Monday, April 25, 2016

Day 600

Dear Readers,
In Honor of Prince...There were purple flowers everywhere!
Today I have reached another milestone in my recovery, 600 days.

I feel emotional today.
It's been raining for many days, and the gloom is getting to all us here in Minneapolis.
It's also been emotional for the city, as one of our gifted musicians, Prince, died way too early, at the age of 57.
Hubs and I saw him perform three times.
He was electrifying.

I love this park!
I think the reason I love counting days, is I can truly appreciate the time and effort it takes to be sober. 
I said to a friend, "It hasn't always been easy."
He said, "Who said it was supposed to be?"
He was so right. 

Getting sober in a drinking world takes courage and faith. It takes courage to let go of an addiction, and it's not easy. It's hard work.
I had to face all of my fears and jump into the unknown with faith holding me up. 
Somehow hoping that all would be well.
It's a process and it takes perseverance. 
My hubs is SO cute!
It takes being honest. It takes stepping outside of myself and thinking of other people. 

To help me, I need the support of other people in recovery, as well as the support of my friends and family. I also need much self-compassion. 

And so far, at 600 days, it's so worth it.
I have more freedom, more peace of mind.
I am far more grateful for all I have been given.
I have a far happier house, with a far happier hubs, and a far happier me!

With a GIANT hug,
And so much love,
On Day 600,

Monday, April 18, 2016

Coping With Urges on Day 592

Dear Readers,
On Friday, I woke up with strong urges. I was surprised at first, as I haven't had any strong urges about drinking for many months. 
We were packing, getting ready to drive down to Wisconsin to bury my FIL, and celebrate my mother's birthday. She turned 91, and still plays her violin!

On the car ride down, I was still upset about these urges and pulled out all my tools to help me.
Here is what helped:
1. I talked to my hubs, voicing my feelings.
2. I "urge surfed", something I learned in treatment, by just breathing and riding them out.
3. I let myself feel my feelings, and I let myself feel sorry for myself for a little while.
4. I distracted myself with games on my phone, and took a nap in the car.
5. I looked for the triggers, and I realized there were many. We were dealing with many weekends of traveling, eating out a lot, and socializing both happy and sad times. 

The urges soon went away, and I had none for the rest of the weekend.

When I looked closer at the triggers, what stood out the most is the amount of socialization time where everyone except myself and hubs were drinking. Most were drinking a lot. 

I find it interesting to look at people drinking, and see the changes in personality and their faces. Most people start to get flushed in the face. They get more animated, sometimes silly, sometimes more opinionated. Definitely they get more talkative.
I know when I drank too much, I talked a lot more and much louder. In fact some of my friends would tell me to quiet down.

I also saw one woman I know get very drunk. It was so obvious, and I was sad for her. I don't think she knew what she looked like to the rest of the group. She was "sappy", couldn't hold a conversation, and had a hard time standing. I noticed she was the one who kept getting drinks for her husband. 

I just wonder how we got to a place where in everything we do, everyplace we go, people drink. Alcohol is tied to every social event I go to. I wonder how soon before it is offered at fast food places! 

All I know is, I am happy I am not drinking. 

With Love,

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Going Forward

Dear Readers,
On my last post, Francis, over at FreeCore, left this response to my missing the "fun times" at dinner parties:

"I know I'm only young, but I often reminisce of phases in my life where I enjoyed myself with friends (or alone). Those fun times were at a high-price to my own well-being and family. I think that's only natural to miss those moments. But whenever you look back on that excitement, rather than focus on how out of control your life was, maybe think about how much you've grown and how well you're doing. Missing those times doesn't mean you want to be in that time, so don't ever let that get you down :)."

I kept thinking about his words as I went to my party as well as throughout my weekend.
I have grown, and I am doing well.
And just because I might miss some of those drinking times, does not mean I want to go back to them. 

Today in my AA meeting, I was reminded yet again, that I do not wish to go back to my drinking days. People in my meeting always talk about all that is good in their lives right now because they are sober. They have better relationships with families and friends.
They are able to handle hard situations better. They are calmer, more giving, kinder, and just more content. They have let go of many resentments. They are better able to see destructive patterns in their lives and work on letting go of them. 

