Saturday, November 13, 2010

Strange Days

Today has really been an odd mix of emotions. Happy, sassy, sad, nostalgic, guilty. Ended up with a little bit unsettled.

Last night I went to a 40th birthday party for a girl I graduated high school with. And I wore my "sassy girl" shoes...

And danced my feet off, and had a blast. It was like a mini-reunion of the D.E.C.A. Club! I missed the 20th high school reunion so it was absolutely awesome to see all these girls again.

Then I think I spent a little too long on Facebook. I happened upon a page that one of my classmates put up as a memorial to all the classmates who are no longer with us on this Earth. One in particular made me cry.

He and I were never friends. In fact, just the opposite. There were only harsh words between us. One night I got so angry that I said something particularly evil. And when he died our sophomore year, I felt tremendously guilty for having said it.

I went to his funeral. I seem to remember that the school gave anyone who wanted to go permission to miss classes. I think that the halls of HHS were probably deserted that day. I was sitting in the church that was packed to the rafters. Some days later, one of his best friends who knew the whole story, who had also chased me and my friends through the streets of our hometown, heard JR and I call each other every name in the book and who heard the very last thing I ever said to JR before he died - told me that my being there was one of the coolest things he'd ever seen.


How do I make amends to those people I have harmed that are no longer on this Earth? It's taken me a while but I have learned that once hateful words are spoken, you CANNOT take them back. Once the damage is inflicted, the wound might heal but the scar will always be there. The only way to "fix" it is to not say it in the first place. All I can do is do better than I have in the past and live my life in a way that reflects that.

Living amends, my sponsor calls them. So, JR, if you are up there listening, I'm sorry for what I said to you that night so long ago. I've never said those words to anyone else since. Know that the people who knew you well and loved you still think about you often.

My Higher Power has been bringing many things and people back into my consciousness these days. I have an amends on my list that I did not think I would ever be able to make. And when I saw his name, I sent a friend request and a message. I told him that if he didn't respond, it was okay. I could understand why he wouldn't. But that I owe him some amends if he was willing to listen.

That friend request was accepted today. And that's a bit unsettling. I've been thinking about what I want to say. What I need to say. And how the HELL can I possibly say ANYTHING that would matter or that he would care to hear.

I will be consulting my sponsor on this one. And my Higher Power. I know that if I ask for His guidance, the words will come. What the person does with them is out of my control.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Interesting.......and a little unsettling..

I was looking though my page view stats for the week and found a couple of interesting things.

11 page views came from Pakistan. 3 from India. A couple from Slovenia. Most were from the US and Canada which I expected, and the few from the UK and the rest of Europe, okay, maybe. I know some of my Facebook peeps are there.

Pakistan? India? Really? Interesting.

I guess I'm global. And I'm not sure how I feel about that. Duh. It is called the WORLD WIDE WEB after all.

Shoes Always Fit

My FSS always was cussing about the number of pairs of shoes I have in my closet.

Part of this is a guy thing - they just don't get the need for more than one pair for work, one pair for fun and one pair for funerals.

And I'm not saying that I require one pair of shoes for every outfit....although, my collection IS dangerously close to that.....but a person needs options! I like my flats, I like my slip-on tennies, I LOVE my fuzzy Crocs (even though I had vowed at one point to never own a pair of Crocs, I got a pair last year for Christmas and I LOVE THEM!!) I like my heels when I'm feeling sassy and know I don't have to spend a really long time on my feet because let's face it - fashion can be painful. I have, however, found a solution for the high-heel=pain problem... WEDGES!! At last a shoe that makes me feel tall, and sexy and doesn't hurt my feet. (My knees give out long before my feet do.)

But for me, shoes are about more than just fashion. I have an addictive personality, so, when I find things that make me feel good, I have a predisposition to go a little overboard. Doesn't really matter what it is - food, drugs, booze, men, clothes.....and shoes. And here's why......

I'm also a person who struggles with her weight - up, down, up, down, UP, down - all my life. So, when I turn to food to make me feel better, it just makes me fatter. And all the clothes that once made me feel good, no longer fit and I have to go back downstairs and pull out the fat girl wardrobe.

Drugs and booze have made my life spin out of control in ways too numerous to recount here. But if you've been following along, you get the idea.

Men only break my heart. And generally when that happens, it sets in motion the whole food-fat girl-booze-drugs mess all over again.


Shoes always fit. Through all the men, through all the ups and downs of my weight, throughout my struggles with the feet (and my shoe size) have always remained the same. (Not so much through the pregnancies, but that's to be expected!)

So, my shoes always fit. The simple act of slipping on a particular pair of shoes makes me feel better. There are memories attached to each pair of shoes. The copper slip-ons with the medium wedge I bought for $5 and wore to the interview that landed me my job. The black Bear Traps ballet slippers I bought of the clearance rack at work because the shoes I had on that day just weren't going to be possible all day long! The Aerosoles that I bought in two colors because I was working two jobs and was on my feet sometimes 18 hours a day.

