Happy Halloween!

I used to spend my halloweens planning an array of revealing outfits so that I could milk the holiday as much as possible and get drunk for a week straight (or more). Now that I’m sober I’m perfectly happy handing out candy at work today. 🎃

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Me? An inspiration?

Yesterday I was talking to one of my girls from work. She’s 19 years old and still in college, working part time at my store and another store. She was talking about how stressed out she gets sometimes because she feels stretched so thin, but that she sees how much I’m doing and how much I’ve overcome and that she uses me as an inspiration and looks up to me. I was like wait, hold the phone, I’m your inspiration? First, I was super flattered, and almost in tears because it was so sweet. And second, I was shocked. Mostly because I’ve literally never been an inspiration to anyone (to my knowledge) unless it’s inspiring people to take more shots. And then I realized how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time and how much I’ve changed my life, and I was incredibly humbled and thankful. I never thought in my life that I would be someone that people looked up to, and it makes me so happy to know that I can be. 

Life is good guys. Happy Monday! 

Sorry I’ve been MIA

I realized the other day that I haven’t posted on here in a couple weeks, and that I should probably check in.

In my little absence from writing, I received my 3 month coin, have been CRAZY busy at work, and signed up to be a Team Beachbody coach! 

That last one I’m particularly excited but also nervous about. I’ve never really known what I wanted to do with my life, but I have known that I really enjoy helping people. Fitness always was really important to me, and I was always very active in sports when I was younger. Obviously when I began drinking and partying, my health got away from me. I stopped working out and eating healthy, and it really took a toll on my body. I used to be in fantastic shape and look really healthy, and then I found myself just looking sick, tired, and out of shape. 

One of my best friends from college who I recently reconnected with (she didn’t keep up the partying after college and we fell out of touch) is a Beachbody coach, and asked me recently if I ever thought about doing it myself. I posted a while ago about not really loving my job anymore and wanting out, and I thought, maybe I could give this a shot and see what happens. At the very worst, I got to meet some awesome and motivational people, which I need desperately in my life (more positivity please!). 

So I’m jumping all in and learning everything there is to know so I can try to pay it forward and help others, the way that so many people have helped me the past few months. 

New perspective

My sister and her boyfriend were in town today, and we decided to get lunch at our favorite place in the city. When I walked up to the restaurant, I immediately noticed the guy sitting outside. He was a guy I used to date who basically ghosted me out of nowhere, and when I finally got ahold of him, he told me that I wasn’t “marriage material.” And I was wearing the North Face fleece jacket he gave me. And he was with his new girlfriend and her parents. Everything inside me told me to run away and hide. Instead, I said no. I manned up, went inside and ordered my food, and we even ate outside at a nearby table. 

Drunk Cate was filled with drama, and would have caused a huge scene about it. But I’m not that girl anymore. Instead of freaking out, I took a hard look at the situation. We broke up because I wasn’t the type of girl he wanted/needed. And yes, he did it in an awful way, but we weren’t right together. His new girlfriend seemed very sweet and reserved, which is exactly what he wanted. I, on the other hand, have a boyfriend who is just as fun and outgoing as I am (he wasn’t with me during this interaction, he’s in Pennsylvania for the weekend). And I realized that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and so is this guy I used to date. Why let it ruin my day? 

Of course, I still felt a little awkward sitting at a table near them. I still wanted to run. But I feel like it was progress over who I used to be and how I would have reacted even a few months ago.

Though I still find it hilarious I was wearing the jacket he gave me.

Sober date night

Last night my boyfriend took me out to dinner to get my mind off of my cat (and because we hadn’t had a night out in a bit). Our waitress started off by immediately coming over with a bottle of wine and offering us a sample. Out of habit, I almost said yes; but I caught myself and slowly said “no thank you” and ordered a water. Brandon accepted a sample, and then the waitress looked at me and said “is it because it’s a dry wine? Because I can let you sample another kind.” At that point I was like really dude? I already said no thanks. So I said politely, “no I actually don’t drink” and she looked at me like that wasn’t really a thing. At that point I really wanted to say “I’m a recovering alcoholic who’s newly sober CAN YOU PLEASE BRING ME MY STUPID WATER.” But I just kind of stared at her instead. When she walked away, Brandon said “I kind of thought she was going to try pouring the wine into your mouth because she was so insistent that you try some.” At least I wasn’t the only one who felt like she was being pushy.

In the end we both laughed about it, and I later shared the story with one of my close friends who is also in the program. Her response was so perfect that I had to share it.   
My point here, I guess, is not even that people need to be more sensitive or whatever, because no one needs to go around worrying they’re going to offend everyone. My point is more that if someone says no to something, that should be enough of an answer. No need to ask 60 times until I throw my AA chip at you. As a person who works in retail, I know she’s trying to up sell us to ordering wine, but again, if someone says no, that should be a good enough answer. 

Goodbye my Princess

My cat, Lilly, has been going downhill for a couple months now. She wouldn’t really eat anything, eventually stopped eating all together, and subsequently lost a bunch of weight. I think watching her slowly die has been part of the reason I’ve been feeling depressed lately.

