Tag Archives: sober moms

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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.

Merry-Go-Round

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Have you ever been in a relationship that feels like a merry-go-round? You’re on this ride that feels like it will never end, you keep spinning and spinning and you never go anywhere. At times it’s all shiny and pretty and so much fun! Other times you feel dizzy and sick, and you want to just STOP already. Just when it feels like you’ve got both feet back on steady ground, you’re pulled back on and you’re off the races again. Just spinning and spinning and spinning. You think to yourself HOW.  How am I still going round and round with this person that is so obviously toxic for me?

I’m on steady ground now. I hope to stay here. I am done going round and round with a person that I’ve been riding the merry-go-round with for way too long. 

I’m coming up on 16 months sober from a long time struggle with alcohol. Not only am I in recovery from the booze but I am also a recovering people pleaser. I like to please people. I like people to like me. It’s taken me a long time to be able to say no without dwelling on it for days, wondering if “they” will still like me. It’s taken me a long time to be able to stand up for myself without my legs shaking and my stomach turning, wondering if I might die from disappointing someone. My need for others approval has kept me from truly growing up, from truly becoming the woman that I was meant to be.

I’ve had sex for “his” approval. I’ve had sex for money. I’ve had sex for alcohol. I’ve had sex for drugs.  I’ve had sex to feel loved.  I’ve had sex for a material things. I’ve had sex because I felt it was expected of me. I’ve had sex I regretted.  I’ve had sex because I felt obligated. I’ve had sex that I don’t remember saying yes to. I’ve had sex because I wanted “him” to be happy. I’ve had sex because I didn’t know I could say no.

Too. Many. Damn. Times. I’ve had sex because I thought the other persons happiness was more important than mine. Too many damn times I said yes when I REALLY really wanted to say no. Too. Many. Times. It hurts to think about it.

This merry-go-round of a friendship slash relationship slash toxic friends with benefits slash whatever the f^*k you want to call it has lasted for so long, mainly because every time I try to end it, I’m guilted right back into it. I’m reminded over and over of all the things he’s done for me and how I basically owe him my life, my body, my self respect. His “no strings attached” are in actuality invisible strings that keep the old me and the new me still hanging on by a thread. They keep me from fully moving into the new me and my new life. Yes, all of the material things are awesome. Yes, they do make me feel happy, but it’s always temporary. All the things he does for me and my kids “out of the kindness of his heart” he makes mental note of so he can throw it in my face every time I try to move on. And I’m tired.  I’m dizzy.

I look back at my years of drinking and the relationships I participated in. Toxic relationship after toxic relationship. Same type of relationship just different faces. All based on what I could get out of it, what was in it for me. How much money and stuff could that person give me. Me. Me. Me. I wanted all you had and then some, and I was willing to give up my self esteem and self respect just as long as I got the “stuff” whatever the stuff happened to be. Money, cars, shopping sprees, trips, alcohol, cocaine. Anything that would fill the void, anything that would distract me from what was really going on. What was really going on was my job was sex. It wasn’t fun or pleasurable, so lots of alcohol had to be put into me before I could be comfortable in my own skin, before I could make “him” happy. The “him” of the moment depended on who was giving the most stuff to fill the void in my heart. Merry-go-round after merry-go-round, get off one and hop right on another. Same story different person.

I went to church last night where I had the privilege of hearing a man  very close to my family preach. He was my kids foster dad for a year while I put myself back together after a horrific one day relapse that ended in my children being taken out of my home. They are no longer the foster family, they are just family now. His words spoke to me in so many ways but one thing stood out. He spoke of a broken woman who was living with a man and exchanging sex for rent, then she meets Jesus. Jesus did not judge but instead he offers her something better. He offers her a new way of life. Eternal life. I relate to this woman. 

I am not a religious person. There are so many things that I can’t wrap my head around when it comes to God and Jesus and the bible. I’v been looked down on by people that call themselves christians. I have been judged because I had kids out of wedlock. I do NOT understand that way of thinking. But like his experience that he preached about last night, I’ve tried reaching for the next drug, the next drink, the next relationship and the next material thing but it never fills the void.

