Tag Archives: early sobriety

Higher Potter

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Change the topic, OR ELSE!

(Wrote the first half of this yesterday)

February 14, 2014

Day 380

One year ago today I woke to find that my dog shit all over the house. So, at 6-ish-A.M. on Valentines Day 2013, at whatever cold-degree-Fahrenheit it was, at 14 days sober, I stood on my deck in my glow-in-the-dark Scooby Doo pajama pants and tossed anything poop infested overboard onto the lawn below.

“Exact day” landmarks make me extra introspective; it’s like flipping to a page in my mental biography where feelings still fester…fester isn’t the right word, actually.  The bookmarks aren’t open wounds, but the rawness is certainly accessible.

That morning last year I remember feeling lonely, lowly, and fat from eating about two dozen chocolate covered strawberries.  Sure, the literal shit-show didn’t help, but the real shit storm was raging in between my ears; the world was out to get me, and no one cared enough to throw on some shining armor and save the day. (Boo-hoo.) So I went to a morning meeting to “restart” my mood, and the topic was God.  I hated that topic.

Enraged, I stormed out leaving resentment in my wake, cursing the G-word and all the bible bangers involved.   At noon I went to another meeting, since the morning topic had me leaving in a worse mood than when I arrived.  The topic was God.  At the third meeting I went to in a different town, the topic was God.  All I saw at that point was red.

Tonight, one year later, same hospital, the topic was God.  In my new state of mind, however, the concept is completely different.

“I think it’s so cool how our higher powers get to be of our own.” Someone shared; and that makes sense to me now—because my understanding has changed and that’s how it’s different..  No one else needs to rely on my higher power and I don’t need to rely on anyone else’s.  Of all the suggestions I’ve gotten in AA, not ONE has been what my higher power “should be.”

People often say, “my higher power, who I chose to call God,….” and that doesn’t irk me anymore, either.  Call it whatever you want! My names vary; Mother Nature, Universe, Great Spirit, Higher Power, Grandpa (sometimes I pray to those who are deceased.)  I could call my HP Harry Potter if I wanted to, and sometimes I do just for shits ‘n giggles.

Maybe the next time I lead a meeting I’ll say that the topic is Harry Potter….that should get the newcomers coming back!

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14 Thoughts Running Through My Head at Almost 1 Year Sober:

 

Your Brain Not on Drugs

Your Brain Not on Drugs

 

1.  Why am I doing this again?

2.  Why is that newcomer more sober than me?

3. Why do I listen to my sponsor when she “suggests” I don’t get an impulse tattoo?

4.  What’s Step 1 again?

5.  People are fucking stupid.

6.  No wait…I love sobriety.  I should celebrate my one year.

7.  I should celebrate my one year by drinking.

8.  I should come up with my own AA where alcoholics can drink.

9.  Am I sure I’m an alcoholic?

10.  I wouldn’t have anything good in my life if it weren’t for AA.

11.  This will probably pass.

12.  I should call my sponsor.

13.  I should pray.

14.  I need candy.

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Living Sober = Loving Sugar

NOM NOM NOM

NOM NOM NOM

When in doubt, I scroll up in my sobriety archives.  If I’m denying how far I’ve come entries from the first 90 days reassure me of my progress.  Here’s an entry from March 8; I had just over one month.

March 8, 2013

“i cannot stop eating. I’ve been having chocolate pudding for breakfast, I  wake up and the first thing on my mind is, cookies. sweets, candy. my mom hid the chocolate bars from me; i am actually being rationed. my mom has said, just have one piece of chocolate, and i have said, that means nothing to me. instead of thinking rationally about the situation, oh i need to eat healthy, i think, i just need to starve myself a little. healthy thoughts, by….”

…by Faith Anonymous…well, Faith Anonymous 7 months ago, anyway.  Reading entries such as this one give me hard evidence that I sometimes need to carry on for morale’s sake.  I can read the ways in which I’ve grown. Don’t get me wrong–I still love any and all forms of sugar, but today there are healthy solutions as opposed to self imposed starvation.

Healthier options have derived from a healthier mind.  Now I workout,   and then chow down on a candy bar.  Sometimes I have to ardently force myself to drive past that Crumbs Bakery place, aka my heaven and nightmare on earth, but that’s because I’m still learning moderation, and sometimes I walk out of there with three trays of cupcakes.

