Day 113 – Calm School Beginning

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Back to school here. I am shocked at how calm I am.

I had lunch with my coworker friends and we laughed so long I forgot to pick up a kid. It was an early out Wednesday and he just walked home. No big deal, but maybe I’m just a little too relaxed! 🙂

I haven’t done my morning walking or yoga in a few days. I can’t quite figure out the timing of my morning routine with adding school. There is very little food in the house. We are just eating leftovers & popcorn. It’s so different from last year, and all the other drunk years, when I micro managed and over prepared for the new school year.

Being sober is still my #1 priority. I have let the rest go. I’ve noticed that I’m NOT willing to throw away my calmness to fix an imaginary set of circumstances.

WHAT IF?

If my thoughts starting going to What if? I know it’s time to evaluate. What if? means I’m thinking about the future. It’s like the children’s book If You Give  a Pig  a Pancake.

If I forget to pick up my kid from school, he will have to walk home.

If he walks home, he knows I forgot him and don’t love him.

If he thinks I don’t love him, he will look for love elsewhere.

If he looks for love elsewhere, he will try drugs.

If he tries drugs, he will get a drug dealer.

If he gets a drug dealer, he will get a gun.

If he gets a gun, he will shoot himself and die.

Soooo…… if I don’t pick up my kid from school because I was taking care of myself he will die.

This was my brain on alcohol. My new sober brain just says, Meh, he walked home.

My Mom Visits & We Talk

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Highlights from the weekend’s talks:

  • Mom rarely thinks of abusive husband but I still think of my abuse as a child. We decide that a parent assaulting a child is different than a spouse. You can leave your husband, your Dad will eventually become Grandpa to your kids.
  • My Mom & siblings just wanted me to stay quiet. They felt I was causing the abuse but I felt I was saying NO to bad behavior. Despite everyone telling me I deserved the abuse because I stood up to him, I never felt I deserved it.
  • My brother keeps secrets. He did at my house, it affected my children and I was angry. My Mom has begged me to just accept my brother. Why couldn’t I just get along with him? I told her I don’t accept bad behaviour. She wanted me to talk to him. I refuse. I told her I don’t need to change him, I am angry. She said I can’t be angry. I told her I AM not angry, I am having angry FEELINGS.
  • She puts her hands in front of her and shows me her palms, turns her head to the side and tells me she doesn’t want to hear it. She says I just keep getting louder saying the same things. I tell her I must not feel heard. She is shocked when I explain how she shuts me out with her body language, and we laugh as she agrees.
  • As she listens differently, she acknowleges that I have been saying the same things for years but she can “hear” me now because neither of us are drinking. She gets how I do not feel valued when she shuts  me down. We still don’t agree on the issue, but I feel she hears me, she tells me she understands my anger, and she is no longer afraid of my “feeling” of anger.
  • Mom finally gets that saying NO does not equal getting hit or someone not liking you. She is sorry she couldn’t keep me safe. I remind her that she did the best she could and got me into therapy at 15. That helped keep me safe when she couldn’t.
  • The final kicker – I say I’m grateful that my drinking hasn’t hurt anyone. She said, well everone knows you had a problem. Really? Yes, like at the first birthday party for my son. Huh? She told me that I drank so much I passed out and never made it to the food or cutting the cake. Excuse Me?! WHAT? That was 16 years ago. This is the first time that anyone shared this. I of course, do not remember any of it. I tell her – it would have been nice if you, the family & my then husband would have told me of my bad behaviour. She says in hind sight, I guess we should have, but we just thought you knew.
  • Mom’s therapist tells her that it is hard for parents, but they shouldn’t interfere in their children’s lives. We wonder how that would relate to the above situation? She’s going to ask.
  • I tell my Mom how I battle low self esteem. She can not figure this out, as I’m one of the strongest women she knows. I don’t know Mom, but I do. She tells me she hears me.

Dear Universe, You Suck

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The Universe sends me messages. I drank wine so I didn’t have to listen. Since being sober, I like the messages the Universe has been sending. All is well, heading in the right direction, kind of noises.

What you resist, persists. I just read that this morning. When that message was about – do I have a drinking problem? – we all know that answer – a huge drunk fest happens to let ya know – uh duh!

So when every (well, like it seems every) blogpost, book, movie, story, talks about abuse I am not pleased with the Universe.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I loved this book. I am now going to read everything she’s ever written.

Jodi Picoult made my heart sing and ache with House Rules (she nailed my life with an autistic teen.) Seeing what I do naturally as a mom to my son, truly looks different when you are looking in as a reader. We did House Rules for book club and the ladies asked me if it was really as hard as the book portrays. I was kind of shocked. Did it look hard?! It’s perfectly normal I thought.

When the movie Fargo came out people were making fun of the accents and styles in the movie. I completely missed that is was a comedy. This was just normal. You betcha! Pass the casserole.

So, I read this book Big Little Lies laughing out loud as she nailed these moms perfectly! So funny! Spot on! I was a compilation of most of the moms and I just smiled at what fun this was to read.

Then…ouch. A charcter starts to question the validity of something she thought was normal. Kick to my gut. It’s not? This is what the Universe sees?

Finding Your Pooh Voice

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I got really excited about a blog yesterday and I left a comment. Now, I’m second guessing myself! Because I held back and tried to control my words, the response sounded weird.

