When I was actively drinking I hurt. Mentally and physically. I was always in some state of breakdown. Be it emotionally or my body failing me. I had severe plantar fasciitis, I couldn't walk up the stairs without losing my breath, and just generally felt like garbage. I hit snooze 5 times a morning, and when I finally woke up, I had to drag myself out and drink a whole pot of coffee to be somewhat functional. I would eat fast food at least 4 times a week, sometimes twice a day. When you are drunk and hungover, double cheeseburgers are your saving grace. I smoked up to two packs of cigarettes while I was in a binge.
I didn't have insurance, so I never went to the doctor. Until it got so unbearable that I was having severe liver and kidney pain and wound up in the ER. You know those questions they ask you in triage, do you smoke, how often, how much do you drink. I always lied. I only drank 1-2 times a week (HA) and just 2-3 drinks (HAHA). That doctor saw through all my bull shit and called me out. Bad. He told me very bluntly that if I didn't get my drinking under control, I would be dead.
I still didn't stop.
It would take me almost a whole year to actually quit, and that was because of a drastic intervention with a semi truck and the law.
I went from daily general aches and pain and almost dying to, healthy if you will. My meds for my rapid cycle bipolar actually work. I don't have these weird red patches I used to. My body doesn't hurt constantly.
On Sunday I will run my first half marathon. I will traverse 13.1 miles on my own two feet. At 7:40 in the morning. On a Sunday. I would have never even considered this while I was drinking, for a multitude of reasons. I could barely run a mile without dying, Sunday mornings were for being hung over, and a friggen half marathon, HA, NO.
A friend asked me "How do you even run that long?" My answer was "Harry Potter. And thinking about Beyonce super pregnant in a body suit and heels dancing. And people who can't walk. And sheer determination. " Here is the thing, I hate running. I however love and am blown away by the fact that my body and mind are capable of it. Because I know that from the ages of 19-30 that would never have been possible. I was rotting away from the inside. I was slowly killing myself.
It didn't all occur at once of course, I didn't wake up one day and run 10 miles. I ran a mile, then 2, then a 5k. And I hope Sunday allows me to cross a half marathon off my list.
Your life can change. If you work at it. It is a choice you have to make every day.
Today I got the news I have been waiting for for months. BCR has been granted nonprofit status. this means we can start applying for grants and funding to secure funds. This will allow us to start providing funds for members and their families. Some of the services we plan to offer:
- funds to attend rehab or detox
- a limited number of counseling/therapy sessions
- bus passes for those we don't drive
- recovery coaching sessions
And many others.
If you or anyone you know want to help our cause via monetary donations, volunteer work, or supplies pleas reach out. Anything and everything helps.
Today we also started working with a local restaurant to plan a Mocktail Dinner. A delightful dinner with a mocktail paired with every course. We want to start a culture that allows people to go out, enjoy a dinner, and drinks that aren't soda, soda water, or water.
Stay tuned for more information!
When I was 16, I made wild goals for my future.
- Graduated from college by 25, career by 26, own a house by 30, get the hell out of Michigan, have 50,000$ in savings, be a published author-
Oddly I didn't have a clue as to what I wanted that career to be or where I wanted to go other than Michigan. In fact by the time I was 20 I had dropped out of college. Twice. I was working on a pretty severe alcohol dependency, had stopped writing, and was bouncing from serving job to serving job. I had no direction in life and had abandoned all those goals. Gone were the childhood dreams of being a marine biologist and lawyer. I just wanted to drink and be young. I was young, and I deserved to have fun. I was the living embodiment of that snoop dogg/wiz kalifa song.
"So what we get drunk
So what we smoke weed
We’re just having fun
We don’t care who sees
So what we go out
That’s how it's supposed to be
Living young and wild and free"
No one makes goals to become an addict, ruin their life with a DUI, and become a single a single mom. Not at 16. Not at 21. Not ever. But that is where I found myself. Not all at once of course. But eventually, I had drank the fun out of drinking, racked up two DUIs, and imploded the relationship with J's father.
A few days in jail, sobriety court, and 2 years of sobriety later I am turning my life around. I am not where I want to be but I am working on it. Early in sobriety I struggled, feeling like I wasted 30 years of my life. I should be done with college by now and have a career, not just starting. I am working on trying to stay positive.
It won't happen overnight, but even if it takes me till 40 to meet all my goals I still have 3o whole years to thrive and be happy in a career I worked my ass of for.
Now I have new goals.
<>BA is Social Work <> CPRM Certificate <> BCR more established <> Happy
<> Own a house <> Job in the recovery field <> Happy
That's it. I don't want a million dollars in the bank or a fancy car. I just want to be happy.
If you read my post "emotional rock bottom" you will know I was not in a good/safe/sane place for a few weeks.
I am doing... better. Not great but better. And sometimes that's all we can hope for. It's hard to remember feelings won't last forever when you can't imagine ever being happy again. The best you can do is just keep moving and trying to get better.
