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Mental Health

A lump….

It was Sunday morning and as I lay in bed watching my husband sleep, ya, weird maybe, my arm was resting on my left breast and I felt a lump. Instant terror. My mind went crazy thinking of the big “C”.  If I die, who will be here for my family, everything I have accomplished and the life I have come to live and love the past 8 years of sobriety may be over? What!?

I am 47, they say it is quite common for women my age to have cystic lumps because of hormonal change. Until it is confirmed your mind goes crazy. You wonder how can you go through the treatment, how could you leave the life you have so much come to love, you start thinking of things you haven’t done yet and start planning to do those things.

Why do we do that? Why do we wait in life to do things, why postpone or procrastinate on things that we haven’t yet done.

Don’t wait until you are faced with a life altering situation to make your life a full life.

Live, love and make everyday the best. You never know how long we will be here or healthy enough to really enjoy it.

 

This is, Being Me Sober

Mental Health

How is “success” measured….

That word, success, successful, succeeded….let’s put money out of heads for a bit, I know as well as everyone that money, yes it does help but, it’s not everything and it’s certainly not the most important thing. 

We’ve all wondered and asked ourselves, “Am I successful?” Most think of money as a sign or symbol of how “successful” they are in life or how they want the world to see them, a statement is made shall we say.

I myself was guilty of what I perceived as success. What I thought was, you had to have a lot of money, a high exec position, cars, etc. because I wasn’t making as much money as I felt I should have, or as much as other members of my family. I didn’t look at myself as a successful person. I have always worked hard, I actually had my own business that yes, it was, “successful” in the eyes of perception, but  I still did not think/feel I was successful, enough.  I lacked the feelings and knowledge or sight of what real success is and means. 

Success to me today is what you have done, how you’ve behaved or what you’ve accomplished in your life thus far. Not about money or material things you have collected, not about what car you drive, or the size of house you live in. It’s about things that matter, it’s about you, your children, your family, your friends and how you look at and treat the life and world in which you live. 

It’s about being truly happy with yourself, with few regrets, and the way you have lived and how you present yourself throughout your life, how you have treated others and how they treat you is an example of success. How will you want to leave your mark on the world? Imagine listening to someone at a funeral, “Ya, he/she had it all, so successful, but he/she was so miserable.” Or “They didn’t have much, but they were such a happy family!” 

If someone asked me today, if I have been successful in life, I would give a difinitive, YES. I have raised 2 awesome kids, I have an amazing husband and 2 beautiful (step) daughters, (hate that word) I have survived and conquered a chaotic childhood and healed internally and externally.  I broke the chain with my children by not abusing them physically or emotionally. I have kept up my sobriety for myself and my family. There are so many things that I have succeeded in or at so far. I didn’t really see success that way, I saw it as many of us do, money, image, perception. 

So, ask yourself, are you “successful” in the ways that really matter. 
This is Being Me Sober…

Mental Health

Finding peace with a Support animal….

Growing up we always had a family dog. I have found that I have a special connection with animals. I don’t know if it is because I am a huge animal lover or they can really feel how much I adore them.

When I suggested to my husband that we get another dog, he was hesitant of course because we had a house full already of kids and a pug!

I was 3 months sober when our Golden Retriever, Molly, came into our lives. What a blessing she has been.

She lay with me and never left my side when I was sad, or happy for that matter, and could sense when things were not going well for me. Whether she gave me a paw on my leg or looked at me with her big brown eyes almost telling me, “It will be okay mommy.” If things were stressful for me when I had urges to drink I would take her for a walk or just sit and talk to her and pet her.

We purchased a condo in Florida with a “NO PET” policy and after some time I started to realize how hard it was for me too not have Molly with me , so I took the steps necessary too have her registered as an Emotional Support Animal. It was not difficult, however you do need a doctors note and proof of your support needs to qualify.

So, with proper documents in hand and filled with excitement because Molly would be joining us at the condo, after all it is illegal for them to refuse her. I filled out the necessary papers for the condo board and sent it off. They got back to me within 24hrs with a NO! What! Oh no! What could I do now.

I told my husband that we either get a lawyer/attorney or we are buying a house down South because I will not and can not travel without Molly.

I was determined and angry that they were breaking the law and saying no to me. Doing a lot of research I came across a website for such things and was given a lawyer/attorney name and number and we were set to fight! After months of arguing with the board they had no other choice but too allow Molly too come to the condo. It is illegal for any board, company or condo corp to deny your Service/Emotional support animal.

After all was done and the condo board relented and said yes, we never heard anything from the attorney who helped me/us. She didn’t ask or send a bill for payment. It’s almost like she was my angel helping me. She was just gone. I hope she knows how grateful we are that Molly can be with us when we travel. Another amazing thing is that she is able to ride on the plane with me. She just goes under the seat in front of me and sleeps the whole way. Oh, and she is a star at the airport!

The moral of the story is that when you decide too become clean and sober, may I suggest a pet? They are an amazing companion too help in your journey. Just the love, happiness and support they give too us is unimaginable, we don’t realize how much they really do for our soul and health.

I will be forever grateful for my furbaby (and the attorney). Molly has been one of my major support systems in getting sober. She brings a smile too my face everyday and fills me with endless love.

If you are thinking of getting a pet and need to have them registered here is the information:

National Service Animal Registry – 1866-737-3930

http://www.nsarco.com

Have a pawfect day!

This is Being Me Sober…..

 

Mental Health

Trippin in BC……

Last week my husband and I went to see our daughter in BC for a 5 km trail run. It was great, not just the trip but to share a great memory with my husband and his youngest daughter. 

I can not tell you if you have never been to BC how beautiful it is and I now see why people migrate there and never return. It is breath taking and a return visit is already being planned.

