Skeletons 2.6 – My Recovery Reflection

Reflection (past) – Hindsight is 20/20…sometimes.

Sooooooo, we decided it was a good idea to go to Las Vegas for Easter weekend 2018.

Easter weekend in Sin City? Really? Yes!

With the kids? You know it! 

We needed to get out of dodge. H suggested it and I said “hey, why not?” The plan was to leave early on Saturday morning so we had 2 full days. But something unexpected happened two  days before that threw me into panic mode: We had a lice infestation!!!

I will spare you the series of events that occurred but let’s just say, once again, I made things harder for myself than they needed to be. It was a cluster of a situation that had me crying and cursing myself left and right.  We were close to canceling the trip all together but I gave in and spent every pretty penny’s worth on having it professionally removed.

The whole debacle was such an ordeal, I knew there was no way we were going to get on the road as early as we had planned. And we didn’t. We lost the entire day and arrived to our hotel at 5pm.  Not the end of the world, at least we made it and enjoyed the time we did get to spend there. However, I’ve reflected a bunch since we’ve been back and have caught myself doing a little bit of self-loathing with the “coulda, woulda, shouda” statements (CWSs):

I could have saved a lot of time, stress and tears if I would have just slowed down instead of rushing to fix the problem without informing myself better. I should have done more research.

If only I could have seen them sooner; then I would have taken care of it before it got so bad. I should have been paying closer attention. 

I might as well be incarcerated for the mental beat downs I give myself, I mean damn.  When this pattern of “stinking thinking” takes over, I cannot be in the present or of any use to others. So, figuratively speaking, I am a prisoner…..in my own mind.

This “stinking thinking” has carried over into my recovery life as well. I remember somewhere in year #3, S2 said “I wish you would put as much time into your spiritual fitness as you do your physical fitness.” Looking back, I totally get what she was saying.

As I reflect on the first 4 years of my recovery, the CSWs held me back from taking it really seriously.  Plus, I still hadn’t accepted my alcoholism and was l”ugging around my baggage,” so I always had one foot in and one foot out when it came to AA.  I thought it was all about drinking and as long as I wasn’t drinking, I was good.

Other than that, as I talked about in Part 1, my recovery from March 2012 – December 2016, was half-assed, at best. I did the bare minimum of what was required of me and flew below the radar. I did not “get in the middle” and fall in love with the program or the fellowship. Sure, I was cordial and even made friends but I was basically faking the whole recovery part. Yep, I celebrated each year abstinent from alcohol, took dirty tokens, and celebrated others do the same. I was genuine when it came to my interactions, most of my shares, the relationships I formed and what I brought to the table in terms of friendship. However, everything pertaining to recovery was pretty much an act but I wasn’t just fooling others, I was fooling myself as well.

In hindsight, if I HAD taken suggestions and done everything that I coulda, woulda shoulda done in early recovery, I probably would have “gotten it” sooner and not wasted the first 4 years at war with myself, delaying my growth as a spiritual woman in recovery.

But see, I thought that if I revealed my BBS to others, they would think less of me, internalizing this negative belief that I am automatically less deserving of all the gifts that recovery and working with others had to offer.

After 2 more years of meetings (still on again, off again,) a lot of prayer, self reflection, and candid discussions with people in and outside the rooms of AA, I now have a different perspective so here’s what I think of that:

FTS!

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 2.5 – My Reactions

In this next post, I talk about my interventions. Fun times, you guys, fun times. If you think you may have a drinking problem, well, I hate to break it to ya but you’re probably right. Wanna chat about it? I’m all ears! You can find me on Insta @myrecoveryrevealed.


Reactions:  Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. – Charles R. Swindoll

I’m just going to cut to the chase and give you a clear picture of what alcohol does to an lush like me: a codependent, conflict adverse, people-pleaser who needs validation, praise, love and acceptance from others.  In my right mind, I’d never be on a rooftop as my family approached my front door below shouting “WTF are you doing here!?!?”

And on that note…

Intervention #1, 2006

My sister was concerned after I shared something disturbing that had recently happened when I was drunk at another dude’s house. Disturbing enough that she felt it was time to get my parents involved. All 3 of them arrived unannounced. They calmly expressed their worries and asked why I was so sad. I recall mentioning not being pleased with my life, depression and whatever else I could muster up for self seeking pity. There was no drama. I knew I had a drinking problem and I was going to fix it! I set out to stay sober for 2 weeks. And I did. But then I drank again and I picked up right where I left off.  I moved back in with my parents for the last time and gained SOME control but not for very long (per usual.)

