And so it goes…

308 days ago when I quit drinking (and smoking), I told myself that I would give the relationship that I was in a year, and re-evaluate then. I knew that the relationship was bad, I knew that it had been bad for a long time, but being who I am, I shouldered a lot of the blame. I thought that maybe if I got sober then a lot of the problems would go away too.

The sad part is that it was problems in the relationship that I was drinking to hide from that escalated my drinking to what it became. I didn’t want to go home to an angry boyfriend; I didn’t want to deal with the drama that constantly surrounded him with his ex wife and son. I didn’t want to go home to a house that didn’t even feel like a home to me. I felt displaced and out of sorts and unhappy. Really, really unhappy. Drinking numbed that. I was for the most part a happy drunk. I also craved human touch and intimacy and the only way I got that from him was to get drunk and take the initiative, because he is not one to show signs of affection. He would get mad at me for wanting sex too often. He would get mad at me for “hugging up against him” in bed. I would feel sad and lonely and desperate for a loving touch or even a compliment (which I never got either). I tried not to take it personally and just accept that THAT was who HE was and that was his personality and let’s face it – everyone has different personalities and comfort levels with showing affection and being intimate.

I felt tricked though – lied to and cheated and tricked because I had believed that he was the victim in his marriage and that his wife was crazy and had treated him so horribly. Poor, poor guy. I spoiled him and put him on a pedestal and treated him like a king at the beginning, and made excuses for his bad behaviour and thought that things would change. There were so, SO many signs that I ignored, and every once in a while he’d do something nice so I truly believed that we could have a nice life together. When other people were around or when we were out at the bar or party with a group of friends then he was a completely different person. He would put his arm around me (holy crow!), he would engage me in the conversation and he would be all happy and smiling and getting lots of attention as he domineered the conversation and told stories and got attention.

Once I quit drinking, I had to face all of those feelings, and really start re-evaluating. In the beginning of my sobriety when he was so completely unsupportive – bringing home alcohol to stock the cupboards with, getting mad at me for not going to the bar with him (but also refusing to go anywhere different with me), feeling sorry for himself and making himself out to be the victim because boo-fucking-hoo, Donna isn’t a fun party girl anymore and this is affecting HIS life so drastically <insert eye roll here>, I was just trying to keep myself sober and going through my own personal hell, by myself (thank god for this blog and the amazing people here). Then he started cancelling our planned vacations because they wouldn’t be fun for him if it didn’t involve sitting in a bar or sitting on a beach drinking. Before my trip to the Yukon and Alaska in the Spring, I tried to talk him into coming with me but he wouldn’t. That actually turned out to be the turning point – a heavenly break away from his anger and constant negativity and after returning from there 3 months ago I started sleeping in the spare room and we basically just became 2 people living in the same house.

I also started focusing more on myself, getting exercise and getting out of the house and having some fun and making some new friends. The less time I spent around him (and he was out until really late with ball+bar several times a week anyway) the happier and more carefree I felt. The less I wanted to hide away and the more I wanted to embrace and enjoy life. It’s hard to do that when you’re around someone who finds the negative in absolutely everything.

And then… it all came to a head a few days ago when he confronted me about what was going on. The thing about the controlling personality types is that they’re very happy when they have complete control and they’re happy when the person they’re with is under that control, doing what the controller wants – especially if it is waiting at home patiently for them, meekly and mildly. I’m not really a meek and mild, wait at home type of person though haha… and that angers him, because he doesn’t have control. He had a big fit and made himself out to be the victim (no surprise there, I was fully anticipating that).

Two parts of the long & frustrating conversation with him:

Him: So what… I’m not allowed to go out drinking and having fun anymore? I have to stay home with you because you’re not drinking?
Me: I never, ever said that or asked that of you. I have absolutely no problem with you going out with your friends and drinking. No problem with that at all. I am getting out hiking and exploring. Would you like to join me for that? (he says no). I didn’t think so.

Him: I wouldn’t get mad if you came to the bar and didn’t drink, or if you started drinking again.
Me: (calmly) I don’t really give a shit if you did or didn’t get mad at me for not drinking. I’m putting myself and my sobriety first here, and doing what I need to do to stay sober.
Me: What? I said I’m putting my sobriety first and I don’t give a shit if you do or don’t get mad that I’m not drinking
Him: EXACTLY! You don’t give a shit about my feelings!

