This was originally published on January 4, 2018. It is Part 2 of a 6 part series.
30 days – 1 Month: for the one solid month I did stay sober after the drink was “taken away from me.” It’s no surprise I was drinking in a matter of days shortly after getting this token. We were traveling to a best friend’s wedding where there was going to be booze a’plenty. I had shared that I was worried I would be triggered (social events were a HUGE trigger for me and remained so for 4.5 years) and one of the guys in my outpatient group gave me two of his Antibuse pills. I accepted and brought them with me, knowing full well I wasn’t going take them.
Because if I did, then I couldn’t drink at all and my plan was to hide it like I always had. If I did take them and drank, I’d be violently ill and I couldn’t allow THAT to ruin the weekend. So of course I didn’t take them.
And of course I drank.
Of course I got caught (right before the reception when my husband smelled it on my breath and believed that I had only had ONE mimosa.)
Of course I lied about how much I drank (because I proceeded to drink the entire rest of the evening and somehow drove the “drunker” groom and his bride home.*)
For an alcoholic like me (and I’d say MOST alcoholics trying to put down the bottle for good) 30 days is not long enough to forget how to hide my drinking, and quite frankly, I can’t believe I pulled that shit off!
This was originally posted on January 1, 2018.I no longer identify with these feelings, as I’m in a totally different place today. That said, I’d like to report that God has graciously allowed me to have bothbut in His Way, not mine.
Recovery Reconsidered: Their Way, My Way, or Both?
As previously mentioned, I came upon a “New Year Mission Statement” I wrote back in the day titled “My Way” and after reading it, I realized: wow, this is pretty much how I currently feel in my recovery and life in general. 20 years later, I can still relate to my teenage self.
That’s when it hit me: I’m still a child in a thirty something body who needs to grow the F up. This gave me pause to ask two questions:
Rhetorical Question: How can I expect to raise my children right if I am still a child myself?
Actual Question: What have I done and NOT done to get to this point in my life?
I know exactly what I’ve done and not done and here are the simple answers:
As selfish and self-centered as I am, I am very codependent. I have lived my entire life putting others needs, wants, feelings and opinions before my own. I have spent years trying to live up to everyone’s ideal of me so that I remain in their good graces, even when I don’t need, want, feel or think the same as them.
I have not made my recovery a priority. I haven’t done the steps properly and have been stagnant in my growth due to my fears; thinking I am not good enough to share in meetings, worthy of taking tokens, engaging in sponsorship or seeking more friends in recovery outside my little circle…until now.
I know what you’re thinking: why haven’t you, Pixie? What’s been holding you back these (close to) 6 years that you haven’t drank?
The long and short of it is this: I fully embodied the dry drunk mentality. I was carrying around the idea of “someday” being able to “drink like a lady.” (Which P.S. WTF came up with that phrase, as if women drink differently than men. FTS, we’re all human beings who suffer from a spiritual malady that keeps us alcoholics sick so that will be last time I use that ridiculous phrase.) The obsession was alive and well for most of my recovery and was finally lifted on December 12th, 2016.
I could give you a million more reasons why, I’m good at that. Justifying my “not so great” decisions to make myself feel better; or to make you think that I’m doing everything that is expected of me so that I am not shamed, or punished when you find out I am not.
With that said, I am SO done living that way within the rooms of AA. I’m pushing 40 years old for crying out loud. I’m tired of feeling bad that I don’t work my program “their way.” It’s time I own “my way” and finally work a program that works for me.
Even though I am woman in recovery from alcoholism and don’t drink, I’m still a human being just like everyone else and I make mistakes; we are all flawed, us homo sapiens. The only difference between then and now is that my sometimes poor decisions are no longer to my and my loved ones detriment – emotionally, financially, and most definitely physically. No, they are “quality” poor decisions. Like, how I am to someone who just pissed me off. Or, I harbor resentments towards loved ones, they you, impacting how my day, week, month, etc goes. How about the… kids?
Just one word.
Need I say more?
I could, but I won’t.
The same can be said about my drinking. It was never “just one” glass for this little wine-o; I’ll always want more if I even take a sip. No doubt. I totally could drink if life got “bad enough” for my alcoholic brain to justify such a foolish act.
But I won’t.
I don’t know what would happen next and I never ever want to find out.
Sooooo, you get it. I used to drink over that shit. Not today tho, and I’m going to tell you how I did it.
This was originally pusblished on December 31, 2017. I am posting it early because hellloooo, Gidget is going to be coming back soon. And I realized that I never got around to posting all of her antics in 2019. So, with that said, read the content below and then go click on “Gidget the Elf” in the main menu.
