Day 8

I have been immersing myself within meetings and I actually like them. I even — wait for it — am enjoying women’s meetings. Who the fuck am I?

A few topics have been brought up in meetings which have made me think “Holy fuck I am right where I am supposed to be” or “Jesus Christ are they reading my fucking mind?” I so badly wish I didn’t have such a potty mouth but I am not fucking perfect.

Anyways, the three topics on the top of my mind are:

1. Service

Now I just recently saw 50 Shades of Grey and so when the topic of being of service was brought up, my mind — which is always in the gutter — immediately went to that movie and being of service in the bedroom… I’ll stop now. Anyways, once I got my mind out of the gutter (briefly) I thought about service or being of service and what that means. Now, two things 1. I am really great at delegating tasks and 2. I am really great at having people be of service to me. Basically I am not great at being of service to others. However, that’s not the point. The point they were trying to make is that in being of service or helping others to maintain and/or achieve sobriety you are inadvertently helping yourself to be your best self. Your best sober self. My fellow alcoholics it’s as simple as ask not what your country (or fellow peers) can do for you, ask what you can do for your country (or fellow peers).

2. Honesty

This one definitely struck a cord. I recently had to get brutally honest with myself. In order to be honest with others you have to first and foremost be honest with yourself. No matter how shitty humbling it is. I was finally ready to be honest with myself and that is the most important thing so far for me in sobriety because it led me to finally admit that I had problem. Something I was seemingly avoiding or denying previously.

3. Fellowship

I think what I was missing so much in my previous stint with recovery was some sense of community. I would go to meetings sure but I didn’t really befriend anyone. I didn’t become part of a sober community and I definitely feel as though I had my guard up. Now I am taking a different stance and starting to do things with other sobers. Surrounding myself not only in the rooms but in my life with people who are so much like me has made me happier. And also not alone. I started to feel so alone and to isolate myself so much and it was hard for me to get my ass off the couch but now that I have I am grateful. I’m not going to like everyone (mainly because I’m still an asshole) but at least I am trying to be a part of something rather than to attempt to do it alone.

till we meet again….

stay sober my friends.

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Day 1

If this post can be summed up in one sentence it is: “Fuck, fuck, fuck but today is a new day.”

I would have been celebrating over 7 months of sobriety but truth be told I lasted 5 months was miserable and started abusing a substance other than alcohol. I was lying to myself that I was still sober and could claim sobriety because I wasn’t drinking. Wrong. So I’m back to square one. Day 1.

I have been talking about my reluctance with AA but it’s no surprise that as I started to get involved in the program I started to get real with myself and that resulted in me getting real with where I was at with sobriety. Or my lack thereof. I started to feel like a fraud especially as I immersed myself more within the program. So I came clean (insert funny pun about coming clean and being clean) to my partner and my sponsor and it was very humbling to say the least.

I always heard about people being dry drunks and I didn’t really know what that I meant. I truly do believe that the five months preceding my relapse I went through lots of highs and lows of being happy or sad and isolated and I came to a point where I was miserable. People in AA would say its because I wasn’t working my program. Truth is I didn’t have a program. I was trying to do it by myself and I failed. It sucks. It sucks mainly because like all other people struggling with addiction I am a control freak and the fact that I couldn’t control and keep a handle on my own sobriety pisses me the fuck off. Deep breath. Breathe.

I was yearning for change and I didn’t want this anymore. Despite still not being entirely sober I sought out AA a few weeks ago and found a sponsor. Instead of going into the meetings and hearing stories and saying “well I’m not that bad” I began to find similarities in shares. I feel like my attitude has changed in regards to sobriety. 7 months ago I was upset and I knew I needed a change I was just fighting it. Be sober? Forever? I’m going to be so boring. But as I look around in the meetings I go to I realize people struggling with addiction are fucking funny and people I would hang out with sober. I truly do believe I have a different mindset going into sobriety than when I did before. Mainly being that I am happy and willing to do what it takes to stay sober.

And so I admit it. Step 1 and done. And admitting this is hard. But I have finally admitted it and I am ready to move forward with sobriety and all the highs and lows that come with it. I’m ready to be honest. I’m ready to be honest with you. But most importantly I am ready to be honest with myself.

stay sober my friends.

143 days…

Well … I survived my first work holiday party completely sober. It only took 6 Shirley Temples and 25 awkward conversations with co-workers. But lo and behold I survived the party and the next morning I wasn’t hung over. I repeat I wasn’t hung over after a work holiday party. I still can’t believe it myself.

