Tag Archives: Alcoholism

You and I

So somehow, I fell into a relationship.Which has been a hell of a lot better than falling into a drink. When my sponsor recommended that I refrain from dating during my first year of sobriety, I laughed and told her that it had been a couple of years since I’d even entertained the notion of getting some, much less actually appreciating someone as a partner.

I met him during the AA haunted house that we put together a few weeks back. We started going out one-on-one shortly after. He’s pretty damn super, guys.

I haven’t fallen for someone in YEARS, but I feel myself caring for him more and more everyday. It helps that he is also in recovery, because we are both predisposed to the idea of talking about meaningful things until we’re blue in the face. Our conversations are frank and honest, he is inspiringly direct. Still, going gah-gah for someone signifies a fair amount of chaos for me.

I’m aware that in many ways, I have zero control. That’s one of the main points of AA, after all. I feel great, really happy, and pretty much scared shitless all the time, but the happy part is worth it. My life today is mind-blowingly different than it was a few months ago. I hate how cheesy that sounds, like a false promise, but seriously, this bitch is getting shit done and going places. I still have consequences down the line that worry me (i.e. work release, probation, etc.) but the program and especially the people in it have helped me develop sufficient armor to face and take responsibility for these parts of my life.

Still working a good program, still staying hopeful and willing, and, most importantly, still sober.

Hang in there,

TSS

4+ months sober

Have a Little Faith

I am a stodgy bitch when it comes to forgiveness. Seriously, I hold grudges like a drowning person holds a life vest. It’s pretty warped. I am slow to anger but even slower to get the fuck over it. That’s probably why it has been so surprising that so many people have been willing to forgive me. In some cases, they even act like there was nothing to forgive in the first place. Straight-up unconditional love and friendship. I am one lucky gal to have so much of it surging around me. 

A particular case of this comes with my most recent big decision in sobriety. Going to grad school. I finished my undergrad a little over two years ago and since then I’ve been completely unsure of when and if I was going to continue my education. Considering that I already have pleeenty of student loan debt and a pretty large devotion to destroying my brain cells, it wasn’t even remotely responsible to consider going back to school (for psychology, no less). But wouldn’t you know it, about a month into sobriety, I woke up, put my feet on the floor, and actually, I shit you not, exlaimed “I have to go to Grad School!”. I might have been half asleep at the time but I still signed up for the GRE and started my application. Asking for recommendations and relapsing have really been my major concern during this period of time. I asked 3 past professors and then didn’t hear back from them for about a month. A few days ago, they all sent in my recommendations. Awe-some. One of these professors witnessed me in true drunk form on a trip to Indonesia years ago. I fucked up big time, yet this man was happy to recommend me for a PHD. Bless him, that is forgiveness. That also is an excellent reminder that even though I still treat my brain and soul like a pinata, people are willing to vouch for my potential for goodness and to show that they see something in me that I was sure I had lost.  

I am beyond grateful. I’m also scared shitless, but that’s because I’m starting to realize that I still have so much to lose, which makes me work all the harder to stay sober and nurture my relationships.

I’m all over the place this morning and I have to study, but I’m giddy with gratitude and that’s a fucking awesome way to be.

Hang in there,

TSS

98 days sober 

The Art of Living

“The art of living,” I like this phrase. It elevates the act of survival. It is a good reminder that the fact that my lungs continued filling, my blood continued circulating, and my electrical impulses continued firing all night long is a fucking miracle. Not to mention, I got up and to work on time. Early recovery, so far, has been filled with learning how to be a functional human being again (or really, for the first time). It is the little things that show that I am making progress. I shower several times a week, brush my teeth, occassionally do laundry (not as much as I should, but it’s a start), and I’m starting to eat and sleep more normally. And, if you were interested, my bowels are recovering as well. Yes, I wish I were capable of doing more, having more, and being more, and some days I am. Most of the time though, life is pretty basic because it has to be. Taking away booze didn’t immediately land me with some quality coping mechanisms, so until those come along, I’m walking around a little bit like I’m made of fine china that’s been tentatively pasted back together.

I’m getting a little better at patting myself on the back for little successes, even though I’ve been struggling the past few days. Not necessarily to stay sober but to continue wanting all of the things that recovery is promising. Because if you want the promises, you have to stay alive and some nights I go to bed/wake up still not entirely sure that I’m not 100% trash.

