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When In A Funk

Yoga. Running. Writing. Connection. Podcasts. Reading. 

Those are some of the things that make me feel good, make my recovery flourish. So why is it that when I get into a funk, like I have been the last couple weeks, do I find that is the most difficult to get up and do these things? I KNOW what makes me happy and makes me feel content. Yet, I choose to do the opposite.

Sleep. Watch TV nonstop. Isolate. Dwell on the negative. Compare.

It’s times like this that it seems everyone on social media is having the time of their lives. “They” are all having a blast and living out their dreams right there in front of me. Or so it seems. So I flip them all off and it makes me feel better. Somewhat.

Comparison is a joy killer!!!

I’m not quite sure why I’ve been in this funk, I do know that it will pass. Eventually. I spoke with someone today about sobriety and how we used alcohol to fill the void. I explained to them that alcohol was the solution, a really shitty solution, but still a solution. It temporarily removed the frustration and discomfort of feeling life on life terms. So, when we get sober and the void is there, we aren’t exactly sure what to do. We no longer want the consequences that go along with our drinking, but there we are, having to feel all the feelings and shit. So many feelings, so many emotions, coming at us all at once. It’s overwhelming. Even at 776 days sober, the feelings are overwhelming. Especially when I’m choosing not to do the things that fill the void. Especially when I’m choosing to sit in the negative and refusing to see the bigger picture.

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Actually, if I’m 100% honest with myself, I do know what’s wrong with me. 

There are people, places, and things that are not the way I want them at this very moment. Yes, I admit it. I’m a control freak. I hate when things don’t go my way. I can NOT stand when someone is not doing what I want them to do. I can go days and even months without being bothered by people, places, and things. Not today though! Not the last week! Nope. Instead I am dwelling on the things that aren’t the way I want them. I am laying in bed crying over the people that aren’t the way I want them to be. I am restless, irritable, and discontent.

Does anyone else relate to this nonsense ^^^

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It’s sort of like me and my drinking. I wasn’t going to stop until the pain of changing was less than the pain of staying the same. I can take a lot of pain I’ve come to find. Also, it didn’t matter how many people wanted me to change, I was NOT going to change until I was ready. I had to hurt enough to want to do something different.

Thy will, not mine, be done!

A few days ago I sat in a meeting that I did not want to be at, with people I didn’t want to be around, talking about things I didn’t want to talk about. Nothing against them or any of that. It’s just that it was taking time away from thinking about myself and how things aren’t the way I want them. (Thinking about myself takes up a lot of time, ya know). Anyway, when it came time for me to read, what do ya know, the paragraph discussed prayer and “Thy will, not mine, be done.”  I always get the signs that I need when I need them. Doesn’t mean that I will listen or pay attention, but I am always getting messages.

Just for today. One day at a time.  

Luckily alcohol is no longer my solution, it’s doesn’t even cross my mind when I’m feeling low. Unfortunately though, I still have to let myself feel shitty enough to want to do something different.

Today I am choosing to do the opposite of what I want to do and what I am feeling. Writing this blog is the complete opposite action of what I want to do. I want to lay in bed and sulk. Instead I’m getting this shit off my chest and out of my brain. This morning I wanted to lay in bed, watch shitty TV, and sulk some more, but I went on a two mile jog. This afternoon I wanted to eat my feelings, chocolate cake sounded like it would do the trick, instead I chose a salad. Today I am choosing to accept that I am human doing the best that I can and so is everyone else.

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Tomorrow I might sulk all day, eat my feelings, flip everyone off on social media, and yell at someone for not doing what I want them to do, but for today I am choosing to be peaceful and mindful of others peoples feelings. I’m guessing that’s why they say ONE DAY AT A TIME?

This sobriety shit ain’t for the faint of heart!

Nobody said it would be easy, but they did say it would be worth it!!

