Day 1,141 – NYE

Dear Sobriety,

Happy New Year’s Eve! 2020’s resolution was to be more grateful, so I started a gratitude jar. While I haven’t added to it every day (maybe only 1/2 the year really), it’s nice to be able to look and see how my gratitude has built up over the year.

Gratitude Adds Up!

I wanted to change things up for 2021 and I also need to give myself a real reason to get my Nikon out and actually use it. So this year I’ve created an album on my FB dedicated to things I see on the daily that I’m grateful for (kitties not included cause I think we all know that).

I’ve started taking pretty consistent daily walks to help with my rotator cuff issue of all things and I’ve managed to stick with it more often than not since the end of October. I’m pretty freaking proud of myself for that cause I’m definitely not the gym rat and/or any type of physical activity person. I say all that to get to this: Today I’m grateful for quiet moments of solitude and the peaceful time I now get to spend with myself. If you’d have told me a couple years ago that I’d be writing that down to be stored in my internet history, I’d have called you absolutely mad. But I’ll tell you a secret… the most amazing people are.

Anyway, to kick off this little resolution of gratitude, I’d like to share a pic that reminded me of how small I am in comparison to the rest of the world.

Sycamore Trre

My boyfriend – let’s call him Butthead, cause he definitely qualifies for the title – loves sycamore trees. There happens to be one on the path I’ve been walking lately. The other day I followed a little off-road path that leads to it as well as a happy, bubbling little creek. That pic doesn’t do it justice. It’s seriously a mega tree, but it helped me put things in perspective in a way.

Today I dropped Butthead off at the airport for his flight back to his temp home. No firm plans have been made to see him yet and between that and PT making everything hurt, I’m a bit of an emotional hot mess. While the tears that started welling up as he pulled his mask down and kissed me goodbye outside the departures terminal are bittersweet; they’re also full of of hope for the future and gratitude of time spent together.

My fourth NYE sober is again one that I’ll be spending alone. But while I’m physically by myself, I’m absolutely full of love from my family and my Butthead as well as all the little gifts my HP has readily given to me this past year.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy 2021.

Love and light to all!!

Day 1,140 – Relationship Status

Dear Sobriety,

So aside from the ‘Rona and finally getting my credit back in order after the identity thievery (as if that wasn’t enough), another major event has happened this year: relationship status changed from Single & Sober to Holding Hands with my Best Friend While Navigating the New Perils and Craziness that Comes from being Actively Sober.

My belly button b-day is in August. Right around Labor Day (09/07) this year, I received an email from rehab saying that a donation had been made in my name by my ex boyfriend… And my head about exploded.

It was in the morning when I actually checked and I’m so thankful I was actually at the office because it greatly lessened my ability to freak out. There weren’t many people in (we’re on a ‘Rona rotational schedule currently), but there were enough and they don’t really know me and I don’t purposely want to make a complete a$$ of myself in front of my new coworkers. So I started texting my parents/sister group. Screenshot of the email was sent followed by a few amazingly creative and descriptive expletives. Because if I am going to be riled up by this randomness, then you’d better believe I’m going to make sure my parents and sister are riled right there with me. Recovery is a “we” program and all.

Just like that…

So after a lunch time phone call b!tching about the world and how it is always falling on my shoulders, I finished work for the day (thankfully was busy the whole day) and left. When I got home I screenshot the email and texted it to him. Who knows if he has the same phone number? Am I right?? It’s been just over two years since the cord had been cut. I’m surprised I hadn’t changed my number in that amount of time. With the amazingness of technology though, it’s much easier and cheaper to block a number than calling the phone company to have them block it and then being charged to change the number. Because this is my fault, right??? I digress…

After the screenshot text had been sent, I called my parents back and really let my feelings fly. Of course, all the while in the back of my head I was thinking, “Oh… my… God. Maybe? Maybe he’s still single? Maybe we can figure a way to work this out?” Of course, the very loud, persistent and cursing outer dialogue I was experiencing at the same time was a bit more persistent.

He always had read receipts turned on his texts. He wouldn’t have changed that, right??? As I kept obsessively checking to see if he had read it (I confirmed it had been delivered as least from my end), I continued to fume at a hotter and hotter level. If it was possible for a human to spontaneously combust from frustration, then I would have. No doubt about that. If I would have taken my temp, I would have definitely reach boiling hot magma and been rushed to the hospital for the ‘Rona.

The thing is that now that I’m like for real sober, if there’s something that’s bothering me, I face it head on and don’t dance around the subject. So I finally got to a point where I said f*** this sh!t. I’m not going to let anyone control my life except me and I called him. And I swear my heart stopped.

Ring…

Ring…

Him: Hello?
Me: …………………………………………… *BURST OUT CRYING* (Jesus H Christ, good one holding yourself together there Monica)
Him: Monica? Are you ok?
Me: I want to throat punch you and hug you at the same time and I’ve wanted to tell you that for a long time!!!!

