Get Out of Your Head!

Alright, I know I’ve been AWOL for a while.  All summer really.  I took the summer off of school and was just trying to focus on work, family, gardening, learning to can foods, and THERAPY. Lots of therapy.  It’s been going really well.  I’ve done a lot of work learning new coping strategies for when the anxiety creeps up on me.  Also focusing on paying attention to my self talk and working to improve it.  I am way too hard on myself.  I spent the whole summer locked pretty tightly inside my own head.  That can be good sometimes.  It can help you evaluate yourself.  But taken too far it can keep you from moving forward.

Anyways, today is DAY 8 sober!  Started last Monday.  I’m getting back into writing because it is great way to bust out of my head.  I can take all these thoughts that work their way around in my head in circles over and over and just dump them out.

Here are some of the thoughts that have been swirling around uncontrollably:

  • I need to lose weight.  I’ve put a lot of weight back on over the last year. I don’t like it.  I don’t feel good about it physically, or mentally.
  • Building on the first thought: I really need to reignite my passion for running.  I felt amazing while training for a half marathon.  I just don’t have the time to devote to that kind of training.  I do have time to run though.  I need a goal, just don’t know what yet
  • When I look at myself objectively, I’m pretty awesome.  My life is pretty awesome.  Why don’t I feel like my life and self are awesome?
  • I know that I can quit drinking for about 6 weeks.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve done that.  What happens after that though?
  • I have taken on a very ambitious life plan changing careers and going back to college.  What if I can’t do it?  What if this one thing that is my life’s passion, is the thing that I fail at?

This isn’t everything.  But these are the ones that seem to come to the surface most frequently.  I guess that’s it for today.  Peace.

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I’m Not Sure This is Really a ‘Treatment Plan’, But Okay……

Yesterday afternoon I had my first sit down with the woman is going to by my therapist and counselor for PTSD treatment and substance abuse counseling.  I had no idea what to expect.  I kept thinking of all kinds of different reasons to cancel the appointment.  But I didn’t.  I did however stop by my house between class and the appointment to ‘get some stuff done around the house’.  Which I did.  While a drank a quick glass of wine.  I was pouring the drink before I even thought about it.  So, I drank wine right before going to a substance abuse counseling appointment. Go me.

Quick little blurb to bring you up to speed.  I had one appointment 3 weeks ago with a counselor who does ‘intake’ for this office.  This place I’m going to is primarily a reference center.  You go in, they do a quick Q&A evaluation, figure out what general direction your treatment needs to be in, you have a few sessions with a counselor there, and if you need more treatment beyond that they refer you to a professional somewhere else. They handle all types of mental illness.  The only exception to this system is substance abuse treatment.  There is no limitation to how long you can be seen there for out patient substance abuse treatment.  They don’t have any in-patient treatment.  If you need that you get referred elsewhere.

So, I went in 3 weeks ago and met Jim, the intake guy.  He’s a 60-ish year old, bespectacled,  balding man.  Nice in a dry, humorless kind of way.  He looked sort of like Lewis Black.  But with out the yelling, or wit.  He identified that I need treatment for PTSD and alcohol abuse (Not a surprise, but it was very weird to hear someone say it out loud to me).  He set me up with an appointment with Linda.  She is there ‘PTSD and substance abuse specialist’.  It took 3 weeks for me to get in with her.  That’s because of my crazy work/school schedule, not any fault of theirs.

Fast forward to yesterday.  (Is that like going back to the future?)  I meet Linda.  She’s probably about 50 years old.  Thin, with short naturally greying hair.  Well dressed in a sweater dress with a belt and boots.  Trying to paint a little picture.  Her office is small and cluttered, which makes it feel kind of cramped. Also, it felt like building’s furnace must dump directly into that tiny room.  It must have been 80 degrees in there.  There are a bunch of motivational pictures on the walls, and you can tell that she definitely has a thing for the old ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.  She apologizes and tells me that she is having trouble with her computer (which appears to 5-10 years old).  She says that normally she would be typing things in on this first session on her computer, but she’ll have to just take notes on paper.  The whole appointment took about an hour.  She spent some time reviewing the report that Jim had filled out.  She asked a few more in depth questions.  We talked about how much I drink.  What happens when I drink.  Why I think that I drink.  We brushed very quickly over what my past trauma was (Which is actually two separate things, but we’ll get to that another time).  We talked a bit about how alcohol is my coping mechanism.  And we discussed what my current life and schedule look like.

peanuts
This was seriously on the wall in Linda’s office.

