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Mother’s Day.. My Day 6.

I don’t know where to start or what is going to come of this journey, but all I do know if I can’t afford to fail. Not mentally, emotionally or financially. I’ve made this blog to type when I want to drink. To work through feelings or emotions or urges, as ridiculous as they may be, instead of my old habit of pouring a rum and diet in attempts to suffocate whatever it is I’m feeling. Here goes nothing..

I attempted to start a new blog with my email address, wordpress let me know that I already have an account with that e-mail. I put my e-mail in my username, and ‘forgot password’. E-mail received. New password set. Login.

“Welcome tallblondeanddrunk! ” wordpress greets me.

Ugh. The irony. The name of what was going to be my future book of allll the stories I could remember under the influence. All the arrests, confusion, disappearing, fights, car crashes.. and so much more.  Immediate emotion. What was once my pride, my bragging ground, my basis for most of my conversations, my jokes, has now become my biggest struggle. I am a 27 year-old alcoholic.

And I HATE that name. I’ve still never said those words out loud. I feel there is some negative connotation with that.. HA! I can’t help but laugh at myself. DUH. Of course there is. Alcoholic: Person who cannot function without alcohol. The person that loses their job because they can’t not drink throughout the day, everyday. The one who loses their job because they are drunk on the job. Drinking on the job. The homeless.. who drank themselves homeless and single. These are all the things I thought an alcoholic was. That I wanted to BELIEVE alcoholics were. Because I am not quite there. Yet.

But here is where I am at.. and probably have been for many years. I don’t drink everyday. Anymore. College is over and so went a lot of freedom. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t find the time to drink. Even if that time meant working hours. Not that I drank instead of going to work, but most times, I’d drink too much the night before, that the hangover seemed worse than going to work and I’d call in. “I’m sick again”, I tell my boss. I used to always have a guilty conscious about lying, but now, I realize I wasn’t lying. I AM sick. I drink TOO much. I CANT stop. And while I haven’t lost my job yet, I see a closing future if I don’t stop this now. As far as the homeless and the single, I have a home thanks to a very loving boyfriend. A boyfriend who has gone through too much, in too short of a time with me. One that’s seen me in low of low, some might even say closer to death than I should be, and yet, he’s here. He’s stuck around. But the trials and tribulations wear on him over time, and at one point I moved out for about six weeks to focus on me. By his words, “just get better”. I’ve come so close to losing him too many times, and all this time I’ve blamed it on him, but recently, it’s no clearer than air, that it’s been me.

I know people say “don’t quit something for a person”. So while the biggest motivation to quit drinking IS him, that’s because it’s for me. It’s because I WANT someone like him to share my life with. I WANT someone as intelligent and thoughtful and responsible and loving as him in MY life. FOR ME. And one day, I want to feel like I DESERVE that. Right now, I think it’s been a mix of luck and godly intervention that has kept him around. Maybe he’s insane. For what he’s gone through, and still stuck around, we can’t rule that out just yet. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because he’s my person God made for me, and the backbone and strength I needed to stop drinking.

As I write that, I immediately hate myself. I wish I had been quitting last year. Or the year before. Or never started drinking. Gosh. Where my life would be if I never drank? Immediate regret, disappointment, guilt, self-loathing. Such common feelings of an alcoholic. Well, of this alcoholic. And last, FEAR. Will I fail? Yet again? This isn’t my first time “i’m quitting”.. but I PRAY TO GOD this is my last. What kind of life is it to live feeling all that? Yuck. I want to feel awake. Alive. Active. I want to experience LIFE! I want to be respected at my job and use those vacation days to travel, not lay in bed all day because I can’t move without throwing up. THAT is what I want.

