Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful......

This Thanksgiving is a random. I am  home alone. The boys are off with Dad. It is not that I didn't have options of places to go - it's that I didn't feel obligated to go anywhere, nor did I feel guilt about it. I am happily enjoying the silence.

 Family obligations are important, I believe they are what teach children that it isn't all about them, and that sometimes we show up for the love of others. Or for the flat out fear that our parents will kick our ass.  I am grateful that my Mom made me suit up and show up even when I didn't want to go. Today I explained to my children that they were to get dressed nicely, and go make their father happy. After a bit of grumbling from the little one about having to wear a golf shirt, they headed off.

Now I quietly reflection on the blessings of the year. I never in a million years though that I would be where I am today. It is very easy to stay grateful when everything you, are and everything you have, feels like a miracle.

 I have often said that if I could bottle up the feeling of gratitude I would. It is by far the best emotion ever!

Monday, November 25, 2013

One Alcoholic Helping Another

Annette Update:
 
Hello everyone!  Annette here with a brief update about how it's going for me today.....Today has been a really good day - attended 2 meetings and met with my mentor for lunch - I'm working on doing an inventory right now.  I've done this before, but it's time for another one.  I have been sober now since November 5, 2013 - not sure how many days that is off the top of my head....I'm trying to stay in the moment and just remember that I'm sober TODAY.  Since deciding not to go to inpatient treatment because of insurance reasons, I have thrown myself into my program of recovery attending 2-3 classes a day, going to lunch and/or coffee with other sober women, trying to be of service as often as I can, working with my mentor on my program, getting on my knees every morning and asking God to help me to stay sober today, reading daily readings from 3 different books and finally getting on my knees again at night before I go to bed to say thank you to God for keeping me sober today.  My husband and I went to our first counseling session together last week - it was very productive - and we continue to see him going forward.  We are also seeing him as a family this Wednesday - me, my husband and our 2 boys.....must say I'm a bit nervous about the appointment.  Guess I'm a little afraid to hear what my boys have to say about all of this - afraid to hear their feelings.....it's not going to be easy, but I think there will be some healing come from it.  We'll decide after Wednesday how often to continue seeing our counselor as a family and/or if he maybe suggests seeing the boys one-on-one - like my recovery program, I will listen to the counselor's suggestions and follow them - again, my way of doing things hasn't been real successful lately - actually it's never been successful!
 
Everyday has not been kittens and rainbows for me....last Wednesday I had physical cravings that were screaming at me to go get a drink - I went to a class and lunch with 3 other sober women instead.....Friday I built up this stupid but powerful resentment against my husband and carried it with me all night Friday ....I went to bed with the plan that on Saturday I was going to s
skip my meeting and lunch with my sober girlfriend and go drink....by the Grace of God, that thought had left my head by the time I woke up on Saturday morning, and I kept with my original plan of attending my meeting and doing lunch with my sober girlfriend.  Looking back, I should have called someone Friday nightwhen the resentment hit me, but I'm still a work in progress and didn't say anything until the next day.  I need to get it through my thick skull that saying how I'm feeling out loud to another person in recovery is the best thing I can do for myself & my sobriety....so I brought up what happened Friday night at both of my classes today and feel much better even though I didn't act on it Saturday.  I need to remember that my secrets keep me sick and keeping crazy thoughts in my head and not saying them out loud will lead me to drink.
 
All I can tell you about today is that I am grateful to be sober today, I'm grateful for Emily and all of you readers out there, I'm grateful for my family that hasn't given up on me (yet), I'm thankful for the amazing relationships I have with the sober women in my life and I am thankful for God's Grace and Forgiveness.....He is with me always and I need not forget that for a second!
 
Would love to hear some of your stories - believe it or not, sharing your story might help you to stay sober and it will definitely help me to stay sober :)
 
Hope everyone has a wonderful & blessed Thanksgiving!!!!
 
Annette



Saturday, November 23, 2013

6 years Sober


6 years ago I accidentally made a decision that would forever change the course of my life. All I knew was that something had to change. I didn't know how I was going to stop drinking - as it was my life. But it was a life that lead to nothing but misery, guilty, shame, sadness and eventually insanity. I didn't want to live it one more second - I wanted to die - I didn't know what I was going to do, or how I was going to do it..but I knew I was willing to try. 

