Define Normal

It has occurred to me that I don’t think I actually know what normal is supposed to feel like.  What happy is supposed to feel like.  After seeing my new therapist last week i haven’t been able to stop thinking about something she said…. she said that I was raised in a house with so much chaos and toxic behavior that I do not know how to live in a different environment.  My past boyfriends were very toxic and abusive.  And I stayed with them …. despite the treatment I received.  But I finally met a man who loves me unconditionally.  Like story book love…Cinderella love.  And at the age of 40 I finally said I do.   I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop.  For everything to go wrong… to blow up…. but it hasn’t.  Even in the midst of my disease.  What did I do to deserve this man?  Why does he love me so much?  What does he see in me?  As he has pointed out…that is the problem… I have a  hard time seeing what is lovable about me.

I want so badly to be the woman he sees…. if only i could see her to.

DeJavu

Here we go again…. I am trying to pretend that i’m sober… doing everything I’m supposed to… physically its just scary how I can’t go without it.  I am not sure how to get past this.

I am in AA… i have a sponsor…i am working the steps…and I sincerely believe in the process…. i just do not have the capacity to be honest.  how do I make my dishonest alcoholic self be honest as a sober self?

that is the question of the hour.  I can be dry.  But i want to be sober.  I want to be happy.

My brother died of cirrhosis at the age of 49… I am 46… will i follow in his footsteps?

God, I hope not.

 

Forgiveness

Today I have to write a letter to myself.  A letter explaining to myself how i feel about myself.  Somehow, that is supposed to hopefully help me to forgive myself.  I am told that forgiveness is necessary for my recovery yet I feel like its letting myself off the hook.

Last week I made another huge bad decision which led me to waking up in the hospital.  Because I am a blackout drunk, I don’t recall any of it which makes this whole mess even harder to understand.  All I know is I screwed up and worried my family yet again.  How do I forgive myself for that?

I haven’t drank since that day and I’ve attended a meeting everyday and plan to continue that for who knows how long.  I’m scared to not go.  Praying for God to release this obsession from me.

Hope

This week I went 2 more days without drinking.  It felt good.  That feeling of having to talk myself into a drink is more and more common. I don’t like that feeling.  I am praying more, working more, thinking more, and being honest more.  I’m no where near where i want to be…but i’m getting closer. It was 2 years ago that I started this process…. It took me 20 years to get to this point…so it makes perfect sense that getting out of it will take longer than you would think.  This alcoholic wants immediate results.  But that is not the case and its been a learning process.

Today I was feeling strong… I had a wonderful morning with my husband…followed by a delicious breakfast with my mom…and followed up with a theater show full of dancing which is a passion of mine.  But i was being rushed to get home because we were supposed to drive 45 minutes to a restaurant which i really didn’t want to go to ….. and that’s when the thoughts started…. and i immediately recognized i was having thoughts to drink and I prayed and asked myself and God “why?”.  The answer just came to me…I was anxious because i was about to do something that i didn’t want to do which causes resentments, etc, etc.  If your an alcoholic you know exactly what i’m talking about.  So then begins the struggle…. i don’t want to go to this restaurant…i’ve been gone all day and I really just want to put on pj’s and snuggle on the couch… but then starts the other side… i feel guilty because we were going to have dinner with our grown son and daughter… i’m afraid they will be mad… especially since we won’t be there to pay.  But i’m always afraid of them being mad or not liking me… see i’m the step mom.

My husband assures me it is fine… he just wants us all to be happy which is sometimes the problem because everyone cannot be happy all of the time.

So I get to stay home with my hubby and have quiet alone time…. so i’m sure that I got the best end of this deal.

Be safe friends.

One Day At A Time

Well, I have been gone for a while…. life happens as it always does.  In 2 months I have had 3 people in my family pass away.  My brother and nephew died very unexpectedly and then another family member passed away from cancer.  This has, of course, really rocked our family and I could say it cost me my sobriety but the truth is it was just a valid reason to drink.

I am finding now that I almost have to talk myself into drinking… I don’t want it… but that alcoholic brain of mine tells me that I do.  Then, once I start I can’t stop.  So here I am yet again starting over but as my sponsor says…at least I am still trying.  I am just so sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I have to do the work or its not going to happen for me.  And I do so very much want that peace I see in people at the meetings.  Tonight I met with my sponsor and we have come up with a game plan that I must stick too.  I am a creature of habit… I must have structure and consistency and when I don’t that’s when the problems arise.

So here is to day 1 of Sobriety.

Life Moves On

It’s been a week since my last (first) post.  I am still struggling for sobriety.  Yet, I haven’t been drunk so that is a plus.  Sometimes things happen that creep up…like people from your past that used to be such an important part of your life… and you see pictures of them still enjoying life together…yet, you are not a part of it any longer.  Your not invited…your not wanted.  And it hurts.  It would hurt any normal person’s feelings…but for an alcoholic its even worse…because we have no sense of reality or rationality.  The people I speak of are former students of mine that I taught for over 20 years… I watched them be preschoolers to awkward middle schoolers… highschoolers and now onto adulthood.  Some have married…some have not…but for most of their lives I was a major influence.  Now that I’m sober… I am not.  And it sucks.

Moving on to other life problems…. As mentioned before, I am a late in life step mom and I am having issues with the last child left in the nest.  My husband is a quiet man who pretty much enables me and his son…whatever we both want is fine…he doesn’t fight us or argue.  But I want our son…and I say our son because I’m the only mom he’s known for over 8 years… I want him to be a good man like his father… a good husband… but right now he’s just a lazy boy.  He works maybe 10 hrs a week and plays video games all day and it drives me insane.  A friend of mine says I should just stand by my husband and let him handle it… but being an alcoholic i dont’ know if i can face the idea of living with my sone for “indefinitely”.   What do you guys think??