It seems so, so simple. Just. Don’t. Drink. Look at what you’ve written! Isn’t that reason enough to just NOT pour a drink? That’s what it seems like. It’s not even like I have to put effort in. You don’t have to do something, you just have to NOT do something. Simple, right? I’d love to think I’m a strong person, but I have struggled. What about when those days are bad? When your heart hurts? When you’re around other people drinking and they are having soo much fun? Aww.. the fun. Everyone always has so much fun with alcohol! All these fun stories and jokes they told and moves on the dance floor they weren’t afraid to bust out! That’s what my brain thinks I can do. I can just have a few to get a buzz. I can control myself. I can not be emotional. Yet more times than not, I’m waking up with regret of what I said, what I did, what stupid fight I picked, what incoherent texts I sent, and even worse.. when I don’t remember anything. Not how I got home. Not the last few hours of my night. Too many times I have to look at my phone to see the last text/call made, and then back track to the last thing I remember. Most recently, cindo de mayo, six hours are missing from my life. Yep. Roughly 8pm was my last, and vague, memory, and last phone call? 2:06am. Just effing awesome.

So, my plan is to occupy myself with writing, my feelings as they come and go to occupy myself when I feel like drinking. When I am bored. Which has most recently been my issue. So far, seems this has occupied me a good hour. Success!

And in four more hours, I will have made it to day 7. Stupid and insignificant. I’ve gone more than a week without drinking before, but I know I need to get to 7 before I can get to day 30 to get to year one.. and so on. So I will congratulate myself today, as I am one step closer to the life I want, and one day further away from alcohol.

Cheers to tomorrow!

Err.. I guess we should start changing that. Hmm..

Smiles to tomorrow!?

I’ll have to work on an awesome exit phrase. But, for now, I’ll just work on staying sober. 🙂

 

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When your baby steps turned to strides

Today is one year, 8 months and 12 days I am sober. But more, its another day I’m overall happy. I’ve been trying to get myself to write more, and finally got around to signing into this account. And then I reread everything I’ve written. The flashbacks, the pain, the memories, the blackouts, the brown-outs, the hurt.

My what a difference the lack of alcohol has made in my life.

I never realized how much I needed alcohol until this moment. Until I saw my past self-write “how do people handle the hurt? the pain? how do people have fun?” What an amazing drug alcohol is, to be the root of the problem, but have me looking everywhere else for a solution.

Each moment in time, I’ve gotten stronger. I’ve gotten happier. I’ve gotten more capable and more confident. I’ve recently come to a place, for the first time, where I no longer wonder if people will like me. I don’t go on dates hoping to be liked anymore. I don’t hate myself. In fact, I’m now quite a fan of me.

With kicking alcohol, I kicked a lot of things. I kicked sleeping in, a lethargic life, a cheating boyfriend that I was SO sure was my guy (gag me now!). And that was hard. That was actually the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life so far. I loved that man more than I ever thought I could love someone. I was lucky enough he cheated on me. And I say lucky because even with the verbal abuse, mental abuse, constant put downs, weight comments, and his own serious addiction, I would have left him for nothing else. Except cheating.

But that broke my heart. And I am 100% certain had I of been drinking, we would be together. I would still feel so low, like I deserved it (like he always told me I did with everything else), that I would’ve tried to stick it out. I would’ve probably moved to be closer to him, to try to improve my looks since he said it was because he was no longer attracted to me, and ran myself into the grave.

It’s funny about that break up though. Another moment of reflection the other day made me think. I had been praying and begging and pleading with God to please tell me if this was the man meant for me. That whatever his answer, I’d take, but to please please please just tell me. I was 3.5 years in and not sure where to go. Hold on and show unconditional love (which I was trying), or walk away. Then I got my answer. And I cried harder than I’ve ever cried before. I didn’t eat for 8 straight days. I lost 11 pounds. I had to force myself to move. To shower. Smiling and laughing? Never heard of it. Everything was dark. I had been so betrayed by the man I loved the most.

But then I realized the other day, that was exactly what I had been praying for, just not the answer I had been praying for. And that was when I realized my mistake. As a woman growing closer to God (or trying), I realized how unfair it was for me to ask for any answer, get an answer, and then cry about it. And now, almost 4 months later to the day, I am THANKFUL for him cheating, because I KNOW, from the bottom of my heart, I’d still be in the same exact place I was 6 months ago, a year, two years ago.. absolutely stagnant. and miserable. So I vow to make more effort to be conscious of the answers I get when I get them. And to have a little more faith. To hope that when I am ready, and he is ready- whoever He may be- that he’s placed in my life and I can celebrate the answer with the equivalent amount of joy.

