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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Stressed and Sweaty: Summer in the City

For the past couple of months I have been lurching through life with an ominous [internal] black cloud floating over me. 

I have been off Zoloft for a while now – I ended that relationship in March due to the hurricane of emotions I was hit with every ten fucking seconds. Am I depressed? Sure… do I need a mountain of prescription pills to sustain life? Jury is still out on that one… are the feelings I am experiencing only here because I am not medicated? I am thinking no, confidently. 
No, this feeling is less “empty jar where my heart should be” and more like marbles rolling around in my stomach, bricks on my chest.
Work. 
Sigh.
Work.
It is like this weird game that I am somehow just realizing I am a part of. Sometimes I love it, and I live it, and its this thing that consumes me and I am it, and it seems like I cant get enough! Other times I am drained to the point of no return. Honestly, I am ashamed with the amount of time I spend thinking of hiding under my desk just to escape the noise.
Its like I am two different people all at once. Work Maria loves the chaos of the day to day, the busy-bee queen feeds off the high pressure environment, the ringing of the phones, the stupid customers asking stupid questions. I cant explain the satisfaction felt after assisting one of my team members with a difficult situation or completing a daunting task.
The other Maria, the one I am still struggling to get to know and understand, she is afraid. She knows she is not indispensable, she knows she can be replaced. She feels like she is juggling machetes, and that any second one will not be caught and artfully tossed into the air, if you catch my drift. She feels like she does not belong, that she is not capable, she feels her shortcomings outweigh her abilities.
After chatting with my therapist for some time I have come to the realization that in both my personal and professional life that there is this underlying need for not only acceptance but a need for being needed. 
I guess on some level I have always known that because I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to feel needed? 
Boundaries.
That is my problem. I take work home with me. Literally. 
Thing 1 : Mission to Mars – a select few of us were chosen to partake in the first ever mission to the future. What this means, I have no fucking idea. I was tasked, along with my fellow astronauts, to read a book about a ship [not a shark, as I later discovered after asking everyone about the “shark book”] and to bring back discussion topics for our next training session. 
Okay. That isn’t so bad. I like reading, books are cool, they smell good, and this one could potentially help advance my career and instill a new level of leadership I didn’t know I had. Cool. Bring book home. Read book in spare time. 
Thing 2 : EVERY-FUCKING-THING ELSE!! 
THE TEXT MESSAGES – THE EMAILS – THE PHONE CALLS – THE ANXIETY OF KNOWING I LEFT WHEN THINGS WERENT COMPLETED – DID I LET MY TEAM DOWN – SHOULD I HAVE STAYED LATER – SHOULD I HAVE COME IN EARLIER – SHOULD I HAVE TAKEN A LUNCH BREAK TODAY – DID I TAKE TOO MANY BREAKS TODAY – DID I SWEAR TOO MUCH TODAY – DID I DRESS PROFESSIONALLY ENOUGH – DID I – DID I – DID I – SHOULD I – SHOULD I – SHOULD I …. FUCKING JESUS A CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!
See, I don’t know how to walk away and leave it at that. I don’t know how to leave work AT work, leave all my shit there so I can pick it up the next morning when I return. Do people actually do that? I do not believe that I am the only person who gets into their car and instantly starts panicking about “what the fuck just happened today”, “what could or should I have done differently/better/more[or less] of/this/that/20 other things”… I know I am not the only person who does this and yet… I know for a fact that the one thing that me and my fellow panic-ers have in common… we probably aren’t too happy. 
And then when the texts or calls come in, man, that triggers a new level of panic for me. Why have I failed my team? If I was better they would have the resources needed to answer these questions on their own and get through the day without having to call me. Or have I bred a culture of “neediness” where I wasn’t actually giving my team the tools required to excel, but only giving “just enough” so my team felt empowered but really, I was only crippling them enough for them to not notice how much I needed them to need me and I secretly and subconsciously created these crazy fucking roadblocks where people HAD to go through me for approval and answers???? 
