Tuesday, December 6, 2016

'Tis the Season

Before....
Dear Readers,
Mr. UT and I bought and put up our Christmas tree this past weekend, and I must say, it brings me a lot of joy.
One year, a long time ago, I just didn't feel like putting up a tree, as there are times no one sees it except us.
I never did that again.
This tree is for us to enjoy, and to honor the Christmas season.
It brings light into the gloomy December weather.

Not drinking this holiday season has been way easier than the last two.
The first year was very hard, and my feelings were all over the place.
Last year was better, but I still thought I was missing something, especially at parties.
This year, I have no desire or wish to drink.

I am finding that although I still like an occasional party, I don't need to go to a party to be happy.
After!
I like the connections with people, but I find that need taken care of in other ways.
I now like to leave parties early. 

I am ever so grateful I do not drink.
If there is ever a time that I wish I could, I think back to my life when I was drinking.
I was a mess. My depression was deep, and though not just due to drinking, it was made much worse by drinking.
I was driving drunk, putting myself and others at risk.
I would wake up and feel like a failure over and over, because I couldn't say no to wine.
Mr. UT and I would fight about how much I was drinking.
I would wake up with night sweats and so thirsty.
I had some yucky digestive problems.

One time, at a Christmas Party, I made Mr. UT take me out early so I could get some drinks before going. Then at the party, I drank a lot of red wine. I got so drunk that I threw up on the way home, all over the cute skirt I was wearing. I passed out at home.

Was that fun?
I can't drink. 
I am thankful I came to that understanding before my life was ruined. 
I am a "yet".
Many horrible things have not happened to me, due to drinking..."yet".
But if I start drinking again, all bets are off.

Today, at my AA meeting, I once again heard stories of faith, courage, and love.
It takes a tremendous amount of faith and courage to get and stay sober.
I had to have a lot of faith that I could live without drinking. Courage to speak up and get help. I had to learn to love myself, and pass along that love to other people trying to get sober. 

I now realize that I must be grateful every day that I am sober.
I can't take this for granted.
This is my life, and today I choose a life full of hope, rather than a life filled with fear.
I choose a life filled with peace, rather than one filled with turmoil.

With a Warm Heart on Day 824,
Wendy

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Emotional Hangovers

Dear Readers,
Lately, I have been re-learning how to deal with all my emotions. 
I never really learned as a child, and got stuck in my teenage years.
Almost like I had teenage glasses that colored how I dealt with the world and people as an adult.
Which doesn't work so well.

Anger, self-pity, resentments, fear, and jealousy are a few of the emotions I am learning to see though my adult eyes. 
How do I deal with these very strong emotions without drinking?
How do other people deal with them?
I have noticed that the longer I am sober, the better I am able to handle these emotions.
I have a chance to hit the pause button, and not just lash out or react.
Talking through issues calmly really helps, especially with someone who will listen.
Sometimes I even find the best advice on-line.

I am learning to challenge myself when it comes to these feelings.
I am learning to look a little deeper.
What are they telling me?

I know the negative feelings will pass.
I know I have to sit with them just for a minute.
I don't have to act on them right away, and maybe not at all.
Not drinking means I don't act out in the drunken e-mails, crying over the phone, and drunken anger.
I might have to take action on something, but only after my calm has returned.

Comparisons make me feel bad about myself. 
I tend to see all that I lack, or wish I was more out-going, or more popular, or a better writer, and on and on. I want people to like me. I know that most of my negative feelings stem from feeling not good enough. I sometimes seek constant reassurance.
On my emotional fragile days, I have a little bit harder time dealing with these feelings.

I come back to gratitude, because that is the one true thing that helps me change my focus from the negative to the positive.
I have so much.
I have a home and a loving husband.
I have a loving family and friends.

Taking positive action is another thing that helps me feel empowered.
If I feel left out by a friend, the best way I feel better is by texting a positive note to another person. Almost instantly, I feel better.
If I find myself always focused on one person, or one situation, it often means I am not living my life. I am living their life. 
Volunteering, reading and commenting on sober blogs, are other positive actions that help me feel better about myself. 

