Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

We are all sick puppies

Posted: September 21, 2013 in Recovery

I have not been to a bad meeting for quite a while.

I will refrain from disclosing any more details as “what is said in the meeting stays at the meeting”.

But for a person to be told that they are not welcome back at a particular meeting is unacceptable and I am thinking of making a formal complaint to the bigger cheeses.

Said person did not deserve this sort of treatment and the bearer of the slap in the face is a repeat offender is my eyes.

Saying that, I did go to the meeting with a totally open mind and with not a speck of historic malice in my being.

Luckily the person who was told they are not welcome back is an old timer like myself and it will probably not rock his world too much.

Just a mini post to remind myself that we are all as sick as each other. Just because someone is chairing a meeting or is passing out the money bag does not maketh that person saintly and above acting like a dick.

This is why we are called recovering adult child or alcoholics……not recovered.

download

I can understand why some people would try and convince someone that they are not an alcoholic. If that person was a big drinker themselves and they missed their drinking buddy. That their relationship was based on their escapades together at yonder party place.

I can understand if it gets bought up in the middle of a ho down heaving party. They are a few merry drinks down and they want you to just be your old self and join in on the fun and not be a wet blanket

I had an experience this weekend – in the cold light of day – not a party in sight – where a long time friend was quite adamant that I am not an alcoholic. That he had known me for 30 years (true) and that I am definitely not an alcoholic (untrue if you know the correct definitions) and this stopping drinking lark was taking it to the extreme.

Said moderate drinker friend was cleaning his swimming pool when I popped in to say hello so there was no party going on and it didn’t need to be addressed within the first minute of conversation like it was.

It was like he had been waiting for the chance.

I am still abit confused as to where this came from.

Perhaps it was been playing on his mind.

I am a little irritated that it has taken me years to step up to the program and get to the point where I am comfortable saying “I am Diddy and I am an alcoholic” and from left field there is a friend who is not happy with my diagnosis and new lifestyle.

As a side bar issue, this friend’s best male friend is someone who I think is an alcoholic. A right ball of fun. But yes. A piss cat. So perhaps he really really likes his mates to be alcoholic ?

What benefits are there to a person to having an alcoholic friend ?

Why is it an issue if they stop drinking ?

Does it put the alcoholic friend in their place lower than them in the pecking order of life ?

Are alcoholics exciting to be around ?

Are they entertaining ?

I don’t know.

I is just pondering.

monotony

Feeling in a low space lately.

I just feel there is nothing exciting or stimulating on the horizon.

Except for a steam train local trip booked for a Sunday in November – and far off plan somewhere late next year to visit long lost brother – there is nothing planned for the rest of the year. Hell bells, for the rest of my life !

The weeks seem to fall into each other. A droning monotony of getting up, ferrying Teenie to school, going to work, fetching Teenie (who looks and acts like she would rather pull all her eyelashes out that spend even a minute with me) going home, cooking a meal (with some hidden veggies in for Teenie) and going to sleep.

All the while this being watched by an unappreciative teenage audience who is only too happy to point out my evident and imagined flaws on a minute to minute basis.

A sober Grounds Hog Day (did you see the movie back in the day?)

Having my own problems with having a positive outlook on life – I seem to have bred a miserable teenager. Trying to remain upbeat and chipper is a battle of my own, but add in a vortex of teenage misery and hormones – it’s a daily challenge.

It seems nothing I do is right in the eyes of Teenie. I feels like I have barely got my head around my overly critical parents and I am – minute by minute – faced with a critical teenager.

On the upside, I do realise that I feel so un-inspired and stimulated because I function well under chaos of any kind.

And now that chaos is gone.

Particular favourites being dating unsuitable men, moving around alot, rebellious behaviour such as partying and drinking when I should be a responsible parent/adult/employee/person/partner/driver and all the resultant drama and chaos that can follow – Porra being mad at me because I got drunk, feeling embarrassed because of getting drunk at the work party, worrying about what I said or did, passing out at my own birthday party after it had barely started, driving drunk, having hazy suppers out with Teenie’s grandparents.

