Feeling Feelings….F@&#!!

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What a week!!!!

Happy, sad, confused, sick, frustrated, hurt, sick, worried, angry, sick, concerned, heartbroken, sick, embarrassed, jealous, sick, content…..

OK so obviously I’m sick, I don’t ‘do’sick well, & now I’m stuck on the couch really sickūüėü. ¬†But in between denial of being sick, I experienced a roller coaster of emotions, & honestly, I don’t think in the last 2 years (since getting sober) have I actually felt so much raw emotion, like REALLY felt it.

I had to let go of someone I wasn’t ready to let go of, ¬†but I know it was the right thing to do. ¬†Wish like hell circumstances were different, but they ¬†are not, & I can’t wave a magic wand & change them (there was a time when I thought I could!) . ¬†It hurts, I’m sad, but I know I will be OK…(see progress not perfection)….

Divorce sucks!!! M&M are having a rough time right now. Maybe its post holiday ‘blah’s’, changes in schedules, colds, the moon…all of the above? ¬†But they are sad which results in a sad, worried, angry, frustrated momma. Of course, all directed at one particular person, whom will remain nameless, but we all know whom I’m talking about. ¬†Thinking in this way is not fair, its not all his fault. ¬†Its the nature of divorce. ¬†No matter how hard we try, & no matter how amicable we are; bottom line , our divorce affects M&M each & every day. Its hard work each & every day to make ‘divorce work’….hmmm. Some days are better than others.

Burnout. ¬†I love my job (I think I’ve made that abundantly clear), but even the best of the best can’t prevent the wave of uneasiness I felt this week. ¬†From feeling exhausted, inadequate, & questioning my critical thinking skills, my emotions were all over place. Ironically my workplace is typically the one place I feel 100% content, comfortable, & confident. ¬†Hot mess is a good way to describe me at work this week. Self doubt filled me. ¬†Not a good way to feel.

But I did feel it, I’ve been feeling ¬†all these emotions ALL week. ¬†I have been ALLOWING myself to feel the good the bad & the ugly. ¬†It’s been very cathartic. ¬†Honestly!! I haven’t felt such a wave of emotions in so long. ¬†Drinking numbed everything….and when I wasn’t drinking or drunk, I felt like shit regardless of what was going on in my life. ¬†What a horribly sad way to be. ¬†Even as I write this, I’m cringing recalling what my alcoholism did to emotional health.

Even though this week has not been easy, ¬†I can honestly say that at this moment I am content & feeling OK‚ėļ.

Everything is going as it should be…A small piece of my heart will always be with someone whom I have many memories,& I’m OK.¬†¬†My kids are awesome, & will be better than OK. And because of my awesome team, work will get better.

Once again, I realize that I have so much to be grateful for & that my God has a wicked sense of humor & I’m OK with that, all of that.‚ėļ

What a ride this life is…

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‚úĆūüŹŅ&‚̧

 

 

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So Now What??…

I have been asking myself this question since January 3rd.¬† I think that is part of the reason I haven’t blogged lately.¬† Well, that and some serious writers block.¬† I just haven’t had any descent (in my opinion) ideas that I have been able to develop into a logical, published post, worthy to¬†share .

Wow, that is an  alcoholic statement!  it just oozes with egotistical, controlling , perfectionists traits, or in my case character defects.  I think I answered  my own question!

You see, since my anniversary, I’ve been reflecting and brainstorming how to keep¬†the tempo of my recovery going at¬†a steady¬†pace.¬† The last 2 steps of Alcoholics¬† Anonymous is¬†a foundation for the rest of my life in sobriety.

Step 11; Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Step 12; Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

In a nutshell, Staying involved by going to meetings,¬†setting up meetings, leading discussions,¬† sponsoring,¬† and sharing my message (just to name a few).¬†¬† This seems to be the easy part (none of it is actually easy), but the part that makes the most sense to me.¬†¬†I guess I am¬†scared that I am missing something, that I am leaving a piece out?… I have completed the¬†12 steps with my sponsor, who sometimes knows me better than myself.¬† I also¬†expect to revisit Steps when necessary.¬†¬† I¬†have a home group, a group of ‘sober sisters’, I pray (need to do more of this), read a lot of literature¬†on recovery and addiction (I choose too), and¬† oh¬† yes, this blog, and all¬†the fellow¬† bloggers I have ‘met’, and¬†admire.¬† (We are¬†on this journey together).

Sooooo am I making  this way more complicated than it has to be, while on my quest for perfection???

Why am I hesitant and scared as I go into year 2?¬† Am I worried I will pick up a drink? Not really, (not being arrogant, I know what I will lose if I do),¬† Am I living in the 4¬†Absolutes? (honesty, unselfishness, purity, & love), I do my best.¬†¬†Am¬†I grateful just for today, and mindful of the past?, ¬†For the most part.¬† Have I forgiven myself?¬† …. need to work on that… Am I happy? ¬†Yes.

