Category Archives: Love

Adult Field Trip!

Leo and I planned to go to the Vueve Polo Tournament on Governor’s Island on Sunday afternoon but when we got down to the ferry the line of people was so long, we decided it wasn’t going to be worth the wait. Note for next year: show up earlier! We were all dressed up with no where to go. It was overcast, but warm and we wanted to stay outside. Leo decided we should go to the Statue of Liberty instead. So we bought tickets for the passage and got in line (this one was much shorter!). We got onto the ferry after going through security where Leo almost flipped out when the guy made him take off his watch…it was funny but I’m glad he didn’t make too much of a scene…

We had a nice ride and got closer and closer to Lady Liberty herself…

When we arrived I snapped some photos of our surroundings including our ferry!

Leo and I stopped in the cafe to get some water and french fries (don’t worry raw people, the fries were for Leo)

Then we walked around the grounds and sat near her pedestal on the shore for a few hours before returning to Manhattan. It was nice to be outside together after studying for the past five months!

What was the last field trip you took?

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Filed under Fun, Love

I Love You, Baby Girl

The anticipation is killing me! My baby niece is being born today via C-Section around 10am! It’s been 55 minutes since 10am and I haven’t heard a peep from my brother yet. Wish I was there to hold everyone’s hands today and give out hugs! It’s a blessing to be a part of my family today. To have people want to text and email and call and share their joy with me.

I already know her name and it’s beautiful. I want to cuddle with her and kiss her forehead and promise to be her Cool Aunt from New York City forever. I want to take her shopping for her first doll. I want to take her to Tiffany’s and giver her my love for diamonds. I want to teach her how to dance, to play soccer, to sing, to laugh, to dream. I want to give her the world. She’s not even my baby but she is my baby at the same time.

My brother is loud and funny. His wife is quiet in groups of people but opens up with me. My brother always tells me after I leave from a visit how much his wife enjoys my company and feels like she could tell me anything. It makes me feel warm inside. I knew from the moment I met his wife that she was the one. She made him smile, she wasn’t nervous, she didn’t try too hard to impress anyone. She is serene and loving and quiet. And she balances out my anxious brother. The pair is much older than I, remember – I am the accident baby of my family.

My brother is my biggest supporter in my recovery. He watched Rachel Getting Married and subsequently told me I was a boring addict. That I wasn’t as drama-filled as the sister in the movie. Ah, yes, brother of mine, I kept all my pain inside. I hid my actions, I wanted to slowly self destruct and disappear without a trace. But my family loved me too much for that. I couldn’t slip away and leave them behind, even with their flawed sense of honesty and openness.

I come from the kind of family that doesn’t openly criticize, that is polite and caring but never truthful if the truth would hurt you. Very early on I learned not to express pain or hardship. This wasn’t an instruction, it was just the vibe that I got. My sister described our family dynamic as passive aggressiveness a few years ago. It was interesting to me that she felt it too. I think my brother had a very different childhood though. He was the first born and he is incredibly close with both of my parents. I think that’s why I feel the most comfortable talking to him about my recovery.

Both of my siblings have struggled with their emotions and anxiety but never turned to self-destruction the way that I did. It’s probably because we were never taught how to feel our feelings. I will tell my niece it is OK to cry, to laugh, to scream, to be hysterical if she wants to be, needs to be. I think my brother and his wife have the parenting thing covered, but I want to be that one person in her life she can talk to about anything. Boys. Love. Heartbreak. Friends. Stress. Trouble. Survival.

I love her and I don’t even know her.

Is family important to you today?

***Update: Baby N.H. was born right after I posted this at 7 lbs 7 ozs and she is sooo cute!

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Filed under Love, Recovery

S’Mac and Other Things

Happy Monday friends! My weekend was pretty decent, how was yours??

Friday night I stayed late to finish up some work and then took a third practice exam and I did super well! It turns out I am not a Hopeless Harriet afterall. Then, I caught up on Private Practice and Grey’s and then headed to bed. Um, excuse me Prime Time Medical Dramas, please refrain from creating Musical Episodes. The House and Greys musical bombshells were horrendous this season. The problem is, if I don’t finish watching the episode I can’t find out what happens! Note: I do not read about television shows online or elswhere, that doesn’t seem to be the point of television for me. Ha! Just realized you’re reading about TV right now… ok, I’ll stop.

Saturday I had my last class and then our teacher took us out for a “boozey brunch” to celebrate. I love how I always sit silently smiling as the people I’m with gab on about the best clubs and bars to go to in NYC. I never have anything to add, but that’s ok – it helps me practice listening to my peers instead of interrupting – which I do frequently.

After brunch I came home and watched Away We Go with Jim from the Office. CUTE movie! Plus Alexi Murdoch dominates the soundtrack and that makes my heart sing.