WHAT DID I DO? AND… did I actually do this???
We are in the process of this Mission to Mars where we are learning more traction-y ways of being a leader/boss and going through LMA sessions. Now, this is not my first LMA rodeo, I have sat through the videos, read [skimmed] how to be a great boss, and filled out one of the LMA questionnaires for my boss, Scott. 
We sat down in a conference room on Tuesday, me and this new group of astronauts, and we watched the video – first time for some, second or thirdsies for others – and discussed. Scott rambled off some stuff about things and we went through the LMA questionnaire again. AND HOLY SHIT – I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE RIGHT THEN AND THERE.
I COULDNT ANSWER YES FOR ANY OF THE QUESTIONS. I was a no for all categories. 
And that made me cry. Not for myself, even though I have been known to be exceptionally selfish, but for my fucking team. Like, lord, what? Honestly, I know this last year has been somewhat of a blur both in my personal life and at work, and I knew that there were aspects of my work life that I really needed to narrow in on and re-group/re-focus on. I just didn’t realize how far off course I really was until I sat down and read that stupid fucking piece of paper. 
Aaand queue more waterworks. 
For those of you not familiar with LMA its basically like this: Leadership + Management = Accountability… and something like if you are a good leader and can manage shit your team will be successful and happy and respect you. The questionnaire asks things like “do you make time for your team and give them what they need”… 
So, based on my really shitty explanation of something a bit more complex than that I am sure you can understand why I was [am] so upset. 
It all makes sense now. This needy culture WAS created by me, my absence as a LEADER created a black hole. These people are just looking for someone to help them out and I was too busy being a raging ball of BITCH to actually give a serious damn. I gave a half-hearted damn, I was going through some shit, okay? 
Excuses are like assholes but whatever, that is all I’ve got.
How long can someone be “going through some shit”before its just “my life is shit”… and when do you know when you have crossed the line from one to the next? How will I know if I am succeeding? 
What does success look like?
When will going to work stop giving me anxiety? When will being at work stop giving me anxiety? When will leaving work stop giving me anxiety? When will sitting at home on the couch watching shitty TV stop turning into thinking about work and getting anxiety? When will a text message from work stop giving me anxiety?
Is it my job – or is it me? I am quite certain it is both.
I don’t know – I am not a mental health professional but at the same time I don’t trust half of em, so whatever.
I just want to be fucking happy. I cant remember what it feels like to be genyinely happy, and that makes me even more fucking depressed.
I feel like a damn idiot, going through the motions every day. 
Cheesy-toothy grin and a wave “hi hello good morning” “how are you? Oh me, I’m fine thanks for asking!” “Love your shirt today” “INSERT LAME STORY ABOUT ELTON THAT NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT BUT HE IS MY LIFEBLOOD”… cry at desk, cry in bathroom, cry while smoking, cry in a different bathroom…. think about eating. 
WORK
GO HOME
MAYBE SEE FRIENDS – joke and joke and joke – touch on one serious topic and go deep into self realization that I am shit, I know nothing about being a person – back to jokes and jokes and maybe food eating
GO HOME
MAYBE PAINT
LOOK AT ELTON
ORDER DELIVERY FROM PARKWAY PIZZA – SEE SAME DELIVERY DRIVER – FEEL LIKE SHIT FOR ORDERING TAKE OUT AGAIN
LOOK AT ELTON
SLEEP FOR A COUPLE HOURS
HIT SNOOZE *19* FUCKING TIMES BECAUSE I SET MY ALARM FOR 6 AM BUT CANT WAKE UP UNTIL 745
STARE AT ADULT ACNE IN MIRROR AND CRY
GET READY FOR WORK
PANIC WHOLE WAY INTO WORK – WHAT DID I FORGET TO DO
PANIC ALL DAY AT WORK – WHAT AM I FORGETTING TO DO
PANIC WHOLE WAY HOME FROM WORK – WHAT DID I FORGET TO DO
*repeat every day for 9 months with the exception of a handful of days
I am tired. 

