Friday, May 31, 2013

My story. Part 1 of 3

Hi.  I'm Tina, and I'm an alcoholic.  Here's where you all chime in with, "Hi, Tina."

To write an intro blog detailing my life up to now would take  a long time and you would get bored before I was done.  As I tell the audience when I am asked to share my story at a 12-Step Meeting, "It's my job to speak and your job to listen.  I promise to do my best to make sure I get done before you do."
Over the years, the way I tell my story has changed.  Early in sobriety, I would share as many details as I could.  I wanted to sound big and bad and wild and awesome.  Over time, I've learned that the details matter less than the message.  Today my message is one of HOPE.  At the bare minimum, this is what sobriety gives me.  HOPE.

I come from a very loving family where we always had our needs met, heard "I love you" on a daily basis, and were covered with hugs and kisses on a daily basis.  My family did not make me an alcoholic.  I was raised as a Catholic who went to church every Sunday and Catholic School during the week.  Fire and brimstone all over the place and God was up in the sky with his tally sheet of sins and good deeds and if  you tipped the scale too far toward sin, he was going to strike you down.  The Catholics didn't make me an alcoholic either.  Bullies, abusive relationships, good friends, bad friends – none of these made me an alcoholic either.  You know what DID make me an alcoholic? Everything and nothing.  The day I stopped trying to figure it out and just accepted the fact that I AM one, life got easier.

I don't know when I took my first drink.  I come from a HUGE family (125 Aunts, Uncles, and 1st cousins.  That's just my dad's side.), weddings are prefect  places for kids to try sips of the grownup's drinks.  I DO know that the first time I drank and FELT the effect of alcohol was when I was 10.  It tasted bad and burned on the way down, but within a few minutes, I felt it.  That feeling of ease that let me know that everything was going to be all right.  Guilt, shame, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, abortion, drug abuse,  abusive boyfriends, premature babies, self-injury…alcohol could numb me to all of it.  As long as I never sobered up, I could keep the feelings at bay.  Alcohol wasn't my PROBLEM, it was my SOLUTION.  It didn't become a problem until the solution stopped working.
(to be continued)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Am I one of THOSE people now?

I'm overweight and have been my entire life.  I used to hate listening to people blather on and on about their workouts and diets.  Every time I hear a skinny person say, "Oh, I can't eat that brownie, it will go straight to my hips!", I wanted to choke them with the brownie.  I didn't want to hear about any of that because I was more comfortable living in denial.  Hell, it wasn't even denial.  I just wanted to ignore the fact that I was only getting heavier as the years went by and I wasn't doing anything about it because I was scared to try one more time and fail one more time.  I was also the fat girl that many would sleep with, but few would date. 

Last year, after yet another health scare, 2 weeks before my 37th birthday, I joined a nutrition and weightloss center.  6.5 months later, I have lost 50 pounds.  Actually I lost the 50 in the first 5 months and have just been bouncing back and forth between 3-5 pounds for the last month and a half.  I'm not doing all of the things I should be.  I have slacked off.  I have increased my workouts threefold, but haven't been following the suggested eating plan.  I'm not doing the work and I'm not reaping the rewards.  No one's fault but mine.

I have turned into one of those people that occasionally posts about her workouts.  I try to only post about it if something funny happened or if I've met a milestone.  I try to encourage other people and seem to have been lucky enough to have a group of encouraging people surround me.  I have the attitude, "If you don't like what I post, just don't read it."

Here lies the situation that I'm not sure how to handle.  An old drinking-buddy and I have been chatting back and forth on facebook.  We flirt a little like we did back in the day.  He was (is) a sweet guy and I'm pretty sure we made out once or twice (like I said, he was a DRINKING buddy...good chance I probably made out with him).  We lost contact for 7-8 years, but again, ran into each other on facebook.  Here's the deal.  D (that's what we'll call him) is a very large person who prides himself on the giant meals he cooks (he's a great cook), savors every second while eating these meals, and then brags about the naps he takes afterward. Other than when he's at work, his life mainly revolves around food and he has no plans to change that.  He is ok being him.  I applaud him for his "if they don't like me, who gives a shit?" attitude.

I guess I'll just go ahead and say it.  I am not attracted to D.  At all.  He's sweet and fun to flirt with (but I'll flirt a little with anyone who's willing), but that's all there is.  He wants to hook up with me and I want none of that.  At first I thought I had turned into one of THOSE people that I hated.  The ones that didn't want to be with me because I was fat.  The more I think about it, I'm not sure that's the whole truth.  I'm an addict.  Alcohol, drugs, sex, name it, I've been addicted to it.  I don't want to go back to planning my day around food.  I don't want to go back to eating everything in sight, scale be damned, only to end up hating myself for being fat.  I have worked like hell to get off the guilt/shame roller coaster and don't want to get back on.  I am not attracted to his lifestyle and certainly would never try to force mine on him. So now what?  What do I say?  Could anything sound more hateful than, "Sorry.  Not interested because you're fat."?  No matter how I try to think of a way to say it, it always sounds like that.  I don't want to do to him what so many men did to me - a quick roll in the hay, and hey, see you around.

I dare say I've acquired some STANDARDS.  There might even be the possibility that I am allowed to politely decline unwanted advances.  Who does that?  I surely never have.  It's almost as if after a life of self-destruction, I'm learning to make better choices.  Oh dear gods, does this mean I'm growing up?