Self-compassion, self-acceptance, love and reaching out, are the hallmarks of my growth.
This is an on-going learning process, just as learning to stay sober is on-going.

This was my third sober Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful.
We went to my sister's home, and had a yummy dinner with some of my darling nieces and nephews!
There were ten adults, one baby, and five dogs!
Happy Thanksgiving!
The dogs were so funny! They were running around under the tables, popping up once in while, looking for a little snack. 
The really cool thing was, no one talked about political things. 

I love my sister and her children, and this was the feeling I chose to focus on.
There was wine, but there were AF drinks as well.
I had no feelings of wanting a drink and so happy I am not drinking.
I didn't get that yucky feeling of being tired and hungover.
I was downright perky!!

Today Mr. UT and I went for a walk, as it was another gorgeous day here!

With a Warm Heart,
On Day 814,
Wendy

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Long and Winding Road

Golfing in November is Awesome!
Dear Readers,
Over two years ago, not only did I stop drinking, I had a cochlear implant.
I had also just retired from teaching the year before.
Three big changes, all at once!

I hope you can read my post about my cochlear implant if you haven't already,
It explains how much loss I experienced.
I lost the ability to "hear" music.
The post is called Something Lost, Something Gained.

Now that I can't hear much in my other ear, I am glad I had the operation. Without it I couldn't hear people talk, and that is very isolating.
My hearing got progressively worse as time went on, and it was one of the reasons I retired from teaching. I couldn't hear the children, the fire alarm, or the phone.

I still struggle to hear, and have to use closed caption when watching television.
I miss a lot of conversation in movies or at plays.
I miss conversations in yoga, and in any big room.

However, I am ever so grateful for being able to hear what I can.
I can even hear birds now! 

I have written before about grieving and loss. It is part of our human condition.
Some of my losses have been my co-workers, a place to belong, alcohol, and hearing and music.
I feel as if I am on the other side of my grieving for these losses.
They are still with me, but no longer so hurtful. 
But this took time. 
I had to cry, I had to be mad, I had to talk, I had to hug, but then I had to accept a new reality.
I had to move, and not stay stuck.

Many of us, in the early days of quitting drinking, write of the loss we feel.
It is a real loss, and not a loss to brush off.
For many of us, alcohol was our friend.
This was true for me.
But I have replaced the alcohol friend with real friends, and real experiences.
This helped me heal from the loss, and has made my life so much richer.

So I close with a quote I read from University of Washington:


Grieving such losses is important because it allows us to ‘free-up’ energy that is bound to the lost person, object, or experience—so that we might re-invest that energy elsewhere. Until we grieve effectively we are likely to find reinvesting difficult; a part of us remains tied to the past.
Grieving is not forgetting. Nor is it drowning in tears. Healthy grieving results in an ability to remember the importance of our loss—but with a newfound sense of peace, rather than searing pain.

With A Wish For Peace,
On Day 802,
Wendy

Friday, November 4, 2016

Touched By Addiction

Dear Readers,
Today I have been sober for 27 months, or 792 days.
This makes me happy!
It makes Mr. UnTipsy happy, too!

Last night I was reminded of how many people have been affected by addiction.
I volunteered to help at a training session for people who want to learn about opioid addiction and how to administer a life-saving drug to help someone who has overdosed.
(You can read about it here.)

There were 16 people, and they ranged from college age to seniors.
There were nurses, students, moms, friends, and even one man who heard about this foundation on television and just came.

Every one in that room was addicted to something themselves, or had family or friends who had addictions.

One of the volunteers spoke about her son who died of a heroin overdose. 
She told of the pain of trying to get first responders to carry Naloxone, the drug that can help someone survive an overdose.
Another lady cried at the end of the session, and what she shared was deeply moving.
This was the first time she could talk about her husband, who died of an overdose, because of the stigma around drug addiction.
She cried because she didn't know what to say to her 8 year old child about his dad's death.

I am being awakened to the wide ranging problem of addiction of all of its forms.
It is an eye-opener for me. 
We as a nation struggle with addiction and yet the stigma and shame around it abounds.
It makes me sad.

