Saturday, May 31, 2014

Count down.....

Luckily, I've been on a sort of sabbatical (aka Leave of Absence) from work since April...this has been a time for me to focus on me, work on getting healthy, and relax without having to worry about the stress of my job.  I am returning to work in a little less than 2 weeks.

When I moved to Houston a little over a year ago, it was for this job I loved so greatly.  And almost a year later to the day, I was incredibly burned out because of a job I was not so sure if I loved anymore.  Work-a-holic is the word that first comes to mind to describe my working pattern and lack of work/life balance. 

I have not figured out life during my time off in the slightest...I wish it were that easy.  But what I have figured out is that my JOB is not the ONLY thing in my life.  Without my sobriety, without my health (both physical and mental), there is no point in having a job.  I have found a few hobbies I enjoy (spinning classes, needlepointing) and met a group of people I enjoy spending time with. 

When I return to work my priorities will have shifted.  My #1 priority has to be my sobriety.  My sponsor says if I start drinking again, I will end up in a hospital, in jail, or dying an alcoholic death.  Dying an alcoholic death would be the best of these options because continuing to live the pain of an alcoholic life would bring more misery than one could live with anyway.  I know in my heart, the first drink will ultimately lead to an alcoholic death. 

My fear (and point of this post) is going back to work with priorities that have shifted.  I'm so checked out of work right now, what happens if I don't check back in?  What happens if I am not respected because I am no longer arriving first and leaving last? What if I drop the ball on something because work is not my first priority?  How do I answer the questions about where I have been for the last 2 months?  What if I am just the crazy girl who can't handle it?  What if I have a bad day and I can no longer resist that first drink?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy Birthday to me!

There's no better way to start this than by just jumping in head first.

Today is my 28th birthday.  And what a day it was!  I started of by going to breakfast with a new friend who I really admire and look up to.  What a great way to start the day...

The next highlight of my day was getting my hair blown out, which I do weekly and is part of living what I call the glam life.  For those of you who haven't ever had a blow out, you need to try Dry Bar.  They are located across the US and my favorite part is that they have an iPhone app you can download to easily book, change, and cancel your appointments- it even adds them to your iCalendar for you!

After that I went to my evening AA meeting.  Oh wait...did I mention I'm newly sober?  Yeah...20 days.  Your first sober birthday apparently does not make for an easy one.  Lack of motivation has ben an issue lately so I didn't plan anything or really tell anyone about my big day.  Looking back on the day, I certainly could have had more fun but I know it would have ended up with booze which isn't what I need right now. 

So I basically had a meltdown at the meeting.  I just sat down and couldn't stop crying.  According to oldtimers in AA, the emotional roller coaster I'm currently on and the subsequent crying spells are totally normal (but it still scares me a little!).  I shared and after the meeting was greeted by a beautiful woman who asked if I ever wanted to get coffee. As I started to cry again, she said why don't we go get coffee right now.  Good idea!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the AA program, the first of the twelve steps is admitting you have an alcohol problem and its making your life unmanageable.  Well, that's where I am!  I know I have an alcohol problem - I have all the classic signs- but this is a progressive disease that gets worse over time.  I'm in denial by thinking I can keep drinking but not have things get worse.  I definitely hit a bottom of sorts 20 days ago when I decided to stop drinking but I also know things could get a lot worse.  My denial, and thus the disease of alcoholism, tells me I can try to drink like everyone else and just have one drink. So as you can see, I am struggling to admit I am an alcoholic and not just a heavy drinker (there is a difference). 

All I can say is thank goodness for the women of AA.  This woman who I had never met before laid things out for me in terms that made sense.  I was planning on coming home to drink a nice cold bottle of chardonnay but instead I left that Starbucks knowing I have the ability to decide, one day at a time, whether or not I am going to continue to drink.  The power of the people within those rooms has been AMAZING to me during my short time there. 

When I got home my apartment was about driving someone to drink.  But once I calmed down I realized, this is life happening on life's terms.  Its not something to drink over. 

And so I made it through my 28th birthday sober.  And I have to give myself a pretty big pat on the back for that.  At the beginning of the day, I did not think I would be sober at the end of the day.  But here I am and for that I am thankful!  Thankful for a Higher Power (who I call God) who kept me sober.