A decade of honesty & self loathing – my journey with sobriety

It does not feel like ten years.

Just the other night I was “reminiscing” with friends about parties we went to and different events we somehow managed to crash and it felt like it was a LIFETIME ago.

No, it definitely does not feel like ten years.

People will ask me from time to time if I miss drinking and I’m like… “LOL YES?? I’m a fucking alcoholic….”

To me, being an alcoholic means admitting that I am powerless over drugs and alcohol. It means that I have a serious problem with moderation. It means that I cannot remember a time I drank that didn’t involve me getting sick, fighting or both.

For me, personally, it is not a daily struggle. Anymore. The first 3 years were the hardest and then it kind of became second nature.

I’m not going to lie and say there haven’t been triggering moments where I’m craving, wanting or even NEEDING a drink (a whole bottle, I never did “a drink”..) because those moments happened when I least expected them since day one.

It was more frequent in the beginning – like, everything triggered me wanting a drink.

  • Car won’t start? DRINK
  • Late for work? DRINK
  • Got yelled at? DRINK
  • Bills are late? DRINK
  • Short on cash? DRINK
  • Lonely as hell? DRINK
  • Someone said/did something you didn’t like? DRINK

And then it was just petty shit…

  • Woke up? DRINK
  • Went to work? DRINK
  • It’s the weekend? DRINK
  • Bored? DRINK
  • Saw booze? DRINK
  • STLL ALIVE? DRIIIINK
  • LIFE SUCKS ASS?? DRRRRIIIIINNK DAMNIT!!!

Somehow I made it through most of all that unscathed and I lived to tell the tale.

The hardest part of my recovery is the loneliness. I almost wrote “crippling loneliness” but it’s definitely not crippling, I’m just dramatic. It’s a very lonely world when you are not completely submerged in “the fellowship” – which in my experience is mostly a cult but maybe I haven’t found the right one……?

It’s hard for people to relate and they think you’re some boring ass-hat who doesn’t like to have fun. It’s like NO! I’m the epitome of fun! I know how to party, believe me!! I’ve been court ordered to rehab… TWICE! They don’t do that for people who DONT know how to party! Please be my friend! LET ME LOVE YOU!!!

Beyond the loneliness factor – I do have a SOLID group of friends who I wouldn’t trade for the fucking world. These are friends who keep me on my toes, engaged with the world and they love and respect me.

These past ten years have been so incredible. Mostly because I can remember most of it! I hate remembering it all but at the same time I don’t. It’s win/lose, you know?

Lose because the bad sticks with me forever until I have enough therapy sessions to let it dissolve and float away.

WIN because I have DONE and SEEN and EXPERIENCED some amazing shit in these past ten years. Things I never could have dreamt of, things that were never a possibility when I was active in my addiction.

Well, here I am… doing all that feelin’ shit.

Lol why are my neighbors screaming? Like, I know they are from Virginia but it’s NOT the first time it’s snowed and they are on the front steps yelling… athe snow. They do drugs. It’s fine, they smoke weed and I can’t judge them because they are older and they’ve lived their lives so if they want to get stoned on a Sunday afternoon and yell at the snow who am I to say shit?? But my WALL neighbors (the ones I share a wall with) are annoying as hell. Mostly the girlfriend that just moved in last year. The guy isn’t so bad and he’s hot but her voice echoes through these walls and penetrate your eardrum like a needle poking through a thick cloth. I want to slap her. I’m going to sleep with her man. Whatever. I’m a bad bitch.

ANYWAY – here is a journal entry I found from 2009 shortly after I sobered up:

“Leah and Mandi are drunk now, talking to these men as we sit under an umbrella in an already enclosed patio space. As I stare into the skeletal structure of this massive umbrella, the crisp static of conversations around me barely making its own at into my thoughts, I’m wondering how such an ill conceived idea as umbrella-d tables in a covered smoking patio came to be when I noticed a hand caressing my knee.

Not in a sexual advance kind of way, more of a friendly way, but he was no friend. Not even someone I could call an acquaintance. Just some tired old guy in a tired old gay bar trying to regain my attention.

The night was just a bunch of brief encounters full of compliments, insults & derogatory remarks (mostly from Leah and the man who eerily resembled Chris Frank).

