Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Christmas Miracle?

Last week was a terrible week for me. I am transitioning jobs so I had the week off and really wanted to get some stuff done around the house. I made appointments for everyday of the week.
Everything was thrown off though because I had to go to a specialist for a root canal on Monday. Frankly- I don't know why THAT guy calls himself a specialist because there was NOTHING special about HIM!!!! ha!!! I was in pain the entire week. I was a total mess taking vicodin and not wanting to combine that with clonazepam (as I said earlier I inadvertently threw myself into withdrawals).
But something changed. The week before last I saw a new psychiatrist who specializes in PTSD. She tweaked some of my medication and we opted for mail order delivery of my medicine so that I wouldn't have to wait at the pharmacy for hours. Well- it took well over a week to get here.
Friday night, for the first time, I took Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin). Using it for anxiety is an off label use but my psychiatrist said people SWEAR by it. On Saturday morning I took it again and I have to tell you- it was like someone lifted this veil of depression/funk/fog that has been with me for SO long. It feels like a miracle right now. I honestly just can't believe that it worked so fast and so amazingly.
I feel like I am in some movie right now where someone gets a miracle drug and they are all better but they have some horrifying side effect. I'm waiting to grow a third arm or something!!
Anyways, the purpose of my posts are never to recommend medication or advocate for or against there use. I am just telling you that I feel like a new person. Or like the person I used to be.
I have been down for so long that I forgot how I used to feel when I was well. It's amazing. My kids are amazed. I would say I am speechless about it but I don't want to stop talking about how amazing I am feeling right now.
I understand the medication will stabilize- and it's not without it's side effects. But holy cow! I am in such a good place right now that I can't believe it.
I start a new job tomorrow and I am looking forward to it. I have a lot of stuff going on but finally feel like I am up to the challenges that I have coming.
On another note- I don't know how to describe it- but I feel so good right now that it reminded me of the times I used to go out and actually have fun! Always with alcohol involved of course. I wondered if this new/old me would find that challenging. So I am in this with my eyes wide open and alert to continue on my path of sobriety.
I think we'll get our Christmas tree today!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Whole Truth

None of my doctors know the whole truth about me.  I have only admitted to having a drinking problem to one doctor- on one occasion several years ago. She gave me a prescription to help me stop drinking. I went to the bar while the prescription was being filled (figuring that would be my last drink), and never went back to see her.
I didn’t quit drinking that time. I was too embarrassed to go back there to see her, and have no desire to go back there so she can review my medical record to see that ONE appointment... even though I have been sober for a while now.
I didn’t realize how much of a problem not ever telling a doctor would become. This problem has become a bigger issue lately as I am treated for PTSD. After two years of sobriety I was prescribed clonazepam for anxiety. I’m not an expert but the Dr who prescribed it to me told me to be careful when I took it because it mimicked alcohol- and since I didn’t drink it might impact me more than it did other people. 
I met with another Dr recently for a medication follow-up and she made some tweaks to my medication. I will continue to take clonazepam but add another medication for depression and a more proactive drug for anxiety. (instead of reacting to anxiety by taking clonazepam which I will only take if I have a full blown anxiety attack).
Here is where the problem came in- I have been taking clonazepam for 6 months- and when I stopped taking it on Sunday I didn’t realize I would go through withdrawals.  But I did. I am. I wish I had been more honest with my doctors all along. But I wasn’t. So now I am here- reading all I can about weaning myself off clonazepam.  I had dental work on Monday and was given Vicodin for pain. So I haven’t taken clonazepam because I am super paranoid about mixing medication. It finally hit me last night that my motion sickness and upset stomach wasn’t a result of the vicodin- it was the withdrawal from clonazepam.