Jim from The Office

Saturday night I met Leo at S’MAC down in the East Village. It’s a restaurant that only serves Mac ‘n Cheese. I was in love. It’s a pretty hole in the wall type place and you have to do some serious table stalking to get a seat. The best part about S’MAC is that you can ask for the gluten free version of any of their dishes. This made my gluten-intolerant boy very happy. We both chose the Buffalo Chicken S’mac and it was delicious. It’s like baked Mac n’ Cheese and Buffalo Chicken Dip all in one bowl. Spiiicy.

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We then proceeded to enjoy the nice weather and walked around for a bit and then ended up at 16 Handles. It’s like Pink Berry but a million times better. You walk in and there are 16 different flavors of low-fat / non-fat soft serve ice cream / frozen yogurt. You can put whatever kinds you want in your bowl and then you get to pile on all the toppings you want yourself! I got a variety of flavors of froyo and piled on mochi, butterfinger and caramel sauce. Mmmm it was awesome. Sorry no pictures – we ate as we wandered back down to Leo’s apartment.

Sunday was filled with studying for both of us and a class at Spring St with the amazing Tanya at Physique (for me).

That brings me to Monday…I just got out of a 6 hour work meeting, so apologies for the late post! Do you want to know the only benefit of my day so far? This:

The deli right near my office sells it and it’s incredibly hard to get anywhere else in NYC! Believe me, I’ve looked. I lived on this stuff my last few years in college and the Vanilla just makes it taste like a zero calorie dessert! I bought two today.

I’m chairing a meeting tonight and am currently without a speaker, so you want to qualify tonight, let me know!!

How was your weekend?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gluten Free, Love, Movies, Physique57, Studying, TV

Leo is a Leo

I found out this weekend that Leo is a Leo. I am an idiot.

On Sunday I finally decided to tell Leo (the longterm boy) about my current project: this blog. I can hear all of you now: What? He didn’t already know?

No, no he didn’t. I was under the impression he disapproved of blogs, since he finds my sister’s mommy blog a bit ridiculous. Ahem, it’s really cute. If this wasn’t such an anonymous operation and my sister knew I was in recovery (eek), I would provide you the link! Anyhoo…in case he did think all blogs were dumb (note: they are not!!!), I didn’t want to feel discouraged or put down, so I decided to hold off telling him until I’d built it into some kind of empire. God I am so insecure…

I consider this blog to be part of my recovery. Leo isn’t an active part of my recovery since he doesn’t come to meetings with me, has never met my sponsor and couldn’t tell you what the 12 steps are or what step I’m currently on. Four, if you’re curious! I also don’t write intimate details about him on SATC so I didn’t feel the need to tell him. Yet at the same time, keeping a new and exciting part of my daily life from him felt kind of wrong.

Sunday night we were driving back to NYC from our dinner in Connecticut. We always have good talks when we’re in the car. Maybe because we can’t be easily distracted by other things. I asked him if he would like to come to my 4-year Anniversary Meeting in July. Come on, don’t make a face. You know I’m a planner. I invited him early since my non-AA bestfriend will be in town that weekend and she has already expressed excitement in attending! Thanks M, you are the bestest! Our conversation developed into me saying that I would love for him to become more involved in my recovery and he was receptive. Score!

It seemed like the perfect time to tell him about SATC. I decided to put all my anxiety about his possible reaction aside and tell him about it. To my surprise he thought the blog was a great idea! He even suggested we try and do even more fun things together so I can continue to write! He even said something about it being source of income for me down the road too. I don’t want to profit from this blog of course, but if I end up learning a thing or two about writing and social media – I could possibly run with it in other directions. A girl can dream right? Right.

The funniest part about revealing the blog to him was telling him his pseudonym. I explained why I chose it and the meaning behind it (as it is in no way similar to his real name) and he looks at me and goes- “You know I’m a Leo, right?” I stared at him blankly. Really? I am mostly un-concerned with astrological signage. Except of course, when someone told me months ago my sign might have changed – I was worried for about five minutes my whole life was going to turn upside down. Turns out because I was born in the 1980s, my sign remains in tact.

I thought I was being so clever coming up with pseudonyms for myself and for him that had real literary relevance. If you’d love to know what they mean, all guesses are welcome! Turns out Leo has always been a Leo and I have always been a bit ignorant of details. It’s hard not to believe in this description of him as a Leo too, aside from the talkative part. Addictive much?:

Being honest, even about the smallest things, can still terrify me. Yet everytime I am honest, I always get something good in return.

Medical Update: CTScan is scheduled for Friday. Let’s hope my head doesn’t explode before then.

What’s your sign?

