Hanging in here….

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Almost slipped last night. I forget how bad the cravings are each night. If I can just make it to 7, put on my pj’s and cuddle in my robe to watch tv, I’m good. I keep telling myself to keep upping the self-care. Yesterday I took the day off but ended up getting pulled in lots of directions. Luckily none near the grocery store. I decided to take today off too!

I recognized, and so did my friends, that I was starting to go into panic mode over my office crisis. Hopefully stepping away from work for two days will avert a meltdown.

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Work Crisis

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One of my offices had water damage and I chose to leave that space. The landlord would not fix the problem. I moved all my furniture and computers to my other location in the back room and…..the bathtub upstairs overflowed and poured water on the computers. The insurance adjuster had just been there a few days earlier so he didn’t need to come back for the second crisis.

I looked back at my blog post from May and it said that I couldn’t finish one crisis before the next one started. Here we go again.

I had a Plan A, B & C for choosing a new office location. I am now up to Plan G with no good lead on where to rent. I was really good with the stress for the first three weeks and now it’s getting to me.

Where is my sobriety at during this? Let’s call this Day One.

The Effort

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One thing that has kept me drinking/overeating is the effort. These are the thoughts swirling in my head

  • Massive effort
  • You have to want it more than anything
  • Patience
  • Must think of future rewards versus feeling good now
  • Deprivation
  • Focus
  • Planning
  • Self-control
  • Be kind to myself
  • Another change
  • Be vigilant
  • Staying strong
  • I have to care

That feels overwhelming right now. Here’s how I would like it to feel

  • Calm
  • Relaxed
  • Restful
  • Easy
  • Happy
  • Cheerful
  • Motivated
  • Quiet head
  • Energetic

The thought of having to work on myself so I can take care of others is very unappealing. I would like someone else, who has it all figured out, to take care of me!!

If I Byron Katie those statements – Help me out here

  • I like taking care of others so I take care of myself…..
  • I have it all figured out so I should take care of others…..
  • Taking care of myself is fun and others are annoying…
  • I want to be lazy and have someone fan me and bring me bon bons…..
  • Once I figure it out, I can take care of myself…..
  • I enjoy working on myself and want to tell you how to do it too….
  • No one can take care of me and I take care of no one……

Aaargh…. I think there is something here but it is elusive. I’m starting to wonder if I have Caretaker Burnout.

Summer Wrap-up

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My trip jumped me out of my funk, as well as some good old talk therapy. I had a huge garden and am canning almost every night. The boyfriend and I did another breakup and another get back together. And I am very, very ready to get the boys back to school in two weeks.

I am getting a rhythm to owning my businesses. I will be much better prepared next spring and summer. As the kids go back to school I get to go back to work without guilt. I know how to go to the office, but it had been a long time since I was a stay at home mom. Not having a schedule has been unsettling for me.

All three of us have spent lots of hours in therapy. One for rage, one for anxiety and me for trying to hold everyone together.

Currently I’m having a terrible time staying sober. The part that bothers me the most is I don’t want to work at trying. I want to not drink but it takes so much energy and decision to stay strong. Same with my weight. I have lost control of that too.

If I don’t actively work with my kids, they fall apart. If I take the time and energy for myself, I don’t have it for them. (That’s how it feels. I know the opposite is probably true!) Being a parent to two special needs kids is exhausting. The rules that apply to “normal” parenting don’t apply here.

I have spent more time crying this summer than any other time (Except for divorce & death.) I do feel I am transitioning from an old life to a new one. I think this is where I am so unsettled.

  • Both kids in high school. One a senior.
  • Buying my businesses. Making the same money but working a lot less.
  • Being in a relationship after being single for 15 years.
  • Not living in crisis management.
  • Debt paid off.

Look at all these positive changes!! I am grateful but nonetheless, it’s change.

I know I am looking for an outside fix to this discomfort.

