My 60 Days without Alcohol

I decided on August 24th that alcohol and I were no longer friends. It had done a number on myself and my relationships, and when someone said, “You, can’t stop drinking! That will never happen!” It pissed me off. I’m stubborn and hate being told I can’t do something. I can do anything I want to damnit! So I quit.

60 days later, I’m not going to tell  you it’s been easy. It hasn’t. I was using alcohol to not deal with a myriad of problems going on in my life. Some I created, some I didn’t. Most of them I had absolutely no control over, and my drinking had become daily.

Almost without thinking I would pop open a bottle. This use to occur when I got off of work, but then I quit working in October of 2016, so I had an abundance of time to do whatever I wanted. And apparently I wanted to drink.

Sunday brunch drinking turned into Monday day drinking. Why not? It’s not like I had anywhere to be. And since I was divorced, I had a week at a time to myself. Before I knew it I was drinking all the time. Sometimes I didn’t even really want to, but I’d think, meh, it’s there, why not?

Here’s another thing about me… well a couple of things. One, I’m an only child, and two, I’m never wrong. Or so I thought.

Everyone always comments how nice and sweet I am. That is… until you piss me off. I’ve been told by some of my best friends, who pissed me off, that my tongue is ruthless and cuts to the bone. This was a quality I knew I had and frankly, I liked it. Especially since I was never wrong. I felt like since I was speaking my truth, I could say anything I wanted. This fueled with lots and lots of drinking was a deadly combination. I alienated many a friend. My two best friends said they no longer recognized who I was as I drank more and thought more highly of myself than I ever had.

I thought I was invincible.

Turns out, I don’t possess that super hero quality. I only discovered this after losing my best friends and gaining legal issues. Hello DWI. I spiraled quickly in late 2016 and the first 8 months of 2017. Until that one person made the comment that changed everything. Telling me I couldn’t quit.

The hardest thing that has happened since quitting has been facing my fears without any numbing substance. I have many fears. Most are about things I can’t control and the unknown. I worry and worry, and worry about things that may or may not happen, and that fear was paralyzing.

I was also in a very unhealthy co-dependant relationship that I told myself I had to be in, because I could not face the fear of being alone. Not drinking allowed me to see just how destructive that relationship was, and I ended it.

And it was freeing. Absolutely freeing. I love being free. I forgot somewhere along the way that when I’m free, I’m happy. What a sobering slap in the face. Now, 63 days  in, I’m happier than I’ve been in over 20 years. Yep. 20 freaking years. That’s a long ass time.

Stopping drinking has taught me to look my fears straight on, and walk through them alone. I am no longer afraid. There are still problems and issues, but I’ve learned to not sweat the things I cannot control. And to not tell myself it would be horrible if ‘this’ or ‘that’ happens, because frankly, I don’t know. Maybe it would suck, maybe it wouldn’t. I won’t find out unless that said event actually occurs. I’ve learned in the last 63 days that the reality is often not what I thought it would be. Not at all. And I’ve realized I’m a pretty bad ass bitch. And I’m okay with that.

I don’t know if I’ll repair the relationships I’ve ruined, but I’m okay with that too. I’ve made it a year without the two people I cherished most in this world as far as friends go, and I’ve survived. Of course I miss them, but if they can’t forgive me that’s okay too. I’ve made some new kick ass friends and life goes on.

My outlook to the future is bright. It’s almost downright blinding. And I cannot wait to see what the next year brings. Challenges, ups, downs, life… I’ll take it. And I’ll survive. And I’ll be just fine. 

Excuse Me?

The one thing I cannot stand {being the stubborn person I am} is someone having the audacity to tell me I can’t do something. Excuse me? I can do whatever the hell I want too, and I will. Try me.

So when someone said to me that they doubted I could quit drinking, naturally, their reverse psychology worked. I was all, um… Of course I could, I just choose not too. I like alcohol, I don’t need it.

See, when I was 18 months old, I told my mother I wasn’t going to suck my fingers or use my blanket anymore.

