Being in a constant state of worship and adoration, service, gratitude, prayer, and confession are what set my heart on fire. Unfortunately my life has been just one struggle after another and my spirit has gotten lost in all of … Continue reading
I have pulled out my computer and sat there staring at the screen (or getting distracted by Facebook) so many times in the past month or so. We have so much going on and I have so much that I could share, but the words just aren’t coming when I sit down to write. I’m not sure why. I do know that I have spent MUCH less time on my computer lately and that’s a good thing. I used to sit on my computer all day, every day. Now I don’t have time for that, nor do I want to. Part of the reason why I don’t write as much (or sit at my computer as much) is that I used to drink and drink and drink and all I could do while doing that is sit. Also I have been so busy. Mostly in a good way!
The moment that I decided to put Karis back into school, my anxiety went away and my depression lifted. We didn’t even take much time to pray through it once I thought of it because 1) I knew that Robert wanted our kids to be in school, 2) I realized that my mental health went back down hill when I pulled Karis out, 3) Karis went backwards in many ways being home and I knew it would be best to teach her how to persevere even when things are hard (and she needed to be around kids her age).
Since we’ve made that decision, lots of things have hit us… broken arm, asthma attack that landed Ethan in the ER, lots of doctor appointments, bloodwork, lots of medicine, Ethan got strep (and ended up missing 4 days of school), counseling appointment for Karis… And I have been in either Rocksprings or Kerrville pretty much every single day (with a day off here or there). I have also tried to go to AA twice a week but it hasn’t happened as much as I would like (I definitely go once at least).
But do you know what hasn’t changed through all of this craziness? My joy. I may be tired. I may be somewhat stressed. Karis has cried a lot (as we’ve been walking her through things). Levi has been in trouble a lot at school this year (and we’re working with his teacher and doctor to figure out how to handle this). But I haven’t regretted anything. I haven’t felt guilty. I haven’t tried to make something happen that wasn’t supposed to happen (which is how I ended up homeschooling off and on so much over the years). I haven’t made things to be my fault when they weren’t (like putting Karis in school or Levi getting in trouble). I’m just truly living each day. One day at a time. To its fullest. I’m more comfortable in my skin. I have spent a lot of one-on-one time with my kids. Karis and Ethan are doing choir. The house stays mostly clean (except this week because the kids are home, and that’s okay!). Robert and I work together. I focus a LOT on self care because that is what keeps me going. Life is just good. But I don’t take it for granted. With my history and my mental illnesses (and being an alcoholic), I truly have to take it one second, one minute, one hour, and one day at a time. And I’m finally in a place in which I can do that.
So on this beautiful Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for.
It has been literally years since I felt this kind of peace and joy for more than a few days, and especially through stress and difficulty.
My family and friends are amazing, I’m learning to love myself as God has made me to be (and I’m realizing what my true calling is), Jesus loves me and I love Him, we love Camp Eagle and are so blessed to be a part of this family, we have all of our needs met (even when we don’t know how things will work out, they always do), I’m thankful for AA and what it has done in my life (and continues to), I’m so thankful for the Healthy Habits Happy Moms community (and Balance 365 program) that has helped me see myself in a completely different light, and I’m thankful for all the little things that bring me joy each day… music, flowers, coffee, Christmas lights, candles, a hike, spending time with my friends and family, playing games, cleaning, coloring, drawing… the list could go on and on. I am who I am today because of who God is, my family and friends, and through the difficult of the past several years.
I have had yet another long few days thanks to anxiety. I will feel good for a few days and think that I’m “over the hump” for it to all come flooding back even worse than before. This over-breathing/hyperventilation syndrome … Continue reading
Like I’ve mentioned… I have been struggling with anxiety and depression lately. I’m not sure if I’m in a bipolar low or if something triggered it, but it’s been rough. Even last night it was really bad. I went to bed really early because I couldn’t function (actually, I slept on the couch because I just couldn’t get comfortable on my bed).
But… this morning… this morning I woke up feeling good. And that’s all I can ask for. One moment at a time! Even as I type this I am sitting on my back porch, listening to the birds singing, with a beautiful view of the hills. It’s foggy and sunny at the same time. So pretty! The temperature is perfect. I’m in short sleeves. It’s in the 60s, but warm with the sun on me.
The smell of the dew makes me happy… all of these things bring back good memories of last spring when I started homeschooling the boys. While I had a lot of anxiety about homeschooling them, I have good memories as well! I’m thankful for the time I had, and I might eventually be able to homeschool them again one day. We’ll just see what happens!
I’m thankful for Jesus’ unconditional love.
I’m thankful for bedtime reading and silly pictures with my kids. I’m thankful for the time I have with each kiddo in their bed at night (cuddling, talking, praying). I don’t do it every night, but enough. It’s my favorite time of day.
I’m thankful for the time I have to take good care of myself. This is what keeps me afloat most days.
I’m grateful for 145 days sober! I’m so close to 5 months! I can hardly believe it. It has gone fast. While I still have days in which I want alcohol, it’s usually fleeting. I hope one day I won’t even want it anymore! One day at a time!
I’m thankful for AA and learning so much through the Big Book. I’ll be writing about what I’m learning in a new post coming up!
