Today Is Day Five

“Own the story and write the ending.” 

– Brene′ Brown

“Do you think I’m an alcoholic?”

Every time I asked my husband or my friends this question, they said no. After all, alcoholics drive drunk and careen into oncoming traffic. They smash through their neighbor’s flowerbeds, over mailboxes and people. They get arrested.

Alcoholics black out and vomit and forget to shower themselves before going in public. They reek of vodka.

Alcoholics ruin their relationships because they choose alcohol over love, safety, and their bank account. This did not describe me — not yet, anyway. I only met 8 out of the 10 criterion on the “Am I An Alcoholic?” quiz that I took online. I was an 80% alcoholic who has literally scrounged together pocket change to buy a bottle of $5.99 wine on more than one occasion.

Let me be clear: my reasons for loving wine are iron-clad. If I were to make a list of all the reasons why I need to throw a few back at the end of the day, you’d probably need a drink by the time you were finished reading it. The problem is, though, that as my life has gradually become more stressful, my drinking also increased. What was once a glass or two a few times a week grew to half a bottle of wine, plus a few shots of whiskey. Eventually, it became a whole bottle of wine, every night.

What will happen if something really bad happens? Will I start drinking at breakfast?

I rarely felt hungover. I’m hardy. Sometimes I felt foggy, yes, but never unable to function. I still got up early in the morning, drank a pot of coffee, and began the day per usual. But increasingly, I panicked if I ran out of wine. I’d frantically text my husband to stop at the store on the way home. I NEEDED it. I didn’t know how else to exist.

Alcoholics don’t materialize in one day, after all.

This my fifth day sober. It’s not so much the not drinking that I’m struggling with, but acknowledging the emotions that I’ve been drinking to avoid. We medicate to protect ourselves from ourselves. Living without that barrier is, frankly, terrifying.

Today, I’m owning my story. The ending is within my control.

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Day five!

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Namaselfie.

Sometimes I do weird things in semi-public places, simply for the sake of this blog.

20150320_093217~2An old lady was totally staring at me while this happened. It’s fine.

Yesterday morning, after I had my coffee, I opened up social media and saw glaring headlines about certain wine brands being laced with arsenic. Rather than looking into it further, I texted my husband and informed him that I know how I’m going to die.

I’m going to die of arsenic poisoning.

“No you won’t,” he said. “You’ve built up an immunity to it by now.” Apparently, a person can actually become immune to arsenic over time by putting small amounts of it in their system.

Whew. That was a close one.

Modern Marvels.

Last weekend, I decided to do something new — I took my 6-year-old on a run with me. This activity is considered new because I don’t run.

We took a break in the parking lot of a nearby church and I gasped for air and pondered aloud that I didn’t know what time it was. Where’s your phone? he asked. I explained that I’d purposely left it behind because I need to do a better job of distancing myself from The Thing That Eats My Time.

I love technology. Years ago, when I met my husband, I was staunchly anti-technology. I was more of a purist. I liked fresh air, sunshine, long talks, and I couldn’t afford cable. My then-boyfriend had a cell phone, and I had one too, but I don’t even remember texting him, ever, because we got charged for each one that was sent. For a girl who had $300/month rent and couldn’t afford cable … being charged by the text was a problem. So I didn’t.

I mulled this over and then had the following conversation with my son:

Me: “You know, there weren’t cell phones when I was your age.”

Son: “There WEREN’T?! What did they have? OH! Wait, I know!! The thing Thomas Edison invented?”

Me: “Yes … that.”

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At this point in my life, I have completely embraced technology in all forms. A friend asked me recently what I would rather go without for a 31 days: swearing, drinking, internet, carbs, or orgasms? I don’t really want to go 31 days without any of them, but the internet isn’t even on the table. Or drinking. So I guess I’d have to pick among the final three options.

This game sucks.

I got a wine glass in the mail last week that holds 25 ounces. TWENTY-FIVE OUNCES. I had absolutely no idea who sent it. There was no note, and I didn’t recognize the return address. Who possibly could have sent me a massive wine glass?

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Finally, I posted on social media asking who sent it. I’m sure everyone waited on the edge of their seats to find out who it was from.

I am so glad that someone much smarter than me invented social media so I could ask one question to hundreds of people at the same exact time. Who sent me this massive wine glass? And thank you! But really … tell me who sent it.

It was from my best friend.

