Emotions Running High

Well I have been dealing with some pretty intense stuff with my 12 year old and I thought the waters had calmed down but tonight was a bit of a rough ride again. This is yet another reason I HAVE to stay sober right now – because with the crises that keep coming up – I never know when I may have to drive off to tend to matters. 

I feel like I can’t win at times – I get a handle on one area in my life (right now with being AF) and the storm is brewing with my youngest. It’s so hard to do this single parenting bit and trying to juggle staying sane and working full time. 

Thankfully I have a clear mind and managing the stress in good ways – exercising and blogging, and trying to relax/meditate to let the tenseness pass. We’ll see how tonight will end and what tomorrow morning will bring.

I know it doesn’t help that we are three women in the house experiencing PMS at the same time either… Lord help me and give me strength. 

DAY 30 – Enjoying a Natural High!!

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Celebrating my 30th day of sobriety enjoying an all natural high!! How would you fill in the blank above? What is YOUR natural high?

For me today it was just getting through the day without any thoughts or temptations about drinking. The high came with a message from my guy friend and we got together very spontaneously ‘last minute’ and I left there on the BEST natural high (it was like the BEST gift for my milestone 30 days from my friend who is a non drinker)!! These are things I could not do when I was drinking – how many things I turned down because I had been drinking and couldn’t be spontaneous and drive off to do something…

I also managed to have a better handle on the day overall emotionally. No out of control eating today so the hormones are in check I guess lol – or simply the natural high kept me cruising on a higher plane… feeling GREAT!!

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This is another great ‘high’ these days for me (along with the loud music too!!) … even when I really don’t feel like doing a workout, I push through and always feel so much better (and it doesn’t have to be a marathon either – simple as 10mins a day is better than nothing folks). I have been consistently following my 5 Factor Fitness program (typically 25 mins but sometimes longer if I add more cardio at the end) for the past 8 weeks now. To miss one day now would kill me because I know it’s like the booze… if I were to allow myself ‘one day’ I would end up slipping completely – and so I am determined to stay on this path right now.

Thank you for those who commented yesterday – I do know I have to be gentle with myself and let go of my EGO and just focus on the important things and how far I have really come. I am super proud of myself and I know I deserve this feeling – the one of success!

Embarking on new territory tomorrow as I cross the longest length of time I have gone without drinks since my pregnancy (13 years ago)… now that my friends is a sure hit AWESOME natural high! Can’t wait to reach the halfway point in this 100 day challenge!!

Self-Sabotage

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Well here I am on the eve of my BIG 30 days and I find myself doing this self-sabotage stuff. I suppose some of it is the good ol’ hormonal stuff going on but part of it is perhaps being afraid of succeeding at something. It seems I have a handle on the alcohol free – mind you it has been really hard over the past few days… and I guess I’ve replaced it with eating and I feel shitty about it!

I was tracking my food and it’s no wonder I can’t lose weight and even crazier that I used to do this when I was drinking too – eat loads of junk and not pay any attention to just how much I was consuming. So now that I am that close to 30 days – well it’s weird because you see, the last time I tried to do the 30 days I was so focused on day 31 so I could have a drink again that it seemed to take forever to get here.

This time, I know I’m going for 100 days and now I’m trying to figure out the ‘new’ routine of not drinking while not self-sabotaging other areas of my life. I have about 35lbs to lose to bring me to a ‘happy’ and healthy weight. I’m tired of the gutt and well frankly the booze did not help. Now that I am almost 30 days without … why the HELL am I screwing myself around with the food thing. Again, as I said – I know this is part of my cyclical hormonal bullshit and I saw it coming over the weekend … along with Wolfie who was messing with my head. 

I am feeling really tired too and was lacking motivation to get my workout in today which I knew I needed badly so I pushed myself and got my ass downstairs to do my minimal 25 minutes of the 5 Factor Fitness program, and YES I felt better. 

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I need to stop the self-sabotage and start to accept that YES I can be successful and I will do this!! Not only will I remain alcohol free but I will maintain my health and fitness goals including eating good foods – and really work to avoid falling into the sugar trap as a replacement for the alcohol as I have read so many of us do when we quit ‘da booze. 

