Saturday, 28 January 2017

PAW - Post Acute Withdrawal

I read this today and wanted to share it to anyone out there who may be interested.  It addresses the presence of brain dysfunction that occurs in 75-95% of those with alcohol addictions in the form of PAW.  A treatable condition those in recovery potentially face.

The site address alcohol addiction and also drug addiction.  I would be super interested if anyone knows about this or thinks it perhaps it is not a thing..

An extract from :  
“Staying Sober” By: Terence T. Gorski

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Tired Anyone? 80 days

Dog Tired (Tux)
Hoping to get somewhere with my new found tiredness.  I have been waking up nice and early and feeling very good (around 7 am).  Going about my day and by around lunch feeling really really tired.

Yesterday I came home from the shops with my son and we both went to bed to read and I fell asleep! Today I woke up at 6.30 and stained the deck.  At 11 am I felt really tired and went to lie down.  Fell asleep for 45 mins!

This isn't me.  I never do this.  It is not the Sandomigran (migraine prevention meds) as they usually make me tired when I wake up and after 2 weeks of taking them the side effects have almost gone away.

So it is something new.  I am at 80 days today and have saved $1,714.21 (spent on fun things for the kids and around the home).

I have read that fatigue occurs but was wondering when it usually does and what others experiences are on this one.

Thanks in advance & big hugs
Michelle xx

Sunday, 22 January 2017

What was that? A Little Dance...?

I woke up this morning and went to make coffee, as the kettle was boiling I noticed my feet had done a little, well kind of shuffle.   What the heck?  Did I just do a little dance?  Yes I did.

A little joy-dance.  That's not me.  I haven't been joyful in years - not without the assistance of substance anyway.  This was pure, natural sober joy.

I am approaching my 3rd month sober and I am getting happy.  I really can't believe it, if I had known this would be one of the results of sobriety I would have stopped damn drinking ages ago.  But I didn't, I thought that drinking was the only thing making me happy.

I was waiting to die and remember thinking this clearly about 4 months ago.  "Who cares, the kids will be grown in about 8 years and no one will need me.  I don't have a husband or partner, I don't get on well with my 23 year old anymore.  We used to but over the past 2 years things have changed and she doesn't respect or care for me.  I don't care about myself or finishing my house.  I work, look after the kids and drink.  The way I am going I'll be dead in 10 years (hopefully) and I won't have to think about any of this anymore".

Well I just am staggered how much this has changed.  How much drinking affected my mental health and happiness.  The depth of depression, the depth of comparing my life to others and the shame and unhappiness that poured down on me like a storm.

I have read similar posts to this and thought that it would never be me.  I would always want to drink and nobody understands how "different" I am to them.  The medical prognosis of alcohol being a depressant is a lie, it is the ONLY thing that keeps me happy - the anti depressants don't work, cognitive behavioural therapy doesn't work, mantra's don't work, exercise doesn't work, holidays don't work, socialising doesn't work, herbal medicines don't work even gardening doesn't work.  All of these things just made me feel hopeless - like "I have tried everything and nothing is working so fuck this - drinking works".

I am no different, I am just a simple human who poured ethanol into my body for years and wondered why nothing IS working to help me get happy.  

To any of you beautiful folk out there who may read this and are unhappy and drinking, please try stopping.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Yes it's hard, it is very hard but it is worth it - I can promise you that after time, you WILL feel better.  It WILL change your life.  It may not make it perfect as life is not perfect but you can't possibly make you life worse by trying :)

Here is a list of everything the IS working at the moment in my life:
  1. A renewed relationship with my understanding 23 year old daughter and it is like nothing has changed from when we did get on so well 
  2. Sleep is so much better and wake up feeling joy
  3. I am starting to like myself more
  4. I like others so much more than I ever did - I see their kindness and am not so suspicious 
  5. I make better healthier decision that I can trust
Things I am working on:
  1. Patience and calmness
  2. Eating better and more regularly
  3. Using boundaries more effectively when I need to
  4. Spending more time outside of my own sphere.
Have a wonderful day.
Michelle xx

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Good Decisions

Well what a day... What a week.

My parents left today after mum being here for two weeks and dad for the last week before they headed back down south.  They are good parents and I am lucky - dad helped me finish (or did most of) the cabinetry we started last year in the kitchen.  Mum turned my beautiful velvet I had shipped over 2 years ago from British Velvet into Gone with the Wind wonderful curtains.