I took my blanket and threw it in the trash can. We lived in Houston at the time. My mom ran and got the blanket out of the trash knowing her sweet {haha} baby girl would surely be wanting it soon.

That night I went to bed without my blanket. My mom watched me sleep. She said I would take the two fingers I sucked and hold them down by my side. Then my lips would start making the sucking motion in my sleep and my fingers would make their way to my lips. She said every time they so much as touched my lips I’d jerk my entire arm back down to my side.

I never sucked my fingers again, and I never ask for my blanket. Which killed my mom, who still has the blanket to this day.

So bring it on. I’ve decided to take all the money I normally spend on alcohol and going out and I’m going to use it to travel with, because I love to see the world. And I can see a lot more of it if I’m not spending $12/drink.

World… here I come.

And to the person who said that to me, just watch me.

Eight days in I feel great. The satisfaction alone of knowing I am proving someone wrong is worth it all by itself, and yes, there are other benefits. I’ll keep you posted on the journey.

xo

IVF

Scrolling through Facebook the other day I came across a post about a friend trying for a child through IVF (in vitro fertilization). 

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of IVF. You probably know a friend or family member who has been through the process, but unless you have gone through it yourself, you cannot possibly understand the trama of it all. 

Instead of some wild night of sex you barely remember, you get a box of meds in the mail that cost anywhere from 4-10 grand depending on the protocol. 

You get to give yourself multiple shots for weeks and go in for blood draws every few days. 

You get to go to a doctors office and pray like hell the injections you are giving yourself that cost thousands of dollars are working. That your ovaries are producing up to 18 eggs instead of just one. 

Eggs that will require an IV and a retrieval. A retirieval where they put you under and stick a needle in your cervix poking the sac and extracting all the eggs 

You sit in the doctors office knowing your odds of conceiving. Looking around the room and wondering who will win the baby lotto. 

You wait. 

And wait. 

And wait. 

You wait for the nurse or doctor to call with the news 

How many eggs survived?

They grade them.

You hold your breath for day three when they tell you how many embryos “survived”.  

Depending on the outlook you go in on day three or five for the embryos to be transferred. 

Five day transfers typically have a better chance of survival. 

You go in again to the doctors office. At least you have made it this far. You try to nod encouragingly to those around you. You don’t have to speak. You know their pain. And their hope. 

You are told to have a full bladder, and then legs up, here goes nothing. 

They insert the embryos and you can watch on the monitor as they go in. 

Then you (or at least I did) pray like hell as they instruct you to hold your legs up for 20 minutes. 

After that, the doctor comes in, mine was wonderful and encouraging and said to remember I was PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise). 

Ten more days or so of more torture and you go in for a blood test.

Two more days of waiting. 

Yes? No? 

If you are lucky enough to hear yes you go back in two more days for another blood test to see if your PSA levels (pregnancy hormone) are rising. 

Sometimes they aren’t. And the journey ends. Just like that. 

If the levels are still rising, you are scheduled for a six week sonogram to find out if the embryo(s) have attached to the uterine wall, at which point you can hear a heartbeat. 

Sometimes the process ends here. I can’t tell you how many friends I had who made it this far in the journey only to hear devastating news. It’s heartbreaking. 

And for many, the process works. 

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for my doctor, Dr. Kaufman, who I credit in helping me become a mama! 

I wrote this post with the notion to write a post about my baby boy who turns six tomorrow, but as I started writing, it brought be back to the process that made me a mother. 

I am grateful for God. I am grateful for science. 

I’m not going to sit here and reassure you if you are trying to get pregnant to “just relax” and “it will happen when it’s supposed to happen.”

I hated that more than anything. 

I can just tell you this, I know the pain you are going through, and you are not alone. 

Visit http://www.resolve.org if you are struggling with infertility and looking for support and or resources. 

Xo

My {almost} year as a Stay at Home Mom

Until last September, I had always been a working mom. And I had a really flexible job, which was great, but I still worked summers, during Christmas and spring breaks… I never had weeks at a time off with my kids.

