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Archive for 2009

Let’s All Get Together, Sing Kumbaya and Not Drink

God I’m sounding like a skipping CD (that’s just like a broken record but so much less cliche and more now) about the drinking aren’t I? Whatever. Sobriety wasn’t just a summer phase y’all. It’s still a primary focus, if you can focus on “not doing something.” The thing is, when you stop drinking life doesn’t just automatically stop being a pain in the ass and when life is a pain in the ass, that would normally be cause for copious amounts of alcohol consumption.

Just last night Sadie decided that the thing she absolutely did not want to do was go to bed. The night before she decided the exact same thing and then cried until she puked just to hammer the message home and to be sure that we would not let her cry the next time. Sadie is a master manipulator which you kind of have to respect. Most two-year-olds can’t puke on command. So when she was in hysterics last night I had to just lie still on Lulu the Lamb pretending to be falling asleep. I was trying to set a good example of what she should be doing.

She wasn’t getting it at all. While she screamed and I remained motionless, a lot of unwanted thoughts zipped through my brain. I’m not proud of 90% of them. The main thing I thought about was how badly I wanted a Xanax. I was feeling sorry for myself because I hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep due to Sadie’s new love of the nightlife and Mattie’s winter cold and blah blah blah it’s always something right? So I really really wanted a Xanax. But to be honest, I wanted three. Come on, have you ever had one Xanax? One Xanax would be like one cookie – pointless. One measly Xanax is not even medicinal. But three…three seemed like just the thing to unclench my jaw and make life seem workable.

I’m not allowed to have Xanax, obviously.

I figured that I could ask Jon really super nicely to tell me where the Xanax is that I made him take and hide. I could say, “I am so very anxious right now and I believe that it is a medical emergency that I take a Xanax so can you kindly point the way to the stash?” And maybe he would.

But if he did then I would not “officially” be sober. Okay I wouldn’t be “unofficially” sober either if you’re going to be a substance abuse nazi about it. But I was pissed. Pissed that because I’ve decided that I’m going to be this present person who doesn’t numb out with drugs or alcohol that I’ve now closed the door on EVER FEELING FUCKING GOOD AGAIN. That’s what was happeing in my brain in the moment and I didn’t think I would ever feel anything different.

I was also angry at my daughter for not wanting to sleep therefore refusing to give me a break FOR NO REASON that I could ascertain. “You’re not even sick!” I thought to myself while glaring at her with my eyes closed. “Mattie has a goddamned cold and she’s fast asleep! Go to sleep!” But Sadie was purposely ignoring my thoughts. While she was deep in the throes of her fit, I repeated a plea for peace in my brain over and over like a mantra. I felt absurd and not unlike Stuart Smalley.

Also there was the matter of an ahi tuna salad that Jon had brought home for me (because he’s lovely) to eat for dinner and it was just sitting on the coffee table mocking me with its deliciousness and I was hungry! And mad. Did I mention mad?

So this sounds like it would end with Sadie going to sleep, me coming out victorious and munching my salad enveloped in the love of my family and the warm fuzzies of sobriety right? Uh, have you met my family? No such luck. Sadie continued screaming until I gave up and took her and Matilda who can’t sleep on her own out into the living room.

Twenty minutes later Jon took a stab at the whole process and he luckily had success. Sadie is a bigtime daddy’s girl. By this time, the Xanax craving had passed and I realized how cunning addiction is. People who aren’t alchies and addicts don’t give drugs and alcohol nearly that much thought; the having or the not having is not a focus.

From what I hear around the way, this is all normal.

I am still getting so many emails from women struggling with getting sober. Here’s what I’m thinking: If you are in need of a little support, why not leave your email address in my comments and ask for help? A lot of sober women have been reading this blog lately and I know they’d love to email you and offer some words of encouragement. If you just want to check in and say how many days sober you have, let’s do that every Friday! It’ll be my new thing.

Regular comments are also always read and appreciated to no end.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 17, 2009 12:05 amDrinking33 comments  

Holiday Spirits

Last week I was sitting in a cold office waiting to have a mammogram with a smattering of bored, stiff looking women and a random dude. The television above us was showing a cooking program on the Food Network. The host of the show Sandra Lee, was giving a “fantastic” recipe for egg nog which consisted of pouring store bought egg nog into a big bowl and adding dark rum.

Now, don’t get me wrong, back when I was drinking I thought that was an incredibly tasty recipe and I enjoyed it all through the season and may have actually shed a few tears when the last quarts of egg nog left the store shelves. But now that I’m slightly more clear headed, I wouldn’t get so excited as to call adding rum to already made egg nog a recipe. Possibly a serving suggestion. But this Sandra chick has a lot of nerve. Look, I buy hard boiled eggs pre boiled in a bag from Trader Joe’s and I have been known to mash them up and add some mayo and then spread it on toast. I have referred to this concoction as egg salad but I would never be as bold as to suggest that I have my own cooking show so that I could share this “recipe” with people watching me while they wait to have their annual breast exam.

