Thursday, July 21, 2016

Plagiarism is the New Black

My mom has always been a big card giver. I probably have an entire moving box full of cards somewhere in storage that she has sent me throughout the years. A very large percentage of these cards were sent to me when I moved to Los Angeles to go to school. 

Her cards were funny... there was usually very little written inside of them. A lone smiley face most of the time. However, she always wrote on the envelope. A sweet little IMU right where it was sealed. Other times, she would write me a little something, but it would be on a post-it note inside of the card. She said that way I could reuse it if I wanted. And she also didn’t want to mess up the card itself if what she wanted to say didn’t come out right the first time. 

Mostly, though, she said she really didn’t know what to say. She liked cards because she could find one that said exactly what she was thinking and she was always able to find the perfect one for any occasion. 

But really, her handwritten IMU on the outside of that envelope was all I ever needed. 

There is a Facebook page that I follow called Word Porn. It is full of quotes and sayings that sometimes make me happy, sometimes make me sad... but mostly, they make me reflect. I can relate to so many. The words come right from my head, before I realize I'm even thinking them. I started saving the ones that meant the most so I could read them later and maybe find writing inspiration. Instead, I thought I’d just post them here.. the ones that really mean something to me right now as I continue moving through this transitional phase of my life. 

Sober. Single. Mom. Three things I did NOT plan on being at 36 years old. I used to be a pretty big planner. Now, I do my best to keep my shit together just long enough so that I can relax in bed at the end of the day and watch an episode or two of whatever random show takes my mind off of everything else. Things aren’t bad... they just aren’t... what I expected. 

Expectations. I guess having them is really where I make all my mistakes. Expecting people to be a certain way. Expecting my life to be a certain way. Expecting events to turn out a certain way. All that seems to result in is constant disappointment. 

As always, I’m trying to live in the moment. I’m trying to look past the world and its sadness, its problems, its despair. I’m trying to look at what’s right in front of me and enjoy it. I’m fighting every day to be the person my family needs, not the self-destructive person that chooses to be numb as a way to make life easier to live. 

Life wasn’t ever supposed to be easy. I want it to be... but that’s just not its design. However, there are some things I can count on... my mom and dad, my natural instincts, and the knowledge that a decaf coffee is truly decaf if the cafe serves it luke warm. Those constants help me wade through all the bullshit of one day and wake up to face the next. 

So I get online, I read these quotes and it tells me I’m not the only one feeling this way. Which is why I started blogging to begin with, so people might find things I say relatable and it might help them connect with their own struggles. 

And in those times when I can’t find the words, at least someone else has found them for me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"I Love Lamp."

I bought a lamp the other day. It wasn’t given to me, I didn’t get it at a garage sale and I didn’t buy it simply because I got a good deal on it. I didn’t even really need it. But I saw it. I wanted it. I bought it. It’s MY lamp. 

I took a break from unpacking the other night and looked around my new room. It’s big. I got the master bedroom. In our new 2,000 square foot house, the master bedroom is almost like a small studio apartment. At least that’s what it feels like to me. Especially since I’ve been sharing a bedroom with my eight and a half month old for the past few months. 

My new room fits my king size bed, my two bookshelves, a DVD holder, a small computer desk and chair, my bistro set with four stools and a bedside table. Even with all the furniture, there is a nice open area where Xander can sit and play. The walk in closet is even bigger than my last one and I feel extra spoiled with the huge bathroom. Actually, a little guilty is what I feel for not insisting that my roommates take the master. After all, they’ve been married for almost 40 years. 

I was talking to one of my co-workers a few weeks ago. She asked me how things were going at home. I explained that I had officially separated from Johnny and that my parents and I had gotten a new house together and were going to combine our resources to take some financial pressure off of both households. She had made a comment that while she doesn’t make a lot of money, she always made sure she had enough so that she would never have to move back in with her mom. 

I wasn't offended or embarrassed. But I get it. 

No matter how I present the information (it’s seriously a roommate situation with bills split and everything), I still “live with my parents”. And while it is definitely an ideal environment, especially having additional help with my little guy, it comes with it’s own set of challenges. The most significant one for me being a feeling of lost independence. It’s hard not to have my own place. In two weeks, I’ll be turning 36 years old and the judge-y little voice that lives inside my head is disappointed that I have not done more to provide my son with everything he needs without having to rely on anyone else. But then, I’ve never lived that kind of life. Just getting by is kind of my thing. 

