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So bummed out this week

Old 10-19-2016, 09:38 AM
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So bummed out this week

Hello friends-

As some of you may know, I stopped drinking about 127 days ago after a 20 year binge. Recently Iíve been tested due to have three stressful weddings all in a row - I thought once I had them behind me that I would feel relieved and be back in my happy place but itís not really working out that way. The last wedding was the most difficult Ė after 25 years of solitude my dad married a woman he met about 7 months ago.

My relationship with my father has always been shaky due to certain bad behaviors on his part when I was a kid and also into my adulthood Ė but Iíve still made an effort to stay close to him and help him out when I can. The new step mom has made it pretty clear she doesnít care for us kids, I guess after knowing him 7 months sheís decided sheís going to step in and attempt to erase 40+ years of history Iíve had with my dad. So be it. In some ways itís a blessing in disguise. Since I was a little girl my dad always put me in the very unhealthy role of being more his confidant than child. Iíve carried his problems and issues around with me for a long time. If she now wants to carry the load, more power to her.

So Iíve been depressed all week and a little worried about dad because I have a strong feeling this woman doesnít have it all together or all that good of intentions, but I also realize this is a problem I cannot solve for my father as he made the choice to marry her.
I guess what has me crying at my desk today is that I am suddenly afraid I am going to get fired from work, or that something is wrong. I have been in my department for six years and with the firm for about 10. For so many years I dragged myself into the office, hungover and deathly ill, praying to get through the day doing the absolute minimum work because I was so tired and sick, yet through it all managed to keep my job and even advance a little Ė I am good at what I do and I enjoy it.

Now that I have quit drinking Iíve really been on my game and getting positive feedback from the attorneys and co-workers. I let myself think that things were on the up and up. But ironically now that I am coming to work bright eyed and bushy tailed Iím getting bad feelings from our manager. She is non-confrontational and passive-aggressive Ė that is difficult to deal with in a boss. Itís been a real roller coaster ride with her but Iíve held on thus far. Iím the coordinator of my department which pretty much just means Iím not quite good enough to be a supervisor Ė but I do make a little extra money to keep things organized and running smoothly, and Iím pretty good at it. At least thatís what people tell me.

My manager was supposed to be on vacation this week and Iíve been handling things like I always do when sheís out, which is often. For the past two days sheís been logging in from home and micro-managing me. Sheíll send me emails telling me to do stuff that Iíve already done, like I donít know how to do my job or something. It has left me annoyed and unsettled, which I think is probably the intention. Sheís not the type to just come out and tell you if youíve done something wrong, sheíll just make these cryptic little statements which is also very annoying.

But sheís never really micro-managed me before like she has this week and sheís also been distant (she usually texts and emails me constantly but hasnít been doing that this week, either) so I donít know what the heck is going on but I have decided if she keeps up the micro-managing while she is supposed to be on vacation, I am just going to ask her whatís up, over e-mail, so thereís a record of it. Give her a chance to just come out and tell me if Iíve done something wrong, like a normal adult would do.

Iím upset because I donít have the energy for it. Coming to work and fulfilling my duties to the best of my ability is all I want to do. I have a lot of other things going on outside of work with the new step mom and my poor brother in law who lost his husband in June, and my poor husband who lost his mom in April, and just some other unpleasant odds and ends.

I understand that individually these problems are quite normal for anyone and I also know I have many blessings. Itís just that collectively itís all weighing me down. I donít want to drink but I just feel sad. I am already going to an addiction psychiatrist and am on an anti-depressant.

As much as I like my job most of the time it wouldnít be the worst thing if I got fired. I have a lot of history here and not all of it has been good. I could start over if I had to. Iíd try to get a job closer to home or working from home if I could. After almost 20 years in the legal field I have mad skills, sorry for tooting my own horn but itís just that Iíve worked hard all my life and have slowly built up an impressive skill set. About eight years ago when we moved away from home I got tired of the legal field and worked at an animal shelter for a couple years, literally shoveling dog poo every day, and taking care of animals and I loved it Ė the point is I can do just about anything. I need to make a living and am not above getting dirty if I have to.

