2000 days sober!!!!!!

2000 days without a drop of alcohol or anything mind altering!
Get honest with yourself and others! You can do it, question is, do you want it? Do you think you’re worthy of sobriety? I find that it came down to the fact that I didnt feel worthy of my families forgiveness and I didnt believe I was worth happines and happiness sure as hell didn’t come with sobriety. So I thought………….

I started out as a “normal social drinker”. I even went to college and started working. However, the progression slowly increased. I drank for any reason. The good, the bad, the ugly. I ended up drinking alone, lieing to everyone about how bad it was. Pretending to be sober sometimes. Called into work “sick”. I ended up drinking before work in the morning to stop the shakes. Inside I knew. I knew it was a problem. I knew I was an alcoholic. I didn’t want to drink anymore but I couldn’t stop. I physically depended upon it. I was so disappointed in myself. I felt like the worst mother in the world. I didnt want to drink but I was scared to live sober. That’s a terrifying place to be in.
I was faced with losing my kids, so that was my last day drinking. My sobriety date is July 24 2014.
I have learned how to FEEL again. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s not always fun, but it’s better than messing up my entire life and those around me! I have found ME again. A better version!!!!

I have learned FORGIVENESS. Which is a true miracle in itself considering I spent 30 yrs resenting people. I have found PEACE. Even through the chaos of life. I dont have 1 single reason to drink. It will solve nothing. Because 1 drink is never enough. I know that now, I accept it, I admit it. I am no longer ashamed! My journey has made me who I am today. I wouldn’t have done this much work on myself if I wasnt a recovering alcoholic!!! I’m proud and I wish happiness and health for everyone. No matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or where you are now, you are worth happines!!!!!!!!!

Other moms drink wine…….

Not every day is amazing. Sometimes you’re human and you want to say FUCK IT to the world and go hide. But you dont. You keep your big girl panties on and take it hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute.

Some moms eat cookie dough or ice cream when they’re sad, some people have a cigarette. Some moms have wine (I preferred white….red….rose…hell anything if I’m honest here)

The thing is, that “a” before the word “drink” is not possible for someone like me. “A” drink assumes that person has one drink. However, one drink for an alcoholic is way too many.

What does that mean? If I have one single sip that physical allergy is activated and so is my mental obsession. It happens that quick. One sip turns into the entire glass, and that glass turns into the bottle. Eventually, that bottle becomes empty and then the obsession turns into panic to find more.

Cycle repeats.

So on days that I want to hide, ofcourse that thought of a quick fix enters my mind. However at 5 years sober, it leaves as fast as it came.

I have a choice today. To drink or to stay sober. I’m the type of alcoholic that to drink means to die. So I choose to stay sober.

I have other ways I have learned to calm down and balance my emotions. They just dont work as fast as a drink would. But with more sobriety I have learned patience and to trust the process. I have faith today and I know just because I have a bad day, doesn’t mean that i have a bad life.

I write (hence what you’re reading!) I work (yes I actually enjoy what I do) I look at pictures of my family from happier days, I pray, I clean (gotta love the angry cleaning), I talk and vent to a trusted female friend, I talk to my sponsor, I go to a meeting and listen for a message and I share if I’m asked.

I have been through way more pain, stress and sadness before so I can get through a bad day sober. And someone, somewhere is going through something way worse, and they’re staying sober. So I can do it too.

Today, I have no reason to drink. After one sip I’ll feel regretful and therefore that would turn into a second sip to try and cover up that regret, but it actually turns into self pity which ends up being depression.

Cycle repeats.

You understand?

Its insanity. Literally.

If anything, I’m grateful to be where I’m at today. I never would have done all the work on myself if I wasnt an alcoholic. I mean, who the hell grows up wishing to be an alcoholic and end up sober while looking at their own defects of character and learning to change their behaviors? Yeah because that sounds like a blast. NOT!

But today I’m grateful because I am a better me, because of the storm that I went through.

 

 

I’ll remember

The day will come in every parents lives where it hits you, like a ton of bricks, right into the chest.

Your child(ren) are not innocent anymore.