I wish I had been honest with a doctor- ANY doctor about being an alcoholic. So I encourage you to find a doctor you can have an honest conversation with about your use of alcohol or drugs. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I am enjoying my time with my family. Life is good.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I was supposed to travel with work last week. Originally I was scheduled to be gone for 4 weeks and then that changed to 3 weeks. On the day I was scheduled to leave I had an anxiety attack and called my boss and made up a lie about my childcare provider not coming through for me. Since I am on the east coast and Hurricane Sandy was on it's way I got a pass. I doubt I will get another one.
Right now the thought of travelling away from my kids is overwhelming. I am in a desperate rush to find a new job that does not require me to travel.
I feel that I have gotten too dependent on my anxiety medication (even though it's a small dose) so I am taking action. On Monday I am starting my workout plan. My workouts will coincide with the time my son is training for his high school sport- so I have no excuse not to be out and moving too.
I am thankful to be sober. I think back a lot to how I used to handle everything. I think back to waking up and having a drink then falling asleep- then doing it all over again. Now I am emotionally available to my kids and it shows.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Changing Focus

Alcoholism is no longer the main struggle in my life.
I have been officially diagnosed with PTSD. My brain feels like it has betrayed me. Even the smallest amount of stress is unbearable, anxiety is high all the time.
Funny- as I write this I realize how lucky I am to NOT be a drinker anymore. I cannot quantify what is going on inside my mind but I know I am better off than many who attempt to drink away the horrible feelings that they have.
I have an invisible wound that I cannot explain or understand. I just know I am glad I don't have the added issue of drinking.
I am thankful to be sober.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Teased for being sober!?!?!

I had an interesting experience the other day at work. I am known for being a relatively healthy eater and was sitting with a few other co-workers eating lunch. One of the guys from another team came over and sat down for a few minutes.
Now for the record- we all rib each other all the time. But somehow the subject turned to me and he said (rather disdainfully I might add), "you don't drink, do drugs, smoke, or do any tobacco products at all do you?"
I told him "Nope."
 It was an odd situation. I had to reflect a little. Am I a goody two shoes now because I eat healthy and don't drink, smoke, or do drugs??  I just told him "I USED to be the life of the party" and left it at that. Thinking back, I shouldn't have even qualified my intial response. No, I don't drink and I don't feel like I am missing out on life because of that. In fact, all those times I used to drink and get drunk- those are now spent doing things that I actually REMEMBER!!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Still moving forward

Life is moving forward. I continue to move along with it in a nice sober state.
Alcoholism is no longer the primary concern in my life as I try to wrap my brain around what is going on in …well… my brain.
When I first got home from Afghanistan I already knew that I was having some issues. I had been having nightmares for almost a year now. The anxiety kicked in around January. I have suffered from depression before- but this is much different than the overwhelming sadness I have felt in the past. Now I just feel a sense of darkness.
The first psychiatrist I visited 3 weeks after I got back to the states prescribed Ambien to sleep, Klonipin for anxiety, and Prazosin for nightmares. I had a pretty good idea that Ambien and Klonipin together was not a great idea so I don’t take much ambient.
I spoke to another psychiatrist on Friday who agreed and moved me to an anti-depressant, kept me on Klonipin with the hopes that the anti-depressant would decrease my anxiety so I could quit that.
I am not a big fan of being on klonipin. I don’t take it unless I am extremely anxious because it reminds me too much of drinking. 
I have another appointment for a PTSD evaluation on Monday.  I don’t even care at this point to put a name on what is going on with me. I just want to feel normal. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Being a sober role model

I feel removed from alcoholism right now. Usually I feel that little tugging that reminds me that I have to be diligent against drinking.  I am not delusional into thinking that I am no longer an alcoholic, I know that I will always be. But right now it just feels different.
My life has improved significantly since I quit drinking. Now I cannot imagine why I spent so much time drinking myself to sleep. I am enjoying a remarkable relationship with my kids. I know that if I was in my previous routine I would not be spending as much quality time with them.
We are all healing emotionally from being apart the past year.  They went through some difficulties while I was gone and it is wonderful to see them gain self confidence and to see them show their wonderful personalities. I feel like I really am a good role model for them now. I had a conversation with my daughter (who will be off to college next year) and we started talking about drinking and how being drunk in college can increase her chances of being sexually assaulted. I was able, for the first time in my life, to say, “well, you see me that me and your step-father don’t drink, and we have a great time.” She said “yeah, I know!”  It transformed my feelings of being an alcoholic to a sober role model. Amazing.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Life has taken an interesting twist lately. I have kicked into super mom mode and any of my own personal issues have taken a backseat to the needs of my children. I have them both back with me. Originally my daughter was going to be spending her final year of high school with her father where she has attended the last three years. She spent the summer with me and went back to a less than emotionally supportive situation. After 9 days in the house she called me and I got her on the first plane back to me.
My week since then has been focused on trying to get her into an emotionally stable place. She is resilient and is adapting well. I am glad to have her back with me. I don't think I would be in this place if I hadn't stopped drinking because I don't think I would be so successfully focusing on helping her get better.
While my drinking wasn't a part of the decision to let them for live with their father and step-mother it didn't help me with my parenting. I am glad to have my babies back.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Old Friends