I know I need to get over it. My parents are amazing. They are great with Xander and have always been supportive of me, even when I wasn’t sure what the hell I was doing with my life. In fact, I’m not sure I could’ve made them take the master bedroom. My mom knows me pretty well and knows I need my space and as much independence as I can get. However, I think even she was a little confused by my excitement over my new lamp. 

You see, my bed was something I purchased with Johnny. My bookshelves I purchased in Long Beach with my ex. The desk, another ex. In fact, the majority of my furniture reminds me of past relationships. Even a lot of my pictures that I hang carry with them memories of the past. And while I have mostly made amends with my history, a lot of these things remind me of good times turned sour. 

It is, of course, ridiculous to think of getting rid of these things simply because they make me sad. But I was anxious to add something new. Something that would represent a fresh start. Something that could help me hold on to my sense of independence, even if I don’t entirely have it anymore. Something that has only been mine. 

And it’s this. This silly, simple and understated lamp. 

My son is happy with his surroundings. He sleeps well, he seems very comfortable and it makes me feel really good that he has a loving family to grow up around. For these reasons, I know I am doing the best thing for him. This soothes my judge-y voice... even if just temporarily. 

Still dealing with lots of shit as breakups are certainly harder when there is a baby involved. They are even more difficult when dealing with an adult who isn’t very good at adulting. While we will always be in each other's lives, I’ll definitely be thrilled to be on the other side of this initial drama. 

In the meantime, I’m adjusting to my new surroundings, working as much as I can, watching a lot of Netflix and now, enjoying my before-bedtime-read even more. I still struggle to find happiness in every day life, but even I can see that things are certainly looking brighter. 

Pun intended. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Time to Give, A Time to Take

I’m celebrating 90 days of sobriety today. For some reason it feels like a much bigger accomplishment than 60 days. I’m not sure why.. maybe because 90 days might actually be the longest I’ve ever gone without alcohol since I first started drinking. Even when pregnant, I did have the occasional glass of wine... convincing myself it was “good for the baby”. But these days, I’m not even cooking with wine. My how the times have changed. 

I won’t be celebrating my accomplishment with my twelve-step program, however. I’ve decided to continue my journey on my own. Well, not on my own, exactly. I still have tremendous support from my friends and family. And, of course, this little face is my biggest cheerleader, even if he doesn’t know it.

I’m not saying I’ll never return to meetings. I can definitely say they are beneficial and I certainly appreciated the additional support while I was getting the ball rolling. However, there are some things about the meetings that I’m just not incredibly keen on. And believe it or not, it’s not the religious aspect. That’s easy to look over. I mean, shit, I scroll pass tons of “pray for this” and “amen to that” posts on Facebook every single day. 

A woman at one of my meetings shared a pretty humorous story one night. She talked about being out with friends and when the waiter brought over the Rusty Nail someone had ordered, the woman knew immediately that the drink was prepared incorrectly. It was missing Drambuie. She could tell just by looking at it. She then went on to talk about how she used to finish everyone’s drinks at the bar, incredulous that someone would actually leave alcohol in a glass. It was a funny story. Also sad, and very real to alcoholism. It was memorable and a good share.

Two weeks later, at the same meeting, that woman had an opportunity to share again. Without missing a beat, she told the same exact story. Word for word, with the same inflections in her voice, the same pauses for laughter. I subtly glanced around to see if anyone else was visibly reacting the way I think I was. No... still engaged. Still laughing. Did it only bother me? 

In the other meeting I attended regularly, everyone shares every time. One man in particular has been a part of the program for over 20 years. He got sober very young, before he was even legally able to drink. After he shares, he always finishes with the same proclamation: that his life just keeps getting better and better. I remember thinking, when I first started going to this meeting, about how awesome things must be for him. He must have such a wonderful life. Through more shares, I found out that he’s been married and divorced multiple times, he’s lost a child to drug addiction and has another that is currently addicted to heroin. But his life just keeps getting better? I don’t understand... 

The sponsor thing has always been a bit of a hot button for me as well. I was told by someone recently that her sponsor was upset that she wasn't being in service enough. She wasn’t attending enough meetings, offering up herself as a sponsor and, in general, giving enough back to the program. You know what that reminded me of? Church. One of the reasons I stopped attending church was because I was always being asked to “be in service” which I never really liked doing. Okay, maybe that makes me a bad person. A “taker” instead of a “giver”. But are you saying I don’t deserve the benefits of either organization because of it? I mean, there are countless people who can’t wait to donate their time. Is it so bad that I’m not one of them? After all, I thought the only real requirement to be a part of the program was simply a desire to stop drinking. Am I to understand that the longer I attend, the more likely it is that it won’t be enough?