I have always loved being taken care of and I have always loved for people to do things for me. I’ve always needed a knight in shining armor to come save me from my self destructive ways. I have always needed someone to be there when I fell, which was actually quite often. I always needed an enabler. Or at least I thought I needed all of that. But what I was actually doing to myself was prolonging the “becoming an adult and taking care of my own mess” part of life. Instead I became a selfish and entitled brat that wanted everything handed to me, and it was all handed to me, but it came with a price. It came with strings. It came with fear of doing things on my own. It came with the fear of letting my walls down and letting true love in. It came with the fear of failure and it came with self doubt. It came with the feeling of being owned by “him” with all the money.

So today I am choosing to let it all go. Let go of the fear, the worry, the doubt, the stress, and just see what happens. I’m choosing to have faith in the unknown. I’m willing to open my heart to the possibilities. I’m willing to let go of what is not serving my higher self. I’m willing to consider Jesus. I’m willing to consider. 

Maybe, just maybe, I can have a life beyond my wildest dreams. Maybe I can also feel the peace that the preacher talked last night about having.  Maybe I can have the same type of beautiful relationship that he has with his wife. Maybe just considering I can have all of this is the first step to receiving it.

Maybe it’s already here……

 

 

 

No Filter

imageI took this picture early in morning this past weekend on a walk. I have no makeup on and I’m sweaty. I decided to post it on social media with no filter added. I have no clue what made me do that. It’s a big deal for me to post a picture of me with no makeup on. I despise my blonde eyes lashes. One of my friends that I’ve known forever even mentioned that she doesn’t remember ever seeing me without mascara. And we’ve known each other at least twenty years!!!

The fact that I’m willing to leave my house these days without makeup is a huge deal  I spent years piling on the makeup, and I still love to doll myself up sometimes, but not to the extent that I would go to in the past. I NEVER would have let myself leave the house without mascara! In fact I spent so many nights downing wine that I didn’t bother to remove my makeup. Mornings were such a blur, I’d throw on more mascara over the night befores and head out for the day. The more makeup I had on the better.

I ran into a guy a few months ago that lives in my town, he’s a driver and had driven me around a few times when I was bar hopping. He didn’t recognize me, I reminded him of the times he drove me around to different bars. He just stared at me for a moment and then said “You look different, you don’t have so much makeup on. Looks good” It got me thinking.

I remember when my children were removed from my home for the first time back in December of 2013, it was a Friday night. I was hysterical, I felt lost, I was physically sick and mentally destroyed. But, I had to work early the next morning. After crying myself to sleep, I woke up and wore the cutest shirt I could find and piled on the makeup, I put my best fake smile on and went to work. You would have never known CPS had taken my kids the night before. I covered up the hurt and the pain with layers of makeup and a pretty little smile. The worse I felt about myself the more dolled up I had to be. I couldn’t let anyone see the REAL me. What would say if they knew how disgusting I really was under all the makeup and cute clothes? I couldn’t let myself be found out, I needed to hide. I hated myself.

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I lived like that for years. The more I drank, the more bad decisions I made, the more I had to drink to forget those bad decisions, the more I had to pretend it was all perfect. And the cycle continues over and over again. Until there isn’t enough makeup to cover up the hate and disgust I felt for myself, until finally I let go of the need to be perfect, until I finally decided to own my truth. Until I finally let my truth be known. Today I don’t have to hide under anything. I can just be me. Perfectly imperfect ME. I still LOVE my mascara don’t get me wrong lol, but I don’t wear it to hide last nights mistakes anymore.

Today I can look at myself in the mirror and love who I see looking back at me. I don’t have to hide who I am under loads of mascara so people will only focus on the outside, I’m ok with them seeing who I truly am today, inside and out. It’s been a long bumpy road to this place of self love and self acceptance, and there is still a long way to go. But one day at a time I love myself just a little bit more. One day at a time I choose to own my truth and one day at a time I do the next right thing. Just for today, I love and accept myself fully and completely.

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Let Me Reintroduce Myself

IMG_4836A few weeks ago I posted a blog called Happy July 5th, I was irritable and grumpy. When I look back at that post I realize there is more than what meets the eye. There was something else going on behind the scenes that was causing me to be pissed off at everything and everyone. A conversation between me and a “friend” that occurred on July 3rd was causing me so much of my anger and resentment. I say friend with quotations because he is no longer my friend. Sometimes I wonder if he ever was, maybe our friendship ended when I got sober the first time. Sometimes I feel like alcohol was the only thing that kept our relationship going for so long. This story is not easy to tell, but it’s on my mind and on my heart. I’m going to let myself be extremely vulnerable and uncomfortable for a bit.

