Living Out Loud

I can be bold. Obnoxious even, when it comes to sports especially. I toe the line of playful banter, or not so playful. I openly obsess over Mexico. I gush over my kitties and my beautiful home. But I often hold back, as well.

All my life I have felt so insecure. They say you can’t miss what you never had, but there is nothing that could replace Daddy’s love. I’ve never felt that, so I’ve often felt out of place in the world. Ashamed and afraid. Even at the age of 39.

The answer to life’s problems is definitely not at the bottom of any bottle. I’ve searched many. It has been 22 weeks now since my last binge.

Every one of us is different, and we need to do what is best for ourselves. I have chosen to do this recovery by myself. As in, without rehab or therapy of any kind. I have ‘graduated’ from one program already, but obviously it did not do what I really needed to change at the time. I have to say it did give me some tools and awareness to ultimately face this, fourteen years later. I have my own program.

My main trigger to relapse is anxiety. I am aware of that. I am working to eliminate or at least manage the anxiety so it doesn’t consume me. I researched vitamins and supplements, for both anxiety and to hopefully rebuild my poor liver. I have been faithful in this regime for almost five months now. Writing is also helping. I have hobbies like astrology, sports, and swimming.

My problem with traditional therapy is that I cannot allow myself to connect easily. Counselors have actually given up on me. I just cannot fully trust someone when I was forsaken before I was ever born. I am married to the most wonderfully supportive, understanding man. I have come a long way in my relationship with him in my self-worth department but maybe I still kind of hold back in some ways. I have friends and close friends. Different people see different sides or layers of me.

I have to be accountable in my recovery. Accountability was a HUGE deal in my program. Personal accountability. “I language.” That aspect of the classes has helped me tremendously in life. I made it part of who I am and have always carried it with me. Accountability is a big part of AA or other programs as well. I am accountable to my husband and my best friend, who is also fighting this battle 400 miles away.

Social media has really come into life since I was in that program, and it truly could be the most helpful tool in my recovery. Being able to connect, instantly, around the world. It is that connection I crave, that I need. I was never Daddy’s girl, though my husband does spoil me entirely now. I stay home these days. I am focusing on my recovery. My husband works, but is not always immediately accessible when anxiety strikes. My close friends also have jobs, families, or obligations.

Feeling connection helps me feel purpose. As a fatherless daughter I struggle with that often. Like the quote attributed to John Lennon, when I grow up I just want to be happy. I love when I make people laugh. Friends have noted that is what they remember about me. I even got the crying/laughing emoji as a Christmas present. I post things all day just trying to laugh my day away.

I find myself posting and writing a lot about my recovery. I find that it is actually the most effective form of accountability for me. Sure I am accountable to my people, but I have also failed them on many occasions before. Since I have brought my recovery to social media, it has changed my game entirely. If I fail now it will be on a world stage. I don’t know if my Leo ego could allow it.

So for that, I will not apologize. I will live my recovery loud and proud. I will no longer apologize for being myself out of fear of what someone may think. I’m almost 40 and I’ve lived this long without Daddy’s approval. My inner rebel is quite amused.

Yes, You Really Can.

It has taken some time to process this, but yes you can. You really can do whatever you put your mind to.

I taught myself Spanish. I’m not quite fully fluent, but I have no trouble with it at all. I wanted to be able to speak Spanish as long as I can remember. Much of my adult life I have worked in restaurants with some Spanish speaking people. It drove me nuts when non- speakers would say “I wish I could speak Spanish too.” Well guess what, yes you can. If you really want to you can teach yourself just like I did. Little by little for the last 20 years now. Practicing what I know and trying to learn more as I go. Reading as much as possible in Spanish helps a lot, too. My Spanish and my accent both are so good that natural Spanish speakers can’t believe I’m American. But I taught myself. You can too.

Astrology. I wanted to learn so I am learning. For the last five years I have read all I can. I joined some astrology groups on Facebook. I don’t post too much but I lurk and I learn. I know so much that people have come to me to teach a beginner class. People often ask me for insights on their charts. I don’t know it all, but little by little. Yes you can.

Drums. I’ve always been fascinated and want to play. I have taken every opportunity to learn. Watching music videos, listening to music intently through my headphones. Any opportunity to watch someone play live I studied them carefully. Sometimes I have sat at the set myself. Hopefully soon I will have my own drums in my basement, and I will prove again that yes, you can.

