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.

Fear, pain, remorse and the beginning of the end.

The beginning of the end or the start of something new?

This is so true right now – in fact my whole life has been like this. I was always looking after someone else – trying, but mostly forcing, my own will onto others.

I was critical, judgemental and angry at those close to me. I fought, cried and begged them to try to help themselves – knowing that I was forcing my will onto them. Whilst I was also sabotaging and harming myself to resist change and to cope with hating myself.

I was in so much pain and expressed it the only way I knew how – by being angry when they wouldn’t seek help, play the martyr or call me to fix the problem when it had escalated to being a crisis. I’ve lost so many years trying to fix the broken people around me – in the process I lost myself and harmed myself.

Finally in 2016, I admitted I was beaten and wrong – my way never worked – I had to change. No one else.

My last drunken binge was huge and I had no idea it would be the last time I would drink. Wednesday 20th of April, 2016 consisted of lunch drinks at 12pm noon sharp – 3 glasses of red wine in less than an hour.

The waitress was friendly when I first sat down to have “lunch” on my day off, however at the end of the two hours and 6 red wines, she wasn’t as friendly. I was aware of the change in attitude, the looks of astonishment and judgement she was casting at me – it was time to leave. I was completely steady on my feet, no slurring or falling over – which would tell its own story of the high tolerance I had for alcohol.

I hadn’t finished for the day! Oh no! The sun was shining, I was blissfully aware of the world around me and felt beautiful, funny and an abundance of love for everything and everyone. There was no way in hell I was returning to the dark dungeon that housed the dark, moody and depressed Joey who refused to leave my home until he was ready. Oh no. I was determined to have some fucking fun in my life for once. I wanted to party, feel the sun on my face, laugh and feel free.

The day was still young – so much time left to drink and have fun for the day! I was determined to ignore that I had to drive to get home, had work the next day and would eventually have to return to the blackened husk of toxic waste I called home.

I called Anne of Green Gables – my best friend since I was 16 – yep! Of course I could come around and keep her company while she played her role as housewife with 3 children all under the age of 5. I rocked up to her place at 2pm, music blaring, grinning, brandishing two bottles of red wine. The kids loved drunk Isabella – they had no idea why mummy and Isabella were so much fun all of a sudden!!! Anne of Green Gables and I polished both bottles of red wine by 5pm – just in time for me to leave before her husband came home. Being the good friend I am I left another bottle of red wine for her to have that night – I even opened it and poured her a glass. We were so clever doing this – her hubby would think that she had just opened the first bottle for the day! He would never know it would be her second bottle of the day. Hehehehehehe

By 5.30pm I was home safe, no fatalities, car in one piece and as drunk as a skunk – but nooooooo the party would not stop. I cracked open a bottle of white wine so I could be classy and pretend that I had my drinking under control.

It’s now 7.30pm and I was onto the sparking wine and polished that off just in time to drive to the bottle shop for another bottle of sparkling wine for the night. Shops close at 9pm – how rude!

Fuck off Joey – I’ll drive if I want to, I’m fine, and no I don’t want to fuck you! But I do want you to move out of my fucking house and get your stinking rotten carcass out of my grandparents bedroom where you have been festering for 8 months. Thank fuck you are leaving in two weeks – on Mother’s Day of course – you’ll make that fucking day all about you of course.

Ohhhh yeah. That sweet, friendly Isabella had turned into her toxic, abusive revolting individual who was vile and vindictive.

I’m told by Joey that I was pretty full on abusive which I don’t doubt. Anne of Green Gables later told me she had no idea at any stage that I had drank a bottle of red before starting the party at her place. See! Told you I could handle my alcohol and my tolerance was high! Isabella knows her fucking alcohol limits, regularly exceeded them and turned into a blackout, erratic hot pile of mess.

That party on Wednesday 20th April, 2016 had me in bed and hungover for two days. Of which the hours were excruciatingly painful, soul destroying, full of regret, denial, fear, shame, remorse, guilt and the obsessive certainty that I would lose my job, then my car, my house and my life.

Something had to change.

And amazingly it did. One day at a time. Sometimes one hour at a time or one step, second or thought at a time.

More to come.

Luv,

Me.

Isabella

❤️❤️❤️

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.

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?