Posted in C-Haze

Business

The name of the game today is “business”. I have a lot of business to take care of, like setting up online bill pay on my new bank account, following up with the holders of my student loans, etc.

I am no good at this type of business. It’s one of the things that’s made me afraid of being alone. I hate the admin work that is so necessary to a smoothly running household, so I tend to put it off until it’s in catastrophe-mode, and then try to accomplish everything all at once. This was the responsibility of my husband, before we separated.

Today, I decided, would be different. I’m taking the bull by the horns and all that crap, and I’m handling my business!

I diligently picked up the phone and called the bank. After holding for 20 minutes, a chipper young lady answered, asking what she could assist me with. “I need my user name and password for online banking”, I tell her. “I can help with that! You’ll want to call this number: (800) XXX-XXXX.”

Ok, I’m getting annoyed. Giving me another number to call is NOT helping me!

Whatever.

So I call the other number. I sat on hold for another 20 minutes before someone answered and was able to help me. All told, it “only” took an hour of my time this morning to obtain a user name and password for online banking.

Ehh, at least it’s done.

NEXT!

I call my student loan company. I was concerned because I’d received a letter in the mail from them stating if I didn’t call them immediately, my loans would go into “default” status. That sounds like a bad thing, so I figured I should reach out.

I learned that the $50/mo that has been coming out of my bank account for a student loan is apparently for a different loan, not this one. THIS one hasn’t actually been paid since January, thus the scary “default” letter.

Whoopsie.

I say, “OK, better late than never. Let’s go ahead and set up $50/mo payments, like you were doing before.”

“We’re so sorry, Mrs. C-Haze, but that amount is no longer valid. According to our records, we cannot accept less than $453/mo from you. Can we set that up?”

“WHAT?! HELL NO YOU CANNOT SET THAT UP!”

So we haggle. Then we haggle some more, and finally, we haggle a bit more.

After two hours on the phone with these people, I will be paying significantly more than $50/mo, but significantly less than $453/mo.

I have experienced every range of emotion known to man while sitting on the phone with customer service people today, just trying to handle “business”.

That God-awful, dreaded, shitty, hated b-word:

BUSINESS.

I have laughed, cried, been enraged and finally found acceptance, all in the span of a single phone call.

Regardless, I did it.

I handled my business.

 

Posted in C-Haze, life lessons

Alone

My biggest fear… ever… was to be alone.

Recently separated from my husband, I felt the need to analyze that fear. What, exactly, am I afraid of? I wanted to come up with something more specific than “everything”, which is what I would have said previously.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. Finances and Savings – in short, I suck at money
  2. Single-parenting
  3. Boredom

What I’ve learned is that all the things I’m so afraid of, I’m already doing them. Actively. I’ve been on my own for three months now. Certainly not a long time, but long enough to have survived a few cycles of bill payments, emotional ups and downs, and parental challenges (is there any other kind of parental experience when you’re the mother of 18 and a 12 year old girls? No. There is not.).

I’ve survived. Not only that, in spite of whatever mistakes I’ve made (and yes, even only three months in, I’ve made many), I’m finding this emotion I haven’t felt in a long time emerging from the dust:

PRIDE.

I’m actually proud of myself for a change. I’m supporting myself, my children, and more. By myself. People rely on me every single day, and I come through for them

every. single. day.

It’s still scary, but not in the way it used to be. Now I know I can do it.

I can be alone.

Posted in C-Haze

At least I’ll remember the ‘weird’ in the morning

Some days really are harder than others. Generally speaking, don’t we know what the answer is, even though we’d rather pretend we didn’t? 

I know I’m vague-blogging, and I know it sucks when people do that. I’m sharing what I feel comfortable sharing, working the rest out as I go. 

An answer to a question I’m struggling with is starting to take hold. I need more time, because in recovery I’m taught to pause, pray, react. I’m not religious,  so rather than pray I meditate. There seems to be 2 answers emerging at the same time to the same question. Both wouldn’t work simultaneously,  but either would separately. Before I can figure out which is the right answer for me,  I gotta figure out what kind of tools and resources I’m working with. 

Time tells all, I suppose. 
I’m in a bizarre mental space,  but I am sober. I’m present, and as weird as this shit feels tonight,  at least I know I’ll remember it in the morning.

Posted in C-Haze

 “Surrender” to Win

Surrender to win. Surrender to win. Surrender.

Abbie In Wondrland

I was contacted a while back, and asked to view a short (14:04 minutes) film and consider sharing it with my readers. I watched it at the time and I knew it would be very helpful to many of my Tribe, and probably eye-opening to many others.

I just watched it again, and added it to my “watch later” list on YouTube. It’s that kind of piece, in my opinion.

I don’t believe in coincidences, and I’m not organized enough to have had this pre-planned; so, on this, the last weekend of 2016, I offer you this short film. Please, tell me what you think of it, and share it on any social media you use.

Next, a Q & A with Mark & Chris, the Executive Producer and Director of this award-winning video.

What do you think? Is it true to your experience? Do you relate to the feelings…

View original post 9 more words

Posted in Alcoholism, C-Haze, Sobriety

I’m still the queen

Sometimes I just wish life would slow the hell down to give me enough time to catch up. Things happen so fast, and I have the coping skills of a toddler (I may be giving myself a bit too much credit there). In a perfect world I would be able to handle something before anything else was thrown my way.

Obviously, that’s not how life works.

So here I sit, with a multitude of problems- some are major, some quite minor, most are kind of in between- feeling a bit lost.

Emotionally, I’m really vulnerable, but I still win the trophy, and I’m still the Queen.

Wanna know why?