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“Trying to be all zen and shit” selfie

 

 

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She Recovers NYC 2017

I remember reading A Year Without Alcohol by Kelly Fitzgerald, now Kelly Junco, and thinking “Holy shit, this girl has some balls”.  It was 2014 and I was around three months sober when I read her blog sharing about her year without alcohol and how great she felt now that she was sober. She even posted pics of herself all wasted. I couldn’t believe someone could be so brave, I was shocked and inspired. She was the first person I saw that was recovering out loud, like REALLY loud. There was no way I could ever do that, but I thought she was amazing and I wanted to be just like her. Except for the recovering out loud part.

 

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Kelly aka The Sober Senorita

I followed her though out my first year sober all the way up to my relapse on May 18th, 2015. It was soon after my relapse that I knew in my heart and mind that I had to share my story. It was the scariest thing I had ever done, being so open and honest, how would people respond? What would they say? But, I remembered Kelly and how she did it and if she could, maybe I could too. On October of 2015 I had the chance to meet her In Washington D.C. for the Unite To Face Addiction Rally. I kind of felt like a groupie lol.

 

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Holly creator of Hip Sobriety

I found that after I started sharing my story openly I began to connect with so many other women sharing their story too!  I found Holly Whitaker creator of Hip Sobriety and I knew I had to contact her. We had a brief phone conversation where she assured me I was on the right path and if I needed anything from her to call her but that I was already doing an a great job. Who would have guessed a few months after that conversation she  would ask me to be on the HOME podcast! Craziness!

 

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Marianne Williamson

Since then I have connected with so many women, some in recovery, some still trying to figure out their path and some have just been there for me when I was struggling. The online recovery community has been such a huge part of my journey. Not only do I have friends that are near by but I can go to any part of the country and have a friend that would probably make me coffee and let me sleep on her couch if I asked. And I would do the same for them in a heartbeat!

 

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Dawn Nickel creator of She Recovers

So when I heard that there would be a She Recovers conference in New York City I knew I had to be there. 500 other women like me?!?! As Dawn Nickel the creator of She Recovers says “We are all recovering from something” and she’s right. We are all recovering from something, we just don’t always talk about it. But here was our chance to come together as one, to talk about the hard stuff, to be with others that truly get it. To finally meet the ones that we’ve only connected with and admired from afar.

What A Magical Experience It Was!!

I got to see Kelly again and this time I didn’t feel like a groupie, it felt like old friends catching up. And I got to finally meet Holly. I got to meet Laura Ward of Quit Wining another mom in recovery that I follow and look up to. I met sober bloggers that I’ve been following and admiring finally IRL! I met Heidi Smith creator of Addicitive Designs, another one that I totally love and look up to. I met so many of the women that I’ve only chatted with on Instagram. In case you didn’t know, there is a HUGE recovery community on Instagram. It was incredible! I had multiple women ask how my son is doing, and they genuinely care. It felt like a room full of friends that had know each other forever. Not only that but we got to hear Glennon Doyle Melton, Gabby Bernstein, Elizabeth Vsargus, Elena Brower, Marianne Williamson, and a few other amazing ladies.

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Sober Bloggers

I’m still amazed by it!!

 

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Heidi of Addictive Designs

One of the best parts of the conference was on Friday evening when it had just began, I was filling up my water cup when a woman slowly walking by asks me if I’m Melissa. I told her I was and the look on her face makes me cry just thinking about it. She goes into saying how she has followed my blog and listened to my episode on the podcast and how much it has helped her. I wasn’t expecting that and I’m at a loss for words to describe how her words made me feel. Full of gratitude.  That right there is why I do this, if my story helps even one woman have hope then it’s all worth it. My biggest fear when coming out with my truth has been the fear of being judged, but when I hear someone say the things she said,  I know I’m on the right path.

I’m never alone! 

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Sober Bloggers

There just aren’t enough words to describe the experience. The conference reminded me that I’m never alone on this path, ever. None of us are ever alone. And when we speak our truth, we give others the courage to speak theirs too. Just like Kelly (The Sober Señorita)  did for me. I will be forever grateful for the women that came before lighting up the path letting women know it’s ok to own our stories and tell it like we don’t give a f^*k what others think.  Can’t wait for the next conference!!

