My Recovery Relapse – Cigs

Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. (BB, pg. 59 )

It’s been one month and 2 days since I posted and I should be over 30 days without a cigarette.  But, of course, I am not.

In the past month, I haven’t been able to go longer than 2 days without breaking down and satiating the cravings.  I have purchased and thrown away several packs; as well as purchased and smoked several packs. I’ve reset my quit date in my quit smoking app a gazillion times and wouldn’t you know, I just did AGAIN!  I made it about 20 hours before the opportunity presented itself and I was lighting up.

What’s wrong with me!?!?!?!

HA!  I’m kidding.  Nothing is WRONG with me, I’m just an addict.

I’m an addict who normally needs to be backed into a corner before taking the steps necessary to make a serious change.

An addict who walks the line as long as I can until something really bad happens and I am forced to change.

An addict who has been in recovery long enough to know NOW that there is no “easier, softer way” to drastic change. I MUST be willing to do whatever it takes and as I said in my last post, I want to 12 step this bitch, so let’s get on with it already.

But before I do, I need to let another skeleton out of the closet because, well, this is the “Recovery Relapse Series” and I’ve hit another milestone not many people know about and that is this:

Today, September 16th, 2019, marks 1 whole year clean from Adderall.

You guys…I so want to talk about this right now but I can’t. It’s late and it’s not on topic. We’re talking about my cig addiction right now, the one I’m still fighting to quit! But my Adderall addiction is a huge part of my story and if I’m being totally honest, this blog wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Adderall.

Sooooooo, yeah, I gotta talk about it. But, like I said, later, ok?

I gotta go smoke ANOTHER final cig, destroy ANOTHER pack of cigarettes & change my date AGAIN before hitting the hay.

Step 1 – I am powerless over cigarettes and my life has become unmanageable.

How?

Click here.

#morewillberevealed

P.S. In case you were wondering, I’m still a grateful recovering alcoholic who has been AF for 7.46 years and practices MMR (for now) and goes to AA.

That’s 89.60 months without wine…

…2,727 days without a cocktail &

65,447 hours without a single drop of alcohol touching my dry, wrinkled 39 year old smoker lips.

Yeah, no, I’m still keeping my date sobriety date…for now.

 

 

Skeletons 3.5 – My Recovery Relapse Series

Relapse (past & present:) “We’re only as sick as our secrets.” – AA slogan.

I haven’t been honest with you guys.

I mean, I have, but…not totally honest.

Remember how I said there are things I know I have to talk about and I don’t want to?

Well, I guess you can say I’ve been hiding behind this secret and allowing it to excuse me from writing for the past 2+ months.

I have wanted to move out of the past and write about the present but uhhhh, I haven’t been doing that now, have I? So clearly I need to still talk about some past shit in order to move on.

That’s how working a spiritual program of action works. And when I’m not doing it to the best of my ability, life is just harder. I can’t explain how that is and I’m digressing anyway so let’s just put a pin in that for now.

Back to my BBS that I have been harboring; recent events have made it abundantly clear that I cannot hang onto this part of my story anymore and if I continue to ignore my instincts, I will remain stuck in my recovery and I don’t want that.

So here it is: towards the end of 2018, I determined that not only am I an alcoholic but I am also a straight up addict.

Cigarettes, alcohol, weed, sugar, pills, & caffeine – I have abused them all at various points in my life and it’s time I write about it and make some serious changes while I’m at it.

Kicking this series off is the cigs because I’m ashamed to admit that after promising my 6 year old daughter that I would quit smoking back in May, I still am puffing them down and I can’t fucking stand it anymore.

Pause, you guys, I just went to look at when I last posted. It was May 22nd. The last “quit date” I set for myself and here I am about to set another one. Weird. Anyway…

I swore up and down I’d quit smoking before my daughters would ever know I smoked and yet here we are, her little voice yelling at me from the screen door for all the neighbors to hear: “MOMMY! STOP SMOKING!”

Me: (whisper yelling) oh my gosh…get inside…oh my gosh (closes door)

(walks away)

(door opens again)

A1: MOMMY! NO SMOKING!”

Can we say mortified?