This brings me to my biggest challenge yet. Not drinking alcohol. I had to quit drinking about 6 months ago for medical reasons. Was it hard? Oh yes. I had been leaning on the bottle for over 6 years since I had to move here. What do I do without my ‘best friend?’ I have cried a lot. I miss out on times with actual friends when I think I might be too tempted. Whatever I have to do I’m doing. People say that too, “I wish I could stop drinking.” Don’t tell me that. Because yes, you can. 

I may get snarky people who think I’m insensitive to the addiction, but I was labelled alcoholic 14 years ago. It became a monster for me in the last 7 years. But not anymore. I have over 5 months of not even a taste of alcohol now. I decided no more hangovers and no more IVs at the hospital. 

Like the saying goes, “I decided I didn’t want to feel like that anymore so I changed.” If you really want to, you can too. Si se puedes.

 🎶 Orphaned to the Dope and Drinks 🎶

Who would think Pantera lyrics could inspire someone… 

My mother and father were stationed in the Navy together. A brief fling, but here I am. My mother returned to her hometown about six months or so pregnant. My father refused contact. He abandoned me while I was still in the womb.

They say mothers do the best they can at the time. I will never know, because I will likely never have children. My biggest reason is because I haven’t yet recovered from my own childhood. For as long as I can remember, I have always felt forsaken by my mother in a lot of ways, as well.

My mother chose to not put my father’s name on my birth certificate, so that limited her recourse in even getting medical records. All feelings aside, that is the worst part of this. Any time I go to the doctor for all my life I only have half my medical records. I don’t know what all ‘runs in the family.’

My mother is a twin. They were 23 when I was born. Young adults. My aunt was married with a daughter four years older than I. When I was first born we all lived at Grandma’s but soon after my aunt and uncle bought a house. The decision was made for us all to live together. My mom would stay home for the kids while my aunt and uncle worked. I had two more cousins join us, boys, one four years younger and the other 5+ years younger. So I am an only child of a single mom, but ultimately three adults and four children made up my childhood home. Crazy, and quite confusing.

I was tormented in my dreams as a small girl. I had a recurring dream, that my father came in a hot air balloon and took my mom away. Separation anxiety was a big deal. In first grade, my mom would stay after lunch and help with the reading class. She felt she needed to, and my teacher agreed, because otherwise I would leave at lunch. Skipping school for me started in first grade. I never actually felt important to my mom, until she lost custody of me. I often accompanied her to the grocery store and laundromat as a way to get alone time with her. Because otherwise I can really only think of one time in my whole life we have ever done mommy/daughter anything. 

My mom was always up front answering questions about my father. Her information was rather limited, and with a name like Stephen Hughes it makes my searches seem impossible. I do have one picture. I still have it, thank God. All the times I had to start over. Through a house fire and everything I still have the one and only picture of my father I ever saw.

She was the ‘neighborhood mom.’ Once someone cut his finger and needed stitches. It wasn’t his mom in the ER with him. His mom waited in the lobby and my mom was the one holding his (other) hand. I have a love/hate relationship with that. She has such a thing with kids. Its amazing, actually. But I hated it. Between the neighborhood kids and my cousins, I often wondered What about your own daughter? 

I could have quoted Slayer instead for a title. Innocence, withdrawn in fear. It is a line from the song Silent Scream. Whoever wrote that song had to have grown up without a daddy, too. Think of childhood. Words like innocence come to mind. I wanted to make friends at school. Sometimes it felt like I had some. Often times, however, I alienated myself. Withdrawn in fear. Other than swimming and baseball, I mostly isolated myself in my room. Alone with my imagination. Dreaming of a life somewhere far far away. With my music. The one constant of my whole life. I felt so different, and that nobody could possibly understand me. Anyone that tried I pushed away, again not wanting pity, or afraid they will also forsake me somehow. It seemed everyone I ever knew had their dad. Whether it was every other weekend or only in their memories.

Friends? I had some. I reconnected with my very first best friend last year. We of course talked about our Big Wheels and such, but he said he remembered my middle finger the most. Little four year old me flipping off the world saying “Fucking bitchessss!” Wow. So much angst at such a young age. I don’t even remember. I thought I remembered so much. He moved away, as did my other early BFF. I do have a couple neighborhood friends younger than me.