Wedding shoes, funeral shoes, red shoes, sparkly shoes, heels, flats - even a pair of come-fuck-me boots. (Might have to wear those this Friday!)

So please guys - don't ask us to part with our shoes willy nilly. It's not just about the shoes. It's a part of who we are!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Terminal Uniqueness & Some Promises

Most people who know me, or who have been paying any attention at all over the last few months, already know this, but in case you just joined the party or have been blissfully unaware.....

My name is Lana and I am an alcoholic. And like lots of other alcoholics, I suffer from "terminal uniqueness." That's the notion that no one else in the world is going through the same things I am. No one else in the world has my unique set of circumstances to deal with and that's why I have lots of good reasons why I should be allowed to remain stuck in my self-pity and complacency.

The reality is that EVERYONE - alcoholic or not, sober or not - has that EXACT same thought. When I am sitting in a meeting, there is NOTHING unique about me. I'm just another drunk trying to not be a drunk anymore and hangin' on like HELL to the idea that if I do what is suggested, there really IS a better life.

One of my favorite passages in my Big Book are The Promises. I remember the very first time I heard them, which meeting I was in, and who read them. It was the same meeting that I "came out" of the alcoholic closet. (Thanks Elena. I will never forget you.)

"If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half-way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will instinctively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them."
(Alcoholics Anonymous, p 83-84)

There's a couple of biggies in there for me.

"We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it." I have a truckload of shit that is regrettable. And I lived for a long time mired down in that regret and sorrow. And when you add those two things together - regret and sorrow - you get self-pity. And that provides countless excuses to stay sick.

"No matter how far down the scale we have gone..." I used to think that my only problem with alcohol was the OTHER PEOPLE in my life who drank. And I was REALLY good at surrounding myself with people who drank way more than I did. That way I could say things like "Well, I don't drink everyday, so I'm not an alcoholic." Or, "I've never got so drunk I've blacked out." Or "I've never been arrested." Or I don't even have ONE D.U.I. let alone ELEVEN." SO I AM NOT AN ALCOHOLIC!!!! I just have lousy taste in spouse type people.

Well. Hmmm. Now I realize that none of those things are required for membership in the drunk club. In fact the ONLY requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. (And I tried to do it myself and found I could not. People were complaining. "Jesus Christ! Have a drink already and calm the FUCK down.") And, incidentally, most of those "milestones" that I was sooooo proud I had not achieved? Yeah, they've all happened over the last couple years. The only one I don't have is the D.U.I. And that is ONLY by the Grace of a God whose power and love I cannot begin to understand. And it's one I can live without! (The D.U.I. I can live without, not the Grace and Love.)

"God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves." And God is definitely working in my life these days. It is a bit unsettling how many names there are that are on both my 4th Step Inventory and my Facebook Friends list. My sponsor - an awesome lady - tells me that's God bringing my "wreckage" back into my consciousness so that I can clear it away.

"If we work for them." And I guess that's the point of the whole Blog exercise. This is me, working for my Promises, telling the world what is was like, what happened, and what it's like now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Middle of the Night Sleep Deprived Ramblings...

It's the middle of the night and I was well on my way to being fully asleep until my stupid dog decided she had to go outside RIGHT NOW!! Now I'm wide awake again and my feet are cold again. They were cold earlier - even my super thick Columbia socks weren't doing the job - but when I crawled into bed and pulled the extra blanket on, they finally warmed up. I don't know about anybody else but if my feet are cold, I'm cold all over.

And I hate being cold because it makes me hurt all over - muscles, joints, all the way down to my bones until I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. Montana is definitely not the right climate to be in with a chronic pain disorder. When it's warmer, I do so much better. Sigh. Maybe someday I'll be able to move to Mexico for the coldest part of the year like a friend of mine did. But, not anytime soon.

Guess I will have to just double up the socks, drag out the long undies, and pile on the extra blankets.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This Time of Year

I love Thanksgiving. I have so many good memories of family dinners. My dad comes from a family of ten kids so when we have family dinners, we have family dinners!

I remember one year my Grandma was having 21 people for dinner and only had ONE can of black olives. My cousin Jon took 10 of them (one for each finger) and had eaten half of them before anyone noticed.

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the Drunk Dialer and his dad and brother in a TINY one bedroom apartment with an oven about half the regulation size. (Yeah, I'm just that good!!)

There seems to be a lot of things triggering walks down memory lane lately. Most of them are things long forgotten. But good things. Bittersweet things about people who are no longer with me on this Earth. And funny things like the very first time I ever met my Former Supposed Spouse.