I’m working on it–if only by simply surviving for now. I’ll take it.

Hang in there,

TSS

95 days sober

Something sober this way comes

 

Something that crosses my mind when I am overthinking the future and my identity in terms of sobriety is whether or not I will be fun when I’m not drinking. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I can have (and have had) fun in sobriety and that I’m still–if not more so–a hopefully lovable, sometimes obnoxious, goofball. I’ve met hilarious people in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and I value their humor all the more because I know and relate to many of the dark, death-defying, and generally fucked-to-bits experiences they have been gracious enough to share with me during my early months of recovery.

I guess my concern lies mostly in my own projections. I remember, suprisingly clearly, how I felt and judged people who didn’t drink. I generally assumed that their choice was based on naivete and/or a holier-than-thou mentality (one that I very much possessed when I eschewed alcohol during high school). I don’t want people to look at me like that. I realize that my distate was bolstered by the constant feeling of defensiveness I felt about my drinking/general life habits and may not be the immediate association that most people make about dry folks. Nonetheless, I’ve lived a hell of a life-or a life of hell in these past few years and in all honesty, I’m kind of proud of it. Proud that I survived and proud that I’m starting to want to continue to do so. I don’t want to say that I’m a non-drinker and have people misread me as a pollyanna or whatever pop-culture, tv minted, motherhood bound, pleasantvillian character is readily available–nor do I want to have to illustrate the shit-and-bodies-in-the-gutters road I previously traveled everytime I turn down a drink.

There is a happy medium, I’m sure. I was smoking on a porch with a fellow AA-er after setting up for our haunted house last weekend and after telling him a snippet of my story, he reacted with surprise, telling me that I looked like a mom, not the addict I was describing. I guess the medium I have to find is how to show myself that I can be healthy and interesting at the same time (without having to open with an anecdote about that-one-time-I-did-crack…).

I think I underestimate people. I probably should be less worried about how they percieve me and more worried about the way I think about others. If AA has shown me anything, it’s that every person is going through and has gone through a good deal of shit. We’ve earned our seats and cups of coffee in those rooms through a ghoulish contest of defects. We are getting healthy and we are sure as hell interesting. I’m grateful for their stories and, because I’m healing, I’m grateful for mine.

Hang in there–Happy Halloween!

TSS

88 Days Sober

Back to the Future

The first time I ever had a drink was actually earlier on than I initially remembered. I was babysitting. I had put the kids to bed and was riffling around the kitchen for something to snack on while I waited for their parents to return home. There was a box of chilled wine in the fridge. I remember a curiosity rising in me and the sour, watery tast of the wine hitting my tongue. I felt nothing other than a brief thrill of fear.

It wasn’t until the summer after my Senior year that I actively sought drinking. This was a delight to my friends who had spent several years of frustration as I tee-totaled my way through high school, terrified of trouble and my step-father’s actively abusive grip on my psyche.

I got drunk for the first time in a safe place with safe people and, truth be told, it was wonderful. I felt my morose and anxious personality float up above my head like a smoke-filled balloon. The first few months of my drinking were, if averaged, a fairly good-natured time. I was delusionally pleased that I hadn’t immediately turned into a monster the second I lost my first brain cells to booze.  Drinking, to me, felt like taking a big gulp of air after spending several years underwater. It removed me from my body and for a brief time seemed a viable treatment for both my mania and depression. Hell, even after I became aware that I was causing harm rather than treating it, I remained consistently loaded hoping for alternative results.

So the story continues and here we are at Incomprehensible Demoralization.  Cue the attempted walk of shame from a mostly horrendous 6 years of drinking, drugging, and general self abuse. I say “mostly horrendous” in an attempt to convince myself that drinking wasn’t fun (it sometimes was very fun). As I have chosen the route of AA, this self talk would constitute Step 1: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable.  I believe that both of these statements apply to me, sure, but do I really believe that there will never come a time  when my life could include alcohol and be manageable at the same time?

Hopefully. I’m really trying to hammer that information in there.

I’m 24, I’ve got stories, and I think it would help me to write them out.

I hope it helps someone else in the process.

 

TSS

87 days sober