Permission To Turn Around

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I made steak & shrimp Alfredo. I was bringing it out to the farm to share the meal but it had started snowing. It was dark and I couldn’t see well. By the time I got to the end of town (half a mile) I knew I didn’t want to face the country roads and I TURNED AROUND & WENT BACK. That’s not how I usually do things.

I even said to myself, “What if I gave myself permission to turn around?” Doves didn’t release, stars didn’t sparkle brighter, I didn’t even feel a deep sense of relief. I just went back home.

When I got home I just did normal stuff.

I did think, “Wow, I didn’t go see a guy (even though I had seen him 2 hours earlier) I didn’t choose the expectation of a fun night over just making a good decision. That deserves a drink!!”

Seriously. I thought that.

I made a good decision = have a drink to celebrate.

Turning around on a snowy night – No big deal. Turning around when there is an expectation of fun with a man – that’s a big deal.

The men in my life have the, unknown to them, requirement that they are in charge of my self-worth. Poor guys! Yep, I am that clingy girlfriend. Not trusting because of past experiences and rather moody.

Last night I chose more than to turn around. I gave myself permission to be okay when my expectations didn’t get met. I put the food in the fridge. I went on with my night. I gave myself permission to NOT tie my self-worth to someone else. IT WAS HARD.

Adding some feel sorry for myself wine would have thrown fuel on this and I would have ended the night so sad because the kids were gone and we could have had a great evening if only it wasn’t snowing…wah…wah… I would have woken up with swollen eyes and a big headache.

Permission to NOT throw alcohol on this everyday, random, normal life decision. When I think like this, there is no doubt of how deep the addiction is for me and why staying sober is hard work.

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No Heat Saga

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Yesterday BOTH offices had no heat, followed by what we thought was a burst pipe. It wasn’t, but I have water damage AGAIN. If you are thinking of calling for a tax appointment. Don’t. Tax preparer freaking out. LOL

Dealt with everything, didn’t judge my food, asked for help, received it, fell asleep watching Robot Chicken Christmas Special at 7:00. Teenager woke me at 7:30 and tucked me in bed. Up for the day at 2am and back to work with space heaters until the new boiler is installed.

No alcohol = No tears & no meltdown

Off to slay more dragons today…..

Morning Permissions

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  • Not to make lists.
  • Listened to the Bubble Hour while keeping the yoga tape on mute.
  • Skipping each 3rd set!!!!! Which I then used the time to:
  • Get on the treadmill (still listening to Bubble Hour) and I programmed in my correct age, weight, time & max speed AND discovered that my walk was doable. It pushed me just enough that I want to do it again!
  • My stomach is a hot mess so I am avoiding fiber. Two saltines and pb was all I could tolerate. I give myself permission to NOT judge my food today.
  • I am moving into a new office and location today. When I picked up the keys last night, there isn’t heat or a locking door. I give myself permission to NOT declare a crisis. Simply keep moving forward.
  • Permission to NOT drink as a solution. I am soooo grateful to not be hungover this morning and moving in below zero temps.

Brain Re-Start

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I sat..and sat…and sat….. And it was all okay. Getting rid of the fuzz in my brain by giving myself permission to NOT drink. I feel back to normal this morning.

I had gotten myself so jacked up with anxiety again.

The drinking usually starts with something good. Then I “accidentally” get a hangover. Then the anxiety ramps up. After about 3 days I’m back at the nightly ritual.

But it’s okay to stop.

Again..and again…and again……..

This has not been a one and done for me.

Sure, I’ve had some bad moments, but no really tough, super story worthy, rock bottom.

I think that also feeds the addiction. Intermittent reinforcement.

Once again, a super smart brain, that knows how to lose weight, stop drinking, create less anxiety, and yet can’t accomplish these things. That disconnect between brain and action.

I did the hard thing first. Admitting. For me, it’s here in the blogs. And oh man is it tough to see people I started with, achieving three years sober. But that is their story to tell.

This is mine.

