Friday, November 30, 2012

Needs Help. NOW.

***Submitted by Anonymous


I need some help and guidance and do not know where to start.  

I don't know how to start a new e-mail account that is confidential.  

But at this point I don't care.  

I just cannot keep things under control and I have a wonderful and loving husband and a beautiful wonderful daughter and grand kids but I just keep lapsing into drinking.  

It is hard for me to admit this to people who I love and also people who I work with.  

I wish it wasn't such a social stigma of bad behavior.  

I would like to post and have some support from you all.  

I have been to the website and have really felt a connection.  

Thanks for listening

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Message from Ellie - Asking For Your Help

Hello everyone - Ellie here.

There are going to be some changes on this site (behind the scenes, mostly) coming up over the coming weeks/months.  I am so excited this community is growing, and the number of submission and emails from women looking for guidance is growing almost exponentially.

It's been a one-woman show here for a while, now; I don't say that resentfully at all. Please know that. People's lives change and grow (thankfully in many happy ways in this case) and the original team of people who helped me get this off the ground have moved (one of them literally) on to busier things in their lives. The good news is they are doing well. 

For a year or so I thought I could manage on my own - this site takes a lot of attention and maintenance - but it's reached a point where it isn't fair to Crying Out Now and the women it is helping for me to do it all.  I'm working on a plan and asking some new people to come on board.  It's a slow process, but hopefully it will all be sorted out soon.

After contemplating this - literally for over a year - I made the tough decision to put a contribution button on this site.  I have remained steadfast in my commitment never to advertise on CON; I don't want to be beholden to a sponsor, and I think advertising cheapens what the mission of this site is about - women coming together as a community and helping each other.

However, in order to grow this site (actually in order to maintain it) the expenses involved are becoming difficult for me.  Putting a contribution button up was one of the hardest decisions I have made to date.   I had to be okay if nobody contributes, ever, and I am.  This would mean I would have to consider alternative sources of funding (like advertising) or being content with where the site is now and not growing it to reach a larger audience.  

I've been in recovery long enough to know that all I can do is open my heart and mind, do the next right thing after praying on it and asking for advice, and then letting go of the outcome.

However, if you read this site and it helps you, or it helps a loved one, and you have the financial means to contribute even a small amount - either one time or whenever you can afford it - I would greatly appreciate it, and it would help me grow this site to reach more struggling women, and more sober women who want to celebrate recovery. 

I've never talked about 'the numbers' here before, but we get thousands of page views a month from all over the world. I receive, on average, three or four emails a week (sometimes more during difficult times like the holidays) from women who just need a safe place to talk.   I get (and these are awesome) emails from women saying they are getting 6 months, or a year, or even more, and their journey started by telling their story here. 

This isn't my ego talking (I've had to pray on that, too) but the power of voice and community and truth. Your comments and support are the FOUNDATION to this site, truly.  I am so grateful to all of you who offer pieces of yourself and your own story to help someone who feels utterly alone.  I've been there, and I know how much even ONE comforting voice who says "I understand" helps heal a broken spirit. 

I have added a new tab at the top of the page that explains the two ways you can contribute (one is a new book I have produced independently called Let Me Get This Straight (it is a 'best of' compilation from my blog One Crafty Mother and it chronicles my journey through alcoholism/recovery, my battle with cancer, the sudden loss of my father and the trials and joys of daily life with two young kids).  

Proceeds from that book will help fund this site and The Bubble Hour (an internet talk/radio show that was born here at Crying Out Now and is already reaching thousands of people - it is real people telling real stories and offering real practical advice about sobriety, as well as more than a few tips about how to survive and negotiate early sobriety).  There is also a direct contribution button through WePay (credit card only and you can leave your email (voluntarily) if you want a confirmation from CON that you contributed).  You can contribute anonymously, too, and it would show up on your credit card bill as "WePay - Crying Out Now".

We are NOT a non-profit, so they aren't donations.  Any contributions would be made because you believe in this cause and want to help out. 

Even if you never contribute a penny, I'm so glad you're here, reading, commenting and exploring your relationship with alcohol.  

I treasure all of you, truly.

-Ellie

 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Anger in Early Sobriety

***Submitted by Anonymous

I am very very angry.  

I am super angry with my mom because (among many other things I shalt not list) she put all the dishes from the dishwasher away and the cycle was half done. 

