Category Archives: Recovery

Reconnecting

Well it is officially the first of September and I haven’t blogged in SO LONG! Don’t worry- I haven’t forgotten about SATC or the wonderful world of blogging. I just seemed to have gotten caught up in living life! Sometimes, that is not a bad thing at all. Work has been pretty hectic lately, headaches are still a daily occurance and I’ve been traveling almost every weekend since the end of July. I also seem to be a social butterfly with something going on almost every night after work, it does not feel like my life, let me let you that much…

Living life is a good thing, but I have recently become concerned that my “real life” is getting in the way of my recovery. I haven’t been hanging out with AA friends as much, my meeting attendance has declined and although I am doing service as treasurer right now that does not require me to be at a meeting on a weekly basis. I also have not been great about picking up the phone and calling people with more or less time than me. Awesome Sponsor Lady returned from her month long adventure overseas yesterday and we finally got to catch up over something other than email: cell phone! She reminded me that AA is a bridge back to life and that means that having a life outside the program is important. She also reminded me that AA does not have to be the entirety of my social life, but that fellowshipping is important and I need to make sure I have balance.

The truth is, I feel disconnected from the AA community I was once in the middle of but I also feel overwhelmed by all the other parts of my life that have been blossoming lately. Reconnecting is simple though – go to more meetings, pick up the phone more, send some more texts, set up more coffee dates. And just because I feel disconnected, doesn’t mean that I really am. I want to make sure that I never put anything else in front of my recovery and that means that I keep my network and my meeting attendance high on my priority list!

How has your summer been??

2 Comments

Filed under Recovery

***Four Years***

This Saturday, July 30th, 2011 will mark 4 years of continuous sobriety for me. Four years. That seems unfathomable to me. That means that today, July 29th, marks the 4 year anniversary of my last drink. It’s funny that we celebrate one of the worst times in our lives.

With flowers and cupcakes, cards and medallions. But it’s not our bottom that we celebrate, it’s the action of getting sober worth celebrating. That is the turning point. That one decision changed my whole life. 

Many of you know that July 30th wasn’t my first attempt at sobriety. In fact my original clean date was March 31, 2007. [Forgive me if the following is a repeated version of previous posts!] I was clean for 99 days and then I relapsed on purpose – believing that as a 21 year old living in NYC for the summer that I should be able to drink like everyone else, whether I was an addict or not. So on my 99th day of being clean, I woke up and decided I would drink that night. I went about my day as usual, went to my 5pm NA meeting, walked home with a relapsing addict who co-signed my bullshit and gave me some suggestion about drinking “moderation.” Yes, because that’s what I wanted to do. I called my sponsor to tell her I was going to drink (it was our agreement to have a discussion first if I was going to use) and luckily I got her voicemail. And then I drank all night, regretted it in the morning and came crawling back to the rooms sobbing. Another 11 days clean and I drank again at a work event. After that I stopped counting days because I didn’t think I wanted to be clean anymore.

I wasn’t near death at that point, or so I thought. I was drinking but not using drugs. It wasn’t enough though. Alcohol wasn’t working, I needed drugs, but I seemed to have lost the ability to find them, or perhaps my HP was doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I was screwing up at my internship. Life was miserable.

I remember my last drink relatively clearly. It was Sunday night on July 29th. Leo and I and Leo’s bestfriend went to Justin Timberlake’s restaurant Southern Hospitality on the Upper East Side because they were supposed to have beer pong tables. They didn’t have the tables for whatever reason, but we stayed for the beer and the southern comfort food. I have two pictures of us from that night – in both I am making inappropriate hand gestures. I wasn’t drunk though, I think I only had about 4 drinks. Nothing wild and crazy. Like I said, alcohol wasn’t working anymore. I don’t remember feeling all that self destructive that night, but I do remember not feeling OK.

