Monday, August 7, 2017

Just For Today

Dear Readers,
Lately I have found myself feeling left out, about not being part of an "in-group".
I often feel very insecure when it comes to people. I will say something and then worry I said the wrong thing, or I talk too loud, and someone tells me to be quieter.
I often don't hear things people say in a group situation and so I either have to ask people to repeat, which gets old after a while for them, or I pretend I know what's going on, which leads to strange conversations. Sometimes I give up and leave.

I often want to be part of the "in-group" so much, that I forget to be happy with what gifts I already have!

Slowly but surely, I am learning that the secret to life for me, is being grateful. 
A woman I know, commented on the fact that Mr. UT is a wonderful guy.
I told her, I did not really appreciate him and all that he does for me, until I got sober.

Sobriety, (as Anne of Ainsobriety often says), is a gift.
It keeps bringing me new 'aha" moments. 
It gives me the chance to step back when I am upset or sad, and ask myself some questions, and then to be open to the answers.

And because I have lately had the feelings of being left out, I asked myself, "Why is it important to me to be included with these people?"
"What do I need or want that I am not getting?"

The answers that came to me were that I need and want connections, love and approval.
When I look at what I already have, and I discover that I have connections, love and approval right now.
I do not need to seek these things.
Instead, I want to appreciate the people that love me unconditionally.
This is a gift sobriety brings.

So, just for today, I will be sober, grateful, and probably a little loud!

With Love,
On 35 Months and 3 Days,
Wendy

PS - It was my birthday last Tuesday, and Mr. UT bought me a beautiful dress, and even got the right size!!
My Birthday Present from Mr. UT!!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Don't Give Up

Dear Readers,
Mr. UT and I went for long hike today, in a beautiful park.
When we had gone two miles we debated how far we should continue hiking.
We ended up hiking 5 miles in 92 degrees heat.

Half the time, I complained to Mr. UT about how hot, tired, and thirsty I was.
But Mr. UT just kept reaching for my hand when I was going up a steep hill, and encouraged me to keep moving.

And guess what?
When we were done, I was so very glad I kept going and didn't give up.
The woods and lakes were lovely, green and blue, and little frogs were hopping everywhere.
I felt good about getting my exercise out in nature, and having time to discuss life with Mr. UT.

I am also thankful I went on a hard walk to find sobriety.
And yes, I complained to Mr. UT about how hard it was, how left out I felt, how I didn't think I could keep going.
But he, along with other people, offered me their hands, and pulled me along when my energy was sinking.
They talked me through my fears.

If I had given up on my road to sobriety, I would have never found the joy and peace of mind I have today.
Being sober brings me joy.
It brings joy to my marriage, joy to my family, and joy to all I meet in the world.
It brings joy when I water my flowers, volunteer, do the laundry, and have coffee.

It's not as if I am running around happy all the time.
I still have crabby times, tired times, sad times and angry times.
But there is an underlying joy and peace of mind knowing that these times will pass, and that I can meet any challenges that face me with grace.

It occurred to me last weekend, as Mr. UT and I ran around the city having too much fun, that I didn't miss drinking at all.
We went a museum, a sculpture garden, walked by lakes, and ate ice cream galore. (It was National Ice Cream Day!)

Now I am sore from our hike, my back is killing me.
I'm still a little crabby.
And I am so happy that I am still walking on the path of sobriety.

With an Iced Tea,
On Day 1,052,
Love, 
Wendy 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Grievance Stories

Dear Readers,
When I was in college, I had to do a supervised teaching semester in a kindergarten school. I went to meet the teachers and the school.
As soon as I returned home, I was informed by the dean of education, that they didn't want me to teach there.
He said It was because of my speech.
I was deeply hurt. This came out of nowhere. 
I was sent to see the speech and hearing clinic at the university, and found out that I had a hearing loss, and because of that I had a lisp.
I had no idea.

Later, when I first started teaching, I was hurt by another teacher.
She reported me to the superintendent, saying I shouldn't be teaching because of my speech. 
It was a horrible time. I almost quit teaching. I went into a severe depression. I didn't know who to trust on the staff, as she told many other teachers.

For many years I told these grievance stories, over and over. I struggled to let go of the hurt and pain. I was so angry. One night, many years later, in a drunk stupor, I called the teacher who reported me to the superintendent, and raged at her. 

