Day 745 – Video Review

Dear Sobriety,

My iPhone dinged at me this morning letting me know there was a 2019 in review video of my pics on my phone. Not sure if the sound will come thru, but I love this.

2019 has been up and down, but as long as I’m smiling and moving forward, then it’s been worth it to live it sober. 🥰🥰🥰

Day 744 – Gift of Gratitude

Dear Sobriety,

One of the things that I am most thankful for that has happened over time in this journey has been gaining people’s trust.  I know I’ve talked about this before in Day 567 – Trust Me, but it really is the most wonderful feeling.

I’m the main travel coordinator for our local U.S. employees at work.  When I first started pulling together itineraries for my coworkers, if any of them had questions they would call my boss who would end up calling me to ask me to call them back and assist.  In the beginning this was so frustrating to me.  I mean, why wouldn’t they trust me?  I’ve been booking travel for forever!!

images1AUN1GV3In my previous job, I had been booking travel for 15 years and before that I was booking travel during my high school co-op position, so I like to think of myself as a pretty seasoned travel coordinator .  I just didn’t understand why my coworkers didn’t just immediately see that.  Fortunately, instead of b!tching about it, I followed up with my travelers after hearing about what was going on from my boss and fixed whatever needed to be fixing, etc.  I never once thought that my crew didn’t trust me to get them from point A to point B even though I was absolutely painting that picture for them with my work ethic and the fact that I didn’t actually know a lot of them that well yet.  I’ll only have been with this company two years in December and between the end of 2018 with a couple bouts of illness through the beginning 2019 when I was feeling a bit too entitled to my sick days, I was essentially “showing” my travelers that I probably won’t be available when they might need me.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve really noticed that the tides are finally turning!  I have never been so excited!  It’s taken nearly two years for this to happen, but with me making some serious changes about my work ethic, continuing to push forward even when I was frustrated and doing my best to make things well organized and easy to understand for my travelers, it is finally happening!!!

So how do I relay this back to alcoholism?  I mention it within the above referenced post, but it never hurts to reemphasize good learning lessons.

If you’re an addict just getting in to recovery, don’t take this the wrong way, but you’ve probably taught your friends, family, coworkers, etc that you’re not to be trusted.  Gaining trust in recovery takes time, patience and effort.  You didn’t become an addict over night, right?  So you’re not going to be magically cured over night and neither will the people who love you.  The fact that I had multiple relapses before finally finding the right path for me in sobriety didn’t help any.  If anything, it made it harder for my family to really trust me.  They’d see me doing well for 30, 60, 90 days and would get excited that “she’s really got it this time” and bam!  I’d end up at a sleazy no tell motel for a week long binge and once again I would I prove to them that I’m not trustworthy.

Trust is hard to get back once it’s broken, but if you’re honest and start putting action behind your words, it is possible to put the pieces together again.  Just remember that it’s not a race and don’t compare yourself and your recovery to others’.  Everyone is different. As long as you’re staying on the path and being, in general, a good person, that’s really all that matters.

Sending hugs and good vibes on this rainy, cat snuggly Saturday.

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Day 739 – Commence Holiday Spirit

Dear Sobriety,

I am super excited to say that entering my second year of the holiday season as a single, sober, super awesome woman is muchos more enjoyable than the first.  Last year I was too caught up in drama and feeling sorry for myself to truly enjoy the season.  A lot of time was wasted on hoping my love life would play out the way *I* wanted it to because  I still hadn’t learned that my life is not going to pan out the way *I* want it to.

Fortunately, this year, with lots of acceptance, prayers and more life lessons than I ever thought I would have learned in such a short amount of time, I’m at a much more peaceful place with myself.  I’ve let go of a lot of the past that I know is unhealthy and while, yes, the hurt still pops up from time to time and yes, the pity pot still gets to be a bit more comfortable than dealing with real life, the self-respect and self-love I’ve gained outweigh all the crap that tries to drag me down into the deep, dark depths of self-loathing.  Isn’t that awesome?  Time does heal all wounds?  Ha!  The key to that is that YOU have to let the wound heal without picking at it.  Yeah.  There are still a couple of scabs that I keep poking at around the edges.  But hey!  No one’s perfect, right?

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Photo Cred: Business Insider

Lessons I still need to improve upon: entitlement.  Ugh.  I have a serious problem with the tiny Veruca Salt in my head screaming, “I want it now!”  (see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory if you need help with the reference)  So I’m already thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  But really, why do I need to wait?  “Every passing second is another chance to turn it all around” right?  (see Vanilla Sky for quote reference)

Yet, here I sit making excuses for myself that I need this next Amazon purchase.  Or I need to decorate my balcony for the holidays.  Yes, it makes me happy, but am I just falling back into old habits of my first marriage where “things” were what I was using to fill up the empty void within?