The following Tuesday I had dinner with A, my first friend in recovery in NYC. She had just returned from her honeymoon and I told her that I had been relapsing while she was gone. She asked me if I had been going to meetings while I was drinking and admittedly I said no, that I had not because I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be clean. I knew the program would work if I wanted it but I wasn’t sure I wanted it. I was near death in March, and this relapse didn’t seem to be killing me in the same way. However, I was still dying inside and I knew that drinking wasn’t my solution, it wasn’t going to be my way out. She suggested we go to a Young Peoples meeting the following night to see if I heard anything that resonated with me. A girl with nine months qualified that Wednesday and she basically told my story. I haven’t had a drink since. Thank you A for your incredible life-saving suggestion! Just one of many that have made me the person I am today.

It has been a roller coaster over the past four years. I couldn’t have done this by myself. I am eternally grateful for all the people in NA and AA who have helped save my life one day at a time. I look forward to many more years of sobriety! This Sunday I will be speaking at a 6pm meeting in my neighborhood and then celebrating at the clubhouse later that night. Send me an email if you’d like to come!! I can’t wait to embark on my 5th year of sobriety…it’s time to finally get my marbles back.

What do you like most about anniversaries?

2 Comments

Filed under Recovery

Days of Wine and Roses by Alicia

Another fantastic Friday Guest Post by Alicia! Enjoy!

When I really think about it, my biggest meltdowns in sobriety have not been about alcohol.  I’m blessed to say my obsession has lifted and I’m a member of the No Matter What club. Great right?  But, now when I’m faced with a problem my first thought is NOT ‘I need a drink.’ My first thought is ‘How can I change my identify and move to Spain?’  I want to run and hide.

The things that make me lay down in a ball and cry are my financial and career problems. My old MO was deny, deny, deny. I’d sit on bar stools and delude myself that my life was not spiraling out of control.  I’d ignore any proof that it was happening. I did not open bills. I did not answer phone calls that started in 800. I was full of fear.  My life was unmanageable and insane!

For example, right before I came in the rooms in April of 2010 I had not paid my rent for several months.  In fact I was having a hard time supporting myself since I lost my job back in 09.   I was also depressed. I could not get off the couch long enough to find a job.

Except for when it was time to go to the bar and drink. My job had become spending my unemployment on alcohol. I ignore my responsibilities. I could not deal.  My landlord started eviction proceedings against me. I thought, ‘How dare he!’  I developed huge resentments against him and I drank at them. That is just one part of my bottom. When I think about these events I become full of regret. I get really scared and sad. I want to erase it all. But, I know I can’t and I’m dealing with it.

The bitter truth is I squandered so many gifts when I was active. I saved no money and I drank away a lucrative career.  I loved Fridays when I would get paid and do some damage at Prada and catch up with my running buddies at a bar. We would prowl Manhattan in search of the perfect $15 dollar martini. “Bartender, I give me a  Grey Goose-career sinking-martini…keep-em coming and don’t stop till I’m broke and unemployed please.”   I never considered saving for the future because secretly I did not believe I had one or deserved one.  No matter how impressive my resume looked to others I always felt I did not deserve the job, so I would sabotage myself. I used alcohol as my weapon of choice.  I remember one time I was running this multi-media company I had a great day at work and I celebrated with a co-worker at a restaurant.  She went home at 2am. I went out till 5am. I woke up the next day at 1pm. That was the second time that happened at this job and I had no excuses.  I emailed the owner and quit. These memories remind me of how unmanageable my life was and how insane I really was.

But now, instead of closing my eyes and hiding under the covers little by little I am looking at the messes I’ve made and I am dealing with them.  This is hard stuff. The guilt, the shame, and embarrassment are nauseating.  Today I can see what I did without self pity and without blaming others.

I lived my life “…in a sea of booze…”  The character Joe in the movie Days of Wine and Roses said that.  You  know what else he said, “…the reason I’ve had 5 jobs in 4 year is I’m a drunk and I don’t do my job.” That line played over and over in my mind. It’s complete ownership of your reality. Complete ownership of your situation. When I had that a moment of clarity and finally saw myself, it was such a gift. It’s just in ugly wrapping. It’s humbling to know how easily I could have just closed my heart and mind to the truth and kept on drinking.

