Heya, Monster.

A SoberBlog by a TallWoman.

Archive for the category “Sobriety”

Reality Check

And I’ve got egg on my face to boot.

Update: I sent an email to admin (not a frazzled one like my post) asking for a meeting so that we could talk about my concerns with my schedule. I then itemized those concerns. They got back to me pretty quickly and clarified things. Turns out? The online program I rely on for my schedule was incorrect. Things got ironed out over email and we are moving forward. Good.

And? I’m embarrassed. Not in front of admin, but in front of all of you.

I feel, I react. I charge forward. I am the bull in the adage.

Anne was right – I’ve got lots of anxiety, and it’s all ready to boil up and over at the drop of a hat.

Wendy is right, too – I need to prioritize my health for mine and my family’s well-beings.

How do I walk in when I know the slate isn’t exactly clean? That’s the issue right now. I am the problem. My hackles are up and I’m ready for a fight – because I’ve been conditioned to fight at this point.

I’m working on the anxiety. First, I’ve been exercising more, which feels good. I start tomorrow with back to work and am going to work my exercises into my early mornings. That’s the plan as of this mo. Second, when I see my therapist tomorrow, I am going to propose to her that my anxiety is its own issue. There is still the possibility it’s an off-shoot of my new meds, but even so, anxiety is my middle name and I would love a life with far less of it. I’ll bring it up to her, and then I will call my shrink and see what she says. Meds are my concern now, because they could be exacerbating some of my heart issues, which stinks, because I think I do better on meds and have done better these past few years. It would stink if I had to cut them out. That, however, can be figured out as we go. Get back, Anxiety! Down, boy.

Okay, so that’s it. I just felt like I should come clean. I go back tomorrow and all of this pent-up anticipation/anxiety crapola should die down once I get back into it.

Day 1,163. It’s not you, it’s me.

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Climb Ev’ry….

There must be a step I am skipping.

I can see my goal – happy, carefree, no-stress, low-cortisol levels, did I mention happy? Easy, breezy (beautiful CoverGirl)….. Enjoying my work (my dream job) and being happy to be at my school, teaching what I love, and having both my babes with me at the same school. No more self-pity! (Gah. I am so bored of hearing myself talk about it over and over.) No more ‘Woe is me.’ No more crying. No more anticipatory stress. No more feeling sorry for myself. I’m really sick and tired of it.

That, and it feels like the Universe is sending me all these messages the past few weeks with others’ stories to put mine better into perspective. I know our hurts and our pains and challenges are not comparable, but I when I am listening to others’ stories (and comparing), I can’t help but think, ‘Why the hell can’t I get over my stuff/myself?’ Seriously. So many stories of people being amazing in the face of adversity and challenge and heartache and loss and life changes….. And then there’s the poor-old-boob-Me who can’t get over the fact her job is hard and her bosses aren’t great. (A bit of a generalization, but really, when it comes down to it, that’s what it is.)

I feel like a whiny schmuck who can’t get over it already.

And then the worry and anxiety comes in and that’s unsettling, because it doesn’t just unsettle me about the job, nope. It unsettles me about everything else, too, so that everything is bad or scary or insurmountable.

I am not that person.

I am a doer and a get-shit-done-kind-of-person. This continued anxiety is making me feel

  1. Not like myself
  2. Weak
  3. Alone
  4. Like a cry-baby
  5. Fragile and frail

And then, as I continue to bubble up with worries here and there, I also feel like I keep spilling it out on those I love, which makes me feel even more frustrated with myself.

I can see the oasis that is calm and serenity ahead of me. I can even get to it for a few brief moments at a time. A blogger used the image of an open hand the other week, and I love that idea in regards to my situation. Yes, the crap is here, but if I keep my hand open, it will pass. Right now, it feels like I am clutching onto all the crapola and I’m the one not letting things go.

And yet.

