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 3.4 – 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

I’m a Yeller :(

I will never forget the first time I yelled at A1. A2 was a newbie, less than 3 months old and A1 was 2 ½. Us 3 girls were home doing laundry up in the small hallway of our townhouse while H was at work. I was still using a gate at the top of the stairs, A1 was “running loose” and A2 was in the bouncer being the precious little angel baby that she was.

A1 was a jealous big sister and she wasted no time in showing me too. I had no idea WTF I was doing but was telling myself I did, so I assured H he could go back to work when A2 was just 8 days old.

H: Are you sure?

P: Totally. I got this.

But did I?

d8a18a34-a795-4ee7-92be-e48abccde5bd
Nursing in a glider. Not a couch. Not a stationary chair. A chair that moved.

Yeaahhhh no I didn’t and that was just the beginning.

A1 was VERY affectionate towards A2 – in such a way that I was scared of her smothering her.  Of course she wouldn’t, not in front of me anyway but what I’m trying to get at is this: I could NOT keep A1 OFF of A2.

So we’re in the hallway, I’m tired and hungry, A1 is running amok, getting in A2’s face every 5 seconds and I’m cursing myself for ever having children because now I have even MORE laundry.  And then it happened.

I didn’t see it coming.

It came out of nowhere.

I yelled.

And it was loud.

Loud enough that I scared all 3 of us. I felt like shit IMMEDIATELY. I don’t recall feeling triggered to drink at that moment but I do know I went to a meeting that night.  On the way, however, I stopped to bring a snack to share and was overcome with self-pity. Why?

Because the patrons in front and behind me in line were buying alcohol and I was not. I didn’t even REALLY want to drink but started to cry in line knowing that they got to drink and I couldn’t. It had now been 3+ years since my last drink and here I was sulking over being an alcoholic and wishing SO badly (and still thinking maybe) I wasn’t. Remember, I was a dry drunk and would remain that way for another year and 7 months.

What do you think would have happened that evening had I succumbed to my emotions and decided to drink; or any other time I found myself overcome with great sorrow over the fact that I was an alcoholic and couldn’t “take the edge off” like normal drinkers? I shudder at the thought.

I remember what I was like when I drank and I was atrocious. If you’re a new reader, you can read my “drunkalogue” in Skeletons Part 1 by visiting the My Story page.  

Aside from drunk driving, did I tell you about the time I utilized a deadly weapon in a drunken stupor? This was, of course, before I quit drinking. I was hammered and out of my mind. I was CONVINCED H had taken my phone and hid it IN the couch.  It didn’t matter what he said, I KNEW IT and the longer he denied it, the more volatile I got. Next thing I knew, I had a knife in my hand. Not a butter knife or a steak knife, a big ass, “I will cut you” knife. I took that thing and sliced open our couch only to find that he was telling the truth – my phone was not in the couch.  No no no, turns out, it was in the bathroom and I’m pretty sure I hid it from myself.

That’s the shit alcohol makes me do.

I’m reckless, out of control and downright dangerous.

THAT’S why CPS would be knocking on my door if I was drinking today.  There is seriously no telling what I would do in moments of anger but I know what I’m capable of and it’s terrifying to even fathom.

So when tempers run high in high stress, anxiety stricken moments with my girls, I don’t drink and smoke weed instead because MJ doesn’t have that effect on me. It aids in keeping me in check when my brain is in overdrive.  It IS a tool in MY recovery toolbox and like I said, it’s not my only tool or the first one I pick up either.

But back then, it was and that’s just how my story goes.

I love my story. And guess what…

…it keeps getting better and better.

#morewillberevealed

My Recovery Retort – Part 2

When I first started this blog almost a year ago, I was hell-bent on changing AA and the minds of the recovery community surrounding MJ use.  It’s funny, on my About page, I specifically state the following:

“What I do NOT welcome is negative feedback or pursuits to “change my mind” on the path I have chosen to take.”

Ha ha, that’s my alcoholic brain in full effect right there.  Can we say hypocrite? I’m basically saying “I want everyone reading this to change THEIR minds but don’t want anyone to try to change MINE.”

While I still don’t want anyone to try to “change my mind,” I no longer want to change the minds of anyone else either.  I am who I am and they are who they are. I do recovery one way and they do theirs another way. I’m no longer here to defend my right to smoke pot as a member of AA nor promote it within the rooms of AA.

That being said though, if someone says that I am NOT in recovery or addresses me in a condescending manner, then yeah, I’m going to defend myself. Because it’s that kind of judgmental, self-righteous thinking that made me leave my former home group and almost leave AA altogether.

So yeah – I’m an alcoholic, I don’t drink, I smoke pot and I’m a mom.  Did you know that I wouldn’t even be a mother if I hadn’t quit drinking?   It’s true (in my mind, anyway.)

