Tag Archives: 12 Steps of AA

The Beginning of the End or The Start of Something New?

Saturday April 21st 2016 – I went back to AA a shaking, shivering mess, huddled in my thick parka and scarf, crying and ashamed. Defeated and full of remorse and fear. The Big Book says it all, the program speaks of the alcoholic who is truly defeated and ready to admit powerlessness. With that change came a loss of all of my connections as most of them were toxic, based on shared addictions and my decision to be abstinent and sober was too confronting for most friends. I lost my best friend – alcohol – and then my minimal friendships because I finally realised I couldn’t keep doing the same old behaviours and expect positive changes.

One friend – Philly – said to me “I miss the drunk Isabella” – at the time I didn’t know what to say, yet internally I was screaming and shouting abuse. I wanted to shout, punch and pummel him with reminders of drunken calls, near fatal overdoses, falls and near death experiences. I didn’t say anything.

What I did do was cease contact with Philly who had been in my life since I was 18. Philly had been my best friend for a decade in my 20’s, in my 30’s we still had drunken, drug fuelled catch ups every couple of years. Philly who professed undying love for me, who I had called whilst overdosing and would visit me in hospital when Joey saved my arse from dying. Philly who admitted he did nothing when I called him to say goodbye, that I had taken a shit load of meds and wine – because he was home alone and too drunk to so anything to save or help me.

Philly would try to tempt me with alcohol, drugs or both. Every. Single. Time I tried to get sober. Is that friendship? Is that healthy? Is that fair? Is that love? No. That’s what addiction does to people – it fights to keep its friends close and equally unwell so that the individual does not have to face their own addictions, struggles, pain and self sabotaging choices and actions.

My desperate desire to be sober held a mirror up to my friends and showed them their own sickness – which they were not ready to accept. It was not my place to force them to see their own addictions, pain and chaos created by their addictions. And that’s ok. Some friends I distanced myself from slowly and carefully as I did not want to harm them further. Others turned on me – lashing out in anger, blaming and critising me for my new lifestyle and quiet voice of change. These friends ceased contact with me and it was explosive, painful and full of anger and arguments – recriminations and judgements from both sides. I had yet to learn to avoid or cease the toxic patterns of our friendships or relationship – something I still struggle with today.

Yet here I am – still sober, with a small group of strong healthy friends who only want the best for me. I now seek healthy, balanced company. I seem to be almost “adopted” by people who see something in me that they like. I question their desire to be my friend – are they crazy? Do they pity me? What do they think I can give them in return for their amazing qualities, support and friendship? Are they nuts???

I am slowly learning to accept that others see something in me I do not yet fully see or own. I observe their healthy choices, listen to their love of excercise, healthy eating and gardening, gigs, music festivals, travel (NO girls I am never going to be into excercise like you – that’s where I draw the line!!!!) and, occasionally I ask for advice and act on it.

The only changes I should be focusing on is that of my own choices and life – other peoples lives are their own business. Until their choices and actions impact me – THEN it’s my business up to a point.

In summary –

Luv,

Me.

Isabella.

My big mouth.

Warning – long post and hopefully a laugh for someone. I am. 😁🤦🏼‍♀️🧐

It’s so easy to fool everyone that you’ve got it together. I recently divulged some recent thoughts and plans to my GPS of 20 years and they lovingly “dobbed” me into my psychiatrist of 12 months. I thought I had told my GP the REAL BAD thoughts.

Until I saw my psychiatrist 3 days later🤦🏼‍♀️. Firstly – she was horrified – “why didn’t we know?” – my response was “Look at me – no one would ever guessed – I’m always “on” and well presented” (hello shopping addiction ❤️ U).

Then she REALLY hit the big time – …”…medication ain’t gunna cut it!” she cried! “…It’s a band aid fix!!!…“

“The Drama of Gifted Child” by Alice Miller was almost ordered as mandatory reading. Then the shocker – once weekly intense therapy sessions with her … “most people need 12-18 sessions Isabella….. you …. you’re looking at intense therapy of up to 30-40 sessions!!!” and inpatient DBT therapy!!!!

“Do you have private health insurance?” she queries yet again. …. same answer – no. “Well this is my specialty and I don’t mean to be rude Isabella but I charge $300 an hour – and I don’t bulk bill or take private health insurance”. We both looked at each other – both immediately hoped that the lovely (unnamed for privacy reasons) funding will agree to pay for her …. we have decided to proceed and charge. THEN deal with them if they reject the additional costs. I love acting first apologising later!!!

