I Had a Miscarriage in Recovery and I Am Not Okay

I had a miscarriage. I was pregnant and then I wasn’t; just like that.

We swore we didn’t want anymore kids, and then life seemed to fall into place. We thought about the possibility, when the time was right. We weren’t trying exactly, but there I was peeing on a stick and a getting a definite positive sign.

What the fuck were we thinking??? Now is not the time for this! crossed my mind a few times, but it felt right. I wanted to hold our news for a while. I just wanted to feel happy and excited, without all the negativity I knew we would get from others.

We told a select group of close friends, and left it at that. I made my first OB appointment for eight weeks. The doctor kept asking if I had my dates right. Was I sure? He wanted to do blood work and then more blood work, and schedule another ultra sound. He said we would “see what things look like in a week,” and my head started to spin with what ifs.

I convinced myself everything would be fine, but I knew in my heart it wasn’t. Monday came and went and then Tuesday came with a phone call from the doctor. He wanted me to go the hospital for an ultrasound. The tech didn’t say word and wouldn’t look me in the eyes. She just stared at the screen in silence.

As I got dressed, I cried. I was instructed to see my OB in the morning. I walked in and the nurse handed me a box of tissues. I knew what the doctor was going to say. He explained that I had miscarried, and informed me about my options. I opted for a D&C, because I knew waiting it out was going to kill me inside even more.

I thought I was ok. I had miscarried naturally twice before. But I wasn’t ok. I’m not ok.

Sober Mommies - I Had a Miscarriage in Recovery and I Am Not Okay

I feel empty and lost. I’m struggling with the thought that I have no right to be upset. I have healthy children, and I’ve never struggled to conceive, so who am I to be upset?

For the first time in 5 1/2 years I really thought long in hard about breaking my sobriety. I wanted to numb all that I’m feeling and hide from it all. I didn’t, and I won’t, but everything I feel is swallowing me whole right now. The anxiety is overwhelming.

The doctor reassured me that none of this is my fault, that it happens and is more common than you think. But it feel like I must have done something wrong.

I feel so alone.

I hate feeling feelings when they’re hard and they suck, but I’m feeling and trying to process them as they come.

So there it is. I was pregnant and then I wasn’t, and damn it, it sucks.

 

 

This brave and beautiful post was submitted by Anonymous. 

 

How To Work Through A Deep Craving Episode

I beat my drinking demon to a pulp today.

My illness and I fought — good and hard on the wrestling mat — and against all odds, I won. It was a terrifying match. I finished bloody, messy and exhausted…but I won.

In the middle of an otherwise ordinary workday, after months of sobriety, I suffered a very acute and sudden craving to drink; to sit in a bar and just…drink.

This is what I call a “deep craving episode.” They are powerful and real, and hard as hell to get through. Today, one almost took me down.

Suddenly I wanted to drink. Hard. I ached for the hit of alcohol sliding down my throat. I yearned for the rays of sunlight traveling through my veins. Slave to this thought, I sat at my desk and started to crawl out of my skin. I was craving with the deep desire of an addict – violent, unexpected and very real.

A frozen shot of vodka – A tall glass of Stella – The thick lovemaking sip of red wine. Relief – Lust – Beauty – Darkness. Something. Everything. Just a sip. Just two. Just a thousand. Please. I need to drink.

The craving, which started as a whisper, quickly became a storm. My mouth watered, my brain screamed, and my lungs ached.

A voice that sounded like mine whispered that today a drink would feel amazing. A drink would make me feel whole and perfect. I would be able to breathe deeply, and fit “right” inside of my skin. My problems would evaporate, seeming weightless and unimportant. Life would feel wonderful.

So. Fucking. Wonderful.

It would probably ruin and break me into little pieces again. It might throw me into another cycle of relapse. Yes, BUT…it would be so worth it.

It’s only been a few months of sobriety, it’s really no big deal if you drink today… You know the way out. You can do it again. My body started to tingle.

The voice wanted to give me permission to drink. It was out to convince me that I needed and deserved a drink.

Stop. Breathe.

This voice is not mine. I have enough years in this process to know this voice is not mine. The illness is a separate being. It lives in me – but it is not me.

After five years sober, it convinced me to pick up a drink, and caused a two year relapse. Two – horrible – years of emotional, spiritual and physical devastation — from which I barely crawled out from alive.

Drink. Just one. Just today.

I closed my eyes as I snowballed into insanity. I was prey to this force, and could not do anything but ride the wave. Like The Hulk, I was both victim and villain; virtually unfolding from myself as the voice continued to scream. 