There is incompetence and disregard for my job as an arts teacher. I just checked my schedule and found I am given 10 preps (fine), but four of the classes are scheduled to be quarter-long instead of semester-long. What about content/curriculum? What about students getting adequate instruction time? Will students receive half the credit, or am I expected to cram a semester’s worth of content in for the students’ sakes? Why was none of this communicated to me ahead of time? Why was I not asked? Would you ask an English teacher to run their classes like this? Why am I? …… My heart just picks up right where it left off and runs like gangbusters for the hills. I’m worried returning to work is going to set my health back again and I’m going to have to have a more serious procedure to fix my heart problem (caused by my job), which further compounds the stress and the damage. …. Anyway, I’ve asked for a meeting, but seriously. Why am I my only advocate? Why does no one else see how their choices affect me, a teacher in their school? Plus, when I send off that old email, I further compound their perceptions of me as well. I’m the woman who can’t be happy or satisfied or content with her job. The woman who doesn’t know her place. The woman who is loud. The woman who dredges up problems, who sees trouble where there isn’t any. Etc. I want to quit, but I also want to push through and get through to the other side and be happy doing what I love to do.

I was bucking myself up the past few days because I go back to workshops on Thursday. I’ve been telling myself everything will be okay (Thanks, PapaBear), and that I can do this *flex* (Thanks, Rosie the Riveter), and that this year can and will be different because the past is in the past (Thanks, Elsa).

I’ve been to therapy a few times and am going again this week. I’ve been checking in here and reading and connecting. I’ve seen girlfriends and spent lots of time doing things to engage with others. I’ve started that new drug (which I’m not loving, but going to give it a month). I’ve exercised 4 times in the past 8 days. I’ve eaten (a lot). I’ve spent time with my babies and with the rest of my wonderful fam (Hi, Sister & NewBabyNiece). I got the heck out of dodge.

I’ve been doing the work and I still feel like Shit, and I’d like to know why.

Am I on the verge of a breakthrough? Or a breakdown? At this point, both seem probable.

I feel better as a person, but the Job is looming and this scheduling thing does not bode well, nor sit right, nor feel good as I begin another year. I just keep thinking that this year cannot be the same as last year. I cannot go through and lose myself, my health, and my family time the way I did last year. I’m clutching to that idea/goal, and then my heart begins to race and I feel sad and defeated.

I’m going to keep taking the steps, Folks. And I’m going to keep doing what needs to be done for me. I’m going to set boundaries and take things back a notch where I can. I’m going to prioritize my physical and mental health, my family, and my Time. I’m going to stand up for myself when and where I need to, even if I continue to be the Problem Person.

Day 1,161. Are we there yet?

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A Majestic Woman Climbing a Small Mountain by Caitlin Connolly

 

 

O regression, wherefore art thou?

First off, my favorite fact about WPS (William P. Shakespeare): Did you know the Shakespeare’s ‘O’ isn’t a literal ‘O’? The classic ‘O Romeo, Romeo…’ isn’t supposed to be said like ‘Oh, Romeo…’ Nope. Anytime an ‘O’ is written into a line, it’s a cue to the actor an emotional/emotive vocalization should be made. A sound. So in the classic balcony scene, Juliet might sigh or giggle or breathe in and make a frustrated wanting-sound. So many options. I love it. I love how Shakespeare stretches through time and still engages with us to create something new between him and the actor. So beautiful and exciting.

Second, ‘wherefore’ does not mean ‘where.’ (You probably know this one.) It means ‘why.’ Why are you Romeo, Romeo? Why do you have to be Romeo? A Montague? My family’s enemy? And in my latest production, a woman, which goes against my family’s faith? All of that in one line. Again, so beautiful and exciting.

Whereas, sobriety is not always…. Beautiful nor Exciting.

It’s work. …. Which I have kind of forgotten about. It seems to be a trend in my life. Trust when things are going well and don’t worry about them (because there are a million other things to worry about anyway, so worry about those), and then when I’m not looking, crashboombang! It all comes tumbling down in one arena of my life (or several arenas). Last summer it was my marriage. Rectified. Patched up. Renewed. Feeling okay and trying to keep my eye on that one.

This summer/past fall, winter, spring? My sobriety.

Yep. Super Regression! Cue wind to blow my hair and cape back behind me. Here I come to not save the day…..

Lots of regression. Heaps. Loads. And I’ve found myself in a rut. A quagmire. (I don’t know if I’ve ever used that word before. Fun.)

Well, okay, so definitely slogging, but my mood has shifted a bit, if you can tell by my glib and charming tone.

Things I’ve lost track and/or sight of:

  1. The day-to-day work of sobriety.
  2. Checking in on the blog roll with friends who are sober or working on sober.
  3. Commenting on blogs of those friends and engaging.
  4. Writing anything myself, besides pressure cooker spills of steam, stress, and panic.
  5. Taking care of myself…. at all. (Sub-set follows.)
    • Not reading good books/plays
    • Not exercising
    • Not eating well
    • Over-treating
    • Over-working
    • No good-good, down-to-our-bones-good family time
    • No friend time
    • No hubs time
    • No time, really, in general
  6. Carried lots of resentment and hostility and stress around.
    • All of my elevated cortisol levels are living in my enlarged gut. Boo.

