Here’s the third of five UN-edited articles that I’ll be sharing before I shut down my blog for re-construction. It was composed in October, 2019.
“You wouldn’t know, you’re not a mother.”
My friend was right. She was a mom in the depths of toddler hell and I was childless.
What you don’t know is, I had suffered a miscarriage less than 6 months prior and was actively trying to get pregnant again – I wanted to be a mother more than anything.
But she did know. She knew that and she uttered those hurtful words anyway because she was struggling with something I knew nothing about. Which is funny because, I ALSO was struggling with something she knew nothing about. She didn’t have to “try” for a baby and she never knew what it was like to lose one either. I don’t remember if I pointed that out to her then or not. My guess is, I did.
I called my husband on my way to work to invite him to my daily pity party of 1:
“Can you believe she’d say that?” (waaaah waaaah) “She KNOWS how bad I want a baby!” (waaaaaaaaah)
What you also don’t know is, I had already polished off the wine from the night before. But he did.
“Have you been drinking?”
Of course I lied. I lied all the time about my drinking. But everyone close to me knew I was an alcoholic. Down deep, even I knew, but I was drowning in a sea of denial at the same time.
Less than 6 months later, I got my second DUI on my 32nd birthday. 2 days later, my husband told me he thought it best to wait 6 months to get pregnant. Devastation is an understatement. I wanted to get hammered but instead, cried myself to sleep because it had been decided for me that I was done drinking. Sure, I could have drank but I did not want to deal with the consequences…not that weekend, anyway.
I went on to relapse a handful of times over the next two months and for some reason, my husband changed his mind on baby making. I picked up a sponsor to make everyone think I was serious about sobriety (cuz I wasn’t) and she highly suggested I wait a year to get pregnant.
What do you think this dry drunk girl did?
1 month later, I saw 2 lines and it wouldn’t be too long until I would experience the challenges that come with ages 0-5 that my friend was lamenting about just before she dropped that insensitive statement on me.
Do I regret getting pregnant in my first year of recovery? Of course not! God did for me what I could not do for myself. I’m convinced that had I not gotten pregnant, I would have drank again and again; causing more wreckage along the way.
That being said, I’m also positive that had I put more effort into my recovery that first year, I would have been better equipped with tools to handle life when it got harder after we brought home baby #2.
Because being a mother is hard AF. I cannot imagine doing it drunk.
Being a mother (with alcoholism) without a complete reliance on a Higher Power proved to be unbearable. For me anyway. Hence the name of this series – My Recovery Rock Bottom.
2 more posts and a final “sign off” before I shut down my page for all things new.
Resolution (past & present): How can we possibly summon the resolution and willingness to get rid of such overwhelming compulsions and desires? – 12&12, Step 7, p.73
Up until March 30th, 2012, I had made many attempts at quitting the drink for various stretches of time. I talk about my final relapses in Part 2 of My Story, but there were many more during my drinking career. However, I would not have considered them relapses back then because, well, the intention was never to be done for good. I was always motivated by a major binge weekend of poor choices or a preceding consequence of some kind, wanting to prove to myself and everyone else that I wasn’t really an alcoholic ; even though in my heart of hearts, I knew I was.
So all of my “personal detoxes” and “breaks” were in vain. I’d stay sober just long enough, to feel good enough, to drink just enough, until there was NEVER enough.
Things were starting to look the same with the weed and as I mentioned the other day, that did not sit well with me. While I hadn’t suffered severe consequences from my MJ use like I did my alcohol consumption, I still did not like that I had taken it beyond harm reduction and was using it far more than I ever intended. It really wasn’t working for me the way it used to. I had heard that’s a very risky place for an alcoholic to be and I did NOT want to drink.
This THC break, it wasn’t the first time I made an effort to “slow my roll.” My sponsor (S3) graciously reminded me of that and suggested I not leave it out. She said that my saying that I accepted a challenge by my friend and just quit without sharing the rest was “flippant of me,” and she was right. I realized I better make sure to tell you the whole truth, so when I was looking for something else in my older posts, I discovered that I HAD already told you about my last 3 THC breaks. Ha! Whouldya look at that? I had forgetten (face palm.) You can read about that in Skeletons 2.15 – My Recovery Returned.
