This week has felt like one long sobriety test (pun intended) but I have decided that Friday, is by far, my least favorite day of the week (this might be because school hasn’t started and I am a teacher). I had a shit day on Wednesday and couldn’t find anyone to watch my kids so I could go to a meeting. Grrr. My solution was pizza and wings (better than bourbon, right?). I made it through. Thursday, conversely, was a wonderful day. I usually go to an AA meeting on Thursday (or at least that is the day I have “committed” to meeting attendance) but I was feeling so good that I decided to skip it. Friday (Today), however, sucked on a near biblical level. All day, thoughts of Friday “happy hour”drinks kept popping into my head. I spent the day with a really good friend, but she is a normie so I didn’t feel totally comfortable giving her a play by play of the inner workings of my alcoholic brain (although we did have a cool conversation about HPs).
The day went smoothly until it didn’t. Within an hour, I found out my dad was in the hospital and my children (6 and 4), who had behaved all day, lost their minds and turned into demon children right before my eyes. The icing on the cake was that my son decided to bring our very large, very untrained, very unworldly dogs out into the front yard on a leash. The dogs, being utter morons and weighing around 200 lbs together, took off down a huge hill that leads directly to a busy street. It was utter chaos featuring a cacophony of of screaming children and their very angry, very freaked out (flip flop wearing- not conducive to chasing dogs down a hill) mom. No wonder the dogs made a run for it. It all miraculously turned out ok (the dogs are ok and I didn’t sell my children) but holy fucking hell did I want a drink after all of that.
On one of the messages my dad left from the hospital, he said he was proud of me for going to AA and encouraged me to keep going. Hubby watched the wee ones and I attended a meeting. It was my favorite meeting so far and I feel much, much better. I survived the afternoon from hell without bourbon, beer or wine! Woo-hoo!
I have been going to meeting for a couple of weeks and I feel like I might like to try out the whole sponsor thing. How does that work? Do you ask someone or wait until they offer? I feel like the little bird in “Are you my mother?” when I consider asking someone… Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank goodness Friday is almost OVER!
It is easy to list all of the things I fear or all my shortcomings. Maybe I need to do what I always tell others to do, focus on what is right instead of what is wrong.
1. 42 days sober is pretty fucking awesome.
2. I remember almost every detail of the episodes of Dexter, True Blood and series 4 of Dr. Who that I have watched over the last month.
3. Last week I went on two long walks (with a wee bit of jogging thrown in), did three yoga sessions (one actual class) and attended 2 AA meetings (mooring lines).
4. I have been meditating regularly.
5. I have half of a hat and 1/4 of a throw knitted.
6. I have been eating better than I have in years.
7. I have read several wonderful soul affirming books and several trashy romances this summer.
8. The house is in passable condition.
9. My dogs really love me.
10. My kids know I love them.
I have had a lot of thoughts kicking around in the old head the past few days. This past weekend was significantly better than the last. I am calmer, more reflective and I seem to have lost the inclination that I could, at any moment, crawl directly out of my skin. Signs of progress, perhaps.
Last night, before bed, I read half of Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety. I read before bed, like a normal person. I have been reading at night all summer (mostly because I can’t fucking sleep), but last night it really hit me: this new life I have. I feel like I am settling in. The edges aren’t quite as sharp. The sounds are not quite so brash and vulgar.
Now, not everything is magically wonderful. I still hate doing laundry and will put off paying bills until the cows come home. I am still loud and temperamental. I still yell at my kids too much. I still spend way to much time dicking around on my laptop. But many things are better. When I laugh, I actually feel it. It actually startles me sometimes, this strange rattle in my chest. It is a different laugh. Or perhaps, I just haven’t noticed it before. I feel better. I feel more whole? My daughter flipped on the lights this morning while I was attempting to wake up (thanks, baby) and she looked into my eyes and said, “Momma, your eyes! They’re beautiful!” She said this as if she had never seen eyes before, but I when I think about what my eyes looked like in the morning (cloudy, red, miserable) just a month and almost a half ago, I see where she might be coming from.
Here is what terrifies me of late: I have managed to construct a lovely little bubble around my sobriety because it is summer and I am a teacher. School. Starts. In. Two. And. One. Half. Fucking. Weeks. Shit! I am no where near prepared, lesson wise and I an feel shakily prepared emotionally and spiritually. The roller coaster routine of school and work and the stress of teaching are HUGE triggers for me. As I have written about in the past, I began to suck at aspects of my job near the end of my drinking and I am expected to kick it into high gear this year. I have a stack of books I was supposed to read over the summer to bolster my classroom management of which I have read about 3 pages total. It all feels very unforgiving. But people do this, right? They quit drinking and go right back to work. They succeed, right? People do this. All the time. What makes me so fucking special? I have been given a gift these past months and I sincerely hope I don’t fuck it all up.
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I learned today the danger of letting myself get too hungry and stressed. I had the worst craving crisis I have had so far on the way home from the store tonight. I was near tears when I got home and had a terrible tension headache. Once I ate something, I felt SO much better. Holy hell, that sucked. I have a meeting tomorrow. I will try to remember HALT next time that happens and remember to always carry a snack in my purse. Bedtime, now.
1. My old drinking stories aren’t really funny anymore. They sound more alarming and sad…
2. If I am really honest with myself, I have had a fucked up relationship with alcohol and other mind altering substances for a very long time.
3. I don’t give a rat’s ass if people ‘find out’ that I am in recovery. Almost… Sort of… Most of the time…
4. I *might* not be as in control of things as I once thought (Dammit!).
5. There is no longer even a glimmer of a doubt regarding the question of am I or aren’t I. I am an alcoholic and while it sucks, it is not the end of the world.
6. No, I cannot just drink moderately. Ever. So shut the hell up, Wolfie.
7. I can’t do this alone.
8. I can’t control anyone else’s recovery.
9. Recovery is about way more than just quitting drinking.
10. This is going to be hard.
11. This is going to be worth it.
12. I am worth it.
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