the last word

Sunday morning, almost noon and I stayed up too late last night watching The Vow on free HBO this weekend. I’ve had some coffee but I haven’t brushed my teeth or gotten dressed. Some days I don’t get dressed and go from the living room to the tv room and hang all day. Some days I shower, get dressed, do my hair, walk the dog and wait until 6 o’clock before I turn into a Netflix slug. Oh quarantine, you do wonders to my psyche. Utah is spiking with the Covid, the mountain has delayed opening until the 7th of December due to no snow. I’m fine. As fine as fine can be but I fucked up and that’s why I am here today, I have to get this written out so I can get my brain to stop swirling. I want to have the last word but first let’s talk.

I drank wine 3 times in November and two of those times I was so seriously ill I thought it might actually take me out of the game. My poor mother. This last Tuesday, it was a pretty day weather wise but it was boring. I’ve learned through various times of this year that drinking is also boring in lockdown/quarantine/social distancing and can usually manage to not do it. This last Tuesday I went to the liquor store and got two bottles of wine and one can of beer. The second bottle was supposed to be for Thursday, Thanksgiving evening after my brother and niece left… I didn’t want them to come but how do you say no. I am not the only player and my extended family is estranged, has been for a few years and we are what is left, my mom, my brother and his daughter who turns 18 in a few weeks. My other two brothers (and their respective families) have not made an effort to visit for the holidays in a very, very long time and probably won’t ever. We still like each other, well kind of, but we all loathe the holidays and really don’t give a shit, or at least that’s what we say. There is so much pain and trauma from years passed that it is just easier to grit our teeth and get through the jingle bells and into January where things can start fresh again. Anyway, I came home with wine on Tuesday afternoon and my mom drank more than she usually does. I talked to an old friend and guzzled the wine, skipped dinner and proceeded to open the second bottle.

This is where it gets fuzzy and this is where I fucked up. I texted some stupid meme to my old Nashville boyfriend. He responded that he had spent a few weeks in the psych ward and I was not pleasant about it. Actually, I was an asshole. All the old hurt that I still harbor boiled up to the surface and while I am not exactly sure what I said, I did not meet him where he was at with compassion. I reiterated how he had put me in the exact mental state years prior. I think I said something like, glad you have the luxury to go to the hospital because I didn’t or some stupid shit. I don’t think I said, “Karma is a bitch” but that’s what I meant. Fuck. I would never had said that sober.

Now, this guy, has held me at arms length for over a decade. He will draw me in and then sling me out and I have let him do it, over and over again. I had claim that he is the love of my life. There were days in Tennessee that I would get up in the morning and just lie on the bottom of the shower sobbing in emotional pain trying to get my shit together so I could go to work. I would be so fucking sad that it changed my brain chemistry. What I know now but didn’t know then was that he was addicted to cocaine, he hid it from me because he knew I was against it. When we were together, we smoked weed and drank wine, nothing stronger and then he would disappear and it would kill me. This cycle went on for years. YEARS! I’ve written about him on this blog a lot. I was engaged to another guy and started another round of relationship cycle shit with him. It’s all just so fucking shameful. Stuff that I could crawl into a hole for the rest of my life and never come out.

Wednesday, I spent the day puking every 20 minutes. It hurt. I was hyper ventilating and panicked that I may have just gone far enough that perhaps a trip to the hospital was in order. I scared my dog. I really frightened my mom. Some how I pulled through when I remembered that my mom had a lorazepam, I took a 1/2 pill, texted dude that I was sorry for being an asshole and I just hope the best for him and drank some Gatorade. The hangover lasted until yesterday, Saturday, that’s how long it takes these days, four days for my body to feel ok again.

