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. 🎃
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I recently posted about acceptance, and I honestly do believe that I cannot stay sober or put myself back together unless I fully accept my alcoholism and am up front with people about it. I’ve told my close friends and even posted a couple of articles on Facebook about addiction and recovery. But, I’m human, and recovery is a process. I’m still learning to accept who I am and not be embarrassed or ashamed.
Tonight my boyfriend came to a meeting with me, which was amazing. But after the meeting he casually mentioned that one of our “couple friends” asked what me and him were doing tonight, and he was honest and told them that he was going to a meeting with me because I’m an alcoholic in recovery. Now, these people don’t know me THAT well. We’ve only hung out with them a handful of times, and during all of those times (surprisingly) I drank but was under control. All the people I’ve told so far about me being in recovery have known me when my drinking was really bad, so it somehow felt easier telling them about it because they understood and were relieved that I got help. This couple, on the other hand, was probably really surprised and didn’t understand, since I was drinking with them just a couple months ago.
I know he didn’t do it maliciously, and I know I should be more confident in myself and my sobriety, because it’s already making me into a better person and giving me my life back, but I just can’t help feeling “outed” in a way. Of course now my fucked up brain keeps thinking things like “well, there goes that friendship” and “God now they think I’m so weird.” I’m sure they probably don’t even care. I guess this was a lesson to both me and him; for me, it’s that if I’m going to preach acceptance, that I should probably learn to take my own advice, and for him, that someone’s recovery is theirs to share and it’s up to them when and how they want to disclose that information.
I’m not sure if you’re all familiar with the app Timehop, but basically it links up to all your social media and shows you what you posted on this day in previous years. So today, this little gem popped up on my Timehop. Three years ago today I went to a bar crawl where I blacked out and ended up breaking my finger. How? I have no fucking idea. I had to tell the doctor and nurses that I don’t remember how I broke it, which at the time seemed hysterical, but now it just sounds so ridiculous and stupid.
Thanks Timehop, for reminding me daily why I no longer drink.
The first month or so of sobriety was really tough for me. I’m sure it is for most people. For years I had been shoving my emotions deep down inside me and masking them with a combination of alcohol and an IDGAF attitude. So when I got sober, all of the anger, sadness, self hate, anxiety, fear, and guilt rushed at me full force. I felt like a crazy person. My boyfriend didn’t know what to do with me, and to be honest, I didn’t know what to do with me either. I’ve always been horrible at having the feels, and now I had them tenfold.
Doing the first step made it worse. Writing down and admitting to my sponsor all of the ways alcohol had made my life unmanageable and how I was powerless over it, brought up a lot of repressed memories of awful things I said, did, and saw when I was in the height of my partying. I felt like the most awful person in the world and spent a couple weeks wallowing in my self pity. “How did this happen,” “when did I become this person,” “this is so unfair,” and “why me” constantly swirled around in my head. I couldn’t believe that this was my life and I had to be an alcoholic and spend the rest of my life being weird and sober. I was so ashamed and I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t even tell my family right away.
Finally, after reading the stories in the back of the big book, I came across this paragraph about acceptance (I believe it’s in chapter 18?). When I read the sentence “nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake,” it immediately made sense. All of this was happening for a reason. That was the first passage I ever highlighted in my big book.
I still didn’t feel better though. I was still wallowing. I saw so many people at meetings that were so happy and free and I kept thinking, “okay, any day now this will start working.” I asked my sponsor why I was still miserable, and she said to just keep working the steps and keep praying.
Slowly, I found myself accepting my life as a sober alcoholic, and began to own it. I told people about it and was met with overwhelming support. Slowly, things started to get better. Life started to fall into place. Acceptance was (at least part of) the answer. I know I have a long way to go still, but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.