Monday, April 22, 2013

Reaching for Recovery Through Grief and Stress

***Submitted by Anonymous:

Dear Crying Out Now,

It is 4 in the morning and I can't sleep.  My husband refuses to talk or look at me.  He has always wanted me to reach out to someone and found your blog months ago.  Of course, I didn't feel I needed to until now.

I am 45 years old & a stay at home mom for 2 wonderful boys ages 13 & 9.  My husband is in sales and travels about 2 weeks every month.  We have been married for 12 years.

I have been struggling with alcohol for over 3 years and about 1 1/2 years ago I entered as an outpatient at a rehab center.

I finished the program after 6 months of attending and was doing really good.  During that time I was attending AA meetings and I found them to be really depressing.  So I never went back because I thought I was strong enough to do this on my own.

Over the past year I have been drinking.   I love my husband & children and would do everything & anything I could for them.  I love being a wife and mom, but struggle with not feeling like I am good enough.   I realize drinking does not help me feel any better about myself and does not help things here at home.  So why can't I stop drinking for them?  

Two weeks ago my father past away after 6 months of suffering with lung cancer.  I knew he wasn't  going to get any better.

I know he is no longer suffering and is in a better place.  It just really hurts.  My Dad wouldn't have wanted to see me ruining my life so why can't I stop for him?

I can't think straight all due to my poor choices.  Do you have any advice?  I truly don't want to lose my husband or my children!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Shining Strong

Hello Everyone -  It's Ellie, Founder of Crying Out Now.

I have an exciting announcement to make!  As of April 4, 2013, Crying Out Now is officially part of a non-profit corporation called Shining Strong.

This is exciting for several reasons, not the least of which is it enables us to pursue sponsorships, grants and other forms of revenue to help grow our mission - helping women who struggle with drinking, early sobriety, or who are sober and want to stay that way.

Up until this point this website has been funded by me.  I have reached the limits of what I can do on my own and forming Shining Strong as a non-profit corporation enables me to take an important first steps in finding additional revenue sources for CON.

As many of you know, I have two jewelry businesses:  Shining Stones and Two Little Birds Studio.  I'm happy to announce that these two businesses are now officially under the legal non-profit umbrella of Shining Strong, and as such all proceeds from these businesses go directly to fund Crying Out Now and my other site - an internet talk show/podcast with the same mission as Crying Out Now, called The Bubble Hour.  The Bubble Hour airs weekly on Sunday nights at 9pm EST, 8pm Central, 7pm Mountain and 6pm Pacific. It already has over 35,000 downloads (after only a few months in existence) and is growing exponentially.  The Bubble Hour is also now under the non-profit corporation Shining Strong.

Effective immediately, the proceeds from any jewelry you purchase from either of my businesses goes 100% towards funding these two important sites.  This gives readers and/or listeners another way to support the mission of Shining Strong and get a beautiful piece (or pieces) of jewelry as well!

We also have a way to contribute directly - you can see the widget on our right hand sidebar (WePay) and you can contribute any amount. Every little bit helps so much. In order to grow these sites (and even to maintain them) our costs are growing as well (happily, as it means our message is spreading).  If you or someone you love has benefited from CON or The Bubble Hour we gratefully accept your contribution in the form of a direct payment or purchasing jewelry from either store.

The impact of what we're doing here is already being felt on a global level; we get emails from all around the world from women who say they thought they were alone, the only ones suffering and stuck in the grips of alcoholism.  The first step towards sobriety for many women is to submit a post here, or read the brave and beautiful words on this site, or listen to the stories on The Bubble Hour.  We are humbled and honored to be part of helping people help themselves take that brave step and find freedom from addiction.

There are other ways you can help, too, that aren't monetary. Leaving comments is HUGE. Women who pour their truths onto this site get so much support and comfort from your words.  Spreading the word about Shining Strong, CON and The Bubble Hour on your FB pages or Twitter pages helps, too.  Just in the past month our readership has almost tripled, thanks mostly to the grass-roots efforts of readers like you.

You can also leave a testimonial (anonymously or with a pseudonym if you wish) on Shining Strong's website by clicking here. This helps us demonstrate the impact we're having to potential sponsors or donors.  You can read these testimonials (get a tissue ready) by clicking on the "comment" button below the online form.

Lastly, you can purchase my book (see the right hand side bar for a preview) Let Me Get This Straight, (click to go to my book's homepage) which chronicles my own alcoholism and recovery, the death of my father, my cancer journey and funny/poignant stories of motherhood and life.  The proceeds from any purchase of the book (pdf version available for PCs, eBook version for Apple products and also a softcover edition) ALL go directly to funding Shining Strong.

Below is a video that highlights the mission of Shining Strong, which was named in honor of my father, Jonathan Strong, who passed away suddenly in June 2011.  My Dad taught me many, many things, but first and foremost was the importance of giving back to the communities you serve. I would not be sober today if it weren't for the compassion and love given to me by other recovering women, and these sites (and my personal blog) are my way of giving back a debt I couldn't repay in a thousand lifetimes.