The whole thing was sort of laughable so I decided right then and there to point it out to the other people waiting to have their boobies stuck in a vise. I thought maybe we could all have a good chuckle. Hey, it’s the fucking holidays!

“Did you guys see what I just saw?” Nothing. No one even looked up.

“That woman just said to add rum to egg nog and it was on a cooking show!” Crickets. So I just kept going because I have comedy Tourettes that way.

“I mean, that seems pretty obvious is what I’m thinking. Who would drink just plain egg nog? That’s gross. Of course you’re going to add rum. Unless you’re me. I can’t have rum. I’m an alcoholic. I haven’t had any booze since May. It’s been tough but I’m sort of used to it now. Once in awhile I still really crave Xanax. Like right now.” Okay, maybe I only said the first sentence but the fact is I was trying to make conversation with a room full of strangers and they were having none of me.

Finally one women looked up and said “The show is called Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee” as if it was my first time visiting this planet.

“Hmm…to me, that doesn’t seem even semi homemade. It seems completely store bought.” I’m sure she was completely regretting having engaged me.

“You don’t buy the whole thing pre-made. You have to mix the rum into the egg nog.So that does sort of make it a recipe.”

“And that deserves its own show?”

“It’s a good show.” With that she went back to her In Touch Weekly magazine. I figured I should knock off the trying to be amusing but I’d had way too much caffeine and I had no reading materials. I managed to last until we all got brought back to the waiting area where we sat in our little front closure tops waiting for our x-ray.

“I’d be more nervous but my breasts are incredibly photogenic” I announced to all six other women.

I got one laugh. And it was from the Sandra Lee fan. Hey, I’ll take it.

Also, my results came back clean.

By the way, you know what would make an awesome holiday gift? My books. If you order them off of the Comedy Nerds website (click over to your left) you will get an autographed copy.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 15, 2009 8:53 pmDrinking32 comments  

My Daughter’s Imaginary Friend is an Asshole

So Elby has an imaginary friend named Angeli (not 100% sure on the spelling) who, I don’t mind saying, is a total bitch. Oh she started out nice, sucked my daughter in with her enthusiasm for playing princess or riding in the car. She kept my daughter company at Trader Joe’s, sitting in the basket while Elbs sat in the front turning once in awhile to better hear her ice cream flavor request in the frozen food aisle. Eventually Angeli’s bad influence behavior started cropping up

Elby: Mom. I need to tell you something. Angeli doesn’t like it when I wear long sleeves.
Me: Why not?
Elby: She never wears long sleeves because she doesn’t like them.
Me: That’s fine for her but why can’t you wear them?
Elby: She doesn’t want me to because she says long sleeves are stupid.
Me: She’ll get over it.

Another time –

Elby: Angeli threw my Dora bathtub toy in the trash.
Me: What are you talking about?
Elby: My toy that I was playing with. Angeli accidentally threw it away.
Me: Do you mean that you accidentally threw it away?
Elby: No. Angeli didn’t want to play with it because she said it’s for babies.
Me: Tell Angeli to suck it.
Elby: What?
Me: I said tell Angeli tough luck

But lately Angeli has become downright aggressive. While in the car on the way to Target we had this conversation:

Elby: Angeli said she’s going to crack my head open.
Me: WHAT? Why would she say that?
Elby: Actually she didn’t say it. Angeli’s brother did. He’s really mean.
Me: Well, can Angeli talk to him and ask him not to threaten you with violence? Or do you want me to talk to him?
Elby: Actually, Angeli doesn’t want to be my friend anymore.
Me: I think it’s probably for the best. Angeli sounds like a bad seed.

Then while walking in the parking lot on our way into the store:

Elby: Angeli is my friend again. She wants me to come to a playdate at her house.
Me: Doesn’t she live at your house?
Elby: No. She lives in New York.
Me: Then won’t you have to take a plane to get there? New York is pretty far.
Elby: Yes. I have to be on the plane for ten hundred days.
Me: So you’re flying Southwest?

Walking inside Target:

Elby: Mommy? I need to tell you something. Angeli kicked me really hard on my shoulder.
Me: Elby. Didn’t you make Angeli up? Because when you make someone up, generally they shouldn’t be abusing you. They should be buying you presents, making you laugh and telling you how fabulous you are at all times. Trust me, before I met daddy I had a lot of experience with this. My old therapist called it “living in fantasy.” I preferred wishful thinking.
Elby: So can I go to Angeli’s house?
Me: As long as her brother’s not there.

So we bought her some warm gloves because I’m assuming it’s cold in New York right now. Angeli better not have a problem with them.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 4, 2009 12:10 amUncategorized54 comments  

Why I Don’t Do Heroin

I haven’t gotten boozy wit it in over six months which truly seems like a miracle. Although, I’ve gone without drinking many times in my life including my pregnancy with the twins during which I believe I may have had one beer at the home of House of Prince but what do you expect? She’s a horrible influence -exactly what I look for in a friend.