Last night, right when I put on the movie The Way Back to watch with my mom, I realized he had blocked me. I wanted every drink that Ben Affleck’s character was drinking. I was so in my head it was hard to concentrate but I didn’t lose my shit. I am calmly succumbing to the fact that it really is time to be done. To let him go. To not try to “be friends for the rest of our lives.” It is hurting me and it is hurting him. I have kept this tether to him out of fear and hope, I am nowhere close to lying on the bottom of the shower crying out because he dumped me again, I am still holding my breathe a little and going over and over it in my head but I haven’t shed a tear. At first, I thought I will just send him a card with a gift and try to mend it. That will make it better. I saved his address and deleted the miles of texts we have shared over the last few years because I was trying to save myself from how I would analyze it all. It really sucks to be blocked. Do I deserve it? Yes. AND No. What does that even mean? Why am I asking myself that question? It is null. It is what it is. Did I fuck it up? Yep. Was it going to get fucked up eventually? Also yes. Was staying in contact with him all of these years ever good for me? No but I had been able to put it in a place that I could hold onto him in my heart without wrecking my daily existence and I thought I was winning. This isn’t a contest. This is my life.

I also came to the conclusion last night that I have been keeping old damaged relationships and the people at the forefront of my mind. Keeping the loss, regret, the would have’s and the could have’s very alive. What I did, what they did, my justifications and the shame and heartache that it ended. Trying to piece together what they might have told other people. This keeps me in a constant state of shutting down on myself, worried that no one will ever like me. Feeling like people don’t like me which makes me not like myself. It’s all a conversation I am having solo in my head and it is fucking with me. I’ve noticed during all of this social isolation that around 8 o’clock at night I start to get really uncomfortable with social media. I start to feel isolated, old, fearful that I have fucked too many things up, fearful that the world is out of control and people are just assholes. I turn off my phone. I’m glad that I can recognize this and also know none of it has proof of being true but it still affects me.

I haven’t told you about the other time in November that I drank. I met my friend in Colorado for a weekend. She didn’t drink much but I did and spent the next day puking. She went by herself to hike. It was awful and humiliating and she’s probably not going to trust to hang out with me again. She’s going through some rough times, she’s a nurse. On the ride home I just convinced myself to give it space. She said she didn’t hate me. I tried not to apologize too many times so that I became annoying. Fuck.

The third time I drank wine in November, I kept a lid on it but didn’t feel good the next day. My ski friend was moving to Santa Fe, so we hung out in her backyard with other ski friends. It got me really excited to get back on the mountain. On the way out to our cars, one of our friends who I never really liked but tolerated, he was sober, I asked him about meetings and we traded numbers. I have yet to text him but I will because he can help me with community. I like him more now that I know his story. An ex-priest from New England who figured out he was gay. He’s 10 years younger than me and I thought he was just full of shit all last season. That’s what you get for assuming. We’re all full of shit and pain and addiction but there is potential for authentic joy however fleeting it feels right now. We are all looking for the same thing and right now I think it’s relief.

Relief, I know this to be absolutely true, it is NOT in a bottle of wine in the late afternoon of quarantine. Nope. And I want it anyway, always thinking it will be different this time. I am not going to make a blanket statement that I am going to get this all under control. I have done that too many times. I had a glimpse of what I could make my future and it was a huge relief. I am way, way better than I used to be and it was incremental tiny steps. Today I am not going to drink because tomorrow I don’t want to be sick. I am hopeful for the future me but also at the same time telling her to fuck off and to just wait a god damn second and stop squawking. She’s doing it because she loves me and this is who I need to listen to, want to focus on, need to stay in regular contact with… and I will try to be more understanding.

Carpe Mañana

WordPress just told me it’s my three year anniversary of this blog. Today has been active, lots of old pals posting too which is great, glad y’all are still here.

I am at work and on my phone so this isn’t going to be too lengthy.

Carpe Mañana, was a FB memory from when I was in Santa Fe a couple of years ago. It couldn’t be more fitting for what I am trying to get my head around now. Don’t drink today so I can feel good tomorrow. (Holy shit the few hangovers I have had the last couple of months have been brutal and scary) so drinking has been every 10 days or so but its only fun for an hour and then my stop button doesn’t work at all and I have missed work and other activities due to almost dying from hangovers. I hate it but I keep doing it however I have gotten better about not giving in EVERY time.

I am super thin right now. It’s beginning of summer and I can’t regulate my body heat. Fucking freezing all of the time. I have been restricting too much and that shit has got to change. I became super aware of my size last weekend at my EMT class when I was pretty popular for being the one on the backboard, strapped down and carried. It bothers me a lot that I can’t get a handle on the food. I am just not hungry and forcing myself to eat is torture. It’s not that I want to be thin, I am taking this EMT2 course so I can be on ski patrol next year. You have to be burly and muscly and while I am a strong skier and know I would be good at it, I also have to “man up” and gain some weight.

