Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This too shall pass

Yesterday was very hard for me. With the Holiday season in full gear I have not been paying enough attention to my emotions nor enough effort into my program.

I was at work last night. My head was consumed with my worries, fears and insanity-I panicked. I was so frightened and couldn't stop crying as the committee in my head begged and pleaded for a drink. I wanted anything to stop the crazy voices and felt Iextremely powerless. I didn't pick up, by the grace of God.

Last night, my moment of insanity, is what I have feared the most in the last 14 months. This is what has happened every time I have relapsed. On the bright side, one of my worst fears happened, and I didn't drink over it. Today is not day 1 for me. I am safe, I am loved, and I am taken care of.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bumps in the Road

Bumps in the Road
Originally uploaded by gogouci
Well this about sums it up.

Feeling a little blue at the moment. I'm posting,because this feeling is not abnormal for me, however I usually wait for these moments to pass and give them no voice.

Nothing has gone terribly wrong or anything. Its just this sticky, uncomfortable feeling I am sitting in. I guess you could call it a case of the "blues" or a case of the "me,me, me, me, me's" Either way I am spending too much time thinking about where I should be in my life, who should be in it, or ugh! Where the hell am I?!

I know this is fire week and all. I think I was supposed to have fun or something. I'm just melancholy and lethargic. Yuck!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Seeing the truth about me

As I close water week, a sense of calm has come over me. I realize I am participating in my own life. I never did that before.

All of my life my thoughts have told me that I'm not good enough and something is wrong with me. I have told myself that I didn't deserve to be loved.

When I was seven months sober, I walked in on my boyfriend and a girl I had considered a friend, in bed together. I was crushed and wanted to drink, to self-sabotage, to validate the voices in my head that said I deserved it and this will always happen to me. At that moment I believed I was a victim and I was powerless to stop things like this from happening.

It is true that God is in the silences. I did not drink and I walked through the pain until I could begin to see my part in the situation. After all, I can only be responsible for myself. I did have a huge part in that happening, not to say I deserved it, but in seeing that I could walk from the perspective of victim to survivor.

Today I can use my painful experiences to see that I have other choices. I do!!! I can make amends to those I have hurt and look the world in the eye-knowing that I am enough. I deserve better! Although I may not walk this road gracefully, it is important to me that I continue to walk.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Waves of Emotion!!!!

The past few days have been pretty intense!!!

I had a nasty case of the "reds" last night at work. My lens was in "focus on me" mode. When I am in that head space I am a character assassin and I am the victim of the universe. I cried twice and blamed others for my fears. I felt like an emotional wreck and almost wanted more bad things to happen to prove how much of a "victim" I really was.

It is so easy to see it correctly at this moment, from a new perspective. I am not a victim, I am a survivor. I chose my perception and my reality. I am grateful to have the opportunity and the humility to walk into work today and make amends to my manager/friend.

I don't do so well with feelings. I've spent the last 15 years anesthetizing them with alcohol and when the waves hit, they hit hard and deep and I feel like I will never feel good again. I know its not true, but I'm just a (30 year-old) kid who's learning the ropes of life.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My commitment

Okay, so its super late but better than not at all right!!!

My commitment to myself is to call 3 other alcoholics a day to see how they are doing.

After doing some work on where I wanted to be I realized that I need other women desperately. I need to stop isolating and make friends. It doesn't hurt that my sponsor is requiring this of me as well to stay sober!

In other news, my dog has begun fighting with the very peaceful dog we are living with. It is bringing up a lot of bad memories for me (kelly, if you are reading you know what i'm talking about). I feel like its my fault and I am a bad mom. In all honesty, I think she needs more boundaries, so that is another commitment I am making. She is quite the reflection of myself actually!!!

Okay Universe what does this mean???!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Beginning of Soul Coaching

Today is Day 1 of a 30 day program I will be participating in called The Next Chapter: Soul Coaching!!!! I am so excited and will be blogging about my experience at least 3 times a week. To be honest, I decided to participate to see if I would actually start this and see it through to the end. I think it is important for me to be held accountable, I struggle with this on a daily basis. Not sure exactly what I'm going to learn, but I guess you will know as soon as I do!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In memory of a friend Christina T. (10-01-08)

