My Relapse – Part 2

Relapse #2: I decided I’d do one final “test.” It’s a common test we lushes like to take and it’s rather quite simple for normal drinkers to do: have just ONE drink and that be all. Since I had a suspended license, I walked up to the liquor store and bought 2 of those mini fridge size bottles of vodka and pineapple juice.

Yes, that’s one drink – a double bay breeze, sans cran, duh. Why would I drink a single? I’ve never known an alcoholic to order just ONE single shot cocktail and call it a night. And I know a lot of alcoholics. I’m no different. But I REALLY wanted to be.

Of course I failed the test because the “phenomenon of craving” came on strong right away and before I knew it, I was walking back up the hill to the shopping center but to the grocery store this time.  I couldn’t return to the same place I was just at. I thought they’d think I’m alcoholic and I couldn’t stand the thought of that kind of judgment. I purchased 1 of those mini-boxed wines, hustled home and got to drinking.  I drank…maybe ½?…before H got home. And not soon after, he figured it out and left. I went to finish the box, but a strong sense of conviction came over me and I poured it out.

My new date was now March 24th.

#morewillberevealed

My Reprimands – Part 4

I wrote some amends letters after my reprimands of SD2 and the last one was to myself (second person to first person,) and I ended it with this:

“Is that all? You done now?  Because I can think of some fucked up shit you did to other guys too, or have you forgotten?  I hope you plan on taking responsibility for how YOU treated some of the dudes that you spent your time with over the years because you were no saint.”

Yes, yes I do.


Yep, I wasn’t very nice.  In fact, at one point in my 20’s, I proudly claimed Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater” and “Promiscuous” as my anthems – which, not gonna lie, I still get a sick high every time I hear both of those songs and I recognize I should feel bad about that now but I don’t…not yet anyway.

Seriously though, I do feel bad for some stuff – how I handled some break ups, caused drama and led guys on.  Let’s face it, I was self-seeking and loved the attention of the opposite sex. I have yet to get to the bottom as to why but a thorough 4th step will uncover a lot when I get to it. For now, here is a short list of the kind of damage I did and would make amends for if it WERE appropriate because today, it is NOT:

  1. I broke up with my very first “boyfriend” on his doorstep, dropping him off after the “sadie hawkins” Valentines dance. 2 years later, the same was done to me after the Homecoming dance. Of course it did. I totally deserved it.
  2. Barely paid attention to my date at the Homecoming dance the year prior to the one mentioned above. Why? Because I was no longer interested in him and wanted to be there with someone else.  He went on to be a total asshole to me until Sr. year and as fate would have it, I married him 12 years later. Man, I am one lucky bitch.
  3. I willingly fueled situations that led to physical encounters between guys I was dating and ones who had hurt me in some way.  That’s just weird to me.
  4. I befriended guys who wanted to be more than friends – when I was single AND in a relationship. It is clear to me now that I simply loved the attention, bearing no concern for their feelings. Careless and mean.
  5. Fell in love with “the one that got away” and broke up with D1 in hopes to be with him. But the love was not returned, so I went BACK to D1, only to cheat on him a few months later with H – and then lied about it so he wouldn’t break up with me.  Then I really broke up with him and called him pathetic when he wouldn’t stop crying. At that point, I really was a heartless drunk.
  6. “Dated” guys while I waited for H to move home from out of state. I DID however, tell them not to get attached because someone else had my heart and they were just “fillers” but still…selfish and not cool.
  7. I’m not going to say how but I hurt H at the beginning of our relationship. Pretty bad. I will be making a living amends to him for the remainder of our days on this earth.

Yes, I am sorry for all the above and that’s all I want or even need to say. When it comes to my days “playing the field,” it’s time to let go of all the shame, remorse, guilt and any other negative feelings that no longer serve me.

It’s also time to move on to more important topics like WTF happened after my stints in the “slamma” that would set the tone for my recovery for the next 5 years.

#morewillberevealed

Reprimands Avoided – Bullets (with Balls)

Reprimands (past): Many bullets dodged and not enough lessons learned.

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If there was a game called “let’s see who can dodge the most bullets in life,” it’s safe to say I would have dominated the competition. Remember that cheating scandal I told you about and how I was mad that I wasn’t in on the scheme? Bullet dodged.

Engaging in illicit activities along side my boyfriend with a stranger outside a club in a foreign country, losing my wallet and running into said stranger on the beach who had it with nothing missing? Several bullets dodged (seriously, you have no idea.)

Calling in “sick” from the night before or showing up late, still drunk with booze on my breath, misplaced or lost keys, and emotional outbursts without ever getting fired from my job? Obscene amounts of bullets dodged.

