Progress, Not Perfection

Some days, I totally blow it! I try my best to be a good mom, daughter, sibling and friend. I try to be a good wife to my husband, while also giving him his space. I try to be the one who sets a good example by practicing the principles of recovery in all of my affairs, but I am not always successful. Progress, not perfection. I get it. But seriously, you guys should hear some of the crazy things that go through my head sometimes. I know we all have crazy thoughts from time to time, and I am certainly not unique, but sometimes my thoughts make me feel embarrassed for even thinking them!

You will have to bear with me as I have been sick for about 2 months straight, I haven’t been getting nearly enough sleep and I have completely neglected any sort of physical exercise or maintained anything remotely close to what one might consider a healthy diet. It is also (cover your ears, boys!) that time of the month and I am extra emotional and borderline insane. I have reached my limit, and today I can’t smile my way through it.

Exhibit A:

My husband and I got into an argument this morning about who does more around the house (clearly me…Bahaha! #lastword – jk honey, love you!). Side note- this is a pointless argument to have with your significant other…so don’t even give it an ounce of your energy…and certainly not 10 gallons, like I did!

So, I am driving to work all pissed off at my husband, asking myself how I ever ended up marrying such a self-righteous, egotistical and childish man! I am IMMEDIATELY contemplating the D-word, because I don’t really consider it an argument in my house if I’m not considering a divorce afterwards. I start thinking about how nice it will be to not have the constant sound of football, baseball and basketball in the background, or sports memorabilia scattered all over the place. I am even taking mental notes of which gyms I pass on my way to work, because I will be single again so it’s probably time I make good on that 5 year old promise to join a gym and get into shape. I imagine my personal trainer (because I will be able to afford one…NOT) will probably resemble Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy, and he and his chiseled abs will fall MADLY in love with me. My commitment to my own health and happiness will, no doubt, inspire him to be a better man.

Which reminds me, I should probably get a profile started on or Tinder, or whatever the hell single women are doing these days to meet men. Lord knows, I won’t be meeting anyone in a bar…not that a bar was ever the most logical option to begin with.  I already know what profile picture I will use, and SO WHAT if it’s from 8 years ago? I’m working my way back to that fit body anyway!

Yep! My husband is going to be super sorry he ever let me go! I am SUCH a prize! (cough…sarcasm)

By the time I get to work, my blood pressure is elevated to unhealthy levels, and I am pretty sure I have sprung a brand new stress wrinkle in the middle of my forehead. I park my car then turn and give myself a quick look in the rearview mirror and literally bust out laughing. I…AM…RIDICULOUS! Ridiculous! I know it! You know it! Anyone driving around me probably knew it! Ugh…shit!

I realize I have just completely lost my mind and let myself slide into an old behavior! And here is the real kicker,  I didn’t do a damn thing to stop it. This little scenario, for me, is a perfect example of my addiction sneaking back into my psyche at a time when I am most vulnerable.

I love my husband. I love him so much it hurts sometimes, and we have arguments just like any other couple does. Just because the thought of divorce crossed my mind while I was angry, doesn’t mean I am actually going to do it! It was an irrational thought, brought on by years of untreated irrational thinking! Now, if I were to let myself stay in that perpetual cycle of irrational anger, who knows? Maybe I would want to divorce him. Maybe I would convince myself the grass is greener on the other side, and then come to regret it years later, just like I did my drinking.

An hour later my husband texts me a picture of himself holding a neck tie in front of his shirt asking if it matches, and just like that I am smitten all over again!

“See!” I tell myself, “We do need each other!”

Listen, if I can talk myself into getting a divorce this quickly, imagine how quickly I can convince myself that one drink won’t make things any worse. I can already hear how that tape would play through:

“Vanessa, you need to lighten up. You haven’t had a drink in over 3 years! You’ve earned this! The best part is, now you know that you cannot have more than one drink. You know what your limits are now. So you can just have one, and then you can stop, and no one will ever have to know. Come on! Go for it! It will be fun!

“Right…no one will ever have to know except for me, my newfound conscience and my friends in recovery who always seem to know what I am thinking before I even say a word! Not to mention, I cannot have just one drink! It is not possible! History has proven this to me time and time again, and yet, my addict voice will creep right between my ears and try to convince me otherwise. If I am not in a healthy place – spiritually, physically and mentally – I risk losing everything I have worked so hard to gain back.

