Skeletons Part 2.12 – My Recovery Relaxed

Relaxed (past) – “Don’t quit before the miracle happens.” – phrase used in AA.

I distinctly remember the first time I decided I wasn’t going to go to meetings for a while and didn’t know if I was going to come back after I gave birth..  I was VERY pregnant, sitting in a meeting with my legs spread wide open and a human being beating the shit out of my insides. I was done. I was done being pregnant and I was done with AA.

My meeting attendance in early recovery was relatively consistent due to the fact that I needed signatures. After A2 was born, I went on my terms. I was now 3+ years without a drink and back to my recreational usage of MJ. I still harbored the same resentments towards AA and remained one foot in, one foot out. I simply wasn’t ready to work on myself because I didn’t think I had to.

I was self-will run riot and unwilling to accept what I couldn’t change (people, places and things) or have the courage to change what I could (myself!) and God wasn’t having it. My relaxed recovery was about to get an overhaul and I had no idea it was going to look how it does today.

But God did and stuff had to happen first.

In August of 2017, I hit a wall that brought me to my knees, only this time, I wasn’t drinking. In the months that followed, I was living in a perpetual emotional hangover that gave me the desperation I needed to hand my will back over to God.

You wanna know what happened, don’t you? I know, I know, I would too. Fine, I’ll tell give you the condensed, vague version in the form of…that’s right…a list:

  1. Certain aspects of my existence had become unmanageable.
  2. I started to pray and meditate like my life depended on it…because it did.
  3. I saw the need for change and decided it was officially time I defect from AA, announced it in a private recovery group on social media, and sought professional help for my outside issues that had nothing to do with drinking.
  4. Considered drinking AT my issues a couple of times and went to a meeting right away instead.
  5. One of those times was when I decided to tell a bunch of strangers my BBS and walked away with a glimmer of hope for my place in AA.
  6. Confessed to women I DID know in a house meeting and walked away with even more hope; enough to compel me to seek out a temporary sponsor while I “figured it out.” The woman I asked said yes under conditions I wasn’t willing to adhere to.
  7. Attended meetings off and on, getting more and more annoyed at the “all or nothing” mentality, suggesting that people in recovery are not really sober if they are using marijuana – medicinally or recreationally – and that they would need to start their date over if/when they decided to quit.
  8. Started this blog and was doing recovery without a sponsor or meetings, using all the tools I had learned in AA the past 6 years (as of March 30th, 2018) and was still in therapy.
  9. Found a private FB community and support group for people who also use cannabis in recovery – recreationally and as a harm reduction tool.
  10. Things happened that would not allow me to close the door on AA for good. For example, I found out that the maid of honor I talk about in Skeletons 1.9 had been reading my blog and that she’s ALSO in the program. Are you kidding me!? She instantaneously became Birdie #6. B6, you know WTF you are.
  11. Was met with nothing but support when I told her about my BBS. That same day, B3 strongly encouraged me (again) to stop judging myself and come back to the rooms.
  12. 2 days later, after a long sabbatical from meetings, I got honest in my former home group and claimed my seat; offering to be of service in any way that I could and that I was praying for a sponsor.  

Can you guess what happened next?

I’ll give you a hint…

..a miracle.

#morewillberevealed

P.S. Oh, yeah, I should probably mention what else happened these past 12 months: I smoked, vaped and ate cannabis products the entire time. I also cried…a lot!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Skeletons 2.1 – My Recklessness

**Disclaimer: You may or may not have noticed but in Part 1, my posts pretty much alternate between past and present – discussing my drinking career and recovery in the past and my recovery in the present.  Part 2 will primarily focus on the past for both.**


Recklessness (past): “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein (so it is written.)

Suffice it to say, I brought upon myself a multitude of consequences in my 14 year drinking career – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially and legally.  I also dodged many bullets in between all of the ramifications that I suffered.

I mean, seriously? I don’t know how I am still alive to be completely honest.  My drinking took me to some pretty low places with some pretty low people.  You know that song by Garth Brooks “Friends in Low Places?” Yeah, see, all of those “friends” were never really my friends at all.  No, they were only my friends for the following reasons:

  1. NGL, I was pretty fun to party with. If I were you, I’d want to party with me too. But only for like an hour, 2 tops.
  2. They had something to gain from me – physically, financially or both – I’m talking about the opposite sex people, do I really need to explain this one? I alluded to my history with these DUDS in the last post of Part 1 and elaborated even more in the final asterisk of that post.
  3. They were friends with one of the winners referenced in #2.

My “drunkalogue” is jam packed with stories of embarrassment, humiliation, shame, remorse and then some.  I couldn’t possibly recount every single one of them for you in this post, nor do I even want to.  That being said though, Part 2 is all about WTF Happened, so in short, here’s a list of some of the consequences I suffered as a result of my drinking.

