Hanging in there…

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Accomplished three days of no drinking and work is in full swing for me.

My blurry vision was due to dirty contacts & dry eyes & getting older. The more dry the eye, the more tears and the tears have protein which sticks to the contacts. So new contacts ordered & a change of cleaning solution and stronger readers. Easy (but expensive!) fix.

The “exercise routine” lol, is finally kicking in due to lack of drinking. Since I’m moving from chair potato to *ahem* athlete… Alison helped me design some basic range of motion activities. Stretching, balance, strength stuff. From doing yoga my balance is great! She has me starting at much less than if I was in charge. I’m more or a “feel bad about myself when I can’t get it right the first time and quit girl”. (See last 5 years of sober blog posts – lol)

I want to write more, but I’m going to get out of the chair & do my exercises.

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Doing Some Things

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I haven’t had the guts to tell my friend that I have needed more help. He is needing lots or space for some things and after our last ‘break-up’ a year ago I have emotionally kept a distance. That gave my drinking LOTS of space to not be seen or judged.

I need to CHANGE (word of the year) my lifestyle. Sitting in the chair, drinking & watching tv is not working for me. I think I have tried everything except….I know…wait for it….NOT SITTING IN THE CHAIR.

If you asked me what I would choose, my chair, my friend, my dog, my job, I would pick my lazy boy chair – an upholstered rocker recliner if ya don’t know. Growing up we would snuggle with mom in it (not this specific chair!) As I discovered books, I would read all day in it. Coming home from college or life mom & I would have our morning coffee in them and talk. I watched my mom nurse my brother & sister in them and I nursed my babies and they snuggled with me in them. I have 2 lazy boy couches & 4 chairs. Even the dog has one of the old ones. It is where I do my 4 suit spider Solitaire and drink my one cup of coffee everyday and plot & plan with my planners. It’s where I read my seed catalogs & my best cookbooks. When I get done with my day I snuggle in with my favorite blanket, put my feet up, turn on a home improvement or cooking show and drink my wine…..[insert record scratch noise here]

I have also been sober in this chair – btw 😉 Along with not drinking, I am going to change what needs to happen before the chair. I am going to start exercising.

When Alison from Wine to Fine put on her blog she was starting TeeTotally Fit I knew this was what I needed – more movement and getting sober together. (I hired her!) The blog BgDddyJim Fit Recovery has been very inspiring on how the two things work together. Many of my blog friends use yoga or running.

I started my first week pretty well but fell apart the last of it. It was like the sober monster knew I was coming for it and redoubled it’s efforts. Sunday morning I finally told my friend. He said nothing that I wanted to hear, but it was okay. (Just don’t drink so fast, so much, less often etc.) For me it was the fact that I told my dirty little secret. I burdened him with my problem. He didn’t like that extra burden which for him that means fixing my problem!! Lol – He also doesn’t like that my struggle has made him recognize he also has a problem, though he can moderate and I can’t. Without nitpicking him, I am glad he has cut back to one a day. I could NOT do that!! One = box. One of the reasons I am glad we have put space between us was his family’s issues were making both of us drink more! Independently we are both figuring things out. It’s hard trying to be in a relationship at 55! We are not married nor plan to be it’s just a good friendship and with that said, it took me almost 9 months to tell him. I guess the point here is I wanted him to respond differently….perfectly.

Soooo….Getting out of the chair LITERALLY means that. More movement. It also means I came clean to my best friend no matter the response and I came clean to my sober/exercise coach and I am coming clean to my blogging friends here. Three boxes of wine this week is not okay. Twice I dumped out the rest and bought more later that day. There, I said it.

Now it’s time to get clean for myself.

WOTY – 2019 CHANGE

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Word of the Year:

2015 – Create

2016 – Do-er (Year of Yes)

2017 – Rest

2018 – Permission

2019 – Change

Oh my gosh, I’m so excited!!! I have been plotting and planning this for a month now. I have pages of journal notes and am so excited for the new year that I started this morning!!!

Thanks to Oprah and her old soul series, I heard a woman say she took some time off to rest….It took her 5 years. I think that was one of the most powerful statements in my life. I am an energizer bunny type. Just keep going. Dazzle them with bullshit. Energy creates energy. Faster is better. More efficiency. Streamline. Organize.

These last 5 years I have taken time to focus on what I want, not what others need from me.

Create – was a time that I took ownership back from being a victim. I created spaces in my home that were not leftovers from a divorce. I created phrases that gave me back power – when I bought my house (even though it was purchased together) My children, I am single (not divorced). I started creating my life without alcohol as well.

Do-er – meant getting things done. Not plotting, planning & creating but doing. I also read Shondra Rhimes book Year of Yes. I began to say yes to to new experiences. I truly stretched my limits.

Rest – was a time to slow down and reflect on the direction I wanted to take in my life. I had become my own person and was really owning what that meant. Rest was a time to pause, reevaluate and reflect before pushing forward again.

Permission – was all about freedom. I really looked at the “rules” that I was living by. I set new boundaries for myself which were much less rigid. I failed and succeeded both beyond where I thought I could go.

Change – is going to be about *challenge everything* I’m looking at mostly physical changes such as moving to a new town and taking better care of my appearance. If I find myself saying I need to… I want challenge that thought. I need alcohol to drown out the noise, I need to cover every hour of work, I need to buy whatever so things will be easier.