So I have a sweet tooth on steroids; at least the sugar I consume for sober sanity isn’t nose candy for my addiction.  See?  Healthier Options.

Day 256

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35 Ways You Know You’re in Early Sobriety

1.  You have best friends but you don’t know their last name, and you know their sobriety date; not their birthday.

2. When you refer to the Big Book, you’re not talking about the bible.

3. What’s moderation?

4. You can relate to meth heads and heroin addicts more than you can your own mom.

5. Spending $20 on candy for yourself on a Friday night is completely justifiable because, “you’re not consuming all those calories you would if you were still drinking.”

6. You find yourself standing around in a lot of parking lots.

7. Over half your friends live with their parents.

8. You just found out that you’re selfish.

9. Being spiritually fit is more important than being physically fit.

10. Beer commercials have ruined football, forever.

11. You can’t help but grin manically at people suffering from a hangover.

12. Holidays are the leading cause of isolation.

13. You feel like you’re growing up, and down, at the same time.

14.  You have to be reminded to sleep and eat and ask when you need help.

15. Almost everything is your sponsor’s fault.

16. You probably already hate your first sponsor.

17. You’re still a little embarrassed to admit that you pray.

18. There are probably a dozen other addicts and alcoholics in your family.

19. When you tell people you’re going to a meeting and it has nothing to do with work.

20. You’re sick of phrases like, Let go and Let God.

21. When going to a meeting is more important than saving yourself from the apocalypse.

22. You are strongly suggested to stay away from the opposite sex, so naturally you are extra tempted to gravitate toward the opposite sex.

23. Seeing someone from the program around town makes you feel like you guys should have a secret handshake.

24. There is never a time you don’t smell like coffee grounds or cigarettes.

25. You are becoming increasingly okay with going to bed at 9:30.

26.  You have some sober friends who don’t understand, and say things like, “it’s all about will power,” referring to your addictions and alcoholism.

27. Everyone is out to get you.

28. If a door is closed, the people on the other side are definitely talking about you.

29. Salt looks like cocaine.  Ice water looks like vodka on the rocks.

30. V8 will never not smell like a bloody mary.

31. You often feel like you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

32. When a friend switches home groups, it’s like he or she has died.

33. Your conversations consist of everything from crack cocaine and death to rainbows and butterflies.

34. If you go through the day without making a gratitude list you feel like you’re on the brink of relapse.

35. You can probably relate to everything on this list.

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But Why is the Good Mood Gone?

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I wrote this last night…not exactly my most inspirational shit.

Day 242

I want to live in a world where if I wake up in a good mood, I have the right to retain that positive condition for the duration of my day.  Let’s take this morning, for example; woke up thrilled to be alive.  Before the day even started there was prayer, meditation; I almost skipped out of the house leaving flower petals in my path, like a friggin Disney princess.

Fast forward to tonight.  Here I am sitting at my kitchen table positively apoplectic at nothing and everything, with a ‘tude that’ll probably land me on Isolation Island.  Isolation Island is the place I refer to when I shut down.  Kind of like the government, only they’ll be bullheaded idiots forever.  Anyway…. I digress.  Back to hating myself and everyone involved.

For me nothing is more annoying than someone trying to take my bad mood away–sounds childish, I know, but maybe isolating myself just to feel the shittiness of a situation is what helps most. I feel an extreme loathing toward AA right now, and AA is always talking about feeling feelings, and this is what I’m feeling.  AA is also always talking about bullshit that makes me want to bang my head against every door of the church on my way out, which I came close to doing this evening.

The topic for discussion was willingness.  What a stupid fucking topic.  I wanted to share and say to the leader,

“Hey lady, our asses are glued to these foldout chairs aren’t they?  These moronic made chairs that are physically impossible to sit comfortably on?  If we weren’t willing, why else would we subject ourselves to this torture chamber?  And why are you talking to a room of willing people about willingness?  Why not go to a bar, find the alcoholics still drinking, and talk to those messes about getting their shit together.”  The speaker is someone I actually respect so I held my tongue.

When the discussion closed I bolted down the staircase before the ceremonial recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.  I didn’t put my chair away, either, I wonder if that’s double whammy AA blasphemy.  To be on the safe side I apologized to my HP as I power-walked through the parking lot.

