Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A fear of commitment perhaps?

I knew it would happen. I'm already so over the title of the blog. Feh. (No, it's not a word. Say it out loud for yourself, and draw out the H and you will get the feeling I'm trying to convey here.) I will leave it alone for now, but I can't promise anything. I get tired of things very quickly; not sure why? I like change I suppose.
Life is good but not very bloggy lately. And by bloggy I just mean that my kids haven't really done anything amusing or illegal for me to write about. My daughter did humble me recently however. The other day she was telling me that she wanted something from the fridge but couldn't find it. I said 'Oh it's in bottom drawer,' and I opened it up, bent down and picked it out. She then said, 'I can't believe you can bend like that!' I could feel something bad coming but felt obliged to ask anyway, 'What do you mean, why shouldn't I be able to bend like that?' She raised an eyebrow and replied, 'Because you're old!' To which I replied, 'DUDE I'M 34, I AM NOT OLD!'
I nearly forgot... The Boy 'lost' his first tooth over the weekend. It's the second tooth to leave his mouth, but the first one to come out naturally. The first one he knocked out last year when he tipped himself unceremoniously out of a toybox and face-first into a chair. Now he has a splendid gap in his mouth, as the second tooth was directly below the gap from the first one. The Man pointed out that he can now fit a drinking straw in through his teeth. So now we must do this at every meal, until we giggle ourselves senseless and snort milk from our wee nose. It makes family meals more interesting, no doubt.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crazy Hormonal Lady

So apparently I am having some sort of berserk hormonal crisis? As I said a few days ago, I recently weaned my youngest child. I didn't go through any kind of crazy changes with my previous baby, so I'm not sure what the deal is this time around. But I've been super weepy and ridiculous. It's not endearing. It's also an easy road from there to STEW. My ability to stew is legendary in our house, as I pile on the issues and insist on being upset about every single thing in the universe that bothers me at one time. But after 36 hours of this I finally got smart and asked for help. I talked to the Man, who consoled me. I knew I wouldn't be able to talk to my sponsor since she would be at work, so I wrote her a long blathery email instead to at least let her know what was going on with me. I have a long history of not asking for help, and assuming that no one would want to help me, or that I 'need' to do things on my own. So I have to force myself to do these things.

In the meantime, I thought about everything I have in my 'kit'. Alcoholics have a kit, you get it in your welcome packet at orientation. Ok, so that's a lie, but that doesn't make it less effective.
(I know, I'm wondering why they used a Disney font for this graphic too. How odd.)
What we have are things that we can do to get through life's curve balls. The number one thing that will help an alcoholic get through a hard day or a craving is to go help another alcoholic. That's why service is so key to our recovery. I didn't have anyone I could go help today however, so I thought about the list of people I still have to make amends to. I've been dragging my feet about making amends, mostly because I know many of the ones I have left to do will be painful. I knew that I needed to just go for it though, so I wrote an email to an old friend, asking her to call me.
I wrote out a list of things I needed to apologize for, times that I was a horrible friend, things I said and did. By the time she called my stomach was in a knot, but I was ready with my list. We talked for a while, catching up, before I got up my courage to tell her why I had wanted to talk to her. I started talking and just went on and on, afraid of stopping for fear of losing my gumption. She very gently stopped me at some point though, and said that it was ok; that she knew I needed to do this for my recovery but that she did not need an apology. I'm getting all vaclempt thinking about it now. We had a really good conversation. We have both missed our friendship and I'm having her over for dinner very soon. I feel really blessed to have this chance to start fresh. And I am thankful for a program of recovery that gives me a clear way to straighten out my own head, by making amends for who I used to be, and always working to become a better person.

On another note, tomorrow the Man and I are going to say our goodbyes to a dear man who is dying of cancer. He's a lovely gentleman that we go to church with, and it's so heartbreaking to let him go. So maybe my tears this week aren't all about my hormones, or my youngest child leaving babyhood. First Thessalonians 4:13 tells us not to be sorrowful like those who have no hope, for we know where we are going. I am very grieved, but I know that he will soon be free from pain and suffering, and amongst my own sorrow, I can be truly happy for him.

Monday, July 21, 2008

This & That

Picnik.com - "Picnik makes your photos fabulous with easy to use yet powerful editing tools. Tweak to your heart’s content, then get creative with oodles of effects, fonts, shapes, and frames."
This is an excellent free photo editing web site. It has TONS of creative photo options. You can try it out without registering. If you decide to join, it doesn't cost a thing. Here's an old pic of the Boy that I did a little editing to. Nothing major, just black & white and then softened the edges, but it gives it such a sweet dreamy quality...

I seriously love this site so much that I'm not done talking about it! And it's the only thing I'm listing in this post of This & That!

Ok, so amongst it's many effect options, it has one called Cinema Scope that gives your photos a movie quality. You can add text, frames or clip art too. (Click the pic to see it full size - you can see the photo effect better that way.)

Random Things

Some random things I think about that don't fit into any category... and for some reason I think other people need to know them.