As mentioned in my last post I have really been struggling with my own sobriety. As I was scouring the interwebs to read about others experiences with their first six months of sobriety I saw that an ex boyfriend of mine was online. (Yes you read that right I said boyfriend. I did used to date men but much like quitting alcohol I quit them too). Anyways, I reached out to him to chat about being sober as, when when we were dating years ago, he was in his first year of sobriety. He now has seven years of sobriety. Holy fuck.

Knowing what I know now in my own sobriety I feel so bad for him. I was 23 living in a new city and and was throwing back makers mark/diet cokes like they were going out of style. (Note: They did go out of style — since living in Santa Barbara I haven’t been able to touch brown liquor and I cringe just thinking about it). He was newly sober and going to meetings and in love with someone who was thrilled at the idea of having a designated designated driver and who didn’t give much thought to sobriety. I especially didn’t give any thought to his personal recovery and sobriety and how hard it must have been for him to go out to so many bars and be involved in so many things that revolved around drinking. Mainly because I was too busy drinking. Duh.

Anyways, I asked him how he maintained his sobriety (and continues to), if it is hard for him and if he ever early on in his sobriety felt down or the blues. (And probably 25 other questions as, if you know me, I always do.) Well they say misery loves company (like an alcoholic loves a drink) and so for me it was good to hear that he, too, had his bouts of being down and his troubles in maintaining sobriety in a society in which alcohol is so prevalent. How does he maintain sobriety? One day at a time. And meetings. He told me, especially in the beginning, lots of fucking meetings. (Lord only knows how he stayed sober when he was dating me as thinking about dating myself makes even me want to drink. A lot.)

To be honest I haven’t been going to meetings. I got my 60 day chip and haven’t been back since then.

Well, it has been 143 days (83 since I had gone to a meeting) and with Thanksgiving here and gone and the holidays quickly approaching (P.S. at first run through I put “fastly approaching” and then realized that “fastly” is not really a word and then I wondered how I ever graduated from college with a degree in English nonetheless) but anyways, I find myself in a bout of holiday blues. Or at least that’s what I am hoping it is.

Truth be told since I have gotten sober I have found myself down. This shit ain’t no walk in the mother fucking park for me. (I don’t even like to walk in the park.) Is it because before I would have a beer or two to take the load off and forget my problems? Perhaps.

I’ll break it down.

Month 1 1/2: down and didn’t want to seemingly leave the house. Maybe I was just embarrassed or not comfortable not drinking. Poor poor me pour me another drink. Thank god for delivery and Netflix.

Month 2 (end of) and Month 3 (all): I felt fucking great! I was like: I got this. This shit is easy.

I’m the King of the World!! Woo Hoo! However, shortly thereafter that high, much like Jack, my happy Titanic-sized-sober ship sank and that selfish bitch Rose pushed me off the plank of wood (that could very well have held both of us on it) and I again saw myself slowly plummeting into the depths of the dark cold abyss of the unforgiving sea … or rather a little bout of the blues. Did I mention in addition to having ADD I am kind of dramatic?

Month 4: I have had my share of ups and downs. I have put myself in situations in which lots of people say to avoid in early sobriety. Now everyone’s sobriety is different and some can do the same things they did while drinking while others cannot. For me personally, I have put myself in situations, especially as of late, in which alcohol would have been consumed. Now I’m not even counting family holidays like Thanksgiving, those dreaded work dinners or even my own birthday as situations they say to avoid, I’m talking Halloween parties, friends birthdays, a charity event at a wine bar, going out to bars with friends. Those are situations that I willingly put myself in knowing that it was going to be a struggle to not drink. I’ve come out the other end sober and not hung over. (So why do I still eat too much Mexican food and unhealthy food like I’m drunk and/or hungover?) That’ll be my next vice to give up.

These past two weeks I have, again, felt myself getting a little down. (It doesn’t help that I have had some major life changes occur, I’ll touch more on that in the right time and date.) So with that said, I think I am going to take the advice given to me and surround myself with people who are in the same struggle. With people who understand. I am going to go back to meetings and try to immerse myself within AA starting tonight. Maybe I’ll even start to meditate. I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.

stay sober my friends.

124 days…

I’m not really good at Math — even simple things like addition and subtraction (unless I can count on my fingers) and so in an attempt to count my days of sobriety (during a client call — have I mentioned I have ADD?) I have come to the mathematical conclusion (without counting on my fingers) that I have 124 days of sobriety. I will double check the number in a bit but regardless of whether or not it’s off a day or two — that’s a really fucking long time.