I’ve made countless vain attempts in quitting.  I’ve made a gazillion promises to friends and loved ones, solemn oaths and public social media announcements.  I’ve quit smoking WAY more times than I quit drinking. Just like any relapse, I was immediately hooked after the first cigarette.  It has been, by far, the hardest addiction to crush.

I remember my first sponsor telling me she used the 12 steps to quit smoking, so…that’s what I’m going to do.

Seriously. I am.

I know you don’t believe me.

I wouldn’t either.

But mark my mother effing words: I. WILL. QUIT. SMOKING. CIGARETTES!

Tomorrow is Day 1, Step 1.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 3.4 – My Resolution

Resolution (past & present): How can we possibly summon the resolution and willingness to get rid of such overwhelming compulsions and desires? – 12&12, Step 7, p.73 

Up until March 30th, 2012, I had made many attempts at quitting the drink for various stretches of  time.  I talk about my final relapses in Part 2 of My Story, but there were many more during my drinking career.  However, I would not have considered them relapses back then because, well, the intention was never to be done for good.  I was always motivated by a major binge weekend of poor choices or a preceding consequence of some kind, wanting to prove to myself and everyone else that I wasn’t really an alcoholic ; even though in my heart of hearts, I knew I was.

So all of my “personal detoxes” and “breaks” were in vain.  I’d stay sober just long enough, to feel good enough, to drink just enough, until there was NEVER enough.

I always.wanted.more.

Things were starting to look the same with the weed and as I mentioned the other day, that did not sit well with me.  While I hadn’t suffered severe consequences from my MJ use like I did my alcohol consumption, I still did not like that I had taken it beyond harm reduction and was using it far more than I ever intended.  It really wasn’t working for me the way it used to. I had heard that’s a very risky place for an alcoholic to be and I did NOT want to drink.

This THC break, it wasn’t the first time I made an effort to “slow my roll.”  My sponsor (S3) graciously reminded me of that and suggested I not leave it out.  She said that my saying that I accepted a challenge by my friend and just quit without sharing the rest was “flippant of me,” and she was right.  I realized I better make sure to tell you the whole truth, so when I was looking for something else in my older posts, I discovered that I HAD already told you about my last 3 THC breaks. Ha! Whouldya look at that? I had forgetten (face palm.) You can read about that in Skeletons 2.15 – My Recovery Returned.

But of course, those weren’t the only times. I made multiple half ass vows with no solid motivations or accountability. For an alcoholic like me, 1 of 2 things needs to happen for me to get off my fucking ass and change the things that I don’t want to:

  1. I either need to be backed into a corner with an ultimatum with no other options, or
  2. want something so bad, I’d do anything to make it happen.

This time around, I quit MJ for reason #2.  I still wasn’t ready to quit for good so I chose to reset my tolerance in order to build the momentum I need to get after what I really want out of this gift called life. I’m almost 40 years old and I’ve wasted enough time playing small. I have dreams and aspirations to pursue and I want to make them reality…BAD! Having reached official stoner status, I knew the weed would stand in my way if I didn’t do something about it once and for all.

Tuesday, May 21st was Day 30 and in the interest of rigorous honesty, I made it 29.75 days completely THC free. On Day 30 at 6:30pm, I chose to smoke simply to see how the first time would feel after that long going without. Before I did, I prayed…HARD. I prayed for the ability to be responsible and the willingness to quit for good if I couldn’t be. I prayed for the strength to use it the way I had originally intended or not at all.  I laid it at God’s feet and said Amen.

Then I smoked. From 6:30-11:00, I took a total of 4 puffs, stayed up way past my bed time and did not go to bed stoned.

How did I feel about myself the next day?

For a moment, I felt bad. The “committee” in my head started shaming me for not making it a COMPLETE 30 days. But then I said FTS! Excluding my pregnancies and post partum, I was 100% clean and sober for the longest stretch of time, for the first time, by choice, EVER!  I am beaming with pride and full of so much hope and I’ll be damned if I let anyone take that away from me, especially my own “stinkin’ thinkin’.”

My mindset has changed drastically and I have resolved that I never want to build a tolerance to THC ever again.  I want to be able to rely on it for the medicinal benefits or for emergencies, like PMS, should I deem it necessary. Or if I am in a social environment where it’s an option and I feel like being “a part of.”  None of that is a possibility if I go back to the way it was. I’m clear and firm on that. VERY!

