Thursday, October 29, 2015

Who Is Your Hero?

Dear Readers,
Sometimes I wonder what to write, after having been blogging over a year.  But then I remember that writing this blog not only has helped me stop drinking, it might help someone else, too. At least that is my hope.
It's also healing. By writing down my thoughts, I have to clarify them, and sometimes I realize how mixed up all my thoughts are.
I don't have to have great words of wisdom, although I'd like to be able to write an occasional gold nugget here and there. 

I was looking back over my old posts, and came across this one I called, 
Be The Hero of Your Story:
Dear Readers,
I heard this on Dr. Phil. 
(I know. But I am retired!)

I love stories with a hero.

A person who saves the day.
Rescues the princess (or prince).
Who frees the animals from cages.

So, who is my hero?

It can ONLY be me.
I am the only person who can save me from 
Drinking too much.

I can get help from everyone,

I can get support and love,
But in the end,

It is me 

Who chooses to use that support and love.

Who chooses to take that help,
Who choses not to take that drink,
Who chooses to fight, 
To save me.

For some reason this one spoke to me today.
I have to laugh a little bit at my early writing, as it seems so simple to me now.
But, I am very proud of myself for continuing to blog.

I have to be responsible for taking care of myself and my life.
As soon as I see myself as a victim, I am on the losing side of a battle.
I certainly didn't pick having problems with alcohol, but I can't ever play the "poor me" card. Ever.
The way I was headed would have meant losing my dear husband.
I would have gotten at least one DUI.
I would have had financial troubles.
I would have ended up in the ER room again.

Today, I am trying to choose to see only what I have gained, what I have, and what I love.
Most of the times I succeed.
That's all I can ask of myself.

With Wonder Woman, On Day 420

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Yes, I can get a little crazy!
Dear Readers,
Last year at this time, I had just had my cochlear implant operation, and the surgery was horrible experience. I was throwing up all night, and had no idea what was ahead for me. What little bit of hearing I had was gone, and it would be a long journey to healing, getting fitted with the outside unit, and realizing I couldn't hear music anymore.

Now, although I still grieve about music, I am happy I can hear more speech than I did before my operation. It's not perfect. I still have problems in any place that has background noise. I still read lips, or as a woman who has been deaf all her life taught me, its called "face reading".

Stopping drinking was, and still is, a little bit like this. At first it felt like a horrible experience. How would I ever make it? I had no idea how I would be able to cope with all that was ahead. I only knew how to be in any social situation with a drink, or in my case, many drinks.
I felt sad. I felt a huge loss. Who was I without drinking?

Now, I am happy I am sober. It's not perfect. There are still times I wish I could have a drink. There are times I get strange at a dinner party, and feel sorry for myself. But not as often. In fact, there are many, many more times I feel good I was able to let go of the self-destructive path I was on. 

Healing takes time. No matter what the situation; an operation, a loss, or stopping drinking, it takes time to recover. I hope to carry this lesson forward with me, as I know there will be other times I will need to heal.

Halloween is coming soon, and I thought I would share this photo I had my hubs take several years ago. This year I have a tutu I will wear to yoga on Halloween. Along with my ears.
My hubby and I had an agreement, that we would only buy Skittles for the kids, because that is the one candy I don't like. But when I went to get a Diet Coke from downstairs, I found a big bag of KitKats he was trying to hide!! Now I LOVE KitKats! So does he. So we shall see how many are left by Saturday night!

With Chocolate, On Day 419

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fun with Donuts!

Dear Readers,
Yesterday was one of my favorite days ever!
I actually got up early, for me, and had donuts and coffee with hubs.
Then I went to my favorite yoga class. 
(I know donuts and yoga maybe don't mix, but it works for me! Well, kind of, as I felt a dough ball in my tummy!))
I had fun laughing and talking with yoga buddies, with lots of hugs.
Came home and went to brunch with hubs at a cool place in the city.
We laughed and talked and I ate a bunch! 
This place is known for its bottomless mimosas. I asked for a AF beer, but they didn't have any. So I had a virgin Bloody Mary. YUM!! I forgot how good they are!! The salt makes me puffy, but I it was worth every sip and slurp! 
Then we went for a bit of shopping, and came home to a romp in the hay! 
We watched Orange is the New Black - first season, (yes, we are behind the times), ate chips and ice cream!
Went for a night walk, when all is quiet. In my pajamas!
So fun.
ALL of this was sober.
Never once did I wish I was drinking.
These are the days that are so satisfying.
It's a deep down feeling of connection and love.

If you are struggling to stop drinking, it can be good. I really, really mean that.
I never thought it would be, but I proved myself wrong.

