Craving

I kinda miss it. The buzz, the euphoria, the escape. I drank alone in my room mostly at night. But sometimes in the morning and during the day too. I would watch Dateline and 48 hours bc it made me feel better about myself. At least I wasn’t murdering people. I was just a drunk.

I think if it wasn’t for the shame I would still be doing it. My husband said “It just takes the life out of you”. And I liked that it did. I think so much, about everything. I’m like a sponge soaking up all that’s around me. If I see something awful happen to a child, it’s all I can think about for at least 2 weeks. I don’t watch the news because of it. The only time I could ever “handle” anything like that is if I was drunk. I don’t like feeling so deeply about things. I’ve prayed to be more simple. And the fight to become what I’m not meant to be usually just leads to being cynical and sarcastic. The walls go up around my heart and I become numb and cold.

But I do believe with all my heart that God makes us how we are supposed to be, to glorify Him. I’m like a magnet to those suffering or grieving. I feel like I’m boasting when I say that but if your like me and you don’t like your sensitive nature, you need to know that it’s really a gift. Compassion for others always cost something. Suffering is the price to pay to help others who are suffering in any real way. It makes their pain almost tangible because we’ve felt it. We know what it’s like to have our hearts torn apart by a death, or a loss, or getting sober.

This is what is helping me stay this path right now. To know that it’s not meaningless. The boredom, the cravings, the having to fill the time with something else, the being way too lazy and staying in bed too much and trying to work myself out of that-it’s doing something.

As I crave and have brief thoughts about taking a break from sobriety I have to remember I’m going somewhere good. It is so painful some days but the shame I felt when I couldn’t control it anymore and it’s all I could think about is not worth it. I don’t want to go back. I want to keep going. Even though it’s only been 35 days since I’ve stopped closing the blinds on my heart and mind and I’ve got such a long way to go, it will be worth it. God says so. And I believe Him. 🙂

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.[a] If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers,[b] of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11

 

31 Days…

One thing I’m learning to love about being sober is at the end of a really crappy day (Translation: It was just an ok day but my hypersensitive nature and over-dramatic-ness makes me believe it’s a really crappy day) is at the end of the day, I’m freaking sober.

I love that. And nothing and no one can take this super precious state of mind from me. Except a drink. But I don’t want to drink, which is absolutely insane! (in a really good way)

Oh and I saw a wine commercial today and the people were all happy and laughing and having a good time, throwing their heads back, picnic blanket on the beach, and I am not lying when I say this-my immediate thought was “Bullcrap!, That is NOT what that stuff does to you!” Ok maybe for 20 minutes or at the longest 30 minutes but, seriously, any euphoria disappears after that. I know because I tested it after reading The Naked Mind several months ago. And she points that out in the book and I was like, No way! But ya’ll, its true. After maybe 20 minutes, the euphoria is gone and all that’s left is the chase and drowsiness and the inability to relate to anyone on the planet in a healthy emotional way. Yes, alcohol. That’s what you freaking do and I’m calling you out on it because I have a feeling my brain might want you soon and I just want it to be prepared and know the truth.

I’m trying to figure out why my day was just “okay” and not “great” like the last few days but I honestly don’t know. And maybe I don’t need to figure it all out. Maybe it’s ok that I’ve joined the human race that’s not getting drunk and high and that have ok days and they remain ok and that’s ok! 😉

To all the people struggling, I’m praying so hard for you tonight. I ache for you, I really do. I have been there and it would only take a second to get right back there. But keep trying. Keep reaching out. The first 3 weeks I was sober were excruciating. It’s not easy now but it’s worth it. I’m a world away from were I was just 10 days ago and I know that it will only get better from here.

Love & Hugs 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Insecurity

White noise is a sound we get used too. It can be crickets or traffic, depending on where we live and sleep. I sleep with my fan on. I love to sit in my room with it on while I’m reading or surfing the internet. It soothes me in a way nothing else does. It’s my adult version of rocking the anxiety away and putting my thoughts to sleep.

Another “white noise” visited me today. One I wasn’t expecting but am well acquainted with. I’ve struggled with a deep sadness and fatigue all day because of it and it’s the first time in a very long time I’ve dealt with it sober.