Seriously, what the hell! He is 55 yrs old and more exhausting to deal with than a toddler having a temper tantrum.

I managed to keep my calm for a conversation that should have been really difficult and was filled with a sense of relief when I told him that yes, it’s over (realistically it has been for months). I’ve been unhappy for a long time and things aren’t working out and I tried to do it in a way where I shouldered the blame and told him that we just have two very different personalities. I don’t want things to get ugly. I know that he will play the victim to his friends and family. I know that it’s not going to be smooth. I have been dreading this because of his controlling and angry personality. It was a lot easier for me to just live in the shadows mainly being ignored and unnoticed. Now I just have to figure out living arrangements (I still have my old house but there are renters in it, so it won’t be a sudden quick move unfortunately). The GOOD thing is that most of my stuff is still packed in boxes because he never wanted me to put any of my stuff out in the house! I seriously have clothes to pack, one end table next to the couch with some pictures and a salt lamp on it, some scented wax warmers, coffee cups and a few other odds and ends and that’s it (if there was any question on why it hasn’t felt like a home to me).

Sheesh, why didn’t someone warn me that this was what sobriety looked like? heehee. 😉


44 and not too sore

Today I turn 44 yrs old. I am also 295 days alcohol, drug and smoke free.

I had my tarot cards read the other day by a friend of a friend who truly does have a gift. The last time I had them read was several years ago and I was really struggling. I was in a pretty dark place and already feeling sad and lonely in the relationship and I don’t remember a lot of what she told me but I do remember crying through most of the reading. This time she told me to take notes. So I did.

She laid the cards out in their nice little rows and all I saw was a LOT of cups and swords and what looked like a person being tortured in the first row, and a devil in there in one of the rows, and a death card (I think) and some sort of burning tower near the end and other pictures that looked a little scary.

“Wow” the card reader said. I exhaled nervously. “No, really, this is amazing. I haven’t seen cards this great in a long time. This is fantastic” she tried to assure me. Then she started off with the first row which represented recent past, and she got a little choked up and she told me “You’ve been through so much, it’s been really tough for you, but you’re coming out of that dark dark place and you are doing great. You’re doing so great, and you are on the right path”

Here are some of the notes I took:

  • Take weekend trips (she told me that it’s important that I take time for myself, that I get away, that I “take weekend trips”. I have been trying to do this at least once a month so honestly I think my mouth fell open with surprise when she said this)
  • Tap into things that you’re not familiar with (wow, that has been the theme this past 295 days! lol)
  • Devil card – temptation – trust instincts – go for it
  • Categorize and weigh options and pros and cons
  • Doing a great job of working on myself
  • take inventory of myself
  • Hanged man – decision making – take time
  • In a few months I will need to make a major decision that could result in something lifechanging and amazing (I think this was the burning tower and death card row)

Oh and also that I really need to work on my organization skills and be careful with my money, be thankful of things and some other stuff too. It was interesting and fun!

Stress on top of stress on top of stress

I have been dealing with a LOT of stress lately (mostly at work). I have one staff member who is causing so many problems and doing things that I have never – IN MY CAREER – had to deal with before. It came to a head just over a week ago. It took every single ounce of control I had to not buy a bottle of wine on the way home that night. My mind kept going to all of the alcohol that the person I live with has in the house. I was so stressed out and so worried about what was going on at work that I just wanted to escape and hide and forget about it. I just kept telling myself “That’s no longer an option baby, so you better come up with some other things to do instead. Curl up on the couch and binge on netflix? Go for a bike ride? Call a friend to go for a walk or hike? Go to a movie?”

I have been back to drinking that SanPelligrino Lemonada (tart lemon) and the real gingery gingerales again like I was at the beginning of sobriety and eating boatloads of chocolate and/or sweet stuff. I have been feeling squirrely for lack of a better word. I want to run away and hide. That has always been me – I hate, hate, hate, hate HATE conflict of any type.

I took off for the weekend and did lots of hiking and exploring, sat in small coffee shops and bought ice cream, in towns hours and hours away. I came back with a clearer head but as soon as I got back to work on Tuesday (it was a long weekend here) I could feel the anxiety and panic creeping in. I wanted (and still want to) stick my head in the sand and not deal with any of it, but I have been forcing myself to try to deal with it head on, hands shaking and face flushed with frustration lol.