I found 2 common denominators in my depression. Alcohol and a bad relationship. Neither of those was I able to find happiness and peace and HOPE. And without hope, whether it be for a fun trip, a weekend of snuggling, a new job opportunity…without hope, you end in the place I was before. “what is the point in life?”

Another thing I found in reading was my depression about not getting the job transfer for the job I actually hated. I was so sad because I felt that was God telling me that this door was not meant to be. I was not meant to move home. But now I see, it’s him saying I needed to grow, and I needed to get better, and I needed to have faith. And I get that phrase now. But the blind faith of quitting my job, i spaced myself enough from my toxic boyfriend to realize I could survive without him, I found a job that doesn’t cause me hourly misery, and I found myself with people that absolutely love and adore me, which gave me the strength to try being the real me, long enough to realize i liked me.

So today, I write myself to remind me, that in the depths of despair, there is hope. That when I hit another hard spot in life, to come right back here, and read how far you’ve come. And to never, ever again, doubt God’s ability to provide and work things out.

Now, if he could just provide me that Man he made for me, when he’s ready.. I’m ready for a lifetime of snuggles and laughs.

Until next time! Which I’ll vigilantly try to make sooner..

-Not So Much Struggling

 

468 days..

Well, here’s a post I would have never ever thought I would get to.

I am 468 days without alcohol.

Not a sip, taste, not “just one” (which never really happened anyway).

I. AM. SOBER.

I now say phrases like “I don’t drink”. And it’s true. It’s real. It’s empowering.

It feels great. And here’s how it started.

January 1, 2015, I woke up after going out for New Year’s with my family. I had a fairly decent drinking night. I didn’t get completely wasted. I didn’t throw up. I didn’t try walking home drunk. I didn’t disappear. I didn’t drive a car. I didn’t pick a fight. For me, these are all wins. But I woke up that morning feeling a bit hungover. Lethargic. My stomach hurt. My head hurt. I didn’t wanna move off the couch.

My long distance boyfriend at the time was visiting for a short trip, and we spent the entire time watching sports all day while I nursed my hangover on the couch. I felt guilty. I felt hatred towards myself. I felt regret. I felt gross. I felt miserable. Inside and out. I had decided sometime in the next couple days that I would take a “break”. But I didn’t tell anyone. I had said this before and felt people would be too tired of hearing of my next failure. Slowly, three weeks snuck up and I mentioned it to my mom. She said she had noticed but wasn’t sure it was going to stick. It did.

The end of February I had planned a trip to Hawaii for my brother’s wedding. I had only ever made it to 59 days sober, once. The last day of my trip was day 60. The first day of my trip, was my birthday. I had told my mom on the plane I was going to have one on the plane “because it doesn’t count on vacation”. Her discouragement deterred me. My birthday night was uneventful, and my mom sure wasn’t going to party with me, so I opted out. After that, I refocused on making it to 60 days. Just 60. I can do just a few more days. And I made it.

It seemed easier after that for a while, until I started dating someone who was a heavy drinker, and constantly encouraging me to drink. He said he thought I’d be “fun” and he’d take care of me. One day, after a particularly rough week in May, I had decided I would. I text one of my best friends and she asked me to evaluate why I would drink, that I had made it so far, and to think it over. If I decided to go to drinking, it didn’t have to be tonight. She didn’t want me to regret it. I went to bed. I woke up SO relieved I hadn’t given in to what I didn’t realize at the time, was a craving. I thought I was past that stage, but boy how our minds are tricky.

And day by day, week by week, month by month, I made it to a year. There was the constant peer pressure at social gatherings of “just have one!”. My thoughts, and sometimes I would say “I can’t just have ONE, THAT is my problem! If I could have one, I wouldn’t be in this situation.” I found it easier to just tell people it was my New Year’s Resolution. I’m just quitting for the year. Whatever would get them to not ask. The resolution was usually a good one. Sometimes when asked why I don’d drink, I would bluntly respond with “I’m a raging alcoholic.” That’s also a quick way to shut someone up. Sometimes I felt bad, but then I’d think, it’s really not their business to be asking. If they aren’t close enough to me to already know, they shouldn’t be asking. (Readers:take note. its rude.)