School was such a big deal for me. I am naturally very smart. Unfortunately I also had a mental block against learning, and it stems from not having my father. I was almost always teacher’s pet. I took it as pity. They talked about “my potential” and it just drove me nuts! Why bother excelling in school? My father doesn’t care, so why should anyone? I settled in as much as I could after first grade, but by 7th grade I had enough. 

The way the district was set up at the time, 6th grade was when you graduated elementary school. I missed that ceremony. Migraines already. Or maybe I just didn’t want to do it without my father. So on to 7th grade… seemingly without friends. A couple of my good friends in my class moved that summer. I had a complex, that those who did know me from elementary school would talk about me, the freak. I completely lost interest by October. I quit. My mom let me stay home, because she already knew I would just leave school anyways. 

No surprise, I was subject to court appearances and eventually probation and counseling. No big deal. Twice counselors refused me, saying talking to me is like talking to a brick wall. They can’t reach me. I quit again the next year too. My second year of 7th grade. I only made it through the first semester but they let me pass this time. My mom decided to enroll me in the local Christian school for 8th grade. I went all year and made honor roll. 

I was sick of the façade after just the one year. Combine that with ‘the wrong group’ and it is a recipe for disaster. I started smoking and listening to gangster rap, and having sex. I got myself kicked out of Christian school and re-enrolled into 9th grade back at the same public school, this time with some like-minded friends. We skipped school a lot. If nobody wanted to skip with me, I would just stay home. Sometimes we would get ourselves kicked out of 1st hour, to go to in-school suspension and cause a scene to be kicked out from there. Out of school suspension equals legal skipping was the logic. By December, an uncle introduced me to the joys of alcohol. He would sometimes pick up my friends and I and we would go drink all day. My mom knew, but again she let it happen because she knew I would rebel anyways. 

My probation officer asked the court to give me 20 days in jail to try to turn me around. The court gave me 10 days. She told me after this if I didn’t go to school for one month she would send me to a group home. I tried. I took it serious. Until 3rd hour, when I told a friend what was happening. Someone heard me, and laughed in my face. Done.

One week before my 16th birthday, I was indeed removed from my mom’s custody. I was placed in a girl’s group home the next town over. I entered 9th grade for the second time. Two years behind my original class. But at least nobody knew me. I had a couple friends and was consistently on the honor roll. I did theater and Student Council. After 10th grade, my guidance counselor said if I do these four credits home school over the summer, that would basically be my junior year, and I could graduate only one year behind. But then I turned 18 my first day of senior year. I knew if I acted up they would kick me out and I could be free. But I had no home to go to. My family lost my childhood home while I was gone. Seven years later I obtained my GED with extremely high honors, and very little effort. I am intellectually blessed, indeed.

It wasn’t until I heard that song by Slayer at age 20 that I realized there could be someone else out there like me. When I actually heard the words this guy was saying I had to stop the car. I was crying too hard. Tears of relief. I rewound the song and listened again. It is a twisted song to those who can’t understand. He talks about abortion, but that is how I felt about this. I felt I shouldn’t have been born. This song went a long ways to help me accept that I am here. I did attempt suicide when I was like 13, but obviously that failed. Since then I have never been suicidal. If 23 phenobarbital pills didn’t kill me, I must be here for something.

25 Years. That is the name of the song by Pantera I quoted for this blog title. I believe that guy had issues with his father too. Alcoholic. The full line goes orphaned to the dope and drinks, I learned my lessons well somehow from you. 

Why Should I “Have To” Drink?

I took my husband to the dentist today. He was put under anesthesia to have some work done, so he needed me to drive him. The dental assistants brought him out in a wheelchair. They said he was talking about wanting ice cream. I said I could drop him off at home and run to Kroger close to our house for him.

That’s when it got a little weird. One of the office assistants mentioned I will probably need to stop “for a little something” for myself. Of course I knew what she meant. I should stop at the liquor store so I could get booze to ‘deal with my husband.’ I laughed and pointed out that I could get “what I need” at Kroger also. We all laughed that it is “one stop shopping!”

