Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Thankful Heart

Dear Readers,
Here I Am
I am of a full and thankful heart today.
The past few days have reminded me of beautiful life lessons, if I keep an open heart, full of love.

I am reminded my Loved One loves me beyond words.
I am reminded that by sharing my struggles about drinking with a friend who also struggles, makes both of us stronger.
I am reminded that sharing of food and stories with friends, cements our love.
I am reminded that walking outside under the blue sky, with the songs of our earth, helps me see the bigger picture.
I am reminded that there are many people who share stories of addiction, and this is a common shared human problem.
I am reminded that happiness comes from love, not from more things.
I am reminded that when I celebrate other people's success, I am lifted.

I am reminded that I will always be on this journey of spiritual and emotional growth.
Each day I want to remind myself to be stronger, braver and more loving than yesterday.
Each day I want to remind myself that by improving myself, I can help other people and make the world a little bit better.

I can slip into self-pity, complaining and comparing very easily.
Keeping a thankful heart is a key lesson for me, not only for staying sober, but also for living a full and happy life.

With Peace On Day 269

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Seeing Myself on TV (My OLD Self!)

Dear Readers,
This week, I watched two television shows that gave me pause.
One was a Dr. Phil show about a woman and her husband who had alcohol problems, and the other was an update on Kim Richards, who is on one of the Housewives show. She has been struggling with alcohol addiction for many years, and keeps relapsing.
It is strange to watch someone in active addiction, and see that I did and said, many of the same things. 
Watching people struggle with alcohol is sad.
The people who love them feel helpless. 
That's how I felt watching my father.
I know that was what it was like for my Loved One to watch me.

The denial and excuses of these people are the same I had.
I just refused to admit I had problems with drinking too much.
I "needed" to drink to cope with the stresses of teaching, to relax, to have friends.

These people are in such pain.
I see them falling, slurring, crying, fighting, and I have to think.
That was me.

So, I am writing a new show for myself.
In my show, I struggle with human problems, back pain, eating right, inertia, and a few other issues. (Well, quite a long list!)

However, you will see me with so much more love, peace, freedom.
And laughter.
I have way less worries.
I can kiss my husband when he comes home, and I don't have to turn away so he doesn't smell the alcohol.
I can drive safely.
I don't have to worry about hiding bottles, or hiding the money I spent.
When I get mad, it's an anger I can process, not a rage that is fueled by drinking.
I can go to a party and not be afraid I'll make a fool out of myself. 

Are there times I miss drinking?
But the scale had tipped to pain.
And If I don't think I had pain, I just have to watch these women to remember.

With Love on Day 266

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Technical Difficulties on Day 264

Dear Readers,
Our internet connection is down in our house.
We lost it almost a week ago.
This makes it impossible for me to read all of your blogs, as well as post on mine, unless I go to a coffee house or the library.
At first I was anxious. I was worried about not being able to leave you my positive messages on your blogs.
I was worried, people would forget to look at my blog.
Then I came to an acceptance. I had to. I had no choice. I could worry and be mad, or find some wifi.
So here I am, having a skim latte.

On Monday my Loved One and I helped his nephew and his girlfriend move into a trailer house, where they will live until his girlfriend finishes her Master's degree. To be honest, I did not want to go. My back cannot carry anything heavy, and I was tired and crabby.
But I went to support my husband and his family.
And I was glad I did.
Helping other people always helps me way more than it helps them.
Even if I was not able to carry much weight, I was able to help lighten the load.

Today, I played golf today with a friend.
It was a drizzly day, and we got wet, but we didn't care.
We've been playing every week, and this is a time I look forward to.
We work hard at our game, helping each other by looking for ways to improve.
We also have fun, laughing and discussing life.

I am a people person by nature. I get energy by being with others.
I make connections, learn, and get support by being with others.
This is also true about trying to get and stay sober.
When I work with other people, we both get support and learn.
By working together, we can lighten the load for each other.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Green, Blue, and Never Give Up

My Blue Sky Day

My Green Quiet Place
Dear Readers,
Taking photos when I walk has become a hobby for me. I only use my cell phone, but it is very rewarding to get home, and see what my eye saw.