This is all doable.

I have another motivating factor, I booked a ski trip to Chile for August. I did this sober. It’s super spendy and I dropped a lot of cash on it. It’s a ski camp- I will be getting coached by ex-Olympians and their trainers and it’s something that I have always wanted to do and I am not going to feel guilty about the money I have spent on it. Thank God it’s all inclusive and I will only need money for incidentals going forward. I am excited but kinda scared too.

Oh and I have decided not to date for a year. Another story for another day but it’s been nice. No interest in any of that, I have a broken picker and I am better off right now. One less thing to worry about for awhile.

Here’s to tomorrow 😊

Another email to Belle

Holy Fucking Hell. It’s another day one. If this isn’t the last one, then fuck me.

It was the new boyfriend, I didn’t want to go on the date and I did and I’m not a terrible person, I just have a drinking problem. And boundaries problems and I wish I would’ve listened to my gut that said don’t go after he had sent me some demeaning texts earlier in the afternoon about Bill Cosby and other fucked up shit.
He’s a creep. I asked him several times to not talk to me like I was a prostitute and he wouldn’t stop. Actually, said he wasn’t paying me. When we got to his house, I refused to go in because I didn’t want to have sex and was going to walk home, or walk up the street and get a taxi or an uber, I just needed to get out of there. My friends didn’t live too far, so I was heading in that direction, nevermind that it’s midnight. He caught me out in the street and physically brought me back, he was berating me, calling me a fucking cunt, slut and a whore. I told him I will just sleep in my car until I can drive and he called the cops. I was just trying to get him to leave me alone so I could figure a way out of there.

I sat on the curb and waited for the cops who stayed with me until my brother could get there to pick me up. The cops told me he was an asshole and that they had had other situations with him before. And they were very kind to me. We all agreed I shouldn’t be driving. They knew I was stunned, I could not believe he called the cops. He told me he was calling them as a precaution that he didn’t get a sexual misconduct accusation because he’s a professor and that would be bad for the university, he told the police that he needed a drunk female escorted from his property. I wasn’t that drunk, (the cops even agreed) I just wasn’t taking his shit and he wasn’t getting what he wanted.

I had a few beers. Got treated as if I were an object, didn’t want to have sex and got the cops called on me. What a great time?

So, no more dudes and no more booze. I hate that this happened and I don’t think the universe could give me a bigger sign.

Thank God it wasn’t any worse than it already is… and at least the cops were nice. It took a minute for my brother to come so I took their picture to have a memory of how fucked up this is. And my brother was very understanding and glad I was ok and gave me advice/lecture about how there are more crazies in this world than kind people like us. And it doesn’t matter if they have a Ph.D or work in a ditch that I have to believe them the first time when they act like a dick. Have zero tolerance for bad behavior.

I didn’t want to tell you either, and i almost didn’t. I wish I would have stayed home but I didn’t because I am lousy for giving people the benefit of the doubt, after he apologized for the texts, I figured I was reading too much into it and it was just a date. I was going to tell him about my decision that you and I have been discussing.

I retrieved my car this morning and a little of my scruples but the rest of the day is a wash.

So, when wolfie starts up again, I will show myself this fucking photo and try to be grateful.

I have a good therapist. I see her again next Wednesday. In the meantime, I will lay low.

Thanks for reading and I am sorry too.

ExMormon Sober

I’ve been over on the exMormon reddit sub for a week and a half and fuck. These people are nuts. I feel for them. Here’s a video:

I left THE Church when I was 16. They made me president of the young women’s while I was smoking and drinking and said that God wanted me as their leader… that’s when I hightailed it out of there. I didn’t trust their discernment. I told them I didn’t believe in their gospel and to this day, my eyes and brain will gloss over with boredom when I hear anyone talking about the faith. It is so boring. And SO NOT TRUE- I don’t even know what that means… how do you know what’s true? Rules? Underwear?

