Let's talk about sobriety, being creative, and how the arms of the octopus that is life challenge us daily to become better people.


Ah How Sweet It Is

Wow. It feels so great to be back in action. I, as you have probably noticed, have been absent from the blogosphere for some time now.  At first I thought I was just sick of writing. Then I thought I was being self-centered for assuming anyone would want to read my blabbings on sobriety and life. Then I thought I was just too fucking busy to write so screw it all!  Alas, I was just scared to get honest about what was going on in my life at the time. So here I am, standing naked in a room full of people, ready to bare it all and not give a damn. I must say, the breeze feels rather nice.

In the beginning of July I was hospitalized with a severe kidney infection. I truly thought it was no big deal. Sure the pain was enough to make me want to slap my momma but antibiotics were on their way. Wonderful. Within the next couple of months, however, I experienced a vast array of symptoms that took three doctors, a slew of nurses, countless viles of blood and pee, and three more hospital visits to diagnose. By the end of August I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I would love to tell you all about this hardship as education and awareness are extremely important in finding the cure to any progressive auto-immune disease. However, I am here to primarily share about my sobriety. I do urge you to look up Fibromyalgia for your own personal knowledge as millions of people around the world suffer from it. Plus, it makes for a very interesting ice-breaker at parties. You will come off sounding quite well rounded and incredibly interesting. (Okay, that was a lie. But look it up anyway.)

Many people were worried about my sobriety during that time. Meetings were brought to my home as I was mostly in bed at the time. I recieved too many phone calls to answer. I quit reading texts due to too many pouring in at once and I was NOT going to risk adding "cross-eyed" to my list of ailments. Thank God for those people, though. They truly helped me through a very difficult time. I managed to stay sober.

Fast forward to October. By October I was feeling better. The treatment plan my Doc had me on was working beautifully and I felt I was out of the proverbial woods. I started to feel invincible in a way, really. My diagnosis and treatment happened far quicker than what was expected.  Shit.

I am the type of  alcoholic that forgets how bad it was.  I forget the sneaking of beers with my cereal in the morning, the paranoia that followed thinking my parents would notice, the drinking of cooking wine and feeling sick but happily hazy all at once. I forget the blackouts and the injuries from falling. I forget that I nearly died last December.  Yes, when things are looking up my mind decides to block out the horrors of my drinking and leads me to believe that nothing bad could ever happen to me again. You're  feeling better! it squeals, No use for meetings! No use in calling your sponsor! God you say? Never heard of 'im. Oh what a sheisty bastard my head can be.

Beginning in October I slacked on my program. I put my sobriety on the back burner and led what I believed to be the life a "normal" person led.  Soon my cravings were back. The obsession to drink was all consuming. I became afraid to go into grocery stores alone. Did I see any of this as a sign? Ha! Of course not, silly!

On November 5th a group of about 12 of my close sober friends and I went out on the town. It was going to be a night filled with shooting pool and swing dancing. Nothing was further from my mind than drinking when I left my house to join them. Within about 20 minutes we sat a table that had yet to get cleaned off. In front of me was a full glass of beer. Allow me to stop. Who the fuck orders a beer and doesn't drink it? Jesus Christ that is the craziest thing I have ever witnessed, including that time Janet Jackson's boob flopped out. Seriously.  So there I was, face to face with an ice-cold, full glass of beer. We stared at each other for quite some time. I swear to God I stared at it so long that it told me to take a picture 'cuz it would last longer. That bitch.  Soon it was swiped away, however. Whew. That was close! I got up and danced to get my mind off of it.  After about 3 minutes of half-assing it on the dance floor I found myself at the bar chugging an eerily similar ice-cold glass of beer. Fuck.

The rest of that night was crazy. My boyfriend approached me after that first one and asked what I was doing, if it was helping, if I felt better. He was concerned, told me he had  my back, told me he loved me. I wanted to punch his fucking lights out. LET ME GET DRUNK! He eventually got me to go back to my apartment where my best friend (God bless her for what I put her through that night) was waiting. We had a wonderful talk full of me crying and yelling, pulling at my hair, and declaring as often as I could remember to that I was clearly not an alcoholic because I only had ONE and why the fuck weren't they tipping their hats to me?! Oh brother. What. A. Mess. Apparently, according to my incredibly intelligent bestie, "normal" people don't have one beer and then act out every scene from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Oohhh...

I only had that one beer that one night. I turned into a certifiably crazy person who cared about nothing but getting more and was horribly pissed that I had friends around at that moment who loved me. What a perfect reminder that I am most certainly, without a doubt, one crazy alcoholic.