But of course, those weren’t the only times. I made multiple half ass vows with no solid motivations or accountability. For an alcoholic like me, 1 of 2 things needs to happen for me to get off my fucking ass and change the things that I don’t want to:
I either need to be backed into a corner with an ultimatum with no other options, or
want something so bad, I’d do anything to make it happen.
This time around, I quit MJ for reason #2. I still wasn’t ready to quit for good so I chose to reset my tolerance in order to build the momentum I need to get after what I really want out of this gift called life. I’m almost 40 years old and I’ve wasted enough time playing small. I have dreams and aspirations to pursue and I want to make them reality…BAD! Having reached official stoner status, I knew the weed would stand in my way if I didn’t do something about it once and for all.
Tuesday, May 21st was Day 30 and in the interest of rigorous honesty, I made it 29.75 days completely THC free. On Day 30 at 6:30pm, I chose to smoke simply to see how the first time would feel after that long going without. Before I did, I prayed…HARD. I prayed for the ability to be responsible and the willingness to quit for good if I couldn’t be. I prayed for the strength to use it the way I had originally intended or not at all. I laid it at God’s feet and said Amen.
Then I smoked. From 6:30-11:00, I took a total of 4 puffs, stayed up way past my bed time and did not go to bed stoned.
How did I feel about myself the next day?
For a moment, I felt bad. The “committee” in my head started shaming me for not making it a COMPLETE 30 days. But then I said FTS! Excluding my pregnancies and post partum, I was 100% clean and sober for the longest stretch of time, for the first time, by choice, EVER! I am beaming with pride and full of so much hope and I’ll be damned if I let anyone take that away from me, especially my own “stinkin’ thinkin’.”
My mindset has changed drastically and I have resolved that I never want to build a tolerance to THC ever again. I want to be able to rely on it for the medicinal benefits or for emergencies, like PMS, should I deem it necessary. Or if I am in a social environment where it’s an option and I feel like being “a part of.” None of that is a possibility if I go back to the way it was. I’m clear and firm on that. VERY!
Therefore, I have made a resolution: if I find myself using it beyond what I just stated above, then I will walk into a meeting and raise my hand high and proclaim with confidence that I am a newcomer, have the desire to never smoke again, and change my sobriety date. Never did I ever think I’d say that but I just did. I can’t believe it.
There God goes again, doing for me what I could not do for myself. Does it get any better than that? According to “The Promises” of Alcoholics Anonymous, you bet your sweet ass it does!
P.S. Today is Wednesday, May 22nd and I did NOT smoke weed today. Why? Cuz I didn’t feel like it. That’s why. To God be the glory.
**It’s been exactly one month since my last post. I started this one a few weeks ago and I’ve been stuck. I have a LOT to write about but I have been putting it off. My character defects have basically been running the show and to be frank, I’m fucking sick of it. I’m sick of my perfectionism telling me this blog has to be written and read a certain way and my ego & pride standing in my way of unloading more shit that I don’t want to talk about. So here I am, with more baggage to unpack. You ready? Cuz I’m not. But here we go.**
Relief (past and present): Laughter is the best medicine.
I haven’t been laughing as much lately. The fam and I did get into a HUGE tickle fight the other day…actually, 2 on two separate days…and those laughs were cheek burners, I tell ya. That was fun. But other than that, eh…well…I just haven’t been in the laughing mood. Sure, I can muster a good chuckle here and there but my laugh, well, it’s never been like it was when I was pregnant with A2. I can’t remember if I had the same laugh with A1 but with A2, oh my gosh, it was so annoyingly awesome.
For me, one of the best feelings is right after a long, hearty, from the gut, tear producing laugh. Laughter like this makes me yawn and I feel a sense of calm and contentment after. Sometimes I enjoy the laugh and feelings it produces so much, I’ll relive the moment by telling the story or watching whatever it was that was funny over and over just so I can “feel the feels” again and again.
