352 Days

Life continues to be all kinds of crazy these days. I’m also a wee bit behind on reading blogs here, but I’m hoping to catch up on all your lives soon (promise!).

I had a rough go of things last week, but I really am feeling better. It took a few days to digest the news from the prosecution (not backing down on me doing six months in maximum security jail), but I am over my little pity party. Obviously it is up to the judge to decide my fate, and I will continue to believe and prepare myself for the full six months. My judge is tough, so I am not anticipating leniency on his end. However, if he gives me a lesser sentence and/or work release then that will be wonderful.

As of last Thursday, I have a new sponsor. Back in February I was considering dumping my first sponsor. After a crisis at the end of that month, I told her that I needed her to “kick my ass, AA-style”. We got together for breakfast and a meeting, and kept in touch a few times after that. I haven’t seen her since then, and decided that I need and deserve someone who is going to push me along on this journey. My new sponsor, M., has been sober since 1997. She’s in my home group, and her lead blew me away last fall. She’s had a really amazing life, and didn’t get sober until alcoholism took her husband and soul-mate from her. We met for coffee last week, and I told her my story. It was agreed that we were a good fit, and she gave me assignments immediately. We’ll also be meeting once a week, plus we share our home group. I am grateful to have her on my side as I prepare for my jail sentence. I need this, big time.

My job is still up in the air. I have a union rep working on my behalf, and now I am thrilled to have my boss in on the fight. He has no idea what I’ve been going through, and yesterday we met and talked for about an hour. I was so nervous to discuss my case with him that I was worried I was going to hurl in his office (“If you’re gonna spew, spew into this“). I told him everything, and he was incredibly supportive. Blown away by all I’ve been dealing with and what I’ve done (busting ass to get well, seven week treatment program, etc) to get well without hurting my work performance in any way. He’s going to reach out to HR, and do anything possible to ensure that my job will still be here whether I am gone for six months or two months. He is also going to write to the judge on my behalf prior to my sentencing. I went back to my office when we were done talking. My door was cracked open a bit, and a coworker who has become a good friend came in to see how our meeting went. I was so overwhelmed (in a good way) by my boss’s response that I just started sobbing at my desk while she came over and hugged me.

I cannot get over how many amazing people I have in my life right now. Family, friends, coworkers, sober bloggers. The amount of love and support I continue to receive is mind blowing. All this support plus my continued sobriety has shown me that whatever happens, everything will be okay. I will get through all this, and be stronger for it. Hell, I already am! 

Come on, life! BRING IT.

 

350 Days (Screw It)

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Hi, my name is Kristina and I am an alcoholic. I reside in the city where AA began, and I completed my seven week intensive outpatient treatment program at the same hospital that opened the world’s first detox center 75 years ago. How lucky am I to be living here right now? And to be alive today? Very. Life is good, my friends.

345 Days

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345 Days

The prosecution “appreciates” (their words for it) all the progress I have made this past year, but they are refusing to budge. No reduced sentence, no work release. Six months for the meek librarian with zero priors. I am angry and I am scared. I keep reminding myself that I made it out of this car alive. I can walk, I can talk, and a state trooper on scene that night who was sure I wouldn’t make it later called me the luckiest person alive. I will get through this.

340 Days

Shit is getting real. Progress is being made in my case. A plea offer has been made, and we’re trying to work out something a bit more doable. The good news is that I can avoid prison and a trial. The bad news is that they want me to serve six months in jail. I’m just hoping to work something out that will allow me to keep my job, because I’m broke and it’s all I’ve got right now. Fingers crossed that I can serve a shorter sentence along with work release.

Funny how anxious I am to enjoy summer this year, but it’s looking like I will be spending it behind bars. Oh the irony…

336 Days (11 months + 1 Day)

“Doesn’t everyone pass out on the floor?”