Recovery for me began when willingness set it. I had the willingness to listen to the people who had gone before me, and because of that I am 6 years sober today.  

For that I am grateful! 

Chasing Rejection



I know that I'm not the only women that does it. But God do I do it.

 It's the typical story--boy chases girl - boy catches girl - boy backs up - girl chases boy. 

Every time...Could someone please explain to me what in the hell that is!? 

I know all the "rules" all the "tricks, I've read ever book, but I still find myself doing it. I may not act on it, but the feeling is still there. I'm very conscious of it these days. I can see and evaluate my feelings, thoughts, and actions in regards to chasing rejection...but I can't exactly pin point why it is happening. Is it just normal human behavior. Or is it a bigger, deeper issue. Is it abandonment issues from my childhood? Is it low self-Estéem. The fear of vulnerability, perhaps? Is it a disconnect from my Higher-Power? 

I'm thinking maybe it is a mixture of all of the above...I am a firm believer of being able to fix what we are aware of. And I am painfully aware of this one, and it is getting old. 

What work do I need to do in order to stop chasing rejection? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is it even worth it?




Is it even worth it? Are relationships even fucking worth it? The loss of peace and serenity-the confusion, the emotions, the bullshit... Is it even worth it? The last thing I want to be is a bitter Betty, but for Gods sake it feels like such a complete waste of energy, of mind space, of time. I was always a bit sad when people would talk about relationships like this..but I get it. Being alone isn't all that bad which makes justifying being in a relationship really difficult. 

Am I the only one that feels this way? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bringing the Blog back to Life....


Soon after I started this blog it took on a life of its own. The readers -you- turned it into this magical pIace that I felt blessed to even be a part of. This blog saved my life. It was here for me ever day. It kept me out of complete and total insulation when all I wanted to do was hide. 

I am trying to breath the life back into it. To feel once again feel that there is a secret community that lives inside here - that loves and supports each other. I am going to need your help....comment, share, support each other....please. It would mean a great deal to me, and to the others that use this blog as support. Recovery to me means never having to be alone again. 

<3 




Your Body is Beautiful!



I am leaving for Hawaii in 2 weeks. Between my new relationship, and some other personal BS going on in life, I have managed to gain some weight. Last year right around this time I joined Weight Watchers and it was very successful for me. I am a girl who needs structure, routine, and a program to accomplish things. Weight Watchers works great - if you work it! Very similar to another program I'm in! So I'm back on Weight Watchers. Along with that for the next two weeks I am trying to cut out bread and sugar. I LOVE bread and sugar - so this has been a bit painful! 

This time around I am trying to do things a little differently - I am trying to keep my inner dialogue kind, and too love my body through it. So my butts bigger...have you seen Kim Kardashian? Compared to her I have a tiny ass, right?! 

I'll be honest I haven't done the whole loving your body through a weight loss perfectly - in fact the other day I was trying to get into  a pair of jeans,  and I was so pissed that they didn't fit that I had a huge temper tantrum, and ripped them. Progress not perfection, I guess?! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Recovery to Relapse


 
          
First off, Em - I hope you don't mind me blogging on your site.....I am really in dire need of any experience, strength & hope anyone following could lend....some of you may know me, my name is Annette and I read Emily's article in the Nov 2009 People magazine and found her blog - this one :)

