Resentment

I have a resentment.   A resentment against a family member and it is eating me alive.   I am not sure if the situation is real or perceived, nonetheless I have these feelings of anger and resentment toward this person … well, actually persons.

It doesn’t matter the situation or the particulars.

I don’t like conflict and I am more of a passive – aggressive type and we know this doesn’t do anybody any good.

What do they say about the alcoholic and resentments…. The big book states on page 66,  “It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.  If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.”

I know I need to put my big girl panties on and confront the situation, no matter how difficult that may be for me. For my sake and the sake of my sanity as well as the foundation of my family this must be dealt with…. maybe tomorrow.

 

Amends

I have been around recovery for many years …. I first got sober in 2007, with many relapses under my belt I have 4.5 years of continuous sobriety.   Working the steps is important when you first get sober and continuing to not only work them but live them as you stay sober is just as important.  When I first attempted to get sober living the steps, I did not do.

I recently made an amends that crept up in my mind a couple months ago.   They say more will be reveled as you go through recovery and it is true.   This was something I had not thought of in many years.   It came to me while working steps 8 and 9 with a sponsee and then again as I helped a friend through a difficult situation at home.    After a couple of months of struggling with this thought I knew I had to follow my heart and talk to my friend who I needed to make amends to.   It was quick and easy as it was not a broken relationship as we were and are still friends.   We talked and I realized even more how much this friend helped me through my dark times and I am forever grateful for her.  She remembered clearly some of my craziness that I had no recollection of.    I am sorry that I took her too far into my wrong doings.

It felt good to make this amends, even though like I said, it was something that eluded me for many years.   I think Gods timing is good and things are reveled as they need to or are able to be dealt with.

Making amends is good for the soul!

No Hangover

We went to a concert the other night at a small outside venue.   It was a great show.  what I noticed though was the very long lines at every beer / wine stand.   The world drinks and I don’t and sometimes that is a lonely place.

On the way out an older lady needed help out to the car, flanked on both sides by friends…. she was wasted.   My thoughts went to several places.  I felt pity for her, sad actually.  I also felt a tinge of jealousy.   She obviously had a lot more fun than I did at the show.   While I enjoyed myself, it is hard for me to let loose under any circumstance.

When I was drinking I was fun, the life of the party.   Sober, I don’t think I am as fun.  I still get social anxiety with no drink or pill to calm it.  But I didn’t always drink like other people drank and normal drinkers don’t obsess about the drink and where and when the next one is coming.   Normals can sip the wine and make 1 glass last awhile, I couldn’t.

The more I thought about it, especially the next day, I was grateful to be sober.   That drunk lady was probably pretty sick.   I felt great and got to enjoy a wonderful day with my AA sponsorship family at the park.

No hangover for me.

Podcast

I have been getting a little out of  my comfort zone lately.   The biggest thing that I did was today, I was interviewed about my recovery story and my thoughts on addiction for a podcast.    I have decided being totally anonymous really isn’t helping anyone.  I do have this blog where I discuss my issues with addictions, but doing this podcast takes it to a whole new level.   I was really nervous about doing this and sounding like a dork, but luckily I get to hear the final edit before it posts.  I really hope it turned out well and that it will resinate with someone who listens.  Being uncomfortable for a minute is worth it if it helps someone.

Turns out it wasn’t so bad doing it after we got started.   It was just like talking to a friend.  I did stumble some but hopefully that will be taken care of in editing.  I am anxious to hear how it turned out and totally trusting my interviewer, Nick.

Nick has a great website called Open Discussion Movement and I think you should check it out at https://ODMovement.com.   A lot of great stuff on addiction issues and he has a wide range of guests on his podcast with different experiences with addiction.

Getting out of your comfort zone every now and then feels good.   It is definitely a growth experience.    My sponsor told me just the other day how much I was growing and changing … and that  my friend is a good thing.

Reunion

I graduated from college in 1989 …. 30 years ago.    It seems like a life time ago.   I went to Ohio University in Athens Ohio and have very found memories of my time there.   I was in a sorority and thanks to Facebook, they are planning a reunion in Chicago in September.

I would like to see some of the girls from the sorority and I am sure I could have some fun, but I am an alcoholic / addict and it looks like it is going to be a party time weekend.  Why wouldn’t it be?   Your average person doesn’t have a substance abuse problem.   I don’t really want to disclose my personal business to this group of people, I am really not close to any of them at this time in my life.  I think all I need to know about these “friends” I learn from Facebook.

One of the events is a mini pub crawl …. the Court Street Shuffle (going to all the bars for a drink in one night and there were many) is a staple OU activity.  It doesn’t really sound like a fun way to spend an evening to this addict.  I am pretty sure if I go I will either be miserable or I will drink, neither of which sound fun.   So why am I so conflicted about this?   I think I am feeling left out because I know I can’t do certain things.   If this event were in Athens I could go up for a day, but going to Chicago is a commitment and I would be stuck.   I know it is a choice … I can go or I can not go, up to me.   I just know it is not in my best interest to put myself in that situation, but I don’t want to miss out – conflicted!

College and the sorority were some great times, I would love to be able to relive some of that with the girls I shared my life with for 3 – 4 years.  But if I want to stay sober the answer is obvious and I don’t like it!

Meet Ollie

IMG_6111So this happened this weekend …. my husband and I were bored and took a trip to the local animal shelter, the next day we brought our new 8 week old little boy puppy home.  Crazy?, yes!  But we couldn’t resist.   We think his name will be Ollie.   We have tried out several names and this is the one that seems to fit the best, at least so far.

Our current dog is getting on in years and we have been toying with the idea for awhile, but not seriously and we were wanting an older dog, not a puppy.   Funny how things work out.   Our older dog, Sadie, is not overly thrilled with this new addition.  Hopefully in time she will grow to love him as we do.   Right now she is totally trying to avoid him.

