Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Reflections

2011 has been my first year totally sober – probably since I was 15 years old. I did, on one occasion, have a “near beer” though it wasn’t because I had a desire to pretend that I could drink. I actually felt remarkably guilty after I had it. When I first stopped drinking I didn’t really understand the big deal with non-alcoholic beer, it seemed like a reasonable alternative to going without. Now it just feels like I am trying to trick myself into thinking it’s ok to drink. 
I have spent a majority of this year in Afghanistan. This deployment has changed me profoundly. I feel remarkably older and wiser (though I am definitely not a spring chicken anymore). I have managed to get myself into the best shape, physically, that I have ever been in. And now with the absence of alcohol to derail all of my weight loss I should manage to maintain where I am. 
So far I have managed to stay sober without meetings, support groups, or a sponsor.  My husband has been my strength, and as a non-drinker himself, always has my back. I love him and appreciate him more than I can ever express.  My way may not be the best for everyone- but it has worked for me. I recommend you do whatever is necessary for you to get sober. And in all honesty, I may find a meeting I like when I get home… 
In 2012 I plan to maintain my sobriety. I hope that I can help someone else get sober. I also hope that I can keep up with this blog a little more effectively. Posting is horribly tedious over here…. It takes a good 45 minutes just to get connected. 
I want to thank everyone who has provided support and advice. I also want to thank all the writers of the blogs I read. Again, my connection makes it extremely difficult to post comments on other blogs but I read faithfully.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The longest month...

I am feeling pretty homesick lately. I guess it's the combination of having just been home and the holidays. When I first got back to Afghanistan I was tasked with a pretty big project that took up my entire day. Now things have settled down quite a bit and the days just drag on.
I haven't been going to the gym that much either, so I am sure that isn't helping my mood! I need to get motivated to get back in there and keep pushing forward. It's time to plot out a new set of goals and work hard to achieve them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back in Afghanistan

I made back to Afghanistan intact. It was a really long trip! I am exhausted right now and don't have a lot of energy- but wanted to post my status.
Hope you all have a Wonderful Thanksgiving..and eat lots of food for me!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Finishing What I Started

I am headed back to Afghanistan tomorrow. It will most likely take me 3 days standing in line, waiting, and flying to get back. It has been a wonderful bit of time off. I have been taking advantage of the time to relax and have had some wonderful conversations with my family. We have eaten out, shopped, and had ice cream for breakfast! I have appx 6 months to go.
We had a few people over for a boxing match this weekend. Most of our friends do not drink when they come over because we don't let them drive if they have been drinking. However, our neighbors came over with a bottle of liquor. While it wasn't a challenge for me not drink it was a pretty big eye opener as to how obnoxious drunk people can be. One of the guys who was here had way too much to drink. Looking back I bet I would have seen his antics as hilarious back when I was drinking. My husband told him at the end of the night (and again the next day so he'd remember) that he would NOT ever been drinking in our house again.
I am so glad to be sober.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Adjusting

I am so happy to be home. Arriving at home was not without some calamity during the 72 hours it took me to get here (of course)- but I am home now and that’s all that matters.
My step- son asked me how it felt to be home because he said I looked like I was “lost”. It’s true though- I don’t know how to act right now. I have been working 12-13 hour days everyday for the last 5 months, one day off during that time. Now I have time. All the time in the world with no specific tasks to complete.

I find that I am coping with the initial signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am hoping it is just a temporary “readjustment” issue but I am worried. I am uncomfortable in open rooms and find more comfort sitting here in my room than I do in the living room that is open.  I started having graphic nightmares 3 months ago. When you hear a loud bang over there everyone experiences the same feeling of “what was that????????..duck and cover”. Being in Afghanistan you have  certain amount of …. uncontrollable chaos I guess…that everyone else experiences. We all get it over there. I am fortunate here that I can talk to my husband about all of the stuff that goes on over there and he can relate because he has experienced the same stuff.  
Yesterday we were driving and we saw some bizarre random act of violence! We saw a small pickup deliberately ram a car stopped at a stop light…and continue ramming them! The victim finally maneuvered out of the way and sped off with the other car in pursuit. Weird. Normally that sort of thing would have been horribly  traumatizing too me. Random acts of violence have always done that to me. Not yesterday though..I just sat back and said … “hmm, don’t see that everyday.”
I understand why drinking becomes a crutch for people with PTSD. I have a strong desire to slow myself to down to a speed that I can handle….or at least make the world appear to slow down. This two weeks home is important to me because I am learning how to cope without drinking with the support of my husband. When I come home for good in May there is a good chance he will be working overseas…. so my major support may not be here when I get home. I am looking for the tools now so I can continue to use them when I get home.
I am approaching 500 days of sobriety. Time sober is like time in Afghanistan- it goes by fast. Sobriety is a gift that allows you to enjoy life more thoroughly. There is not magic pill that you can take to make you WANT to be sober. Sobriety is hard work. For a long time I felt like there would be a magic last drink that would ultimately be “enough”. Like I could plan my last day of drinking and then the last drink I took that night would be THE one to finally satisfy my craving for alcohol. That drink doesn’t exist. When I first sobered up -the liquor aisle of the grocery store was tormenting for me! Like all the bottles were taunting me to get me to drink. Every alcohol commercial or ad was somehow personally directed at destroying my hard fought sobriety.  Now I see- being sober is a daily decision. Somedays you will have to decide several times in a day whether or now you will stay sober. But most days I don’t have to make that decision.