All those actions and repercussions took up alot of energy. Like a survival mode. And now that I am not throwing my energy into those men, moving, drinking, being on the water wagon, drinking again and mopping up emotional messes – I feel lost.

I have lost the craziness that used to light that fire under my ass and keep me going. Dare I say, I like being abit crazy ass. It gave me a personality or more so that was my personality I hung on to. It gave me excitement, it gave me zing, it gave me a life.

For so many years, I was another persona with alcohol and the associated life that goes with it.

I see other fellow’s gratitudes or people’s Facebook posts and updates, and I think, hell, how did they get so happy, fulfilled and content. Where am i going wrong ?

Take away all those behaviours I had and I don’t know who I am.

therapist

I have been fantasizing for many moons about visiting my country of birth and hooking up with sperm donor and my little brother.

He was around two when our parents divorced and they did the barbaric thing and split the siblings up. Girls with my mother and boys with my sperm donor. I left England when I was 12 and we have seen each other a handful of times.

I cannot remember how it came about and who instigated what, but we wanted to skype so we swopped numbers over email and used what’s app to connect on a time and date to be ready to skype.

To cut a long story short, we whats app on a regular basis and it has been easier (as it is) to open up over messaging. I’ve told him I am in AA. He has told me he also had drinking problems and has a sober date of about three years ago and his liver was starting to shut down yadda yadda. It’s been heart warming for me because he often initiates the contact (puffs chest up like a pigeon).

So the theory that alcoholism is in ones genes has been proven by my strange family tree. We did not grow up in the same environment, not with the same parents, let alone the same country and we are both alcoholics.

Shall we meet half way he joked.
Well I’ve been kinda looking for flights says me.
I will help you ! I am so excited he says.
Sleep on it ! I will help you pay too he says.

All I needed was a little nudge and a validation. It didn’t take much for me to start planning a trip and getting flight quotes, checking out my leave, emailing school about school holidays. I do not want to accept any money from my brother, but I just wanted either him or my Dad to just offer. To put their money where there mouth is.

It’s all very easy to glibby say yeah come over. It’s not a drop in for a Sunday lunch, bring a rice pudding. It’s three months or more worth of single mom take home pay to get my ass over there .

All I have ever wanted was someone to be excited (really excited) to see me and I seem to have found that in my brother. Probably because we seem to have lots of commonality. I say probably because I am wary that any tom, dick or diddy could make a connection over a medium such as messaging or email. Face to face could be very bloody different and that worries the heck out of me.

I wasn’t terribly fearful of this trip when I shifted my brain cells into parting with some of my bond money. I need to book in the next week or two. Until I emailed Sperm Donor to tell him I had been chatting to Little Bro and it was likely I would be gracing pommyland with my sober ass on such and such dates.

I received a reply back that Little Bro had been on the phone to Sperm Donor to chat about my upcoming trip in 2014 and that – on an unrelated issue – they had an argument and could I keep Sperm Donor posted on my trip via email because Little Bro and he are probably going to be speaking anytime soon.

WTF ?

I have come to realise, that this time leading up to my trip for a family reunion is a God send and me knowing about potential heave ho’s is a huge blessing. This time is largely going to be about adjusting my fantasies. Scaling them back to a large degree. Perhaps to nil expectations. Mixing in a huge dose of reality. Adding a huge dollop of love and tolerance and what can I do for my unknown family rather than what can they do for me.

Dorset here I come !

How it went a little pearshaped….

Posted: November 15, 2012 in Recovery

I realise in hindsight…….that I should not have gone off on an AA tangent. And that my usual adult child weekly meetings were JUST AB-SOL-LUTELY-FREAKING-FINE and were doing the trick like they had done for five years or more. Those rooms – to a large extent – have been my therapy home for over 5 years. Might I add – it is all largely FREE !

