Friday, November 6, 2009

Can we say slacker

So everyone goes on and on about elongating the 4th step....and here I was thinking that I was gonna knock this shit out of the park....ha

Mother effer is this a hard step...I have so many patterns and things to face...and none of it is coming easily. I make things harder than they have to be and I make things more complicated than they are. Imagine that a recovering addict/alcoholic who creates complication - you'd never think, right?

Today is a day that I have to write, because it is not just any other day. This has not been any other week in fact. I am starting a new shift, I celebrated 10 mos sober on the 4th, and today is the day that would be my son's 4th birthday. He was born at 11:33 am and I still remember the tug inside when I heard his first cry. I was connected to him instantly and for the past few years I have spent way too much time trying to get my head around my grief in the sense of loss. I have been a victim and a martyr, I have used his memory for my own selfish and self-seeking behaviors, and I have shamed myself and his memory in doing so.

Today I reached a point of celebration. I am celebrating the life of my son and how he changed mine, and I am doing it sober. I am not sure what each day will bring when it comes to my tears or my laughter, and I can't profess to know. I am tired of blame and excuses. I still have nightmares and I still have days when it's all I can do to hold my head up and not burst into a big sobbing mess, but I embrace them in a way that encourages release rather than fostering my self pity. I did not choose this, but I still can choose how I handle myself.

Do you ever get the feeling that you are in a place that you got to and don't quite remember the journey? That is very much how I feel today. There is a serenity and peace that I have in me that I am not sure I know how I came upon, but am grateful just the same. It's almost like one day I was feeling like a total victim and feeling as though god dealt me such an unfair hand, to waking up and wanting to celebrate the gift god gave me. Where was the in between, or was it so subtle that I didn't even realize the change in the flow of emotion?

Are there moments when I am growing and changing just through my faith alone? These are things I someday hope to better understand...but today it is enough that I have changed and that I am grateful for my son's life and grateful for my part in it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What am I?

Sitting with my sponsor talking about our lives and the paths that brought us to where we are.  Discussing openly the things that brought us to our knees and made us ask, and in my case beg, for help.  What am I? Am I an addict, an alcoholic?  The truth is I am both because I am.  I spent 6 years shoving things up my nose, into my mouth, into my veins, and 6 years I let it suck the life out of me.  Take my soul and mask that after the fact with booze.  I can count on one hand the times that I was drunk before I quit doing speed, so how can I pretend that the drugs weren't as big of a problem as the booze?  If I forget I am destined to fall.  The truth should probably be told: the truth as I remember it to the best of my ability....

I was 14 the first time I tried speed.  It was at a party and I will NEVER forget how it made me feel.  Internally I was laughing when the moment came because I felt like I was in a bad afternoon school special.  But looking back even now, I recall that I always thought the kids in those specials just took it too far or reacted poorly.  Sick thinking even then.  I did only two tiny little bumps throughout the night and for the first time the girl I always knew I was on the inside was brought out from under her shell.  I was bouncy and social, talkative and fearless.  Looking back I am sure I was totally spastic and tweeky, but at the time I felt so powerful and in control of me.  I knew that I never wanted to lose that feeling. 

As my timeline progressed, I found more and more ways to try new things and more and more ways to get back to speed.  It became a hidden agenda to keep that powerful feeling.  I maintained fairly well for a good amount of time.  Secretly using here and there just to catch the edge of things.  I was very controlling about how much I used and when for a long period of time.  I didn't want to risk getting caught or being made an example  and losing it all.

I switched schools and thought I might find it harder to get what I wanted, but funny enough it became easier as I spent more and more time downtown and away from my suburban upbringing.  I made friends with the "right" people and became connected to a scene that made my usage all the easier.  I dabbled here and there with other substances.  I did a lot of acid, e, tried k, coke, shrooms, nitrous, even smoked heroin, but none of it gave me the same high that meth did.