I thank God for that night. I thank him for putting the people in my life that he has who were there for me.  I thank him that it didn't have to get worse than that for me to see clearly that I needed to desperately jump head first back into my sobriety. I thank him for the 19 days I now have and for the strength he has given me to not give up on my life. I thank him for putting my fingers back on these keys. It feels better than I remember.


Father's Day

Father's Day is very difficult for me. My dad and I haven't spoken in almost 4 years. I have carried anger, resentment, confusion, and deep sadness with me since then.

My father is an alcoholic. He was never violent. He never yelled or harshly punished. He never stumbled around obviously drunk. He held great jobs, was popular in the community, had lots of friends, and raised money for charities. But, he withheld love and affection, guilted, shamed, humiliated, and manipulated me. I was in high school when I put the pieces together and confronted him about his alcoholism. I gave him an ultimatum: Get help or I'm gone.  When he wouldn't get help or acknowledge the pain I was in I stayed true to my threat. I had the school ban him from my graduation, from my last Choir Concert preformance, from my last Show Choir performace, and from our last competition. When he would call I would ignore it. When he wrote letters I threw them away, unopened.

When putting my own pieces together and realizing and admitting that I am an alcoholic I thought it was impossible! How could I be? That would make me just like the man I have refused to have any contact with for so long! But there was no denying it in the long run. I am absolutely alcoholic. What a blessing this has turned out to be.

Through my own alcoholism I have realized that my dad wasn't choosing booze over me. He doesn't love it more than he loves me. He is an alcoholic. He has a progressive disease that tricks him, lies to him, coaxes him deeper and deeper into the darkness. I made choices myself that made no sense all because my disease told me to. Because of this, I have forgiven him. I understand that he was only being the best father he was capable of being. He was doing the best he knew how.

Because of my alcoholism I am able to be freed from the despair I mentioned earlier. I understand. I have forgiven.

Someday I may call him and share all of this. For now I am going to give thanks for the newfound freedom I have been blessed with.  I now fully understand the saying, "GRATEFUL recovering alcoholic".


Dancing to Life's Music

I began dancing at the age of eight. My skirt was a soft ballerina pink. It wrapped around me and tied in a satin bow. With every step it swished and swayed with silky, cool softness. Ah... that felt so nice. Sometimes I would twirl and twirl just to feel the fabric swoosh over my legs again and again. It is one of the first times in my memory where I truly allowed myself to let go and be

I continued to dance through high school; dabbling in swing, broadway, jazz, ballroom, tap and hip hop. When I was on stage nothing else mattered. The hot lights shined through my highly done up lashes and bounced off my glossy red lips. My body knew what to do. All I had to do was be present, smile and revel in the feeling of the blood pumping through my veins; being so happy I thought my heart might burst from the sheer joy of it all.

I quit dancing when I graduated high school. I had the belief that serious people don't dance. Dancing is fun, free, fantastical, and often whimsical. Serious, successful people of the real world simply don't do it. Therefore, in my mind, college and career meant no more dancing.

My freshman year of college presented me with a new state, new people, new religions, a long distance boyfriend, and weight gain. I found myself scheduling when I would go home depending on when my roommates were gone. That way I could lock myself up in my room for hours. When I would hear them come home I would turn off my lights, turn down my music or TV, and wait for the courage to bubble up for me to go out in the living room and pretend I was interested. The arm of isolation was slowly and steadily wrapping itself around me.

During that year I saw a ballroom dance group perform. All of the sudden I was engaged. One of the dresses was a vibrant red satin laced with delicate black lace. With every turn I felt her skirt against my legs as if I were the one wearing it. Shivers ran across my skin and tears sprung to my eyes. I thought long and hard about joining them. Horribly that would involve reaching out, taking a risk, showing my authentic self. I never joined.

My sponsor told me about a community dance class that studied Improvisational Dance a few months ago. I had never even heard of Improv as a style but figured, what the hell? I had just admitted I was an alcoholic to a room full of complete strangers! Talk about reaching out and taking a risk!

I walked into that class absolutely terrified. It had been four years since I had moved my body in a creative way. Four years since I had felt the blood rushing, felt my heart ready to burst from the organic energy of dance. Thoughts of doubt came screaming through my head. You won't remember how. You have never done this kind of dance before. Everyone will see you're a fraud. No one will believe you have ever danced. You are too fat to be moving like a dancer anyway. You should go home. I felt like puking and bolting all at the same time. Then, the music started. Oh, yes. Then I was able to remember. My body remembered. The fibers of my being remembered. My heart skipped as if to say, "Thank you!" My blood was already coursing and pulsing and I hadn't even stretched yet! Soon I was leaping, twisting, turning and twirling like no time had passed at all. I was, yet again, able to let go and be.