The tragic death of Bob Crane bothers me. I grew up watching Hogan's Heroes. His murder was mysterious and haunting. Did he die as a result of the tawdry life he led? And why should this bother me? It's much like the death of Phil Hartman at the hands of his own wife. I was gobsmacked when that happened, and I wasn't even a fan. It was just so shocking.

I only eat blueberries fresh. Baked into anything they taste fake to me.

I have a weird squinky toe. It tucks under the others a bit. I could recognize each of my children as newborns only by their feet, as they each have that same toe.

The rhododendron that replaced last year's dead rhododendron is now also dying. I think the yard is rebelling in that spot.

Trader Joe's raspberry tea is fantastic.

New Banner & The Princess's Orthodontic Journey

I finally got around to making the new banner. I'm pretty sure I will be unhappy with it within an hour but right now all is delightful.
I took the Princess today to get a prescription from our family doctor for Valium. After many unhappy visits to the orthodontist, I'm finally giving in to my 'last resort'. She just can't seem to cope with them doing work in her mouth, and given the extent of the work she needs done, it just makes sense at this point to get her something that will help her relax about it. She has to have an RPE put in and eventually braces, and she was barely able to cope with them using cheek retractors to hold her mouth open for pictures. She was supposed to start this process a year ago but after a total core meltdown in the chair we gave up. I'm not only resorting to pharmaceutical help for her, I'm also bribing her and blackmailing her. If she does well after each visit she will get to pick out the ice cream treat of her liking. And if she does not get this work done, she will not be allowed to go to camp with her church friends. I hate to hold that over her but don't really see any choice at this point. I feel badly for the poor kid but at the same time I wish she would just get over it? (BAD BAD MAMA) I don't know how she got so delicate, it's certainly not from my sturdy side of the family.
Not too much else going on here to blog about. I got out my bike to start riding again but only got one ride in before the blessed heat wave began. I weaned the Barnacle last week which was very bittersweet for me. The Man is working a lot, summer is hot and sticky, the days are long and filled with bickering children, and I am in love with the life that I have been given. When we all cuddle up on the couch to read together each night I have my whole world in my lap, and nothing else could be as sweet.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I just got home from a meeting and it was wonderful. So many hands up that we ran out of time and there were still more wanting to share. It's funny, I had some things I wanted to share about, but another gal got her hand up first and beat me to it, saying pretty much everything I wanted to talk about, haha! That'll teach me to hesitate!
Our topic was loneliness, which is an excellent one for any alcoholic. For me, drinking was my ticket out of loneliness, or so I thought. I was lonely in high school, even though I had a few friends, I didn't feel like I had anyone I really could trust in a meaningful way. I only had one boyfriend for a short time during those years, so I felt the loneliness of being single very deeply. I felt unacceptable, unlovable, unwanted. Some of this was based on reality, but much was also based on my own perceptions.
When I went to college, I was determined to 'fit in' no matter what, and alcohol became my way to do that. It did work for a long time, giving me the illusion of acceptance and friendships. But what had saved me from loneliness was only destined to bring me back to it, as my alcoholism grew and I began to self-destruct and alienate the people around me. I tried harder and harder, while drinking more and more, until I was utterly alone. My friends didn't have much to say to me. A man that I cared deeply for graduated and moved to another state. I would lay in my bed, playing the soundtrack to The Highlander, crying into my pillow, night after night. How utterly pathetic and self-indulgent. I could have reached out and talked to someone. I could have tried to make friends, by actually listening to other people and hearing what THEY had to say. But loneliness became my crutch, my way of excusing my behavior. I could sit on my pity pot as long as I wanted, because after all, everyone had rejected me.
Fast forward to my sobriety. For a long time I would come to the rooms and still feel lonely. I would see other women around me who had obvious bonds with one another, but couldn't make those bonds myself. I chose for a long time to come right when the meeting started, and leave right when it ended, and then feel sorry for myself because no one even noticed me. Ridiculous! It's a good thing that ultimately I let God have the final say, because He had quite the wake up call in store for me. The truth was that all those years I CHOSE to be lonely. I CHOSE to be alone. I could have done the hard work required to be a friend. I could have spoken up in meetings, stayed late to talk to other people, gotten phone numbers so I would have someone to talk to. I deceived myself for a long time into thinking that I was unacceptable to other people. I wanted to believe that, because it was safer than taking the chance, putting myself out there, and risking being rejected. What a sorry way to live.
I go to meetings early now. I try to get my hand up once in a while. (still working on that one!) I talk to other people after the meeting. I have the numbers of other alcoholics in my phone. I open myself up to others and am willing to take that risk because I finally learned that it's ok to be vulnerable to people who care about me. I know I may get hurt at times, but it's better to feel the pain once in a while, than bear the pain of loneliness all the time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

This & That

The Stigma of Being Sober - Like it or not, everyone has pre-conceived ideas about everyone else, and alcoholics may well be near the top of the heap when it comes to being misunderstood.

Deal Seeking Mom - My friend Tara recently added me as a friend on Facebook, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the link on her page to a blog she keeps. LOTS of good deals and info there!