While this year has been incredibly tough, it has been a year of incredible growth. It has also been immensely rewarding. I have been reminded many times that tough times do not define our character they reveal it, and I have been reminded of my true strength and stamina.

I want to say this to stay at home moms… I’m jealous. I know there are a lot of us v. them when it comes to working moms v. stay at home moms. Some moms love staying at home. Some moms work because they have to and wish like hell they could be at home. Some moms love working and should feel no guilt for having a career. And some stay at home moms wish they worked. All of the above are completely normal.

When I was a new mom, until present day, when I compare myself to other moms I always give myself an ‘F’. I sometimes, and most unfortunately, by into the post on Facebook and Instagram. I can’t compare.

What I have learned though, is that as much as I don’t compare to those other moms, I am enough for my kids. Who think I am the best mom ever {because they are not on Facebook and Instagram and have no idea how I actually fail in comparison to everyone else}.

In fact, they usually say it to me daily.

“Mom, I love you, you are the best mom ever.”

And it’s usually for something like cooking turkey bacon for dinner, or some other completely insignificant event.

We are all enough.

Enjoy the little things.

Treasure each moment you can.

Be kind to each other.

Love Trumps hate.

Every single time.

And it takes a whole lot less energy to love than it does to hate.

Save that energy for something else. Like holding open a door for someone. Smiling at the person in line behind you at the grocery store, and giving an accepting nod to the mother looking mortified as her child throws a tantrum about getting on an airplane.

It takes a village.

A village of non assholes.

xoxo

PS, Drawing for the winner of a new special candle is tomorrow, don’t forget to comment on the last post to enter to win.

Design. Build. Adventure. 

I’ve heard there are three ways you can create new brain cells. One is to learn something new. I forgot the other two…

Anyway.

For years I had seen a friend from middle school’s post on his company, Design Build Adventure, and I had always been intrigued.

Here is an example…


I mean… aren’t you intrigued?

I signed up and packed my bags for the high desert of West Texas.

I can’t weld, but I was so excited to learn, and Captain Jack and his crew, Will and Parker, were excellent teachers.

The workshop consisted of consulting with two local artist, Nick and Maryam, who generously have donated part of their land to a playground. It’s called Eastside Playground and you must check it out when traveling through Marfa.

Nick and Maryam wanted a sign for the entrance and a table with benches for kids and parents to sit, play, and gather on.

We had two days to design, build, and make it happen.

The collaboration of the group was magical. Mystical. An experience I’ll never forget.

This is what we made.

Photo credit above to the amazing Nick Terry.

We also made this welcoming sign.


I left with a great sense of satisfaction, although I’m not exactly sure how I contributed other than a willingness to learn and an abundance of enthusiasm for the project.

Thank you Jack and your team, your amazing wife and kiddos, Terry and Maryam, and all who signed up for the class for making this an experience I’ll never forget!

Check out more about Design Build Adventure at http://www.designbuildadventure.com

Letting Go

I wanted to title this post “burying the past” but I thought “letting go” sounded more positive. 

In a way though, I had to bury the past to let go. Metaphorically speaking. I had to come to terms with fact that life as I knew it was over. It was gone, it wasn’t coming back, no matter how much I wished, or prayed, or slept, every time I woke up the world was still completely different. And there was nothing I could do about it. Not a thing. 

The only thing I could do was pause. For a long time. 

Pause. Process. Cry. Repeat. 

After months and months of digesting everything that was happening, it was like I’d come up for air, and as soon as I felt myself catching my breath I was drug back under into the murky abyss. 

Dismal. For months. 

After deciding to take control back, I got angry. 

Angry at the people I thought loved and cared about me. 

But that fire stoked a passion I was missing. One I had and needed back. 

And now I’m ready. Ready to let go, ready to move forward, ready to love life, pursue passions with new outlooks. Ready to live authenticity and just be me. 

I can’t believe it took me this long, but here is to never looking back. 

