Monday, September 02, 2013
To save my blog before posting it. I had just finished it, only to discover my session has timed out.
AND LOSE THE ENTIRE THING!!!
Goes to show.. even with Monday being a holiday.. IT IS STILL a Monday..
So it is Labor Day, Septemeber 2nd, 2013.
In the last several months, due to some health issues and concentrating on some much needed BIGGER issues, I have gained 25 pounds. On the 27th of this month, my sweetheart and I are headed to the Cayman Islands to a condo 100 feet from the ocean for some much needed Sun and relaxation!!
The past year has been one for a lot of growth and self reflection. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I began a journey into recovery from alcoholism, which has required a lot of intense work and has required looking inward. Removing alcohol from the equation appears to have been the simplest step. You see, I thought that merely removing the bottle would free me, and my life would become different, you know, all rosy and such.. Um.. It has, and it hasn't.
I have learned so much, and with that has come a lot of pain, and disappointment and loss. It has also provided many, many miracles.. Sometimes it can be hard to find the miracles, and I am grateful for a teacher who has walked a path similar to mine to help guide me when the cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises have seemed overwhelming and unbearable. She has stuck with me when I have fallen and helped pick me back up and most importantly has shown me how to find the gift in the problem. It seems that most of the time the problem is me, and my insane way of thinking. As long as I remain teachable and willing to do something different, I can usually find the miracle in the solution.
One of my favorite quotes is one that I heard while watching a movie with a dear friend I lost 3 weeks ago today from this horrible disease. It was from the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", I highly recommend it's viewing, for it has a lot of really great nuggets of wisdom. The quote is " Everything will be okay in the end, if it's not okay, it's not the end."
So, it seems many things do not end, and that includes this journey of health and wellness, not just mentally but physically as well.
So, after looking at where and how I had slid in my health goals, I made a new plan.
It is simple really.
Eat well, exercise, and be grateful.
So yesterday, Paul and I went to Costco and Walmart and armed ourselves with healthy food, and came home and weighed and portioned everything out and IT WAS FUN!! I created mini meals that were as close to 225 calories as I could muster, and the goal is to eat every 2 and a half to 3 hours. he gets more food than I do, which I am sure at some point will chafe my voluptuous hind quarters... Eh, that's what he gets for being a man and 7 solid inches taller than me..
I had forgotten how much work, getting back into the habit is, and tried to keep my focus on the fact it gets easier as you DO the habit and the rewards are monumental!! So today, I will cook for the week, which is no chore since I love to cook and often find myself in a state of Zen while doing it.
So today I will look for joy in making preparations for being healthier. I will not curse the gym time, but view it as an old friend I have been missing, and will refer back to this blog entry when my mind is not cooperating with my new found resolve.. Because, let's be honest, that is going to happen!!
Friday, August 30, 2013
There are certain moments in time when gravity sucker punches us, and removes any doubt that we are on the right path.
I was cleaning out my inbox, and came across an email sent almost a year ago, one I was meant to see today, for a year ago I would not have understood it the way I did today. When I read it, time stood still for a moment and it took conscious thought to breathe again.
God sometimes does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
A couple days ago, I posted this blog on blogger.
2 weeks ago
Something happened that will forever define the rest of my life, the rest of my sobriety, and the rest of the lives that surround me. I pray for peace for every life that was touched so profoundly
After finding myself on the floor of a bottomless pit I never saw coming, and that was divinely designed, I found my way to a candlelight meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I break my anonymity so that perhaps , my story, our stories may help someone out there that may still be suffering, and know that they are not alone, nor do they ever have to be alone again.
August 10th, 2012
As I sat there, I wasn't sure when I had vacated the Fairytale or if it had simply vacated me. All I knew right now was that I was in a room full of strangers and the numb was wearing off and the desperation was ebbing back in, and the churning in my mind was awakening, and soon the shaking would start. I shut my eyes so tightly I could see stars and prayed when I opened them things would be different. They opened and things were different alright. The different I had chosen. The last 2 days were a blur, but also crystal clear, but as if the events had happened to someone else, because even as I sat here, I was convinced that things like this didn't happen to women like me.