Therefore, I have made a resolution: if I find myself using it beyond what I just stated above, then I will walk into a meeting and raise my hand high and proclaim with confidence that I am a newcomer, have the desire to never smoke again, and change my sobriety date. Never did I ever think I’d say that but I just did.  I can’t believe it.

There God goes again, doing for me what I could not do for myself. Does it get any better than that? According to “The Promises” of Alcoholics Anonymous, you bet your sweet ass it does!

#morewillberevealed

P.S. Today is Wednesday, May 22nd and I did NOT smoke weed today. Why? Cuz I didn’t feel like it. That’s why. To God be the glory.

Skeletons 3.3 – My Recovery Reset

Well, per usual, I’ve sat on composing this post. I know exactly what I want to write about but I simply wasn’t in the mood to sit down and write the damn thing.

To be totally honest, I wasn’t in the mood to do anything because I was still stuck in the pits of depression and had zero motivation.  It takes a month (in my case, a little longer) for anti-depressants to start working.  I remember when my last Rx kicked in.  We had 2 bookcases in our play room needing to be assembled and I decided to build them both myself. I remember thinking “how am I doing this right now?”

I also noticed the change when I was outside with my daughters and was surprised at how chatty I was being with the neighbors. That’s how I knew the meds were working. I’m a people person and I love to talk but when I’m depressed, I don’t feel like being chummy with people. I just want to be invisible. I avoid eye contact, I ignore texts, I cancel or reschedule plans, etc.

Basically, I think my life sucks, therefore, I downright suck as a person.

Much like the person I was when I drank.


Today is Thursday, May 16th and I’m happy to report 2 things:

  1. On March 30th, I achieved 7 solid years of no alcohol entering my bloodstream.
  2. My new antidepressant kicked in a few weeks ago and I no longer feel like shit.

Those 2 things alone are worth sharing and celebrating but that’s not all.

Remember in my last post when I said I had stuff to talk about but I didn’t want to? And admitted that it WAS about the weed?

Well, truth be told, I became a stoner and I no longer want to be a stoner anymore.

There, I said it.

When the depression bitch slapped me into the pits of self-loathing, my MJ use escalated and my tolerance got super high.  It had stopped working for me the way it used to and that did not sit well with me.

So I quit.

That’s right, I did.

I accepted a 30 day challenge with a friend and today is day 25.

Out of these past 25 days, there were 5 days where I had the strong desire to “take the edge off” when my kids were pushing me past my limits.

And I didn’t.

You guys, that blows my f’ing mind!  Even when I was in the throws of my PMS that should have me locked up in a padded room away from all other humans, I didn’t want to smoke. “How could this be?” I wondered. I was dumbfounded but I guess that was God doing for me what I could not do for myself…AGAIN!

Does this mean I’ve been raising my hand as a newcomer in meetings and have changed my sobriety date? The answer to that is a definitive NO and here’s why:

  1. Tradition 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous states “The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking.” I haven’t drank in 7 years, 1 month and 16 days. While I did not have the desire to quit drinking when I first came in, by the grace of God, I DO have the desire to never drink again. That’s why I keep going to meetings. I’m not changing my date. Period.
  2. I don’t have the desire to quit smoking pot for good. Not yet anyway. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll choose not to smoke after this 30 days is up…or maybe I’ll keep going until I feel like it again.  Or maybe I’ll smoke myself into an oblivion on day 31 and realize that I’ve been kidding myself this entire time and decide to raise my hand and change my date.  Honestly, I don’t know.

I don’t have to know.

All I know is, I needed to hit the reset button and I don’t feel like smoking today.

To me, that’s fucking rad and I’m proud!

So I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

#morewillberevealed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skeletons 3.2 – My Relief

**It’s been exactly one month since my last post.  I started this one a few weeks ago and I’ve been stuck.  I have a LOT to write about but I have been putting it off.  My character defects have basically been running the show and to be frank, I’m fucking sick of it. I’m sick of my perfectionism telling me this blog has to be written and read a certain way and my ego & pride standing in my way of unloading more shit that I don’t want to talk about. So here I am, with more baggage to unpack.  You ready? Cuz I’m not. But here we go.**

Relief (past and present): Laughter is the best medicine.

