A new year without alcohol

So, I want to blame the events of June 3 on my increase in alcohol intake for the year.  And while they did help to cause me to drink more, my intake had been increasing since at least March

  While my husband’s myocardial infarction helped me to rely on alcohol more and more, the fact that I hated my job and contemplated ending it all before that, started the spiral.  I have never told anyone about the night that had it been for a promise made 14 years prior and my kids, I might have ended it all.  I had just royally screwed up a job interview for a job that I didn’t really want, but it was an escape from the situation that I was in.  I didn’t do it, but 3 weeks later the panic attack cale because of how close my kids came to becoming orphans.  My hubby didn’t die either, but for 3-4 months it was a hope and a prayer as to whether he would need a heart transplant.  

And so I drank.  At first it was wine, and then ot was vodka over mixed frozen fruit, and then ot was plain vodka.  Not enough to get drunk, but enough to numb the pain.  And never during working hours.  Usually right before or after I put the kids to bed. 

Since my last day of work, intake has lessened significantly, but it still happened. My last drink was December 23.  I promised my husband to walk away from it in the new year.  

Will it be forever?  I don’t know, but it has to be done.

Everything is going to be ok

That is what I hope, and I can even believe it most days.  Here I am at the island of St Thomas.  so close, yet so far from St Johns where I go to recharge.  Where I fear it will be a couple of years until I go back.  Life has put up barriers and the boy is starting high school next year.  Yet, I will get back, eventually

The problem with alone time

Everyone needs alone time.  There is no doubt about it.  The problem is when you have too much of it.  Too much allows for all of your doubts and fears to slowly overwhelm your thoughts.  It allows for the anxiety to sit at the pit of your stomach creating a knot of nausea that you are not sure that you will be able to keep at bay.  

It allows for all of your perceived inadequacies to surface.  It yells out at you that you are a fraud. “I can’t believe that you have lasted this long!  How has no one noticed what a lousy —— that you are?”

Challenges become larger and ever more looming and you start to doubt every decision that you have ever made.  

And then you start to go into full panic mode.  Womdering whether or not you can get through this journey.  Maybe the destination is finally in sight, but just out of grasp.  

And the panic continues to build.
I know those that are more religious than me, will say, “Just put your faith in God, there is no need for worry or anxiety.”  And while I agree in theory, it is difficult to just stop worrying.  

I have read a lot of self help books, this past year. And while I don’t disagree with them, sometimes it is easier said than done.  

And I know that I have a pretty good life, and I should be grateful, but still the worry sneaks in

So today I slept

Sometimes one gets so overwhelmed, and they are in danger of being overwhelmed by their demons.  And lately I am realizing just how many demons that I have and that I can’t outrun them anymore.  

I wish that I could say that I was fantastic, by my soul is tired.  I am exhausted.  The past year has taken everything that I have to give and with my energy spent, I did not pack like I should have.  I didn’t do abythunf that I was supposed to do today.  I slept.  I didn’t pack.
If it were Roman times, I would rail at the gods for fucking with me.  But today, this year 2016 was just a cosmically bad year.  I am just trying to get through it without any more scars.

And now it is over

Just under 3 years ago, I sold my medical practice.  I had a variety of reasons, but I made the decision with my husband in an attempt to be there for my kids, have a steady paycheck, and not have to deal with the day to day stress.  And while even today, I can’t say that it was the wrong decision, it did almost kill me. 

I ended up working for the largest hospital system in the coubtry for 34 months.  I don’t know how it is the largest system, because it is so poorly run, and money orientated that care of the patient seems to have gotten lost.  And within the first year, I was told a ridiculous amount of times how, family medicine doesn’t matter and that equipment needed for standard of care shouldn’t be expected as I didn’t bring them the money that specialists did.  Excuse me?  Do you even understand the concept of how patients made it to the specialists?  This organization also moved me twice in under a year (362 days, but who is counting?) and helped to cost me valuable patients and forced me to drop down to 2.5 days inside of the clinic, as my husband and I went from sharing 6 rooms down to sharing 3 rooms.  Which we could no longer see 35-40 patients a day, each.  And yet, this was my fault per the corporation. 

And when I started looking around for other positions, looking for an escape, all escape routes were paying a minimum of $50K more, and while my need for escape was not all about money, there is a thing about realizing that you are so undervalued where you are.  Some of my scars are still too new and since I have my family to consider, I will not go into it.  Not right now, maybe later to another.
I can say though, I don’t believe that I would have survived another contract with this organization.  They almost destroyed me.  This last 6 months, knowing my parole was imminent, were better.  And now I am free and maybe a little shell shocked.  And maybe during the next 6 weeks, I will write more, because I couldn’t write over the last 3 years.  There was too much I couldn’t say.  Too much that had to be hidden.