Just wanted to share this today as I feel a little ate up inside and you guys are always so good at providing perspective and/or support and encouragement. So we shall see how this goes. I guess itís pretty early in my sobriety still and I have not developed the best coping skills. As always I am sorry this is so long and I hope you are all having a good day today.
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:59 AM
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I'm hoping for the best. It is odd, but sometimes people like the status quo because they are uncomfortable with change. Perhaps your boss notices that you're suddenly getting compliments and wonders if you'll now be a threat to her job. By micromanaging she might be trying to make you second-guess yourself. Or maybe she's reiterating to you in no uncertain terms that she's the boss.

It is wise of you to ask her point blank via a paper trail.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by HopeandFaith1 View Post
I guess itís pretty early in my sobriety still and I have not developed the best coping skills.
This was exactly what I was thinking as I read your post, and lo, I get to the end and you've made the observation that I was going to make.

One hundred twenty seven days is nothing to sneeze about, but in the grand scheme of things, it's awfully early in recovery and it's easy to be overwhelmed by what is going on around us and how we internalize it and chew on it like a cud.

Find some time to get out of your head. Remove yourself from the role of taking care of everyone else and take care of yourself for a little while. Have a spa day, or lose yourself in a distraction that you enjoy. And you don't have to quit your job if you like animals. Shelters are always looking for volunteers, as you probably know.

Good luck and congrats on your sober time.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:18 AM
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I'm sorry you're feeling down. Great job on the 127 days, well done! I have had a boss like yours and what I realize now that I don't work with her, is that the issues were more about her than me. I too internalized it, tried to make sense of it and worried about it. Did me no good. The truth was she was an insecure woman and projected her insecurities onto others via talking down and micromanaging in order to stay in control. You know you are doing a great job and respected by others- because you mentioned that others have said that.
I know when things start going well for me (when I have had sober time under my belt)- I have self sabotaged because I didn't feel I deserved good or happiness. It's only now I can see that. For so many years I was numb from alcohol and just getting by. Now I have to face the feelings that led me to numbing them. I just say this because maybe your experiencing something similar as all of these feelings are surfacing.
Thanks for posting, I realize I'm not alone.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by IHaveFaith2016 View Post
I'm sorry you're feeling down. Great job on the 127 days, well done! I have had a boss like yours and what I realize now that I don't work with her, is that the issues were more about her than me. I too internalized it, tried to make sense of it and worried about it. Did me no good. The truth was she was an insecure woman and projected her insecurities onto others via talking down and micromanaging in order to stay in control. You know you are doing a great job and respected by others- because you mentioned that others have said that.
I know when things start going well for me (when I have had sober time under my belt)- I have self sabotaged because I didn't feel I deserved good or happiness. It's only now I can see that. For so many years I was numb from alcohol and just getting by. Now I have to face the feelings that led me to numbing them. I just say this because maybe your experiencing something similar as all of these feelings are surfacing.
Thanks for posting, I realize I'm not alone.
This response is extremely helpful, thank you! Sounds like maybe you can relate to the fact that I don't want to play these games, i just want to come here and do my job and as long as I am doing that, I want to be left alone. I am not real good at dealing with things like "insinuation", "projection", "insecurity" and secrecy. A lack of transparency makes me nervous. I am riddled with flaws but i am also a straight shooter and don't think I need to act on my insecurities - thanks to recovery one thing I can do is take a good look at myself, the good and the bad and the ugly and believe me, I've been about as ugly as one can be.

I have a much, much easier time accepting people for who they truly are, flaws and all. I don't like it when someone tries to make me believe they are someone they are not, especially when they try to appear harmless and are opposite.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Gilmer View Post
I'm hoping for the best. It is odd, but sometimes people like the status quo because they are uncomfortable with change. Perhaps your boss notices that you're suddenly getting compliments and wonders if you'll now be a threat to her job. By micromanaging she might be trying to make you second-guess yourself. Or maybe she's reiterating to you in no uncertain terms that she's the boss.

