Rolling down the Road in the Sober Car…

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This journey is not entirely new for me – the road to sobriety as I’ve tried to hop on the sober car a few times and fell off because I was too tempted by that VOICE calling to me for what was to be the instant gratification that alcohol would give me…

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The past few days have been good for me in that I have that ‘good feeling’ about staying AF right now and the cravings are not calling me. Instead I am experiencing that clarity and partial euphoria that comes with knowing I can maybe finally KICK this and succeed!

I’m grateful to Belle who has taken time out to point something out to me about this journey of mine… in that my lack of self-confidence or my belief or should I say dis-belief in the fact that I am a strong person who CAN do this – has led to my giving up or giving in … living out the hurt from many harsh relationships/words of my past of those who never really believed in me and put me down in so many ways.

My self-esteem has been something that was really taken away through my childhood and adult relationships, some abusive incidences and I guess my belief that I wasn’t good enough and that ‘ya maybe they are right – I can’t do this’… But THANK YOU Belle… for pointing out that this is not the case. I needed that kick in the ass to stand up and fight for this new life I’m going for.

I have a lot of dreams and things I want to pursue and so many times I’ve let go of them because I’ve fallen back to old patterns – but I believe I’m at a point to move to another step on this journey – maybe that crossing of the bridge if you will to really contemplate life without booze. I hesitate to profess that though still … for fear of looking too far into the future so I’m working on simply being here … or again as Belle put it… “STAY HERE” … in the moment and just BE.

The sober car ride is pretty smooth right now and the skies are clear and bright. Here’s to closing off another day AF – bring on day 5 tomorrow!!

Action to Change

Until I take action nothing, absolutely nothing, will change in my life. It’s not enough to say it, I must do it.

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I’m honestly working very hard towards this goal of change in my life – that of becoming a mostly sober person – perhaps even at some point totally abstinent and 100% sober but it’s definitely a work in progress. 

Having been faced with some incredible hard times at home with my daughter and the stressors associated with it have brought me back to using the booze to comfort myself – at least in some way, although I know it’s not the answer.

I know that I have to muster up the strength to be stronger and to NOT turn to booze for that comfort but rather find other less harmful coping mechanisms. If the alcohol were just a social thing – which I do enjoy at times – it wouldn’t be this big debate in my head and question in my life about what to do. 

I tried blogging on Soberistas about this and felt that by not being completely abstinent I didn’t really fit in there – or the reactions I had to a post – well it made me feel like perhaps that wasn’t the place for me.

I decided to blog about this journey for me mostly – to put my thoughts out in black and white and perhaps have a log of where I am at during different stages of this journey as I am truly trying to let go of things in my life that no longer serve me. 

It’s a day to day challenge – today being my day 2 AF again – but with a long weekend coming up and my birthday – well who knows what it will bring. I’m just going to take it day by day. I have to keep reminding myself of this fact – and stop with the forward or future thinking of what if’s or how will I do this or that and just LIVE FOR TODAY!!

For tonight – I’m closing off – for the first time in a long time a ‘peaceful’ night at home (but it’s not over yet). I pray that there are no fights tonight – no tension and that we can all get a good night’s rest. 

Steps in the Right Direction

I’ve been away from this blog for the past while … and have had a few days of MOD drinking, but back to being AF for the remainder of the month now. My life stressors continue to play a big part on my using alcohol to cope or ‘chill out’ and I know that I need to find alternative ways of dealing.

My oldest daughter’s return went well and this weekend I pick up my youngest and we’ll see what next week will bring as we go back to school and routine. I pray things will look up.

The legal stuff I was dealing with – well it’s not going anywhere really and the money I spent was a waste I guess. To make anything else happen would mean paying more and the whole point of me doing this was to help me out financially, not get me in further debt. It’s a shame that the system is setup in a way to make it so hard but it is what it is.

I pray for my own financial independence so that I won’t have to rely on anyone else to help me support my children. Visualizing that abundance coming to me and how great it will feel to be able to breathe a bit more when it arrives 🙂

My focus has been out of whack in so many aspects of my life and my hope is with the return to school, routine and soon the move to the new place that we can start fresh in so many ways. One day at a time… in every sense and way of my life.