Still sober! 289 days today, and my sobriety clock had a very apt saying for me today 🙂

Life is very, very stressful at home lately too. I feel like I’m floundering everywhere. Oh well, this too shall pass 🙂 Or as my favourite song goes “I will survive!!” 🙂

I didn’t get sober to sit on the couch.

Today marks 274 days (or 9 months + one day) that I am clean, sober and smoke free.

Lately I have been feeling better – more alive, happier, peaceful, inquisitive, and full of gratitude than I have in a long, long time. It feels so weird that I’m at 274 days already, less than 100 to go until a full year! The first 100 days dragged… and I mean DRAGGED by. Also – I turn 44 in a few weeks, and that also feels weird that I’m already almost 44.

I think that a HUGE part of feeling so good lately is that I have been really active. Like super, chubby butt jiggling active. I try to start every day off with a run on the treadmill, usually only for 20-30 mins but enough to work up a sweat. I have to do this in the morning before work because if I try to do it at night instead I procrastinate and make excuses and more excuses and then I don’t do it. I’m also trying to get out for a bike ride or walk on my lunch break, and another walk in the evening. Weekend hikes and exploring, and really taking the time to ooo and ahhh over my surroundings and LOOK for beauty around me (sounds silly but it has really changed my mindset!)

My weekend hikes and exploring has exploded to new levels lately and I am honestly loving it. I’m going out again this weekend with a friend, to a place that’s about 3 hours away and we may even go canoeing too. I have gone from pushing myself to do some small active thing every day to squirming around in my seat at work just wanting to get outside and play in nature. Or more truthfully, I have gone from counting down the minutes til I can buy a bottle of wine on the way home to drink while sitting on the couch watching tv all night to squirming around in my seat at work thinking about nature and adventure and exploring.

The downside is that the person who I live with, is not happy and adventurous and full of life and positive energy. This is an ongoing internal battle for me because when I’m around him, I feel myself retreating and putting up the walls and looking for escape. The escape that I used to find in a bottle or by getting high. I go on these fantastic little adventures and day trips and hikes and come home to an angry, negative force who is usually sitting on the couch drinking a beer or storming around the house pissed off about something. I ask him how his day was and it’s always something negative. Always. He’s always angry at someone or something and it’s pretty rare actually that he will even ask me how my day was. If he does, he’s already blocking me out and distracted by about one sentence into my answer. The funny part is that he has been like that from the day that we got together and I always made excuses up for him, and then I started accepting it as just who he was, and then it started bothering me to the point that I would drink sooner in the day and more often so that I didn’t have to deal with it, but now I feel guilty that it bothers me. He chooses to be negative and angry. I chose 274 days ago to make changes in my life that have led me on some great adventures and given me an escape from that, even if they are temporary little escapes. Who knows what the next few months will bring ❤

You know what I don’t miss?

I’m at 260 days, and that seems insane to me. I never thought I’d make it past day 3, and then couldn’t believe that I made it to 20 days, and wow, 100 days came and went and I kept on going and I was so, so, sooo proud of myself. It hasn’t been easy, but it has gotten easier, especially now that I am staying active and getting nature therapy as often as I can and pretty much avoiding the man who’s house I live in. The more I’m enjoying life and having fun and doing my own thing, the more angry he gets towards me (and why wouldn’t he?). Lately I’ve been reminiscing about how easy it was to escape the feelings of hurt and frustration and sadness by drinking myself into blackouts. I don’t feel like I’m romanticizing what it was like when I was drinking, but I do have to keep reminding myself about the things that I DON’T miss about it. I do not ever want to jump down that rabbit hole again. I can’t.

  • Damage control the morning after. That sinking feeling when I woke up “oh god, who did I text? or call? Did I go on facebook? How do I check for comments I made on instagram?”
  • Hiding it. Hiding it all the time – wine bottles stashed around the house. Empty wine bottles in the trunk of my car so that I could drop them off in recycling bins in other places. Wine in to-go cups. Wine in travel mugs. Wine in my water bottle while I was running on the treadmill (seriously!!)!
  • how embarrassed I was on recycling day, and trying to hide the bottles under the other recycling, or just buy boxes of wine but then I’d also have bottles too because…
  • The PLANNING involved, especially if there was an activity or event. How much can I drink before we leave to get a buzz going and feel comfortable? Got to make sure that there is a bottle of wine or two for when I get home!
  • The hangovers and wasted weekends
  • The being late and feeling like shit at work Fridays (and other days of the week  most of the time too)
  • Lying to my kids “I’m just tired. I’m just tired and I didn’t eat much today, so that ONE GLASS of wine hit me really hard”
  • Ordering a glass of wine AS SOON as I got to a meeting place/ restaurant etc with my friends because I didn’t want them to smell it on my breath that I had already been drinking
  • Blackouts. The embarrassing stories I heard and the ones that I worried about that I didn’t hear. Not even wanting to ask, because I dreaded the answer so much about what I had done the night before
  • The things and events and moments that I missed. The ones that I don’t remember.
  • Not BEING THERE for friends, family if/when they needed me.
  • Being so wrapped up in myself and making it all about me. *I* had a tough day. *I* just needed to relax. *I* deserved to let loose…
  • All of the excuses! All of the excuses…. 😦