Bring.It.On. 

This candle was in a small shop I came across and is called “letting go of the past” so as cheesy as it is, I bought it, burned it, and blew it out. 


Bye Felicia. 

The Psychic

It’s no secret I have been going through one of the roughest patches of my life. And as all people who have been through some serious shit say, it’s amazing those who stick close by you and the ones that drop you. It truly shocked me the people in my life that just walked out, but onward and upward. Moving forward, only way to go.

One of the friends that stuck by my side and called and texted and checked in had just had a baby a few months ago. She knew I was feeling down and ask if she could come visit with the baby for a few days.

When she got here we threw our arms around each other and shrieked and jumped up and down in excitement to see each other.

I got to coo and goo over her baby, who is seriously the best baby. So adorable, easy-going, sweet, alert… and oh so handsome! You just want to hug and squeeze on him all the time.

A few hours later I am inevitably spilling my guts and crying about what is going on in my life.

She says she totally understands, but that she didn’t want to see me so sad.

Wanting to just do something fun my friend suggest going and doing a psychic reading.

“It’ll be fun, come on… ”

We find a place and they can take both of us at the same time, multiple “readers.”

I immediately giggle inside at my guy. He is in his seventies and has a bad toupee and a great southern accent. I secretly roll my eyes in my head wondering why I let my friend talk me into this.

He sits down, and tells me he is going to record the session and put it on a CD for me.

I nod and shake my head up and down and he ask to see my palms.

“Well… Good life lines, good health, signs of management, prosperity, wealth, you’re sensitive, you can literally feel other people’s pain, and very intuitive, all good, all very good. Stubborn. Very very stubborn. Which can be good, until it’s not, mmmhmm…”

He looks at me and I smile and laugh and say, yeah, dead on.

He continues, “You’re so stubborn you jump out the frying pan into the fire.”

More laughter from me, and more nods from him.

“No one can tell you anything. You have to figure it out for yourself. You have to get burned at the stake and then you learn your lesson. At least you learn it though.”

I cannot believe how dead on this guy is.

“When is your birthday dear?”

I tell him and he says, “Ah, a Sagittarius. Lucky lucky sign. You’re like a cat with nine lives, always landing on your feet. See this?”

He points to a spot on my palm.

“This is your mound of Jupiter. You like to travel don’t you? When you speak people see pictures. Extremely visual. What do you do for work dear?”

I told him I was currently looking and he reassured me it would fall in my lap.

He read my cards and said the next few months would be tough, but I’d come out smelling like a rose and 2018 would be my year.

He told me to love myself by just being “who you already are, a bright, shinning intelligent human who deeply cares for others.”

He told me a bunch of other cool stuff which I couldn’t believe, and won’t bore you with.

As my friend and I shopped around I found this… which I now wear around my neck.

My friend commented how much calmer and relaxed I seemed just minutes after our reading, and I said something like this, you know… I just took back control. And I found the key I’ve been searching for my whole life.

*We went to the psychic for the sole purpose of entertainment, and entertaining it was.

My First College Party

I was probably a little younger than most when I went to my first college party. I was eight, and I guess already trying to act like Drew Barrymore.

I was in Denver with my mom staying with friends. Not so surprisingly, the 16-year-old of the house was grounded. And trying to figure out how to escape.

So Emily walks up to her mom and ask if she can take me to get ice cream at Hagen Daz. Her mom says that’s fine and my mom looks at the clock and shakes her head, but doesn’t say anything. See… Emily was the first person to ever give me sugar when I was five years old. She was babysitting and insisted my Cheerios would  be much better with heaping tablespoons of sugar. I was hooked the moment I took the first bite, and she offered me a coke to go with it. My mother has never forgiven Emily for getting me hooked on the white stuff.

Emily was the best babysitter. She let me microwave marsh mellows, which ended up exploding and catching the microwave on fire. She taught me how to build forts. She even put 210’s {very very long adult skis} on my five year old very short body and tried to teach me to ski in her front yard {I ended up spread eagle around a rose bush, turns out, I needed real lessons, but I digress}… And at the ripe old age of eight, she took me to “get ice cream.”