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I think I need to post this note as my screen saver or something because I know every day is a new chance to start again – and as I close today, I will make tomorrow – my 30th day booze free one to be super proud of on all levels!

Things to do when Wolfie comes calling

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Today was another tough one for me. I had the urges and really wanted to just give up and numb the day away. I felt sad, lonely but thanks to the contact with Belle – I talked it through, she shared with me her FUCK YOU WOLFIE address and I ended up going for a walk and then coming back home to listen to some good old loud rock music – taking me back to those days where I was much more carefree with so much less responsibilities.

It got me thinking about sharing this post (below) I shared with my team “Cutting Down the Booze” – and I have to do this ‘edit’ in that I am not sure I can ever fall into the category of being able to be that moderate drinker (and the book states if you can’t do it then abstain…).

This is an excerpt from a book I picked up a long time ago and read front to back (and where I first got the idea of trying to do a 30 day AF streak). I highly recommend it:
“Responsible Drinking – A Moderation Management Approach for Problem Drinkers”

In the chapter that speaks to taking a break from drinking – it speaks to the urges that we all get…. Here’s a quote from one of the entries “The urge passes. That is a guarantee. No matter how strong, how tempting, how deviously convincing, the urge to take a drink to relieve the stress will pass. But that sense of pride, of strength, of self-worth will not pass. It will stay with you and make you even stronger”

Now I have to totally agree with this above quote – because I have now lived it and I know the satisfaction of NOT giving in is a way better feeling than caving and having those drinks and how I feel the next day. There is no comparison!! And these distractions can help you when you are craving ‘foods’ or anything else that will hinder your success towards your health goals.

So here’s their 3 dozen ‘Distractions’ to take your mind off the urge and point it in a healthier direction:
1. Take a walk.
2. Take a drive.
3. Do exercise at home or go to the gym.
4. Go jogging.
5. Listen to favorite music.
6. Telephone a friend.
7. Clean out the garage.
8. Cook something interesting.
9. Go to the library or bookstore.
10. Work in the yard.
11. Clean and polish the car.
12. Take a shower or bath.
13. Read the newspaper, a magazine, or a book.
14. Drink something nonalcoholic.
15. Get a video.
16. Write a letter or e-mail.
17. Plan your next vacation.
18. Make up a grocery store or hardware store shopping list.
19. Go shopping or window-shopping.
20. Plan on redecorating a room.
21. Clean out the refrigerator.
22. Have sex.
23. Go to a driving range.
24. Pay the bills. 
25. Make up a household budget or plan future finances.
26. Check stock market action and look for investments.
27. Talk to your children.
28. Get a haircut or manicure.
29. Get a massage.
30. Work on a sewing project.
31. Start a journal.
32. Look into your geneology on the Internet.
33. Visit a friend.
34. Get the snapshot collection in order.
35. Make popcorn.
36. Start a woodwork project.

Let’s add our own ideas to this thread and keep this going!! Below I’m adding one of my favourites… 

Add ons to the above list… De-Clutter a drawer, closet or shelves.Take a nap. 

What other things can you add to this list of ‘things to do when Wolfie comes calling?’ – I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m going to be closing off this BIG day 27 for me!! It was a tough one but I am damned proud for not caving in!! Soooo close to that infamous 30 days that I have not been able to do in years – not gonna mess up now!

On Being Alone…

I was reading Soberistas blog about her speech and it really hit home for me – what she lived and went through mirrored much of what I have gone through. There’s one particular part that she spoke about how once the kids were in bed and she was alone – she would then go to the booze. I lived like that for so many years – wanting the ‘break’ or the kids to be in bed so I could lose myself in the haze of alcohol. I too was not as present as I should have been for my kids – but that’s changing now. 

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As I recall those times, the memories – they were truly lessons learned through pain (divorce, bankruptcy, losing close loved ones, and being ‘alone’). 

Today – I don’t view being alone as a bad thing anymore. Take for instance tonight (well heck most of this weekend) – both my girls are gone. It’s not about waiting for them to go to bed now – but rather how they go out to be with friends at their current ages (12 and 16). Before I took on this challenge, that would have been a cue for me to get drinks and get buzzed since I have no responsibilities to worry about. It would also mean my drunk messaging people I know I shouldn’t message. You see – I have a friend I met and he’s unavailable but only because of his busy schedule. The old me would have been drinking by now and saying ‘to hell with that – I’m going to message someone else who can be with me’ but you know what?! I would have felt so shitty about it afterwards. It’s been my history with men – wrong men, wrong reasons. 