I spent a lot of money on crap in my first marriage.  A lot.  It wasn’t until I moved out into my tiny one bedroom apartment during the separation that I realized just how much “stuff” I had that I didn’t need.  The correct word is actually “want” instead of need.  It wasn’t just uneeded, it was unwanted.  Crap.

I am absolutely guilty of filling my life with crap.  Maybe year two of sobriety will be spent on beginning to filter these things out.  Reprioritize, if you will.  Sobriety is still number one with me, but I think it’s time to add on to that a bit.  Guess now is as good as ever to start putting together a game plan.

But for now, my balcony looks freaking awesome!

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Day 729 – Recapping a Year…

Dear Sobriety,

I think one of the reasons I haven’t been writing nearly as much lately is because I haven’t needed to.  While I absolutely enjoy writing, especially hearing from you all, I’ve been enjoying reading, working and just sitting peacefully with myself (and the cats) lately.  End of the year is a pressing time for most people and I try to make it as painless as possible for myself.  It gets a little emotional, but I’ll take emotional holidays over drunken madness any day.  Anywho…

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Yep.  Those are my babies.

So tomorrow… wow.  Tomorrow will be two freaking years without a drippity drop of alcohol.  Whiskey.  Tango.  Foxtrot.  I never in my whole life would have thought that this would actually be a possibility.  Even sitting here while I’m typing this I’m shaking my head because it just doesn’t seem fathomable.  Not for this alcoholic.  And yet here I am, living proof that it’s possible.

Year One… after countless relapses, multiple outpatient programs, two stints in rehab, only then did things start “falling in place” for my sobriety.  And when I say that, I mean that my entire world was ripped out from under me and I was given a very simple choice: live or die.  Dying would have been the easiest and most comfortable route.  After my ex broke up with me and kicked me out, I finally decided to give living a shot.

Living is difficult.  What I was actually doing while I was in the midst of my addiction was nothing like living.  It was existing, at best.  To better describe it, let’s define it with the help of Dictionary.com:

Exist – Verb
1. to have actual being; be
2. to have life or animation; live
3. to continue to be or live
4. to have being in a specified place or under certain conditions; be found; occur
5. to achieve the basic needs of existence, as food and shelter

Definition #5 is the most appropriate.  With the way I ended up binge drinking, I was very quickly getting to the point where basic needs were not even important anymore.  There were times during active addiction where I would not shower for days.  At one point it was even weeks.  Yes.  That would be the plural version of week. As in more than seven consecutive days.

I had lost my “why”.  “Why am I even here?”  And while I am still not sure what my “why” is, I have found answers to questions I never knew I would ask in this journey.  Such as, “Will I ever have self-respect?”  The answer to that is a resounding YES.

Sobriety is not an easy process.  Just today as I was driving in to work I saw a sign that had two bottles of wine on sale for $10 and I thought to myself, “Damn.  That’s a good deal.”  Fortunately, since there is now a little space between my last drunk and today, the thought was countered by laughter and, “WTF, Monica.  Dude, just go to work.”

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More babies.

Sobriety is not an easy process, but if you want it and are willing to work for it just as hard as you were willing to work getting your drug of choice, you will succeed.  In fact, in my opinion, I haven’t had to work half as hard to stay sober than I did to stay drunk.  Life is easier now.  I can work through and respond to and enjoy life events instead of pushing them off to the side to deal with later only to push them off to the side to deal with even later until I find “the right time”.

Here’s a life hack I’ve learned: there never is a “right time”.  If you keep waiting for the right time to do this, that or the other, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life.  Sh!t is going to hit the fan every now and again.  Hopefully it doesn’t all the time so that you can get a break to smell the roses every now and again, but it’s going to still be your responsibility to deal with that sh!t whether it’s now or later.  Sh!t will happily wait for you until you deal with it.

This has kinda gone off onto a tangent, huh?  Apparently tonight is Monica’s soapbox life lessons night.  *stepping down from soapbox*

But really, stop waiting and start doing.  No one else is going to be able to live your life for you.

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Day 715 – A Few Things…

Dear Sobriety,

A few things have been on my mind in the last week.  Let’s start with the one that I thought of first and then if I can still remember the other, we’ll try and move to that one.  Sound good?  Good.

So I just finished The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone which makes book #20 for the year.  It was ok.  I only gave it three out of five stars because it took too long, in my opinion, to get to the meat of the story.   What really got me though was that the main character, Billy, was an alcoholic in recovery… kinda.