Who Is He?

He is a friend I met when my daughter was about four months old. He has been there for me through so much, the good times, the really good times, and the absolute horrible times. I feel like we were really good friends at one point. Best friends. Not only that but my kids adore him and he loves my kids. And, I could always count on him to be there when I wanted to drink. I knew he’d always drive me around to whatever bar I felt like going to at the moment and we could talk for hours about anything while downing beers. He has told me many times that he loved watching me work the room while he sat back and chilled. We had some really good times, most I honestly don’t remember. I knew that if he was with me nothing bad could happen, he’d be there to keep watch. My bodyguard if you will.

But, he’s never had the consequences I have had from drinking. He’s seen what happens when I drink but, he’s never actually experienced them himself. No jail or judges involved when he drinks. So he really didn’t and still doesn’t “get it” when getting sober finally had to happen for me.

What Happened

I won’t go into all the details of the story, but I will say it goes back to over a year ago,  but the final conversation we had on July 3rd was the final straw  where I finally said enough is enough. In February of 2015 I celebrated a year sober, little over a month after I was restless and irritable and I needed a drink. He was there in a heartbeat when I said I was ready for a beer. Of course it’s never one and I felt horrible the next day. My life continued to spiral after that night and once again a few months later I was ready to drink and once again he was there in a heartbeat. No questions asked. I continued the drinking on through the next day up until my children were removed for the second time in two years. That was May 18th,2015.

Fast forward to February of 2016, when he offered to loan me money that I owed to a friend for bailing me out when my legal consequences caught up to me. He gave me the money with assurance that I could start paying him back slowly once my kids were back home. He just wanted me to focus on getting my kids back without the worry of having to pay my back my other friend who needed the money asap. He also made it known that he wanted to date me, I declined. A few weeks later he pouted around my house because he was “sexually frustrated”. And not long after my kids came home full time and I began slowly paying him back, he came up with the idea of me paying him back with other things besides money. There was a little voice that told me something wasn’t right but I ignored it.

Then came the conversation on July 3rd when I asked if he could help me out with my kids the following Friday, I had to work and my son had camp. He was willing to help but once again brought up the “things” I could do to pay him back that doesn’t involve money.  I wasn’t born yesterday and knew exactly where the conversation was leading.

What I Did

I finally said I’ll give you what you want. I asked if he would leave me alone about all of it once he got what he wanted and he said yes. There are a few more disgusting details of the conversation that I will leave out but it’s nothing a “friend” would ever ask of me ESPECIALLY knowing damn well that I didn’t want to do it. He didn’t care what I wanted or didn’t want, he had already tried the nice guy route and that didn’t work. The pouting didn’t work, so he was to the point of coercing me or black mailing me. Whatever you want to call it, it disgusting and I finally said yes. I finally gave in.

I told my life coach and my sister about what the plan was and how I felt so horrible about my decision but because of my past I knew that I could “check out” when the time came. I was angry. I was bitter. I was resentful. I was sad. Luckily they reminded me that my body is mine and I’m allowed to say no and that no friend would ever expect me to do something I clearly do NOT want to do. I’m not the girl I used to be, but I almost let myself be treated the way I allowed men to treat me in my past. I know that had I gone through with it, I would have eventually drank. I can’t make decisions like that now and expect to stay sober for long. I would have to drink those decisions and the guilt away.

So I told him NO. I told him our friendship is over, I’m not the drunken slut that I may have been in the past. The old Melissa is gone and she isn’t coming back. EVER!!

His Response 

That’s cool. I just know how you are.

NO!

You know who I was. Let me reintroduce myself.

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Who I Am Now

I am finally growing up and figuring out that my happiness and well being doesn’t have to take the back burner so that someone else can get what they want from me. I am finally learning that I can say no and it’s all ok. I am a woman finally coming into the knowing that I am so much more than my body or my looks and that I have more to offer than sex. I am a strong sober mommy that can take care of shit on my own but that it doesn’t make me weak to ask for help. I am capable of so much more than I have given myself credit for in the past. I am finally learning that someone else’s happiness isn’t more important than mine. I am ME! And I like the new me way too much to let someone come along and try to tear me down to make themselves comfortable.