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Filed under Anxiety, Fun, Love

Gratitude List

Today I put a list together of the things I’m currently excited about. This is a more fun version of making a “gratitude list.” I make a gratitude list (list of things I am grateful for, if that wasn’t obvious) whenever I’m feeling sad about my life or when I am acting unappreciative for the things and people in my life. Today’s list of exciting things tends to include more material things and activities than a typical gratitude list.

Here’s the list (in no particular order)

1. Girl Scout Cookies! My friend from Maiden Voyage (Porscha’s Tuesday Night Women’s Meeting) has a daughter who is selling so I ordered 10 boxes. Naturally.  Samoas anyone?

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2. 2010 Tax Refund! Woo hoo shopping here I come! Slash, I will keep it in the bank like a good girl so I can someday have a prayer of paying for grad school. I hate it when a good chunk of my paycheck goes to the government every two weeks, but it is quite a nice surprise to get some cash back every Spring. Thanks Dad, for continuing to do my taxes even though I’m an adult.

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3. The end of my three-hour-saturday-class! Only two more classes! Oh, then I have to take the test…ok, I will have to rethink this one.

4. Niece #1! She’s due the first week in May and I can’t wait to meet her.

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5. Being a bridesmaid! Twice in 2011! Can’t wait for the first wedding in April!

6. NYC Ballet Spring Gala! I’ve never been to the NYC ballet and it turns out the tickets were totally reasonable at ~$30! It’s a black tie event too so Leo in a tux and fancy dress here I come!

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7. Renewing my lease. I have yet to live in one apartment for more than a year in NYC and this month I am renewing for another year! Hooray for feeling like I have a home.

8. Cheap Massages! My last year in college (first year in recovery) I got a deep tissue massage every week because my mom thought it might help with my mental and emotional health (it did!). Sadly, massages in NYC usually cost 5-6 times as much and therefore my check book usually says no thank you. However, Groupon and LivingSocial have had some great deals lately and Leo and I are taking advantage!

I think that about covers the next two months of my life. In general I am grateful for: my friends, my family, my sobriety, my kitties and my newfound love of the blogworld.

Also – completely unrelated to today’s topic, but have I mentioned that one of the main reasons I love NYC is that everything is so convenient? Not that I frequent fast food joints but look what I found in my ‘hood:

We may not have Drive Throughs, but we have Walk Ups!

What are you excited about today?

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Filed under Food, Fun, Kitties, Love, Recovery

It’s Friggin’ Friday!

So this morning’s post was pretty serious – minus the comic relief someecards I had to put in there so you’d keep reading. In fact, this whole week of blogging has been pretty serious. Oh my goodness this girl has so many problems! Don’t worry friends, I didn’t forget how to have fun or how to write about having fun. Do you want to know what I actually think about on Fridays? THE WEEKEND! It’s so close I can taste it…

This weekend I actually have minimal plans. I know, Clarissa not having plans? That’s just crazy talk. Actually, tonight I am going with Caron and her FI to see Red Riding Hood.

Basically, it’s like the Twilight series but with werewolves. I can hear you getting excited already. You’re already on Fandango buying your tickets. And deciding Milk Duds vs. Sour Patch Kids. Popcorn – buttered or plain?

Seriously though, the movie looks good and I love whatshername. Oh yeah, Amanda Seyfried. Mama Mia!

The rest of the weekend should be pretty regular. Three-hour class (fractions, percents and decimals, oh my!) and Physique on Saturday. Possibly going up to Greenwich on Saturday night with Leo. The other option is a childhood friend’s birthday party on the East Side. I’m not sure I like crossing 5th Avenue and heading into the darkside East Side, but I’ll do it for cake. Sunday I need to do laundry but perhaps a trip to a museum? I also need to take my next practice exam. We shall see.

Did I mention Avril Lavigne’s new album, Goodbye Lullaby has been playing on repeat on the iTouch this week? Remember Sk8er Boi? Love her. Download the songs “What the Hell” and “Smile” if you can today.

Friday Confession: I’ve decided not to look at my Facebook newsfeed anymore. Why is everyone I know getting engaged? Literally six friends shared some version of amazing life-news this week. Makes me want to cry. Oh wait, I already did last night. Does that make me a bad person? Probably. I’m happy for everyone, I promise. I always just desperately want what I don’t have.

On a less self-centered note: My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the Tsunami / Earthquake. 

What are you up to this weekend?

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Filed under Exercise, Fun, Love, Movies, Music

Prayer

”Whose prayer am I the answer to today?”

Yeah right, only in my dreams…

Ok back to the relatively-serious post:

A friend mentioned this to me earlier this week. Apparently her mother’s friend wakes up everyday and says this to himself: “Whose prayer am I the answer to today?” And then he uses this to guide his day of being useful to others. Isn’t that cool?

