Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Guest Post By Mr. Un-Tipsy

This is a post about thanks.

I want to thank everyone who has reached out to Un-Tipsy Teacher over the past few years to offer help, prayers, suggestions or just warm heartfelt wishes.  All of these acts let her know that she is not in this alone.
Dancing The Night Away! (Well until 10:30!)

Un-Tipsy Teacher began her struggle for sobriety over two and a half years ago.  After several earlier attempts to quit drinking had failed, she realized that she couldn’t do it all alone. This time she opened herself up to everyone and began to write about her life with and without alcohol.  She invested time, energy and herself in her recovery.  She explored AA, Women for Sobriety, family, friends and read sober blogs.  She reached out for help in many directions.  What she found was a vast community of generous people who shared her struggles and offered hope.  She found support from family, friends and complete strangers.  I’m always amazed at the support shown for Un-Tipsy Teacher’s struggles from all of the many folks on the internet.  People who read and comment on her blog have had a major impact on her well-being and her continued success in maintaining sobriety.  As she reads other sober blogs about peoples’ struggles and successes she learns something new which helps her understand something about her own life.  She feels a kinship with other people.  She shares the joy in their successes and feels a loss when they struggle.  She is invested in each one of you.   Un-Tipsy Teacher looks forward to comments each time she posts a new blog.  She shares these thoughts with me and always yearns to reach out and help these people any way she can.  She has met many people at AA meetings and other areas of her life who have shared their successes and failures. This is the strength of the sober community.  It’s also the strength that is out there for anyone willing to seek help in their fight for sobriety.

Un-Tipsy Teacher found that the help is there but you have to ask for it.  She had the courage to open up her life and she received the strength and support that she needed and still needs.  The point is, if you open yourself up to ask for help you’ll find it but only if you are willing to work for it.  Recovery isn’t a “one size fits all” process.  I think that means you may need to look at as many options as possible until you find something that works for you.  It might be one thing that helps or it might be a combination of things but something will work, you just need to keep looking until you find it.  Once you find it, hold on tight and never forget why you started this struggle in the first place.

I’m grateful to all of you who have helped and continue to offer help to Un-Tipsy Teacher along the way.  It is this strength of community which can help all of us.

Thank you.

Mr. Un-Tipsy

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Depression

Dear Readers,
I am at my favorite coffee shop, where seem to be able to write the best.
My home is too comfortable, and I can distract myself too easily.

I have suffered from depression for many years.
I take anti-depressants, use a happy light, exercise and do all of the things that are supposed to help.

I am also suffering from a lack of sleep, now going on for over 8 months. 
I think this is making my depression come back with a vengance.
I am seeing a sleep psychologist.
He has started me on a strict sleep deprivation cycle which slowly resets your sleep cycle.
I am up to 6 hours of sleep a night.
I was getting 4 to 5 hours of sleep, so I am going in the right direction.
This takes a lot of time, but I am very motivated to make this work.

It's hard for me to read social cues, and combined with my hearing loss, it makes any kind of social situation with more than one person very hard. I misread people, and I don't always understand how groups work, which also leads to depressed feelings and thoughts.

I also get depressed when I am sick, and I have been sick for over 2 weeks.

I am crying as I write this, because I made a fool out of myself at yoga today, due to my depression and inability to read social cues.
But strangely, I also feel better just writing about this.

Writing is healing. I must remember this, and write sooner when I am feeling this way.
I often think I must have a theme or something profound to write, but I fail to remember that by writing about my depression, I might be able to help someone else.

I know that my depressed thoughts are not reality. I think depression is a combination of body and mind not in balance. 
To help myself today, I will go for a walk in the sunshine with hubs.
(We have some today!!)

There are times I just can't seem to control this disease. 
I guess I have to accept that as well.

And so I pray for all of the people who live with depression.
You are not alone.

Much Love,
On Day 905,
Wendy

Unconditional Love

Dear Readers,
Life has been busy lately, and that is all good.
Mr. UT and I both have colds, which stinks, but we carry on as best we can.
I have been having bouts of depression, and I will write about that in another post.

