Happy Enchilada

Half an inch of snow and the city shuts down. Had to help the mailman get unstuck, bless his heart, he had no clue what he was doing. This Utah girl can’t help but laugh at all these folks and their inexperience in the white stuff. Nothing like snowflakes to make me want to get my drink on though, it’s a day in the South where you don’t have to be accountable for anything. I keep seeing a trail of neighbors walking in the direction of the local bars. I know where they are going, I know what they are up to and I almost wish I could join them. Almost. I took my dog, Cowboy for a big long walk and got some provisions at the market and left triumphantly without beer. On the way home, this John Prine song got stuck in my head. I love this version, the happy enchilada.

I saw my therapist yesterday. She asked me what made me think that this time I was going to stay sober. I didn’t have an answer for her. I’m just going to keep trying I suppose, is what I told her. I know I can’t promise anything. All I know is that I feel better and that last year was pretty much hell on wheels. I was so sick in the eating disorder and depression that staying sober was really problematic. She said it was scary on her end too. Trying to figure out what keeps me stuck from making progress in recovery is difficult. It’s a myriad of things.

My childhood was violent. I watched my dad beat the ever living hell out of my mother and my brothers. We also had a lot of money. If I didn’t look or act like I appreciated what I had, I was criticised by my family and my friends. My mom and I would go shopping and she taught me to count the fat people at the mall and told me how disgusting it was while we had the money to buy any of the designer clothes that my heart desired.  If I had to guess this is the root of the eating disorder, somehow, through the criticism of jealous schoolmates and the crazy, terrifying home environment, somehow I developed a core belief about myself that I didn’t deserve food or the nice things that I had as my dad would say, “who do you think you are? why are you so proud of yourself?”

I finally relented last year and went on Lexapro. I know I have had episodes of depression throughout my life looking back. How I made it through college is a mystery to me. I did pretty well in school considering I basically lived at the bar. There were a few secret suicide attempts that I haven’t ever told anyone about except for my therapist and last year, last summer the thoughts got really dark again. The suicidal ideations have been periodic throughout my teens and twenties and thirties. Hell, it’s how I moved to Nashville. I was, either going to kill myself or move. I had just gotten out of the Peace Corps, I was medically discharged for depression because I chose not to take medications. It was my choice. I had spent a few weeks in DC on medical evacuation and I was so angry, so pissed at the doctors that were trying to help me because to me, being diagnosed with depression was a character flaw. Who did they think I was? I’m not depressed, that’s for weak people. I had some fucked up shit happen to me in the peace corps and it broke my heart. All of it broke my heart, leaving three months early, not continuing on with my plans to travel afterwards. I was so ashamed and disappointed in myself. I came home unwilling to open up and tell my friends nor family my feelings or the real state of my being. I did six months worth of hardcore drinking and started doing cocaine because it was there, not because I liked it (and I haven’t touched it since) and all I wanted to do was die. I couch surfed, couldn’t really find a job and it sucked. So, I got the hell out of there. Packed up my car drove to Tennessee because it couldn’t get any worse. Stayed with a childhood’s best friend’s mom and slowly started over.

I got into a community of people here that supported me and helped me. And that’s a whole other post for another day. The drinking subsided and was controlled but still present. I moved a lot, drove a truck, got engaged, broke that off, bought a house, got a good job as a social worker, found a man that I loved but he has issues, lost that job, was unemployed for a long time, got this job, got a fiance, lost my fiance and all this time no one would acknowledge that I had anorexia. Until it all snowballed and I was a mess and I ended up in a therapist office writing on the intake paperwork that one thing I would like to learn is how to eat. She took one look at me and said, “well, it looks like you have an eating disorder.” Thus began this journey to wellness. I’m stubborn so it’s been a slow process.

As I told my therapist yesterday, not the one that sent me to treatment for anorexia, but the one I have now, I feel better. I don’t feel so lost and helpless. I didn’t tell her this part because I hadn’t thought of it yet but I will tell you. I’ve spent hours and hours reading and listening to people about wellness and recovery and stories and strategies. I’m not stuck anymore because I am making changes in my life that my heart wants. I have tools to get me out of the danger zones like lexapro and boundaries with people. Being out of contact with the two men that I oscillated between has helped tremendously because I don’t have to consider them as factors in my life choices anymore. I don’t feel so broken. I still have issues and sometimes my issues have issues but I feel more of a sense of peace with them. It’s ok to let them just be. The key for me to do that is by not drinking and taking care of myself with nutrition, exercise and meditation. I feel fortunate that I found this out, that I am ok with who I am now.  I don’t feel like I am suffering from who I am anymore. This is what I am and I am good with it. I am finally on my own team. And I know I need to ask for help when I forget or feel scared.

I think I am going to have to make some enchiladas now. Day 7. Happy Sober Snow Day


29 thoughts on “Happy Enchilada

  1. I am glad that you got the help you needed. Why do you think you will succeed this time……interesting question. Personally I think we just know that we know!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, girl! Big hug. This is huge. So proud of you. This work is hard. Day 7! That is a big deal. One foot in front of the other. Walking down the path that you want to be on. Ask for help when you need it. We addicts don’t tend to do that asking for help thing. You can ask and should ask. Keep on sharing your story. You are a rockstar!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I was also in southern snow today…nothing like being tailgated on ice to remind you nobody around here knows how to drive! This was a really good read for me for many reasons. Good work on the 7 days! I think “judt keep trying” is a pretty good plan.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Better. Thank you for asking. When I wrote that last entry I was really at the bottom of my despair. He had a small setback after that and I wanted to stay home from work to stare at my phone waiting for news but since that is the opposite of not loving him, I went on to work and had a half decent day.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My father was also violent, not towards my mother but towards me. Also he hated fat people and that is what led to my bulimia. Ultimately this journey of sobriety is about self love. It seems simple but it’s a massive leap for a person who has so much self hatred (talking about myself now) I’m not there yet but I know what the path needs to be if I am to stay sober this time around. xxx

    Liked by 3 people

  5. God, what a post. The Prine. Your childhood. Snowed in. Thank you for sharing it all so openly and honestly.

    I’m so glad you shared everything exactly how you did. I’m glad you found the recipe for sobriety too. I find that there is nothing ever that a drink will help solve. Although, my mind will make me believe it will.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Congratulations! I can relate to a lot of your struggles, becoming free from alcohol was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It has also been the most rewarding! Remember you are worth it, and if you don’t, I think you are worth it!


    Liked by 1 person

      1. No one said this is easy, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! Can you go to a meeting around 4-6? That might help with your witching hour. I went to a lot of meetings in early sobriety whenever I had the urge to drink or self destruct.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was going to go to yoga but I bagged it- it’s what I usually do on Wednesday at 4:30. There’s one in my neighborhood tonight at 8. I called a friend and had a snack and listened to a podcast. I’m in the middle of packing up my house and the boxes I have are too big for my books. So I was convinced I needed to go to the liquor store to get some smaller boxes.


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