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Relapse Dream

tears-934725_1280Me and the kids pulled into our garage this afternoon after a long day, I was thinking  about how irritating it was going to be to have to get back out after I’ve gotten myself comfortable on the couch. I tell the kids they have to go with me while I “pee in a cup” lol. As part of the program I’m in I have to call and see if my name is called, if it is called I have  to do a UA (urinary analysis) and my kids despise going with me even though it literally takes ten minutes. “It’s boring mom!” I reply “Seriously guys, like it’s so exciting for mommy to pee in a cup in front of a total stranger all while hearing about how “boring” it is??”

OMG!

Anyway, as we were discussing all the “boring” stuff we were going to have to do I had a flashback to the dream I had last night. I dreamt that I had snorted some coke and was freaking out because I needed to know how long it would be in my system. I was conspiring as to how I would do this cocaine and still pass my UA. All that anxiety came rushing back and a feeling of disgust hit me like a ton of bricks. I remembered feeling so disappointed in the fact that I had ruined my sobriety all for a brief sense of relief.

Thank  goodness it was only a dream. Strange it was a dream about cocaine and not alcohol, alcohol was always my drug of choice. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve had many sleepless nights chasing the high with “just one more line”.  I was always a black out drinker, so the cocaine would help me stay coherent. It did it’s job, most of the time. But, I didn’t sleep and the hangover was ten times worse than it would have been had I just stuck with the alcohol. Glad those days are over!!

I haven’t had a drunk/high dream in a long time. It’s not unusual to have these sort of dreams when in recovery but I can’t help wondering what brought this on. Then it occurred to me that a lot has happened the last few days that could possibly have something to do with the dream.

Yesterday evening I had my son and his friend with me, his friend used to be his foster brother but now they are just brothers. I am grateful my son has such a good relationship with him. It was just us three last night, we had just left a local burger joint on campus corner and were headed to a concert in park held on Sunday’s during the summer. I see a guy walking down the street, obviously intoxicated stumbling into the fence along the sidewalk. I immediately recognized him, shocked I pull into a small driveway close to where he was about to pass. I get out of the car, let my son out and reintroduce him to one of the two men my son calls dad. I’ve spoken about him before and about how my son longs for a relationship with him in my Father’s Day blog  There we are standing on the sidewalk having small chat with the man my son has cried for too many times to count.  I can see my son is stunned and ecstatic to finally be hugging him after so long.

It’s been over three years since they have seen each other.  It was almost like no time had passed at all. As we drove off and he stumbled on down the sidewalk, I pointed out to my son that this man was drunk and has an addiction. I said he is sick, but I could see my sons eyes lit up from excitement. I couldn’t help but feel some joy seeing my son so happy.

He lives literally two minutes from us and this is the first time I have seen him in years. This happened FOUR days after my sons biological father was released from prison and tried contacting us. FOUR DAYS!! I have been court ordered to have no contact with him so I immediately tell my caseworker of the release and pass on the voicemail from him. Friday night my caseworker calls to let me know what he had to say about the situation, basically he is refusing to do anything to see his kids, he refuses to come court, he refuses to do anything that involves work on his part. Sad but not surprising.

I can’t help but wonder what is happening right now. No communication with either of these men in a long time and they are suddenly in the picture again within four days of each other. I have been known to analyze things til I’m blue in the face but this is strange to me. I don’t know what else to call it but strange! Crazy! Odd! Unusual! Is the universe is messing with me?!?!

My son doesn’t know his father is out of prison and I’m not telling him at the moment, if at all. All numbers have been blocked and it’s sad it has to be that way but it is what it is. I’m still on the fence about the man we saw last night, he’s wanting a relationship with my son and it’s difficult to say no to that. My son has missed this guy for a long time and now he’s here, but is it what’s best for my son? I have absolutely no desire to have any kind of relationship with either of these men and yet there they are showing up within days of each other. I have a lot to discuss with our counselors and my recovery coach.