My Heart Is Full

A few months ago I was contacted via Facebook on my Clean Life.Clean Home. page by a counselor at an alternative high school about twenty minutes from my house, asking me if I could come to her school and speak to the kids. She had Googled recovery and her zip code and I popped up her search. WOW!!

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When I read her message I totally freaked out. I thought to myself “ME?!?! She wants ME to speak to high school kids?!?! Absolutely not!” So I copied the message and sent it to my mom, who was super excited for me and said that I absolutely would go talk to them because I have a story to tell and even if one person in the room got something out of it then it would be worth it. After my anxiety calmed down I decided my mom was right, I messaged the counselor back and said I would do it.

Today that day came. I felt the nervousness and anxiety creeping up on me last night. I read over my notes from my conversation with Shane Watson from Not My Kid, he speaks to kids all the time and was kind enough to give me some pointers, I played it over in my head everything I would say. I stopped by an 8am meeting that is literally one minute away from the school, to see if any of my friends were there to give some words of encouragement. NOBODY was there! At least no one that I knew, so I left and sat outside the school for about twenty minutes checking the place out. I  had thoughts of backing out last minute. But then I figured I have already been through hell and back with my addiction, I CAN do this!

I spoke at the Ready To Shine event in March so why was this such a big deal?

It was pretty cool meeting the counselor for the first time. We had texted so much that it felt like we had already known each other for a while. I told her I talk to her more than I talk to my fiends that I’ve actually hung out with lol. Crazy how that works. She told me to relax, this is not a big deal, these kids are awesome. You’ll see, she said. She was right. 

I got up there and told my story nothing like I had planned, it felt like my voice was shaking the whole time, I held back tears which is not easy for me when talking about my kids, and I know I left some things out. Surprisingly though, I’m not over analyzing everything that I said.  Mainly because I can’t remember everything that was said which happens when I’m super nervous but also because before I went in I asked spirit  for the right words to come through me, the words that needed to be heard at that moment.

What was said was what needed to be heard. 

At the end of the talk I asked if any of them had questions, one person asked a question and it was a teacher. Then the counselor asked if there were any questions and no body asked one single question. I smiled but in my mind I was like “I totally sucked!!”

While thanking my friend for inviting me to speak, one of the girls came up to me and hugged me, she told me she was proud of me. Wow.  Another one told me of being in the same mental health hospital my son has been in. There were multiple high school kids waiting to talk to me after the other kids had already left. I couldn’t believe it! It makes me cry thinking about it. They were so sweet, so kind, so young. So much life ahead of them. I can’t believe some of the things I heard. It makes my heart hurt for them. It also makes me grateful that my kids don’t have to see me intoxicated ever again. It makes me so grateful that I am here today to tell my story.

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Then it dawned on me, I know why this is such a big deal! I see myself in them. I see the ME in high school that was trying so hard to fit in, feeling unsure of myself, misunderstood, craving acceptance, uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel for them. I want to hug them all and tell them that it does get better, that they don’t have to go down the same miserable hard path I chose. I wish I had had someone in high school get up in front of everyone and tell their ugly messy truth, someone to say Me Too,  maybe I would have chosen another path? Maybe. Maybe not.  I don’t know.

What I do know is when I left the school today I felt a high no drug or drink could ever compare to. Hearing their stories and connecting with them meant more to me than I could ever possibly explain. Their smiles, their hugs, their bravery. It took so much courage to come up and talk to a complete stranger about what’s going on in their lives. I know I would never have done that at that age. I’m so proud of them and will never forget this day for as long as I live.

Going to bed with a grateful heart tonight. It’s true when people say “Sobriety delivers everything alcohol/drugs promised”.