Aren’t you all on tenterhooks waiting to find out how it’s been going? Or maybe you’re waiting for me to slip up like when you watch a tight rope walker and you secretly hope he’ll fall -let’s face it, when the tight rope walker makes it it’s sort of anticlimactic. It’s their job.

Aaaanyway, I digress. I am doing very well these days. Do I still get stressed out by having eighteen children? Of course I do. I’m a thousand percent sure that the Duggars must use some illegal substances to keep their shit together. I still certainly get cravings. It seems like the longer it’s been since I’ve taken a Xanax or had a glass of wine, the more I realize how addicted I was. I didn’t even feel good from taking Xanax, just normal. Sometimes I want a Xanax so bad I can almost taste it and then I think, “What the hell is that about? It wouldn’t even feel good to take it,” and that’s when I think “Oh yeah, I’m an addict. I just want to take something.” It doesn’t have to be alcohol.

I wasn’t that choosy about substances. I loved pain pills as much if not more than wine, but I only had access to them once in awhile when I’d had surgery or a bout of migraines. When given a prescription, I’d take them until they were gone and think, “man it would be awesome to have more” but I was just too lazy to get them. I think pain pills are an ambitious person’s addiction. You have to doctor shop or get them over the Internet or…I don’t know…find them from a dealer? Just thinking about the work it would take to get a steady supply of pills makes me want to lie down and take a nap.

This is why I can’t understand how people become heroin addicts. Sure, the idea of feeling like you’re lying in a vat of vanilla pudding listening to Elliot Smith over and over until you nod off sounds like an interesting Saturday night but being a heroin addict is a full-time job! I can barely get a book out once a year -there’s less than no chance I could spend all day procuring heroin. Who has that kind of time?

What I’m trying to say is that being sober is actually a lot easier than trying to manage feeling good through the use of drugs and alcohol. Although Healthy Choice caramel ice cream sandwiches are playing a huge part these days so there’s that.

The first 90 days were the hardest but it’s gotten a million percent easier. I’m used to not looking forward to my evening wine and as a bonus the anxiety went away. I really thought I might always feel borderline crappy but I don’t. So, that should give anyone hope who is doing this with me.

But don’t get me wrong, I’m still edgy! And that’s fine – I didn’t have a lobotomy, I just stopped drinking. I’ve found many people in sobriety to bond with and I’m realizing that sober alcoholics are pretty interesting in general. In my mind there’s only one good reason to avoid drinking entirely and that’s because either you used to drink waaay too much or because you’ve seen people in your family drink waaaay to much. Otherwise, you are Mormon. And that’s sort of weird. Unless you’re Donny Osmond in which case, let’s have lunch and you can tell me all about your alcohol-free existence! Call me!

P.S. If you came over looking for an update on Sadie, I wrote one here.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 3, 2009 10:55 pmDrinking12 comments  

I Feel Like I Got Hit By a Bus

I’ve been remiss on updating my blog. I don’t know how that happens but days bleed into a week and weeks bleen into…well…a week and a half. You get the picture. I’m busy is what I’m saying. I’ve got a lot going on. For instance, on Friday I was hit by a bus. Ironically, I was on my way to see my shrink to tell him that I was over the idea of trying to get off my last 25 mg. of Zoloft. As someone really smart commented on my blog, “Why?” Why indeed. No real reason and so, I decided not to brave the side effects and remain on my piddly dose.

So I pulled up to the curb, turned off the ignitian, and opened my door arms length so I could grab my purse and get out when out of nowhere a MTA bus zipped by and basically removed my door from the frame of the car. Needless to say it scared the shit out of me and I sat there basically stunned for a few minutes thinking, “I have a feeling I’m still going to get charged for my appointment.” The bus pulled over and passengers piled out onto the sidewalk either totally pissed off that they were missing their destination or excited that they’d just been involved in a collision.

I stumbled around on the sidewalk for a few minutes and halfheartedly picked up my Barenaked Ladies CD from a few yards down the block plus an Alligator Rocks CD which had flown out of the case and was scratched beyond recognition.

A half hour later, there were three cop cars, a bus superintendant and the driver of the bus assessing the situation. One of the officers asked me if I was hurt and I told him “Just my psyche.”

“Your psyche?” he asked. “What’s that?” Really? I’m guessing there’s no vocabulary portion on the LAPD written exam. Then I tried to say “Please don’t give me a breathalyzer” under my breath a few times to see if I would get a laugh, which I did not. I know, that’s crazy right? Police officers not having a sense of humor? Next you’re going to tell me the clerks at the DMV don’t like to laugh, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

After all this, I had to get my car towed, call my insurance company, arrange a pick up from school for my daughter and reschedule my shrink appointment.

Oh life.

By the way, Heather and Mike Spohr happened to drive by in the middle of all this. They can vouche for all this craziness.

Tomorrow I will blog about being 6 months sober! And hopefully provide a photo of my minivan.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on November 24, 2009 12:37 amUncategorized35 comments  


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