Sure I was a drunk and no matter how high up the ladder of success I had climbed, I did not do my job well.   The key word there is WAS… Today, I deal with these things no matter how hard they are my higher power and the program is helping me get through. When I was forced to move I found a less expensive apartment in my neighborhood because of someone in the rooms. When I went to public assistance my case worker turned out to be an FOB with 23 years.  When I filed for unemployment, I was sent to career counseling at unemployment office. A woman asked if she could sit next to me while we waited for our orientation. She was in the rooms. These little God shots remind me that if I just take the steps, show up, and try to repair the damage I’ve caused my HP will be there to help me get through.  With this knowledge I can deal with anything.  Yes, I’m sorry that in the past I’ve been careless with my security, safety and well being. I pray for the willingness to forgive myself and to continue living a sober life.

4 Comments

Filed under Recovery

Stress Management or Lack There Of

Hi friends. Sorry it’s been a reaaaally long time since I last posted. My life has been the opposite of easy in the past week. Headaches continue to rage, work was beyond stressful last week and I’ve got my exam coming up on Saturday. Not to mention there is just a bunch of stuff going on in my personal life. AND I’m starting my fourth step. It’s not the cause of a great deal of stress at the moment, but you know…I am definitely a bit fearful about it. I just need to dive in head first. Tonight.

When I checked in with ASL on the phone last night she said she could hear it in my voice that I hadn’t been to a meeting in a while and she was correct. So we met at Chelsea Riverside for the 9pm speaker meeting. It was just what I needed! We then headed over to Whole Foods to hunt down my new obsession: Coconut Water.

A bunch of different brands make it, and I’m not partial to any one in particular yet. It’s just delicious and refreshing and I want it all the time. I’m such an addict…

Speaking of Coconut Water, I was so stressed out on Friday due to Migraines and an unrelenting amount of work and time pressure I couldn’t handle it. So on my way home I stopped by Walgreens to pick up a pack of cigarettes (I know, I know) I just wanted to calm down for 5 minutes. I decided I’d get a bottle of coconut water while I was at it. When I walked down the beverage aisle to get it they didn’t have any, but they did have a bunch of cheap wine and I really wanted to buy a bottle or 5. Of course I didn’t, but it was the first time in a while that I’ve felt like drinking.

I bought the pack of cigarettes and went home. I smoked the first one and initially felt relaxed. 20 minutes later I felt like vomiting and vowed never to smoke again. Thanks HP, for proving to me that I am in fact an idiot. My body is officially done with that crap. GOOD THING! What a waste of $12… that’s what my brain does to me though. It feels stressed and automatically seeks something outside of myself to make it better. That experience (like many before it) just proves that those outside things never make anything better and usually just make things worse. Like the tummy ache I had for the rest of the night.

Life can get really hard sometimes, even in sobriety. Especially in sobriety. Today I have the tools to help myself though. The tools I never had when I was drinking and using. It’s my choice to utilize those tools or not though. I can’t act like a victim in my own life. That’s pathetic and irresponsible – hense the Friday night incident. All I can do is accept things for what they are and do whatever I can to make things better, not worse.

How do you manage your stress?

4 Comments

Filed under Anxiety, Headache, Recovery

More Down than Up

This weekend had its ups and downs. Friday night we saw Horrible Bosses which was anything but horrible – it was SO FUNNY! Best part of the weekend by far.

Saturday I woke up with a raging headache which calmed down for about an hour with the help of meds and then raged again for the rest of the day. I had to run a few errands and then go into work for a but, but instead of taking a practice exam I sat on my couch for 6 hours before Leo got back to the city. It was miserable. I couldn’t even nap my headache was so bad. Finally the 2nd round of meds started to work and I could be mobile again. Around 8pm, Leo picked me up and we headed to Hill Country Fried Chicken. Holy moly it was good. We were both exhausted, so we spent the rest of the night in – watching various things on Netflix until I had to get to bed before my head exploded again.