Things I have done in spite of the shite this year and this summer/week:

  1. Taken vitamins and meds for 3+ years without missing any days (unless I was too sick to take anything…. Like when I had CHICKEN POX. On my BIRTHDAY.)
  2. Gone to the doctor over 20 times (not hyperbole) to try and get answers for my rapidly crazed heart and scary condition which affected me much of the year.
  3. Continued to do my job well. Seriously well. Amazing shows.
  4. Advocated for myself (loudly). Multiple times. And still am.
  5. Reached out to you all here this week good and proper-like.
  6. Said ‘yes’ to friends and saw two different groups this week. It was lovely. … And am (finally!) going to meet Wendy from Tipsy No More this coming week. Hoo-rah for us!
  7. Called and talked to my psych’s office 5 times this week. Got my meds altered to try and help me out of the morass.
  8. Called and got myself in to see my therapist to try and work through some of the crap I’ve been carrying around with me this year. Seeing her again next week to come up with an actionable plan to make this year better.
  9. Trying to say ‘yes’ to my kids a bit more the last few days. Includes swimming and relaxing, and dinners as a family when we can.
  10. Time with hubs is a few lunches out during the day, watching ‘Mad Men’ (only 4 episodes left to go!), and talking more.
  11. Baked a cake and might bake some cupcakes today. *smile*

I’ve finally picked-up Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Dear Sugar’ collection of advice articles, which was gifted to me by my best over a year ago, I think. However, it’s perfect that I picked up now, because I need to read and hear every word and phrase. It’s all about love and acceptance and being true to one’s self. I need those reminders right now. All of the reminders. So….

Why regression? Because it happens.

Why now? It’s been a tough year. (This needs to stop being my mantra. I need a new mantra. Any suggestions?)

Why am I having so much trouble? Because I keep holding onto it/the year, and I can’t move forward. Not even an inch, it feels. I’m so full of anger and resentment for what has been. And, if I’m honest, I’m reaaaaaaally angry and resentful about how it’s affected my life, health, and family. I am trying to take steps, but I really need to cut these ropes tethering me to this past year and finally get free of it all. That’s what I’ve really been realizing this week. Time to get on….. It’s time to shit or get off the pot. (My words, not Cheryl’s. (And also, mixed metaphors. Whoops.)))

It’s not so easy. But even though I’m not cutting the ropes clean, it seems I am starting to unravel them.

Day 1,144. One strand at a time. *plink*

 

 

1 Step Forward

I feel like I am going backwards.

In my Life.

In my Career.

In my Sobriety.

I feel sorry for myself all of the time. Big, gigantic loads of self-pity. I don’t actually think the words ‘It’s not fair,’ but I definitely feel the idea again and again.

And I do my best to kick myself in the pants, to grab ye ol’  boote strappes and get myself up and at ’em and living life anyway….. But it’s the anyway that’s become the problem. And the life bit as I said above.

Boiled down…. My Life and my Career are integrally intwined, and I am not finding much joy anywhere in the mix. Part of it is my job has taken so much piss out of me this past year, that I am deflated, used up, and have lost all my confidence. It has affected all other areas of my life. I cannot make a decision with any sort of authority. I am constantly worried about pleasing other people in a way that hinges on obsessive, and am losing my identity in the process. I feel weak in my mental, emotional, and physical states….. I feel shitty and empty and not-whole and not Myself.

I’m bruised and hurting and unhappy. I keep reminding myself it takes time to heal, but then bigger questions loom. Is it too much for me – education and theatre? Have they taken their toll, which means maybe I will feel like this until I decide to get out? Should I decide? Do I go? What then?

…. So much of this dilemma comes from my year. I stated in no uncertain terms to the head of my school that it was the hardest year of my professional career. Harder, even, than the year I lost my job from a community I love dearly. I wrote those words and knew them to be true, but I didn’t realize until later the why. When I lost my job, I was surrounded by people and buoyed up with so much Love. Heaps and gobs and bundles of Love. Yes, I had had a huge blow dealt to every side of my heart, but this year, I had as much turmoil (a different kind of turmoil), but with no people to support me, no love. I was so alone.