I felt like an idiot.

An idiot who was about to drink 25 ounces of wine.

I’ll Drink To That.

It’s Friday night again — how did that happen already?! — and time for what I will henceforth refer to as Virtual Happy Hour. This is when I crash in my jammies, drink wine, and pretend that I’m hanging out with my best girlfriends.

There is no primping. No squeezing myself into real pants. There is no scene to been seen in. The scene is me, gripping a bottle of wine, hiding in a quiet room … because Daddy is getting up with the kids in the morning, and it’s been one helluva week.

Tonight I am in a celebratory mood. Who’s up for shots?!!

Nobody?!

COME ON.

This week, I was minding my own business in Target when a reader approached me … which was a first. I mean, I run into people periodically, but she recognized me from my blog and made a point to speak to me. I, of course, turned around to see who she was talking to. When I realized she was talking to ME, I started laughing and couldn’t stop, because I am not socially awkward or weird in the least.

Let’s all take a moment and be grateful that I’m a writer and not a person who, say, talks on the radio or sits in front of a camera, because wow. I will now take another shot, because just thinking about that stresses me out.

I potty-trained a human this week. And all the mothers everywhere said, “I’LL DRINK TO THAT.”

Modern Mommy Madness was included in this list on Today.com and I am so amazed and elated and also feel like maybe there was a mistake somewhere because how did that even happen?! My kids need to recognize. From now on, my discipline plan will be yelling “HEY! I was on the 11 Funniest Facebook Posts From Parents This Week list, so stop your whining and eat your dinner!” (Sidenote: that doesn’t work. At all.)

Robbie has a sugar ant colony in his car. They’ve been there for 8 months, since he gained ownership of the vehicle. I took it to the grocery store this week and totally freaked when I discovered that the ANTS are STILL IN THERE BECAUSE HE HAS NOT ADDRESSED The ISSUE, and this is the face I made.

20150208_163652I love that man. I really, really do. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and we have no plans and no gifts and my expectations are very low which works for us right now … but … he has an ant colony in his car. That’s really tripping me up. I’ll have to find a way to move past it.

That’s true love, bitch.

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Virtual Happy Hour.

It’s Friday night, and if I had the wherewithal to put some real pants on and meet a girlfriend for a drink, I WOULD. Unfortunately, I’ve had the same toothpaste on my zits since this morning and the mere thought of brushing my hair makes me exhausted.

It’s been that kinda week.

If we were to meet for drinks, I’d have a lot to say. First of all, this week of motherhood sucked. If you were silly enough to ask, “How come?” I wouldn’t even feel like rehashing it all. I would just silently pour myself another glass of wine. I would then mention the fact that there is only one of me and there needs to be like, three.

I’m potty-training my middle child again. Hopefully it will stick for real this time, cross your fingers, girlfriend. NOW. Cross them.

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The reason my pants are tight.

The potty trainee gets M&M’s every time he uses the toilet, which is working out well except for the fact that I hand him one or two, and then immediately eat a fistful because potty-training is hell and I loathe it with every fiber of my being.

Then there is the matter of my writing. Excuse me while I pour myself another glass.

This week I hit a low point and found myself wondering if writing is a stupid waste of time. I could spend my time doing a million other, more constructive, things that would better my family … like cooking organically, clipping coupons, or remembering to pay the water bill. I don’t know. Shit like that.

If I didn’t write, I would actually have time to be a decent Room Mom, instead of a total slacker who throws random baked goods and hastily-written checks at the school and swears to herself she will do better next time.

I’m not even making any real money.

I already have so much on my plate.

My extended family is mortified by some of the things that I write. My use of profanity embarrasses them.

I AM AN EMBARRASSMENT TO MY FAMILY.

That’s a hard thing to know. I never set out to be an embarrassment. If I didn’t have this compulsive need to write words and share them with people, maybe everything would be easier. No one would know that I do things like eat my kid’s candy and then lie about it, or drink and swear on occasion. They wouldn’t know how much I struggle to parent my children.

No one would know anything about me at all.

But the problem is, my life would be impossible for me to live healthfully if I couldn’t write about it. I’m not writing for my family. I’m writing for me.

For my sanity.

So I can breathe.

As scary as it can be to put myself out there, I continue to show up and write words because I don’t want to cut my own ear off or whatever happens when a creative person isn’t allowed to create. And honestly, I feel it is my duty to announce to women everywhere that sometimes being a wife and a mother is so hard and insanely frustrating that you just want to take the damn hand mixer and throw it through a window.