My Dear Friend Christina,

I miss you so much, my heart aches that I will never get to see you again. I know how much pain you were in and I hope you are finally at peace. I am so angry at you, and then again I am so angry at this selfish disease! My heart is broken and I cry for you now because you no longer have the chance to find the happiness on this earth you so richly deserved. You were such a truly beautiful woman and I will miss our friendship. You made me laugh so much. I loved the silly games we used to play with Ansly when we hid Jesus all over the apartment, our late night smokes and coffee when we had you up way past your 9:30p.m. bed time, and our scary trip to the SLAA meeting when we realized we were in a room full of sex addicts and i was wearing my pajamas and slippers. I posted this picture of the Bunny tree from outside of our apartment, the last place, I believe, you were truly happy. Honey, I was really blessed to have known you for a while, I hope you know that wherever you are. I have a year of sobriety now, I know you would be so proud of me. Thank you for holding my hand and walking this walk with me. You were a mirror for me and have helped me stay sober in ways you probably never knew. I hope you are out of pain my sweet friend. I know how hard you fought and as mad as I am at you for ending it, I forgive you. It wasn't you it was your alcoholism. Your death will not be in vain. I believe you are another angel that watches over all of those who loved you most. I will always think of you and have gratitude in my heart for each day I have on this earth. I honor you life, I will not forget and I will continue to walk this road. One day we will meet again in the sunlight of the spirit.

I love you,

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Face Your Fears

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hey I think this guy really knows what he's taking about. Fear is a big ugly word for me. Someone in treatment told me it stands for "False Expectations Appearing Real"...hmmmm... Yup, that sound about right. I notice whenever I am afraid of something, feeling stuck to the ground and petrified to move, its usually because I have come up with a scenario in my mind of how it will turn out (i.e. I'm God, which by the way Im not). I can assure you that for the most part I am no clairvoyant and have never accurately predicted the future. So why do I stay in fear so often? There are healthy fears of course and it is a humanistic protecting mechanism, however, when it impedes personal progress-ITS A FREAKIN' PROBLEM. My solution today is to bring a voice to my fears and let them out of my heart where they tend to seem bigger, lurking in the shadows. I will share with whomever reads this (probably only me and Kelly) a few of my biggest fears:

SPIDERS- no really I hate them
Losing Loved Ones
I will grow old alone (yeah my mind sees me with 14 Bellas and a rocking chair)
I will never succeed and find my real passion
I will never know true love

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Messages are everywhere

"I have only to believe that the path that is set before me is the one that he has chosen for me. The miracles will unravel before my eyes like an open door I was unwilling to see before and it will lead me to the next... In that faith, I will know peace..."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Move Forward

Move Forward
Originally uploaded by Catherine E. Trestini

Gotta keep moving

This sticky stagnant feeling has been hovering around me like a heavy cloak... it makes me tired. It says "Stay in Bed" and " Do it tomorrow" the worst one is "you deserve time to rest". Not that I don't deserve time to rest, but the kind of rest this voice speaks of is a malady for me. Moving is essential to growth. In order for my spirit to grow it must stretch and breath and experience. Taking steps forward, I will move with a confidence I may not always feel, but can act as if until it becomes apart of me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Who I am...Who am I?

