Questioning the Addiction

I am nearing the 6 months sober mark 🙂 🙂 which is an amazing feat. There is this constant thought that I keep having to push out of my head. Am I really an alcoholic? Realistically yes right? I look back on my drinking days and think about all the things that I did, mostly drink home alone (I never really went out to drink) and have to shake it out of my head because I don’t like thinking about that. I am ashamed of that past and haven’t gotten to the part where I use it to help others. But that still doesn’t seem to be enough. So like most people I turned to the internet. Google search “What is an alcoholic”. I bet you can imagine how many results came up. So many definitions, signs and symptoms, take a quiz here….

This led me to an article by the Betty Ford Clinic “Love Is an Alcoholic? If you worry about someone’s drinking you’re not alone”. There is a short 4 question quiz:

  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

I answered all of this questions with yes, expect number 4 because I made it a point not to drink the next day. I thought then I would be an alcoholic. I didn’t drink every day, that was key. Even with the yes’s that didn’t mean I am an alcoholic right? Everyone at some point answers yes to those questions! Sweet rationalization at its best! The truth is, for me anyway my big fat yes to these questions was every time I drank. So there must be a problem.

But I didn’t go to jail! I didn’t get DUI’s! I am not in the same place as these other people, so I must not be a real alcoholic. I am an alcoholic for one reason, I cannot control my alcohol intake once I start. I cannot stop at 1,2, or 3. I go the distance. I AM AN ALCOHOLIC! I predict that I will always struggle with this thought. That it may be the addiction trying to lure me back. The fact I know is this I am not willing to test this out. Everything that I have worked for over the past 5 months, coming up on 6 is to important to test on this.

It is better to think you may be an alcoholic when you are not, then to think you are not one when you are!

 

References

http://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/articles/how-can-i-tell-if-someone-i-love-is-an-alcoholic

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The First 90 Days :)

As I approach my first 90 days sober I find myself in an interesting place in life. There are a lot of changes that are happening in my surrounding and I contribute that to all the changes that have taken place within my soul. Currently we are prepping a move to my husbands home state and we are very excited. However I do not think that this would happen if I hadn’t gone through this process of getting sober.

These first 90 days have been interesting, amazing, wonderful, horrible, terrifying and everything else. I made it through IOP which in itself has allowed be to grow. However I find myself struggling with the idea of AA and the 12 steps. When I started this path I was resistant to going to AA and getting a sponsor. Partially because of social anxiety and not allowing my self and soul to be open to others. The disease still wanted me to isolate and didn’t want me to connect to others. RAT BASTARD!! One day, 15 days sober, I took the leap and got that sponsor.

That day I walked into the meeting, which later became my home group, and sat down. When she walked in I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I knew it was her. That she was the one that was going to help me walk this path. It wasn’t until later that I realized why I felt so connected with her. Yes we had things in common but it was because in my soul she reminded me of my grandma who passed a few years ago. I would say that asking her to be my sponsor was the first time I truly participated in my own recovery. Each step, each time I actively participated I felt amazing and strong. In the almost 3 months of no alcohol I have allowed myself to recognize my emotions and struggle with them; TO FEEL THEM!

I verbalize, I communicate, I have taken steps to overcome my many irrational (some rational) fears. I feel amazing. A large part of the 12 step program relies on God as you know him, or a higher power. However I struggle with that. I am not sure who or what my higher power is. I started with God but didn’t want to call him that, it evolved to the spirit of those I have loved that have passed away, now I know him simply as: Peace.

Peace of mind, spirit and body. I get that through many things recently working with horses (a fear that I am overcoming), moving to the mid-west, and working on me. I know what these past 90(ish) days have given me. I don’t know what the next 90 hold. And to be honest I don’t care. I will take the saying “One day at a time” for me it is “One Second at a time”. Each second is one I have never lived before and am blessed to experience. I will end with a poem that has meant so much to me in recovery.

I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost...
I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in...it's a habit
My eyes are open; I know where I am;
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

V

I walk down another street.

― Portia Nelson, There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery


Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop!