I don’t know how we managed to break ties with these guys we were smoking with but I do remember Leah’s booming laughter trailed by “there’s too much estrogen here, let’s go to Pi”…

I chuckled nervously, she always knew what NOT to say. I look at my nails judging. They’re too square and I hate that. I always ask for round and for some reason they always make them square. I hate square. Square nails are gaudy. Square nails are for women without class, tact or grace. I don’t want to be at the bar anymore.

When I was younger I thought that sitting in a bar with a cigarette lit in one hand and a drink in another was the epitome of greatness.

In reality it was as me sitting slouched over a mug of rail vodka & dry ass cranberry juice listening to bad remixes of already bad songs… standing outside to smoke a cigarette while fat sweaty men hang all over their fat sweaty girlfriends.

I went to bars to drink away my problems at home. I drank at home to forget who I was.

I started drinking to be cool and have fun. I quit because I wasn’t cool and I wasn’t having fun.

I don’t know where I’m going, I barely know where I’m coming from. But… finally, I feel like I’m beginning to know who I am.”

And that’s that. I’m going to buy a pack of smokes and enjoy this beautiful snowy day.

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Dirrrrty 30: The Dating Death Sentence?

the-dating-pool-in-your-30s

Now that we’ve all seen the meme and chuckled to ourselves a bit lets take a step back. This shit is ridiculous.

I asked a few friends for insight on “dating in your 30’s”…

Dating in your 30’s is like dating in your 20’s but you actually get through a movie with your clothes on. It really fucking sucks – AB

Just don’t do it, man – EO

I’m very excited because I can still do everything I did in my twenties, except now I have the wisdom and money to do them better – CMcM

Younger men last way too long but take direction very well – CS

They don’t call you on your birthday – MLH

Basically, I am finding dating to be exceptionally tiresome and I am bored with it. Bored not because nothing eventful or exciting happens but bored because it is literally the same thing with different men.

Machismo. Psuedo-confidence. Sense of entitlement tied in with instant gratification.

Its hard dating, in your 30’s, with mental illness. I mean, my god. If one thing gets in the way its my BPD. I have to deal with this every day and while it is a challenge I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Am I unique? Fuck no. Not at all.

What about dating while “sober”… meeting a guy for drinks is really decaf latte because caffeine after 4:00 pm makes me cranky. Am I 30 or 80? I know there is a perception of sober chicks in the non-recovery world. I also know, while trying not to judge, that men in recovery… sigh. I mean, talk about your baggage!!! I am a mess as it is, I do not need to make the mistake of dating a guy who is floating down the same river. [my saying is: “same river, different boat” as in people in recovery are taking a similar journey just at different speeds, seeing different things, stopping when they need to, etc.]… now, this is my own experience but… men in recovery tend to be just as, if not MORE, emotionally fucked than their non-sober counterparts. You would think that all the therapy and what not would help them come to terms with their issues… yea, you would think that, wouldn’t you? It isn’t the case. Not only are they battling with their chemical addiction they are now facing the reality of their lives…  sober. Again, JUST MY OWN experience, not the case for all… I just cant. I don’t. Fuck you.

What do men even want these days? It seems like the dating world has changed a lot in the past 5 years. Or, was I simply exceptionally naive 5 years ago?

This year has brought some funny dating fails into my life. I mean.. my most recent experiences:

1.There was the one guy… I don’t know if he was an intentional douche, hiding his true intentions, or if he is really seriously insane. Both, perhaps? I kind of feel sorry for him, though. Anyway, that was a 6 month stress-coaster I could have done without! He had a CRAZY EX who stalked my life and made up these weird stories about me (She’s an older woman, too, so I didn’t expect this but how sad for her).. but honestly he was no peach either. Just a fucking ego-centric-basically-Neanderthal-lying-cheating-pig. With very poor table manners. And he couldn’t handle my sass… like, he had SO MANY FUCKING FEELINGS I was like “how in the fuck can I keep up?” It was literally like trying to navigate a mine-field. Everything hurt his feelings. Hey, my standards were pretty low, okay??

