Day 576 – Ain’t Nothing But a G Thang

Dear Sobriety,

If you’ve been reading a couple of these, you may have noticed that I use the term “HP” or “Higher Power” instead of “God” and when I do mention the “G” word, encourage you to replace that word with your own HP, as necessary.  Why?  Am I an atheist or agnostic?  Nope.  Am I afraid of typing the word “God”?  Nope, not at all actually.

I was born and raised as a Catholic.  Went to Catholic school for 1 – 8 grades and really have no ill will towards those that use the word “God” as they see fit.  I tend to use it myself around close company and also when cursing cause it just fits properly (e.g. God d@mmit).  So why do I choose to replace it in this writing (and, FYI, I replace it when I’m at AA meetings too)?

There was a time when I hated God.  I felt cursed, angry, unworthy and also like S/he was punishing me for sport.  I also used to pray so hard to die.  Just to pass out and never wake up again.  I felt this God never answered my prayers; S/he never listened to me; therefore, S/he is only laughing and mocking my pain and torment.

When I started going to AA meetings, I learned that it is possible to create my own HP.  This was an amazing concept to me because I had been taught my whole life who this being was and what its expectations were for me and how I was miserably failing them.

When I first arrived at the meeting room doors, I was still very frustrated and upset with God, so there was no way I could put my trust in her/him especially since I couldn’t “see” her/him, but I knew that I had to put my faith in something, so G.O.D., not God, was what I initially turned to: Group of Drunks.  The people inside the meeting rooms were so encouraging, no matter how often I failed, that it was much easier to “see” how they were “leading” me in the right direction.  I still was unable to stay continuously sober, so I repositioned my faith and put some in this G.O.D. and tried out using some in another G.O.D.

Good Orderly Direction.  (To be quite honest, I feel most humans could use more of this on a daily basis.)  This was the first time I tried “splitting up my faith”.  I mean, growing up and going to Catholic school, I was taught there was one God and this is who it is and here’s your list of expectations and do’s and don’ts.  I never knew it was possible to be able to believe in one thing and also believe a little in another thing.  When I did start trying this concept, I felt like I was growing into a more positive person.  As long as 1) I didn’t drink and 2) I did the “next right thing”, things, even negative ones, seemed to work out a lot easier than they used to.  Is this because I was “believing” in something or is this because once you have adapted a more positive mindset, it doesn’t matter because you’re always looking for the best in the situation?  I don’t know.  Maybe a little of both, really.

I hope this next thing I started believing in doesn’t sound narcissistic because I am honestly not meaning it to come out like that: Me.  I had a major life change at 5 1/2 months of sobriety.  The man I had been with for 4 1/2 years broke up with me and I was forced to move out of his house.  This sent shock waves through to my core.

When I moved in to my first sober lady apartment, I knew I had a choice.  I had been leaning on the supportive people in my life and the one I was leaning on the most wasn’t around anymore.  The first night I spent alone in my apartment I decided it was time for me to put on my big girl panties and time to get serious with this sobriety sh!t cause even though life was happening all around me, at least I wasn’t hungover anymore and I was learning that there is a lot of fun to be had without drinking.  So that first night, I did not drink and I prayed and prayed and prayed.  That first night I split a little more of my faith and put it into myself.

I really don’t think that we’re given one bucket of faith per lifetime and that’s it.  In fact, I know we’re not.  After I moved out, I felt like my faith was growing at such a rapid pace that I had no choice but to keep spreading it around as fast as I could.  My belief in everything positive was growing.

This was when I really started not just learning about myself as a sober woman, but also learning about my Higher Power.  I think the reason when I speak to mine I choose male pronouns is because that’s what I grew up with and I’m comfortable with it.  There is no rage or anger surrounding my HP.  He isn’t vengeful and he doesn’t judge me when I make a stupid a$$ mistake; however, he does give me learning lessons and then it’s my choice to learn or make that mistake again because he has also given me free will.  All-in-all he is supportive, kind, loving and gracious.  You know what, I think Rick Astley is my HP!!