And I still feel alone, because I don’t trust my school. I don’t trust I will be taken care of any differently than I was this past year. I made so much commotion, so much noise for someone to please take care of me. And they wouldn’t. And they didn’t. Not until the very last second. And by that time, I was so battered and beaten and physically hurt…. I was so loud. And yet, no one acted like they heard me. ….. I was so loud. I am so loud. About the way things are versus the way things should be. Being loud makes me feel vulnerable and even more alone. And I can’t shut up. I won’t shut up, but I also can’t. And it hurts.

With all the damage done to my confidence as a professional, as well as to my actual, physical heart (prolonged stress-induced), I feel like I am losing hold of my metaphorical heart as well. The joy and love I feel for theatre has diminished and been tarnished this year. It just feels like work. I still find good things in it, but overall, I don’t feel the same. It might, probably certainly, has everything to do with being intertwined with my full-time job/school…. And I find myself resenting putting in more hours to continue a program for the school. My compassionate self would remind me that it is My program I am working to build and continue….. But my practical self says I’m tired. I’m tired of working for an institution that won’t take care of me back.

My practical self also reminds me that things arrrreee changing. Slowly. A full-time designer and builder has been hired, which is fantastic. And monumental. Truly. But I’m so tired of fighting to be taken care of, I can’t seem to be happy with the changes that are happening. It makes me feel cynical, which I’m not usually. It makes me more tired because of the work and the fighting for it all. I resent it all, and that is not how this Monster operates. I feel stuck and sad and hopeless about what’s to come. How miserable do I look? A mopey, unhappy lump.

…. We’re still boiling down, folks. ….. My sobriety. Yep. Also going backwards.

I’m still sober, so it’s not that on a technical level.

I just…. All this resentment and hostility and sadness. I keep trying to combat it with what I did my first year – kindness to myself, no judgment, doing things that feel good and kind…. And it’s all just sort of a mess. I sink into a chasm of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ episodes, or start a cleaning project which leaves more of a mess than when I started, or I flounder around trying to find something that will make me feel good, but nothing does. I see my addictive tendencies all over my life and it’s driving me mad with spinning thoughts …. How many hobbies can I accumulate and then, never finish? How many friends can I burn one too many times and then lose? I’m just mad that I’m me most of the time.

I’m depressed. I do know that. Calling my doctor and therapist today.

I’m lonely. I do know that, too, and have hung out with some people this past week.

I’m tired and don’t want to do anything, but also feel like that’s the depression and also, that I don’t want to lose these precious minutes of summer vacation. And all I’m doing is watching them disappear, which makes me feel more sad and more resentful.

This is ridiculous. I’m ridiculous.

I remind myself I have it so good, and that I should be happy. That word ‘should.’ So harmful.

And me, your mopey monster…. I even feel guilty coming out from hiding to write you, because all I write is mopey drivel. ….. I’m thinking as a light in my distance, that I am going to focus some of my frustrated, unsatisfied, unhappy energies towards writing again. Both here (to reconnect with my sobriety and the work that goes with it) and outside so that I might really get something published. That’s the little glimmer of hope I have right now. It’s teeny. And hard to muster the energy to do the work to even take the first steps. That’s partially what this post is for – to get me going.

Day 1,140. Thank you.*

-HM.

Check-In & Check-Ups

Good morning, Friends.*

Long time. Long, long time since I sat down. Sat down, period. But also sat down to write. Things have been rough. Friends ask me how my year has been pretty regularly these days as the school year is winding down. And my honest answer is always, ‘It’s been a tough year.’ Because it has. In so many ways. Low lows. And high highs. But those lows seem to be long-lasting, and the highs momentary.

Cut to the chase, I’m still sober. Win. Wonder. Achievement. Power. Got it. Haven’t lost it. …. Thought about it as a mental exercise of sorts a few times, but more philosophical than worrisome or actual, if that makes sense? Like remembering those days when I could and did just check out mentally, physically, and all sorts of -ally’s. A little jealous of the checking out, but then, walking away from the idea because sober is better. Even when Life is not.