I have so much finishing work to do on the house, and I am up to the good bits so are excited to finish it.  

I chose my 300 level Financial Accounting paper for this semester so will be finished my degree in no time.

And I quit my job.

The crazy wife of my boss is the worst advertisement for her "Angelite Therapy" I have met.  That said I have never met someone who believes that they talk to 3 angels who not only guide them by instruct her every move.  She is the nastiest angriest person I have met to date - and I have met many people from all over the world.  

On Wednesday (yesterday here in NZ) she shouted at my workmate so badly she cried an walked out - never to return.  So I lied today and said I had another job that I was taking and quit.

I feel relief.  Sober now for 72 days, with Groundhog Girl's sound advice ringing in my ears, I am feeling great change but now is not the time to seek it.  To stay at work and try to push through the boundaries of flexibility, patience and use this as a marker for proving I can do it (put anxiety aside, deep breathing etc) in a toxic environment is just plain stupid.  I will prove nothing except how to be saddened that my new-found boundaries collapsed - I will be putting myself in an unsafe position which I just can't risk right now.

My relationship with my lovely 23 year old is going so much better than it has in years because I am sober.  I need to concentrate on my two wee ones as they need me more than ever at the ages now of almost 11 and 12.  My little boy starts intermediate in two weeks and little M 2nd year of intermediate - I need to concentrate on patience, not yelling, being present and loving.  Not putting my energy into flogging a dead horse.  The job was terminal not matter how I wanted to make it work.  

Yesterday the boss's wife said "if I had my way there would be no staff here I would do it all myself.  Michelle I want to you know it's nothing personal but I don't care about you - I care about the business but I am the boss so that is how it is.  I will not change so it's up to you know this and to work as I say and don't ever question me"  Everything is a monologue, any input is considered an affront to her power as the boss. I have never seen anything like it - it is actually really interesting if it wasn't so in-your-face shitful.   Being an ex-exec with more boardroom experience than I care to remember, it is not a possibility for me to rationalise this type of strange dictatorship.  Teams are important, committee is crucial, ownership of an employee's position by the employee is a great way to get more out of any worker, not half trying to do everyone's job (badly) - as my dad would say "why buy a dog and bark yourself".

So back to the advice on not seeking change at such an early stage of sobriety.... sometimes we have to look around at what we are doing and make certain change to keep safe.  The changes required to stay were far greater than the change I made to leave.  

It feels right and I am going for it.

PS & update 22.1.17  I have heard from my boss (who I worked with as his wife only came in and out of the picture as she stayed up all night making notes to leave on our desks. Then would come in to check the notes during the day to ensure they were followed)  My boss txt me and is very saddened by the drama, he has no staff now and is struggling.  I can't feel guilty or bad about this as he is just as culpable - it is up to an employer to look after his employees  :) 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Can You Really Change at Age Almost 50?

Books say yes.  The internet says yes.  Others say yes.  The dumb doctor who has no fucking idea and probably doesn't care much either as-long-as-you-take-your-pills says yes. (no disrespect/judgement to those in need of medication even though I do not take anti-depressants this door is always ajar).

But what is the reality "really"?  I have seriously doubted that this can be done, I have waited for an epiphany, waited for something in my life to come in and trigger this amazing event to enable the change I can only vaguely see somewhere in the distance.  Some say one needs a big event to incite change, others that you can cognitively or mantra change from nowhere.

Years of living in the soul-searching, life-changing Byron Bay - one of the energy centres of the world - brought about lots of positive change but I was young then.  Now I am not.  I seem to have reverted back to somewhere worse than where I started.  Change has just not been jumping out at me...

Well it sure as shit is now.  Change is like a contagious virus (the good kind if this exists) but it needs one hell of a giant kick-start, especially for me, especially for me the great big doubter.

I have been stuck, self-absorbed, and always right.  Well I have been so fucking wrong it's scary.
Stuck, self-absorbed and always right and then topping that up with copious volumes of alcohol - and when that didn't pass muster, down some pills.  

Cheesy Expressions
Being sober is incredibly bare.  Now the expressions.... I have to toe the line and behave like a emotionally grown up person, and if you think the cravings aren't champing at the bit, the next day they can come back same bat time same bat channel.   Being sober is a tough row to hoe but it's anchors a-weigh for me.  
Sober = Change.

The answer is YES.

Michelle xx
The cheesy expressions were just because I felt like it, and because it is my 51st post.

