Sunday, November 30, 2014

Acceptance

Dear Readers,

I am on a roll here, using complete sentences again. I did find it easier to read my own post. 

As I struggle to learn how to hear with my implant devices, I find I am fighting against the devices and myself. I waver between being frustrated and angry, and acceptance. My implant processors (what I wear on my head) are not perfect ears. Things sound funny, and they don't work in all situations like I want them to. Music sounds gnarled. I am permanently deaf from the operation in my implant ear.

I get mad. I want to hear perfectly. Then after crying and talking it out, I come to an acceptance. I try to reach an understanding with myself. Things will be different. When I look at what I can hear now with the devices, I am still so happy. I know time and patience are my helpers. As my brain adjusts, so will I be able to "hear" more.

Now when I was first trying to stop drinking, I went through the same feelings. It's kind of my MO! (LOL) I got mad. "How come I have to stop?" "Why do I have this problem?" "How come I can't drink like normal people?"  

Now, slowly, as time passes and with patience on my part, I am coming to an acceptance. Things will be different. When I look at my life before and after I stopped drinking, I am happy. It too, like my new hearing will be the new normal. 

Now I know I'll go back and forth sometimes between anger and acceptance. Things aren't just all rosy at once for me. I grow in fits and spurts, a little up and down. That's who I am. 
Today, I am at a place of peace and acceptance. Both with my hearing and my drinking. As a wise yoga friend told me once, "It's all good."

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Party Time!

Dear Readers,

I am going to write in actual sentences today! (HA) It's easier to say what I want in a regular paragraph or two, and I feel lazy today. Got my pj's on, sitting around with my Loved One. Had pumpkin pie for breakfast and of course, drinking my favorite beverage, coffee!

I am going to be sober through this holiday season, for the first in several years. After I went to treatment I was sober one holiday time, but I was not happy about it. I wasn't ready at the time.

This holiday is different. Blogging has helped me stay sober more than I ever knew it could. Just getting my thoughts and feelings out to my family, friends and the cyber world is keeping me accountable and open. 

I have more tools that I learned from my own research. Women for Sobriety is a great resource for getting tools and help. It was the first place I turned to. What I like about WFS is that they have an on-line forum as well as a live chat everyday. 

There are many good sites with great advice on how to get through the season sober, written by bloggers and others. Here is one by Mrs. D for what she calls "The Silly Season". LOL Here's a link to Psychology Today on coping with drinking at holiday time.

I have a few of my own;

1. Don't buy any alcohol to bring home and don't go out! (LOL)
(OK, the don't go out part would be just fine for my Loved One, but not for me!)

2. If you go out, dress up, wear something sparkly! I love to feel pretty! Alcohol used to be a  part of how I THOUGHT I felt pretty. Now I know it just makes me look messy.

3. Go late, leave early. This really helps! I get to be a part of the event, without having to look at wine all night long! 

4. Always have a sober buddy! That can be a loved one, a friend, someone you can text or call. Let them know when you are going, when you get home, and that you didn't drink! Some people call this "bookending".  

5. Focus on the food! I didn't used to say this. I'd worry about getting fat. Well, I got fatter from drinking on an empty stomach and then overeating! Enjoy the good food and flavors!

6. Pay attention to other people. Listen to their stories and laugh at their jokes! I am learning I don't need to be the silly, drunk person telling stupid stories. I can be sober and tell stupid stories just as well!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Everyday

Dear Readers,

How much is enough?

Do I have enough food and clean water?
A warm, safe place to live?
Do I have the love
Of family and friends?

Do I have enough to wear?
(Well, BESIDES shoes and boots!)
Electronic toys?
Furniture?

Do I have enough money?
A way to get around?
Hot water?
Enough support?

It is important for me
To come from a place
Of all that I have,
A place of 
Constant gratitude.

Because then,
I don't try to fill up the emptiness of
What I THINK I don't have, 
With drinking.