I’m really putting it out there this year. I’m looking for ways I have limited my thoughts and beliefs. I want to push myself. I want to change.

Christmas Morning In Review

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I went back and read all my December posts from the last 5 years. There were a couple I couldn’t even read. Sometimes life is heartbreaking.

But after so many years of pain I sit here (at 55 years old!) having myself a sober Merry Little Christmas.

It’s not too late Scrooge!

Sometimes it feels like I will never get to 100% sober. One of the old posts reminded me of a speaker at a meeting, 10 years sober, 3 years drinking, followed by 18 years sober. Is that a failure or success? Today I choose success. I had a billion hungover Christmas mornings, but not this one.

If I hadn’t attempted to get sober (a billion times!) I wouldn’t be having THIS morning.

I haven’t seen any blog posts of people struggling with their drinking lately. Maybe blogs are out and instagram is in? I see lots of successful people sharing – yah! But if you are like me, a little slow and a little late to the party, hang in there. Words are still better than pictures for me.

Everyday I wake up and the plan is to stay sober just today.

It took me a long time to get here.

Merry Christmas to me.

Is it a Sober Christmas Eve?

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Why yes it is! Just poured myself a full sugar no caffeine pop. I didn’t cook for the kids. In fact, I didn’t do anything for the kids all day. It is almost 5pm and already dark here. One is finally showering – oh wait, he said this is his second shower! No wonder my water bill is up. Both played videos all day and I read (C.J.Box – love these books) and played Spider Solitaire and read sober blogs.

No stress except what I chose to make. There have been many many many many Christmas Eve’s that have been bad. Years of fighting, divorce, break-ups, lonely, sick, drunk, nursing, and combine any two or three above.

I bought new Christmas plates this year and every cookie ingredient on the shelves. Didn’t happen.

And oh well. Do you know HOW MUCH WORK IT TAKES TO GET TO OH WELL! It takes a lot. It takes time to really mean it.

Was I sad today? Sure. Was I also happy, mad, bored, yep. I sure wish I had the tools of the internet when I knew my drinking was trouble. Isolation was not my friend.

Staying home today and not get triggered by the stores was a good choice. Not making cookies was a good choice. Writing a blog post at night instead of 5am! Good choice.

My 5th Year Blogging

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“Oh what fun it is to write….in a one horse open sleigh…”

‘Tis the season for fun & merriment! What a different person I am from the beginning. So much happier. What was the biggest change? Breaking out of the isolation.

First I began writing in the web instead of on paper. My words found friends. Then I started walking out my door. The first couple times I could just stand on the patio with the dog. I’ll never forget that feeling when I walked off the patio, across the grass and made it to the sidewalk. After the third person waved to me I could barely catch my breath and got back in the house. But I had done it! I got up to 5 minutes standing and walking on the sidewalk in front of my house and then finally made it around the block! I still can’t go in the grocery store here, but a new general store was built and I can go in there so I don’t have to leave town if I need anything.

Next I talked with humans about this sober thing. Face to face took a lot of courage! It still does! but it’s sooooo much easier. Therapy, lots of blogging and self-care all were important tools in learning to not isolate.

After that my Year of Yes made me challenge the uncomfortable. Now I readily say yes to new things! In fact, I may have to rein this one in a bit. I’ve said yes to eating and relaxing just a wee bit too much. I’m uncomfortable in my skin but my head is happy. But what a gift to finally say yes to life.

With my 6th year of blogging coming up I’m in a good place to make some changes. My kids at 19 & 16 are done with the care-taking years. They have cars and that eliminates me having to arrange my schedule around them. Freedom, theirs & mine! is a pretty great thing for my new year.

Staff Get Together

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There was a two day meeting for work that I was doing and I invited my staff to join me. Instead of attending “live” I could stream it. I planned a cookie exchange and was providing meals & snacks. And for the first time, I didn’t take anyone’s response or attitude personally!

At least four people acted completely put out that they had to make cookies. “Did I not understand that their lives were SO busy this time of year!” It reminded me of a time when I asked another new mother at daycare if she wanted to have coffee since we both had 1 & 3 year olds. I was hoping to make a friend, but she looked at me in utter horror and said “No!! I am too busy getting ready for Christmas!” Our sons just graduated high school together. They were friends but she and I never found “time” to be friends.

I invited some of my previous staff to join us. One was attending the meeting in person, one was too busy and one came. And I am so glad she did! We jumped instantly back to friends. She embraced the chance to see everyone again.

It was a long two days of tough topics. One girl just got back from vacation the night befor so she didnt come at all. Two of my older staff left at noon to Christmas shop for their grandchildren. One with IBS made it 1&1/4 days. But the rest of us hung in there.

I felt like an observer, watching the different dynamics of the group. In all the excuses for not attending, not making cookies, not bringing cookies, leaving early, boring material etc. etc. I remembered all the times I had been that person. Feeling put out when someone wanted ONE MORE THING FROM ME. Especially at the holidays.

I went to a lot of work to get ready for this meeting. My staff takes care of me all year (yes I pay them to do that!) but they go beyond. I was able to give back a little to them. Lots of food, friends, free training & fun.

For the first time I DIDN’T think – “I went to so much work & they didn’t appreciate it!”

I felt good.

And I just let them feel how they felt.

IT WAS NO REFLECTION ON ME.

What a great gift to myself.