Sunday I was determined to take my practice test since my headswelling had made it impossible the day before. My brain was feeling relatively clear, so Leo went off to hit golf balls in the sunshine and I headed to the office to take my exam. It didn’t turn out quite how I would have liked, but I really haven’t studied much lately. Exam retake is in weeks and then I’m done with that thing forever. I will put my head to the books for the next 13 days. The rest of Sunday I was moody and cranky and unfortunately Leo caught the brunt of it. I always act out and say things that aren’t great when I feel like crap. No good excuses for my behavior, hopefully I’ll be better today.

Basically my weekend sucked. It’s ok though – not every day is a good day and I know when I have bad days they will pass. I see my neurologist tomorrow, hopefully she’ll actually pay attention to what I’m saying, read my lengthy headache diary and come up with a solution that actually works. Otherwise I’m changing doctors.

What do you do when things are crappy?

Leave a comment

Filed under Anxiety, Headache, Movies, Recovery

Onto Step Four…

I met with ASL (Awesome Sponsor Lady) on Tuesday night at my apartment. She had yet to meet Crazy and The Dark One yet, so it was nice to introduce her to them! They behaved more or less as we went through my third step and read about the fourth step in the Big Book. My assignment for the third step was to memorize the Third Step Prayer. It’s much more difficult than in NA!

AA Third Step Prayer:

God, I offer myself to Thee–to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always

NA Third Step Prayer:

Take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live.

We addicts like to KEEP IT SIMPLE, no? Haha…anyway, I did memorize it the AA way and we said it together in front of a beautiful sunset. I am excited to move on to Step Four. I never moved past the beginning stages of Step Four in NA, so I am excited to continue my journey and get this thing cranked out in the next two months or so.

For all the normies out there, the Fourth Step is: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

My first assignment for step four is to make a list of everyone I’ve ever known. Seriously. Of course some of those people will come off the list eventually, but it will be an interesting task just to look at how many people have really impacted my life and perhaps my disease along the way. And then the next steps will be to see what those people did and how it made me feel and what my part in it was among other things. It takes a lot of stamina to write a fourth step, a lot of focus and time. I am looking forward to the process and the outcome though, because most people have told me that they have a much better understanding of who they are afterwards. My sponsor will help to point of the patterns in my relationships with others. I suspect that most of my resentments towards others are out of fear, but we shall see what is revealed.

Have you ever done a Fourth Step?

4 Comments

Filed under Recovery

July 4th Weekend!

Happy belated 4th of July everyone! Hope you had a spectacular Red, White and Blue weekend! I sure did!

Friday night after work I met up with A at Friday Focus – a great NA meeting on W 12th and 5th Ave. Afterwards we got pedicures at our favorite nail place: Jay Nails on 10th St. It was really great to catch up with A since we have both been so busy the past few months. Especially because she’s expecting twins! I can’t wait to welcome Baby A and Baby B into this world in a few months!

Saturday night Leo and I took the Staten Island Ferry to see a Staten Island Yankees vs. Brooklyn Cyclones Minor League Baseball game!

Look how cute the stadium is! We were in the fourth row along the third baseline. Tickets range anywhere from $8 – $40 I think, but we pauid $16. They are cheaper at the Brooklyn Stadium, but the Staten Island game worked better for our schedule! Getting to Staten Island was really easy too. We took the subway down to South Ferry and then road the escalator up to the Staten Island Ferry building. We looked and looked but didn’t see any ticket booths. So I asked a police officer where we could buy tickets and the guy looked at me oddly and then said “Um, it’s free” he said. Really? Sweet! The Ferry left every 15 minutes, so we got on the next one and enjoyed the 25 minute trip with the sun and wind in our faces.