I want this time to be different so I have to be patient. I know he’ll see me when he can – I trust my gutt on this one and so far he hasn’t steered me wrong or given me any reason to doubt him. 

So being alone means a different thing to me now – in that I got to do my workout, and start reading a good book and I’ll be in bed early so I can get up early and start my 27th day of this sober car ride. 

I’m so grateful to bloggers like Soberistas who are helping get the word out about ‘us’… normal, high functioning people – who drank too much – and who now want to make a change in their lives. 

Being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Being alone means you have time to really get in touch with your soul and feel life clearly, quietly and peacefully. Good night friends!

A Winning Mentality – Meeting the Challenges

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I believe everyone in this sober blogging community is a WINNER because of your honesty, openness and braveness to take the challenge and ride that sober car. For some it’s been a while, for others, it’s relatively new. It really doesn’t matter where you are in that challenge – the important thing is that we are HERE – together!

I honestly have not felt this strong about taking on the challenge of being booze free in ages. I’m not sure why it’s different this time – perhaps because I dived into this new community. I know I owe a great deal of credit to Belle who’s incredible selflessness to answer emails from who knows how many people – I told her she’s an earth angel!!

Every day that I close sober, I feel that much better. I see people around me planning outings and events that all involve drinking. Even at work – they are now doing this ‘patio crashers’ gathering on Fridays about once or twice a month and I don’t attend. I know for me right now – it’s just easier not to be there (besides I really can’t afford to go out – nor can I be away from home too much with all the drama going on with my kids). 

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Sometimes I feel like this … just to ‘run away and hide’ from my parental responsibilities or at least get away from them somewhere nice. I did that in February when I went to Barbados (my 2nd trip in my life – the first one being 2 years ago). 

I know though that I have to stick it out and meet all of the challenges in my life and that karma will bring good to my life so long as I keep pushing and make the right choices. That includes deciding to stay sober for a while. 

I’m directing my energy into getting in the best physical shape of my life as a way to replace the idle time that is no longer wasted on drinking. With every workout I feel better and better – and becoming more and more addicted to the habit of doing them which is FABULOUS!!

I am really just putting myself out there – and while I know it’s important to not overwhelm myself, I believe I have a good balance going on right now. It’s all about body/mind/spirit – and each of these are much healthier without the daily doses of alcohol. The winning mentality is knowing that the sober life can be a greater life – and that we’re not missing out on anything by not drinking – rather we’re gaining so much more by riding the sober wagon. 

It feels good to let go of those things that truly no longer serve us… and with every day that passes (wrapping up day 25 today), I can see how much richer my life can be without the influence of alcohol or its after effects when we indulge. Cheers to US!! A Winning group of people!!

Moments of Clarity

I was taking my walk along the river tonight and as always, was reflecting and flashes of sober memories came back to me – from years ago and the feeling of how good it was to have ‘good times’ without it revolving around alcohol. These moments of clarity make me realize just how much I was washing out such good memories with the drunken haze of the booze. 

I don’t know if more memories will come back, but I do hope that while I’m sober my memory will improve. Gone are those days when I pass out and don’t remember half the night. Such a waste.

There’s just so much life to live and so many great things to do – that spending time debating the whole drinking issue simply should not have any place in my life – for now for this 100 day challenge, but as I’ll keep repeating – perhaps for good! As I read about those who decided to have a drink the night before and how the next day they feel shitty – well I was tempted by wolfie last night but didn’t cave and feel pretty great about that!

I had an extremely productive day at work – getting the tasks done that I always procrastinate over and it felt great to get it done! The same is happening at home. With all the extra time, well there’s so much I want to do and explore, even sober I find the days flying by and that’s a good thing… because at least now they are not flying by me in a booze ridden haze. I will remember these moments clearly and this blog will allow me to come back and reflect as I continue this ride in the sober car. 

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So that moment I had with Wolfie yesterday – that little crack… it’s filled up today and I didn’t fall apart! I’m going strong, one quarter of the way to 100 days!!