The green photos are from the small park by my house, just right out my door. The Blue Sky photo is by the Minnesota River, just a short drive from my house.

I am feeling better.
I am learning how to see life a little differently, not so all or nothing.
I am learning how to cope with depressive thoughts, drinking thoughts, negative thoughts.
I am learning that thoughts are fleeting.
I can change the channel on my thoughts.
I change them to thoughts of nature, beauty, or thinking of helping other people.

I am learning to balance my life by the week, making
Steps Out of My Park
sure I have connections with people, me time, nature time, husband time, and yoga time.

When I look back on my life and all I accomplished, it was very simple. I never gave up.
I had a set back or two, but kept going.
This is so true for stopping drinking.

It is not easy. When the world around you drinks, and you are dependent, as I was, it takes courage, faith, and perseverance. 
Not faith in the religious way, but faith that there is a life after drinking. A different life, but also a better life. 
I will keep doing all the things I know how, to keep going on this path. The stairway is up and out. 
I can't think of how hard it is, or how many stairs, or I would never make it. I will just keep going to meetings, blogging, helping other people if I can, reading about other people's journeys, seeing my therapists, and having faith.

On Day 257

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nothing Much on Friday Afternoon

Dear Readers,
Just because I have nothing to say, doesn't mean I will stop talking!
So, I will bore you with a few random thoughts again!

I subbed for Pre K yesterday, and my poor body is ready to revolt. 
I had so much fun, though. I taught the kids a really cool yoga story that I made up. We acted it out together. They loved it. That age group is a riot. 

I got this note from my Loved One today.
Guess I'd better get going on that! 
He makes me laugh!
I think helping people laugh is a beautiful way to help them heal!
In fact, I think it is underused in recovery. It is well documented that people heal from illnesses by laughing more. I don't see why the same thing can't be applied to addictions!

This morning I got up early, by mistake, (LOL), and so went for a walk around a small park by my house. 
It is a little hidden treasure.
The trees were so green, and because it had rained, things were quiet and peaceful.
Because we don't have many months of green in this state, I so love it when our trees turn green.

Then I kind of went into a not moving mode. 
(I AM an owl, so getting up early does not help me get more done!)
I was supposed to clean the house, as my dust bunnies are as big as tumbleweeds!
But that didn't happen.
At least I started the laundry!
And made the bed.
So in my book, things are good.

It was a good week. I made sure I had people time and me time.
Apparently, I need to make more hubby time!
So with that, I bid you so long for now.
On Day 253

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Part of a Whole

Dear Readers,
As I read other blogs, go to meetings, and read more on self-compassion, I am growing a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.
Our emotions are human emotions. We get mad, sad, frustrated, happy, and annoyed.
Everyone makes mistakes. It is part of being human.

But we can help each other heal, no matter what the pain. 
We are not alone, even though we often think we are. 
We want and need other human connections, people who understand us.

I am finding that as low or depressed as I might feel, if I just reach out, and ask for help, I find other people who can support me. My hurt and pain may be caused by different experiences than others, but it still is human hurt and pain. 

I am also finding the less I judge myself, the less I judge other people. The more compassion I have for my human mistakes, I more compassion I have for other people's mistakes. 

I am done punishing myself for not being perfect. I tried so hard to be a perfect teacher. 
I am done punishing myself for not trying to save the world. I had an inflated ego thinking I should be doing something more to help the earth or other people.
I am done punishing myself for not walking more, or not eating right.
I am done with words such as "stupid, lazy, dumb, or fat".
I am done punishing myself for being human.

And so, I no longer want to judge other people for being human. 

I got help for my drinking when, after I reached out, other people said, "We know what that is like. We can tell you what helped us." 
There was no judging or shame from them.
They are helping me heal, by sharing their humanness with me.
You, Dear Readers, are a part of my healing.

