Monday, October 27, 2014

Life How It Should Be

Dear Readers,

It is an awakening,
Really,
To learn to live life,
As I was meant to.

With the joys,
And the pains.
Just as.

I was remembering,
What I was like,
Who I was,
Before I started
Drinking to cope.

It's like being in childhood,
Learning to play,
Learning to explore.
Playing in the sandbox.

And it's beautiful.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 50

Dear Readers,

During the times I was trying to 
Stop drinking,
I sometimes counted days,
And sometimes didn't.

I don't really know which helps.
I can't say.

In any case,
I AM counting right now.
It's 50 days.

My cravings (Evil Little Liar) are a whisper.
(I am still alert to them, however).

I was thinking,
If something happened to my
Loved One,
I could take him to the hospital!

I mean he's fine (for now).
Just thinking!  
:)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What to Do? or Who is This Chick?

Dear Readers,
I spent 
So much time drinking.
Now, what to do?
It wasn't easy at first.
My whole identity was tied up in
Teaching, stress, and drinking.

Today,

I am a yoga fanataic,
A guitarist,
A song writer,
A reader,
A writer,
A golfer,
A good friend,
A coffee drinker, (lol)
A walker,
A lover of nature,
A wife, (well, kind of…still don't cook).
A sister, a daughter, an aunt.

I am also a 
Seeker and a Learner.

This list might get longer,
It might not.
But today it's just right!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Better Off With or Without

Dear Readers,

Yesterday I found a cool coffee shop, and two people smiled! 
One even mentioned my dress.
I'm going back!!

I was thinking of Ann Landers.
(Dr. Phil had no words for me.)
She often said, 
"Are you better off with him or without him?"
So,
Am I better off with drinking or without?

Hangovers OR clear headed? (Most of the times anyway!)
Half dead OR half awake? (I need coffee to be all awake!)
Driving drunk OR driving safely?
Sloppy actions OR strong actions?
Slurry Words OR clear words?
Being half there OR being all there?
Running away from life OR being with life?
Depressed OR content?
Making life hard for my Loved One OR making a rich life with my Loved One?

I guess you could say I'm going through a divorce.
Learning to live a whole new way.
No contest.
Today, I am better off not drinking.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Being Gentle with Myself

Dear Readers,

I was thinking about 
How hard I have been on myself,
Most of my life.

Problem is, 
It makes life so difficult. not only for me,
But people around me.
When I get mad at myself for a mistake, 
I tend to carry that to my Loved One.

Part of trying to be "perfect" in teaching,
Also led me to drink.
I couldn't live up to my own expectations,
And so to cope, I drank more.
I couldn't live up to the standards that were expected of me,
And so to cope, I drank even more.

Being gentle means,
Accepting myself,
With all my flaws,
With all my goodness.

Being gentle means, I cannot be perfect.
I cannot do everything "right".
I can only just be.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Coffee Shops vs Bars

Dear Readers,
Coffee shop people need to UNPLUG!
(I'm writing this IN a coffee shop, mind you! LOL)
A few people meet that know each other and are talking,
But MOST others are on phones, laptops, etc.
Everyone is studying or something.

Now when I was drinking and going to bars,
It was WAY more fun in this regard.
I could make conversation with people around me.
The bartenders would talk about things with me.

I know they weren't friends, but I do wish
Coffee shops could be a little more 
Like bars that way.
Maybe I haven't found a social coffee shop.

I did find a nice young girl who helped me get on the wireless!
(I had to get her off her laptop in order to help me with mine!)
We had a 30 second conversation!
It's a start!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Looking Good, Feeling Strange

Dear Readers,
Last night, I must say, I looked great! 
Cute little dress, little black boots, bling!
Went to a dinner party with my dear, dear friends.

So blessed to be loved by these beautiful people.

Most of the time, I didn't even entertain the thought of
They are drinking.
Yet,
As more bottles of wine came out,
Sitting right in front of me,
I started feeling almost a panic.
A feeling that they are having more fun.
Like I don't belong here.

Now I KNOW these are MY thoughts.
No one else cares if I am drinking or not.
In fact, these dear friends want the very best for me!

I do struggle with social anxiety.
I LOVE beng invited to parties!
But sometimes when I get there,
I find I struggle with feeling I am different. Trying to make conversation.

I think drinking helped me in party situations.
It helped me to lighten up.
It helped me to feel a part of the party.

Most people who have stopped drinking say this gets easier in time.
I hope so.
I really do.
Because this morning, I'm a little sad.

Friday, October 17, 2014

No More Hiding (Being Honest)

Dear Readers,

I did NOT sleep last night!
Walked around the house crunching
Chips.