Fast forward 6 years and being the go-getter that I am, I managed to set myself up for not 1 but 2 interventions, back to back. Go meeeeee!

Intervention #2, February – 2012

In Skeletons 2.3, I talk about the events leading up to this quiet sit down. It was just H & my parents and once again, I was calm and not defensive. But that’s only because I was sober and knew I couldn’t talk my way out of this one. H asked me why I kept relapsing and my dad said “it’s the disease.” At that moment, I silently agreed with him. I had no defense of my own. Once again, I solemnly swore that I was done drinking for good.

I told you what happened next: I took advantage of a stop to run into the store for something and prepared for Intervention #3 by smuggling 2 mini-boxes of wine back home for a rainy day.

Ha! Just kidding…

Intervention #3, the very next day

I also share details about what led up to this showdown in the post before this.

You know that horrible feeling when you wake up in the morning, not remembering something troubling from the day before and then you do remember and your heart sinks? I’ve experienced this feeling many times, post drinking and not drinking. Well this was my reality waking up and I was going into panic mode. My mom was talking to my mother in law and what I was hearing discussed enraged me. I was chain smoking in the back yard trying to think of a reasonable excuse I could give my boss as to why I had to miss work.

I was beside myself.  Not because I was being forced to quit drinking. I knew I needed help stopping, just not the level of help everyone else was insisting I needed.  I was trying to tell them all this but no one was listening to me.  I knew how much I was drinking and it sure as heck did not require a supervised detox and 30 days at an inpatient facility.

But again, no one was listening to me.  My internal need to be heard was being ignored and I felt like I was being a treated like a child; and in their defense, I WAS acting like a child. 100%.  My power of choice had been taken away from me and I was throwing a tantrum.

Long story short, I did end up getting evaluated.  Physically, I was not in withdrawal and I answered all questions honestly, thus determining what I already knew: I qualified for outpatient rehab, NOT inpatient and I started the 6 week program right away.


When I have shared scathing details of my drinking career, people say “I can’t picture you acting like that.” I know. Neither can I.  When I think about all the questionable and downright unacceptable things I did, it almost feels like a completely different life. Like, I can’t even fathom living that way.

But I did. I lived it. And by the grace of God, I lived long enough to come out the other side. However, my inability to take responsibility made it take much longer than it should have. As a result, I stayed a dry drunk until December, 2016.

It wasn’t long after then that God said “alright, she’s ready now” and intervened in a way that made me question EVERYTHING.

Including my chosen path of recovery.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 3.7: My Reactiveness – Part 2

It was a long hug; with a stranger whom less than an hour prior, I was cursing at.

When we broke our embrace, she looked at me and said again, “just pray sweetie, God will give you peace.”

When I got to work, the thought came to me “you need to go back to that first lot and make amends.” And that’s what I did. I also was inspired to visit the second lot as well and thankfully, the woman from earlier was still there. She greeted me with a huge smile.

Her: What are you doing back here?

Me: Well, I really felt bad for my behavior this morning so I wanted to come and bring you gift.

I handed her a voucher to come to my skin care studio. She was shocked…and so was I. I couldn’t believe what I was doing. Then I asked her if she was a Christian and she said she was and that she goes to a church less than 5 minutes from my house. She invited me and I attended once. A week later, the pastor had a stroke and then a week after that, our country shut down.


THAT, my friends, is what I consider a “God Shot.” No, I didn’t make that up. It’s a term I learned in “the rooms;” and I’ve experienced A LOT ever since that day.

But before I get to the best part, I need to finish telling you what it was like before I experienced, what I can confidently say, was the day I woke up a brand new person.

March 13, 2020 – we got the official word that my husband had been predicting for weeks: schools were closing. And I welcomed it. My husband is self-employed and I work part time, so we were were actually kind of excited at the idea of all the family bonding time and getting projects done. No schedules, no lunches to be made, no lines to wait in for drop off and pick up; it was a “break” that I deemed a blessing in the midst of tremendous uncertainty.

It was great. For about a month. Next thing I knew, feelings of depression and anger started setting in. Like many parents, I was starting to lose my mind. I found myself fighting those episodes of rage that had finally stopped and I was crying. Every. Single. Day. I was overindulging on sugar and self-medicating in excess with marijuana. I was spiraling and felt out of control with my emotions once again.