My mind is all over the place. Maybe the reason for my dream?

 

 

Happy July 5th

imageThe holiday weekend is over and thank goodness for that. I feel like I have a hangover today, I woke up super pissed off at the world and at myself. Why? Not quite sure exactly. Nothing happened to cause me to be mad today, not really, I got to see my sister and spend time with my kids. Overall Independence Day weekend was good. This time last year my kids weren’t even living with me let alone spending a holiday with me. So why do I feel like I want to crawl in a hole and hide forever? Why this sudden pity party as one person called it?

The holidays always are accompanied by the pressure to have an amazing time with amazing friends doing amazing things. When all this amazing stuff doesn’t happen, I’m disappointed. I see so many people doing fun things and I feel left out. I feel like the last person to be picked for a team in elementary school. I spend a lot of time alone. Most days I don’t notice I’m alone because I’m working, running kids all over town, and just doing normal day to day stuff. Then a holiday has to come around and slap me in the face with a big huge LONELY LOSER stamp. Dramatic I know, that’s just me though. When I feel not included or embarrassed because I have to invite myself places, I start to get down on myself. Like REALLY down on myself, straight up hateful to myself. I make up all these reasons in my head as to why my kids and I are not included in fun activities with others, all leading to: I basically suck as a person.

Back when I was drinking I used to go to Hooters all the time, alone, and make friends with the waitresses and bartenders. I would frequent bars where there was a girl bartender and make friends with her (as friendly as you can be with someone who wants a tip). I was desperate for friends. Girlfriends! I am a girl girl kind of girl. I like having girlfriends. I tend to assume men want something from me other than friendship so I keep them at a distance. I long for my friends and my sister who live a state away, they know me and accept me for who I am.  I long for that closeness I felt with my girlfriends way back when.

I thought that getting sober would mean I would have these friendships that I longed for and we would be happy and joyful all the time. Maybe I didn’t picture it exactly like that, but like I said I’m dramatic. Nothing ever happens the way I picture it in my head.

My pity parties never last long and I always learn something from them, although I am hard headed and have to be reminded of these things often. It’ll sink in eventually. I hope.  Here’s a couple of those things:

1. Let That Shit Go!

Seriously! Let that shit go! Like all of it. All of the expectations I have for myself and for others I must learn to let it go. Easier said than done most days. Some things are more difficult to let go of. Some things I DON’T want to let go of so easily. I like to stir in my misery and anger a while sometimes lol. It’s comfortable there. But the sun shines brighter once I let go of all my expectations.

image2. Expectations Are Premeditated Resentments 

I already know this. I learned while doing a fifth step that this is one of my biggest character defects. Expecting people, places, and things to be something they are not or can not be, causes unnecessary resentments. I remember being so angry a couple years ago at someone and complaining to my then sponsor about someone, she asks “So if everyone did what you wanted them to do at all times, you’d be happy?” I replied with “YES! DUH!!” Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way and my expectations will only let me down.

3Tomorrow Is A New Day

And more than likely these feelings will be gone, until the next time. I can choose to act on these feelings, but I’ve learned the hard way that not every feeling requires an action. I am capable of having negative feelings and not acting on them. Who knew?!?! I can take the day minute by minute, do everything I’m supposed to do today, make every appointment on time, put my kids to bed, and go to bed sober all without having to act or drink on these negative feelings. Before I know it, it’s a new day. With a whole new set of feelings to deal with. Lol.

4. Being Alone Doesn’t Suck

Being alone doesn’t mean I’m lonely. Most of the time. I admit having a significant other would be nice sometimes. But then I have to share and then I have to think about someone else’s wants and needs. I already have my two kids and they have enough needs to keep me busy for years. When the time is right I’ll find a partner or my “person”, until then I will cherish this time alone with my kids and with myself.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, this too shall pass, blah blah blah. Hey at least I’m sober! Could be worse.

 

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Emotional Rollercoaster

imageThe last few days have been rough. And great. And then emotional and back to great with a little bit of self doubt mixed in. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions lately. I guess that is to be expected. My kids have only been home full time since May 11th after being gone for almost a year. To expect anything other than an emotional roller coaster would be naive of me, but yet I’m still surprised.

