Day 1,153 – Dr. #3

Dear Sobriety,

After PT last Thursday, the therapist suggested the pain and crap going on in my body is being caused by what she thinks is a bulging disc in my neck. When I got home I immediately called the office where I got the 2nd opinion on my shoulder and scheduled an appointment with a sports medicine doctor. That appointment was today.

I have to say that the office that I’ve been going to is pretty incredible. Excellent customer service and the fact that I was able to get in so quickly was a bonus. Neck xrays this time. More poking and prodding and it was a heavy pain day, so that was fun. I actually thought that I was starting to get better as I had tried some at home DIY traction. There wasn’t immediate relief with it, but by Saturday I had NO pain. NONE. Stiffness and a little sore, sure, but compared to what I have felt like for the past year, that was an absolute walk in the park. Yesterday my neck started getting a little more stiff and today… back to square one.

The arrow points to where most of my pain lies

The appointment went as well as can be expected. I do like the doctor who was treating me. Xrays came back negative for a bulging disc, but may have to investigate further with an MRI. I’d never had an MRI in my life until June 2020 and now it looks like I may have my second one here pretty shortly. My neck is slightly curved in the opposite direction, but that’s apparently due to the amount of inflammation that’s going on inside me. If we can get that under control, it should go back to normal. He prescribed a steroid to throat punch the inflammation followed by a Rx grade anti-inflammatory to keep it on the ground. Note to self: do not take ibuprofen for a hot minute. I really don’t want to add a hole in my tummy to the list of complaints I have currently racked up. Continuing with PT and hopefully between Rx and PT, this thing will be knocked on it’s a$$ soon enough. What’s another couple of weeks when I’ve already made it this far?

The cool thing about today is that when the Dr. was rattling off the Rx that he was starting me on, I stopped him and asked, “Are either of those PAIN medications?” He looked at me and said no and the entire time Drunk Monica was screaming in my head, “JUST ASK HIM FOR THEM! HE FREAKED WHEN HE FELT HOW KNOTTED YOU ARE AND HE CAN LITERALLY SEE THE PAIN YOU’RE FEELING IN YOUR FACE!! YOU DESERVE THIS!!!” Had he paused for any longer than he did between saying no and starting up with some more info, Drunk Monica would have won. Luckily, I was able to keep her in her box and re-gag her before she completely broke free.

Evie loves helping with my PT @ home

All day long as the pain continued to mount, she was right there and I was able to keep her at bay. So for me, today is a win in regards to sobriety. This is not advice I would recommend on a regular basis, but I believe it’s appropriate for today: sometimes the best way through a difficult situation is avoidance/ignorance. I’m referring to Drunk Monica and her committee in my head. That crew never takes a break. In a way, I just pretended I didn’t hear her and she didn’t mention it again. Thank goodness…

So… back to square one with my orthopedic issues, I suppose, but this is the first time I’ve been prescribed any meds (cortisone injections in my shoulder not included).

In other news, I just renewed my apartment lease again!! Never thought I would be able to say that based on my apartment hopping history. This is the beginning of my third year at this beautiful little place the kitties and I call home and we’re super excited.

Getting the notice from the apt office did cause a bit of stress though, but after careful consideration and putting my needs first, I believe I made the right decision for myself and Butthead. I thought about including him on the conversation, but he wasn’t available to talk when I was, so I just decided that the healthiest thing for the both of us is for us to continue having our separate spaces. The fact that he’s on a work assignment out-of-town through Summer helped. The other factor is that his 20 year old son is still living at their home. Definitely not ready to jump back in to that pond yet. Especially without checking to see if the water is warm.

#Truth!

This is the first time I’ve put myself first when it comes to a living together situation. To be honest, it is really bad timing for us to move in together; at the same time it’s nice to know that I’ve gained enough respect for myself to truly value my own opinion. That sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it is 110% true. Any other time in my life, if a lease was to expire and I was in a relationship, there was no question of what the best option was. I was full-bore running naked off the edge of a cliff into the depths of the unknown without hesitation. Needless to say, I saw it as the only option because it was the most unhealthy one and Drunk Monica digs sh!t like that.

That’s all I got for now! Sending love and light out into this world that truly needs it right now. Prayers for peace for all.

Day 1,148 | 0 – Aye Caramba

Dear Sobriety,

My motivation app knows me too well

Well, this is what honest sobriety is all about. Smoking won yesterday, but the good thing is that I’m still sober and I have regained what little sanity I have left. This pain… I found my max and went beyond it yesterday. Call it an excuse, if you’d like, but the fact that I’m not drinking is a freaking miracle right now.