They say that breaking up is hard to do

Its not the breaking up that is hard. No. Its the inevitable hurricane of emotion that follows that is “hard to do”.

After my recent break up I was left feeling completely devastated. Confused. Lost. Sad. Angry. All of those swirling, icky feelings that are associated with breaking up. I was consumed by depression and a belief that “I’m worthless. I’m not good enough. I’m not, I’m not, I’m not”

In my heart I clung to the idea that perhaps it wasn’t real, that it was just a thing, he wasn’t serious, he would come around. He didn’t just fall out of love with me. That stuff was all just some bad dream and any second now he’d be here, wanting me, desperate to take me into his arms and love me forever.

Wow.

My head knew it was all too real. My head knew that it was the end – I had lost my love. All the dreams we had, the future we had created for ourselves, it was all gone and I knew it. I just didn’t want to believe it.

I lied to myself for weeks. I told myself it’s not real! It’s not happening! I continued living in this deluded world where he was my soul mate and that he knew this, he felt the same way, and that he was dying to be with me, too. 

Why did I continue this lie for so long?

Part of it was sheer embarrassment. Do people see me as less than? Do they think I’m a loser? Here I am, pining over a man who kicked me out – booted me to the curb and said he was no longer in love and I am crying over him. Pathetic. No strong woman would be feeling this way! No strong woman would be laying in a pile of used tissue, sobbing over her phone and the worthless text messages he had sent.

I felt like an idiot. Was it all a lie? Was the past 5 years just some fucking joke? Did I make up this happy relationship just like I had made up the idea that he still loved me? Holy shit. Why did all of this happen? What did I do wrong? Did I not see the signs? Were there signs? I bet there were but I was too lost in love to notice that he was just lost? What could I do to change, to make it better? I begged him to love me. I went there. I said I wouldn’t and I did, I caved and I actually begged him to love me. That was low, so so so low.

Most of it was sadness. So much incredible sadness – I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was drowning – trapped in a pit of endless despair. I felt like a soaking wet rag being wrung out by a really aggressive person with strong hands. I was being twisted and life was escaping me. He was my love. My future. He just… was. And then he just… wasn’t, and I didn’t want it to be happening. I loved him so deeply. I never imagined a life without him because he said I didn’t have to, and he changed his mind.

Holy shit.

This whole amazingly crazy awesome cool part of my life was ripped away from me all too suddenly. I didn’t focus any of my time to really process what was happening. I started reading shitty blogs highlighting the top 8 things to do after a break up, the top 15 songs to listen to after a breakup, the top everything related to breakups that are supposed to help you feel like less of a worthless piece of shit. It was all garbage. I didn’t want to read shitty poetry and listen to shitty 90’s R&B and shitty shitty shitty.

It was all shitty.

And then. THEN.

I wanted to beat the shit out of him.

I wanted to drive my car directly into his fucking house.

I wanted to destroy his life.

Those feelings were fleeting, lasting a quick day, and then I realized it was just another dumb ass part of the whole grieving process. Whatever. Anger felt right. Anger always feels good on me. I look good in rage.

Acceptance. Sitting in my grungy pajamas on the guest bed in my old bosses house, watching Sex and the City wondering what I will do next. According to Charlotte [I think I’m a Carrie/Miranda hybrid] it will take me approximately 1/2 the time we were together to get over the loss of the relationship.

5 years = 2.5 years?! I mean… interesting. Right now it seems almost quite realistic. I still have trouble sleeping. I think of him throughout the day, I still hope for a call. I’m not still hoping but I am still hurting. Even though the relationship dissolved without me noticing I still love the man. 2.5 years seems so excessive. This is just silly.

2.5 years to accept reality? That sounds insane.

I feel like maybe some great pizza, friends and a shopping spree will help immensely. Will it take 2.5 years? I fucking hope not. Will it be quick and easy? No, and I am slowly becoming kind of OK with that.