I had lunch with an old friend today. Someone I hadn't seen in about 12 years. When we met I think I was probably drinking every time I saw him. Lunch today was different- I ordered lemonade. It seems small but it is moments like this that let me know I am not worried about perception anymore. I don't care if my old friends know I don't drink anymore. My thinking that I had to be drinking to be "fun" were ridiculous. It does seem silly when I think about it. Why would I spend so much time worried about how other people felt about me being sober? I did though and for a lot of years it was one of my great excuses to keep drinking.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Routine sweet routine

I started work last Friday. What a relief it is to have a routine again. I haven't always needed to have a routine- but it sure is helping my mental health right now.
I have a little flexibility with my work hours and the atmosphere is pretty laid back. I am back in the gym finally- that helps too.
I can't say that I am all better when it comes to my mental health- but it's better this week. Or at least I am busy enough not to dwell on it. In spite of all the stress and anxiety I have been feeling lately I have never thought about drinking. It's amazing to me that I have come that far- to the point where drinking isn't the first thing I think about when life gets out of control.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back to work

Tomorrow I go back to work. I managed to squeeze out about 2 months off! When I first got home I was moving at 100 mph. I would get up early in the morning and keep moving until late into the night. I worked on the house, made and went to appointments for myself and my kids. 
Then, somewhere along the way I slowed down. The intensity I had when I first got home slowed way down, and lately it's been a challenge to leave the house.  Ironically- I feel so much better when I do leave the house. It's a vicious cycle. I don't think my current emotional state has anything to do with my sobriety. If anything, maintaining my sobriety has been one of the main reasons I have managed to get through this time. 
I think work will stabilize me a lot. Getting back into a routine of getting up in the morning and going to the gym after work will be a big help. 
I am excited and nervous for the change coming up. This job will require travel which causes me some stress because it takes me away from my son. But I will take what I can get right now as this job is a step up in my career. I am happy to be moving forward. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

emotional unrest

My brain feels like it is betraying me.  I have every reason to be happy right now. I have my kids with me and we are having a great time. I have had two months off and start my new job at the end of this week. I am still sober. I have accomplished a tremendous number of tasks since I have been home, and we are getting closer to getting my husband’s life-long dream of having his business off the ground. But my mind is uneasy.
My emotions are relatively limited lately- mostly just frustration. I have a lot of dreams where I am extremely angry and tend to wake up that way. Sleep is elusive, unless I take an Ambien to help me sleep- but that spiral of being so tired that I resort to sleeping pills ends with me feeling sleepy all day- rendering me relatively useless. (just like drinking used to..only now I don’t have the shakes) I can even describe what is going on in my brain...I just feel kind of nutty- for lack of a better word.
I think the psychiatrist got it wrong.  I don’t think the issues I am having are temporary- and I don’t think they are going to go away in 3 months. Hell- I have already been home for 2 months and they just seem worse.  It’s easy to say in the house- but it causes so much torment in my mind when I do it. But driving leaves me confused and feeling lost even when I am not lost.
It’s hard for me to be supportive for my husband in Afghanistan when I am going through such a mental firestorm.  I keep talking about going to the gym and eating right- but have not made up my mind to get it done. I know once I get in that routine I will be fine. I am hoping work evens me out. After having a year of 12-13 hour work days all this free time is really fucking with me.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

One of the keys to my success so far...