I am blessed.
I have so much.
In fact, 
I have all that I need.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Self Care

Dear Readers,

People always say,
"Take care of yourself".

I know I need to,

Exercise,
Eat Right,
Get enough sleep.

But what else?
To go deeper into self care means,

Being creative,
Using my talents,
Prayer,
Mediation.

These are the things
I forgot all about,
When I was working
Too hard.

Self care is vital to
Staying sober.

If I am neglecting 
My spirit,
Drinking becomes 
The only way I try to take care.

By taking the time
To take care of myself,
I nurture the gifts I was given,
And then
I can also,
Help others.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Feel The Fear, But Do It Anyway!!

Dear Reader,

I saw this someplace,
A book,
A post,
And how true it is
For me.

I am so much stronger
Than I think!
Everyone else
Can see my strength.
It is time for me to see it.

The funny thing is,
I do the scary things,
Just yelling and screaming
The whole time!

LOL

Makes me feel better.
(My Loved One has to suffer, however!)

When I first tried to get sober,
It was very scary.
I kept trying and failing.
Kept yelling, crying,
"I can't do this!"

And then,
One day,
One magical day,
I kept going.

If I can get through 
The fear?
The coolest things happen!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

80 Days

Dear Readers,

I am 80 days today!

Only 20 more days to reach
100 days with the help of Belle's 100 Day Challenge!

(Don't worry, I am not stopping at 100 days!!)

Yay for me!

I'm celebrating with 
ICE CREAM!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Old Hangout

Dear Readers,

Tonight I went to dinner,
With my Loved One,
At one of my old favorite,
Drinking hangouts.

Felt only a little tiny bit 
Anxious at first.
But quickly moved on.

A bartender who remembered me
Came over and hugged me.
Asked if I I wanted some
Wine.

LOL

I said, no,
I was good.

And so,
We ate really good food.
My Loved One even got himself,
A burger.
He doesn't get these at home.
(Poor guy.)

When giving us the bill,
She (the bartender),
Said she never saw me anymore.
I was my brave self and said,
"Well, I am not drinking."

It wasn't awkward,
But it could have been.
I was unprepared
With a different type of answer.

I could have said,
"Oh, I've been busy with my operation,
and yoga,
and walking, 
and whatever."

My answer was ok, 
I just don't want to make
The conversation so 
Awkward that no one,
Including me,
Knows what to say next.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Store Said WINE!

Dear Readers,

I never know
When or where 
A craving, Wolfie, (Thank you Belle)
My Evil Little Liar Voice,
Might show up.

Had a great day
Yesterday,
Meeting a friend for coffee,
Getting treats
For special people,

When I saw it.

A store sign,
A big one,
In red letters,
WINE.

And there you have it.
An urge..
Wouldn't it be nice?

NO. 
I had to do the yelling in the car trick.
Yes, it works!

Luckily, my ELLV
Slunk away.

But here's the thing.
It's close to the holidays.
Lots of people were out 
Buying yummy food, treats,
Drinks.
There were Thanksgiving decorations,
Christmas decorations everywhere.
I was dressed up, feeling cute.

Those are some
Triggers for me.
These times are going to be
A little more of a challenge.
That is why I must stay,
Awake, alert, aware.

(That DOESN'T mean I get to drink 
Coffee ALL day! LOL)

It means I have to
Go back to the 
Basics.
The good and bad lists.
Reading my old posts.
Calling.
Remembering.

I went on my way feeling happy.
In fact,
I felt happier.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Who Wants To Do THIS Again?

Dear Reader,

I was thinking that,
Now that I've come this far,
Struggled this much,
Would I want to 
Do this again?

I think not!
This is another tool,
In my toolbox.

Simply,
I don't want to go through this again.
Once was enough.

Now, as I've said before,
I can't think of not drinking
Forever.
Throws me into a 
Panic.

But I can think of not drinking,
For just a little while longer.
Then I relax,
And know,
All will be well.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Feel Better FAST!

Dear Readers,

I am realizing 
That it takes the body
And the mind,
A long time to 
Heal
From drinking too much.

