The Struggle Is Real And The Time Is Right

Getting off the hamster wheel can be hard, tricky and a general pain in the ass.  The level of frustration, shame and general disgust of my lack of self control.  I know better, I am better, and I am sensing others are catching on to my behaviors.  This frightens me and I am afraid I am setting a bad example for my boys.

So, how do you slow the hamster wheel down enough to jump off? Cause you know if you just jump off, you will jump right back on.  And once you slow it down how do you ensure you don’t look for another hamster wheel to start a new cycle of destruction.  

Every once in a while the hamster wheel slows enough that you realize you don’t have to remain there and you feel amazing, strong, you immediately know the difference so why not just stay off the hamster wheel?

Lack of tools? Lack of self control? Insecure? The mess of everything around us too big to take in? For me it is all of these things.  It is seriously time to get the hell off the hamster wheel for good or I am going to trip and fall way too far down to ever get off.

So, how do you know the time is right? When do you make that call and then hold yourself to it?  I don’t know the right answer but for me the mess in the mirror is getting just too much to take. The lines I said I would not cross are becoming more and more blurry and inside myself – deep inside – I know the time is right.  The nagging in my soul and in my heart are getting too much to bear and the mess too big to clean up by myself.

The time is right when even you know you are bit too far gone and you see a look from someone who loves you and you know they are afraid and they are not sure how to look at you anymore.  That was the signal that my time was up! Enough was enough, now I am trying to figure out how I stay the hell away from the hamster wheel but I know what to do, when to reach out and how to move forward.

I just keep remember that look and how my soul cried out to me and said just STOP!

It Is Just One Simple Choice

Honestly, it all seems so simple you just don’t stop at the store, you just don’t worry about where you are going to be able to drink or get more.  It really is not that hard. It can be as easy as knowing the fact I would not drink bleach or rat poison. So why am I making such a big deal about buying and drinking alcohol when I know it is one simple choice to say no?  

It really is a simple choice to say no, not today.  Really, it is that simple but yet so hard.  I know it is addictive and that is part of the reason it is so hard to say no.  But if we look at like any other bad choices, like not dating a guy we know is bad for us, or choosing friends that make good choices, it should be so simple. 

We look at the weather before we walk out the door to know which coat to where shoes to wear, and we know not to walk alone in the dark in a strange neighborhood. So why is it so hard to just not buy or drink alcohol?

Addiction is a nasty, dark beast that makes us all do the worst things and make bad choices.  We know this as we suffer through the hang overs, off-the-chart anxiety and overwhelming, crippling shame.

So, how do we stop, stopping at the store or buying alcohol? We make plans, try new routes home, stop going to events or keeping patterns of activity that trigger drinking or the thought of drinking.  We play the tape all the way through and visualize the bad, ugly and chaos that ensues once we start and can’t stop.

It works if we just make one simple choice to stop. Change it up and more importantly find support.  I can’t say I have all the answers but I know by putting these words down I making the choice to move in the right direction and can help support you too.

Famous Last Words

How many times have I said the words, “I am not going to drink tonight!” OR “I am not going to stop at the store on the way home tonight.” Then my all time favorite, “I am not drunk!” Of course I was drunk 90% of the time when I would say that in response to my husband and if I was not drunk I was well on my way to getting there.  

So many famous last words for those of us who drank.  Yes, I said drank because for me I wanted my famous last words to be, “I can’t wait to get home to my family.” OR “Hey do you want to watch tv with me or do you want me to read a book to you.”  I wanted to surprise everyone in my family when they were going to the movies or store and I would want to come with them.  These things did not really happen for many years before as chose to isolate myself to hide my secret.  

My famous last words and my drinking became infamous in many ways.  I did not have to worry about famous last words, because I was to the point where I did not even really want to have lengthly conversations or be around many people to say any famous last words.  Not to mention perhaps slurrying my famous last words for that particular evening.

Life is made up of moments, messages and finally words many, many words, that can either hurt or heal people.  My new famous last words are the ones that heal me and help others.  Honestly, I don’t know what all my new famous last words will be each day or each night but they won’t be, “I am not Drunk! 

I will drive past the store, I will stay sober and maybe, just maybe I just told you my most famous last words.

Goodbye Old Friend

We all have had that great girl friend, you know the one you spend all your time with. The one you laugh harder around. The one you tell everything and know it goes to the grave with her.  That great girl friend who has been with you through thick and thin.  No matter the good, the bad and the ugly there she is to help, to listen and give you advice. 

However, sometimes those great relationships turn toxic.  We all have had that relationship with a friend that has gotten too intense and you knew it was time to take some time off, but while taking that time off, you realize you just need to walk away cause that friendship is truly toxic.

In my case my best friend is not a great girl who totally gets me or that awesome gay man who is great to party with.  My bestie has been wine for many years and let me tell you this friend is no friend at all.  It did not matter if it was the box or the bottle(s) – yes I said bottles.  My friend was with me everywhere but mostly she kept me home, alone and avoiding people like my friends and my family. 

My best friend totally took over my life and I had to say good-bye to my best friend.  And just like losing that person who you thought was wonderful but then turned toxic, you can’t walk away, you can’t let go.  You stop calling or texting but they don’t and it is hard to turn away from that friend and for me that was the bottle of wine. 

I could not drive past the store on the way home, I could not just walk past the aisle in the grocery store without picking her up, my old dear friend.  I could tell MY best friend anything but really there was no to talk about except me telling myself this friend is just not good for me and it was me not “her” that was the problem. And part of that is true, it was about me and my need for this friendship or lack there of in such a desperate way.

Why not just walk away? Well easier said than done – who would I drink with, how would I function, who would I tell my darkest secrets to? The truth was I needed her way more than she needed me and that made it hard to walk away.  Life was passing me by and I needed to break away from my dear friend before she killed me!  

When I threw out the last two bottles of wine I drank, I said good bye to my toxic best friend.  Out she went and I miss her everyday less and less and I know she is not good for me and I am a better person without her everyday.

Goodbye old friend but it is time for you to go.  I have outgrown you. I have bigger and better things to do – called life!

No Cool-aid Here!

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a friend to many, daughter, mother, professional, wife. I used to be person with very questionable drinking behaviors. In other words a lush, a person who could not stop drinking, manic and most often bat shit crazy. My life became crushingly small and I began to fade away into a very dim place.

I would crush it at work, fail miserably at home and try everyday to figure out how to make it better. But I continued to drink the cool-aid, just like when I was a kid. Sugary goodness that we all knew was rotting our teeth and making us crazy hyper but we drank it anyway.

Cool-aid was a treat as a kid, then for me wine became the cool-aid of my adult life, it was still sugary and sweet but it was taking more from me than my teeth! 

For me “cool-aid” is not just about the wine. It is about all the norms we hold ourselves to even when we know better. How to dress, act, who to be friends with, how to be a mom or the good wife. You name it! I was drinking the Cool-aid about all of it but not anymore.

I stopped drinking and starting thinking about how I needed to find my spark again and stop drinking the god damn Cool-aid!

Come along for the ride on my the journey of sobriety, finding myself (again?) and living life with all the ups, downs and in between.