<any person who grew up on benefits in the UK in the ’70’s loves cheap stuff!>

Except for a donation that you put in the little bag that they pass around (which is suggested at about fifty bucks per month). I only bring this up now as my medical aid has run out (as it does this time of year) and I have spent R3400 on medical bills this month a-frikking-alone.

I am sure if I spent that money on beauty therapy every weekend, I might feel just as good i.e. go to cheap/free meetings, spend therapy money on new hair, pedicures etc.

It’s all very well going to therapy and having nice clean teeth, but do these professionals realise you have to eat brown toast with marmite for the rest of the month !!

So why did I stop doing what was working for me. Well, people – someone in the group started getting right up my nose.

I would sit through the hour and a half with clenched teeth, feeling uncomfortable feelings. Somewhere along the way, I have been taught that if something pushes my buttons or triggers me that much……..to try and see what lesson I can learn from this experience. What is it wrong with me that I am getting such a bug up my ass ?

I can only bear so much of “looking what is wrong with me”. Especially when at the end of digging around in my psyche – I know it is not me. The other person is actually just an Arsehole (with a capital A)!

I chose to not go anymore or so adhoc-ly that it was nearly nothing.

I did try and talk to the person about being overbearing. This was because I had those feelings and had semi-verbalised them to someone else. You are not meant to gossip about someone so the way I thought to fix it – was to tell the person what I thought to his or her face. See. Then it wasn’t behind the back gossip (clever neh ?).

It all panned out that how ever I had handled it – I got ignored by that “clique” at the meeting. Not even a greeting or eye contact. I could try and make eye contact and wave across the circle …..like you do……..but I didn’t even get a glance. This in a place I’d been going to for over 5 years.

I felt a seperation in the group. Like it was under new management. I felt an outsider again.

and so then I went off on a tangent to AA. I felt lost without a group.

To double check my facts about events are true, I’ve dug out an email from around about then…..

Email from March 2012:

Dear Fellow

Thanks so much for the swift reply 🙂

Overbearing ! That’s the word I am looking for !!!!!!

I have actually been avoiding the group mainly because of the overbearing stuff making me cringe. So I’m losing what I need because my buttons are being pushed.

I have a thing about being bossed about (childhood stuff) so I realise it may be my stuff.

Could I come for coffee on Thursday ? I have a co-sponsor meeting this evening. Biodanza Tues and I am going to try and do Wednesday (with a muzzle or a gum guard. have not decided which yet).

The bottom line is I don’t want to leave the group but “she who shall not be named” in charge will drive me away.

D

xxx

I know I could be breaking some rules talking about a group outside of a group. But I feel my blog has such a small readership and cyberspace is so freaking huge, it doesn’t really matter. I need to put this down in black and white and speak my honesty as to why I deviated away from what was working. At the time I felt it was a sign that I could go to AA rather than Adult Child, but that move hasn’t worked for me. And the reality is there are sometimes people in the rooms that can push ones buttons and make the experience not a positive one. I chose to move on. Not an irreverseible choice, but a choice I am slightly regretting none the less.

Dear adult child Blog….addiction blog….sexual healing blog…..whatever you are..

Apologies I have been a bad inadequate blog parent.

I haven’t spent enough time with you lately.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about you ! I’ve missed you and thought about you often. I have had many a post in my head that didn’t make onto your front page.

Plenty has happened and not really happened.

On the parenting side, Tweenie is now a Teenager. So she will have to be renamed – for the purposes of this blog – to Teenie. Porra has gainful employment. Alas mostly in other provinces ! So I am back to being a single parent during the week and sometimes on the weekend too. Some times he is away for a few days, sometimes for a week and sometimes for three weeks at a time.

I am reminded how difficult and lonely being a single parent can be .

