Perfect Thankgiving – insert wink here

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In my family I was the only drinker. The only one who swore, made an inappropriate – that’s what she said!!, forgot to pray before EVERY meal including snacks, didn’t wear a bra at home, spoke loudly instead of a quiet modulated voice kind of rebel. We are talking SERIOUS perfection.

This is not the right wine with the turkey, floral centerpiece, home made pie with lattice crust perfection. This is MORAL perfection.

When I drank they could all shake their heads at me and become even more perfect so their kids wouldn’t turn out like me & mine. We talk now of our favorite TV shows and there is the kind smile and “oh, we started watching that but it just went too far.” The kids are limited in their video time to equal amounts of social interaction time. There are secret rules discussed before coming to my home on how to not let anyone know the rules – just act morally and be a good role model.

When I laugh too loudly, it is met with sighs and a polite smile. The compliments are a little too forced. A kid coming back in the room to thank me awkwardly. I just want to scream at everyone – Just be yourself! Relax! We’re family!

It feels so tight, like if one person (me or my Family Guy loving kids) is left unchecked we will turn this family into heathens of the worst kind.

When I complain to another family member I get “That’s not very Christian of you.” Ugh

I sucked it up this year. Watched what I said, held in my honest laughter, smiled back at the forced smiles, said please and thank you and secretly drank in my bedroom. No – I didn’t. I REALLY DIDN’T. But now I know why I used to.

I just can’t be this perfect. I don’t want to feel guarded when I speak…or eat…or pray.

I am a good girl. Why can’t they see that? And this year I can’t say it’s because of the alcohol. This year I’m a moral failure without an excuse.

Yeah, yeah I hear you guys. I see it. I’m not a moral failure. But I am writing what I’m feeling in order to process it. So there. That’s just the kind of rebel that I am.

 

 

 

Setting Schedules

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One of my jobs is to set the schedule for the next 6 months for a staff of¬†16. Guess what – I can’t make them all happy ūüėČ But the lesson I learned last year and am re-learning this year is

Don’t schedule myself last.

Typically I let them all choose what they want and then I physically do all the rest. I mean really! Just reading that sounds like a terrible idea! But isn’t that what we expect from our bosses/managers/owners? I know that my boss will fill in every gap as well because she owns the offices and she has created a lifestyle from 27 years of ownership that supports that.

For me, I am a single mom with a job. My lifestyle is to support my family first. During my meditation month there were speakers that were career mothers. They all spoke of the burnout and the importance of family first. There were no references to “going home to a glass of wine” but lots of references to “a cup of tea” after a long day. Who would notice that? Oh, maybe an alcoholic?!

Today I have scheduled myself to leave at 3. The other offices are open until 6. The guilt is terrible. I am going to have to trust. If someone says they can work then I need to give them that space. I do not need to do as much as¬†they do just to prove that I am a worthy manager. The one who works the most billable hours typically “wins” in society. ¬†And the opposite of a winner is a loser.

I want to change my definition of being a winner. A winner changes what she can, let’s go of the things she can’t change and asks for help when she doesn’t have the wisdom to figure it all out. I think I have heard some catch phrase like this before?!

 

Habits & Happy ThanksChristmO’ween!

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I did the Meditation Summit, a Self-Care Class, became Sober, took Yoga lessons, did online AA, KonMari Tidied my home, had a Diet Coach, started a Blog and am now parenting TWO teenage boys.

It was a big year for taking care of myself.

After this most recent crisis I have noticed which of the self-care items has stuck. Thankfully – Blogging & Sobriety are still a daily habit. Neither of these was part of my life a year ago. They are true habits and they are interconnected. I wouldn’t have one without the other.

The other stuff is great, but hasn’t made it into daily rotation yet. That’s what my crisis taught me. So much of my self-care has been an experiment. Nothing wrong with that! It all was fantastic but what do I want to stick? What will keep me the strongest through the toughest of times?

There is the holiday call of EXCESS coming up and the settling down of New Year’s RESOLUTIONS. How do I want to play it this year? Excess seems to lead to less self-care for me. And I know that resolutions don’t work for me (or for my old I will never drink again thoughts!)

This holiday season I am going to try to meet myself in the middle. A little less excess and a smidgeon more self-care. Just a little give on either end.

I did a Happy ThanksChristmO’ween Tree this year. My Thanksgiving version has the kids old art on it. Stay tuned for the¬† next one!

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Two Car Craving Update

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Only 4 days since my last post?!!  Feels like 4 weeks.

I have two cars sitting in my garage right now. One a loaner and one that I may buy for my teen boys. The repair garage/car dealer/towing center/body shop in my little town is run by 3 brothers. A nice perk is I can drive what I am shopping for because they can see the car from the dealership. I have had both cars for a week now. Some things can’t be found in a small town but in a big city¬†you usually can’t drive a car or cars¬†for a week,¬†and keep them in your garage, before you buy them.

Alcohol cravings this week? Through the roof!!!

