I had a busy weekend. I was discouraged last week with my weight loss. I cheated a bit with cake on Brad’s birthday party and then I had small amounts of candy all week. Well this morning I’m down another pound. That makes 38lbs I’ve lost since July 25th.
I met a dear friend for lunch on Saturday. I ran 2 ½ miles to the restaurant to meet her. I was able to do it without stopping. I am getting to a point where I actually enjoy running. It is challenging but not totally killing me. It feels good to be getting my fitness back. It’s strange that I am getting to this level in my early 40’s. I have tons of regrets about having wasted my 30’s on cigarettes and drinking. I recently saw a photo of myself from a number of years ago. I was big!! There was a fair amount of shame when I looked at myself. That said, I feel pride in where I am at now. It’s not about the aesthetic benefits but the benefits to my physical health and longevity…and most important, the example I am setting for my boys when they are men.
Michelle posted something terrible on Facebook this afternoon. Two friends sent me a text with a screen shot (I’m no longer friends with her on social media). It is a picture of Michelle and the boys when we did family photos last year. She posted the following text with the photo:
Michelle: TBT of the 2 loves of my life. Due to selfishness, manipulation and control issues I don’t get to see them and if you didn’t know, it is killing me, especially missing Brad’s birthday and Christmas coming up.
I was super upset. I went into her feed and posted the following comment:
Me: We miss you too…but you left us. This is neither true or fair. Please stop using my children as a prop to get attention. It’s disgusting.
I deleted the comment about 5 minutes after posting on her feed and then reported the photos to Facebook. What a transparent, desperate, pathetic, immature cry for attention. How dare she use my children as a prop!!!
I feel much better texting and talking with friend. I feel supported and cared for. I do not feel alone like I did when we first broke up or in Chicago.
I want to think about my sobriety this morning. I can’t remember if I have talked about it this way before. When I decided I had a drinking problem I was afraid. I was afraid what that meant for my life, my children, my relationship with Michelle, and my friendships. Drinking is a part of every social interaction I had. For the most part, it still is. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to not drink. For years now I have thought I needed to cut back, not drink as much. It was always in my head. I felt a lot of shame over the years because of my drinking.
When Michelle left me I realized I needed to change. I didn’t know if I had the strength to do it. I had to go to a logical place in my mind. I told myself, millions of people have had a problem drinking and they were able to quit. I quit smoking…I can stop abusing alcohol and be a better man for my boys.
I have tomorrow off from work. I am going to the movies, get my X-mas cards mailed out, exercise, read, and work on my journal. Normally, I would hit the bars with Michelle and/or some friends tonight, have a few cocktails, wake up tomorrow a bit worse for wear, and get on with the day. I’d definitely get the movie watched and work out but the rest of it would be iffy. A few months ago I would be nervous I wasn’t going to be able to not drink. It would feel weird/wrong to not be “out and about” tonight. I feel like I have flipped the script. I don’t feel anxious about drinking (or not drinking) at all. It’s not what I do anymore.
I did have a glass of wine at dinner in Chicago for Thanksgiving. I had a glass of wine with the Leslie’s when we got the tree up and decorated. I will have a glass of wine with Christmas dinner, I’m sure. Those don’t seem to be a problem. With all the similarities with when I quit smoking I do worry that this random glass of wine after 20 weeks of sobriety is a way of me to back slide into abusing alcohol. I don’t think it is. Maybe I should just refrain all together for now. Maybe not have any alcohol until I hit the 1 year mark of sobriety. That way I can know for certain.
I am late to strength.
it does not come easily
it does not sit well.
I still haven’t sent that letter I wrote earlier this month begging Michelle to take me back. I work on it a little bit almost every week day. I’m not sure why. The boys and I are better off without Michelle. I don’t trust her. I don’t trust her to do what is in my children’s best interest(s) if it conflicts with what Michelle wants. She is either not capable of seeing long term repercussions or worse, she does see them and is more concerned with her own wants and needs in the short term. Enough said about Michelle.
My mother wants me to come out to Arizona for New Years to patch things up with Patrick and Rae (that’s a funny coincidence considering my journal entry from yesterday). She said she feels like I have painted myself into a corner and don’t know how to get out. I got a bit short with her. I told her I haven’t painted myself into any corners. I said, “Patrick and Rae are fucking awful to be around. They talk shit about everyone. It is constant and it is stressful to be around. I am not in a corner. In fact I have reached out to them. They aren’t replying.” She told me she felt bad about the whole situation. I explained to her the ONLY part of this that I regret is how bad she and Dad feel. I know my mother went through a decades, long estrangement with her sister and they are both thinking about that.
Money…I was thinking about money on the way into work this morning. More specifically I was thinking how little I stress about money. Brad told me his mother’s hot water heater went out and I felt bad for her. I know money is tight. Now before we go all weepy and “poor Collette” you should know she lives in a home that was gifted to her. She lives a life style she cannot afford because she wants to keep up appearances of a well to do woman. Anyway…I was feeling a little sympathy for the stress I am sure she feels. That made me reflected on my own situation. I don’t stress about money. Which is nice
Patrick and Rae (my brother and sister-in-law)…we haven’t spoken in almost 5 months now. Is this another casualty of my relationship with Michelle? It doesn’t feel that way.