Yikes, when I read that list over I just cringe. It almost feels like I’m writing about a completely different person 😦

Oh Canada! Happy day!

I live on the Canadian prairies and yesterday was Canada day! As it is also Canada 150, there were lots of extra little things going on too. 

One of those extra special little things is that I’m now a grandma to a beautiful little boy! He was 2 weeks late and almost 10lbs! 

The labor was very long and ended in emergency c-section, and I stayed for all of it. The other side grandfather who I was sitting with most of the time slipped home a few times to “calm his nerves”. When the choice was made to go with a c-section, both of the other grandparents took off for home to “relax”. It was another moment where I was so happy that I’m not drinking any more. I stayed at the hospital. I was there when he entered the world and I was there when my son came out to share the news and I got to see, unfiltered, the look of pure pride and joy on his face. I got to share so many moments of it with my sisters and mom and happy new friend via phone & text. Thank goodness for modern technology, it sure can make times like that feel less lonely. 

The thought of drinking has been on my mind a lot lately. Thankfully it hasn’t been strong urges, but it feels like it’s just there lurking. I’m battling intense feelings of loneliness lately and I just want to curl up and withdraw from the world. I know that this is due to the situation at home and what I’m dealing with there, so I’m fighting this by getting out and hiking, walking and being honest with a few friends about what is going on and the behaviour I’m dealing with. 

Happy Canada day to my fellow Canadians! Hope you all had a safe, fun and wonderful day yesterday.🇨🇦❤️🇨🇦

I’m sober, not boring

I have struggled a lot since I quit drinking 241 days ago. Struggled to deal with my wild emotions, struggled to try to fit in and not feel left out, struggled with cravings and sadness and loneliness and just so many things, even rashes and skin irritations and extra body weight that absolutely refuses to give up camp no matter what I do.

I made a new friend recently, someone who “gets me” – who has the same quirky sense of humour and love of adventure. Someone who is super easy to talk to and laugh with and has just been a breath of fresh air or ray of sunshine in my little life the past few weeks. I’ve always had a very close circle of friends (ie only a few), and part of my struggle since quitting drinking is that they all just don’t get it. They’re nice, they try to be supportive, but they make a big deal about it. It always gets brought up or worked into the conversation like I’m something that they need to poke a stick at and discuss what to do with. Life at home has been pretty much hell on earth for me and has added immensely to the feelings of loneliness these past 8 months. My new friend doesn’t need alcohol to be friendly and outgoing and super duper funny, they may only drink one drink the entire night once a week, if that. I feel SO relaxed and more myself around them than I have in a long, long time, and I am absolutely terrified I’m going to ruin it. I ruined a lot of friendships (and relationships) when I was drinking. Not even fights, just people getting tired of putting up with my sh*t and slowly drifting away. I have that feeling now like “oh godddd what if I do something? What if I scare them away? Be myself? I’m still learning what that is!” I am just enjoying it day by day. That’s all we have I guess.


I have been meaning to get in here to post but I’ve been swamped at work since I got back from my trip. I had an AMAZING time in the Yukon & Alaska. Amazing. It was so peaceful, scenic, beautiful… I just felt so… peaceful, energized and happy.

I did a LOT of driving and exploring and sightseeing. I took about 800 pictures!! I went for a horseback ride which was really nice (mainly really nice because the horses sense grizzly bears and won’t go near them and can run away from bears faster than I can!)

The food is incredible. Every single place I ate at, the food was amazing. Maybe it was all of that fresh air that made everything taste better, or maybe it was the fact that they have lots of time to try new recipes over the winter months. Or maybe they are all just extremely talented chefs and bakers up there.

