Lucky ones

I just completed my first technical inpatient treatment and am in a medium intensity treatment or halfway house with programming. It took a lot for me to get to this point but I’m glad I did.

Over and over I am struck with how lucky how blessed I am. I get to look at life anew. I get to take a look at my life in a new huge way. People are begging me to become a new me and teaching me how to change my thinking and behaviors. And I’m surrounded by others on similar journeys.

I’m not saying I wish addiction on anyone because there is a lot of darkness and struggle before the light. Although we are the lucky ones because joy, laughter and positivity feels brand new. Stifling and numbing your emotions for such a long time every emotion feels hugely amazing and terrifying. The negative emotions hit us like freight trains too. And in those moments (which seem like years) we experience all the sadness, anger, grief and trauma we’ve been avoiding with drugs and alcohol. Dealing with all this heavy shit is hard and icky and uncomfortable but so many people never deal with their feelings. Instead of using substances maybe they worked too much, focused on other people, funneled their energy into god knows how many other things and faked happiness without really feeling it.

Us addicts have an entire industry devoted to our addictions or our in your face problems. At some point it can’t be ignored or we will die. Good news is that the root causes start to come to light. They have to they have been waiting to explode out of our bodies! And maybe this doesn’t happen the first time or the second time or the a thousandth time we try sobriety but slowly these ideas eek into our hard heads or at least mine… and we grow and change. Each time we go through this journey we get a few more ah ha moments.

Simple things like maybe I could be sober. Therapy can be good. Lies are complicated. I have to love myself first. Some things are worth my time and energy. Pick your battles. Keep it simple. Take your meds. Sleep at night. Take showers. Connect with others. Get a job even if it’s not the one you want. Take time for you. Everyone won’t like you and you won’t like everyone… so what.

These things seem obvious and easy but sometimes they are the hardest lessons to learn.

Fight and believe

I fight for the right to have an opinion.

I fight for the right to be upset.

I fight for other people to do the same.

I believe in people in general and that they can.

I believe in people with mental illness and that they are equal and can be equal.

I believe in people with sexualities that are different from mine or the same as mine.

I will always fight for everyone….

Dealing 

I am coping… in the middle of my boyfriend not wanting to believe me, starting drinking occasionally again and the choas of work and school. I am coping and finally dealing with my mugging and attempted rape. 

I talked to someone today who blamed herself. And that was wrong. I looked online for similar coping strategies and found someone who said that stranger attack and rape was ok because it was invited. Don’t get me wrong the victim wasn’t wrong but the society that told the victim it was wrong was wrong. It leaves permanent scars.

I want to say something Stronger more defiant of using people as sexual property but I can’t express it in words.

Don’t treat people that way.

Losing sight of myself

Sometimes I find myself drifting in and out of my own life.  I am still sober but it feels different like I am not sober. The distance I feel from myself recently is similar to how I felt when I was using, how I wanted to feel.  This numbness is disturbing and I can’t really understand where it comes from. I haven’t  been taking care of myself, my soul to be exact.

Writing and reading even have not been a part of my daily life.  I miss them like I miss the better part of me.

Life has been monotonous and busy but not exactly in the ways I want.  I find my current job depressing and have to hope that it will not be my job for too much longer.  I applied for another job in the library but in time we will see if I get it.

Just needed to write something.  I already feel a bit better.

Change can be hard to believe

Over the last months well really the whole year of sobriety people have had difficulty believing that I have truly changed. I acted like a jerk in a lot of ways while using and now I feel like a new person. Sometimes I feel like people are waiting for me to screw up… Maybe sometimes I am too.

I guess my point is given the chance people change. On mlk day it is something I think about, stereotypes and how they affect us. While I can’t identify with the struggles of minorities but I can speak on stereotypes. When you are expected to be a certain way it can just be easier to be that person. Everyone always expecting a party when they saw me. People would call me only to go out or grab a bottle and hang out. Trying to break out of any stereotype is difficult. Maybe if people can open their minds to new ideas about individuals or groups we can build a better future.

Personally I think anytime we can discuss differences in civil manner we are one step closer to getting it right.

I deserve

I used to say to myself that I deserved this drink.  I worked hard…. x happened…. y said z to p I deserve a drink just for having to be me.

Earlier in my sobriety like say 2 months sober.  I wrote in my notebook.  I deserve to be sober.  I deserve to be healthy.  I deserve to be happy.

I have held onto that throughout my continued sobriety.  I DESERVE this.  I am worthy despite whatever I have done. I am a strong woman who is deserving of fearless love, compassion, loyalty and the actualization of my dreams.

For most people the idea of being worthy of good things is obvious and hard-wired into them (some maybe too much).  At one point that was true for me as well.  I could be arrogant with the best of them. However, somewhere along the way I lost that belief life had beaten it out of me.  I had stopped believing in myself.

The only thing to do is beat that belief back into your head, but lovingly of course.  I chanted it. I prayed on.  I deserve happiness.  I deserve my life back.  I deserve it.

Now by the grace of God I am living my life again and doing my best to appreciate every second.  I try to balance my past with my present and doing so helps me cherish how precious life is.  Remembering my very drunken days, helps me to be thankful that I am capable of going to work, drive, have a few dollars in my pocket.

Anyway I am beginning to ramble. You are a valuable child of God.  Cherish life because you deserve it.

I hear in my mind all these voices… I hear in my mind all this music

oneyear

One year of sobriety!!!

…  pats self on back….  looks around and shrugs….

Turns out it’s just another day…. leading up to another day

But looking back I honestly never thought I would be here.  One year ago and some change I could barely see to my own hand filling up my glass.  Now  the world seems infinite again.  Alcohol is not in control of me and my the help of God it won’t be again.

Frankly a world of newly infinite possibilities can seem overwhelming.  Thankfully, my addiction and poor decisions give me an excellent frame of reference…. and I won’t go back.  Without alcohol my life is much better than it was with it.  Even if everything I do blows up in my face or goes horribly wrong, I can think and respond and work towards the solution instead of wallowing in the mistakes or pointing blame everywhere.  How freeing.  I am human.  I am alive.  I am capable.

For me being sober is half the battle….  Hear’s to another year of clarity, health, happiness, chasing my dreams, being there for the people I love: Here’s to good food, dancing in my kitchen, the grocery store, work, car etc, thrift store shopping, drawing, reading, learning, building, breathing, growing, dreaming and loving. Here’s to beauty and art, laughter and tears.And damn sure here’s to remembering every blessed moment of it.

All that glitters is not gold but shiny things sure make me happy…

One year Sober Anniversary…. Celebration Suggestions

I am starting to get excited and feel a definite pride rising in my chest.  My one year anni is coming up on the 14th of January.

I am not sure what I will do so basically I am looking for celebration suggestions.  Normally I would celebrate with a night out and a lot of drinking but that’s not an option or even something I am interested in now.  How did you celebrate or how would you??

Ironically it’s also my boyfriends’ birthday and he does partake in the drink occasionally so it will be interesting to see what we do.  Because of that I think I probably won’t celebrate until the 15th (in all fairness the alcohol wasn’t out of my system until then anyways).