The honeymoon phase has worn off and my son is really pushing boundaries and being defiant, disrespectful and a straight up jerk to me. I haven’t concentrated on my breathing this much like EVER! I’m breathing so deep my lungs feel like they will explode and my eyeballs might pop out of my head lol. One minute  I imagine myself stopping the car, loving him up and hugging it all alway (love is always the answer, right?) The next minute I imagine jumping over the seat and slapping the living daylight out of him. I love that boy more than words can express yet the anger I felt today made me question whether I was really cut out for this. Can I do this? Can I really DO this?!?!?

I pulled the car over and told him to get out. He was yelling and being extremely hateful. I needed a second to calm down and figure out the next move. I ask myself what is the complete opposite of what I used to  do in this situation and that’s what I’ll do. So I reached out and I asked for help. I went to the people that fostered him the last year and I cried. I let it out. That is not something I would do in the past. In the past I would put a big smile on, hold it in and let it fester until I couldn’t take it anymore and then I’d drink. I despise showing emotions. I feel weak when I cry. I’m so much more comfortable with anger. Working on that part of me. I’ll get there.

imageMe and my son were in parent/child interaction therapy at the time my kids were removed. Afterwards we still saw the same girl, only it was separately, me at her office and him at school. I asked her one day how things had gone at school during her visit with him, her response still makes me cringe, the truth hurts. She says to me “Well he hates being told no, he hates authority and wants to do what he wants when he wants. So basically he’s you in a 7 year old body”

OUCH!!!

I think of that conversation often. I’ve heard that what we dislike in others is often a weakness in our own lives. I don’t like those things about myself, maybe that is why my sons behavior infuriates me to the core. I can see through his behavior how I can change my ways of thinking and being. My drinking brought out the selfish, spoiled brat in me that did what she wanted when she wanted with no respect for authority. I am working hard to be better than I used to be, and I am better than I used to be. But, I have a long way to go. And if I want to have a child that will respect authority I better show him what that means. Because now, I am the authority, at least to him and I’m demanding the respect that I refused to give while in the middle of my addiction. Payback is a bitch!

When I started drinking, I stopped growing up. So basically I’m still a teenager. Well, maybe I’m 21 now lol. Last year the counselor said I was a baby still, but I feel I’ve grown up a lot this past  year. Anyways, I didn’t learn so many of the things I needed to know, I didn’t mature at the rate of someone not drinking themselves into oblivion night after night for years. I’m still learning so many things that I should’ve learned way back in my early twenties. Instead I’m playing catch up, except I now have two children that are depending on me to show them the ways of the world, I gotta fake it til I make it!!

It is hard work being a parent. Being mom and dad is double the work. Worth it! But difficult. I have questioned whether or not I’m cut out for this, but it was pointed out that the fact that I was able to say hey I need help, shows that I am cut out for this. I can do this! Thank goodness I don’t have to do it alone!

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This Is Where I Say YES to Me!!!

yes-1137274_1920Wow! It feels like it’s been forever! I have had lots of things going on, lots of things on my mind. Glad to be back on the blog!

As a woman and mother in recovery, I struggle with the fear of what others think of me.  Although the fear seems to be less and less as I go on, it’s still there. Honestly, I’ve struggled with the worry of what others think of me for as long as I can remember.  What I have learned in the last eight months since I got sober is that I’m addicted to people pleasing. Which was very hard for me to accept, especially since I like to think of myself as a rebel, rule breaker, a “who gives a shit what others think of me” kind of girl. But, when it comes right down to it, I really care what you think about me. The more time goes on though,  the more I care what I think of me and less what you think of me. I’m a work in progress.

Drinking gave me the ability to become whoever I thought you wanted me to be. Alcohol took away all the thoughts of not being good enough. Alcohol gave me the self esteem I desperately longed for when I was sober. I had no clue who I was if I wasn’t the crazy party girl everyone always expected me to be. If I wasn’t at every party being the center of attention then who was I?!?!  I wanted to be everything to everyone so much that I lost myself somewhere in the middle of all the blackouts. I remember having anxiety just knowing I had to go to the grocery store sober and may run into someone I knew. What would I say? What do I talk about?  How do I act? If you drank like I did then this totally makes sense!