**Random fact and pattern you will see – I like to use disclaimers, so here’s another one: The past 5 weeks have been a whirlwind. This holiday season came with a lot of highs and lows and this whole project got put on the back burner. I’ve also realized that there’s been an underlying layer of fear behind this whole thing. A LOT of fear. If I haven’t mentioned it before, for the most part, I have let fear run my life. I have allowed fear to impact most of my life decisions and hold me back from taking risks. It has impacted my relationships and not allowed me to be my true, authentic self. My dad always told me “fear is false evidence appearing real” and after allllll these years, I finally understand what that means and can work on letting go and letting God. So, with that said, here’s one of the highs from the past month, our Elf Gidget.
We do Elf on the Shelf a little different over here in my family unit of 4 (plus a fur child.) This is the second year that our little elf has “come to our house from the North Pole.”
Now, before i say anything else, let me say this: I do not condone the whole concept of the elf watching and reporting back to Santa nonsense. #1, I personally don’t think it’s right to label children “good” or “bad” and #2, kids should make efforts to behave year round, not during the holidays because of an overpriced stuffed little elf. Stupid. Now, do my kids behave on the reg? Fuck no! And if any mother says HERS do, I’d ask to take a seat on her rapidly growing nose cuz I’m spent.
My point is, I just don’t think it’s a good message to send children. For example:
“Uh oh, if you keep (insert “bad” behavior) then (insert given name) is going to tell Santa and you may not get any presents (or whatever other outlandish consequence that they already know they won’t follow through with.)”*
All of that being said: I LOVED the idea of getting creative with the elf and adding to to the “magic” and fun of the holiday season. So I put my own twist on it. My eldest daughter, Apple #1 (A1) had named our elf Gidget before even seeing her. I had been telling her that an elf was going to be visiting our house but I didn’t know when yet. The apple does not fall far my friends because when that morning came, she was soooo scared. She did not want to go downstairs to look for Gidget and I wasn’t going to force her. So instead, Gidget came at night, having pictures magically appear on my phone. She would leave Hershey kisses in the advent calendar and it became SO fun for A1 (and me too! A2 was too young to get it.)
This year, I stepped it up a notch and simplified my life at the same time. Gidget came every 5 days and left “gifts” from Mrs. Claus’ closet or Christmas gummies in the advent calendar. Not only that, Gidget’s notes had “lessons” in them too. It seems like the older my girls get, so does Gidget because she really seems to have matured this past year (wink wink!)
Without further adieu, I introduce to you, Gidget.
3 last things of note:
If you actually pause the slideshow to read the notes, I’m sorry my handwriting is so atrocious.
If you don’t give a fuck (GAF) about Gidget, zero fucks given (ZFG) here too. Just move on to the next post.
According to “The Secret Language of Birthdays,” I am ruled by the #3 and that’s going to be a theme you’ll see throughout this blog, at least in the first 6-7 posts. Sounds crazy, I know. But I’ve always been a little crazy and today, I embrace the crazy.
This was orginially published on November 25, 2017.
Rebellion (past): “We are only as sick as our secrets.”
Confession: I’m kiiiiiiind of a hoarder. But there are 2 very valid reasons for this: 1) I’m extremely sentimental and 2) I think about the “what ifs” and decide “okay, one last time. If it’s still in here untouched at the next closet genocide, then it’s out of here.” Validation, Justification, & Rationalization – you subtle foes, you.
About halfway through the purge, I stumbled upon a New Year Mission Statement from 1998 titled “My Way.” I’ll get into that in Skeletons 1.4 but let’s just say the writing was on the wall super early- on sooooo many levels.
By default based on politics, I was to give a graduation speech on behalf of the class. This school did not do caps and gowns, but rather formal attire where the “ladies” wore WHITE* dresses that you needed to get approved first and guys black tie tuxes. At this school, any act of discretion came with a hefty consequence. My senior class started with 41 students and 36 graduated. People still say we were the worst class to ever grace that campus (so I’m told.) I don’t know how I am supposed to feel about being associated with that reputation. But since I have the power to choose how I feel, in the spirit of rebellion, I’ll relish in that notion…for now, anyway.
Speaking of reputations, for this former academy, theirs was sacred so if you’re seen smoking a clove cigarette on or off campus and they find out about it,** consequence. Caught with your shirt un-tucked one too many times***, consequence. PDA aside from holding hands (basically,)**** consequence. Being party to a huge scandal that almost took the school down to a heap of ashes (literally!), consequence. Okay, that last one is both a lie and a truth: I was not party to it but I was pissed at my friends for not telling me. Why? Because they thought I’d blow it for everyone involved. Like I said, the writing was on the wall.