Found a trail of crumbs in the hallway,
An empty bowl in the bathroom,
The bag in the kitchen.

When drinking took over my life,
I was hiding (and drinking), 
Little bottles all over the house.

The next day
I would scurry around looking for them.
I'd find one in my purse,
One in my yoga bag,
One in my guitar case,
On the bookcase,
Under a chair.

Now, being honest when I was drinking too much,
Was a hard thing.
I didn't want anyone to
Shame me.
Lord knows,
I shamed myself enough.

I didn't want to face the truth.

Now, how freeing is
today.
If all I have is a trail of chips,
I'll be okay.

Spooky!

Dear Readers,
It's a spooky kind of evening here,
Wind and leaves blowing,
A perfect Owl Moon night!
My kind of night.

Before my Friday nights were all about drinking,
My Loved One and I
Would go walking in our nature park,
And listen and look for owls.

We often saw and heard them.

Now, I could feel sad that I 
Drank so many Friday nights away.
My visions of a Friday night shrunk
To nothing but a bottle.

However, dwelling in the past
Will not help me. 
It will not give me hope.
And hope is truly
A beautiful word.
I can ONLY look ahead right now.
I can ONLY live this Friday night.

And, I will see and hear those owls again

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Dear Husband

Dear Readers,

I heard this on Dr. Phil too!
(Yikes! Does that tell you something?)

"Don't put the people you love the most
On the bottom of your list."

Wow. That spoke to me loud and clear.

When I was drinking,
I put my Loved One,
Last on my list.

It was only the drink,
That came first.
It was only the bartender.
It was only the dark rooms.
It was only my drinking buddies (whom I love!)
That came first.

Dinner was waiting at home.
Warm lights.
A hug and a kiss.

But I put that last.

Now that I am working on taking good care of myself,
I am putting people I love the most
On top of that list.

That includes me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

She Wore Red or Romancing the Drink

Dear Readers,

My drink of choice was red wine.
Lots of red wine.

There was something very seducing about red wine.
She pulled me in, romancing me.
She shrieked of, "Oh Darling, you are beautiful tonight."
She sparkled so prettily in the bottle, the glass.
She promised me a perfect night.
She said, "You are so funny!"

WHAT A FAKER!

Of course, now I know the real truth.
Somewhere in my drinking story I tied wine to a wonderful time.
I have to be on guard for this seduction.
I do not want to be sucked back in.
I do not want to even start to entertain her calls to me.

She brought me pain.
Not at first, mind you.
Very slowly.
One glass at a time.

When I was drinking,
I couldn't imagine life without alcohol.
How would I celebrate?
How would I have fun with friends?
How would I escape after a long, hard week?
How would I relax after a long day?

Thinking that alcohol is the way to 
Celebrate, have fun, relax,
Is THE LIE.

Celebrating is about family, friends, being glad of an accomplishment.
Having fun is about laughing, being with people you enjoy, doing things you like.
Relaxing is about reading, mediating, napping.

For me,
Drinking has become unromantic.
All I need to do is to look at my bad list,
And it becomes clear.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

40 Days and 40 NIghts


Dear Readers,
I haven't had anything to drink for 40 days and nights.
It's all good.
In fact, nothing bad has happened by NOT drinking.

It takes a lot of work.
I have worked hard for these 40 days and nights.
I plan on 60 more so I can reach Belle's 100 Day Challenge!

I can't just "hope" I won't drink.
I have to make a choice every day.
I have to choose life.
I was drinking away my life.
There was no life.

It's not easy.
I struggled for years,
First, I didn't want to admit I even had a drinking problem.
Until it smacked me in the face, and said,
"WAKE UP!"
Even then, it took me more years of trying.
Of course, I tried to just moderate.
I counted my drinks. 
Ha.
I counted a lot!
After an embarrassing public moment,

I KNEW, I had to shake things up. 
And so, that is when I went to AA, Women for Sobriety, found a life coach with knowledge of substance abuse, and being honest.
I kept reading blogs and posts on-line.

And still I struggled.
And so, I started this blog.
I got MORE honest.
I started telling a lot of people I am learning to not drink.

It's not a piece of cake.
Dinner parties are my hardest times. 
Times when I get a pity party going.
I am very lucky that I have so many people on my side.
All of my friends are rooting for me.

I see and hear so many people who have stopped drinking,
And are happy!

Right now,
That is me!

Happy 40!