It’s lunchtime. Leave your desk and go drink.

My body shuddered; her words bigger, better, and bolder. My throat started to pulse with desire. My heart skipped a beat. Fuck. It was on. The wrestling continued.

God, please get this asshole off my chest. God, please.

A wave of strength took over me and I pushed her off unexpectedly, freeing myself.

I jumped out of my chair, grabbed my keys and fled. I cried as I ran down the parking lot. I needed to drive somewhere. Anywhere.

To your favorite steakhouse… Wouldn’t a steak salad hit the spot? Maybe paired with a nice thick French Cabernet in a beautiful, fat wineglass?

Tears trickled from my eyes as I turned the ignition. I gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles. Think through the drink – a crazy old slogan in my head.

That won’t work, Bitch. Playing the tape doesn’t work. Every consequence I pulled from my mind resulting from my drinking seemed minuscule and manageable – and worth it.

God, please don’t let me drink. I looked up through hot tears.

You might become a better recovery advocate if you drink. You will help others better if you go back to the drinking battleground. You can do this just one more time. For others. They deserve it. You deserve it.

Fuck you. To the illness – to the voice – to me.

I shook violently as I pulled into the parking lot of the steakhouse.

I had no idea how I got there. The entrance looked inviting, dark and sexy. I couldn’t feel my fingertips or toes. I was having a panic attack of the worse kind. I couldn’t breathe. There was no air.

What do I do, what do I do? Breathe, breathe. I want to drink. Please let me drink. Oh God, please do NOT let me drink. I looked at the door of the restaurant. Drink. I turned off the ignition. I was terrified of what might happen next. God, I don’t want to do this. My phone. Yes. Where is my phone?

I dialed, and got my sponsor’s voicemail. Shit. I dialed another sober sister. I needed a human on the other end of the line. Another miss. Fuck. My hands were shaking, and I was sobbing. I’m not getting enough oxygen to survive. I am going to die. I am going to die!!

Drink. I dial again, third try. Four rings. “Hello?” Oh, thank you, Jesus. “I want to drink and I need you to talk me off the ledge.” I blurted with desperation. My friend paused for a beat, told me to breathe, and that everything was okay.

I will be okay. I will be okay. I will be okay. 

My friend took me back through my relapses, and reminded me how hard it was for me to find my way back. He reminded me how much I hate myself when I drink; how difficult it is to get back on track once I pick up again. He reminded me that the biggest consequence is the complete disconnect from the light when I drink. 

Sure, I might get temporary relief and comfort from red wine, but my spiritual self is walking to the outlet on the wall and unplugging from everything that is positive and real. Everything that I have worked so hard to get. The lights go out with the first glass. I disconnect the minute that wine hits my throat. From myself. From God. From everything.

I closed my eyes and my breathing slowed.

We shared some silence, and I stopped crying. My friend reminded me it was Friday, that I had gotten divorced the day before, and my body and spirit were beyond exhausted. He asked me if I had been running on self-will and had taken on the stress of managing everything on my own… if I had worked on letting go.

My friend asked if I had eaten; if I’d slept enough lately. Had I exercised? Gone to a meeting? Talked to my sponsor? Helped another alcoholic? Taken time to pause? He asked if I had taken care of myself and not just others. No. No. Nope. Not much, no. No. I had not.

The air returned to the car, and I took a deep, shaky breath. I felt serenity spread from my center on out. His voice faded into the background, as I visualized a plug on a wall. The wall was made of light, and that plug, firmly attached, represented my recovery. It represented many days of connection, and all the beautiful work needed to get there.

I cannot unplug from that light. I just fucking CAN’T.

“Go eat now,” said my friend, snapping me back to reality. “Cry a little. Pray, breathe, and go eat.” Wise advice.

I thanked my friend, hung up, and drove to my favorite Mexican restaurant. 

This may happen sometimes, if you are an alcoholic. This is the dance. Sometimes its easy, sometimes it’s not. 

Sobriety can get a little fucked up, and sometimes it hurts like hell, but we never quit. We ask for help. We pray. We connect. We fight. For a lifetime, every day… one day at a time.

Today I am grateful for such a different experience. I am grateful for the battle, the knowledge, and the terror. Mostly, I am grateful for the grace of another sober day.

 

A version of this post first appeared on Pamela’s blog Sober Mami, and was edited for this audience. Follow Pamela on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and You Tube!