Character Defects

The weather is absolutely gorgeous right now. I have been trying to get outside as much as I can. The other day I went for a hike on a trail right by my house.  It wasn't until I was about a mile into it that I recognized some recent changes.

I never used to be able to hike. I was too afraid. Who knew what kind of god-awful creatures lurked behind that boulder? What the hell could I do if a bear or mountain lion or hobo decided to kill me for dinner? Would I be able to bend the right way if a rattle snake bit my ankle so I could suck the venom out? If I fell and broke my ankle my cell phone would probably die simultaniously and then what? Hopefully a freak storm would brew and I would be carried away by a flash flood so my family wouldn't have to blow money on a funeral.

Okay. So you get it. No way in hell you would catch me hiking.

But I went hiking. By myself. Two days ago. A lot of the insane fears I used to have have been taken from me. That is unreal.

Another thing that has changed is how I to talk to people. I used to flat out lie to people so they would like me. Tell me you enjoy sky diving? I've always wanted to sky dive! Liver and onions your favorite meal, you say? Mmm-hmmm...sounds delicious! You are convinced a tribe of alien invaders live below the public library and are close to finalizing their plan of attack? I was just thinking the same thing! Fancy that! Seriously, I would say anything to not offend, including agreeing to go on dates with people I had no interest in so their feelings wouldn't get hurt.

I realized this character defect had magically vanished when I told a complete stranger, after he described in detail how passionate he is about fly fishing, that I, to be perfectly honest, hate to fish. He wasn't the least bit offended and I didn't feel icky about lying.

 Another recent example happened while at the library. A guy there has been eye-stalking me. He will watch me for hours, strategically placing himself behind a bookshelf or computer for optimum spying/hiding advantage. Ew. I know. The other day, however, he sat at my table and struck up a conversation.

"Couldn't help but notice you sitting by yourself." (No shit. You have been watching me for over an hour now AND it's a fucking library, not a homecoming dance. Last time I checked sitting alone is more than acceptable.)

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. So, I don't know how to say this so I'm jus gonna say it, 'kay?"

"Uh, okay."

"Can I take you out?" (Stop. Now this is where a few months ago I would have cringed but said, "Sure. What's the harm in that?")

Instead I replied, "You know, I really don't think that would be such a great idea. My life is pretty busy right now."

"Oh okay. Well thanks anyway."

He then got up, pushed in the chair, and wandered off. I didn't even worry about him trying to commit suicide later once. I know that's a tad bit extreme but, since I'm being completely honest here, I really used to worry about that. Pretty damn disgusting of me (not to mention utterly self consumed to think I really held that kind of power).

So, I am speaking honestly and gently, and I am hiking. Two big changes I have happened to observe recently. Two more reasons to be grateful.


The Addiction

The past couple of weeks have been some of the worst in my sobriety. A lot of feelings and old, stuffed down deep emotions hit me like a truck on Easter. I was blindsided. I had no idea those feelings still exsisted let alone held the power to make me sob and sob in a deserted parking lot. I was so confused and angry. I had kept those feelings repressed for so long that they felt more powerful than I was able to handle.

After crying for a long while in my Easter Sunday best it hit me: My addiction. All of the sudden the only possible solution was to walk into the grocery store across the parking lot and reunite with my  ex-lover, Wine. The thought was strong and my craving was off the charts. My mouth watered, my heartbeat increased, my skin got flushed and hot. I was fucking terrified. I thought, "Wait a minute here. I have over one hundred days in this thing! I can't fuck it up now. It would be so embarrassing to have to start all over again." Usually after these thoughts the craving disappears, the obssesive thoughts vanish, and I am left comfortable in my sobriety. Not that day. The next thoughts came zooming into my skull far faster than the others, "So what?! It's just 100 measly days. You could do that over easy. You are in pain. It hurts worse than anything you have experienced in a long time. You just can't handle it. Walk in that store and do what needs to be done. You will feel so much relief. Just do it."

I felt doomed. I turned off my car. I readied my purse. My fingers curled around the handle of my car door. Then I heard a voice. This time it wasn't from my alcohlic head. It was calm, peaceful, tranquil, and full of loving purpose.

"Sadie, turn on your car and go home."

So I did, thanking my Higher Power the entire way.

I am continuing to struggle with my cravings and alcoholic thinking today. Last night a craving hit me for no apparent reason that had me drooling over the computer. It has been hard and scary, yes. But thank God for that experience in the parking lot. As awful as it was and as painful as it was it confirmed my belief in my Higher Power.

