I read a beautiful article yesterday about a young woman losing weight and talking about “after”. Just because she lost weight did not mean she did not stuggle with weight rated issues. People were rather quick to discount her “before” self. Like there was something wrong with before and after was better.
She said there is no “after”. Things do not miraculously get better when we get “normal”. Normal weight, normal drinking, normal whatever.
The part that resonated with me was that after X number days of sobriety, I will be better. That “before” I quit drinking I was “less than”.
I agree with her angst. Just because I was a lush does not make me a terrible person “before”. Just because I’m not drinking right now doesn’t make me better than I was. There is no miracle “after” when my world gets exponentially better just because I quit drinking, lost weight, became vegan. That thinking sells books ( that I buy, lol ).
There is no after. I struggle with lots of do-overs. New day ones. So what. There is no after. Those who have quit drinking for 26 years are not better than me. (They of course would not say this, this is my thinking.)
I have discounted my past self in order to achieve this new “after drinking” self. This miracle of not drinking. It’s no wonder I fall down a lot. That is a pretty high pedestal – a miracle.
It’s still just me, just trying a different healthy path. Not extraordinarily different because of (losing 100 pounds as the young woman did) quitting drinking. No after, just me.
- Reading a fast paced novel
- New bras arrived
- Pirouette cookies with my coffee
Food is one of my best friends. That doesn’t bother me.
i study cereal boxes as I eat and look at how they use marketing. I adore my cookbooks. I grow food. Watching cooking shows is better than all other tv.
Drinking started out the same way. It was fun to be a beer, drink or wine snob. “Consciuos coupling” of Food & Wine. (That is the magazine’s new marketing ad.) Trying to grow hops or making wine. I loved all that.
One of the ways I am not drinking is to eat a big meal at night. Instead of just enough, I remind myself to eat a full meal and have dessert. When I’m full I have no desire to drink. At the worst of it, I would try not to eat at all, so I could drink more.
I have had to reintroduce meat back in my life. Yuck, but my kids were not eating along with me I realized. One time I didn’t have a single piece of fresh fruit or a vegetable in the house. I had quit buying food, just wine.
I’m getting back to bigger meals and watching tv as we eat. We watched Big Hero 6 last night. Fun! I made BBQ chicken and I only had to eat a couple bites because the boys, being distracteded by the movie, finally ate a full serving.
I hadn’t realized how poor my eating habits had become while drinking. I also had lost my hobbIes of cooking & gardening.
So, back to 3 square meals a day. And eating until I’m full. And dessert!
Ego says ” Once everything falls into place I will feel peace.”
Spirit says ” Feel peace and everything falls into place.”
Oh my, this is so me! I try to oganize my way to peace and happiness. Granted I do feel temporary peace when I’m organized, but I can see the problem here. Organization is external. It is a set of rules that I place on myself, is placed upon me or I place on others.
I think “relief” may be a better description of how I feel when organized. It creates an artificial wall that says “there – now nothing can shake up my world.” I can see the ego here. I am trying to control so I can prevent problems.
Words ending in -tion reflect doing. Peace is a state of being.
I feel such fear to let go of control. It makes my chest tight & itchy and I want to scream. So, obviously I have hit a nerve within myself. Sometimes I get real tired of this sobriety stuff. It doesn’t take away the feeling of wanting to rip my lungs out. Alcohol does though.
I did discover in therapy last summer that the scratchy itchy feeling in my chest is called panic. In my mind I can only remember a couple times of what I would call true panic in my life. Being locked up by some kids, my baby falling down the steps, a car accident, cancer.
I am not a person with panic. I am the one to help people with their panic. Driving them to the hospital or helping them get meds or some therapy arranged. I am the one people call at work because I solve problems and don’t get upset. I don’t panic.
Finding out that one of my drinking reasons was “panic” was crazy. Then I went back and read my journal. Wow. After some time spent not drinking I can easily see the panic.
So now I have to figure out this “organized does not equal peace” tight scratchy chest feeling. Thanks sobriety! Ha I could drink over this feeling or I can sit with it a while. One way will give me fake peace and the other will lead to happiness and true peace. So again, Thanks sobriety! for giving me clarity.
- Yin yoga & meditation
- Bubble Hour show on ego
- Spend time at the library today
I laughed out loud yesterday when I heard that phrase about yoga poses. That is exactly how my right hip feels. It is so tight it feels like it will never loosen up. When it first got tight I rested it, then I realized that it got worse! Now it’s cement.
I have been stiff before but now I can’t put a sock on or paint the nails. (So glad it’s spring sandals and pedicure time!) Such an easy fix for me. Stretches and a pedi.
I remember helping my sister everyday put on lotion and socks on her feet. She couldn’t do it herself because she had gotten a form of polio after her bone marrow transplant. All the stretches in the world wouldn’t get her muscles fibers straight again. She had to have her toes clipped by a specialist due to circulation issues. No pretty polish allowed.
Easy answers (wink, wink) – stop drinking, stretch, eat right, count your blessings. I forget sometimes that I get the opportunity to change myself. My sister did not get a choice. This is where my mind takes me today. Grateful, guilty and chipping away at my cement hips.
My first day off is disappointing. I had such big hopes of waking up with energy and doing great good-for-me stuff. Its noon and I’ve already had one nap. Good grief. I did listen to the Bubble Hour while laying down but slept through a lot of it. Once I shut it off and it was quiet I couldn’t get back to sleep. It feels like a backwards day. This isn’t a new feeling for me. I get upset that I don’t have energy, I overthink it and I start drinking to shut myself up.