I  mentally check out when I hear the Mormon/Utah diction in someone’s voice. The Book of Mormon is one of the most boring THEE and THOU bullshit. I love Shakespeare but I can not pay any tribute or study to the Book Of Mormon which they are trying to go for, the King James version when they pray. I’d rather die. Or roll over and pretend that it wasn’t happening, it’s something that has been going on with me since I was a child.

When I did go to church, I would pass on the readings in class and one leader made fun of me because she said I didn’t know how to read, told everyone I was illiterate. I couldn’t read OUT LOUD all those stupid scriptures and make them sound like sentences or make them make sense or true. I would just look at the reading and stumble. I was writing in my journal like they taught us to do. I have them since I was 8 years old. What a mean bitch!

It wasn’t until I took Italian in college that I gained confidence in reading out loud. Isn’t that crazy?  Italian is phonetic. Has an accent. I can read you anything now, in front of any audience and sound like I am telling a story and it will make sense, (in English). I am a good reader of reading out loud, thanks to that teacher at the University of Utah for Italian. She didn’t like me the last quarter of five quarters together because I fucked up and didn’t do my homework for the final because my boyfriend was heading off to Julliard, so I got a C on my final grade but she gave me an invaluable gift.  She taught me to look at the words and feel them in my mouth and understand their meaning and help the listener relate to what I was saying.

Che Bello!

Before that I was always stumbling…

I left the Mormon Church a long, long time ago. 1990. When I was an exchange student in Sweden I would write to my youth group and tell them my doubts and how I got drunk. I got letters back from the leaders (not the same leader that said I was illiterate… she has a prescription pill problem now and accidentally burnt her house down)  saying I shouldn’t tell the girls about how I was drinking but how life was going. I am glad they wrote me. Letters in the mail were a lifeline.

My drinking and the Mormon church has nothing to do with my addiction.

Or does it?

I drank to rebel. I remember when I started smoking that it was my “smoke signal” so nobody would ever mistake me as a Mormon and I am still addicted today.

All I have to say, before this gets too long.  I called my girlfriend tonight from Scratch Ankle, Tennessee (yes, that is a real place) so I could talk to someone who is “normal.” I’m having a hard time in my relocation because my friends aren’t my friends anymore. I’m doing a much better job at being sober and feeding myself. I can’t wait for it to snow and friends for that to pop up because we are ski buddies. My extended family doesn’t want anything to do with me because I left the Church… it’s just me and my mom and my fur family (two cats and a dog) watching our favorite shows because I stopped reaching out to the old pals, drunks and believers.

I went to some AA meetings. I almost made some connections. I was turned off because a lot of them got up and said that they thanked their higher power and also the Church. I can hear it in their voice/accent. I know a Mormon before he even admits it just by the way he talks, walks and vibes.

I just can’t do another cult.

Sober Island …

Curiosity and Irma (Irmagerd)

I’m shaking because I just did something that I haven’t allowed myself to do all summer, I looked at his Facebook page. See memories have been popping up from our engagement and I have been waiting for the one post that got the most likes ever, my rose gold, 1.5 karat diamond ring photo with freshly manicured nails. I think I deleted it last year. It’s not coming around with all the other wacky stuff I have posted through the years. The first ring, the one he used to propose with did but not the picture of the one that I picked out after. I loved that ring. It was pink. Shiny, dainty and fit on my finger nicely, too bad the relationship didn’t match it.

He proposed in a Mexican restaurant while I was crying about wanting to move home and I was stressed out about money and having to do everything myself for my house and yard. I was seriously hung over that day. I was having a Margarita to ease the pain and crying on my taco when he starts in on what I thought was a pep talk but turned into him pulling out a ring. I was stunned. A little embarrassed, not wanting anyone else in the restaurant to see what was going on at our table, so I ordered another couple of drinks and we finally left, I had meekly said yes. I think it was four years ago. Timelines are fuzzy now.