I’m not sure at what point today or tonight my good mood started checking out but I can pinpoint where it was totally annihilated.   It wasn’t when I had to shell out $660 to a tax collector agency; (for a drunk accident last year, I tripped over a boat…different story), it wasn’t the stupid fucking topic, it was a casual drive through town that has sent me over the edge.

There’s a little Italian restaurant near my house where my friends and I would wine and dine every once in a while.  I’ve passed this place over 100 times since I got sober and it’s never made my heart hurt or my anger flare like it has tonight, and it was triggered by two complete strangers and some cancer sticks.

My mind was staring blankly at the red light in front of me, numbing out from the nonsensicalness of the meeting, and the restaurant was to my right.  Two men walked outside, lighting up cigarettes.  That’s all it took.  I am suddenly so fucking angry at my sobriety.

Cravings pass–they turn me into a ballistic fire breathing human dragon, but they pass.   This isn’t about not being able to drink in the moment; it’s about not being able to drink ever.   It’s feeling like I’m missing out on parts of life because of my sobriety; those parts I miss now and I’ll probably miss always.  It is infuriating and depressing all at once.  Seeing those men outside the restaurant has brought the consequences of sobriety to the forefront, because I used to stand outside that restaurant, with cigarettes, and friends, and have nights to get ready for.  I don’t feel like I’ve been freed from a disease, I feel like I’ve been sentenced to sober hell.  I do dramatic really well.

I don’t care how ridiculous it is that I miss smoking cigarettes outside a fancy restaurant, or how “first world” problematic it sounds.  Trust me I know the pettiness of these “issues” in the grand scheme things, but that recognition doesn’t make my reality any less painful.  I am officially in full fledge everything-is-about-me mode.

Blah blah blah, ego ego ego, insert AA jargon here.  Still not listening.

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The Party Must Go On

Day 223

I wasn’t a daily drinker or drug user.  Don’t get me wrong, there were binges.  The intensity of a binge was dependent upon what my time-frame and where my mind-frame was.

There were the standard rights-of-passage binges that all upper-middle class white girls get to stumble through; spring break, Christmas break, made-up breaks, any and all holidays, the entirety of summer, etc etc etc.  These passages, of course, being high school into college.

I guess if marijuana is considered a drug then I was a daily abuser from 16-20 years old.  When I started skipping class it honestly was a relief from myself.  This is who I am, see?!  Failing tests and taking bong rips on the way to school was my security blanket for those tormented teen years.

When my group of friends and I made the transition from middle school to high school most of them started hanging out with the older kids; since I simply didn’t have the confidence, I fell behind.  The pot heads picked me up.

Sitting in the back of class stoned out of my gourde, being told that I was fucking up (not in those words) was exactly what I wanted.  Finally my insides could match my outside, as though I was saying, “I’m a mess, dammit, and I’m going to show it.”  The good news was that my bad behavior on the outside was laughable.  Haha, silly me, my GPA is 0.4.  Seriously, that was my GPA at one point, and I laughed all the way to graduation.  Then again, a lot was laughable in those days.

My girlfriends and I would cram six or more of us in a car, roll two blunts, then drive around town with all the windows up, to get as high as possible and see who pussied out first by gasping for air.  How could I take anything seriously with such a ridiculous regimen?

Life went on like that for a while.  Party party party.  Invincible.  The pothead crew and the old crew had combined and it was beautiful display of debauchery; wake up late, go to bed late, bomb around shit-faced from house to house and wonder the next morning how we got home.

At a certain point I started to notice my friends growing up.  They put thoughts and efforts into internships, and into their futures.  As a 26-year old I am just now coming to believe that I might “go” somewhere,  but back then I hated myself to death and the hope for betterment was extinguished by an extreme lack of faith.

I can see now that my mentality was simple.  My mind-frame was: If I wasn’t going to amount to anything, (this was a fact), then there was but one option:  the party must go on.

So it did.

Ultimately, the parties stopped working. The periods between binges got shorter, everything in life became unbearably unmanageable. My blackouts were getting darker, my mistakes were getting bigger, and the thirst for cocaine was something I absolutely could not quench.

For the first time, I truly felt that life was spinning out of control.  Eventually, inevitably, it brought me to my knees.

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