I realize one of the keys to my successful sobriety has been to be around other people who don't drink. In particular I am talking about my husband- but it goes beyond just him. My husband is currently deployed and I have my kids with me.  They continue to help me maintain my sobriety.
While thinking about my keys to success I started thinking about a trend that exists in my life. Since I divorced in 2001 I was fortunate to date some really amazing men.  Some of them are still amazing, some are bullets that I definitely dodged (I know this thanks to successful Facebook stalking!). While I was dating I primarily sought out men who weren't interested in a long term relationship (I wasn't looking for one either) so it has been easy throughout the years to maintain a friendship. Not matter how long I go without talking to one of them we don't miss a beat when we pick up a conversation and talk about old times.
Interestingly enough- they have a habit of all contacting me around the same time. Like I have some beacon that puts out a Bat Signal shouting, "I am lonely, vulnerable, bored..." So lately this has been true. I have been receiving emails from some of the men in my past. I realize now that one thing we had in common at the time was a mutual love for drinking.
I don't think they are all alcoholics- they seem to have the ability to know when to stop- a sense I have never possessed. Either way- we spent a lot of time drinking. It's seems strange now to talk to some of them. I don't think I would have been able to stay sober so successfully if I had ended up with one of them. I think the party would have continued to roll right along.
Having a life partner who doesn't drink made this struggle less daunting. Being around someone who doesn't drink has been an integral part of my success. Especially in that first year where the habit of ordering/buying a drink was so strong. While I know there will times that I may be tested before he comes home 8 months from now- I can now (with a lot more conviction) volunteer to the the group D.D. if I decide to hang out with friends who drink.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Keep moving forward...

I wanted to take time to thank everyone for the wonderful words of support and encouragement for my 2 year sobriety anniversary. 

Emotionally I am down today and I shouldn’t be. I guess I shouldn’t be. The last few weeks have been rough. I thought I had a job offer, then it looked like it fell through, and then today it looks like it is finally coming together. I should be happy.

Maybe it’s the transition of everything. From thinking I had a job right away, to facing the reality of unemployment (without actually being able to collect unemployment- that’s a whole other blog), to a husband who has a plan in his head in which he cannot seem to deviate.

I am a person in perpetual motion. If I sit still too long I feel like I get a little nutty. Since I have been home from Afghanistan I have had quite a few emotional and psychological challenges to deal with.  My kids have been here for a couple of weeks now and I am so grateful and blessed to have such awesome kids.

I am going to start really looking for a counselor who specializes in addiction counseling and post traumatic stress disorder.  I am still having high levels of anxiety and I really don’t want to sink into an addiction to anti-anxiety medication and sleeping pills. It starts to make sense though- that maybe my alcoholism was me self medicating through a mental health issue I have probably always had (now made worse by having spent a year in a war zone).

The moral of the story though- I made it two years sober and do not plan on trading alcohol for a medicine cabinet full of pills to compensate for just having emotions.

I have been unable to get into the gym lately because of a surgical procedure I had done 6 weeks ago- but should be cleared for full exercise shortly.

It’s time to set some goals… and keep moving forward. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

2 Years Sober

Today marks my two year sobriety mark. What a wonderful, coherent, non hangover, exercising and eating right, not hiding liquor bottles, kissing my husband because I don't have to hide alcohol on my breath, wide awake, sleeping well, saving money from not drinking, highly functional two years it has been!
I am so grateful to be sober.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Out of the frying pan...into the _____?

I have been staying very busy since I have been home. I had plenty of time in Afghanistan to decide what home improvement projects needed to be done and have been going 100 MPH ever since.

When I was doing my out processing to go back into civilian life I told the care providers about the mental health issues I have been having. My appointment with a government “issued” psychiatrist was last week and she promptly prescribed Ambien (to sleep) , Klonipin (for anxiety), and another medication that is supposed to help with nightmares.  I am to take all the medications on an “as needed” basis.  I have also have refills.

I am unwilling to discuss my recovery with military medical providers.  I came home with my bag of medicine and have really been struggling with the fact that I have them at all. In self reflection, and also as a recovering alcoholic I realize I have an addictive personality. I go overboard on most things – good or bad. While this is great sometimes I realize the potential risk of having access to this medicine. I don’t know where to go from here.