So it’s graduation night and you know what that means: PARTY. But goodie-two-shoes over here isn’t going to blow the lid off that one. No no no. I spewed a bunch of nonsense. I knew exactly what they wanted to hear and I gave it to them. Knocked that baby out of the park. Again, the writing was on the wall.
It wasn’t the first time I drank that night but that was the night I lost my virginity to my “friend” at the time, who would become my husband 11 years later. It was also the beginning of my 20 year love/hate relationship with alcohol. One that comes with a lot of baggage. Some heavy.f’ing.baggage.
Someone who has known me since birth recently said “you can’t live in the past because there is no future in it.” How have I not heard this one before? Thank you, UR.
With that said, it’s time to unload, piece by piece.
This was originally published on November 16, 2017. I thought about editing this piece due to the “radical language” but I’m leaving it because it shows just how jacked my brain was at the time. So grateful to not be living in this headspace anymore. That said, I do, however, stand by my feelings surrounding how I was treated at this medical facility; I just don’t talk like this anymore.
Recovery Relinquished (present): You Can’t Fake a Faker
**F-bomb alert. I don’t know how many there are and I can’t be bothered (CBB) counting so if that word bothers you, sorry not sorry but you may want to skip this one**
I had a surgery this year. One that requires follow ups every 3 months. As the months passed by, I started feeling less and less important. Appointments were getting pushed back and my wait times to be seen for a quick exam were getting longer and longer. Responses to emails were prompt but dismissive.
Yesterday’s follow up confirmed everything I had been feeling these past few months. As I waited in the lobby, I watched the lead assistant at the front desk talk bundt cakes with another staff member and then turn around and walk into a room with the most exaggerated “hiiiiiiiiiii, how ARE youuuuu?” I spoke up about my wait and they brought me back into a room where I stayed for what seemed like forever. I should also mention I had my 2 year old daughter with me and the commute to and from was long AF! As every minute passed, I became more restless, irritable and discontent. God grant me the serenity.
Now I am mad…and when I get mad and I have other shit going on in my life, sometimes I cry. The same lead assistant finally comes in and immediately hugs me and says “why didn’t you call us? We are here for youuuuu…even if it isn’t related to your procedure. You can call us anytime and vent, cry, whatever you need to do.”
“Why the FUCK would I call you people to talk about my personal problems? Do you think I don’t have anyone to go to for support? Do you hear what you are saying? No, you don’t because you don’t mean a word of it you fake fuck. Get out of my face with that horseshit.”
Haha, I kid. I didn’t say that but you bet your sweet ass I was thinking it and you wanna know why? Because I am the master faker. My entire working career has been in customer service. I can turn it on and off in a flash when I have to engage with a client. Good day or bad, 97% of the time, I sound genuine to my customer. She did not.
Just like my time in the workforce, my drinking career was the same: good day or bad, I was a lost little drunk girl trying to find her way to real happiness.
Today I am a lost little girl trying to find her purpose in this big bad world, desperate for authentic happiness.
So fuck that shit (FTS.) I’m so over it. Time to be real and own MY truth in recovery despite the fears of judgement and criticism that has kept me in and out of the rooms of AA this whole time. Just like my drinking, it has stopped working for me and so has my dishonesty.
I have been asking God to show me what to do with my dilemma because I can’t even trust myself right now. His will be done, not mine. 🙏🏻
Realization: The Story of My Life – Before & After Recovery
These shoes have kept finding their way into every closet I’ve had for the past 8 years or longer. It occurred to me that I was drunk at least once in every single pair. That made it very easy for me to let them go once and for all. (K, maybe not the bottom left pair. I still love them too much.)
After I took this picture I realized out of the 8 shoes, I was only sober in 2 of them. This means I was drunk in 6 of them and each pair has a story in my “drunkalogue,” except for 2 of them. And at the end of the day, each pair hurt my feet so bad that I swore I would never wear them again (but I still would) except for 1 of them.
And that, my friends, is the story of my life:
I have been married for 8 years (now 11.)
I have been in recovery from alcohol for almost 6 years (now almost 9.)
I have had 2 daughters during that time.
I have countless stories from my glory days and beyond but only 2 that have yet to be told.
And of all the love interests that have hurt me along the way, only 1 revealed himself to me as the love of my life, my husband and father of my children.
If it weren’t for his tough love (which led to a myriad of resentments) I definitely would have kept drinking and created more problems for myself and likely would have tried to bring everyone down with me.
God always knows what I need. And sometimes it’s a swift kick in the ass to restore me to sanity.
Today, He continues to do for me what I cannot do for myself and for that, I am beyond grateful.
