Alcoholism Will Never Be Funny

I’m hyper-sensitive.

It has taken me years to be able to say that out loud; to own it. The vulnerability that walks alongside those words is scary and sometimes really uncomfortable. Despite the countless suggestions I have received since I was little, I have yet to find “thicker skin.”

I like my skin—it’s transparent, and allows the good, the bad, and the ugly to shine both in and out.

Most of the time, it’s a gift and allows me the ability to connect with others in a meaningful way. Sometimes it can feel like a curse—feeling everything to an extreme can be exhausting and even devastating.

I’m starting to despise social media for this very reason. It seems to have become a popular place for negativity and competition for shock value. When I first started blogging, it was to make people laugh. I started a humor blog and bitched and moaned about the “joys” of motherhood. Honestly, it was I that needed the cheering up, and often I was venting as an escape. It was the connection with others that kept my head above water during those long, terrible months of postpartum depression, and I am so grateful it was available.

I have recently had to take a look at the fact that at some point, I started using it to feed my ego. I’ve started to measure self-esteem with Facebook “likes” and twitter retweets. How much do people “like” me? How hilarious am I? I have tried with all my might to not forget shitty moments in my day so I can post about them later and make you laugh.

I realized that some of the most popular “mommy blogs” out there belong to women who are constantly “ON,” complaining about their children and/or mentioning alcohol as a coping mechanism for motherhood. It has been on my mind for months now, and I have questioned whether I want to be a part of that world; if I even have what it takes.  Is it worth it to me? I will obviously not be taking part in the Friday night #wineparty, but could I just avoid that chatter?

Then I saw this:

Sober Mommies Alcoholism Is Hilarious

She responded by telling me it was a joke, but I could not bring myself to find the humor. I get the tweets about having a glass of wine at the end of a long day. I understand that people joke about drinking as a way to deal with stress. These comments, although sometimes obnoxious, are not offensive to me. I realize that jokes about drinking are trendy, even if I don’t agree with them. This tweet made me angry.

All I could think of was the woman who actually is drinking to avoid her children or her life—that woman suffering from real alcoholism.

I thought about all the women that might read this and feel shamed or poked fun at. You know, women that are drinking against their will right now.

How could alcoholism be funny? I’m still struggling with it. Jokes about alcoholism will NEVER be funny to me. I have suffered in its grip. I have lost time with the people I love because of alcoholism. I have lost friends who couldn’t or wouldn’t stop. I have listened to women beg for sobriety so they could stop humiliating and abusing themselves. I have been to wakes and funerals of young women, and listened to their mothers wail over their coffins. I do NOT think that alcoholism is funny.

I don’t know how to make this clear to the people in my life that don’t understand. Would you joke about breast cancer on twitter? Would you joke about AIDS or other diseases that have taken lives? Or would you stop and think about all the people in your life that have been affected in some way and decide against it? We ALL have someone in our life that has been touched by alcoholism.

I beg you to think about that person the next time you think it would be funny to throw out a possibly offensive tweet or Facebook status.

I’ve really had to take a step back and reevaluate my motives in social media. I’ve even thought about doing away with the humor blog altogether. Can I compete with this type of “humor?” Do I even want to? I’m praying about it. I desperately want to be a positive force on the world, and I know I can’t do that if I’m constantly thinking in 140 characters of sarcasm. It’s exhausting and makes me miserable. It has a way of seeping into my life and coloring everything ugly. Humor has its place; please don’t get me wrong. Without it, I would most certainly not have survived my years of sobriety or depression. I love sarcasm. Like L.O.V.E. it. It can be fun and entertaining when I’m not using it as a weapon against myself and others.

It is not my intention to make anyone feel bad about their own choices. It is my intention to remind us that our words have power.

How do we want to use it?