Today I complete all the paperwork, drug test, and physicals I need to be cleared for my volunteer work at PR. I am so excited about this opportunity. I also have a meeting with a recovery POWERHOUSE next week to discuss some options for working together. I feel like things are looking up again. For right now I will keep trying to stay positive and be grateful for the things I have in my life right now.
- The RAPID (yay free bus rides)
- JC, BR, RC, KS, RR, and AW for supporting me and loving me through all my bull shit.
- Security blankets (yes I still have one at 32)
- Science and modern medicine
I hope you are all doing your best to make it out of this hell of a winter we have been stuck in. Spring is near and the sun will shine soon.
love you/be safe
(I'll leave you a poem I wrote about my weeks of emotional rock bottom.)
I wrote this early in my recovery when I was still plagued by suffocating guilt I never thought I would be able to survive. I was ashamed of years worth of choices and actions and didn't know how I was going to overcome it. So I wrote. None of it was particularly good, but it helped.
What helped you early in your recovery? Writing? Boxing? Sleeping?
one sip and your inhibitions lower just like your jeans.
one sip and the whispers of doubt turn in to the song of slithering sloppy mating.
the person you said “hi” to in passing becomes all you can think about.
you want them.
no, you NEED them.
their skin pressed against yours.
their tongue leaving sticky hot trails of drunken desire.
at the moment this is what you desire most in life.
slivers of sunlight set off the pounding of drums in your head.
head spinning, stomach churning, you wonder where you are.
silently you gather your belonging, slipping out into the quiet daybreak.
not until you get home is it you realize you have left your dignity.
The last couple of weeks have been rough. Like real rough. I have been having some problems in my job, none of which I can or want to go into, thoughts of relapse, and a general feeling drowning and in completely over my head. This winter has been wreaking havoc on my mental health. I am sick of being cold, I don't want to run in the cold, I don't want to spend 45 minutes getting to the gym to run on a treadmill that I hate. So I sleep for days, eat everything I can get my hands on, and get further into my depression. I have been rapid cycling in my bi-polar. A couple days feeling like I am failing and can't get out of bed followed by a week of feeling like I can take on the world, nothing can touch me, and I can't fail at anything I try.
R asked me "why do you think you're at emotional rock bottom??? You're worse than you were when you were using?" and the answer was yes. When I was using, I didn't give a fuck. I would get stressed about not being able to pay my bills, how shitty of a parent I was, or the fact that my life was rapidly falling apart, but I would drink about it and not care. I flunked out of college, but I made the excuse, no one can work full time, go to school, and raise a kid, it's not possible. In reality, I chose to drink over going to school. When I was in the pit of my addiction, I would never attempt to start anything like Beer City Recovery so I would have never had this stress. So I really do feel like, yes this is my emotional rock bottom.
I have been taking my meds and practicing self-care as much as I can. Even if it is just brushing my teeth or changing out of my pajamas. It is a strange feeling when one part of your brain is telling you your thoughts are completely irrational and not real at all, but you just can NOT stop them from coming.
I have been looking for jobs in the recovery field and have come to a scary conclusion. I have to go back to school. A lot of the professions I want require the MCBAP certification I am working on getting AND a bachelors in social work. I just won't be able to advance in this field without it, I applied to a GVSU and FAFSA to get financial aid. The issue is, I hate school, or I think I do. The only two times I have given it the old' college try I was wasted, hungover, and didn't know how to study in those states. Hopefully, this time around I can have the clarity and desire to do this instead of bumbling around, dropping classes, or just straight flunking out.
I am leaning hard on my support system and letting them support me. My friend A has sent me two books that I am blowing through, my friend R has been giving me the tough love, B has been super supportive and giving me all the affirmation I need, and J has been snuggly, sweet, and understanding. I am beyond thankful for them and all my other friends. I want people to know that recovery is hard. 1, 2, 5 years down the road, you will still struggle. Life is a struggle. You have to focus and hold on for dear life to the genuine and positive things in your life. Let them be the life raft when you feel like you just can't make it sober another day. Let your support system love you. Let them do the things they want to show you they love you. Stop saying "I'm fine" when you all know your not. I'm just surviving is an acceptable answer when someone asks you how you are doing.
love you/stay safe
you dudes rock
I was very optimistic about sending in the packet to schedule a hearing for my license last week. I got the call yesterday that my drug test sample was diluted 😭😩 I go back in and spend another 50$ to get another drug test. This process is getting me down. I am trying to keep my head up and stay positive but man, UGH 😒
I also still haven't heard back from the agency I had an interview with. I was very hopeful about it, and I thought the conversation went well. I am beating myself up because I am sure the fact that I don't have my license yet. Staying positive though because even if I don't get the job, it pushed me to start the process to get my license. I also have the opportunity to work with patients in inpatient rehab.
The nonprofit application for BCR is still being processed. It would take up to 90 days and I am just waiting out the process. I am continuing to update the website and facebook but I will be taking a break and focusing on studying for my CPMR tests and working on my experience hours. March is the month of self-care and taking time for myself to read, binge watch Umbrella Academy and naps are my top priorities.
This doesn't fit into what this blog was supposed to be about and becasue of that I am so happy!