These are but a few of my grievance stories. Stories where I have been hurt, but struggle to let them go, to learn from them, but not carry them. I first heard of the term grievance story from a book called Forgive For Good, by Dr. Fred Luskin.  Here is an excerpt from an interview he gave on Virtues for Life:

"A grievance is created when we take a normal life event that is painful, make it very personal as opposed to something that just happened, and then exaggerate how personal it is. Then we practice this pattern over and over, and forget that there are other ways of looking at the same situation."

When I was drinking, my grievance stories were about how horrible work was, and about how everyone had wronged me. They were magnified by the alcohol. I would sit for hours with my drinking buddy discussing everything that I was resentful about. 

Now, you can't rush the healing from these real hurts. 

In order for someone to forgive, "They have to have done some grief work about their loss or wound. They have to have done some grieving of it, which means that they have felt the pain and acknowledged their loss. Also, that they’ve looked at how they handled things and said, “Could I have handled it better?” So a lot of inner exploration and again going through these stages of grief. Then when these stages have been explored, you can look at letting it go. So you can’t forgive too early before you’ve had a chance to grieve the loss. That’s the biggest obstacle that people run into.

Now, one of my biggest grievance stories is about how I was hurt by being left out, or not being included.
My other one is being angry at my body for making me deaf, and the loss of hearing music. 

I really do have a choice. I can continue making myself feel bad, or I can change my story.
In terms of feeling left out, or feeling hurt, I can choose to see that in most cases, nobody tried to hurt me on purpose. If I reach out to people, I feel strong and happy, rather than wait to be invited some place.

I can choose to forgive my body for making me deaf.
I have had to grieve the loss of music. (A cochlear implant changes music and makes it sound very strange, and unpleasant.)
Now, I am telling people how lucky I was to be able to have insurance to cover a cochlear implant, so I can hear speech. 
I am telling myself and other people how happy I am I can hear birds, and hear people talking! I can hear speech on the radio now, too! 

Real life takes work. I just don't want to sit around moping about all the hurts I had past and present. 
By taking drinking out of the equation, I have been able to heal and let go of the resentments much faster. But I still have a ways to go.

In college, the dean found me another school to do my supervised teaching of kindergarten, and the teacher there was warm, loving, and I thrived. 
In the case of the teacher complaining about me, the district office put me in a different elementary school, and there I also thrived. 

Being grateful for all that I have, and remembering I can grieve, and then move on, helps me change my stories from a poor me Wendy, to a strong Wendy!

With A Sunny Walk,
On Day 1,044
Wendy

Thursday, July 6, 2017

When Pigs Fly

Pricilla Likes to Stay on the Ground
Dear Readers,
Yesterday I impulsively bought a flying pig for my yard. Mr. UT really didn't think we NEEDED a flying pig, but I did.

Mr. UT thinks I am getting a little bit daffy in my older years, as I keep adding animals to my yard. I have Bunter, the squirrel, (thank you Barb), and Hedgie, and now Pricilla, the flying pig. Oh, and I forgot I have a dragonfly, too. (But he's really a bug not an animal).

These little guys bring me delight when I go out in the yard and see them. We also have many real squirrels, birds, rabbits, deer, fox, and chipmunks.
If I am ever bored, I just go outside and sit quietly and all of a sudden there is a zoo out back! (Oh, I guess Mr. UT is right after all about being daffy, although I prefer the word eccentric!)
Ready to go to breakfast!

Mr. UT and I had a delightful sober holiday!
Four long days of biking, golfing, seeing a bad movie, going to yoga, having friends over for dinner, and riding our bikes to breakfast.
(Well, Mr. UT doesn't go to yoga, so he mowed the lawn.)

This was my third 4th of July sober.
I did not miss drinking this year. I am seeing more people who don't drink, or don't drink much, as opposed to when I was drinking, I was only open to seeing people who drank a lot. I have changed what I do now, and instead of shopping and drinking on the 4th, I am shopping and not drinking!

It feels lighter, being sober.
Things have lightened up.
Even the gray days are not so heavy on me.
The heat is not as oppressive.
I don't worry quite as much.
Things don't have to be so perfect.
My hurts are not as deep or last as long.

I joined Twitter today, and have been laughing all day long.
I joined to meet up with the wonderful people I have met in the blogging world, who support each other at  #recoveryposse.
This will be another support for my recovery, and will also bring me much needed laughter.
And laughing, like loving, is so healing.

With a Bike, a Bug, and a Pig,
Bunter
But NO gnomes allowed!