I am grateful to be alive and well. I have learned in being in Afghanistan that there are a lot of people who do not have control over their daily lives. If you don’t have control over yours…wouldn’t today be a great day to start? 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Finally!!!

Finally! I am headed home for R&R!!! I am hoping to be home by Monday and then will get 15 days at home to relax. I haven't planned much for that time...I really just want to enjoy my house and my family!
It's new to me to listen to other people talk about how much they can't wait to go have a drink when it's their turn to go on vacation. It seems to be the one common theme everyone has.... I am glad to not be that person anymore. Before I sobered up I would have had the same mindset..and I would have spent my entire vacation in a drunken haze. This time I get to enjoy the simple things in life...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Checking in


My second 5k! I am feeling good and only 10 days until I am on R&R!!!!! The thing about running around a base in Afghanistan- apparently measuring out a 5k is pretty difficult. It is safe to say this run was significantly longer than a 5k! My nike ipod said 5.85- but according to my pace I would have finished a minute sooner than I did in my first race! I have one more 5k this Sunday before I go home. I am so excited. I am also excited that I have a husband who doesn't drink. There will be no pressure to go party... just wonderful time at home with my husband, my kids and our dogs!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Alive and well!

Time is passing here. I go home for R&R in 43 days!
I also ran my first ever 5k. It was a lot of fun. The "Kandahar POW/MIA Remembrance Run". Six of us from my office ran in it. To date I have lost 20lbs since I arrived here about 16 weeks ago. I reached my goal weight about 2 weeks ago and have fallen off my healthy eating since then. But I am getting back to it tomorrow. I plan on running a 5k once a month while I am out here.
Just wanted to check in... life is busy here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How do you help someone realize they are an alcoholic?

I work with a guy whose stories always involve alcohol and being drunk. Now I'm not substance abuse expert but having walked in those shoes I think that anyone who thinks so much about alcohol that it is a part of every story they tell is probably an alcoholic (based on the stories I have heard from him). He is sober by mandate right now- with the exception of any booze someone might smuggle him in a care package.
Do you approach people? In your early stages of recovery did anyone say anything to you that eventually inspired you to get sober? I work with this guy and will be working with him for the next year and I don't want to do anything to make the next year an uncomfortable experience. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Has it been a year yet?

 It feels like I have been here F.O.R.E.V.E.R.! !!!! Ok… not forever- but July sure took a long time to get through.  I am trying to find some things that I can to help me keep moving forward emotionally and physically. I have been working out quite a bit and am getting in pretty good shape. I am also going to be sign up for my first ever 5k race in September. I have been reading the bible a lot along with some devotional passes to work on my mental health. But somehow, I don’t think I am doing as well as I could be. I have been suffering from a pretty significant bout of depression and feel like I am not performing as well as I should be at work, which is funny because they just took my teammate away because I was “holding it down on my own.” I guess they really mean it when they say “Army of one!” I guess once I get myself together mentally I will really blow them out of the water.  So, this is my dilemma- what the hell do I do with myself to get myself out of this emotional funk that I am in? I work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I go to the gym 6 days a week and have gained a lot of muscle and have lost 14 pounds so far (6 more to go to reach my goal!) I read at night before I go to bed- yet there is still this huge void in me right now. Sigh…

Monday, July 25, 2011

Homesick....

I am homesick this week. I am two months into my deployment, 3 months from R&R, and 10 months from coming home. blah
One of the young pro-boxers my husband has been helping coach was shot and killed this weekend. My husband is devastated. He told me he didn't know how the young man's dad was going to make it through this. I guess taking the time to read the bible every night helped me out because I remembered one of the reflections written that reminded me that God gives us enough to get through the day that we are in...and we have to have faith that he will give us enough to get through tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
Hope you are all doing well- I think of my blogging family all the time!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Passing Time

I have been in Afghanistan for 6 weeks now. Time is moving. I have gotten in to a rhythm of working, working out and sleeping. Work is going well and I am staying busy at work. Sobriety is not a constant struggle here- but it gets easy to fall into conversations about drinking- as that appears to be the only thing people think about over here.


I am pretty sure one of the guys who just got here is an alcoholic and some other substance abuse issues. He will have to get clean here though.