I think I need to find a personal (non-military) physician to discuss my entire medical history.  I also think I need to find a group to help transition through this time. The psychiatrist suggested I have some type of anxiety disorder, another medical provider suggested the early stages of PTSD. Honestly- I don’t care what anyone calls it. I want my mental health to be back where it was before I left. 

I also don’t want to be dependent on pills to adjust to life back in the states. I have used Ambien once and Klonipin twice but constantly remind myself that I am unable to drink responsibly so I need to monitor my usage of medications to prevent from sinking into another hole. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Adjusting To "Normal"

I have been on the go pretty much the whole time I have been home. Like other people I have spoken to about coming home- the only things I noticed right away at my house were the things that were dirty or broken. The dogs were a mess, the couch was dirty, the house smelled like....well "dog". Very overwhelming. I have appointments and/or estimates scheduled for things that need to be fixed everyday next week.
I am happy to be home though. I am experiencing some adjustment issues and was only released from service "AMA" (Against Medical Advice). After a year of being in Afghanistan all I really wanted to do was just come home and lay in my bed. I am seeking advice and help for my adjustment issues.
I spoke to another service member who got home a few months ago who is experiencing issues similar to mine. She said drinking helps her numb her feelings. sigh. I told her that I quit drinking, I alluded to it being a problem for me but didn't go into detail.
What I am learning- there are a lot of females who are returning, just like me, who have the same emotional issues that I have. And just like me- we feel ridiculous that we are having these issues when there are so many who experience so much more.
I feel like I should be able to talk myself out of this anxiety that I am feeling. Like somehow I should be able to snap out of it and just relax and be "normal".
Through all of this the thought of drinking crossed my mind once. I didn't have a plan to drink- just thought about having a beer with one of the foods I liked. It was a fleeting thought and immediately brought forth feelings of shame and embarrassment. Not only would I have let myself down, I would have not succeeded in doing what I said I was going to do- and that is to stop drinking.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm Home

Wonderful, Beautiful, Home. What more can I say?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Remaining Relevant for the Newly Sober

I remember when I first starting thinking I should sober up that I spent a lot of time looking for blogs that I could relate to. What I came across were pages of people who had been sober for years and “website graveyards” of sobriety blogs that detailed the beginning of sobriety that were no longer being updated.  If they were like one of my many first attempts at blogging my way to sobriety they went straight back to drinking- unable to continue to make note of their journey into sober living.

The blogs of people with years and years of sobriety were overwhelming, and at the time I thought, had reached a goal that was unattainable to me. When I look at my stats for my blog I see that the most searched phrase of people who read my blog was “3 weeks sober”. It leads them to my post of the same title here.

When I started blogging I wasn’t overwhelmingly concerned with helping others get sober. I was just trying to make myself accountable to someone (anyone!!) for my sobriety.  Now I feel differently. While the bulk of my posts last year were desperation posts trying to find a way to cope and make it through a yearlong deployment in a war zone my future posts won’t be.  I hope that I can be of help to someone else trying to sober up.

So I began to ask myself- how do I remain relevant for the newly sober? I can’t very well relive my first few months of sobriety (nor would I want to- blech!) One thing I have learned in the almost two years I have been sober- for me- it doesn’t feel like I have been sober for that long. It’s not the same struggle it was 2 years ago (not by any means). But it’s still there. The nagging knowledge that I am an alcoholic in recovery.  I still wonder, on occasion, if I am “recovered” yet. Or if that is even a state we can every get to. Sometimes I ask myself if I could have a drink or two. That maybe I am done being an alcoholic now. (I can’t, and I still am!)  

