Friday, July 8, 2016

A Shift in Thinking

Dear Readers,
On the Fourth of July, I was 22 months sober.
I realized that day, that my thinking has slowly been changing.
I used to say I stay sober because I have to...now I realize I stay sober because I want to.

I want the peace of mind.
I want the freedom.
I want the better life I have now.

I am creating a new life that I know would not have happened if I was drinking.
I am volunteering for a woman who runs a small non-profit that gives money for recovery programs and support. I have been searching for a volunteer position, but I could't decide on one. I kept myself open to new ideas, and when I heard this woman in my meeting talk about her job, I knew this is what I wanted to do.

I have been gently pushing myself out into the world, finding ways I can connect to people.
Meeting people for coffee has been the best way for me to do this.
I can hear people better when I meet with them one at a time.

In my last meeting, a man was crying, and after the meeting I asked him to go to coffee.
We have gone to coffee once before, but this time he was visibly upset.
He suffers from depression and is very lonely. I understand depression and loneliness. 
And so we just sat and talked, he cried, and I listened.

I also am finding I am laughing more. My friend and I went "coffee bar" hopping and we laughed so much! I am also more relaxed when I am with my drinking friends at dinner parties, and so I am having more fun!

My yoga community continues to be a source of happiness for me.
I am learning to be gentle with my body, and I am learning to modify the poses.
Although I can't go everyday, I have made friends with some of the people here.

I am finding more people who are in recovery, yoga teachers included.
A yoga teacher announced her 3 years in recovery on FB, and I know of several other yoga teachers who are sober.
I find so much support all around me.

I have been golfing with a friend once a week, and with hubs on the weekends.
I am not very good, but I continue to play, to be active, and to connect with nature.

I have learned that for my depression to lesson, I cannot stay home all day, unless I am in a very strong place. Otherwise, I must get out of the house.
I need support of other people to do this, but I am learning that because I am stronger than I think, I can support myself, too.

I finally bought flowers for my deck, and it is such a joy to wake up and see the lovely colors!

I also bought a bug!
Hubs thought I was a little bit nuts, but he hung it up for me!
I love Mr. UT so much!

With Flowers and Bugs (Mosquitoes included),
On Day 673,
Wendy





40 comments:

  1. Hi Wendy, congratulations on your 22 months :-) I am happy for you. And yes! If you want to celebrate with flowers and a bug, you should! :-)
    Cool that you are volunteering, it sounds like an interesting organisation to work for.
    What I really like is that you say 'I find so much support all around me.' To me that is a real sign of healing; it seems to be so that people who have an addiction tend to run into people who have an addiction. Cool to learn that now you are sober you run into sober people. :-) Isn't that just nicely, neatly organised by the Universe? (which would be my way of seeing it)
    Hope you enjoy your weekend next to your shockingly pink flowers. I just love them. :-)
    xx, Feeling

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    1. Thank you, Feeling!
      I went to yoga today, will be golfing, and just enjoying the beautiful sunshine!
      I love flowers!!
      xo

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  2. Thank you for sharing - this is all very inspiring for me as those all sound like things I would like to do...one day...only on day 5 (of dozens of day 5s) but know I will get there! Thanks and congrats on 22 months!

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Ingrid!
      It took me several times to finally get sober.
      I just didn't give up.
      xo

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  3. I love the bug. I bet mr UT will smile every time he sees it.
    Friendship and support are vital. It's how we heal, and help others heal too.
    Funny, none of us can do this alone!

    Coffee, volunteering, yoga and golf! You are a busy lady!
    Awesome!
    Anne

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    1. He thinks I am becoming an old lady with all the gnomes in her garden.
      Well, I am older, so I can put little animals, bugs or anything I want into my yard.
      Either that, or get a real dog!!
      Thank you Anne!!
      xo

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  4. Way to go Wenzzzzz! !!!!
    Love from Lisa
    Xxx

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    1. LISA!!
      You are here!!
      I miss you girl! I hope you are well!!
      xoxo

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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Lou!!
      I am happy! I think that I came to realize that I have way more strength than I thought when I was working at my mom's house.
      xo

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    2. Funny, isn't it? Those things that stress and test us -- like the marathon cleanout for your Mom - sometimes they also teach us!?

      I've been feeling a little bit like you. Wanting to fo something 'more' (i.e. Useful!) with my life. But not much idea what. However....something will show itself one of these days, I'm sure. So I'll just be patient.