 

 

Sober Mommies Syndicate Pamela

Pamela started her Recovery journey from alcohol addiction in 2009. After five years of being sober, she drank. It took two years of chronic relapse to find her path back to sobriety. Those two years turned out to be pivotal in her approach to recovery.

Today, Pamela is an advocate for recovering out loud, putting a face to alcoholism and life beyond addiction. She is a Certified Professional Recovery & Life Coach and has developed the platform SoberMami, an online resource for those seeking hope and recovery support.

Pamela is a studio executive producer and lives in Dallas with her son Stefan.

9 Reasons I Want To Drink After Seventeen Years of Sobriety

There’s something almost magical about coming up for air after the long winter months, hiding under the heavy blanket of seasonal depression. There is a part of me – even after 17 years of sobriety – that whispers ever-so-seductively every summer, that it might be acceptable to start drinking again.

Here are some of the reasons I’ve come up with over the years.

Sober Mommies 9 Reasons I Want To Drink After 17 Years of Sobriety
#1  I miss drinking.
Sometimes I mourn the unawareness that drinking – for me – is a horrible idea, but there is very little about my drinking career I actually miss.

I do not miss hangovers or having to ask someone to walk me through the previous night’s events.  I also appreciate waking up next to a man I recognize every morning, and knowing exactly where my car is parked.

Deduction: Even if I do sometimes miss drinking, I do not ever miss the consequences that almost always resulted.

#2   I could probably just have one and it would be no big deal.

Okay, this one might be true.

I might be able to have just one drink tonight, be super proud of myself for beating the odds of alcoholism, and maybe even go to bed without anything catastrophic happening. I’ve heard many stories over the years of people doing just that. Unfortunately, many (not all) of those stories continue with two very important words that I must keep in the forefront of my mind.

“And then…”

I imagine my excitement over the ability to have just one drink and go to bed might last for a week… while I fancied how many nights a week I could put the kids to bed and have one.

And then… perhaps after an especially horrific day,  the wait might be too much, and I would decide it okay to put them to bed a little early. I might even justify this with all sorts of rationale regarding how tired they must be after their long day at school, but really it will only be so I can have my one drink and go to bed.

Given how quickly my priorities shift when I drink, I’d be willing to bet it wouldn’t take long for me to experiment with a two glass rule, and I’m sure the glass would also get larger. Perhaps it would take years for things to get as progressively bad as they were in 2000, but I know in my heart they would.

Deduction: One drink usually leads me to another, and the desire to be shit-faced as often as possible ruins my life.

#3  I have my shit together now! I’m married, own a house, and have two cars in the driveway. Things are different. I’m different.

The truth is, the only reason I have shit to rub together today is because I got sober. I don’t “do” relationships when I’m drinking – mostly because they get in the way of my drinking, so I can’t imagine my marriage lasting very long. Plus, I often forget how to be faithful when I’m drunk, and predict that to be a rather substantial deal breaker for my husband. The house? Will most likely be awarded to him in the divorce, because he’ll be the one with full custody of our children. I don’t play mom very well when alcohol is an option; and I have very little desire to. I am different – because sobriety forced me to take a look at myself and take responsibility for the choices I was making. 

My life was a mess because, until I got sober, I chose alcohol over action that could have made it better.  

Deduction: If I want to keep my shit together, stay married, and continue an active role in the lives of my children, drinking is a terrible idea.

#4   I could always just get sober again if my drinking turned into a problem.

I have many friends who decided to drink after years of sobriety, with this very thought. Some of them have managed to renew their sobriety, after years of trying desperately, and some of them have not. Getting sober is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m not sure I could do it again.

Deduction: If I don’t want to risk never finding sobriety or losing another 10-20 years of my life, drinking is a terrible idea.

#5   I have an incredible relationship with God today – a power greater than alcohol. It’s possible I won’t get so lost if I drink now… because I have a spiritual solution.

This thought usually makes me laugh out loud. When I drink, I choose drinking over pretty much everything in my life. Alcohol provides a false sense of security and becomes my solution for everything. I quickly lose faith in all things that do not offer me instant gratification, and lean on alcohol.

Deduction:  If I wish to continue having a relationship with God (and literally everyone else in my life), drinking is a terrible idea.

#6   I’ve grown up A LOT since I had a problem with alcohol, and I’m probably mature enough to handle the responsibility now.

See #3.

I was 22 when I got sober, but had the maturity of a 15 year old girl. I was 15 when I started drinking. Coincidence? Probably not.