Just like when I drank.
I love laughing so much, I’m attracted to people who have big, breathy laughs. Or a cackle. Ohhhh how I love me a good cackle. If you make me laugh that way or you laugh at something I say that way, you will instantly be my homey.
Just like people who drank like me.
Laughter, it helps a hurting soul. It brings people together. It brings pockets of joy in difficult times. It lightens “the mood” in uncomfortable situations.
Just like the drink.
Until it doesn’t anymore.
At the end of my drinking, it did not feel good anymore and it really wasn’t fun. The only relief I got from it was when I drank to “cure” a hangover or calm my depression and anxiety that I didn’t know I had; which of course, only resulted in more depression and anxiety.
Speaking of anxiety, I am having some RIGHT NOW. My heart is pounding relatively quickly as I am writing this? Why? Ugh. Know what…pause…
Goes downstairs, debates for a hot second whether to smoke a bowl or not, proceeds to move forward with it, says a prayer, has another internal dialogue, and ponders continuing to write or not. Answer? Go and try.
Here I am, at my desk, in my closet, where I have been telling myself I will be every night for the past month, not doing so and blaming the weed for making me unmotivated.
I still think it is. But I know why I haven’t written and it’s not JUST that. There are 2 other reasons:
I have finally come to accept that I am very prone to depression. It hits me like a ton of bricks and I’m NOT the best person to be around. Going off Wellburtin was the right decision but going against doctors orders and just cutting cold turkey was just fucking stupid. That was very rebellious of me. I knew better and I did it anyway. I did start a new medication today though, so I am hopeful there.
I have changed so much since I started this blog and the trajectory of it has changed even more drastically. I have foreseen how it will evolve further and I know it’s God’s plan but I’m not ready to go there yet. Yet, I am, because I feel like writing about it is the only way I will be able to follow through. But the 5 year old me is standing here stomping my foot on the ground: but I don’t wanna! Wah wah!
Have you watched the show “Tidying Up” on Netflix yet? It’s a reality show with tidying expert, Marie Kondo, helping families and couples “purge” their homes of any and all things that do not bring them joy. When all is said and done, her clients have developed new habits in maintaining tidy, functioning living spaces AND have reignited joy, happiness and harmony in their homes.
For me, finding this show was a game-changer. Because, see, I am more or less a fucking slob.
That’s right. I am.
That’s not self-deprecating language either, it’s the truth. I’m not even going to try to blame “part-time working motherhood” because the fact of the matter is, I’ve been this way my entire life. I have always played “catch up” with the messes I have created for myself to clean up.
The worse my house gets, the more daunting the task of tidying becomes. I find myself paralyzed, not knowing where to begin; cursing myself for even allowing it to get so bad. Beating myself up for not “maintaining” like I said I would do.
When that negative self-talk takes my mind hostage, I accomplish nothing and the house gets worse. It reaches a point where I cannot take another day living in such chaos, so what do I do? I attack and I attack HARD. I’ll spend the entire day putting my house “back together” and feel a massive weight lifted.
Until it goes to shit again and I’m back to where I started.
Disaster → Fix → Relax → Repeat.
Since obtaining valuable tips and tools from the show, my home has become more manageable. However, with young kids in the house, I gotta stay on top of it. I MUST implement daily tasks to keep my home from “falling apart.”
And THAT my friends, is the story of my life when it comes to treating my alcoholism. While I haven’t drank in (ALMOST) 7 years, I’m still an alcoholic. I always will be.
I no longer have a drinking problem but I will always have a thinking problem and thinking problem can make or break my day. Every.Single.Day.
Just like my home, if I get complacent on my spiritual program of action, things go down for me real quick. I don’t drink but I engage in other thinking and behavioral problems that make life…well…unmanageable.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that this blog was conceived in my closet and that my closet represents my life as a dry drunk and alcoholic in recovery. I have spent the past year and 3 months transforming both : purging, organizing, and holding onto things that I am not ready to let go of yet – in my closet and in my recovery.
In Skeletons Part 1, I talk about what my drinking and recovery was like before deciding to take my life back.
