Self-care, not as easy as it seems

tampa

 

So, here we are in Florida, my husband and I. His company sent him here for the week, and I being lucky enough to join him, jumped at the chance. After-all, I am a true adventure junkie. Traveling, going new places, exploring, etc., serves up it’s own type of high for me!

Our flight arrived at about 11:00 a.m., yesterday. We checked into our hotel, had a quick lunch, and then off exploring the beaches, some shopping etc.. After 2-3 hours, I asked my husband if we could head back to the hotel and rest for a while. He was shocked… I was shocked! Rest, on a vacation? What?! I quickly had to remind myself that I was recently found to be anemic. It will take about a week or two for the supplementation to work. I was feeling completely disappointed in myself that I did not have the energy to run around and do all the things I like to do while away from home. I told myself that I would get a good night sleep and have a busy, and fun-filled day tomorrow, so off to bed I went.

I woke this morning feeling extremely frustrated and exhausted. I had woke at about 1:00 a.m., with a terrible migraine headache. You know, the type that wakes you from your sleep every half hour of so. Although I felt disappointed I still planned my day to fit in as much as possible. I got dressed and ready for my day. My husband went to the lobby and had a very nice breakfast. We came back to our room to get the keys so that I could drive him to work and then have the rental car for the day. Before I got out the door, I told him that I couldn’t go. That I am just too exhausted and that I should probably stay at the hotel and rest for the day. That was very hard for me to do. I had to get honest with myself. I knew that if I pushed myself out the door to fulfill my need for excitement, that I would be setting myself up for a possible relapse. Fatigue and exhaustion are huge triggers for me. And of course, we all know what triggers do. And I’ll admit, that I have knowingly set myself up in the past with triggers not really caring if I accidentally relapsed. Yeah, right, I know.

So this is where the work comes in. Being thoughtful of myself enough to know my limits. I don’t like them, I don’t want to be held back and stay in the hotel all day. But, if I am truly going to practice self-care as a means to protect my sobriety, then that is what must be done today.

So, today I will rest. I will take care of myself because it’s important,  I am worth it, and my sobriety depends on it.

 

Day 40…

Hi Everyone,
Day 40. I’m doing this! Boo-ya!
6 months ago, if you told me I’d have 40 days sober in December, I would have told you that you were crazy because I’m just too weak. I’m doing this, and I need those of you who are struggling right now to know that it is possible, and if I can do this, you can do this. I was a mess, grieving the death of my mother, the last thing I wanted was to be responsible for myself and get sober. But, truth is, I was killing myself physically. I felt so awful everyday that I just wanted to be dead. But, I could not do that to my family. I needed to dig deep and grab a hold of what was left of my soul and the little girl that was screaming for help. I found her and I’m so glad I did. Now, everyday, I take care of her, nurture her, and she continues to get stronger. She is my priority now. My life is far from perfect, but for now, I feel happy, and most importantly I’m sober! Thank you to all those who continue to support me on my journey. heart emoticon

Day 33…

(Crossposting from my gratitude group today)

 

I woke up this morning in pain, and feeling hungover (I did not drink). I live with a chronic pain condition, so I know why I’m in pain. But, I’m trying to figure out the hangover feeling. My guess is that I’m not drinking enough water. Ugh! for me, it often feels like a chore to drink so much water, but at the same time I know how important it is for optimum health. So today I will work on drinking more water.
Anyway, what does that have to do with gratitude? Well, I’m recognizing that when I’m feeling low, that is when it is most important for me to practice gratitude because it is so easy for me to sink into the abyss of feeling sorry for myself and having a pity party. What better way to turn that around than by feeling gratitude for the good things in my life.
Today I am grateful for:
-We have another buyer for my mother’s property and are supposed to close next week!
-My wonderful, and successful children (adults).
-A hardworking husband who picks up all the slack while I’m not currently working.
-My dear mother who passed away in May. Although she is not here physically, I can feel her spirit with me every day. She is my motivation to do better for myself everyday. I know she would want that for me.
-My home, food on the table, money in the bank, my adorable kitties, and for all the people who love me!

Have a great day Everyone!

 

Day 29…

IMG_4630To the best of my ability, I’ve been avoiding the people, place and things that trigger my desire to drink, numb, and escape. For me this is extremely important during early sobriety, especially since I am one to look for any excuse to drink. My biggest triggers are family squabbles, high stress situations, social situations, restaurants with large bars, and anyplace serving free alcohol!

My husband called me from work this morning. He asked me if I would like to go to Tampa, Florida with him on a business trip. We live in Connecticut, so I immediately jumped at the chance to go anywhere warm at this time of year. We are leaving on December 13th.

Now that we have the wheels turning, I’m thinking about how to best protect my sobriety while we are away. On Monday night we will be having dinner with his boss, the good thing about this situation is that his boss does not drink, (in recovery? Hmmmm… I do not know) so that is a relief to me. The hotel room does not have a wet-bar, that’s a plus! Family squabbles should not be an issue since our (almost) adult daughter will be staying home. I’ll have all day while my husband is at work to zoom around in the rental car and have some fun, but I’m not worried about drinking then. I think the biggest thing to remember is something my friend Sarah reminded me of today and that is to be aware of H.A.L.T., hungry, angry, lonely and tired. The H.A.T., are all huge triggers for me. All in all, I have been more aware of those warning signs this time around. They have certainly taken me down on my hundred other attempts at sobriety, therefor I am much more aware of keeping a good eye out for them.