I am ready to kick the dog for getting under foot. 

I have pretty much had it with my husband!  He is wearing the same shirt today as he wore yesterday. The nerve!  

I have a pain across the middle of my back that feels as though barbed wire has been inserted in my skin. 

Anyone who doesn't respond just so, sends me reeling to drown in an ocean of tears. 

I am too old for this.  

I am 53 truth be told and that is a very adult number. I have attended yoga classes several times a week for many years. I know all the "be in the moment" and "gratitude for what you have" messages. 

I have been in therapy for most of my adult life.  I have worked through the emotions of anger and rage toward my mother, I have learned in marriage counseling how to communicate intelligently with my husband and I know the dog is completely innocent.  

You see I quit drinking wine two weeks ago.  

If it weren't for the posts here and information on line, I would be back to drinking.  

I don't know when my happy drinking "turned" on me, it was a long and slow decline.  But I suspect the "alcoholic" behavior occurred when my older daughter went to college and I went back to work full time to cope with feelings of loss.  

Since then, I have quit the full time job, she has graduated from college and is living home. 

My younger daughter is now a college sophomore and living away.  

I have stopped for weeks, maybe months at a time, but returned to the drinking because I have decided I really don't have a drinking problem. After all, I didn't have the shakes or headaches, didn't need to go to rehab.  

OR, because I felt lousy without it (like now) and needed to self medicate.  

I feel like medicating. I am uncomfortable and overwhelmed by my ugly feelings.  I was drinking a bottle of wine or more most nights and I had my tricks to disguise it.  

My yoga friends would never suspect.  

I would never tell them about this demon that meditation and asana could not undo. I am waiting to wake up feeling well, for these emotions to pass, and to feel at ease in my body.  

I don't want to go back to drinking ever again. 

It wasn't fun anymore.  

Thank you for all your support. I cannot believe how common this struggle is! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Looking For Someone To Relate To Her - Feeling Alone


***Submitted by Anonymous

A note from Ellie: this was submitted a month ago as a Truthful Thursday post, and I asked her if I could post it here because I know so many people will relate to her words.  Due to the queue of posts it is just going up now. I don't know if she has maintained her sobriety or not, but I'm sure she is still in need of comfort and support either way. I really identified with that feeling of being so alone; please offer any words of advice, comfort and support that you can.

I am a first time Mom to the love of my life, my almost 8 month old boy. 
I was searching all night online for blogs about moms who are alcoholics, found yours and saw Truthful Thursdays on Ellie's blog One Crafty Mother.
I know today is not Thursday, but this past Thursday I was in the ER...getting hydrated...again because I thought, yet again...that I could be "normal" and have a glass of wine.
Countless bottles later I accept, I am not "normal". I cannot drink.
The reason why I am writing is because at this very moment, 2 days sober, sitting feet away from my precious boy and loving husband...I cannot stop beating myself up over letting myself get to blackout drunk while my husband was out of town and I was home alone with our son.
I feel like I'm the only person who has ever done this...I know I'm not...but I've been searching online for reassurance that I still am the best mother to my little man.
I just don't feel like I deserve that title at this moment.
I started drinking late (24 years old...and didn't hit the bad turn until early-mid 30's...I just turned 39). I decided to do an outpatient rehab in January 2011...by May I was pregnant & happily still sober (we had been trying and hoping), by the time my son was born this past Feb. 2012...I was over a year sober and didn't see any reason to drink ever again.
But it's now happened, I tried...I failed...I have a huge bruise on my side...and a couple nights this past week are completely blurry...if not gone from my mind.
I know I fed my son, and I changed him...somehow I did what was necessary, but I still put him in danger and I can't forgive myself.
I just feel like there isn't anyone else who would do this...is there?
Looking for meetings tomorrow, I even have a sponsor already.
Just wide awake right now looking for someone I can relate with to tell me it's going to be okay.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Introducing - The Bubble Hour- NEW TALK SHOW!

We have an exciting announcement to make!

Do you see that little tab up in the right hand corner called "The Bubble Hour"?

It's our new talk show!

Every week we will be recording a new episode covering various topics - interviews, tips, advice, etc.  We may invite people to read some of their pieces, we will have chats covering everything from tips on surviving a party to spirituality.