I think my character defects get the best of me at times.¬† I think I am often so aware and ‘on guard’ of my addiction ‘speaking to me’ (think¬†letter I¬†shared¬†from my addiction),¬†and worry that something is going to go¬†wrong (because so much has gone wrong in the past¬†especially¬†before sobriety),¬†that I am too hard on myself and¬†often ask, what’s wrong or now what?…

Is it¬†validation¬† I am searching for? I honestly¬†don’t know the¬†answer to that.¬† Yes? Sometimes?

Gosh, the 2nd year of sobriety just may be more difficult than the first when it comes to peeling away the layers of feelings, in order to maintain emotional sobriety and serenity.

I don’t want to end this post on a negative note, although I do believe I have¬†brought up more questions than answers.¬† But you know what?, I feel calm and serene as if I’m being told ‘its going to be ok’…

Remember  its progress, not perfection.

What a difference a year makes!!

You could never know what its like

Your blood like winter freezes just like ice

And there’s a cold lonely light that shines from you

You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use.

And did you think this fool could never win

Well look at me, I’m coming back again

I got a taste of love in a simple way

And if you need to know while I’m still standing you fade away

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did

Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid

I’m still standing after all this time

Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing…

Elton John

                                                                                   

I’m here, I have arrived.¬† 1 year, 365 days, 8,760 hours.¬† Although to get technical today marks my last drunk, tomorrow marks my 1st sober day.¬†¬† I get confused as to which day is the official anniversary, so I plan on honoring bothūüėä.¬† There would be no sober date without the last drunk date.

Holy¬†cow! ¬†A lot has happened over the last year!¬† The biggest, waking up in a hospital, ashamed, sad, and scared;¬†but¬†utterly relieved that I didn’t have to lie or hide or feel like crap anymore…I had Surrendered, and Admitted that I was completely Powerless over alcohol.¬† I was so ready to feel better and move on.¬† Little did I¬†know how difficult that would be. Through¬† heartache, resentments, anger, dishonesty, selfishness, and depression (just to name¬† few),¬† I have persevered and found my true self, a scared, lonely, unhappy little girl, to no fault but her own.¬† I¬†discovered the reasons¬†for my¬†addiction, more importantly, why I fed the disease.

Glenda from the Wizard of Oz said it best; “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” (I know I’ve used this quote in a previous post;)

That power includes genuinely liking me, for who I am, I am exactly who, where, and what I should be, (this is still a work in progress, darn control issues;).¬† ¬†My faith and spirituality¬†has changed and grown¬†immensely.¬† My kids¬†have their¬†mom who is present every day and love them¬†more than¬†words.¬† I have a job that I¬†am truly passionate¬†about, and my coworkers and patients¬†can¬†depend upon on me.¬†¬†And¬†my family and friends’¬†know the real and healthy¬†Katie.

I¬†am entirely grateful to those who have saved my life (some remain anonymous, but I know who you are and carry you close to my heart).¬† Without the program of AA, my ‘sober sisters’, sponsor, the Cleveland¬†Clinic alcohol¬†and drug recovery program, and most importantly my higher power(God), I would be broken, or in jail, or dead.¬† By the grace of God I’m still here, standing, excited for the future, but living in the moment, one day at a time.

 

The Hard Truth

I must preface this post by saying that I don’t mean to be a pessimist, or Scrooge, I just feel that being in the ‘throws’ of the holidays its important to remember (for myself, I can’t speak for all my sober friends;), that my addiction is ALWAYS lurking.¬† It¬†is always waiting for a weak moment.¬† It is always ready to pounce if I become to complacent.

I came across the following ‘letter’, that was given to me¬†during my outpatient therapy almost a year ago.¬† It is a difficult piece to read, and unfortunately¬†I can relate¬†to much of it.¬† Perhaps that is why an uneasiness settles in the pit of my stomach¬†every time I read it.¬† I’ve been ‘there’ and not that long ago.