The point of all of this was to put together a ‘treatment plan’.  What we decided was this:  Weekly one-on-one counseling sessions.  She is counseling against a ‘cold turkey’ cut off on the booze.  She wants me to start diving into dealing with my trauma and developing new coping tactics before I do that.  She did say that it would be great if I start working on slowly cutting back on how much I’m drinking here and there.

That’s it.

It doesn’t feel like much of a plan.  I’m not really sure what I expected though.  A timeline maybe?  A Doomsday clock ticking down to the moment when I have to give up alcohol forever?  At the same time it feels overwhelming.  I’m going to have to talk to this nearly perfect stranger about the worst moments of my life.  Things that I’ve only ever told my husband, and it took him months and years to pry that shit out of me.

Hurry Up and Wait!

Well, I haven’t written anything this week because there just hasn’t been much to report.   It’s finals week at school.  So I have 3 different projects/papers I should be working on and 4 finals I should be studying for.  Naturally, I decided that it was a perfect time for a blog post!

dynamite Finals

The whole ‘getting into recovery’ thing kinda is on hold.  Ish.  My next appointment is next Tuesday.  It was just really hard to figure out appointment times when I am working and/or at school 7 days a week.  I haven’t stopped drinking.  Honestly, I’m scared to stop without a treatment plan.  I don’t want to stop and then fall off the wagon a couple days later because I’m not mentally prepared for what I’m doing.

so-my-plans-for-finals-week-didnt-exactly-work-out-72896

Yeah, that’s how great I’m doing at eating well.  I start my day with a really healthy super food shake.  But it pretty much ends there.  Stress has fully caught up with me.  I need some time off.  From everything.  Luckily the semester ends next week and I’m not taking any summer classes.  I’ll still have to work, but I will actually have some days off here and there.  I’m going to train for and run a race this summer.  A 10k I think.  Having a goal helps me stay on track.  But I’ve been too busy to train for races during school and I totally lost my motivation.

Ugh.

I sound like such a whiny bitch right now.  I am really overwhelmed with how fast everything is moving at school and how slow everything is moving in regards to my therapy and treatment.  Like having one hand in a bowl of boiling hot water and one hand in a bowl of ice water.  My brain doesn’t know how to interpret the signals.

Slumgoo: The Recipe

Last week, I promised something lighter for my next post.  I figured doing a recipe post would be a good way to go.  I haven’t had much time for cooking in the last few weeks.  I go to school 3 days a week and work 3-4 of the other days.  Which is why I have no pictures to go with this post.  I apologize.  I’ll try to be descriptive of how things should look at each stage.  But this is a pretty simple recipe.  If you can make home fried potatoes and scrambled eggs, you can rock out a pan of slumgoo!

This is the basic recipe that I grew up seeing my great-grandma, grandma, and mother making.  I make it now for my kids for special weekend breakfasts, though we don’t get to do that anywhere near often enough.

This is a scaled recipe making it easy to make the right amount for the number of people you are feeding.  As a note: the scale is generous!  This makes a lot of food for everyone.  No one is going to be hungry and you may well have some leftovers.

Don’t expect it to look pretty!  It’s ugly as sin, but trust me, you won’t care after the first bite.

You start by frying up the potatoes to a nice dark golden brown in the cooking fat of your choice (Go with something with a high smoke point). Then you add chopped or torn bread into the pan.  The bread with soak up the cooking fat and then fry into delicious browned nuggets.  This is a good way to use up somewhat stale bread.  Whole and multigrain breads work great in this too.  After you a good brown on the bread, add the whisked eggs.  Mix it around to make sure everything gets coated in egg.  Then cook until you are sure all the egg is cooked through.