We did some tours, spent a couple days at the beach and walked around the city.

Umugst the 360 panoramic mountain views and beaches, there is another side that is very disturbing to witness.

Its a swarm of lost souls there that is a devastating site to witness and imagine your life as such or what could of become of our disease.

We saw the homeless, prostitutes and the addicted, the struggles of people that have lost their way in the world. 

To see someone in broad daylight behind a building on a step putting a needle in her arm?! Why has she chosen this life? Was there no one or nothing that meant enough to her for her to stop? Or the young man asleep at noon on a park bench with all of his belongings beside him. Seeing grown intoxicated, high, men getting arrested yelling, “its my 3rd assault charge so whats the big deal for another!” The old men, some sitting drinking or lost in their buzz or passed out on the ground til they awake to get to lost again in their next drunk or high.  What has gone so wrong in their life to be and stay at this point?

I have heard that once your on the street some actually like it, prefer it to where they came from. Is it the drug that has been infused into their system so deep that they believe that to be true?

It was hard for me to see that as I have come so far to get to 8 years of sobriety and would never go back. Is it money, family, not knowing where and how to get out? Why,  is all I kept asking myself. 
I’ve lived a sheltered life it seems because I don’t just walk by like its another day at the park, I walk by and it stops me in my tracks and fills me with sorrow and a yearning to save them. To show them….to help them see through a crystal ball the life they could have….if only I could. 

If I had more time I would have liked to stop by their corner and talk to one of them to listen to their stories and share mine and show them that it would be such a better life if they could get and stay clean. Maybe they have been told so many times before and have been abandoned now by their family and friends because they’ve chosen the high or drunk instead of love.  But maybe, just maybe someone will come along and say something to them that shines the light and helps them see.

If only I could.

This is, Being Me Sober.

Mental Health

Wonder….

This disease we call alcoholism is and was confusing. I often sit and wonder or talk to my husband about how I came to be an alcoholic. If I had married him first, would I have become an alcoholic? If I wasn’t in an abusive marriage that lead me to drink more than I should have. To escape the thoughts of knowing my ex was cheating and not being able to prove it and he making me feel like I was crazy. If I didn’t find him so disgusting that I craved to just get loaded and escape.

I don’t know when it triggered that I lost control of my drinking. I just know wine, beer, whatever booze there was, was my go to and coping mechanism for many years.

Is it possible that I wouldn’t of become an alcoholic if I met and had kids with my now husband instead of what and who I did marry? Is it just in our genes that one day it just hits?

I often wonder, if I could go back with the amazing husband I have now, would it be different? Would I be able to drink like a normal person? Or would I have the same result just in a different way or outcome.

I do know one thing, if I could go back I wouldn’t pick up a drink to test it out.

I don’t like to wonder where I would be now if my husband and kids didn’t save me from myself.

 

This is Being Me Sober…

Mental Health

Diluting….

Did you ever try diluting your drinks?

If you’ve ever said to yourself and others, maybe I’ll try diluting my drinks so it won’t be so potent and maybe I won’t freak out, black out, or do anything but pass out!

I use to blame it on not eating before/while I drank. It would buy me some time between slip ups and I could still drink. Excuses.

I also thought it was because I was close to my monthly visit from The Lady in Red…

I thought maybe the wine had to much alcohol content.

I’m sure there are some really good excuses out there that I never thought of. They were and are all excuses trying to be in constant denial of not being able to control my drinking.

I finally realized that diluting my drinks was not helping and I eventually came to the same result every time I drank.

Moderation was never for me. Why drink if you aren’t going to get drunk. What’s the point? Why drink?

Diluting, excuses and denial will never help us.

This is Being Me Sober

 

Mental Health

Reflecting….

Today is May 24th 2017 and as I sit in our backyard oasis, I’m reflecting on how far I, we have come in my sobriety and life. I say we because it is a joint effort for all involved with my and your sobriety. They’ve gained just about as much as we have in the journey of being me sober.

Tomorrow marks 8 years of sobriety for me. I can not say enough about how much sobriety ROCKS!!!! 

When I approach another year I always look back and remember where and who I was. Each year however is different, if you dare to believe it,  I become stronger, more self assured, less insecurities, less anxious, more and more complete, and most of all, happy. 

Gosh, 8 years ago I went on my last bender. It was a doozy let me tell ya! I drank, binged, for about 20 hours straight. I fell face first, not the first time, into the garden bed. I made a fool of myself infront of my son, daughter and my now step children. I drank all my daughters friends mom’s rye and yelled at her for telling me to stop drinking, “really? I said, “that’s funny coming from you.” Was I that cruel? I woke up my father at 3am in Florida to come get me. I swore it was over with me and my now husband. I went back home and downed my anti depressant pills. I wanted to die. I needed a doctor. I need help. I want to die. I thought it was all going to pass over. 

It was May 24th 2009 that I checked myself into the hospital to get help. To get away from these people. To get as far away from them as possible. They can’t see me like this, they deserve so much better than me! I’m ashamed of myself, I’m so full of rage, I want to die. I told them to get away from me, that I wanted nothing to do with them. Hope they will listen, I thought, then I can be alone. I want to die. 

I was put in the emergency room with charcoal and a bucket. Ugh gosh, that sucked! I just want to sleep. I’m so exhausted. 

There was a doctor that came in and asked a bunch of questions which I am fuzzy on, but I think I gave him the gist of why and what I was doing there. I was starting to surrender.  I was starting to succum to my disease and allow myself to let go. I want to be sober, I want to be happy, I want to be me again.

I begged my boyfriend to forgive me and take me back and made a promise to our children that I would never drink again, I kept that promise! 

I want to live and be free.

This is Being Me Sober.