In Skeletons Part 2, I talk about what happened to land me in the rooms of AA and my desire for change in recovery.
I was 4 months shy of 6 years without a drink when this blog was born and a LOT has gone down – leaps of faith, secrets revealed, therapy and lots of “getting honest with myself.” And here we are now in Skeletons Part 3: What (by God’s Grace) it’s Like Now.
And let me tell you…
…I LOVE the changes so far.
But there is still work to be done. There will always be work to be done.
Recovery is a lifelong journey that I am so grateful to have finally embraced: striving to be a better human being than I was the day before.
Rebirth (past and present:) “Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” (BB, pg.59)
Did you read the Daily Reflections today. If you didn’t, click here. (Reminder, I also have the link in the sidebar.)
WOW, what a God shot!
A year ago, I set out to be “reborn” from the inside out. I wanted to start fresh and live authentically. I ceased coloring my hair after doing so for 20 years. The longer it grew out, the shorter I cut it. I’ve never been huge on make-up but I stopped wearing it all together unless situations called for it. My face went “naked” as often as possible.
I was still purging my closet and set out to purge more throughout the house. One room, closet, and cupboard at a time. I started purging my email inbox and decided it was far too overwhelming and opened a new email account…2 actually because, well, you know, one is never enough. Haha.
Seriously tho, I thought it would help me get organized. It didn’t. But it did help make things more manageable.
The purging process has been just that, a process. It’s not getting done perfectly but I make progress every time I put in the effort. The same can be said for my recovery.
Progress, not perfection. That’s a not a new year motto, that’s a LIFE motto. And I didn’t make that up either, I got that from AA too!
I set out to “rebirth my recovery” and live authentically in the rooms of AA, which meant I also purged my brain, right here on this blog. If this is the first time you are visiting, welcome. I’ve shared a lot about my drinking and recovery in the past but not so much in the present or future. You can get an idea of what it has looked like and what happened in the past by clicking on My Story, which can also be found in the main menu.
If you CBB, ZFG. This is the perfect time to start following because it’s time to leave the past behind once and for all and live in the present and look forward to the future with Part 3: What (by God’s Grace) it is Like Now.
P.S. Reminder: I’m on IG as @pixiedustorm & @myrecoveryrevealed. If you don’t already, go follow me there too by clicking the link at the top of my page. I’ll be posting on both of those pages more frequently AS WELL!
**Disclaimer: First of all, this post is SUPER long. SNS. Second, I know I said I didn’t care to talk about my MJ use “for now anyway” but I take that back. This post was next in my saved drafts and I need to post it in order to move on. Third, I also know I said F it when it came to sharing the rest of the “what happened” but I take that back as well. Too many noteworthy things occurred to go unmentioned. Lastly, I had yet to share that 1 of my New Year resolutions was to not go so long between posts and publish one every 3 days. But that didn’t happen either. Mother Nature rendered me useless. Thank goodness I hadn’t tossed my flower like I said I would. WHAT?! You read that right. Read on.**
Returned: “You gotta give it away to keep it.” – AA idiom
A while back in 2018, I handed my tokens over to the secretary of my former home group. She was present at that home meeting where I had “confessed” my dark little secret prematurely and I wasn’t sure what she was going to think or say. This chick scared the wits out of me.
“What if she thinks I’m leaving AA?”
“What if she thinks I’m wanting to be a newcomer again?”
(I wasn’t. I never will.)
“Is she going to ask me why I’m turning them in? Is she going to say anything to me about my little secret? What will I say?”
Per usual, the worrying dialogue inside my head was for nothing. I walked up to her, handed her my little bag of tokens and she said “donating tokens? thank you!” And that was that. It was very anticlimactic.
As it should have been and it felt good.
You may be wondering “why the paraphernalia?” Well, when I originally took this picture, I meant to use it another way but something inside held me back. So I didn’t. But now I am.
The joint represents the first puff I took on July 4th, 2013, just 3 months after I took my 1 year token for complete abstinence. The pen represents where I was in my recovery 4 years later – using the MJ recreationally and no longer taking tokens.