Emily was the 1st person I ever admitted to that I thought I was an alcoholic....I remember mamaof3 was a big contributor at that time and she provided her experience, strength & hope along with Emily.  It was a Godsend!!!!!  Those 2 women gave me the strength, willingness and "push" to go to my first 12 step meeting back in December 2009.  I found AA to be an incredible fellowship of people who really "got" what I was going through....I had never experienced anything like that before...I was hooked!  Many of you know my story....I stayed sober for 10 months with the help of my group, relapsed in Oct. 2010 for one day, then had 2 more single days of relapse and came back into the program in December 2010......again, stayed sober for another 10 months and then relapsed again 3 single days....after that I decided I needed to check into inpatient treatment and I did so on 12/2/11.....I had been sober for 3 days - thought about checking into rehab drunk off my ass, but what was the point when it would only totally piss off my totally supportive husband and prolong my stay because I had to go through detox....not worth it to me....but sober or not, I had to spend 3 days in detox and that was an eye-opening experience for me - I had 4 other roommates that were all detoxing from different drugs and it was REALLY scary to me....rehab was good - I stayed for 22 days - one of the best experiences of my life!  Got out, came home, family was happy, I was happy, I went back to my Homegroup 5 days a week, got a sponsor, started working the steps and life was great.......I stayed sober, happily, for 22 months....Sobriety was awesome - something that I never thought I could have - those 22 months with my husband and my 2 boys were the best of my life!  At 22 months, I decided in my own brain that I was totally tired of going to the same homegroup meetings everyday at noon and hearing the "same" stories from the "same" people day in and day out - hell.....I could skip the meeting and tell you what so & so said!  I wasn't willing to take action.....Then the damn vodka was screamed my name!!! And there it came my 3rd relapse.....of course, I lied to my husband over the phone that night he was out of town on business...."I have NOT been drinking!!!!  I can't believe you are even accusing me of it!!!!"  .......well, you know the deal - I had been drinking :(  The next day I admitted to him what he already knew to be true and I got the MOST vicious response I've ever gotten from him - it was all over the phone as he was still out of town on business, but he told me to SHUT UP & HE DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR ANYMORE LIES OUTTA MY LYING MOUTH!!!.....that totally startled me - he went on to say that he was done - he couldn't take anymore from me and my drinking - keep in mind, he has been totally & utterly supportive though 7 one day relapses in the past 4 years - not bad for an alkie, but how much can I really, honestly ask him to put up with before he gives me the boot????  He went on to advise me that he was contacting an attorney and having divorce papers drawn up.....he wasn't going to file them just yet.....instead, he was going to put them on a shelf in our home where I could see them everyday - as a reminder of what's to come if I drink again.....I have to admit, that totally rocked my world and scared the shit outta me, but I am at the point that I want my sobriety back for myself more so than for anyone else!  Whether I'm with my husband and the boys or not, I want my sobriety back for ME!!!!

So I decided to be willing enough to go back into inpatient treatment....this time, not to a place right in my backyard.....I decided on Hazelden in Minnesota....and no, I hate cold weather - but I want to go there for the right reasons for me - not for a mini-vacation.  My addiction counselor agreed and we began the process of setting everything up - she said that I had excellent insurance coverage and that I should look at it as a sign from my Higher Power that this is what I should do.....I took the plunge - I'm ready to surrender - FINALLY - after 4 years - I am willing to take whatever suggestions I am given from her and the other women in my homegroup - I do what they suggest cuz my ways & ideas are obviously NOT working!!!!  Through preliminary phone calls, Hazelden tells me that all is good....we gather the boys and tell them that I'm going away again for 30 days - this time to a different state - but that it is all because Mom knows that she needs some help and is not afraid to admit it and ask for it....they were very understanding, supportive & loving - sad that I won't be here for Thanksgiving, but happy that I'm getting the help I need.  An hour later, I do my 1 hr intake phone call with Hazelden - at the end, she throws out there her personal opinion that "I'm not that bad" and that "insurance may not cover the stay".....I began to craze!....but paused, quieted myself and told myself that God's Will for me would come through in the end.....fast forward to today.....my intake counselor called me again this morning and asked me to elaborate a bit for my need for inpatient treatment....I told her that I wasn't gonna lie about the last time I took a drink, that I was hanging on by going to 3 meetings a day in the interim (before getting into treatment) and that my husband travels a lot and my kids' schedules are crazy busy with school and sports which lends absolutely no time for me to focus on myself.....that was why I believed that 30 days of inpatient treatment would benefit me the most.....so now I sit and wait to hear back from them....I will admit that I'm a mess - I mean, I became willing to do this and leave my family again - FOR ME!!!.....we told the boys last nite...my plane ticket there is already booked & paid for this Saturday.....and NOW they are telling me that they don't know if my insurance company agrees that I'm "that bad" to require inpatient treatment....AYE-YI-YI!!!!  But I'm not drinking over this little hiccup - not worth it - not gonna change anything - I can't control the outcome....I'll just wait and see what they have to say....patiently :)