We called our moms that night with the good news. I don’t think his mama was that on board with it because it was a very long drawn out discussion in Spanish while he paced outside in the dark. She did send me a dozen yellow roses a few days later but I could tell from day one that she was fighting to be number one in his life. She’s a whole other gambit to the story of the breakdown of our relationship. He’s her only child, she never married, he grew up in a house with his mother, two aunts and grandmother in Virginia. She’s an immigrant from Columbia and she stopped speaking English in front of me shortly after that first Christmas. He didn’t speak to me for two weeks when I told him “to get his balls out of his mother’s purse” so I hope that gives insight to their relationship and how it impeded ours.

I had just completed two months of intensive outpatient treatment for Anorexia and he had come to all the family support meetings. I was still drinking because I thought I was winning the recovery thing when I had gained weight and was starting to deal with my dangerous ways of starving myself. Looking back now, if I am honest, I was drinking to cope in the relationship. But then, around Thanksgiving he announced that he was going to Al-anon to deal with my drinking and I lost it. I was home, having some wine and he called and told me over the phone. I was so pissed. So angry. Really? My mother went to Al-anon and it saved her life from the narcissistic asshole of my father. I was not my father and he was putting me in that category and he had just fucked with the wrong thing.

And so what do I do? The next smartest thing I could possibly do, I called my ex boyfriend that I still wasn’t over yet. (I don’t know if I will ever really be over him but I am ok with it now) I didn’t think he would answer the phone. He did. I asked him if he had any weed and told him what had just happened and he invited me over to get high. We ended up having sex that night. I took my ring off, put it on the night stand and proceeded with one of the most shameful things I have ever done. (I might barf right now just typing this out) Shortly after this incident I went to Las Vegas to visit my dear friend whose partner had died the Sunday after Thanksgiving in his sleep and I felt that I needed to be there for him. I thought I could sort myself out and decide what to do but all we did was drink and lay around with hangovers and watch bad TV and occasionally visit the casinos. It was just before Christmas and I returned to Tennessee to have Christmas with the fiance and secret pot smoking sessions with the other ex.

In January, the fiance and I broke off the engagement. He demanded the ring back. I spent the next six months going back and forth between the two guys. I started therapy. I had an awful bout of depression and suicidal ideations. And then in June my first attempt at sobriety, I got almost 200 days in a row. The ex fiance and I were trying to work things out and the other one was slowly circling the drain with cocaine use that I had no idea he was using. It was normal for him to disappear and reappear and I knew I couldn’t rely on him. On Christmas Eve, at day 198, I drank a bottle of wine because the ex fiance’s mother had changed our plans because she needed a refrigerator for the house that she had bought but wasn’t going to move into because she would rather rent it out and live with him so of course, that’s what he had to do instead of considering my feelings or honoring the plans we had made. I only had one day off during that time, Christmas and I spent it in bed, hung over, isolating and seriously contemplating the noose that was hanging in my attic. I’m sorry to say but it hung there until I got my house ready for the listing, just in case. There were a few drunken nights that I would climb up there and put it around my neck and cut off my oxygen just to see if I had the guts.

That January, I went back to my therapist. I had fired her for a while. I went back to treatment for the eating disorder but was in a less intensive program. I only had to eat three meals a week with them instead of ten and twenty snacks. The cocaine boyfriend started coming to the group family nights. He entered therapy and NA and I don’t know what I was doing, I had this blog. I was attempting sobriety. I was drinking. I was feeling better. I was in therapy. I was working. I was contemplating changing my life by selling my house and moving back to Utah. I was trying to fix relationships.

I started this post shaking from looking at his Facebook. He has remained in my life. We chatted with whatsapp while I was in Spain. I thought for some reason, maybe, maybe we could be something again because he was flirty and interested and caring about what I was up to. But, shortly after I returned from Spain he told me had met a girl that he really liked. A fat girl. I saw her picture. He hated fat girls and would tell me about it a lot while I was in treatment. I think he secretly liked the fact that I was anorexic because it was some sort of guarantee that I wouldn’t ever gain weight.

So, I unfollowed him and refused to look at his posts and told him that he was welcomed to look at mine but please don’t like or comment anymore. He stopped. And in the back of my mind, I would imagine him putting her on a diet, like he did with me and my drinking. He told me I mustn’t drink but then he would drink in front of me but he could stop- I was the alcoholic. We argued about that a hundred times. So, my sadistic self would image him eating fatty foods in front of her and ordering her a salad out of the love he had for her. By the way, he only went to like five Al-anon meetings in total, just enough to give him fuel but not enough to work.