I think of alcohol as giving me as an invisible wall between me and the world. It protected me from having to show you the real me. The me that is broken and only pretends to have confidence. When I didn’t have alcohol in me I felt naked, it felt as if everyone could see all the ugliness and self hatred that alcohol hid. I was uncomfortable in my own skin. The worse I felt about myself the more I’d fix myself up. Make myself look pretty so others couldn’t see anything how ugly I felt inside. Maybe all the attention from men would somehow make me feel better I thought. I would accept invitations to go out with men that I had no interest in just to feel wanted, I loved the attention. I also loved that they would supply all the alcohol I wanted. I thought I was using them just as much as they were using me so it was ok. But in the end I was the only one feeling used and bad about myself.

I’m finally learning how to set boundaries. I’m finally learning that NO is a complete sentence. I don’t have to explain myself, if I say no to something then the answer is no. I no longer have to feel guilty for  speaking my truth and standing up for myself. This part of my life is where I learn to love myself so much that never have to drink again. This is the part of my life where I learn that I am good enough to stand up for what I believe in and nobody can make me feel less than unless I let them. This is where I say no to everyone and I say YES to me!!

I recently had a longtime friend come into town and stay the night with me. We used to date but hadn’t seen each other in years. I had some anxiety about him coming to visit. It didn’t take me long to figure out what the anxiety was about. I had a feeling that he thought we’d be getting it on and the old me probably would have given in because it would please him. He would leave and I’d feel like shit. Instead I said we’re not having sex and that was that. No explanation. I’m sure he was disappointed I don’t know, but I was relieved that I said no without any guilt. THAT is a big deal!!

There are so many other examples I could give on how I’m using this new found confidence to stand up for myself but, I’ll save those stories for a later date. What I will say is that when people are used to you being a certain way and then you change, there are those that do not handle the change well. There is resistance and some anger on their part, but that’s on them. The new Melissa is here to stay and anyone that doesn’t like me standing up for myself obviously has their own issues to deal with. People that I thought were on my side actually are not. My circle is changing and I’m ok with that. I’m just gonna go with it.

Today I am grateful to be sober and to be sharing my journey with others. We are never alone on this path. Recovery is not an easy path to be on but it sure is worth it!!

 

 

 

 

Alright. Let’s Do This

So here it is, let’s do this. My first blog. I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a few months and I always find an excuse not to. But, there is this little annoying voice in the back of my mind that will NOT shut up, that keeps telling me to share my story with others. Share my truth, be my authentic self, tell others of my struggles and strengths. That’s a scary thing to do for someone like me but I’m doing it anyway. When i say someone like me, what I mean is I’ve struggled a lot and I’ve kept these struggles and tough times a secret, at least for the most part. I’ve been too ashamed to let people in and know what’s really going on in this crazy head of mine. I have kept on my happy, pretty, everything is just fine, face for long enough.

So i’ll start off by saying Hi, I’m Melissa and I’m an alcoholic. I’m newly sober again, 103 days to be exact, and I finally am realizing that there is so much more to me than being labeled an alcoholic. I’m a hot tea lover, crazy cat lady, new student in college, kind and caring human being, yoga lover, runner (kinda) more like a slow jogger that runs races when I can, waitress who loves her little diner she works at and loves her coworkers even more, I’m a smartass, I’m a talker and a thinker, but most importantly I’m a mom. Yes, I have two amazing and beautiful children that are my sunshine. I love my children more than words can express, I’m tearing up just thinking about them. Unfortunately, my alcoholism has separated us for the time being, I’ll get into that later on, but for now they are always with me in my mind and my heart. I remind myself daily that this is only temporary. As long as i stay on the path of sobriety, we’l be back together again.

I hope that sharing journey of my past and my present struggles with addiction, single motherhood, depression, unhealthy relationships, finding my true self and my own way of recovery, and finally growing up, will help others to know that they’re not alone. I’ve felt so alone for so long and if I can help one person with my story, it’s all worth it. I want women to come together and support each other instead of tearing each other down. I want to help end the stigma of addiction and mental illness, it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

There are so many ways to recover and I’m finding what works for me. I’ve had this invisible wall around my heart for so long that at age 35 I’m saying I’m done hiding who I am. Who I am is a perfectly imperfect beautiful disaster and I’m okay with that.