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The Bigger Picture

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Pic credit: 13 Reasons Why Trailer, Youtube.com

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve written anything. Life is so crazy busy lately, I sometimes have barely anytime to breathe. It’s a good kind of busy. I can’t complain, my life is full today. When I finally get the kids to sleep and I fall into bed, the last thing I want to do is think or write or read. Most nights I don’t even want to watch tv, but I’m not gonna lie, I love me some Netflix.

This week I’ve fallen deep into the show 13 Reasons Why and I’m hooked. It’s about a teenage girl who commits suicide but leaves behind tapes for all the people that had a part in what lead up to her death. It’s so good, and so creepy. It takes me back to my suicide attempt when I was a teenager in high school. I will write about that another time when I am ready. So, I’m watching this show and all I can think of are the parents, how incredibly difficult it must be to live on without your child, not knowing why. Always wondering what you could have done differently. I thank God my suicide attempt was not successful, although throughout my struggles with addiction to drugs/alcohol, I didn’t always feel so thankful.

Last night was Sunday night, a school night, the kids were exhausted and so I had them go to bed earlier than they normally would. Which left me a couple of hours to watch tv without feeling like I was up too late past my bedtime. I love my sleep and my early bedtime. I stayed up past my bedtime, I just couldn’t bring myself to turn off the tv. I was memorized by this show. Finally I made myself turn it off. I got up to turn on my fan and made a stop at the restroom before falling back into bed. I leave the door open with the bathroom light off.

My daughters room is directly across from the bathroom. Her lamp is on and her fan is blowing full speed (her choice) and a little piece of paper she taped to her door is lightly hitting it. I notice the paper flapping in the wind, I can’t see the color of it but I can hear it lightly tapping the door. Within seconds of noticing the paper, it falls. It floats softly to the carpet in the hallway. I think to myself “How strange”, it’s been flapping up against the door for at least two hours and suddenly now it decides to fall. Right as I’m watching it, it falls. I stare at the paper for a few seconds trying to make out the color. Maybe pink, maybe purple.

I go to her door and stare at her. She is sound asleep with her favorite Trolls doll covering her, pink sheets and pillow cases. She looked so peaceful. I suddenly felt like I was in another dimension. It’s so difficult to explain now that the moment has passed. I probably couldn’t have explained it even if I was still in the moment. I went back to bed and my mind was still wandering as if I was somewhere else, somewhere other than my room or my house, or even this world. I felt a strong urge to write what I was feeling and thinking, so I did. This is what I wrote with no holding back and no editing:

 

She has her troll blanket covering her. She looks peaceful. Suddenly I feel like I’m in another dimension. We are in two separate dimensions. I don’t see her as my daughter. I see her as a human being on her own journey, here for her own purpose, one that has nothing to do with me. Or maybe it does. I don’t know. But I see her separate from me. Her own thoughts, her own feelings, her own dreams and fears. 

I get into bed and I think to myself how in the morning I will wake her up and she will dress herself and it won’t matter it doesn’t match, it never matches. That’s who she is. And I want to enjoy this part of her that doesn’t care if people like what she is wearing because all that matters is she likes it. In her mind it matches. 

Then I feel my mind reaching for the bigger picture. It’s so close I can almost touch it. Where do we go from school? Where will the road take us? Where will this road take her? One day I won’t be here to hug her and tell her how much I love her. But, when will that be? The bigger picture is there. i can almost see it. I wish I could see it now. 

I always hear “Enjoy these times while they last” and I try to remember that when I am frustrated. One day the house will empty. Where will she be then?

I’m watching 13 Reasons Why. It makes me wonder, what if she is the first to go? What if this world is too cruel and she has to leave. Where will I be?

Tears roll down my cheeks. “I love you to the moon and back” I say before she sleeps. So much it hurts to think of us being apart ever. Ever again. 

The bigger picture is near. If I look hard enough will I be able to see it? It’s there in the corner of my mind. So close. 

The bigger picture is there. Somewhere. One day I’ll see it, know it, and touch it. One day. Someday. 

