sunday quote.

“The nub of any addiction is the belief in your own deficiency, and the assumption that it can be fixed with a tangible substance”

From Geneen Roth, who wrote the excellent book, Women, Food and God.

 

 

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love.

My emotions have been all over the place for the last two weeks, since I quit drinking again. Last Saturday I posted about feeling buckets of gratitude. Honestly, my heart was so full of love I thought it would burst. I was so damn happy. But throughout the day I went from the top of the world to completely bottoming out. By the next morning, Sunday, I was so full of despair I honestly thought about checking myself into an inpatient treatment program. I just could not get a handle on the negativity that was racing through my brain and poisoning my spirit. I just did not want to be awake anymore. 

So I did something crazy. I cried. A lot. And, I opened up to my partner about what I was feeling. Wild, right?

It felt so good to be honest and unburden myself. Why is it so hard for me to do this? Once I talked about what I was feeling, and heard myself say the words, it was like my pain was cut in half. He doesn’t always know the right things to say (who does?) and he doesn’t always understand, but just being able to tell another person was freeing. I don’t have to do this alone. I don’t know why I feel the need to be so independent. It is what has stopped me from getting to AA all of this time and what still stops me from speaking at meetings when I go.

I am so afraid to put myself out there and ask for help. But by not allowing myself to be supported, I am not only denying myself care of others, but I am denying those I love the chance to know me. I am denying connection, trust, and love. 

There are a multitude of reasons that I am this way. Some come from my family, in particular, my mother, who was stoic and unemotional while she raised me. She raised me to be fiercely independent and she did the best job that she could at that time. She was a survivor and her job was to raise her children to be survivors. I love her for everything she did for me and I also felt very alone and unloved growing up. 

I also think that, I have tried to not align myself with the stereotype of a woman who is emotional and irrational- like those are “bad” things to be- and so I have tried to minimize, or ignore, my emotional self. This repression of self hasn’t worked out very well for me. Bottling things up and pretending that they aren’t there has probably not helped me, and likely has been one of the catalysts to my addiction. I have tried to drink away my emotions. And it worked, for a while. I drank to mask insecurity and unease. But now that I am not drinking I actually have to feel these things and it’s hard and scary but I want to do it. I want to feel what I have to feel. I want to let people in. I want to get better. 

At the same time, last Sunday, when my partner was hearing me, supporting me and loving me, he was also feeling his own pain because I have not been a very good partner at times. Not only do I hide my pain, but I also hide my love. How many times do I look at him and feel love but I am unable to say it? Sometimes I just can’t make myself express my emotions. Other times I feel disconnected from them. By the end of the day, because I was so wrapped up in myself, he was hurt. He doesn’t express his emotions very often, and it was difficult for him to come out and say that he did not feel loved by me. 

It was a wake-up call. Hearing him say that broke my tiny little already beat-up heart! I want to live with an open heart and feel love and be connected to my partner and the people around me. The only way to do this is to stay sober. Alcohol kills this love and shrinks my heart. It stifled me by keeping me on that shitty little cycle of drinking and hangovers. It kept me so much in my head that there is no room for anything else. It kept me so alone. Often surrounded by people, but so alone. 

I’m getting ready to love. 

Loneliness Transformed Into Solitude

This is so good. On transforming loneliness…

Recovery Daily

Knowing our loneliness and admitting it to us is the beginning of a spiritual path for many of us. Today we are on a spiritual journey. We already have the means to translate the pain of our loneliness into a deeper spiritual dimension. Most of us in this program came in deeply aware of their feelings of isolation. Now, with the companionship of our Higher Power, we can spend time alone and use it for spiritual growth. As we develop a relationship with ourselves and deepen our knowledge of our Higher Power, our loneliness transforms into solitude. In this quiet moment today, we can be more accepting of ourselves than we were in the past. We admit loneliness has caused us pain, but now we can see that it also can lead us to our deeper self where we find serene solitude. This change is a movement into the spiritual…

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morning gratitude.

This morning it is so easy to see why I want to be sober. Even though I woke up way too early for a Saturday (6am, people! Why do I have to drag myself out of bed on workdays but on weekends I can’t sleep in?), and I feel a bit tired, I woke up feeling excited for the day ahead, grateful to be alive, and SO thankful that I did not drink last night. 