Did you know that I had a miscarriage 9 months BEFORE I quit drinking? It’s true (very early but still, it was a loss.) 

It was that miscarriage that sent my alcoholism into high gear. My excessive drinking jacked my reproductive system so badly I couldn’t get pregnant for another year. I wasn’t ready to be sober and I didn’t realize at the time but I really wasn’t ready to be a mom either. But, as always, God knew what had to happen. Less than a month after my final relapse, A1 was conceived.

6.5 years later and I now have 2 daughters – ages 5 (6 in January) and 3 ½. Being a mom of two young children is fucking hard; add work, domestic, social and family duties/commitments and life can feel like an utter shit show. And guess what, the alcohol industry capitalizes on that.  

Have you heard about the “mommy wine culture?” Yes, no, maybe so? Well, it exists and women are blogging about that too. In fact, another writer posted about it today as well! What a co-inki-dink! Check it out HERE.

She and I aren’t the only ones talking about it either. Here’s another post talking about what’s wrong with the “mommy wine culture.” Click HERE.

Alcoholism is on the rise among women and if the last links I just provided aren’t convincing enough, THIS should really drive it home.

I said one of my main reasons for not drinking today is because I am a mom and it’s also a reason why I smoke weed. Counter-intuitive? Yes, and I’ll explain more in Part 3.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 2.13 – My Reasoning

Reasoning (past and present): “Our sound reasoning failed to hold us in check.” (BB, pg 47.)

When it comes to marijuana use BEFORE getting sober, it’s been my observation that there are alcoholics who either: a) love marijuana and “fantasize” about smoking in sobriety or b) hate marijuana and more often than not, had only smoked when they were drunk…which…if I were them, I’d hate it too.  Surely there ARE those that have never smoked as well but I personally have only met one.

Some time after I “claimed my seat” in my former home group, B3’s sponsor reached out to me. She said she had some questions and wanted to explore the possibility of sponsorship. In our conversation, she mentioned that she had never smoked pot before so she didn’t know what it was like and wondered what I got out of it. So, of course, I told her. She asked how often I smoked and of course, I told her. I spoke honestly, holding nothing back and I felt zero judgment.  She didn’t end up becoming my sponsor but she still doesn’t judge me and if she does, she sure doesn’t show it. She is a gem of a woman and has helped MANY women get sober. B3’s sponsor, if you are reading this, you know WTF you are and I love you!

So, why do I smoke weed and what do I get out of it?

Well, for starters, as previously mentioned, my marijuana use was more of a harm reduction tool in the beginning.  I was a bitter dry drunk who did NOT want to be done drinking forever and being in social environments where alcohol was present was a big trigger for me.  Socially, pot allowed me to still feel “a part of”: they drank, I smoked. Sometimes the people that drank, also smoked, so I was not alone and that’s all I cared about – that I wasn’t alone. Had pot not been an option for me, I guarantee you I would have succumbed to the obsession and drank at one or more of these occasions. In fact, 2 years ago at 4+ years sober from alcohol, I came very close.

We were in New York for a wedding. At the reception, I barely knew anyone, my weed was in the hotel room, it was an open bar and the hubs had disappeared with his buddys. I can’t say that I was mad that he had left me alone, after all, he DID tell me where he was going. No, my high had long since worn off and I was mad that I didn’t bring my stash. So it wasn’t long after he was out of my sight that I thought “well? It’s gonna happen. I’m going to say fuck it and drink.” It was decided. The bar was screaming my name. But I just couldn’t do it. I knew I’d regret it immediately. Or worse, the phenomenon of craving would instantly kick in and more “unthinkables” would occur. Neither outcome was one I wanted to experience and I can tell you right now, it would more than likely have been the latter.

Today, I don’t care if I’m the only one in the room not drinking. And I don’t have to be getting high in the those environments to have fun or feel “a part of.” Do I still do it? When the occasion calls for it, you bet your sweet ass I do, discreetly or not.

I did use it for recreation as well.  H got to unwind with some beer and I had my, what B6 refers to as, “leafy greens.” I should also briefly mention another medicinal purpose it served for a new mother whose baby literally sucked the libido right out of her whilst breastfeeding. MJ served as an aphrodisiac, straight up. Mama Pixie had “gotten her groove back!” It was a win-win for all!

It remains ONE of my tools and aids in other areas today:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood enhancer
  • Insomnia
  • Being a mom

I drank for all the same reasons above, except for one of them: being a mom.

At the end of my drinking, I drank for only one reason: I wasn’t a mom.

I don’t drink today for a lot of reasons but there’s one MAIN reason: now, I AM a mom…

…of 2 girls…

…and they are watching me.

If I was drinking today, wanna know who else would be watching me?

CPS. That’s who.

#morewillberevealed