I Don’t Like Being A Mom and That’s OK

I have always felt kind of lackluster in my mom jeans. Maybe it’s because I was unprepared when I first joined the club, or perhaps because it was unplanned and “mommy life” didn’t fit into my newly sober five-year plan. Possibly, the love for motherhood really isn’t in me as it seems to be in other mamas—I do all the things good mothers do; I feed, bathe and dress them, brush their teeth, and love them deeply. But I don’t like being a mom—though truly—the why of it all is unimportant.

I don’t believe these feelings make me a bad mother, I’m a great mom, especially for boys; I can joke about wieners, boogers don’t bother me, and girl clothes are puzzling.

However, while I cherish my children, I don’t like being a mom. Maybe this was a self-discovery made too late, but either way it revealed itself to me.

A few months after I had my second son I began to uncover a new passion for my life—a passion that didn’t include sleepless nights, arguments with a three-year-old, endless cleaning and having not a minute alone. But when it comes to motherhood, my passions don’t matter, my boys are more important.

Somewhere between finding my passion and potty training my toddler, I’ve lost sight of motherhood.

I found myself a mother of two, not wanting to be a mom at all. I had taken the first four years of my sobriety to build up this woman, and now I wanted to live as her, I wanted to be her, yet being her seemed impossible.

As I uncovered these feelings I quickly understood it wasn’t a phase and I began to cradle this unhappiness. I wholeheartedly believe that as mothers we don’t have to like motherhood, but I overlooked my ability to choose how I react to this disdain and I began to wallow in it.

Then one night, I glanced over at my sleeping toddler and it was it as if time stopped. I watched him suck his tiny fingers and observed my little baby, who had found his hand and blankie as a way to self-soothe almost three years ago. Eventually, the finger sucking will stop and he will forgo his blankie. Ultimately, time will take it all. And like a brick to the face, I was hit with remorse—I am wasting a significant amount of time.

It doesn’t matter if I don’t love motherhood, I do love my boys, and that is enough.

By focusing on all the things I might be missing, I was wasting what is right in front of me. I was missing sticky faces and dirty feet. I was missing the way their a little eyes gaze up at me with love because I am their whole world. I was wasting games of make-believe and opportunities to create giggles. I was passing up chances to teach, to build core values and strong character traits. I wasn’t observing their excitement, I was merely noticing their messes. I wasn’t listening to their stories, I was patiently waiting for them to move on. And there’s nothing more heartbreaking than that.

So here I sit, a mother disliking motherhood but loving my boys more. For the first time in months, I am seeing my boys, truly seeing them in the way they deserve.

I’m not going to throw away my new found passion and strongly built self—I will find a way to be her.

No longer will I throw pity-parties and wallow in the stress of motherhood—I will allow myself to live in its presence. We can coexist—this new woman I’ve built—and the mother I am.

Mamas if you’re like me, caught between two worlds, remember—we can do it all and be it all—for we are women and we are mothers.

I Didn’t Want to Be a Mom

When I peed on that stick that determines the rest of your life with an extra pink line, I already knew the answer. On TV, that moment is accompanied by crying tears of joy and not being able to hold in the excitement while telling your partner. Looking at the lines on the stick, I didn’t anticipate the confusing waves of emotion that washed over me. But why would I feel anything else? My partner wasn’t really my partner. Our relationship had been kept a secret for almost a year and we weren’t “dating.”

Pregnancy is supposed to be this beautiful, exciting time. My pregnancy was the exact opposite—ugly and scary. I couldn’t connect to it. I couldn’t really understand what my body was doing and I wasn’t happy about it either. But I kept my thoughts to myself and did the best I could to embrace the process.

During my first moments as a mother, I didn’t cry. I was in shock. I didn’t think I could possibly connect with my new reality. I had concerns about postpartum depression, especially given my extensive list of mental health issues prior to getting pregnant, but I didn’t voice them.