As for private health insurance – I do now! Hello top private Heath insurance company- welcome to draining my savings.

THEN this little black duck went back to her GP (I ❤️ Them) and thanked her for “dobbing me in”. When I mentioned the car/garage, my GP looked majorly confoosed… spun around to her computer notes and said “I don’t remember you mentioning THAT!” That’s when I realised …… I HADN’T ACTUALLY TOLD HER THE ENTIRE “BAD” bits!!!! So essentially dobbed myself in twice. 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ ****Note – Phenergan fucks me up big time****

So I threw out my Phenergan a second time in 3 weeks….

Clearly all this shit is why I was abusing substances for so long…. and a deeper me wants help not….. the other alternatives.

Lessons for me: my inner core and other internal/external drivers want to live life with peace, calm and something called happiness. At just over 3 years sober I’m smacking my forehead and saying to my lovely medical team – this is why I drank and drugged…. to avoid these memories and feelings.

This is why I’m so fucking alone in the world:

    No family – except two males I keep at text/email distance,
    close acquaintances I see every 4-6 weeks maximum 2-3 hours whom I’ve know maximum of 3-4 years,
    an erratic, beautiful fucked up guy since 2013 in/out of my life (hello Joey!)
    Nil social outings or I rotate/space out lunches or dinners or I have spurts of social engagement that drains me and leaves me vulnerable and agitated.
    No job or career aspects anymore.
    Income protection kicking in soon.
    The option of employment is out of the window for at least 12 months.
    Medicated but not a zombie.
    Hobbies include reading, new to gardening and …. online shopping.
    On bad days I lay on the couch watching the sun and clock move from morning to night so I can go to sleep.
    I see blood and death everywhere….
    I have three cats that calm me.
    l look great on the outside – even act it for a while…. guys think I’m awesome. Until they get into a relationship (I snare them quickly before they get away) and realise I am not wife material or as good as I seemed. But they’ve hung in there bless their cotton socks – coz I look good … and have other talents that I’ve refined over the years. I know my worth and skills – “a lady in the living room …. a whore in the bedroom..” 😉 Never been into casual sex – I’m too clingy. 😳🤣🤦🏼‍♀️

I truly believe I’ve been cursed or my soul lesson is to learn to be completely alone – everyone dies or leaves me. In my 20’s and 30’s when I had friends we would joke that everything does around me. 2013 onwards – it’s no longer a joke but reality. If I followed Buddhism faithfully, or at all, I would believe my life journey is to learn to live without attachment to people, places and things. And that’s ok.

Drinking is not an option – I refuse to die a drunk. But I haven’t ruled out euthanasia or other means …. but that’s for another day and decade hopefully.

AA program and beliefs (I don’t go to meetings anymore), other program tools, sober acquaintances and a strong belief in my Higher Powers (I’m so special I have a few 😉) a stupid internal resilience and ego keeps me alive, sober and trying to break the curse – one day at a time. Not friends, family or other social connections. Just my Drs, cats and an internal driver.

Luv,

Me

xxxx

Where to Start? It’s been so long.

Where to start my friends?

Well. I am still sober and completely and utterly happy about it – I am in a really good place, the sun is shining, I am at peace with the world and with myself.

That makes it 27 days sober and alcohol free.

I am pretty pleased about my progress, without getting to ‘up myself’. I have had a lot of help from others, had a lot of down moments, however the biggest change in me has been that my cravings have gone. My instant default thought is no longer that I need a bottle of white wine to energise, dull or sedate me. My thought is that thank god I have options – many, many options and I don’t have to drink anymore.

It is mind-blowing to be in my head at the moment. I have been sober for six months before –  over a year ago now – and it was a constant struggle to keep going, to fight the urge to drink and to keep sober. It was exhausting, mentally draining – I was full of anger, denial and resentments. There was no peace in my heart or mind, no serenity or let up from the madness that is my addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Today. I wake up happy that this is my life, that I no longer have to struggle or fight myself, that I just have to be – to let someone else do the heavy lifting, to steer the boat and to make the decisions. My job is to keep being willing and open, to hand over my life to someone who knows best, because god knows I don’t – that’s how I got into this mess in the first place.

I would like to share a couple of readings I found today that sum me up at the moment:

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p.34

Second reading:

“Our whole trouble has been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us.”