What a gorgeous weekend! I’ve had a lot of much-needed outdoor time this past week and also this weekend. Lots of walks with my boy Cosmo (plus one 4.7 mile walk/much needed catch up session with a good friend). I’ve found myself in full-blown summer fever; it’s all I can think about. In case you haven’t noticed, last summer sucked for me. It involved a million doctor’s visits, painful PT on my frankenarm, lots of anger and fear in my early days of sobriety (and just in general – I almost freaking died, plus I was suddenly involved in a terrifying legal situation). OH! And I couldn’t drive. I totaled my car, spent the money from insurance on my lawyer, and with my injuries wasn’t physically able to drive anyway. I ate a lot of ice cream last summer. I was lonely and didn’t know how to cope with any of this. This summer will be different. For one, my head is in a much better place. I’ve got wheels, I can drive (for now). For my birthday the other weekend, I got some gift cards so I’ve been shopping for tank tops, sandals, etc. I am cognizant of the fact that I may spend my summer incarcerated, but I am choosing not to dwell. If it happens, it happens. Right now, all I can think of is sun, beach, fresh produce, lazy weekends. I’m so damn excited!

Yesterday marked eleven months of sobriety for me. What a wonderful feeling! And what a huge accomplishment. I’m feeling really good in this journey right now. This is where I am meant to be, this is what I should be doing. I am growing in so many ways, and it’s amazing. Life is far from perfect, but everyday I know that I am doing the best that I can. That being said, it’s still incredibly painful to look back on how things used to be.

My boyfriend and I are in counseling. As of this month, we have been together for nine years. The past four years have been quite rocky (if money/pets weren’t an issue, we would not have stayed together as long as we did), and I am still uncertain of us having a future together. We love each other, but are incredibly similar (especially in bad ways). We are well-versed in avoidance of anything difficult, of choosing not to talk when it is needed most. Our session Friday was really difficult, but good and productive at the same time. I said some things that needed to be said, that I haven’t been able to say. For years. There were a lot of tears on my end, and I had to squirm through some detailed accounts of things I have said/done while blasted out of my mind. That’s the worst. I still struggle to not shutdown when someone mentions something I did that I do not remember. But I got through it. I said what I needed to say. And best of all, we had a productive session which ended with both of us on the same page. It was really good.

The above quote (which of course was in jest) was from the lead in my home group yesterday. It made me laugh, even though it stung. My last year of drinking found me passed out on the floor at home – a lot. Often times I would not make it to bed after an evening out. I would wake up on the floor in my office, still in the clothes from the night before. Sometimes there would be vomit, sometimes not. I feel absolutely terrible about what I put my boyfriend through the past four years, when things got bad…then got really, really bad. All those nights he waited up for me. Sometimes I made it home, sometimes I passed out at a friend’s house. So many nights I drove home blacked out. Sometimes he would be awake, and I would lash into him. My speech would be so slurred that he couldn’t understand what I was saying. Last year on my birthday, I passed out on the love seat after my celebrations with friends. When I woke up, he was getting ready for work. He had thrown a blanket over me, as I had vomited all over myself and the couch. The night of my car accident, he was woken up from a phone call by my mother after 2 am. She told him what happened, and he responded with “It finally happened”. That breaks my heart.

While counseling may not save us, it is helping us to better communicate with each other. He can see my progress and is very thankful for it. He is also working on himself, and I am grateful for that as well. If this is indeed our last year together, I am grateful that it is a healing year. That I am no longer putting myself and himself through the emotional wringer. That he no longer has to see me sloppy drunk, passed out on the floor in my own vomit, or wonder how I can be so sick for so long after a crazy night out. We’re both doing what is best for each other right now, and I am so thankful for that.

329 Days – The Trick is to Keep Breathing

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Weekends blow by so fast, don’t they? They’re just never long enough…

My weekend was good, lots of catch up time with friends, but little time for me to recharge and have me time. I found out some not-so-great news in regards to my case Thursday, and I am trying to deal with it as best as I can. If the prosecution is unwilling to accept a new plea deal, then it’s looking like I will have a jury trial sometime next month. This will most likely not end well for me. I’m really scared, but I’ve decided to spend this next month going to as many meetings as possible and being as active as possible. Meetings and exercise are tremendously helpful. My head will be in a better place, and hopefully the activity with help with anxiety and stress-induced insomnia. I am also trying not to dwell, as I cannot obsess over something that has not happened yet.

