Information Overload – So much to soak in…

I just finished reading The Sober Revolution and continue to read posts/blogs on the Soberistas website. I’m reading blogs in this world here as well. And the articles keep popping up like this one today 7 Tips to Go Easy on the Booze Over the Holidays (with links to other articles too). It’s certainly not for lack of information out there and to read the stories of peoples successes, trials and slips. It’s incredible.

I was feeling a bit low yesterday and today I’m up again – but my mind is buzzing with thoughts of things I can now do that I’ve decided to be 100% AF. I have so many aspirations including reading more (I do love to soak in the information but need to span out to other self-help areas in terms of moving forward), thinking of new classes or hobbies I can take, pursuing a dream of starting my own business (to help others in the form of coaching or speaking). My ultimate dream is to have a job that would allow me to travel the world and speak / help people … but I’m getting ahead of myself – or am I?!

They say when you dream to dream big and I am. Without the booze in play, there’s just so much I can do now. I am re-reading Marianne Williamson’s “The Age of Miracles” and I am truly ready to finally be a grown up and make the latter part of my life the BEST years of my life. My mom used to say life begins at 40 but I’m 7 years late… however, they do say 50 is the new 40 so maybe I’m 3 years early lol. When you think of it, now that I have all this experience under my belt – I know the heartaches and I’ve ‘been there and done that’ – I can make much wiser choices.

My mind is absolutely buzzing and so thankfully I have my meditations at night to ground me again. This is only a small part of my life too – because there’s work, and family issues and the counseling I’m attending for my daughters.

Again – trigger point for me … used to be when I got overwhelmed, I’d fall back to the pattern of drinking to calm myself down or rather slow things down. No more of that. If I need to slow things down – I just need to make that choice and it does NOT have to involve alcohol.

I’m on day 8 today – very new still, but different because there’s no end to this count. I joined the 100 Day Challenge, but I’m challenging myself or rather just simply accepting that I’ll be 100% sober – period! No more internal mental tug of war about when, why, how much for that next drink – it’s no longer part of the equation! I’m DONE!

I Think My Switch has Finally Flipped!

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It’s been a long journey to get to where I am today and how I feel now. I’ve been battling the ‘devil’ that is alcohol in my life for about 28 years – but more intensely after my separation in 2002 and the death of my mother and a slew of other really tough life events (job loss, bankruptcy, losing friends to accidents and cancer – some of which I believe were related to booze). Five years ago this month, my own sister at the age of 50 lost her life as she succumbed to the alcohol and drank herself to death. 

Yesterday I talked to a friend who shared with me that she was assaulted by her bf – who was drunk and who choked her and bit her chin and left her with countless bruises. She finally called the police. 

Why does it take so much to finally have us see or flip this switch that BOOZE is Bad NEWS!! I used to dabble with the idea if I could get a handle on moderation and be a social drinker, I’d go that route but now, I realize (with the help of reading The Sober Revolution and the website Soberistas) that I have to simply commit to 100% sobriety for life!

So consciously I’m ok with that and accepting of it. But sub-consciously – these past few days, my dreams are filled with thoughts, events, past experiences – all surrounding booze. I suppose that’s the part of my brain that’s still hard wired to the addiction. I wake up feeling guilty – like I had had a drink. 

I also noticed how much more aware I am about how booze is everywhere – in scenes of my many favorite shows, on friends’ status updates and how they can’t wait to have one, or pics of them having some. 

When I asked the hotel catering manager about AF options for the Gala I have coming up on the 30th he told me he had never been asked that question. Even the event coordinator that I’m replacing said the same thing. Is it because I asked the question versus non-drinkers just asking for soda as a norm and not worrying about it so much ahead of time? For me, it was necessary, to be armed and plan ahead for this night. 

So while I’m still having some ‘ansy’ moments like last night where there was a period of time that might have led me to drinking before – I simply observed my feelings and noticed the triggers and blogged on Soberistas about it. I know for me, it’s important to keep writing it out and the wonderful thing about this blogsphere is that I get feedback and support. 

So while it’s still very early in the game (Day 6 today)… I truly feel that my switch has finally flipped. I know there will be hard days or moments – but with continued work and meditation and readings, I will stay strong. I am committed and I am determined to live my BEST life by ‘losing ‘da booze’…

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The Sober Revolution – No More Mr. Unsuitable!

I’m partway into chapter 4 of The Sober Revolution which I started this morning and I’m already loving it!

I think what really clicked with me is how my relationship to alcohol is very similar to those negative relationships I’ve had in my life with men. The analogy provided by Lucy is bang on for me… I was that girl who always wanted the thing or man I couldn’t have or shouldn’t want. The bad boy syndrome. Me being the rebel and going after something I really shouldn’t allow in my life. I believe this is why I have had such a hard time letting go because if you tell me I can’t have something – then I seem to want it even more.

But things have changed now. I’ve matured and I’m learning. With the readings, the blogs and learning from others’ experiences, I feel confident that I can and will walk away from this BAD relationship. I want Mr. Wonderful in my life!! Sobriety… the one who will make me feel good, treat me well and encourage me to live my life to the fullest. Mr. Unsuitable keeps trying to call me back… he knows me since we’ve had this relationship now for a few decades. 28 years to be exact. That’s even longer than my marriage/relationship with my ex-husband of 13 years so I know this isn’t going to be smooth sailing all the way.

It’s true that at times when I’m feeling vulnerable Mr. Unsuitable will try to lull me back by bringing up some of the more ‘fun’ times we had together – but I need to stay focused on the overall negative effect he has had on my life, and so many of my experiences.

Sobriety is what I’m after now. And for now I’m ok to be ‘single’ for a while longer until I work through all of this and build a solid foundation for a healthy future with Mr. Wonderful. Again – the analogy provided in the book is BRILLIANT… I used to do a lot of work searching for a soul mate – tired of being single (now almost 11 years) – but I now realize that I have to FIX myself first and love myself most before I can have anyone else love me. Self-love is what will heal me and guide me to doing good things for myself including this journey to sobriety.

I know my words are strong today because the voices (or Wolfie or Mr. Unsuitable) are far away for now… but I also know that so long as I keep building up my tool box of resources and arm myself, I’ll be ready when they come knocking at my door and I’ll happily tell them NO – I’m not going back to that relationship – We Are Done!!

No more of this – maybe I can give it another try and see if it can be different. Shit – it never worked in my relationships with men either. I swear this lesson learned right here, right now – it will be key in my truly finding a fulfilling and healthy relationship… once I’ve achieved my goal of sobriety.

I feel encouraged by this new view point. By looking at ‘da booze as that shitty asshole partner/boyfriend that I’m DONE with. I am better than that and I need to focus on getting on with my life and living it to my fullest potential … SOBER.