This first episode we're still ironing out some of the technical logistics, so please bear with us.  It features me (Ellie) and Lisa N - who is co-founder and co-host of "The Bubble Hour".

To find out why we named it that, you need to listen to the show. :)  Go to the tab and click on the listen button.

Or you can go to this link, here.

If you run into trouble listening to it, please leave a comment with the device you're trying to listen to it on, and we'll keep working on the wrinkles.

We will be uploading the episodes onto iTunes, as well (still figuring out how to do that).

A big tool in my early sobriety (and now) tool kit was listening to podcasts to help pass the time, help me through the tougher hours (the "witching hour", Friday nights, etc.) and the podcasts helped keep me motivated.

But I wanted to hear real stories from real women and mothers, offering real hope.  Not based on any particular program of recovery - just women like you and me sharing about themselves.

No answers - just stories.

If you have requests for show topics, please leave them in the comments!  As the episodes accumulate, they can be another tool in your sobriety toolbox.  The written word is powerful, but hearing the stories straight from the women themselves is even more powerful, in many ways.

It is another way to break down the stigma of what people picture when they hear the word "alcoholic".  The show demonstrates that we're just like everyone else, but with the disease of alcoholism, and that together we are stronger than we are alone.

And you are NOT alone.  If you're here reading posts, I strongly encourage you to take some quiet time and listen to the show as well.  Right now there's only one, of course, but there will be more, and so you can fill long hours in the kitchen, the car or on trips with the real hope offered by people who know exactly how you feel.

We're really excited about this, and we hope you'll help us spread the word!

UPDATED TO ADD:  We are now downloadable on iTunes for free!  Search for "The Bubble Hour" and then look to the right under 'media filters' and select podcasts.  

Thank you!

-Ellie and Lisa


Friday, November 16, 2012

16 Days Sober and Needs Help With Drinking Pressure

***Submitted by Anonymous

Hello and thank you for this honest helpful site. 

After 16 days l have been very grateful to read the stories of women who seem very much like me.

I am 53, a mom, wife and teacher. I don't know if I am a true alcoholic or not ...

I do know it was interfering with my daily life and I feel better each day. 

I have never had a honest conversation about this. 

I think l was so busy trying to hide it and pretend that my drinking was normal.

I just returned from a getaway with girlfriends where drinking was the focal point for many. I was very worried but went in with a plan and was successful :)

At one point l had a shooter put up to my lips and had a group chanting my name. I was very polite and handled it....but l think the 'jig is up'.

I need tips on how to handle these social situations without drawing attention to this change l have made. 

I never realized what an alcohol centered world I live in. 

I also would appreciate any information on timelines for this journey. I know it is a very individual experience, but I thought there might be more info out there on what to expect or what is ahead. 

Also PINK CLOUD??? I am only guessing that is like a honeymoon period. 

I have been tired and grumpy to my family over the last few days. Also not sleeping. I did take a sleeping pill to help. Will that interfere with my recovery?  

I have used them over a few years and they haven't presented a problem. 

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Monday, November 12, 2012

On The Brink - But What Will Life Be Like Without Alcohol?


***Submitted by Anonymous

I’ve been drinking for 26 years, and I’m only 38.  

That is so scary to me.  Scary, but not sobering.

I am getting close to quitting, but the closer I get, the more I realize that there are things I need to fix along with my addiction. 

I’m exhausted, depressed, and anxious – maybe I’m not doing a good job at work but they aren’t telling me, maybe my husband thinks I’m fat and wishes he was with someone thinner, maybe my friends think I’m needy and flaky, maybe we’ll lose the house, maybe I’ll get caught in a lie, maybe one of the kids will get hurt – or worse. 

This is the running dialogue in my head.  And the only thing that guarantees to shut it up is a glass of wine – or several – when the kids go to bed.  I look forward to it.  It’s my reward.  I just wish I didn’t need it.  I wish it didn’t make my stomach fat, give me a hangover, and make me forgetful.  

I wish I had a normal relationship with it.  But I don’t even know what that looks like.

I remember dipping into the liquor cabinet one night while I was babysitting.  I got so drunk that I was throwing up in the sink right before they came home.  I could barely stand up straight.  Somehow, I convinced them that I was just sick, but I don’t think the mother was fooled.  Right before I walked out the door, she asked “Have you been drinking?”  