I read that it takes time,
But patience is not
In my nature.
(Learning!)

Now that I have been sober
For over 2 months,
I am starting to 
Feel and see the changes.

Not giant changes,
But little ones.

Like having a little more energy to

Try a new skill, hobby,
Walk outside,
Write this blog,
Clean a little more.

I notice my energy 
Is still up and down,
But a little more even.
Drinking sometimes gave me more energy,
But then I'd crash.

I have lost weight,
By not drinking.
Drinking messed up my blood sugar levels,
And I would often binge eat.

My depression is almost 
Gone.
For years I suffered from depression.
It's still there,
But it's way more manageable.

I am exploring more,
Reaching out,
Looking beyond
A drink.

People say I look good.
(That's with make-up on, dressed up!)
LOL

I asked my Loved One,
What he likes most about me not drinking?

He is happy he doesn't have to worry.
He is happy I have more energy.
He greets me every day
With a beautiful smile, a kiss.

Beautiful, yes?

Friday, November 14, 2014

From Music to Cookies

Dear Readers,

I had an implant operation so I will be able to hear one day.
But I had to give up my music lessons.
For now.
We will see what happens,
When I get my processor.
Maybe I will be able to play, sing,
And hear my guitar and voice,
Maybe I won't.

I cried. 

And then, I decided to make cookies.

I haven't made cookies for
Ten years or more!

Why you ask?
Because I ate them all,
And my Loved One got none! LOL

I also am a messy baker.
Dough flies everywhere.
Now my Loved One, loves cookies,
But he's kind of a neat-nick.
(Read: he hates messes.)

So buying cookies seemed like a better option.

But the cookies were good!
They were fun to make.
Creative.
Taking a bunch of stuff and making something 
New.

Like music.
Like painting.
Like teaching.

Like me!
I'm taking a bunch of stuff,
And making a new me!
It's messy, but in this case,
My Loved One is happy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

70 Days and New Thoughts

Dear Readers,

As I think over
These last 70 days,
Part of my growth,
Has been in throwing away,
Old, limiting thoughts.

Those were the thoughts of

I can't.
Poor me.
I can't take this anymore.
I don't have enough.
No one likes me.
I need more.
This is too hard.
I'm bored.
Poor me again!

Now I will still have these thoughts,
From time to time, 
As I am only human.

But it is time to make 
New thoughts,
Ones that bring me freedom.

I can do things, one baby step at a time.
I have all that I need.
I am loved.
I have strength.
I have much to give.
I have many talents.
I am loved! 

As I add to these new thoughts,
I am always aware,
That while I was drinking,
I couldn't see the new.
I was stuck in the old.

Time to move on!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Back to My Roots

Dear Readers,

When I was younger, 
I loved riding my bike.
Pure freedom.

I walked to concerts,
My boyfriends' houses,
Downtown.

I never stopped myself
With thoughts of
I can't 
Or I don't feel like it.

Drinking stopped that
Freedom.
Instead it bottled me up,
Constrained me.
It lied to me and said,
"I am your freedom."

Yes, I went walking,
To yoga, biking,
But the quality was not the same.
Walking with my Loved One,
Was replaced with,
Let's have more wine.

I can't go to yoga yet,
But I can walk.
I don't care how I look,
(Even go in pj's if it's dark),
Just want to walk.
It is my mediation time.
When I feel the rhythm 
Of my feet.

Today it is snowing.
It's cold.
But I will be walking.
Even for a few steps.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Drinking Depressed OR Depressed Drinking?

Dear Readers,

Having to go through a 
Major life change,
With a new way of hearing
Coming my way,

I can not imagine
The state I'd be in
If I was drinking.

YIKES!!!

Even if I was only drinking
A little bit,
I would get
Very depressed.

I had problems with depression before
My drinking became worse,
But the difference is amazing.
Now, I have "normal" depression.
(As my Loved One says, everyone gets down.)