So please watch the video, help us spread the word by facebooking or tweeting this post, leave a comment, purchase some jewelry (follow the links above to go to my store(s)) or contribute directly (we are not yet a 501(c)3 - that is our next step but it involves a fair amount of money and time - so these contributions are not yet tax deductible, but we're getting there).

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for all you do - to the brave story-tellers, to the compassionate commenters, and to all of you who help us spread the word.  Together we are a light in the darkness; a light that grows brighter every. single. day.

One story at a time.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Nurse Reaches Out For Help

***Submitted by Anonymous

So this is my issue- I'm a new nurse and work the 3-11 shift.

I know I will be wired when I get home from running for the whole time at work.

I have trouble sleeping as it is and being by myself all amped when I get home doesn't help so I stop and get a 6 pack on my way home so I can wind down.

I think the fact that I have no one to talk to doesn't help so I'm self medicating and I'm well aware of how unhealthy this is. I say to myself every day I'm not going to pick up beer, but after a crazy shift (which it always is in some way or another) I always do.

Its not like I get wasted and I'm never hungover and I function at work great, but why do I always do it? I drink the 6 pack eat something and go to bed wake up 2 hours before my shift and have never been late for work. I feel like its more of an issue because I compulsively do it and spend $10 a day $50 a week $200 a month (which is a car payment).

How do I stop?

An on the weekends I go a little crazy when I know I have the next day off and then sleep a good amount of the day and don't get what I need done.

Please help I'm at a loss and I can;t do AA.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Young Mother Needs Help

***Submitted by Anonymous

I am a 25 year old single mother of the most stunningly beautiful and smart 3 year old little girl. I love being a mom and nothing brings me greater joy than my daughter, I am a bit obsessed with her to say the least.   Becoming a mother has changed me for the better and given me a new sense of hope and purpose...or so I thought.  I was on the longest high after the birth of my daughter and once I started making some familiar mistakes and getting some feelings of depression. 

I have suffered from severe depression since I was about 12 and it also runs heavily in my family as well as alcoholism.  Both my grandfathers were alcoholics and committed suicide.   I've talked to numerous therapists, been in both inpatient and outpatient hospital programs and been taking anti-depressants.  I feel as though I am on a roller coaster when it comes to being depressed, highs, lows and just maintaining. I have also struggled with an eating disorder and body dismorphic disorder.  I got into some trouble as a teen with alcohol, getting 3 MIP's (minor in possession). I have so many regrets throughout my adolescence dealing with promiscuity that 99% of the time I hardly recall and alcohol is to blame every single time. 
I have worked in the bar/restaurant scene since I was 15, the atmosphere is toxic.  Once I became a bartender the temptation was always there and right in my grasp.  I found myself sneaking shots whenever I could to "help bring my personality out" and making work seem less like work.  I don't get to go out with friends and getting pregnant when I was 21 has got me thinking I am trying to make up for "loss time".   
I hit an all time low when I got pulled over on the side of the highway performing sobriety tests.  I was giggling and blowing it off because I was drunk, unaware of the severe consequences I was about to face.  I sobered up real quick when I found myself locked up in a jail cell the night I got a DUI.  I felt like the worst mother in the entire world.  If I had killed myself I would have robbed my daughter of her mother whom she adores let alone if I took an innocents persons life.  I would have to live with that my entire life more than likely behind bars again, robbing my daughter of her mother.  I don't want my daughter to ever have to suffer because of my poor decisions and self destructive behavior.
I wound up getting fired recently from my job that I loved as a bartender from my boyfriend's uncle's bar....I drank so much I passed out right at work, while on the clock, twice.  I am mortified to ever talk to his family again let alone see them.  My boyfriend was extremely upset with my reckless behavior and was actually ashamed of me warning me if some major changes don't happen we can't be together.  
I let down and disappointed so many people including myself.  I am about 5' and 95 lbs, my body is just unable to consume that much alcohol and I forget how small I am when I try to keep up with the pace of everyone else's drinking. 
I don't drink daily but almost every time I drink, I drink until I blackout.  This is highly unacceptable on so many levels but the main one being I am a mother. I hold myself to an impossible standard when it comes to parenting because I am the ONLY one she has so I try to be perfect.  When I make a mistake I beat myself up relentlessly and turn to drinking because I feel like a failure, worthless, unproductive.  It is easier to numb those torturous feelings and thoughts.
I am embarrassed of my actions and inability to control my alcohol use, but more embarrassed to admit my problem although I know others are already aware of it.  I don't like the thought of completely giving up alcohol I just want to be able to control the amount I drink. I drink way too much way too fast.  I mess up because I drink and I drink because I mess up.  I have chosen not to bar-tend any longer to avoid putting myself in these situations. I recently decided to stop buying alcohol for my home.  
I don't want this problem to take control of my life and want to be the best mom I can be.  I am in my own way.  
I'm not sure what the next step is from here....