I say the wait begins but to be honest it started a few days ago, when the incident happened. And thinking now you probably have no clue what I am talking about. Well I am here to tell you!

I was proud of myself on Thursday night, I had done a lot for the past few days. Worked out, homework, house cleaning. I was pumped and thought I deserved to indulge a little. So like, well me and my mom, I chose my beverage of choice a Vodka Martini. Unlike my mother I struggle with alcohol abuse. I felt I had been doing okay for the past week or so so I didn’t think it to be a big deal.

Well……..it was! I managed to drink the entire bottle and have to go to the hospital. I would go into detail but the details are not their for me. Like I said I had an entire bottle. I was in the Emergency room for around 6 hours before I was released to go home. Ands since then I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. My family and friends have been treating me, mostly, like nothing has happened. But I know soon that shoe will drop and we will have to address the elephant in the room.

I know this is a serious issue and I am ready to address it. This was my rock bottom. I know I can’t do it alone. The thought that I have been perseverating about is I do not feel they think I know the seriousness of the situation. I do, I have. I just wasn’t ready then. Now I am. As much as I don’t want to sit down and have a huge conversation about it, with my therapist I might add, I know it is coming and I want to get it over with.

There will be crying (mostly me), getting defensive (again me) and god knows what other feelings and thoughts that will come up…and I am not looking forward to it. All I want right now is for it to be 3 months from now and we are all in a good place. But to get there we have to go through the “muck”, whether I like it or not. Is this the same for all alcoholics? Is it better or worse? I don’t know. I only know my reality and right now the immediate future is not good.

I have looked into go to AA but I am not sure if it will help. However since I haven’t had a drink since, THE INCIDENT I have felt bored. The time I spent drinking I am now doing nothing (another bad sign). So at least if I fill up some of that time with AA it won’t be drinking right?

I strikes me know, why am I sharing this with the world. Well the fact is I don’t know what else to do. I went to one AA meeting and have tried not drinking all by myself and well you know what happened. So I am giving this a shot. Perhaps this blog on this very personal issue will allow me to stay sober. I hope at least it will help.

Walking in Coulson’s Footsteps

I have chosen to reblog this post because it was I who had this amazing yet frustrating experience.

Geek Logs

Walking in Coulson’s Footsteps

By: Nic Jacobs Founder & Managing Partner @ GEEK4GEEK

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Puerto Rico for a mini vacation. I had never been before and although I was dreading leaving my animals I was very excited. I went with my husband (it was a work trip for him that he extended into a vacation). For the first few days I stayed in the hotel room while my husband worked.

When he was done working for the trip we got out and saw the beautiful country. The first place we went was to Old San Juan. It was beautiful and full of such a rich history. No wonder why Marvel Agents of Shield chose to shoot on location there. Oh yeah you heard me! When I found out I has such mixed feelings.

I was excited to be in…

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Baby Blues!!!

A common thread of this blog will be conception, or lack there of. As I struggle to have children of my own I will blog about it, with the hopes that I will stop “stressing out” about it (as many people tell me not to). To start this thread I have chosen to title the initial post Baby Blues!!!!

And away we go….

This post is the first that I have written since being back from a mini vacation with my husband to Puerto Rico. We had a wonderful time and talked about a lot of things one of them being “When are we going to adopt?” The topic came about when we were touring Castillo de san Cristobal. It was a beautiful place. Amazing views and such a strong and rich history, and as a history buff myself I was enamored by every aspect. Though the child/adoption conversation did put a damper on the beauty that surrounded us.

The end result of the conversation was good but the process that we worked through to get there was very emotional for both of us. My feelings on this subject are well known to my husband and the people that I am closest to. I WANT A CHILD. That is what I want most in this world. So when it comes to seeing pictures of other peoples children on social media or in person, seeing kids interacting with one another or with their families it hurts my hear. We have been married for almost 4 years and we have yet to conceive a child. To put salt in the wound we are no longer in a financial position to work with the fertility clinic.

