Two Meatballs: My Name is Sara and I’m an Addict.

I’ve discussed my partying nature before, but just recently the word addict has really sunk in with me.   I always felt like a binge drinker.  I have always led an excessive lifestyle.  I have overindulged most of my life with food, drinking, drugs, smoking, shopping …to name a few.  So when I made the decision to quit drinking and smoking last February, I found it shockingly easy.  So easy in fact that it was always difficult for me to label myself an alcoholic.  That is because, I am an addict. Jenny likes to call me an Enthusiast! #sosweetlovethepositivity And when you’re an addict, you just replace one vice for another. So, I replaced drinking and smoking at the time with blogging, paleo and workouts with Sandra.  I had something else to throw all of my ambition towards, and thank goodness something positive this time.  But what I didn’t learn from quitting drinking on my own was any coping mechanisms.  While things were going great, my new addictions were really feeling great.  I was looking at a new, sober and healthier version of me in the mirror and I had found an online voice and support system for getting healthy.  I even had a platform to advocate for self love and body acceptance.  I was literally on top of the world and experiencing a whole new type of high.  Then my boyfriend dumped me, I got pneumonia and my Grandma Apple, the love of my life unexpectedly passed away within a few months of one another.  Throughout this time of sobriety I have had to  really feel lots of feelings without any means to suppress them.  But this was a shit storm of the worst sadness and pain and depression and loss.  I never knew that I was a comfort eater, but eating became my new drug.  It became my happiness and my only means for survival.  I was medicating with all that I had left…terrible processed shitty food.  I was literally filling a void with food.  Before I would have filled that void with alcohol and taken a much needed vacay from my own mind and crushing sadness.  But that was no longer an option.  And eating certainly wasn’t quieting the voices in my head or soothing the overwhelming feelings that would wash over me daily.  It honestly just occurred to me last week that I was even an addict. I have come down with pneumonia for the second time this year and I knew I had to face facts that I couldn’t cope how I did last time or I would gain another 40 pounds.  Being this sick again is depressing.  I was talking to one of my old clients Kayce Payne and it all kind of came out and she said, well the one benefit of receiving help while recovering from addiction is that you learn coping mechanisms!  I think I’ve had such an epic backslide with my progress because I haven’t really dealt with all of my issues.  I really thought that i had processed everything so healthily and publicly and it had been so cathartic to start this new life, but I am not equipped for disaster….which ironically all started with a disaster. We survived a tornado in ’88 which ripped apart our home and town and my sense of security, at the age of 6 (more on that in a later post) which caused mad anxiety and fear,  I needed comfort fast.  I started overeating around this age. Eating was comforting but I needed something to quiet the fear. I had my first drink when I was 10. My first cigarette when I was 11.  My first joint when I was 13.  I became obsessed with sleeping aids (tylenol pm, nyquil, etc) around 15 or 16.  By the end of high school I was dabbling in prescription and illegal drugs and drinking very heavily.  College just fueled my junkie nature. Luckily I had enough sense to avoid heroine and meth or I’d likely be dead.  I quickly dropped out bc I knew nothing good was going happen at college. Over the next decade I partied as hard as anyone could handle.  However, the drugs became a thing of the past and drinking became my precious.  I’m not sure why I thought I would’t need any help disengaging in a life I had always known, but I went at it alone and I am now understanding the consequences.  My current addiction is medicating with food…and Pure Barre.  So one good, one bad.  I need to seek out help to help me understand balance.  I don’t want to OD on Pure Barre, I want to love it forever.  I also want to make the mental connection that that Zebra Cake is not going to make me feel any better…its going to make me feel infinitely worse.  I also find that I can’t handle negativity as well as I used to.  Before talking shit was just talking shit, then you got wasted and remembered nothing the next day. I know lots of people who can spout it out and move right along, unaffected.  Now, it really weighs on me so heavily.  Part of that is because I have actually changed so much.  Because of my job and being a mentor and a coach, I need to see the best in people and it is literally my job to build people up and not tear them apart.  But also, negativity and shit talking feeds a very dark side of me. #scorpio Negativity begets negativity and it casts dark clouds over my personal horizon which I much prefer to be sunny.  It stays with me and it tinges my view of the world.  I want for people to feel so good when they leave me, not depleted and worthless.  So, I am asking for your help.  1.  if you have a psychiatrist/psychologist/life coach/counselor /guru that you are in love with,  please pass along their info to me!!!  sbiddy5@hotmail.com  2. How do you positively cope with tough times, you can also email this or just comment at the end of the blog! 3. How do you get into medication, yoga, all that kind of stuff!?  I want a more connected life.  4. If you are a person in my life, even if we have been shit talking commiserators in the past, please relieve me of this duty!  I can’t handle it and I’m not always strong enough to walk away from it on my own #addict and I really want to make a change.  If you need help or advice, I’m still your girl!   I really feel like I am understanding myself and the world and my place inside of the world so much better.  I really want to thank you guys for always being so supportive.  I really hope that this is the turning point for me to find my way back to the path   that I have chosen: a healthier life. I’m not sure if I realized how much deeper this would get than food and exercise!   I love you all so so so much.  Also, I’ve really been enjoying working out with so many friends, clients and family members!  Please let me know if you want to do something active together!!!! Xoxo  I can’t have another post with no pics, so here are some things that have been inspiring me lately or at least making me laugh!