Now… now I just have to keep on keepin’ on.

 

The deed has been done!

First clue of the PP Treasure Hunt and I am beyond stoked! I know for sure that at least one other member of my crew is stoked as well. I only say that because the rest of the crew is still sleeping. We really need a crew name. We’ve come up with some pretty lame garbage ones in the past. Maybe that’s why we have never found the medallion? My god. We’ve been so close every year. This is it! I am so sad that I am going out of town for the weekend, though. Excited to see my grandma and spend time with her and my mother… SO SAD to miss out on 48hrs of hunting time. Yikes. I hope that doesn’t make or break us this year.

Oh well. Deep breaths!

I have an easy to-do list today:

1. Brunch – this is non-negotiable. We have no groceries and I need food.
2. Grocery shop – mmm hmmm!
3. Tear up the gym – abs today (yikes!)
4. Spruce – the house doesn’t require too much work but some chores are definitely overdue.
5. Whatever!

I left my planner at work 😩 so I can’t plan my week out in it. I’m feeling itchy because of it. I can work it out on paper and in my phone but it’s not the same when it’s not in my planner! Ehhhhhhghhhhhh!!!!

Ice cold!

Today was partially spent deep cleaning my bathroom. Then I ate and ended up watching Property Brothers & Love it or List it for about 2.5 hours.

I decided that I can’t decide if I hate it if people “love it” or “list it” more… depends on the episode. I can tell you that the nasty people with super unrealistic expectations when it comes to home renovation and budgets drive me batty!

How can you be that daft? I mean, really? How do you not understand limitations? I found myself arguing with the TV and making snide remarks about the guests on the shows. Seriously. Start thinking people! You simply cannot expect a brand new home without dropping a dime!!

sigh

Today is definitely -3 degrees and I haven’t left the house. I smoked my last cigarette last night and haven’t even left to go buy more. So, I’m either quitting or becoming exceptionally lazy. Both? Is that an option? Probably. I don’t know… obviously I understand the health risks associated with smoking, it’s just that I am not ready to quit. It has been said that the more attempts you make at quitting smoking the more likely it is that you are to quit. That’s good, because I have attempted quite a few times. Someday.

This is my view from my craft station. I kinda love it!

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Tunzo Funzo: A daily prompt blog

Show you fun… MY idea of fun…

If Hell froze over and for some reason I did not have to go into work tomorrow what would I do…

SLEEP IN! 

I know a lot of people, myself included on occasion, who take advantage of time off. Unexpected time off or not they wake up and seize the day, Newsies style.

With all the snow we’ve gotten I would most likely just want to stay in bed, cocooned in my blankets for hours. I am in desperate need of a crafting day and I did get a bunch of new paper to play with so I would most likely do this:

1. Wake up

2. Make coffee

3. Sit

4. Stretch

5. Drink coffee

6. Sit some more

7. CRAFT LIKE CRAZY – I have a few empty frames just laying about that I would really like to FILL with something. I have plenty of work that is just piled in random corners around the house. I could do that.

8. HANG pictures – in addition to the multiple empty frames I also have photos ready to be hung. Hardware and everything, just ready to be displayed. I just need to do it. It’s been somewhat difficult since my boyfriend/landlord [its the same person] is a little skeemish with the thought of holes in his walls. I mean, he’s owned the place for a while now so in my mind its time to actually live in it! Right? I’ve been living there for almost two years myself and haven’t hung up a single piece. I laugh about it because it seems so absurd to me. Why wouldn’t you put holes in the walls? I have never lived anywhere that didn’t have art hung in every available space. These naked walls give me gas.

9. Obviously eat… I like eating

10. Whatever the hell else I want to do! I’m a pretty simple gal. If I had a car there might be driving and/or shopping involved, because I LOVE shopping as much as I love smoking cigarettes!

I found this image on Google searching for “waking up” and I like it!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/daily-prompt-good-time/