Porra’s and I’s relationship is going well. Very comforting and easy. Not much work involved. With him traveling and working away a lot, he is not a ball of energy or excitement when at home. This has me moaning about him belonging to boringman.com. His preferred mode of daily home entertainment is to collapse in a heap on the brown leather couch clutching the satellite remote whilst filling me in on the gripping subject of plastering. And lunging towards me sexually when I feel I hardly know him……

Whilst I understand he is tired, I’ve been waiting for him to come home and provide some entertainment and a break from the old routine……….which is not forthcoming.

<Single mums need to sit on said couch clutching said remote when little ones are asleep. Either that or reading is the method of nightly entertainment>.

Whilst I understand that him being “boring” is better than me chasing him down at some pool hall or biker bar (been there, got that t-shirt), I still – at times – miss the diversity that was part of my old single life. Variety being the spice of life and all that. Long term relationships aren’t full of variety. Which has its pros and cons.

In terms of AA and goodbye vino, I got an AA sponsor as is the no 1 suggestion. For those of you not au fait with the workings of AA…..this is someone in the fellowship who has more sobriety under their belt than you. Like a sober guide. They help you and guide you through the steps. Well, if there is a Hitler in AA, she would be it and I managed to find her.

The minimum requirement of me was four AA meetings a week. Any other meetings or therapy did not count. Prayer and meditation and readings of the Big Book every morning and written step work in the evenings.

I did bleat at every sponsor meeting that it was impossible for me to fulfill the meeting requirements. That I had a relationship to attend to as well as being an often single mom. The answer was that everyone including Porra and Teenie should put my soberness first. I already had long standing commitments to two other meeting/therapy a week so add that on the AA deal and I would be out 6 times a week. A really really impossible feat for me.

As I left our sponsor meeting, I would be reminded to “email me your meeting schedule”. That – to me – wiped out anything I had been saying. I was not being heard.

I felt a failure before I’d even got out the door. I could feel tears in my eyes often at sponsor meetings. I got up to about 40 days sober and attended a birthday celebration. I had one glass of wine. I came clean with my sponsor who suggested I start back at day 1 again. Of course I understand this, but I felt so deflated and not good enough.

The people that can attend many meetings seem to be revered by AA Hitler. I would probably be living a clean and completely sober life if I could get to daily meetings, but I can’t. I have other responsibilities.

I bailed on AA. I know self will alone does not stop someone drinking. Hells bells I’ve tried that. I do attend open meetings when I can when Porra is in town. These are meetings for any interested parties and not just the alcoholic themselves.

With Porra away, I have Teenie 24/7 and cannot get to any meetings. Teenie is also very up my ass and in the middle of end of year exams. To say I am claustrophobic and have cabin fever is the understatement of the decade. She’s a teenager who sneers hatred to me one minute and is up my ass, because of her own fears and insecurities, the next. I’ve barely got over having over critical parents and now I belong to an over critical teenager !!!

She sleeps in my bed when Porra is away, she refuses to let me get a babysitter to I can go to a meeting……she even wanted to come into the doctor’s rooms today when I went to see my GP !

<As we speak, she has just called me from downstairs where she is studying to check I am here!>

I admit last night I escaped to my neighbours house and had three glasses of wine. We stay in a townhouse complex. So if Teenie needed me it was a simple matter of opening the door and knocking on the next door.

I came back home an hour later and got a whole guilt trip on why I had been so long with the granny next door (because there was wine probably!).

My phone had 4 missed calls from Porra and a message from my sponsor who I haven’t seen for weeks after I told her I wanted to leave it for a while as I was getting too resentful.

From the amount of people trying to track me down, you’d swear I’d been at a crack house in Woodstock and not three metres away at a 78 year old’s flat !

I beat myself up emotionally all day for being so weak willed and drinking that wine. I never sleep well when I’ve had some wine so I am usually delicate from lack of sleep. A 3am wake up is par for usual after vino. Add into this a fidgety Teenie in my bed and it is chaos.

I’ve tried to speak to people about how I feel. My “normal” friends don’t think I am alcoholic, AA people seem to say that if you even ask “am I an alcoholic ?” that you probably are (a little like gay men saying every man could be gay)…..