The author is unknown,¬† their words humble me with each reading…

Dear¬†Friend, I’ve come to visit once again.¬† I love to see you suffer mentally, physically, and spiritually.¬† I want to make you restless, so you can never relax.¬† I want you jumpy and nervous and anxious.¬† I want to make you agitated and irritable, so¬†everything and everyone makes you uncomfortable.¬† I want you confused and depressed so that you can’t think clearly and positively.¬† I want you to hate everything and everybody-especially yourself.¬† I want you to feel guilty and remorseful for all the things you have done¬†in the past.¬† I want to make you angry and hateful toward the world¬†for the way it is and the way you are.¬† I want you to feel sorry for yourself and blame everything but me for your present condition.¬† I¬†want you to be deceitful, untrustworthy, and to manipulate as many people as possible.¬† I want to make you fearful and paranoid for no reason at all.¬† I want to be in your dreams.¬† I want you to wake up all hours thinking of me.¬† I want your home life to be miserable.¬† I want you to constantly be in financial difficulty.¬† I want to take away your ambition and desire to succeed.¬† Should you win, I want you to come back soon, thinking you will win more, so I can take your last dollar and start the downward spiral again.¬† I¬† want you to borrow and steal from family, friends, and financial institutions so I can destroy those relationships.¬† I want¬†you to sell the things that are dearest to you, for me.¬† I want¬†you to ignore your family for me.¬† I want you to commit or consider commiting illegal acts for me.¬† I deeply appreciate how much you have sacrificed¬† for me.¬† The countless jobs and fine friends you deeply cared for-you gave up for me.¬† And what’s more, ¬†the ones you’ve turned against yourself because of your inexcusable actions-I’m even more grateful.¬† And especially -your loved ones- your family, the most important people in the world to you -you even threw them away for ME.¬† I can not express in words the¬†gratitude¬† I have for the loyalty you have for me.¬† You sacrificed all these beautiful things in life just to devote yourself completely to me.¬† But do not despair, my friend, for on me you can always depend.¬† For after you lost all the things you once held dear, you can depend on me to take even more.¬† YOU can depend on me to keep your mind, body, and soul in a living hell- for I will not be satisfied until you are dead.

Forever yours, Your addiction

Powerful stuff… Thank you to whomever wrote this difficult, but brutally honest piece.¬† I am grateful to have read this, shared this, and yes, even lived this.¬† I do not want to ever forget where I came from, respect the past, but gratitude and humility fills my heart to know that I don’t have to go back.¬† I have the power to make that choice.

A Gratitude List

A part of my program is a gratitude list, which is exactly what it sounds like.  Big or small, short or long, silly or serious; all  comprise my gratitude list.  Today is Thanksgiving & I have so much to be grateful for!

1. My Sobriety, first & foremost, without it, I have nothing!

2. M&M, my kids, the loves of my life! I found this note from my daughter the other day, she surprised me with it.¬† It wasn’t that long ago she was angry & scared of me…

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3. My family; especially my mom, who has supported, loved, “bailed out”, & has not given up on after many disappointments.¬† I love you momūüėä

4. My sisters & their hubby’s who are always their for my kids & I , always….

5. My awesome friends, (you know who you are), I can count on you always & you all make me laugh &keep me on my toes.

6. My job, its more than a job, its a career I truly love!

7. AA, without the program & those I have met thru the program, I would not be successful in recovery.

8. This blog, & all those who read it, follow it, & those that I follow.  This experience has been way more than I ever imagined, & has been a humbling experience.

9. My health & my kids health.

10. The roof over my head, food on my table, heat, electricity, & water.

11. Books. This gal has to be reading something!

12. Music, especially Pandora.

13.¬†Mitchell’s ¬†Ice cream¬†(need I say more).

14. My sock monkey blanket (yes, I have a security blanket).

15. Honesty, openness, & willingness, 3 traits that were often lacking before sobriety.

What a difference a year makes!

Happy Thanksgiving !  Be grateful, today & every day after!!!

A lesson learned

“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself”

Glinda,  Wizard of Oz

Ok, so I realize this quote is from a fictional character in a world-famous movie, but it really resonates with me.  For much of my adult life I hid behind the shadows of others, behind shame, and behind fear.  I constantly worried about what others thought of  me and was always the people pleaser. Too many times I compromised my beliefs, my opinions, my wants and needs because I was too afraid to speak up for myself.

When I drank, those fears and insecurities disappeared, or so I thought.  I exuded self-confidence, or so I thought.  I had power, or so I thought.

That’s the cunning, powerful, and baffling part of¬†addiction.¬†¬†It is the great and masterful¬†impersonator.¬† An almighty manipulator.¬† A chameleon ready to pounce at its victims weakest point.

My addiction had all the power, I was fooled time and time again.¬† It wasn’t until¬†I fully surrendered that my view-point changed.¬† I took back the power when I admitted that I was (still am) completely and utterly powerless over alcohol.¬† One drink is too many and¬†5 or 6 is never enough.

I have the power to make choices. If¬† I make the choice (God forbid), to pick up a drink, game over.¬† For this reason I say the First Step whenever need be :”We admitted¬† we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Powerless over alcohol, yes, but I am taking back the power over my feelings, my happiness, my beliefs, and my dreams.  Although my power never really disappeared, it was just a bit tarnished.