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I don’t know where the words came from. I don’t know the feeling I had or why I felt as if I was floating or sleeping with my eyes open. I can’t explain the experience, all I know is it happened. Maybe the show brought up so much emotion in me that it felt like an out of body experience.

What I do know is I love my daughter and my son more than words can explain and I couldn’t imagine ever being in this world without them. I say a special prayer for the parents living in this world with part of their heart missing. I say a special prayer for my dear friend Lisa L. who keeps a smile on her face when I know all she wants to do is hide in her bed and cry.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Over The Years

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! It’s March 17th, 2017. I’m sure there are thousands of people out celebrating today, drinking green beer and having a blast. I used to be one of them for years. These days my St. Patty’s Day consists of work and hanging out with my kiddos. I still wear the green, I just don’t drink the green beer anymore. And best of all, I won’t have a hangover tomorrow morning and I’ll remember everything that happens tonight. I’ll take that over a hangover any day. I had some crazy times I’ll never remember. Maybe it’s best I don’t.

Here I am trying to look sexy, but it kinda looks like I’m wasted and trying to make myself throw up lol.

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I lived in Dallas for years. My favorite day of the year was the St. Patty’s Day block party on lower Greenville. It was a blast and I looked forward to it every year. I would plan my whole weekend around the block party. Basically all it is is a bunch of people walking up and down Greenville drinking alcohol. There were house parties and bars to walk through.  It always started off innocent, as innocent as a block party full of booze possibly can. I’d wander through peoples houses drinking their beer, eating their food and using their restrooms. Then I’d head off to the next shenanigans I could get myself into. By the end of the night I’d be in a blackout and somehow make it home. That’s how I spent every year for about 6-7 years. Until I moved to Oklahoma City.

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The photo above is how the day started off. Coherent and having fun. We got in an argument and split up. He ended up in jail and I ended up at the apartment. We made up the next morning at Hooters while we washed away our hangovers with more beer. Gross!

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I thought I was so cool. But what I’ve learned over the years is that my alcoholism is progressive. It got worse and worse as the years went by. My consequences got worse and the” fun times” were replaced with needing alcohol to function. Fast forward to Saint Patricks Day 2016, my kids are in foster care for the second time and I get to have a two hour visit with my daughter while my son attends a camp for children that have parents that struggle with addiction. My “memories” on Facebook remind me where me and my daughter had lunch. We went to the park afterwards and then I had to take her back to daycare where the foster parents would pick her up. Here we are being silly. Wow, I remember wondering if the day would ever come that her and her brother could come home.

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Which brings me to today. March 17th, 2017. In two days I will celebrate 22 months sober. In two months my kids will have been back home under my roof for one year. Today I went to work in my green t-shirt and then I picked up my kids. I also picked up another little girl so she could come over and play for few hours. Her mommy is in recovery too. It really is crazy when I look back over the years and see how much has changed, how much had to change.

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I wonder how many people celebrating on Lower Greenville with their green beer will eventually find themselves in the same situation I was in, addicted and unsure how to function without the alcohol. I wonder how many will long for a better way of life, a life that doesn’t include blackouts and guilt that could cripple. If one person reads my story and finds hope, then the hell I went through was all worth it.

Death Becomes Her

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That is a picture I took of myself to show my mom just how bad I was feeling at that exact moment. I look like sh^t and felt even worse. I put on Facebook the only way I knew to best describe how I felt was, Death Becomes Her. I’ve never had the flu. I NEVER want to have it again!!!

When my son told me he didn’t feel well this past Monday I took him to the doctor and was surprised when they said he tested positive for the flu. He had just tested positive for strep throat four days prior and was still on antibiotics. Seriously?!?! While I was at the doctors office I got a steroid shot because my allergies had been acting up for a while now and it had been over a year since I’d had a shot. The doctor said she was worried about me getting the flu too and prescribed me Tamiflu. I looked at the doctor like she was crazy. I don’t need Tamiflu, I don’t get the flu. This is only allergies. Yes, I feel like I’m dying but it’s JUST allergies. Denial denial denial.