Countless times drunk behind the wheel and damaging multiple cars with no severe consequences? How about getting pulled over for expired tags 20 minutes after drinking bloody marys just after my release from my 1st of 4 stints in a women’s detention facility and driving off with a warning? Undeserving bullets dodged.

Then there’s my revolving door of friendships. I have run with various circles through different phases of my life and I’m surprised I didn’t do more wreckage.  I’m sure I did, I just don’t know to what extent and I cringe at the thought. But what matters today is how I show up for my friends now because I actually need and value these special people in my life.

But listen…just because I don’t drink anymore, doesn’t mean my “assism” went away. I can still be a total asshole sometimes. I’ve just gotten a lot better at recognizing it and making amends when necessary.

I came close to losing best friends at different times during my drinking career but came the closest to losing my ROD a couple times IN recovery. No alcohol involved, imagine that. Thankfully, we BOTH dodged that one big time and our friendship has grown leaps and bounds ever since.

And finally, all the years, emotional energy and money squandered dating and/or pining over degenerate losers or playboys. These 3 mo’fos were selfish dicks (SD) with no moral compass who used me for their own financial gain and/or didn’t see me for more than a sex object. However, I still managed to redeem my stellar credit score and avoided a handful of STDs and/or getting pregnant with their children.

SO.MANY.BULLETS.DODGED.

Clearly, I got away with a lot of shit and needed to repeat the same mistakes over and over to end up in all the low places that I did, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

I needed things to work out the way I didn’t think they should have, in order for me to have the life I never thought I would have…

and you know what that means…

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 2.6 – My Recovery Reflection

Reflection (past) – Hindsight is 20/20…sometimes.

Sooooooo, we decided it was a good idea to go to Las Vegas for Easter weekend.

Easter weekend in Sin City? Really? Yes!

With the kids? You know it! 

We needed to get out of dodge. H suggested it and I said “hey, why not?” The plan was to leave early AF on Saturday morning so we had 2 full days. But something unexpected happened 2 days before that threw me into panic mode: We had a lice infestation!!!

I will spare you the series of events that occurred but let’s just say, once again, I made things harder for myself than they needed to be. It was a cluster of a situation that had me crying and cursing myself left and right.  We were close to canceling the trip all together but I gave in and spent every pretty penny’s worth on having it professionally removed.

The whole debacle was such an ordeal, I knew there was no way we were going to get on the road as early as we had planned. And we didn’t. We lost the entire day and arrived to our hotel at 5.  Not the end of the world, at least we made it and enjoyed the time we did get to spend there. However, I’ve reflected a bunch since we’ve been back and have caught myself doing a little bit of self-loathing with the “coulda, woulda, shouda” statements (CWSs):

I could have saved a lot of time, stress and tears if I would have just slowed down instead of rushing to fix the problem without informing myself better. I should have done more research.

If only I could have seen them sooner; then I would have taken care of it before it got so bad. I should have been paying closer attention. 

I might as well be incarcerated for the mental beat downs I give myself, I mean damn.  When this pattern of “stinking thinking” takes over, I cannot be in the present or of any use to others. So, figuratively speaking, I am a prisoner…..in my own mind.

This “stinking thinking” has carried over into my recovery life as well. I remember somewhere in year #3, S2 said “I wish you would put as much time into your spiritual fitness as you do your physical fitness.” Looking back, I totally get what she was saying.

As I reflect on the first 4 years of my recovery, the CSWs held me back from taking it really seriously.  Plus, I still hadn’t accepted my alcoholism and was lugging around my BBS, so I always had one foot in and one foot out when it came to AA.  I thought it was all about drinking and as long as I wasn’t drinking, I was good.

Other than that, as talked about in Part 1, my recovery from March 2012 – December 2016, was half-assed, at best. I did the bare minimum of what was required of me and flew below the radar. I did not “get in the middle” and fall in love with the program or the fellowship. Sure, I was cordial and even made friends but I was basically faking the whole recovery part. Yep, I celebrated each year abstinent from alcohol, took dirty tokens, and celebrated others do the same. I was genuine when it came to my interactions, most of my shares, the relationships I formed and what I brought to the table in terms of friendship. However, everything pertaining to recovery was pretty much an act but I wasn’t just fooling others, I was fooling myself as well.

In hindsight, if I HAD taken suggestions and done everything that I coulda, woulda shoulda done in early recovery, I probably would have “gotten it” sooner and not wasted the first 4 years at war with myself, delaying my growth as a spiritual woman in recovery.