How to Irritate People - Airplane Sketch - Because John Kleese will never fail to make me laugh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Writing Prompt: Dreaming in Color

Prompt: Open your eyes, look around, and describe the colors that strike you.

Squinting my eyes, I could almost imagine that the inky clouds on the horizon were really sweeping mountain ranges. The grey of the parking lot faded from my view, as I imagined hiking off into the unknown, beneath a canopy of greens and browns, velvety moss under my feet. The air is cool and damp, a white mist of early falling dew to greet me. Murky shades of brown and tan line the crunchy path, leading me high up the hills. I pause by a great wall of charcoal grey rock, sticking my fingers in the cracks to feel the trickle of clear water. It holds bits of bright green algae hostage as it drips down to form glossy black marks on the rock below.
I keep going, seeing bits of brilliant blue peeking down from above. I switch-back, heading in another direction but still gaining altitude, and find the source of the water, a patch of lingering white snow, stark against the dark mountain floor. Tiny green buds are poking their way up out of the brown mulch of fallen leaves and twigs, white and pink blossoms nearly arriving.
"Mommmmeeeeeeee," says a sudden jolly voice, and I am broken from my reverie. I stand in the humid grocery store parking lot once again, my wee charge before me in a shopping cart. He grins and pokes a grubby finger at me, reclaiming my attention. His strawberry blonde wisps need trimming, as they fall into his bonnie blue eyes. His round cheeks are pink and full of his winsome smile.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Beer Bowling

A friend shared this article today about a young girl who died after a night of playing a game called beer pong. At the college I attended for *cough* two years, we called it beer bowling. I'm pretty sure that my buddy Gunner and I took second place in some sort of beer bowling championship at his fraternity house, but that could just be a combination of delusions of grandeur and massive amounts of Beast Light.

Regardless of skill at this game, it and many others combined to give me more easy excuses to drink way too much. My favorite way to start off my Friday nights was with a Power Hour, where you drank a shot of beer every 60 seconds. I also played Quarters, TV games (where you drink every time a certain word is said), Truth or Dare, Flip Cup, Kings, and let's not forget having Snake Bite Shooters for breakfast, or drinking while showering, or walking two miles alone in the freezing snow to get to an off-campus fraternity house in the hopes of finding someone to drink with, or keg stands, or beer bongs, or jumping into the frozen lake on campus in February on a bet to win a case of Miller Genuine Draft in bottles... So many creative and ridiculous ways to do one simple thing: drink.

I can laugh off some of the things I did in college. After all, don't all college students do these things? Don't all college students sneak their way out of the dorm to a party with a backpack full of beer? Don't all college students drink their way from one fraternity house to another, arriving at the last one to lock themselves in the bathroom so they can vomit until they pass out on the dirty tile floor? Don't all college students drink until blacking out, and wake up with someone they don't know? Don't all college students drink so much that they stop attending all of their classes altogether at some point? Don't all college students take an ambulance ride to the hospital when they drink an entire bottle of vodka and an entire bottle of Southern Comfort? And upon release from the psychiatric ward, don't all college students go back out drinking that same weekend?

It may seem ridiculous to ask such questions. But to an alcoholic mind, we can't ever stop asking. Because the minute that we start to believe we really are just social drinkers out for a good time, then we will lose sight of what we had truly become while drinking. I do not ever want to become that person again, and telling my ugly stories is one of many steps I need to take to keep myself sober today. I can't take the risk of glamorizing the life that I used to live.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home at Last

Home.... on the internet that is. My connection is still sporadic at best, but for now I have some juice and will run with it. The laptop is still in the faraway land of Hewlett Packard where I hope and pray she will be lovingly restored. I miss her so. The Sticky Thing is a bit less sticky today though, as I have laid down the law with the small people about eating or drinking here.

We had a really wonderful weekend of camping for my birthday. Yes I am a July 4th baby. No the fireworks are not for me. Let it go.

My oldest friend came with us. We were best friends in the 6th grade, and then her family moved back to her hometown in another state. We have managed to stay in touch for the last 22 years, but hadn't seen each other in person since my wedding 11 years ago. I think we talked non-stop for the first 36 hours. The Man was a good sport about it. It's amazing how much we had to catch up on, as we had both somehow managed to keep our darkest days and most painful secrets from one another. Telling each other about them was like therapy. We talked, laughed, cried, gave each other advice and comfort, and came out of it both knowing that God had somehow ordained those four days together for some greater purpose. We even talked about writing a book together, and how we are both at a crossroads point of our lives, wondering how the Lord will use the ashes of our former lives to create ministries for us to help others with. To say it was amazing would nearly cheapen what this weekend meant to me. It was truly the most perfect birthday gift imaginable.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Computer Ajuda

Hello loves.... I just wanted to let you all know that I have not evaporated. We had a lovely camping trip for my birthday, and I will talk about it soon. But for now, my laptop was lonely up at Circuit City, so the Man's desktop computer decided to join her. Once Firedog is done taking all of the college money we have saved for the children, I shall return again to entertain you. That is all.