On Day 1,036,
Wendy

@untipsyteacher

Hedgie





Friday, June 30, 2017

Who Am I?

Dear Readers,
A young man that works for the foundation I volunteer for, read some of my blog posts, and said it reminded him of a poem, written by a Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was in a Nazi concentration camp, and would soon be hanged.
Green but Buggy! Run! LOL

It speaks to the doubt I often have about a public face and private face, about not knowing who I really am. The confusion of wondering what is my purpose, of being both happy and depressed, of being outwardly smiling and inwardly confused.
I know I am not alone in this suffering.

Now, I have had wonderful things happen in my life, and I am not comparing what this man went through to my problems.
But the poem speaks to the bigger issue of being human, and the feelings and struggles we all have.

Today, I am not suffering.
I am happy in my volunteer place, packing kits with the life-saving drug, Naloxone.
I am happy kissing Mr. UT.
I am happy writing this post.
I am happy giving support to other people.
I am happy at my coffee shop where I love to read and write.
I am happy at my AA meetings,
These stairs are good for my legs!
I am happy walking outside in the park, with green surrounding me.
I am happy at yoga.

Being sober has made life so much easier, calmer, and I have gained peace.
Peace to know nothing is forever, feelings come and go, helping other people feeds my soul, and I am okay.

It's a beautiful poem.

Who Am I?
"Who am I?  They often tell me
I stepped from my cell's confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a Squire from his country house.

Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders 
freely and friendly and clearly,
as through it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
equably, smilingly, proudly,
like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing
My throat, yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
tossing in expectation of great events,
powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the Other?
Am I one person to-day and to-morrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me like a beaten army
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely question of mine,

Whoever I am, Thou Knows, O God, I am thine."


Below are two sites that give more information about his life and the meaning of the poem.

http://www.marksturgess.org/blog/who-am-i-a-poem-by-d-bonhoeffer
http://www.dbonhoeffer.org/who-was-db2.htm


With Love,
On Day 1,030,

Wendy

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Montreal Vacation

Dear Readers,
We are on vacation this 
week, in Montreal, Canada!

I am sorry I will be unable comment much on your blogs, as I am using our I Pad.
But I will try to read them, and like them, and catch up with comments when we get home.

The coffee here is super yummy!
The people so nice.
Not missing drinking at all.
I'm enjoying sparkling water and tonic water with lime at our dinners and on our roof top terrace. 

I learned a few basic words in French, and this is what I say...

Je suis désolé, je ne parle pas français
...which means, I am sorry, I do not speak French!

While I was watching the news, there was a report about the opioid addiction problem
in Canada. The Canadian Health Board approved three safe injection sites in Montreal.
Here is the news article.


Hugs to all of you,
On Day 1,020,

Wendy

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Coolest Thing Ever!

Dear Readers,
Mr. UT and I rarely go out to movies, because I can not hear most of the dialogue.
We watch most movies at home so I have closed caption.
(See this post about my cochlear implant.)
So I was so surprised there is a really cool device that you can get closed caption on movies in theaters!


We saw Wonder Woman, and I was amazed at how much I could now understand by reading. Jokes were the best! I laughed right along with other people!

I am so happy about this!
Not all movies have closed caption, but the major ones all do.

Now, I have to say something about movies.
I used to think of going to movies as a time to drink. Before the movies, at the movies, and after the movies.
In fact, how I could watch a movie and not drink was beyond me.

I am not proud of this fact, but one time I left Mr. UT in the theatre and went to have a drink by myself at a bar. Ugh.

This time we kind of went nuts, and had popcorn, Twizlers, and Peanut M&M's.
It cost us a mint, but how much fun munching and crunching and reading through the movie!!

Every time I post a picture of us smiling, it's a real thing. The smiles are real, the happiness is real. We are in a far better place not drinking. 
In my drinking past, the smiling photos would have a lot of pain about my drinking behind them. 
I want to show everyone that you can be sober, have good times, live life, kiss, and look forward to more!
  
Dinner Outside
With Movies and Junk Food,
On Day 1,012,

Wendy




Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday In The City

Dear Readers,
It's Friday in the great city of Minneapolis!
You can't be bored here, as there is really so much to do!
Of course, I'm not doing it!
It's 11:30 am, and I am still in my pajamas!
In my defense...well, ever mind, I have no defense!