Disconnecting- or at least partially

Earlier this week, I decided to disconnect from Facebook.  I took the app off of my phone, which while it doesn’t mean that I can’t ever get on it, it does make it significantly more difficult.  I rarely (probably less than once every 6 months) ever log onto it on the computer.  And the reason was the noise and the anger and the negativity it seemed to be bringing into my life.
And to be honest, I have enough sources of anger and negativity in my life as it is.  Now it was just Facebook that I am taking a hiatus from, until Christmas.  I still have Instagram and Twitter and LinkedIn And whatever other source of social media link that I need.  Though Twitter may need to be unplugged as well, as people aren’t necessarily nice there either.  (But at least in the case of Twitter, I don’t know them personally). 
Anyway I am on day 3, and the withdrawal are getting easier.  I finished the 8th book of the Outlander series today, and now have to wait for her to finish the next.  And have to wait until April for Starz to bring the series back on air.  Had a successful morning homeschool my boys.  Saw my old dog bring the bottom half of a squirrel into my dining room to eat, to which I could do nothing but just walk away from.  I just couldn’t do half a squirrel today.  I colored and I was here, not overwhelmed in the world of technology.  Do I miss it, yes, I do.  I miss the happy parts of it, but not the arguments and the people who take themselves too seriously, or those who don’t seem to realize that everything is not about them.

It’s better, but still

For the past 6 months, every 5 weeks like clockwork, I have been sick.  And here it hits me again.  It’s better this time.  Probably because the surgery has helped release the pressure on my nerve.  It still hurts, but it’s better.

Maybe just maybe it’s the last time for this cycle to hit.  I can’t help it.  I’m tired of being sick.

I took myself off pain meds 48 hours ago

And I feel like Crap.  I went from constipation to my bowels moving almost constantly.  I am not sure which is worse.

And I wasn’t abusing them.  I was taking them as directed, but maybe more than I would normally feel comfortable with.  But see I felt that I needed to get back to work.  I made it through the half days, sometimes sweating and feeling the pain more than I wanted to admit.  And Damn it, an arm in a sling which is essentially useless is Damn heavy and tiring.
And it was just me and the youngest this week.  And I needed to be strong for him.  I’m poor entertainment for him whose brother and dad were at boy scout camp this week.

But after the afternoon started on Wednesday, my body was clearly giving out and I had to call it a week.  I feel like I’ve shortchanged my student who is only here for 2 weeks. 

But today, my body feels as though maybe it might win this war.  I just hope the energy returns soon.

image

Today I focus on the unimportant

Today I focus on the unimportant.  Why?  Because I am already trying to not vomit from nerves.  Because I can’t read a book due to a headache that has been an almost constant companion for about 2 weeks.  Because if I think about important things, I start to think what if surgery doesn’t work?  What am I going to do about the pain?
I could not actually creep around Facebook comfortably today because trite statements about pain seem to be the rule.  Sorry while a positive outlook might be helpful it’s not everything and at some point pain becomes exhausting, even while keeping you up and not letting you sleep.
So I notice my oldest son’s new shoes.  They’re bigger than mine for the first time ever.  When did that happen?  Must have just happened, he’s not taller than me, yet.  I focus on my left ring finger.  I took my wedding ring off yesterday morning for the first time, probably since I was pregnant.  And there is still an indentation where the ring belongs.  Not so much of a tan line as a permanent line which is now a part of me.
So I focus on my youngest’s online reading session.  Well, that is important but one of the few things.  Everything else, seems silly.  But the silliness keeps me from screaming, “what if it doesn’t work?!?”  Because that is what has kept me up last night, and what will probably keep me up tonight.  Because if it doesn’t work, I will continue to have a right arm who the weight of my cell phone is too heavy, and a left arm that I am going to have to figure out how to use for the rest of my life. And how, just how I am going to be able to treat patients using my wrong hand .

36 hours

image

This is my hand.  12 hours ago I took off my wedding band.  I had an MRI this morning to make sure there was not a tumor in my elbow.  We weren’t expecting one, but my surgeon wanted to make sure of it prior to cutting.
We are sitting at 36 hours until surgery, and I am not sleeping and the pain is so bad, I vomit more of my Food than I keep down.  Sleeping is lacking as alcohol seems to be the only thing that really controls the pain. Damn I sound like an alcoholic.
And if it doesn’t work, well than my arm will continue to hurt.  The pain will continue and I don’t know what I will do. So I have no choice but to be confident that it works.