You aren’t a failure for feeling that way. You’re normal. That’s my message.

And then two nights ago, as I was dumping the third basket of clean clothes on my bed to fold while I waited for Robbie to come home from work and rescue me from our terrible children, my phone beeped.

I had an e-mail.

I’m going to be in another book.

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I’M GOING TO BE IN A REAL BOOK WITH PAGES!!!!!!!!

A friend shared this in a writing group I’m in today, and I love it. “A blessed unrest.” That is what it’s like to constantly want to write and share your thoughts, profane as they may be.

There is a vitality,
a life force,
a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

And If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.
The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine
how good it is
nor how valuable it is
nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly
to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU.

Keep the channel open…
No artist is pleased…

There is no satisfaction whatever at anytime
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes “us” MORE alive than the others.

Martha Graham
( – a letter to Agnes De Mille-)

First Grade Journaling.

First graders at our neighborhood school are required to write in a black-and-white journal every morning. They aren’t allowed to bring it home and they aren’t allowed to draw in it.

This afternoon, I got a text from Maverick’s teacher. It was a picture of today’s entry.

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The year is supposed to be 2015. I hope he didn’t lose points for that, because I keep doing it too.

One of the most traumatic events in my life thus far was the day that Asher, who was only a year old at the time, went to the refrigerator looking for juice. It was on the same day that Aunt Nancy and Uncle John were coming to see our new baby girl for the first time, and Robbie and I were busy cleaning the house.

I heard him saying “Mommy, juice,” but I was busy and figured I would get to it in a minute. Always the self-reliant middle child, he went to the refrigerator to get the juice himself. He then proceeded to lug out a gigantic bottle of wine that was stored in the door, dropped it on the tile floor, slipped, and fell in the glass. Just thinking about it makes me upset — my heart starts to race, my stomach flip-flops.

I NEVER drink white wine. I don’t know why I bought it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was living in The Blur, so I probably just saw it on sale somewhere and thought YES, I NEED THAT. I need ALL of that. EVERY LAST DROP, right this minute. I don’t have time to rip the cork out with my teeth in the parking lot and drink it immediately because the baby is hungry and screaming, so I’ll just take it home and chill it. Isn’t that what people do with white wine? I usually drink red. It’s much more low-maintenance. Yes — I’ll chill it — and as soon as I get the chance, I’m gonna down this mofo like the sleep-deprived bitch that I am.

That chance never came, because my child beat me to it.

When the ambulance arrived, our entire house smelled of alcohol, the baby was screaming, and I was covered in blood, crying with a toddler on my lap. The biggest chunk of glass that lodged itself in his ass left a large, crescent-shaped scar on his butt cheek that still makes my heart sink every time I look at it.

Maverick wasn’t home when it happened, but one of his most favorite activities is to meet a new person and tell the exciting tale of The Time Asher Broke A Bottle of Mommy’s Wine. If you hear the story from a charismatic 6-year-old, it’s actually quite entertaining.

His teacher informed me during our textversation today that this story, as told by Maverick, is one of her very favorites. “This one’s a keeper,” she said, referring to the journal entry. Yes, indeed it is. I never made baby books for any of my children, but I do have THIS.

I’ll just store it right next to the bloody chunk of glass I have stored in a box in my closet.

November 1.

Ever wondered what a pissed off NASA Space Commander looks like?

This.

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Complete with black dress socks and no shoes. You don’t need shoes in space.

Last night Robbie and I emerged from our home dressed like real people and took the boys trick-or-treating. I don’t have any pictures from this experience because we, along with other parents and children, were crammed into a trailer wrapped in plastic sheeting and carted around the neighborhood. We bumped around and took Jell-o shots and I really don’t know how to explain what went down or why, so you’ll just have to accept what I’m telling you and know that it was awesome.

I saw a mom dressed like Wonder Woman running down the sidewalk, cape flying behind her, with a cup full of wine in her hand. She spilled nary a drop. It nearly brought me to tears, it was so beautiful.

Maverick gave all of his candy to a kid who didn’t have as much.

We ran into a READER OF THIS BLOG!!! Hi, Courtney Vidrine! She said she was going to buy the book! And then we hugged.

I now welcome November with open arms.