But see, I thought that if I revealed my BBS to others, they would think less of me, internalizing this negative belief that I am automatically less deserving of all the gifts that recovery and working with others had to offer.

After 2 more years of meetings (still on again, off again,) a lot of prayer, self reflection, and candid discussions with people in and outside the rooms of AA, I now have a different perspective so here’s what I think of that:

FTS!

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 2.5 – My Reactions

Reactions (past):  Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. – Charles R. Swindoll

I’m just going to cut to the chase and give you a clear picture of what alcohol does to an lush like me: a codependent, conflict adverse, people-pleaser who needs validation, praise, love and acceptance from others.  In my right mind, I’d never be on a rooftop as my family approached my front door below shouting “WTF are you doing here!?!?”

And on that note…

Intervention #1, 2006

My sister was concerned after I shared something disturbing that had recently happened when I was drunk at another DUD’s. Disturbing enough that she felt it was time to get my parents involved. All 3 of them arrived unannounced. They calmly expressed their worries and asked why I was so sad. I recall mentioning not being pleased with my life, depression and whatever else I could muster up for self seeking pity. There was no drama. I knew I had a drinking problem and I was going to fix it! I set out to stay sober for 2 weeks. And I did. But then I drank again and I picked up right where I left off.  I moved back in with my parents for the last time and gained SOME control but not for very long (per usual.)

Fast forward 6 years and being the go-getter that I am, I managed to set myself up for not 1 but 2 interventions, back to back. Go meeeeee!

Intervention #2, February – 2012

In Skeletons 2.3, I talk about the events leading up to this quiet sit down. It was just H & my parents and once again, I was calm and not defensive. But that’s only because I was sober and knew I couldn’t talk my way out of this one. H asked me why I kept relapsing and my dad said “it’s the disease.” At that moment, I silently agreed with him. I had no defense of my own. Once again, I solemnly swore that I was done drinking for good.

I told you what happened next: I took advantage of a stop to run into the store for something and prepared for Intervention #3 by smuggling 2 mini-boxes of wine back home for a rainy day.

Ha! Just kidding…

Intervention #3, the very next day

I also share details about what led up to this showdown in the previous post.

You know that horrible feeling when you wake up in the morning, not remembering something troubling from the day before and then you do remember and your heart sinks? I’ve experienced this feeling many times, post drinking and not drinking. Well this was my reality waking up and I was going into panic mode. My mom was talking to my mother in law and what I was hearing discussed enraged me. I was chain smoking in the back yard trying to think of a reasonable excuse I could give my boss as to why I had to miss work. I was beside myself.  Not because I was being forced to quit drinking. I knew I needed help quitting, just not the level of help everyone else was insisting I needed.  I was trying to tell them all this but no one was listening to me.  I knew how much I was drinking and it sure as fuck did not require a supervised detox and 30 days at an inpatient facility.

But again, no one was listening to me.  My internal need to be heard was being ignored and I felt like I was being a treated like a child; and in their defense, I WAS acting like a child. 100%.  My power of choice had been taken away from me and I was throwing a tantrum.

Long story short, I did end up getting evaluated.  Physically, I was not in withdrawal and I answered all questions honestly, thus determining what I already knew: I qualified for outpatient rehab, NOT inpatient and I started the 6 week program right away.


When I have shared scathing details of my drinking career, people say “I can’t picture you acting like that.” I know. Neither can I.  When I think about all the questionable and downright unacceptable things I did, it almost feels like a completely different life. Like, I can’t even fathom living that way.

But I did. I lived it. And by the grace of God, I lived long enough to come out the other side. However, my inability to take responsibility made it take much longer than it should have. As a result, I stayed a dry drunk until December, 2016.

It wasn’t long after then that God said “alright, she’s ready now” and intervened in a way that made me question EVERYTHING.

Including my chosen path of recovery.

#morewillberevealed

 

Skeletons 2.4 – My Recovery Responsibility

Responsibility (past & present): “Every time you point a finger at someone, there are 3 pointing back at you.” – Unknown

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My favorite game to play in life has been the “blame game.”  Call me out and my go to reaction is more often than not, defensive. I will go to great lengths to justify my mistakes by giving you all the details that led up to them, paying particular attention to who and/or what I could blame so that I am pardoned. Not only that, if push comes to shove, I’ll even unfold my laundry list of transgressions made against me to deflect from the issue at hand.

Before taking my recovery and spirituality seriously, ROD had pointed this out to me in the past and I would deny it tooth and nail. I didn’t even understand this concept and had never heard of the “blame game” until S2 related to me when discussing marital quarrels. She stated that she too could be a “blamer” and that it’s important to be mindful of our roles in difficult circumstances and to not shift blame where it doesn’t belong.

