Friday, 29 July 2016

I am enough

I sent my little guy off to school today with green hair (It was crazy hair and casual dress day with a gold coin donation to raise money for the school fete). We were running a bit late so the school bell had already rung and we didn't see any other school kids. My son made me ask the lollipop lady at the school crossing if other kids had crazy hair too. Of course they did! But I understood where my son was coming from. He had a moment of insecurity that we got the day wrong and he would be the only one turning up with crazy hair and casual clothes.

I remember that feeling so well. I remember when I was about 10 or 11 and desperately wanting to be like everyone else. That fear of being different. Wanting approval so badly. Always feeling not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough (yes, even at such a young age!), not anything enough. Just always 'less than'. And it stayed with me all my life.

Since I've been going to AA meetings, it's a theme I've heard over and over again.  That feeling of being different to everyone else. I used to think it was just me. That there was something wrong with ME.  And it is such a relief to know that I am not the only one who feels like this.

Now that I have found sobriety, I have started to work on this. I tell myself that I am enough. That I AM good enough. That even if I am different, it doesn't matter, that it's okay. I am trying to be kind to myself and to like myself, and tell myself that I am loved. I tell myself that it doesn't matter what other people think of me, that not everyone will like me, but that's okay too. It's not always easy. But I have to remind myself that I can't change a life time of feelings in a few days or months, so I am trying to be patient with myself.

I guess it's about self-care. It's something that I have ignored all my drinking life, so I really need to do this for myself now in order to heal. It's going to take time, but I am determined! I am going to see a therapist (I just have to build up the courage to make the appointment!) so hopefully that will help. I am taking the medication and that is helping with my anxiety, which I lived with for years.

I hope the insecurity my son felt this morning is fleeting. That it won't become crippling like it was for me. I hope he grows up to be a well adjusted, confident and happy young man.

I am getting there, slowly. Baby steps.

A x

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

8 months

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post. It's been a busy couple of weeks so I had a break from the blogging world.

Last week I had mum staying with me, which made blogging hard and going to meetings impossible. I was okay though. Since I started taking the anti-depressants I have been a lot calmer and able to handle situations that used to fill me with anxiety a lot easier. I love having mum to stay but after a week I start to get a little impatient with her, and although that still happened, it wasn't nearly as bad. It's wonderful not having the anxiety that used to made my heart clench and my stomach in knots. I wish I'd started taking them earlier!

I reached 8 months of sobriety the other day. I was getting frustrated that mum still hadn't said anything to me about not drinking, but I was determined not to bring it up first. But she finally acknowledged it! We were talking about my brother B who has a drinking problem and I was showing her some information on the computer about the effects long term alcohol abuse has on the body and how they apply to B, when she said that I was doing really well. I told her it had been 8 months since I my last drink and she said she was really proud of me. FINALLY! She mentioned that my older brother R had spoken to her about taking B to a meeting and I told her that I had been to a few. So we spoke about that for a bit. I didn't go into great depth about how bad I was but it was just good finally talking to her about it. And now, when she comes to stay, I can go to a meeting without having to hide it from her.  It's all such a relief to finally have it out in the open!

I had a super busy day at work on Sunday. But I was able to deal with it. Yes, it was still stressful but I handled it so much better that I would have when I was still drinking. I got through it and had no thoughts of buying alcohol on the way home because 'I deserved it' after such a busy and stressful day. The change is enormous and it feels so good not wanting to drink over it.

The little guy is much better. It's such a relief that he's on the mend. I hope we never have to go through something like that again! Staying sober through his illness was the best gift I could ever give him. I hate to think what it would have been like if he'd been sick last year when I was still drinking.

I can't believe that I am 8 months sober! When I first did Belle's 100 day challenge I got to the end and really struggled. The thought of never drinking again filled me with fear and I just couldn't handle it, so I started drinking again. I think I needed to go through that process to get to where I am today. I finally realised that I couldn't drink, ever. And when it all got a bit overwhelming I just took it one day at a time. I came to a level of acceptance that alcohol isn't for me, that it made me miserable and just wasn't worth it. It took me a long time to get here, but it feels so good to finally be here. For anyone still struggling, stick with it. It gets so much better! Life is not perfect, but it so much better. And I know it's only going to keep getting better. I can't wait!

We had my cousin's daughter visiting from Norway last week. She was travelling with a friend and they both stayed with my youngest brother and his wife and kids. It was so lovely to meet her. I haven't seen my Norwegian relatives since we left Norway when I was 6 (we lived there for 3 years as my father was Norwegian). Meeting her filled me with a yearning to travel to Norway and see all my relatives again. Hopefully one day! I will have to make a vision board and put that on there. Some people swear by them.

Anyway, there's not much else to say. I am off to work this afternoon and I hope it's a better shift today!!

A x

Monday, 11 July 2016

Back from holidays

I'm back after two weeks in the country. The little guy went back to school today and now I can get back into my routine again. I'm off to a meeting today, which I am looking forward to.

So, as predicted the start of the holiday started off with drama!

Mr A was very anxious and when he's like that he lashes out at me and the little guy. I actually told him that I know he was stressed but he can't be talking to us like that. He apologised later, but gosh it's hard to live with someone like that! It's like walking on egg shells!

It wasn't until we were 2 1/2 hours into the 5 hour trip that the little guy realised we were driving to grandma's house and not the beach house like he had thought. He was SO excited!! it was definitely worth surprising him! And mum and my brothers and their boys were really happy to see us too. It was wonderful!

Unfortunately, the little guys medical condition got worse despite the antibiotics, and we had to take him to the local hospital on the Tuesday night. There wasn't anything they could do though, as there was only a GP on call (it's a very small country town) so we drove down to a bigger hospital the next day an hour and half away. After a long wait we were seen by the paediatric surgeon and she diagnosed a medical condition called BXO (Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans) and he had to have an emergency operation. Thankfully, the surgery went well and we were able to drive back to mum's house again that night, so we were able to finish our two week holiday. We had thought we would have to drive back to Melbourne and go the the Royal Children's Hospital and have a heap of investigations! So we lucked out on seeing the paediatric surgeon, she was wonderful.

So, a dramatic start to the holiday! But it ended well, and we had a lovely time relaxing with my family. Because the little guy had to take it easy and could not run around, it was a good excuse to relax and do nothing!!

I started taking the anti-depressants on that first Monday. Thankfully I haven't had any side effects, other than tiredness, and I think they are starting to work a little bit. I will have to make an appointment to see the therapist soon. I am pretty nervous about it though!

Brother # 2, the one with the drinking problem, did pretty well that first week. He didn't drink for the first 4 days which really surprised me. I didn't get a chance to talk to him like I'd have liked, but I was proud of him for not drinking those few days. Unfortunately, it didn't last and he drank a LOT the last few nights he was there. Hopefully he saw me having fun not drinking and realised that it's possible.

One thing I was really annoyed about was the way mum kept going on about how pleased she was that my brother was really trying, yet she didn't make one single comment about me not drinking. I know I haven't made a big announcement or anything, but I thought she might have said something! Especially given how she used to say I that I drank too much and needed to cut down. Oh well, I can't let it get it to me. I am proud of me!

So, it's back to work tomorrow. I have really enjoyed having a break, it was really getting to me. Hopefully I will be going back with a fresh outlook.

Now I'm off to catch up on all my blogs!

A x