I have been reading my bible consistently- looking for some internal peace. I am amazed at how many passages talk directly about drinking too much. Interesting. Don't think I ever noticed that before.

I found a solution to blogging without internet in my room. I am currently at an internet cafe. The only problems are that it took me 30 minutes to get a computer and I only get 30 minutes online. Couple that with the 15 minutes it took me to get to this website and that will explain the short nature of this blog!

Hope you are all doing well.

Friday, July 1, 2011

When Drinking Isn’t an Option

Because alcohol is not available here a lot of people talk about what they are going to do when they get home. A good majority of those people say they can't wait to have a beer. People talk about drinks and drinking frequently here. I get sucked into those conversations on occasion. I guess 12 hours on night shift gets you to talking about all kinds of crazy stuff. I cannot share with people that I work with my struggles with alcohol. It is just not an option. I need to do something to connect more with non-drinkers but it is a difficult thing to do. Right now my life consists of working for 12 hours, working out at the gym for 2 hours, showering and sleeping. Somewhere in all that time I have to throw in eating, cleaning up, and doing laundry. Then I get up and do it all over again, every single day. I have 315 days to go.
I currently have an internet connection in my room- but honestly- the only time I use it is to log on to read blogs. Everything else I can do at work- but blogging websites are blocked. I really have to determine whether paying for internet access is a valid expense or if it's something I could do without. 
Since I have been here I have been focusing on getting myself physically well. I have started counting calories. There is no use trying to eat clean because most of the time that's not a viable option. Here you have to figure out how to make due with what they have available. I have also started to work out 6 days a week. On Monday I kick the intensity of my workout up another notch. I have gotten myself into very good shape several times before- but my hard work was always undone by massive amounts of calories consumed in the form of alcohol. It's nice to know that it won't be my undoing this time!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1 YEAR SOBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How awesome is that??!?!?!?!?!?!?
That is such a huge accomplishment for me! I don't think I have gone a year without drinking since I was 14 years old!! Maybe even younger than that!
I am happy to report that in spite of this current giant craphole of a situation I am in- life is good. I don't think about alcohol every minute of everyday. I no longer see it as my only method of coping with life. I am happy- and most importantly- I AM SOBER! (STILL!!!)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Life is so surreal here...

I have been in the middle east for 12 days. I have 338 days to go. Right now I work (nights), eat and sleep. 12 hours on, 12 hours off, 7 days a week. The night before last I heard the first booms of an attempted rocket attack, then the sirens. Nice early indication warning. I found myself cringing when I got back to my room when I heard helo's flying over. It is a helpless feeling.
I am 12 days away from my one year anniversary of sobriety. But right now that isn't even a priority in my life. Drinking here is not an option. There is no alcohol- only non-alcohol beer. Funny how life turns around. A year ago I was wallowing in my own self pity, miserable because I was an alcoholic.
Now I sit here in Afghanistan worried about rocket attacks. Contrary to some belief I see evidence of great things being done by the coalition of forces here. I cannot predict the future- but I hope it is one in which we have brought the good people in Afghanistan a little closer to feeling safe from the chaos that usually surrounds them.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Finally Made It!

A month later and I am finally at my final destination! I arrived in Kandahar early, early, early morning on June 2nd. I am finally settled in a permanent barracks room and am starting to find my way around. I will begin working nights tomorrow so I am going to attempt to stay up all night tonight to prepare myself!
I spent a few days in Kuwait before getting here- let me tell you- that is THE HOTTEST place I have ever been! It got up to 118 degrees while we were there. We were all trying to figure out which meals we could skip so that  we wouldn't have to go outside! Just a walk to eat and back tired us out so much we usually all took naps!
It's pretty hot here too- but it's not as horrible as Kuwait.
All bases over here are no alcohol- they only sell non-alcoholic beer. No temptation. I guess hell has perks too!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lots of travel

I am at an interim stop in Kuwait awaiting transportation to my next duty station. My emotions have been running rampant with all the changes and transitions. I have been going full speed ahead the last 4 weeks and right now I get two days of down time to relax and acclimate to the environment.  I do much better at the full speed ahead. Having this down time is making me lonely!
The last weekend I spent in the states my husband came for a visit. We took two females that were in my barracks with us for dinner to give them a chance to get off base. The rules while in training were strictly no drinking- yet these two felt it would be worth it to take that chance and ordered wine with dinner. At one time that would have been me taking that unnecessary chance at losing my orders and being disciplined by the military. A year ago I wouldn’t have cared about the repercussions.  
It’s lights out here now- just wanted to pop in and say hello!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tired- But Alive and Well

