Monday, May 29, 2017

Day 375 - Finding my Feet

9:45 a.m. Day 373

We traveled to my mom's yesterday and on our way here, I really did some thinking on what my focus on the blog is, should be, could be...
I've always been honest here...and will continue to do so...I'm going to have bad days and good days...that's just reality, and I'm way past trying to pretend anything else.

But...after spending the morning yesterday with 2 other faculty members at work during registration and listening to life stories and challenges from them (we weren't busy at all)...I decided that maybe my calling here should be a focus on self-care.

I wake up every day and purposely find ways to fight my anxiety and fight to protect my sobriety.  
I know my limits; I know what usually works for me; and I think about it all the time.
In order to purposely fight the anxiety and depression, I have started a list of all the things I can turn to if I feel that sinking felling coming on, if I find myself rooted to my chair mindlessly scrolling, or if I feel my mind or heart racing.
I made a list because once those things start happening, I lose my logic.
Thinking is gone.
Reality is gone.
I needed something to ground me.
The list is working so far :)
It just simply pulls me back.

I listen to podcasts,
I read paper version of a book,
I read something on my Kindle.
I stretch (my version of yoga),
I walk the dog,
I run (when my back allows),
I take pictures,
I meditate (sorta),
I listen to music,
I sing,
I watch the squirrels,
I watch Netflix (limited to one episode each day...mostly),
I vaccum (my idea why this works).
I make a gratitude list.
I read my Bible.
FB for 15 minutes and make positive comments to others.
IG for 15 minutes and make positive comments to others.
Read blogs
Write a blog entry.
Listen to an audiobook
15 minutes of Twitter and share something positive.
Watch a video from one of my favorite YouTubers
Check the menus for Blue Apron and update my calendar.
Drink a nice cold can of LaCroix in a fancy glass.
Make hot tea and sip it from a cozy cup.
Unload and load the dishwasher.
Wash, dry, and put away a load of clothes.
IG stories

10:30 a.m.
I had to stop typing to let the dogs out, get another cup of coffee, know...important things.

I'm very likely going to have to face the reality that my beloved coffee may exacerbate my anxiety.
I'm trying to slowly cut back.
It's hard.
Life is hard though...but I'm a tough cookie.

9:00 a.m. Day 375

30 minutes a day turned into 30 minutes over 3 days...:p
I think I got a little distracted by posting to Instagram...that happens sometimes.

We've been busy on this trip so I have a lot more to talk about...but I'll do that tomorrow :)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Day 368 - Living in a Broken World

9:38 p.m.
As the alarm went off yesterday morning, I pulled my covers back over my head.  
I was tired.  Yep. That was it.  Not wanting to open my eyes didn't have anything to do with my oldest child leaving for 3 months.  Not a thing.
I do this dance sometimes where I try to be the mom who doesn't butt in and the mom who butts in and then the mom who doesn't butt in.  
I never have any idea whether or not I'm doing this parenting gig right.

I waited until close to actual leaving time to get up and go to the kitchen.
She and her dad were loading the car, but when she saw me in the kitchen she asked,
"Mom, will you make me a cup of coffee?"  
I scurried to make the coffee 
So pleased that she would ask me.
Is that silly?

I fixed her coffee and poured it into a travel mug.
For her travels.

I said good-bye as my husband started the car...and reminded her very quickly as many of our treasured "life lessons" as I could:
Expect to be treated well.
Don't settle.
Be happy.
Smile and take care of yourself.
Sleep is the most important medicine.
Have fun.
Make smart decisions.
God loves you unconditionally and so do I.
Daddy and I are always here for you.

We hugged, and she said ok, she remembered everything.
We didn't look each other in the eye.
I'm not good at good-byes, and neither is she.
It's time for her to fly.
I want her to fly.

And then I took a nap...or two.

I napped today as well.
But only once.
I felt the shadow a bit today, but I had a I didn't worry too much and took my meds as directed.  I know from experience that it may take several weeks for everything to balance out.  
I'm ok with that and not ashamed at all.

I had several other things I wanted to write about tonight.
And then Manchester happened.
Mothers, daughters, friends.
The venue was filled with them.

I don't know the answer to most of the world's problems...
but I know Hate isn't it.

I'm praying tonight for all the families affected by this tragic event.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day 366 - One Year and One Day. I am who I am.

7:22 p.m.

I have a story to tell.
And I'm going to tell it.
I don't have all the answers.
Not even close.
I'm taking it one day at a time.

Yesterday marked one year since the day that I made the conscious decision to stop drinking.
One year.

I meant to write about it yesterday but just got too busy living life and enjoying being as much of a regular person as I am capable of.
As I'm typing, I'm watching my oldest daughter's dog dig in the covers on our bed.
He's trying to get the covers exactly like he wants them. 
They have to be just right...turned just the perfect way...just soft enough and scattered about so that he feels secure.  
He's not the least bit shy about his kicking around either.  
His name is Zeke and I'm a little like him.
I enjoy a good nap and I had one today...both dogs kept me company.
One of the things I've had to adjust to in sobriety is having so much more time on my hands.
Hangovers take up time...time you don't get back.
Mornings after used to make me so mad.
Especially towards the end. 
I was drinking so much the night before that it would take the entire next day to recover.
The therapist that I started seeing this week was astonished that I managed to drink so much for so long without anybody knowing.
Apparently, I'm pretty good at hiding things.
She and the Dr. that I saw to adjust my anxiety and depression meds were both astonished that I had not had major consequences of my actions too.
No DUI, no lost marriage, no lost jobs, no "risky" behavior...etc.
I'm lucky.
I was also a very highly functioning alcoholic.
On purpose.
I didn't start drinking until everyone else went to bed.
Or at least until everyone was in for the night.
I drank in my closet mostly.  
I generally kept my stash there.
I wasn't the mother with the wine glass after work.
I was the mother who hid.
And drank.

My Dr., therapist, and I discussed some things I haven't thought about in a very long time.
The past.

I've been running from the past. 
The first time I stopped drinking was in 1988.
I quit then because the man I had fallen in love with pointed out to me that I might have a problem.
I married him and didn't drink again for 12-13 years.
I then started to drink again socially
2005 was the year my drinking began to escalate.
I would buy the Jack Daniels necessary for the bourbon sauce for Thanksgiving Bread Pudding.
But instead of a very small bottle...I began to buy the medium sized bottle...and then the larger bottle.
And then I would enjoy the rest of it during the Thanksgiving break.

By the next year, I was refilling the bottle.
I would have an extra bottle on hand so that my husband wouldn't know how much I had been drinking.  
If he looked at the Thanksgiving bottle, the amount looked the same.
Because I was refilling it from the extra bottle I kept on hand.
I'm shaking my head.


Jack Daniels was my go-to for a while.
I can smell it even as I'm sitting here in my chair, typing.
I poured it in water mostly and would sip on it through the night. 
It took the edge mind would calm down for a while.
It was much needed relief.

My mom thinks alcohol is evil.
She lost her father and both her brothers...and they were alcoholics.
What I've tried to explain to my mom, however, is that the alcohol is not my problem.
Don't hear me wrong here; I absolutely can't drink.
My untreated anxiety was my problem.
I was too scared to get help.
And probably in all honesty too scared to really know what I was scared of.

But, I'm not scared anymore.