When we took my son home, it didn’t take long for my insides to shed quickly to my outsides. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to shower, I didn’t want to clean, I just didn’t want to participate in life at all. I got frustrated that I couldn’t sit like a normal human being, couldn’t sleep straight through for ten hours (or even three), and I had to deal with the pain of cracked, blistered, and swollen nipples from attempting to breastfeed and pump.

It got worse by the day. I became violent towards myself and others—but thankfully, I did no physical harm. With the support of my boyfriend and my mother, I left my home and stayed on my mother’s couch for two weeks. I felt like I didn’t love my son. I thought about running away to return to drugs to numb the pain. I didn’t want to be a mom—it was a burden. I didn’t want to put in the effort to get better mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I was too weak to think about dying, but I didn’t want to live either.

Some would say that I’m lucky to have suffered only for a month. I’ve heard moms say that they suffered for three to six months and longer. But just because I suffered for a month does not mean I am lucky. Being almost two years sober and living in that much pain every single second of every day was terrifying. When I was so exhausted from the emotional pain that I couldn’t take any more, I made a decision to get better. I reached out to the 12-step program that got me sober and went to three different partial hospitalization programs. I was diagnosed with major depression. My last partial program prescribed me an anti-depression and anxiety medication that surprisingly but gratefully worked quickly.

Today, I take care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I try to go to the gym as often as I possibly can. I take my medication and I’ve started therapy. I still practice 12-step principles. I reach out when I need to instead of isolating myself. I pray daily.

Today, I enjoy every moment of being a mother. When I look at my son I am in pure awe and filled with so much love. It’s still hard to connect with the fact that I am a mother now—but in a positive way—I’m just blown away by it! I love waking up in the middle of the night to take care of him. I love watching him sleep. I love watching him discover his voice and facial expressions. I love my son and today I do want to be a mom with all my heart and soul.

This brave post was submitted by Dasia.

Sober Mommies 10 Tips For A Sane And Sober Summer

10 Tips For A Sane And Sober Summer

For some reason, summer always strikes me as a tough season to stay sober. Maybe because of the energy it brings, or the increased number of cook-outs and drinking that goes on. Granted, I didn’t need the summer excuse to get my drink on, but I’m certain I used it anyway. If you are new to sobriety, or if you’re like me and get a little nostalgic, here are 10 tips for a sane and sober summer.

Stay connected to other sober people.

Whether it’s via online chats/support groups or face-to-face meetings, you can never have too many sober people in your life to support your abstinence. These folks can help you if you get stuck or have questions about certain situations, and in some cases can even help you avoid the sticky ones. Trusting women isn’t easy at first, but in my experience, there’s nothing that has helped me more in my recovery than connections with other sober women.

Be honest.

If you feel like drinking or using, tell someone that can help you decide if that is the right choice for you right now. An old drinking buddy or drug dealer might not be the best person to call if you’re struggling and need someone to talk to. Try reaching out to a woman who seems to be enjoying sobriety and who may have something in her life that you want in yours.

Try to avoid old people, places, and things

You know those old haunts we used to frequent and inevitably find ourselves drunk and/or high before leaving? Even if your intentions are just to “pop in and say hello” or “let people know you’re sober now,” it might be wise to wait until you’ve had the opportunity to check your motives honestly. There were many times I put myself in unsafe situations to “test” myself when I first got sober. What I was trying to prove I don’t know, but in some cases, I barely made it out without a drink. NOT worth it. Even today, fourteen years sober, I don’t go into situations where there will be drinking unless I have a really good reason for it. If I don’t feel 100% confident, I’ll bring a sober friend or decline the invitation. Spoiler alert: We don’t ever have to do anything.

There is safety in numbers

If you absolutely have to attend a gathering you cannot avoid where people will be drinking and/or getting high, bring a SOBER friend. Make sure she is aware of the situation and completely comfortable being your wingwoman. Have a serious conversation before the event about what the plan of action will be if EITHER of you feels uncomfortable.