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Day 575 – Wonder Woman!

Dear Sobriety,

Happy Friday!  I actually wasn’t going to post tonight, but one of my grade / high school friends commented on a selfie I posted on ye olde Facebook.  I just found my Wonder Woman tube top that I haven’t worn in years, so why not entertain myself and do a Friday selfie?  I mean, the cats seemed cool with it:

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Yes, there is a Budda behind me with “Let that sh!t go” on my wall.

So I did and one of my coworkers commented “Crazy! LOL”.  My response was, “If you think that is crazy, then here’s one from when I was drinking!  LOLOL” and posted this one:

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I think that was the one and only Lime A Rita I’ve ever had.

My friend commented, “omg I nearly had a heart attack. I hadn’t read the comments just saw the picture. I was like ‘NOOOOOOOOOO!’ I was ready to come kick your a$$”.  ❤

She was initially concerned that I had started drinking again.  You know what?  That was the kindest comment I’ve received to date, I believe.  It makes me feel so incredibly overjoyed to have that kind of honest concern from one of my hometown friends and I told her so.  ❤

Fridays are probably my favorite day of the week.  No, no.  They are my favorite day of the week.  Also, my boss is the greatest boss ever because she’s truly concerned not only for me as an employee, but also as a human being in recovery.  So what does that have to do with Fridays being the best?  I’m getting there.  I’m getting there.  Patience is a virtue and all that.

My AA homegroup is Monday through Friday at 7:30a.  Since I’ve been working at my current job, I tend to kick off my work day around 6:00a, so it’s nearly impossible for me to hit this meeting as often as I would like.  My boss knows this and she has worked out with me that if I get in a little earlier on Fridays, I’m cleared to take my hour lunch super early in the day so I have the opportunity to attend my meeting while still clearing a solid eight hour workday.

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There are weeks when it isn’t possible due to looming deadlines, which is understandable, but if I can make it, then I will be there with bells on.  It’s a great way to set the tone for my day.  Plus, for me, being the morning drinker I was the last few years before I got sober, the start time would force me to get up, get dressed and start my day on a positive note instead of crawling inside the bottom of a bottle.  There’s nothing like a bunch of drunks (using this as a term of endearment) getting together to talk about how we’re dealing with real life in recovery.  Today was one of those days when I was able to get there.

My homegroup has been the same since I came home from rehab.  Why?  Because it is honestly the best AA meeting that I have ever gone to and I’ve frequented quite a few different options locally. These people have seen me walk in the door hungover more times than I would like to admit, but you know what?  They haven’t given up on me.  Going and seeing them when I get a chance to now is a true treat because they see me finally believing in myself.  I almost feel like a child who just brought home an A+ on a test and is showing her parents each time I walk through the doors.

The people I have met in AA meetings have really only known me for such a short amount of time, if you measure it by a clock and a calendar.  But there have been many occasions where I’m sitting in a meeting, distracted and mulling around a life event in my head that I just can’t find an answer to and I hear exactly the words that I needed to hear to get through.  It’s like these people have been living in my soul. There aren’t just words of encouragement that I hear when others share their stories here; it’s a feeling.  A feeling that is hard for me to explain…

A very, very dear person in my life often says when things like this happen, “Is it odd or is it God?”  I truly believe that my HP speaks through the people around me.  You just have to shut up and listen sometimes.

I think my next blog is going to be about why I refer to my Higher Power as my HP instead of using the “G” word.  And maybe really try to make it a twofer blog this time and talk about expectations.  That’s a good one too.

Until next time, my friends.  I good you bid evening!