Since my last post I have gone to three other business dinners — one of which lasted 3 (mother fucking) hours and where I fatefully was placed next to the new SVP of Human Resources. Side note: If anyone knows me you know I am not politically correct and cuss like a sailor and say inappropriate things and what’s on my mind so for me to sit next to any executives let alone a HR executive is like Russian roulette. And I was the only one not drinking except for the pregnant lady (but I think even she was drinking). Anyways, in addition to those dinners I have gotten through Halloween, my birthday, awful Chargers games, 24 hours with my eight-year-old brother who is my mini-me and would drive anyone to drink, my grandparents 35th anniversary with the whole family and all other days ending in day — sans alcohol. Whew. That was a lot. I have impressed myself.

I also am getting back into working out. I supplemented my lack of alcohol with an increase in junk food, and sugar and spice and everything else that does not make my ass look nice but I am feeling good again and am ready to get that six pack back (ok fine so I’ve never had a six pack — other than a six pack of beer — but I would like to one day have one and one that doesn’t have Bud Light in it).

I haven’t been much to write as of late as to be honest work has been kicking my ass. Our company got acquired and is in the process of merging and I got a new client and I’m not really great at dealing with stress (without an ice cold brew) so I kind of have hibernated from everyone and everything (see its not you, its me; really). I hope to get back into writing but I don’t see any end in sight as far as work is concerned from now until the New Year and since I am on the interwebs and a computer all day it’s the last thing I want to do when I am off. I would much rather do other activities that enrich my life like watch the Kardashians, watch 16 and pregnant and feel better about life, watch sports and continue to make up dialogue between my animals. Again, its a glamorous life I lead.

But anyways….

I am still sober… and now a year older!

stay sober my friends.

Michael and I

Ventura (Half Marathon).

This past weekend (and a few days into the week) Kate and I went on a mini-vacation. Kate has been training 15 weeks for the Ventura Marathon and we decided to make a little trip out of it and go to Santa Barbara after her race. We drove up the coast from San Diego to Ventura and then to Santa Barbara and stayed there until Tuesday. (I was originally planning to run the marathon with her but I hurt my foot after a long run in the first few weeks of training. I decided to not get discouraged and have my own marathon instead. However, my training consisted of watching endless amounts of TV and my couch and no exercise of any sort and instead of rewarding myself upon completion with a medal I was rewarded upon completion of a new TV series with candy).

**This post details the Ventura portion of our trip as, upon writing it all out, I realized it could be an e-book in itself and I should probably break it up into two separate posts. I will detail Santa Barbara later on this week or next. So enjoy reading. Or don’t. I really won’t know the difference.

But anyways, we drove up Saturday and we were excited and I made a road trip playlist and we got coffee and gas and left relatively early and were on the road! Just driving up the coast with nothing but the road ahead of us. Nothing but the road and a bazillion cars. Traffic. We weren’t even out of San Diego and we were already in traffic. Traffic was in fact a mother fucker. THE WHOLE WAY. I lived in LA for 3 years. I drive in traffic everyday to and from work. I should be used to it. Right? Wrong. I immediately get some sort of tourette’s syndrome in traffic that is characterized by uncontrollable bouts of cursing and twitching. I want to kill everyone and hit my head against the steering wheel repeatedly. I used to smoke and would chain smoke in traffic but now nothing. This particular situation (traffic) wasn’t a trigger and didn’t illicit me wanting or craving a beer right that second because, well, drinking and driving isn’t politically correct or legal or whatever the rules are. However, after being in a car for 5 1/2 hours, what is the first thing I wanted to do (besides pee)? Have an ice cold beer. But lo and behold fellow drunks or friends or sober readers or people who randomly found my blog through typing in the keyword “my girlfriend is taller than me” wtf?? — I did not have a beer.

Anyways, instead of killing myself or other drivers or having a beer we went to the Ventura Pier to pick up Kate’s race bib and get free running stuff and all that jazz. I then decided I wanted to run too. (I couldn’t just have this race be all about her, obviously, I am far too selfish for that. I wanted to run too. And hey, why not? I’ve run a half marathon before).

