Day 5 – Believe in Yourself

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Today is day 5 AF for me and I’m at Day 5 of The 30-Day Sobriety Solution book/exercises. The actions steps for today include:

  1. Review the List of Teetotalers (it’s quite an impressive list although many I don’t know – I was in fact surprised by a couple of names on there). It’s nice to see those that don’t drink but frankly – because I’ve been exploring this, I’ve learned of more and more people that abstain. It’s like when you buy a certain car – you start seeing the same make/mode it everywhere after that. When you are sober – you find those like you out there.
  2. Stop using the word can’t – this is a BIG one for me not so much out loud because I always start any project or goal with intentions of “Yes I Can” but that sometimes wavers because in my head I still have that voice of low self-esteem that doubts my abilities. With years of reading on positive affirmations and learning to change the way I think – this too is progressing so that I do believe I CAN do this. Proof is in the program I started on January 4th – and I’m still sticking with it… This book now is my NEW ‘Yes I Can’ do this project!
  3. Write Down Examples of Using Confirmation Bias with Your Drinking… Well you know this one is relatively the same. When I decide I’m going to give in and have drinks, I seek out my friends asking or saying – I’ve been good all week so I should be ok to have a couple of days off. I research or seem to find articles that back up or justify my giving in when it suits my purpose. I know there are tons of views on the matter of whether I should cut back completely or see if I can moderate and for now without even using a bias I’m just ok with regaining some control with this re-boot.

There was a part in today’s chapter that spoke about doing a vacation without alcohol. I’m now planning a trip to visit my family and friends back home at the end of March which is just shy of my 60 days commitment. It’s Easter and it will be after lent – and so already in my head I’m saying it would be ok to have some then… but then I think of how I said I was 100% committed to doing this 60 days. Imagine their surprise if I visit and don’t drink (because much of the activity when I visit usually revolves around drinking). I know I can do this if I affirm I will – today I will just say for now I’m happy with being sober on a Friday night and looking forward to  a great night’s sleep and productive weekend ahead!

Day 4 – The Forgiveness Solution

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Today’s action items had to do with going through the Total Truth Process – in forgiving ourselves or anyone else who harmed us in the past. 1 – by acknowledging our anger and resentment; 2 – acknowledging the hurt and pain it created; 3 – acknowledging the fears and self-doubt it created; 4 – own any part we may have played in letting it occur or letting it continue; 5 – express what we wanted that we didn’t get and/or what you want now and 6 – understand where the other person was/is coming from and forgive him or her.

I will say that this I have done a lot of this work over the last 13 years since my divorce, and events leading up to it. In my own total truth process – I see mostly the need to forgive MYSELF – for things that happened to me as a child that made me feel like something was wrong with me (as a child – adults made sexual advances to me). I think this really messed me up more than I acknowledged before in how it led me to jumping into relationships and becoming sexually active before I should have – I guess I was seeking some validation or needing to feel ‘ok’. Unfortunately it attracted the wrong kind of people in my life – and I was victim of physical and mental abuse in some relationships. My husband and I had a toxic relationship to start … and while I tried to save him and change him – I ended up joining in the ‘coping’ mechanisms and found myself with my own problems of using the alcohol to mask my problems. This became tougher after having kids come into the picture and I then felt ‘stuck’ and resentful as a single parent.

I recall a lot of past stuff that contributed to my drinking – my parents heavy drinking episodes. How my parents would fight. I remember my uncle being so intoxicated he pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot my aunt and me and my cousins sat upstairs terrified.

Living through this I never wanted to put my own kids through this – yet some of it happened as my own marriage fell apart with drinking and fighting and then I fell into a cycle of depression and anger.

I have come a long way – and today I find myself in an incredible loving relationship with a man who treats me like I always dreamed of. Much of the work they describe we need to do – learning to LOVE ourselves first is what brought me to where I am today. Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life was the book that started it all for me … and she often speaks of the mirror work and how we have to learn to say “I Love You” to ourselves in the mirror.

Recognizing this again in the exercise – finding the 30-Day Solution at this particular time in my life is truly ‘meant to be’. Up until now I’ve still had trouble cutting back on my drinking (as I don’t want to quit for good). I now realize that I have that life I wanted – and there’s no reason to use the drinking to mask anything because my life is amazing. I have an incredible job, great friends, a great network of support and while my children are now older – they too are doing better and we’ve worked through many issues together in therapy and are in a better place. I have even forgiven my EX – because he is who he is… and I accept it. He is living his life and I mine. We are connected only because we have kids – and soon they will be old enough that we won’t have any reason to speak and I’m good with that.