When I think about my life back then, I feel tired. I remember how exhausting it was to balance all the things that I had to do (ie. parent, work, adult) and the things I wanted to do (get wasted, let loose, avoid responsibility).

I like my life today. Maybe that’s because I’m sober, maybe it’s not. Either way, I’m not willing to start a fire I’m not sure I can control because I own a lot of flammable shit.

Deduction: If I don’t want a 15 year old girl running my life into the toilet, while whining and crying because adulting is so hard, drinking is a terrible idea.

#7 Other people get to get drunk and still live great lives. *crosses arms and stomps foot* IT’S NOT FAIR!!!

See? Even just the thought of drinking turns me into a very large toddler.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how other people drink, how often, or what happens when they do. Experience has shown me – time and again – that a great life and alcohol don’t mix.

Deduction: If I want my great life, drinking is a terrible idea.

#8   Drinking made me more fun.

I am actually not a fun drunk person. Okay, that’s unfair. For like the first ten minutes I’m a hoot. After that, I’m either incredibly obnoxious or a complete drag; depending on my mood. Quite often, the only person unaware of this, is me.I have had way more fun since getting sober…and the kicker? I get to remember all of it.

Deduction: If I enjoy having friends, drinking is a terrible idea.

#9  After Seventeen years, I have earned it!!

What I have earned in the last seventeen years, one day at a time, is an incredible life that alcohol just doesn’t factor into anymore. Besides, “it” usually refers to that old false sense of relief and comfort I thought drinking provided. The truth is, the high prices I paid for that “relief” were never worth it.

Recovery has provided the opportunity to practice many other coping skills and tools to deal with stress, etc. that actually work. These tools do not offer immediate gratification the way alcohol did, but they don’t ever result in my wanting to kill myself either.

Deduction:  I choose sobriety today, and the amazing life I get to live because of it. Even after seventeen years of sobriety, drinking is a terrible idea.


Sober Mommies 10 Tips For A Sane And Sober Summer

Sober Mommies - Recovery Resource

 

 

This post originally appeared on Next Life, NO Kids.

I Didn’t Feel Anything

**Trigger Warning: childhood sexual abuse**

I laid there, staring at the ceiling; wondering how my life had become this way. I knew in my head I should feel sad, but I didn’t feel anything.

I felt numb.

I reflected over the last nearly two years of my life. I had spent the last 560 days high. I didn’t even know what it felt like to be sober any more.

Sober Mommies I Didn't Feel Anything

Growing up I experienced physical (domestic violence) and sexual abuse, but I had dealt with life very well considering. That was, until December of 2015. That was the month my whole world was flipped upside down, and my life changed forever.

In December of 2015, we found out that my little girl had been molested by the same person who molested me as a child. That was ultimately the last straw — the catalyst in the destruction of my life. It was what had me lying here, so far from sober I couldn’t even fathom what it was going to take to get there.

I prayed that night, as hard as I ever had, asking God to give me the will to stop using. I knew I needed to stop, but the truth is, I didn’t want to. I prayed to feel anything; everything. I began using so I wouldn’t have to feel anything, and ironically, I just wanted to have feelings again.

When I woke up the next day, it was as if I was seeing with new eyes. The first thing I thought about wasn’t getting high; it was about keeping myself busy so I could make it through. The first five days flew by, but I reached day six very nervous. I had made it five days before, so that seemed attainable, but anything further than that was inconceivable.

Two weeks went by, then a month, and I hadn’t even thought about using. I was so proud of myself. Then, I got the call.

They had reopened my daughter’s case, and they were going to prosecute. I had so many mixed feelings about it. I had finally given it to God, and wasn’t thinking about it obsessively anymore. I was doing good! And now this.

I wanted to get high.

I literally contemplated going and sitting inside the police station until I could make a meeting. I had to take it five minutes at a time, because I knew that if I tried to think about it even by the hour, I wouldn’t make it. I’m proud to say, I made it through that day.

I am 90 days clean!

Today I try not to look too far into the future. I realize that my addiction is patient, and it waits for the perfect time to slip back in. I now realize that sobriety is all about having a foundation. Just like with your home, if your foundation is weak it will crack very easily, and it costs so much to repair.

I have reevaluated my life; trying to prioritize and only focus on what is really important to me. My foundation went from being made up of drugs to being made up of relationships. First and foremost is my relationship with God. Not only Him, but also my relationship with the people around me. Human beings have a natural need for connections, and addiction causes us to isolate from the people who mean the most to us.