Have a plan

If you are going out, whether it be alone or with someone else, it’s always great to have a plan. What time will you get there? What will be happening when you arrive? I find that it’s usually a safe bet to arrive early when the party is just getting started. That way I can stay busy and help the host set up if needed. In my experience, showing up late-night has never been an awesome idea. People are often drunk and high…and sometimes even obnoxious. Although I have come to appreciate “Obnoxious, Inappropriate, Drunk _____” as a remember when, it was not helpful to be around this early on in my sobriety. What’s a realistic exit plan if things get weird or you don’t feel safe? Who can you lock yourself in the bathroom and call if need be? Have her on speed-dial.

Have a back-up plan

As we all know, things don’t always work out the way we plan. Sometimes we take a sober friend to a gathering so that we can feel safer and she decides she’s had enough sobriety. What now? Don’t panic. We are NOT responsible for other people’s recovery. It is always a terrific idea to have a back-up plan that involves getting you out of a sticky situation even if it means leaving alone.

Understand that you are not perfect.

Everything is a process; being sober is no different. There is no perfect way to get and stay sober, and mistakes will be made. We will say and do the wrong things. We will disappoint people. Try to understand that these mistakes are all part of the process. If we can learn from them, they’re never wasted. They enable us to make better choices in the future and find out what doesn’t work! Life is all about lessons and it is so important that we learn to forgive ourselves. Mistakes don’t have to define us. It’s what we DO with those mistakes that makes us who we are.

Be kind to you

I wish I could tattoo this on my forehead backwards so that I could be reminded every time I look in the mirror. I don’t know why this is such a difficult one, but I’ll admit to struggling with it a lot over the years. I am my own worst critic, and quite often am much too busy focusing on the negative to give myself credit for the positive. We are all works in progress, and deserve respect for that. Let’s try to be as forgiving of ourselves as we are of others. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in motherland; where at the end of the day there’s no time for Mommy. Let’s make time. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, reading, or weekly coffee dates with a girlfriend, let’s make it happen. I always feel so energized and ready for whatever Life has in store when I’m taking care of me. Take care of you!

Take everything a day at a time

There’s no accelerated course in sobriety or life. For each day sober, we get one day of sobriety. Those days add up, but it still comes down to one day. Alcoholism and addiction don’t care how long I’ve been sober. An old friend of mine used to say that the longer we’re away from a drink or a drug the closer we are to one. I guess this means that time away from the pain can cause us to forget how bad it was, and maybe start to think that it’s okay to “just have one.” I do my best to stay in today and to connect with women that are still suffering. This both supports others and reminds me that I’m eligible for that pain again too if I pick up a drink or drug.

Think the drink or drug through

Whenever I start to think about “just having one,” I think it through to the end of that scenario. First of all, there have been very few times that I’ve had one of anything. Secondly, what’s the point of having just one? I’ll be honest, I see NO fun in that AT ALL. I want to get shit-faced…FAST, and having a sophisticated glass of fill in the blank is not something that interests me. So, let’s imagine I get drunk today. THEN WHAT? Then it’s only a matter of time until I’m putting my kids to bed early so that I can do it again. Sooner or later, it will turn into a daily event, and I’ll be lucky if I don’t pass out drunk while my toddler is playing with fill in the blank. They’ll take my kids away, and I’ll pretend to be devastated while I drink myself into a stupor; until my husband finally has enough and divorces me. Maybe I’ll stay in a shelter for a while before getting thrown out for starting a fist fight with another woman..and then, who knows. By the time I’ve thought the drink through to the end, I’d much rather be dealing with my sober life; no matter how miserable the situation might be.

Oh, and HAVE FUN!! Sobriety is not a death sentence for fun! Not only do I enjoy myself more now that I’m sober, but I actually remember the shit I do! What a concept!!

It is my sincere hope that you will let us be of service to you in any way we can. We have plenty of recovery reading, humorous posts,  and stories about all kinds of things to keep your mind busy. We have forums and a Facebook page where you should always feel at home and able to lean on us. We love you just as you are, and we will never judge you. Being a sober mommy is not easy, but you never have to do it alone!!