And then New Year’s Eve came again. And champagne was being passed around, and I was handed apple juice. And there was no discussion, there was no convincing, there was no anything. It was just a known “she doesn’t drink”. And I really liked that.

Since my journey to a sober life, I have the following stats:

 

 

 

I’ve lost exactly zero friends since I quit drinking. And this has made me realize exactly how fortunate I am to have people that chose to love me shitty or not. And this has made me realize and work more towards realizing what I should be grateful for.

I have also lost 46 pounds.

I’ve lost my hatred for myself that I used to carry every morning and following after a night of drinking.

I gained a passion for life again. I picked up hobbies, like the guitar , cooking and reading.

I gained strength, in that I found enjoyment in walks and urban hiking. I’ve gained inner strength by showing myself I can actually do this. And if I can quit drinking, what else can I do?

I gained my sense of Self. I have woke up exactly ZERO times with regret, with wondering what I did the night before (or who I did the night before), with having to check my phone to see who I owe an apology to, and also… ZERO hangovers (BEST PART!).

Life hasn’t been easy along the way. I lost the boyfriend I loved so much, and still stayed sober. I lost my best friend (Teddi Bear- dog), who was my first dog, to cancer a few months later. And I still stayed sober.

I write this in hopes that maybe it would hit home for someone else out there. When I was drinking (and felt I shouldn’t be) I had read an article of a girl who quit drinking on May 8 one year and had been sober for an entire year. I remember thinking “I WANT that to be me so bad”. But this part inside of me, just didn’t think that was in the cards for me. I wasn’t strong enough. I wasn’t deserving. I couldn’t do that… I couldn’t even see a year down the road because I became obsessed with ending my life, from depression, anxiety, and alcohol.

SO I write this here today to let you know, it can be better. Today, I started looking up a 3 month backpack trip to Europe. I will be quitting my job and exploring another country. a LIFE GOAL of mine- that was never possible before because I couldn’t save money with my drinking, I couldn’t plan things for my happiness outside of alcohol, and I just couldn’t do life.

But here I am. And you can too. If this speaks to you and you would like advice, encouragement, or just someone to listen, please feel free to email me. I would be happy to be a shoulder to lean on.

This world is hard enough, but it’s not impossible.

-StrugglingforSobriety

To live.. or not to live..

So, I’m going to try to sum this all up as best I can. I am an emotion of messes right now. I’ve done okay drinking. I’ve in no way been completely sober, but havent had one out-of-control moment since I started up drinking a month or two ago.

I gave in after day after day of “I AM BORED”. it wasn’t a craving. wasn’t a I NEED A DRINK. i had gone months or weeks without it depending on what you want to count my mark as. I’ve been battling severe depression the last 2 years. More depression that when I was sexually assaulted a few years ago. This doesn’t even compare I ended up in a psych ward for a week last june, to help keep me from myself. This was after 4 or 5 suicide attempts (obviously unsuccessful.. although it seemed like sooooo many pills were consumed). Not enough apparently.

So I have evaluated my life time and time again and my unhappiness always seem to be majority blamed on my job. I work in insurance claims and people are SO MEAN! Every call my heart races, and takes me 10 minutes to build up the courage to call these people to ask for a recorded statement.. sometimes it takes days, which means that I talk a hit on my “numbers” (what I am graded on for promotions and evaluations at my job) but.. it will literally take me days to work up the courage to call someone becuase they weren’t very nice the first time I talked to them. Or they hate that I am calling them. I HATE IT TOO! Anyways, this is my first job out of college, and the first I got so I took it. I definitely did not growing up hoping I’d be a claim insurance adjuster my whole life. I’ve tried to stick it out. Its been two years, nine months and three days. I keep trying to stick it out. Because I have no options.

When I look for other jobs I read the descriptions and I think “no way I qualify for this” and then it’s much less than I am making, and not enough to pay my bills or student loans or even dog food.

So, i recently decided I’d take this “leap of faith” and move back home to Seattle, where my family is. That happiness means the most and things will work out. After applying for a few job transfers with my job, and not getting them approved, I knew my days here were limited. Like I felt that spiral towards life-ending thoughts approaching. I just HAVE TO GET OUT!! So i had a date set and thought I’ll take this leap. Something will come up. And applying for jobs, and i have a lot of family things going on that I cant be there for, and I could help if I had a job, but I dont, but if I am here, don’t know how much longer i cant stay.. this whirlwind just starts.. and here is what adds on..