Omg. So yeah. That was the beginning of us patching things up. Which is pretty typical for the two of us. And don’t worry! I’ve talked to my entire family, therapist (twice so far) and everyone else (including you all now), so the knowledge is out there and I am so f**king happy that I could sh!t gold bricks! (that’s pretty happy, btw)

My first telehealth appointment with my therapist started like this:

Me: So you remember the guy that broke up with me who was essentially the reason I started seeing you?
Her: Yesss…..
Me: So we’re kinda getting back together.
Her: … So, tell me how you feel about it.
Me: I feel f**king phenomenal!

And further discussion ensues. I really like the fact that she didn’t jump down my throat reminding me of all the progress I’ve made in the time that he and I have been apart. Instead, she walked me through how to set healthy boundaries for myself and reminded me not to forget myself in this again. I have a terrible, terrible time of forgetting who I am in a relationship. As in, my needs always comes last no matter what. Then I get frustrated and resentful and I think we all know what happens when this alcoholic has a pity party… poor me… poor me…. POUR ME ANOTHER DRINK!

All the thoughts swirling…

We’re now a few months in and I’m still having some freaking stupid shoulder/neck and now add in bicep problems (cause I’m so buff, ya know?) and I’m having to learn how to continue being healthy for me while trying to tone down the independence stuff (cause I’m quite capable of doing everything myself and I will take care of whatever I need right now instead of waiting five minutes for someone to help me and lessen the possibility of further injuring my already expired body parts). And at the same time, he’s learning my new and improved reactions to life. It’s a very interesting dynamic, but d@mmit this shoulder is not helping anything.

My frustration level for anything is what seems to drive my emotions and my frustration level along with my pain level has seriously been cramping my mood lately. The good thing is that I do have the power of “pause” now. I have walked away from a situation where I would have previously reacted in some sort of regretful fashion. That’s a positive, eh? I explained what happened to my therapist and she complimented me on my healthy coping skills that I didn’t even know I had!!!

Obviously the conversation of WTF happened has come up. We both had been dancing around it a bit to extend whatever honeymoon phase we were in. When it did come up, I was at his apartment (a plane ride away from my kitties) and I went outside and smoked. Continued to fume. Put my shoes on and my earbuds in and went for a walk. Continued to fume. Came back. We were supposed to go to dinner with his friends, but I said I wasn’t going, but I think it would be a good idea if he did. I had cried buckets by this time. He decided instead to go for a walk himself. I cried buckets more and then we managed to fix dinner, watch tv and not go to bed angry. The next day he was off work all day and I was virtual, so we spent the entire day going through things that needed to be talked over if there was going to be any chance of a real and healthy future for the two of us together.

#Truth

So yeah… he’s currently on a temp assignment, like I said, a plane ride away from me and that’s probably the best thing ever for the two of us right now. It’s allowing us to take things a lot more slowly while forcing us to truly communicate (not just talk at, Monica) with each other.

I’m super grateful this is happening. The thing is… his family still blames me for whatever the f**k blew out of proportion. He and I were there and his 17 year old son (now 20) was there too. And I’ve asked him ad nauseum about what happened that caused me to get the boot. We don’t know. I still feel like there was plotting behind my back and that ultimately his ex-wife, 22 year old daughter and 17 year old son ended up giving him so much grief (after were were together for 4.5 years and I was actually sober) that … I don’t know.

What I do know is that I do my best to stay in the present. I like to think that I’m pretty f**king awesome now and I don’t have time to waste to live in the past. I wasted enough time drinking away a life I never thought I would be able to have, so now I just need to sit down and enjoy the love he gives me and the love I give him back. I don’t have to have approval from anyone but myself. Bonus points if I get it from my family and him.

There are a lot of things that I would love to go on a nice, fat rant about in regards to his family, but aside from making me frustrated and sending out bad vibes into the world, what would it do for me? Nothing positive. Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business.

Hope you all have had a meowgical holiday season and I’m sure everyone is as ready as me to usher in 2021 and kick 2020 out the door.

Love and light to all…

Day 1,132 – A Second Opinion

Dear Sobriety,

Apologies if this turns out terrible. One of the kitties has decided that it would be a great idea to sit on my lap while I type and lick my hands. It’s my cross to bear, I know.

Anyway, so prob won’t get into all of the amazing things that have happened lately just yet, but wanted to share today’s fun since I find all the nuances of sobriety to be interesting and I’m always finding new things to learn about myself.

Yeah, Me.

Soooooooooooooo… I’ve been having shoulder issues for the last year and a half. Finally went to a shoulder specialist in January 2020 and got a cortisone shot to try and kill the pain as utilizing narcotic pain meds are a no no for this alcoholic. I last took them in late 2018 when I was having foot/ankle issues and they kicked off ye olde cravings again and that just plain sucked. Also, there’s no way for this alcoholic/addict to take pain meds “as prescribed”. I go into Dr. Monica mode and immediately lie about pain levels and/or just take them all at once, if they are actually prescribed to me. Then I nod out for a bit, wake up grumpy and can’t poop for two days. If you have any experience with recreational pain pill use, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, I commend you for remembering to take fiber when you take your meds as prescribed.