 

Damn you Wolfie – Go away!!

Day 23 done here… but today was tougher. I’m not sure exactly why – but it just was. I think it’s because I’m exhausted trying to keep it together with all the drama on the homefront and a few extra irritations – making way to leave the door open for Wolfie to enter my mind. On the bus ride home, saw the ads for summer drinks and thought – with my daughter going away and knowing I won’t have any issues come up – it sure would be nice to just enjoy a drink. BUT that would mean starting back at day 1 and I know that would sooo bum me out. 

This quote spoke to me today “Do not be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson” … It’s like wolfie is the problem pusher and so long as I keep my eye and focus on the dreams I want to achieve I can keep him at bay. 

I knew he’d come out at some point and I guess I am grateful that he didn’t come sooner because 23 days in, I am a bit stronger and have more resistance than if I were just at day 1 or 2. 

Tomorrow’s a new day and I’m going to turn in soon, still riding the sober car!

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Not settling for that call from Wolfie tonight… because I know I deserve a much better calling – a brighter and healthier life!

 

 

We All Have Our Reasons – Nobody’s Perfect

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I really believe this to be true in that we all have our reasons for being here trying to stay sober – but most of all why we became problem drinkers to begin with. Each one of us has our own story or reason about why we turned to alcohol. For me, as I reflect, I guess it was just what people did. I watched my parents go on benders. I then started drinking underage, and when I reached the legal age, well then I just drank more.

Part of the work in becoming sober is uncovering the WHY we developed issues with alcohol. What was it we were masking or avoiding? For me the alcohol was a way of numbing myself from many experiences of abuse – but ironically the drinking led me to putting myself in more abusive situations.

After my divorce, which was over 10 years ago, I fell into an even greater depression and drank daily. It was not pretty. It wasn’t until I sought out counselling that things started to get better. When I started talking about all the issues I had, and figuring out ways to deal and cope and just put things in the past – that I could even think of trying to tackle the issue of drinking too much.

Now fast forward to today. I’m on day 22 and feeling very strong in this effort unlike any other attempt I have made in the past to stay booze free. I would have to say it’s because I have matured and I have learned to accept that sure I’m not perfect – but I am the best that I can be and that’s good enough for me. For those who don’t like it – well they can piss off!

Today I’m the person who tries to stay positive in the face of new challenges and I have to say riding this sober car ride – well my stress levels are down BIG time because I don’t have the guilt and anxiety to deal with around the whole drinking issue. I am still dealing with day to day ‘crises’ with my 12 year old and I have to be on the ball (tonight I had a parent come knocking at my door accusing my daughter of talking inappropriately to his 10 year old son about sexual websites, etc. – I stayed cool – and said I would talk with her and find out her side of the story – of course it’s kids and not simple… but I am sober and I can deal with it in a level headed manner).

While my life is normalizing somewhat as I practice sobriety – there’s still a lot of ‘screwy’ things about me (and around me) – but that’s the beauty of ME (and the ever unpredictable world)! We are all unique, yet we all share very similar stories – and I love coming here to read about all of them. It’s ok to NOT be perfect – what matters is that we do the best that we can in the moment that is NOW – the key is to stay in the present and just live for what is right in front of us.

Difficult times

I’m currently living through some really hard times with my 12 year old… she had to be placed in a residential crisis unit last Sunday for a couple of days and she’s acting up again today. She has been diagnosed with depression and now has issues with eating and it’s so hard to deal with. 

I am trying everything to reach out, but her rudeness just floors me. Thank GOD I am not drinking or I just could not handle this and well – it would not be pretty I’m sure. 

I am having to deal with crisis workers, the psychiatrist, the school – and trying to be present for my job too. I have had to miss or re-arrange my work to accommodate all she’s been going through and this has been going on for a couple of months. It’s really hard. 

I know this too shall pass – but right now, feeling my little family is struggling (my 16 year old is also depressed and experiences anxiety – while she’s a bit better with the medication – this situation is affecting her too). 

All I can say is that I am grateful for my resolve to be sober right now – because I sure need a clear mind to deal with all of this. With no father figure in the picture – there’s no breaks for me. I also don’t have much support in the way of family around this and trying to do the best I can.

Sometimes it just feels like it’s never enough.