I moved out at 18, truth be told, so that I could continue this lifestyle and get more fucked up.  My level of controlling my intake and my usage was overlapping at this point very badly with my life, and the next two years became nothing more than the purpose of getting it and using it.  My friends were all fucked up, my life was all fucked up, and my body was suffering because of it.  I woke up to doing lines, I could sleep, eat and manage while high.  It was a need now and not just a want.  It was a way of life.

I could bore you with all the sick details of what I did during those times, the fucked up things that I saw, the grotesque nature and lifestyle we maintained, but it doesn't matter.  What matters is that it ALL effected me.  I am not sure at what point my fun turned to fix, nor am I any more certain about which moment tipped the scales in favor of me living a life that would kill me.  To this day I can still feel the anxiety and clammy palms when I talk about my usage.  I still feel the tingle and can still remember the taste/feel/high.

It was this foray into drugs that eventually led to my drinking.  It was December of '98 and I was living with a girlfriend trying to kick speed.  I was detoxing pretty badly and was a total mess.  It was a quick fix to drink to calm the sick, fever, and anxiety, so I drank.  And from the get-go I drank hard.  I was a blackout drunk from the start.  I just wanted to numb and forget all the drugs and shame, not thinking twice about the trade that I just made.  I feel a sad sickness recalling it all.  It was a pivotal moment that took me away from any chance at recovery and led me down a new path to even lower depths.  I really, genuinely thought that I was going to be ok because I wasn't going to use speed ever again...

I spent the next several years drinking myself silly with friends who were on the same mission to party that I was.  We gravitated to each other in a sick little circle of hurt, deceit, manipulation.  We overlapped boundaries that normal people would not have had to think about.  We pushed each other harder, farther and faster for the thrill of it all.  I thought I had found a family of people that got me.  People that would always be my friends, my circle, my crowd.  But it's easy to find that group when you all have a single minded purpose.  I have found that same "group" in many a bar & drug scene.  Dysfunction gravitates towards dysfunction naturally.  like speaks to like, right?

When it was all said I done, I had spent another 5 years getting fucked up before being forced into a position where I had to either scrounge some way of keeping my job or losing what I thought was everything.  So in 2003 I came forward and said I was an alcoholic to keep my job.  I knew in my heart of hearts that I really was an addict and an alcoholic, but admitting it and having to try to be sober when it was the last thing I wanted to do was going to be a task for sure.  I really started to believe throughout the process that maybe there was something to be said for staying sober.  I had to go to a.a. meetings, I had to keep a journal, meet with a counselor, and report back to my job.  I went to 4 weeks of rehab, and managed to stay sober for about a month after I left.

I wasn't any happier.  I was actually more miserable as the chemistry in my body was trying to balance itself out.  I sought no after-care, because I wasn't ready to stop drinking/using for the REST OF MY LIFE.  That concept was so unfathomable for me.  I gradually tested the waters, a drink here or there, maybe some pills when I was feeling down, and soon enough it was on again.  It took me only a matter of one month of being out to fuck it all up again.  During this time I was getting involved with drugs again more heavily, mainly coke to keep an even keel with the booze.

By 2004 I was full blown back into drugs and booze.  I was dating on and off, and come November of 2004 I met my ex for our first date.  I was already pretty toasted when we met at the bar to go to the show, and by the end of the night we ended up back at his place.  I don't recall sleeping with him, or even the ride home to his house and woke up with that shameful feeling of the morning after.  I was racking my brain, wishing that I could recall more than making out at the bar after the show, but I just couldn't bring anything to the forefront.  I was so hungover that I couldn't even manage small talk.  I was in pain and just wanted a beer and my bed.  And this is the point from which we jumped off...

We moved pretty quickly those first few months.  We ended up moving in together and getting our own place by the end of February 2005, and within a month I was pregnant.  Our relationship was volatile from the start.  His compulsive lying and deceit and my "dry drunk"/pregnant mood swings made for a pretty crazy time.  I loathed him for his lying and hated myself for wanting booze/drug/fun more than him.