2. There were the Tinder dates. Oh. My. God. You guys… if you wont take my advice, take Eugene’s advice “just don’t do it, man”… LOL – Now, I have heard of one success story from Tinder and that was like, uh, over a year ago. But for real, Tinder is most likely where all the weirdo’s go to play and you don’t want to go there and be a weirdo UNLESS OF COURSE that is what you are in to and then, by all means, DIVE IN. I have seen *so many* unsolicited dick pics from using Tinder in 3 weeks than I have in my entire life of living, and I have been alive for 30 years and some change. WOW. I mean, wow. The conversations generally start out completely innocent – I got a lot of “hey, I like your pics” & “your bio great, it would be fun to meet you”. Then some other guys were more like… “gorgeous babe, I love you lets get married”… and then of course the “come over to my place lets F**K” … “JUST A DICK PIC”…. “I want to *** in your ***” and then I’m like, wait… what? THIS IS TOO MUCH!

And then, because these things always happen in 3’s, the home run, if you will… Him.

3. Not God, but He Who Must Not Be Named. The ghost of Christmas Past. My living nightmare, Satan, in the flesh. The serpent Himself comes slithering from the shadows of yesteryear.

Initially, in my head, I called it for what it was: harmless flirtation, foolish texting. Nothing. But then, he suggests meeting up? We did last year, and it was fine, nothing happened, nothing crazy. But why dinner, again? But then again, why not?

I am awesome.

And then I am THROWN – like a penny to a wishing well – so carelessly. I am whirled into memories of a past I would rather FORGET. This man who once used me for all he could get. This man who was so flippant with my heart. This man who I loved for no reason other than he was he.

This man who I knew was poison but, so fucking charming. So fucking handsome. So fucking dangerous… so fucking wrong. Suddenly, without warning, I am 19 again and full of this stupid fucking excitement like a stupid fucking girl. And of course it explodes in my face.

Okay.

The story of my life: “Good enough to fuck with, not good enough to be with”

Well fuck me sideways….

Q. Are my expectations unrealistic?

A. Yes – very much so. I watched too much Disney growing up and was raised by a bunch of strong women.

I am successful in my career. By successful I mean, I have a lot of stress and responsibility and that is accompanied by a salary that allows me to live alone comfortably when I am not blowing my cash on things I don’t really need. By live comfortably I mean I use a plastic tub of Archer Farms Raw Mixed Nuts to keep my dining room window open because its broken and my “landlord” sees no need in fixing it. I mean, its just a window, right? But, I’m happy.

I am still young-ish. 30 isn’t old. I am happy. I am confident-ish. I drink coffee. I like stuff. I am full of joy. I am caring and host fundraisers for animal charities.

I am once again wondering… why the fuck do I do this to myself? Am I a glutton for the punishment?

And the answer is, I don’t know. What is out there? A bunch of boys who talk in circles and have no intention of showing up? Is there a guy out there who wont fucking annoy the shit out of me? Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life… men speaking in code? Is it worth it, even? Do I care?

You know, I am completely satisfied with sitting alone in my lower-middle-class apartment decorated with empty cigarette packs & cat fur.

I am completely satisfied with random grocery shopping trips at midnight.

I am completely satisfied with finding everything exactly where I fucking left it. 

My time is spent wishing on falling stars.

Watching sunsets over the rail yard.

Taking walks with my best friend and her dogs.

Gabbing with friends about life, truth, the future, our dreams, our goals.

Watching shitty movies and tv shows… guilt free! UNINTERRUPTED!

I have a 14 day vacation planned for the end of the month and that is so exciting.

Men are of no importance to me. They are of no significance to me. I do not want to be 30 and dating because I do not want to be dating.

I am living. I am enjoying. 

Contemplations..

The internet… the world wide web… the one place you can be completely anonymous [unless someone tracks you down via ip address and what-not] and do/see/say whatever it is that your twisted little heart may desire.

Elton is doing this thing where he doesn’t realize that I am not trying to cuddle with him. I think he is so cute and I giggle as I write this but I really do want to pick him up and play “launch kitty” where he soars onto the floor from the bed… after I toss him. He is adorable and I love him yet I am terribly allergic, so if I don’t pay attention to where he is going [like near my face] I tend to end up with hives. Not breathing really isn’t fun. Him walking on my laptop isn’t fun either.

I tend to overreact. I don’t know if I have ever mentioned that before. I guess I am very sensitive, delicate and temperamental. It has always been a joke that if I were a dog I would be a poodle. Ill take that. Poodles are alright. They do stuff in the circus which has kind of been a dream of mine for a long while now.

 look at how classy and sassy that poodle is! Definitely diggin’ it!