And so I end my entry today with this quote from the 30 Day Affirmation.

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Two links to resources referred to in the Day 4 Action steps: The Anonymous People (a documentary on addiction and recovery) and Rob Lowe’s Book Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

Last but not least – THE FORGIVENESS AFFIRMATION (which should be read once a day for the next 2 weeks):

I release myself from all the demands and judgments that have kept me limited. I allow myself to be free – to live in joy, love, peace and sobriety. I allow myself to create fulfilling relationships, to have success in my life, to experience pleasure, to know that I am worthy and deserve to have what I want. I am now free. I release all others from any demands and expectations I have placed on them. I choose to be free. I allow others to be free. I forgive myself, and I forgive them. And so it is.

 

Day 3 – Action Steps

Today’s exercises including re-reading the BEFORE ME and really ‘feeling’ with all my senses the pain of that experience. The book explained that our issue with drinking is actually the gift and that our past was perfect… All things do happen for a reason. I have so been there/done that with the Before Me and how yuck it makes me feel. Even the visualizing – I could feel the tension knotting up inside me. I don’t want that to be part of my life anymore.

I loved this video they shared as a bonus resource too – and for me the tools/resources and go to people are my groups (HAMS, SP Cutting Down the Booze Team and this sober blogging world). Craig Ferguson, a former late-night host, shares an extremely funny and enlightening personal story about how absurd his drinking was before he got sober.

The other action step was to list things I’d do to distract myself if the craving for alcohol surged and also to plan some rewards. I’ve posted this before but here it is again:

So here’s the book’s (Responsible Drinking: Moderation Management…) 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.

My rewards… well a wonderful family trip to Barbados in April where I will be thinner, healthier and successful in reaching this 100% commitment to a sober REBOOT! This CAN and will be done… my past was the failure and the present is my success!

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Day 2 – Action Steps

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Day 2 requires a us to complete 4 Action Steps:

1 – to write my 60 Day Vision Statement

“All I need is within me now to live an exciting, vibrant, passionate and sober life where I am attracting meaningful relationships, career opportunities, health and financial success. I am grateful for my continued sobriety.”

2 – Capturing the BEFORE ME

My reasons for this reboot are mainly for health reasons as I have been unable to lose weight successfully for over a year and it seems that my mid-section keeps expanding with the drinks. I also want to experience less sick time due to the alcohol – as I reviewed my year and noticed that when stressed I would cope by drinking and then spiral into a depression, and the anxiety would increase and my ability to function at work would decrease. I have at times driven when I probably shouldn’t have and I have been lucky so far… except about a month ago – I blamed it on being tired, but I did have a couple of drinks – Jan 8th was the date – and coming home into my parking garage I caused $1000 damage to my car (which almost negated the money I had earned doing a workshop those two days). It was a wake up call for me – and I’m grateful that’s all that happened. I also want to have a better relationship with my daughters. Many times I would drink to mask my feelings and then blow up with them as I was frustrated about many factors. I want to better manage my finances – there’s certainly no room to waste my money on booze. I don’t want to sabotage the good loving relationship I have with my boyfriend. In the past I have let booze lead to moments where I don’t recall what I’ve said or done and have also found myself doing things I regretted the next day. I have spent too many days drinking alone – my stats last year – only 65 days AF. And there were days when I drank in the middle of the night or upon waking just to get the buzz and to numb myself or lose myself.

3 – The NEW ME

Sobriety will bring me the health and vitality I seek. I will be fitter and leaner. I will have energy to do my workouts and will WANT to do them. Being sober will keep me from making poor food choices as well. I will be more confident and self-assured that I can accomplish the goals I set for myself. I will have time to be more focused on my work and I will be more productive and organized. I will naturally be more at peace and experience less anxiety or depression. I will seek new activities and hobbies that support my sober life. I will be a role model for my daughters and show them as I lead by example that you can do anything you set your mind to. I will have the confidence to continue providing workshops and I will explore other avenues of earning extra income as I will have the time, focus and clarity to do so. I will lead a balanced life – work and play. I will balance my ME time with my ‘couple’ time. I will have the drive to follow my passions and dreams! Nothing will stop me from living the life I’ve dreamt of… travel, love, health, joy and happiness!