I haven’t been laughing as much lately. The fam and I did get into a HUGE tickle fight the other day…actually, 2 on two separate days…and those laughs were cheek burners, I tell ya. That was fun.  But other than that, eh…well…I just haven’t been in the laughing mood. Sure, I can muster a good chuckle here and there but my laugh, well, it’s never been like it was when I was pregnant with A2.  I can’t remember if I had the same laugh with A1 but with A2, oh my gosh, it was so annoyingly awesome.

For me, one of the best feelings is right after a long, hearty, from the gut, tear producing laugh.  Laughter like this makes me yawn and I feel a sense of calm and contentment after.  Sometimes I enjoy the laugh and feelings it produces so much, I’ll relive the moment by telling the story or watching whatever it was that was funny over and over just so I can “feel the feels” again and again.

Just like when I drank.

I love laughing so much, I’m attracted to people who have big, breathy laughs. Or a cackle. Ohhhh how I love me a good cackle.   If you make me laugh that way or you laugh at something I say that way, you will instantly be my homey.

Just like people who drank like me.

Laughter, it helps a hurting soul. It brings people together. It brings pockets of joy in difficult times. It lightens “the mood” in uncomfortable situations.

Just like the drink.

It just.feels.good.

Until it doesn’t anymore.

At the end of my drinking, it did not feel good anymore and it really wasn’t fun.  The only relief I got from it was when I drank to “cure” a hangover or calm my depression and anxiety that I didn’t know I had; which of course, only resulted in more depression and anxiety.

Speaking of anxiety, I am having some RIGHT NOW.  My heart is pounding relatively quickly as I am writing this? Why? Ugh. Know what…pause…

Goes downstairs, debates for a hot second whether to smoke a bowl or not, proceeds to move forward with it, says a prayer, has another internal dialogue, and ponders continuing to write or not. Answer? Go and try.

Instant relief.

Here I am, at my desk, in my closet, where I have been telling myself I will be every night for the past month, not doing so and blaming the weed for making me unmotivated.

I still think it is. But I know why I haven’t written and it’s not JUST that. There are 2 other reasons:

  1. I have finally come to accept that I am very prone to depression. It hits me like a ton of bricks and I’m NOT the best person to be around. Going off Wellburtin was the right decision but going against doctors orders and just cutting cold turkey was just fucking stupid. That was very rebellious of me. I knew better and I did it anyway. I did start a new medication today though, so I am hopeful there.
  2. I have changed so much since I started this blog and the trajectory of it has changed even more drastically. I have foreseen how it will evolve further and I know it’s God’s plan but I’m not ready to go there yet. Yet, I am, because I feel like writing about it is the only way I will be able to follow through. But the 5 year old me is standing here stomping my foot on the ground: but I don’t wanna! Wah wah!

I know what you’re thinking.

Then it IS about the weed, isn’t it?

FINE!

Yes.

It is.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 3.1 – My Recovery Reborn

Reborn (present): “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.” The Promises of AA (BB, pg 83-84)

In Skeletons 1.3, I mentioned giving a speech at my high school graduation and this is what I said about it:

“I spewed a bunch of nonsense. I knew exactly what they wanted to hear and I gave it to them. Knocked that fucker out of the park. “

For my birthday this year, my in-laws had a mini “viewing party” for my husband, kids and I.  Upon plopping on the couch, tv still off, I somehow knew what it was we were about to watch: excerpts from our high school graduation video. And I was right! Upon watching myself at 18 years old, I was hit with 2 realizations:

  1. My speech was NOT as good as I had remembered and
  2. My anxiety was grossly apparent and that further proves why sharing in meetings has always been a challenge for me.

Wanna see what I’m talking about? Of course you do. Here you go:

“…and as we celebrate tonight, we must remember to glorify him in everything we do.”

Lip service, that’s what that was.  I knew what they wanted to hear but my delivery was cringe worthy; not only that but I did the exact opposite of glorifying God in everything that I did that night.*

Let me remind you that I was giving this speech as STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT. Not the president of my class. The president of the ASSOCIATED STUDENT BODY, people!