When the octopus arm that is alcoholism begins wrapping itself around me, squeezing tighter, sucking at my flesh, I stop and pray. I stop and ask my Higher Power who saved me that day to please save me again, to give me the strength I need.


Living In The NOW

I have had the hardest time getting myself to write lately. I can't tell you how many times I have sat down to make a post this week for 15, 20, sometimes even a half hour before muttering "fuck it" and clicking that bright red "X".

I don't know if it's because my mind has been so busy with the static everyday tasks of life this week and just needs to shut down,or if I have turned into a boring, dull,  giant blob void of creativity. Nothing seems to want to flow out of me. I have no original thoughts or realizations. I haven't been sitting around contemplating my place in the Universe. I wake up, eat, work out, go to work, get home, eat, sleep and so on and so on. This type of pattern used to really mess with my head. I would become restless and anxious. I would feel unimportant and robotic. At times I would get depressed and wonder if I was truly living a life worth anything. Those feelings of, at times, hopelessness could occur daily before I got sober.

It is a different story today. After a week of that same-old, same-old I am happy. I am satisfied. I am, dare I say it...?, content. I now understand that it's okay if I don't make a big deal out of every little thing. It's fine that I want to veg out from time to time. The world doesn't explode if I decide to take a nap instead of making sure everything around me is perfectly wrapped in a big shiny bow, neatly tucked into its perfect spot on that metaphorical shelf of life.

This newfound contentness (if that's not a word it should be) has me breathing easier and I have yet to experience a headache this week. I am living in each moment and enjoying everything, no matter how mundane, so much more fully. I may still mutter things like "fuck it" to myself now and then but it's the fact that I don't beat myself up after. When I click that bright red "X" I am able to easily transition into the next moment, not dwelling on what I wasn't able to do and instead focusing on what I am doing.



As you know, I have been battling quite the cold this past week. I am still stuffy and it has decided to take up residence in my chest so the treadmill must wait a few more days I'm afraid. Don't worry though, I have replaced working out with copious amounts of frozen yogurt so it's all good.

Being sick I have missed an entire week's worth of meetings. At first I didn't even notice. After about 3 days, however, I was noticing how effortlessly I had allowed myself to slip back into isolation. I laid in bed with my door shut up tight, downloaded music for hours, and watched reruns of My Boys, Sober House, and MTV shows I am too embarrassed to mention publically. On Sunday I spent 7 straight hours in front of my computer, no problem.

Now, I realize I was sick as hell but isolation is a scary thing for me at this point. When I was drinking and taking my anti-anxiety pills I searched out ways and reasons to isolate. Isolation was comfortable and necessary for my "sanity". Don't you see that I work all day?! I deserve to lock myself up for days! If anyone talks to me I might lose it! I am talked at all day and don't need it when I get home. Can't you understand? It wasn't until I got sober that I realized my isolating was necessary for my INSANITY.

Being able to isolate so quickly again frightened me back into my new reality. I have people I can call. I have people who genuinely care. So, even though I was still feeling shitty this morning, I dragged myself out of bed to a meeting. Wouldn't you know it? Everybody was glad to see me and had even noticed I had been gone. That was shocking! It took me a minute to realize that when I isolate myself others notice and miss me. Wow. Again, I am amazed and filled with gratitude.

I do wonder, though, if I will ever be able to freely call on those people just to shoot the breeze or go for a walk or grab a quick cup of coffee. It seems that the only reason I reach out is if I am in a bind of some sort. Whether it be the octopus arm of isolation, depression, or alcoholism that is slowly tightening its grip around my neck, it doesn't matter. The common thread is that I have an arm slowly suffocating me before I truly reach out and ask for help. Will it always have to come to that? Or will I be able to eventually call up one of the incredible people I have met through the Grace of God in this program to simply chat when I want to?

Often this week while in bed I have faught off the urge to call someone and just talk about their day or the weather or if there are sales going on somewhere I should know about. The thought pops into my head, I reach for the phone, and then quickly talk myself out of it.

"Who wants to be bothered with your small talk?"
"She's probably busy anyway."
"Like she cares what you have on your mind, she has enough on her's as it is."

By the end of my "talking myself out of it" I feel guilty, shameful, and selfish. I worry that those feelings and this pattern will continue as well. I have successfully kept myself isolated from potential friends for a year and a half. Now that people are coming into my life I feel like an infant. I feel I have no social tools left in my toolbox of life anymore. I am deathly afaid that if I get truly and deeply close to someone they will realize what a fraud I truly am. How frightened of it all I am. How new to life and this world I feel.


