290 Days

Wow, this weekend just obliterated me emotionally. It was excruciating, but I battled through it. I took a mental health day from work on Monday, and my mother drove down here and we had lunch. Much needed! It doesn’t matter how old you are, sometimes you just need your mom. We talked about a lot of personal stuff, and it felt so good to get so much off my chest. I’ve noticed that the longer I am sober, the easier it is for me to talk about difficult subjects. I used to have to be at least buzzed before attempting a difficult conversation. It’s good to see growth from my sobriety especially during my rough moments!

Yesterday, I met up with my sponsor for breakfast before hitting up a women’s big book study meeting. I was honest about my recent struggles, and I told her that I really needed some sponsor butt kicking. We talked for several hours, and it was also much needed. I hate talking on the phone, but agreed to call her at least twice a week. We discussed how I need to start working the steps (yeah, I’m not there yet), and I confided in her that I have difficulty with the spiritual aspect of AA. I know I need to just step out of my comfort zone to embrace my Higher Power. Change is hard, and the past 289 days have been rife with change. I’m getting there, slowly but surely.

We went to the meeting after breakfast. She’s been there before, but this was my first time. I recognized a few ladies from other meetings including one who has really reached out to me from my home group. She ran over and gave me a huge hug when she saw me. This was only the second big book meeting I’ve been to since I started AA in October (most of my meetings are leads or discussions – I need to branch out). We were told to turn to page 452 to read and discuss “Safe Haven“. I opened my book to the page, and the first word I saw was “prison”. During breakfast my sponsor and I discussed how I may go to prison, and while the thought is terrifying for me, I am keeping an open mind. I cannot fear something that has not happened yet, I can only focus on making today the best it can be.

I turned to my sponsor, pointed at the word prison and said, “Wow, ironic!”

She smiled and said, “No it’s not, you were meant to be here today”.

Holy goosebumps, Batman! Time to fully embrace my Higher Power…

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287 Days

I’ve been really struggling since Thursday night. It’s personal, and even though this is anonymous I can’t really go into the details here. I feel like everything good keeps getting taken away from me, and I can’t take much else. This is just horrible. The emotional pain is so intense that I cannot eat or sleep. Ironic, as I’ve always been an emotional eater. I want to disappear. I’ve been thinking about alcohol constantly, even though I know I can’t flush nine months down the toilet. I know it will make things worse, but it will temporarily numb this pain.The pain is keeping me from functioning in a general sense, so why not just kill it? Be completely incapacitated?

Have any of you ever had to dump a sponsor? I was worried that her plate was too full to take me on, but knowing that I am (usually) laid back, we thought it would work out. I haven’t seen her since December though, and I don’t talk to her that often. I haven’t even reached out to her this weekend.

I need to breathe.

Breathe.

Breathe.

***Edited to add that I am now feeling a smidge better. Had a good cry with my best friend. Talked to my sponsor, made plans for Tuesday. Calling off sick and taking a mental health day tomorrow. Still trying to breathe my way through this.

Demons

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After juggling several part-time jobs since grad school, I started a new full-time job a year ago. It was definitely a moment to celebrate, and true to form, I celebrated (er, drank) with gusto. The Saturday after being hired, I went out with a good buddy of mine to celebrate (er, DRINK!). S. and I were usually able to keep things calm during an outing together. We could manage dinner and one or two drinks. Amazing, right? However, nights when S. and I joined in with the rest of our little group (“The Four Musketeers”) , all hell would break loose. Those were usually blackout nights.

This particular night started off low-key. Dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant with one martini. We decided to hit up a dive bar after, and our bartender obviously enjoyed the two cute girls at the bar as he was practically handing out drinks to us all night for free. Naturally, I don’t remember leaving the bar that evening. At some point, it was in the back of my mind to call a cab…but I never did. I’m assuming I felt that all would be fine in the 2.5 mile ride back home.

When I woke up that next morning, I felt like hell and had a feeling that something was wrong. I discovered that my car had leaked out all its transmission fluid onto the driveway. Oh, and the driver’s side tire was pretty much gone. Awesome! What should have been a $10 cab ride turned into a $2400 car repair. OUCH. This from someone who was already broke before the car incident. Sigh. Of course I have no idea what the hell I did, and I was so ashamed and upset at myself. But not enough to quit drinking. I made a mental note to cut back, but you all know how that goes.

Fast forward to April. One of my favorite bands, The National, had released their first single off their new album that was coming out in May. The first time I listened to “Demons”, I had to immediately listen to it again. Then I cried. I felt like the song was written for me.

When I think of you in the city
The sight of you among the sites
I get this sudden sinking feeling
Of a man about to fly
Never kept me up before
Now I’ve been awake for days
I can’t fight it anymore
I’m going through an awkward phase
I am secretly in love with
Everyone that I grew up with
Do my crying underwater
I can’t get down any farther
All my drowning friends can see
Now there is no running from it
It’s become the crux of me
I wish that I could rise above it But I stay down
With my demons
I stay down
With my demons

Passing buzzards in the sky
Alligators in the sewers
I don’t even wonder why
Hide among the under views
Huddle with them all night long
The worried talk to god goes on
I sincerely tried to love it
Wish that I could rise above it

But I stay down
With my demons
I stay down
With my demons
I stay down
With my demons
I stay down
With my demons

Can I stay here? I can sleep
On the floor
Paint the blood and hang the palms
On the door
Do not think I’m going places anymore
Wanna see the sun come up above New York
Oh, everyday I start so great
Then the sunlight dims
Less I’ve learned
The more I see the pythons and the limbs
Do not know what’s wrong with me
Sours in the cup
When I walk into a room
I do not light it up
Fuck

So I stay down
With my demons
I stay down
With my demons
I stay down
With my demons
I stay down
With my demons

I wondered if I would always “stay down with my demons”. Their album “Trouble Will Find Me” was released right after my car accident, and I spent many hours listening to it and reflecting on my life. From the song “Sea of Love”:

If I stay here trouble will find me
If I stay here I’ll never leave
If I stay here trouble will find me
I believe

I knew I couldn’t stay where I was, doing what I was doing. Trouble had already found me, so much more so than the time I passed out in the park…or when I wrecked my car after getting my new job, only to total it and almost kill myself three months later.