So, why did I look at his page? Curiosity and Irma- he has family in Florida and sometimes his mother stays there. I wish I could say that I wasn’t hoping she had been water-logged. The girlfriend hasn’t been in any posts since July. I do owe him for opening my eyes to how much I was drinking and looking back, what a shit show. And there is a soft spot in my heart for him. That’s not who I want to be, I’m horrified that I thought that any of it was ok. I know my drinking ruined things for me and others. I don’t know what my life would be like if I hadn’t been a party girl. It shaped my life. It is what it is. Would I go back and changes things? Yes, but that isn’t an option and a waste of energy and brain space.

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I’m in a much better place. Right this moment I really want to drink. It’s day 22 but I am not going to because I am moving on… to better, happier and healthier places and relationships. It’s lonely but at least there isn’t a noose hanging near by – I call that progress.

Real Life

I’ve been sick for two and a half days with a head cold and feeling pretty lethargic. I’m hoping to get some energy back and get on with what I need to do.

My brother bought a plane ticket last night to come get me for the 23rd of February and now shit is real and I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t scared and a tad overwhelmed.

It turns out I have some foundation issues with my 70-year-old house. I knew it. I saw the cracks in the walls. My buyers backed out of the original contract but then came back with a cash offer for less because they want the property and to tear down my house. It needs a new roof, the bathroom is a kinda fucked because I had a friend living here ten years ago and she drilled holes like an asshole and there is now moisture behind the walls. (I could have killed her, there was no point into doing what she did, she was just drunk one day.   She was a major drunk and I kicked her out after a month of her moving and living here. Actually, I didn’t kick her out, I gave her two options; get some help or get the fuck out because she would drink two bottles of wine and a case of beer and come in my room at night and tell me what an asshole I was, even though she was living at my house for free. It still just irks me.)  And now the foundation.

The offer is good. It’s not what I was hoping but it still makes my investment in this house a big one. I just got really sad yesterday, not crying sad, just sad to know that they are going to tear down my house. I’m walking around it apologizing to it. “I’m sorry old gal, you’ve been good to me and now I am leaving you and they are going to destroy you.” There’s also reminiscent feelings of when we sold my childhood home and how traumatic that was for me. I haven’t felt those feelings in a while. I drank them away a long time ago. I knew I would get sad to leave my house, I just didn’t know when it would happen. I’m trying to feel it but not let it take me down. Hard to do when you don’t feel well.

Needless to say, I really wanted beer yesterday. Even though I am sick. Being sick never really stopped me from drinking, it was an excuse to get some tequila or whiskey to kill the germs. However, I’ve taken a lot of acetaminophen and I didn’t want liver failure because of a cold. You just don’t fucking know.

I wrote about my job that I got fired from a few days ago. One of my friends, coworkers from that job is five years sober and we are still pretty tight. He’s been a great resource and support for me. He’s about 8 years younger and gay, not girly gay but Brokeback Mountain gay, ha! He’d probably get pissed if I said that but I think you need a visual to relate to him because this is a grim story I am about to tell. He moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico about 6 years ago. He’s in school and just got a promotion at his job that is paying for his schooling. I think he is going to be a substance abuse counsellor or a parole officer, I don’t know which way he is leaning right now. Actually, he’s pretty freaked out about his mama and called me friday to give me the update and a WARNING.

His mama is a few years older than my oldest brother, 56. She used to come to the bars with us back in that time of crazy social worker drinking. I liked her a lot. After he moved, she and I would talk on the phone occasionally, she’s been in and out of rehab maybe a couple of times. Her last attempt to get sober was a few years ago when she had no more options left because her family in Tennessee was over it and she moved out to Santa Fe to figure some shit out and hopefully get a grip. She didn’t stop drinking. She may have cut back but she couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. She would lie about drinking. She would say she hadn’t drunk through slurring speech. He came home from work one night and she was passed out with the stove on, something burning and I guess he was done. Her boyfriend came and got her, married her, and supported her, she couldn’t work and kept the alcohol supply flowing until her health really started failing last summer. They were certain that she had some sort of liver disease and she would fall and break bones and was just a wreck. The boyfriend/step dad claims he knows nothing about alcoholism or doesn’t have the two cents to realize that he was enabling her and while she was going through all of this stuff, he was still bringing the boxes of white wine home.

