Tag Archives: drinking

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.

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

If This is Sobriety

Wow. If this is sobriety – I want it.

Awake at 5am because I had slept enough – Not because my hangover was kicking in.

Spoke to The Boy clearly and consciously this morning – And I remember everything we said, we didn’t end up fighting and it was good.

Walked Sparkles (my dog) for 30 minutes because I should – Rather than not going because I was hungover and needed to rest before going to work.

The desire to drink last night was strong – so strong I called my sponsor and talked it through then made myself do Steps 1 & 2 again as revision. And didn’t drink. Somehow.

So if this is sobriety – it will only get better in many, many ways – I will be trying to hold onto it.

Isabella.

 

xx

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?

Resentments WILL Turn You to Drink

If there is one thing I have learnt over the last year, is that my resentments stew.

 
My resentments stew into a big, hot, boiling mess of infection that soon link up with other, unrelated resentments to make one big pussy mess of my emotions and make any attempt to resolve the issues like an adult almost impossible.
 
I now know that if I don’t work on the resentment as soon as it arises, I will drink over it. I will drink to resolve the issue that I should could approach as a clear headed adult if I gave myself the opportunity to do so. 
 
I found myself drinking over small issues, such as dishes in the sink when I want to cook, when really I was drinking because of larger issues that I was too afraid to confront and attempt to resolve. All because of my drinking and the secrecy surrounding it – and the shame. A vicious, vicious circle that only spirals downwards – quite often at an alarming rate such as days. Then, I would find myself in a huge argument with The Boy over something small, which although we would ‘make up’ there was always a feeling of issues unresolved, of nothing being achieved, of still spiralling down out of control – it was like I had stopped mid flight, paused and started travelling forward, however, still dangerously close to the ground.
 
Isabella also found this with work – she would stew on issues, become disenchanted, stressed or start doubting her abilities, so she would go for a walk at lunch, planning which cafe she could go to for lunch … with a sav blanc. Or three. Isabella always made it back to work within the hour – purse lighter, craving abated and a bigger worry to focus on – could anyone smell the wine on her? Is she slurring? How was she going to get through the rest of the afternoon without craving more – or wanting to sleep? What mistakes would she make that she will have to rectify?
 
So resentments can be the death of the alcoholic. Literally.
 
Isabella.
 
xx