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23 comments

  1. you are pretty much the bravest person I know- and I respect the hell out of you for being so honest and vunerable. keep up with the pure barre- or whatever exercise is appealing- i swear, that is therapy in itself- if I’m having a tough day, or totally annoyed at someone- it sorta floats away when I’ve moved around a bit (my preference is running/walking and now tennis) I think its pretty interesting that your expertise is making other people feel amazing with your mad hair “cuttin'” skills. so I think you are on the path of getting your own amazing by reaching out to others and allowing that to happen for you. Its called reciprocity- you need to be on the receiving end now 🙂 I wish you the best- I think you’re just FABULOUS! so- kick this pneumonia to the curb- stay on track with your path!!! love to you pieces xoxo

  2. Your article touched me so much…Esp on the talking shit part and how it weighs on you.so true for me.i hv this annoying ability to take negative words too much into consideration.i think you are going to make it.you will find people in your area to help you.i wish you well..Myb u shud also include as to where you live.u r brave and inspire me . brutally honest to yourself.something most of us are scared of.love u girl…

  3. Sara what a post! You really are learning so much and I am so proud of you! this is such awesome life stuff, you seem to really want to sort everything out. I’m so proud of you!!
    The one thing that immediately came to mind when I was reading this was something that has really stuck with me. My adorable sweet friend (and pastor) Lisa said that everyone has a God sized hole in their heart. People try relentlessly to fill their hole with all kinds of things. Nothing is big enough to ever fill the hole except for God. Makes so much sense! #myheartisfull!
    I would love to watch/help you grow your love for God with your already big gushing fabulous heart. I love you so much and am so happy and supportive of you and your journey! Gods your never failing rock waiting for you. 😘😘
    Love you Sara! Xoxoxoxo #meatballfan #meatballnation

  4. Hey pretty lady (yes, it’s me, Heather, using my sneaky psuedonym created for my impending memoir revelation. wink). First of all, can I just say I love you even more for the Marky Mark peacock reference? Second, life by its very nature, is clumsy and full of setbacks – this is how we learn (fact: watch a kid learn to walk for the first time…wobbly, many falls, and then…success!!!) and you are killing it as this learning thing. For me, I am a verbal releaser. Meaning, for me to maintain my sanity and stay in a good place, I HAVE to be able to vent/talk about anything and everything in my life with no censoring. This isn’t possible with everyone in my life but I have secured a solid, roundtable of girlfriends that offer me a safe haven when I need it. Just the act of unloading everything is therapy for me; not even really about getting a solution to any problems, more about feeling heard and validated. And to that end, please know I’m a text or call away for all your venting/chatting needs, if that would be helpful for you. I’m right with you on the weight loss struggle and although I am making some progress (8lbs – I’ll take it!), I still have to give myself a daily pep talk to be kind in how I speak to myself (i.e., I would NEVER berate a friend for gaining 4 oz. so why on earth is it ok to speak to myself that way?). I’m up for any activity you want to do – jonesing for some hiking around the lake, tennis, kayaking, fitness connection classes, etc. <— anything you want to do, I'm in girlie!! As always, thank you for being such a badass person full of courage and honesty. xoxo

    1. I love the name and I love you! I can so relate to the verbal vomit. I can’t keep anything in, I have to talk or it becomes toxic! I’m going to take you up on the fitness stuff! Love you Heather!

  5. Hi Sara- if you are interested in changing your life and making a real commitment to mindfulness (others call it meditation) – basically learning to be aware of your own narrative in a way that lets you recognize your emotions for what they are without getting caught in a whirlwind of inner story that feels out of control- you may find Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (mbsr) is just what you need! I took the intensive 8 week course many years ago at Duke Integrative Medicine. They have an amazing group of teachers there. Also you can check out Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book – Wherever You Go There You Are- he developed MBSR to help people with chronic pain- but found it helps everyone who will commit to it daily. I can tell you more if you are interested- but the book will give you a taste of what I mean by mindfulness and the courses at Duke are well well worth the time and money.

  6. Sara…I’m bawling like usual. It breaks my heart when you struggle but as always I’m so proud of your openness and honesty and courage. I want to work out with you!!! And yoga and meditate and talk!!!! I miss you and I’m sorry if I haven’t been here for you like I should! You are so amazing! And I love you more than I could ever say.

  7. Can’t stop crying. You are the most articulate, bravest, most loving person I know and we all will be there any way we can and we will grow right along with you. I love you, sweetheart.

  8. Honestly, I am so excited for you to get some support in real recovery because then you’ll see how very understandable your struggles and feelings are from people who have been where you are 🙂 in that early recovery., Those “rose-colored glasses” of how good everything is are so so common. And they should be… If there weren’t rewards to getting sober, no one ever would. But you are exactly right that af honestly, I am so excited for you to get some support in real recovery because then you’ll see how very understandable your struggles and feelings are from people who have been where you are 🙂 in that early recovery., Those “rose-colored glasses” of how good everything is are so so common. And they should be… If there weren’t rewards to getting sober, no one ever would. But you are exactly yet the bliss wears off the hard work if learning new skills must begin! And it can!!!! If AA isn’t ur thing maybe try Celebrate Recovery or Smart Recovery both u can google 🙂 and I 100% support mindfulness based work anything that teaches coping skills like that is key!!! Pm me on fb if u want more local ideas. recovery from this disease is life-long but I’ve seen it happen many times and so much health & joy is attainable and YOU DESERVE IT. one blogger in recovery who I love is http://www.momastery.com a lot of her posts are also about parenting but she writes SO MUCH TRUTH. sending love!!!

  9. Sometimes contentment comes from the last thing we’d expect:) God has a way of using our experiences in life, whether good or bad, to lead us to Him. You are a beautiful person Sara with a beautiful heart and I admire your unapologetic honesty:) You do great things when channeled in the right direction !xoxo

  10. You are amazing. I am praying for you and sending hugs from Louisville, KY. One day at a time baby, one day at a time. xoxoxoxoxo

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