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p.40

 

As you may have guessed, I have turned to the last place I have to help me with my addictions – AA.

A year ago, I left AA in resentment and anger as I thought of it as a cult, full of people who really didn’t care and who were blind to the psychobabble. I was still fighting the need to let go of my self-will, failing to see that it was my self-will that had gotten me into some pretty damn scary places where I had no right to be. That I could not trust my self-will, even though it had done a lot of good as well.

It was only until this weekend that I realised that my self-will had gotten me into a situation where I had a loaded gun put to my head, and I still stuck around because I could get free drugs. It was my self-will that saw me (extremely drunk but fully aware of what I was doing)  get into a car full of ICE addicts and go to their place to score some free speed. My self-will should have me dead. Indeed I think I wanted die.

This weekend, M helped me see that my self-will was full of disease, that I had no right to trust my self, that I was not following a healthy path. However I used to marvel and thank god that I had gotten out of a situation unharmed and alive. Which told me that I have always had a universal soul looking out for me, helping and protecting me – I have always been aware of that, of him, and have always thanked him after the fact.

So this weekend I decided that I would flip this sorry situation on its proverbial head and hand my self-will over to my universal saviour and let him decided what is good for me. I will no longer be apologising for my behavior after the fact, I will be asking for guidance before acting.

My reward thus far is feeling serene, happy and most of all – craving free – I do not even want a drink, I am not scared of myself nor am I needing to get away from myself. That in itself is amazing.

Life is amazing.

I am blessed.

Isabella.

xxxxx

Step 1 – Is My Life Unmanageable? (Reposted)

I have been told (advised) by my sponsor to think about how my life has become unmanageable. Because – you see – I am struggling to understand at a deep, intrinsic level, that my life is in danger and has become unmanageable. I have a strong desire to stop drinking and stop the madness, however the addiction is strong and the voices persuasive.

My life on the outside is one that many people would envy and is one that I can see that I am very fortunate to have. I am not overly wealthy, I don’t have a ‘normal’ life (no kids, not married), however I am safe, secure and have people who love me for the person they think I am.

Yet. On the inside, I am a boiling cauldron of hot mess and I have a self-destructive nature that is constantly battling the urge to live, succeed and be healthy. It is an ongoing battle that is an internal one.

So – is my life unmanageable? Let’s see:

  • I am constantly wanting to divorce myself – to leave me behind;
  • I am paranoid and constantly worrying that there is something going on that I am not aware of;
  • Fear is a large part of my daily life – I am petrified of being caught out, seen as a fake, a failure;
  • I am constantly depressed – occasionally with thoughts of ending it all, however not having the energy to bother;
  • I am moody and all over the place – I feel my highs and lows hourly;
  • Confusion is a constant – I don’t understand others, I am always trying to figure things out;
  • Normality is an unknown to me yet I strive for it and feel the absence keenly;
  • Lying is a big part of my life – lying about drinking, how much I have had, how much I have spent, why I am late – always to cover up a binge.

The list could go on, however looking at it these feelings have been with me since I was a child. So yes. My life is unmanageable – my internal life is rather than my external. I cannot go on as I am – I don’t have the energy or the will. The only way to stop the insanity is to stop the cause.

Alcohol is a poison to me – one drink will set me off again.

BUT. There is good news – I am now six days sober – by 12pm tonight I will be seven days sober.

I will share the last binge with you another day soon – when the horror has died down a little, and when I need another injection of reality as a reminder why I need to stop drinking.

Isabella.

xxx

Whats a Girl?

 

*** Reposted as I will be starting a Steps insight as I am now up to Step 2 and would like to focus more on my recovery steps and my experiences with AA, as well as my daily challenges, difficulties and wins.

I’m Part of a Whole

For so long I have felt different and alone. As a child of 12 I used to catch the bus for the hour long ride into the city just to feel a part of something. That practice continues today. I seek comfort in the community sometimes – particularly when I am drinking. When I drink alone at a bar, hotel or cafe, I do so to be social – to feel a part of society. Don’t get me wrong, I quite often sit on my own reading, then observing, then if I have the time or enough wine, I socialize. However I always leave alone and disconnected – feeling buoyed by the talk and safe in my anonymity.

I have always have the feeling I am searching for someone – someone I have lost. Someone who will find me.

Now, I don’t feel as different, I have found out that I do have a group that I belong to and they are there should I choose to accept them. I just have to reach out and ask – which is hard for everyone and I am no different.