And I didn’t drink. I was worried about it heading into the trip. Airports and airplanes have always been drinking places for me. I’ve always bought several bottles of wine to have in my hotel room. I knew (or thought anyway!) that I was going to be with a group of drinkers for the majority of the time there.

The BEST part? I found this amazing store in Whitehorse called Riverside Grocery that was fully stocked with the best selection of non-alcoholic drinks I have ever seen ANYWHERE! Actually they had the best selection of a lot of different things – honey, teas, chocolate, you name it. Fabulous. I spent a lot of money there but it was totally completely worth it.

Going out with the group for dinners caused me a little anxiety beforehand but it was fine! No one even really noticed. The last night, everyone went to a bar to socialize and I decided to go for a little while. I caught the waitress as I sat down and asked her if she could get the bartender to make me a non alcoholic drink that looked fun and wouldn’t stand out as being N/A. She made a virgin mojito. I know that some people who have quit drinking don’t like ordering those kinds of drinks (and I had my own close call a few months ago), but I just feel like I’m not out of place when I have one in my hand. Not that I AM even out of place, because no one really notices when you’re not drinking, unless it’s water. Realistically it’s their issue if they’re going to make an issue out of you not drinking, right? Anyway… I actually had the best time. I had so much fun and we had so many laughs and I stayed as late as everyone else, which is something that I haven’t even done here in months.

232 days. No booze, no smokes. The other day I looked at it and thought “holy crow, I only have like 130 days or so to get to a year… wow…”

Differences magnified

Just checking in as this feels like my safe space lately. I love popping on here and reading updates on everyone, even when I don’t have much to say myself. I feel like I’m fighting my way though the struggles that I have been going through the past few months, and it’s a good feeling.

Work is so busy lately and that’s intensified a bit as I have to get a lot done before I head up to Alaska. I honestly CAN’T WAIT to get away, things are going pretty badly with my boyfriend lately and I need the space. I feel like I’m constantly on edge around him and can’t say or do anything right. Drinking is a big part of his life along with the socializing part of drinking and he has been freaking out on me lately for not joining in with him and his drinking buddies. I just have absolutely zero desire to listen to them all get drunk and talk about the same old things that they talk about every single week. If I try to talk about anything I get shot down or talked over. Honestly the only reason I go sometimes is to get some affection from my boyfriend because unless he’s with his friends, in a crowd and drinking, he is completely unaffectionate. No hugs, no kisses, no hand on the back or shoulder, no “I love you”s, no cuddling, no arm around the waist and even no compliments. Well the odd occasional half hearted compliment here or there and that’s it. It has always been like that with him for the 3 years that we’ve been together, but when I was still drinking I’d just obnoxiously push myself on him or cuddle up to him, because boundaries were non existent for me when I was drunk and apparently I’m an asshole that way. I’d also be the one initiating sex most of the time and now that has also come to a standstill. I’m in my early 40’s and this is excruciating for me. I feel like I’m withering away or something ohhh my goddd *insert big dramatic sigh here* (ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I do feel lonely right to the very core of my being). He was happy when I was giving backrubs and footrubs and paying him constant compliments and helping him out with odd jobs and being his sidekick and going to parties or the bar/lounge etc etc, but there was never anything reciprocated. That (to me anyway) isn’t a relationship.

Behind it all though, I’m sitting here wondering if it’s me. Am I too busy trying to find myself that I’m not paying enough attention to him and that’s why I feel this way? Am I being selfish for putting myself first here and craving affection and compliments? Once I get a full grasp on sobriety and feel comfortable in my skin and more comfortable being around his drinking buddies again will it change the dynamics in our relationship again? He’s not a bad person, he’s just different than me, and those differences are being even more magnified now that I’m sober and he’s still drinking. Maybe he is also feeling that our differences are more magnified now and he’s having a hard time dealing with that. Who knows…

Bed it is then

I am at 199 days sober and cigarette free today. I’m also curled up in bed feeling sorry for myself or something. My mood swings this week have been crazy and I am emotionally drained. I think it’s from Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, my emotional turmoil with my own mother and the insane deep seated fear I have of being like her. I have told myself over and over this week that I’m NOT like her. The house is an absolute disaster from doing some minor renos and I should be cleaning or painting or at least making the house somewhat presentable for when the kids come over tomorrow for Mother’s Day brunch. 

Happy Friday?