4 Weeks – Old & New Treats

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This is a collection of treats & rewards from several of my Day 30’s. Reading old posts reminds me how hard the first go-around at getting sober was! I was so strong to keep going. WOW This time around I haven’t much noticed. It has been relatively easy (in comparison). I was able to feel great physically very quickly. That first time was such a physical battle of PAWS or detox. Each sobriety attempt gets longer between relapses. I am also not having to develop new tools. My home is filled with those things already. This is one of those times that I am glad that I put the time and hard work in earlier, even if I failed sobriety. Now, when I truly, truly need them, my tools are there to keep me safe.

I haven’t posted much about rewards and treats lately. I am definitely making them a routine part of my life. Here’s some of the special things I saved up to do on 30 days sober instead of doing just any old day.

  1. Homemade pizza – or as my son says “If I was Gordon Ramsey I would be yelling THIS IS BLOODY GREAT!” Yep, he loves my pizza.
  2. Dole Banana Dippers – chocolate covered frozen bananas
  3. West Side Story – oh my goodness, just thinking about it makes my eyes water. The first notes of the love songs I would start to cry and my son just shook his head. In high school this was our summer musical. I was in the band and got to play 3 different clarinets for the performances. Instead of dancing or singing along, I finger my notes during the music. I have also done Fiddler on the Roof. The stories, the music, the memories. Where were you when watched musicals? I was in the orchestra pit. Every scene, every intermission, the music.
  4. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – fabulous psycho thriller! Jodi Piccoult’s new one is up next.
  5. The Grand Budapest Hotel – watched in the morning with my son who also appreciates smart movies.
  6. Pizza dough flavor from King Arthur Flour. My package arrived yesterday with lots of goodies, such as Vietnamese cinnamon, Buttery pretzel mix, Chocolate donut mix, Very vanilla – very expensive! 
  7. YUMCheesy vegetable chowder soup mix which I made for breakfast while watching movie.
  8. FranklinCovey Planner  with new garden pages to organize my work life. Waking up and being able to do all the things I planned on a Saturday because I feel great! And very grateful šŸ™‚
  9. NEW – lol – more FranklinCovey notebooks & pages! Plus new planners for recipes and errands. Organization makes me feel safe.
  10. NEW – Toast & my homemade jelly.
  11. NEW – Room by Emma Donaghue
  12. NEW – Tea in my best mug. (2 cups of coffee first though šŸ˜‰

Surrendering Control

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I was reading Melody Beattie’s book Finding Your Way Home and this hit me hard yesterday morning.

“Most of the time I would rather stress and stay attached to outcomes. That seems like the logical, practical and only was to go. The problem is that path doesn’t lead the way home. When you surrender you don’t know how things are going to work out.”

I was rather WTF! How can anyone live with that CHAOS! My EVERYTHING depends on OUTCOMES! My job, parenting, grocery shopping…. Usually when something makes me that crazy, it is an issue that needs help. 

So, I applied it. 

Surrender #1  –  The 14 year old had school 7:30 – 3:30. Driving instruction 3:30-5:30. Drinking (lol spell correct) DRIVING classroom 5:30-8:30. No breaks. (This broke my Mommy Heart. My baby won’t eat! He won’t have any decompression time!)

I made him a sack supper and told him to eat at some point (all 97 pounds of him – My baby! He barely turns off the air bag when he sits in front!!) I was brave and told him I wouldn’t be able to help him today, he would need to rely on others to figure his day out. 

I gave him the food and surrendered the outcome. 

At 8:30 pm he was not dead. Success! Bonus parenting moment – he was chatty and told me about his day. 

Surrender #2 – I had finally let go of any hope of being able to have a conversation/face-to-face apology with my friend. I was dead to him. My head and heart wanted some closure. 

I decided yesterday that closure was going to be my surrender. (Or my version of closure.)

He walked through the door at work and I said as long as he was there we could finish his taxes. (For farmers we start in December for a March 1st deadline.) He didn’t answer but took off his coat and sat down. 

I started working and surrendered the outcome.