Fourth session of PT was today. When I had started going to this PT, she had asked me if this was truly all rotator cuff or if I’ve ever had any neck issues. I assumed based on where the pain was located and what the two doctors and one chiropractor had told me that it was rotator cuff. Welp. After talking with the PT today and her once again working on all the mega knots in my neck and shoulder area, she suggested I see someone who will take a look at my neck. She thinks I have a bulged disc in my neck. That explains a lot. The shoulder pain may be referring from the actual injury(?) point. And the fact that this is not getting any better – in fact, it’s gotten worse – is suggesting that my body is trying to hide an injury. So now I have another appointment made with another doctor to look at my neck. Now do you understand the title of this one?

I’m so beyond my limits right now. There’s only so far that NSAIDs, essential oils, hot showers/baths, ice packs, easy stretching and praying will go. After taking a handful of Advil, a dropperful of cbd oil and turning on all my oil diffusers with calming oils, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I needed something and, Heaven help me, I needed it RIGHT NOW.

Between frustration of dealing with excessive chronic pain for too long and anxiety of trying to do the “right” thing, I could almost feel my head trying to blow off my shoulders. The committee was working overtime yesterday trying to get me to find some quick relief in something ANYTHING (aka alcohol) and that was where I had to draw the line. Sure, smoking isn’t good for me, but the chances of me doing something incredibly stupid (ie. self-harm, getting fired, damaging a relationship) are much less with smoking than with drinking. So the lesser of two evils it is.

I really abhor reading a constant stream of complaints in blogs. To me, complaining does no one any good. Does it fix anything? No. Does it make me feel better? No. It usually makes me feel worse, to be quite honest. Is it taking an active role in changing whatever it is that is bothering me? Nope. It just makes me feel sh!tty cause I feel like I’m handing out full bags of vomit to my friends and family that I complain to expecting them to do something brilliant with it. Which… after typing that, I realized that I have actually handed a bag of vomit to Butthead when I was in the ER after my mega binge. And handing a bag of your own vomit to someone else because there’s nothing you can do with in on your own is not a good feeling. So I can confirm that it is not a pleasant experience for anyone involved. Neither the hander or the receiver of the vomit.

I really am doing my best to stay positive about this. What is keeping me going right now is the sheer fact that I haven’t lost hope. So… one more day to grin and bear it. Thankfully, I have two floofs of love to help distract me.

Evie, “Don’t tell him we’re snuggling. His booty is so warm and fluffy!!!”

Day 1,147 | 4 – Flibbertigibbet

Dear Sobriety,

I’m going to start adding my days smoke free after my days alcohol free in my title I think. I haven’t decided firmly yet. I think it’s going to be mostly based on whether I remember. I do love consistency, but I don’t consistently remember to be consistent. Got that? Ok.

I meant to write about this the other day, but completely forgot until I pulled an affirmation card today and so here I am! Also, after just writing a couple of paragraphs already, I should probably note that since quitting smoking, my attention span is about on the same level as a goldfish; therefore, there is going to be even more jumping from topic to topic than on average. Sorry about that. While writing that goldfish bit, I finally came up with a title to this blog and I so love the fact that “flibbertigibbet” is a real word and not just something Meg Ryan came up with on the fly in Joe Versus the Volcano.

Affirmation card for 01/06/2021

Pulling this affirmation card today reminded me that I had intended to write the other day. The pain level that I’m dealing with on a daily basis is outside of my comfort zone. I like to think that I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I’m starting to learn that I do not have any tolerance for chronic high level pain. I could use some chronic to get me through this pain. Jiminy Christmas.

How many other people have image searched “horse tranquilizer meme”?

I do really like the physical therapy office that I ended up choosing. The therapist that I’m working with is funny and seems to like her job, so that’s a bonus. But I’m about at my max. I don’t know how much longer I can stand this before I start running to an urgent care crying for some narcotic pain meds and muscle relaxers. I just need… something. Is this something non-addicts think? Do they ever think they could use something stronger than Advil, but slightly less than ketamine? I’m assuming a non-addict probably doesn’t know what ketamine is actually. I’ve never actually tried it and that’s only because it’s never been something I’ve searched out, but I do believe something categorized as a horse tranq would probably get me where I’d like to be. As my papa bear says, I might still hurt, but I’m not going to care.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty decent days, but Monday something happened overnight. I don’t know if my cats had a disco party on the bed, but a sharp pain woke me up from a dead sleep as I was turning over in bed. Since then, there’s been fitful sleep at best and just a constant ache spreading all across my shoulders/neck/back/anything attached to it/headache. Needless to say, I am not in the best of moods. Pain + quitting smoking is giving me ample ammo to start fights with the people I love. And they’d probably all give me free passes to be an a$$hole currently, but I don’t want to be. Like… for reals. I don’t want to be an a$$hole. My tolerance level for life is just at a supreme low right now.