I got Lilly in the late fall of 2001, when I was 11 years old. Because I insisted on getting a kitten RIGHT THEN instead of waiting until spring or summer, they were harder to find. We ended up driving to a little cat shelter in the boonies, almost an hour away. When I got there, I eagerly ran to the kitten section. But, I was immediately disappointed. These kittens were insane! They were running around and clawing things (later, when I adopted my baby Spider-Man, I realized that’s just how most kittens are). I wanted a calm cat who just wanted to snuggle. The girl giving us the tour then told my mom and I that there was one more kitten, and she was in the hospital area, because she had a cold. When she brought the kitten out and I held her for the first time, I knew she was going to be the one I took home. She immediately snuggled up to me and rubbed her face in my hair (which became something that Lilly did to only me). My mom tried to talk me out of taking the sick one home, saying it was too much work, but I knew that I loved this one and I had to save her. So we took her home that day.

Because she was sick and her nose was stuffed up, my mom and I would run the shower on full heat and sit with her in the bathroom in the steam, wiping all the boogers that came out of her little nose. We had to do this before every feeding, because otherwise she couldn’t smell her food and wouldn’t eat.

After a week or two she got better. She was never a kitten that ran around or got into things, she would prefer to laze around and sleep, and always loved sitting on people’s laps. She got kind of tubby and she was super sassy sometimes, but that’s what we loved about her. Eventually, I went off to college, but every time I came home she always snuggled with me and rubbed her face in my hair like always.

When I was 21, a group of boys I knew at college snuck a kitten into their on-campus housing. A month or so in they got caught, and I ended up taking him. When I brought him home for Christmas break, he was introduced to Lilly. By then she was 10 or so, and wanted nothing to do with this rambunctious kitten. He wanted SO BADLY for her to like him and want to play with him. 

Yesterday when I came home from work, she was doing really bad. I sat with her and cried and told her how much I loved her. I called my boyfriend to come over, because I couldn’t handle this alone. He spent all night trying to get me to stop crying, but I just couldn’t bear to see her suffering. I knew it was finally time to let her go, but it was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. How do you decide to end an animal’s life?

Rest in peace, my sweet little baby. I’m so happy I got to rescue you and give you a beautiful and happy life. Spidey and I will miss you so very much, but I know you’ll be in heaven playing with Bear, KD, and Cruz (our old family pets) and of course, grandma will make sure you’re taken care of. Sweet dreams princess.

Gross cloud of depression

Don’t let the featured image for this scare you, I’m not suicidal. I never have been actually. I’ve always just been able to relate to that feeling (and I still can) of not wanting to kill myself, but just not really wanting to be alive or have to be a functioning human in the world. I’ve hated myself for a long time, and going to AA and starting to work the steps have helped a little, but lately I’ve been in this gross funk that I just can’t shake, and those awful feelings of depression have started creeping back in. 

If you have never read the articles Adventures in Depression or Depression Part Two on the website Hyperbole and a Half, you really should. The minute I first came across these articles, I immediately identified with everything she was saying. But not only that, I’ve since used it as a resource to give to people so they can better understand me. My boyfriend being one of those people. It explains it perfectly, with a little bit of humor thrown in so it doesn’t seem so harsh and scary.

I’m starting to feel like “why bother even going to AA, you just end up feeling alone and awkward,” which is exactly how I felt last night at the meeting. Yeah, I posted that kind of funny video about befriending a cat, and that’s always kind have been my way. Self deprecation is my armor, and I use it when I truly start to hate myself, but don’t want others to know it. I did it ALL THE TIME when I was drinking. I always blacked out and did stupid stuff that deeply embarrassed me and gave me enormous anxiety when I woke up, but I would just laugh it off and be like “LOLLLL yeah I’m hot mess but it’s funny right?” But inside I was dying.

And that’s how I felt last night. I got home from the meeting feeling just kind of off. Before I even got out of my car I started crying and thought to myself “I’m going to meetings and doing the steps. I thought I was doing better. So why do I still hate myself? Why do I still feel like the girl in that cartoon above, who wants to somehow become not alive?”

Again, don’t worry, you don’t need to put me on suicide watch. I’m currently at work setting up our Halloween and Christmas displays, and later I’ll probably go to a meeting.

I’m not quite sure what the point of this post was, other than to just put it out to the universe and hope for some kind of response or change from my higher power. If you actually read through this whole little rant, thanks. 

How the hell do you make friends?

I mentioned in my first post about how I have suffered from anxiety since I was very young, which always made me feel awkward and alienated in social situations because I didn’t know how to act and it always felt like everyone thought I was super weird (I was). So when I got into drinking, I learned how to make friends by being the social party girl. It was a lot of self deprecation and being a crazy hot mess, but I still made a lot of friends. However, when I got sober, I lost most of those “friends”. Now I’m 25 years old trying to figure out how the fuck a weirdo like me makes friends. My boyfriend doesn’t get how someone who used to have so many “friends” all of a sudden can’t figure out how to make any. I’ve met a lot of people through AA, but I still feel like I haven’t been welcomed into anyone’s friend circle, and I never get invited to do things with anyone I meet at AA. I’ve made plans with people a few times, but it’s never been reciprocated. 

I guess it’s something I’ll learn with time. I’d rather take it slow and find actual friends who accept me and love me completely as I am. For now, I guess that’s what cats are for!