- Yoga ( *I did a “spring” yin yoga – perfect for today)
- Meditate ( *I did Dharma Punx 5 minute meditation)
- Coffee & dark chocolate raspberry cookie while blogging 🙂
If I could just….finish the quarterly reports….
If I could just….get the hand dishes done….
I I could just….get caught up….
Then I could….What? Do more stuff?!?
Today I am going to have to leave things undone and walk away. This makes me uncomfortable. I like to Do, to Finish, to Accomplish, to Check It Off – DONE.
I spent last night worrying about things undone.
As my own best friend, what advice would I give myself?
- Are laundry, dishes, cleaning EVER done? No,but….
- Can work wait until next week? Yes, but…
- How many times have you heard this week to slow down? A lot, but…
- How did you sleep last night? Bad.
- When was the last time you left town? July
- Was it a business trip? Yes
- Have you taken time off by choice or because you ceased to function from stress? Forced to stop.
- Do you see where I’m going with this?
Gosh – my best friend self can be tough! But she’s a smart chick. Gets right to the heart of things. She wants to go play.
After reading A Course in Weight Loss, I have been listening to the little voice in my head sending me subconsious messages.
Toast is one of my sober reward treats almost daily. Good bread toasted perfectly, real butter & fantastic jam.
It gives me the memory of eating breakfast out (very rare growing up) and getting already buttered toast and those little squares of jelly. Each section of my toast got a different flavor.
At home we could only choose oleo OR jelly. I don’t know if there was a reason. Later, it was because of all the calorie counting. Maybe that’s where it started. I do remember my Mom constantly counting calories.
One of my sober rewards was ordering a butter bell. The real butter goes in the bell shaped lid and an inch or so of water in the base makes a seal. It keeps the butter fresh and soft with refrigeration.
Good bread, real butter & lovely jam. Shut up voice in my head that says you will get fat eating both.
Focusing on my treats and rewards for sobriety has been so revealing. I knew I was having a hard time being kind to myself and my goal of this blog has been to uncover the roadblocks of self-care. Such a simple thing – toast. And so many thoughts about eating it.
- More toast – more butter – more jellies & jams!
- Panera dark roast coffee K-cups
- Artichoke spread for my current panini craving
I’ve read several blogs lately from people with longer sobriety talking about the let down on day 3. Returning from a trip, after a big presentation or a milestone. They were prepared for day 3. They knew it was coming. How interesting!
I reread some journal entries and I have that phenomenon too. It is a physical reaction to decompression. I get body aches and the chills. Extreme fatigue and the desire to get out of this feeling. My usual peppy bright self feels like a rock. I don’t get better each day, I get worse each day and that is frustrating. It is when I used to cave in to alcohol.
So this is a normal thing! If I drink through it like in the past it doesn’t end. Knowing that this is a healing process is powerful.
I ended my tax work season on Thurday. Friday, Sat & Sun were horrible. My boss told me to get payroll done today, meet her Tuesday to discuss summer schedules and take the rest of the week off. At first I couldn’t imagne not working! There is so much to wrap up! But after this weekends letdown, I can’t imagine going back to work!
Today is day 4 of the decompression. I wanted to badly drink last night but with the new knowledge from the other bloggers, I understood this was a normal process. If I don’t let the process finish I will get stuck. I feel crappy this morning, pleased I didn’t drink, but no where near back to normal.
How long does decompression last for me? What are the symtoms? If I don’t drink, when do I start to feel better? I can’t avoid decompression, so what can I learn about it?
My son asked if the reason I didn’t want him to drink pop everyday was so that he wouldn’t get addicted.
Hmmm…. No……. addiction is when you have an emotion and drink instead of feeling it.
He thought a minute…and decided that he drank pop because it tastes good.
I thought about my response to him a lot yesterday. That must have been my subconscious speaking. It must be where I am on my journey about getting sober. Trying to find answers to the WHY of the drinking.
Last year at this time I was drinking every night. I was hungover every day. Last year I was hoping and praying to stop drinking. Every.. single..day.. that was my prayer.
The past 5 months have been mostly sober. Not perfect – but Wow! This year I am hoping and praying for normal stuff. And I say thank you a lot.
I try to plan my 3 daily sober treats ahead of the day. Sometimes for the whole week. The next morning I check off those I did. It’s been working great.
Lately I have found myself erasing yesterdays treat idea and writing in what I actually did.
Last night driving home from an ultra stressed day I thought, “get out of your own head!!” I did think of alcohol but didn’t choose it. Instead we watched a movie.
My 15 year old son and I watch all the Oscar nominees every year. This is our usual weekend plan. Fun food, a good movie and GREAT discussion after. (We are still talking about Foxcatcher. Loved it!)
I like to watch on the weekend so I can cook first, have treats and really relax and pay attention. Not last night. I needed out of my head. Because I hate taking care of pancakes I cooked two giant ones as big as the skillet. Boys loved it. Dinner done. Pulled the sofa close to the tv and watched.
It worked. I didn’t spend the night peeking at facebook, catching up old tv shows and stressing about tomorrow.
This morning I erased the treat I had planned for yesterday, wrote in *movie √ and checked it off. This is good. I am recognizing that I need to choose a treat situation even when it’s not on the list. I am learning to apply my treats when I used to apply alcohol.
- Of the 12 treats planned so far this week, 5 ended up being backwards treats.
- I do the same thing with my to-do list. I write out 3 things to accomplish every day. Lately I have been going backwards & writing in what I did do. Then I check it off.
- It’s the √√√ checkmark that feels good!