For the remainder of the year, I’ll be republishing posts. This was my very first blog post published on November 13, 2017.
I finally tackled the daunting task of purging, sorting and organizing my over cluttered closet yesterday. That shit show gave me a small dose of anxiety every time I walked in. It progressively got worse as each week passed; I’d tell myself over and over I’m going to get rid of a ton of stuff I don’t wear, use or need anymore and put everything else in it’s place. The magnitude of such an endeavor was paralyzing. Every once in a while I’d put shoes & clothes away and maybe organize one section that has gone sideways. I’d feel so accomplished🙄But it never lasted. It was only a matter of time before it was chaos once again.
I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I went full throttle – purging, sorting and organizing sections one at a time. I started with the one big thing I wanted to do the least and got it over with as fast as I could: a huge heaping pile of clothes. Before I knew it, I was done. But am I? No. I still have a few items to sift through and decide if it’s worth holding on to. I’ve accomplished a lot more than I thought I would so I’ll come back to those.
That, my friends, is also the story of my life when it comes to my drinking career, my forced retirement, my step work (or lack there of) and where I stand in my recovery 5 years and 8 months later without a sip of alcohol. I’ve entered into a new phase of my development where it is time I get honest and openly work a program that incorporates the 12-Steps of AA and some other tools I’ve picked up along the way.
I had a counselor once tell me “you are a good girl who likes to rebel…we need to find a healthy way for you to do that.”
Well, I have arrived.
Some might consider my way the “easier softer way” and that I’m playing with fire; increasing the risk of being led back to the one drug that made my life unmanageable and picking up right where I left off.
When I had to quit drinking, I said “fine, but you aren’t gonna take the cigs away, it’s all I have now.” So, I’ve been a closet smoker, off and on (but mostly on) for the past 8+ years. After each pregnancy, I swore I wouldn’t go back but of course, all it took was one and I was hooked again.
Caffiene? If I could walk around with an IV with a constant stream keeping me “up and at em” all day, I would. Stimulants, I love them! Coffee, diet pills, caffeine pills, Adderall, basically any upper that keeps me going – I’ll take it! Reeealllly healthy and smart of an alcoholic who also suffers from anxiety.
Drink decaf you say? Um, no. That’s like drinking a virgin anything. For an addict like me, if I’m not going to feel from the consumption, it’s a waste of my time. No thank you!* I don’t judge those who do drink decaf, it’s just not for me.
Or is it? Just today, one of my sisters in Christ (SIC) told me that decaf coffee might help curb the appetite now that I have quit smoking. Well okay then, decaf it is. I legit don’t need that much caffeine anyway. Plus, I don’t mind putting on 5 pounds but not 10.**
Yeah, you read that right. I quit. And for good this time. I finally conceded to my innermost self that I could not do it without assistance. I finally admitted defeat and got on Chantix, among other medications that I will not speak of. But if you go back in time and read all of my posts, I’m sure you can figure it out for yourself.
Yeah, you guessed right. I’m keeping some details to myself now. I know I’ve been an “open book” and I don’t regret a word of it. But I’ve also changed my perspective on some things and sharing certain details is one of them. There’s just some things that don’t need to be put out into the world for all to read…ya know?
That said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tie this post back to my over the top reactions to circumstances. And I’m so done talking about my very colorful past; so to recap, I’ll wrap it up with a what?
Yep, you’re right, a list. Here are 3 scenarios that happened in the past 3 years, in which I CSW reacted but I didn’t:
Coulda – A male admirer left me a note asking me out. He was married. I could have had my husband call him and rip into him. But I didn’t. I took a picture of it and got rid of it. I allowed my husband to read the note (at his request) but I didn’t include the number. It took balls for that guy to make such a bold move, as he knew I was married as well; apparently it’s way more common to open up a marriage these days. Is it for me? No. Do I judge those who do? No. Live and let live. That’s what I say.
Shoulda – A womanizer looked me up and down and asked if my figure was “natural.” I was so taken aback and lacked confidence at the time. I replied with “ummmm, yeah, I’ve always been smaller but I also run.” He proceeded to talk about his overweight daughter in such a way, I wanted to punch him in the face. But I didn’t. I didn’t say anything. But I should have.
Woulda – One of the DUDS I wrote about had been trying to connect with me multiple times. I finally conceded and allowed him to make his amends. He was the second of 3 DUDS that I finally forgave and freed myself from. BUT, I made some poor choices after and if I could take them back, I would***. If I could go back, I would have blocked him right after he made his amends. Lesson learned…again…oh well.
