Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Recap

The holidays around here were lovely.  We spent a few days visiting with various family members, had a number of close friends from all over to our house for a party on Saturday, and are now beginning to fall back into the daily routine.  I still have a week before classes resume, which is lucky since I have apparently chosen the holiday break as the ideal time to come down with the cold/flu/transient 24 hour bug that has been going around.  I've been feeling a bit like I got hit by a Mack truck, and therefore don't have a whole bunch to write about aside from what it's like to lie around like a bum with a box of tissues at hand.  

Other than all that, there has been one thing of note that warrants writing down.  With another couple of weeks before my loans arrive and last semester's loans dwindling, we've been truly cutting things extremely tight financially over the past month.  Add in the extra expenses of Christmas shopping and things had gotten a little scary.  I was fully expecting to have to pay the early January bills with credit cards and pay off the cards when the loan money arrived, and that whole idea was more than a little stressful, since we're used to budgeting everything so precisely.  I had been worrying about how we would manage for most of December, but finally realized that it wasn't going to do me any good and decided to try giving the whole situation up to my higher power.  I'm still not very good at the letting go thing, but since I've been working on it with D I figured it certainly couldn't hurt to try it with the finances, too.  And so I all but forgot about the money, figuring if it came down to credit cards that at least we would be able to pay them off fairly quickly.   

When D's last paycheck arrived the day after Christmas, it was a bit more than usual, and so we breathed a little bit easier.  Then, he won a contest for sales at work and got an extra bonus for doing so.  Yesterday, I received a completely unexpected check in the mail as a refund from our insurance company, stating that we'd overpaid.  All of these things combined have officially crossed the bank accounts into the black and given us enough money to pay for all of our expenses over the next few weeks.  Honestly, I hadn't really thought about it much until today, when I received and banked that extra insurance check, but clearly, someone somewhere is watching out for us a little bit this week, and I am so, so grateful.  It gives me hope that letting go might actually help in a lot more ways as well.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

And to all a good night

I am finally, finally done with exams for the semester.  I actually ended up doing quite well, so I was pleased.  I have yet to convince my brain that I am finished, though--I keep waking up in the morning feeling like there's something I should be doing.  It's amazing how exhausted you can be without realizing it.  I finally get to relax and now all I want to do is sleep.  It's been quite lovely, however, to spend a couple of days doing some shopping, first with D, then today with my mom and sisters.  There are gifts wrapped under our tree and it makes me feel all full of Christmas cheer.  My dog and myself are curled up on the couch watching romantic movies and in the next two days I will celebrate six months of marriage and three months of sobriety for D.  

Sometimes, life just works.  Here's hoping that everyone out there can find such a little piece of joy this season.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's finals week, and I think I'm losing my mind

I've been slipping the past couple of days.  It started with a trigger...D came home without calling me to let me know he was on his way.  He'd been talking more with a couple of female friends recently--long time friends, who I know quite well--and one day last week he had gotten off the phone with me in order to answer a phone call from one of them regarding what to get a boyfriend for Christmas.  So when he came home without calling first, my mind did a triple jump to the worst of possible conclusions, assuming he had wanted to talk to one of them more than me.  That he was slipping into complacency and leaving me behind for the thousandth time.  It was all I could do to keep myself from an all-out freak out when he got home, though I somehow managed to stay relatively calm and avoid being passive-aggressive long enough for him to claim that he had not spoken with anyone.  Since then, I'm having trouble focusing on me.  Well, that took all of a week.  

Last night I had a completely random--no triggers, just random--flashback about things he used to say when he was flirting with girls online.  It's like stabbing myself in the chest one more time for fun.  I'm trying to figure out why this is happening, but there doesn't seem to be a really good reason.  I'm also trying to get my focus back to me again, but it's coming much less easily this time.  I wanted so badly to bring up D's recovery last night with him, but didn't, so I guess that's a good sign that I can still keep my control freak a little bit under control.  Time to check out my priorities again, because in my efforts to focus on what I'm feeling, all I can identify is that I'm feeling frustrated by all this and frustrated (yet again) by what D is or isn't doing, which is exact opposite of the goal of this exercise.  Then, when I remind myself that all I can do is work on me and my flaws, that codie who lives in my head just wants recognition--"Hey!  Look at me!  I'm working on myself!  Haven't you noticed?!  Say you've noticed!! Doesn't it make you want to work on you too?"  God, what a horribly insecure person I have been.  Next stop for the introspection train:  why in the world I'm so insecure about everything, and what I can do about it.  I'll be back when and if I figure out some answers. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I got way more done last night than I had intended to, work wise.  Partially thanks to D, who took me away from my oh-so-distracting high speed internet connection for a while when he asked (of his own accord) if I would drive him to his SAA meeting.  Hour and a half of no internet studying + continuing to reap the benefits of not worrying so much about everybody else in the world = chalk one into the win zone.  At least for today.  