I share my story as an alcoholic with people as I am not ashamed, but I sometimes try to be "funny" when I tell my story to make people more comfortable.
I rarely use the word alcoholic in general public, and say I have stopped drinking, or that I was drinking too much.

I hope and pray that one day we can really help people recover.
Not shame them, jail them, deny them housing, but to really put money forth to find solutions.

I am so happy I no longer drink.
I have peace of mind every day I wake up.
I have peace of mind every night I lay down.

With Much Love,
On Day 792,
Wendy

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Living Right

Dear Readers,
Golfing in Fall!
Last weekend I went to a small dinner party with our closest friends, and for the first time, I didn't miss drinking!
Everyone else was drinking, and I didn't care.
It didn't bother me, and I didn't get pouty!
It was so freeing!

At my last AA meeting we discussed "right living". 
Right living for me means I keep honest about drinking. 
I had to be brutally honest with myself in order to quit drinking and look at how I was affecting not only my life, but the people I loved, especially Mr. UT.
It means telling on myself if I have a drinking thought.

Right Living means I get out of my own head and help someone else who might be struggling.
Sometimes that might be with drinking, but it might be with someone who is lonely.
The very best way for me to be less lonely is to help someone else.

Right living means, I take care of the things I need to.
It means something as simple as making my bed and doing the laundry.
It means managing my money.

Right living also means taking care of my needs, too.
It means I stop drinking too much coffee.
It means I do my exercise.

Now, this is not always easy for me, but it is getting better.
Volunteering is fun, but doing things around the house that need to be done, is not.
Taking care of myself is not easy.
I want to be lazy.
I want to sit around all day.

In recovery circles I hear the saying, "Do the next right thing". 
I like that.
It means taking responsibility for myself.
It means I give myself a gentle push to look at what I need to do to make my life and other people's lives a little bit better.

With a Big Hug,
On Day 786,
Wendy

PS - Mr. UT and I read the book Detroit Muscle, by Jeff Vande Zande, after reading about it on Walking in Sober Boots, blog. The main character, Robby, has a drug addiction. I was unsure if I could relate to a guy who loves cars. But, after reading it, I realized Robby could be anybody, a guy or a girl, with an addiction. His family holds secrets, as many families with addictions do. 
As Robby tries to make amends, not everyone is ready to accept them. But the ending makes me hopeful that Robby will make it! 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Up, Down, All Around


Dear Readers,
I am sorry I have been absent from the blogging world for a little while.
I think I just needed a break for a bit.
But not to worry, I am still here!
Centennial Lakes

Most of my time away has been good.
Mr. UT is good. 
His labs came back as precancerous, but not cancer.
So he will have to go back in 6 months for another check up, but the doctor seemed happy overall.
I have been reading books, going to yoga, and going for long walks with a friend and Mr. UT.
I am still loving my volunteer job and going to meetings.

Our fall season has been beautiful, and I can't help but show you a few photos I took of this season in our city.
Last Night! 

But I have been struggling with a few things.
Fall can be a tricky season.

With fall comes parties, and with parties come the thoughts of wishing I could drink.
I won't drink, but the thoughts still come.
Just the last few days have been hard.
The most important thing I have learned about thoughts about drinking is to tell someone about them. I don't keep them hidden, so I can stay accountable. 

With fall comes fading light, and with fading light, comes some low energy and isolation for me. I find I am spending time watching endless election news, which makes me upset.
I am isolating a little bit.
I know I should reach out, but tend to sit in pajamas and veg out.
I am also playing way too many computer type games, for way too long.

I have also been struggling with insomnia. I have been so tired, and that makes my thinking and my mood so low.
I have tried magnesium, cutting back on caffeine, computer time, all the things I am supposed to do, but sleep eludes me. That makes me miss golfing, and some of my favorite yoga times, as I can't get up early enough. It makes it hard for me to read or post on blogs.
The one thing that does seem to help is walking outside, in the daylight, for at least 45 minutes.
The problem is, I can't make myself do this by myself.
So unless my friend can go with me, I don't go.

I think on my strong days, I need to shore up more support for myself. I can set dates to meet people at meetings, for coffee, or for exercise. That way, I won't have to think of doing this on a gray day when my energy is low. 