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Day 574 – HALT… F

Dear Sobriety,

“HALT”  Have you heard of that acronym?  Working in aviation for 99.638647% of my adult career, you learn so many acronyms.  Working as a travel arranger for nigh on *cough* 20 years *cough* (that was difficult to type), I know lots of abbreviations for airports and such which is helpful in my profession, but what about an acronym for personal use (aside from BOB – Mom, if dad can’t answer that one for you, I’m not going to, but just think of the party at home that your granddaughter had and that’ll be your clue).

So  HALT.  What is it?

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Hungry
Angry
Lonely
Tired

It is one of the things I learned in either my time at IOP (Intensive OutPatient) or during my rehab stay.  It’s pretty applicable to life in general.  I can’t say that I’m good at doing a self-reflection during times when I’m crabby, but when I actually take a minute to do a once over on myself, I can usually pinpoint it to one of those adjectives.  That narrows the problem down and hopefully I can rectify it.  There really is something to be said for the word “hangry”.  Of course, I can’t always take a nap in the middle of the day after a bad night’s sleep, but I can make a mental note to do my best to get some extra sleep that night.

So what does “F” stand for in the title of this blog?  Well, I decided to personalize this one to me because it’s my blog and my rules.  ❤  “F” stands for Frozen.  No, not Elsa, sillies!  Although, she has helped encourage me to let some things go for some reason…  My body temperature, now, unless it’s the middle of the lovely, swampa$$ summers we get, usually runs pretty cool.  Which I still think is amazing.

Why?  Well, I’m glad you asked!!  When I was drinking, I would sweat almost constantly.  Quite literally 24/7.  It would increase dramatically in hot and / or humid environments, but really, the worst of it came out over night.  I would normally wake up almost literally in a puddle of sweat every single night.  I am not exaggerating in the slightest bit with that.  Clothes would be soaked through.  Shirts?  Most definitely.  Shorts?  You bet.  Sometimes even my socks!  And the sheets would be disgusting.  You know why?  Yeah.  My body was in a constant flux of drunk and detox.  Do you know how badly that will stress out all of your systems?

Well, I will give you an example:

Up until my on again off again relationship with sobriety started, I could feel my heart beating 100% of the time.  HARD.  I could be laying down at night all relaxed and doing nothing physically straining and my heart was pumping like there was no tomorrow.  It used to almost make my ears hurt because it was so loud in my head.  My ex would put his hand on my chest and freak out a little.  I didn’t understand why though.  I mean, this is just how my body works.  Isn’t it?

No.  No.  No.  No.

(I think this was 2013)  At my last place of business, they were working on becoming super conscious about health, so they had a smattering of Blood Pressure (BP) machines available to check your vitals.  There was one day when I honestly thought my heart was going to beat its way right out of my chest, but I knew it wasn’t a panic attack, so I actually started getting concerned.

I grew up in a family where you understood what a good and not so good BP reading is.  Heart problems and high BP run in my family and when mom used to check hers with her at home digital reader, you’d want to check yours too.  Plus, she would tell you to sit really still and then spook the sh!t out of you or make you laugh really hard, so the BP machine was fun for the whole family. (Love you, mom!)  So I decided to check my BP that day at the work machine and… uhhhh… it was like, you know… 185/110.  Which, after seeing that, I thought my 30 year old a$$ was having a heart attack or something, so I decided to go to the nearest Urgent Care.  Not the ER, mind you, because even though I may be dying, I’m dying on a budget.

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On the way to the clinic, I called my parents who freaked out like any good parents would.  They live around a hour away from me, so they got in their car and started the trek over to see what was the matter.

So I get to the clinic and told them what was going on and they took my BP and said…. ummmmm…. you need to go the ER.  NOW.  Well, sh!t.  Now there goes one copay to the Urgent Care and now I’m going to have to pay a higher one at the ER.  Now, mind you, I’m not having any chest pain or other pain and I actually felt like I was flying high on top of the world, so while I was worried, I wasn’t worried worried.  So I figured it would be a while at the ER and my cell was dying faster than I appeared to be, so I ran home real quickly and grabbed my charger before I went to the hospital.