Needless to say I have been VERY busy! My days are a busy blur of Army training. We have been busy learning everything you need to know about a rifle, traveling in country, what to expect... there has been so much! The Army drill instructors are awesome- and make everything a lot of fun.
I haven't had to worry too much about sobriety because alcohol is simply not an option where I am now.
My husband is coming to see me this weekend as we get an overnight off. This will most likely be our last visit before I leave.
I am behind in my blog reading- but I hope you are all doing well.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

ahhh..the joys of Wi-Fi

I arrived safely at my first stop for training- after a 7 hour bus ride! Thank goodness it was a chartered bus.
I am proud of myself today. This evening is the last hurrah for anyone who wanted to have a drink. After tonight there is to be NO alcohol consumption by anyone in training - and pretty much for the extent of the length of their tours. All of us girls decided to go to the little sports bar on base. I was the only one not drinking. It is the first time in almost a year that I have been in that situation. I am proud of myself. I had a couple of diet pepsi- and brushed off remarks about not drinking rather well.
Tomorrow, instead of feeling bloated and head-achey I will lay in bed with deliberate laziness!! Not hang-over ness! Tomorrow is the only slow paced day I am likely to experience in the next year.
Thank you all for all your wonderful well wishes. It might sound small- but it really is huge and it means a lot to me.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cleared to proceed

I spent this week going through medical exams and taking care of paperwork before I mobilize. I am lucky that the processing center is close to home. Some others have already had to say their final goodbyes.
I have had a lot of "white space" lately while waiting between people to poke and prod me. "White space" is what the military calls down time.
My body has stopped cooperating with me when it comes to sleep. I have a very difficult time sleeping lately- which leaves me drained throughout the day. I guess in a few days it won't matter because someone else will be dictating when I do EVERYTHING!
I am feeling very strong in my sobriety- though I have to admit I had the most overwhelming craving for a chocolate martini on Tuesday. I have no idea what triggered that. Stress maybe- last time I had a chocolate martini I was in a state of deep depression. I sat at home with a Sams Club size bottle of vodka and drank myself stupid. That was about 7 years ago. I didnt' stop drinking right then- but I can't recall having another one of those!
I am settling in to the thought of being in the middle east for the next year. I am pretty lucky because my job will keep me in a safe place. There are plenty of people processing with me who won't be as fortunate as I am. Please say a prayer for them.
I am headed out on Saturday morning for 3 weeks of training and then overseas.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Afghanistan Count Down

I will be spending my one year sobriety anniversary in Afghanistan (June 21, 2011!).  I hope to continue to blog from my duty station- though at this point I don't know if that will be an option. In the event of an extended absence please understand that it isn't because I have gone back to drinking. Sobriety has made me a better person- I don't intend to go back to that drunken place. If I am not able to blog I will be back June 2012.
I hope to blog at least one more time before I leave. God Bless.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Getting closer

As my days at home wind down I am getting more and more lazy. Today I should be exercising, cleaning, doing laundry, packing, taking care of business. What is actually happening- got out of bed around 11am, drinking a diet Mt. Dew, eating easter candy for breakfast, sitting on the couch, on the internet.
I know that I am going to kick myself for not exercising more when I get to my training on May 8th. But honestly, I have a whole year of working and working out. My motivation is zilch! I figured out when I first got home two weeks ago that I could run a fair distance in a pace above that of a snail- so that was a load off. I should be working on my time- but I really have not found the "go get'em" to make that happen.
I am not beating myself up over it. I am going to enjoy the time I have in my home, in the wonderful air conditioning, or outside in a temperature that doesn't feel that close to hell. I am still going to hot yoga 4 times a week.
Life is O.K. for me right now. I am having some roller coaster emotions and some nightmares. I haven't had nightmares since I moved to the east coast 6 years ago. Most of them center around me not being in control of my situation. I hope as time moves forward and I get to where I am going they will subside.
Easter was nice and quiet here. I cooked way too much food for my husband and I. We will be eating leftovers all week! I am enjoying the days as they come.
Many people ask me how I feel about going to Afghanistan. I tell them I have a healthy dose of fear, but I know I will be as safe as I can be in the situation. What I do know is that I signed up and I will go and do what they tell me to do, because that is my job. Regardless of my feelings on the situation. I can choose to wake up and be miserable every day for the next year, or I can choose to have a positive attitude and make the best of the situation. I choose to be positive. I hope that in whatever situation you might be in that you will do the same.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Alcoholic Thinking Part 2

I was having a hypothetical conversation with myself today. I was wondering what it be like if I started to drink again and was actually able to monitor my drinking. What would it look like to be in control? Would I just have ONE drink at dinner one time per week. Or maybe I would get a beer at a friends house and take a sip and leave the rest. Is that what a non-alcoholic does? THEN- it occurred to me- non-alcoholics DON'T even think about that stuff. They don't require limits to their drinking. Setting boundaries is an alcoholic way of thinking. It is our attempt to tell ourselves our drinking isn't out of control.
Ultimately- I will always be an alcoholic.

