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

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The last time I posted I was bemoaning the fact that life between the sheets had not changed much and I did not live in hope of a miracle turnabout.

Well God must have a sense of humour or be evil enough to enjoy yanking my chain as shortly thereafter God sent Porra off to Johannesburg – where Porra thinks the streets are paved with gold. Well. OK. There are alot more jobs up there.

So  – thank you Higher Power for sending my sheet partner away – NOT !

Not for one week. Not for two weeks, but for 17 days ! This does not seem alot, but includes 3 weekends on my own. Porra drove off into the sunrise, bakkie puffing an exhaust cloud and a poof of building material – with a shout of a vague return date.

I had a good sense of humour about it for the first week. I got the remote to myself and could watch “Say yes to the dress” and “Eastenders” without horrible choking noises coming from my right.

Then the said return date changed. Pushed out to longer.

Then at some point during the business trip there was elation (from Porra’s side) about landing a huge contract and bleatings about skipping back for a bit and then being away again for another month.

Then he went out to a party with old friends.

My sense of wellbeing and smugness at having the remote to myself started to wear off. I started to miss the man. I started to think – no- know – that this is a crap situation. I hadn’t signed up for a long distance relationship.

Have a glass of wine . Drown sorrows. Pass some time.

Oh feck. Can’t. Am alcoholic (your one glass = my six glasses)

Step up meetings.

Oh feck. Babysitter.

Babysitter found.

Plan everything with military precision.

I was a single mom for 8 years and have forgotten how much hard work it is on your own.

I do not want to do it on my own.

I feel so hurt about it all. Which is silly because Porra is away because of work not because he is shagging Pamela Anderson at the Formula One Hotel, Midrand.

Long distance love sucks.

I would love to tell you dear blog that I have found a cure for my sexual problems.

But I haven’t.

I remain disinterested.

I still avoid it.

I still find it distressing.

I feel asexual.

I would rather have a cup of coffee, a chocolate and a YOU magazine thank you very much.

I continue to “sacrifice” myself to Porra once a week or once every ten days to keep the peace.

We struggle through it with both of us pretending it’s all OK ……when it aint.

Had a brain wave last night to google ” I don’t like sex” and see that pops up.

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.

 

ImageB

Because my juice of choice is wine, it does lead to misconceptions of grandeur in my own head. It does always seem elegant yes ? Let’s get “elegantly wasted” as INXS said.

I live in the one of the wine capitals of the world, Cape Town ! The start of the wine route is a ten minute drive down the road. My name means “goddess of wine”. If I am an alcoholic, it would have to be WINE !

I do not miss beer. I do not miss cane. I do not miss vodka. I do not miss Old Brown Sherry. I do not miss breezers.

I could quite easily dodge doing anything about my drinking. I don’t get into too much trouble around it. Porra only flips out now and then. My work is not affected except for the very odd day twice a year when I have a week day hangover <I am a weekend drinker usually>. Tweenie does not mind me drinking. She actually encourages it as she says it makes me smile and seem happy. That is quite sad in itself. That my child says I seem happiest when half way down a bottle of River Red.

I do not have many current day consequences around my drinking because of one factor. Porra. Although he abhors drinking, he unwittingly enables me. He is a non-alcoholic and has unwittingly become my nominated sober driver when I am in the need for a four glass/one bottle of wine evening.

The questions that helped me solve my 5 year riddle, Am I an Alcoholic ?

Here in A.A., we practise abstinence. Can you abstain from alcohol? And if so, when you’re sober, do you miss drinking? And when you start to drink, say you plan just to have a couple, are there occasions when you drink more than what you planned and know is good for you?

These are just general questions to ponder; in A.A. no-one tells another that they’re alcoholic – we just try to help provide the information so anyone can make up there own minds.

Like it says………no-one can tell me whether or not I am an alcoholic. In fact, some of my friends have told me “bullshit, you’re not an alcoholic”

But I answer yes to all these questions and I am the one that wants to make a change and not self medicate on wine to relax and cope.

I’m on day 7 of abstaining.

It’s not easy. I’m fine when at home or work, but socialising is a bitch. I got hugely anxious at a social gathering today. Wine takes the edge off socialising. I’ve known the host for over 20 years so you think it would all be a breeze…..