It is wise of you to ask her point blank via a paper trail.
Thank you for the feedback, I have made it very clear I don't want her job. I am happy where I am at. She is much better than me at diplomacy and conflict resolution, and I am much better working in the trenches, I like it. I don't want to be management and have to play the games associated with that position, I'm much better where I am at.

As Doggonecarl mentioned, 120+ days is more than I could have ever dreamed, but it's really not all that much and to be honest I am more focused on recovering and staying sober than any upward mobility right now.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by doggonecarl View Post
This was exactly what I was thinking as I read your post, and lo, I get to the end and you've made the observation that I was going to make.

One hundred twenty seven days is nothing to sneeze about, but in the grand scheme of things, it's awfully early in recovery and it's easy to be overwhelmed by what is going on around us and how we internalize it and chew on it like a cud.

Find some time to get out of your head. Remove yourself from the role of taking care of everyone else and take care of yourself for a little while. Have a spa day, or lose yourself in a distraction that you enjoy. And you don't have to quit your job if you like animals. Shelters are always looking for volunteers, as you probably know.

Good luck and congrats on your sober time.
Thank you very much. I do miss critters - I used to volunteer and that's how we ended up with eight dogs at one point. Now I just donate and do fundraising and lavish my own two dogs with attention - had to stop bringing dogs home to keep the hubby happy

You have such a way with words by the way. I really need to STOP chewing on that cud. Ick. But I do it a lot.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:50 AM
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I agree with you regarding people, especially bosses, being passive aggressive.
One thing I'm realizing now is that the only thing that has really changed is my perception. Those people are the same person they were when I was hungover, I just didn't have the strength to observe it. I didn't pick up on the specific details because my main focus was getting through the day feeling sick, shamed and depressed. Sobriety opens your eyes to so many things, it's almost overwhelming. Sensory overload! You'll be fine. Put yourself first and keep moving forward. Lately I've been so emotional that I give myself a 10 second pause rule before over reacting; if you walk away and remove yourself from an uncomfortable confrontation, you feel much stronger/prouder later and don't put yourself back into the guilt, shame mode that drives us to drink.
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:04 AM
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I too struggled with negative thinking and with making negative predictions in early sobriety. It was a way of life for me. It's also among the most painful, destructive and frightening things I've ever done to myself, and it took me a long time and a lot of work for me to unlearn that way of being in the world. Like you, it was helpful to focus on my strengths and to stop repeatedly going over my assumed weaknesses. In the end, it's our strength that pulls us through, even when we're not aware that we have it.

My saving grace was bringing supportive people into my life, something that I'm not always good at doing. Each time we decline help or support from other people, we're denying them an opportunity to experience the benefits inherent in reaching out to others. And that's something that just shouldn't happen, regardless of any dubious or unhelpful convictions we might carry around preserving our independence by walking away from the help that's available. Let that be someone else's fantasy. I would even go so far as to say that it's our responsibility to accept help whenever the help we need is offered.
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:37 AM
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Hey, HopeandFaith1, welcome. Your post reminded me of so many things about my working life. (I'm retired now). I worked continuously for more than 40 years and, honestly, I can count the number of competent bosses I had on one hand! (For the record: 2). You sound like you know what you're about, and it seems like you have developed a crazy good skill set. Continue to do your job best you can, document interactions with boss--start a file. Can't hurt--and just take it a day at a time. I was a teacher until I retired. It was a profession I came to late-ish in life, and I loved it for a long time. But..the 2008 recession hit my independent school hard, and it became more and more difficult to love what I was doing. Toward the end of my tenure I felt overworked and underappreciated, and I believe that feeling caused me to drink more. I'm a non-drinker now. Congratulations on your sober time. Keep moving forward and all will be well. Peace.

Last edited by Maudcat; 10-19-2016 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Spelling errors
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