While I continue to ponder how I can remain relevant to newly sober I’d like to show you the first sobriety website I found- The Discovering Alcoholic. I posted on the website (while still drunk I am sure), almost two years ago, that I knew it was time to get sober. TDA wrote me back. He encouraged me at that time to not base my own sobriety on the timeline of someone else- but to start counting by the hour if I needed to, or the minute. That’s what I did. Screedler keeps the site up these days and I have to say- this site (in my opinion) is relevant to everyone, in all stages of sobriety! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cautious Optimism

I am cautiously optimistic that I will be leaving Afghanistan in the next 36-60-ish hours! I won't know my flight schedule until sometime tomorrow but I hope that it is good news. I haven't had to work for the last 3 days and I have been doing a lot of sleeping!
I strained a muscle in my neck the other day and the Dr gave me a muscle relaxer to take before I go to sleep. Having gone over a year without any kind of prescription medication has made me a light weight. I was so out of it when I took one pill. It made me feel stupid the entire next day. I related to a couple of friends that I couldn't understand what was ever appealing about feeling this dopey! I used to drink to put myself in THAT state? I was flabbergasted when I thought of it from that viewpoint.
Two years ago I struggled to stop feeling like THAT on a daily basis. Two years ago I would get to that state and sleep..and wake up and do it all again. Ridiculous. I see that now.
I know that going home will not be without it's obstacles. However, I am much more equipped to deal with those challenges. I know it will be trying emotionally after gaining so much knowledge about how fucked up the situation is over here... but I was reminded yesterday that slowing myself down mentally is not the answer.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

3 days to go!!!

My time in Afghanistan is finally coming to an end! Sometimes it feels like I have been here forever and other times I can't believe a year has gone by. If all goes according to plan I should be sleeping in my bed by May 8th!!! I can't wait!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Getting Closer

I think about leaving here as often as men think about sex...about every 30 seconds!!! 16 days to go. My anxiety is in full swing right now. I have found myself becoming obsessed with my reactions to events when I am stressed. I just rethink the whole scenario over and over again my head until it makes me kinda crazy. That combined with insomnia and this anxiety I have been having lately is pretty overwhelming.
On the bright side though- I have been working out regularly. I have a gym partner now and even though neither one of us usually want to go- we peer pressure each other into going. No small feat considering we are working 13+ hours 7 days a week. I am also happy that I am leaving soon.
There have been a few stressful moments when it comes to my current living conditions with a roommate who turned out to be a pretty big asshole. I will be happy when I get back to my own home, my own bed.
One thing that makes me happy- I do not ever think about alcohol as a coping mechanism. It's simply no longer an option. We have non-alcoholic beer over here- but even that makes me just feel like I am cheating. My feelings on that issue may evolve- I'm not sure.
I am also looking forward to be able to blog more frequently when I get home.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Time is winding down here...

30 days to go! I can say this has been the most difficult yet rewarding thing I have ever done. I am happy to be headed home soon. I am excited for a nice long hot bath, to sleep in my own bed, and to eat some sushi! eat anything delicious!
I wanted to thank all of you who have supported me through this year. Many good things are still to come in my life- I can't wait to get back to it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I have 57 days to go and I am feeling a tremendous amount of anxiety. I can't put my finger on the cause and that is making it hard to cope. I should be so happy right now..and yet I can't seem to dig my way out of this slump that I am in.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Depends on the One Day

My husband passed through my base earlier this week. It was quite a wonderful surprise. We both thought he would end up to the North or East which would eliminate the need to transit my base. When he arrived he was informed that he would be here 3 days or more! Oh the joy!! 27 hours later he had moved on :(  . With my work schedule and his job requirements we were able to spend a little bit of time together. 
It was devastating to me when he left because we ended up getting about 20 minutes notice that he was headed out. So our 3 days (or more) turned into ONE day. It was very hard to be grateful initially. But after a little bit of time had passed I was indeed grateful that I had gotten to see him. If we can possibly manage we will try and see each other again before I leave this country in about 59 days! He's eager for me to go home. He keeps telling me I need to be out of this country. I guess it's one thing to hear about this place, and another entirely to actually see the situation on the ground. 
I feel rejuvenated for having gotten to steal a few special moments with him and feel better prepared to make it the 6 months it will be before I see him again. 
I was reminded of a line from Pirates of the Caribbean- quite fitting for a couple of sailors: 

Bootstrap Bill Turner: This ship, it has a duty. And where we are bound, she cannot come. One day at shore... ten years at sea. It's a heavy price for what's been done. 
Will Turner: Depends on the one day. 

