Fill Your Cup

Do you ever have that feeling where your cup, your metaphorical cup of kindness, love, patience, and kindness, is emptying? You give and give and give and then you realize you didn’t leave enough love in your cup for yourself. I want to talk about filling your cup but let me first share with you about my own bare glass.

My cup has been emptying for awhile. There is only a tiny sip left. I don’t feel like I have anything left to give. I always know when my cup is becoming desolate. There are telltale signs. I tend to ignore the signs until it is too late however. At that point, my glass begins to fill with things I don’t need. I call this the “muck”. The muck is stress, anger, disappointment with myself, etc. When my glass is filled with this muck, it is even harder to fill it with the love and kindness I need. There isn’t enough room for both.

One sign that my cup is emptying is that I start becoming short with people. I go off over things that normally wouldn’t bother me. My tolerance for inconveniences is very low. I get frustrated when the mail doesn’t come on time. I cuss about Arby’s forgetting my marinara sauce. I start using the word “hate” a lot and I hate using that word (I know, ironic).

Speaking of Arby’s, I also start overeating (my favorite/least favorite coping style). It is like I am trying to fill that metaphorical cup with mozzarella sticks. If only it worked that way! But when I do this kind of eating, I am not coping and I am putting myself in a worse position. My physical health is affected when I start on one of these fast food binges, which then makes everything else more complicated and here comes all the muck.

My cup is currently emptying because I am so stressed about my alcoholic mom. The holidays are coming up and we have the family events on the way. These family events are supposed to be wonderful but everyone is worried that she will show up drunk or that she won’t show up at all. I don’t really know what is worse. On top of that, my sibling is about to have a baby any day now. We want the baby to be welcomed into a loving and wonderful family but we also need to make sure drunk mom doesn’t come to the hospital or try to hold the baby or go missing when everyone is at the hospital.

Add on the regular holiday stress, buying gifts for in-laws, holiday work parties, friends who give you presents that you weren’t planning to get a gift, ordering Christmas cards, etc., and you have one stressful winter season!

So in the midst of all of this, I am trying to be the most supportive sibling I can possibly be. This is a stressful time and they need extra support with a baby on the way. I am trying to arrange all of the gifts for my husband’s family ahead of time so we aren’t trying to pay for the gifts all at once. I am trying to attend all of the holiday parties so no friends are offended. I am trying to think of how we are going to afford going out and seeing family over the holidays. I am tiptoeing around my mother so nothing triggers her. I am praying that she is able to take care of herself because I so badly want her to be there for every event, as long as she is sober.

So here I am with a mucky glass. I am stressed. I am eating so much. I am snapping at people. My glass is looking pretty gross. I want a hug. I want a puppy. I want a glass of wine. I want a punching bag. I want a chocolate milkshake. I want a nap. But what do I need?

I NEED to say no to some things. I need to be honest with my friends why I am saying no without feeling guilty. I need to explain to my family that we are on a tight budget without any expectations that they will understand. I need to stop eating Arby’s (for real).  I need to make Christmas less materialistic. And above all, I need to continue to talk about my mom’s alcoholism.

Starting this blog has been the most therapeutic coping skill I have developed. Every time I write, I feel like I am rinsing my cup and starting fresh. It has given me the courage to be honest with people and to combat the shame I feel that she struggles with alcoholism. It makes people uncomfortable but every time I share, it gets a little easier. I grow a little more confident and I feel great when someone says they understand because they have a loved one struggling too. So this holiday season, expect a pretty active blogger. I need it! And I have no shame in that!

What do you do to take care of yourself? How do you know your cup is emptying? What cleanses your cup and fills it up?

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-Grumpy Sunshine

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Grumpy Sunshine

About me: Oh boy. The big thing here, my main focus, is that I am the adult child from an alcoholic home. My mother is a straight up, textbook, pain in the butt alcoholic. My dad drinks too much but probably wouldn’t be defined as an alcoholic. Enough about them. This is my about me. I love me. I learned to cope with my parent’s issues through my sense of humor. Sometimes I use it to distance myself, sometimes I use it because the situation really can be funny. I decided to start this blog because I can’t be the only person who appreciates humor in the darkest hours of our lives. And as a wise friend asked me today, why not invest in yourself? I hope you take something from these stories. It could be inspiration to address a family member’s problem, the strength to stand up for yourself, or even if it is just a laugh at my wonderfully awkward upbringing, I hope you get something out of this. My secret wish is that you find hope. Hope is hard to find and can be very dangerous when loving someone with addiction but, God, is it worse when you have none. Here’s hoping this helps someone.

4 thoughts on “Fill Your Cup”

  1. I find your blog to be very therapeutic as well. I dumped my Christmas cup long ago and am going to dump more this Christmas season. Why should I buy gifts for (self centered, selfish, ungrateful) people who probably don’t even like what I gifted them? I am much happier just doting on my daughter as she is the most important person in my life -she fills my cup every single day and I spoil her unrelentingly. I have no shame in dumping the muck either. I no longer fill my cup with other people’s problems and worries. I do not go over the “fill to this line” on my cup. It took a lot of time and sweat to get to this point and no one hates me that I can tell and I no longer care if they do. We are all just nice to each other and then we move along. What they say and think about me when I’m not in earshot is none of my business. Bliss.

    How exciting about the new baby! I have a feeling that you will be an amazing aunt. That child is blessed already! Keep us posted on this developing story!!

    Elly

  2. I, too, give and give until crabby. It’s a line I walk, because healthy service is a great thing and I have a bounty of energy and ability and training and love from which to help. My measure is when I don’t see people improving from my helping. Then it is time to back off or back out. I recently gave my daughter-in-law difficult and honest feedback that she not only wasn’t growing but had backslid. (She is a wonderful person from a TORTURED childhood and is married to the addict in my life, a heroin addicted son currently in jail.)

    My holidays will be without my son, whom I love so so sooooo much. My other son died of cancer, and the absence of the living son potentiates the loss of both. It’s Cody’s addiction I…..HATE. That is about the only thing I really hate, oh, maybe cruelty and stuff…. I will try to have the best holidays possible. And I think it will be good. Up to me.

    Enjoying your blog!!!!

    Kimmy

    1. Take care of yourself! I will be thinking of you this holiday season. Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you again!

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