All of those factors came to a head on our trip. I got very emotional during the conversation and felt like he was blaming me for us not having children. He stated that with our current financial position and with the business it would not feasible to adopt a child, yet! I heard that I had to choose over having my business or having a child. Though I would choose a child I felt it was unfair to make me choose. This was my point of view on the conversation. To my surprise my husband had deep feelings on this issue.

Every time that we discuss children and adoption he seems disinterested. It has always been that way so to my surprise he said that when I bring up this topic I make him feel like he is not good enough. I had many emotions run thru me at that point. I was shocked that he felt this way andI was sad that I made him feel this way. There was so much going thru me that it was hard to identify all of them.

Our conversation was very productive and we were able to identify how we truly felt, agreed to try share our feelings before we just blurt them out to the surprise of the other person. Though I still want a child now. I know we are not in a place to adequately take care of one. We agreed that in 1 year we would look at where the business is and reevaluate our situation. Until then we will make strides to build the business and put ourselves in a better place so that when we do bring a child into our home we will be able to take care of them. AND if by the grace of God we do conceive then we will make it work.

Though my heart still aches and I still avoid pictures and interaction with all the bundles of joy in the world. I feel lighter. I feel like there is light at the end of tunnel and I don’t have to adjust to never having a child.

Social Anxiety

Recently I have been trying to get out of my comfort zone to try and connect with other people. This has proven difficult for me because I suffer from social anxiety. I do have to say that this is a self diagnosis and my therapist had not directly told me so. However I have chosen to do something that people often do take an online test to find out if I suffer from said anxiety and my results were 68 out of a possible 90 point: My score indicates a high amount of social anxiety and most likely would meet DMS-IV standards for a social anxiety disorder.

The results come as no surprise to me, as the title of this post is “Social Anxiety”. However what is a surprise to me is that this past weekend I took steps in overcoming my anxiety and went to a meet up with strangers. For those individuals who will read this post meet up is a website that allows people to find groups that share interests. The groups have meet ups where the people can get together and bond over whatever interests they share.

In regards to your truly, you know me, I am a huge geek. If you would like to know more about that you can check out my business blog Geek Logs or go to my store website GEEK4GEEK. Now back to the post. As I said I identify as a geek or a nerd. I enjoy most of the things associated with those labels. So it made sense when I joined two meet up groups that revolve around Nerds & Dr. Who!!

The group activity that I did this past weekend was to see Big Hero 6 (great movie and an emotional roller coaster). I decided this would be the best meet up to go to for the following reasons:

1. It’s a movie – no talking, just sitting in a dark room and watching a movie

2. My husband was going to be in town – it wan’t to see it, and he provided me with a buffer.

3. Minimal contact – my therapist would like me to make connections with people and this provided a way for me to do it      gradually.

I will have a long road ahead of me to overcome my social anxiety so that I can be more comfortable in certain, a lot, of situations and so that I will want to make more human connections. However in the meantime I am proud of the small step that I have taken. I am so proud that I have even signed up for another group event.

This event will provide a setting for more engagement with the other people within the group and we will be doing something that I have never done but always wanted to: go to the EMP (Experience Music Project Museum) in Seattle Washington.

Look at me growing into a better person, Go me!!!!!!!

Why My Journey began

I remember being in the passenger seat of my husband’s car as we drove down the highway on our way to the airport. He had to go out of town for work and yet again I was feeling very bad about myself and hungover. During that ride it occurred to me that something in my life needed to change: ME!

It was very difficult to come to that realization but it was time. There had been many things in my life recently that kept knocking me down and I allowed them to stop me from getting back up. This is what got me walking through the door of my therapist’s office, and almost a year later  I am still going. It was a challenge for me to walk through the door the first time, but as time progresses I find it becoming easier.

This process has pushed me very far out of my comfort zone and I struggle with being proud about that. I tend to hang on to the negative aspects of things so that when it comes to being proud of myself I struggle. I need outside praise in order for me to become remotely proud of myself. However even with the outside praise I tend not to believe it.

I know that this is going to be a never-ending journey and I am ready for it!