Insecurity. I didn’t catch it in time this morning before it would spin lies in my head the rest of the day and become a familiar noise of obsessive thoughts that shaped my mood and heart so effortlessly.

‘I’m so fat. My hair looks like crap and is unfixable.’

At church…”Hey how are you, Merry Christmas!”….’I look like crap and I’m fat’ (white noise in my head). “Oh, I got a very nice watch and some Nerium”… ‘I’m such a freakin loser, I need to lose weight so I can feel more confident in public’ (WN). Singing..”This is the night of our dear Saviors birth”…’I wish I would’ve stuck to my diet I started in October!, What the crap, I’m such a failure!’ (WN)

And on and on. And the people around me that looked absolutely adorable and flawless seemed like gods to me, I’m just being honest. And the thing that makes me even more crappy is these people are my closest friends. We have been through so much together! This is a “come as you are”, grace-filled, loving, gospel-believing church. We are family. Brothers and sisters united in Christ Jesus! We cry and confess sins to each other and lovingly encourage and pray for one another. We are encouraged to be real on this journey of sanctification so we can better serve each other on this hard and narrow road.

I hate insecurity so much. It’s the worst distraction. It has effected so many of my relationships with people and especially myself and God. When I was in AA several years ago, I did a very thorough 4th step. One of the things that came up over and over in the last column, labeled “my part”, was my resentments towards others based on assumptions and not facts. Like I’ve resented so many people because of warped thinking in my head about what they “probably” think of me. So self-centered and self-absorbed I know. It makes me sick to my stomach, literally.

I pray that I can believe what God says about me and not what my crazy brain and white noise thoughts say about me more and more. Insecurity is such a soul eater and a waste of time. It spews lies and produces days full of deceit because we are not walking in truth. I’m so glad to have made it to 27 days sober. Good tears have been welling up in my eyes this past week and that hasn’t happened in a very long time. Deep down, perhaps for the first time ever, I am truly grateful to be sober.

 

 

 

Sweet Relief

After 21 days of sobriety, it finally happened. I hesitate to write this because it’s so hard to believe and I don’t ever want to be fake or put anything out here, in this precious sober community, that would lead anyone else to think they are doing recovery wrong, if they don’t feel this way at 3 weeks sober but I’ve tried so hard to be honest from the beginning. I’ve had such a deep sense of peace the last few days.

I feel so relieved! It was such a fight every dang day to just keep breathing and walking and living. And then on top of that the cravings and denying every single thought about drinking that would come up. I’m sure my soul was bleeding. The pain of those first few days sober was excruciating at times. And I just had to keep praying and keep fighting and keep believing other people in recovery who are a lot further along than me. They said it gets better. They said just hang in there. They said keep going. Thank you sober community for being here! You are such a gift!

I don’t know what else to say. Something has definitely shifted and I love it. Day 24!!!!

 

Still so thirsty

So far sobriety seems so grinding. It’s been 21 days since I felt the false sense of security alcohol gives me. My emotional insulation is gone. I feel everything. And as much as I want to counter all the above with the harmful effects and the unending shameful hangovers, part of me just needs to feel the pain of losing it.

So far I’ve managed to block it all. To immediately dismiss a craving. To just keep going no matter what, keeping sobriety as my goal.

So far my days have been pretty good. I’m laughing again. My husband and I are getting along so well and I’m not quietly resenting him or wishing him away so I can get drunk peacefully. I’m back doing ministry work at church that I love deeply. I’ve only been sporadically and half-heartedly present for most of the last few years as far as I’m concerned.

I’m not even craving right now. I’m just so tired of the daily grind of not escaping. I’m so grateful to the ones that still blog about sobriety. The ones that have stayed to talk about the good and acceptance of the bad. I want that. That deep inner peace. My soul is still so thirsty.

David in Psalm 42 sums it up perfectly except I can’t cry:

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.

When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”

These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
    and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
    a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
    have gone over me.

By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
    “Why have you forgotten me?

Why do I go mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?”

As with a deadly wound in my bones,
    my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

It gave me wings to fly and then it took away my sky

Yesterday I felt like a big open wound walking around. I never realized a few mini bottles of wine most every night had such an impact on my life. I was more dependent than I ever realized because now my heart is grieving it’s loss.