Recovery is not an easy street by any means, but NEVER give up HOPE!!!!  Even if they deny insurance coverage, I will proceed in a manner that enhances my recovery in some way or another - whether it be an intensive outpatient program or just continuing 3 meetings a day, working with my sponsor, growing my relationship with my higher power (which I believe is a crucial missing link) and doing the next right thing.  I will NOT let this "possible" denial of inpatient treatment stop me from being a happy & free recovering alcoholic!

Love you Em & thanks so much for sharing with your readers.....I feel so much better :)  Best to get all this crap out of our head instead of keeping it inside to fester and eventually cause us to return to the drink.

Annette

What do you think about the most?

 

I remember a few years back being really, really obsessed over a man - my heart was broken, and I was in a huge amount of emotional pain. When I went to my sponsor with it  she explained to me that what ever I thought about the most was my God. That did not sit well with me - at all. I was thinking about a man all the time, just like I had though about alcohol all the time in the beginning of sobriety. I totally got what she was saying, and those few words have staying with me in my sobriety. When I am in a obsessive though pattern I know it is because something has come before my God. Now I catch those thoughts and return my mind to my higher power. 

I know that the above is a huge concept in the beginning of sobriety, or in the beginning of any recovery, really. But it's a learned thing...like with everything else it takes practice. Try this....the next time you think about drinking - the second the though comes to you- say a prayer. And if you're new in sobriety when the same though comes back in 5 minutes say another prayer....it works, I promise! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Where did the time go?

   
Time... I remember in the beginning of sobriety time went so, so slowly that it was painful. I for sure stayed sober 1 minute at a time. I did whatever I could to fill the slow, lonely, uncomfortable moments. Meetings, reading, praying, eating...whatever I could do the fill space. As I went from 30 days sober, to 60 days, to 90 and then a year...time got less and less painful. I don't remember exactly when it happened, but suddenly time was no longer an issue. I was no longer counting the minutes or hours until bed time. Something had changed. 

Now I love my life - and when it comes to time I wish it could go just a little bit slower. 

"Stay in the moment. as the moment is where the miracles happen" 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why do we say thank you to Veterans on a Veterans Day?


                      
     
As I scrolled through FB today, I witnessed a huge outpouring of patriotic pictures and countless expressions of gratitude to our fellow Americans who've worn a military uniform. The question came to me, what are we thanking them for?
The answer came to me from close by. These men and women made a choice to step outside our social contract. They gave up their constitutional rights, and placed themselves between us and people who want to destroy the things we hold dear. Why? 
Some believe in glory, some in patriotism, some looking for a better life and a sense of security. All of them walk away with the same thing. A sense of doing something greater than themselves, to protect the way of life they grew up with.

 "Military service is a brotherhood that brings people together with a shared goal and a strength of purpose. When we say thank you to them, we are thanking ourselves, and all fellow Americans stretching back over 235 years." 

I asked the author of this quote to explain it to me. I  didn't get it, I didn't get how I could possibly be thanking myself...what Have I ever done for this country? He calmly explained to me the idea of patriotism....when something or someone threatens this country's safety we come together - regardless of what it is, we ban together. There is nothing that bonds this country quicker than threat, or tragedy. That is brotherhood, that is what America is all about. I get it, and the idea makes me feel a  bit prouder to be an American. 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dry Drunk

Yesterday I was on the biggest "dry drunk" of my sobriety. What is a "dry drunk" you may ask. Well, let me tell you..it is when you have all of the negative symptoms of being drunk..mad, anxious, mean, stubborn. It was emotionally and physically painful. And instead of going to a meeting right away I sat it in all day.

I was almost forced to go a meeting. I got there, and after the speakers 3rd sentence I was at peace.

Hi! I'm Emily, a "stubborn" alcoholic!

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