That was Monday, today is Saturday, and I’m finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. Finally. This week has been the worst. I never knew that laying in bed could actually be painful. It was impossible to get comfortable. Sleep did not come easily. I felt like I’d ran a marathon, my legs hurt like hell. My wrists even hurt, what is that?!?!

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Even though me and my son were down for the week, I still had my daughter to take care of and get back and forth to school. On Wednesday morning my daughter got herself up and ready for school and asked if I was going to take her to school. I laid in bed with 103 temperature dreading the drive two blocks away to her school. “You can stay home today baby.” If it had been my son he would have jumped at the chance to stay home. Not my daughter. She innocently shook her head and said “No mommy, I want to go to school.” So I dragged myself out of bed and got in the car. That was THE longest drive ever!

We pulled up to the school twenty minutes late. I hunched over the steering wheel trying really hard not to puke. I watched her eagerly run to the front door, purple dress and pink tights, tie dye Little Mermaid backpack, hair flowing. Her little legs running as fast as they could. I had a moment right then. An overwhelming wave of gratitude washed over me. There I was feeling like death but all I could think about was how grateful I am for my life, for my babies, for the fact that my daughter chose school over staying home. That was a sweet moment. 

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One morning (not sure which one, the whole week is a blur) I sat on the couch with my son in the dark, tv off, drinking pedialyte from the bottle. Unable to sleep, I just sat there feeling worse than I have in a long time, I had a flashback. I went back to to the time I thought it a good idea to mix rum and pedialyte together in hopes of not having a ridiculous hangover. I went back to the many times I sat in the dark hungover and unable to sleep, guilt and shame consuming my every thought.

Damn flu! Damn flashbacks! Snapped out of that real quick!

Anyway, that’s been my week. My first experience with the flu and hopefully my last. My kids are well and I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Thank goodness! As my friend says, this was my body’s way of telling me I needed to slow down and rest. My body doesn’t have to be so damn dramatic to gets it’s point across lol. Now excuse me while I go put onions in my socks.

 

 

 

Addicted To Drama

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I sat at the dining room table across from my boyfriend a few weeks ago and listened to him tell me that he thinks I’m addicted to drama. I was shocked. Disgusted. How could he say such a thing. Me?!? Addicted to drama?!?! Absolutely not. But, for some reason I couldn’t get those words out of my head and I am still thinking about it. I’ve learned on this journey of mine that when I am that disgusted and irritated by something I must look into why it bothers me so much. This is what I’ve come up with.

I AM ADDICTED TO DRAMA

Yep, I’ve decided that the reason his words hurt me so much is because they are true. The truth hurts sometimes. What I couldn’t understand though is why. Why am I addicted to drama? I’ve thought about this day and night. Night and day. In fact my mind has gone crazy wondering how this could be.

I AM A PROFESSIONAL AT MAKING MESSES

I have been making huge messes of my life for as long as I can remember. I’m good at making messes. I make gigantic mistakes, I create drama in all areas of my life, I cause self inflicted pain, I create chaos. Then what do I do? I fix it. I put it all back together. I make it all better. I get tough and I make a plan and then I take action to fix whatever mess I made. I know how to get my kids taken away and get them back. I know how to total my car and still get around with ease. I know how to lose everything I have but somehow make it out better off than before. I know how totally f*^k up a job and have another one a few days later. I know how to create drama and fix it. You know what I don’t know how to do?

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE NORMAL

A few years ago I sat in a meeting and listened to a friend of mine explain how her day was going really well, in fact everything in her life was great, there wasn’t anything to talk about and that it didn’t sit well with her. The normalcy of life didn’t sit well with her. I’ve never forgotten those words.

