I made it past 30 days of sobriety. My sponsor mailed me a chip. It says 1 month on the front and the serenity prayer on the back. I just see her on zoom or talk over the phone because of Covid-19. I am still working on the first step. I wrote down reasons I am powerless over alcohol and my life is unmanageable in my last post.
Everything I wrote is true, but I still have trouble. I identify as an alcoholic in the meeting, but I don’t completely agree. They say all you need to join is a desire to quit drinking, which I do. So, I am part of AA day by day. Today I will go to a meeting and call my sponsor. I won’t worry about tomorrow until it gets here.
I am starting to work on the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous. My sponsor has me writing down how I am powerless over alcohol and that my life has become unmanageable.
It is hard. I like to think that with enough willpower I can do anything, but I have tried quitting on my own and that did not work. I have gotten sick, saying “never again” to go out the next night and drink again. I am endangering my physical and mental health, but I did not stop until very recently.
I considered the bottle to be a friend. It was always there, never let me down. I think I was developing a tolerance. I was having trouble getting a buzz. I was letting daily activities go to the wayside. I am terribly shy and needed a drink to socialize.
I was talking with a friend who is very involved in aa. She started telling me rules. You aren’t supposed to make changes the first year and I should be journaling were a couple. She was scaring me. I wondered what I was getting into. I called my sponsor and she said those things can be good but not required.
The meetings I have been going to are over Zoom. I can’t wait to meet people in person. I have just been going to women’s meetings. The ladies have been nice. I have 25 days sober. I am still a newcomer.
I was first introduced to NAMI when a friend told me about their Peer to peer program. I had heard of family to family, another of their signature programs. I signed up and was assigned to a class when one was starting up.
There were other people like me in the class and the mentors were doing well. That was the first time I had heard of recovery. We learned about relapse prevention, our illness, goal setting, advance directives and much more. We had a mindfulness exercise at the end of each session, I enjoyed it and even though I get really anxious, I signed up to mentor. I moved from that program to In Our Own Voice sharing my story of recovery. I still do those presentations.
I work as a Peer Mentor, but until very recently there was no standardized training. I took a mental health paraprofessional course years ago, have years of volunteer and work experience and recently took the NAMI Peer Support/Family Support Specialist training.
They also have support groups both for consumers and family, a warmline, and other programs.
The OC Warmline is only for Orange County, CA residents
Call or text: (714) 991-6412 Toll Free (877)-910-9276
They have an annual walk to raise money through donations. This year it was a virtual scavenger hunt. Usually it is a 5K walk. I walk to support NAMI because they have so many resources and have been able to help me and others.
I know not everyone can get or even wants therapy, but for me it is an important piece for my recovery.
My therapist retired last Dec. I had plenty of notice and found someone new. She is very qualified, but I could not connect. I would run out of things to say and leave early. Then COVID came. We did telephone and I tried texting, but nothing helped. I am convinced she is a good therapist, just not right for me.
Psychology Today has a section on the website called therapist finder. You can search by insurance, gender, location, specialty etc. I scoured it and found someone who’s website intrigued me. So, I contacted her. We spoke on the phone and I had my first telehealth visit Friday. It was not actually over ZOOM but similar
We went over my history. I took the whole time. She says she works in the present but we can address how the past affects the present. She is really upbeat, which reminds me of my sister. It is a good thing. I made another appointment.
I used to feel, maybe I still do, that I am broken and I need someone to fix me. Maybe, if I could change that view of being broken I would feel more empowered?
Whenever I complain about our government on social media, I am told to leave the country. It is tempting although my family, job, house, life, is here in the US. I really don’t want to leave, I just want it to be safe.
Someone, today, said to consider Portugal over Canada, I read briefly on the immigration policy. They have a golden visa if you buy property that could be a possibility and I have relatives in Portugal. I know next to nothing about the country and would have to learn the language
If you have read my posts you know how I fear this country becoming a totalitarian regime. My husband insists it is not as bad as I think. There is chaos on the news but around us there has not been much change. We are essential workers and my children are in college (virtually).
Do I wait it out and hope it is not too late if I need to leave?
My observable symptoms: responding to internal stimuli, inappropriate laughter, mood swings are the tip of the iceberg. You can’t see the hallucinations, delusions, loneliness and the pain.
When I had my first psychotic break, no one around me noticed. I am married and was working. People asked me if I was sad. I was isolating, and they can’t know what is going on inside your mind. (Although, at times i have believed people could know my thoughts).
Now, it is hard to tell if I am isolating or just following stay home orders.
I have been stable for years. Sometimes, I worry i will have another break, but hopefully we (my husband and I) will be able to recognize it and act quickly.