We put up our Christmas tree a couple of nights ago, and it was fabulous because (as mentioned in my previous "about me" post) I am a certifiable Christmas nut.  It pains me that we cannot have a real tree, since D is allergic, but for now our adorable little Charlie Brown fake tree lights up my life (literally and figuratively) when I walk in the door in the evening.  D thinks this is hilarious, since he is used to putting up his family tree about a week or two before Christmas and taking it down the day after, whereas my family get out the decor the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I think we've found a good compromise.  I even got a pine-smelling candle to trick my brain into thinking it's real.  Now, if only I could find the time and money to get the shopping done, I'll really be set.  

Monday, December 8, 2008

Letting Go

I feel like the universe is trying to send me a message.  After last week's post, I took some advice and decided to make an effort, starting then and there, to focus more on me.  I even wrote myself a lovely little note to look back on and remind myself.  The goal was relatively simple--I just promised myself that I would try my best to think more about me, what I was thinking, how I was feeling, what I want.  In so doing, I also promised that I would do my utter best to quit worrying so much about D like I've been.  We discussed this epiphany of sorts, and I told him that I'm making the commitment to not bother him about his recovery any more, for his sake but ultimately for mine, because really (as I've been told however many times) it is just plain unhealthy for me to focus so much on something that, at it's heart, I simply can't control--no matter how much I might want to.  So I started trying.  When I began thinking about what someone else was doing or what I needed to do for them, I tried to remove myself as much as possible and really review how I felt and what I wanted and what I could do.  It's been hard, but not nearly as much as I expected.  The great thing was (and here's where the universe is giving me a sign)--all manner of things have come up dealing with this topic this week.  Other friends that I've talked to, other blogs that I've read, are dealing with the same topic of staying self-focused.  I attended my first online COSA meeting tonight, and the topic was, of all things, letting go of control in order to see solutions more clearly (and, if necessary, asking HP for help in doing so).  Hearing other people talk about how they dealt with this, how they had benefitted from letting go, what struggles they had really resonated with me and gave me some new things to think about to help me with this new goal.  It's been great, and I have to say it's given me some freedom of perspective to start looking at what good things I do have in my life.  

With this newfound idea to go on, I've also decided that in order to keep the focus on me, I'm going to try to start keeping this blog more about me and what I'm doing rather than just ranting about D all the time.  Whatever problems we have, I can only work on mine, anyway--and when I do, things seem to go so much better with him and with us as well.  So to start making this place a little more "me-centric," here is an interesting little meme I picked up from a friend.  

10 things you don't know about me:

Note:  I don't do memes, really...none of the whole "tagging" other people and such.  But I thought this was fun, so feel free to do it if you wish as well.  The point is just to let people know 10 things about you that they probably otherwise wouldn't know, or that might be interesting or different or odd.  

1. I am addicted to Harry Potter, and I just got turned on to the new Twilight books.  While I don't think they're quite as good writing-wise, the story is interesting and quite addictive when the alternative is studying.  This is a bad, bad thing to happen the week before finals. 

2. I love the beach.  The smell of sunscreen is one of the happiest smells on earth. 

3. My house is perpetually covered in dog fur, and while I am a neat freak, I often cannot bring myself to haul out the vacuum to solve the problem. 

4. Christmas is my favorite season.  I would listen to carols year round if it wouldn't annoy everyone else around me. 

5. I hate bananas.

6. I love photography. 

7. I'm a closet nerd.  I play video games, love science fiction, and probably would have been an astrophysicist if I didn't pick my chosen line of study. 

8. I love snow, but hate the cold.  I really wish I had a fireplace, because my heating bills kill me whenever the temperature drops below 60 degrees. 

9. I used to have a life goal to travel to every continent before I was 30.  I still want to do it--but the age range has lengthened.  Only two have been checked off the list so far. 

10. Blood, guts, death, gore and destruction do not and have never freaked me out in the slightest, but I am paralyzed by the sight of the tiniest spider on my bedroom ceiling. 

So there's a little bit about the me that I'm trying to get to know a little bit better.  For now, that me better start actually doing some work. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I should be studying right now.  Finals are in two weeks and I am woefully behind.  But, since I am the World's Greatest Procrastinator, I figured I'd do some writing about some things that have been musing around in my head recently.  Mainly, I've been thinking a lot about meetings.  

I sent an e-mail to the COSA ISO a couple of weeks ago, when I was feeling particularly down about D's attitude toward his own meetings.  On the one hand, he seems to like them and get a lot out of them, but on the other, he never takes it upon himself to go (outside of the very first one he attended).  He has now been to three or four meetings (each a couple of weeks apart), and after the first one I am always the one prodding him to get up, get moving, that he needs to go.  He never gets up and says "ok, time to go to my meeting now."  In regular conversation, he will talk about how he's trying to stay positive about them, how they're a good thing, etc.  But when it's time to go to one, he always wants to just stay home and relax.  I can understand this, because he does work ridiculous hours that are never the same week to week, and between his job and my school there are only so many hours in the week that we get to see each other.  I, however, see meetings as a commitment to his recovery, and I feel like if he never takes it on himself to go, he can't really be all that committed.  Granted, he has been doing very well lately...no acting out, sober now for over two months, the model husband.  But yet I see tiny, tiny details in things he says or does that remind me just how easy it would be for him to relapse, especially if he were given access to his computer again.  Things that make me think that he is not taking things seriously enough .  Oh, the madness of my so-called mind. 

