199 Days

This is a holiday vent. If you’d rather not listen to Sober & Awkward Girl bitch about her first holiday season during recovery, then feel free to skip this post.

If you’ve been following me at all, you’ll know that I am currently completing Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP) for alcohol dependence. This has pretty much been my entire life since mid-October. That and work, of course. It’s not been easy, but I am so glad that I am doing this. My counselor has taught me so much, and despite how much I bitch about my lack of a life these days, I’m going to miss her when I am done next week.

My boyfriend has also had a session with my counselor, and we met with her together last week. We’ve been together for almost nine years. The past four-plus years have not been so great, but we’ve both hung in there. Well, not really. He put up a giant wall around himself as I spiraled out of control. My thinking was, this relationship is driving me to drink! So is work and grad school and blah blah blah. But I now know that my drinking did a lot of damage to us. Our bad communication skills also contributed to the damage.

So yeah. Life has been sucky, but now I am doing what I can to get well so I can piece things back together. I’ve been nervous about the holidays, but I am confident that I will get through them just fine. However, my counselor does not want me at any family functions where booze will be served during the holidays. My boyfriend also thinks this is a good idea. And I am…I don’t know…kind of pissed about the whole situation.

All of a sudden, I am not going to attend Thanksgiving dinner on his side of the family (which I’m fine with, his uncle seems to take great joy at pouring as much wine down my gullet as is possible). He’s planning on bringing dinner home to me, but still…is this really necessary? I can deal with Thanksgiving, but I love Christmas Eve and Christmas at my Mom’s house. And now I’ve got my boyfriend and my counselor telling me I can’t go this year. What am I going to do? Freak out and start guzzling everyone’s drinks? I’ve been to at least three family functions where wine has been served since I stopped drinking six months ago. I handled it just fine, thank you.

I guess this isn’t a rant, but maybe more of a pity party. I’ve had a rough year, I almost freaking died, I’ve had to make some major decisions and life changes. Can’t I just enjoy Christmas with my family? Being at home will be depressing, and we all know that being depressed and/or lonely is a big relapse trigger. Sigh. Any thoughts from my sober friends out there?

198 Days (!!!)

198! That feels pretty damn awesome. And I am feeling good with my sobriety (though that voice in my head still acts up…like it did at a concert two weeks ago – but I drank Cokes instead of pints and still had a great time). My IOP has changed me in so many ways, and my counselor has been incredibly helpful. I have learned more from her since mid-October than I have from any of the myriad of counselors I’ve seen since college. My last day is Monday, and that does make me a little nervous, though I am stoked to have time for myself again. I’ve been so busy with IOP and work and AA meetings on my days off that I haven’t even had time to exercise or cook. The past month and a half have been a giant blur, but I currently feel much more confident in myself and my sobriety.

As of Friday I officially have a sponsor, and I do believe that I’ve found my AA home group. Last weekend I had a moment of, “Oh my god, I am 33 and in AA. How the fuck did that happen?” But it’s better than being 40 and dead, or not making it to 40 at all. I’m going to keep this post short and sweet though, as I want to talk about the holidays in a day or so. Until then…

Six Months

Video

Six months ago I came to in the ICU of a major trauma hospital in NE Ohio. I was on a backboard, in a cervical collar, intubated, on oxygen, and had a giant soft cast on my left arm. Not only did I not know what had happened to me, I had zero memory of my first helicopter ride (I have to insert humor somewhere…). The past six months have been the most physically and emotionally taxing of my life, but I am making progress in so many ways. This month (and always), I have gratitude for so much: for the unwavering support and love of my family, for my friends who have seen me at my worst and still stand by me no matter what, for my fur-kids who act like they haven’t seen me in ten years each and every time I walk through the door, and for the courage to change and grow.

Today also marks six months since I’ve had alcohol. It was in my hospital room that I realized that I had to change. I had known for a long time that I had a problem, but I wasn’t yet ready to say goodbye to alcohol. It is a miracle that I am alive today, and it took that miracle to give me the strength to give up my crutch. I was done feeling bad for being unable to control something that I would never be able to control, no matter how hard I tried. I was done feeling guilty for lying to friends and family to cover up my tracks. For waking up and not knowing how I got home. For feeling this horrible sense of doom all day following a particularly crazy night, worried to hear from my friends about the stupid things I had said or done while being drunk out of my mind. I was sick of two day hangovers, and getting really shitty sleep.

I hate that it took such extreme measures for me to give up drinking, but it had to happen. And despite how hard this lesson is, it has filled me with gratitude.

180 Days

I will probably continue to be quiet until I finish my IOP program. My schedule has really been wearing me out, but overall I am feeling pretty good. I still have my moments though (had an issue with a coworker that was really invasive and snarky – of course after learning about all that, I wanted to drink. drink drink drink! ignore the unpleasant feelings!).  I also think I may have a sponsor, which is required of me by the time I finish my program. So hopefully all goes well with that. Tuesday is a big milestone: 6 months! Hard to believe. It’s been a long road, but it’s good to feel better and have these little highlights along the way.

Until next time, stay strong all!