Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Am More

Dear Readers,
Yesterday, I met a friend who has also stopped drinking.
We met over coffee, and talked about our drinking-free journeys, our fears, hopes and dreams. I was once again reminded how connected we all are.
We are connected in our quest for a full, happy life.
At some point, in my story, I got tripped up by alcohol and depression.

But today, I refuse to let that define me.
I am not my depression.
I am not an unhappy ex-drinker.

I might go through some depressive thoughts and feelings, and I might still have some "poor me" thoughts about not being able to drink anymore.
That's not who Wendy is.

I am amazed at how strong sober people are.
We live in an age where alcohol runs the show. Everywhere, there are drinks offered, served, glorified.
We live in an age that says it can't be fun without being tipsy or even drunk.
We live in an age that says, work hard, then play hard…playing of course involves drinking.

Go on a bike ride, then stop for beers.
Go to a yoga studio opening, then drink wine.
Paint with friends, then drink more wine.
Run a marathon, drink beer.
Camping, canoeing? Drink.

I am coming up to a weekend where I go up north with several of my dearest couple friends, who are very supportive of me.
Normally, I would drink a lot, starting at happy hour time, and finishing bottles of wine at the fire pit.
My friends will all be drinking, and I still get bothered having to look at bottles of wine all night. 
It still is very hard for me to not get the "poor me" story in my head. Which makes it hard for my wonderful Loved One. 
I'm not tempted to drink, just get that "deer in the headlight" feeling, almost frozen for a minute.
Last year, I didn't drink there, for the first time, as I was just trying to get sober. It was very hard.
But I also know that my depression will be better if I go and breathe in the coldness of the morning air, go fishing, and just be by a lovely northern lake.
I also love my friends.
I know my depression makes me believe things are worse than they really are, and I tend to isolate myself.
So, I might go up, but come home a day early.

My conversation with my friend helped me.
He has had some of the very same experiences; being at cabins and being the only non-drinker.
He understood.

Today, I do not define myself as an unhappy former drinker.
I am not my depression.
Today I am a woman, a wife, a friend, a coffee-drinker, a blogger, a yogini, a walker, a lover.
Today, I am grateful for all that I am.

With Love on Day 357

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Anniversary Fun

Dearest Readers,
I cannot tell you how your comments helped lift me up, yesterday.
Your kindness and understanding reached across the world and wrapped me up with hugs of joy.
It changed my thinking.
I am never alone, because of your support and love.

Yesterday was our 39th Wedding Anniversary!
My husband and I met in 11th grade of high school and dated for seven years before getting married.
I told him I wanted to go dancing!

First we went out to dinner at a cool, new place, and had a great meal.
Did I miss drinking?
No, I didn't.
We really had fun talking about his work and world issues.
I notice I taste food more now that I can pay attention to it.
I appreciate all the little things, like bread and butter.
These are the things that sustain me, nourish me.

The club we went to for dancing is a new one in downtown Minneapolis.
We got there so early, they didn't even charge us a cover charge!
It is supposed to cater to people in their 30's.
Ha. Not.
We were the oldest people there, the others were in their 20's.

Of course we were the first and ONLY people who danced!
My Loved One is a good dancer, but I still have to drag him up at first.
We left at 11 o'clock, and that's when more people were coming, but I needed my sleep.
Did I miss drinking here?
No. Not at all. In fact, a diet coke tasted really good!

What a joyful celebration of our years together!
Being married this long is not easy.
We have had our ups and downs.
But I never want to be that drunk wife again.
I never want to have him worry about where I am, how I am driving home, and fighting about my drinking.

I went to yoga this morning, even after getting only 5 hours of sleep.
I hugged all my yoga friends.
I am feeling so much better, and I thank you for your loving support.

With Love on Day 352,

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Back Into The Light

Dear Readers,
I am so sorry I haven't been able to post or comment on your blogs.
I have have been in a very deep depression.
I was very worried for a few days. So was my hubby.
I didn't leave the house for four days, and just non-stop crying.
I am on anti-depressants, and will be seeing my doctor tomorrow.
Depression is such an awful place to be. It's so painful.
I have suffered with it for many years, and this last week was very difficult.

Yesterday, I felt I was finally in a better place.
I still am not great, but so much better.

Several things have happened since my last post.
I had my birthday.
I saw my family, whom I seldom see.
I went to a cool play at the Fringe Festival.
And of course, I went out to eat!

I am so thankful I am feeling more like myself.
I smile all the time, but smiles can hide pain.
If you have a loved one that suffers from depression, there are many good sites with great advice. Just google depression.


On Day 350

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

11 Months

Dear Readers,
Today I have been sober for 11 months.
I went to my AA meeting today, and once again I was moved by the strong people and their stories.
One woman shared how July is a hard month emotionally for her, because that was when her daughter was shot in the face when she was seven years old. Her daughter lost her eye and part of her face.
She is an adult now, and doing well, but it reminds me that everyone has a story.
Life has pain.
But how we deal with that pain is the important lesson.

Another man shared his story of drinking again after 5 years sober.
He said that his drinking got much worse.
And so, he is grateful that he has been sober for a year.
I am reminded that if I think I can moderate, maybe I can.
But what if I can't?
Am I willing to risk all I have gained these past 11 months?
Not today.

I have been crabby these last few days, and I am my crabbiest with my Loved One.
A man at the meeting said at anytime during the day, he can choose to start the day over.
He prays a simple prayer, or says the serenity prayer.
So after the meeting I called my hubby and said I was sorry I was crabby.
We are starting the day over.

What an awesome gift.
I can be grateful for this.
I can start the day over.

With Gratitude on Day 334