I found out once we got in the car that apparently “ice cream” was code for college party. She instructed me to get in the back seat and promptly picked up one of her friends from Cherry Creek high school where Emily was a cheer leader. Her  blond friend  bounced out of the house and climbed in the car.

I remember listening to the Door’s LA Woman while the two teen girls in front gossiped about all the cute boys that would be there.

We arrived and Emily and her friend quickly disappeared leaving my eight year old self to my own devices.

A guy came up to me and actually offered be a beer, to which I replied, “Um, I’m only eight.”  To which he replied, “Eh, you can never start too young.” I shrugged, took a sip and spit it out all over him. He laughed and assured me one day I’d like the taste.

Emily apparently saw me drinking beer and decided it was time to call it a night. I’ll always think of Emily as the best babysitter I ever had. And I need to go visit her kids. They are 8 and 5 and have never had sugar, or been to a college party. I think it’s time to continue the cycle.

Depression, Vertigo, and Social Awkwardness

As someone who finds it quite difficult to keep up a blog when they feel like they are on fire and are constantly on Stop. Drop. and Roll status… I have not been blogging through my latest and greatest breakdown {I mean, obvi.}. I remember my favorite religion professor once said, I forget who he was quoting… “The mind is like a drunken monkey, in a cage, with his tail on fire.” Dr. Fort, I am going to have to agree with whoever first said that, and you, of course.

Since not having a job, losing friends, a fiancé, flying all over the country and fighting with my parents, I thought, hmmm… Maybe it is me. NO. Certainly that cannot be right. Oh, but it was. It was {said in my best Dateline voice}. I have spent a fair amount of the fall and winter apologizing to all of the above, and people who didn’t quite deserve it, like when I kept apologizing to the lady behind me at the grocery store for having so many groceries. I really don’t feel so bad about that, but I digress.

At the beginning of February I got really sick, and more depressed. Not having a job is no bueno for me. I need and crave structure and this was not cutting it. I started getting blurry vision. My stomach hurt all the time, and then came the wretched vomiting. I know, TMI, but that week sucked. Then it started sucking worse the following week. In addition to my weak stomach, and now dry heaving, every time I rolled over on my left hand side the room would start spinning like I’d had two pitchers of Joe T’s margaritas on my own, but oddly, I hadn’t. I had had a glass of wine, but being able to handle much more, this was freaking me out. The next night there was no drinking, but I took a Xanax. Same as the night before, except now it was happening no matter which direction I rolled.

Then I thought, Holy Crap! Maybe this is 40. Shit, I really am totally falling apart. I see double and now I have vertigo at night. Maybe it’s a brain tumor, as that would explain my episodes this fall… but I decided maybe I needed to take two Xanax and not drink. Vertigo all night.

I woke up the next morning and thought, okay, no drinking, no Xanax… Just make the room stop spinning. That night I took nothing and the Vertigo became much worse. The following morning I woke up, and  after I ran into the wall and fell over I started screaming for my boyfriend. He hopped up and whisked me off the nearest ER facility.

Turns out, there was no brain tumor. Just a double inner ear infection, some nasty looking nasal and sinus cavities. Then the doctor explained that was what was causing the vomiting and the added anxiety I was definitely having.

I went home, took my meds, prayed for the spinning to stop as it was now happening as I was sitting up and walking as well. About 8 hours later I am feeling a lot better. Not 100 percent, but not 24 percent either, so things are looking way better. I could actually watch TV and focus!!! So I rented the movie “The Edge of Seventeen,” which I had remembered wanting to see in the theater, so I flipped it on. And then it happened… I started laughing. The writing and character development is so on point, it really is the greatest coming of age film since Juno, and before that, all John Hughes films. And I really started relating to the main character. Who is seventeen.

