That “hole in the middle of my stomach” feeling

23 Apr

2:06 pm

Hey, guys.  It’s been so long, and in a nutshell, I’ve been working.  Trying to earn a living.  I have been both freelancing and working part-time as a barista, and I hosted a friend and then my mom two weeks back to back this month.  It’s been tiring.  Today was a shitty day at work, and I can’t help but blame myself (of course):  I’m too quiet, I’m too thoughtful, I don’t smile enough, I work too slow, I make stupid mistakes.  Le sigh.  I’m usually able to bounce back emotionally–as in, I don’t let the thoughts make feelings make ruminations and a bad day–but for some reason, I just feel tired of it all today.

My mom is getting older.  What happened to her 50s and 60s, I ask?  I feel like I missed the transition, and only now do I see that I can’t go back.  I can’t get her younger self back, and I can’t get my younger self back, and I can’t get all that time back that I spent pushing her away.  I think a lot of people must feel this way, but I didn’t know that it would be a literal feeling, one resembling grief, I suppose.

Anyway, my mom will be 69 this year. She has developed what seems to be some profound anxiety and insomnia, and she has some physical ailments that just keep filling in the lines as the years go on.  While all this is troubling in that I can’t quite seem to relate to her, what is most troubling is that I have a continued lack of ability to communicate with her about my drinking past.  I sort of try, but mainly I just feel awkward telling her the gory details (and, with her anxiety in mind, I shy away from giving her anything else to worry about or ruminate on–that’s the way I see it, I’m sure she has a different perception). Of course, she witnessed it. However, aside from her, there was only one other family member who confronted me.  I’m still baffled by that.

What’s also news to me:  THEIR view of me, as the drunk, as the person who was trashing her body, as someone who couldn’t necessarily be relied upon, as the one making poor choices–this view is not going to go away JUST BECAUSE I AM NOW (three years!) SOBER.  And, for some reason, I guess I thought it would.  I thought it would sort of disappear, like my drinking habit.  Granted, there has been no, “Hey, look at me, I’m sober now!” on my part.  There also hasn’t been, “Hey, I’m sorry for all that shit that you might have been bothered by or that might have pissed you off or alienated you, but that you never said to my face” either.  From an outsider’s perspective, and that includes MOST of my close friends and family, I got sober very quietly. Except, I wrote about it and talked about it and reported on it–with everyone BUT my immediate family. This seems to be the pattern, and I don’t know why: it’s really hard for me to share my life and feelings with my family! It’s been this way forever, and I guess it comforts me to know that many people find a tribe or “family” outside their genetic one, the one they were born into.

My family is fractured, but not in the sense that I don’t have a relationship with both my mom and dad.  I’m just not sure they’ve ever been easy, or even good, relationships.  And that bothers me.  It’s always been a struggle to relate, to navigate, to extract.  I don’t know.  Maybe if I felt more comfortable, then my perspective would be different.  But, it’s always been hard and I have the feeling it always will be–no matter how far along I think I’ve come in my sobriety. The problem has become, I’m sober for three years now–err, I have very little desire to rehash all the crap I went through.  All the blog stuff I wrote about, all the craving bullshit, all the psychic back and forth.  It’s done, it’s over, I’ve shrunk my brain to the point where I feel “normal” again.  Or, at least focused on the present, the real, the emotions that need to be felt and dealt with in order to conduct a life.  I don’t want to talk about it now with my parents.  That leaves a HUGE gap–what to fill it with, then?

I’m tired, as you can tell.  Nothing inspirational today.  I was up at 4:30 to make my shift, which was a rough one because of a bad coworker.  What I should be doing it job searching, but frankly, all I want to do is nap.  I feel like I have a hole in the middle of my stomach.  BUT… I’m sober, so sober that I don’t even think about being sober!  My boss came in hung over and had to take a nap mid-morning (on the floor of a neighboring shop).  Most of the regulars at my coffee bar participate in this place’s “drink hard, drink-and-work harder” culture, so…I also saw quite a few peeps with pained expressions on their faces.  NO desire.  It’s cast me as a goody-goody at work, the quiet one; but I’ll take that ANY day over being hung over and not remembering what I did the night before.

Onward.  All in due time.  Grateful.  Breathe.  Joyful entitlement.  These are my daily affirmations, and they keep me on the track that I have come to cherish, and which I get to share with all of you!