I am not one who is big on prayer or God in general. I do believe in HP and I do pray, but it’s not the first thing I think about in the morning. And prayer isn’t the first thing I try when I’m in pain. In full honest disclosure: I try everything else before I pray. I usually pray in my head too. The first time I ever prayed out loud I was sitting on my bathroom floor screaming at HP to make my life stop sucking (to summarize of course). And really – just the act of screaming helped rid of some of the anger inside me. I used to pray on the subway to work  every morning, asking God to help me tolerate annoying commuters. Lately, I really only pray when I remember to or when I have an awful resentment brewing that I want to get rid of. It always makes me feel better.

As addicts and alcoholics we spend most of our “prayer time” asking for what God/HP can do for us or for others, and not what we can do for others.

God, take my will and my life, guide me in my recovery, show me how to live.

God, grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

God, please help me to be willing to do my stepwork.

God, please help me not be a b*tch at work today, please.

God, please, just please, can I get that job? win the lottery? maybe throw in a diamond ring too? kthanks.

The truth is – we can’t ask God for material things, it just doesn’t work like that. We can ask for things like guidance, willingness, serenity, acceptance, courage, and wisdom. Still, we are always asking for HP to answer these prayers. I’ve never thought that I could be the answer to someone else’s prayer! But I suppose we all have the potential to be the answer.

In fact, I have proof! In September 2009 my personal life was in shambles and I was terrified of being alone. Someone was the answer to my prayers:  Porscha (yes, she picked out her own pseudonym!). She started a women’s meeting in her apartment on Tuesday nights: The Maiden Voyage. Because she started that meeting I met (and continue to meet) the most amazing group of women. These women are now my closest friends and the answers to my prayers every day, even if I’m not praying. And almost 18 months later, the meeting still takes place!  Not only is Porscha my inspiration for this blog (she taught me that sobriety shouldn’t be anything less than FUN), she gave me life by starting that meeting.

Helping others is such a core part of recovery. That’s why there are sponsees, newcomers, meetings to chair, coffee to make and phone numbers to give out. How many years did you spend locked up in your own self-centeredness? Part of recovering means being of service!

***I am sending out special thoughts (and prayers of course) in honor of the wonderful Lady E, an amazing woman from Sunday night’s Clean and Dry meeting. She passed away this past Sunday while recovering from a heart attack. She had over 47 years of sobriety, probably the longest length of sobriety in a person I’ve ever had the privilege to know. Every Sunday night she came to C&D carrying these beautiful water color cards to give to anyone celebrating an anniversary (I still have mine from my 2 and 3-year anniversary). She will be missed dearly.

Whose prayer are you the answer to today?

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Filed under Love, Prayer, Service

Best Night Ever

I hope everyone’s Valentine’s Day was filled with love! Despite having to work all day and then sit through a three-hour class about pronouns and manipulating algebraic equations….yes, didn’t you know I’m re-taking the seventh grade? kidding. sort of…. I had a fantastic Valentine’s Day! And do you know WHY it was fantastic? Because I went to a meeting.

It was my first in weeks, mainly due to laziness and vacation (I do not recommend going this long without a meeting, it just ain’t smart kids). Anyways, the clubhouse is all decorated in Valentine’s Day garb (there’s a V-Day Dance at the Clubhouse on Saturday night for anyone who is interested). So of course, I felt better walking into a room that Cupid may or may not have puked all over because, that’s right, I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY!

Being the less-than-responsible chairperson that I am, I always end up scrambling to find a speaker for the meeting at the last minute. Luckily for me, HP usually pulls through and puts someone in my life at the right time. And that is exactly what happened last night. A friend who I haven’t seen in a long time showed up at the meeting. She gave me a hug and I was SO HAPPY to see her! I asked her to speak and she accepted immediately! I was so excited, relieved and grateful all at the same time. She had a great message that everyone identified with and the meeting was a total success. And, it just so happens that she celebrated nine years of sobriety last week!  Congrats!

Wow I just used a ton of exclamation points. But seriously, it felt so great. You know that amazing feeling you get when you can see someone in your network grow and change? That’s what I felt last night. That’s what made it the best Valentine’s Day ever. Not chocolates or heart-shaped pancakes (although, those were great!), it was that I was lucky enough to witness the progress of someone else’s recovery!! And the business meeting was short and sweet, so that was awesome too.

And then this morning I got a series of disappointed texts from Leo because I hadn’t received any packages in the mail (I was supposed to be looking out for “special golf balls” he was having sent to my place since he can’t get packages at his apartment). It turns out he sent me flowers (so sweet!) but the delivery man was a complete  fail. It’s ok Leo, it’s the thought that counts!

So yeah, this was a wordy post, but had to share my excitement about having such a great night! Tonight Caron and I are going to a free trial for a local gym – yay for trying new things! Tomorrow’s post will likely be about our workout, so check back!

What makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside??

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Filed under Love, Recovery