Let me elaborate: I am not a runner. I don’t claim to be. I actually have always hated running (one of the reasons I played softball and tennis over soccer and cross country). I run simply because it’s free therapy, it’s good exercise and it doesn’t cost a penny to do. When I met Kate over a year ago I was training for a half marathon (my first and only). She’s really into running and has a blog chronicling her running and marathons (socalrunnergal) and speaks runner jargon that I have to Google. I also run because any run over 5 miles warrants drinking a beer afterwards. A beer has always been my light at the end of the why-the-fuck-am-I-doing-this tunnel.

Saturday night we walked around downtown Ventura which was super cute and quaint and decided we would get sushi as our pre-race meal. Carbs and fish what could be better? We settled on this little sushi place on the main strip and sat outside to people watch. Sushi and Sapporo? Nope. Sushi and a Diet Coke. We ordered our rolls and we ate. And ate. Upon finishing I realized we were one of three people in the restaurant. I am a big fan of the internet and reading reviews and I realized then that I had not read anything on this restaurant before deciding on it. (Note to self: do not read reviews of restaurant AFTER eating). It had 1/5 stars on yelp. Kate then stated how one of her rolls wasn’t great and tasted bad. Our minds quickly went from satisfaction in our bellies being full of delicious food to food poisoning. We would definitely be throwing up in the next few hours. We mentally had to convince ourselves that the food was not bad and that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (not alcohol) would be a way to counter the bad food and allow us to be poison free. It worked. Two scoops of ice cream and I was golden. (This is another addiction I have acquired. Ice cream and frozen yogurt after a meal. Any meal. Even breakfast. And sometimes substitute it as a meal. Hi my name is Brittany and I am an Ice-Cream-aholic. I can already picture the dreary dim lit Ice-Cream-aholic’s Anonymous room I will find myself in soon).

But anyways (have I mentioned it is really hard to concentrate and stay on task with ADD?) Sunday we both get up at 5:00 am (and being the amazing girlfriend I am I went to Starbucks and got us both coffee) and we were both nervous about our races. Kate would start at 6:20 and I would start at 7:00. She was off and we said our goodbyes and good lucks. Shortly after she left I walked over to the Ventura pier and lined up with all the other half-marathoners at the start line. I quickly realized, fuck. (If fuck is a realization). But fuck, I haven’t run more than 6 miles in two months. In fact, the last time I attempted to run a long run I got injured and could barely walk on my foot. But luckily after the injury I had an ice cold … fuck. Why am I doing this? And we are off…

I cruise through with sub-nine minute miles (runner jargon I learned which means less than nine-minutes per mile) for seven straight miles. I was happy, feeling a runners high even, and like I could run a mother fucking marathon. Psssh. Kate trained 15 weeks. I trained less than 15 minutes. Who needs to train for this? I got this. And then mile 10 happened. It was a tiny race so there was no crowd support and the course was painfully boring and I am painfully ADD and I had no shiny objects to look at or to distract me. Everything started hurting. I will not walk. I will not walk. I WILL NOT WALK. So I start walking. Bad idea. My legs didn’t want to move. I literally fought with myself and the last two miles (of 13.1) between a crawl, hobble, walk and jog.

Well I finished and no wheel chair was necessary to cart me across the finish (although one would have been nice). I was on pace to run under 2 hours but my legs had other plans and I ended up crossing at 2:06. I waited for Kate to be done with her marathon and I cheered her on (and tried to jump up and down when she was passing me but failed) and was so proud of her. It was hot. And boring. And everyone had an awful race and she claims she did too but she ran 8 something minute miles and that’s just crazy.

We jumped in the ocean, ate animal crackers, watermelon, fruit, bagels, red vines and everything else in sight.

We met up with her friend who had run the marathon as well. She was drinking a Saint Archer blonde. Crisp. Cold. Light. Her husband offered us both a beer and I painfully declined. Her friend told us that the only thing she craves after running is a beer. Really??!! I just ran 13.1 miles. I am hot. I am tired. I am parched. I am weak. And coincidentally that is the same thing I crave after every run and especially one I did not train for and which kicked my ass and I’m currently being offered a beer? And not just a boring light beer but a good beer? Is this a sick joke? I am for sure being punked.

But I was not. And I did not have one. I instead opted for crack. Otherwise known as Diet Dr. Pepper.

52 days. 

stay sober my friends. 

before the race.

before.

after.

after.

 

 

What’s My Motivation?