Friday, April 15, 2011

3 weeks to go...

I have been home for the last week trying to get things together for my departure. I have been staying so busy lately- sooo much to do. I feel like I have accomplished a lot and yet have really barely scratched the surface of the things I want to get done before I go. In three weeks I depart for 19 days of training and then off to the middle east. I should be there around the end of May.
I am very happy to have been at my home the last week. I have lots to do but love laying in my bed watching TV!! I have kept my workouts up and have started back at Hot Yoga. Still more physical training to do to get ready. I wish I was more motivated to work out!!!! I have great ideas- just get stuck in a rut!!!
Alcohol has been more on my mind lately. I don't know why really- maybe just being back in the old surroundings brings back memories of old habits. I am 6 days shy of 10 months of sobriety.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stress!!!

I am stressed the F*** out! Tomorrow is my last day at work before I go active duty military to prepare for my deployment to Afghanistan.
Of course- that couldn't be enough- now we are sitting here with the fear that we might not even get paid! Stupid politicians!
All this transitional stress has really got my mind feeling a little looney.
Drinking has been on my mind a lot the last day or two. I went to lunch with a co-worker and once again realized how truly easy it must be to just make up your mind that you can have a drink.
Tomorrow I have to say goodbye (for now) to a job I have truly enjoyed with people who are pretty awesome. Change is a pain in the ass.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Am I An Alcoholic?

I asked myself that question many times, and odds are if you ask yourself that question you probably are.
Several co-workers took an “am I an alcoholic?” test the other day. Some of them took it in good fun but it got me thinking about how many times I asked myself that question.
I always tried to rationalize my drinking. I used to ask my friends if THEY thought I was an alcoholic. “Of course not! Because if you are, that means I am- and I definitely don’t want to be one.”  
I am an alcoholic. I will always be one. If you are too then do something about it. Take action to make yourself healthy again. The toughest part is deciding to get sober and meaning it.  There are many ways to get sober- pick one and get to it. You’re the only one stopping you!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So Much To Do

I have to start making lists and taking action. I work well under stress- so right now my mind is going a million miles a minute.
I feel strong in my sobriety. I have already gotten "advice" about how to sneak alcohol... At one point of time that would have felt threatened by that suggestion. Today I quickly said "I quit drinking" and kept it moving. I am pretty proud of myself about that.
I have to get all of my personal, financial and physical affairs in order. Time to really kick my workout into overdrive. I don't want to be that person who falls out during the physical training! Speaking of... I better hit the gym today before I get that ice cream.
I will spend my one year sobriety anniversary in the middle east. I don't know if I will be able to blog when I am there. I hope that I can. It is a huge help.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mobilization Orders

I have military orders to Afghanistan. My report date is April 30th.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

C.P.A. - Couch Potatoes Anonymous

I had an epiphany of sorts the other day. I used to be a very active person but somewhere along the lines I allowed alcohol to make me a couch potato.
When I was in my really hard partying days from 2001-2005 I was always on the move.  I had no remorse about drinking and driving, or drinking and doing everything else! I went out every night I didn’t have my kids and even flew across country for a hot date or two. I stayed drunk.
When I moved and met my husband he instilled in me how bad it was to drink and drive. I was already hiding a lot of my drinking from him- so I made this accommodation so that he wouldn’t catch me. I stopped drinking and driving and started spending more time in the house drinking. I got into a habit of drinking then sleeping and then doing that all over again. My house was couch potato central. (ok….I did make it to the gym sometimes- so not 100% spud)
I have been sober now for 9 months (YAY!) and I JUST realized I have still been in that couch potato mode. It was like my eyes just opened up the other day. I realized that I only considered weekends where I laid around all day to be my “good” weekends.  I asked myself the big “what happened to me?” question.  I realized my lazy idleness has really been feeding my depression in a big way.
My remedy- I got my ass moving! This was a great weekend.  On Saturday my husband and I worked out, cleaned the yard, spent A LOT of time shopping, then went out to watch the UFC. Today I had to buy a few more things, got a pedicure, went grocery shopping,  and cooked our meals for the week. I.feel.so.much.better.
Now the big test will be how I feel this week at work! Maybe I overdid my first Non-super-lazy weekend. But hey- if you’re gonna go- go big! Hope you all have a great week.
My advice to those newly sober (and even if your not newly sober!)- KEEP MOVING! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Keep Moving Forward

I bare burdens silently for the most part. I guess that makes me a less than stellar blogger. Right now I am facing the reality that I will most likely be somewhere in the Middle East as a reservist by the end of summer. I just figure that I can either choose to be miserable about that every single day or I can take it for what it is and keep moving forward.

Martin Luther King Jr said, “ If you can't fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but by all means- keep moving forward.” Words to live by. Alcohol was the one thing that held me back. It kept me from remembering things that I did or places that I went. It kept me from learning all there was to learn.