Dear Baby Sadie,

I am so very sorry for neglecting you for so long. You have been neglected in some way or another by your various parents at no fault of their own. There has been a serious lack of fun and frolic in your life from the get go. This is no one’s fault. I can blame not one person. This just happens to be the life you were given; the life you are meant to learn and grow from. It is my duty however, as Big Sadie, to make up for that lost time. I feel so sad that you were unable to play and have fun without guilt or shame. The time has come for me to let you have that carefree, hair blowing in the wind, toes in the dirt, bubbles popping on your face, screaming with delight kind of fun.


Big Sadie


Here Sicky, Sicky, Sicky....

I have been sicker than I can remember ever being going on two days now. I haven't been sleeping because my throat hurts so damn bad, my neck and shoulders are so tense it's giving me mad crazy headaches, and I'm so congested my head may literally explode in T-minus-three-seconds. Because of this I have been forced to take two days off from work. I don't get sick days. That money is just gone. No way around it. I. Am. Miserable.

With that being said, I am trying desperately to find the goodness in shitty situations. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Yes. Everything. No matter how awful or inexplicable it may seem. A perfect example is my sobriety. I had to nearly die in order for me to here in this moment. Nearly dying, yeah, not so great. Actually, it really fucking sucked and totally rocked my world. However, if it hadn't have happened, I would probably still be drinking. Voila! Goodness from a shitty situation.

As far as me being sick as hell, well, a lot of good has come from it actually.  I have been able to get some reading done. Just being able to put the brakes on for awhile is a blessing, really. But most of all it has given me the time to really write.

I never wrote when I was drinking. Sure I would make a diary entry here or there but they were all seriously boring and static. Now that I am sober I seem to have gotten a little of my writing mojo back. Yes, there are moments (sometimes hours or days) that I seriously doubt my abilities but that is how it goes. Life is constantly ebbing and flowing, is it not? Writing for me is therapy. Often I will write for a half hour or so, go back and reread what I just typed, and be blown away by what I actually think. My mind just does that. It is very hard to trust my thoughts as I am in constant battle with my head and addictive thoughts. But, if it makes it out of my head, down my arms, through my fingers, and onto the page, well, I can always trust that.

I am most grateful for being able to write for the fact that it is a very powerful tool in my sobriety. I can be having a really tough day (I'm talking those times where getting blitzed out of your mind seems fabulous no matter what the consequences will be) but turn to writing and be brought back into sanity. I may write a letter to the little Sadie in me who at times is screaming for attention. I may write a letter to my higher power, asking Her to please help or thanking her for just simply being there for me to write to. I may write a letter to alcohol, breaking up with it all over again. I may blog. All of these things are extremely therapeutic and I feel better immediately. I usually get so wrapped up in the writing that my cravings disappear somewhere in the first or second paragraph. What a wonderful gift!

So, yes. I may be sick as hell and want to over medicate so I can crawl up in a ball and finally get some sleep. My throat may still be sore, my neck still locked up, my head still ready to explode with one false move, but I am writing again! And that makes it all not seem so bad.


" Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt."  – William Shakespeare

I will be three months sober this coming Tuesday. The past couple of weeks have been full of doubts. FULL. I have doubted my competence at work. I have doubted my ability to live in a new place without completely freaking out. I have doubted my new found skill to budget and gasp! save money. I have doubted my capability to stay sober. I have doubted my writing. Doubts have been creeping up on me left and right; those sneaky, stealth arms of my octopus.

What I have started to do is watch. I watch that arm slink its way around the corner of my bedroom door, inch across my floor, curl around my shoulder, and begin to clench itself around my neck or torso or chest. Instead of screaming and clawing frantically at my walls I simply sit and watch. I notice how interesting it all is. How fast the doubt can come at times, catching me completely off gaurd. How sticky some doubt can be (the doubts of my being able to write anything anyone will ever want to actually read is still wrapped around me today). And how easily some doubts seem to slip away (I'm feeling pretty darn good about my money situation at the moment). It's all so fascinating really.

What's great about just watching it all happen, sitting and being able to observe my life as if a child discovering his fingers for the first time, is that the crippling power of the doubt (or whatever it may be) suddenly isn't so powerful. Watching with interest has become fun and at times I find myself laughing as I watch patterns emerge.

So yes. I am writing this at the moment completely aware of how much I doubt this is even readable let alone enjoyable to read but you know what? I'm watching it happen. I'm feeling it happen. And even more, I'm posting this bitch!