From my last post, it is no secret that I have been fighting a bout of depression. After I stopped drinking last week, the depression took a few days to lift slightly. Even yesterday at work, I was feeling pretty low. The monkey chatter in my mind is really intense at times. The negative voice can be consuming. I am not successful enough, I don’t have enough friends, I am wasting my life, I am not thin enough, smart enough, outgoing enough… it goes on. I tend to fixate on a situation, whatever is currently a struggle for me, and obsess about it endlessly. Projecting into the future and living in the past. In the past, I was always a better version of myself. In the future, I am hopeless. 

The crazy thing is that I am only this negative person with myself. It is true that we are our own worst enemies. I would never speak to another person the way I speak to myself. Yesterday, I was on the phone with a girlfriend. It’s a long story, but the short version is that someone we know just found out he is going to be a dad. He is single and childless on purpose, so this is a huge life change for him. In talking with my girlfriend I was saying that life throws us shit and we get to choose how we want to see it. There are negatives and positives with everything in life, every choice or decision comes with benefits and costs. We can choose to focus on the positive or we can choose to focus on the negative. 

I heard myself utter those words and it struck me that I can dish out some pretty good life stuff but I that I am not living my own philosophies. I feel like I used to be able to do this more (you see how I am living in the past now)… I even have a tattoo that represents transformation and for me it symbolizes the ability to find the light out of the dark. It is one of my biggest beliefs yet I am not able to practice this in my life. 

Depression can take away our ability to see the good in life. Sometimes, in the midst of a bout, I am unable to remember the person I am who believes in possibility. The thing that gets me through these times is knowing that I have gotten through it before and faith that emotions and states of mind are fleeting. Relying on the fact that change is actually the only constant in life and that the negativity and pain will pass, if I give it time. I just have to hang on the ride the wave a little longer, and eventually I will come out the other side. 

The truth is that when I’m drinking, my days are darker and I don’t know true joy like I felt this morning. The depression was there before I started my drinking career, but the alcohol makes it 100x worse. 

This morning I can take a deep breath in and not feel the pain in my heart that has been aching for the last few weeks. I still remember that it is there, though, and today I am going to protect my little heart like I would of someone that I love dearly. I am so thankful to be sober today. I am so thankful for this sober community. I am so thankful for the ability to see the light once more. 

Happy Saturday xo

this is a sad post.

Like many people around the world, I too have been deeply saddened by the suicide of Robin Williams. He was a great actor and comedian and someone that many of us grew up with. 

His death is hitting me super hard right now as I am finding myself in the depths of a fairly deep depression. My alcoholism is suffocating me. Like others have talked about in the last couple of days, I don’t know if depression led to my drinking or if my drinking led to depression, but it is certainly linked. One of the biggest reasons I want to quit drinking is because I know how much it fucks with my mental health. I’ve been in a pretty bad place lately. No surprise, the last few days I have drank the equivalent of a bottle of wine each night. The hangovers have been bad and the despair has been at an all time low. Alcohol=chronic depression for me. 

I had a month of sobriety this summer and then blew it, and have since been stuck on the roller coaster. I stopped publishing posts a few months ago because I just got so tired of writing about my stops and starts. I was boring myself to death, so couldn’t imagine that anyone would want to read what I had to say. I have still been writing a bit but keeping it private. I still read blogs every day and have been drawing so much inspiration from everyone’s words. 

I was approaching a critical point in the last few days as the drinking has been slowly consuming me more and more each day. Then the news yesterday about Mr. Williams broke and it really scared me. I am so saddened to learn about his struggle and suffering, because I too have struggled and suffered in my life and I can relate. Of course, I will never know exactly how he felt, and our lives are completely different. I am not saying it is the same, but I have my own understanding of these things because I have fought depression, suicidal thoughts, addiction and demons. It is so painful to learn that his demons won because it makes me wonder if my demons will also win. Sometimes, it feels like they will. 

But I also know, in my heart, that they won’t. Because I do believe that healing is possible. And that everything is temporary. If Mr. Williams was still alive today he probably wouldn’t make the same choice. He had so much to live for. We all do. I do. But I need to heal my broken heart/mind/soul from this brutal condition. I have to do whatever it takes to be free from the grip of addiction. Or else it will kill me. I have already lost my father to suicide and my family has been through enough of that. This is what scared me the most about Robin Williams’ death- that if the funniest, most celebrated, lovely man alive can suffer so badly that it drove him to take his own life, then that can happen to lil old me too. 

O Captain, my Captain. I want to take you in my arms and hold you and help to ease your suffering. 

May we all be free from suffering.

May we all be free from suffering.

May we all be free from suffering.