The bed is made, the dishes put away, and I have played my computer games.
Mr. UT is out painting.
I am trying to get the motivation to get into the shower and get myself to yoga.
I can do this!

It's supposed to be very hot and humid this weekend, so hubs and I are planning our movie dates! Alien for sure! I never go to chick flicks, or anything that will make me cry. I don't cry quietly!

One of the things I do at my volunteer position, for the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation, is pack kits with Naloxone, the drug that will help people come out of an overdose due to opioids. One of the darling people I volunteer with, was saved by this drug, and is now sober. 

I also met a woman who received training and a kit, and was able to save her high school daughter. I met the daughter as well. These are just two of the many people who would have probably died, without this drug. 

I really love volunteering, as it gets me out of my own head, and at the same time, I feel so happy I can help someone.

That's all I have today!
I am looking forward to a grateful, sober weekend!

With Air Conditioning,
And a Fan,
On Day 1,009,

Wendy

P.S. - We made plans to travel to Montreal, Canada!
I'm so excited! 
It's supposed to be a very cool city to visit.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

1,000 Days!


Dear Readers,

I reached 1,000 Days today!
I can hardly believe it!
I remember when other people reached 1,000 days, and I was in awe of them!
Now I am here, too!

Mr. UT surprised me with a delivery of long stem roses, and a sweet card, that had a special meaning.
When we were dating in high school, he would leave little things in my locker.
One time he left a big purple paper flower, with the note, "To the Flower of My Heart."


I have lost and gained things these past 1,000 days and nights.

I have lost 1,000 days of heartaches, hangovers, and hiding bottles.
I have lost 1,000 nights of drunk driving and hot sweaty sleep.
But most of all, I have lost 1,000 days of self-loathing, guilt and shame.

I have gained 1,000 days of calmness, self-esteem, and kisses from hubs.
I have gained 1,000 days of helping other people in their recovery.
But most of all, I have gained 1,000 days of peace of mind and freedom.

How I got here really was a day at a time. A moment by moment decision that I didn't want the drinking life anymore. It had stopped bringing me fun, and was bringing me far more pain. It wasn't easy, and I so wanted to be able to keep drinking. 
But I just couldn't.
Now I find I don't want to drink anymore!

I debated about buying myself a treat to celebrate, but in the end, I decided I didn't want anything. I am blessed with the love of Mr. UT. I am blessed with all the things I have lost and gained after 1,000 days. That is enough.

With 1,000 Hugs to all of You for Helping Me,
On Day 1,000,
Wendy 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Life Is Not Fair

Dear Readers,
It's finally partly sunny here, after many days of rain.
Or maybe it's partly cloudy.
I never can understand the difference between those two weather phrases.

I think life is like that.
It's part sun and part clouds.
Sometimes it's raining, and sometimes it's not.
Like the weather, it's unpredictable.

I am working hard to challenge myself on my thinking that I am a victim in life.
I am not.
Life is not fair.
It never will be.
That is the truth of the matter, and the only thing I can do is to meet life with a brave heart.

Role models help me do this.
All the sober people on-line, and in real life, are role models for me.
All the women in my family, have all been role models.
People past and present, those who have seen more rain than sun, but continue with faith, are role models.

I recognize that I am far more optimistic, now that I am sober.
When I was younger, I used to be sunny person, but later when my drinking got heavy, I complained a lot more, about my job, my health, other people, everything.

I am slowly working my way back to accepting that I will have problems because that is life.
Everyone has problems, in one way or another.
I am learning I can accept my feelings, that they are normal human emotions, but I don't have to stay in them.
I can think differently, look at things from another point of view, and my feelings change, or become less intense.

Life is constantly changing.
It ebbs and flows, sometimes too fast for me, sometimes too slow.
But I am powerless to stop the change.

I did not choose to have a problem with alcohol.
I know my father didn't either.
But we did.
And it is with a brave heart, and much faith, that I continue staying sober.

With Love,
On Day 994,
Wendy

Friday, May 12, 2017

Self-Growth

I was hungry!


Dear Readers,
I find that using photos helps me write, for some reason.
They are another way I can express what I am trying to say.

Last week, Mr. UT and I went for a walk around one of our favorite parks, where there is a cool restaurant, so we stopped by, and sat outside to have a bite to eat.
I make Mr. UT take photos of us, which he will do, although sometimes reluctantly.

Our feelings and thoughts here were of fun, love and connection. When we go for walks, it gives us time to connect, and talk about life.