The beginning of January, my friend and his sister finally got him on board to not supply the alcohol anymore. And for two days, she didn’t have any alcohol. She started to go into detox and by some miracle she allowed them to take her to the hospital. They thought, finally we have some traction for getting her sober, maybe. Well, it wasn’t a miracle because the ER gave her an IV and some librium and sent her home. For four days she after that she was rapidly declining. They called her PCP, who in turn got the blood test results from the ER visit and told them to get her back to the hospital. Her thiamine (vitamin B1) levels were so low and the four days she was home probably did irreversible damage to her brain. I guess that’s the window to guard against Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Look it up, it’s a horrible psychosis that neither of us had ever heard of before.

It’s been three weeks, almost four. He made a secret (it’s too hard to travel and not get people pissed off because you don’t go see them) emergency visit home a few week ago because they didn’t think she would make it. She has a history of an eating disorder and has been malnourished for years (this was why he was calling to warn me) and the alcohol addiction has turned into an even bigger nightmare than he had ever imagined. Being sober for 5 years and watching his mama go through her addiction he was just getting ready to attend a funeral. He knew she probably wouldn’t survive or ever get sober. He basically was waiting for her liver to give out and to brace himself for her to die young. No. That’s not what happened. It’s far worse.

Now she is in the hospital looking at long-term care facilities for the “feeble-minded” is what I think he called it. She has some long term memory recall but she can’t remember what happened five minutes ago. Some days she is verbal and some days she isn’t. She has a feeding tube that goes directly into her stomach but she is dependant on diapers and someone to change them for her. Most of the time she thinks she is on an airplane and keeps saying, “this is a really, really long flight.” And then she will hallucinate that she is petting a cat in her lap. Sometimes it’s a bunny. She has no clue that she is married to this guy that kept bringing the wine home and who is paying for this medical disaster.(Maybe not, we don’t know, he could very well walk away from her.)  She doesn’t even know who he is. It’s fucking hard to hear about and it breaks my heart for her. You’d like to think that she doesn’t really know what is going on and brush it aside, but God, I can’t imagine what a nightmare this is for her inside her soul. How scary and shitty and I never, never want to be in that place. I’m so sad for her two kids and grandkids. She is only 56. She was a really pretty lady who had a lot going for her. This is beyond tragic.

Needless to say, I have woke the fuck up. My old drinking buddy has come to her demise in less than 5 years of when we last sat at the bar laughing and having a “good time” and thinking we had all the time in the world to fuck around and we weren’t really harming ourselves. What’s the worst that could happen? Die? NO. This is almost worse than dying, she could live another 20 years like this, in a diaper, in a care facility. You just don’t fucking know.

Case of the Mondays

It’s my first Monday morning not working, without a job. It’s not as satisfying as I thought it would be, last Monday I woke up wishing it was this Monday and here I am, not being very grateful. It’s a glorious rainy morning but I have slept as long as I can. I don’t know what to do with myself. Yesterday I had the “blahs” so bad that I only got dressed to go to the market because I was watching that show about O.J. Simpson and they said, “Juice” so many times that I had to go get orange juice.  I stopped watching it after I returned with the OJ. I got bored. I’ve been on this kick about women’s prisons lately and found some new episodes.

I’m waiting for the inspector and appraiser to make appointments so I can move forward in the sale of my house. I have no idea when this will happen. Hopefully soon because I need to buy my plane ticket to Spain before my friend leaves without me. I hope this contract is secure and the house sells without a hitch. I’ve gotten a decent offer and I am trying not to be worried that if it falls through I will have to lower my price to unload it quicker. Hence, the no job thing. I could get a job. A temporary one. I’m going to approach that on Wednesday if it starts to get really gloomy inside my head. (I just freaked myself out a little talking about the contract)

This last month has been a state of flux. Not bad. Just trying not to get ahead of myself in doomed thinking patterns that I tend to do. I’m excited about this change. This new adventure that is coming up, very slowly, I might add, is keeping me in the moment because I don’t know what will actually happen. No clue. I have a tentative plan but nothing concrete, for reals, for certain. I may be here awhile. I could leave tomorrow. I don’t have much money, so that is disconcerting but I don’t really spend money. I can live on very meager amounts.