I sighed and lit another cigarette. Inhaled deeply and and looked around these seemingly normal people and wondered once again what the hell I was doing here. The morning hours and my resolve seemed to fade with the sun. As I watched it begin it's decent, I absently picked at the hem of the white shorts I was wearing, and looked around me again. There was a mom with her children swimming in the pool, there were clusters of people, all ages, gathered in various different spots, no one conversation discernible, just a low steady hum. I felt the warmth of my lit cigarette as the cherry neared my fingers. I stabbed it out, and with each movement the anger began to bubble up again. I just wasn't sure who precisely I was the most angry with. Tears rolled down my cheeks, and the hot emotion seared it's way to my throat. I panicked. There was no way I was going to break down in front of all these strangers. As composed as I could muster, I gathered my bag and headed for the ladies room. Once there I sat in the stall and the tears began to flow, my chest tight with shame, anger and disbelief. I had managed a shower, putting my long auburn hair into a neat braid, and even a little make up, mascara, eyeliner and lip gloss. To the naked eye, I looked like a normal, person. Pretty, refined, smart, tanned, and well put together. No one would guess this "fine" woman was 24 hours out of a county jail aptly named Purgatory for intoxication. I shuddered. No. I couldn't let my mind go back there, not right now. I pulled my cell phone out of my purse, smirking as my perfectly manicured nail slid across the side button to illuminate the time. I slumped against the stall, i was either gonna go in there or bolt. I closed my eyes again and the last of the hot tears brimmed over my eyelashes. I pulled the stall door open and stood in front of the sink to rinse my face and blot my eyes. I avoided mirrors except to make sure my appearance was flawless, but never wanting to look at who was really staring back. As I turned to go, a woman entered, looked at me, immediately took me into her arms and hugged me. “ you are right where you need to be”, she whispered. I looked at this stranger in bewilderment, but felt mildly bolstered by this odd exchange. I straightened up just a little bit more, and walked into the room of strangers and chose a seat by an older woman I had seen out on the patio. Poised, elegant, intelligent with a pinch of sass, I felt drawn to this woman, so I sat across from her.
The terror now had a stranglehold as the meeting began. This wasn't my first meeting, but it was the first meeting where I knew I earned my seat. I was no better than any other person there and for the first time I knew this. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I needed help. My way landed me in jail and had alienated every person I loved. I choked on the bile rising my throat at this realization. Holy S**t. I was completely alone and at my last outpost, so I had better not bolt now. I knew if I did my next stop was the cemetery, right next to my already dead husband. The person at the head of the room called attention that the meeting was about to start and I sat there in helpless bewilderment. He announced they were going to go around the room and introduce themselves, not to embarrass anyone but so that they could all get to know each other. I inwardly rolled my eyes, what a crock! Who would want to get to know me? At that moment the only thing I knew was that I was good at was burning down anything, and everyone who ever meant anything to me. Suddenly I became acutely aware that there was silence and it was my turn to introduce myself. The bile bubbled back up and I was sure I was going to choke on the words I was about to speak, but also knew with a new certainty that they were the first true words in a long time I had spoken. I quietly, but clearly spoke, “My name is Jennifer and I am an alcoholic.” I glanced sideways at the face of the woman across from me, and expected to see a snicker, or judgment, but saw only a slight nod and a quiet countenance of understanding as her gaze moved to the next person. I barely moved. When they came to the end of the introductions, my breath finally escaped me, I didn't realize I had been holding it, then my eyes started to burn and another damn tear slid down my cheek. Someone moved to the front of the room and with joy accepted a 30 day chip. I didn't understand the joy, and even more so didn't understand how anyone could feel that after 30 days without a drink, because by this point with all of the emotion from the last few days and the fading of my resolve, my body was craving that numb feeling I had so desperately come to depend on. The lights had dimmed and there were candles on each of the long tables barely illuminating the room. I barely heard what the people around me were sharing, but did suddenly realize that a small sense of peace had begun to pervade the edges of the turmoil I felt screaming inside me. Through my fogginess, I realized as I stood in the circle holding hands with these strangers that I had been thrown a life jacket in the sea of chaos that had become me. I had listened to the prayer that closed the meeting an knew enough about AA to know that I would sink without a sponsor. Someone to help guide me through the steps that would become the thing I hoped would save me. I was drawn to the woman across the table and sought her out and without any real thought of my own and found myself asking this stranger if she would help me. To my absolute shock, the woman with the kind eyes agreed.
The here and now
That was a year ago, and I would love to report that the past almost 13 months have gone by smoothly, and that I have a perfect record of sobriety to report. I do not.
What I DO have, is countless miracles and blessings. Life is not perfect nor do I have to be perfect in it. I have slowly begun, and I do say begun, because it will take time to undo some of the damage that has been caused, to rebuild relationships that I thought I had burned down. Alcohol was my mistress, and for a long time I chose it above all things that were important to me. It is not a lie the it is cunning, baffling and powerful, and most of all patient. Today, I can look, really look in the mirror and see a woman emerging I never thought I could be, and I like her. I have learned to accept my defeats with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child, and everyday I learn that I am not the mistakes i have made. They no longer define me.