The shame – it’s the same shame I still feel.  Oddly, I was back babysitting for them the next week.  Or at least, that’s how I remember it.

Actually, I don’t remember much anymore.  

It’s the most obvious sign of the damage I’m doing to myself – there is much that I don’t remember anymore.  

Childhood memories, names of other parents in my sons’ classes, reminders to pick things up from the store, what my 2-year old looked as a baby – all gone.  

If I think about it – and I don’t, purposefully – I panic. 

I’ve read so much about this problem, looked at so many different “cures”, gone to meetings, gotten the acupuncture, talked to the counselors.   

Only recently have I started to understand what the “urge” actually feels like – which is to say, I have started to realize that there is something in my brain telling me to drink. 

Last week, I managed to stay sober for several days.  I didn’t bring red wine into the house, I didn’t pick up a little pick-me-up on the train home, and I didn’t go out after work with friends, or by myself.   

I noticed that I was bored at night, irritable.  I noticed that, when I got my husband to drink with me, we relaxed and talked.  When we don’t drink, it’s mundane – am I traveling this week?  Who’s getting the boys after work?  When is the cleaning woman coming? 

So I started to sneak the drinking.  First, after work on the way home.  Then one night, I went out to buy groceries and popped into the local bar and downed three glasses of sauvignon blanc.  It went downhill from there.

Also, drinking makes me not be angry, disappointed, anxious, bored.  How do I replace drinking and get these benefits?  Is there medication that erasing the urges, and also makes me thinner?  

I want this to be easier.   

But I also know – because lately, I’m really feeling this – I also know that I will feel better when I stop.  

That I will feel triumphant.  

That I will get back that powerful female I used to be.  

And I’m starting to want that more and more.  


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

re·demp·tion


***Submitted by Judy, who blogs at Look Beyond Fault
re·demp·tion
noun

1. an act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed.

2. deliverance; rescue.

3. Theology . deliverance from sin; salvation.

4. atonement for guilt.

5. repurchase, as of something sold

One early morning, I was walking on the beach and I started to pray. I prayed in earnestness. I prayed in pure gratitude. 

I recalled many a time when I had walked on that same beach and had been very intoxicated. No telling who I was drunk chatting with. Friends, enemies, neighbors, poor unsuspecting strangers; probably bothering people as they chilled out on their vacation. A very unsafe prospect, for a single woman living alone.

While I was praying, I also remembered how one day I was feeling worthless and had drunk so much that I suddenly stopped and started experiencing withdrawals. Dangerous withdrawals that led to my losing my natural mind. I threw up all my insides. 

Prior to this, I had been racked by night after night of insomnia. Then I started hallucinating and my world turned deadly. To add to this I started experiencing paranoia. It did not end very well that day. (Details of that horrible day when I feel braver to tell.)

So, back to the the beach. Anyway, I was praying and deeply thanking God for being my redeemer. For delivering me from hell on earth. For rescuing me from myself. I had been repurchased from the clutches of the devil who had me in a tight deadly grip. The devil meant to see to it that I died in alcoholic agony.

I suddenly noticed these footsteps on the sands and I remembered that poem about footprints on the sand. 

It's true when I was too weak to stand up on my own, when I lay there in the E.R bed, half gone with alcohol induced schizophrenia, God favored me. He held me in His arms and loved me back to life. The sight of the single file footsteps on the sand made me cry buckets and buckets of tears. Not tears of sadness or despair but tears of bottomless gratitude.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for salvaging what was left of me and liberating me. 

Thank you for my peace of mind and my clear head today. 

Thank you for my family and friends who have an interest and support me and pray for my sobriety. 

Thank you for the facilities that have treated me and given me reading material and quiet wisdom to carry me along my rocky sober journey. 

Thank you for answering my prayers when I have "cravings" for alcohol. 

Thank you for catching me when I fell (relapsed) and helping me rapidly bounce back to Soberville.

Thank you, that I can actually sit here in quiet solitude, listening to an evening thunderstorm and write without longing for alcohol. 

To twist a Bob Marley song, "Emancipate yourself from alcohol slavery...none but ourselves can free our mind, oh!"

“[No] matter what a waste one has made of one's life, it is ever possible to find some path to redemption, however partial.” 
Charles FrazierCold Mountain