We arrived at the stadium, picked up our tickets and Will Call and headed to the concession stand. I was craving a hot dog and it was amazing. Yeah, if you haven’t noticed I’ve stopped the raw detox…it wasn’t helping as expected and I was done with depriving myself of goodies. Below was our second trip:

SO TASTY!

Leo and I then spent Sunday and Monday up in Connecticut. We ate out, saw Transformers and Pricelined a hotel so we didn’t have to drive back to the city for the night. We got a REALLY nice hotel room in Greenwich for only $55! And it was the best night of sleep I’ve had in a long time. I love fancy hotel beds…

Monday we played tennis, hung out at the pool and then drove home through some awful NYC traffic. Luckily we got home in time to put some burgers on the grill and enjoy Sunday night’s DVR of True Blood before the fireworks started. We couldn’t quite see the West Side fireworks from Leo’s balcony, so we climbed up this sketchy ladder to the top of his building and saw some of the show, but decided we’d have a better view of the show on the TV. Best part of the performance? Katy Perry performing her song Fireworks during the NYC fireworks- I bet she’s been waiting all year to do that! Here’s my attempt to take a picture of the festivities of the TV:

Overall it was a great weekend. I managed to get some serious relaxation in, take a practice exam, get to a meeting with A and have lots of sober fun with Leo. Still dealing with my headaches, but I’ve surrendered to the fact that I can’t fix them myself and I need to just keep doing what I’m doing to take care of myself on a daily basis.

What’s your favorite thing about July 4th?

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Fun, Recovery

It’s That Time of Year

I hope you’ve all had a chance to read my two recent guest posters – Alicia and Christine. Please let me know if you would be interested in sharing some of your recovery or life changing experiences on SATC!

As for me, things are settling down at work for the time being. My headaches continue to rage. Studying for exam number two is about to ramp up. Still in the decision making process about returning to graduate school or not. I know it sounds silly to study for this exam again if I’m still not sure I even want to back to school, but it’s all about creating options and choices. Luckily my sobriety has allowed me to succeed in my professional life to the point where I have such choices. Amazing!

Next month I will celebrate 4 years sober. It’s been such a marathon of anniversaries in my network lately, although I suppose because my network is so big there is always someone celebrating! I have to say – the summer was a great time to get sober. I still view the year starting in the fall and ending in the summer, rather than starting in January. Years and years of being in school engrained that in me I think. So getting sober in the summer allows one to start the new year off fresh! However, I’m a firm believer that ANYTIME is a good time to get sober. You can start your life over any time you want.

About this time four years ago I was in the beginning of my relapse. I woke up one morning, decided that I was 21, living in NYC for the summer and therefore I should be able to drink just like everyone else. Afterall, I thought, it was just alcohol. How much harm could it do? Well it made me crazy is what it did. And the first night I was texting around to relapsing addicts I knew trying to get drugs. The first night. It was clear to me that alcohol wasn’t working for me and in the end it’s not what I really wanted. By the grace of God I never did find drugs during my 3-4 week relapse. And by the grace of God I was able to return to the program, fully surrender and stay sober since then. Some people say that relapses always teach you something. What it taught me was that I could choose to drink and be miserable or I could choose to be sober and be free.

That is not to say that I haven’t been miserable in sobriety – I have been miserable many times, sometimes for months and months. The difference is that when I’m sober I get to make the choice to sit in my misery or walk in the solution. If I drink or use I don’t have that choice. And today, a relapse wouldn’t mean misery – it would mean death for me. I wouldn’t lose my apartment, my job, my friends, my family – I would lose my life. That is my belief and I’m sticking to it. So as long as I don’t want to die, I will stay sober. In order to stay sober I need to go to meetings, call my sponsor everyday, do service, do my stepwork, call a newcomer, etc. I need to be reminded of the destruction of my past and the promise of my future. I need to be taught how to live more comfortably in the gray.