Today I made it to yoga, am writing this post, and will read as many blogs as I can this weekend. 
We have a small dinner party tonight, with all of our good friends.
It's so nice out, I am even wearing flip flops!

Big Hugs to All,
On Day 779,
Wendy

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mr. UT's Update

Here we are this summer!
Dear Readers,
Mr. UT had his operation yesterday, and it went very well. 
His surgeon was able to remove the polyp the easier way, so he was home the same day.
Now we have to wait for the pathology report to be sure there was no cancer. 
More waiting, but the doctor said if she saw anything that seemed like it was cancerous, she would have done the more invasive procedure.
(Read here for my first post about his operation.)
Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers!

We can walk now, but will have to wait a week to do more of our active fun stuff!
So today we went for a short walk, and will hunker down for binge watching House of Cards tonight!

With so Much Gratitude, 
Love,
Wendy

PS - I reached my 25 months sober anniversary on October 4! 


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Drinking Dream

My Dad and I at my Wedding!
Dear Readers,
Yoga often brings up some powerful memories and feelings.
One time, a year after my dad had passed, I broke down sobbing in a class.
This morning during class, I suddenly remembered I had a drinking dream last night.

I don't remember all of the details, but I do remember some of the feelings.
I was inside some sort of building, and I was with another person that I knew.
I remember I was feeling frustrated and anxious.
There was a cupboard with alcohol in it.
The other person and I got it out.
I think it was whisky or something like that.
I poured a drink, and put it on a counter.

At some point I put the drink back in the cupboard, without drinking it.
Then, all of a sudden, my dad was standing next to me, and told me he was proud of me for putting it back.

When my dad was alive, he struggled with his drinking, especially later in his life.
My brother, sister and I were lucky that his drinking didn't effect us growing up. 
We had much fun going camping, golfing, skiing, all because my dad loved to learn new things, and he taught us the love of learning.

But after we had all married and moved out, his drinking really increased.
It was not fun for my mom, or the family when we gathered at special occasions.
He had classic alcoholic behavior....hiding bottles, getting drinks for family so he could sneak drinks in the kitchen, behavior changes from nice to mean.
He couldn't stop, and didn't want outside help.
He tried to quit on his own, but that didn't work.
It was only after he developed Parkinson's disease that he was able to cut down.

I do not like drinking dreams, and I am so lucky I have had only a few.
They make me anxious just thinking about them.
So it's no wonder I pushed the dream away, and it didn't remember it until my yoga practice.

But they also can teach me.
This dream reminded me that I used to drink when I was frustrated about work.
I'd work myself up to be very angry or resentful and then drink to calm myself down.
The dream told me that my dad really did want to quit, but he just didn't know how.
And that he loved me.

Today, hubs and I are going shopping, although the sun is shining and it's so pretty outside, we might need to change plans and go biking!

With Much Love,
On Day 758,

Wendy

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Being the Cool Sober People

Dear Readers,
Something cool happened last night!
Mr. UT and I went to a trendy downtown place to eat.
We brought along a bottle of Fre Brut (alcohol free champagne).

When we showed it to the waiter, he told us his girlfriend doesn't drink, and he was interested in how this tastes. We told him to have sip.

Then one of the managers came over and asked if she could try it.
We said, sure!
They both came back later and said it tasted like one of their real champagnes.

Having people actually wanting to taste our AF drink was a new one for us!!
It made dinner so fun!
I really did feel like one the cool people, not drinking!

I have to say this was the first dinner where I really felt free being sober.
It's such a wonderful feeling!

Much Love,
Wendy

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Life I am Making

Our Evening Walk..Minneapolis
Dear Readers,
I am slowly understanding the effects that drinking had on my life.
It kept me from participating in a full life.
It kept me trapped in my child-self, the one that wants what she wants right now.
It kept me trapped by keeping me inside, in the dark bars.
It kept me away from being close to my husband.
It kept me away from learning how to be an adult.

It has taken me awhile to appreciate all that I have learned. 
I sometimes think I haven't grown fast enough in my recovery, but then I look back and realize I am making progress!