At the moment I am part of a “hole” that is within me – one day I will be part of a “whole”.

We all will be.

Isabella.

Xx

Step 1 – Is My Life Unmanageable?

I have been told (advised) by my sponsor to think about how my life has become unmanageable. Because – you see – I am struggling to understand at a deep, intrinsic level, that my life is in danger and has become unmanageable. I have a strong desire to stop drinking and stop the madness, however the addiction is strong and the voices persuasive.

My life on the outside is one that many people would envy and is one that I can see that I am very fortunate to have. I am not overly wealthy, I don’t have a ‘normal’ life (no kids, not married), however I am safe, secure and have people who love me for the person they think I am.

Yet. On the inside, I am a boiling cauldron of hot mess and I have a self-destructive nature that is constantly battling the urge to live, succeed and be healthy. It is an ongoing battle that is an internal one.

So – is my life unmanageable? Let’s see:

  • I am constantly wanting to divorce myself – to leave me behind;
  • I am paranoid and constantly worrying that there is something going on that I am not aware of;
  • Fear is a large part of my daily life – I am petrified of being caught out, seen as a fake, a failure;
  • I am constantly depressed – occasionally with thoughts of ending it all, however not having the energy to bother;
  • I am moody and all over the place – I feel my highs and lows hourly;
  • Confusion is a constant – I don’t understand others, I am always trying to figure things out;
  • Normality is an unknown to me yet I strive for it and feel the absence keenly;
  • Lying is a big part of my life – lying about drinking, how much I have had, how much I have spent, why I am late – always to cover up a binge.

The list could go on, however looking at it these feelings have been with me since I was a child. So yes. My life is unmanageable – my internal life is rather than my external. I cannot go on as I am – I don’t have the energy or the will. The only way to stop the insanity is to stop the cause.

Alcohol is a poison to me – one drink will set me off again.

BUT. There is good news – I am now six days sober – by 12pm tonight I will be seven days sober.

I will share the last binge with you another day soon – when the horror has died down a little, and when I need another injection of reality as a reminder why I need to stop drinking.

Isabella.

xxx

Whats a Girl?

Don’t Pick Up The First Drink

Well, as you know, I was not having a great afternoon and it only got worse. The cravings were really strong, my liver was screaming out for a glass of chilled, sav blanc to soothe the tension and stress that it was feeling. It was a physical sensation – quite separate from my mind. It is an extremely weird sensation – your mind is saying NO and your body is screaming for something.

Usually my liver is throbbing trying to flush out the alcohol, or toxins, that I had poured into its sensitive little chamber – literally throbbing and pulsating. When I am hung over, I can literally FEEL the cold water hitting it and soothing the little fucker. Likewise when I have a glass of cold white wine, it instantly hits my liver and, again, soothes the savage beast, lulling it into a sense of calm and peace…..until I stop drinking for the night or day.

If you are into visualization, I feel like I have a little green gremlin in my liver that screams, shouts and jumps up and down for a white wine, or sparkling champagne, then once he has gorged himself, he lays down, opens his mouth and just lets the alcohol pour down into his fat little stomach. That’s all I hear from him. Until the next morning when he is dragging himself across the floor moaning ….. “Water, Water … wine … ANYTHING cold – I need to cool down, I am burning UPPPPP”.

Then it takes the fat little gremlin a day and night to brush himself down, get back on his feet and start stomping, shaking the bars of his cell demanding  feeding again – WINE, CHAMPAGNE – ANYTHING!!!!

So that is where my addiction sits. In my liver. The gremlin has a lot of strength and power over my body and mind – although my mind is in cahoots as well sometimes. I can go into a fugue state, where I am not able to think, I just walk into a bar, sit down and order a drink – even though I am screaming at myself to stop.

So. How did I get I get over this afternoons really bad cravings? I nearly didn’t. But I imagined tomorrow morning and not fronting up to the meeting, not being able to meet with my new sponsor and having to start all over again. Go through the last 3 days again????? No way. Not at the moment thank you.

So I went to a meeting that I had never been to before – full of young, old, gorgeous, glowing people with 20+ years to 2-3 days like me. It really eased my cravings which is bizarre – really bizarre. Once I had somewhere to go, and people to talk to about my issue (not that I spoke too much), the cravings eased and I had a sense of calm.