The trick is to keep breathing. 🙂

In the meantime, my emotions are still alllllllll over the place. I’ve never been a big crier, but lately I’m crying at the drop of a hat. The other night I cried at the end of an episode of “Girls“. Really, who does that? Oh! Me, apparently. Last night I was looking for a photo promoting April being Greyhound Adoption Month for my new Facebook cover photo. This lead to me crying over photos of Greyhounds. Not my deceased dog, but you know, just cute greys. What the fuck is going on here? I told my counselor Friday that sometimes I feel really great and strong, and other times I feel like I’m going to disintegrate into a million pieces.

I know, it’s all these feelings swirling around and making themselves known. Feelings that were stuffed and swallowed down for years. Combine that with everything that’s going on in my life, and I am suddenly a hot mess.

No, scratch that. A year ago I was hot mess. Now I’m just…feeling everything. Dealing with life’s hiccups in healthier ways. Crying is good, I’m just not used to the tears making frequent unannounced visits. Makes me think of an episode of Seinfeld…

“What is this salty discharge?”

Until next time, I’m gonna breathe, I’m gonna cry, and I’m gonna get through all this, dammit!

325 Days (Gratitude)

After seeing Sherry’s wonderful post yesterday, I was inspired to do a gratitude post of my own. Here goes…

I am grateful for having 325 days sober. A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed that I had it in me to go so long without alcohol. A year ago, I also wouldn’t have believed how difficult and complicated life would become for me in such a short time. I know now that things would be a million times worse for me if alcohol would be involved with all I am currently juggling. It would be akin to playing a game of chicken with Death.

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I am grateful for the use of my left arm. While I sometimes bitch and complain about the stiffness, numbness, occasional swelling and pain flare-ups  (it will take a good two years to be completely recovered), I am so lucky to have the function that I do have.

I am grateful for the giant, raised scar on the inside of my forearm. The scar on the other side of my arm has almost faded completely, but this one is a hypertrophic scar. It’s still large, angry and exaggerated. I’ve been told that it’s “badass!”. At first I couldn’t imagine going sleeveless ever again, and considered taking up my surgeon’s recommendation of having scar excision surgery. However, I am now very fond of my badass scar. It reminds me of my sobriety, what I had to get through to get to this point, that I AM ALIVE. That if it weren’t for my horrendous car accident, I would still be drinking. That I could have, by now, killed myself or others. I love my scar and what it represents.

I am grateful to have such a wonderful support system. After I got out of the hospital last May, I collapsed into my mother’s arms in tears. I was worried that I had disappointed everyone with my actions, that family and friends would look down on me for the accident I caused. She assured me that she was not disappointed in me, and since then, I’ve received nothing but support from my family and friends. It’s amazing.

I am grateful for all of you that read my blog. I know that I am not the most articulate writer, but I’m not here to write the Next Great American Novel. I am here to share my experiences in maintaining my sobriety. To all of you who have stopped by, said hi, offered support, or just followed me, thank you. I am grateful for you all.

While I am woefully underpaid, I am grateful to have a full-time job with excellent medical benefits. Not only that, but my job is currently secure. A couple months ago there were talks of eliminating staff, but it looks like the administration has discovered ways to make up for the current financial deficit without losing anymore staff. Music to my ears!

I am grateful that it is spring. Despite my allergies going batshit crazy this week, I am grateful for the warmer temps and for sunshine. My mood tends to nosedive the longer winter lasts (and I live in a part of the Midwest where winter can last FOR-FUCKING-EVER), so I am overjoyed for the slow emergence of spring.

I am grateful to live in a city with so much green space! I am so close to miles upon miles of towpath, plus rugged hiking trails. Being outdoors is healing for my soul, and I love that it is so easy for me to escape the city and go on a nice long hike with my dog.

I am grateful for my home group on Saturday mornings. While I still haven’t reached out to others as much as I should (still working on that whole shyness thing), I always leave that meeting feeling amazing, even if I was moved to tears by the lead.

I am grateful to be another year older. Last year was the worst year of my life (I judge my years from birthday to birthday not by New Year’s Day to New Year’s Day – what can I say, I’m a weirdo), but I made it. While I am still trying to make my way over some big hurdles, I cannot wait to see what this year will bring me. I made it through last year, which means I can get through pretty much anything life throws at me. I know that there are amazing things in store, and I can’t wait to see what will happen.

Until next time, my friends…