One of the greatest things I have learned is that life is what I make it.
If I chose a word of the year, it might be "action".
I can let inertia take over, and when I do that, I always find I get down.
I can't wait until I "feel" like doing something, I have to just do it.
I have to "show up" for things.
Which for me is easier said than done at times, especially on grey days.
I have found that outside accountability helps me.
That's one of the reasons I told so many people about my sobriety...the accountability.

I can't let fear stop me from living a fuller life.
I was so afraid to pick someplace to volunteer, afraid I would be tied there forever, or that somehow I would be making a "wrong" choice.
Once I faced my fears, and just asked to help, I am finding so much happiness meeting new people, learning new skills, and going out of my comfort zone. 

(My volunteer job is working with a small non-profit foundation that helps people with opioid addictions. I am putting the link to their website here.) 
Our Favorite City Park

In the past few weeks, I have:
- Been to a cabin with friends - Hosted a dinner party where nobody drank alcohol
- Hiked and walked with hubs
- Golfed with hubs and friends
- Volunteered
- Been to meetings
- Seen friends at coffee shops and at my house
- Been to yoga
- Read several books
- Been to doctors, as I had a small kidney stone (not fun)

As I am retired, I count myself very lucky I have this time to give of myself as well as time for myself. But I also see that life goes by very fast. I can't take anything for granted anymore. 
Falls...Up North
That includes my sobriety. I am so grateful that I am sober today.

With a Cup of Coffee, On Day 749,
Wendy

PS - Hubs will have his operation in two weeks.
We both have been calm while waiting, and just have been going on with our daily routines.



Saturday, September 3, 2016

2 Years!!

Year Two 
Dear Readers,
On September 4th, I am 2 years sober!
As I was looking back at my one year post, I noticed that much what I said then, still holds true now, so I am reposting it below.

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 don't drink. 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 needed to do 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 Much Love from the Northern Woods,
On Day 731,
Wendy

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Some Worry, Some Faith

Dear Readers,
Yesterday we learned that Mr. UT will need an operation to remove a large colon polyp.
We met with the surgeon, and she walked us through what needs to happen.

The polyp is large and close to the top of the colon, so it has to be removed by surgery.
This type is precancerous, and as she explained, it can hide cancer cells in it.
It will have to be biopsied when it is removed.

She will try to remove it with a scope, but chances are, it will have to be removed by cutting it out, as well as part of the colon.
The colon will then be reattached. 

This of course can have side effects, including problems with bowel movements, and a possible chance of leakage where the colon is reattached.

I am nervous.
Mr. UT is nervous.
I have been through 11 operations.
Mr. UT has only been through one, his tonsils out when he was a little kid.
He will have to stay in hospital for about five days, and it takes about a month before he can go back to work.
The surgeon did not give us a, "Oh, I probably can get it with the scope."
She wants to be careful because it is easy to poke a hole in the colon, and that is another reason she would cut it out.

Mr. UT gave me the go-ahead to write about this, which is pretty cool, since he is way more private than I am!
I wish he could have the operation soon, but it won't be until early October. 
So this just sits there, in the back on my mind.
I know the anxiety we feel is normal.

All we can do is trust that all will go well.

With a lot on my mind,
Love,
Wendy and Hubs

Monday, August 22, 2016

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Our Wedding!
Dear Readers,
Yesterday was our 40th wedding anniversary!
Yikes! That's a long, long, long time!
Mr. UT and I are high school sweethearts, meeting in 11th grade.
We went steady for 7 years before getting married.
And here we are...47 long years later!

We celebrated by going out to dinner, golfing, and biking!
And eating ice cream!
I kept thinking we should be having a big party or something, but in the end, a simple celebration was perfect. 

One of the things I love about being sober, is that we are becoming more active again.  
We always used to go skiing, hiking, and camping.
We learned how to golf together, although hubs is way better than I am!
Biking to Minnehaha Falls 

Right now, my favorite activity to do together is biking.
I feel so free when I am on my bike!

When my drinking slowly increased, I found I was so focused on drinking or getting a drink, that much of what I thought about became, "When or where can I go to get a drink?"
Golfing became about getting beer. 
Skiing became getting a drink on the hill.
Then I would be so tired, and I would not want to do anything.
Friday nights became all about drinking.
Now, our Friday nights are about going for a walk.

