Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!

For the first 120 days of my sobriety I seriously didn’t know what to do with myself! I will say those first4 months were scary, I didn’t feel that “pink cloud” like most people do in recovery. The pink cloud feeling came years down the road for me. During these early months I had to figure out how I was going to tell my friends and family I wasn’t going to be drinking anymore.Except my
Alcoholism, figure “who the sober me was going to be” the list went on and the emotions were high.
I remember Matt(my then boyfriend who is now my husband) telling me I needed to find a hobby. Excuse? “I had hobbies” is what I told him but when he asked, “like what” I had no response! My hobby was drinking but I wouldn’t know that till months down the road when I awakened to what my true reality was for over a decade. I took to google, yep! I fucking google hobbies(HA) and a list of hobbies popped up and I slowly began to read each line and thought if I would like that hobby or not. So crafting came up and I figured that would be great, do something with my hands! Matt and I took to Michael’s and walked thru the store trying to come up with things to make. We made our way into the section of Mod Podge and the idea would come to his mind of me Mod Podging shit. I left the store with Mod Podge, picture frames and some of the decorative paper people use for scrap booking. For many months and years after that first night, this store and myself would become two peas in a pod. Thank god Matt is artistic and grew up with a mother who did these types of things with her children. That was his normal and something I learned from him and thank goodness I did because it really saved me in those months and showed me there were other things to do besides drink. I didn’t grow up with parents doing arts and crafts, that wasn’t our family dynamic. I was depressed for most of my childhood and teenage years, from about 7 to 18 years old. I lacked the attention from my parents who divorced when I was 7 and I found comfort in Television. So besides drinking, you could consider TV watching my hobby. I still love my shows but now in my recovery life I have found many more hobbies along the way.. Baking, reading, writing, coloring, gardening(I try) and of course crafting.
I would come home that night from Michael’s and I set my craft area up which was my coffee table and I had Matt show me what to do, how much Mod Podge I needed on the paper and frames. I asked him some basic questions and I was on my way to become the best god dam crafter this side of the Mississippi. Of course I needed some back ground entertainment and for months my girlfriend was telling me to watch “Friday Night Lights” so I pressed play. My god, Coach Taylor is LIFE!! That show is amazing if you haven’t watched yet, it has all the feels and more. For 4 months, I made pictures frames and watched Friday Night Lights and wouldn’t have had it any other way. Not every night I was doing this but on the weekends,especially on FRIDAY nights! This is where you could find me. I needed to find something positive to do, to replace the activity I use to do for years! Replace a behavior with another one, just make sure when it comes finding a hobby its a healthy one. This is probably the one thing I could recommend to anyone who is having problems with finding things to do in recovery. Start small. Don’t worry so much about the social aspect of it in the beginning, that will come. Lay the foundation down and figure out what sober life will look like for you. Think of all the projects that I’m sure need to get done because us addicts neglected them for years, that will keep you busy. When I would be creating my master piece picture frame I wouldn’t think about drinking because I was being creative and focusing on something else! Watching Coach Taylor, Riggins, Saracen and all the rest of Dillon High School win football games and figure out life in their teens.. this also took my focus off that constant thought of “really, I’m never going to drink again but I’m turning 30 soon” There is a motto in FNL and it is used as a pick me up or whenever Coach T was getting the team ready for a game and the motto is.. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose. That phrase has always stuck with me. When life gets difficult, my addiction starts to creep up on me or FEAR enters in my path I simply repeat that motto to myself. I know if I made those first 120 days of quitting two addictions, losing the lady that was my rock and excepting that I was an alcoholic and life was going to continue without me drinking in it..I know I can do anything!!
If your ever having a day and it all seems like its going to shit, remember not to give up and you can get thru another day!! It’s possible and repeat after me…

CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS, CAN’T LOSE!!!

Always,

CMA

Friday Night Fear!

For as long as I can remember I drank almost every Friday night in my addiction. That’s over 10 years of Friday nights, give or take a few..I am sure in that period there had to be a few Friday’s I didn’t drink. Whether it was going out with friends, getting done with work early or drinking when I got home from work. I got fucking shitfaced, blackout wasted on Friday’s!! When I got Sober, every Friday for one year in my recovery I got severe ANXIETY on this day. I feared Fridays. The “ITCH” would start rolling in around 2pm, why at that time? Not sure, maybe in my addiction that’s when I would usually start thinking about what I would be drinking that night!! My anxiety would get so bad being in a public restaurant was difficult. I would look at people and get envious they could have drinks and I couldn’t. As much as I was content with the choice I made to quit drinking and knew it was the right one, it was still hard for me to see. I would wonder why they could have fun and I couldn’t. I only thought you could have “fun” if you drank.