How Quickly Things Change

Interesting how from my last post to today’s – how much has happened. After I wrote about not going to my sister’s place or visiting with my niece, I found myself on a phone call that Thursday evening and ended up going there – to bring my daughter to go help out. I ended up breaking my AF streak after 10 days and ended up having drinks for 4 days in a row – enjoying the bliss of no kids in the house and PEACE for a few days. 

Now today – I’m back to Day 1 AF and reflecting on the past 4 days and all that I did – the drive for 4.5 hours on Friday and back Saturday. Spending time with my sister at the restaurant and just visiting – for the first time since Easter. She asked me about going again for the long weekend – but I said I wouldn’t because I have to drive up again this coming weekend and 2 weekends in a row there is enough for me. 

I’m going to make time to visit a friend this trip up – so I’m not sure that I’ll be AF – but I think I’m going to try. No promises. 

I am feeling very nervous and anxious about my 17 year old coming home tomorrow but thankful that we’ll have alone time to talk and figure things out (my youngest is happily earning some money to help buy school clothes as they go back next Tuesday). I have the ex who now has the legal letter in his hands and it’s now a waiting game to see what card he’s going to pull next. I pray that things will work themselves out – and I have to keep reminding myself that this too shall pass… 

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So now I am back to focusing on my self-care and staying strong for the next little while – with school startup, financial juggling, the move, the legal matters, the packing/de-cluttering and dealing with the teens… I’ve got plenty to keep me busy. 

I’m not going to put too much pressure on the days but rather try to just take things as they come – ONE at a time. Hoping to quiet the voices inside for a while and experience some peace. 

 

Special Dates

Today is my first born’s 17th birthday. I remember when I had her – how I was 2 weeks away from turning 35 and first time mom. Now my birthday is coming up on September 3rd and so much has changed in how I look at it.

In the past I used to spend it with  my sister celebrating at a campground that is run by her live in partner because it coincided with the last music festival of the season. That changed I guess it’s been 3 years now – when at that time, I allowed myself to get really drunk. Like many stories that I have about how I let alcohol lead me to some real dire situations – this one was really bad!! I remember my friends, more or less holding me up as I made the trek up the hill to the cabin where I was sleeping. This cabin was near where the rest of the family was – my niece and her half-sister (same father different mother) and her family (2 kids and her husband). Well in the middle of the night – I woke up to find her husband ‘on me’ in my cabin and by the time I regained enough consciousness to realize what was going on… it was too late.

The next morning I woke up and there was everyone sitting at the table – including HIM. I didn’t say anything of course – too embarrassed (his kids were there). I never told anyone until about 6 months later. When I did share with my sister about what happened, she told her daughter who told her sister… and then all HELL broke loose. I was accused of being a slut, whore and that I took advantage of HIM. Because of this – I ended up not talking or seeing my sister for over a year.

In September (on the 14th) my niece is getting married and I won’t be going. They are getting married at this campground – which happens to be a place that I had so many memories as I also spent many years and summers there throughout my childhood – and I don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to go. The sister will be in the wedding party and while she separated from this man – she is back with him and I in no way want to put a damper on  my niece’s special day. I explained to her and she totally understands.

It’s also a situation I don’t want to put myself into as it would dredge up a lot of bad memories and tension which I don’t need in my life – especially right now with all I’m dealing with at home. My move is happening that month and I want that to be a clean month in every sense of the word.

I’m on day 10 AF today. I said I’d stop until my birthday but I think that the best gift I could give myself would be a sober birthday! As I think back on many of the bad or negative moments in my life – where I blacked out or allowed shitty things to happen – it was all relative to the booze. I’m ready to make a fresh start and perhaps make new traditions going forward for all special dates.

My move – one of my colleagues said “I want to see you get drunk that day – it’s special – you’re first day in your new place”… and yet, I want to make my new place more of an AF place for me. While I’ll buy beer for the guys who volunteered to help me out – it doesn’t mean I have to join in. If they egg me on and say ‘come on’, I’ll say no thanks – I’m on a program and determined to stick with it.

I attach meaning to dates in so many ways and it’s not a bad thing – but perhaps it’s that now, I need to attach NEW meaning to all of those special dates, starting with my own 47th Birthday!

So while we decide to be sober, those special dates will always be, but now we can look at them in a whole new light!