This is not even my bottom.

My bottom happened years ago when I was high on pills and drunk everyday for 2 years straight. Getting high and drunk was my solution. And when I finally ended up at a faith based treatment center I looked like “a wounded animal that had been ran over and left in the road to die”, the director of the facility would later tell me.

I was at the end of myself, whatever that “self” was. The truth is I was completely lost in this world, from birth it seems, until my first drink of alcohol. And the pills that followed years later were to me the perfect combination of an odorless, energizing, buzz. I became superwoman, I thought. But as we all know-the ones that have been down this incomprehensible, demoralizing road-“it gave me wings to fly, and then it took away my sky”.

Completely alone in a foreign place provided the perfect setting for my heart to begin to heal. Because it was there in that place that I met The One who would not only save my soul but teach my handicapped mind and heart how to walk. I got to know God through His Word and I prayed to Him and slowly He transformed my life. I can’t explain it. I am not the person I was back then.

I had been clean and sober over 3 years when the pain of endometriosis became unbearable and started taking Tramadol. At that time Tramadol was not a controlled substance, even though it is now. But what I want to say is this…It took maybe a day or two for the addiction in my brain to take back over on that day nearly 3 years ago. And now I have 17 days sober.

I cant be sure but the only reason I believe that I haven’t went down into the pits of addiction I was in before is because of the sustaining grace of God. I wish so much I would’ve been more cautious. For a year after that relapse the morning sun was just a reminder of how much I failed. It’s been a long process to get this 17 days sober and clean again. The desire to drink or use is not there right now, and for that I’m so grateful.

I’m not sure if I just didn’t listen before or no one told me. But this is the first time I’ve ever tried to not escape in recovery. What I mean is I’m learning from other sober bloggers is just to be honest and learn to deal with emotions without drowning them with alcohol. Why have I never learned this before?? I can look back now and see it so clearly.

It was never ok to be wrong or sad or mad.

I can honestly say, with tears in my eyes, that in this moment, right now, it is ok to be human. And that is freaking incredible. 🙂

Healing hurts

15 Days without alcohol feels…

so weird. It’s so hard to explain. Even though yesterday I felt “happy”. I still didn’t have a lot of peace. And the only I reason I even go there, on here, is because I would hate for someone to come here and read this and think it’s easy. Because as crazy as it sounds, even the good days aren’t easy at all.

It’s taken everything I have to be sober. I haven’t had a lot of cravings. I’ve had some but I literally just will not let my brain go there. I don’t let it think too long about drinking. Because I know if I do, I will give in.

As bad as the hangovers were. As bad as the shame and guilt was. It was comfortable to drink. Drinking not only stopped me from feeling. It actually helped me feel when I was numb. That’s where I’m at now. Kinda just numb. Kinda just here. Kinda just not much going on.

Except I’m healing. And my brain is putting itself back together. And my shattered heart is on the mend.

So behind all the numb, is a life preparing to emerge. Even though it hasn’t quite emerged yet. It’s on its way. I can feel it. I know it with everything in me, this will not last. I will live again. And my life will be so much more than just trying to not drink. The seed of sobriety has been planted and even though it’s so hard, I kinda feel like I’m finally home.

Come as You are by David Crowder

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
Lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=come+as+you+are+crowder&FORM=HDRSC3

a sober miracle

Today is awesome! I woke up feeling light and HAPPY! After several days feeling like a complete loser and wanting to drink wine, I feel okay today. That is a sober miracle!

I did spend some time reading about PAWS (Post acute withdrawal Syndrome). Oh great, another syndrome, I thought at first. But this one is a good syndrome to have if you’ve been trying to stop drinking as long as I have. Because to actually have it, you have to be SOBER. Anyway, there’s so much information about it but basically our brain chemistry changes when we abuse alcohol or any other drug and all the emotions and cravings of early sobriety are really symptoms that our brains are healing.

My brain is healing. My brain is healing. My brain is healing.

This is what I’m gonna think from now on when I’m feeling really crappy, anxious, or sad, and craving alcohol. I’ve been calling what I feel depression but I think I’m just sad. And it turns out that sadness is just a normal part of the human condition. Crazy right? (I know!)

