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!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mr. UnTipsy Writes Again!

Love on a Bike Ride!
Inner Strength

It’s been a while since I last wrote a guest post.  So I thought it was time to do so again.  Mostly because I want to express my admiration for the hard work Untipsy Teacher has put into her new sober life and what that means for our lives together.

Untipsy Teacher is nearing the two-year mark since she decided to stop drinking and embrace sobriety. She has faced many challenges in the past twenty-two months, and I’m sure she will face many more in the future.  She has met those challenges head on and with each one she grew a little more.  She has grown in confidence and conviction.  She found a new community of supporters from around the world through her blog.  She has reached out to others in the community where we live.  She’s read studies and books and talked with friends. It’s a journey of discovery for both of us.  I’ve watched her deal with problems in her life which would have sent her into a downward spiral in the past, searching for relief from the stress with wine or martinis.  Now she handles the problems with a calmness she didn’t have before.  There is still stress in her life, there will always be stress in our lives, but she has learned how to deal with it without drinking.  Untipsy Teacher has always been interested in personal growth and self-understanding, sometimes a bit too much.  At times she would find fault within herself that really wasn’t there.  Causing her to worry that she wasn’t “good enough”, only adding to her stress levels rather than helping her grow as a person.  Now her introspection helps her find solutions rather than adding to her problems. Over the past two years she has learned how to begin to put things into perspective. Sometimes “a cigar really is just a cigar” and not a fundamental problem or flaw.  The process isn’t perfect, it isn’t perfect for any of us, but it is much better than in the past and as a result she is able to see these small problems for the minor inconveniences that they really are, such as deciding what to pack for a trip.  We are no longer making “mountains out of molehills”, such as deciding what to pack for a trip.  Did I mention that already?  By learning how to handle the small problems we are in a better position to handle the big problems that come our way.

Watching Untipsy Teacher these past two years I’ve learned that there is no one answer that fits everyone.  It’s not just reading sober blogs or going to meetings or entering treatment or reading books or going to yoga classes. Maybe it’s a combination of one or all of these. Each person is on his or her own path; using whatever tools they find that work for them.  I think the key is to try everything until you find what works for you.  It will most likely be more than one thing and it might not be the first thing you try.  The point is: keep trying!
These are the lessons I know Untipsy Teacher hopes others can learn from and by doing so, find their own inner strength.

With Love from Mr. Untipsy, 
(And Wendy)
On Day 679


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