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. 

Hats, Scarves, Gloves & Boots

Morning seems to come earlier and earlier this time of year, especially when the cold comes with it. Image

Today is blustery cold. There is nothing to do outside besides freeze and DIE. Getting out of bed was probably one of the hardest things I have had to do in a really long time. Even the dog didn’t want to go out this morning and he is never concerned with the weather. Unfortunately, I get to work only to find out that I am not needed today. That is my life today.

It is actually warm here, in the training room. Comfortably warm. Nap warm. I don’t think I will ever leave this room!

I would love some coffee. I have some with me however  it is completely tasteless and blagh. Well, it is flavorful. I guess its all because I am a creamer kind of gal. Sugarless now, actually, I just really enjoy a splash of creamer in my coffee. MMMMMmmmm that milky goodness! French Vanilla, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Fat Free, Sugar Free… whatever! I love it! If you are in the Richfield area and happen to swing by my work with a bit of creamer I will smile at you and tell you a story about something while I drink my coffee. We can sit together in the training room and talk about life and our dreams and the days to come and what sort of goodies the future has in store for us. And then, I will ask you to leave, and leave you will because no one likes to overstay their welcome. You will go back into the cold tundra and I will stay, comfortably warm & tucked away, in the toasty training room.

Today will be a good day.

QUESTION: has anyone seen Sharknado on Netflix and IF SO – two questions – 1] what were you thinking? 2] was it entertaining?

Note how I didn’t ask “was it good”… to me a movie doesn’t have to be good to be entertaining. For instance, Joe Dirt… HA! Now, I don’t think anyone would call that cinematic gold [besides the Martini family & a few select others who happen to have a great sense of humor and a solid understanding of what it truly means be white trash] BUT it is a terribly entertaining movie! Terribly! I remember being SOOOOOO excited when Netflix added Joe Dirt. Oh, SO excited! I am pretty sure I blogged about it!

I can hear people giggling. The heat registers not only carry heat but sound as well. Not clearly though. It’s not as if I could sit here and carry on conversations with people in the next room but I can hear faint voices, pick up bits and pieces of things. I feel like a spy. I want to BE a spy!

This bum…

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I love my cat! Elton is probably the sweetest boy I have ever come to know. Without him… I don’t know where I might be!

I walked too much today. By choice. I know, weird. Weird for me. For anyone else 3 miles of walking wouldn’t get as much as the bat of an eyelash but for me oh my goodness! It’s been a while since I’ve actually moved the way I did today. A lot of dance walking… Ha. I got Rocky a harness so I can harness his strength and walk him for once, and it was amazing! I made that dog my bitch and I laughed out loud as I dance walked him all over town.

Today was actually insanely STUFF. I woke up early, sat in on a meeting I wasn’t invited to or necessarily needed (coffee and bagels – everything with jalapeño cream cheese, hot, thank you), went to Target and finally got trash bags, hit up Marshall’s and bought… a pencil for Mandi and a cereal storage thing? I don’t know I was wasting time and money, obviously. Went to Michael’s and returned half the useless crap I bought on Saturday. I loitered in the garden center at Home Depot for a good while too. Cleaned, did laundry, spruced, set aside shit to donate, went to see Geno at work….

I attempted to start Vampire Diaries season 4 and I realized very quickly that I really wasn’t paying any attention to season 3. So I feel like maybe I will restart all that. Next Monday….

I am totally aiming to have a 3 day weekend…. next weekend??! I kind of want to just blow my entire PTO bank and have a veg-fest with my fuzz butts… mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Things to do with a three day weekend:

A different kind of love

If I could claim any one space as my own at the building I work in it would be the handicap stall in the woman’s restroom.

Now, that may sound weird to some, most or all, however to me, that room is the epitome of the word sanctuary.

I simply love that stall.

A part of me has claimed it on a deeper more personal level. Only a select few know of my fondness towards that stall and an even fewer select persons know of the irrational jealousy that consumes me when I find it occupied. Not a “green with envy” kind of feeling, more of an empty longing.

Its the place I go to take care of business. I consider the women’s restroom my office, that stall being my workstation.

I don’t know how to explain it.

Just like I can’t explain my bizarre obsession with Craig Ferguson, the name, not the actor/comedian himself. That my friends is simply a uniquely unusual unsolved mystery.

WHICH brings me to my next topic: Marvelous Mystery Shorts. So, a while ago I had decided to get into the habit of writing for pure pleasure mysteries. I named these mysteries “Marvelous Mystery Shorts”. To me they are pure genius. GOLD. Here is the best example of my work as of yet:

Do You Know the Muffin Man: a Marvelous Mystery Short by Maria Martini the First

Thirty two years ago today a young man was closing up shop at the local bakery he ran. When in the back alley, while he was tossing out the trash, a canister of primordial ooze fell from the 6th floor window of a mini laboratory onto his back, thus altering his genetic DNA, turning him into the notorious Muffin Man. He got a gift card to the MNHS & adopted 6 cats then trained them to do tricks so the could join the circus. Soon after he met & married the bearded lady. They lived happily ever after…… IN HELL.

Have a great life.

Blue Collar

Today I celebrate a personal/professional milestone. As of today I have received 2,390 customer reviews on our Listen 360 survey program. I am currently at a 70% satisfaction rate. That is the most in our entire franchise! Now, I know 70% doesn’t sound too fabulous but let me explain: the survey rates the booking CSR as well as the cleaning technician, so my percentage is shared with whoever actually did the work. I am very proud of myself!

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I LOVE COFFEE! I recently moved my Mr. Coffee coffee maker into my work “pen” so that I can drink it 24/7. Let me just say “EFFF YEA!” It’s probably the greatest thing I’ve done in my 3 years here at ZEROREZ. A few people have complained about this move but I really do not care. I still share my coffee, it’s just closer to me now! YAY! Now I can live out my fantasy of being a barista. In the past I applied for 3 different barista jobs, two corporate coffee shops and one local, and was turned down at each for being “over-qualified”…. AS IF!!! I have absolutely no experience whatsoever. I was in this phase where I thought that I really wanted a part-time job to supplement my shopping habits. So to me I figured the best place to hold a PT job would be a coffee shop since I love customer service and delicious, sensual and aromatic coffee. Well, that phase did not last too long. I am now looking to supplement my shopping habits by becoming employed as a Tattoo Shop manager. That would be fun too! Interesting and fun. Busy busy busy.

Can I just say that I am somewhat upset that we’ve been having a couple almost too warm days here in Minneapolis? Not that I hate summer with a wild passion and wish to live in a frozen tundra, I am just a fall person. I enjoy the summer and the warmer temperatures when I have free time to sit at a beach or in the shade… or in my living room with nothing but my underwear on and an ice pack on my neck. I tend to over-heat. A lot. I am also a sweaty gal. Very sweaty. Warm temperatures and I just do not mix very well. It is very hard for me to dress comfortably in the summer as well. I love the fall. I love not having to worry about melting at my work-station or while out and about at the dog park or grocery store. I love being able to drink hot tea out on my patio while watching Elton pounce around the yard. I guess I am just saying I am ready for the leaves to change and for a nice bonfire. That is all I want right now. I do not feel that its too much to ask.

Thank you.

Fin.

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.