  1. Physically – hangovers that felt like death sentences,  a severely bloated face and midsection, bruises spread out all over my body, terrible sleep on a nightly basis, and in the final years of my alcoholism, it jacked my reproductive system.  There’s more but that’s enough.
  2. Emotionally – I binged on the weekends which left me with major “booze blues” come Monday morning.  Depression set in and took me down for days. This is where I’d make grandiose promises to cut back or quit for a certain amount of time. However, I never made promises to quit all together. I mean, that was unfathomable – never drink again? – yeah fucking right.
  3. Mentally – I had zero control of how I was going to feel on any given day and had no idea on how do life like a normal person.  To this day, 6 years later, I’m still working on this piece but now that the obsession to drink has been removed, I can actually acknowledge that I DO need extra help in this area and I’m taking action to improve my mental strength.
  4. Financially – DUDS took advantage of me for their own financial gain.  Now, let me say this: I have ALWAYS been over trusting and codependent. Even if I wasn’t drinking, I’d likely still have made the same poor decisions. However, I’m sure if my head wasn’t so foggy and I wasn’t so concerned with being liked or needed by these dicks, I would have “seen the light” and dropped their sorry asses a lot sooner.
  5. Legally – as previously mentioned, I’ve seen the inside of a jail. More than once. And all I’m going to say about that is this: alcohol made me make really bad decisions when it was time to go home at the end of the night.

Soooo, that’s that. I’m sure I’ll elaborate on some of the items above because, well, you know, I can’t help myself.

15 more days until I have been alcohol free for 6 years.  I don’t know what the future has in store for year #7 but I’m hopeful.  Here’s the one thing I DO know:

I don’t ever have to suffer consequences as a result of reckless drinking ever again if I don’t want to. It’s my choice to make.

I wasn’t really given the choice 6 years ago.  As far as I was concerned, I was forced into early retirement from my drinking career, hence why it took me so GD long to get to this point in my journey.

Today, Iiiiiiiiiiiii choose my recovery. No one else can make that choice for me.

So there. 😉

#morewillberevealed

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Rebel is Resisting Change (of her Closet)

Remember my very first post about purging my closet?

Wait, before I continue, if you are a rebel like me and didn’t start from the beginning like I told you to on my home page, then you best click here and catch up. This post kicks off Skeletons Part 2: What the Fuck (Has) Happened. Oh, sorry, some of you may not have been to the Home page before. My bad. Know what, no, read this post and then decide if you want to start from the very beginning.

Anyway, remember how I was all proud of myself for the progress that I had made in there and my shoes – those damaged, used, discarded, shoes? And how I still had some things to sort and sift through? Wellllllllllll…

It didn’t last. Along came the holidays and with that came presents. Lots and lots of presents. I barely had any floor space and had to move things around to access my shit. It was really annoying but I told myself that once Christmas was over, I can resume the “transformation” if you will.

Yeah right.

My closet was slowly returning to the chaotic disaster that it once was and next thing I know I’m promising myself “you’re doing it this weekend” or “you’re doing it on your days off while A2 naps” blah blah blah blah, never following through. Because it hadn’t gotten THAT bad yet. It wasn’t like it was before so I didn’t have a sense of urgency to do something about it.

See, I’m one of THOSE people. The one who will wait until an illness or pain is bad enough to go see her doctor. The one who will not wash her car until it is beyond filthy before getting it washed or who (sometimes) waits until her car is basically running on fumes, barely making it to the gas station to fill up.  I could go on but you get the gist. I procrastinate on pretty much EV-ER-Y-THING.  Things have to be bad enough or the pressure has to be ON to light a fire under my stubborn, lazy ass.

My closet cleaning sabbatical was short-lived though. After things settled down, I went back to work on the transformation. I must say, I am quite pleased with my progress. And no, this isn’t what it looks like now. I haven’t gotten there yet.

Get it? We’re talking about what happened, not what it looks like now. Don’t get it? It’s okay. Click here and then you will.

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So that, my friends, is also the story of my life when it comes to WTF happened that sent me on this long AF path to recovery (past) and what’s been happening along the way (past/present.)

And I’m going to tell you allllllll about it.

Buckle up bitches, you are in for quite a treat.

#morewillberevealed

P.S. I’m shocked I didn’t use a single ” * ” in this post. However, I did notice that I forgot to include the asterisk notes from the previous post, My Rebellion and Recovery Rekindled, on the *** page.  It explains some stuff that you may or may not care to even know. If you are one of those that clicks on the ***….go ahead, take a gander, they’re there now.