Filling an Emotional Void

I know that alcohol was used for me to fill an emotional void – that of loneliness and boredom. Now that I’m on day 8 AF and dealing with so much drama on a moment by moment basis with my 12 year old, plans to come home and have a regular night and maybe get some packing done didn’t happen. It seems that’s the case more often than not these days – yet I’m trying to hang on to some of my ME time.

I was in tears tonight with the words used towards me and told the crisis counselor (as I had to call them to see what I should do this time) – I’m just not sure how much more of this I can take. 

I know they say God never gives us more than we can handle but it’s been months of this and I pray it’s soon going to calm down. Even now as I write this – she continues to push the boundaries and I am at a point where I just don’t bother fighting it because it will cause it to escalate (which happened last night) and I just pray for a peaceful night. I pray with all my heart for things to get better. Right now I’m feeling very beaten – by my own kids, with their words and how they continually make me feel like I’m the worst parent ever. OUCH 🙁

The Next 30 Years

I read a post on my team thread about how a member had lived her live with alcohol for 30 years and how she was ready to do so WITHOUT alcohol. In my case, I have been drinking since probably the age of 12 – so I have 35 years of life with alcohol and I’m ready to look ahead to seeing what perhaps living life without alcohol can be like.

While I’ll be turning 47 soon, I think my birthday will be like a new life beginning. My mom always told me life began at 40 – and I honestly believe that because the first 40 years I was learning and now with the experience, I can live a life that has true meaning – without the need for alcohol to enjoy life.

It’s a great leap this sober revolution if you will – but I think it’s catching on with many. Like cigarette smoking (which I never indulged in) was so glamorized and now so looked upon as gross (I always felt it was gross) – perhaps the glamour surrounding alcohol is starting to fade – at least for me it is. For the little relief or buzz I get from it – the after math of guilt for caving in, for spending the money, for not being clear headed enough to deal with real life – it’s become less appealing to me.

What is becoming appealing to me is the prospect of how I will feel being sober for a length of time and discovering my SELF more. Perhaps pursuing things I never felt worthy of doing before and taking more risks, learning new things, becoming involved in new activities and hobbies. I know in order to stick this out – I need to replace the habit of booze with another activity.

While I know there will be many social situations involving or around alcohol, I also know it doesn’t mean I have to have some. I can opt for AF options and still be a part of those events.

It will be interesting to see what the next 30 years of life for me will be. Starting with this move at the end of September – one that I really decided upon in a bit of a whim – but that has turned out to be a great decision… I think life is on an upswing despite the many at home challenges with my girls. Being sober will keep me strong through it all.

Close Call…

Yesterday might have been the hardest day for me since I can remember with the cravings and the ‘stuff’ going on. The voices started calling me around 3pm and then my 12 year old started acting up/out. It’s unnerving all that she is presenting with behavior/defiance, rudeness, and well just plain doing whatever without permission.

I managed to keep busy – even went to the store (near the liquor store) and didn’t buy anything. That was a blessing because later that night she decided to sleep out at a friend’s and with all she put me through during the day, I swear I would have reached for a drink.

Today – 3pm is rolling around and no cravings. Today I’m dealing with my oldest sending me nasty messages upset about some of the things the 12 year old is doing and basically accusing me of being a bad parent. I know it’s the voice of the ex’s mother speaking through her words (she’s spending the summer with her grandmother in Florida to get away from the ‘stress’ that is going on at home because of my youngest’s issues with self-harm and depression). Oddly enough I was going through tough times with the 17 year old in the Fall when she moved out for a couple of months – and is now threatening to do the same (move out that is).

With these issues, my upcoming move and the legal matters that I’m dealing with (which I know will stir the pot even more with the ex and everyone else), I basically have no choice but to stay sober so they can’t use that against me. So many times in the past – the arguments, the problems – they all revolved around booze. My ex would love to say – oh you must be boozing again and I can tell him I am NOT as I plan to stay sober for the next long while (not professing number of days here but I will do what I have to do to protect myself).

I never know what my youngest will do either so I need to stay sober and clear headed. It’s sure not easy single parenting, let alone one who is having so many problems.