But with a lot of my life, wine and champers is perhaps the glue that holds us together. Them in a non-alcoholic manner you understand !

I’m also co-dependant though and feel the need for socialising and interaction.

So stuck somewhere is social no-mans-land at the moment.

Craving a social life, but finding it difficult at the same time.

Strange reactions part 1

Posted: June 28, 2012 in Me and alcohol

I am not sure what I am expecting if I sneak the fact that I am an alkie into blackberry conversations……..

Friend – oy Diddy. Coming over for brunch on Sunday?

Diddy – cool. Give me a shopping list

Friend – I think the easiest is you bring what you would like to eat. Plenty of champagne of course ! I’ll be doing eggs, bacon, mushrooms, fried tomotoes, porkies etc

Diddy – I’ve just started going to AA. Turns out I am an alkie !

Friend – nah you’re not. Just bring two bottles of champagne then rather than three !

 

 

The best recovery advice I have received in the last 6 months is from the freaking You magazine of  all places.

The article suggested giving up alcohol for a month and based on the outcome of this, determine your relationship with said booze.

I managed to get up to day 20. Not too difficult, but much more difficult that I thought.

After three weeks of mostly work, a few meetings, parental duties and not much socialising, we went to a friend’s house for dinner. I mistakenly thought I could handle “just one drink”. I didn’t even take a bottle of something with me to lessen the chances of me getting alcohol down my gullet.

The evening after 11pm is abit of a blur. I remember grabbing my handbag. I remember getting into bed, but I don’t remember the ride home.

With insight from sitting in a few AA meetings and being a little active on a great recovery forum, I realise that I have no control once I “take my first drink”. That yet again I “drank more than I planned to”.

These are all “you are an alcoholic” symptoms.

I woke up with dread at 3am on the Sunday. With the familiar “oh no !” feeling.

Here I am, trying to remain sober and failing. I do not drink like a normal person. I never have. A normal person can take a drink and perhaps have two. Not me.

A real stumbling block for me is my parents alcoholism. They were the vodka on the cornflakes type.  My step father turned abusive and violent when drunk. And well you all know, he liked to fiddle sexually with me when on the juice. My mother – well towards the end – she had a drink or two before work.

My concept or misconceptions of alcoholism is that you have to be “as above”.

I’m not. Unconsciously…I was very sly and became a different type of alcoholic. A Friday night alcoholic. And it has been progressing past just Friday nights….and oozing over into other nights…

I never wanted to be like my parents. And I lived up to that. Does not mean I am not similar.

Sunday morning after fretting for what felt like eternity, I woke Porra up.

I think I am an alcoholic !!! I bleated.

No shit ! He replied.

This two sentence conversation may seen little and not worth much, but although I have been surmising and humming and harring here about my addict status and shared with you that I’ve been going to a few AA meetings, little old Porra has been in the dark.

I realised I have not confided in him before now because this would mean he would expect me to be accountable and stick to the AA program of abstinence (gulp !!!!).  Once I am honest with him, I can no longer have one foot on the alcohol party bus.

After this weekend’s experiment of controlled drinking (which failed) I feel more convinced that I am an alcoholic.

My misconceptions of alcoholism are still rather firmly entrenched around my parents  drinking patterns.

Because I am “not as bad as them” I’ve been in denial.

The only judge of how bad an alcoholic I am will surely rest with Tweenie one day.

(this time round…..I went through a batch a couple of years ago)

….was freaking scary. I just wanted to run away. I could smell someone’s booze breath in my vicinity. This is “allowed” although if a person has had a drink, they are not meant to “share” as it would be the alcohol speaking and not the person.

Last night was my second meeting. Not half as scary. I’m starting to feel more relaxed. Slightly. Which means I am not off in my head worrying during the meeting.

“the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking”. Yes. That’s me.

What scale of alcoholic I am or am not does not matter, I have realised. That was what I was all hinged on. Whether I am or not.

It doesn’t matter.

My desire is to stop drinking.

Boss invited me out for a glass of wine at lunch time. This was quite an honour as she is rather “high up” in the company and I am a mere underling.

Old me would have loved it……the comradie around having a glass of sneaky vino with the boss…….being part of the inner management circle.

Took quite a bit of balls to decline feigning too much work.