Anyone one else have blog commenting remorse?

Haha I bet we all have!

I think we all write in some form of Winnie the Pooh characters. Are you an Eyeore, a Roo, a Wise Old Owl? Maybe even the narrator? I know I jump around, mess up my tenses and even though I double & triple check always find one mIsspelling later.

As a reader, I usually have a couple books going at once. A self-help, one on my Nook, one for book club and one that I only read before bed. Mornings are for self help, days are for book club & the ebooks and I have to have a real paper book in bed. A nighttime book that is so compelling that i can’t wait to get up there. (It helps keep me from drinking by going to bed early & is part of my treat/self care plan.)

I think we are all readers here. We look for words and voices for answers. With low self-esteem my first thought is not – find a group of people. (It is starting to be my second thought though! My confidence is growing.)

Just as I have several books/stories going at once, I also enjoy all the stories here. The different styles, the different voices, they all bring me different thoughts & feelings.

I  write blog posts in the early morning. Before real life sets in. If I wrote in the evening this blog would be rather Eyeore-ish. If I wrote in the afternoon I would be Rabbit or Roo. All crazy & jumpy. But writing in the morning I get to use my Pooh voice. Optimistic and excited for the day.

What’s your voice?

Support? What is it?

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I am still very new to the concept of support. In the past I got support when I had tried all other avenues. Talking it out, practicing, research, doing it myself. When everything else failed THEN I would ask for help. A therapist, a trainer, a professional. I would get support as the last resort. Things would already be out of hand and painful. An abusive situation, a failed intrumental solo, deep debt, overwhelming home repairs. And of course drinking.

I tried to handle it on my own AFTER it got unmanageable.  Research, practice, planning. All were helpful and part of the solution. But the piece that I find most helpful is the support from others just like me. And especially reaching out before it becomes unmanageable.

It is a slow process for me to ask for help, advice, comfort BEFORE it gets overwhelming. Yesterday was a good day for asking for support at the beginning of an issue. Not only receiving love and understanding but reading and commenting on others.

This would have been a perfect opportunity and excuse to relapse. In fact, thoughts did crosss my mind! But, I checked in here and with a coach and found such support, that I could let my problem & feelings dissolve.

I know for me, I have reached out at different times and been burned so badly that it is scary to ask for help. My thoughts here go to the bloggers who have tried a support group and not found a good fit and it has made it worse. Keep trying but try different things. Quitting drinking doesn’t have only one answer. Find your own recipe for success.

This was my response from my weight loss coach yesterday.

Hi, Lori. I’m so glad you’re walking and doing yoga.

ACTION PLAN

I will eat healthfully on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

I will practice yoga on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

I will keep surrounding myself with support on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

You are Lori, not a number on a scale, and don’t let anyone make you doubt that!! Losing weight is yet another journey but you have lots of support including me.

The Future & the Call of Sanity

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Before coaching call:

Two weeks ago I lost 3.5 pounds in a week. Since I’m trying to lose weight you would think that would make me happy. Instead I panicked. I ate anything I could to slow the weight loss.

My panic thought was …  I’m not ready.

This same feeling of panic reminded me of the very beginning of being sober. I could tell that the new sober me was vey different than alcoholic me. I was scared of the future. I was uncomfortable meeting this new sober me. Everything was changing. Even though it’s a good change, a change is still a change. And change is hard.

In losing weight my boobs are bigger than my belly again. Yesterday a truck of guys turned around to drive slowly past me to watch my boobs wiggle. I hate this. This is why being fat & drunk & isolating keeps people away.

I have a weight loss coaching call soon & wanted to get my “before” feelings out before I spoke with her.

After Coaching call:

First she said, it is wrong for others to comment on how someone looks. She was over 300 pounds and she said people wouldn’t wait on her in stores, they yelled out names. After losing over half her body weight, she says she is not invisible anymore.

Second, maybe because I am single I may feel ultra sensitive.

Third, it was most likely a week with water weight.

Fourth, it is okay for me to slow down and get used to my new self. I don’t have to lose weight until I am ready. Keep the focus on health.

Fifth, I need to work on not letting how others see me affect how I feel. I can’t keep people from judging me based on my looks but I can control my reaction to it. Aarrgh, this is the hard one!!

Sixth, I need to continue to work on getting out of my own head and remember that I am losing weight & getting sober to become healthy. My action plan was to use meditation and yoga with the focus being healthy on the inside.

Seventh, do not eat or drink at losers who yell out their truck. Then they win and I relapse. (This is kind of #5 – I can’t control people, places or things – just my response.)

I like coaches….and therapists….and friends. They can see my big picture when I am isolated in my head.

Easier but still not EASY

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I still crave escape. Every day I think about it.

I re-read all my blog posts at day 100 as a treat to myself. The one thing that stuck was ON and OFF are not feelings.

When I am ON everything is great & EASY. But when things get a little tough, I want out. I want to shut down.

Easier is giving in to OFF. Not fighting the feeling of checking out. I had to learn how to do this by not using alcohol. I need a lot of OFF time.

Easier is choosing something else. I had never tried any other way. Alcohol worked. But, I have learned some new ways to shut down for a while. They didn’t start out easy, but they have gotten easier. And I’m finding alcohol didn’t fix the “I want out” feeling. Other things fix the feeling much better and it goes away.

Easier is waking up feeling better. And then trying again.