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Could Find Lots of Ways To Escape

Dear Readers,

I could shop too much,
Or eat too much,
Or not eat enough,
Or smoke (although I don't know how),
Or watch TV all day, (well I did today because of my cold),
Or play on-line games too much,
Or do anything too much,
To escape my feelings, or life, or whatever.

I know there will be days I feel good, and days not so good.
I know there will be days I might choose to watch a little more TV.

But when it becomes a pattern, a habit, or the ONLY way I cope with life,
I know I am in trouble.
I can't run away from stress, anxiety, bad news, good news, sickness, life.

It's a messy thing, this life.
But it's my messy life!



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sick and Tired (I Mean Really!)

Dear Readers,
I have been fighting a bad cold.
I hate colds.
I hate trying to go to places I love,
Doing all the things I love,
And just dragging through them all.
Or having to miss them.

When I was drinking,
I was often dragging through the things I loved,
Or not doing them at all.

I have read and heard people say,
They were sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Life is still life.
I will get colds.
But at least the pain is not of my own making.





Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Hour?

Dear Readers,
It's Friday, and that means
Happy Hour!
Yes,
For me too!

My Happy Hour comes with the reminder,

I will be home sober.
I will be all there for my husband.
I will be safe on the roads.
I will be my normal grumpy self. (LOL)
I will be really listening to my friends.
I will be ready to go to yoga or golfing on Saturday.
I will be happy.

I love that. I love being just plain happy.



Eating Ice Cream is Fun! Who Knew!

Dear Readers,
My doctor just told me I could eat ALL the ice cream I wanted!
So, huh.
But my husband and I have a rule,
No ice cream after dinner unless it's the weekend.
I found a loophole, though.
We never made a rule about the daytime!!!
Woo hoo!

What I am discovering is that I am enjoying really tasting food again.
When I was drinking, I either didn't eat much,
Or binged on food.

Now I have room for dessert, because I saved all the wine calories!!

Now I am savoring every last bite.





Thursday, October 9, 2014

It Starts out Good….

Dear Readers,
I try to always keep the WHOLE story of drinking 
In my mind.

It starts out good.
Oh, let's have a glass and relax.
Let's have another and talk about life.
Let's have another and complain about our jobs.
Let's have just one more and argue.
Let's have one more and cry, mope,
Pass out.

THAT is the whole story.
Doesn't end so well.

Reaching Out

Dear Readers,
There is something so powerful that happens,
When a person reaches out to help you.

It's why I need to hear stories of other people
Who have quit drinking,
Or trying to quit.
I learn from those stories.

I learn life is not easy,
But no amount of alcohol will make it better.

I learn there is another way,
And that I can make it,  just like they did.

No matter where I go,
I am finding people who have made this positive
Change in their lives.

My daily thought?
Who can I help today?


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gratitute

Dear Readers,
This is a tool that helps me 
Every single minute
Of my day.

I am so grateful that I did NOT drink yesterday!
34 days today! 
Up with the sun.
Clear headed.

Drinking made me complain about my life.
Huh.
I have a great life.
It's a life that is mine to make and 
Even with stuff that is not so fun.

I have a house. a husband, a car, friends,
Clothes, …you get the picture.

Yes, I have problems.
But I choose to find a way to change my thinking about them.



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Good List

Dear Readers,
I couldn't sleep last night 
Thinking of all I wanted to say.
Yes, there is a Good List.
I find this tool is not as powerful as the Bad List
But it also helps me.

What Do I Want?

To bike
To playing guitar, piano, and sing
To laugh
To help other people
To go to yoga
To help my husband more
To love
To eat more fruits and veggies (LOL)
To bring joy to people
To walk outside

When I was drinking,
All of this was not happening.
Drinking wipes away the good stuff.

I am getting it back!
Yay!!!



Just Have One Bottle of Wine (or Moderation)

Dear Readers,
I had a really heart-warming talk yesterday
With a great person.
I was reminded about all the things I tried
To slow down my drinking.

Only drink at home.
Only drink at parties.
Only drink 2 glasses.
Only drink with other people.
Only drink beer.
Only drink with husband.
Only drink after 3pm.
Only drink when eating food.

Well, for ME that did not work.

There was never, ever enough.
But I'm learning, and that's all I can ask of myself.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bad List

Dear Readers,

One tool I am using to help me,
Is what I call my bad list.
I keep this in my car, NOT to shame myself,
But just to see what REALLY happens when I drink.

My bad list goes something like this:

Drinking Makes Me:
Sloppy
Slurry
Fat
Depressed
Crying
A liar
A hider
Sneaky
Waste Money
Shake
Waste my talents
Argue with Dear Hubby
Lazy
Stupid
Lonely


Is this REALLY what I want?


