Friday, June 19, 2009
Monday, December 25, 2006
When I first decided to blog, a little over a year ago, I did so because I wanted to be liked. I think that was a subconscious decision somewhat, but I tried to relay “funny” stories or make attempts at humor in order to attract an audience. Just as in other areas of my life, I wanted the external validation. If my sitemeter stats were lower than usual (indicating less readers), I would be hurt. Sad, isn’t it?
There are a few online services right now that will copy your blog into a book format. I have decided to try to do that annually in order to preserve my writing. I figure I don’t know where technology will be in ten years, and I want to make sure I have a hard copy now of what I am doing. I wanted to do this during recovery because I can go back and reflect on my progress made. Even if it doesn’t necessarily reflect in the post, I can usually read a post and remember my feelings when I wrote that. It’s amazing that something I wrote in August, I can feel differently about today in December.
In this process, even though the blog is downloaded, there is editing involved to format it properly in a book. While doing this, I came to the realization that my writing has very much evolved. I realized what I said above: I wanted so much in the past to be liked. Reading my posts from 2005 and the beginning of 2006, I feel as though I am personally removed from many of the writings. I feel as I was trying to project an image of who I thought I was, but there was such a lack of feeling in that writing.
I thought I should be a certain way: always funny, sometimes sarcastic, occasionally making fun of people, hardly ever speaking from the heart. I mean, after all, that is what attracts the readers. I was trying to develop a style that wasn’t me in order for others to like me. After all, the most popular writers, to a certain extent, are like that.
First of all, it didn’t work. Second of all, it wasn’t me. Most importantly, didn’t I want people to like me for me? Who was I attracting before? Partly it was an adoption crowd, because I was adopting from China.. (and many of them read because I was on the same journey as they were) But if I was trying to develop a false style, did I want to attract additional people who would enjoy that false sense of who I was. Did I want to attract those who sometimes get humor at the expense of others? Did I want to stifle my sensitive nature at the sake of gaining an audience? Did I want to further lose my sense of self by pretending I was someone else?
It wasn’t until I started to write truly about who I am that I started to develop a better blog. Sharing my recovery has helped me. Both because I can share what I am going through, and hopefully, I can reach another. I have lost readers. Yet, I have gained new readers. And these are the readers I want. I had an agenda when I got out of treatment to blog in hopes of reaching those who may be suffering. I had an agenda to share myself. In doing that, and through my recovery process over the last seven months, I have grown to like myself. If you read this regularly, I hope this means you like what I have to say, too.
But if you don’t, I’m not offended. I check my stats, but they aren’t a reflection of who I am. Most of the time I check my stats now, they’re in order to see where people came from and how long they stayed. I want to know that someone is reading and possibly moved by what I say. I don’t care so much about the number of readers. And if you are reading, most likely you stay because you have a similar mindset. I need readers who want to grow. I don’t care if the most popular blogs are often times set out to attack or humiliate others. I don’t want those type of readers on my blog. I know they wouldn’t even understand, in many cases, what my journey is all about.
Thank you readers for sticking around. You’re an awesome group. (Now, if I could only get more of you to comment online….) You’re a reflection of who I am becoming, and I need that. I am proud of who I am today, and partly, it’s due to this writing and the help and support from many of you.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
We drove around the island, unconcerned about what time we got back. We bought carry out dinners and ate them in our room. We swam in the ocean. We went to the pool and the hot tub at night. I spent money on a couple spa treatments. I did not care about wearing makeup. I did not wear half the clothes I brought because all I wore everyday was a bathing suit, shorts and a tee shirt. I did not need my dresses. I did not need my skirts. I did not worry about impressing anyone. We basked in the sun and well, yes, we bought a timeshare. (but I did it sober!)
