Friday, November 20, 2015

Hope

Dear Readers,
Last night my hubs and I went to the Christmas Carol play.
I couldn't hear any of the words, but I stayed for the whole performance.
Why?
Because it just brought joy to my heart. The costumes, and pageantry were beautiful.
The story is one of hope.

Hope is a word that is helping me through life.
I want to bring hope to people who are struggling with drinking.
There is a good life without drinking.
When I was drinking, I didn't always have hope.
I quickly went into a depressed state, where I couldn't see the joys I had right in front of me.

When things go wrong, as they will at times, if I can turn from the disappointment, or fears, and face things with the knowledge that things will be well, then I am stronger.
Life works out, one way or another, and I have very little control over most things.

But drinking took away that hope.
Drinking made me think there was only one way, and that way was defeat and fear.
Alcohol is a liar.
It promises you the world but robs you of everything.

My father-in-law is in a nursing home now, but he is safe.
Instead of getting so angry about the situation, I talked calmly with everyone, and brought some hope and peace to my husband.
This wouldn't have happened if I was still drinking.
I would have gotten drunk and angry and stayed that way.

My eye surgery is on December 2.
I have hope.
I will pray for my surgeon that all will go well.
It's all I can do.
It's out of my control.

If I were drinking, I would have gotten drunk last night, or tipsy, and cry over my inability to hear the play, and my eye problems.
It would have been "poor me" all night.

But I do have control over the way I approach life.
Today I choose not to drink.
And today I choose hope, a feeling of trust.

With Love on Day 442
Wendy

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Life on Day 433

Tonight by the Fire
Dear Readers,
I have now been sober for 433 days, or 14 months and 7 days. 
I love seeing the days add up! I think it gives me a sense of satisfaction. 
A sense that, yes, I am living a life without drinking.
In fact, a good life, a better than before life!
(It also means I am that many days older, and THAT does not always make me happy!)

Last night I found myself a little bit stressed and slightly crabby, although hubs would probably say a little bit more than a little. 

I have only one good eye.
My other eye sees some blurry shapes and colors.
My one good eye now has a cataract that has been growing and causing a great deal of problems for me.
Driving has been becoming harder, to the point that I can only go a few miles around by my house, even during the day.
It's very hard for me to read on the computer or see in anyplace with bright lights.
So I will be getting cataract surgery.
Now in my "bad" eye, I had cataract surgery to preserve the vision I do have.
But after that surgery, my retina fell off.

It was reattached, but I worry just a little bit.
Although complications are rare these days for cataract surgery, I do only have one seeing eye.
And bad things did happen to my other eye.
But I don't have a choice. 
I will have to take this risk.

We are also helping my husband's 87 year old father move out of his apartment this weekend. He lives in another state, and it's tough. He has some dementia and short term memory loss. He has a safer place to live now, but it's has been stressful. 

I wish I could say I am handling these life issues with grace and ease.
I am not. At least not all the time.
I get frustrated, angry, and overwhelmed.
I get worried.
And that is normal. 
What brings me peace, is that I am able to go on in spite of problems. 
I am able to talk out my feelings, write out my emotions, and change the ending to my story.

I could not do this while I was drinking. 
When I was drinking, I would get frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, and then stay that way.
Which led to more drinking.

So last night I did some writing and I reminded myself that I wanted to be cheerful for my hubs this weekend. For his father. To support both of them.
I wanted to approach life problems with grace, with understanding that I can get scared, and yet, I can go on, and be happy.

And then, I found this quote:


“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.”

― Helen Keller

With Love,
Wendy

Monday, November 2, 2015

Not Boring!

Dear Readers,
As I sit and write this, I am in awe of this autumn in Minnesota. It continues to be simply glorious. It is warm, sunny, with the bluest skies I have ever seen.
Knowing the cold is coming soon, I am soaking this up.

I had several more sober learning experiences this week.

The first was a surprise birthday dinner party, where out of eight women, I only knew the birthday girl. I met some of the women by myself at the bar, and I told them up front that I didn't drink. In fact, I made it a joke, saying I was the birthday girl's old, boring, not drinking person. Of course then I had to prove I wasn't boring! I was so comfortable not drinking, even though the other women had plenty of wine. I was just myself, and making an occasional joke that was funny.

Then, On Halloween night, my hubs and I had a fire in our outdoor fireplace on the driveway, as we waited for the kids to come.  My hubs got us dry ice, and we put it in our fuzzy grape juice. We had cheese, crackers, pumpkin cookies. The kids loved it, calling it the bonfire. 
Halloween With Dry Ice and Fuzzy Grape Juice!
What a fun night!

Alcohol would not have made either of these nights more enjoyable or happy. In fact, I know my hubs and I would end up arguing, and I would have been driving drunk. Instead I was funny, happy, and laughing.

I am finally understanding of the time needed to heal from drinking. 
Not only time for my body and brain to heal, but the learning that must go on to make the leap from drinking to happy sober, not just sober.

Waiting for the Kids 
With each new experience, I find I am gaining strength, with each day that passes I also gain strength.
Everything is so much calmer.
And I have to say, this truly is a miracle.

With Fun and Delight, 
On Day 424