Friday, April 29, 2022
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Hello Day One,
Yesterday I poured myself a large glass of wine at 9am, the clock has just ticked to 9:01 so I am officially 24 hours sober and you my dear friend are mine, my Day One. You my dear friend are very very important. You are a life changer, a life saver, a rest, a refection, you are hope and inspiration and I am so thankful for you. It's strange to me how my thoughts and ideas change. There was a time when I didn't like you, I deemed you purely as a reminder of my own weakness and failings but I don't see you that way today, I see you as the start of something good. Without you this good thing; me returning to a life that is full, where I grow, learn, heal and love myself, can't even leave the ground, so you are good and I am so grateful for you.
As for yesterday, I'm super happy it's...yesterday. Yesterday was so dark, I had hardly slept and was scared I'd waste another day in a depressed, unable to function or think straight state. I was low and stuck but I recognized it for what it was, change was the stair case I needed to climb and only I could take the first steps. My first step was connection. I reconnected myself to the online Living Sober Community; https://livingsober.org.nz/ and I shared my truth with others who are living their own journeys of living sober. Within minutes I had responses of understanding and encouragement. This is what I shared...yesterday...
I don't feel like writing but I have to capture this moment of truth, in this moment I know alcohol is making me sick...again. It's hard admitting that after a mostly blissful eleven months of sobriety, I'm now almost an entire year relapsed. I've been lying to myself, "it's fine, I'm not drinking a bottle of wine a night, most nights its half and sometimes only a glass". But I know the truth and the truth is that lately, no mater the quantity of what I end up drinking in a night, I've been unable to go a night without it even when I've wanted to. Just because some nights I only drink a glass or two, doesn't mean I'm not an alcoholic anymore. As soon as Friday arrives or if during the week any shit hits the fan, eg, stresses at work or an emotional trigger/episode arises, that one or two glasses becomes a bottle anyway. So here I am, clinging for dear life because I'm sure that the depression I've been stuck in for the last five days has everything to do with my relapse about to turn a year old. I'm scared that if I don't pull my self out now, I'll become too unwell to pull myself out at all.
So hello Day-One, my friend.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
The chances of a person who experiences trauma in childhood becoming an addict is high and I know I'm one of millions. That doesn't make it less painful but it does seem worth sharing how I cope with trauma now its not lying in a drug or alcohol induced coma. The first step was hard and its one I took before getting sober, I made a sensitive-claim through ACC here in New Zealand were I live (maybe called something else to you). I made this claim through a General Practitioner, I received a claim number that I was able to use to engage with a clinical psychologist trained in counselling people with the kinds of trauma I experienced. For the first year, I saw her every week. Now I see her fortnightly, I also took a 9 month break before reengaging recently. Treatment needs to fit in with lifestyle and I need the freedom to come and go. It took a while to remove the walls and masks. I used to attend my appointments in a polished state. Hair was blow-dried, styled. Make-up meticulously applied. Clothes paired carefully. I looked put together. And looking put together helped me to feel that way. Truth was that when I first attended counselling I was falling apart. I was suicidal and I was scared. The walls and masks have come away now and I'm so thankful they have. It was so tiring holding it all together in a place I needed to let myself fall. Yesterday I attended counselling in track pants with wild hair and a clean face. Now... I let myself fall apart during the hour we have. I cry. I swear. I speak with no filter. For me, counselling is proving to help. There are things that are still unfolding today that if I didn't have a trained counselor to share it with, I'm not sure I'd still be sober.
Monday, December 30, 2019
Friday, December 20, 2019
I tend to compare my struggles with something absolutely extreme in order to minimize my pain or other feelings until what I'm struggling to process becomes small enough not to matter. One year of weekly appointments with a therapist earned me this insight. For example, earlier today when I felt full of fear and realized where the fear was from, I reprimanded myself for being ridiculous, I told myself to stop being stupid, I told myself my feelings meant nothing compared to a young Nigerien refugee escaping with only her life after her village and parents burned to ash...I'm reading The Other Hand by Chris Cleave, the novels main character is a young Nigerian refugee whose village and family are burned to ash.
Where is this present fear from, what am I trying to make small ?...It can't be compared to a young woman witnessing the brutal murder of everyone she knows and loves but it is taking its toll...I am afraid of being hurt. Entering relationships while in recovery isn't recommended but six weeks ago, I did. With complete confidence, I threw all caution to the wind and began to wholeheartedly fall. I've been falling ever since. It's been fun and exciting and for some of it I've felt safe but now...now I'm out of my mind with fear. Last night I lay awake convinced he doesn't want to be with me even while he slept with his arms around me. I lay there believing that while he is with me he's thinking of and wanting someone else. There is nothing he can say or do to make me trust him and there is nothing I can tell myself this moment that makes me feel any less terrified. It's impossible for me to trust him naturally, I have to choose to trust and that is where this fear is from, right there in the possibility, in the risk of being hurt.