Let’s have an amazing sober summer!!!

Finding Sexual Freedom in Sobriety

I thought that once I was in recovery, I would be able to have sex like a healthy adult human. I would find ” the one”, and we would be on the same page sexually and enjoy the same things and talk and be honest, open, practice safe sex…

Once I was not wasted all the time, I would be able to embrace all things adult and foster amazing relationships.

I was in my thirties and I was going to rock the heck out of my newly found umpteenth chance at life.

Fast forward to reality: newly sober and a newborn baby within days of each other. I was a mess. The baby’s dad was my dealer. There was no genuine relationship there, it was all based in using.

I had never had a healthy relationship. Ever.

For as long as I could remember, I had used sex as tool.

I had little-to-no self esteem and giving people what I thought they wanted was “easier.”

As my addictions progressed, my risky sexual behaviors did as well. I was doing things, knowing that if I did A, I could get B. And I kept at it until I was living in the streets, jumping in and out of cars in Chinatown to support my habits and day-to-day survival. During that period, there were many occasions where I did not do those things by choice.

Threat, force, or oftentimes just fear of violence governed my decision to be compliant.

In active addiction, I didn’t have the capacity for physical pleasure other than the chemically-derived variety. I was broken, sick, scared to be alone and on a mission to die. Sex was only a means to an end to me.

Newly sober, I was all alone with my baby and I was okay with that. I didn’t want to be touched by anyone or deal with their drama or baggage. I just wanted to heal.

I was going to stay out of sexual relationships. And for the first time in my life, I did, for a while. I started to work on myself with therapy and some other tools. I did lots of writing and soul searching. I shared those deep dark secrets and I shared some ones that weren’t so secret, just to acknowledge them. I touched on so many things. It was liberating.

When I met a nice guy in recovery, I wanted nothing to do with him sexually.

He was kind and funny and he had beautiful green eyes. He treated me and my baby well. His mom liked me. But I was set. I wanted to heal. We had a nice, adult conversation about my choice to heal. I figured he’d leave me alone once he realized I was not going to sleep with him.

But he didn’t leave.

That’s when I realized I could make the choices that were right for me. I was getting stronger and healthier. I cared about myself. I was building up self-esteem and self-worth. It felt amazing.

After the better part of a year, I decided when I was ready to be intimate. We had so many talks leading up to it. I was afraid it would be mechanical, or that I would hate him or be resentful. Intimacy was going to have to be almost entirely on my terms. I had to work up to freeing myself from the decades of sexual toxicity. I was terrified.

Would I enjoy sex and feel like a woman who was choosing enjoy her body or would I still feel like a paid companion?

I was overwhelmed. I spent lots of time fostering my relationship and I was sure I wanted to take this step. I just didn’t know if I was ready to  handle it. I had built my walls up from the inside out. To allow physical intimacy would be to bare my soul all over again. I had never taken the time to think about that before. I always just acted. I wanted what I wanted and sex was the quickest way. This was the opposite of that.

The day I made the decision to move forward, I felt so whole, so healthy, so empowered. I could choose what to do with my body. I had never been able to do that in my entire life. I could do it now though!!

In the end, it wasn’t all fireworks and stars, and we had plenty of embarrassing moments. But I knew I’d be okay and I was.

Being able to let go of all those ideals of what it was supposed to be and letting the relationship develop into what it is has been one of the greatest gifts in recovery.

I can say I don’t want to have sex. He can say he doesn’t want to. We can decide what feels okay today or what doesn’t and just because it was okay to do yesterday doesn’t mean it’s okay today. But up until that point, I had never experienced the “choice.”

When I was using, I allowed that choice to be taken from me. I did not make safe healthy decisions. Being sober and recovering allows me to make that choice. I deserve that choice. We all do.