“I sacrificed my entire body for 18 months growing these little humans and if you add the 3 months of maternity leave for both, you’ve got 24 months.”
That’s 2 years, people. I earned those two 1 year tokens and I don’t care if I WAS pregnant and nursing. I still could have drank and I didn’t. So until someone asks me to give them a year token, or I run into my friend you will read about shortly, they’re mine and I have zero guilt keeping them.
The other 3 were dedicated to my mom, dad and sister in Part 6. I kept them because they represent my recovery today: I go to meetings not because I’m scared I’ll drink if I don’t.
I go for my serenity.
I go for peace.
I go to be of service.
However, today, I now have 4 tokens left. Why?
“Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength and hope.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, Forward to the Third Edition, page xxii.
I have a friend I met in the neighborhood shopping center down the road where he hung out day in and day out with nowhere to call home. He once asked me for $4 so he could “get to the doctor to get his pain meds for his knee” which is code for “buy my medicine for my addiction.” I said no and offered him Advil instead. He respectfully declind and I bid him farewell. Then one day, he disappeared.
He no longer was greeting me with a wave and smile every time I drove in to the shopping center. I asked around and found out he had been found face down in a ditch, barely alive. I was thrilled to know he was alive and figured I’d never see him again.
Months later, he returned.
Some months passed and we had more encounters with full on conversations and he was sober for all of them.
So I gave him a Big Book and a token. The man earned it and I SO wanted him to keep it.
No I never shared my BBS with my friend here. I speak freely about it here and in the right social environments but I don’t promote or talk about it in the rooms of AA. But I’m glad I did that third and final time because had I not, I wouldn’t have my amazing sponsor who I KNOW God hand-picked just for me; and He hand-picked me for her too!
When it comes to my MJ use, she fully supports whatever I do.
At the start of 2018, months before finding S3, I took a break until my belly button birthday. 12 days weed free. It was easy.
I did it again during the summer to support 2 of my birdies Bs 1&4 who wanted to quit. I made it 13 days. That wasn’t AS easy.
Let’s be honest, quitting anything enjoyable, good or bad for you, never REALLY is.
Fast forward to just a week ago and I was about to do the same thing: take a break. Not a “I’m only quitting for x amount of days” break. Just a simple “I’m quitting for now and I don’t know if/when I will smoke again” kind of break. Why?
Because I have things I want/need to do and I felt like it was holding me back. I was also still experiencing some extreme highs and lows, and varying degrees of irritability. But was THAT because of the MJ?
I discovered the answer to that is NO!
About a month ago, my teeth were hurting and I was convinced I had a mouth full of cavities and that my teeth were falling out. I went to the dentist only to find out that my teeth were NOT dying; I was consuming too much caffeine and clenching my jaw 24/7. I had a case of TMJ and needed to make some adjustments.
When I told B1 this, she told me the same thing happened to one of her friends and the reason? The anti-depressant Wellbutrin. The same Rx I had been on for a year. So I read the side effects for the first time and OH.MY.GOSH. I was suffering from many:
Rapid heart beat
Muscle or joint pain
I contacted my doctor and told her I wanted to get off it ASAP so she prescribed me a lower dose with instructions on how to taper off. Then I came up with my 2019 motto:
Getting Clean, Lean & Serene in 2019.
Since I’m a rebel, I picked up the Rx but didn’t start taking it. I quit cold turkey. Oh well. I feel amazing.
I said I would quit the MJ and I did that too…for 2.5 days. I felt amazing.
Then, my once a month 3 day headache arrived. I have an Rx for THAT too but I left it at work so I basically felt hungover off and on for 3 days.
When I was drinking, I couldn’t get anything done hungover. The same goes for these headaches, at all levels of intensity.
When I was hungover, like most seasoned alcoholics, I would “bite the hair” to try to ease my suffering, only to suffer even more OR lay in bed with a bowl to catch every last drop of bile my body needed to eject (sick!) Alcohol, it’s literally poison for me. It NEVER made me feel better.