Kinda?  Yeah.  Kinda.  So Billy went through rehab in the backstory and currently wasn’t drinking except the author let him get away with a couple while he was on a business trip.  That’s not what I want to mention though.  What Mr. Boone got almost just right was describing the feeling of Billy almost being caught.

Seeing as how I’m infamous for sneak drinking, it really hit home with me.  I could feel my heartrate rise and breathing quicken while reading because I’ve been there.  That was me.  Technically, unless the aliens have replaced me with another strikingly sexy and dry witted woman who loves glitter, it still is me. 

He described it so well that it took me back.  Waaaaay back to places I’d rather not go.  The cool thing is that the anxiety it created within me, as a little more soberer (real word) person didn’t bring up a feeling of needing to drink during or afterwards.  That’s a bonus.  But, in all honesty, that was the most terrifying part in the horror novel The Mansion.  Oh well.  Can’t win them all.

He did write well though.  That is one thing that will immediately turn me off of a book.  If the writing is crap, then I’m hitting the eject button, the canopy is popping off and I’m out looking for a safe place to land.

The other thing I wanted to mention was that during work today, I listened to a couple of coworkers rehash some old drunk stories.  They were f**king hilarious too.  Two major feelings went through me during this:

  1. Jealousy because I can no longer be a part of these stories.
  2. Amazement.   Yes amazement because truth be told, I honestly could not think of one funny story that has happened in the last few years that revolves around drinking that doesn’t also include pain (physical, emotional, mental).

While it’s still fun to tell drunk stories of things that were (see the other day’s post about me sh!tting myself and having a true friend help out) funny at the time; it’s difficult for me not to think about all the pain that I was causing everyone around me, let alone myself.

One of the things I used to tell myself during my rinse and repeat nearly two years of relapse was that I couldn’t wait until everyone around me was gone so I could start drinking again.  I can truthfully say that I don’t think that anymore.  But isn’t that sick and twisted???

There were times when the ex was flying to/from a business trip and I would wish and hope that the plane would crash.  I had it all planned out.  I would go and be concerned girlfriend at the hospital and then someone would see how exhausted *I* was and would send me home and I would get to binge the f**k out of some alcohol.  WHAT KIND OF PERSON THINKS LIKE THAT?!  An addict.  Me.  I did.

I’m sitting here shaking my head because that’s just disgusting.  That’s how sick I was in active addiction.  Wishing and hoping people around me would die so that my selfish a$$ could get smashed.  The good thing about reminding myself of times like that is another way to keep myself sober.  I know how quickly this little deviant brain of mine could flip the switch and be right back there.

Singledom may be lonely sometimes, but I no longer want anyone I know or have known to be hurt in any way.  Well… maybe an ex husband or two, nah nah.  Just kidding.  Maybe throw some emotional turmoil their way, but nothing physical.  Hehehe!

HAPPY FRIDAY, YA’LL!!!!

Day 709 – Rain, Rain, Stay a While

Dear Sobriety,

Don’t be thrown off by the title.  There’s actually 0% sarcasm in it.

It is Caturday.  Chili is in the crockpot.  It’s chilly and rainy outside and I have seven library books at home.  I could use a week of this.  Well, maybe that’s a bit much, but today it is magical.  Just exactly what I needed.

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Yesterday I went out with my fam to a “haunted” dinner thingy about the real exorcism that gave inspiration to the book and movie The Exorcist.  The best way to describe it is “factual”.  I was hoping for a more paranormal, creepy spin on it especially since it’s less than a week until Halloween, so, for me, it was a bit disappointing.  Also, my Friday bedtime is usually pretty early since my work week normally is exhausting and it didn’t start until 7:00p, so I nodded out a bit during it.  It was a definite change of pace to Monica’s average Friday.  At least it was a fun time and good dinner with my family.

An interesting thought came to mind during the drive to the dinner: I don’t have to scrub my teeth anymore to try and hide the taste of yesterday’s liquid dinner before I go and meet up with anyone anymore.  Yet another added bonus of sobriety.  I’ve found the things I enjoy most about living sober are the random little things with this now being added to the list.

Now when I brush my teeth and spritz myself with perfume it’s because I want to be clean and smell nice.  It’s not because I’m trying to hide behind a mask of scent.

My world has up and did a 180 about 12 times since I’ve started this day-by-day journey.  I’m still amazed at the fact that two years is just around the corner.  I feel like the time has been flying by, but I’m actually mentally and physically available to live it.  There’s no need to run and hide from the bad crap in life either.  Sure, it sucks sometimes, but, for me, hitting things head on is so much easier than dodging what was being thrown my way.