The point is I don’t think I have ever gone swimming at night since I was a little kid. I don’t think I have been in the ocean as many times as I was on this trip. I had Bryan drive to a distant, beautiful beach when we were touring the island one day and it was getting close to 6PM. It was well worth the drive. I would never have done that before. I would have been too concerned about “having fun in the evening”, getting dressed up and heading out for dinner and drinks. I savored every moment and truly absorbed the beauty of the world. As corny as that may sound, it was not something I used to appreciate. I truly enjoyed the moments of every day that we spent there. Life is beautiful on so many levels.
When I was asking people about how/what/why they drank on vacation in one of my previous posts, one of my readers likened having a few drinks on vacation to having a spa treatment. That really helped me put it into perspective. A drink was not an indulgence for me in past vacations. It was a necessary element in my vacations. It was a necessary element in my life.
There were a couple times when I struggled a bit. Things were a little hectic the first night we got there, and Bryan and I were a bit cranky with one another. I instantly felt the need to smooth out my out of control feelings with a drink. That same thing happened upon our departure. I am learning how to find other coping mechanisms every time that need for a drink arises, though. I know if I can just make it through, I will be a little bit stronger in the long run.
I know if I make it through today without a drink, life will be a little bit sweeter.
Monday, July 24, 2006
I didn't start drinking until I was in college. I was a very introverted, scholarly, "good girl" in high school. I didn't touch the stuff. I always hated the way I was perceived by people in my hometown. I wanted to be popular and well liked, not just known as a quiet smart girl. So, I picked up and graduated a year early from high school. I went to college when I turned 17. I made a conscious effort to change my "image". I drank my first night of school in the dorms. I joined a group of people drinking Southern Comfort and Coke. (terrible...and I never touched the stuff again!!) I loved the way it made me feel, even though I got deathly ill afterwards. The next day I had a major hangover. Despite that, alcohol made me fit in finally. It made me extroverted. It made me feel like the me I wanted people to know. Recently, I recalled that when I was getting sick from alcohol for the first time, there was a girl holding my hair back while I basically sat ill in the dorm toilet stall. To me at the time, in my warped mind, that seemed like true friendship. A feeling came over me the following day like “oh, this is what you do to become popular”.
I was a little lost during my first year of college. Although I had the “tool” (alcohol), per se, to become socially acceptable, I had a couple issues my first year. One of my roommates tried to commit suicide, I was accosted and shoved against the door by an Ohio State football player who was upset with me for telling my friend that he had a girlfriend, and my new roommate had some major anger/rage issues and decided to take them out on me. In high school, I had one serious relationship, but I never dated other than that. Drinking made me comfortable to talk to men and “be myself”. I think, in using alcohol as a social lubricant and to escape my issues, I saw it as the perfect elixir.
At the end of my freshman year, I was an emotional mess. I was dealing with a turbulent living environment. In addition, the drinking had gotten me into some precarious situations with men. I don’t know if I was naïve (I don’t think I was?), but I think I wanted so badly to believe that these men paid attention to me because I was interesting, not because I was drunk and perceived as an “easy lay”. It was because I pretended that they liked me for me that I got into these situations. When I usually ended up telling them “no”, I had a hard time dealing with the fact that they only wanted sex and I usually got a hard time from them for “leading them on”. There were a couple points where I passed out and almost got raped. Luckily, I came to in time and usually ended up walking home by myself on the large, unsafe campus.
At the end of that year, I enrolled in a program to learn Spanish in Mexico. I went to Mexico that summer and had a blast. I made some real friends and learned some Spanish in the process. It was a great place to drink, too. What's Mexico without the beer and margaritas? I thought that I couldn’t practice my Spanish with the natives without drinking. I am a perfectionist, as are most alcoholics, and if I can’t do it perfectly, then I won’t do it. Yet, if I had a drink in me, then it came “easier” and gave me more courage. Drinking “helped” me, I rationalized, as I would for years. It helps me feel at ease with people and it helps me be conversant.
