Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hi, I'm an Alcoholic and Addict and My Name is Pam

But you can call me PJ (my IRL initials, and a moniker given to me by someone I met while in treatment, so I like it).

Designer Girl is still here. She's part of who I am, but she's not all of me. She doesn't define me. I am enough, just as I am. Just plain and simple Pam or PJ.

I've been trying some different meetings and found one I LOVE that meets on Sunday evenings. It's a Big Book study, which is something I need on my meeting schedule, and is very small, comfortable and laid back, but serious about sobriety and recovery. I plan to make it a permanent addition, at least for now.

I'm still doing outpatient treatment once a week, plus therapy and spiritual care, and am working with my sponsor here now. We're going to do my 5th Step together, even though I'd already done it with my sponsor in Palm Beach Gardens, and I'm excited about her getting to know me better, and my being able to receive her insight, wisdom and experience, too.

My life is very good, and I am so grateful for it. I love what sobriety is bringing to me, and I never want to lose that.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


While I was in rehab, I picked up smoking. After 25 years. I started out at about 6 cigarettes a day, then quickly (within 3 days) was back up to my old habit of a pack or more a day.

After about 6 weeks, the nurse practitioner put me on Chantix (at my request), but it made me so nauseated that I quit taking it the day I went up to a full milligram in the morning (after vomiting twice).

So here I am, sober, but smoking. My husband is none too happy. I don't like the fact that I spent $70,000.00 on treatment for one addiction just to pick up another one that is also terrible for me. I hate the way my hair, clothes, breath and car smell.

Against the advice of my therapist who thinks I shouldn't try to stop smoking so early in my sobriety, I'm giving the Chantix another try. I'm making sure to take it with food, and to drink plenty of water. I'm still just on the .5 milligram once a day dose, but so far, so good. I'm still smoking, but yesterday I lit up a Camel Frost and had to put it out after a few drags (my Djarum Bali Hais are still tasting pretty good, though).

I've started another blog, Breathe Again, to help me along THIS particular journey, so I'd appreciate any support and advice any of you former smokers or want-to-be-former-smokers can give me.

Sobriety-wise, I'm doing okay. Not dealing with any major cravings, although I did have some this past weekend, but it was the stress of moving back home and leaving my life in treatment behind, and I handled it by going to meetings, talking about it to my sponsor, therapist and alcoholic friends, and processing it to get to the bottom of what was going on.

I've only been to one good meeting since I've been here. I went to my home group yesterday afternoon, and it's totally changed. People were talking all through the meeting, there wasn't an atmosphere of mutual respect and consideration, and it was just not what I needed.

That's okay. Meetings change, and there are plenty in this area. I just need to visit some new ones and find the ones that are right for me. I'm grateful that I live in an area where there are a number of meetings to choose from, and I'm grateful that I can walk into any one of them and know I'll be among friends.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Return from Rehab

Hey, everyone, I'm BACK!!! I've learned so much about myself, about what it means to want this, to surrender, to stay connected with my Higher Power, and to work the program AA offers as the solution to my problem.

For some reason, I'm tired. I thought I'd be excited to be home, but I think I'm grieving the loss of leaving. I'm going to continue outpatient treatment, going up once a week for a group, and to meet with my therapist. I'm in a good, solid, place emotionally, spiritually and physically, but I guess there is a LOT of fear about being back in the "real world" and having to move forward, meeting my fears and walking through them with the support of others in the program, and turning them over to my Higher Power.

I've just completed my fifth step with my sponsor in Palm Beach Gardens, but my therapist wants me to do it with her as well. My sponsor and I also did Steps 6 and 7, and the beginning of 8. I realize, though, that I need to add to my fourth step inventory some things I didn't think about, so I'll do that before doing the fifth step with my therapist.

I am so grateful!
  • Grateful for this gift of time to work on myself and focus on issues that have contributed to my drinking and my inability to stay sober.

  • Grateful to have God in my life again, and to be able to turn things over to Him.

  • Grateful to be able to accept and offer forgiveness.

  • Grateful there is a solution, and that I can live in it and have a life that is full, joyful, and meaningful.

  • Grateful that I have many years of recovery ahead of me to grow, and to work with others and give back to this program.

  • And last, but not least . . . grateful that I can delete comments forever!