What a wonderful day I had. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I'm tired of being in Afghanistan... I want to go home now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

600 Days Sober

Today marks day 600. 600 days sober- imagine that.
I am beginning to look for support groups when I get back. I will likely find an AA meeting that I can attend. I haven't been yet- and it almost seems weird to start going after two years sober- but my major support system (my husband) will be here in Afghanistan by the time I get home....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In The Home Stretch

I have 83 days left in this country. I hate this place. The good things that have happened here were that I managed to get into good shape- with the last 12 weeks a major push to reduce body fat...and I am still sober. For the record- alcohol is not allowed here, so I feel like I cheated a little. Regardless, this time allowed me to get some serious time on my sobriety calculator.
It won't be too long before I am  headed home and will have to deal with the real trials and tribulations of life. This place is some sort of surreal alternate reality where I work a lot, work out a lot, and eat a little bit. I'm not spectacular person for having made it sober here.
The real work starts again when I go home. I am 2 days shy of 600 days sober. That's pretty remarkable for me.  I have become more comfortable in my sobriety. People at work know that I am not a drinker and that feels pretty good.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why Don’t I Want To Get Sober?

I can’t count how many times I asked myself this question before I finally took the step to clean up. Not wanting to stop drinking was my biggest reason for …well… drinking.  Ultimately I felt like IF I actually had a problem I would want to not have that problem anymore. Like the flu. Sort of. No one likes the flu, and everyone wants to be well again. But alcohol isn’t like that for me. Regardless of how shitty it made me feel to wake up with a hangover. Regardless of how much money I spent on alcohol.  Regardless of the distance drinking put between me and my family. I still wanted to drink.
I don’t even think I consciously wanted to be sober when I finally gave up drinking for good. I convinced myself that it was to lose weight, to connect with my family, or to prevent health problems that were eventually coming, to improve my memory. But really, I didn’t want to quit.
Thank God my original excuses to quit were convincing enough to keep me sober long enough to realize that I really DO want to be sober. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Always Faithful

I went to a dignified transfer for 6 fallen Marines today. It is the second one I have been to since I have been here. The first one I attended a couple of weeks ago moved me profoundly. The experience is so emotional and sad and I pledged then that I would go to every one that I could- because if that was my brother, or husband, or son I would hope that others would be there to show respect for their sacrifice.
It was rainy and snowy today. Felt like God was weeping for this loss and for the so many other losses we have experienced here.
Semper Fidelis Brothers. Gone for Never Forgotten.

They played the Marine Corps Hymn

From the Hall of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean:
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.
Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.
Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By The United States Marines.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

103 days to go!

It has been a rough couple of weeks here. I am sure if you Google Kandahar you might see a little bit of what we are experiencing. I am grateful to work in a relatively safe place. I had a particularly bad day on Monday. It was sort of odd because after a huge blow-up my minds first thought was- "If I was home I would definitely...." and then I stopped- because normally that would have ended with "get a drink".. but my thought didn't end like that. I thought- wow...normally I would head straight to the bar, or the store, but that's not an option anymore. If I was home I think I would have gotten into bed and pulled the covers over my eyes and laid right there for a while. Or maybe I would have gone to the gym and run a little bit, or gone for a swim. Or maybe I would have really thrown in the towel and gotten some Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream!
One thing Afghanistan has done for me- it has made it easy for me to stay sober. It seems strange to me to see so many fascinated by alcohol. I think they are so narrow minded for equating every fun moment they have had to being drunk. That used to be me : (  
I have 103 days left in this country. I have been in the Middle East almost 8 months. I have a lot of things to do when I get home- including finding a job. Right now my job is so intense I'd like to do something that doesn't require any brain power!! I wonder if being a yoga teacher, or a masseuse would pay the bills!?!??! Oh the joy of listening to gentle music and helping others restore their own peace of mind. 
103 days. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! If you decided 2012 is the year you will be sober- then congratulations on Day 2! If you are considering getting sober- start today. Make up your mind, stop making excuses and do it. The sooner you do the sooner you can stop beating yourself up about being a drunk.
I had a lot of do-overs before I finally quit for good....but I am so glad I did. You're not missing out on anything in life by being sober.
Here's to 2012!