So now I’m at the hospital and I’m getting all checked in and they finally get me a bed… in the hallway.  Which, since I had extreme energy, was great for me.  They parked me right next to an outlet and I began charging my phone and talking to every single person who walked past me.  I was the afternoon entertainment that day!  My parents heard me before they saw me when they got there and as soon as I saw them down the hall, I began waving like a maniac and saying “HIIIIIIIII,” a bit louder than the other patients probably would’ve preferred.  Mom took one look at me and said, “Yeah.  Your BP is high.”  All I could say was, “I feel great!!!!  This is the best day ever!!”

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That’s me super excited in my hallway bed!  They had me next to the outlet, not for my cell to charge, but to keep the monitors hooked up.

Mom and dad stayed with me until I was discharged.  The doctors gave me magnesium or something, it really was a blur of a day, to help and told me I need to get in to see my family doctor ASAP to get meds to get my BP under control.

Over the next couple of years (2013 – 2016), my doctor started me on a daily BP med… then increased it and increased it again.  Still, when I went back for check ups, I was super lucky if I was rolling in at 120/80.  Even though I was taking prescriptions and I had cut most of the salt out of my diet, my BP was still running above average.

About a month after I got home from rehab, I was getting super sluggish and I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I went back to my doctor.  My BP was L O W.  That was the first time as an adult that I had seen my BP running under 120/80.  I think it was somewhere around 90/60 or so.  He immediately weaned me off my prescriptions and I have not taken one single BP med since then.

I have lost a little weight in this stint of sobriety, but I eat pretty much what I want within reason and I’m still smoking every day.  But I kid you not, my BP is freaking amazing and I always get super excited when the nurse takes it.  I probably look like a kid that just walked in to a circus and is seeing a three headed donkey or something.  I’m still surprised even though it’s been a couple of years.

Since I’ve actually been consistently sober, my BP runs probably on average 105/70 now.  WTF, right?  Literally the only significant change that I have made in my life is cutting alcohol out 100%.  Yeah.  Let that sink in for a minute.

Alcohol and drugs are freaking scary and crazy, dudes and dudettes.  It’s amazing the things they do to the inside of your body that you usually don’t know about until it’s too late.

Day 573 – Emotional Emotions

Dear Sobriety,

Tonight I have on my jack-o-lantern fleece pants (from the Wal-Mart), no bra and have actively started rubbing my eyes.  Obviously I’m staying home tonight.  Unfortunately, it was not a love connection.  I could go through a whole slew of reasons why, but all I’ll say is that sobriety really helps you see all the red flags.  Also, if you’re over the age of 18, your mom does NOT enjoy doing your laundry.  And don’t tell me that your cat has mats in his fur and he’s ok with it.

So I can now say that I have gone on my first date as a sober person.  I would say that things can only go up from here, but I don’t want to jinx myself.  The one time I said I would never get married again, I got married about three months later.  I’m starting to learn that my time on Earth has been predestined for me and I usually don’t find out about the mistakes I make until after I make them.  Fortunately, now I don’t curse my HP for all the sh!t s/he throws my way anymore cause I’ve learned some pretty damn good life lessons from all of my trials.

I saw a meme a few months ago that has really stuck with me (please feel free to replace the “G” word with the HP of your choice):

When you're going through something hard and wonder where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during a test.

There have been many, many times when I’ve ranted and raved something like, “Lord, why hast thou forsaken me?!?!”  Well, you know what, that meme has kinda helped me through those times when I’ve felt like my HP wasn’t really with me.

Another thing that has helped me through the last 573 days is prayer.  Do I know if it’s working?  No.  Do I know if someone is listening?  Nope.  I mean, most of the time I’m not saying anything out loud and Heaven forbid someone actually hear the thoughts that go through my head!  I’m sure we would all be locked up and put away for those!  But, for me, things have found a way of working out.  The way I want them to?  Awwww, hell nah.  But it’s always been a positive outcome of some sort.