Monday, 9 January 2017

2 months and 2 days or 63 days - Still Not 50

Well yay to me!  Over 2 months sober and still going. I feel great and I have had a shit couple of days.

My mum is visiting from Queenstown, my kids are being amazing and yup I have to get a migraine on Sunday (today is Tuesday lunchtime).  It got so bad that I had to have a shot on Monday of Pethodine and anti-nausea medication.  The Anti-nausea medication went down horribly and I have been throwing up right up until midnight last night.  Paced around the house all night feeling like my skin was on fire.  Then got a couple of hours sleep and had a crown at 10 am (I did let the dentist know not to put the suction too far down!).  

That hour and half in the dentist chair gave me some time to think.  Time to get real really.

I have officially STOPPED comparing my life to anyone else's - I am me!  That was the worst migraine I have ever had - my mum was completely horrified and she has seen some of the bad ones. But out of all of this there is a silver-lining - I am me, I have to make the best of all the wonderful things I do have.  

  1. 3 lovely children
  2. 2 wonderful parents
  3. 1 lovely home by the sea
  4. A terrible job - but hey - it's a job right?
  5. Great friends - must spend more time with them this year
  6. My lovely 2 dogs (well one is my son's and she is an old grump - but he adores her)
  7. This blog which has changed my life and all my lovely friends, yes I think support = friendship!
  8. I am sober
This year is going to be filled with things I share, forgiving old things that hurt, breaking free of those bonds of guilt that keep us down & keep us sad.

Love to everyone
Michelle xx

Friday, 6 January 2017

Isolation - Out We Have to Come

I have been writing quite a bit about isolation and I think that for me that is what kept me in my prison of alcoholism.  Taking away the alcohol has been one part of the equation and it seems the other part insists that I come out of isolation.

Learn to love better, listen better and have a more open heart.  To chose to live my life.

These monkey's are cute but we don't just limit our not seeing, not speaking and not hearing to evil, I feel today we tend to switch off from others and live in our own tunnels.  Facebook, instragram, twitter, txting create an unrealistic fantasy which may lead us believe that others around us are doing just fine, but it is just a fantasy at worst and only half the equation at best.  It supports one of my favourite blogger's comments "don't compare the inside of your life to someone else's outside".  

People, even close friends, can create the image the want others to believe, but not how they really are.  This is how I got away with drinking so much and others around me, I am sure, are in the same place - people I know, people I care about.

Here's to a "prison break" for all of us.

Michelle xx

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Unwrapping the Present (Lesson 4)

Not that I am a present per se but it's a good metaphor.   By giving up drinking and getting past the first 8 weeks I am strangely left with well... me.  It is not the surprise so much as the depth of what really needs to be addressed that confronts me.

Alcohol Free Zone kindly suggested a book by Dorothy Rowe - Depression - The Way out of Your Prison.  I have never really thought of myself as depressed, but the years of self-medication intermingled with world travel, having kids, relationships, high-profile jobs, has largely left me incapable of dealing with emotional situation of any kind, well.  According to the book there are 6 main points that build your prison and they seem quite severe when reading them, however when they are explored in depth, they are all things I have done successfully to ensure my prison is secure and my defenses to this prison - to enable me to remain inside - is depression.

One thing that most drinkers will relate to is isolation. Jailers are aware that the easiest and quickest way to destroy a person's will is to isolate them for an indefinite period.  Drinking isolates us and whilst we are drinking, we don't know when or if we will ever stop, so the period we set ourselves is indefinite.

I am amazed at how I have spent years building and perfecting my prison and how it has affected those around me - a tough revelation to learn.  Subjecting myself to guilt, self-hatred, unforgiveness, fear, the knowledge of bad past experiences and still living with them even now, the expectation of bad experiences that will happen in the future, and expecting them - waiting for them.  All these things have created my own personal prison.

I am up to the part in the book where I now must find the key.

Over the holiday period, I have looked at others drinking, talked to others who are drinking, there has been times (many) where I have said to myself "why am I doing this? Really....Why?" Toying with the idea that one wouldn't hurt.   But the problem, I have now discovered, is so much deeper than the drinking itself.  The elimination of alcohol unwraps the world around me and now I see that in order to live my life I have to keep going on the road of sobriety - I have to find out how to get the fuck out of this prison and live my life to the fullest.  Being the best I can to those around me and not let my behaviour have a negative impact on them.

Michelle xx
UPDATE: 3.1.16 found this today:
AA podcast - I thought Liz's story was something I could relate to