If I don’t have a mess to clean up or chaos to calm, then I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know how to do NORMAL. My life has been a series of fuck ups followed by my incredible ability to put it all back together. My life is pretty normal these days. My kids are both home full time, they drive me nuts with their whining but nothing major going on with them (knock on wood). All my legal stuff is fairly simple, nothing to stress over. My jobs are going great as well as my nonprofit. I have some really cool stuff going on in the next few months. Plus a boyfriend who loves me and my kids. You’d think I’d be floating on cloud 9. But I’m not.

Why?

I remember years ago before I had kids sitting alone in my north Dallas apartment snorting lines of coke and texting a friend of mine that I’d known since high school, that boredom was my worst enemy. I hate being bored. After observing my behavior, it seems I’m causing drama in my relationship to fulfill a need to avoid boredom. A need to have a problem and fix it.

What I am also figuring out is I have major anxiety. One year ago, with the help of the doctor, I got off anti-depressants. I had either been drinking, drinking and on meds, sober and on meds, but never sober and off meds. I wanted to see how I am without alcohol and anti-depressants. What I used to call “breakdowns” were actually anxiety attacks. Walls closing in and feeling as if an elephant is sitting on my chest is normal to me.  My anxiety is at it’s highest when I’m not in control. When I drank my anxiety melted away. Self medicating. But with the alcohol came problems, problems I was a pro at fixing, as long as it meant that I could still have my relief from the constant mind racing. Alcohol is not an option today. Instead I try to control every person, place or thing to keep the anxiety down.  Mainly I’m trying to control my relationship.

IT’S NOT WORKING 

I’ve never had a “normal” relationship. All my past relationships have been either soaked in alcohol or with men way older than me or both. Either way both types of relationships had lots of drama, I was never bored. I was either in control or I was drinking away the need to be in control. So now I’m in this normal relationship and I’m sabotaging it. I drive myself crazy! I’m not saying my relationship is boring. It’s not. At all. I make sure of that! On a serious note, my relationship is good, it’s exactly what I want when I’m not making things difficult. It’s crazy how well I can have my life together expect when it comes to this relationship stuff, I’m like a high school kid still. And I guess I kinda am in a way. I never learned to have a “normal” relationship without mixing alcohol into it.

I guess this part of my journey is learning or re-learning how to let things go. Let go of the need to be in control. I need to remind myself that expectations are premeditated resentments.  I don’t always have to have my way, that was a tough one to type out. I have to remember that I’m still growing, I’m still healing, I have a long way to go and so much more to learn. In this case I have so much I have to unlearn. Like, I’m not the center of the world and relationships are about give and take not just take take take. I have years of toxic relationships to heal from, it won’t happen over night.

I have to remember to breathe into the anxiety. Recognize it and sit with and not let it control me. I need to remember that I am only human and so is my partner.

Two Years Ago Today

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Today is January 31, 2017. Everyday I go onto Facebook and I see my “memories”,  I click on it and I get to see what I posted on that day in the previous years. Sometimes the memories are fun to see and some not so much. This day two years ago is probably a day I will never forget. It was the beginning of a downward spiral that would lead to my rock bottom. On January 31, 2015 I posted this:

“It’s a bitter sweet morning. I have been asking for prayers that my son get the help he needs and last night those prayers were answered. Yesterdays events was the last straw, he had become a danger to himself and others, especially his sister. I don’t know what’s going on in that mind of his, but the help that he will be receiving is exactly what he needs and I’ve been working on getting for him. The process was just sped up yesterday. He is in an inpatient behavioral health program that is for children 5-12. Although I know this is what he needs, it was so hard to leave him there last night. I am so thankful for all of your support and prayers. I wouldn’t be able to make it through this difficult time if it wasn’t for such supportive friends and family.”

That was a really difficult time, to say the least. I would celebrate one year sober a few weeks later on February 10th. I kept a smile on my face but I was struggling mentally and emotionally. He was released unexpectedly and too soon in my opinion from the hospital eight weeks later on March 31st. Nothing had changed. I was still at the school every other day and slept with one eye open afraid of what to come if I let my guard down. I tried to keep it together but by the middle of May, just days after I came home from my first She Recovers retreat,  I hit a wall. My kids would be removed from my home after a relapse that lasted twenty four hours. That was my rock bottom.