They have turned into young men or women who make mistakes as we do. Life has begun and they have began their journey with more independence. They dont need you as much anymore. You’re no longer their best friend and the one they want to hang out with. There are no cuddles anymore or nighttime stories.

This is where I’m at as a parent to my twin sons. They’re 12.5 and about to begin 7th grade. They’re taller than me, their voices sound like they’re 19, they have hairy legs and need to shave their moustache. They rather spend time with their friends and at their dads house. I swear last month they were playing Lego and asking to cuddle during movie night.

I guess I didn’t think about the time that goes by so quick. As i sit here and realize that my boys are only just beginning to be independent, it makes me so sad. Time goes by way too fast, and you dont realize how fast until you’re a parent to a teenager.

I drank until they were 7 years old. I functioned very well for many years. However the guilt settles in from time to time especially when I remember them as babies. My infant son looks at me like I am the greatest person on the planet. To him, I am. We all looked at our mothers that way. I feel that I did not enjoy the early years as much as I had wanted to or had expected to. I was 23 with twins, unhappy with my relationship, I had undiagnosed anxiety and depression, post partum depression and I was a functioning alcoholic.  So to say that I was overwhelmed is an understatement. The pictures from those days have real smiles. They were my entire world. I always had them outside for walks, playing at the park, watching their favorite movies and even playing music and dancing. But my mental health had me very impatient and overwhelmed at times. I wish I had stopped and smelled the dandelions when they used to pick them for me, a little longer. I wish I had let them play at the park a little longer instead of wanting to go home and open the wine. I wish I had known that it was okay to ask for help. I wish I had not been so strict when I could have been more lenient. I wish I wasn’t so crabby in the mornings because of my hangover. I could say I wish, a million more times but it wont turn back time.

Somehow the years, the days and hours go by and they’re young people. They’ll hurt your feelings. They’ll make you cry in your room and you’ll try to be as silent as you can. They’ll go somewhere overnight and not want to come home. They’ll be mad at you for saying no and setting boundaries. They will get caught in a lie, and try to cover that up.

All I can do is stay sober, and continue to be their parent first, a friend later. I’ll pray for them as I always do, and I’ll remind myself that they do love me. I’ll remind myself about the times they have spoken at my yearly cakes, and cried during their speeches. When I got married a year ago, they cried when I came down the aisle. When their baby brother was born 4 months ago they thanked me for the best thing that’s happened to our family. I’ll remember.

I’ll remember because it’s the good times that make everything worth while. Every family, every couple, every relationship goes through times of hurt, sadness and even anger. Remember why you love eachother, remember that you always will, and it will work out.

Remember that little moments matter the most. The dandelions they once picked turn into necklaces and charms at Christmas. Remember the rules they get mad at following have kept them safe. The manners you teach them have made them polite and respectful. You may not get cuddles but you’ll get a sweaty hug. The hand drawn pictures turn into text messages and emojis.

I’ll Remember.

 

 

Day 1 vs Day 1826

My life; Day 1 July 24 2014

I was hung over
I felt empty like I had no soul
No emotion, just numb
Scared, full of fear
I felt like the worst mother in the world
I felt like the worst daughter in the world
I felt like the worst sister in the world
I was scared I was going to lose my job (I did 3 months later!)
I didnt know who I was anymore
I didnt believe I would ever be happy
I didnt want to drink, but I was scared to live sober.

My life; Day 1826, 5 yrs sober, July 24 2019

I’m sober from ALL mind altering substances
I am fulfilled and blessed with a big gratitude list
I live in faith, not fear
I am now a mother of 3, and I am a great mother!
I’m a great daughter and very close to my parents
My sister and I are best friends!
I love who I am today! I actually like me!
I found happiness within myself, it existed all along, but I was looking for it in the wrong places. I even found love and a husband! A business that I’m successful at! A LIFE!
I still don’t want to drink, but I’m happily living life sober.

Remember:
Honesty will heal, denial will drink.
Happiness does exist.

From finger squeezes to sweaty hugs

As I hold my sleeping baby boy while hes in the hospital with an infection, I realized something. Something so simple yet the most powerful.