Did I expect to start dating when I got sober during my last relationship?  No.  Absolutely not.  I’m still confused by that one, but that’s why I have a therapist (also, I moved my next appointment up a week due to last night).

Maybe I’m just not ready.  I know the suggestion is wait until you’re at least a year sober.  Well, I can check that box now, but no one tells you what to do after that.

What I do know is that after I got home last night…  I cried.  I called my parents and I cried and cried and cried.  But I didn’t drink.  I gave my cats wet food and force snuggled them, watched half an episode of Ghost Adventures and went to bed.  But I didn’t drink.  Hell, to be quite honest with you, I’m tearing up right now because so many emotions have been stirred up and I was absolutely not expecting this.  When I was drinking, I had two emotions:

  1. Happy / Numb
  2. Angry / Numb

That was it.  Now that I’ve been sober for a minute, good heavens!!  I have soooooo many and tears come with a lot of them!!  Good, bad, it doesn’t matter!

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Going from purposely numbing myself to being able to feel and remember every single thing is quite the journey.  And I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think about drinking last night.  Of course I wanted to forget the weirdness that had just happened and just have it be a fuzzy memory that may pop up every once in a blue moon that I can laugh at in a couple of years.  But last night, and today now, I have chosen one more day of sobriety.

Do I know if I will allow myself to be vulnerable again with another person?  Ummmm… I’m going to answer that with I hope so. Do I feel 100% better?  Absolutely not.  But for right now, I have my orange fluff ball and my black fluff ball, one more package of Girl Scout cookies and Ghost Adventures and that is good enough for me.

Day 572 – A Coffee Thing…

Dear Sobriety,

I’m home from work and just changed into my nicest pair of ripped jeans (I bought them that way), a clean sleeveless shirt, put extra deodorant on and added some extra glitter to my eyeshadow.  Obviously, I am not staying home tonight.  My Match profile actually got a “like” yesterday and this person’s profile was interesting to me, so I “liked” back and sent a quick message.

We messaged last night and exchanged phone numbers today and he actually asked me if I wanted to meet and we arranged a time and (public) place.  Now I’m down to a 26 minute countdown and good lord I haven’t been this nervous in a while, so we’ll see how this goes.

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One of the things I made a point of putting on my Match account was that I don’t drink alcohol anymore.  Since I’ve gotten sober, I’ve become honest to a fault it seems.  But this is the most important part of my life.  I mean, let’s be honest, the only way I’m going to see a tomorrow is if I don’t drink.  Why should I be ashamed of the greatest accomplishment of my entire life?  If a potential mate finds a fault in this fact, then I need to thank them for not wasting my time.  You know?

Death has come knocking on my door more than once, so I’ve got to be still alive for a reason.

Today was actually one of those reasons.  One of my friends at work caught me on the way to a smoke break and she stopped me to ask a question.  There was concern and maybe even a little fear in her eyes.  She has a family member who is living in active addiction and needed information about recovery and how I made my way in to my first AA meeting.

I was honest and open with her and told her that my first meeting was court mandated due to my DUI and that’s where I got my first glimpse into sobriety.  That was about 10 years ago.  I’ve only been sober for a little over a year and a half.  It takes me a while to get the point sometimes.

I gave her a couple of websites (www.aa.org) and local resources and just talked and listened to her for a bit.  Sometimes that’s really all a person needs to help is to have someone listen to them.  I didn’t ask any questions, but I did answer all of hers and she thanked me.  Then I told her that I’m more than willing to help, if she ever needs someone to talk to again.

I’m very aware that sobriety is going to be this family member’s choice.  The one thing I know is that after she was done talking, the look of worry was erased and I could see the inklings of hope seeping in.  A seed had been planted.  Sometimes that’s all it takes.  An open ear and a few honest words and from my end tonight, I’ll be sending some prayers out that the seed will grow into something beautiful that can be shared with someone else.