I quit everything while I was pregnant -smoking, drinking, drugging.  It is the only time that I actually maintained a good stretch of sobriety.  I didn't want to be sober, but I couldn't make the decision for the little person growing inside me.  I was angry at Russ for me being pregnant, even though I was just as responsible.  It does take two.  During all this time both of our lives were in turmoil planning to be parents trying to be a couple and learning who each other really was.  I was trying to be a good mother-to-be and a good girlfriend all the while not trusting the situation at all.  It was easy to turn the focus from my brain to Russ during this time.  His lies were so easily unraveled and I could sniff out the bullshit like a bloodhound.  His compulsive lies and behind the back behavior created just enough stress and tension for me to excuse the anger I felt and hurt I caused.

I gave birth to our son one day after our one year anniversary and was instantly smitten with the little man I met.  I knew instinctively everything I had to do.  I thought nothing of booze or drugs or my hurts when I saw him and heard him.  Becoming Tibby's mom was more natural than anything I ever experienced.  He was my baby and I was his mama.  I was almost scared at how easily he fit into my world.  I expected this whole time to just go back out.  In the back of my mind I was gonna be able to play and drink again once this whole birth thing was out of the way...but it didn't cross my first.

I managed fairly well until I went back to work.  It wasn't long after that Russ and I had a blow out and I went out and got smashed with my co-worker.  I slept at her apartment and suffered a horrible hangover the next day.  Russ came with Tibby to visit and somehow each time things crumbled we just picked up the pieces and glued it back the best we could.  We were not in love with each other any more than we loved who our own person was inside the walls.  Russ was insecure and needy, I was empty and hurtful.  I had nothing to give him and he had nothing for me.  But we pushed on.

I was mad at myself for getting drunk, but it set the ball in motion.  I began to sneak drinks around the house when he was gone.  I would get just a little tipsy and put everything away.  It was gradual, just a few days where I might have a shot or sip on something.  I would justify this all to myself with my sick logic and think things were ok....and I clung to him for dear life, because his faults were as huge as mine and I would rather have had the dysfunction that we shared than have nothing.

Then it all came crashing down...and rather than drink, I started smoking again...

I put the bottle down for what I thought was for good.  I could not imagine trying to get through losing Tibby if I was drunk...I was already enough of a wreck and I didn't want to forget anything that happened during that time.  I needed to remember.  So I stayed sober for most of the next year...not well mind you, just sober...

It was February of 2007 and I was fucking sick and tired of watching everyone of my friends come over and get drunk and play and have fun while I sat back and watched or babysat.  Our whole crowd partied together and the depths of it during that time were shallow at best.  So I picked up and had 2 shots and a beer at the end of February, and again the cycle began.  I was on anti-depressants that interacted badly with my chemistry and made me more depressed so I drank more and created a vortex of emptiness.  I can't blame Russ for wanting to escape it as much as I was trying to.  He just did a better job at leaving than I could or knew how to.  If I could have just laid down and died I would have.  I was dying but too scared to kill myself or stop.  I remember nightly how I would just try to will my life to just stop, my breath to cease and the pain to go away.  I was miserable with the stranger next to me and even more discontent with the emptiness inside me.  When Tibby died, it felt like he took my heart with him.  I hurt without him more than I could manage with Russ, so I drank.

Russ and I could have ended each other's misery a long time before July of 2007 if we had just given up sooner.  I knew he was no good for me.  His constant lying and manipulation paired with his ideas of what I was supposed to be bore into me more than I care to admit.  Not that I am in any way blameless throughout.  My judgement of him, my anger over his repeated patterns, my deceit and desperate attempts at being a sober wore down our shine just as quickly.  We were a match made in hell.  Both with more problems than solutions and we hung onto it for all it was worth.

This is where my final final spiral began...

Friday, September 25, 2009

green tea and random thoughts

green tea and random thoughts...too much time alone this last week...alone in my head I mean.  