With Hugs and Love,
On Day 409

PS - As long as we were being bad, we got donuts this morning too! It is the weekend after all! Always a time to celebrate!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Small Treasures On Day 406

Dear Readers,
I told my Loved One that I wish I could be funny on my blog. 
I said, "My posts are so boring."
He said, "Your posts are very thoughtful."
I am SO glad I married him!

I keep looking at ways I can enjoy what I have, rather than lament about all I have not.
I keep looking at ways I can enjoy all I can do, rather than be sad about what I cannot do.

Yesterday, it was rainy, dark, and our first cold day. I spent the day in the house, mostly reading. It would have been better for me to get out for a little bit, but I didn't.
Instead of feeling bad about myself, I looked at it in a different way.
I was so happy I could snug in with a good book, instead of racing off to work early in the morning.
I was happy I could make the bed, and put the dishes away, so the house looked nice when hubs got home.
I was even happy I could watch Dr. Phil.

I am finding it is the small treasures of life that are important. 
Did I water my flowers, feed my birds?
Did I do the laundry, make the bed?
Did I go to my AA meeting?
Did I take a walk and look for the beauty?
Did I spread some joy today? 
Call someone to make their day better?
Did I hug hubs when he got home?
Did I thank someone today?
Was I kind to myself today?

These are the little treasures of life, and I am only now understanding how powerful they can be.
Do I wish I could save the world?
I do. But I can't. 
I can only do what I can to make this little bit of my world a place full of love.

I am finding I have to meet life on its terms.
Because in some areas I have so little control.
My age, my body, my eyesight, hearing, these are things I cannot control.
And although it sometimes seems my life is getting smaller, and narrower, it really isn't.
It's just different.

I went walking with a friend today around a city lake. Our city is full of fun things to do and see with many lakes and bike paths. Our fall is beyond beautiful.
We had a yummy lunch, and laughed al the way home.

I know if I were still drinking, I'd be missing out on these things.
I'd be so concerned about who and where I'd get my next drink with.
I would be sure any place we went had alcohol. 
Once I had some at lunch, I'd be sure to get more at the store.
And then hide it from my Loved One.
Who knew I'd been drinking anyway.

It kept me from being close to him.
It kept me a prisoner.
It certainly didn't help my life become richer, healthier, or happier.

Learning to slow down has taken me a year, and it is still a struggle to not feel bad about myself at times.
But it is getting better.
This I know for a fact: all the work I am doing with my living angels has helped me love myself more so I can love other people more.
Getting sober was the first, most important step.

So here is my boring, thoughtful post today.
And by the way, I am very fun and funny in real life!
At least I tend to think so!

With a Laugh and Love,
On Day 406

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Helen Keller and Hope

Dear Readers,
I am lucky to live in a state with so much natural beauty.
It surrounds me. 
When I go for walks, I have a world of green at my feet. 
I always find new treasures.
Like a cool log bridge!
What you don't see in these photos is my hubs holding my hand most of the way while I am crossing!

I have been reading essays by Helen Keller and I am amazed. I am currently reading The World I LIve In & Optimism.
This woman who could not see or hear as we do, is inspiring me like no other writer.

Besides my deafness, I also only have one eye.
And that eye has a cataract with light sensitivity.
This makes driving extremely hard, and I now only go around the city in daytime with sunglasses and a hat  on.

At times I can feel very sorry for myself about my medical issues as well as my sobriety.
Reading Helen's essays on optimism is teaching me a new perspective. She learned to think completely differently, meeting life from a place of hope, not from a place of despair. From a place of richness, not from a place of lack.

"Most people measure their happiness in terms of physical pleasure and material possession. Could they win some visible goal which they have set on the horizon, how happy they could be! Lacking this gift or circumstance, they would be miserable. If happiness is to be so measured, I who cannot hear or see have every reason to sit in a corner with folded hands and weep. If I am happy in spite of my deprivations, if my happiness is so deep that it is a faith, so thoughtful that it becomes a philosophy of life, - if in short, I am an optimist, my testimony to the creed of optimism is worth hearing."

I cannot read these words and not be moved.
How can I use what I read and apply them to my life?
I am so lucky to have been born during an age where an operation helped me hear words again!
I am lucky I have one eye and that can see the sky and trees around me!

How can I not look at my sobriety and be joyful about all it has given me? 
And it has!

My own self-talk is powerful. By being aware of what I say to myself, I can begin to change it.
I can use the language of hope and courage.
Of love, of faith.

I crossed the bridge with help, courage, and faith.
If I have that, how can I fall?

With Love,
On Day 397