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Day 571 – Drunkercise!

Dear Sobriety,

I feel like I’m giving away my most guarded drinking secret for free right now: drunkercise.

I lost a noticeable amount of weight right after marriage one ended on through the ending of marriage two.  Which, really, was like two years in total.  Then I gained it all back.  So what was my secret?  I just didn’t want to label myself as an alcoholic, so I felt like if I was doing something while I was drinking, then at least I was being productive.  Thus, drunkercise was born.

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This is one of those ideas that is only great when you’re already drunk or well on your way.  Kinda like going to the strip club, but less expensive.  Well, unless you get a Bowflex, but even then…  I digress.  So if I’m exercising while I’m drinking, then I’m burning off the calories I’m ingesting and still getting drunk!  Woo hoo!  What a concept?! (If someone steals this idea, please send some mad props my way.  I don’t buy the cats cheap food.)

So how do you drunkercise?  Well, Zumba was my favorite way because by the time I’m halfway through a workout, I’m probably three beers in and am starting to feel a lot looser so I really get into those Latin inspired dance moves and music.  Heck yes!  Pump up the jam!  Before I know it, I am fist pumping like I’m Snooki on Jersey Shore and those are extra calories burned!  I’m earning this drink tonight!

As I’m writing this, I’m watching my cats get super comfy on the sofa and am so jealous cause I am exhausted tonight.  I inventoried my work closet’s coffee, office and swag supplies and this took pretty well all day.

*Trigger warning for anorexia / bulimia*

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The thing is that you can lose even more calories if you drink so much that you either over exercise and don’t realize you’ve already been doing this for two hours or decide to binge an entire pizza, feel terrible that you did that and vomit it back up to make room for more alcohol.  During pretty much the last five years of my drinking career, if given a choice, I would choose alcohol over food any day.  Good ol’ pork chop in a can is all I need or thinking that because wine comes from grapes, it’s nearly the same as a fruit salad.

So I know I mentioned yoga too.  How would I drunk yoga myself?  Isn’t that dangerous?  I mean Warrior Three is tough enough to balance while sober…  Well, this actually came in to play living with my most recent ex in his house and realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to drink like I wanted.  So it was either get creative or be pissed all the time.  I chose creativity and suddenly started doing “yoga” after a glass of wine.  The thing is that I would do the yoga in our bedroom (there actually was enough room in there for this – and if there wasn’t, I would’ve rearranged it) with the door closed and locked.

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Yoga is a code word for drink while occasionally pressing down on specific floor boards to make it sound like I was actually doing something upstairs.  What I would really do is sit on my yoga mat with my ipad playing a yoga video and play games on my phone.  I was very careful not to FB post or “like” anything that I knew he would have access to.  I would do this for an “hour session” aka one bottle of wine… maybe more depending on my mood or the amount that I purchased that evening.  Every time I came out of that room I was definitely more relaxed!  And since I’d only had one glass of wine before I went up, I didn’t have to worry about smelling like alcohol when I came down.  I think that hiding spot was the only one told me he never found.  Oh, that one and the extra bottle of mouthwash under my side of the sink, but who would’ve ever expected someone to drink mouthwash?

Got to keep ’em guessing.  Well, really, with hiding stuff while you’re drinking, your guess is as good as theirs.

Short, but sweet post tonight.  My body is sore and my mind is tired, so I guess I got a little bit more of a workout at work today than I expected!

Day 570 – Resentment Is a Killer

Dear Sobriety,

I know yesterday I mentioned writing about exercise, but something has been sitting on my mind for a bit now, so I should probably get it out.  This is probably going to be a little emotional, but I’m hoping taking a bit to collect my thoughts and put them down will help keep them in a somewhat organized manner.  Hoping.  Not sure it’ll work, but let’s give it a go.