I could have broke down in tears easily. Recovery is so hard sometimes. I am feeling strong on this Day 135, so instead I went along with their jokes. I figured why bring their moods down, when they are just trying to laugh through their days like I do.

It really bothers me that we live in a society that almost forces the booze down my throat, but I refuse to give in. Not today, Satan.

Sometimes Not Drinking is Not a Choice.

I often get frustrated and resentful when I read about people who chose to give up drinking. It hurts most when it’s a temporary thing. I did that before. I stopped drinking for almost three months, leading up to a vacation to Cancún.

I was a binge drinker for almost seven years. It caught up to me over the summer. I ended up in the emergency room when the pain didn’t go away three days after the latest binge. The diagnoses were scary. Words like swollen intestines and liver malfunction. I am still tempted to get a tattoo, of the bruising on my forearm from the IV that night.

I took my antibiotics as prescribed, and did not drink for about 4 weeks. I then had three more drunken nights, over a ten day period. I had some small pain develop after that last night. It was very very minor, like a reminder, “Hey dumbass!” I listened.

It is now Day 131. My last drink was September 3rd. 

I actively participate in my recovery by constantly and consistently being mindful of my triggers. I often feel left out or get left out because going to the bar is serious for me. I already know.

My husband doesn’t drink. He quit ten years ago, when he first experienced me drunk. If he can attend functions with me it is rather easy. If he is at work however, unless there is football on I likely won’t go. I loved our Football Sundays at our local Buffalo Wild Wings. It is unfortunate that to be able to watch all the games at once it is at the bar, but personally I find it easy to focus on the football.

I actually made it through this entire NFL Bears season without so much as one shot. Not even a taste. All humor aside it is so hard. I struggle almost daily. I grieve like I lost my best friend. Drinking was a huge part of my life for those seven years. But for me this is no choice. My cats need me. My husband. My niece. I have friends who truly love me and embrace my humor in their lives.

Welcome to My World

Greetings and salutations.

At the time I begin this, my natal Sun is touching the Ascendant. By the time I post, the Moon will have moved into Aries, to meet with Mars and Venus… and also my Ascendant. I feel this is the perfect time to begin. To tell my story, my stories, of living a life by the light of my very own Indigo Moon.

I have been here for 37 years. For 37 years, I have struggled in this life. I have never met my father. I always felt more like a souvenir from my mom’s military days in Puerto Rico, than a person worthy of existence.

I struggled with school. I am naturally very smart, but I felt any effort was wasted without validation from my father. It carried into adulthood. I first had a toxic relationship which lasted six years, then almost rejected this man I married because I felt unworthy of someone so good.

Which brings me to now… We had to move five years ago for my husband’s job. At the time, I had a position I loved. I am a long-time server/bartender. Being sixth-house strong, I was good at my job. Having to leave there and face the unknown here, led me to drink. A lot. Once I moved here, as I feared, I was unable to find a similar supportive working environment. I felt compelled to have a job out in the world, but what kind? Without paternal support I was always hindered to even find what my dreams could be. Even though I was good at what I was doing, I still felt empty, and disconnected from purpose or direction. Even my husband said it was like I was lost. And I was, lost in the bottle.

Almost two years ago, right at my Jupiter Return, we bought our perfect house. Comfortable, serene sunroom, with a pool and woods beyond. Indeed I felt blessed, but it wasn’t enough. Even this amazing home could not fill the hole inside of me. I drank even more.

I have always been drawn to Astrology, and in recent years it has become an obsession. I truly believe the Divine Spirit has given us Astrology as a guide map to ourselves, and our lives. It has given me great self-awareness.

It is through this obsession that I started reading what it means to be an Empath. That resonated with me. Then around the Solstice New Moon (on my MC) and Christmastime, I felt compelled to subject my birth chart for analysis by people who know a whole lot more than me.

Two people changed my life. They helped me identify as Indigo, and to begin writing. To heal myself, and maybe help someone else, too. It was the catalyst for me to quit drinking. I am now six weeks without being drunk, and it will only get better from here.

This is my blog, and my voice. I will use this blog to tell my stories. Some could be inspiring, some entertaining. I will also use this blog as kind of an Astrological journal. It will help me create even stronger self-awareness, and maybe I can help with that for you, too.