1 Comment

Filed under Recovery

Sobriety and All Those Fun New Addictions You Never Knew You Had

Below is a fantastic guest post from Christine L. @fordrunksonly. She is a published author, and the links to her book are down below. Enjoy!!

I’ve been sober for a lot of years now and I’m glad of it. There is not a single thing I miss about drinking – not one. There is not a single extra drunken argument I feel I missed out on by stopping when I did, not a single public vomit caused by excess consumption of poison that I think would have made my life better, not a single desperate one night stand that I wish I had experienced instead of giving up drinking. Not. One. Single. Thing.

But…

Addiction is a many headed beast and like the Hydra of Greek myth, when you cut off one of its heads, two more grow.

I gave up drinking and in order to squash my craving, I promptly began to eat twice as much. Particularly sugar. Now, many a good old timer will tell you that that’s ok, your body is craving sugar for energy or maybe that your body is craving sugar because there was so much sugar in the alcohol you drank and now that you have stopped, it doesn’t know what to do with its excess insulin.

There is some truth to all of this – but in my case, the fact was that I had always hidden my embarrassing emotions behind alcohol and when I stopped, I needed to find some place new to stash them away out of sight. What hiding place could be more perfect than under a great big piece of chocolate cake or in between a few layers of cream biscuits?

Unfortunately, eating lots of cake makes you fat and I didn’t like being fat. I wish I could tell you it’s because I was health conscious but really, it’s because, as well as drinking, I also had an addiction to male attention and I didn’t get enough of that when I was chunky.

So I stopped eating sugar compulsively but of course then I needed something else to stuff my feelings with so out came the cigarettes! I had smoked since I was 14 years old but when I curtailed my post sobriety eating, my cigarette consumption probably doubled.

While all this frenzied activity was going on, I also had three intense relationships in my first year of sobriety. My sponsor tried to explain to me why this wasn’t such a good idea. ‘You know, I love cars,’ he said. ‘I love the way they look. I love to check them out. I love to fantasise about owning them.’

‘Uh-huh,’ I nodded. Like a good little sponsee, I hung on his every word and waited for the next pearl of wisdom to drop.

‘Well, you know,’ he finished, obviously trying to be gentle. ‘I’ve had to accept that I can’t test drive every car I fall in love with.’

I looked at him with my head on the side like a stupid puppy. What did that mean?

‘Just like you can’t test drive every guy you fall in love with!’

Oh. Okay. Now I get it.

After my first year of sobriety, I began to modify my relationship behaviour using the tools of several  12 step based programs CODA, ACOA and the mother of them all Al Anon. It’s been a long complicated road for me relationshipwise. I was selfish in the extreme. For me, romantic ‘love’ truly was all about how he could make me feel and how much excitement he could provide for me. When he stopped making me feel good and I no longer felt the adrenaline rush of ‘does he/ doesn’t he?’ I was gone. Onto the next! Hi ho Silver and away! Until I was sober, I had never been faithful in a relationship in my life. I had lied without thinking and was basically disloyal in just about every way you can name.

When I was about ten years sober, I had a very bad relationship. It lasted 18 months and was so traumatic that it seemed to take me years to recover. Since my early teens, I had gone from relationship to relationship, always looking for the next big thing, the new excitement, the deeper connection. This relationship was so difficult that I found myself unable to contemplate any others for several years.

For the first time in my life, I no longer wanted a man around. But what would I do with these damn feelings now? Dammit all, I discovered gambling. I punted for a few years, never catastrophically, I never spent my rent money or took food from the kid’s mouths as I have seen in many tragic cases. But it was definitely addictive behaviour. By this time, ten or so years into the program, I recognised I was in trouble with gambling fairly early in the piece. I could see very clearly that gambling isn’t about money, it’s the way the fall of the dice or the turn of the card consumes my mind and takes me away from the humdrum of daily life. There it was – that adrenaline rush again.

Gambler’s Anonymous took care of my gambling as I have found the 12 steps do each and every time I need help with an addiction.