The year has been tough because of work stress. I’ve felt unsupported or taken care of by administration in a coworker situation. Even though the situation required action, it took 5 months for that action to happen. In the meantime, my prolonged stress/cortisol levels probably affected my heart. I now have an electrical issue – an arrhythmia, and a low-grade fever which shows up every few days, which I have been trying for the past three months to figure out. Been to the doctor at least 15 times. Have finally gotten a referral to a cardiologist this month. Good news is that monitoring has showed that my heart muscle is normal and very healthy. It’s just out of sync with itself. (Tell me about it, Heart. I know exactly what you’re going through.)

Other stress was a big project fell in my lap, again without any support.

I teach full-time, and I direct 2 shows and assisted a third over the school year.

I was missing my kids, my family. I was missing time to take care of myself. To feel balanced. I just felt like I was/am pouring myself into this school and the institution is not giving me a whole heck of a lot back.

This place was supposed to be my knight in shining armor. And it is in some ways. But in others, I am just alone on so many things. Somewhat the nature of teaching, but this feels above and beyond – in a bad way. …. Below and super-close? … Nope. Not the same kind of ring. … Anyway, the leadership does not lead. By action. ….. By word, yes, but it’s just to make everyone like them. The leadership has no identity, because they don’t take a stand on anything. I don’t know who they are. It is the most mind-boggling thing, because what are they getting paid all the money for? Drives. Me. Crazy. I don’t want a nice guy or guys. I want a Leader. Argh.

Having my girl with me during the school day is amazing. Knowing my son will join us next year makes everything even better in that regard. …. But knowing that my school day-interactions with them are about all I see them breaks my heart. … Part of it is the nature of theatre. But with all the added stress this year, even when I do get home I have so much to get done when I’m actually there like cleaning the living room, or so maxed out that I zone out to dumb YouTube videos,  that we just don’t have more than 20 minutes together most days. It’s crazy.

I feel like I’m missing them. I don’t want to miss them.

Also? I got shingles on my birthday. Um, what?! That’s not fair. …. Although it made me slow down for a week. I was OUT. It was horrible, and I only had the smallest patch of pox, but it knocked me down and again, OUT.

Okay. So, yeah. Tough year. Tough, tough year.

Good things? They were there, too, in the midst.

  • My sister had a beautiful baby girl. Oh, my word, so beautiful.
  • My PapaBear had a health scare, but came out of it on the other side. Working on staying healthy – just like all of us. *smile*
  • The shows I directed went off incredibly well. Students have grown so much in just two years. A definite culture is being created in the department, and it makes us all stronger and better. I love the relationships forming. (High schoolers here.)
  • I love Middle Schoolers. They’re so great.
  • Directing a show at my outdoor company, which I’ve wanted them to stage for 20 years. It’s fun and light and silly, and a lovely antidote to my year.
  • My daughter is amazing and smart and hilarious, and is overcoming her ‘worry voice’ a little bit at a time.
  • My son has taken off on the piano and loves all things music, which I knew from the beginning he would.
  • The hubs is freaking out about playing Antony in Shakespeare’s ‘Antony & Cleopatra,’ but I know he will be amazing. This is the hard part.
  • Time has been spent in the yard and the gardens. Dirt smells so good.
  • Music is being listened to.
  • Like I said before, still sober. *flex*
  • Good, healthy food is being eaten. I’ve been trying to ‘eat clean,’ and have been quite successful at it these past two and a half weeks. I feel really good because of it.
  • Connected to that, exercise has happened more in the past month than in the past year. *smile*
  • I played ‘Family’ with my babes last night. We went camping, built a campfire, paddled a canoe, caught a huge fish, a school of fish, oysters, clams, crab legs, and a treasure chest. It was quite the trip. *smile*
  • My cat feels less neglected, as I am petting and cuddling her regularly, as opposed to pushing her away because I don’t want to be needed.
  • Even with all the health concerns and hassle, I’ve been proactive and spoken up and tried to figure out what the heck is going on. In my drinking days, I probably would have let it slide and figured it out later.
  • Similarly, with the job, I’ve signed for next year, but I am still considering options. Trying to figure out what that might look like or be, etc. Just keeping my mind open to the possibility helps me feel less ‘stuck.’
  • Summer is almost here. Just around the corner. Literally – next week. Cannot wait.
  • And dates are coming up, too. The hubs and I are celebrating our 10-year anniversary on Thursday, and my 3-year sober date is Saturday. Wow!

….. See? Lots of good things in the past month, especially.

Day 1,092. Heya. I missed ya.*

-HM. MmVhV9cm_400x400

 

 

 

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.

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.

200_s

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.*

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