Who would have thought that little ol’ me would be at peace with being by myself with the kitties on a Saturday writing on my deck with a mug of dark chocolate hot cocoa on a rainy 40 something degree day at 37 years old?  I’m going to go ahead and say me.  Sure, there are still things I could be doing better, but just for today I am going to relish this moment.

The work week is done; all the identity theft crap is in the mail; my house is clean and I’ve got a damn tasty dinner in the crockpot.

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Su-Sussudi-Seven Hundred

Dear Sobriety,

Ok, well, the title didn’t really work the way it did in my head, but I’m sure Phil Collins would be super excited to know that I thought of him on my 700th day sober.  Diet Mt. Dew cheers to you, my man.  Glad you allowed American Psycho to use your songs.  They really enhanced the film.  The book may have sucked, but maybe I should try reading it while listening to a couple of your albums. Fortunately, I know I’ll never try reading it again.  Oh and if you didn’t get what I was going for in the title, click here.

So what’s the hap hap haps tonight, yo?  Aside from listening to Phil Collins on my deck, if you hadn’t guessed, not much.  Oh!  I thought of a funny alcoholic story today because I thought, “Hey!  I haven’t p!ssed my bed or sh!t myself in 700 days!!”  We’ll call this story True Friendship and it’s dedicated to my friend who was with me in the truck that day.  I don’t know if she reads this, but if she does, this one’s for you!  ❤

My friend invited me out to a girls’ night a few years ago out in my old stomping grounds, but in the way, way outside parts of it.  It had been years since I’d seen her and she promised lots of drinking and craziness, so I was in.  We started the night at the local winery and immediately our friendship picked right back up where it had stopped.  It’s funny how you can go years without actually being physically near someone and then when you are, nothing has changed.  I mean that in a good way.

Fireball was really big at the time (yeah, a few years ago, huh?) and as we bar hopped our way closer and closer to her house, we did more and more shots of it.  There was much nonsense to be had and we had a great time.  I really have no regrets from that night… what I remember of it.  The pictures of me laying on the bar… good lord.  I’m not going to share those because I was not at my fighting weight and rolls upon rolls were flooping this way and that, but hey, I got to lay on the bar.

I didn’t have much experience with Fireball (cinnamon flavored whiskey, for ya’ll who don’t know) and I’m an alcoholic, so I went way overboard with it.

When I drink, I don’t sleep in until noon and then am able to slowly nurse a hangover by getting up, taking some headache meds and going back to bed for the rest of the day.  When my body wakes me up, I’m up; whether I like it or not.  Upon waking the next morning, I was expelling fiery liquid from all orifices at the same time, but I’m a polite houseguest and cleaned up after each of my multiple bathroom trips.  By the time she woke up and was conscious enough to drive me back to my car, I thought that most of the demons had exited my body.  This statement was inaccurate.

On average, I’d say the drive from her house to where my car was parked is about 20 minutes or so.  Not too bad.  I could make that.  We loaded up in her big ol’ truck and began to make our merry way back to my car already making plans for our next night out.  About 10 minutes in, I felt like I was going to hurl and since she and I are good enough friends, I knew she wouldn’t be bothered by it, so I asked her to pull over and she did.

As I was leaning out the side of the truck to start spewing, everything let loose again.  Yep.  I went to vet tech school for a couple of months and the one vocab word I always think of when throwing up or feeling like I need to hurl is peristalsis.

Peristalsis – noun
The involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestines or another canal, creating wave-like movements that push the contents of the canal forward

You do realize that the line from your mouth to your bumhole is one big connected tube?  Cause it is.  Once things started constricting and retracting, what I once thought was settled had ended up high-fiving each other in the middle and splitting out separate ways.

Once I had regained the use of my lungs and was able to form words intelligently again, I leaned back ever so slightly – even though I’m 99.9% certain this is all liquid, I don’t want to smush anything in her truck any more than necessary – and very calmly said, “I think I sh!t myself.”  This is a true test of friendship and reaction time.  No more did the words come out of my mouth than she started rooting in the cab of her truck while responding with, “I’ve got an old coat in here somewhere.”  She found it, scooted it under me and I sat back down and we continued on our conversation after having a hell of a good laugh about that and her saying, “We’ve all been there before!”

That poor coat stayed with me until I bought my new car in March 2018.  I should’ve framed it.  Well… I probably should’ve washed it.

Girl, I owe you a new old coat.  Day 700 is dedicated to this memory of us!  ❤

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Photo Cred: Someecards.com