Like I said, I’m not saying I’ll never attend again. There are things I really, really like about going. I love the support, the camaraderie. I love the sharing, as long as it’s genuine and not scripted or practiced. I love the fact that people have chosen a different path in order to better their lives. I love being a part of that. But I don’t want to sponsor someone. I don’t want a sponsor myself. I don’t want to sit on a committee. I don’t want to show up early to hug everyone as they walk in. And I don’t want to attend a meeting every single day, or multiple times a day. 

I just don’t want to drink. That’s it. 

There is one lady that I met who checks in with me from time to time via text. I guess she’s the closest thing I’ll probably ever have to a sponsor. I hadn’t been to a meeting for a couple of weeks and got a text from her asking if I was staying sober. She was concerned that by missing meetings, I had a higher chance of relapsing, which I’m sure is common and therefore, a genuine concern. I explained that I had surrounded myself with friends and family that were supportive of my goals and that I was focusing on my move and getting the next chapter of my life underway. I also promised that if I felt the urge to drink, if the pull became very strong, I would definitely go to a meeting. And I meant it. 

But here I sit, after packing more boxes for my quickly approaching move, and I’m looking around the room with sadness. I’m getting ready to move me and my son out of the house I brought him home to. Not really “taking him away” from his dad, but taking him to a different home where he won’t be with him every day. While I’m not exactly going to be a single parent, since I know Johnny will still be incredibly active in Xander’s life, we will be co-parents, not a cohesive family unit. We will share decisions, but not each other’s lives. I will live my life and he will live his. And I know it’s the right thing to do. But that doesn’t mean it’s the way I wanted things to work out. It’s not how I pictured things. And it makes me sad, it makes me lonely, it makes me frustrated. However, it does not make me want to drink. 

So, meetings or no meetings, here I am. 90 days sober. I’m waiting for my life to start getting better but as long as I stay the course, I can’t see it getting worse. I don’t miss the drink, I really don’t. But I do miss smiling and the meetings have not brought that back into my life. I hope maybe I can find that somewhere else down the road. Luckily, my sweet boy does plenty of smiling for both of us right now.

I will still celebrate today. It’s still an important milestone. And I don’t ever want to discourage anyone from doing whatever they think they need to do to move past their addictions. Meetings, therapy, exercise, meditation, family, whatever. Everyone’s journey looks different. It’s the end result that is the most important. My new life is more important than my vice. I don’t know if that means it’ll get "better and better"... but it is more important.

And knowing that makes all the difference.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Older I Get, The More I Like The Merry-Go-Round

Today was a pretty productive day. 

Xander actually slept in this morning and since he is my alarm clock, I got to sleep in as well. Unfortunately, it made us late for breakfast plans with friends but luckily, my friends are awesome and waited for us. 

After breakfast, I dropped baby off at home with his dad for a nap and went and got my oil changed. Then, I squeezed in a pedicure and some frozen yogurt. I got groceries and gas and headed home. 

I made lactation cookies and threw together some pasta for dinner. I made baby food for the next few weeks. I did dishes. I prepared dinner for Xander and fed him. He did some house laps in the walker. Afterwards, I loaded him up in the carrier and we took my dog for a walk. We stopped by my parents’ house and visited for a few minutes. 

We got home and I gave him a bath. We sat on the floor in the living room and played with some toys and sang some songs. Then we went in the bedroom, I nursed him and put him in his rocker and he peacefully went to sleep. 

We had a really nice day. 

I’ll tell you what I didn’t do today. I didn’t cry. I wasn’t angry. I didn’t wake up with an anxious mind and stomach. I didn’t stress about my next step in life and I didn’t worry about what I was actively doing to expedite said step. 

I just... lived my life. 

Now, unfortunately, there is a lot of work to do that can’t go ignored. 

My parents and I have decided to pool our resources, move out of our small and pricey homes and move into a larger, more accommodating home together. For so many reasons, I am excited about this decision. 

I’ve lived with my parents a few times throughout my adult life, but in the past, it’s because I was sucking at the whole adulting thing and needed help. Now, we are both making a conscious decision to share space, picking a house together and setting up a new life where we can all be a little more comfortable and more available to support each other’s goals. 

Sounds great, right? 