I am still an addict. I may be recovering, but I am not cured. And sometimes, in my busy life full of responsibilities, responsibilities that I am only blessed to have because of my sobriety, I forget to nurture my recovery. I become disconnected. I start to feel sorry for myself. I lose my gratitude. I become miserable.

So, tonight I am going to get connected. I am starting by writing this, slightly questionable, blog post. I am also going to make some calls to some of the amazing women in my life, and I am going to make a LOOONG, overdue gratitude list. I am going to take some time to make my daughter the dinner she has been asking about for weeks, and I am going to let her read to me as long as she wants to tonight. I am going to tell my husband that I love him, no matter what life throws at us, and that I appreciate all that he does for our family.    I am going to allow myself to relax, and practice patience and mindfulness. I am going to get back to the simple things that make my life manageable, enjoyable and blessed.

Thanks for letting me vent! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


20 thoughts on “Progress, Not Perfection

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  1. Loved this! Funnily enough, I have always been the same with arguments. Maybe it’s an alcoholic thing? They say drinking stunts your emotional intelligence and I started drinking very young so I tend to agree. I have just started following the steps in the book “The Magic” to try to get my gratitude back on track x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! I started drinking at 15, so I still fight like I’m 15 sometimes! Ha! Thank God I can recognize it today and work on myself. Thanks for reading! I’m happy you could relate! It makes me feel a little less crazy! 😂

      Xoxo – V

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on My Rattled Cage and commented:
    Oh thank you for this post Vanessa!! I had 2 1/2 years of being clean and sober until I turned 50 on September 14, 2016. I sabotaged myself and went to all of my old haunts and did all of the old things I used to do. I am dually addicted to alcohol and cocaine. I am blessed to say that I have 38 days of being clean and sober and yes, I do know NOW that I will never be able to have just one drink or anything else!! I loved this post today because it reminds me so much of me and my husband of 17 years!! Just for today I will REMAIN CLEAN and SOBER!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging. I am so happy you could relate. Congratulations on 38 days! Starting over takes so much courage! I’ve been there before! So I know how hard it is to get back on track. Keep your head up! Keep going! Life is most beautiful when we are present!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I over-analyze a situation until I am blue in the face! When I say things like this out loud to my sponsor, she just laughs and says, “Wow! What do you need me for? You’ve already got it all figured out!” 😂


  3. hahaha!! We are prizes aren’t we! Loved that part. I’ve never been married but every argument I have I take it to the extreme. I am an alcoholic, in recovery, and bipolar and yesterday I skipped my meds, on purpose… let me just say it was a must I took them today. I was so manic and thinking of every way i could self sabotage. Drinking didn’t cross my mind but all old behaviors did. I am glad I am in a good place in my recovery to know that is unhealthy thinking. Gratitude is always first for me and sometimes I struggle, only to be quickly reminded of where i came from. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we are! 🙂 It always amazes me how quickly I can take the tiniest thought and blow it completely out of proportion! lol 😂 that’s why I love that I have women in my life who will say, “Whoa! Vanessa, do you hear yourself?” And that’s normally the moment I realize I am acting on impulsive, irrational thoughts. I’ve gotten better at catching it on my own as time has gone on, but sometimes I still find myself completely lost in the catastrophes I’ve created in my head. At least I can laugh about it today! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Always remember, we are not responsible for the first thought that enters our melon. We are responsible for the second… if we were responsible for the first, we’d all be considered freaking nuts. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I had a friend say that exact thing to me last week! Apparently, I am on a roll with my crazy thinking lately! Thank God for the friends who tolerate me and love me through it! And thank goodness I have the ability to laugh at myself today 😆


  5. OMG!!! You just described my marriage arguments to a T!!! This was SO me..ALL THOSE THOUGHTS!!! Thank you SO much for this, it made me laugh, made me realize that that is what I do, EXACTLY!!! That it is my addictive behavior and to watch out for it! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I loved every word of this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I was laughing this morning about it too! I was soooo mad in the moment, and it was something so silly! 😂 So Happy you could relate! Love that I am not alone in my crazy thinking!

      Xoxo – V


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