Now, we do squabble, but not nearly as often as we did when I was drinking.
And then some of our fights were about my drinking.
I am learning to breathe in and out, which gives me time to pause before I say something to hubs I might regret.
We have been married so long, that we have numbered our disagreements, i.e., how many suitcases I need for a weekend away is fight #10.

I am still learning.
I am learning how to be kinder, to myself and hubs.
I am learning how to listen.
I am learning how to not try to "fix" someone.
I am learning how to motivate myself.
I am learning how to support other people who are working on being sober.
I am learning how to detach with love, from other people and outcomes when needed.
I am learning so much.

I saw this quote on the Women for Sobriety newsletter, that is sent to me each week:

"Be patient with yourself.  Self-growth is tender, it's holy ground.  There is no greater investment"  -Steven Covey


I am still learning how to live sober.
This is something I will always be learning.

With Love,
On Day 981,
Wendy

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Look a Little Closer

Dear Readers,
Flowers are blooming in our favorite park!
Today, at my AA meeting we shared the "miracles" that have happened in our lives since we got sober. People shared powerful stories, heartbreaking drinking and using stories, and now their current miracles.

This reminded me of a post I read today, by Mark Goodson, Miracle of the Mundane.
He gave me pause to look back at where I was and where I am now.

Mark describes his using life and his sober life as a "great divide".
He talks about comparing your greatest fear, happiness, or problem in your two lives.

Where was I when I was drinking?
What were my fears then?
What brought me happiness?

When I was drinking, my life was all about me. It was when could I drink, who could I drink with, how can I hide my bottles, when could I get what I wanted.
My biggest fear was definitely worrying about getting pulled over by the police for drunk driving.

My happiness was when I was drinking.
That's the only thing I though made me happy.

Today, my life is about caring for my darling husband.
It's about caring about my wonderful family.
It's about helping other people in recovery.
It's about taking care of myself by getting exercise, sleep, and eating right.

My biggest fear today, is worried about getting old, as we have no children to help us.
(I did have this same worry when I was drinking, too, but it wasn't an immediate fear.)
However, now I am able to face my fears, and not be so afraid.
I am able to think through the fears, and figure things out.

Now I am happy when I am helping other people, when hubs and I are snuggling, when I am reading blogs, when I am at yoga.
I am happy just walking.
My greatest happiness is when I am with Mr. UT or my family and friends, and we are sharing a special time, or sharing a memory.

I don't consider these miracles, but maybe they are.
Sometimes I can't see all the ways my life has changed, because I am too close to myself.
It takes a look back to be reminded of the wonder of today.

Today I have been sober for 32 months.
After thinking about all the blogs I have read, all the people at my meetings I have heard, after talking with hubs about life, I can say, I am content today.

With Flowers Growing,
On Day 972,
Wendy

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cultivating Joy in Recovery

Dear Readers,
Having Fun and Getting Strong!
I was always too scared to try Yoga Sculpt class, thinking it would be too hard.

Last week, quite impulsively, I decided I would try it, and GUESS WHAT?
It was fun!
In fact, it was so fun I went again, today! I am stronger than I think.

One of the things I have challenged myself to, is finding joy in being sober.
I believe that this is one of the most important things I can do to keep from drinking again.
I will be in danger if I only feel sorry for myself that I can't drink, or thinking I am missing out.

For me, joy and gratitude go hand in hand.
If I am not thankful, it is harder for me to be joyful.
I find that I must cultivate optimism. I don't always have this mind set.
Sometimes I think, "What is life really about...I only have maybe 20 years left to live."
YIKES!
That is scary!
So along with optimism, I try to laugh at myself. 
Maybe I have more like 29 years to live, considering my mom is 92!

Helping other people in recovery is helping me find joy.
I helped a busy mom from my AA group, who had just moved, unpack boxes and fold laundry.
This one little act made a difference in my attitude that day. I was so content.

Acceptance is part of my joy.
When I accept things as they are, I am far more joyful than when I am wishing everything was different, or I was different.

I realize this is a journey. Every time I think I haven't made any progress or that I am stuck, I realize I have made changes. Good changes. 