Listening to the album still wrecks me emotionally today, but it’s different. I am no longer that person down with their demons. I’m still struggling, but I am in such a better place right now. It’s amazing how much life can change in just one year.

Day 281

I’m feeling much better than when I last posted. I’ve also cut myself some slack in regards to my meetings. Yes, they are beneficial and I really enjoy them. My home group is obviously the one I love most, I’m there every Saturday, and I find that it really does feed me spiritually and emotionally throughout the week. But I’ve had a rough go of things lately, and if I want to be a hermit when it’s nasty out, so be it. I read sobriety blogs and texts regularly along with the Big Book, I keep in touch with my sponsor. Last week I reached nine full months of sobriety, and I am incredibly proud of myself. I’ve always been my own worst enemy, my harshest critic. These past nine months, I’ve learned to let go a bit and be gentler and kinder to myself. I still have my moments, but I feel that I am doing a much better job at silencing my inner critic.

My court case has been weighing heavily on my mind lately, as I do not see any end in sight. This makes it hard to plan for the future, but I cannot live like a prisoner before I am one (which hopefully will not happen, but you catch my drift). My current home situation is depressing at the moment. My dog Cosmo is still being mopey and uber-clingy since Grace has passed. And now with the loss of our cat Takibi, his brother Toshi is understandably acting depressed. And of course my boyfriend and I are bummed out with all this unexpected loss in our little family.

We’ve fostered greyhounds in the past, and we are thinking of fostering again. It’s been two years since we have, and because Cosmo loves other dogs so much, we were thinking that it would be good to foster again either this summer or fall depending on what happens in my case (i.e. will I end up in prison or jail?). For all I know, this could drag out all year. I found out last night from the group I foster for that there will be new dogs up from Florida this week that will need foster families. Why not foster now? I want to jump at the opportunity, but my boyfriend isn’t so sure. It would be a great distraction from all the fun legal stuff in my life, Cosmo would have a new buddy in the house, and our rescue group would then be able to save another retired racer from a Florida track. Win-win, right? We’ll see if I can do some convincing this week. I miss my girl so much, but this would also be another good distraction from that pain.

Since I love to take photos, I’ve decided to begin taking part in the Weekly Photo Challenge. I had no idea there was such a thing, until I saw Running on Sober’s post today. I’m excited to see what this week’s challenge will be! Okay, back to work…

 

Day 273

Winter is making me lazy. Winter is making me avoid going to AA.

Okay, winter is making me lazy. I haaaaaaaate winter.

Last night I told myself that I would go to two meetings in a row this morning before I head into work. When I woke up this morning to more snow, it took all of two seconds for me to talk myself out of going at all. Granted, the roads were bad going into work, but these meetings are close to home and I could have dealt with it. But instead, I choose to be lazy, and snuggle with a cat while drinking my morning coffee. Did a few things around the house.

I’ve been going to my home group meeting faithfully on Saturday mornings, though I did recently miss three in a row (I had to meet my lawyer to talk about my case one Saturday, the next was the day after losing my greyhound and I was a mess, and the Saturday after that it was a blizzard – really). So I’ve been to my closed women’s group (my home group) the past two Saturdays, and it’s good to be back. Even though I’m still shy and I haven’t opened up fully, I always leave there feeling lifted and wonderful. But other than that, I’ve been avoiding going to other meetings.

I should be going to at least three a week, but I have a hard time leaving the house when it’s cold and snowy out. And it’s been a cold and snowy winter. I still have all my meetings documented, so I have a record of going for court purposes. This morning I was guilt-tripping myself about missing the meetings, when I began to think about how these missed meetings would affect my case in court. I doubt that a judge is going to send me to prison based on me only going to one meeting a week, instead of three. “Well, I was going to just give her a couple days in jail and community service, but I see that over January and February she started getting lazy with AA. Because of that, this girl with zero priors is going to do hard time, dammit!”

Yeah, I’m weird. And terrified of my future. And a bit depressed.

Friday morning, my boyfriend and I took our 12 year old cat to our vet to be euthanized due to inoperable cancer. This is three weeks to the day of having our vet come to our house to euthanize our dog. It’s been a rough 2014 thus far. The sun was so bright, but it was 5 below that morning. I’ve had a hard time processing the situation with our cat, because my heart is still so broken over my girl. After our kitty was gone and we came home, I put myself to bed. I just didn’t have the drive to do anything but read, be warm under the covers, and sleep.

But I made it to my home group meeting yesterday, and I was so glad that I went. I keep telling myself that I need to do more, but right now, I just feel like burying my head in the sand until spring…

Day 267

Just a quick question for you all. Does anyone else miss drinking camaraderie?

Of course I have plenty of wonderful sober conversations and I always have. But I do miss the ritual, and gathering of friends. I know, rose-colored glasses. I need to think of the stupid arguments, wasted money, day-after shame, the hangovers, the fact that my entire future is currently up in the air because of a court battle stemming from my alcoholism. And yet, I still pine over that loss of camaraderie.