Because I’m sober. I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do with myself, or how to manage my life, my job and my family, but for the first time in my adult life, it won’t be with alcohol.

Posted in Addiction, C-Haze, Sobriety

Bah- Humbug

Today is my birthday. I’m 39 years old, and it also happens to be 3 days before Christmas. I absolutely hate this time of year. HATE IT. I hate Christmas, I hate everything that comes with it, and this year I hate it even more than I usually do, because it’s been a shitty year.

Because of my absolutely HORRIBLE mood, I have a fantasy of undocking my laptop from my home office, leaving, and finishing out the workday in some bar somewhere, drinking vodka and chain smoking. Interestingly enough, I actually quit smoking 3 years ago, so NO idea where that part of the fantasy is coming from.

So, because I’m now so freakin’ responsible and don’t do dumb sh*t like try to work from a bar while guzzling vodka and chain smoking, I wondered if maybe my (albeit broken) mind was simply telling me that I should get out of the house. Maybe change my scenery for a bit. So I thought, “Maybe instead of a bar, I could go somewhere cool like Panera (or insert other neato coffee shop here).” They don’t have vodka (or any alcohol that I’m aware of), but they do have free refills on Pepsi, right?

Then I realized, that in order to leave the house and show myself among the public, I need to shower.

Screw that.

So now I’m back at square one. It’s my birthday, I hate Christmas, and this year has sucked.

I am, however, sober.

Bah-Humbug.

Posted in C-Haze

The action part of “Action”

I attended a meeting last night, and it was fantastic. One of the topics we discussed had to do with the stages of change. Even with all my relapses, I would have said that I had been in the Action phase of recovery. Action is described as:

The stage where people overtly modify their behavior and their surroundings. Make the move for which they have been preparing. Requires the greatest commitment of time and energy.

The act of quitting drinking seemed to qualify to me. What bigger action is there than that? What I realized last night, however, is that I was in the varying stages of Pre-Contemplation and Contemplation all this time.

It’s not really that I was relapsing fifty billion times- it’s that I never really stopped drinking. Sure, I stopped for a day or two- or even a week or more- but I was not modifying my behavior or my surroundings. The only commitment of time and energy I expended was to white-knuckle my way through the day, hoping like crazy I wasn’t going to break down and drink.

What was missing was the Action part of the Action phase. I have to DO something different in order to get different results. It sounds ridiculously simple, but honestly, until last night, I just did not get it.

Happily, I had already started making some fundamental changes before last night’s meeting. Now that I understand the stages better, and understand where my behavior fits in with each of them, I can confidently say that I’m finally in the Action stage of change, and I can point to concrete examples of the changes that moved me out of Contemplation and Planning, into Action.

Some of them are:

  1. Attending meetings (including the meeting I attended last night)
  2. Committing to daily meditation – I’m still learning how to do this, so I downloaded a fantastic 21 day meditation series to help me with this one
  3. Counseling – I realize I cannot do this completely by myself. I have a lot of stuff swimming in my head that makes self-medicating a very tempting proposition. I need help clearing out the muck. I MADE AN APPOINTMENT AND EVERYTHING
  4. Journaling and Workbooks – Actively working my recovery, and not sitting around hoping sobriety will find me some day.

I know that sobriety does not just happen. I have to make it happen, and then I have to make it stick. All of those things require ACTION. I’m learning that putting down the bottle, while perhaps the most important step in the process, was just that – merely a step in a series of many that I need to take.

Then, I need to keep doing it.

Posted in C-Haze

Technology,  football and passing the time

Oh,  modern technology! How did we live without it for so long?

Case in  point: Right now  I am at my 11 year old daughter’s football game. Actually, the game doesn’t start for an hour. I just  had  to  get her here early so the team can  warm up first. I brought  my tablet with me to help pass the  time – with its  portable keyboard, it really is more like a laptop than a tablet. I turned on my phone’s mobile hotstop,  and was instantly connected to Wi-Fi using my own secure connection/device.

It. Is. Awesome. 

It begs the question, however: are we no longer able to simply “be” anymore? Looking around me, as I wait for this game to start, I realize I’m not the only one. Several other parents are doing  exactly what I’m doing with their own tablets; those that aren’t are glued to their cell phones instead. 

I can’t help but think back to my own days as a kid,  when my mother had to cart my siblings and me all over the place for our various activities. There was no Wi-Fi. Smart phones weren’t even a thing. So how did she pass the time? 

She socialized. In real life – not from a computer screen,  connected to social media. My mother knew the other parents of the kids who played on the same teams as we did. During practices and games, they chatted,  gossiped, whatever. I look around at all these parents, moms and dads of the kids my daughter spends hours every week with, and realize I don’t know a single one of them. I don’t know their names, I don’t know what they do for a living, or how they spend their free time. If I were to get sick, or stuck in traffic,  I don’t know even one other parent from the team I could call to pick up/drop off my child for me. 

It’s interesting that the internet and social media has opened up the world in so many ways. I can chat with a friend in Europe or Australia from my bed in real time, as if they are sitting right next to me. Yet because of that very same technology, I can be more isolated than ever before, having no interaction whatsoever with the people who really are sitting right next to me. 

There’s probably a balance that needs to be struck. I’m curious,  though -how many of you are in the same sittuation? Regularly interacting in real time with people in all corners of the globe, but know next-to-nothing about the people who really are right next to you every single week?

Posted in C-Haze

Day 1

Today I am ok.

Not great.

Not terrible.

I’ll take it, though. After months of decidedly not ok, this is a definite improvement.

I’m anxious as hell, I’m in the midst of what feels like a never-ending panic attack, and I have the shakes.

On the plus side, I did not drink.

Here’s to the close of Day 1. I made it.

#Winning