I have been back-building some heavy feelings wondering where they are stemming from.  Wondering why my brain races so much.  I'm not praying enough, not going to meetings, not engaging in anything of matter or taking matters too lightly.  

I'm  sleeping and dreaming strangely; waking feeling desperate.  It's heaviness in my head and I am stuck in the revolving door of my delusional thoughts.  I feel hurt by other's actions because I am selfish and wanting.  I feel strange about my life right now and out of whack, out of sorts, out of frame of reference.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Do you ever get that moment where for a millisecond things seem to stop and the whole world seems to open up to you, and then twice as fast it all shifts enough that nothing makes sense anymore?  That is how my whole day has been - like falling in and out of consciousness with the world around me.

I have been running myself ragged emotionally and I felt the full effect of it yesterday as I unraveled enough to come across as a loose end.  I found that I was doing all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons and allowing my self-will to sneak back in.  It's funny how subversive the mind/ego can be when we least expect.  I was coming to a.a., but not actually willingly showing up to participate in more than what suited my fancy.  I was allowing myself to be swept away in others emotions and actions so that somehow my own misguided directions were justified.  And worst of all I was not doing the work that has been set before me to achieve continuity with my sobriety.

I am pretty disastrous when I don't mean to be..."good intentions, bad results"? Or maybe "bad intentions, worse results".  The jury might still be out on this one.

It's funny the random things that run through my head if I really want to be honest about it - the ways that I internally judge other people and their program...I see people who are all talk and little action, people who are all talk and all action, people who are not even here for anything more than to suck off of others life force....and I never stop to see how others may think of me...I know it isn't my place to judge how others map out their recovery.  I know that my judgement of their situation is nothing more than a reflection of how I am trying to control myself, this program and how I understand things from my own simple perspective...

And when it all blows up someone says so simply - pray.  So in that moment I lay as still I can and breath slow and steady and ask that god remove from me my fears, "everything I think I know about this program", and allow me to just be.

I was never one to get down on my knees before!  I never felt that it was in me to genuflect before.  I was too into my own addiction as my higher power to show reverence to anything.  False gods?  Inadequate substitutes for something I wasn't trying to replace so much as avoid.

I was talking a lot last night about what my bottom was.  What was that defining moment when something else took over and the simple need for survival was overtaken by a stronger need to not just survive, but LIVE?  I am brought to tears thinking about what that moment was to me.  The moment where I knew I didn't want to die an alcoholic/addict death.  The moment I asked for help, because I can't do this alone.

This is the most amazing, frightening journey I have ever taken...and I am just trying to keep from falling over as I run down this big hill.  It's funny I don't feel as though it's uphill.  It feels like everything else in my life has been uphill and for once I am gaining momentum the more I submit my will to the care of my higher power as I understand it.  I still don't know and I am still ok with the not knowing!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wait a minute - did you just hear that?

That's right, that was the sound of a lightbulb going on illuminating a thought I was trying to ignore! It was the sound of the truth of certain things clicking into place! It was the sound of my heart skipping a beat for all the wrong get it.

I spent a night skipping the meeting and eating delicious food and having conversations that girlfriends who have known each other for a lifetime still have to work into with a cocktail or two. Yet there we were, 3 girls from 3 walks of life, who bared their war wounds and misadventures like an episode of "sex in the city" a.a. style. So pretty much the same dirty, crazy, funny conversation minus the cosmos.

Tonight was a night of a sort of empowerment of what my sobriety as a woman, depending on other women, means. Realizing painfully and objectively what men in and out of the rooms of a.a. will do for whatever suits their fancy. I am sorely disappointed in the simple-minded willingness I have to be driven by their empty words and false promises and concern.