I continued to abuse alcohol like any other college student and actually slowed down for awhile. I certainly could go some time without drinking, and my drinking at that time was in binges. I graduated and went on to get my Master’s Degree. I drank in graduate school when appropriate, always in excess, but I was in control. I remember I dated a man who was most likely in the late stages of alcoholism in ’95 and ’96. I tried to get him to quit and told him that I would quit along with him. He never did, and the relationship ended. However, I realize now that I must have crossed the line around that point because I could have stopped at that moment and never looked back. I continued to drink, though, and my addiction started to rear its ugly head.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I was a bit ashamed to tell you all the reason for my absence, and I didn't know if this was the correct forum to do so. However, being as how my blog is going to change to encompass more than adoption and child rearing and include this topic, I thought I'd share with you first...my original "blog posse".
As a few of you know, I'm an alcoholic in recovery. A few months back, I relapsed and began drinking again. It's ironic because in the past, before my addiction became out of control and I had little education about it, I always thought of the alcoholic as the "bum in the street" or the "loud obnoxious guy at the party". I know that is many people's perception of it. However, I am just your run of the mill stay at home mom. I live in a decent neighborhood. I drive a decent car. I have a great family. I'm a pretty good mom. I used to hold a high paying job. I have no DUIs or criminal record....from the outside looking in life looks perfect. "You" (a collective "you", meaning an outsider) would think we had no problems whatsoever.
However, the disease is insidious that way. It sneaks up and detroys things. I was a "responsible" drinker, or so I thought. I'd usually wait until my husband got home to drink. I only drank wine...and the good, expensive stuff. (because those alcoholics only drink the "bad stuff") I wasn't "falling down drunk". I functioned. The rationalizations are endless. However, because I had some sobriety before and knew I could live a better life and because I knew I was using my drinking to cope and I was craving it, I checked myself into treatment.
I couldn't have made a better choice, as I am there for my family all the time (mentally) and discovered a lot about myself. I have been busy ensuring that I stick with AA this time around (which I rejected the first time around trying to control my own sobriety...I didn't need that silly group! Oh, how I was wrong.), going to meetings and finding a great sponsor already. I have to admit that it isn't always easy as alcohol was my crutch when things got difficult or painful, but I know I'll be living a more fulfilling life ultimately.
I intend to go into more detail in my blog as it launches on ClubMom. I will write specifically about adoption, parenting young children and recovery, as those are the three areas that we mutually (ClubMom and I) decided would be appropriate topic matter for me to cover. I hope that I can educate people a bit about addiction (whether it be alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, food, love...you name it...), and break down the negative stigma that seems to be attached to that which is a disease.
Until then, I hope that you all can handle that. If not, oh well, it's who I am, and I am stronger because of it. I was ashamed before I started treatment because I felt like a failure, but now I feel empowered. And grateful. And optimistic. And scared. And lonely. And trying to live each day fully, focusing on the moment that is right in front of me. Not the past. Not the future. Only the here and now.
Monday, July 10, 2006
So, this weekend was Bryan's birthday. We did what all parents of children do for an exciting night on the town...go to a local restaurant..exciting stuff, eh? Actually, we went to The Melting Pot, which is a fondue restaurant. I had been to one before several years ago, and it seemed like more fun then. (Perhaps it was the wine last time that made it seem more fun?) This time there was no alcohol involved, and well, let's be honest...it's basically laying out a hundred bucks to cook your own food. I have to say, I enjoyed the cheese course...but dinner was a disaster. It made me feel like a child again, reminiscent of roasting wieners over an open fire. This time it was just chunks of meat and vegetables in a vat of oil. Oh, well, it was a night out without the children...that's something, right?
The adoption thing just seems ages away for me. I feel even less connected than I did a couple months ago to my child-to-be and China. Maybe it's better that way because I have a LONG time to go. My children are a handful, too. Isabel just turned one and is going to walk any day now. She is a major clinger. I feel like a gorilla carrying my small ape around. She won't let me out of her sight or her grip!
Finally, I got a writing gig at Clubmom.com. I think my blog will be up in a few weeks. They have to transfer everything to Typepad and my blog address will be forwarded, I believe. I'm looking forward to it!
Ciao for now. (Don't I sound so worldly?)