I was thinking of a young man in my AA group yesterday, who had recently relapsed, and is sober again. He was in tears saying how grateful he was that he had a group of people who still accepted him. He also said he was honest with a therapist for the first time ever.

How much does unconditional love factor into getting sober?
I wonder where would I be, if my hubs hadn't stuck with me through my attempts to moderate, or quit.
If my loved ones had punished me for my drinking, I am not sure I could have gotten sober. If hubs had divorced me, and my family refused to talk to me, I would have felt a deep, deep shame, and more hate about myself, but would it have helped me get sober?
For me, their love, encouragement, and support was vital.
I was loved and accepted despite having an addiction.

More importantly, I needed to be brutally honest with myself, down to my very core, finding all the hidden dark corners where the bottles and secrets were hiding, and bring them to light. 
I wonder if honesty is another form love, where I love myself enough to do the work to be healthy.

I have so much hope for the young man, as he was working through the denial that is keeping him stuck in the pain of addiction.

Each day I stay sober, I am grateful.

Much Love,
On Day 905,
Wendy

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Protecting My Sobriety

Dearest Readers,
For the Beauty of The Earth
Mr. UT and I went for a walk when we FINALLY had a sunny day!
We really love, hiking, holding hands, talking about anything and everything, and connecting.
It really is the best way we listen to each other.
(Well, we can't escape each other when we are out, so if we fight it's a long way home!)

I was thinking about how I protect my sobriety, as I never take it for granted.
I love a holistic approach, where all of my body, mind, and soul are respected and love.

Physically, I keep going to my yoga classes, as I find exercise so important in keeping me sober. I walk with hubs. I find that the peace of mind I feel after being out in nature, or moving my body with grace, helps me stay calmer and connected to what my body needs.
It helps me think things through, like a form of meditation.

Connecting with other people in recovery, helps protect me both spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I go to AA meetings, and at my meetings I hear stories of strength and hope.
I share my story at first step meetings and that reminds me of how far I have come and why I never want to go back. We hug, meet for coffee, and I see all of these wonderful souls struggling with the same human emotions I have. 

My blogging world has protected me, immensely. The joy and pain we share, shows we are all human, and we really need love and support. I thank you all so very much.

By volunteering in the recovery world of opioid addiction, I have found a community of people who remind me every day of the importance of and the strength of recovery. They are so joyful. This protects me as this little bit of helping I can give this community brings me gratitude many times over.



Spiritually, I protect myself by praying, keeping a gratitude list, reflecting on the vastness of nature, and being open to feel the touch of God though other people. I pray for all the people in recovery who are struggling, that they find acceptance. I pray for all of those people with disabilities, that they find comfort. I pray for all the people who have pain; mentally, emotionally, and physically, that they find the strength, support, and the love they need.

I keep a gratitude list, and every night, I write one or two things I was so thankful for that day.
This is a powerful tool. It protects me by helping me see all the good in the world.

Nature always brings me joy, by seeing its vastness, beauty and even destruction it brings.
Here, I can feel the touch of God.

I have had several gifts this week, that I would describe as spiritual, or God working through people. They have only happened to me now that I am sober, because, I am open to listening, feeling, and accepting these gifts. People who have listened to me cry. Who have hugged me. Who have gifted me their wisdom and their stories. They touched me deeply.

Slowly changing my eating habits, is helping to protect me. My kidney doctor has helped me with this. As I have to eat way less salt, and drink way more water to keep more stones from forming, I am finally able to choose more protein, and stop eating chips. This keeps my blood sugar levels more stable.
And I have been eating an apple or other fruit for a snack. Of course, ICE CREAM has very little sodium!! 
The only problem with water is that I have to pee a lot more!

I am strong. But I am stronger with a huge support system around me.
If I am aware, I will receive many gifts. 


Today we had another day of sun. It was pure joy.
Laundry done, sheets changed, kitchen picked up, blog written, helping with a training for my volunteer job tonight, and coming home to lights on and hubs waiting to be sure I am safe.

These are my gifts today.

With so Much Love,
On Day 882,
Wendy