  • Drinking
  • Therapy
  • Shopping
  • Eating

The guilt I feel not being able to “parent correctly”. My boyfriend feels it too. He has also spent time crying over these kids. He feels he has failed them. He said the amount of time and energy it takes to teach them the smallest thing is exhausting. He wants to be the hero find that magic key. But there isn’t one. For example, it has taken my 18 year old, two years to learn to mow my boyfriend’s yard without help. The trimming that takes 2 1/2 hours, takes my son 12 days.

My 15 year old I thought was happy. But after his diagnosis of severe social anxiety and panic attacks my guilt is really ramped up. He is addicted to video games and has used it as an isolation tool. Now, instead of me thinking he’s happily playing a game, I feel guilty and try to divert him. (Therapist and him are working on it. It isn’t MY job to divert him.) But I feel bad when he doesn’t choose the better path.

And who am I to talk. I choose eating, drinking and over-thinking as my answer. I like to isolate as well. I guess that is one reason I am really looking forward to school starting so that I am not responsible for every minute. Someone else can shoulder the burden for part of the day.

So that has been my summer. Happy, guilty, up, down, crying, therapy and a garden. I know the drinking makes the roller coaster ride worse. What I want though, is to get off the roller coaster. And that isn’t an option. Life happens.

KC Sober Fun

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The true highlight of my trip was meeting a sober blog friend. As some of my blogging friends have posted recently, these are some of our dearest, closest friendships.

As most of you know I am not a 12 Stepper, and when we were figuring out what to do, she mentioned that she had always wanted to go to this 12 Step Buddhist Meeting downtown. Oh wow. I was thinking more like hmmm… BBQ?!? (Which we totally did afterwards.)

So, we find ourselves cruising around the city, map questing to find this meeting. I am not sure what to expect, but I’m keeping an open mind. We find the church and walk in. The receptionist let’s us know we are in the right place and shares that prior to this meeting there is time for meditation. Cool. We head down the hall and I’m thinking, big city, big meeting, cold sterile room like on Mom’s or a typical church basement. Nope. It is in a very small chapel. Absolutely beautiful stained glass, intimate and quiet. There are about 5 chairs on either side of the small room and we are the first to arrive.

As the next few people come in, they begin to unroll mats and sit on the floor. I’m a little nervous because they are all men, but then the leader comes in and it’s a woman. She invites us to sit on a mat or stay in a chair, whatever is most comfortable. My friend is a yoga/meditation kind of girl so we happily hit the floor. There is only enough room for about 8 people on the floor and in this small beautiful room it is very intimate.

The leader shares with us that this Meeting is done in the tradition of Buddhism. And we begin with a good 20 minute meditation. So nice!! The remainder of the meeting was us sharing, which was so cool to do that while sitting on the floor, not staring at each other from cold folding chairs. This was a group that has been together for a while and meets regularly. We most certainly brought some new energy to them that night.

Who would have thought that a 12-Step meeting would be the highlight of my trip!

Alone Time

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(I’m going to get caught up to current soon, but this is what I wrote the second day of my KC trip.)

I looked in the hotel mirror and realised how poorly I have been taking care of myself. This quiet time alone is vastly different than a quiet night at home. No dog to take outside, no thoughts of tomorrow. Every minute and every meal is already planned for me. A maid comes and cleans up my messes. It is truly just ME time. I don’t have one thing to worry about or plan for. I just let others do stuff and all that is left over is ME. I am not a mom or a doggie mom. I don’t have a home to care for or meals to plan or make or shop for. I don’t have to even keep up my side of the conversation.

I am neater here. I’m not distracted. I only have myself.

I have not been away from my 17 & 15 year old this long. Ever.

Work trip to Kansas City

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A few rewards for myself while I travel and use the time to de-stress.

Road trip food favs. Gotta have Shredded Wheat! And I upgraded to a suite so I can relax & put my feet up for 4 nights.