I have been trying to stop drinking for a long time. My successes have all been after starting to blog about it. My story has changed. Now it’s about staying sober versus getting sober. It feels different to me.

So, this new year is a new start to staying sober. I’m giving myself permission to think of what being successful at staying sober today means to me.

  • No guilt about sitting
  • Lots of water to drink
  • Warm blankets
  • Hot coffee & biscotti
  • Using moisturizer
  • Not achieving a specific goal today

My brain wants to write a list of things to get done at what time. But I’m going to give my tired brain a massage instead. No to-do list. It’s time to rest my brain.

Word of the Year 2018 – Permission

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2015 – Create

2016 – Do-er / Year of Yes

2017 – Rest

2018 – Permission

This word wasn’t even on my radar until this morning. I was hovering between love and maintenance.

Permission started creeping in last week. My boyfriend is one of those that will throw tons of ideas out there to get me to think. Every so often I feel a sharp sting and my eyes fill with tears. Some unconscious nerve ending gets touched. As soon as we see it, we start to go deeper. When I had to take something off my plate, we ran through the list of things I COULD NOT GIVE UP. He ran through each one until he said don’t go visit my family on Christmas. Bingo. Eyes water and pain in my heart. I cancelled my plans and I could relax again.

It happened again this week. When he mentioned that maybe it was time to let one of my staff go, the tears & the sting started. He reminded me that after her sting ends, she will probabaly be glad to be done doing taxes after 35 years. (As it turned out, she fell last week and her children grounded her 82 year old ass for the winter. I hope in 30 years my kids will have to ground me because I’m still working and running around, eating out and playing cards and driving after dark.)

This morning as I was trying to plan a massive amount of things to-do, I asked myself if it was necessary. Who was defining all this stuff as important? I started to recognize how I have a hidden “I Should…..” list in my heard. I Should:

  • Count calories, carbs, sugars, fats
  • Keep my house so clean that I never have dog fur in the corners
  • Get everything ready at the office for the staff
  • Keep the cars maintained

My overwhelming feeling here is “to-do” a bunch of stuff to avoid future problems. Once I get things “under control” and organized I will have the energy to deal with problems.

I gave myself PERMISSION this morning to NOT DO something. And not only that, but I gave myself PERMISSION to feel good about it.

I really expect a lot from myself, but not in a good way. When it comes to important stuff, like owning 3 businesses, I seem to devalue myself, but something like not doing the dishes, I will tell myself I’m a failure.

Not giving a f*** and giving myself permission are two things I have gotten confused. I want to work on that this year. I still battle with permission to embrace success. Self-sabotage is something I would love to get beyond.

And I think one of my hardest lessons with permission will be (cue tears & sharp sting in heart) to put my needs first.

Flip that 45 and Listen to the B Side

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My world tends to flip upside down quite often. One friend told me it’s always a drama with me. I disagreed. I said drama is making a a big deal out of something that isn’t there. I told her my life is about crisis. She pondered that a bit and said she kind of got it.

When your office or home is on fire, gets flooded, has a gas leak – crisis. Not drama. When your kid has cancer, autism, birth defect – crisis. Not drama. When your dog dies, you have a car accident, your spouse cheats, you lose your job – crisis. Not drama.

Drama – you put your adult children on your cell phone plan and they can’t pay you, yet come to dinner with new highlights in their hair and talk about the essential oils that they are now selling and they can’t pay their light bill and could they borrow $100. (Made up story, but we all have this friend or coworker!)

Recovery. You don’t recover from drama. You recover from a crisis. (There is a reason it’s not just called sobriety. That is the action of not drinking.) Recovery is the process of the change to a new place. Flipping to the B Side.

Since JULY, I have been struggling with yet another work crisis. I have been noticeably quiet with my blogging because I have been quite sad. In fact, even as I was planning to talk about it, it’s just too much to share right now. My attempts at any kind of sobriety were a disaster. I keep waiting for the crisis to end so I can turn the record over and move on…..