My husband adores me, but somehow, in all that adoration everything that happens to me is really something that happens to HIM. This is infuriating. It is my fault probably. I mean- not really- but I get it why he is like this. My surgery somehow became about him and how difficult it was for him. Same thing with my looming deployment. He is taking it very personally that I am leaving (even though he was the one who encouraged me to join in the first place!)

My writing here is always rambling and disjointed.  I suck at writing/talking about myself. I can’t tell you how many times I have written something and deleted it because I didn’t want to sound like a crybaby or I was embarrassed at appearing like a weak person.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I really suck at....

I am a sucky step-mom. I admit it. I love my husband dearly but his two boys (ages 15 and 16) have got to be some of the most poorly behaved children EVER! Now- let me put that in perspective for you. I was a special education teacher for 8 years. For 3 of those years I taught children with autism who had extreme behavior challenges- and I was great at it. I have a ton of patience!
Let me also make a disclaimer- I am really, really, really good at hiding what is going on in my head when it comes to them. At this point I am sucky only in thought. I go out of my way to do things for them, I treat them with a tremendous amount of respect, and never EVER mistreat them.
How do I get over this? Is it possible to change the way you actually feel about someone? I spend a lot of time trying to rationalize their behavior based on the way they were raised and the circumstances they have dealt with in their life- but ultimately I have been unable to change how I feel.
Why is this coming up now? My oldest step-son is in trouble. Big trouble. I am trying hard to be supportive of my husband as I can see he is under a tremendous amount of emotional distress. I'm trying. 
Sigh… Thank God I’m sober. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feeling Better

I am in better spirits. Yesterday was my first day back at work..and of course after sleeping for two weeks I couldn't get to sleep the night before....sooo..I was exhausted!! I had a hard time staying awake! I got some good rest and had a much better day at work today. Even went to see Black Swan after that.
Thanks for all the encouragement. I really appreciate it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Frozen

I am paralyzed by a bout of depression. I don’t know where it came from but I have been laying in this bed for way too long with no desire to get out. Not the “you need your rest” type of laying. I feel debilitated and sad. I have contemplated reasons  for the last several days. There are plenty of reasons for me to feel like this but I make no excuses.

I often wrestle with the prospect of taking anti-depressants again but I like NOT taking them. I like being able to “snap myself out of it”. Usually exercise is a partial anti-depressant but I can’t do that for another couple of weeks. I have a million other ideas as to how to get myself out of this but the blanket of depression is heavy and hard to get out from under.   

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm Cranky

Maybe it's because I have been in the house for so long, or the lack of exercise,  or maybe it's because the hostess seated a couple who got to a restaurant AFTER me in a much better seat BEFORE me, maybe it's because I stubbed my little toe so hard against a stupid piece of firewood that it is sure to be broken. Hell...maybe it's because I took stupid vicodin to not be in pain from surgery and I am going through another detox- trying to cleanse my body of all toxins again. Or maybe it's because I have been so stinking bored. Maybe it's the stupid IRS pushing back the delivery of our income tax return that is going to help us get through this time I have been off work. I don't know what it is- my best bet is that it is a combination of all of these things- but I am in temper tantrum- lay on the floor, stomp my feet, roll around crying- temper tantrum mode.
Sigh... the positives
- I went to see The Kings Speech today (good movie). I really wanted to watch Black Swan before it disappears from every theater but I didn't want to fight traffic to get to the rundown theaters that still have it!
- I am thoroughly rested having gotten more sleep that everyone except a hibernating bear.
- I have gotten to spend some wonderful time at home with my husband.
- The 800 mg of motrin have numbed the pain in my toe.
- The pain meds are thoroughly out of my system and I can think again- will have to start that book soon, now that I'll be able to remember it.
- I am sober- even though I don't particularly care to be at this exact moment. But I realize that drinking will then just make me a cranky hung-over person. Blah.
Lately (of course with the moodiness) I have been focusing on the "fun" part of drinking. I can say without a doubt that my carefully constructed, very busy, normal life keeps me sober without too much issue. I love being home, but I am ready to get back to being busy to give my mind a rest from this constant bombardment of crankiness.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monotony

I have been very busy healing (read being a lazy bum, eating, sleeping, wash, rinse, repeat.) I have noticed that when I am idle like this I think more about drinking. I am quite sure pain medication didn't help either. I guess it's good that I keep busy all the time. I stopped taking the pain meds as soon as it was realistic. I didn't realize what little effect they had on me when they weren't combined with alcohol. My husband watched in amazement because they didn't put me right to sleep. I swear he could lick an aspirin and be out for hours. 
I used to brag about high tolerance- now- not so much. 
I go back to work next week. I am glad to get back in the saddle but not so happy about going back to my home away from home in the city.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Healing...