Sunday, October 5, 2014

30 Days

Dear Readers,

This is my 30th day of not drinking.
Most days are going better than I thought!

My cravings are not nearly as strong.
Don't know if I can keep this up,
But I am sure going to try for
A while more.

I want 100 days!
I want peace of mind.




Sat. Dinner Blues

Dear Readers,
Went out for dinner Saturday night with other people.
Everyone was ordering wine and martinis (my favorites).
That was ok, but then they kept TALKING about how great it all was.
Grrrrr.
My hubby and I are sitting there with our non-alcoholic drinks.
The waiter is making fun of me not-drinking. (He wasn't mean.)
Grrrrr.
Well, for a little while I felt sorry for myself.
A little "left out".
I little annoyed.
OK.
A LOT sorry for myself!

My Evil Little Liar Voice was saying
"You can't have fun unless you are drinking!"
(See my Evil Little Liar Voice Post)

But, no one had more than 2 drinks.
Most people had one.
ONE?
I would have ordered a glass 
(or a bottle of wine to split with hubby), 
drink it as fast as I could,
order another one, 
and for SURE would have had at least 3.
And I STILL would wish I had more.

I had to do my self-talk,
Yelling at Evil Little Liar Voice.

Later, I had to process it with my hubby.
It really helps me to talk it out with someone else
Who doesn't drink, 
Or who knows my struggle.

I got over my pity party in a few minutes.
(Ok, maybe 5.)
I laughed, enjoyed my food, 
And woke up the next day,
Clear headed and happy.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Evil Little Liar Voice

Dear Readers,
I have a LOT to say today.
I hope it helps someone!

My Evil Little Liar Voice wants me to think
that drinking is going to make everything 
good.
That all the pain will go away.
That I will feel pretty.

That ALL I need is one drink.
Just one won't hurt.

He (or she) is a LIAR!
That's why I yell back.

If I am tired, sleep.
If I am stressed, breathe..
If I am hungry, eat.
If I am sick, rest.
If I don't feel pretty, put on make-up!

There is no just one drink.

And so my "ELLV" (Evil Little Liar Voice)
Gets muted.



Yelling Helps

Dear Readers,
One thing that has really helped me with my cravings,
Is YELLING at them.

I can thank a blogger named Belle (Tired of Thinking About Drinking)
and a women in Women For Sobriety for helping me.

Belle calls it Wolfie.
I sometimes call it my Evil Little Liar Self.
My Addict Brain.

So, this is how it works.
When I have a craving thought from "Wolfie" or my "Little Liar",
I say a lot of "F" words and tell it I will beat it up!
I will imagine I have a knife and cut up the bad thought.

It really works!


Never Give Up

Dear Readers,

My fall into drinking came slowly,
And my climb out has been slow,
With many ups and downs.

However,
My motto has always been,
Never Give Up.

Ever.

Last November is when I started to give up drinking…again.
I could go a week, then I gave in.
However, I was searching for anybody, anything that could help me.
I will start posting some of the things (tools) that are helping me.

It is that search, and persistence, that is finally getting me to where I want to be.

Healthy, happy, and the real me!
(And isn't that scary! LOL)


Thursday, October 2, 2014

My Living Angels

Dear Readers,
I am always AMAZED at all the people who are willing to give of their time
and love
to help me.
I call these people My Living Angels.

I am ever so grateful for their kindness!
Who are these people?

My dear husband
My dear family
My dear friends
My dear Women for Sobriety friends
My dear AA friends
My dear yoga teachers
My dear yoga fellow learners
My dear life coach
My dear doctors
My dear former co-workers
Everyone who is in recovery

They are angels because they care.
They listen.
They do NOT judge.
They do NOT shame.
They encourage me to become my better self.




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Slide Into Obliviation

Dear Readers,

When I was younger, I loved drinking wine.
It was so fun and romantic.
Without me knowing it,
It was starting to take over my life.
I only wanted to go to places that had wine.
I had to have pre-drinks BEFORE a party.
Even going out on a date night with husband, 
I needed a drink.

Then, it seemed overnight, I was drinking a LOT.
I went to more happy hour with work friends.
I would stay after they left and drink more.
I started to have blackouts.
I started having arguments with my husband.

One time, in summer, I ended up in the emergency room from a blackout.
The doctor on duty said, "Well you are a high-functioning alcoholic. What do you want to do"
I said, "OK. I need help."
And so, I went to treatment.

I stayed sober for a year!
But when I started drinking again,
I went back to the pre-treatment days.

Yikes!
There is more to this story.
It's not over yet!

It gets better, though!!