When I did try to muster up the courage and go out on this day I would straight up have panic attacks at restaurant’s..sweats, shortness of breath, walls would close in on me, I felt like I was going to choke on my food, it was a real time during that year. I had a very hard time being out in restaurants, sober because I always drank at them. I cant remeber a time of not drinking at any outing of eating. I created such a habit and routine for myself in that 10 years, it was hard to break the thoughts of drinking in my sober state. What did I do for the first year of sobriety on a Friday? Sit home of course!! I had to, its funny because we would go out to eat other days and I would be fine but that day, I just could not get over the hurdle. We ate a lot of take out on Friday’s. God bless Matt for hanging in there with me that first year, I was not easy to be around. What people don’t understand about people in recovery, WE HAVE TO RELEARN HOW TO LIVE! For reals, no bullshit here…we have to figure how to live in a world that is very heavy influenced with alcohol.. its everywhere! Us, addcits have to learn a new norrmal for ourselves. We have to find new activities to do instead of what we used to do, which for me would be drinking. This goes for anyone with an addiction..gambling, crack, heroin, shopping, etc. You have to find new heathly hobbies or things to do to replace those old bad habits and routines. I will talk more about my new hobbies I found in another post down the road.

When I worked at my office job, on Friday’s the ladies would go for happy hour, well I said “NO” many times because the thought of being in that environment made me uncomfortable. Some of the ladies would pull the guilt trip card on me and remind me how I would never hang outside of work with them. I started to feel bad for always saying no, so I decided to go with them a few times because I wanted to be a team player and try to have some fun with them. I would sit in th bar with them during happy hour wanting to crawl out of my skin. I would sit back and watch them drink their beer, wine, fish bowl drinks as they would all start to get louder and louder because the booze was hitting them and I would be having a panic attack inside as I would eat my feelings. I Couldn’t breathe, felt like the walls were caving in and every other minute felt like I was going to shit myself because my nerves were so shot. I wanted a drink TOO!! I would sit there so uncomfortable with myself just to please them and act like I was having fun when I was barely hanging on, sound familiar to anyone?? I would always leave the local establishment having an ugly cry on my way home wondering why I couldn’t be normal when I drank because I missed my old friend as in alcohol. There was always one quesiton that came into my mind during that first year and even second year but it starts to fade away after a few years of soberity and that question was.. “what if I can just causaly drink, like only have 2 and be done?” The answer is I can’t and if I could, I wouldn’t have been in the boat I was in!! Bottom line when it came to being in those social settings, they made me uncomfortable so I had to choose in my recovery what I was and wasn’t comfortable being around. It’s ok, if you have to take a “time out” of hanging with friends and family members beacuse its not a healthy environment to be in, take the time to build up your own comfort level with all different types of social situations. You have to create healthy boundaries for yourself in your own time, this is something that can’t be forced. This may take a day, a week, a month, 6 months, 2 years maybe even 5 years, everyone is different! You will know when YOU know and don’t let anyone pressue you into something that is out of your comfort zone in an unhealthy way that can fuck with your recovery.

Friday’s are no longer a day I fear and I am able to sit in a restaurant and not feel like I’m going to die! From the bottom of my heart I appreciate my close friends and family who were nothing but supportive that first year and continue to be. As you get more comfortable in your own recovery and in your own skin, a shift happens and its no longer scary. You start to change and adapt to your new normal life of sobriety and life around you!

Always,

CMA

One and I’m never done!

In the 4 years I have been sober I have been asked by many people, “so you can’t just like have one drink?” The answer is a simple and hard NO!! I have often thought this to myself, can I just drink one?? I can’t. I have tried every way to “control my drinking” no shots, don’t mix booze and beer, only have 2 drinks a night, make sure you eat dinner, no white wine, don’t drink margarita’s, no martinis and the list goes on and on my friends. I tried to control my alcohol consumption and it has always lead me back to the same place. Doom and gloom!! It may had been good for 1-6 weeks but it was bound to go back to the dark hole of one of my fuck ups that drinking lead me to every time.
My mind doesn’t have an off switch like some people do when it comes to drinking. I want to keep going and going, like that little energizer bunny. I would say 95% of my drinking always led into black outs because I didn’t know how to stop nor did I want to. I loved getting fucked up, LOVED IT! Once I had that one drink in me.. I could feel the switch turn on and there was no turning back. Hold on to your chairs because Cornado was coming out! Cornado was a real asshole. More on that pig another day. I know I am an alcoholic and I’m ok with it. I have come to terms and accepted this is a part of me. Whether its my chemical make up, genes, a learned behavior, or the relationship I developed with alcohol. I know I’m just not a person who can drink or should because one is never enough.. Bottom line, period, exclamation point, end of story!!

Always,

CMA

First blog post

This is my first blog post!! Yay me!! I have been wanting to do this for a long time, mainly because I enjoy writing and I need a creative outlook for my recovery.  I have been sober now for 4 years and 20 days.  In my recovery I have developed a liking for writing.  Has it always been there or is this just something that came out of me since I decided to get sober? Who knows but I’m glad it’s in me.  I can’t guarantee that these will be good or entertaining but I can guarantee they will be from the heart and real. No BULL SHIT! I want to share with the world that recovery is possible and that addiction is a disease.  I will be sharing all parts of my recovery and my days of using.  Hope whoever reads this can relate or at least help someone in their own journey.

Always,

CMA