When I was young, I felt guilty for not listening to the B Side. I liked A. I liked what I considered the best, the most popular, the ONE. I made up my own dance moves, like on American Bandstand. I wanted to be on my own platform with those go-go boots! I used my hairbrush microphone because you had to somehow make holding the microphone look as cool as Marcia Brady with her mini skirt & go-go boots & hairbrush. Ahhhh……the A Side.

I tried the B Side. I wanted to be Beatnik cool and hang out with the glorious teenage Kurt Russell and the Mon-kees. That is what the B Side meant to me. But, I didn’t know the words. It didn’t have the same dance quality. That wasn’t the song they would play on Saturday afternoon tv. Wearing black and a beret felt goofy. Black was not a color and orange was for hookers my mother said.

The girl next door was wearing mini skirts and rolling her hair up in orange juice cans. So popular! I wanted that too! My chubby legs didn’t fit in go-go boots and my stringy hair would only frizz and not curl. I did manage to embroider my bell bottoms though! In a time where girls were rebelling from having to learn to knit & darn, I actually enjoyed those domestic abilities.

Okay, so maybe I digress from my story a bit, but the B Side held emotion for me. I wanted to like it, but it was uncomfortable. I could count on the A Side over and over and over again. I went deeper and created my whole story around how that one song would be me. My dance steps, my microphone holding, my outfit.

The story I have created about how wine makes me feel. How pretty in the right glass. How it “adds” to an experience. (You guys get that.) My business, the same way. I had it “just right”.

And one day you realize, the song, the wine, the business, needs to change. One day, you don’t have a spouse, a car, a home. One day you have a miscarriage, a diagnosis, a stroke.

The B Side. Same record. Different song, different hopes, different outfit, different dance moves, different microphone. (Same fizzy hair sadly.)

Now, my life story is flipping again. There is a lot of discomfort in the recovery process. And yes, sometimes I may get a little DRAMATIC about it. But living with crisis is exhausting.

Worst Christmas? I give it a B

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Was there a worst Christmas than this one? Hmmmm…….

  1. When my sister died and we buried her on my Mom’s birthday Dec 20. Yeah, that was a bad one.
  2. The many Christmases before that spent in the pediatric cancer wards. Yep, those were tough.
  3. First Christmas right before divorce. Horrible.
  4. First Christmas after divorce. Horrible part 2.
  5. The next 8 Christmases hung over. Those all sucked.
  6. This one.

So, in perspective. Not the worst by far. But at 5:30 am when you yell at your kid “FINE! YOU RUINED CHRISTMAS!” and climb into bed crying, well……it feels like the worst one ever.

Had I been hungover, this wouldn’t have happened. I would have felt too terrible to care about anything else. I would have let the nasty teenage entitled attitude slide. Instead I had a melt down. And a Christmas morning meltdown is hard to keep secret. Any other day, I would have snuck off and cried alone with my kids never knowing. I would have blamed the hangover, or lack of sleep, or stress of the season. I would have internalized it and made myself feel like a bad mom.

The 18 year old, brought me chocolate (which the dog stole & ate while I was crying in my pillow). Then he made his brother come in and try to get us to work it out. After I calmed down, I told him to shower. I showered. Then I told the boys we are having a DO-OVER. I sent them back to bed while I made a fresh cup of coffee. Then I went upstairs and ‘woke’ them up saying ‘SANTA CAME LAST NIGHT’. We all came down together and proceeded with Christmas as usual.

I have an emotional hangover and I’m very tender, but things smoothed over. Everyone is kind of on eggshells but the epicenter of the conflict has been diverted to another day. (There is a back story on why my stress erupted – that is for a different blog post. Let’s just say that this amount of stress is appropriate for the problem.)

If I had a Christmas replay?

  • Scenario A – I would be hungover and trying to hold it together. Kids would be blissfully unaware and much happier than they currently are.
  • Scenario B – Sober and not holding it together. Kids are okay, had some Christmas Joy wind knocked out of them, but relatively normal.
  • Scenario C – A perfect Christmas. Everyone’s wishes come true.

I would like to go with C. But in real life, compared to my Christmases past and Scenario A, I guess I will settle for a “B”.