I need to learn how to be vulnerable. Brene Brown become famous for her Ted Talk on Vulnerability. She describes vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. She encourages people to be vulnerable..."to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen...to love with our whole heart, even though there's no guarantee...to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we're wondering can I love you this much ? Can I believe in this this passionately ? Can I be this fierce about this ? ...just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say..."I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerably means I'm alive."... But most important, is to believe that we're enough, because when we work from a place, that says, I'm enough, then we stop screaming and start listening, we're kinder and gentler to the people around us, we're kinder and gentler to ourselves."
So...as always, witting has helped me empty my head of the tangled mess my thoughts become and focus on whats truly got me. I am afraid, but I'm also deeply in like with a man I want to know better. If I end it now because of fear, I will regret it, so I'm deciding to be brave and practice vulnerability. I'll need to work hard not to run with the stories that form in my head...stories that tell me I'm not good enough, not smart enough. I want to love and be loved so I must start believing I'm worthy of it.
Monday, September 30, 2019
Thursday, July 4, 2019
I was so broken. I was done. I didn't want to die but I couldn't continue. What kept me sober during those very vulnerable first days...I stayed honest. I looked at my life as it truly was. It was hard to do, made me sick to my stomach. I cried buckets. I threw myself deep into the Living Sober community built by Mrs D aka Lotta Dann, I kept the browser open and constantly read other peoples journeys and shared my own, I went to every pm AA meeting locally available. Those first few days were hard, there were many tears, looking back it's a little blurry. I documented the first days on camera, I sat in my pajamas and snot and pressed record and talked to myself. It felt strange but it helped, it helped me to process the muddle my thoughts were in and it allowed me to hear and see how weak and unwell I'd become. Long walks and talks to my maker became my refuge. I began to feel strong and at peace. The miracles and mysteries that have and continue to bless my life today are so so so precious.
But...life can become mundane, stressful, plain-hard. No matter how good life is now, it can't always be roses and sunshine and working forty-plus hours in a new and challenging role could become a trigger for tiredness and stress, both of which have been common triggers to drink for many years. While driving to a meeting recently I noticed I felt average, a little down, stressed, tired...and out of the blue I remembered I was 80 days sober and my whole state changed. This was an awesome experience that taught me how important it is to continue to celebrate achievements and milestones, big and small.
The list of blessings that have come from living sober is long but my favorite most recent is this...I picked up Miss 16 from the airport last night, (she just spent a week holidaying in Fiji), when our eyes met, both our smiles grew big and her first words to me were, "I missed you". Before I stopped drinking, our relationship was so broken and it's hard not to grieve all the time wasted but today is what matters most and today my Miss 16 misses me when she goes away and when shes home shes happy to be home.
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Thursday, May 9, 2019
I'm a little pissed it has taken this long but I'm careful not to dwell too long in regretful-reflection and instead continue to discover what is true and keep these life saving truths close where I'll never forget, so I'll never slip back into another coma of lies.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Addiction has plagued most of my life. As a fourteen-year-old I drank to black-out and continued to use alcohol and drugs most days until falling pregnant at sixteen. Then as a young solo-mum of three beautiful beautiful beautiful children, in 2004, I was handed a meth pipe. I've been free of methamphetamine-addiction for five years but cross-addicted back to alcohol and have struggled to stop multiple times for well over a year. I've not spent five years drinking until black-out but I had become a bottle a night, sometimes two a night, wino. A pattern emerged, every month or so I would have a complete emotional collapse, a meltdown, an alcohol induced breakdown, where I wanted to die. Swooning over a cup of tea may seem insignificant but a little more than a month ago, I was sobbing on my shower floor, drunk and suicidal, so now being able to sit sober and still and love myself with a cup of flashy tea is pretty cool. There's no gray area anymore, no moderation or tricks that can make me drink safely. Drinking and sobriety for me has become as black and white as life and death.
For the first time in my life I am choosing with a will as strong as steel to live life without circling a harmful addiction. For me, relapse became common because sometimes the familiar, no matter how awful it is, is less scary than the unknown and the unknown for me is knowing how different and good my life can be without being dictated by a harmful addiction.