I do a new tax return/client/corporation almost every hour, ever day for 4 months straight. (I don’t do as many in the summer but prepare other taxes.) This girl can make conversation & stay professional! And more people tell me that they learn something new every year and almost everyone leaves smiling šŸ™‚ I love my job! 

So, I did my job. By the end, he was smiling too and making jokes with the staff. I was brave. I said I would walk him out. I asked him if he was ever going to speak to me again. Loooong pause……finally he said yes. We talked briefly and he said it wasn’t all my fault. And yes we do need to talk sometime. He said he was giving things space because of tax season. 

I was completely shocked and had a major headache the rest of the day. 

Bonus. I told my 17 year old that we talked. He said he had seen him last week. (Hello?! WTF) He said, “Remember when you told me I stunk and I said I had sore muscles? I was helping out on the farm. Are you mad?” Heavens no, surprised for sure though. My kid went on to tell me that they talked and he was reassured that they would always be friends no matter what happens between Mom & him. (My heart softened. There were forces at work beyond my realm of reality.) 

How do I feel this morning? SUPER PROUD of myself for what others call normal parenting. I rocked letting my 14 year old handle his day!

The other issue, woke with a headache, but realized it’s weather related & took a decongestant & feel much better! Once again, I thought I knew FOR SURE it was a stress headache. ONCE AGAIN, my answer was wrong. (Truly – I thank God for taxes that I do control the outcome and there is ONE right answer. I love you math.šŸ’Ÿ )

I am not giving too much thought to The Guy right now. The chicken catalog came in the mail yesterday. Before the fight, the 4 of us had planned to have eggs, fresh garden produce and lots of good Iowa sweet corn for sale this summer. 

I let myself open the catalog for a quick peek…… 

Life at 5 – Moderation Compromise

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I found myself attracted to the ‘Declutter’ posts on Pinterest. I signed up for one that was a 15 minute a day for 2017 Challenge. As I have made HUGE strides in reducing clutter, I knew it would not be overwhelming, but would just give me a gentle nudge. 

A Fantastic 5 Weekend! 

I started with one drawer, and it completely took my mind away from thinking of my shame and sadness. My goal was to get the drawer 100% empty. I ended the weekend with 4 completely empty drawers and an empty head too.

From my last post Anne reminded me to not take on any major projects, so I stopped at noon on Sunday and got the house back to normal. Then I painted my toes, washed my sheets and watched Woman In Gold while eating both popcorn & ice cream! 

In the last three weeks I have had only two small cringes of wanting to drink. For that I am grateful! One was definitely when I watched the movie. When I first began the process of getting sober in 2013, I couldn’t watch movies at night because of the triggers. (I LOVED watching them in the morning with coffee though!)

Self-Care:

  • Got out of my head.
  • Cleaned out drawers
  • Picked up the house early in the day, leaving time for…

Rewards:

  • Pretty polished toes
  • Clean sheets
  • Movie with popcorn & ice cream
  • Waking up to a clean home

March Madness

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Oh sheesh…just realized these old hats someone gave my kids 15 years ago were not really appropriate for the sober blog. They were sure fun for toddlers! 

3 Weeks – Moderate Thoughts

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You know how we all want 0 & 10 as addicts and 5 sucks? I need to get my old brain working on some 5 issues.

I want : To run away on vacation.10!  I’m planning: Nothing. Zero.

Answer: Dunno….. What is middle ground? Books & Movies – I do these, probably a 2 or 3 on the Escapism Meter. Run to the bigger town & do errands/ shopping? 3/4. Going to Mpls to visit family? 7/8. No surprises or anticipation to any of these things though. 

I want: A big garden 10! Can all my produce & buy nothing from grocery store 10! I’m planning: Yep, planning. Doing nothing. Zero.

Answer: Container gardening. Small garden. I’ve had offers from friends to use their yard since my house is for sale. 

I want: My old life back pre-break up! I’m planning: Nothing or a half hearted attempt to keep it the same.

Answer: Accept what each day brings. Not looking back, not looking forward.

The Search For 5….. A NEW HOBBY that gets me out of my head and house, is a challenge, fulfills me without draining me, is sustainable! 

Not Search For 5…..Sit, relax, no goals.