As I got older,
It took less alcohol to 
Make my life SEEM bleak.

I'd be crying about all
The things
I didn't have.
The dreams 
I didn't make.

I'd be crying about
Life as it was.

Now after reading
Many books and articles,
I know how drinking affects 
My brain.
Not pretty.

Now, I don't like being 
All depressed.
So each day I choose 
Not to drink,
Means another day,
I can look up!

Friday Musings

Dear Readers,

Today I am 
A little bit of this,
And a little bit of that.

Or as my Loved One says,
Normal.

Sometimes, I don't want to be
Normal.
Sounds boring.

When I was teaching,
I think I loved to be
In front of the room,
And pretend I was a 
Star.

(The kids of course had a different idea! LOL)

Now wanting to be the best, 
The brightest,
The shiniest,
The what-everist,
Has its downfall.

Not reaching
My dreams
Led me to depression,
Anger at self,
Drinking.

Being average,
Normal,
Is the way I want to live.

Sounds a little nutty,
I know.
That doesn't mean I won't keep striving,
It just means,
I can let go.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It Really IS Better

Dear Readers,

I must admit,
My life is better
Without drinking.

Never thought in a million years,
I could see this,
Feel this,
Grasp this.

It alluded me for years.
Life without wine?
A martini?
No life at all.

And that's the lie.
For me.

Now that my eyes,
Are little wider opened,
I am in awe of the joy
That surrounds me
When I'm not blurred over
By alcohol.

It's not that I drank every day.
I didn't.
But when I did drink,
It was almost always,
Too much.

It changed me from 
Nice girl to messed up girl.

It was more of a feeling of 
"I can't WAIT to have my wine."
A longing, my lover.

Now, I am aware of
My real loves.
My husband, my family, my friends,
The earth, God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tough Times

Dear Readers,

These are tough times
For me.
As I deal with the 
Pain and loss,
I ask myself,
How do I cope?

Can't go back.

Won't drink.
(Don't feel like it, thank goodness.)

Right now,
Words escape me.
Maybe later.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Not a Drop in 60 Days

Dear Readers,

How did this happen?
I have no idea how I got to 60 days,
And yet,
Here I am.

If I am not writing 
As clearly as I could,
Please forgive me,
As I am recovering
From my operation.

Having an operation,
Does keep you from feeling like drinking,
But I wouldn't recommend it! 
:)

However, the day before my 
Surgery, my Evil Little Liar Voice
Whispered.
It told me, "This would be a great day
To drink."

Now, I didn't drink, but I wondered
Why I was having the urges.
Of course. I was running away from
My feelings;
Scared and nervous.

I am learning how to cope with
Life.

I am finding that
Recovery from drinking, (or an operation),
Is a process.
It just can't be hurried.

Wanting to be well,
Cannot be hurried.
Wanting to be whole,
Cannot be hurried.
Wanting the pain to go away,
Can't be hurried.

Wanting, and waiting
For the spirit to unfold,
Cannot be hurried.

Time is the glue.
Giving myself the gift of time.

What do I do to keep from going crazy?
With all the time I have, 
Now that I'm not drinking it away,
And while I waiting to heal?

Writing helps.
Reading helps.
Napping helps.
Walking helps.
Cleaning a closet helps.
Calling friends and family helps. 
Eating fresh, wonderful food helps. 
Even taking pictures with my cell phone camera.

When I can drive, finding new 
Coffee shops helps.

Today, I am recovering.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Being Patient

Dear Readers,
Some, but not all of you,
Know I had a major operation on my ear.
I had a cochlear implant.
Now I have to wait for the processor.
In order to hear in that ear.

The recovery is hard.
I have to learn to be patient.
Very patient.
This is NOT my nature.
I want things perfect now.
Which is one reason I ended up drinking too much.

I kept pushing myself to perform better,
Harder, faster.

Seeing the joy in not drinking sometimes takes 
Time.
One must look for the small nugget, the one candy on the bottom
Of the purse.
Just like recovering from an operation.