Well, between dealing with flaky realtors, ridiculous application fees, credit challenges, high deposits, houses renting before we can even get call backs, crazy work schedules, family troubles, continued relationship stress, more credit issues, thousand dollar vehicle repairs and finally, a clogged milk duct (which, thankfully, did not turn into mastitis), my parents and I can’t seem to catch a break. 

It’s enough to drive a person to drink! 

(Too soon?) 

We are handling it all, of course. I mean, what option do we have? Run away and just hide from everything? Ha! 

(We totally considered that.)

I like to think that all of these challenges are just so when things do start going our way, we can appreciate them more. But really, I think it’s just Life being a super dick and my best bet is to try and not lose my shit before something positive finally fucking happens. 

So besides the occasional wave of loneliness, I really enjoyed my nice day today. Thank goodness for my baby as he definitely keeps me grounded and sane. I smiled when he tried peaches for the first time, I felt success as we nailed a back carry and I laughed out loud as he tooled around the house in his little bare feet. For me, it’s good to have something as important as him to care about so that I don’t spiral too much into the land of negative thoughts. 

And now I’m off to bed. I'd like to wake up to some good news tomorrow although these days I’m prepared for anything. What’s that saying that keeps popping up? "I never said it was going to be easy. I said it was going to be worth it." Here’s hoping there’s some truth to that. 

Because I'm a little over this roller coaster.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"You Must Have Chaos Within You, To Give Birth To A Star"

There is a scene in the movie Watchmen that keeps coming up for me as I go through a pretty turbulent time in my life. 

Spoiler alert. 

Dr. Manhattan has left Earth and is establishing a life on Mars. He no longer cares what happens to humans because their recent behavior has shown him that their lives don’t matter to him anymore. The new Silk Spectre (Laurie Jupiter), Dr. Manhattan’s ex-girlfriend, is trying to convince him otherwise. He tells her she doesn’t understand and she asks him to show her. 

The original Silk Spectre, Laurie’s mom Sally, had an altercation years prior with another vigilante called The Comedian. After a photo shoot, The Comedian follows Sally into the room where she is changing and attempts to rape her. She fights him off and then others hear the scuffle and come in to help her. Years later, she ends up sleeping with The Comedian after all. Let’s just say that their relationship is... complicated. 

Through this discovery, Dr. Manhattan shows Laurie that her father is The Comedian. A man she has grown and been taught to hate. She falls to her knees and sobs. It is this, and only this, that gives Dr. Manhattan his epiphany. 

My life is a little chaotic right now. Johnny and I have decided to separate and I’ve asked him to move out. He is handling his struggles the way he always has - with alcohol - and it is making an already difficult situation even more stressful. Especially as I continue on with my sobriety. 

So many of my relationships have begun or been maintained through the fog of alcohol. I could look back and have so many regrets. I mean.. I DEFINITELY have some regrets... but when I look into the eyes of my sweet boy, I know that even though it hurts me to see another relationship end, the two of us needed to come together at this time in both our lives to create this perfect little person. And it's impossible to have regrets when I look at this. 

Of course I wish the perfect little family was there as well. But it’s not. So it’s my responsibility to make sure my baby never wishes things were different. I hope that Johnny will come around and be the dad I’ve seen before and know he can still be. But I can only control my actions so that’s what I’m focused on. And since I’m making these important decisions with sound body and mind and not after another week-long bender that ends in heartache and tears, I feel more confident that I’m finally making moves in the right direction. 

I’m pretty frustrated that life has to suck so much sometimes. But like attracts like and I’ve done my fair share of making irresponsible and chaotic decisions, leading to erratic and stressful situations. I’m hoping that my new choices will help bring positivity and happiness to me and my son. He deserves it. We deserve it. 

I deserve it.

Monday, March 28, 2016

I'll Get The Non-Alcoholic Drama Please

I celebrate 30 days of sobriety tomorrow. I’m feeling pretty grateful for my strength and determination. I literally take it day by day and I find it to be a lot easier to handle that way. Life has certainly challenged me, though. If I didn’t have this gorgeous child to focus my attention on, I may have lost my shit a few times and been a little more tempted to say “fuck it, dude. Let’s go drinking.” 

My meeting tonight was interesting. The topic was God. Or as many people in the program look at it, Your Higher Power. I quietly chuckled to myself... such a sense of humor your so-called Higher Power has... 

The sharing began. One by one, I heard stories of God. Some women shared about growing up in religious households. Others shared about having very little exposure to religion in their lives. A few talked about being God-fearing women. But everyone came together in giving their God credit for their sobriety. 