Then, another danger zone – Friday night, party night. Luckily, as The Boy is away for 3 weeks, I had arranged to meet up with a friend to go for a walk around the local seaside suburb I live in, have some dinner, fresh air and conversation. Which is what I did – plus a 15 min should/neck massage which really eased the tension of the day and after two hours walking, talking and looking at the sights, I was home at 10pm, showered and relaxed.

Safe and Sober.

Almost a miracle.

What it has shown me is that you have to put the effort in and make a choice about doing something different from drinking.

Now. Change of scenery.

So The Boy and I haven’t seen each other for nearly two weeks due to work and him taking off to another state for a holiday followed by work next week. I have taken to calling him to let him know how I am tracking – particularly if I am having a shitty time as he needs to know.

But. He is out drinking with his mates – who I know are alcoholics, and I know he will end up drunk tonight and he has already started sex – texting me. The last time he did it full on, he had been out with his mates, in another state, yet another mini holiday, and he had been to a strip club. I am really trying not to feel resentful, and think I am succeeding, however where is the empathy? Would I call him drunk if the situation was reversed? Would I rub it in his face if he were the one trying to stop drinking for good? No. I wouldn’t. I would support as much as I could.

A friend said to me that I do need to stop as he has a feeling that if I don’t stop drinking my life will come crashing down. At my lowest ebb, I get really depressed thinking that if The Boy and I were to break up – particularly due to my drinking – I wouldn’t cope and that would be the end of me.

However, even the last 1 1/2 weeks, I have really enjoyed the time alone – even though I have gotten smashed a lot, I have enjoyed the freedom, quiet and the ability to do what I want and when I want. I feel like I am free and me.

I hope this continues this sobriety thing – I am just in the infant stages, however I am trying and I know the alternative.

But the flip side is, that if The Boy and I were to split up ……… as long as it was not to do with my drinking binges …. I think I would be ok.

Anyway.

Enough for tonight.

 

Isabella.

xx

Desperate to Get Out From Under this Cloud

3rd January, 2012 – reflections of diary entry. Life was bleak.

I am desperate to not sink into this hole of blackness. To not curl up into a ball and cry, cry, cry. I hate myself, I have no energy and I cannot really see the point. I am so tired of fighting everything – my past, my families history, fighting to maintain a normal existence and do all the things I ‘should’.

My mood is black and bleak.

Yet I still try to maintain a normal exterior – fruit and vegie shopping, knife shopping, bought a juicer for healthier living, walked the dog, marinated a chicken breast, took the garbage bins out, fed all of the animals, folded towels. All in an hour and a half. I used to have four drinks in the same time and ended up feeling relaxed, numb and energised. Now I just feel tired and depressed. So much for healthy, happy living.

My mood may definitely have something to do with the fact that I really only had 3-4 hours sleep last night and it was the first day back at work. AND I did not have a drop of caffeine (tea, coffee or diet Coke) or sugar throughout the day.

So tired I could sleep right here and now, but I am unable to because The Boy is due home soon and I will have to cook dinner – a heap of vegies, chicken and rice for The Boy – no rice for me.

I really don’t want to be a depressive. I am sure that after a good feed, a sleep and a fresh mind, I will be better tomorrow. I hope.

Luv me please.

Desperate to Get Out From Under this Cloud

I am desperate to not sink into this hole of blackness. To not curl up into a ball and cry, cry, cry. I hate myself, I have no energy and I cannot really see the point. I am so tired of fighting everything – my past, my families history, fighting to maintain a normal existence and do all the things I ‘should’.

My mood is black and bleak.

Yet I still try to maintain a normal exterior – fruit and vegie shopping, knife shopping, bought a juicer for healthier living, walked the dog, marinated a chicken breast, took the garbage bins out, fed all of the animals, folded towels. All in an hour and a half. I used to have four drinks in the same time and ended up feeling relaxed, numb and energised. Now I just feel tired and depressed. So much for healthy, happy living.

My mood may definitely have something to do with the fact that I really only had 3-4 hours sleep last night and it was the first day back at work. AND I did not have a drop of caffeine (tea, coffee or diet Coke) or sugar throughout the day.

So tired I could sleep right here and now, but I am unable to because The Boy is due home soon and I will have to cook dinner – a heap of vegies, chicken and rice for The Boy – no rice for me.

I really don’t want to be a depressive. I am sure that after a good feed, a sleep and a fresh mind, I will be better tomorrow. I hope.