When it came to my drinking, everyone, everything and what happened around me was to blame and I carried that mindset with me into recovery.  If I couldn’t make a meeting, complete some step work or get together with my sponsor or friends in the program, you best believe I had an excuse as to why and it was almost always not my fault. Unless backed into a corner, I straight up could never take responsibility for ANYTHING.

If I didn’t know better today, I’d likely still be twisting, manipulating and lying my way out of everything so long as it didn’t hurt anyone and I felt assured that I remained in your good graces. Old habits die hard and I have to really check myself at times.

Truth be told, my recovery suffered because of all the lies I was telling myself: I’m not an alcoholic, I’m not like everyone else, they need help more than me, everyone else made do (or not do) it, I will drink again someday, blah blah fucking blah.

There’s only one person to blame for my slow progress and spiritual growth in recovery. All I had to do was take a look in the mirror to see the real person at fault:

Me, myself and I.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 2.2 – My Recovery Review

**Disclaimer: As mentioned in my About page, this blog has morphed into way more than I thought it would and with that has come various changes over the past 4 months.  I’ve updated the Home Page again to reflect those changes so check it out if the mood strikes you. Wanna know what else I did? Obviously that’s a rhetorical question because of course I’m going to tell you whether you want me to or not. I decided that I need to stop insisting new readers start reading from the very beginning; especially since this is Part 2. If I need to reference something from Part 1, then I’ll just link to the referenced post; just like I did in this paragraph…twice…and in the first sentence under this disclaimer. Simple as that.**


Review (past) : KISS – “Keep it simple, stupid.” 

In June, it will be 20 years since I graduated high school. As you already know (and if you are a new reader, then you don’t; so if you are curious, click the link above) I became ASB President by default, not by choice. This meant I gave the graduation speech and (basically) was committed to planning our future reunion(s).

Since I planned the 10 year* I knew that everyone would automatically assume I would do the 20 year and I was procrastinating. Honestly? I really didn’t want the responsibility. I was kiiiiinda hoping it would just pass by and no one would say anything. But I know myself. I would then feel bad and start wondering if I let people down, sending me into this little rabbit hole of “what ifs” and “what do they think of me? do they hate me now?” etc.**

But someone did say something and the more I mulled it over I was like “fine! I’ll do it. But not by myself,” and an event page was formed.

Here’s the thing though: I’m a perfectionist.  I obsess over finite details and complicate things for myself. Like, all the time.  So now my brain is getting a smidge overwhelmed by all the ideas popping into my head – the whos/whats/whens/wheres of the whole thing. The more I think about it, the more daunting the task feels….ugh…but then I remember, ‘oh yeah, I’m not doing it alone this time. Phewf!’

The same can be said about my recovery. I have made it waayyyyyyy harder for myself than it needs to be because I have allowed myself to believe that I need to do it perfectly. I have listened to countless shares in the rooms of AA and compared my recovery to everyone else’s. Simply put: my alcoholic, codependent, perfectionist  thinking told me that my recovery had to look a certain way in order to be considered (and remain) sober.

Before I dive in to WTF happened that finally forced me into a new life without alcohol, let’s review what my recovery has looked like, as laid out in Part 1; in chronological order, of course :

  • I’ve been lying and carrying around a BBS and I’m sick of it.
  • I was a dry drunk feeling bad for not working a program the AA way and have spent a lot of time reconsidering my AA membership.
  • Aside from a few relapses in early recovery, I have reverted to thinking and behaving alcoholically and I blame this on not having put more effort into my program up until this past year. So essentially, I’m still a “newcomer” and learning.
  • I’ve had 2 sponsors in recovery and have been without one for almost 3 years. I’m not 100% clear on if I will ever have one again. I also have never sponsored anyone and I’m not 100% clear on whether I ever will either.
  • At (almost) 6 years in recovery and being in and out of the rooms of AA the entire time, I have discovered two things:
  1. I AM an alcoholic and should stay sober from alcohol for the rest of my life and
  2. While I no longer have a drinking problem, I still have a thinking problem that I need to work on with the help of outside support.

Just like becoming ASB president wasn’t my choice, neither was recovery.  I started my journey with support, but wanted to be left alone.

Just like not wanting any part of planning the reunion, I wanted no part of recovery. I started my journey alone but didn’t want to be IN it alone.

And just like accepting my role as reunion planner took me a few, so did accepting my alcoholism. I started my journey a hard core dry drunk and the road to getting where I am today has felt somewhat lonely.

By choice.

That is, until God intervened.

#morewillberevealed

#step7