So even though today I feel like a kindergartener who just started a new school year on LIFE. I am sober. I’m learning to deal with life and all its emotions that I suppressed with alcohol for so long. Day 14, I like you a lot!!!

Teenager is off with a friend who got exempt from end of the school year exams and so I don’t have the normal mommy guilt I usually have. They got up really early to take my friends son to school and go hunting. He’s a really good kid and I’m very proud of him. He’s nothing like I was when I was his age-I was horrible!

I talked to Husband earlier and we had a good simple talk without me feeling like it was all about me and my not drinking now. We didn’t talk about anything really much but just our normal day to day talk. But for the last week I have hated these talks. It was just another reminder of how normal he is and how messed up I am. I don’t know if that makes sense but its really good to not be full of self-pity for a change.

And speaking of miracles, I have a new, real-life sober friend! Shawna from https://asobermiracle.wordpress.com/ (that’s where I got the theme from my blog post today). I’ve read a lot of blogs and books and I can tell you this girl has a talent! And she’s been sober a lot longer than me. We are now sober together! Yah!

Will sobriety work for me?

It’s only by the grace of God I’m still sober. I’ve had some cravings and depression has kicked in. But it’s like a switch has flipped in my brain to not drink no matter what. I feel like a robot. Like I’m just going through the motions from the time I wake up to the time, finally, thankfully, it’s time to go to bed.

And all day long the chatter in my head goes something like this “Is this really gonna work? What if I’m miserable sober? What if sober doesn’t work for me? What if being sober makes me worse and not better?” And on and on.

Honestly, I’m not trusting this process. I don’t really believe God can restore me to sanity. No wonder I’m sad. No wonder I feel almost hopeless.

Another thing is I’m a housewife who homeschools my teenager. I constantly beat myself up that I’m not good enough at either. The first week I was sober, I gave myself a break from the constant condemnation that has been with me since I was born. Anyway, being at home all day is a blessing but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. It doesn’t feel that way a lot. There’s really not a break in the day or even an escape so I it feels like I have no choice but to just live in it like it is. I know that’s a lie. I could exercise. Which helps tremendously. But it’s almost like I want to just give up. It’s almost like I just want this to be easier and not have to work for it.

I’m tired. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically just tired. I don’t want to try so hard to stay sober. Or to be happy. or to live a normal, fulfilling life.

Which is exactly where alcohol takes me. It takes me to the place where it’s ok to be tired. Its perfectly fine to not care. And life is easy.

On one of my last hangovers I wrote

“I can’t hate myself for this. I just have to keep trying. Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before he made the light bulb work. I won’t give up on myself. I can’t afford to hate myself or be mad at myself. I drank. It wasn’t in my goals but so what. It happened.

I feel like crap.

The nausea, the depression, is awful.

I’ve been in bed all day.

I’m too tired to live.

And feeling above all unworthy of anything good.

God please reach inside my heart and give me the strength to say no to alcohol forever. Help me to stop the madness. Help me to live a joyful life and surrender to you and your ways. I just want to say no to drinking for the rest of my life.”

He’s given me strength to say no to alcohol. Maybe now He’s helping me to stop the madness…

 

Sober doesn’t feel good today

Sober doesn’t feel good at all today. I feel like my life-as miserable as it was with the shame of drinking and not being able to stop-has been taken out with the trash. You know those days where you take your big trash can to the end of your driveway for the trash service to pick up every week. That has happened to life as I know it. I knew getting sober would be hard. The first week was good. I felt relief not having hangovers and just being sober was a comfort. But now.

Now everything hurts. My husband can’t say anything right. And looking at my teenager is just another reminder of all my inadaquecys at being a mom. How many times have I failed him? What if I wasn’t an addict or alcoholic? What if I was “normal”? How bad have I messed him up? Theres a new tightness in my chest filled with guilt that only a drunk mother would recognize. It’s gnawing and deep. Like a dog that has gripped its teeth onto my heart and refuses to let go.

I really hate you Day 11. But I hate the thought of drinking even more so. Thank you Jesus. ❤️