I have learned that in order to stay sober, I have to maintain those relationships, and keep people as close to me as possible. I am slowly but surely climbing my way out of the deep hole I dug during my addiction. I hope to use my story as inspiration for others around me.

In my opinion, success is not measured by how fast you climb to the top, but rather by the number of people you take with you. I plan on taking as many people as I can.

 

This brave post was submitted by Jessica Allen.

No Girl Wants To Be “That Girl”

No girl wants to be “that girl.”

When I look back on the last 20 years of my life, as hazy as they are, it’s clear to me that all I wanted was for people to like me. I measured that by how much attention I got. As a teenager, I struggled with my identity; not able to find my place. Popular, athletic, smart – none of these words fit.

I went off to college, fell into a crowd of partiers, and finally felt like I belonged. It was there that I developed a very toxic relationship with alcohol.

I thought I made the most out of my college experience spending all of my time around a keg in a packed basement. Those four years full of pot smoke, noise, and several visits to a jail cell. I earned the nickname,  “Crazy Karen,” and lived up to my reputation. The next day I would feel sick and be filled with shame and anxiety.

When I graduated and started working, I found a crowd of friends/colleagues who liked to party as much as I did. My philosophy became “work hard, play hard,” and I thought I was living a successful life.

I believed alcohol helped me relax; that as long as I was able to function the next day, spending my nights drunk was okay.

But I wasn’t functioning.

Even after a few failed marriages and the birth of my kids, it still didn’t occur to me that my lifestyle was unhealthy. I was always happy when 5 o’clock came around and I could open a bottle of wine. I found other parents that liked to drink as much as I did and continued to live the party life.

What I didn’t realize was that not everyone was getting drunk every time they drank. They still partied hard, but unlike me, they were spending most of their nights sober. I wanted to drink a lot and was relieved when the people around me did too.  When they didn’t, I drank anyway.

I didn’t want to quit, but eventually it became my only option. I was an anxious mess, and I was drowning in and failing domestication. I knew I needed to get healthy, but I didn’t believe alcohol was impairing my health. It seemed like the only thing that kept me calm.

One day my mom told me that I was an alcoholic, and if I didn’t change, I was going to lose everything. I was shocked, mad and hurt because I was in denial, but eventually I accepted that she was right.

After several months of attempted moderation turned into a whole lot of horrible binges, I knew I had to stop all together. I went to my bed and stayed there; unable to function. I could uncover myself, start to swing my legs over the side of the bed, but could not convince myself to go any further. Everyone was worried about me, but no one knew what to say or how to help me.

Sober Mommies No Girl Wants to be That Girl

All I did was sleep and cry, because I was so angry that I had to stop drinking. I was useless to my family, but I managed to stop drinking. A Facebook friend posted a link to Kristi Coulters “Enjoli,” and after reading it (several times) I felt an actual sense of relief that someone else was struggling too — that it was ok to admit it. I related to the article so deeply that I still keep it open and re-read it for support. I also found several other sober blogs that I related to, and these groups helped me to get through the first five months of my new sober life.

Total strangers became the people I relied on every day to keep it together. I saw a therapist, went on antidepressants, and found an exercise class that I was able to clear my mind in. I did whatever it took to just make it through each day. I prioritized my recovery over everything. I had to rely on other people for a while and give my body the care it needed. It was not instant, but I came out of it so present and capable that I’m sure I am making up for the lost time in my life.

I am so thankful to have an extremely supportive husband. He quit with me; which I am more than grateful for. During my worst early days, he would check on me often, but wouldn’t pressure me to be better. He let me mourn my past and figure out how to move into my new life on my own terms.

My eyes are wide open now to all the hurt and despair that alcohol and drugs can cause a person, and how hard it is to get out of that hole. I think the hardest thing for me to do was to admit I had a problem, and realize I wasn’t alone in my struggles.

I’m still that girl, but without the quotes. I love to hang out with my friends, eat out at delicious restaurants, and go to concerts. I enjoy laid back times with my family, as much exercise as I can get, and quiet moments to myself. I don’t crave alcohol to relax or to get over tough days and in fact, I think being sober actually helps me find daily peace.

Being sober feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders and a gift I give myself. I celebrate sobriety, and my physical and mental health, every single day and I know that I’ve finally found the place where I fit in.

 

Karen Burzdak is CEO and Founder of Hanu Skin Care. She is a US Advocate for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, and a member of the American Herbalists Guild. Karen holds certifications in Essential Aromatherapy and Clinical Aromatherapy, has a degree in communications from Fitchburg State College, and has done some Masters of Business Administration studies.