18 Responses to “That “hole in the middle of my stomach” feeling”

  1. A Rewarding Life April 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    Had the same issue with my mom. I did grieve the loss of a friendship with her. It causes her too much anxiety to hear any problems. Her two lines are – oh don’t tell me that it makes me nervous! and how come you don’t talk to me!

  2. mishedup April 23, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    It’s nice to hear your voice again..even tired and frustrated.
    You know, I have a lot to say about this, however I’m not sure you would want to hear it.
    But I understand what you said very deeply, that not wanting to re-hash and at the same time lamenting the feeling of loss of any REAL relationship with your family.
    For me, and I did the 12 steps in AA….it was about amends. Those amends were not for the other person, altho I know they were appreciated each time, but ultimately for me. I have a sponsee right now who, from all I have heard, has an incredibly narcisstic mother and she is just now beginning to be willing to talk to her. The mom isn’t going to change, that’s pretty clear, although I have seen some amazing things happen. But when she gets it all out and off her chest she’ll no longer be uncomfortable around her, the saying that what other people think about me is none of my business will suddenly be so true.
    Maybe by being open and honest and owning your part of the shit you will show them how they can too…how they don’t have to talk about people behind their backs, how they can love or help openly.
    And maybe not.
    I don’t think ignoring the situation will help can’t, nothing is accomplished by that.

    I can tell you are thinking long and hard about this. Just throwing my opinion into the mix

    Meanwhile, 3 years is lovely and you sound great!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 23, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

      Love this. Thank you for sharing…I really will take this to heart and consider what you suggest, which is just opening up and seeing what might come of it. I totally get doing it for me, and not for them, though, too… Thank you, and great to still be here, blogging among this awesome community!

  3. ainsobriety April 23, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    Perhaps it’s just that you think your family sees you that way. I bet they actually see big changes.

    I don’t discuss sobriety or my mental health with my parents. I just don’t want their judgemental attitude. Is that what I would get, I’m not sure.

    Instead I just try to make our current interactions as positive as I can.

    Families are hard. But if it making you sad then maybe it is time to try voicing your needs.

    I’m glad to see you writing. Your blog was one of my favourites.


    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 23, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

      So nice to hear from you, too! I really miss blogging, and I’m hoping that the past six months will be just a temporary break! So, yeah, parents. I guess, for me/my parents, it’s just never been our nature to talk of our deepest feelings–and there is such a gap, I think between most kids and parents, that…it’s all just complicated. Too hard. Too awkward. So, like you, I just try to make the interactions we do have now more mindful and positive.

  4. TheAccidentalAddict April 24, 2015 at 12:55 am #

    I totally identify with this. My family loves to gossip, and we seem to rotate the role of the black sheep amongst each other often. I believe I currently hold that title, but who knows what tomorrow will bring? Sometimes it’s like being on an episode of Survivor – people forming alliances and voting each other out and all kinds of other ridiculousness.

    Anyways, I certainly understand the “fragmentation” you’re referring to. It’s unfortunate your family still sees you this way, especially since you’ve worked so hard to get where you are. I’m sure they’ll come around eventually, and if they don’t, well… it’s much more about them than you.

    Hoping that hold in your stomach heals soon :).

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      Thanks for the support! I think it might just take time, and patience, on my part; not expecting them to see the new me right away. And, just more time together, for us to get to know each other better? I’m already feeling less “emotional” today, so that’s good! Onward…

  5. RM2005 April 26, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

    Family is one of my biggest triggers! The saying can’t live with them and can’t live without them is on point. My mother is a devoute christian and a severe horder so discussing anything i.e. issues with money, ex bf problems is always answered with a “leave it to god” response and then she wonders why I don’t open up about issues more often. I have learned that the best way to approach family is to realize they are on their own life path and that they are who they are and I am who I am and all I have to do is appreciate them and love them. You can spend enormous amounts of time and frustrations with expectations that are never met and wishing they could just be different. i just recently became sober for the umpteenth time and your blog was the one that got me through my first week. I really appreciate you continuing to share your struggles. i started a blog of my own because i can see how cathartic it is to express your emotions even though its online, its still better then in my head! If you want check my blog its at

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 27, 2015 at 11:58 am #

      So wonderful to hear… Yeah, family is frustrating and sometimes I really wonder if I want my own, considering how difficult it all can be. Yay to getting through that first week! And, yes, I can’t wait to start blogging more now that things have slowed down a bit: there is SO MUCH awesome that comes after stopping drinking and finally getting past the cravings…