I’d be a poodle. If Reed were a dog he’d be a lab for sure. Elton would be a German Shepard. I think Rocky would be something like… himself since he is a dog but if he were a CAT Rocky would have to be something liiiike a Savannah cat… big, wild, jump, loyal and loud!

So I totally overate tonight. It was epic and disgusting. I do it every so often. More often that I would care to admit actually but I am admitting it. I ate about 3-4 servings of waffle fries [exact quantity unknown] with MAYO and hot sauce… goodness I KNOW, I KNOW! DONT’ JUDGE ME! But you can judge me… I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about it. Anyways.. of course as soon as I finish stuffing my face we decided to go on a walk…?

Why did I go? Why did I do it? Between the horrible lung capacity from smoking [slowly cutting back, on my way to QUITTING] the obnoxiously full belly and the sore ass body from sleeping like a log I can honestly say that tonight I experienced the worst walk of my life. So far because I am sure I will have worse in the future, but this was the worst so far. Oh God, I was dry heaving and begging for mercy, begging for Reed to slow down, begging to sit on stoops belonging to strangers in our neighborhood, begging Reed to leave me, return home to grab the car and come get me… HA! How pathetic! It was a good 45 minute BRISK walk so I shouldn’t have been so close to death like I was. I blame it mostly on the fact that I gorged myself before moving. What a dumb idea. Why didn’t we wait? It’s not like we were on a time limit, or had a curfew or anything. Just in a rush to live!

So now I am in bed. With my sleepy time tea, loaded up on Melatonin, waiting for the computer to die so I can slink down further into bed and dream that I am laying on a beautiful white sandy beach near the ocean. With my  first deep breath in I will imagine the tide rolling up to my toes, with each breath out the tide will roll back out, with the next breath in the tide will roll further up my legs, then back out, further up my body and so on\, ebb and flow of the tide onto myself until I have fallen asleep or the tide has come so far up that the ocean has consumed me and I turn into a mermaid which is usually a sign that I am sleeping.

BYE

On Going Back

I am not the kind of person to hold on to regrets. Anger, resentments, grudges, any slight grievance… those things I will generally bottle up and hold on to longer than the average person.

At this time I do wish I could go back. I’d say it was just over three hours ago, so I’d like to go back 3 hours and 15 seconds in time. I would tell past Maria, “no, put that down, you don’t really want it” and I would save myself from my current troubles.

About four cups of “Handful of Everything” trail mix [thanks Target] I am ready to explode. I would say I ate about three cups more than any single person should in a sitting. But I did. And while I’m not necessarily proud of it, I am somewhat shocked that I actually managed to eat that much trail mix. So now I sit, hunched over in agony while what feels like a fifty pound boulder is slowly tearing a path from my intestines to my freaking chute.

I am somewhat uncomfortable, to say the least.

My kitty Elton is laying at the end of the bed pawing playfully at the dog. Rocky [dog] is circling the bed almost like a vulture would looking for the quickest way onto the bed without be caught by the sharp claws of Mr. Snuggle Bum. Rocky is at the door now pretending to sniff the ground while obviously staring at Elton. Elton is just staring back. A DUEL! It is pretty safe to say that Elton is King of the Bed at this point. They get along just fine, this is just play time for the boys. Naturally Elton is hyphy – it’s 11:30! His nocturnal instincts are telling him to go wild and to attack the dog, but his insatiable desire to cuddle has won him over and now he is reduced to nothing more than a cuddle bear.

So, this is my life right now.

Today I spent another glorious day in paradise at work and put myself to the task of finding my favorite coffee mug. I do this thing where I compulsively purchase coffee mugs and bring them with me, well, everywhere. So, I have mugs for coffee or tea wherever I may end up. I brought one of my most prized Monopoly themed mugs to work and haven’t seen it for a good 2 weeks now. SUSPICION! I have had mug thievery at work in the past and typically get over it real quick by replacing any missing mug with one of the 30 I have floating around central MN. Well this one is different! It is super cute with a pair of dice on the inner ring with “LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL” printed there as well. Uhm… FUN! Love that mug. Definitely brings a smile to my face in the am when I’m all droopy eyed and practically hung over from my crazy nights watching NEXGEN and drinking Sleepy Time tea. ANYWAYS – my secret mission while allllll the managers are out of the office for the next two days is to stalk the entire premises, leaving no desk completely ransacked and upturned until I find my precious.