I’m grateful for my LuLaRoe leggings that help me to be comfortable. I’m thankful that I’m learning to feel more comfortable in my own skin, despite a 35 pound weight gain these past few years (10-12 of those just in a few months). This is also a one day at a time thing, though. Even last night I was struggling with body image. But most days I’m feeling better about my body.
What are you grateful for on this Grati-Tuesday?
129 days ago I hit my rock bottom. I was at my parents, and I planned on not drinking before I went, but that didn’t happen. That Monday I drank a six pack with-in an hour, then drove to the store to get more. Yes, I was already drunk and I drove to the store. I drank another 6 before I went to bed (I drank all of this with-in a few hours). My kids were with me and was I paying any attention to them? Absolutely not. I was paying attention to me, myself, and I. I was paying attention the wanting the next drink (a daily thing). The next day I drank a lot, too, and ended up vomiting in a large bowl next to my bed. You see, this wasn’t an uncommon thing. I knew to get a bowl before it happened, so luckily it didn’t land on my parents’ carpet. Being this drunk was an almost daily thing.
My mom tells me that I had a panic attack that night, but I barely remember it.
In the middle of the night (completely hungover), I was feeling shameful. I couldn’t believe that I had driven drunk and just kept drinking.
I decided I was tired of vomiting multiple times a week because I was drunk. I was tired of the room spinning as I went to bed every night. I was tired of having to sleep on the couch because I couldn’t make it to the bed. I was tired of passing out and not remembering what happened the night before. I was tired of having to check my Facebook in the middle of the night to make sure I didn’t post something I shouldn’t have (or checking conversations with friends). I was tired of not going to camp community events because I wanted to drink OR going to them drunk or buzzed. I was tired of obsessing about my next drink. I was tired of trying to quit drinking and not being able to, which brought on feelings of guilt and shame. I was tired of spending my whole day either hungover or drinking. I was tired of getting up at 10:00 each day (even though I was homeschooling) because I was hungover and dreaded the day ahead. I was tired of being irritable and/or allowing the kids to do anything to get them out of my hair. I was tired of putting them to bed every night hoping they didn’t notice the smell on my breath (um, they saw me drinking all day… I think they knew). I was tired of not being able to be the person I wanted to be because of alcohol. I was tired of being sneaky and hiding alcohol so Robert wouldn’t know that I was drinking.
I just couldn’t do it anymore.
I had been going to a Celebrate Recovery in Fredericksburg, but it wasn’t sufficient. I decided the morning of October 12th that it was time for me to go to treatment. I emailed the leader of the CR and she gave me the names of the local treatment centers. After a lot of work, I got the okay to come into La Hacienda to get checked in.
128 days ago (October 13th) I went into my appointment at La Ha. My life hasn’t been the same since.
It took me a while to finally say the words
It took a lot of learning and understanding what an alcoholic is. Now I can say these words with complete understanding.
Alcoholism is a mental illness. It’s in the mental illness diagnostic book. It’s called Alcohol Use Disorder.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says Alcohol Use Disorder signs are as follows:
- Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?
- More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
- Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
- Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
- Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
- More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
- Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?
I had every single one of these signs.
So much has changed. My life looks completely different now.
A few days into my stay there, my case manager made it pretty clear that homeschooling wouldn’t be possible for a while because my whole goal in life would be to stay sober. I have since realized that it’s best for all involved that the kids are in school. It has definitely helped me to stay sober, and it has decreased my anxiety significantly! I was wanting to homeschool and had so much anxiety just thinking about it. That helped me to know that it’s not something I should consider for a long time. I have a lot of work to do still. The kids are thriving more than they ever have.
Since I’ve gotten out, my only goals are to stay sober and take good care of myself. This used to bother me so much, but I have found that I’m a much better mom, wife, friend, and daughter for it. I can’t believe the difference in my parenting since I stopped drinking. I’m a completely different mom! My love for them has grown and my desire to take good care of them/show them how much I love them has grown. And I’m much more attentive to my husband and desire to love him better. I am learning how to understand my emotions, and I’m learning that I need to take care of past trauma that I have been ignoring.
I desire to go to church every Sunday. I desire to spend time in the word every morning. I desire to read to the kids every night and spend quality time with them. I desire to talk to the kids about Christ most days and Ethan and Levi have accepted Him as their Savior!
I love waking up early and getting the day started. I plan my day and stick to it for the most part. The house stays clean and laundry stays caught up. I’m learning to delegate to the kids what they need to do because that’s healthy for them. Our family is just so healthy now!
On another note, I’ve also discovered:
This is intertwined in my self care. I am no longer focused on the next diet, and I’ve become more balanced with my eating than ever before. I am learning to love myself for who I am, even though I’m not at my thinnest. I’m learning to embrace my body for what it is. I’m learning that dieting doesn’t work and there’s no point. I am starting to wear more fun clothes, even if I wouldn’t wear them before because I thought they made me look fat. Just so much change in how I view myself and others.
Probably the biggest thing that I have learned is how to love. Myself and others. I have a new appreciation for the struggles of people and want to love them through those struggles. I pray for people more, I share God’s love, and I accept people for who they are. Many of my new friends from La Ha have dual diagnosis (like me) and need to have lots of self care to stay sober and out of treatment. I pray that through my loving these people that they would feel the love of Christ through me and they would come to know Him or grow closer to Him.
God is love. The end.