I’m back to work on Monday and hope things will be ok as she’ll be alone at home. I have removed her IPad (that’s been the source of so many problems ever since she got it at xmas), I have limited the computer time to very minimal times when I’m not here and I have told her if she continues with the defiance, I will remove her Facebook account and take her phone away. The phone is my weapon right now because she is ‘texting’ with a boy – the first one – and removing that will prevent her from communicating with him. I have access to monitor her texting and the ability to turn it off for receiving calls after a certain time. I feel good about that.

I have to be sober because I am like ‘the police’ right now, or as my daughter puts it – I’m her stalker. One day, I hope she will see I am doing it out of love. She had a blow out yesterday and said ‘why don’t you just send me away to child protection or something – you don’t want me, no one does’. Her self-esteem and perceptions are so distorted. It takes all I have to stay calm and talk through things with her – when she is open to listening.

I pray every day that things will get better. I know when my oldest returns home, there will be some tension (she’s back Aug 20th). I have contacted the oldest’s counselor to see if I can meet with her to figure out a strategy on how best to deal with things when she is back.

I know I am not perfect but I also know that I am doing the BEST that I can, and right now that has to include being SOBER!

It’s All About Self-Care

Deciding to be sober is truly about self-care and I recognize it on days like today. While I had to deal with a legal matter, and knowing it will bring about some conflict, it’s about looking out for ME and my girls.

I have been told by many and even the lawyer today that I’m being too nice. It’s time for me to treat myself with more dignity, respect and self-worth. For so long my self-esteem made me feel like I wasn’t worthy or maybe I was in the wrong for asking for extra help financially – but today I was made very aware that what I am asking for is not unreasonable. The letter was sent by courier today and he has until Sept 3 (my bday) to respond … let’s hope he doesn’t drag it out. Today’s appointment alone with the letter cost me almost $400 (another reason I shouldn’t drink – I can’t afford it! lol)

I kept very busy after the appointment and started the de-cluttering process, which is going to take some time and needs to be done before the packing can begin, but I have time since I move at the end of September. It was very liberating going through the paperwork and things I’ve been procrastinating about getting done and just getting through it. I managed 3 hours about today and threw out one big garbage bag so far. I’m lightening the load…. and truly letting go of my past with the exception of keeping things to pass along to my girls.

I then went out to run errands and came home to do more self-care… a nice bath, cleansing my face, brushing my teeth, caring for my nails – all things that would be neglected if I had been drinking. I realize that when I’m sober, I pay more attention to details and my grooming and I’m beginning to care more about that.

Now it 10pm here and I’m calling it a day. My aunt is coming to visit us tomorrow so I’ll be up super early to do more cleaning. Day 3 AF done (again)!

Pioneering my Future

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I should post this one in the kitchen, on my mirrors, wherever I may be tempted to revert to old patterns. I honestly want a different future and reading some blogs today about those who have had months or years of sobriety gives me hope. 

My battle remains about whether I want or can quit for good – but the idea of living a better life is my ultimate goal. 

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I know I can change – but I also know it’s going to take time and sometimes some failures (as I am back at day 2 today). I guess the important thing is to continue to be accountable and to keep coming here – if for nothing else than to gain strength from the words of others in the sober blogging world. 

As I wrap up this day – I observe some of what I went through today. Not as much of a ‘high’ feeling as I had yesterday. The voices came calling this afternoon, but I had a bite to eat (was hungry) and then got busy and they faded. Now almost bed time for me and I am feeling hungry again – I guess the coping of eating to get my ‘fill’ of something I feel is missing. I tried to snack on healthy things but removed myself from downstairs and in my room now, blogging and then will call it a day/night.

Big day tomorrow as I meet with the lawyer about the support issues. 10 years is a long time to let it ride and I know that this will bring up some ‘shit’ and maybe even cost me more than I can afford, but it’s something that must be done. I hope to stay strong after the meeting to get my day 3 in.

I am also thinking of the decluttering and wonder about things like old photo albums with exes and even pictures that perhaps give me memories that I should leave in the past. I honestly am not sure if hanging on to those perhaps is my grasp of holding on to the past. I figure maybe if I want to make real changes, as I prepare for this move, that I don’t move anything into the new place that reminds me of that negative past… It’s a BIG task but one that will be cleansing I imagine. It’s all work to prepare for my NEW future and NEW beginnings. 

Hope to stay strong to keep my AF streak going. Wish me DETERMINATION (because as someone pointed out – it has nothing to do with luck but sheer WILL).