Finding 5 ……Finish Stuff…..It may be time to address my own home. My photos, my hundreds of cookie cutters, stamping supplies, Legos. Maybe it’s time to KonMari my life. If I get rid of stuff, who or what is left behind? If my summer is spent working on myself versus giving my time, talents and energy away, who will emerge? How will it be reflected in my daily routine? 

Finding 5 – Feels like relaxing into the best of myself. No ten, no zero. Action without crazy. Yep, that feels like 5.

Day 17 – My New Life

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I went back and read my blog posts before the relationship. I did not remember that I had ended my 7 months sobriety BEFORE the relationship. I ended it over my car accident. 

I get very tired of remembering things incorrectly. Before I had children, my teens, 20’s & 30’s, I would fight anyone who told me I was wrong. After a good few years of ‘baby brain’, my 40’s,  I realized that it was okay to be wrong. After ‘baby brain/fog’ lifted, my current brain status, I found it was even okay to laugh at how poorly I remembered. Especially when everyone was the same. It’s just normal human stuff.

Looking back at before the relationship I thought I was so settled and content. Not according to my blog posts though. During the relationship I was happy. But I was giving away all my time and energy to someone else. THAT is something I do very well. Caretake. Manage. Control. Name your poison. 

So, I got sober for a while. (Yeah me!) But hadn’t really found MY SOBER LIFE. Then I started a relationship  (Another Yeah Me! for taking a chance.) But I was piggybacking on someone else’s life. Now, it’s time to start my new life.

I would love to garden, but my house is on the market. Do I take it off for 4 years until my youngest graduates? Do I start a garden and look at it as a selling feature? Do I not garden and get a summer job? Do I keep fixing up the house and push hard to sell? Then do I buy/rent another one? And start all over? 

What part of the thought process feels like a sober life? The part where I get lost in my passions, when I can’t wait to wake up and start thinking. My Pinterst (Lori’s Books) has 3 sections, recipes, garden and decorate. Things not on my Pinterst, fashion, tattoos, art, parenting, health & fitness, and a whole bunch of other stuff. 

Following my areas of interest and passion is going to help me find My New Life. 

Day 16 – One Or The Other

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Whenever a wave of sadness hits, I tell myself

  • If this didn’t happen, I would still be drinking.
  • I would still be drinking and pretending that it hadn’t gotten bad again.
  • I would have been disengaged from my kids & dog,
  • Work days were feeling longer and more stressful,
  • My house was messier,
  • My body was heavy & bloated, my clothes were uncomfortable.

I can’t have both. The relationship and drinking. 

I had chosen drinking and it cost me a relationship. 

But if the relationship had continued, I know my drinking would have.

I didn’t fully understand why people held their sobriety as so fragile. I loved my 7 months sober because I felt great. This relationship tested me and I failed (or won) because I can now define cunning, baffling  and insidious. 

I thought it was a cop-out when alcoholism was defined as a disease. I liked dis-ease, but not disease. I watched someone get a heart attack at 30. Undiagnosed diabetes was a big factor. But he was a strong normal young man with no symptoms. He  now has to guard his lifestyle so carefully. For the first time I feel like my drinking feels like that.

In my relationship, he truly believed it was a willpower issue. I think deep down I did too. And when you love someone, you also tend to believe things together. He was never comfortable with my NOT drinking, but I thought I could do it. I know I ignored many warning signs.

I didn’t choose to stay sober. I’m chalking it up to my Year of Yes last year. I said yes to drinking and a relationship. Both things taught me many lessons. The biggest lesson is I can’t drink. I have a disease and I have to guard my lifestyle carefully.

 If I had gotten to keep my relationship, I would still be drinking. I can’t say it enough. I don’t get both and stay healthy and sober. If I had guarded my sobriety would I still be in the relationship? Maybe it would have ended sooner or maybe it would have been better. I don’t get to know that anwer. It is part of the grieving process to mourn what could have been.

My body feels amazing sober, my lifestyle has become easy again but oh my head is sad. That will pass. My commitment to creating and maintaining a sober lifestyle is number one right now. In so many ways this event (my rock bottom moment) has been a gift. A second chance to be my best self.