A New Day… Or So I Thought.

So yesterday was not the best day.  I know there are people in the world who have much worse problems than I do.  And many people, including myself, might think I am just feeling sorry for myself and they would be correct.  However, I am in a sinking ship called alcoholism and I am trying to find my life boat.  If you are not familiar with alcoholism or addiction than there is no way on earth you will ever understand my life.  But for those of you who do… here is a little more of my story.

I was born into an unhappy marriage.  I had an older brother named James.  Not long after I was born our parents decided they would divorce.  For some reason, not exactly sure why, my brother went with my Father and I went with my Mother.  When I was 2, she decided she no longer wanted to be a Mom and abandoned me.

My Father then got custody of me.  Not long after, Father then married my step Mom.  I was 3 at this time.  My step Mom used to tell me stories of when she would drop me off at daycare and I would stand at the door crying until she came back… for hours on end.  We assume, because I was scared of being abandoned again.

Life went on and my childhood was ok.  There was not a lot of love in our home.  No emotion or affection was shown.  No I love you’s or hugs.  No encouragement.  Just a lot of structure.  There was a lot of yelling and slamming of doors.  My father’s drinking became worse and worse.  Step Mom drank too but nothing to compare with him.  Eventually, he would drink until he passed out nightly.  The fighting was so intense.  Step Mom finally moved out of the bedroom and into the guest room.  Through all of this my brother was my best friend.  He was the only person that knew what was going on in our house.  When he was 21, he got a job offer and an opportunity to get away and he jumped at it.  At the time, I didn’t blame him…but deep down I felt abandoned again.  Now I was left all alone to deal with the nightly fighting.

Life moved on… the marriage was basically over at this point.  My Dad was going on a business trip to Canada and Step Mom refused to go with him so I took me.  I was excited to see Canada since I’d never been.  While there, we received a phone call from our hometown police, (we were from a very small town where everyone is in everyone’s business), they were calling to let my Father know that there was a moving van in front of our house.  Step Mom was taking her opportunity while we were in another country to split.

We came home to a mostly empty house.  There was that feeling again in the pit of my stomach.  That lonely, devastated, sad feeling of abandonment.  She had left me with an alcoholic Father.  For me to now deal with, at the age of 14, the nightly drinking tantrums that would now be taken out on me.  The next year of my life was hell.  I had to get out of there.  I would sleep with my bedroom door locked to keep him out at night.  It wasn’t that he was doing anything “inappropriate”…nothing like that.  But he would come up to my room after his nightly ranting and want to apologize and cry and talk to me like I was his best friend about all his problems.  This was not my place.  I felt overwhelmed with anxiety.  I eventually convinced Step Mom to let me move in with her at the end of th school year.  Finally, I escaped…or had I?

Step Mom was a cold person. Very hard to get through her outer layer.  I spent most of my life just trying to get some sort of accolade from her.    In high school I began to work for her… that is when lines of Mom and Boss began to be blurred.  It would continue for over 25 years.

Somehow, through the next decade, I lost myself.  I no longer had an opinion…or a thought of my own.  My life was dictated by Step mom.  I wanted desperately to please her and for her to be proud of me.  But there was never any sign of that.  After high school and college I began to work for her full time…eventually running both of her businesses.  While she was traveling Europe…and going on cruises…I was doing whatever she said.  Her drinking was also becoming a nightly habit.  So I knew where this was going…..

My Father has since married Step Mom #2.  Long story short, she was the miracle my family was waiting on.  She also was an alcoholic.  Misery loves company you know! She made a decision to go to rehab and told him if he wanted to stay married he would too.  And he did.  He remained sober until his death.

Meanwhile, my brother who lives across the country, has developed a severe case of alcoholism.  Much like our Father only worse because he also did drugs.  Just to make a long story short… my brother was very, very, sick… he eventually died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 49 leaving behind 4 very hurt and devastated children as well as a lost and once again, abandoned sister.

My world turned upside down when my brother died.  I was lost.  And I did what I knew…I turned to alcohol.   This began a spiraling process that included me crashing my car into a ditch..going to jail for DUI….and then to rehab.  The decision to go to rehab was an easy one for me…but paying for it was going to be a different story.  But when I said step mom 2 was our miracle…well this is another instance where she stepped in and saved me like she did my Father.  She paid for my rehab and I will forever be grateful to her for that.

While I was at rehab I made a life changing decision that I had to change my life.  I was miserable working for step mom 1 and I had to break away.  Her drinking had gotten to an all day habit.  Vodka in the morning…beer in the afternoon… scotch when she got home from work and wine with dinner.  I could not be around this lifestyle anymore.  So I retired from the profession that I loved and had dedicated my life too for 27 years.  It was time for a fresh start.

I came home and started a new life with a new career.  My husband was a wonderful support for me.  I stayed sober for 1 year.  Let me correct that… I didn’t drink for 1 year.  I wasn’t sober.  See if you are a real alcoholic like me, you understand that not drinking and being sober are not the same thing.  I was going to AA weekly as I was still on probation.  I really enjoyed the meetings but I wasn’t working the steps…I didn’t have a sponsor.  I was just listening and taking in the information.  Needless to say…relapse was in my near future.

So here I am… many relapses later.  I have a sponsor now.. I am working the steps.  I am trying to learn the behaviors that set me off and trigger me to make bad choices.  And yet, I wake up everyday convinced that I can get through this day without a drink… and only to give in after work.  It’s madness.

What will today bring?  Only time will tell….