I have this boyfriend of two years. Long story short, I am not good enough for him to marry. He’s told me he keeps trying to make these marks for me to get to, that if I got there and accomplished them, or we didn’t fight, he’d start thinking of proposing. But i never make it. I NEVER MAKE THESE. I didnt know about them, but none the less, I never make them. I am a failure. I fail at my job. I fail at helping my family because I wont have a job and that seems the only thing that will make me happy. I fail at being a good companion. He told me weeks ago, after he came home and picked a fight because i hadn’t wiped the dogs muddy feet, that I make him miserable. This was after he picked the fight and disappeared to the casino for 1.5 days. When he came home I asked if we could talk, and he said that “its wasn’t about the dogs feet, it was because you make me miserable and I dont want to come home to you.”

SO, now. I dont know how to summarize. it seemed like life was going to be looking up, but now moving without a job, I will be useless to my family, or more, a burden. Staying here, I am miserable at my job, and making my boyfriend miserable. And I have this bottle of anxiety pills I have avoided taking since my last downfall.. and they are sitting here. Staring at me. Saying, I CAN make this better. But I know there is a chance they wont, because Ive tried so many times, and maybe lost my vision or walking ability for a few days, but never lost what I wanted… my life. I just dont want to fail at ONE MORE THING. But also don’t want to look forward to tomorrow.

Drunk thoughts.

So yesterday I got some ultimately depressing news. I had applied to transfer to Seattle (from Dallas) to be close to my family. I’m from Seattle and the last 2.5 years since I graduated college I’ve been miserable, alone, depressed, and at my lowest depression, I tried taking my own life. A few times. The last attempt ended me in a mental hospital for 8 days, which to this day, Im not sure really helped. Since then, I’ve been on antidepressants, and I go back and forth on my mental status. Some days I’m fine, other days, like yesterday, I quickly fall into this “what’s the fucking point” cycle.. And that’s when the thoughts of taking my own life come back to play.

Yesterday was no different. My transfer was denied and any ounce of hope for happiness seemed gone. I walked out of work and said I couldn’t be there the rest of the day. I couldn’t control my sobbing. My heart was broken for home. I drove to the bar and ordered my usual rum and diet. While working on that, more people started showing up and sitting where I was, so I asked to close out, but first, took a shot of fireball.

I drove home and cried myself to sleep. Quite literally. It was 3 in the afternoon. My boyfriend and boss had said “guess it just wasn’t meant to be”. This made me feel exponentially worse. How can staying here, 2400 miles away from home, with ZERO friends to hang out with, a boyfriend who works constantly and me staying at my job which I absolutely LOATHE.. Be what is meant to be? On the other end, how is being kept from my family, my only supporters of my struggles with drinking and severe depression, my group of life time best friends.. Not meant to be?

It came full circle to thinking about how far I feel I’ve come since I left that institution on June 28, 2013. And the answer, was no where. So I’ve cut back drinking to nearly nothing, now I’ve drank 3 times since may 6, 2014.. But so what? I’m not happy still. I’ve heard the advice “find something that makes you happy”, but I don’t know what that is. Other than writing, but I used to write for humor, now when I write, it’s more reaching out in a “does anyone else feel this way or am I just absolutely nuts?”

And these anti depressant medications, AT BEST, make me feel fine. Okay. Mediocre. One step above – maybe I won’t actively try to take my life, but if I got hit by a train and died, I wouldn’t be sad about it.

I start to wonder “Is this what life is about?” Forcing myself to go to a job where I’ve verbally beaten down by every customer I speak to (I work in insurance claims.. Getting a “happy” customer is unheard of). Struggling through the 8.5 hour day, to come home and be so exhausted, mentally, all I want.. Can.. Do is sit in bed and wait until it’s dark so I can sleep? But then not wanting to sleep because then I know I have to wake up to go to work? Then to get my way-too-short of a weekend to sit at home, alone, and clean just because that’s all there is to do? Is this the point of life? I don’t get it. I feel myself falling to this downside of despair. I look at my left wrist, the large scar running on my vein to remind myself of where I’ve been, where I’ve come from, and then compare it to my thoughts and where I am now.