      Always good to catch up w your blog. Your positivity is pure tonic.

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    3. Thank you, NW.
      I learned a lot about myself, and I am not sure why.
      But I will take it!
      xo

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  6. goog for you. It's very liberating isn't it? You may find your perceived progress to slow about now (if it hasn't already) and progres may even appear to stop. Let me chime in to say this is not the case. You have made it through the hardest part of recovery to the really good part. But in my experience growth continues for years at 8 years and counting I still surprise myself every now and then. At 5 years I danced in public sober for the first time, something I thought would never happen again. I was so self conscious it was almost unbearable but it was also thrilling. At 6 years my wife and I danced away the new year at an LGBT club and I learned that dancing sober was more fun than doing it drunk. 7 years sober karaoke became my favorite thing. 8 years I stopped noticing when others were drinking around me. It just keeps getting better.

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    1. Oh Thank you, Ken!
      I see that to be the case for all the people I meet in recovery!
      Dancing sober is the best!
      I am so glad to know things will continue to improve or surprise or delight me!
      xo

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  7. It sounds as if you have really transformed your life and yourself. It all sounds lovely. Such a nice thing you are doing by being there to help others, and being here to help us! PDTG

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    1. Dear PDTG,
      It's been slow for me, but I finally took the courage to step out a little bit more.
      You help me, too!!
      xo

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  8. I LOVE that bug!! I am at my happiest when I'm on my deck with my flowers and my backyard birds. The nonprofit is very fortunate to have you as a volunteer; happy 22 months!! xx

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    1. Hi Lori!
      I'm on my deck looking at my bug, and I have a squirrel too!
      Thank you!
      xo

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  9. Initially I wished I was where you are on the path (immediate gratification) but then I realised as I am sure you do that each step, each day, each challenge is necessary. i think it is amazing how you are putting yourself out there both on the sober blogs but also IRL to help as many people as you can. I think you would be astounded at how many lives you have touched. I love the bug too!

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    1. Dear GHG,
      It is so true, that it is one step at a time. Today, my energy is low, and I have to be careful not to let my mood go low with it.
      Thank you so much for your kind words!
      xo

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  10. What a pretty spot in the shade. I love how you describe that shift in thinking. I don't remember when it happened for me but it's only grown stronger. And what a gift you are to the friends at your meeting. This was so uplifting to read, thank you.

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    1. Hi Kristen!
      Thank you! It was quite a surprise for me when I realized what was happening!
      I am glad it grows even stronger the longer I stay sober!
      xo

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  11. What an inspiring post! Sure gives me encouragement to keep going, so thank you! and I love the bug--very cool(:
    hugs
    jaded
    xo

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    1. Yay! Keep going!
      I never thought I'd be here today.
      But I am, and I am finding so many happy sober people out there.
      xo

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  12. Beautifully written Wendy, you have such a beautiful way of expressing yourself and your words carry such a gentle strength as they are read, I so appreciate them and the value they add to my journey. Congratulations on 22 months. And being able to hold space for someone is a gift, for you and that other someone. Nameste, love Gael

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    1. Thank you, Gael for those wonderful words!
      You have added to my journey, too!
      xo

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  13. Hi Wendy, what a wonderful post! I am so happy for you. Congrats on 22 months! I love your outdoor area and the bug! Enjoy. A x

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    1. Hi Angie!
      I hope your vacation went well!
      xo

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  14. I love your gentle happiness. You've built a beautiful life, I am inspired.

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    1. Thank you, Kary May!
      It really is a day at a time for me.
      Or even moment by moment!
      xo

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  16. You always inspire me so much. So happy for you. Your post is beautiful.

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    1. Dear TATB,
      Thank you so much for continuing to support me, and your kind comments!
      They mean a lot to me and help me!!
      xo

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  17. I try not to repeat the words of the previous comment but before I read it I wrote 'this is a beautiful post'! Depression is very cruel, keeping us inside away from people when what we need is to be outside, making connections. I guess the more we make, the better we get at it but it's hard to take the first steps. I needed to read this today. Thank you xx

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    1. Dear IH,
      Depression is the worst.
      Even in the summer.
      So I am setting up an outside frame to help me!
      Lately my depression is so much better!
      xo

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  18. You are such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story. I love the bug too

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