We are, without a doubt, so much happier now that we are not drinking. This does not mean everything is perfect.
But it does mean we argue less, overreact less, laugh more, and love more deeply.

With Much Love on Day 718,
Wendy and Mr. Ut

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Happy Times

Dear Readers,
Last week was a time of celebrations.
My Cute Neighbor
It was my birthday, and I also celebrated 23 months sober! 

My birthday was filled with golf with a friend, coffee dates, a dinner date, and lots of love.
It was perfect.
I also did a dog walking for a neighbor's dog! 
I loved that! 
He's a cutie pie!

Flowers are filling my life right now. 
Hubs and I bought a beautiful planter, and I put vincas in it.
I also bought myself some yellow roses for inside the house, and I think that will be a weekly treat from now on.

Flowers!
I continue to work on my mind-set and self talk.
If I want the good things to continue in my life, I have to go get them.
I tend to discount the positives of doing something, and focus on the negatives.
I love to go a particular yoga class on Saturday morning, but when it comes around, I often talk myself out of it, saying, "It's too early, and I can't do it."
But when I go, I love it!
I see some wonderful yoga buddies, and my body feels good afterwards!

I can talk myself out of anything, because my first default thinking is, "It's too hard!"
I have been putting off writing this post, because I couldn't think of something to say, so today, after yoga, I just decided I would start typing. 

For those of you who are newer to my blog, I added a feature post that tells you why I stopped drinking. (It's on the right side of my blog page.)
I continue to get support from my yoga buddies and teachers, family, friends, and AA buddies.

I think it's important to celebrate this accomplishment.
Whether it's 1 day or 700 days, it's something to be proud of.
Every day I choose to stay sober, means I am choosing life.
It means I am choosing to make the world around me a little bit better.
It means big smiles from my cute hubs.
It means I am free.

With Flowers and a Fur Friend,
On Day 702,
Love, 
Wendy

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pain

Just a Little Bass
Dear Readers,
Mr. UT was on vacation last week, and we decided to stay home and "play" outside.
We went golfing, fishing, canoeing, biking, and hung out on our deck.
It got super hot a few days, but we managed to still have fun!
We are lucky to live in a beautiful state with many lakes, bike paths, and places to enjoy nature.

Today my body is hurting. I never know when it will hurt, or how long it will hurt. 
To help feel better, I said a prayer to all the other people who are suffering with pain, and sent them healing thoughts. I went outside in the sun. I fed the birds and watered my flowers.
But most of all, I was very gentle with my body. I didn't yell at it, and I didn't get in despair.
I took some big breaths and moved slowly. 
When my body hurts, I know that I need to move. Sitting for long makes it worse.

I think of all the people in pain; emotional, physical, or mental. There are many of us.
So many people look for relief but can't find it.
It's no wonder so many of us end up being addicted to something.

Now I am not using drinking as a way to deal with my pain, so I am finding new ways to help myself.
For my emotional pain, I am learning how to change my thinking, to examine my thoughts.
My thoughts are not always true. I am also learning that I will be hurt once in awhile. 
That's life. It's not always fair.
I am learning that I am very loved, and when I feel my worse, if I reach out to help someone else, I feel better almost at once. I am learning to get out of my own head and act. Often I over think something, and that makes me feel worse.

To help me with the mental pain of depression, I am learning to do the same...to examine the thoughts that lead me to feeling depressed. I often over generalize those thoughts. My depression is often linked to my physical and emotional pain, so when I help that pain, my depression eases.

I have been learning how to deal with my physical pain from my yoga teachers, PT, books, and other people. Often, I need help with this, and I ask someone to meet me for coffee or a walk, so that I am "forced" to get up and move. Because I find that if I just sit at home all day, feeling sorry for myself, I feel worse.

Today, I texted an AA friend and told him I was going to the meeting. That makes me get up and go. I am always glad I go. I hear such wonderful stories of strength and hope, and it always uplifts me.  And just maybe, someone will hear something I say and it will help them.

With Much Love to All of You Beautiful Blogger Friends,
Wendy
On Day 691

PS - Thank you for your wonderful comments on Mr. UT's post!