I found this website that has some good information about finding joy.
I have posted a part of the article below, but the full article is here: Alcohol Rehab

How to Find Joy in Recovery

Establishing a joyful life in recovery usually involves a bit of patience. There will be many moments of joy right from the early days of recovery, but it can take a bit longer before the individual feels more fully happy with their life. The individual is able to find happiness in sobriety by:

1. Having realistic expectations. Expecting too much right away is probably going to lead to disappointment.
2. It is important to keep in mind that joyful living does not mean that people walk around with a constant smile on their face – it just means that for the majority of the time they feel content with their life.
3. In order to create a fulfilling life in recovery the individual will need to put some effort into it. Just giving up their addiction alone is unlikely to be enough.
4. Once people become physically sober they need to begin working on their emotional sobriety. It is this that will lead them to true peace and happiness.
5. Many people find that joining a fellowship can help them establish a more successful sobriety. This way they can benefit from a program and the experience of people who have gone before.
6. Other individuals may find that therapy helps put them on the right path in sobriety.
7. It is highly recommended that people maintain a beginner’s mind in recovery. This means that they do not allow their preconceived beliefs, opinions, and ideas to get in the way of helpful advice.
8. Those people who are most successful in sobriety are willing to take risks and try new things. It is always good to develop the willingness to try new things.
9. Sticking with the winners is very good advice for anyone who hopes to build a strong recovery. Those individuals who have already made their own recovery successful tend to be inspirational and a source of good advice.
10. When people achieve their dreams in recovery it can increase their sense of well-being.
11. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation can be wonderful for helping people develop emotional equanimity. The meditator investigates their own inner world and they develop much greater understanding as a result of this.
12. Joyful living is often all about perspective. It means viewing challenges as a chance to grow and failures as a chance to learn.
New Shoes... I Feel Like a
Kid Again!
13. Joy is not to be found in self obsession and selfishness. Sharing and thinking about others is what really leads to happiness.


With A Cup of Coffee,
New Shoes,
And Joy,
On Day 967,

Wendy



Friday, April 14, 2017

Communication by Mr. UT

Communication

Why is it so hard to talk with a loved one about their drinking problem?

Mrs. Un-Tipsy and I talk a lot, about a lot of things.  Truth be told, she does most of the talking, but I do listen, and I’m usually not shy about giving my opinion or view point.  However; I admit that when it came to her drinking problem I was at a loss as to what to say or if I should say anything at all.

We had our share of arguments about her drinking and what it was doing to our lives.  When I found hidden bottles of wine in the house I didn’t know the right way to approach her about it.  Should I yell or should I ignore it?  If I ignored it was I enabling her?  If I yelled was I just driving her away?  It was difficult to sit down and have a conversation without it ending in a fight.  She was in denial and I was frustrated, mad and hurt.  I felt helpless and that was not a feeling I was used to.  Understanding her addiction was difficult.  Why was she putting herself and our future at risk?  Why couldn’t she see what was happening and what it was leading to? Talking about it with her was a struggle for me.  I was always uncertain about what to say or how to say it.  I didn’t want to drive her away but I couldn’t let her ruin her life without a fight.  When she finally stopped drinking I was elated and scared.  I didn’t know how much to praise her about her decision and her progress.  I wanted to show support and offer as much help as she wanted or needed.  But was I doing it too much?  Were my offers of praise helpful or was I just bringing it up too often and reminding her of her past drinking?

Mrs. Un-Tipsy is a very strong woman, despite her occasional doubts.   She is unafraid of introspection and what she might find there.  She has used this introspection to gain understanding and help her continued sobriety.  I on the other hand have a very limited capacity for introspection.  Perhaps it’s a man thing or the way I was raised but I have a simple straight forward view of life and my place in it.  So I am impressed at how much Mrs. Un-Tipsy is willing to continue to look into herself and search for answers and strength.  But was it my lack of introspection that made communication difficult?  In the past, this difference of viewpoints contributed to my hesitation to talk about her addition.  Even today when I read Mrs. Un-Tipsy’s posts I sometimes learn new things about her struggles in the past and in the present.  With each new revelation I have a bit more understanding about the depth of her struggle and her strength.  I’m sometimes brought to the brink of tears reading of the pain she went through. 

Should I tell her again how proud I am of her or is it too much?  That question can only be answered by the person working on their sobriety.  As you struggle with your addiction remember to communicate with your family, friends and other loved ones.  They want to help but sometimes they just don’t know how.  Let them know what they can do to make your struggle a little bit easier.


Mr. Un-Tipsy

PS -  From Wendy: If you want the perceptive of a loved one who lives with someone with an addiction, please read this beautiful blog Real Life