Surgery went well...no complaints with the exception of a little chaos in the post-op overnight and getting checked out later than expected.
I am home now and resting. Thankfully I am in less pain than I thought I would be.
My husband is working hard on being good to me- poor thing is just so inept at being a care taker. We are definitely having "Men are from Mars Women are from Venus" moments. I do think that he just loves and cares about me so much that he doesn't know exactly how to help- and of course I am overly sensitive with the pain and medication.
Last time I had surgery I was more than happy to include alcohol with my pain medication. It was an opportunity to be intoxicated when I had an excuse. I am thankful everyday to not be in that place anymore.
Lately though, honestly, I have been forgetting that I am an alcoholic. I have not been tempted to drink, but it is just a reminder to always be diligent- and that there are times when I won't feel like alcohol is such an evil thing to me. But of course I remember. I am so glad to be sober.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Changing it up

I’ve been thinking a lot about how much time I sit here in front of my laptop doing pretty much of nothing. I really need to find a hobby! I think if I was being productive it would be different but I really just sit here checking out the same websites over and over again. If there is ever any late breaking news I will be all up on it!
My husband and I decided that we are going to make a concerted effort to start reading more. I took the liberty of ordering a lot of books on Amazon. Gotta love those one cent books that you only have to pay for shipping. I’ve always wanted a library- time to start working on that. It will be nice to read books as a sober person and then actually remember what I read. 
What are YOUR favorite books?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Getting Ready

My surgery date is scheduled for February 15th. I am happy it is not anything too major- just a "tune up" so to speak.  I have done as much as I can so that my work is not interrupted and have been talking a lot to my husband. I have to giggle a little bit because as much as he truly truly loves me- he sure sucks at caregiving when I am sick. I think if he had his way I would lay in bed for 2 months without moving. I have been breaking him into what my needs are going to be and how I need to move around as much as I am comfortable with.
Monday was my birthday so we spent the weekend hanging out together. I am much more comfortable talking to him about alcoholism now- I guess maybe the farther away I am from it the easier it gets. He asked me how long I had gone without drinking and said we'd have to celebrate when I reach one year. It's nice to know that when he says "celebrate" alcohol never crosses his mind. As an alcoholic that used to be impossible for me to separate celebrating and alcohol. 
But I am rambling. I think it's time for a nice nap.  

Friday, February 4, 2011

Upsetting News

I got some upsetting health news today. I have to have a surgery that is going to take me out of work for at least 2 weeks (but could be up to 6 weeks). I just started this job 4 months ago so the leave time is definitely not there. 
My mother-in-law is here and she prayed over me this morning before I went to the Dr. 
After I left the office I called my husband to tell him and then just went for a drive. This is the first major news that I have gotten where alcohol wasn't something I could turn to. I decided to go for a long drive. I'm struggling, but I am glad I am sober. 8 months ago I would have come home and drank all day taking turns between drinking and sleeping. Then.. I would have woken up and still have had to face the reality of surgery. 
Being sober is a gift. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Still Here...

Well.. after that long trip home I came back to take a nap. I was going to make the long drive home because I knew we were going to be off work. However, after that 3 hour drive I figured I would just hunker down and ride it out. That plan worked out great initially. Then the electricity went out. I curled back up in bed and figured I would just go back to sleep. Fat Chance. 
I got antsy.. didn't like not having electricity. So I went out and shoveled snow at 10:30 pm. A lot of snow. I knew I was almost out of gas so I figured I would shovel my way out then go find a gas station to fill up. I would use that time to check out the roads and the traffic and make my ultimate decision. It took my an hour and a half to get to the first gas station with electricity, 5 miles away. Traffic was still a nightmare but I was way more fortunate than others who were stuck on some roads for almost 12 hours. 
I decided to get back to the house, pack up the stuff that I could see and head home. I finally got out of the house around 1am and made it home by 4:30am. Not bad time really, considering. Driving home ultimately turned out to be the best decision because the lights were out for well over 24 hours. It was a nice 4 days at home with my husband. 
I have another milestone coming up. Next week I will turn 37 years old. It will be my first birthday since I was mmmm.. 17 years old that I don't drink. (With the exception of the two of those years I was pregnant.) It feels pretty good. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Hate Snow

It took me 3 hours to get home from work today. I live 14 miles from there. 
I have never really driven in the snow (ok..not really actually is closer to never). All around me I kept seeing cars doing the exact same thing I was and they were spinning their tires..unable to move. I just kept hoping that I would not be one of the statistics that was stuck on the side of the road. The storm came on stronger than what was predicted so I don't think anyone knew it would be this horrible of a commute. I kept having visions of myself huddled up in my car on the side of the road until the next thaw!
I really really really don't enjoy snow anymore. At All. When I finally pulled into my driveway I sat in the car for a good  little while on the verge of tears. But..I am back in the house now. 
I did have the thought once or twice that if I was still drinking I would have had at least two bottles of wine on a day like this. Instead I turned to chocolate. I know not the most wholesome solution from my woes but honestly, if I could have made the drive to the gym I would have! I just didn't want it to close before I got there!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

7 months sober

My best bit of wisdom to those who are recently sober...
It gets better. It gets A LOT better. There will be a time when you won't think about alcohol every second of every day. Hang in there!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Word...