So when I read that “memory” this morning, all of those feelings of despair, hopelessness, and frustration came back. I’ve been in a funk all day. Besides not feeling well physically, I feel weighed down and overwhelmed. Why? Because I’m still dealing with the same stuff as I was that day! Maybe not to the same extreme, not really, but definitely close! I keep wondering when and if this craziness will ever end. Will there always be this weight on my shoulders? This time though I know that I don’t have to keep a big smile on my face when shit sucks but I have to remind myself of that. Out of habit I will give the smile along with “I’m fine”. When really I want to lay up in my bed and hide out.

Today I know that self care comes first. I listened to my body today by canceling  an appointment because my body told me to STOP.  Today I will write what I am feeling because then those damn feelings don’t have so much control over me. Today I will breathe deep and know that bedtime is coming soon. Today I know that I am not alone even if my mind tries to tell me that I am and even if it feels like I am, I am not alone. I will not make the same mistakes I have in the past. I won’t let it get to me. I won’t let it bring me down.

Tomorrow I will make time for a yoga class. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I will put one foot in front of the other just like I did today.

Today I breathe. 

37 Years Old

IMG_1534I turned 37 years old yesterday, January 29th 2017. It was also 621 days sober for me. Longest I have ever gone without a sip of alcohol.  It’s really is crazy to think how different life is these days. Had it been four or five years ago I would have been at the bar, kids at the sitter and I would have drank til I blacked out.  Of course the next morning I would have to piece together the night before and nursed my hangover, which more than likely included more alcohol. So grateful I don’t live that way anymore.

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Instead I woke up and went to work. My boyfriend and my kids surprised me at work with flowers, cards, a balloon and a cupcake. I waited on friends who tipped me well and to top it off my boss and my coworkers got me a $50 gift certificate to my favorite yoga shop. I finished off the day with a nice dinner at a yummy steak house.

Life is good today. I have so much to be grateful for. I’ve come a long way from where I used to be. Heck, life this time last year was completely different. On my 36th birthday I was only allowed one hour with my kids in a counselors office for a therapeutic visit. One hour!! Talk about coming a long way!

Life is FAR from perfect though. My relationship has it’s ups and downs (mainly because I can be a huge pain in the ass), my son has his own issues, life is crazy busy I barely have time to breathe at times, but overall I’m a lucky girl. None of this life would be possible if it wasn’t for recovery. If I didn’t wake up everyday and choose my kids, choose sobriety, choose LIFE, I wouldn’t have any of it. I have to make the conscious decision to keep going, even on the hard days. Because even on the hard days, recovery is always worth it.

IMG_1546Looking forward to many more sober birthdays!!

Tomorrow Is A New Day

 

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I’ve been on the verge of tears the whole day. My mind is crazy wondering what I could have done differently. I try to remember this isn’t my fault. Or is it? All I know is I wish I knew how to help my son.

I walked through a cemetery yesterday morning with my son looking at children’s graves wondering aloud what happened to those kids. Young boys. A  little girl. I told my son I bet their mom misses them. He didn’t seem impressed.

His cries echoed through the halls as I signed him into the hospital. How could we be there again? Why is this happening again?!?! Why? 

I went to a yoga class this afternoon to quiet my mind. At the beginning of the class the teacher says to set an intention, or dedicate our practice to a person. I’ve never had an instructor suggest dedicating a class to a person, but I knew it was meant to be for my son. I held back tears throughout the class. I let them flow when the lights went down at the end. My son is on his own path and I will always be by his side, but I have to remember to be ok even when he’s not. Easier said than done.

My dear friend who lost her son to suicide a little over year ago showed up on my door with a card and flowers. She’s one of the strongest women I know, if not the strongest. I think of her when times get rough with my son. My phone has been going off all day with kind words from friends. Thank God I’m never alone.