But I wasn’t hungover, I was PMSing! I’ll be 39 on the 12th, this mama’s clock is tick tockin’ bitches and I swear, the older I get, the louder that clock ticks, the harder my head pounds and the meaner I can be. There’s no “hair of the dog to be bit” and I can’t lay in bed all day – I need SOMETHING to take the edge off!
So 2.5 days into 2019, I felt like ass and decided to partake of nature’s medicine. Then I went to sleep and woke up feeling AMAZING. MJ, it’s literally medicine for me. It helps me feel better.
AA does the same for me: it helps me feel better AND be a better person.
So does hanging with my sponsor (S3).
Or poloing with my sponsee (B7).
Or befriending new birdies.
Bs 7, 8 & 9, you know WTF you are.
Thanks for joining me on my recovery transformation journey and allowing me to be a part of yours. The fellowship of AA and recovery in general has been such a gift this past year. A total surprise and another miracle. I mean, this image right here basically captures my attitude about AA when I first started this blog just a little over a year ago:
But it’s a new year and things have changed and so has my motto:
P.S. Just a reminder, and not that you care, but our Elf Gidget returned in 2018 and I chronicled HER entire 2018 Christmas journey on the blog. If you can’t wait for my next post to read more of my musings, click on her page “Gidget the Elf” in the top menu for more. You may find it to be entertaining or you may find it to be really annoying. Read it or don’t read it; love it or hate it, it’s alllll good with me.
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.
(FYI, if you can’t read the text but want to, the link to the DR is in the sidebar.)
If you only knew what the year 2018 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.
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 shit 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.
I will never forget the first time I yelled at A1. A2 was a newbie, less than 3 months old and A1 was 2 ½. Us 3 girls were home doing laundry up in the small hallway of our townhouse while H was at work. I was still using a gate at the top of the stairs, A1 was “running loose” and A2 was in the bouncer being the precious little angel baby that she was.
A1 was a jealous big sister and she wasted no time in showing me too. I had no idea WTF I was doing but was telling myself I did, so I assured H he could go back to work when A2 was just 8 days old.
H: Are you sure?
P: Totally. I got this.
But did I?
Yeaahhhh no I didn’t and that was just the beginning.
A1 was VERY affectionate towards A2 – in such a way that I was scared of her smothering her. Of course she wouldn’t, not in front of me anyway but what I’m trying to get at is this: I could NOT keep A1 OFF of A2.
So we’re in the hallway, I’m tired and hungry, A1 is running amok, getting in A2’s face every 5 seconds and I’m cursing myself for ever having children because now I have even MORE laundry. And then it happened.
I didn’t see it coming.
It came out of nowhere.
And it was loud.
Loud enough that I scared all 3 of us. I felt like shit IMMEDIATELY. I don’t recall feeling triggered to drink at that moment but I do know I went to a meeting that night. On the way, however, I stopped to bring a snack to share and was overcome with self-pity. Why?
Because the patrons in front and behind me in line were buying alcohol and I was not. I didn’t even REALLY want to drink but started to cry in line knowing that they got to drink and I couldn’t. It had now been 3+ years since my last drink and here I was sulking over being an alcoholic and wishing SO badly (and still thinking maybe) I wasn’t. Remember, I was a dry drunk and would remain that way for another year and 7 months.
What do you think would have happened that evening had I succumbed to my emotions and decided to drink; or any other time I found myself overcome with great sorrow over the fact that I was an alcoholic and couldn’t “take the edge off” like normal drinkers? I shudder at the thought.
I remember what I was like when I drank and I was atrocious. If you’re a new reader, you can read my “drunkalogue” in Skeletons Part 1 by visiting the My Story page.
Aside from drunk driving, did I tell you about the time I utilized a deadly weapon in a drunken stupor? This was, of course, before I quit drinking. I was hammered and out of my mind. I was CONVINCED H had taken my phone and hid it IN the couch. It didn’t matter what he said, I KNEW IT and the longer he denied it, the more volatile I got. Next thing I knew, I had a knife in my hand. Not a butter knife or a steak knife, a big ass, “I will cut you” knife. I took that thing and sliced open our couch only to find that he was telling the truth – my phone was not in the couch. No no no, turns out, it was in the bathroom and I’m pretty sure I hid it from myself.