It’s a good sized group and with under an hour designated for sharing, not everyone has a chance to talk. As the time winded down, it looked like I was in the clear. I mean I could always pass but that's not really my style. But not getting picked to share to begin with? I was probably better off this week...  

As one woman finished, it was announced that there was only time for one more share. 

“You know who I’d like to hear from?” the last sharer announced, “Tina.” 

Guess I should’ve seen that coming. 

* * *

“Hi, I’m Tina. And I’m an alcoholic. I’m also an Atheist. 

“I’m laughing because it’s so appropriate that this subject would come up this week. You see, I made the cardinal sin of social media this week: I gave my opinion on something. Even worse, it was on religion. A work colleague, who has recently been exploring a newfound love of religion, called me out on my beliefs and after a conversation that started out as fairly adult turned snarky and passive aggressive, things ultimately ended in an unfriending. 

“Probably the worst part about being an Atheist is that when a situation presents itself where it’s appropriate to announce my beliefs, I typically get looks of sympathy. Like people feel so sorry for me that I don’t believe in God. 

“I grew up going to church off and on all the way into my early twenties. My parents weren’t overly religious. My alcoholic grandmother was very religious. She said I was going to hell because I wasn’t baptized. That was some of my earliest exposure to religion. And alcohol for that matter. 

“The older I got, the less church and its teachings made sense to me. I studied a few different religions but it all seemed to be one big made up story designed to make people feel better. And that wasn’t enough for me. So I turned away from religion and put my faith into things I could see, feel, touch and believe. Science made sense. Proof made sense.

“At the risk of sounding cold, there was really no love lost in this unfriending situation although I’ve had to run some interference at work as there is now a suspicious rumor going around that I ‘hate Christians’. Luckily, people I am truly close to have more respect and understanding of my beliefs and vice versa. However, it reminded me of the concern I had when I first considered attending these meetings. I avoided them because I figured everyone would ‘God’ me to death and I would feel alienated. Not only has that not happened, but this particular meeting has been one of my favorites and I’ve genuinely enjoyed listening to everyone’s shares. 

“I may not believe in God, but I think I can understand the concept of a Higher Power. For me, it’s my son. He just turned six months old. He is definitely the reason that I started coming to these rooms. However, what I’ve come to realize throughout these past 30 days is that the reason I keep coming... is because of me. Because I deserve it. 

“So thank you all for sharing and for being here. It makes me proud to have chosen the same path. 

“And no, I don’t hate Christians.” 

* * *

I drove home with a smile on my face. A real one. Which felt nice as there hasn’t been much to smile about lately. Home is rough. I’m sad about our situation and am not sure we can recover. I’m already working on a budget so that I can afford to stay in the house by myself. I have a shared-baby plan in my head. I’ve moved into the nursery and have been sleeping in there. Yeah, that kind of rough. 

But I’m still celebrating 30 days tomorrow. And there is still a lot to be happy and hopeful for. My son is still my everything and I know every decision I make is for him, even if it’s hard for me. 

I still don’t believe in God. But I do believe that my son was given to me for a reason. I was too stubborn, angry and depressed to do anything productive with my life before him. Now, I have every reason in the world to be great. It’s way more difficult, but that usually results in higher rewards. 

But I know I can't please everyone. And as far as those that don't like me or are uncomfortable with my beliefs, with 454 friends still left on Facebook and countless more in the real world, I don't believe I'll be missing that particular drama.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

I'm Tired of Being Tired

Last week at this time, I was getting ready to make dinner. We ate together before a friend of ours came over to watch Xander so we could get out for a few hours and play some Golden Tee and unwind. Date night for mom and dad. I’d been looking forward to it all week. 

Unfortunately, we showed up to the bar and immediately started drinking scotch. I mean, really? Why not just have a few beers? We’d been on a scotch kick for the past few weeks so I guess we figured, why stop now. 

I got wasted. I picked a fight with Johnny. He left me at the bar (because I refused to get in the car) and I walked home. It was only across the street. But still... I walked my drunk ass home. 

It wasn’t the worst I’d ever been drunk. Not at all. I didn’t black out like I did a few weeks ago when I got drunk at the bowling alley and Johnny had to carry both me AND Xander into the house. It's not the first time he's had to carry me. I didn’t get sick and then wake up next to the toilet, surrounded by vomit that didn’t quite make it in. That’s happened many times. And I didn’t start talking to someone else at the bar, end up going home with him and not remembering much after. That’s definitely happened before. It’s been years... but it’s happened. 