Men, they’re a big part of my story and someday, I’m gonna have to tell my girls what they are up against; with men AND alcohol. I have a lot of lessons that I have learned that I wish, had I not been so stubborn, I would have learned sooner.
Oh well. I know what to do today and that’s all that matters. You know why?
I wrote this post on December 10, 2018. I can’t tell you what led up to me stumbling across this post today but for what it’s worth, this is a MAJOR God shot and another confirmation that I am exactly where I need to be. There is nothing wrong with me and I’m okay. In fact, I’m better than okay.
I had some major deja vu yesterday morning.
I woke up at 4:30 AM…again…as I have been every day for the past I don’t know how many weeks, for a while now.
I’m not complaining though, I love it! It is my absolute favorite time of the day. There is a woman I’ve watched in AA for years now…well…not so much recently but I still read her thought provoking texts every single morning. She always shares how mornings are her favorite part of her day. Of all the things she has said that I had rolled my eyes at, that was never one of them. I have always loved mornings too…well…when I wasn’t hungover.
Or a mom to two girls.
Their cries, fights, screams, whines and incessant demands have helped me see the value in silence, which has made me love the mornings even more. The sound of silence, oh how I savor thee.
So it’s 4:30 and I’m awake. I settle in to do my morning “spiritual fitness” routine which goes a little something like this:
As I sat in reflection, I turned to H and mentioned just how much I loved getting up so early and then hit the deja vu: that exact moment felt strangely familiar and yet different at the same time. Wasn’t it about a year ago that I was doing the same exact thing?
I had to go look at my IG feed and by golly, it was! 1 year and 4 days ago to be exact, I was getting up around 4:30-5 every morning, on my own, no alarm clock and spending time with God with a fire blazing in the fireplace. I didn’t understand why then but I sure AF do now.
1 year ago, I was begging God to take over because, while I was still without a sip of alcohol in, at the time, almost 6 years, I was miserable on so many levels.
I prayed for a miracle.
I remember feeling the presence of God with me one morning as I was praying in the fetal position, face down in my hands on the carpet. I had this vision of him wrapping his arms around me and say “it’s going to be okay, my child. You are going to be okay. Just keep doing everything you are doing. Don’t stop. You are going to be alright.”
It wasn’t long after that I wrote a blog post after a 5 week hiatus of NO writing. It was only my 5th post published on New Year’s Eve and I was in a lot of fear.
Since then, the entire year of 2018 has been nothing short of mini miracles, one after another. And this entire time, as I have grown in my faith and recovery, I still will hear in my head, “it’s all a lie. God does not exist. How can there really be a God who can do such miraculous things?”
It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around, it really is, but my faith is strong enough today to realize where that voice is coming from and what I have to do to make it go away: rebuke, read and reflect.
You guys, the last paragraph of my devotional started with the following sentence:
“So don’t let any evil enemy whisper lies into your ears.”
THEN the accompanying Bible reference was a story in 2 Kings and once again, God revealed himself to me like he always does; reassuring me that indeed He’s STILL here with me, He IS real and He IS at work in my life in miraculous ways.
And theeeennnnn the daily reflections (DR), OH. MY. GOSH. Look. Just look.
If you only knew what the year 2018, 2019 and 2020 has looked like for me, your mind would be blown just as much as mine is by this DR. It’s really quite amazing and hard to put into words but I’m going to try as this blog unfolds.
I have so much I want to share and I know it’s been a while. Let me reassure YOU that I’m still here and I still haven’t picked up a drink.
I want to also reassure you..well..no, I guess this will be the first time I’m saying it: I really don’t care to talk about my marijuana usage any longer…for now anyway. Is it still part of my life? Yes. Does it rule my life or my recovery for that matter? No. Will I mention it again? Probably. Why? Because it’s still a PART of the story. That’s why.
I’m still in the “what happened” portion of my story and I’m not done yet; there is still more to share. Before I get into “what it’s like now,” I invite you to visit Skeletons Part 2.12 for a little review. Seriously…please go read it after you finish this post.
Then I may or may not go into more details about the list of 12 things that happened in 2018 before I jump into 2019 and tell you more cool “shtuff” that happened when I accepted my alcoholism, surrendered my will over to the care of God as I understand Him and got honest in the rooms of AA.
Who knows, maybe my story will help you in your recovery too.
That IS how it works, after all.
P.S. The 5th post I mentioned above is also worth a read because I talk about our Elf, Gidget, and how we do “Elf on the Shelf” in OUR house. You can find it by visiting the My Story page, titled Disclaimer. This is year number 3 and we are having so much fun with it; so much so that I decided to give Gidget her own page to showcase the shenanigans she’s gotten into and the notes she and A1 have been leaving for each other.