At Cocktails. (Some of you might remember Cocktails. Some of you might remember it as The Padded Cell. Or Shamrocks. Or the Havre Daily Lounge. Or maybe even all of the above. I remember Cocktails (and it's owner) quite fondly.) Anyway, on a Saturday afternoon, with a good buzz on both of us, the FSS looks me up and down and wants to know can he see my tits. So very charming, right?

What would have been our 7th "anniversary" is coming up on the 30th of this month. I have a lot of anger towards him right now. But there are lots of good memories too.

I'm not sure what's up with all the trips down memory lane. I'm going with the idea that it's because I'm turning 40 in ten days. And I'm sober. And I've rebuilt my faith in a Power Greater Than Myself. And I think that Higher Power is bringing things into my consciousness to show me where the wreckage is that needs to be cleared away.

It's like a "spoonful of sugar" thing. The good memories make the bad ones easier to take.

Just a Quick Update....

I know you're all waiting with baited breath to know whether or I not I pushed the button....

Yes. I did. And we had a nice chat.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Need To Purge The Memory(ies) - Good, Bad, Horrific, and Otherwise

As promised M, here's the back story on the Drunk Dialer.

A little background on me, first, I think. I was something of a late bloomer when it came to boys. First kiss was at 15, first REAL kiss was the summer before my Senior year and was a bit confusing. (Yes, there's a back story there, too, but that's one for another day. And no, it wasn't a girl, so keep your minds out of the gutter!! lol) I also lost my virginity the summer before my Senior year. It was literally with "the boy next door." Okay, the boy across the street and down a few houses. And yeah, he was the football star, and in the band, and choir and drama and and and ...... and I remember being so amazed that he "liked" me too. And, of course, there were complications. He was dating someone else. And one of my best good friends had a GINORMOUS crush on him. (LK from the bottom of my heart, I am so very sorry I did that to you. I wouldn't have done that to one of my girlfriends and so I don't know why I didn't know it wasn't okay to do that to you. This one falls in the horrific category.)

And so, immediately afterwards, I was branded a slut. And I guess I spent the next several years doing my damnedest to live up to that label. I think I accomplished that and then some. But, I digress.

The first time I set eyes upon my Drunk Dialer (DD), he was moving out of his house and divorcing his wife. The only reason I was there was because I was chasing after one of the guys (also married) that was helping D.D. move out. No idea who he was, didn't care, but I was a girl and I was there and someone identified me and so that was really all the psycho ex-wife needed to know to decide that I was REALLY after D.D.

A couple of weeks later, we were all at the Corner Bar and I noticed the D.D. noticing me. And he was kinda cute, in a goofy sort of way - tall, skinny, MaGoo glasses - but he had a great smile and a nice laugh and every muscle on him was rock hard. And we flirted a little. But I got run out of the bar by the one ass hole in the bar who gave a crap that I wasn't 21. And that was that.

Until one night a few weeks later. I'm out cruising (an activity that apparently no one engages in anymore - sad really. So many good times!!) and he's out cruising and we pass each other a few times and I wave and smile a few times and then he stops. And when I drove by again, he waved me over to stop and talk. And I did. And then we cruised together for a while and then......the psycho ex-wife spotted us together. And chased us and tried to run us off the road and ended up running her own car into the ditch.

Yeah. That should have been the only clue I needed to RUN in the OPPOSITE direction.

But no. Tell me I can't have something and I just want it all the more.

So we kept seeing each other. Kept sneakin' around. We spent many a hot summer night in the little attic room he had at his buddy's house. And by that fall we were living together. And I was head over heels in love with him. We both made promises that we ended up not keeping. And the psycho bitch made life a living hell for me.

Was it worth it? I don't know. I know he was my first TRUE, REAL, DEEP love and that never really goes away. I know I'm not the scared little girl I was 20 years ago. I know I've been through 20 years of crazy shit and that changes a person. I'm sober. And THAT is definitely different. I know I'm all stocked up on crazy these days and don't really need anymore. What good would it do to go back there? I think it would just fan the flames of the fire I'm already going down in.

Even still. Here I sit with my phone open, his number on the screen. All I need to do is push talk.

Drunk Dialer Dillema

The drunk dialer has his very own ring so I know it's him even before I look at the caller ID.

Do I answer it? Or do I let it ring and let him think I'm sleeping?

There's history there. We know each other. Very well. We lived together for a while And it would be nice to have someone to snuggle up to for a while. But that's just it, I think. It's only for a while. He's never going to be a part of my life they way I want someone to be. People keep telling me, "You can't go back again."

But really? We tried to once and I screwed it up. And when I tried to patch things up and pick up where we left off, he turned me down. And I was pissed about that. But now I realize that I needed some time by myself to figure out what I want and what I need.

And probably what I need is not a "drunk dialer" who only calls in the middle of the night when he's lonely and horny. But, like I said. We know each other. It's easy. It's familiar. It's good. And he does love to snuggle.