a hunormous bottle of Armani’s Si perfume, plus a little gift set for buying the biggest bottle (Score!). So now, I am about to get ready for the date mentioned above, and then wear my new, yummy, wonderful perfume. Plus? Cate Blanchett is the spokesperson! I didn’t even know that until I looked up images this morning, and now I am more in love with my perfume than ever. Way to go manipulative advertising machine. You got me!

And with that? I must run. Time to get ready for my date! Ooooooh! We might even kiss! Gross.

Okay, love you. G’bye!

Day 152, Oh, look at that – the Pink Cloud has returned with a sky FULL of identical friends.

 

The Writing on the Wall.

Good morning.* A quick check-in today from Work.

It’s a big day today because I start my auditions for my the upcoming show – it all turns around within a month. So fast! Then, from here on out, there isn’t a time I am not directing …. until August! Five (maybe six!) shows in a row, and/or overlapping. Plus teaching. Eep. Feeling a little anxious about that, but also excited to be Creating Theatre with incredible teens, adults, and children.

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I am lucky indeed – to the nth degree, I would say. And? Being sober is making it all so much more wonderfuller. Truly. So lucky.*

Day 147, Action!

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I do – Every Day!

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