That’s the shit alcohol makes me do.
I’m reckless, out of control and downright dangerous.
THAT’S why CPS would be knocking on my door if I was drinking today. There is seriously no telling what I would do in moments of anger but I know what I’m capable of and it’s terrifying to even fathom.
So when tempers run high in high stress, anxiety stricken moments with my girls, I don’t drink and smoke weed instead because MJ doesn’t have that effect on me. It aids in keeping me in check when my brain is in overdrive. It IS a tool in MY recovery toolbox and like I said, it’s not my only tool or the first one I pick up either.
But back then, it was and that’s just how my story goes.
Reasoning (past and present): “Our sound reasoning failed to hold us in check.” (BB, pg 47.)
When it comes to marijuana use BEFORE getting sober, it’s been my observation that there are alcoholics who either: a) love marijuana and “fantasize” about smoking in sobriety or b) hate marijuana and more often than not, had only smoked when they were drunk…which…if I were them, I’d hate it too. Surely there ARE those that have never smoked as well but I personally have only met one.
Some time after I “claimed my seat” in my former home group, B3’s sponsor reached out to me. She said she had some questions and wanted to explore the possibility of sponsorship. In our conversation, she mentioned that she had never smoked pot before so she didn’t know what it was like and wondered what I got out of it. So, of course, I told her. She asked how often I smoked and of course, I told her. I spoke honestly, holding nothing back and I felt zero judgment. She didn’t end up becoming my sponsor but she still doesn’t judge me and if she does, she sure doesn’t show it. She is a gem of a woman and has helped MANY women get sober. B3’s sponsor, if you are reading this, you know WTF you are and I love you!
So, why do I smoke weed and what do I get out of it?
Well, for starters, as previously mentioned, my marijuana use was more of a harm reduction tool in the beginning. I was a bitter dry drunk who did NOT want to be done drinking forever and being in social environments where alcohol was present was a big trigger for me. Socially, pot allowed me to still feel “a part of”: they drank, I smoked. Sometimes the people that drank, also smoked, so I was not alone and that’s all I cared about – that I wasn’t alone. Had pot not been an option for me, I guarantee you I would have succumbed to the obsession and drank at one or more of these occasions. In fact, 2 years ago at 4+ years sober from alcohol, I came very close.
We were in New York for a wedding. At the reception, I barely knew anyone, my weed was in the hotel room, it was an open bar and the hubs had disappeared with his buddys. I can’t say that I was mad that he had left me alone, after all, he DID tell me where he was going. No, my high had long since worn off and I was mad that I didn’t bring my stash. So it wasn’t long after he was out of my sight that I thought “well? It’s gonna happen. I’m going to say fuck it and drink.” It was decided. The bar was screaming my name. But I just couldn’t do it. I knew I’d regret it immediately. Or worse, the phenomenon of craving would instantly kick in and more “unthinkables” would occur. Neither outcome was one I wanted to experience and I can tell you right now, it would more than likely have been the latter.
Today, I don’t care if I’m the only one in the room not drinking. And I don’t have to be getting high in the those environments to have fun or feel “a part of.” Do I still do it? When the occasion calls for it, you bet your sweet ass I do, discreetly or not.
I did use it for recreation as well. H got to unwind with some beer and I had my, what B6 refers to as, “leafy greens.” I should also briefly mention another medicinal purpose it served for a new mother whose baby literally sucked the libido right out of her whilst breastfeeding. MJ served as an aphrodisiac, straight up. Mama Pixie had “gotten her groove back!” It was a win-win for all!
It remains ONE of my tools and aids in other areas today:
Being a mom
I drank for all the same reasons above, except for one of them: being a mom.
At the end of my drinking, I drank for only one reason: I wasn’t a mom.
I don’t drink today for a lot of reasons but there’s one MAIN reason: now, I AM a mom…
…of 2 girls…
…and they are watching me.
If I was drinking today, wanna know who else would be watching me?