Saturday, September 5, 2015

Happy Year + 1 day to Me!!

Dear Readers,
Today I have been alcohol free for 366 days!
As I write this, I am sitting up on a deck by a beautiful lake in northern Minnesota, with my good friends, and of course my cute hubs.

The weather is absolutely perfect.
And I am good.

So what I have learned about not drinking?

1. Alcohol is not romantic. I had to really work on this. If anything, it made me too tired to have a nice night with my Loved One. Romantic is sharing conversation, holding hands, candles, smiles, and love. 

2. It took awhile. I had horrible urges when I first tried to quit, and I was not able to cope with them. I was very close to going on antabuse if the urges hadn't gotten better. But then, they did! 

3. No one cares if I drink or not. It's just my own perceptions that need changing.

4. I can choose to make myself miserable or happy about not drinking.

5. It is a change, and I need time to adapt to living a different way, learning to live life one day at a time. 

6. I couldn't do this alone. I needed and still need people to help me. Only people with an alcohol addiction really know what it's like. I love my on-line community, my AA community, my doctors, my yoga teachers and buddies, and family and friends.

7. I am learning to deal with depression and anxiety, again. I had them before my drinking got heavy. Then I started to try to drink all those feelings away. It surprised me that they didn't go away, and if anything are coming to forefront again. However, I no longer have the terrible  alcohol induced depression and anxiety. I am so thankful for that!

8. I love my yoga practice!

9. Giving up drinking does not solve all my problems. There are no easy fixes, except for these:
I no longer have the problems of drunk driving, falling down, sloppy speech, blacking out, hangovers, waking up in cold sweats, spending money, and hanging out in bars for hours. 
I am very happy not to make any more problems for myself, as I have enough normal ones!

10. Being scared is normal. I was very scared. I was scared of losing friends, coping without drinking, and going to meetings. But that went away with time.

In the future it is my hope and dream that I can keep letting go of the anxiety around not drinking. I have made great strides, but this is an area I still need to work on. The same goes for the "poor me, I can't drink" thoughts that can pop up at dinner parties, which are connected to some social anxiety.

I am working to grow spiritually as well as emotionally, because I know some of my problems are from lack of growth in these areas.

If you are still struggling, I want to encourage you to never give up. I know it takes work. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Keep searching for the best ways to help yourself. If one way isn't working try something else. I knew I need everything, so I did everything. 

The best gift from being sober is peace of mind.
To all of you dear readers, I not only thank you for your help and support, I wish you a wonderful, glorious day!

With Love on Day 366,
Wendy

42 comments:

  1. How totally fantastic! You are a rock star! Online & offline you are an inspiration to me. Lori

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  2. Hooray! Cake and sparkles for you ;) Your list is great, and you are an inspiration for those who want to quit drinking. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Oh, I'll take cake and sparkles!!
      Thank you, Lori K!!
      xo

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  4. Truly awesome Wendy!! HUGE congrats on 1 year sober and rock on year 2 :) xx

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    1. Thank you, Lucy!!
      I'm happy and thank you for all your great information and support!!
      xo

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  6. a huge well done and hurrah and jumping up and down in excitement to you! you have come so far and achieved SO much. and I love your list - I think number 4 is my favourite. hell I think they are ALL my favourites!

    thank you too for your company and support on my own path, which I really appreciate. keep growing and learning! Prim xx

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  7. Thank you SO much, Prim!
    It's been quite a journey!!
    xo

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  8. In all my years of drinking, I don't think I learned as much as I did in my first year of not drinking. Now, almost four years later, I'm a genius. ;)
    Congratulations on a year of freedom!
    K

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    1. Dear Kary May,
      Wow! 4 years is awesome!!
      Freedom is a great word!!
      xo

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  9. Congratulations.
    Peace of mind is priceless.

    Absolutely priceless.

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  10. Congratulations! So glad you're having a good time in Minnesota. You deserve it through all the obstacles you've faced this year. Really well done :) Looks like a lot of your hard work has already paid off with all the lessons you've learnt from quitting.

    Hugs,
    Francis|Growing Positive

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  11. Congratulations! You are an inspiration to us all x

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    1. Dear KB,
      I hope you are doing well at the gym!
      xo

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  12. HI Wendy,
    Love how you have such a clear and vibrant take on all of this - you seem to have got right down to the essence of what it sober means for you and that is a great place to be. Congratulations and let's keep the momentum rolling onwards!
    Amazing!
    Bren

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  13. Congrats Wendy! I can relate to so much of what you posted. You inspire me to keep going.
    Jenn

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    1. Thank you, Jenn!
      I think many people with addictions suffer from anxiety and depression.
      xo

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  14. Yes, peace of mind is a huge one for me! Well done girl, you rock!

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  15. nice list, i need to work on number 1. Lots others too actually. Well done on the year anniversary...
    Kats x

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    1. Thanks Kats!
      That romance tied to drinking is a tough one. It's getting much better now.
      xo

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  16. Dear Wendy,
    Congratulations on your year! Wow! This is marvellous! <3 And yes, I am happy for you! And for me because your beautiful posts and replies bring joy and wisdom. :-)
    Thank you for being a friend.
    xx, Feeling

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    1. Dear Feeling,
      Thank you so very much!
      It seems easier to have wisdom for other people than myself!
      Hugs!
      xo

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  17. Huge congrats - 1 day is a massive achievement - well it was for me when I started. A year was something I couldn't imagine. Then I couldn't have imagined more than a decade at all either

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    1. Thank you, Graham!
      Now I'm excited to keep going!
      xo

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  18. Congratulations and what a beauty you are! Can you even believe how far you've come in a year? I couldn't.

    Sherry

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    1. No I cant believe it!
      Makes me realize how fast time goes by!
      Yikes!
      xo

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  19. Hi Wendy
    OMG, i thought i had commented but it seems i didnt. i remember reading through all of this vividly, - must have got distracted when i was about to write. cant think what went wrong. ANYWAY, A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU. THIS IS A BRILLIANT ACHIEVEMENT WHICH SHOWS UTMOST STRENGTH OF CHARACTER. YAY TO YOU MY FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lisa

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    1. Lisa!!
      Yay!!
      Hugs, Kisses and Fuzzy grape juice!
      xo

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  20. are my comments not coming through?
    Lisa

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  21. Huge congratulations! What a milestone!
    I am printing this post. It provides guidance and inspiration.

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  22. Dear Time and the Bottle,
    SO happy to hear from you!
    Thank you!
    xo
    Wendy

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  23. Congratulations! I'm happy to hear you're doing well. When I first saw your photo, I thought you were in a tree house, and I decided that was awesome.

    It's been 1.5 years since I walked away from teaching - my last gig was in a really toxic, abusive environment - and I'm having a hard time finding myself again, although it's coming back in bright fits and starts, coupled with some really dark troughs.

    SC

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    1. Dear SC,
      I understand. I too, still can't find my way. Most of my teacher friends who retired, love it and have no problems.
      Not so with me.
      Hugs!
      xo
      Wendy

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  24. A year is a remarkable accomplishment. Your husband must be so proud!

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