I do not have human children.  People have criticized me for spoiling my animals and feel that I do not have the right to call them my kids.  This fact was a leading cause for a lot of misguided drinking for me.  They tell me I don’t understand the stresses and craziness that comes with having “real” children.  That’s true.  I don’t.  However, do they understand the lengths that I have gone to trying to have kids?  Have they even asked?

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This is not something I openly share with people because when I talk about it, I tend to lose my mind a little.  Anger, sadness, disappointment in myself as a woman, all of these emotions pop up and it’s difficult for me to process through them without a complete and utter breakdown of sorts.  I don’t normally like to share this also because I don’t like to put myself in a situation to be vulnerable.  There’s a chance I could end up getting hurt and in getting hurt, I have a healthy fear of relapse.  Now, though, I think it’s time to pour this out of my soul in hopes of making another step forward in sobriety.

I would say most woman who get their period are upset in one way or another, but getting your period when you’re actively trying to get pregnant is a whole other level.  In my first marriage, we had finally decided to have a child; unfortunately, I was on quite a few strong psychiatric drugs that would do immeasurable harm to a fetus, so for me getting pregnant wasn’t just a matter of doing the deed.  I had to be detoxed off of prescriptions before we could even start thinking about really trying.

Why was I on so many drugs?  Well, it was a very unhappy marriage and I was an “undiagnosed” alcoholic then.  Most psych meds have warnings on the bottles reminding you to not drink while you’re taking them.  I, obviously, ignored that and continued.  So not only was I on multiple medications which openly advised not consuming alcohol, I was actively drinking on top of them.  This is not a good combo for a healthy mental state.  Today I know that I am an alcoholic and not drinking is the answer for me.  Then, my husband made me go to a doctor to be diagnosed and the prescription journey began for me.  So when we decided to make the next step in having a family, the prescriptions had to go, but I also had to keep my sanity (even though what was really happening was that I was covering it up in layers of alcohol and anger).

So what happens when a woman wants to get pregnant, but is on so many psych drugs and needs to come off of them in order to have a less risky pregnancy?  Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT).  Some call it shock therapy.  I call it the worst headache ever.  It was an absolutely horrific time in my life.  My parents had to take me to so many sessions because by that time they were retired, so they had to literally watch me go through this.  My husband wouldn’t do it because he was working or on business travel which led to more resentment and drinking at him.  The only positive thing that came out of the ECT sessions was a large blank spot in my memory of the unhappiness at the end of that marriage.  I never did get pregnant and we eventually decided to divorce.

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People automatically assume that I never wanted kids and I have no idea what a good life I have without them.  What those people don’t know is the pain and torment I put myself through for being a failure as a woman.  The ECT treatments were really just a small part.  The emotional turmoil going on in my head was a whole different battle.

I was angry with my maker, my ex husband, the doctor, but I saved the worst hate and rage for myself and I drank and drank and drank to try and kill the pain or even myself.  The last few years of my drinking, I would pray to die.  My five other siblings have at least two kids each.  So what was wrong with me?  I didn’t deserve to be here because I couldn’t do the one basic thing that a woman is made to do despite the drastic measures I had gone through: bear children.

Why do I mention this?  Please don’t judge a book by its cover.  If you haven’t read it, you have no idea what story is held within its pages.

Today I am accepting of this fact of my life.  Acceptance doesn’t mean agreement, but I know that my HP has a different plan for me.  I have absolutely no clue what it is, but I do know that sobriety has helped bring the peace into my heart and mind that I couldn’t find before.  I don’t think of myself as a failure of a woman anymore.  I may not have had what I thought I wanted, but I have what I need today.

Sobriety has brought innumerable positives into my life.  Things I never thought I would accept and mentally move past, I have.  And I have with a smile.  You know what?  Today, no, I still don’t have human kids and I don’t know if they will be a part of my journey.  Today I have my orange furball and black furball who love me without question and I can’t ask for anything more than that.