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

16 comments:

  1. Thankfully Wendy we also live in a space that does recognise things/ourselves can be fun sober. That's my world.

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    Replies
    1. Oh! That is beautiful! I'll make it my world, too!
      Thank you!
      xo

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  2. Hi Wendy,
    Isn't it cruel how we turn the best thing that has ever happened to us into a feeling of lack and neediness and despair?
    I used to be the one drinking around the campfire, even falling in the campfire - but now I have the self awareness and emotional mastery to know that life doesn't get magically better the longer you sit staring at the flames.
    Nothing good really happens after 8pm, not after 40 anyway!
    Have a great time and be gentle with yourself..
    Thanks
    Bren

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    Replies
    1. Dear Bren,
      That is so true. Being gentle with myself is another big one for me!
      xo

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  3. You are also an inspiration...never forget that.

    Sherry

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  4. Very similar to student life in England. Everyone wants to drink every night and then get wasted on weekends. It's nicer to appreciate the sober moments

    Hugs,
    Francis

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad I lived at home during college!
      I don't think I would have graduated !!
      xo

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  5. Great post Wendy :-) you ARE so much more. I know what you mean about that "poor me" feeling, I'm actually going to a gathering tomorrow where "most" people will be drinking. I'm taking my Sprite Zeros and AF beer, and I'm driving, I already feel a little more in control because of my "planning". Enjoy your weekend with your friends, but do what you need to do to feel comfortable! xx

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    1. Thank you, Lori!
      My weekend is next weekend on Labor Day.
      If I have a plan, I do feel better!
      I hope you enjoy your time as well!
      xo

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  6. I tend to isolate myself when my anxiety gets bad. I know hanging with friends makes me feel better but at the time, it's the last thing I want to do. Have a wonderful time with your friends and come home when you are ready x

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  7. Go. Leave of you are uncomfortable. But if you enjoy the air, the friend, perhaps the bottles won't bother you.
    After all, you are free of that burden. And so much better off.
    Enjoy yourself. Take care.
    Anne

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anne!
      We are going.
      Maybe I'll catch a fish!
      xo

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  8. Not only do you have a lot to be grateful for making it to the 357th day, you also have a lot to be proud of. You are a strong person – very much so, in fact. Some people barely even make it past a few days without a drink. The fact that you have zoomed past months is quite a feat. Thanks for sharing, and here’s to more sober days ahead!

    Gerard Holland @ SoberLife USA

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  9. Thank you, Gerard!
    I am at a year now!
    xo

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