Not that I have been terribly scorned by some shallow and heartless bastard, or even some overly emotional, I now have feelings sober asshole, but rather I was brought out from under the foggy veil of illusion I had that they had no hidden agendas. I like to think and get stuck in the thought that when someone says I am important that it's true. I pretend that the empty promises they make to me are somehow more substantial than the empty promises I make right back. That somehow their words carry weight to them, because I prefer to be needed than to need.

In my quiet times when I decide to reflect on the draw to someone in the first place, I realize that the connection of it for me is simply more about the moment that I am existing in and nothing beyond that moment. I am pulled in by the excitement of conversation and interaction building and unfolding before me while I participate with abandon. It is like a think tank of energy for me, and I am distracted by the "shiny" intensity of it. When the dust and sparkle settle, I am left to see the peeling paint and damaged structure I mistook for something more under the false light of hope and night. I see how I built a masterpiece in my mind and found it was nothing more than a cheap imitation.

I am seeing in myself the ugly side of using and being used through sober eyes for once and it is interesting how it feels so different to be on fast-forward when I learn new things about myself. I seem to fly through moments and revelations at a rate that alarms even my own ability to comprehend the speed with which I am processing (how's that for a paradox?). The things which used to hold me slave to them, the thoughts which would bore into my day are less of a nuisance now. I am able to swat away so much of the negative with a flick of my mind and move forward into the next moment of my life. Not to say by any means that I have this all figured out - far from it!!! But I do certainly see that I am not being run by my life and my addictions anymore. I am learning to live with them and create harmony between my sobriety and my emotional sanity.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

resentments with a side of compulsive overthinking please

I find myself sitting here reading through some of the things that I have listed out on my 4th step and thinking about the resentments that I carry towards others...I have some pretty serious pettiness to let so many things bruise my fucking fragile little flower of an ego...
Damn alcoholics are pansies!!!
Then suddenly and without warning I get a sick feeling in my stomach and some of my resentments are deep and hurtful.  Things that I could not tell that person for fear that they would take it as an insult rather than a representation of something irrational in me.

This is an arduous process.

I have been kind of out of my head in ways that are good for me.  Thinking about getting on with my life for once and trying to be accountable for my actions.
I was speaking with several people about dealing with my ex during this recent turn of events between he and I, and I realized today, in the bathroom of all places, that I don't miss a single thing about him.  I think sometimes that I might be missing something that was just  between us or something no one else might ever relate to, and I realize that this is a sort of litmus test I can apply to my history: can I put any of my ex's name in that slot and remember that I thought it was damn near the same with each of them? Yep.  The only difference in this case was our son, yet I do not need him to remind me that I was Tibby's mother, or that I loved him and carried him.

  So now I am stepping forward into the light of a new day.  I am choosing to admit that I was just as toxic for him as he was for me and the only difference now is that I am actually trying to get better and his behaviors stay the same.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The head fuck of it all

For a good number of years I have lived with my own little mantra of "some days it all makes sense.", and I am starting to realize that most days it makes no sense.  The bigger idea is: it doesn't matter that I have to make sense of it at all.  

I got in a great conversation tonight about the idea of whether or not god made us alcoholics?  I love that I don't know, and honestly I don't care if I ever do know.  At what point I was tainted is irrelevant anymore.  The fact is that I am an alcoholic.

I can spin myself in little circles all day long about the ideas that I have surrounding the "why" of my circumstances.  I can attempt to fine tune my clarity in the matter.  I can attempt to find my bearings.  I can attempt to understand even an inkling of the bigger picture.  But at the end of it all the plain and simple mind fuck is that what I do in all those matters is but a posturing of the fact that it is not my own will that is "why" any of this just simply is.

I am allowed to catch the smallest moments of calm and serenity in the times where it makes the least amount of sense to me, and it was only in the reflection upon that when I realized it.  I am finding that the puzzling over of it all is but the side effect of my mind ill at ease.  I am beginning to amend my mantra and my whole attitude about what making sense of it matters.  If I am the source of my problem and my higher power is the source of my solution then the basic knowledge of such a huge concept is more than I could ask to know.