If I say I don’t think I am an alcoholic, then the answer would be I am in denial.

If I say I can’t stay off the juice because I can’t get to meetings, I have been reminded that Bill and Bob (the pioneers of AA) did it without meetings and just working the steps.

So my soberness status is probably pro-rata in relation to the number of meetings I can get to. I am not completely 100% sober, butI am not out-of-control. I probably drink a lot less than Average Joanne. Two – five glasses a week depending on whether I drink one evenings or two.

AA has helped me lessen my drinking.

The thing is AA is not about lessening your alcohol intake, it’s about abstaining 100%. That is where the difficultness factor is upped. But then I also think that if I had to give up chocolate or coffee or any other manner of things, it would also be difficult.

Is that not why there is Lent ?

I’ve never managed to give up coffee for even a week.

I have been trying different things to “find myself”, but that’s for another time.

Plenty has happened since I last posted.

Most importantly I now have an AA sponsor who is my daily contact. There is plenty of “must do’s” and I do admit that it all seemed a tall order. 4 meetings a week, daily phone calls to sponsor, prayer and meditation, Big Book readings, daily gratitude journaling and set questions to answer.

It was all too overwhelming. I did not do all that was required. I gave up before I’d started. Our second sponsor/sponsee meeting turned out to be (at my instigation) discussions around me now having had time to digest what was required of me, ask questions and perhaps redefining what I could do…….what I could fit in to my life.

With Porra away alot, I am a single mom again……..

I’ve needed some me time. Feeling totally overly responsible. Me time – which is severely lacking when you have a child who suffers from seperation anxiety and would gladly crawl up your bum and sleep there if she could….

Enter in prayer and my resulting gratitudes………

 

Higher Power

Today I am grateful:

  • that you listened to my last night prayer of some “me time” and a day off work….. I did not expect you to send my house keys with Porra on a plane to JHB thus leaving me completely locked inside my house here in CT. But the lesson is “be careful what you pray for”. I have learnt that you have a devilish sense of humour much like me.
  • that I have the luxury of a car. Walking and taking trains today (once escaped house over the six foot back wall) made me realise what a blessing my reliable car is.
  • that my birthday girl daughter saw the unexpected train ride to school as an adventure and understood there was a lesson in all of this. I could only see the silver lining because of you and what recovery has taught me. I only stayed angry for an hour ! A memorable 13th birthday indeed. Even the cake was passed over the wall!
  • that you showed me you are here with me.

 

Love light and recovery

Diddy

I am still on my sober “plak” and haven’t had a drink for 16 days straight today ! Before that  was 21 days I think.

Not drinking is rather difficult, but the benefits are that I feel very healthy. I feel like I suppose a vegetarian or vegan would feel.  Like I am not putting poison into my body.

I bumped up my meeting attendance to three last week and have found that each meeting venue is different. Some seem to be for older folks and some are for the young and funky and some inbetween.

I thought I fitted in at the young and funky meeting. Porra did remind me however that I am not young and funky anymore (thanks Porra).

I have also read that you cannot diagnose any mental disorders (like depression, anxiety etc) until you are 3 months sober ! I haven’t been three months sober since I was 15 !!!!!

An unexpected side effect is that my anxiety seems to be decreasing. Perhaps because I am not anxious about only being able to have one  or two drinks at a social occasion  (?)- a rule I set myself pre-AA and that I repeatedly fail. Perhaps because I’m not worrying about wine and when is Friday night going to get here.

I’ve set myself all sorts of rules in the past which I’ve broken. Only drink light breezers alco-pop type drinks, one cooldrink inbetween each glass of wine…….straight strong wine always won hands down.

Tweenie has seen me reading AA books over the last few weeks. And says “Mom, you can drink if you like”. She says she sees it makes me happy.

Awful hey.

Tweenie and I have been doing quite a lot of work on our relationship lately

She will only be a Tweenie until midnight 1 August 2012 so I will have to think up another nickname for her.