Anyway, so after cortisone shot #1 in January, I went back to the same Dr. in February because the shot did not last the expected three + months. We did another shot and he said if this one doesn’t last, we’ll do an MRI to see if there’s more going on. He was assuming it was general inflammation because I’m so obviously a workout junkie (FYI – I am not a workout junkie).

Fast forward to June and he ordered an MRI for me. I went in, got that done and results came back that I had a tear in my rotator cuff. Again, obviously a repetitive use injury as I in no way go out of my way to be physically active with my arms. Aside from when I’m at a buffet or force snuggling my cats. But actually, I am skeeved out by buffets, so really this is all due to forced snuggling.

Physical Therapy was prescribed and I was in between jobs therefore in between insurance coverages (go go gadget USA health coverage – yes, that was dripping with sarcasm). When I called the PT office that I chose to go to they said they were going to charge me $150+ a session and I was expected to go at least two times per week for at least four weeks. Let’s just say that my budget doesn’t allow for that as I buy my cats Science Diet (not a sponsor, but willing to consider offers) cat food and that’s a higher priority than my physical discomfort.

For the past six months, I’ve luckily been able to work from home and, therefore, have been near my ice pack/NSAIDs and that has helped a bit. Since I wanted to be able to do something I could afford, instead of PT I decided to go see my chiropractor to see if he could help out. Ultrasound/e-stim/ART has helped some, but I’m not nearly where I would like to be. My pain level usually kicks off at about a 5 or 6 on a 10 scale in the morning and usually increases from there as I go about my day. Also, I don’t really have a “stop” or “slow down” button for me as I live alone and sobriety has made me incredibly particular (aka OCD) about the cleanliness of my apartment. So instead of taking it as easy as I probably should have (don’t should on yourself, Monica), I was not doing myself any favors by continuing with normal activities and only stopping myself when I literally could not do something physically.

So true….

Anyway, fast forward to today, I finally made an appointment to get a second opinion with a different shoulder specialist. And I was freak-fracking anxious as hell today about it. Why? One reason essentially:

  1. I am deathly scared of surgery not because of the surgery or being put under (in fact that’s my favorite part – I think I’ve talked about that before and will see if I can find a link to that blog later), but because the possibility of the pain level being over my threshold and may actually require something stronger than an over the counter NSAID.

I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I don’t want to purposefully f**k up my sobriety. And I know how many times I’ve f**ked around with narcotic meds to get high in the past. I’m wildly assuming that those habits haven’t changed.

This time I legit went out of my way to keep my addict brain from f**king over my sober brain when I filled out the new patient paperwork by adding “ALCOHOLISM” not once, but twice. Once on my list of medical problems under other and once again on my list of psychiatric problems under other. I CREATED A CATAGORY FOR MYSELF JUST SO I WOULDN’T PURPOSELY F**K MYSELF OVER and I’m like super proud of that.

Sunny is not amused by my excess holiday cheer…

Of course, on the drive over to the new Dr., Drunk Monica was trying to weasel her way past Sober Monica to see if there would be any sort of workarounds to manage to get some sort of meds prescribed for me. It’s so funny (?), interesting (?), I’m not sure the best word to describe it. Maybe it’s just weird noticing that I almost literally having two completely opposite answers to every single question that is posed to me. My first response always comes from Drunk Monica. My second is from Sober Monica. The good thing about adding a couple days of sobriety together is that Drunk Monica’s voice is a bit muffled now (maybe she’s wearing her COVID-19 mask 95% of the time), so it’s easier to hear Sober Monica.

Anyway, thought that was interesting today and wanted to share. Recovery isn’t easy, but keep putting one foot in front of the other or at least stand still and don’t move backwards and you’ll start seeing the goodness come from all your efforts. I’ve got a script for four weeks of PT and have insurance currently, so super excited to try to get back on the road to shoulder recovery!

Love and light to all!!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Happy meowlidays from Evie!

Day 1,128 – Happy Holidays

Dear Sobriety,

Been away for a bit, but been thinking about you a lot. So many unexpected, but amazingly wonderful events have happened. I didn’t want to write about them for a bit as I was mostly worried about the ever present jinxing possibilities.

This is going to be a quick post with hopefully more in depth details coming soon. To sum it up, sobriety… mad props to you, my friend. The gifts of love and happiness you’ve been giving me lately… there is no way to put into words the gratitude I have.

Thanks for not giving up on me. Thanks for reminding me in the subtle (and lately not so subtle ways) that this journey you’re holding my hand through is more than worth it.

Sending love, light and kitty kisses to all!

Relationship status: blessed to be able to laugh with my best friend.