I’m just… I’m just stuck right now. I’ve been continuing my walking in the mornings because cardio is a mood elevator and, if nothing else, I feel like I’m able to honestly say I accomplished something positive today. Right now I’m not craving pills and/or alcohol. Actually def not alcohol, but I am craving relief. It’s been over a year of this continuing to worsen and I am over it. OVER. IT.

From my Motivation App

So I got this ping from my motivation app the other day, “When you feel terrible, your life still goes on; just do what you need to do and you’ll be proud of yourself for pushing through a bad day.” Serendipitous? Yeah. I thought so too. And I am proud of the fact that I keep pushing. I might be pushing standing still, but at least I’m not being pushed backwards by someone/thing else.

For as sh!tty as I feel, I am proud of the fact that I am actively working on getting better. With PT, walking and, in general, not giving up, I feel like I am still trying at least. But F**K. I’m looking forward to that day when I wake up and realize I haven’t complained about my neck and shoulder in a month. That’ll be a good day and make all these craptastic days worth it.

Day 1,144 – Frustrating Frida

Dear Sobriety,

So we’re on day two of quitting smoking. And I put my patience level to the test. Oh and have I mentioned before that you never want to pray for patience because you’ll end up getting tested in that category and that’s never fun. Anywho…

I am a certifiable, self-admitted calendar nut. Hello! My name is Monica and I’m a calendaraholic. It’s so true. With today being 01/03/21, I know that the pop up calendar stores are offering at least a 50% discount on regular prices. Since Friday was 01/01, I assumed the store was closed due to the holiday. Saturday was shoddy weather in my area – let alone being quit smoking day one – so I nixed the plan to go to the store then.

Two of my calendars snuggling

This morning I woke up and went for my walk; got showered; put on decent enough clothes for being out in the public and I was off to get my 50% off calendar(s). I arrived about 10 minutes after the opening time I saw on the internets which was 10:00a. I excitedly walk up to the store making notice that there is absolutely no one around and also seeing that there are no lights on in the store. I pulled on the handle anyway. *ka klunk* It was locked. This is where I had a choice:

1. Get pissed off that this calendar shop was not open when *I* expected it to be based on the internets which obviously never lie.
2. Waste some time and try back again in an hour.

I chose option two. I ended up running around in the area and got some supplies to propagate my succulents that have been growing overtime since I brought them in. Ended up wasting an hour and was back at the calendar shop at 11:00a. I had checked the rest of the outlet mall opening time and 11:00a was the general mall opening time. There were more cars when I parked this time.

Empty mall walkways…

Once again I excitedly bebopped from my car to the calendar store. Lights still off. Did not try door handle and no, there conveniently wasn’t a sign posted with the shop hours. I did look around for that unsuccessfully. This is where I had another choice:

  1. Get pissed off that the calendar shop was still not open when *I* was ready to shop.
  2. Waste some time and hope that the third time is a charm.

I chose option two again. It’s an outdoor outlet mall, so I decided I would make one slow lap around the mall. I ended up stopping at a couple of stores along the stroll. Found Butthead’s Valentine’s Day present (can’t share it here tho – there is a chance he may read these – HI, STROOPWAFFLE!), got some more warm socks for winter walks/hiking and by that time, I had wasted another 35 minutes.

I had parked at the entrance closest to the calendar store to limit my probability of spending money unnecessarily. While my monetary goal had been blown, I gave the calendar shop one last look as I was walking towards the exit to my car… and … saw lights on. No people, mind you, but lights were ON!! So I slowly quickly walked (that’s a real speed) to the door and grabbed the handle once again… annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnddddd….

THE DOOR OPENED!!!! And it wasn’t just due to my massive Hulk strength either; otherwise, it would’ve opened when I tried the first time.

Dare I say… magical?

And here is my calendar store haul:
1. Texts from Mittens page-a-day
2. Work calendar/new mouse pad
3. Deadpool Monopoly
4. Unicorn Yoga puzzle
5. 2nd half to Butthead’s V-day present (FYI, the total for the two items together was less than $20, so stop freaking out about me spending money on you)

So yeah… I say all of that to say this, I could have used the frustrating situations as an excuse to either freak out or a reason to smoke, but I didn’t. And I’m kinda proud of myself for that.