Side bar here…it’s interesting to think about this. Michelle actively undermined my friendships. I have always framed it that I defended her when they treated her poorly (and she never did when her friends did the same). If I look back on how things happened…once she felt slighted, Michelle made situations really uncomfortable even outright demanded I no longer be friends with people. Was she trying to alienate and isolate me from people? That’s what abusers do. They slowly isolate people from their support network so they are eventually all alone. I’ll have to think about that more.
The state of my relationship with Patrick and Rae has nothing to do with Michelle further than their treatment of her being some sort of tipping point. I am not sure Rae is the type of person I want to be close with. She is a net negative person to be around. I can feel stress just thinking about it. Rae isn’t a nice person. She is cruel. I keep going back to how she treated my nephew (with his girlfriend). They didn’t approve and went out of their way to be cruel to both Preston and his girlfriend. It’s awful and disgusting how she and Patrick bullied poor Preston. What he learned about relationships isn’t, these aren’t the types of girls that will ultimately make me happy. He learned, I have to do what Mom and Dad say or they will belittle, insult, attack, and bully me. They are awful!!
We had a super busy weekend. Friday Dennis had a swim team dinner and I wasn’t picking him up until 9pm, so Brad and I went to a nice French restaurant for dinner and then to a coffee shop for dessert and board games. Saturday Brad went to a friend’s house and had soccer practice so Dennis and I ran errands and had lunch. Then Brad had his birthday party so I had some time with my book while they all tore up the basement. Sunday we went to an art exhibit, Costco, The Bookworm, lunch, then bought a Christmas tree and decorated it. We had a sit down dinner and watched the last Harry Potter movie (we have been working our way through them). It was a great weekend. We laughed, talked, just had a really nice time one-on-one and all together. I feel like a broken record but the longer I go being sober the happier the boys and I are.
That said, I did have a glass of wine last night. Friends came over to toast the new Christmas tree and we all had a nice glass of wine. I feel like I have a really strong handle on my drinking these days. I had the one glass and that was it. I didn’t have any strong urge to have more than that.
Decorating for Christmas was nice and awful. I had to leave the room twice because I was getting misty eyed. I was thinking about Michelle, it was hard not to.
Unfortunately I sent her a text message:
Me: We decorated the Christmas tree today. Dennis, Brad, and I miss you. I wish things were different between us.
I ordered our Christmas cards and picked them up on Sunday. The boys look great and with all of my weight loss so do I. It feels good to be handsome again.
I am still working on the same sonnet. Way more difficult than a haiku. I am still enjoying the exercise though. I assume this work is to Alzheimer’s what cardio is to heart disease or masturbation is to prostate cancer…preventative. I just laughed out loud writing that.
I sit and feel sorry for what is lost.
I dread and am frightened of what’s in store
Not knowing my loss’s ultimate cost
To my boys, myself and what was before.
Our lives were complete but now without you,
We feel insufficient, un-moored, not right.
We must search for (work towards) something that’s new
To sooth our pain and return to delight.
We cannot find joy in a new person:
She’d be inconstant, selfish, and hurt us.
I do not want us to lapse and worsen
We have come too far down this path to trust
She would want us and bring love to endure
That’s constant, stable, beautiful, and sure.
Instead of journaling this morning, I worked on a sonnet. I’ve never written one before. I am enjoying it though. I’m trying to encapsulate the way it felt to the boys and I when Michelle left. How we’ve felt adrift for a while. I’m including the boys but really, I’ve been the one unmoored.
Mom isn’t coming for a visit after all. She had a steroid shot in her hip and had some sort of weird reaction to it. She is going to come in February
I have felt a bit sad today. It’s a weird feeling. It’s vague hopelessness. Like a little voice saying to me, “nothing is good and it never will be”. I don’t have an effective outlet for this. They are ways to distract myself from the voice. They usually work and I end up forgetting it is there. But it’s still there…I just can’t hear it. It’s on repeat: one day they are going to grow up and leave, then what are you going to do? Keep going to work…for what? So you can accumulate more money? Then what are you going to do? You come home every night to an empty house. Do you think that is going to change? You have no one to hold at night. No one to tell you it is going to be okay. She left. You are alone.
My mother is coming in town tomorrow. I am looking forward to the visit. I have yet to speak with Patrick or Rae since everything. I sent Patrick a “Happy Thanksgiving” text message on Thanksgiving Day. He responded with “you too”. Other than that one text, he hasn’t reached out…I haven’t either. I only sent it because I knew it would make my parents happy. It did.
I believe the real problem is Rae. She has become a horrible, nasty person. She is the toxic ingredient. Michelle talked about it (after we broke up). She said when Patrick came to Omaha (without Rae) he was great. He was fun and was really enjoyable. It was when you brought Rae into the mix that he changed. I’m not advocating letting Patrick off the hook, I’m simply pointing out the correlation between Rae being around and how terrible he acts.