My older boys are 12 yr old twins. As life moves along in the fast lane, we get swept up in our day to day lives. Work, school, sports, chores, disciplining, arguing, laundry, cleaning, the list goes on. The kids grow so fast and before you know it your son is taller than you at 12. Lately I’ve been feeling like they rather be at their dads house than home with us. We are in fact a bit strict, and they get nagged to do daily chores. Yes I know, such bad parenting lol. Perhaps it’s my guilt that the only time I have with them in the last 2 months is telling them to do their chores, shower & stop fighting. All my time is devoted to our new baby boy. Ofcourse the twins understand this and they aren’t jealous of their baby brother. They adore him. But it’s my guilt. As Facebook memories pop up each morning I look at how little my twins once were. Life was hard as a single mom but we had some great times and made some memories. But the memories of me drinking nightly and eventually around the clock creep in. I was a good mom. Loving, caring, protective. But I was sick at the same time. Yes I’ve made my amends 5 yrs ago and continue to do so each day I’m sober. But the mom guilt creeps in and some days it’s on high gear. If I hadn’t drank I would have had more patience, more money for them, fewer bad decisions. The guilt is gut wrenching.

But as my baby cries in his hospital crib, I pick him up and he instantly stops crying. I start feeding him and his little hand squeezes my finger and his eyes are locked on mine.

I realized that when he stops crying when I hold him, I’m his comfort. When he squeezes my finger hes saying, thank you mommy, without words. When he stares into my eyes hes saying, my mommy is my world.

Our children love us from the beginning. Complete unconditional love. It doesn’t matter how old, big, small, how much money we have, or if we are struggling with life. They love us anyways.

I realized that this doesn’t stop as they grow. They just show us in different ways as we do for them. When one of my older sons gives me a random hug. When the other hugs me in front of his friends in the 6th grade. When they come into my room and ask me if I’m okay and if I need anything when I’m sick. When one of them makes us coffee, and one asks to cook breakfast. These are all “I love you’s”. If we didn’t discipline, have rules and didn’t teach them manners, they would’nt do these random acts of kindness. They would be wild and possibly ungrateful. So despite me being sick for the first 7 yrs of their life, I must have done a lot right. And even more being sober the last 5. Our kids dont stop loving us because we instill values and morals or ground them for lieing. I think subconsciously they know we do those things because we love them. Infact I know so, because when my parents gave me the ultimatum of quitting alcohol or they’ll take my kids for good, I knew it was because they loved me.

So as I lay here holding my new baby, it all makes sense. We build the foundation of our mother-child relationship from the very beginning. Nothing can replace that. Expressing love just changes into different ways. Sometimes its sweet and sometimes it’s tough.

From finger squeezes to sweaty hugs, all 3 of my boys love me because I’ve always shown them love.

As long as we never stop telling AND showing them, they’ll always come home.

Body dismorhphia & how pregnancy is helping me

I have 2 boys who are so excited and a husband who thought he wouldn’t have his own after losing his first….and all I can think about is my weight gain ?

Real talk.

I don’t normally discuss this on social media but the more open I’ve been over the years about my alcoholism the more women I’ve been able to help, so maybe this will help too.

Age 5 is when I remember my first thoughts about feeling fat. (And I wasn’t) I’ve spent nearly 35 yrs (my bday is soon) obsessing over my size. After high school I got real skinny. Then I got pregnant with the twins and although my stomach wasn’t as big as one with twins would get, I had a ton of added weight from eating like shit, and water weight. I felt disgusting after they were born. Hated my body. I had no tools to cope except for the wine opener.

I’ve been different weights through the years and no, I’ve never been technically overweight. However I can tell you honestly that the feelings are the same. I know beautiful big women and the way they feel is the same. Size doesn’t matter. And guess what…..women who are too skinny get hate too. We can’t win.

Yes I think i was a bit too thin last summer. But I didn’t see it. My eyes don’t see what you see.

My first thought getting pregnant this time? JOY. My second thought….. WEIGHT GAIN. I spent my entire first trimester sleeping pretty much and hormones going crazy, i got depressed and felt gross. I began to feel selfish. Here I am creating and growing a life inside me. I have 2 boys who are so excited and a husband who thought he wouldn’t have his own after losing his first….and all I can think about is my weight gain ?

