Balance (Again)

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“Getting our balance and keeping it, is what recovery is all about.”

I opened up the WordPress Admin page to see my last blog post and found this quote in the Drafts. I don’t remember putting it there or where I heard it from but obviously it resonated with me sometime in the last few weeks. 

This has been me for several weeks now. I can’t quite get enough accomplished (balanced) to take a step forward. I get half the kitchen cleaned AND THEN START A NEW RECIPE or I get the laundry done BUT NOT PUT AWAY. I get ready to do financials for work AND THE CARPET GETS DELIVERED FOR THE REMODEL. UGH…..

That is what the definition of off-balance is for me. Drinking happens during these times. 

I have been questioning the concept of DONE vs IN RECOVERY. I want to be done. These kind of times in life remind me that the action word – recover – is just that. An action. I crave simple and efficient. But I lost my balance and then I lost ease. Easy in my actions and ease in my thoughts. 

For some reason, I think I can manage the world (*cough* – CONTROL- *cough*) and when I get everything in order (*cough* – CONTROL-*cough*) I will magically not want to drink and things will be easy! 

So I search for balance. Search, search, search……

I know the answer to balance.

 Sit still….

WHY DO I FORGET THAT!!! 

Treat & Reward Plan for this week:

  • I broke down and bought frozen lunches for work this week instead of cooking from scratch. I WILL NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR EATING PRE-PACKAGED FOOD!  Lots of jobs depend on me buying & eating this food-right!?! 
  • My work this week is about getting clients and staff the training and reports they need. I WILL NOT GET DISTRACTED BY RE-ARRANGING FURNITURE now that the new carpet is in. (And putting all my pretty colored ink pens & matching sticky note pads in a cute little desk display.) Focus OFF myself & my distractions and focus ON others.
  • Buy more ice cream…… 
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Exercise – Me?!? 

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Deep pressure input. 

After discovering my tendency to hyper (formerly called crazy) I decided I needed to try some deep pressure input. (Ahem – exercise) 

When my sister had a form of polio, she used a therapy called myofascia release. Deep pressure input was how the massage therapist described it. She told us it would probably also release deep emotions. 

When my sister was in hospice she also had a massage therapist, but the focus was on comfort care. In hospice they work with the family, and I got a neck massage that about did me in emotionally. The therapist smiled and said I was ultra sensitive to massage therapy. Because of the overwhelming emotions I have not wanted to get a massage because I am afraid of all that emotion bubbling up at once.

I have discovered this is also a block for me to keep at a daily yoga practice. It is so emotional! I cry every time. (Going to work on that though 🙂

So I used the theory of releasing energy through muscles and got on the treadmill with the strength workout. I’ve always loved strength training versus running. I’m hoping that the deep pressure input from using my bigger muscles will help me calm down and focus during the day. So far so good! 

After doing yoga though, I definitely feel I am missing some range of motion if I only use my big muscles. I like that a good yoga routine massages basically ALL the muscles including my facial muscles.

I can’t believe that changing the wording from exercise to deep pressure input has changed my mind block on exercise. 

Day 3 of Quiet – haha

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I spent the entire day in the kitchen. I made bread – white, apple walnut & whole grain flax English muffins. And then it was 8 am. 

Thankfully there was church in the morning and I socialized a bit and for once, sang fairly loud since it was crowded. I ended up humming hymns for the afternoon.

I made bacon, put a ham in the crock pot, chopped and froze garden peppers for the winter, chopped garden cucumbers, canned jalapenos and all the while listened to podcasts. (My current favorite is Yoga Church.) 

I meditated when my brain got crazy and walked on the treadmill to get rid of some extra energy. 

By 3 – I got dinner started, bacon brown sugar green beans from the garden, salad, homemade Mac & cheese and chocolate chip cookies. And more podcasts! 

Went to the farm to share dinner and was in bed at 8. 

This is a big difference than my old drinking life. Waking up hungover, skipping church. Still cooking, but only for necessity. Napping, and finally just giving in to the wine by 3. Don’t remember getting to bed and waking up to another hangover on Monday. 

The sober me, cooks food for the future, turns off the racing thoughts with exercise, meditation, socializing, music, reading, podcasts, blogging, gardening, whatever it takes! 

One of my biggest reasons for drinking was to slow down,  can you tell?   Balancing the crazy and calm. Crazy usually won and the ONLY tool I exercised was the alcohol one.

I watch my kids stay stable. They aren’t driven to hyper. At their age I was going a hundred miles an hour or reading. I didn’t know how to do well, what they do VERY well, be alone. Alone in body and thought. 

I love the feel of the energy for a while, but it gets overwhelming. This was a good lesson learned from my quiet weekend. 

Day 2 of Quiet – Wasn’t

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My crazy inner thoughts! I felt all the beginnings of a drinking weekend coming up. Racing, low self-esteem thoughts, imaginary future conversations and dwelling /replaying past conversations. What is wrong with me!?!

So I fought back as best as I’ve learned so far…

  • I did one small thing and then sat and meditated until my brain stopped racing. I was able to get quite a bit done this way. I spent most of the morning (it felt like) with my eyes closed and looking inward. 
  • I have been working on this co-dependent thing and trying not to use the friend as an excuse. The line from the book I keep telling myself is “What would you be doing now if you weren’t in the relationship?” This is huge for me. I FINALLY recognized that I am using the relationship as an avoidance tactic. (I feel frantic and he feels smothered. Ah Ha Moment!)
  • Since my head was exploding with thoughts and I was anxious, I wanted to get out of the house and shop. This was my toughest struggle. I am choosing not to create debt with financial sobriety. I literally felt like I did a year ago when I was at the one month mark for not drinking (which I am for financial sobriety). Resentful that I couldn’t drink (spend) everyone else is having fun (shopping) I want to numb out.  I watched some TV to distract myself (free TV through apps!) And went to bed early.

This was a good lesson in life today. Just as it took me a while to understand that the drinking was making me miserable (not I was miserable let’s drink!) I had an epiphany that racing thoughts and spending are making me miserable. Fixing the real problem by meditation, staying present and aware and not participating in the avoidance behaviors made me successful one more day.