4 – Review my Vision Statement and NEW ME journal entry every day for at least two weeks

I will add this to my calendar so that it comes up as a ‘to do’ daily task for the next 2 weeks.

The 30-Day Solution 100% Commitment

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a 30 day stint of no alcohol… and with this new book “The 30-Day Solution” I’m re-inspired and BELIEVE Yes I Can do this! And not only 30 days this time but 60 days. I am using this weekend to prepare and rid the house of alcohol. Allowing myself a few drinks … but come Monday February 1st, I’m done! For 60 Days!

I can’t explain the ‘why’ but this time feels different. I have often had the intention of doing this but kind of half assed put the effort in. Some social event would come up or some excuse and I’d give in because I was NOT 100% committed. In reading that passage – making sure I commit completely doesn’t leave that head game space to decide should I or shouldn’t I have some … and it’s right out NO not this time.

I will be traveling on April 16th. I will be in a 100% better head space having 60 days of this reboot behind me going there – because I don’t want this trip to be focused on the drinks but rather the beauty of the vacation and for the first time since I can’t remember – have a ‘family’ trip – a first with my boyfriend and my daughters. A time to just enjoy life!

I feel so blessed to be able to finally do the things I have always wanted to – because of this wonderful man I’ve met. I have waited a long time and dreamt of this day coming … and so I don’t want to mess it up.

I have spent the past few years struggling with my daughters and their mental health difficulties … and I want this trip to be good medicine for all of us.

As I sip drinks tonight – I can sense a difference … I know I will be saying goodbye to the alcohol come Monday. I know it won’t be easy – especially come the weekends (as I’ve been doing pretty great during the week with no drinks since the new year). But it’s totally do-able … especially knowing I’m not alone on the journey and that we can support one another.

Here’s to a great weekend and an even greater month ahead! February is usually one of my toughest months with many ‘hard’ memories… but not this time! I’m looking at it with positive light and energy … the month that begins my new transformation! Here’s to building a NEW life!

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Day 1 – Time Travel Technique

I am coming to journal about my experience (exercise number 5) of the Day 1 – 30-Day Sobriety Solution.

I listened to the audio of the Time Travel Technique and was really amazed at how the visualization of seeing myself maintaining the same pattern of drinking that I have been in for another 5 or 10 years. How I would look like, how I would feel, what my life would look like and I could feel the knot forming in my chest because I didn’t like what that would be like. I know only too well from close loved ones near me who succumbed to drinking too much and how it affected their lives. I know that is NOT what I want for my life.

The second part of the exercise was to visualize myself in a year,  5 years and 10 years – but having changed my way of life so that alcohol no longer controls any part of my life and I have a take it or leave it attitude when it comes to having a drink. WOW – that’s how I want to feel and visualizing how I would be physically strong, lean and glowing with health. Visualizing the success I’d have in my career and possibly my second career in coaching. Visualizing the financial freedom I would have in comparison to the struggles I’ve experienced over the years … Visualizing this lovely relationship I have now (met my lovely partner on Oct 31, 2014) flourishing in wonderful ways instead of seeing the opposite – having me sabotage it or drive him away.

The booze in my life has indeed been used to mask many things – things I was avoiding facing or just scared to change for fear of the unknown but I feel I am ready now. It’s ironic how they speak of the time line because for me – this year is all about that as I turn 50 in September. I view this year as a new beginning into the next half century of my life – being healthier and fitter than ever!

I want to be that woman that people see and say ‘wow you look great’! Not the one that people see and secretly say ‘wow she looks worse for wear’. I want to be glowing with the passion I have inside me.

And so I’ve decided that my official Day 1 of this program will be on February 1st and I am 100% committing to a 60 Day Reboot! YES – you heard me not the 30 days I was originally thinking of but 60! I have done a 30 before and while it’s been a long time – I’ve never done a 60 in ages and with my trip / vacation coming up April – I want a good clean 60 days to reset my mindset so that this vacation will be unlike any other I’ve ever had. One that will be family oriented and not focused on drinking. One focused on activities to bring us all closer.

I hope you’ll follow along … as I launch into this fully on February 1, 2016.

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