Monday, June 8, 2015

Facing Fears

Dear Readers,
Stopping drinking was one of the scariest things I have done. 
I had so many fears. I didn't ever think I'd have fun again, see friends, celebrate anything.
I just couldn't see beyond these fears.
But, because I couldn't see any other choice except to stop, I plowed ahead, scared and all.
I did everything possible to help myself in recovery; starting a blog, going to AA, reaching out to safe yoga teachers, getting a sponsor, telling my friends and family and posting on the Women's for Sobriety website.
I had to face all my fears day in and day out.
It was hard.
At first.
Now, my fears are fading away.

Last night I went out to dinner at fun place downtown with my husband. He has off this week and we are having a "staycation" as we have some work around the house to do. 
When I first stopped drinking, I hated going out. I pouted, and made my husband's night miserable. How could I enjoy it if I didn't drink?
Now, I am clear headed and joyful. 
I have had to practice facing the fear of going out, and I am ever so much stronger. I have practiced having good conversation, focusing on good food, and even picking what alcohol free drink I like. (I am also realizing it is selfish of me to make my husband's life unhappy because of my pouting. )

Today we went zip lining. It was a fun experience and not scary once I had a little practice. 
Once I tried the safe practice line, I was good to go. I was a little shaky at first, but with each line, it got easier. 
Just like zipping, I had to practice in safe situations to build up my confidence that I can indeed, be sober and happy. I have been to birthdays, anniversaries, and other parties where I celebrated without drinking. I have met friends for lunch and dinner, all without drinking, and all being happy. 
But it took time and practice.
Zip Lining!

I read somewhere that you build up your sober muscles. That you get stronger the more you practice. Facing your fear, and doing it anyway, is a timely saying. 
I didn't do this alone. When I read about all the other people who have stayed sober and are happy, I hold their hands and tell myself I can do that too. When I hear all the people in AA or WFS that are sober and happy, I want that too.

Yes, it was scary. 
Yes, it is still scary at times.

One of the best books I have read is Mindfulness and the 12 Steps, by Theresa Jacobs-Stewart. I highly recommend it if you go to AA or are doing the steps. 
She has you hold your fearful self in loving kindness. 
"May I be free from mental torment, safe within and without." 

So I encourage all of you on this journey, to face your fear of not drinking, giving yourself the gift of time to practice getting stronger. 

With Courage on Day 277

12 comments:

  1. Hi Wendy,
    Zip lining sounds like a lot of fun! Good on you for being so adventurous!
    I used to think going out to dinner wasn't as fun when you're not drinking. But now I enjoy it. I had to rethink why the drinking was important. And it's so not!! It's the going out, the company, the dinner, the place, all of those things make it a special occasion, not the drink.
    I still haven't gone to a meeting. Still unsure. But I am considering it.
    Have a great day.
    A x

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    1. Hi Angie,
      Zipping is very fun!
      I already want to go again!
      I am finally enjoying dinner out now!
      xo

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  2. I would LOVE to do the ziplining....
    I completely get the pouty, its not fair feeling, that sometimes goes with going out for dinner but i guess my sober muscles are getting stronger too as I feel it less these days.

    Have a good day lovely one
    Claire xx

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    Replies
    1. Dear Claire,
      I think it finally set in after day 200 or so. That it was a glass half full!
      Not half empty.
      xo

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  3. Thats lovely, you are an inspiration. It is great you are feeling more yourself again. K

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  4. wow, i know!! i remember thinking that too, life would be so dull and boring. how could you POSSIBLY have a fulfilled life without alcohol. those anxious times when you had to go out and wonder how you would cope. OMG. now i dont see how you can have a fulfilled life WITH alcohol. it seems so long ago yet what a mindshift in only 9 months Wendy. its amazing isnt it.
    bloody well done to you. the food, the conversation, the company, the surroundings - everything becomes more vibrant!!!!
    and you remember, and you dont make a dick of yourself.!
    hugs from Lisa

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  5. Lisa!
    Vibrant is the perfect word!!!
    xo

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  6. Building sober muscles; I like that! And zip lining is a perfect way to build strength. That fear can be crippling, can't it? Why are/were we afraid to feel better? Lori K xx

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    1. Hi Lori!
      It can!
      Or afraid to live life a different way?
      Fear of the unknown?
      xo

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  7. I'll have to check that book out - thanks

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