Something had to change. At this point, I knew that my girls were not returning back to school any time soon and my new facial business that I had JUST opened in January was going to remain closed for an undetermined amount of time. Once again, I felt lost and defeated.

R2 had told me about this 40 Day sugar fast she was doing alongside a book that is meant to transform your spirituality and relationship with Christ. It had already been put on my heart that maybe my over-indulgence in sugar was affecting my brain, so I took this as a sign that I needed to fast and read the book too.

I started the book on Tuesday, May 26th.

On May 29th, I cried out to God to help me.

I begged.

I pleaded.

I surrendered.

And on May 30th, the Holy Spirit took over and things haven’t been the same since.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 3.6: My Reactiveness -Part 1

I started this post about a year ago and the time has come to finish it.

I think I have a legit anger problem.  At 7+ years sober, I only just recently figured this out about myself a couple weeks ago.

H had pissed me off about something that, of course, I can’t remember now.  I was (and still am) trying to quit smoking cigarettes. So naturally, my go to when I am mad at him is to rebel. I went, bought a pack, took them home and puffed 2 down in a matter of 10 minutes (or less!)

I felt guilty after and it hit me right then and there: wow, anger is a major trigger for me.

Just like I did when I drank.  I drank AT people, places and things.


I have now been sober from alcohol for 8.5 years.  Exactly 102.06 months, 3,106 days and 74,549 hours.

And guess what?!? 15 days ago, I hit 2 years clean from Adderall.

Both of those are miracles but I’ve got even a better one that I cannot wait to tell you about.

Up until 4 months ago, I was still struggling with my anger management.  While I was no longer experiencing episodes of rage, I was still allowing my emotions to get the best of me; leaving me filled with tremendous guilt, shame, and remorse.

Earlier this year, we had house guests for the whole month of February.  Towards the end of their stay, I was ready for things to “go back to normal” and wasn’t coping very well.  My husband had been following the virus infiltrating our country and preparing our home for the impending lockdowns; and like many Americans in the early days, I didn’t truly understand the severity of what we were facing and that ” going back to normal” was never going to happen.

One week left in February and my car was towed from outside my house.  I was enraged.  The next morning, upon arriving at the tow lot, I saw that the gate was open.  So instead of going into the office to pay for the release of my car, I decided I would just walk on the lot and take it.

Adrenaline had taken over and aint’ nobody was going to stop me.  I was immediately approached by a man who told me I wasn’t allowed in there and I walked right past him and told him I was just getting my wallet – which – was a lie.  I was literally going to steal my own car.  

Long story short, I shared some choice words with the manager and then immediately fell apart into a puddle of tears.  And guess what? My car wasn’t there.  It was at their other lot.  When we got to the other lot, I was met with what looked like an intercom.  I could hear the woman inside dealing with another customer as I pushed the button.

No answer.

I push it again.

No answer. 

My husband suggests that maybe the other lot had called and warned them that I was coming, which incensed me even more.  So I started pushing the button non stop. The woman finally responds out the door “I’m with a customer, I’ll be with you soon” and how did I respond?

Me: “THAT’S ALL YOU HAD TO F&%$ING SAY!”

Her: “Don’t you talk to me like that! Just for that, you’re gonna sit out there longer!”

I was already crying and now I’m sitting on the curb, in the fetal position, balling, as my family watched from the car.  “Longer” was just a couple minutes and then I was let in.  I apologized for cussing at her and she nearly cut me off and said “do not use that language again” or something to that effect, to which I replied “I just apologized.” 

I went on to explain that the reason I was so upset was because the last time I had my car towed was because I had been arrested for my second DUI and now 9 years later, it’s being towed from outside my house because of my service to another; never mind that I was breaking rules I never took the time to learn.  The woman seemed cold – she couldn’t care less.  I wanted her to join my pity party and she was declining my invite.

When we went to retrieve my wallet, I apologized again and she acknowledged that the button I pushed over and over looks like an intercom, so she understood why I felt like I was being ignored. 

But I still couldn’t really get myself together.  I was on the verge of tears the entire time.  When departing in the lot, I don’t remember what I said to her as I let the tears start rolling down my face again.  But I do remember what she said,

“It’s going to be okay. Just pray.”

My heart burst open.  I said “I love Jesus and I do pray.” 

And then we hugged. 

#morewillberevealed