My hope for the future is brighter now than I ever thought in a million years it could be. I HAVE hope. As time evolves, I look forward to being less involved in myself, and more involved with others. I also understand that it is what it is, and for the time being, important.
I lost a dear friend. One who had a vital role in my sobriety, and who taught me many lessons in how to be a friend without judgement. I hope he knows what a wonderful man he is, and that he walks hand in hand with our maker, and can finally see what an incredible instrument he was in so many lives.
I also gained a son, one that I love very much, who adores my daughter and I know will provide her with a life time of show stopping memories. The 2 of them definitely know how to make an entrance, as evidenced by the massive hail storm that opened their nuptials last weekend. It was a beautiful ceremony, and I was honored to walk my little girl down the aisle. I did this with my other little girl right by my side along with my incredibly patient mother and grandmother. I can honestly say that my family ARE my best friends, and always have been even when they couldn't be around my crazy.
I have a kind and patient man in my life who somehow understands my insanity and loves me in spite of it, he has willingly trudged this road with me, and I look forward to our journey together, and am grateful that the memories looking forward
will be happier and less tainted.
Life can be rebuilt, one day at a time, one moment at a time and for this alcoholic, one prayer at a time. My heart is over flowing, and I am so grateful for each and every person that I am honored to know and love.
I will miss you everyday Ryan, and I hope and pray for peace for all of us, in honor of your memory, I will close this blog the way you used to close yours.
My name is Jennifer, and I am an alcoholic.
My heart aches right now, and is also heavily laden with absolute gratitude.
May any of you who suffer either from or because of alcoholism, please know that your prayers for those afflicted are often answered, and most certainly felt.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Ok, I generally pride myself on having a pretty good attitude and taking things in stride, that said.. Enough already.
How much grace and poise can one woman have? How many tests do I need to walk through? How much more loss does God think I can take? Well, I already know the answer to this, as much as He thinks I need to handle.
My sweet Paramour lost his mother Friday evening. Her health went downhill very quickly, but I don't think any of us expected it to happen this fast. He went back to OK last Wednesday to tie up the sell of his parents house, and was very shaken when he called me that evening. The decline of his mother in the last 3 weeks was monumental. He told his sister to come now. Their mother waited for her to arrive and spend time with her before passing later that evening.
I know death and taxes are the things in life that are always constant, but for crying out loud. The man just barely lost his dog, and now his mom. Life is full of injustice and it seems some are more prone to be touched by unfortunate happenings more than others, and all the mumbo jumbo about how these struggles in life make us stronger.. I am so frustrated.
Find the gift in the problem..
Through all of the events that have taken place, I have found a higher power again. I can take in these life events without imbibing myself into a stupor. Today I get to stand up and be present in my life for those that I love and surround me with their own. I had a pup that showed me the power of unconditional love. I have the love of a son that had to have been born from a pretty fantastic woman, because he is pretty fantastic. I have a life today that I shouldn't have, because it was rapidly going in a different direction. Through the love of God and the very amazing people placed in my life, I get to have one more day where I wake up and I get to love and be loved. So I guess for all my griping I am still pretty grateful. Thanks to a very wise woman who has taught me to find a gift in the problem.
I love you Koko, and thank you Miss Eleanor for your wonderful son.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
A new day.. Not so much how I thought it would turn out..
I am learning about all of my addictions, FOOD, being a huge one for many years, and so it stands to reason that when I thought I conquered food, the alcohol ebbed and flowed in and out of control, until it eventually rocked the bottom out of MY control. I made the silly assumption that when I mastered my weight I automatically mastered my grief, and shouldn't that have somehow given me more control of my emotions?
2 words. Superwoman Syndrome.
Put on a pretty face, workout, eat well, be super mom, super widow and push down any pain that may possibly rise to the surface.. IMMEDIATELY!!
Blah blah blah.. so on and so forth.. fast forward to the past year.. when it spiraled to the damn bottom falling out.. almost entirely.
So here I am. Sober...
and check this out!!!
In part of my fantastic denial, I forgot how much sugar is in alcohol and in 48 days I am finding my frame is never bloated and my face has completely slimmed down!! I'll TAKE THAT!!
I don't have anything immediately profound to share today.. It has been a very emotional day and I am frankly exhausted. Feelings make you tired.. In fact in all honestly I probably have a lot of profound things to say, but very little energy to intelligibly express them.. So I will leave with this..
Just when I thought it was impossible, and all was lost..
My insides are finally beginning to match my outside.. and that feels pretty cool.
" You can break down a woman temporarily, but a real woman will always pick up the pieces, rebuild herself and come back stronger than ever."
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