  6. furtheron April 28, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    You may find with your family it comes in time.
    With mine it was a time process. So with my wife and kids they lived the end of the drinking, the rehab and the start of the recovery first hand. My Mum I was lucky I was close to, I spent sometime alone with her mostly on Thursday evenings before trotting off to the AA meeting that was then held almost on her doorstep. But my brother.. there is a tale. If anything my relationship with him got more distant and fractured as I got sober. Then one day – he asked me for help (his marriage was falling to bits and he simply needed a bolt hole for weekends away) I was there for him – sober, responsible, caring, listening. We rebuilt what frankly I’d have thought then a completely broken and unrecoverable relationship.
    My sister – she was sympathetic but not understanding. She wanted to blame situations. My Mum died, even though I was the youngest I was the main executor dealing with solicitors, funeral directors, house clearances and sales etc. Then I helped her daughter, my neice into recovery… our relationship again came back into a different but revitalised focus because… I’d been there sober, responsible, caring, listening… My Aunt (my Mum’s sister) died in days of my Mum. I couldn’t face a big family funeral again. My sister did go however. I know she told the rest of the family things about my recovery which was never a secret but a couple of my cousins visited about a year later. As one of them went to leave she turned hugged me then said “You do know your sister is ever so proud of how you’ve dealt with everything”.

    So my experience is just be yourself in recovery – if your recovery is built on solid foundations you’ll hopefully be like me and situations will just present where you “practices these principles in ALL our affairs” and those around will see that and their view of you will change. All these things took me years to accomplish and continue to be as ever a work in progress.

  7. Untipsyteacher May 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    Dear Drunky Drunk Girl,
    I am glad you read you again!
    You were one of the first blogs I read when I was trying to get sober myself.
    Now I am 8 months plus!
    My family is not so messed up. So I am lucky that way. I told all my family members about my blog. I hadn’t made any giant mess ups with my family, except some drunk calls, so I apologized to them for that. And they accepted that!
    It was my dear hubby who I messed up the most with.
    And he is awesome.
    I am so glad you are still sober!!!

  8. Untipsyteacher May 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    I mean

    Yikes I always get that messed up!

  9. Lisa Neumann May 26, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    Wow, three years! Incredible. I remember a time that I would read your posts the day you put them up. I loved how you wrote (write) about your journey. You have this way of just putting it out there. I believe it is easier to do this when we are still “anonymous.” I remember not long before I finished writing (book) I wanted to erase my hard drive because it had dawned on me that I couldn’t write anonymously anymore. Everything personal was changing and it scared me (still does a little). Anyhow, I managed. And the best gift of all was that people still loved me. It was nice to come to terms with the past. And I do consider it my past because I don’t live that way anymore. If people can’t forgive me, that is their problem, not mine. We all miss out on parts of life because we are busy with something else (my ‘something else’ was active alcoholism). Now I’m missing out on parts of life because I’m busy with work. It’s just got to all be okay. I needn’t be perfect to love me. If I wait for that day I will have missed my whole life. Seriously. Anyhow, I just wanted to comment. I’ve been off the grid for a while and wanted to come over and say hi and tell you I still love your writing.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl May 29, 2015 at 9:48 am #

      Awesome!!! I hope to write more posts soon–there is SO much to write about when you actually get past getting sober and are just sober! Love your support here…and hi back atca! *hugs*

  10. Soberistas June 23, 2015 at 4:33 am #

    Some very heartfelt posts on this site and this certainly adds a bit of perspective. You’ll certainly never get those years back but you’ve just got to keep trying. I hope you are still well!

  11. trollydolly71 December 22, 2015 at 12:59 am #

    Just found this lovely, honest and beautifully written blog. I am trying to avoid breaking those unwritten cosmic laws which involve giving unsolicited advice. Drunkydrunkgirl (heh! how I have always referred to myself in every social setting) ..have you investigated the possibility your mother may be a narcissist? there’s a huge link between maternal narcissism and their daughter’s alcoholism. My apologies if you have already dealt with this in your blog…I haven’t read it all yet. My very best wishes xx

    • trollydolly71 December 22, 2015 at 1:07 am #

      and may I add I am about to enter rehab for the first time at the tender age of 45. Lots of therapy, family constellation workshops. Hoffman Process….never could fix the fact my mother is a covert narcissist and I only realised it 3 years ago.

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