 I moved to the big ole' city of Los Angeles from Georgia, at the age of 23, with dreams and ambitions of becoming an actress. At the chagrin of my parents, I packed up my belongings in my beat up Acura Integra and traveled two thousand miles to seek my fame and fortune. With the open road before me, a QT coffee, and carton of smokes I sighed in relief...I had finally escaped. I had always hated the south. I felt so trapped growing up there. Every other Sunday, being dragged to the southern baptist church (my parents are divorced) and lectured, once again, about hell and damnation, and how if you didn't believe in the exact fundamentalist way they did, you were going to hell...oh yeah, and there is no Santa Claus. Lets just say it was not my cup of java. Not only did I feel trapped there but I also felt like something was wrong with me-I just didn't fit in. When i was ten, I remember going through my parents stuff  searching for the adoption papers. School was so trite. If you weren't in the in-crowd you were in the out crowd, and I didn't feel like I belonged in either. Long story short, I wanted out. So I was on my way to L.A. and I was going to make it come hell or high water! So after all of this build up of dreams and ambitions and outspoken declarations of how much better my life would be, I arrived in Los Angeles... And had no clue what the hell to do next.
 I hit up all of the hottest clubs in Hollywood, took a shot of tequila with Brittney Spears, and felt like I was apart of life at last. I was so overwhelmed with the swarms of actors everywhere. I had no clue what path to take, so I took this class and auditioned for that agency, but it was beginning to look like everything was a money making scheme (which it is). I ended up getting a job at a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills waitressing for the elite. At this point I had always considered myself a social drinker. I mean who doesn't go out drinking 5 days a week. Who doesn't occasionally black out and not remember the night before. Who doesn't go on a 5 day bender to Vegas and Cabo San Lucas with a guy they met one night while driving cross country? I guess I drank a lot, but who doesn't right?
Then there was a shift. I just kind of went insane. My grandmother passed away shortly after moving to Los Angeles and my drinking took on a more necessary role in my day to day life. Meaning I began to drink every day of my life from that point on. I could go on a drunk-a-log for the next four years but honestly, its all bits and pieces. I do know that I dated a lot drunk losers that made me feel better about where I was. Heaven help the one's I dated that were normal. I just ran from them. And as for my aspirations of acting? I sabotaged any opportunities and was too scared to make a move in any direction. 
I don't know when it happened, but at some point I crossed over the line into full blown alcoholism. I believe I have always been an alcoholic. I remember being a kid in the dentist chair getting a cavity filled, and loving the feeling of the "laughing" gas, reaching behind me, when the doctor left the room, to feel for the switch to turn in up. 
By the age of 27, I couldn't go a day without a drink. By this point if someone asked me what I did for fun, I didn't have an honest answer if it didn't include alcohol. I would say things like rock climbing and horseback riding, basically things I did when I was 12. My life became very small. I would work at the bar, start drinking at 6, get out of work and make sure I got to Ralphs before 1:30 a.m. so i could get enough wine to last me through the night. I even had a delivery service that would meet me at my house by 2 a.m. and could recognize my voice and my order of two bottles of barefoot cabernet when I called. I usually stayed up until 5 or so in the morning, smoking cigarette after cigarette and watching reruns of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place.I was in constant turmoil with my room mates until one sat me down and said she was done. She said she wouldn't watch me drink myself to death and moved out shortly after. Around this time I met my neighbor across the street and began hanging out with him. He was sober. I had never hung out with people who didn't drink and really never cared to, because they just had to be a bore. He was different... he was happy. I found myself wanting to hang out with him and his friends and I didn't drink when I did. Around this time, I decided to get a dog in hopes that taking responsibility for small animal would help me take more responsibility for myself. Of course it is rather difficult to potty train a dog when you can't get out of bed before 3p.m. It was becoming clear that I could not manage my life with the amount I was drinking. A few months later, I was tired, really, really tired. I asked my friend to take me to an AA meeting and the rest was history. Well, not exactly.
The thing they never tell you when you walk into the rooms of AA is that just by making that one step, you will never be able to go back to your normal way of drinking. It changed me. I stayed sober for a few months, but expected to be overwhelmingly happy and free immediately. It was not immediate. I relapsed on a bottle of wine and blacked out immediately, not that I stopped drinking mind you. You see, I can't stop until I pass out. I woke up so sick, I could barely make it to work. The panic attacks ensued and just to be able to take a step I had to make a drink immediately. I was no stranger to this ritual. It was how I functioned for years, but the alcohol had become so poisonous and I could no longer function on it. With bitterness, guilt, shame and remorse I crawled back to the rooms to pick up a new comer chip. This time would be different. It wasn't. I kept doing the same things and always went back to my demon lover, alcohol, like an abused wife asking for another pummel. I honestly can't tell you why I kept going back, thinking each time it would be different. Alcoholism is insidious, if you can't remember how bad it was with sufficient force, its over. I did this for 13 months. My last drink was 11 months ago. I decided to get a beautiful  bottle of Pinot Nior and decant it while snuggling with my dog on the couch watching a movie. This is how that relapse ended:
Bottle of wine=$80.00
ER visit=$921.00
One way ticket back to Atlanta=Priceless
Within a week, I was back home in Atlanta in a treatment facility for alcohol and drugs, weighing in at a whopping 94 lbs.I was there for 5 weeks during which I had been told if I went back to L.A., back to my apt., and back to my job, I would most certainly relapse again.
I thought everyone had gone mad. How was I going to get sober in the town that I hated most, with all of these religious, conservative , hypocrites!!??? Out of options I moved back to Atlanta and into a sober living for women.
In retrospect, this place saved my life. It wasn't easy to have a 10:30 p.m. curfew, having to go to meetings every day, and work a part time job that paid in two weeks what I made on one good night at my old job. It was very humbling for me. I couldn't even have my dog with me. I felt like a transplant, I had nothing. What was worse was that everything I held onto seemed to be taken from me. At three months of sobriety, I was robbed at my work and my computer was stolen by a gang of transvestites. Two weeks later I was laid off.  People I cared about began dropping out like flies around me. I had nothing to depend on...which was exactly where I needed to be. I only had my higher power...my saving grace. I suppose the hardest part was at seven months my boyfriend, who had walked each step with me since treatment, relapsed. I found him in bed with a girl I had lived with in my sober living. It turned out the betrayal had been going on the entire time.I was heartbroken and depressed, but turned to Alcoholics Anonymous and the women around me and chose sobriety. I haven't been the same since.
I now live in Los Angeles and have no clue what I am going to do with my life. Every day I am taught to walk through my fear and show up no matter what happens. I am beginning to have real fun again and laugh in a way I never used to. Right now I am scared shitless. The things I do have I hold onto dearly. My little dog Bella has turned out to be my companion in sobriety. The true friends in my life have stayed and held me through this walk when I couldn't take another step. Oh, and I found out I really like to knit!!!!

 This blog is meant to reach out to anyone who has come to the end of the road, feared the worst, and reached for the end only to find the beginning.