Ouch!
Needless to say I am doing what I said I was going to do- working out. It hasn't totally set in yet because I just had a really great workout...but tomorrow is going to be painful. Good thing this bed is close to the ground so I can roll out of it in the morning!! A protein shake might be in order for breakfast!
I am not totally out of touch with working out. I used to be though. Aside from a couple of years of playing basketball in high school I was what my husband would call "skinny fat." I was super skinny but not in shape.No fat, but definitely lacking in the muscle department. 
When I packed up and moved cross country 6 years ago I got into the gym. For the first time in my life I was a bonafide gym rat. My day just didn't feel right if I wasn't working out. I got myself in the best shape of my life! (then drank myself right out of it...then got there again..then..uhh... drank myself out of it AGAIN!) 
I am eager to reach the point again when I have a deep desire to be in the gym. This is day two and I think that feeling can't get here soon enough. 
I have been sick for the last 2 weeks or so and I am quite sure that this workout tonight has dislodged any remaining yucky stuff inside of me as I am sneezing and blowing my nose at an alarming rate. If you see a CNN story about the woman who can't stop sneezing- it's me. 
Wishing you all a wonderful week! 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Working out

Tomorrow I start my exercise and eating plan. As long as I can remember I have had some issues with body dysmorphia. I weighed about 114 pounds when I was 18 and still longed to loose weight. I hated my body. My family on my dads side has a history of morbid obesity. My grandfather died at well over 500 pounds. I remember my mom telling me when I was eating chips that if I ate them all I would get fat. (I probably weighed 109 at the time at 5'6".) That attitude stuck with me for a long time. I am 50% Portuguese decent from my dad's side. To me that means I have a butt. Growing up I hated that about myself. I remember crying one day when my older sister told me I had a bubble butt. All through high- school I played basketball but really didn't have any athletic prowess. 
When I joined the Navy I gained 15 pounds in bootcamp. I was devastated. I tried to convince myself I looked better but when I looked in the mirror I saw someone much bigger than myself. To make a long story short..I have always struggled with my own perception of my body. 
When I first moved to this state I could actually afford to join a gym. I became a bonafide gym rat and started to love my body. It was the first time ever I lost weight the right way- by exercising and eating right. No starvation diets, no diet pills. I have managed to get into great shape a few times since then but was always derailed because of my drinking. 
209 days ago I was at my heaviest of all time- 168 pounds. I would say I don't know how I let myself get like that- but I do. I consumed so many calories in just alcohol. I could have totally gone without food and still packed on the pounds. I know from research that when you drink your body stops metabolizing everything else and just works on the alcohol. 
Well, as of right now, I am 13 pounds lighter. I have gotten down to as low as 150 but am holding steady at 155. While the number on the scale is not as much of an issue for me, I am ready to get myself back into shape. I want to be stronger than I ever have before. I want to look fitter and have abs. I know I am capable of that now. Before, alcohol always zapped my motivation or derailed my diet. 
My goal is to get down to 140 pounds. I have a 13 week plan that includes core strength, weights and triathlon cardio workouts with some mixed martial arts training thrown in by my husband on the weekends. I have been getting a lot of motivation from stories and tv shows about people who started way more out of shape than I am. If they have the willpower to do it I know I can. 

This will also help me gear up for an inevitable deployment to the middle east where I will have to endure rigorous training in pre-deployment workouts. 
Here's to not making any more excuses and just doing it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Living....

I am successfully living life as a sober person. Alcohol does not consume every thought that I have anymore, and I am thankful for that.  My life is now delightfully predictable! I used to feel so tortured inside that I could have written here three times a day- but now, I am peaceful. It has become second nature to tell people that I don’t drink (if they mention it). I don’t feel compelled to tell them my life story, if they ask, I generally just tell them that I realized I was too old to keep putting that poison in my body. I think the fact that I have lost over 15 pounds helps them to realize the benefit of not drinking for me.  When I first started that clock was such a daunting thing for me…a perpetually slow reminder of the daily torture of sobriety. Now I hardly look at it. I don’t count days down anymore. Honestly, I didn’t think I would get to this point. I didn’t think I would be strong enough now to not struggle on a daily basis. Even though I spend a lot of time alone now- I am still stronger. Strong…but diligent. I am not na├»ve to the fact that I have to remember why I can’t take another drink.
I am so thankful for sobriety – much more so than I ever thought I would be.