Monday, May 08, 2006

How much DOES it take?

I went to an AA meeting tonight... it was the first one I've been to in a loooong time and it was good. It was about ANGER. I realized that I hadn't even realized I was pissed until thinking about it tonight.

I am coming up on that one year anniversary of SOBRIETY, and thinking about what a helluva year it's been. Once when I was in the hospital one nurse's aide was explaining to another about my illness, and said that it was at least partly due to alcohol consumption. Both girls then started asking me questions... they wanted to know "How Much did I drink? How Often? What?" it was obvious that they were doing that little mental comparison that we all know so well... "how much can I get away with before I get really sick, or get a DUI, or lose my job, or whatever?"

I used to make such comparisons... Well, at least I don't drink THAT much. Anyway, what I finally said to those girls, and I cried tonight as I shared it at the meeting, was that I didn't drink enough to deserve all that has happened in the past year. And I realized that I am really really pissed off about that. No one else that I know had their lives come to a grinding halt due to some weird-ass internal organ failure that no one outside of the medical community even understands or hears about. It's complicated and mysterious and requires far more explanation than many other catastrophic illnesses, not that I'm not grateful. Cause I am...

Anyway, I still got all teary tonight and said "I just didn't deserve this." So I feel like now that my body is VERY close to being through the healing process, my mind has kicked in with all of it's baggage... anger, fear, resentment. I have spent a good portion of the past year beating myself up. Lots of "If onlys". If I had stopped drinking in 2001 the first time I got sick. If I had taken my cholesterol medication. At the same time, I resent the anyone else implying that I made this choice, because I certainly didn't...that's half of what is so frustrating about not knowing EXACTLY what caused this to happen... unfortunately, I could do everything right from now on and still have a higher chance of another bout of panreatis, with the little bit of pancreas I have left. I also could have done everything right way back when and still had all of this happen to me. I like to think that alcohol was the biggest contributing factor, cause then all I have to do to be safe is NOT drink,right? Unfortunately none of it is that clear.

Anyway, it's weird to be approaching that one year sobriety birthday. It's May 12, and not a date I chose for myself, but it was chosen for me by the brutal rebellion that my pancreas embarked on that day. I am glad I did not know how bad it would get, how relentlessly sick I would stay for such a long time. I think/hope/pray that it's almost over.

On the up side of this, I was trying to think of other ways in which my life is better without alcohol. I feel more clear headed generally speaking, I don't ever have to worry about getting a DUI or going to jail, I am not throwing money away everynight on booze, I am keeping up with responsibilities more... although I do have some resolutions to live up to like getting on a more normal sleep schedule, working more routine hours, returning phone calls, going to meetings, and cleaning the house.

I also realize that if it hadn't been for the illness this past year, I would have had no clue how many people care about me and have gone so far above and beyond to help me out. Unfortunately, the financial worries are far from over, but Andy is planning another fund raiser in July, which is wonderful, as I expect to be flat ass broke by then. I don't get the impression that the opportunities for full time work at my old rate of pay are going to be possible for a few months. It sucks, but I am grateful to have anything right now, esp. the health insurance.

This week I am going to write thank you notes that desperately need to be written. Maybe that will perk me up.


Rikki said...

good blog. I imagine it's hard to pin down what you're feeling sometimes. It's probably a roller coaster of emotions.

Enarda said...

Thanks for the call today. It IS frustrating, annoying, irritating, etc. How can any of these things happen to either of us?

It's best not to think about the shoulda-woulda-couldas. It'll drive you mad. Just think about the present and your future goals.

If you ever want some tea, I'm good for it.

ex-wicked said...

I agree with enarda. I am just glad that you did the best you could for your health this year and not drinking had to be a one of the best. I am quite sure, if you're anything like me, that you wouldnt have persevered and been as empowered as you have been if you had been under the influence. I am grateful you're here. what a great inspiration you are and will continue to be! xo

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gypsy said...

I'm going to Rikki's tonight (Monday) instead of Free State. Call me if you want to see her new place and hang out a bit. I'd even come get you.

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time . Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." --E.B. White