Sometimes I wonder if I should have more sober time before I make these changes like they tell you to do. My word for 2017 is SOBER and my percentage of being sober this year so far is pretty high- it’s not a 100% but I have never claimed to be a perfectionist. God damn alcohol and luring effects and the 4 o’clock shakes and the few “fuck its” have happened. I hate it. I need better tools or to actually use the ones I have, instead of ignoring them. I’ve been thinking of finding some women’s meetings to fill all of this time that I have and its cheap entertainment.  I don’t want to drink because it makes me really sick physically (and do and say stupid shit.) I love how my body feels sans the alcohol. I can’t believe how sick I would walk around in my day-to-day life and not even know it. I had no clue that without the poison my body could actually function pretty well, that it could feel this good. I used to just get over hangovers to try not to get so hung over again. Oh man, I wasted a lot of time. I would marvel at morning traffic and wonder if there was anybody out there that felt as miserable as I did. Wonder how many people were feeling like complete shit. They all looked so happy in their cars and having somewhere important to go, I was certain that I was the only complete fuck up (then I found all of you, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) That’s why I am not waiting. I need inspiration. I need change for change sakes. I’ve been at this a long time. I feel ok. I am ok. This has to happen, whatever this is….

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

 

Drinking Dreams

I dreamt that I was at some sort of event, out on a hillside with a lodge and large patios. Everyone was drinking and mingling. I was sitting at the sign-in table and I looked up the hill and I see a woman tumble out of her chair and people laughing. The next thing I know here comes Bea Author from the Golden Girls with a glass of prosecco (I’ve never had this, I’ve just read about it in blogs) and she tells me I have to drink it because she was really embarrassed when she fell out of her chair and if I drink it then it will erase the memory for her. I said, “but I am sober.” She said, “No darling, your job at this event is to drink away everyone’s pain and embarrassment. Bottoms up” and she put it in my hand. And I won’t lie, a little part of me was glad that was my job for this conference. So, I drank it and thought this might not turn out so well. I’m going to get really drunk.

And then I woke up wondering how the hell Bea Author got into my dreams. I couldn’t remember if she had died already or not. She has, it took me a minute.

I have a funny story about a friend of mine who met her once (and it might just be a story he made up,) he’s an actor and lives in New York and he went up to her at a party and was telling her that he loved her work and Betty White and all of the other Girls and she turned to him looked him square in the eyes and said, “Betty White is a cunt.” With a hard emphasis on the “t” sound and walked away. He about fell on the floor laughing.

therapy mistakes

I’m wondering if it was a bad idea to tell/show my therapist how I don’t have to unbutton my pants to get them off anymore.  

We spent the better portion of the 90 minutes talking about in patient treatment. I’ve done two stints of out patient.   The thoughts of going somewhere for a month to eat and do therapy all day sounds so relaxing.  Away from all of this crap. My crappy job, my house work,  the loneliness.  

I said what about regular treatment…. like for alcohol.  And she said it’s the anorexia that is the culprit.  It’s why I’m not making headway on the depression and the relapse nor the trauma.  

I’ve been seeing her for a year and a half. I think I trust her.  I don’t think she would intentionally try to steer me wrong.  She knows I have been working hard at getting my shit together.  Even today,  me not flipping out over her suggestion is progress.   

She said she was going to gather some resources and get back with me. Most of these places are out of state.  I don’t think she trusts the last treatment center I went to in January because they discharged me rather suddenly for depression.  My weight has trended down since then…. And I am really not doing it on purpose.  

I told her I was worried because I didn’t meet criteria. “You do and fortunately because you don’t have a feeding tube in your nose, these places I am suggesting won’t take feeding tube people.”   I guess it’s best to not wait for a feeding tube.  So maybe a month away is the best thing even though logistically- I’m having a hard time comprehending.