Realizing this is a sickness just like my alcoholism, and now knowing the tools I’ve learned over 4.5 yrs of sobriety, I turned to prayer and slowly started talking about it so it’s not a secret anymore. Secrets keep us sick.

It’s working! I now see myself as a cute and beautiful pregnant woman who has a nice little belly and a healthy baby boy growing that I am already nurturing!!!! I’ve been eating well this time too.

Women are amazing and we really need to be kinder to ourselves. I’m healthy, I’m happy (most days lol) and so I’ve gained weight….im supposed to for Jacob. It’s in God’s plan that Jacob is coming.

Prayer and talking about it is helping. I wish I had these tools 12 yrs ago. I’m already excited about staying healthy after he’s born.

God is always working in your life. But it’s up to you to be open to what he is saying to you!

What he’s telling me now? AMANDA you have the tools to beat this. You know how to overcome negative thoughts in your head with healthy tools. You’ve come so far to go back. You wanted another gift of life and Jacob needed you. So here he is. A second chance to stay healthy for not only yourself but your children.

Talk about it, pray, positive self talk over and over, and remember, secrets will keep you sick.

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Irrelevant Perception

If its not my own truth, its not relevant to who I am.

 

Why do we let what others think of us determine how we feel about ourselves? At what point in our lives do we actually allow others perceptions of us validate who we are?

I can tell you that i have cared since the beginning of my existence – or when my memory begins around 4 years old. However my childhood was filled with verbal & physical abuse in which my mother and sister got the brunt of it. I received it as well but I was the youngest who spent most of the time watching in the corner. I was full of fear, anxiety, self doubt, poor self esteem and depression. Everything in the house had to be perfect. Our rooms had to be spotless without a crayon on the floor, even our toy box had to be organized! Everything I did revolved around whether or not he would be happy or angry with me. This type of mentality was embedded in my brain from a very very early age. Its all I knew. So of course, well after my mom had left him, this stuck with my personality. I was a people pleaser.

Everything I did, said and wore, I thought about what other people would think first, before I had even decided for myself. IT DROVE ME INSANE. But still, I couldnt stop!

This pattern has followed me throughout my life. I have focused on pleasing others before myself. In friendships & relationships.

It is extremely tiring and overwhelming and the only thing that would calm me down was a drink. When i sobered up, I was stuck with these thoughts. My anxiety was at an all time high and  I was drowning in my own thoughts.

It hasn’t been easy over the last 4.5 years but Ive done a lot of work on myself. Ive had to face my feelings, my character defects and Ive had to work on them! The biggest lesson that I have learned is the fact that i cannot control or change other people. The more i worry about what others think or about what they do, the less time I am spending on bettering myself. And, If Im not my best self then I can easily go back to the negative, depressed active alcoholic that I was for a decade. Ive spent the better part of my entire life worrying about other people instead of myself. I allowed other opinions to dictate how I view myself. I believed hurtful words, I allowed myself to be treated like garbage. I allowed every bad experience to continue to hurt me. WHY??? What good does that do? Absolutely nothing! Its INSANITY! Pure insanity! I can only control MYSELF and how I react to people. MIND BLOWN!

Why this has taken me 34 years to figure out? The only reason I can think of is that I had to go through all of this experience to realize who I really am, who I want in my life, and my self worth. Also, to be quite frank, Im just too sick and tired to care anymore. Im worn out worrying about haters who think their perception of me is correct.

The thing is, if people base their opinion on me prior to 2014, they really dont know the real me anyways! That person was broken and slowly slipping away. So why care what they think if I know & God knows who I really am!

There are people who dont like me today. There are people I thought were my friends who have slowly cut me out. There have been times that I have been verbally attacked. I was judged for dating my now husband, Jon, because of the amount of sobriety he had back then. Did all of this bother me? Yes. However I have wasted way too many years worrying about every single person and every single opinion i just CANT DO IT ANYMORE. I pray about it. I ask God to help me forgive and let it go. This does not happen overnight, but eventually I dont even think about it anymore!

Bottom line? If its not my own truth, its not relevant to who I am. My life is MINE, not anyone else. No one owns me. I am not a puppet on a string, I am not a servant and I have self love and self worth today. I dont want to look back on my life realizing that I was living for other people instead of living for me.