Tweenie and I have seen a proper psychiatrist for a second opinion. The first opinion being ADD and bump up her meds to perhaps include a SSRI. The second opinion is that she may not actually be ADD and that her lack of concerntration could be to do with her chronic anxiety. The shrink left her on the same medication which is for anxiety and ADD, but has topped it up with a night mini dose (no SSR!). I do not what has worked…….the counselling or the meds, but Tweenie’s anxiety has also been on the decrease.

We have also been seeing a counsellor together and I proposed to the counsellor that perhaps Tweenie and I are more like sisters that parent and child. Why I say this is because Tweenie has no-one to fight with like you do when you have a sibling.

I remember some real humdinger physical fights with sisters and brothers. Tweenie and I argue alot, but not when Papa Smurf Porra is around. Once the counsellor confirmed that could be the nature of our relationship as we have been together on our own for years…..we have both been able to understand the dynamic between us…..and things are easier.

It’s easier to understand “us” if we know we are in an unique relationship and not stereotypical mother and child.

Day 30 sober is quite a biggie in AA…..I’ve been told not to worry about it and just to focus on getting into bed sober each night.

Getting into bed sober as we speak,\.

 

 

 

When I usually try and abstain from alcohol, I do it alone and I don’t think about the process. Going to AA meetings is making me process the situation more. This is my second time around with AA (one month last time) and I am hoping by putting my thoughts down now that I can avoid a relapse and make it to 30 days (…and more)

The first time round in AA – three years ago – came about by huge remorse over a particular binge.It all accumulated in me missing a good friend’s funeral because I was too hungover and had been out at a nightclub the night before. Slap you in the face type of stuff. Hard to ignore what a mess up I am.

I am now on day 11. Getting to 30 days is a huge challenge as I am a Friday night binger. So in essence, I really have only got through one weekend.
The longer I am sober, the more my remorse wears off. The longer I am sober, the more I start thinking I am not really an alcoholic. The more I go to meetings and hear stories from the “I had to drink daily” alcoholics….the more I try and dodge or reason myself out of being an alcoholic. The thoughts that I am really an alcoholic fade.

I start feeling like a fraud alcoholic because I haven’t been to rehab or I didn’t need a hair of the dog drink in the morning.

<My parents were “hair of the dog” drinkers in the morning before work so my concept of alcoholism is largely related to this. This is why it has taken me years and years to diasect my own shit>

Then I think I can manage the one drink. That I can minimalise my intake for a while. Controlled drinking. White knuckling it if you will. Reigning myself in to stop at two drinks. And usually not being successful.

But I always get back to the binging. Or leaning on wine too much. Not being able to stop once the cork is out. Hiding my wine in my coffee mug at the end of evening when everyone else has had enough, swigging straight from the bottle when Porra is not looking, thinking of having a quick shot of tequila on the way to the loo at the pitza place to up my intake away from the table where Porra is looking….

I took the test in one of the pamphlets on an AA website…..Is AA for you ? And I answered 6 when the minimin requirement is 4. I did it to convince myself I am an alcoholic when I am in “trying to wiggle out of it” mode.

I know why I use alcohol. Pure escapism from my anxiety. Relief deluxe.

Things will be different this time around.

Lady Gandalf. My inspiration.

Posted: July 1, 2012 in Recovery

The importance of a good counsellor is paramount.

I’ve realised that some else’s “love of their life” therapist wise….may not be my  cup of tea.

Just like my friend may rave about what a dish her husband is….when I think he is plain  looking and as boring as all hell.

I had a few days off a week before last and managed to get an appointment with Lady Gandalf.

All I can say is that this lady is my cup of tea.

Hells Bells. She is my Cafe Latte with chocolate sprinkles on top.

I feel inspired by her sessions. I feel loved. I feel like I’m a bit of a hero for even have survived the shit I’ve survived.

She points me in the right direction. It’s usually cost effective stuff. Which makes me feel like it’s not all a money making racket.

Seeing her again this week.

Insert smiley face.