The key with this recipe is getting a good brown on the fried potatoes and the bread.  You want them to be really golden brown all over before proceeding.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with mushy potatoes and gooey bread.  Yuck.

Make sure that you add a little more salt and pepper at each phase.  The potato and bread will absorb a lot of seasoning.

As a footnote: While a healthy lifestyle is very important to me and will be talked about in my blog, not every recipe I post will be ‘health food’.  Because, what would be the fun in that?  You have to live a little.  Please, don’t eat slumgoo everyday.  But, every once in while, let yourself slow down and enjoy something ridiculously delicious.  Whether or not it is healthy.

Slumgoo

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A hearty breakfast to warm your belly and heart.

Ingredients

  • High smoke point cooking fat
  • 2 small-medium potatoes per person, quartered and sliced thin
  • 2 slices of bread per person, chopped or torn into bite sized pieces
  • 2 eggs per person, whisked in a bowl and set aside
  • (Optional) Any breakfast meat you might have on hand, precooked
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large, non stick skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. You need enough oil to put a good 1/8-1/4 inch layer over the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add sliced potatoes to the pan and fry, turning with a spatula every few minutes. Add some salt and pepper
  3. Once potatoes are dark golden brown, add bread. Turn and mix with spatula until bread has soaked up the cooking oil. Add some salt and pepper
  4. Fry bread until the pieces look like golden brown nuggets and potatoes are looking more of a medium-dark brown.
  5. If adding meat, add and mix in now.
  6. Pour eggs over top and turn with spatula until everything is coated with egg. Add some salt and pepper.
  7. Cook, turning and mixing until egg is cooked though. Serve hot.

You Have to Start Somewhere….

This is going to a very strange journey.  I intend to document a vast array of topics, all surrounding my life.  At times it will look like a standard cooking/recipe blog.  Other times it will be about dieting, health and fitness.  Sometimes, it is going to be about coping with PTSD and alcoholism recovery.  And how all of those things are tied together in my life.

My Bio explains why I chose the name SlumGoo, and how it relates to this whole mess.

I apologize in advance for my writing.  I’m not a writer.  While I try very hard to be on top of my grammar and spelling, I write the way I speak.  Which means it might ramble.  It might go off on tangents.  My photos are not going to be professional quality. In fact, they will probably almost all be taken on my phone.  And there will very definitely be cursing.

Take that as fair warning.

This first post is going to be fairly short.  I just wanted to put up a little introduction.  But there will be much more to come.

I say that I will be writing about alcoholism recovery.  To be honest, I don’t really consider my ‘recovering’ yet.  I am still drinking.  I just came to the full realization that I am an alcoholic a few weeks ago.  I had suspected that I was borderline, or ‘functional’ or some other tag that I was using to keep denying that I have a problem.

Here’s what happened:  I am currently taking a nutrition class as part of my culinary arts degree.  We had a lecture about alcohol.  The instructor read off 3 different definitions of an alcoholic from different organizations.  I fit all of them.

I cried on my drive home from school that day.  I really didn’t think I was that bad.  I have maintained a full time job for 8 years at the same company.  I have a great marriage. I have an awesome family.  I go to school.  I am able to get through my days at work and school without drinking.  I don’t miss work or school because of the after affects of my drinking (though I do have days where I am definitely not bringing my A game because of it).

I drink pretty much every day.  If I go a day without a drink its because money is too tight for me to buy any alcohol.  I can’t remember that last time I had just one drink.

Alright, enough of that.  I know I have a problem. Blah Blah Blah.  I have my first appointment for an evaluation at the local Behavioral Health Services office later today.  I’m sure I’ll write some updates on how whatever counseling/treatment I end up in are going.

I’ll try to make the next post be a little ‘lighter’.  No promises. My brain is pretty fucked at the moment.