Doesn’t seem I’ve made it very far at all.

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The Power of Anonymity

Last night after my dinner party posts, I got some encouraging messages from the wordpress community. (Which I needed, so thank you). Second, it made me realize how much of a relief being able to post every thoughts, stupid, ridiculous, maybe even pointless, on here and not have to worry about feeling judged, or someone reading that doesn’t understand, WHAT A FEELING!

You see, while my family knows of my struggle with alcohol, and close friends, its not something I go posting about on my facebook where I have co-workers, supervisors, and even just people you kinda know, or used to know, but dont really know now, ya know? Being able to say what I feel, with no filter, no worries, WHAT. A. FEELING. I have a boyfriend, whom I talk with this about… as close to never as possible. He doesn’t, nor has he ever, understood my struggle, my addiction, the suicide attempts and depression, the missing work because “honey, I just cant get out of bed!” he just.. doesnt get it.

And that brings me all full circle to how today I will be grateful for our wordpress community of anonymity, and supporters, and fellow strugglers. Thank you to YOU. For reading, for encouraging, for the uplifting comments ive received. It really made today worth waking up for (Im up at 10, instead of 4!.. Progress!)

Happy Sober Sunday!

And for anyone that needs a smile and love too, I’ve included a picture of one of my biggest supporters.. My Roxie Dog.

One of my biggest supporters! Roxie Dog. She says to have a smile, even though she looks sad (she's not, she just always looks that way)

One of my biggest supporters! Roxie Dog. She says to have a smile, even though she looks sad (she’s not, she just always looks that way)

Dinner party.. And I’m the only one not partying.

I’ve been so lonely and dying for human interaction outside of my job-where I only deal with very, very angry people. Tonight, at this moment, we are at my boyfriends bosses birthday dinner party.

I’ve had a diet coke. A Dr. 10. I’m on to water. And I AM THE ONLY ONE. I can’t help but sit here and think how much more interactive id be if I were drinking, maybe I wouldn’t be sitting in the outside so uncomfortable. Truthfully, I’d probably be the stupid one, a little too wild for what this group of late 40s to mid 50s group could handle.

Just the same, it’s another day of another struggle. Someone please tell me this gets easier. And really really mean in. Almost 4 months in to my new lifestyle without alcohol, and I don’t even feel like I’m seeing any benefits. Like today, except for a 2 hour wake time for lunch, I slept until 4. I don’t feel more awake. Active. Excited about life. I’m not sure what i was expecting from quitting drinking, but it wasn’t nothing.

Super discouraged tonight.

101 days sober. Kind of.

So today would have been my 101 day sober. Minus my two slips. Once over the 4th of July and once 3 weeks ago when we were on a weekend vacation. Stupid. My friends were drinking and I thought, I can do this. I deserve it. I can totally handle it. I sat and started drinking about 930pm with them as we were playing games. Sometime around midnight, I was already throwing up from… Over consumption. Shocking. It makes me hate myself. But thinking of starting my countdown over.. I start to think well ill just give myself a pass and drink a couple times then, then start. I know that’s not a great idea. Can I count my 101 days? I think that means on average I’m drinking about every 50.5 days. Then I think, not bad! I deserve a day, especially after this week of let downs with a work transfer, and the pain if realizing my person I’m with may not be MY person after all.

So many days I think, I don’t necessarily want to drink. I want to just… Just take something that makes me not hurt. Not sad. Not worried. Not anxious. To relax. HOW DO PEOPLE HANDLE LIFE? I’m 27 years old, and seem to just be a constant struggle. Why can’t I learn? Why do I struggle more than everyone else? Why can’t I just be content? This is life and this is all it is and accept it. It sucks but it’s life and everyone else manages so why do you have to be so unhappy, why do you need to continually search for that high? Why do I keep coming back to the thoughts of alcohol, and how much I miss it, even though i know I hate myself when I do?

Alcoholism. The only disease that tries to convince you you don’t have a disease.

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