Spring/Summer will be the perfect time to get this puppy trained.   I am not working and Steve is in between jobs and taking the summer off to really explore different opportunities and what he wants to do with the rest of his life.    We are blessed that we have the means to let him do this and the chance to spend some fun time together.

It is a crazy world we live in …. you never know what is going to happen when you wake up in the morning.

Empty Nest Again

Back on my beautiful back patio, chilling, listen to the birds sing and letting my mind wander some more.    I am blessed with my family and friends and the life I have despite the obstacles of addiction and at times mental issues.

This past weekend we celebrated Easter.   Both of my girls were home at the same time, the first since Christmas.   I had not seen Kirsten, the Chicago daughter since then.   It was so wonderful having a full house …. the two girls plus 1 boyfriend for a long weekend.   It is different with adult children our relationship has changed to an adult relationship.   Steve and I really enjoy our adult children, we had a lot of fun just hanging out with them and being together. We did the family Easter thing at my Moms house celebrating with my brothers and family … 14 of us in all.   And though it was very loud and chaotic at times, it was still wonderful.  I love having everyone together, the kids ages 2.5 to almost 24 enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt, it was fun to watch the little ones and the big kids act like little ones.

Now it is Monday.    Allie and Patrick are back to work in Columbus.  We took Kirsten to the airport this morning for her flight back to Chicago and school and Steve left for an overnight business trip.   I went from a full house to just me sitting at home alone contemplating life. I am back to having an earache and sore throat  and sinus issues … which is making me more self aware that I am now alone and feeling a little sad.   I miss having my kids around, but they are spreading their wings and I am proud of them.    They are great kids or I should say they have turned out to be great people.

Really I should have nothing to complain about, I am truly blessed.

April 19th

Today is the anniversary of my first surgery to create my JPouch due to the disease of Ulcerative Colitis.    It was April 19, 2005 … 14 years ago.   It is hard to believe how sick I was in 2003-2005.   I couldn’t eat, I definitely couldn’t drink alcohol.   I was tired, irritable, very thin (says the now fat girl) and always in pain and in the bathroom.    I look back on those days and it was complete misery.

I was anxious, I was clinically depressed.   I was on so medication to treat the UC that nothing worked to help the depression and anxiety.   That is really when my love affair with Xanax started that I eventually would be come addicted to.    I was on high doses of prednisone which made my mental symptoms worse, but it was the only thing that would remotely control the pain and bleeding from the UC.   At the time it was a pitiful existence.

I had my surgery at the Cleveland Clinic which was tops in treating bowel disease.    I was so apprehensive to have this surgery.   It scared the hell out of me, in fact I was pretty sure I was going to die having this surgery or die if I didn’t.    If you don’t know what a JPouch is look it up, it is complicated, but in a nutshell they remove your diseased colon – which was all of it and create an internal pouch for waste from you small intestine.    In 2005 it was an open surgery where the cut you open to remove the large intestine, today it is way less invasive.   I had an illeostomy bag for 3 months and another surgery in July to remove that and connect everything.

It is the most painful and traumatic thing I have every been through.   With both surgeries I would say it took about a year to fully recover to my new normal.

During this time I became very spiritual.   Praying the Rosary, Novenas and just talking to God.    I felt very close to my higher power during this time and probably would not have survived with out my faith.   I even had the anointing of the sick before the surgery.   It helped me cope.

Even after I recovered the anxiety and depression lingered.    The Xanax usage continued to increase and the drinking was a problem, because internally my make up was now different and I had the brain of an addict.

Today, 14 years later, I am healthy, I am sober and I can eat just about anything (and obviously I did to make up for lost time).    I am grateful for the healing this surgery has brought me.   They say you are not cured after you have the surgery.   Problems still can arise, but they are few and far between.   I thank God for the miracle of medicine and all the people who took care of me and my family during that time.

I always remember April 19th.

 

Now What ……

I am sitting here on my beautiful back patio enjoying a the warming weather of spring.  Just thinking and letting my mind wander.    My life is good … on the outside.  No seriously it is good and I feel guilty for not been happy and joyous.   It has been about a year since I have quit working and I am still trying to find myself.   I volunteer, work with my sponsees go to AA meetings, see my trainer and hang out with friends and family.  What is there not to love about this life.   I just don’t know, I need more purpose.   I am feeling what is the point of all this life stuff and know there has to be one.

My therapist suggests that maybe taking a class would help keep my mind busy so I am thinking about what I want to do.   I do enjoy learning and a class would give me something to focus on … but what?    I am researching online courses and it is overwhelming.   I did find an inexpensive site with a lot of options of work at your own pace classes which might be a good place to start, I could just dabble in something and see if it goes anywhere.    Steve and I are also contemplating a yoga class – which could be helpful with our anxiety and stress and overall lack of flexibility.   I am starting a bible study class this week so that is something too.   There is also a “class” of sorts I want to take about breaking the barriers to exercise, diet and health (since I have done very little in that arena as well).  I have got to do something more with myself.  I have  just got to get up and do it!

So obviously I am still in this funk.   I am not sure what it is about, but it is making me crazy.   I just don’t want to feel this way and it does make for some crappy days.  I don’t want to drink and/or drug, but it would sure take the edge off.   I just have so much to loose if I choose to go that route.   Like I said before, I have some great friends in recovery that I love with all my heart and I do not want to loose that.   I also (usually) enjoy working with others in the program.

I guess I just have to feel the feels and keep acting like life is as good as it is, because I am sure it will be again soon.   I just seem to cycle through these down and anxious periods.  I really am blessed and grateful, I know I have it good.    Lets just be Happy, Joyous and Free.