Though, I am not surprised. And they stayed at cravings Рno action. I used my 7 Stages of Acceptance (or The Cycle of Acceptance it is also called) that I have been using to face my car accident to face these cravings:

  1. Normal Existence
  2. Receipt of Bad News
  3. Denial
  4. Anger – Aggression
  5. Depression – Confusion
  6. Bargaining
  7. Acceptance

Craving Cycle of Acceptance

  1. I’m sober & happy ūüôā
  2. WTF
  3. I need to check out, this is just too much!!
  4. Yes I can have a glass of wine! You can’t tell me what to do! I deserve this!
  5. But I can’t cuz I’m a stupid alcoholic who ruined her life by drinking too much. I’m such a loser.
  6. What if I just have a little glass? Then this ugly craving and my obsessive thinking will go away. I can just get on with it. It’s just not that big of deal.
  7. Ha – yeah right. 6 months sobriety¬†down the toilet. I know I will drink too much and get sick and waste all of tomorrow. I’m going to bed because that *guaranteed* will make me feel better.

And here I am this morning. Sitting by the fire with 12″ of snow on the ground outside. Chocolate espresso creamer for my Columbian coffee and catching up with my sober friends online. Sourdough starter bubbling away for turkey panini’s the day after Thanksgiving. New kitchen rugs bought free with a $129 gift card that I found with my KonMari cleaning. My dog licking his privates. All the lovely (and less than lovely) moments of a sober morning.

 

Day 195 – Choice

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I decided that ONE WEEK of grief was enough. People have car accidents all the time.

That was not a good decision. I am not sleeping, have terrible heartburn, am short with my kids and am very angry at my job situation.

I really don’t have time for these feelings. I am trying to SOLVE this problem. In a conversation with a girlfriend she said she waits for a sign, for an answer to present itself. She distracts herself until things work out naturally.

She noticed that I need an answer¬†to move forward. I said that if I wait for answers like she does,¬†I don’t get to choose my life. Why would I ever give up my own choice and instead let others decide for me?

We both think our way is best. It was interesting that she noticed it. I think this could also be the definition of a “strong” woman. One who chooses.

Having¬†a car accident has taken away my ability to choose. And the decisions that I am forced to make have to be made without enough information. I don’t know about cars and have to rely on SALESMEN to give me accurate information…yeah, no thanks. The car I choose must be safe for my kids and¬†get me to both my jobs throughout the winter.

I can’t take care of my family. That is the thought running through my head and churning up my stomach.

The 7 Stages of Acceptance and The 5 Stages of Grief have been printed and are hanging on the fridge. The kids and I check each morning to see where we are. I am rocking between depression, bargaining and shock. My 16 year old is having some aggression in response to the situation. When he does, we look at the stages and see that aggression is a form of anger.  Then we follow the path to acceptance. I remind him that we will all get there in our own time.

I am ready to get to acceptance. I have DECIDED that I want to be in the Stage of Acceptance. It is going to happen and by golly I will CHOOSE to be in Acceptance.

Why isn’t it working?

 

Deer vs Car Update

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The officer wrote “deer vs car” on my case number. That made me laugh.

Things move very slowly in a small town. I still don’t have a loaner car. They totaled the car and I found out that the four new tires I put on last month are now worth zero, as well as a full tank of gas. That $500 spent is one-fourth of the value of the car. This is not good news.

Again, I should have been more specific with the definition of new car. NEW CAR not “new to me car” with a value of $2000.

After the adrenalin wore off I was a little stiff but it was gone that first day. Now I am left battling the emotional and financial aspects. If I was still drinking I would have drunk over this and made it worse.

What I am doing instead is taking time off work. I can’t get there anyways without a¬†car. I have asked for help from two of my neighbors. That was new to me. But I still have not told anyone, like my family. I told my boss and she is not handling it well. I know my mom will go crazy and I’m not strong enough for that right now.

I think drinking has kept me from recognizing what healing a situation truly feels like. For some, having a car accident is no big deal and proceed to tell me that. I get judged for needing space to fall apart and cry and be scared. Instead of trying to distract my mind from thinking about the accident, I am giving myself the quiet space to let the thoughts replay as much as they need. My favorite definition of a best friend is – someone who will listen to you tell the same story as many times as you need to tell it. I am going to be my own best friend this time. As many times as I need to cry I will. I won’t tell myself to stay busy, not think about, get over it or move on. I believe in myself enough to know that I will heal and I will know when I am ready to face the world again.

When my boss called with work questions I was surprised at the rush of anger I felt. I wanted to yell at her and say РYou own these offices you deal with it! I am trying to heal for a few days!!

She has said, my job is to do hers because she can’t deal with it. My job was perfect, because I loved organization and management and was a great place to hide hangovers because I work alone so much.¬†But I’ve been having some doubts about my job description the longer I am sober. Recently, I have felt the weight of her depression and realize that this may not be the right job for me anymore. I would like to work with a team and not have to be the strong one all the time. Being sober and the self-care involved with maintaining sobriety is allowing me to see my job differently.

Financially I was at that spot where “one more thing” would send my precarious juggling of bills crashing. This was “the thing”. I was down to my last back up plan. So, very quietly, I’m going to make some very hard decisions.

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Be Careful What You Pray For

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Last post I prayed for a new car.

What a stupid idea.

Cuz guess what? I got one.

I wish I had been a little more specific

Because one very large 12 pt buck lost his life so that I now have to get a new car.

I was very VERY lucky. I will pray a thank you for that. I am stiff and sore as expected but not injured.