This, of course, is an ongoing process. The compassion I am showing myself is helping me love other people more.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”    -Einstein

To All My Friends Who are Struggling - You have beauty, life and are lovable. Never give up.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Habits Part 3 and I Need You All!

Flowers at our Park
Dear Readers,
Today is a lovely Saturday. My Loved One is working on a big project downstairs. He is happiest with a project. Give him a hammer, nails, and things to fix or make, and all is well.

I, on the other hand, got up at eight, had breakfast that he served me, went back to bed. Now reading and writing my blog.

I have been trying to change some habits, but I am not quite able to do this yet. I have to keep my anger at myself in check here. Habits are not easy to make or change.

Pretty in Pink
The only reason I want to make some changes, is so I do the things I want to do. I have been doing things by how I "feel", and that is not working well. If I don't "feel" like it, I don't go for my walk, or to yoga, or to a meeting, or clean.

The biggest habit I want to change is my getting up routine. Right now, I get up and sit and read the paper, check Facebook, eat, and have tea and coffee, but I stay in my pajamas. Then I find I lose my motivation.

What I want to do, is get up, shower, change into comfortable home clothes, make the bed and then read the paper. I really think this would help get my day started better.

I did this one day, and I was much more productive that day, and I felt much better overall.
This doesn't sound like much, so I think I can do this.
However, I will need an accountability piece. I hope you, dear readers, will be that. I need you!!!

I Love Flowers
I am reading two books by Gretchen Rubin. She has found that people with good habits are the happiest. 
Her blog site is here.
Her site is really full of good information, and she has the habit of blogging 6 days a week!
I know I am happier when I am a little more productive, and still have my lovely reading time.

There are other habits I want to add, but I am starting with this one. 
I will start this tomorrow, Sunday May 9. 
Wish me well!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

8 Months, or 244 Days

Dear Readers,
Today marks my 8th month of not drinking alcohol.
I am grateful for this. 
It means another day, another month of being sane.
Because really, I was acting insane when I was drinking.
I was argumentative, sloppy, lying, driving drunk, and blacking out.

Today marks another day, another month of being content.
Not that things are perfect, but they are what they are.
Not that I can't improve some things, but I need to start where I am.

Today marks another day, another month of being calmer.
I no longer am creating drama in my life and other people's lives.
Life brings us enough to deal with without adding extra stress.

Today marks another day, another month of healing.
I am healing both my body and soul.
I now realize that this healing takes time.

Today marks another day, another month of learning.
Each day I don't drink, I learn how to feel and process my emotions.
I learn how to love both myself and others deeply with compassion.

I can choose to see my life not drinking as half full or half empty.
Is my life better or worse.
Is it all that I have gained, or all I think I am missing.

At 8 months, or 244 days, of not drinking alcohol I can truly say,
I am happy.

To all my friends in recovery who are struggling:
I too struggled for many years. Never give up.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Back to Basics Day 241

Dear Readers,
Tomorrow I am subbing in kindergarten.
I did some subbing after I retired from teaching, but this will be the first I have done since my cochlear implant was put in.
It could be slightly loud with 27 little ones!
Here is my side-kick, Poky, who helps me!
He has his own book, that I made about him! LOL

I am a little nervous, but I will only be there for half a day, so unless the children tie me up in a chair, or I lose one, I should be okay!

I'll make a little money, and get a lot of hugs from the kids.
I will be happy to see my former co-workers.
I'll get hugs from them too!

Kindergarteners learn some simple rules such as share, be kind, and clean up your mess. 
Too many rules makes it hard for them to remember and learn.

To keep myself sober and happy, I learned some simple "rules" too:
Don't take the first drink.
Reach out for help.
Remember the reasons you stopped drinking.
Think all the way to the end of the drink.
Be honest.

Of course there are more things I keep in mind, other tools that help me.
But sometimes the most powerful rules or advice are the most basic, simple to understand, and are easy for me to remember when I need them.

Tomorrow all I have to remember is keep the children safe, learning, and happy.
I can do this!
And Poky, being the little rascal he is, will help me!