I used to reward myself for everything I did by drinking a beer after. I cleaned the house. Beer. I did some work in the yard. Beer. I worked out. Beer. I took a shower. Beer. (Ok that last one is a bit of an exaggeration). But regardless I could justify a reason to drink a beer based on an activity, my productivity or even just based on the weather. It’s hot out. Beer. It’s cold out. Beer. Blue skies. Gray skies. Day skies. Night skies. Beer. Beer. Beer. Beer.

How about days ending in “day.”

Monday (just cause its the start of the week). Beer.

Taco  Tuesday. Beer.

Wine Wednesday. (Fuck the wine I want a) Beer.

Thirsty Thursday. Beer.

Friday. Beer.

Saturday. Beer.

Sunday Funday. A lot of fucking beer.

I’m sure you get the picture. It’s a portrait painted in craft (and sometimes light) beer. Again, I didn’t drink everyday but when I did, girl, I drank. And then the next morning my reasoning for getting so intoxicated would be one of the aforementioned justifications.

Those of you who know me know that when I used to smoke it would be the same thing. I cleaned the house. Cigarette. Walk the dog? I’ll do it! (With a cigarette). Take out the trash? Yup. (And light up a cigarette on my way back).

Now, with nothing to reward myself with, what’s my motivation? We all need ways to reward and motivate ourselves. Now that have I eliminated a beer or a Marlboro Light as my reward what’s left? (I read that last sentence — the one that I just typed, which you just read — and thought: Jesus, how sad is that?!) My rewards were a beer or a cigarette? There are so many more ways I can reward myself or anyone can reward themselves sans alcohol. How about: Shopping. A massage. A pedicure. Food. Coffee. Diet Pepsi (my fave). A movie. A nap. Candy. Dessert. Food. (I am very food motivated). A massage from your significant other. (Ahem. Hint. Kate. Ahem.) There are so many more things to life!

**I realize I don’t need a reward for cleaning the house or many other things, I mean, I am almost fucking 30 but sometimes just having your significant other simply acknowledge it makes you feel good. (Ahem. Kate.) Also, I was an only child for 20 years and am a whore for praise.

Since you were wondering (and I have ADD) I had a lovely weekend. On Friday, Kate (the girlfriend) and I went to dinner and a movie. On Saturday Kate ran 20 miles (she’s training for her umpteenth marathon) and I ran 20 miles less than that but I did go to the gym and it was nice. After the gym I drove down to the harbor (where she was to finish her run) and took some pictures with her fancy camera while I waited for her to finish. It was fun being a tourist in my city. I even hung the camera around my neck for the full Asian tourist effect.

Star of India

star of india. i’m so artistic.

San Diego Harbor

san diego harbor. again, super artistic.

Being the amazing girlfriend I am (if I do say so myself) I brought Kate a breakfast sandwich and then snapped a few shots of her for her own blog. Her blog is all about running and fitness and health (and way cooler than mine and she gets companies to pay for her to write posts and review their health products etc). Mine on the other hand is all about drinking (or my lack thereof) which I don’t think any company will want my review of a product for. Hi Brittany, Love the blog. Can you try this hand sanitizer and write a review of it? (Shit Bob she has a problem with alcohol abuse she may try to drink it. What were you thinking?) Or how about this new uhhhhh non-alcoholic ummm water? No. I don’t think I will be reviewing any products for any incentives any time soon. Or ever. However, I can be reached via e-mail for inquiries and take cash, check or credit. (And now I will insert a shameless girlfriend promotion www.socalrunnergal.com.)

In other news, I just finished reading Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs (the same author of Running with Scissors: A Memoir) over the weekend and I loved it. (With all this new found free time that drinking (and the aftermath of drinking) used to take up I am finding myself able to do a lot more constructive things like read more books rather than lounge on the couch with a bean and cheese burrito and a pounding headache not wanting to move while watching the Kardashians and Real Housewives). Anyways, the book chronicles the author’s personal experience during and after treatment for alcoholism while living in NYC over a 10-year time period. For me it was easy to relate to especially since he is gay and in advertising and says fuck a lot but I also love his style of writing which is very matter of fact, satirical, with blatant honest humor. I would recommend it for anyone thinking  about getting sober or who is sober. Or even not sober. It’s just a good easy weekend read.

That’s all she wrote for now. 2 weeky no drinky.

Stay sober my friends.

And now for more pictures of my family…

My Family

my family: kate (the girlfriend). the dogs. ringo (the cat) not pictured and probably off being a dick and knocking shit over or ruining more furniture.

stella bean page

hi my name is stella and i’m a barkaholic.

Gunner the Lab

hi my name is gunner and i love to lick.