She is socially awkward. I, am hugely socially awkward. Many people would probably not believe this, and I have come a long way since middle school, but I’m still socially awkward. I live in Texas and glow in the dark because I’m so white. I have red hair and freckles. Apparently, these were not good characteristics back in lower and middle school.

In the sixth grade, “The Dooney and Burke” incident occurred cinching and putting on full blast that I was friendless, as was the girl in the movie. It was my birthday week and I got to go skiing and take a friend. Mind you, I only got to take a friend because I am an only child, and this made life much better for my parents on vacay. I had ask for the same red drawstring Dooney and Burke that one of my friends had gotten for her birthday a couple of months earlier. I remember getting the purse and taking it to school the week before skiing.

When I came home I had no friends. Like, zero. A girl, that I had been friends with, was apparently jealous that I didn’t invite her skiing, so she took the week I was gone to convince everyone I was a spoiled bitch, and that everyone should never speak to me again. And it worked. She was a cheerleader and very well liked. For a year and a half. It was brutal. I’ll never forget that year and a half, and still refer to it as “life changing” because after that, I lost myself.

I was so scared of pissing off an entire grade of girls that I definitely became that girl that was all, you like blueberry and chocolate ice cream mixed together with gummy bears? How weird, cause that is… ONLY LIKE MY FAVORITE!  I was now devoid of any opinion. I just didn’t want an entire grade of girls to turn on me again. I avoided school dances and people in general for that year and a half, until one day… I met another socially awkward girl!!! We would beg our parents to let us stay home from dances, birthday parties, and any social function in order to watch “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Golden Girls” where I felt a nice mix of Rose {Betty White} and Bea Arthurs character, what was her name? I probably don’t remember as I definitely identified more with Rose.

I mean, when my friend and I finally got up the balls to go to the Halloween costume dance in eight grade, we were not dressed as cheerleaders, or anything involving short skirts and attention. We… went as the Golden Girls, and I’m fairly confident I spent half the evening talking to the janitor about how cool it was to be eating strawberry ice cream, because, I really liked strawberry ice cream, but because of all the calories I had to switch to cottage cheese with strawberries, which wasn’t the same, but wasn’t all bad either.

Yep. I was the epitome of cool. The janitor avoided me from that day on.

Somehow I survived high school, had acquired a lot more of my old friends, and some of them taught me how to drink and smoke cigarettes, and even not turn and walk away when a boy said hi, which helped greatly with my anxiety and awkwardness. High school was much better, college, even more so.

So… I’m feeling like I might be back. Back to blogging. I’m not on fire anymore but still dealing with a lot of wounds that I caused. That is to be expected. Apparently you can’t act like a seventeen year old at age 40. It’s just not working for me anymore. I realized what a complete and total ass I have been, and I’ve been making changes and working with a therapist, and low and behold… It’s actually been helping. A work in progress if you will.

Gotta love an excellent therapist. And the forgivness of those you have wronged.

Hurricane Season

Yes, I am listening to Bob Dylan right now. Yes, it is The Hurricane. I find it quite appropriate right now. Tis the season of my life. I am reminded of my first blog post, which you can read here. I knew then that life was going to take many twist and turns, but I definitely could not in a million years have been prepared for what was about to take place.

I was prepared to sit down and write so much, but it’s just not coming out. It’s hard for me to write about. It’s still to fresh for me. I’m still trying to process, trying to make sense of everything… Just trying to breath. Focus on the present, my adorable children. And the gym that is about to open. Yes. The Gym.

I am taking part in a gym where my focus is yoga, kids activities, POUND and twerking classes. Talk about different and not my comfort zone. Much more on that to come. It is set to open in December.

As I find my bearings and re-group, I thank you for having patience with me. Goodness gracious! There are many good things to come. I just want to remind people that no matter what you are going through, even if it seems unbareable, just remember, it’s just a season. It will pass. It will teach you things about yourself. What to change, what to let go, and what to hold onto.

I am grateful for many things as I move through this seasons of my life. Good things are on the horizon.