And so I try, try, try to keep my mind on me.  Each morning I make an effort to put D and his recovery in the God box and leave them there...but I'm not very good at it, because I am a control freak.  No matter how much I try to focus on me rather than him (this post started out about me, did you notice that?  How quickly my thoughts wander back to what he's got going on...) I just have issues with it.  So I've been making an effort to be more introspective.  To remember what it's like to think about what I want, what I need, without the lens of "what do others want" blurring my inner vision.  And with that introspection came the notion that it would probably not be a bad idea to do something more proactive about my own recovery.  Currently, the only serious "recovery" I've got going on is this blog and an online forum for partners of addicts that I have begun frequenting, and I know that while these are both great resources for support, they're not really the same as working a program.  And so (we come full circle) I sent an e-mail to COSA ISO to find out if there were any meetings in my area.  A very lovely person sent me an e-mail back with a phone number to call to find the answer.  And that is where I am stuck. 

For some reason, I cannot bring myself to actually call the number.  The idea of a real live person calling me back, for some reason, terrifies me.  As does the idea of going to meetings at all, at its core.  And so the introspection camera has been turned onto the reasons for this fear.  It seems so irrational--I mean, all kinds of people that I have "met" via the internet have commended such meetings as a wonderful source for healing, have emphasized the need to work your own program, etc.  It seems, from the way these people describe meetings, that there would be nothing to lose, and only to gain, by going.  So what am I so afraid of?  As I'm sitting here trying to discover the answer, a few things come to mind.  First of all, I am young.  Younger, probably, than most of the other people dealing with this problem, and so part of me is slightly intimidated by the fact that I will be out of place at a COSA meeting in that respect.  Part of me feels that others may judge, think I'm stupid for marrying someone so flawed so young when I could, theoretically, have my pick of people with no worries about needing to rush into things in order to have kids or the like.  I know this is extremely unlikely...but it doesn't make the fear go away.  Another reason for my trepidation is the exposure factor.  To the outside world, D and I live what would probably appear to be a charmed life.  I come from a wonderful background--my parents are married and have always been loving and supportive, there is no background of addiction on either side, I went to good schools with good friends and am now studying for a lucrative and successful professional career.  My family is well known in our community, prominent in a good way. D's family was much the same--slightly less wealthy growing up, but his parents are also wonderful and to my knowledge (with the exception of an alcoholic grandfather) there is very little addictive behavior within his family either.  He went to good schools, had good friends, and has a good job.   So part of me worries that going to a meeting will be an admission that my perfect little world does not exist, despite the effort I have put into keeping that appearance for the past 3 years.  Part of me worries that I might be seen, that someone might realize who I am and where I come from and my worst fear of being outed and humiliated in front of my family will be realized.  Again, I know this is crazy.  I know the anonymity of the groups is nigh on to sacred.  But it doesn't make the fear go away.  

One of my most disconcerting reasons for resisting going to meetings is a very basic characteristic that I have had most of my life, and have always known needed work.  I am quite the extrovert, a leader, especially on the outside.  But on the inside, at my most basic level of self...I am very much afraid of doing anything on my own.  I have never been to a movie by myself.  When I chose where to go to college, I had the opportunity to attend a school rather far away from home, but instead chose one closer where I knew people, roomed with my high school friend, where D was going.  Part of the reason was because I was afraid to have to step out on my own and be vulnerable.  When it came time to pick my current school for my graduate work, I chose to attend a school closer to home, and at least part of the reason was because it was safe.  Back when D first exhibited signs of acting out, I considered leaving but didn't because I felt I had nowhere to go, would look foolish breaking up with someone I had been with for so long, and in some ways didn't really know how to go about life alone.  Even now, I exhibit these same, stupid behaviors.  I am interested in taking yoga.  But I am not sure I would be willing to go to a class by myself where I knew no one, without at least taking a friend with me.  I hate this about myself, and have begun trying to work on it...but breaking out of this shell comes slowly, and the worst thing about it is that I am unsure if I will ever be willing to drive to a meeting on my own and walk in knowing no one. 

That was far more than I intended to write, but it feels cleansing somehow to identify on paper some of the major issues I have to work on.  

Monday, December 1, 2008


Things went as well as we could have ever hoped...or, rather, better....the judge decided to extend D's probation to last one year longer than it was supposed to, but kept the same conditions.  No jail, no fees, no nothing but toeing the line.  He'll be done next August.   Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers...seems like someone somewhere was looking out for us.