While I do have my moments of getting down and discouraged about not drinking through the holiday, not to mention dealing with chronic depression and anxiety, I’m loving the fact that my motivation is getting stronger every day, and the fact that I am finally recognizing that alcohol to me is completely toxic, and in fact a poison! I used to try to tell myself that I just had to work a little harder at controlling my behavior around alcohol. Yah, right! I know. It is so much more than that. There is a very real and complex chemical reaction that takes place in my body/brain (our bodies) then render us useless and completely at risk for all kinds of problems (health, social, spiritual, psychological, relationships, and the list goes on). I get it now. I can’t drink, and if I choose to, I will pay a very heavy price. Heavier than I already have paid. No thank you! Today, I will not drink.

Day 28…

I’m an alcoholic and I want to drink, drink now, and drink forever. But I can’t and I won’t. So, this is it. The NOT so easy part. The wanting to cry, hiss, scream, pull at my hair and throw a tantrum on the ground like a toddler. It wouldn’t be pretty. But, it sure would feel good right about now. Even better, I want to verbally attack someone so they can feel my pain, or at least I would hope they would. Not very nice, I know, but that is where I’m at. This is the low-feeling part of getting sober that I despise so very much. This is the part that I’m supposed to remember so that I won’t want to repeat going through this again. While that is true, there is a tiny, but very loud voice in my head that wants to say just-screw-it-all! And then just drink my face off until after the holidays. Sick I know, but that it where I am at.

My logical brain knows that if I can just continue to maintain my sobriety through the holidays, that it will get easier. I like easier. I want easier. If only it were that easy, right? But it’s not. It sucks, and it’s suppose to suck. The self-destruct part of my addiction actually enjoys feeling awful, defeated, disgusting, the self-hatred… and the list goes on… and on.

But deep down inside we know better, don’t we? We know that there is something very wrong with us, on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level, times 10!

That is where my motivation to do better, be better, and most of all, live better, must not falter, not for a second, or it can all go out the window in an instant. This I know from experience.

I’m very fortunate to have motivation right now. For that I am grateful. The past year has been extremely difficult with the loss of my beloved mother. I had lost all motivation for 6 months. It’s back, thank goodness. Without motivation, change cannot happen. Without change, sobriety cannot happen. Without sobriety, a fulfilled life cannot happen. Without a fulfilled life, what do we have? Nothing, and, or a self imposed hell, and why would we want that? We lose all hope, motivation, and are so deep into our addiction that we are blind, we are lost and cannot see the true beauty of life that it is available to us at all times. Even in our darkest moments, there is alway a tiny glimmer of light, of hope, that we must grab a hold of and hang on to it for dear life. For it will give us life again, if only we allow it to. I hit a bottom, again, not very long ago. From that bottom I looked up from the dark hole I was sitting in and I saw the tiniest glowing light way up at the top. I dug deep down inside myself seeking any amount of emotional strength I could find. It is in these moments that allow us grow and move forward. In these moments we must find our strength , our motivation. It is a starting place that we all need in order to be successful at regaining the sober, healthy lives that we deserve.

Will I make it through the holidays without a drink? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I have planted the seeds of change inside me, my motivation continues to grow albeit slowly, and with that, I have a really good chance. A chance that I deserve, a chance that we all deserve. Today, I will not drink.

 

Good bye Poison Apple… A long time coming

poison apple

It’s been a very long time, but I am finally sober again! 14 days. My mindset is very different this time around. I reached the point where I simply did not care about myself at all, and pretty much every one else too. This really scared me because I am an empathetic person by nature. I’m in my late forties and simply could not see a future for myself. I’ve re-entered an intensive outpatient program for the second time. The first time, five years ago this month, I was able to achieve 9-10 months of sobriety. Since then I was only able to string together a few weeks at a time a handful of times. I realize this time that I need to work harder with sobriety tools. I love the BFB, and Bubble Hour. These are true gifts!

So, what is it going to take this time?

It is 9 O’ clock in the morning; I am drinking, I started at 8. Yesterday, it was 7 a.m.. So what is it going to take this time? I’m worse than I’ve ever been. I know something bad will happen, so why isn’t that enough to stop today? As sick as it sounds, I feel as though I’m waiting for that bad thing to happen. Then maybe, I don’t have to to the work, be responsible and accountable for my drinking. It will all just be done for me. This is a huge fear of mine, but yet, I still can’t stop on my own. I am in danger of hurting myself and, or someone else. Why don’t I care enough to put on the brakes. I’m hiding so much of what I do; I lie to everyone, but yet yearn to be exposed to make it all stop.

I’m hopeless, I feel helpless and feel so alone. What will be my fate?