Gold star goes to me today. Love and light goes to all of you.

Practice the pause. Deep breath. And remember that YOU are the one who is driving the choices in your life.

Who can say no to 50% off Deadpool?

Day 1,142 – Resolved…

Dear Sobriety,

Luckily for you, this post is not going to be about how to easily clean up cat puke using Resolve carpet cleaner (not a sponsor). Instead it is about the amazingness of the New Year’s Resolution. And I actually have a few this year.

I think last year I wrote about the fact that we all have this innate ability to make every day or even second, if you will, a chance to change ourselves for the better. I fully believe in this. Truly I do. I’m constantly adjusting things in and around myself in order to create the healthiest version of me that is possible. Ya know? Since I spent the majority of my life doing quite literally the exact opposite, I kinda feel like I’m behind on some things. But anyway… better late than never, eh? (To understand the last bit, you may need to use Google translate – not a sponsor – to swap that from Canadian to American – and yes, I said American and not English).

I digress… as per the usual.

So I once again this year got myself a nice, shiny, happy planner to assist me in constructing the most amazing, hilarious, sexxxxxxxxxy, bootytastic, magical and healthy verison of myself. If I haven’t mentioned, I have purchased a new and still unused planners for both 2019 and 2020. Obviously, I am hashtag trending not in the correct direction. In order to hopefully change that, I am writing it down to forever be saved within the endless depths of the internets to possibly held against me in court.

And here… we… go…

Gratitude Pic for 01/01/2021
  1. Walk four days a week.
  2. Do ten sets of up/down steps four times a week.
  3. Increase and track H2O intake.
  4. Take three gratitude pics a week (one completed for 01/01/2021 already! Woot me!)
  5. Write and/or journal with purpose twice a month (kept this goal low based on my historically spotty writing trends).

… I really don’t want to type this last one…

Ugh…

Really?

6. Quit smoking. F**K. Maybe the internet will explode and there will be no evidence? We can always hope, eh? (again, you may need the Canadian/American translator)

So when I started to actually stay sober after I stopped drinking for the last time on 11/16/2017, I told myself I’d quit smoking after a year of sobriety (fully expecting failure on my part, but actively trying just the opposite). That didn’t happen. Then when I got to a year, I told myself I would quit at two years sober… welp… by this time I had a wee bit of confidence in myself and my recovery and my HP (Higher Power for those that have just started reading – which, thanks for stopping by and I hope you’re enjoying the ride), but I still needed a daily crutch for life. I decided when I hit three years sober *gulp* that I would quit then. I actually planned a quit date for this past August and immediately gave in after about 12 hours (most of that being time spent sleeping)…

So here we are. Day one thousand, one hundred, and forty-two and still smoking, but with much more useful non-smoking coping skills. I think it’s time to put them to good use. Working from home hasn’t done me any favors. Over the early summer, I would sit outside nearly all day working and not even realizing I was smoking until I had to get another pack. That’s not healthy, folks. It’s just not. And I can definitely tell that I have been suffering both respiratorily (made that up) and pulmonarily (ditto with the fake word), let alone monetarily (real word) and mentally (also a real word).

Love this app!

Tomorrow is the day. 01/02/2021. I have high hopes and am armed with lots of my fave caramel apple suckers thanks to Butthead. He being a non-smoker fully supports this decision. My family fully supports this decision even though I haven’t mentioned what I’m going to be doing or rather… not be doing tomorrow (must use active language and not passive language when talking about this to more convince myself of my confidence level).

So yeah. That’s happening. I like this new planner because it has a section each month with write in goals and squares for each day so you can check off your goals. “Crossing” things off lists makes me happy.

Oh and I can’t remember if I told you all this or not, but early last year, I purchased a .pdf with 365 affirmation cards. I laminated them and have just finished cutting them all out. Yeah. That took a bit and Butthead even helped during one of his visits. So since I actually have them all cut out, I decided to pull an affirmation for today, so…

Miracles happen in my life all the time.

So true. If you’d like to get and cut out your own affirmations, here’s the Etsy store I got it from: TheDailyGoalgetter (not a sponsor). I highly recommend! You can purchase them precut, but I’m cheap.

Anyway, I think that’s all I got for now. Love and light and happy new year to all!

Affirmation for 01/01/2021

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.