I guess this probably makes it sound like I was a total mess for years after I gave up drinking. Well, that’s not  strictly true either. I was simply a human being trying to comes to terms with having a disastrous illness that I would have to manage for the rest of my life in order to live peacefully. During the same years that I was smoking, gambling and using wild men and chocolate cake  to keep me away from that first drink, I also learned how to be a great mother, a loyal and supportive friend, a reliable employee and an all round open hearted and loving human being.

Progress not perfection! Plugging the jug (I love these crazy old alkie sayings!) really is just the first step in a life long process that we call recovery.

Christine L. @fordrunksonly

I have a written a novel about addiction and what it does to families. Have a look at it here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Anzac-Girl-ebook/dp/B004VS7I8E

and here:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/54178

2 Comments

Filed under Recovery

I Stopped Smoking

I haven’t had a cigarette in 19 days. Impressed? Probably not, since you may not even know that I was a smoker. I never officially “quit” but I just stopped smoking and stopped buy cigarettes and now here I am 19 days later. I’ve quit before and it has always been a struggle so this time I just wanted my body to naturally release itself from the need for nicotine. Oh heyyy, it worked! I think quitting caffiene first was helpful, and changing my diet into one with mostly fruits and vegetables helped to stabilize my mood. I have learned that all the things I love too much in recovery: sugar, caffeine and nicotine (the “safe” substances) tend to mess big time with my state of mind. You don’t notice it until you give them up completely.

Without caffeine I sleep better. I don’t have any less energy during the day unless I eat a heavy meal – that makes me feel sluggish. I miss the taste of Coke Zero and Iced Coffee, and I do miss the initial “I’m awake!” feeling with the first sip of the day, but other than that I’m OK with being off caffeine. I know what you’re thinking… “Clarissa, you could have caffeine-free versions of those beverages.” Yes, that is true, I could. Except decaf coffee still has caffeine in it and caffeine free diet soda is not really in the cards for a healthy lifestyle. My disease is really testing me though – this morning I saw a sign for Kahlua Iced Coffee being served at a restaurant around the corner from my office. REALLY? Why didn’t I ever try that when I was drinking?? Sigh. I think I drank enough Irish Coffees in Europe to make up for it though.

So, back to the no smoking thing. I smoked a few times a week in high school because I thought it was cool, and I loved the rush of escaping off campus to have a few butts with my “badass” friends – smoking was illegal at school. Also, I wasn’t really 18 yet. In college, I didn’t smoke much. Please, I was an athlete. But when I got clean my 3rd year in college, I started smoking half a pack a day. Giving up being on drugs and drinking all the time  was incredibly hard cold turkey. I needed a vice – just one last thing that I could have to calm my nerves down. Over time I was just smoking maybe 5 a day, and then when I started working it was down to 2-3 a day, more on the weekends. For the past year I had gotten down to 1-2 a day and then when I got serious about fixing my headaches a few months ago I was at 1 every other day and now I’m at zero. I can’t say that it’s helped my headaches at all, but it definitely cuts out the remaining moodswings.

Leo hated it when I smoked, but he also hated my moodswings more, so it was a toss up. I quit three years ago for about 6 months. But I quit for Leo, which was not a smart idea because I ended up resenting him for it. Recently, I stopped smoking for myself. I want to get better more than I want that 5 minutes of calm at night. My digestive system has righted itself again too. That is not to say I don’t want to smoke. The past few nights I have contemplated bumming one off a friend, but I haven’t. I’ve decided not to buy my own packs anymore, but if I bum one from someone I’m not going to scold myself. It would be great if I didn’t smoke at all, but I’ve gotta be easy on myself. I’ve already given up so many other things in life – I’m not going to be a source of my own stress. So I haven’t “quit” I just have “stopped” if that makes any sense. Either way it means I’m not smoking, but for me it’s less stressful than saying I have quit.

Have you ever smoked / tried to quit?

2 Comments

Filed under Recovery