Let me also remind you that I became ASB President by default, I was not voted in.  I was voted into the ASB as the secretary, NOT ASB President. But then something crazy happened that led to some “impeachments” and yours truly automatically took the seat**; if you recall, I was not party to the scandal I mentioned in Skeletons 1.3. because my friends were worried I would ruin it for everyone. Fair enough.

Fast forward 15 years later to March, 2013.

I was up in front of a room full of women accepting my 1 year token.  I have no idea what I said except for this big fat lie:

“The promises really have come true for me.”

I didn’t even know what the promises really meant, I had no idea what I was saying, and I stumbled over every single word I thought they wanted to hear.  And that’s how it went every single time I accepted a token thereafter, up until year #5, the last token I “took” (as we say in the rooms.)

Fast forward 2 years later and I’m not like that today.

Today, I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

Today, I do what I say I’m going to do…for the most part…and when I don’t, the only person I am letting down is myself.

Today, I still get super nervous sharing but I’m a little bit calmer and self-confident.

Today, I care more about how my share will impact the newcomer and not what others are going to think about me.

Today, I do know a new freedom and a new happiness.

That’s what faith does.

That’s what trust does.

That’s what love does.

Thank you, S3 – you know WTF you are.

And thank you, HP! To God be all the glory.

#morewillberevealed

A Rebel is Reveling in the Change (of her Closet)

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The “She Shed”…

Have you watched the show “Tidying Up” on Netflix yet? It’s a reality show with tidying expert, Marie Kondo, helping families and couples “purge” their homes of any and all things that do not bring them joy. When all is said and done, her clients have developed new habits in maintaining tidy, functioning living spaces AND have reignited joy, happiness and harmony in their homes.

For me, finding this show was a game-changer.  Because, see, I am more or less a fucking slob.

That’s right. I am.

That’s not self-deprecating language either, it’s the truth. I’m not even going to try to blame “part-time working motherhood” because the fact of the matter is, I’ve been this way my entire life.  I have always played “catch up” with the messes I have created for myself to clean up.

The worse my house gets, the more daunting the task of tidying becomes.  I find myself paralyzed, not knowing where to begin; cursing myself for even allowing it to get so bad. Beating myself up for not “maintaining” like I said I would do.

When that negative self-talk takes my mind hostage, I accomplish nothing and the house gets worse. It reaches a point where I cannot take another day living in such chaos, so what do I do? I attack and I attack HARD. I’ll spend the entire day putting my house “back together” and feel a massive weight lifted.

Until it goes to shit again and I’m back to where I started.

Disaster → Fix → Relax → Repeat.

Since obtaining valuable tips and tools from the show, my home has become more manageable. However, with young kids in the house, I gotta stay on top of it. I MUST implement daily tasks to keep my home from “falling apart.”

And THAT my friends, is the story of my life when it comes to treating my alcoholism. While I haven’t drank in (ALMOST) 7 years, I’m still an alcoholic. I always will be.

I no longer have a drinking problem but I will always have a thinking problem and thinking problem can make or break my day. Every.Single.Day.

Just like my home, if I get complacent on my spiritual program of action, things go down for me real quick.  I don’t drink but I engage in other thinking and behavioral problems that make life…well…unmanageable.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that this blog was conceived in my closet and that my closet represents my life as a dry drunk and alcoholic in recovery. I have spent the past year and 3 months transforming both : purging, organizing, and holding onto things that I am not ready to let go of yet – in my closet and in my recovery.

In Skeletons Part 1, I talk about what my drinking and recovery was like before deciding to take my life back.

In Skeletons Part 2, I talk about what happened to land me in the rooms of AA and my desire for change in recovery.

I was 4 months shy of 6 years without a drink when this blog was born and a LOT has gone down – leaps of faith, secrets revealed, therapy and lots of “getting honest with myself.”  And here we are now in Skeletons Part 3: What (by God’s Grace) it’s Like Now.

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…AKA…

And let me tell you…

…I LOVE the changes so far.

But there is still work to be done. There will always be work to be done.

Recovery is a lifelong journey that I am so grateful to have finally embraced: striving to be a better human being than I was the day before.

One.

Day.

At.

A.

Time.

#morewillberevealed

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 My “Cloffice”