It's the same with me.
I am in a much better place than I was 19 months ago.
And I am happier.

With Love on Day 586,

PS - Dinner party was fun! Lots of love, laughter and good food!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Peace of Mind on Day 583

Some of the beauty we saw.
Dear Readers,
My father-in-law died this week.
We are so grateful he is out of pain. 
Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post. 
Mr. Untipsy said, "Thank you."

Nothing is better than the peace I have not drinking.
I know I have written about this before, but it keeps coming back to me when I think about drinking.

I have peace of mind that I won't hurt someone while driving drunk.
I have peace of mind that I don't have to hurry to find the bottles I hid from hubs before he gets home.
Peace of mind I don't have to wake up with anxiety and night sweats in the middle of the night.
Peace of mind I won't have the endless depression cycle of drinking and remorse.
I have peace of mind knowing fights I have with hubs are normal, not alcohol fueled.
Peace of mind that I won't be causing more drama in my life due to my drinking.
Peace of mind I won't wake up with a hangover.
Peace of mind that I won't make a fool of myself at parties and have to call the hostess to apologize the next day.
Peace of mind I don't have to look to see if I sent any drunk e-mails.
Peace of mind I won't have blackouts, wondering what I said or did.

If at anytime I think I miss the excitement of drinking, I just need to remember how out of control my life really was. 

I am going to another dinner party tomorrow night with my close couple friends. This is still the hardest time for me. I still have so many memories of drinking with them. I am working on disconnecting those thoughts. It's the one time I can get to feeling sorry for myself. 

This time, I am going with these thoughts:
I am happy they are my friends. They have 100% supported me through this journey in sobriety.
I am happy we are still sharing good laughs, memories, and good food.
I am happy they can drink.

But most of all, I am happy I will have peace of mind that at the end of night, I will lay my head on my pillow and rest with no regrets.

With Big Hugs,

Monday, April 4, 2016

Supporting a Loved One

Dear Readers,
I wanted this to be a "happy" post as today marks 1 year and 7 months of me being sober.
But life doesn't always work out that way.

This weekend, after getting back from Arizona, we went to Wisconsin to see my father-in-law. We received word while on vacation that he was not doing well.
He has dementia and his health is on a fast decline.
In fact, so fast, we were not prepared.
He can't talk anymore, can't get himself up, isn't eating or drinking. 
He will soon be in care of hospice.
The last time we saw him was at Christmas when my hubs, myself, and my mom all had dinner together.
At that time, he could walk without help and he talked about the olden days. 

When my husband talked to his father this weekend, tears came out of my father-in-law's eyes.
We held his hand, talked about all the funny things we remembered, and kissed him good-bye. 
And we cried.

When my mother-in-law died several years ago, very suddenly, I was still drinking.
My husband drove home, and I flew in later as I was substitute teaching at the time.
I remembered that I had several drinks at the airport before I boarded the plane. I also remember there were some very drunk men at the bar that I was sitting at, and they made me uncomfortable.
When I met my husband at the airport, I told him I needed some wine to "fortify" myself before I went to meet his father and other family members.
So we went to a local tavern and I had several more glasses of wine.
My husband remembers that he didn't want to go, but he knew I'd be fighting him if I didn't get that wine.

Now at this sad time, I am not drinking. 
How would drinking help? Would that help my husband? Would it take away the pain?
What I did this time was to support my husband, with walks, holding hands, hugs and love.
By being by his side, sober.
No amount of drinking will ever take away the pain of seeing a loved one hurting.

With Much Love,

Friday, April 1, 2016

Home Again on Day 575

Devil's Bridge in Sedona
Dear Readers,
I'm back!
We had a wonderful time! Never once did I wish I could be drinking. 
I am posting too many photos, but I want you to see what a happy sober vacation looks like!
No pouting, no hangovers, no fights!
Just hiking, golfing, beautiful scenery and romantic dinners. 

I'll try to catch up on all of your blogs as soon as I can!

I'm not great, but I have fun!
Happy Dinners!

Another Hike in the Desert