I like drinking. But I’m tired of being drunk. 

Any readers been here since the beginning? When I first started this blog almost six years ago, I was getting ready to go through a life change. I was turning 30, I was miserable and I wanted to try something different. If you go back and look at my first handful of posts, they talk about quitting. Quitting everything. Drinking, gambling, smoking and sex. I was going to quit everything for a full year and see how much more full my life could become. 

I lasted less than a month. 

The longest I’ve ever gone without drinking since I turned 21 was when I was pregnant with Xander. And when he got here, one would hope I would just continue not drinking. Get my shit together and be this awesome, sober mom. But, I didn’t. Part of it was a little of a “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” thing with Johnny as I resented him for continuing to drink so much, even though I kept asking him not to and everyone assured me he would change once Xander arrived. But really, I like to be drunk just as much as he does. So how could I really be that mad? 

But, I’m tired of the fights. I’m tired of the walks home. I’m tired of the hangovers and I’m so very tired of how much I hate myself the next day. 

I’d love to drink socially. But I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I can’t.

I’ve avoided 12 step programs for many reasons. I never wanted to admit the kind of problem I had. I also had a pretty negative association with these groups as I’ve always understood them to make you a victim. Admitting that you are powerless over alcohol. I mean, I’m in complete control, nothing is more powerful than me... she says as she takes another shot

But mostly, it’s the fact that I’m an atheist. Everything about 12-stepping is God, right? All that “God grant me” stuff and the Lord’s Prayer. Certainly I wouldn’t be accepted. Geez, if an alcoholic isn’t welcome in one of these groups, then I might as well just say fuck it. 

But I can’t. He needs me. Almost as much as I need him. 

In the past, I’ve talked myself out of quitting because I didn’t want to be boring. Drinking made me interesting. It made me funny. It made me confident. It made me feel sexy. 

All lies. It made me angry, sad and more depressed than ever. And I no longer feel the need to impress anyone. Except him. And boring is totally fine if it means I’m alive and present to be there for him.

So I went to my second meeting on Friday. I went by myself to a meeting close to my house. Actually, it was held at the hospital where I gave birth to my perfect little man. I was hoping it was a sign that I belonged there. My friend wanted me to go with her to another meeting but after an emotional week, I was feeling a little judged, a little like some assumptions were being made. I wanted to be somewhere no one knew me. Where I wasn’t afraid of being completely honest. 

I was so nervous and uncomfortable walking in. But as the people trickled in, one by one, and created this intimate group of ten or so (the normal, apparently, for this particular meeting), I started to feel like I had made a good call. I shared. I talked about my concerns as I’ve written them here. They were all so understanding. I got a 24 hour sober coin. It got passed around the room so everyone could touch it and give me their positive energy. They came up to me after the meeting and told me not to worry about my beliefs. I was reminded that the only requirement to be there was the desire to quit drinking. An anonymous member even bought me some literature for my journey. They hoped I would be back the next week. 

I cried in my car before leaving. I was so relieved and touched. 

I’m going to go to another meeting tomorrow. It’s at a church so I’m hoping I don’t burst into flames upon arrival... but it’s an all female meeting. I was told I was welcome to bring Xander as a few of the women have brought their babies before. One woman told me her kids were raised in the program as she joined at 20 years old and was now well into her 50s. Sober for 30 years. And still showing up. 

Things at home are still strange. Johnny is not tired the way I am. He is helping in that he is waiting until I’m asleep before he drinks or sneaking drinks when I’m in the other room. It’s okay.. I’ve decided to quit worrying about anyone’s battle except my own. I can’t change anyone but myself. And while I don’t like to look at myself as a victim, I’m not too proud to admit that I can’t do it on my own. 

So, I’ll keep going. I’ll probably work on the steps. Anything to help. Because while I may be tired of being drunk, picking up a drink is a very, very difficult habit to break. 

And I’ll keep sharing. I imagine my blogging will increase. I hope not to alienate or lose too many people... but again, my battle is bigger than those who wish to go on without me. 

We get the one life. That’s it. At least that’s what I believe. I don’t want to spend the rest of it tired, hating myself, wishing I had a way out. I want to be happy when I wake up, satisfied with the woman I am. Proud of the mother I’m becoming. I want to walk out into the world every day and say, “yeah... I got this shit.”

I want to be better. That's my journey.