Monday, 14 December 2015

Surviving a Booze Soaked Evening

I had planned a Sleigh Ride in downtown Ottawa this past Sunday to celebrate the Christmas Season in combination with my daughter's 28th birthday and we, unfortunately, were in the midst of a freezing rain forecast.  After lots of back and forth calls between the Stable Owner, myself and my adult kids and step kids ended, we cancelled. I was disappointed as the booze was on the table and I was anxious to get away from the house.

Two of my kids were at my house with their little families.  They were being responsible with their drinking unlike hubby who was opening the fancy liqueurs he had purchased for Christmas.  I love the taste of Grand Mariner and Baileys Irish Liqueur.  I really wanted some. Badly.

We stayed home and hubby continued to drink in front of me.  He doesn't even know I've quit.  It's like a broken record.  I am always quitting.  I don't even tell anyone anymore.

Luckily, I had just received my box of DoTerra Essential Oils.  I put a drop or two of peppermint oil and lemon oil in a glass jug of water and sipped all evening.  The taste was so clean and fresh.  It was completely opposite to the booze I was craving.

I enjoyed the evening despite the temptations.  They are part of the journey; to be expected in this booze soaked world I live in.

The Essential Oils are a new passion of mine and I am excited to learn more about them and their organic uses in my life.

I had made some home made wontons and put them in some chicken broth.  We had that along with the Chinese dumplings I had also made the night before.  Having delicious food really helped me stay sober.

So a little roadblock was pushed aside and I've moved forward into the second week of sobriety coinciding with the 'Drinking Season'.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Don't Want to Be Like My Mom

I spent the day at the hospital with my elderly Mom who was in severe back pain right behind her heart.  We (myself and the paramedics) thought it could be a heart attack.  We had her checked out and blood work done with no heart problems other than what is normal for her age found.  When I got home the thought of having a nice stiff drink occurred to me.  Instead I had a bath and shaved my legs, put on comfy PJ's and surfed the net for a spell.  I went to bed happy but tired.

Mom is on strong painkillers and I AM SOBER!!

She is NOT. But that's another story.

I think Mom was sent to live with me to teach me what to expect if I continue to drink.  She is so frail, so slurry and so sad/angry.  I remember her when she was my age having a few beers watching her Toronto Blue Jays or Toronto Maple Leafs and it was all fun and games.  Now she is desperately hanging on to when she can reasonably ask for her first and gaging when it might work out if she asks for a second (or third if she gets really nervy).  I try to be tough with her but she is a lost cause.  At 85 she is beyond reach at this point.  I want my life's path to meander in the complete opposite direction to hers:

She is old and frail:  I hope to be strong and vibrant at 85
She is negative: I am positive and want to stay that way
She is obsessed with her next fix:  I want to be well beyond that stinkin' thinkin' when I am her age
She doesn't eat or exercise besides sugar, booze and shuffling through the dollar store
I want to continue to cook, experiment with fantastic food and enjoy each and every bite.  I hope to be a Granny on the Go!!
She picks favourites and has the capacity to hate those who are not in her good books.  I love my children and grandchildren equally and never want any of them to feel 'less than' in my eyes.
She cannot manage her finances: I hope to continue gaining financial security through smart investments and smart savings plans.
Mom gets very angry when her booze is limited:  I don't want to have booze as an issue ever again.

I have to say that, although I am painting a nasty image of my elderly mother, she is doing her best to be easy to live with and we are somewhat enjoying her and watching her become less judgemental and sullen in our happy, fun home.

I pray (in my own way as I am not religious) that I will not have a 'what the hell' moment and start drinking.  I hope that I am as done as I feel I am at this moment.

Blogging is one of the few ways to keep me on track so here I am.


Monday, 7 December 2015


I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Unsmashed's Blog and went back to when she was struggling with her first few months of her final quit.  Our lives are/were so parallel; both being Canadian, never having hit 'rock bottom' having hubbies and friends who continue to drink, going on all-inclusive vacations, etc.  Her words resonate so much with me.

I am leaving for my son's wedding in Mexico on January 9th and plan on being sober between now and then and continuing during and well beyond that vacation.  I know it will be difficult as I will be the ONLY one not drinking there.  A few people attending are active alcoholics and I will be bullied by these same people to join in the partying.

I am so tired of the stop-start sobriety I've allowed my life to become.  When I drink a little, it is only temporary.  Before long I know I will have a 'big' night.  The last time I hurled over the side of a good friends hot tub and then went to bed.  Real Classy!!

I will be sixty in October and my horoscope has indicated, around that time, I am heading into the best 13 months of my entire life.  It says:

"I want you to celebrate the arrival of 2016, because on September 9, 2016, Jupiter, the giver of gifts and luck, will enter Libra for thirteen months, until October 10, 2017. Over the past several years, you have suffered quite a bit, mainly in regard to either a relationship or your health (or both). Now the universe will make a correction, and you will enter a glorious chapter. In the meantime, you will need to clear out all that is draining you, or no longer of interest to you, to make room for all the goodies the universe will bring you starting in September. You waited eleven-and-a-half years for Jupiter to come, and he is almost here!
The universe has not forgotten you, dear Libra. The universe loves you. You will see proof of this very soon.

In preparation for this time, I am going to stay on course and protect my sobriety.  Over the past few years, my drinking has petered down to almost never with the occasional gong show so I have a great footing when it comes to knowing how to say no and how to have fun sober.

Boredom is a trigger for me and I am increasing my rebounding, yoga, knitting, playing the keyboard and reading. 

If my friend, UnSmashed can do it, then so can I. 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Done My Time: Bring on the Success!!

We all have so much in common!  When I look at all my slip-ups and unfulfilled promises to myself I cringe.  When I read other blogs, it makes me realize that I am not alone and that feels so reassuring.  I think it can take a number of years from the time one starts thinking that maybe one has a problem with alcohol until one actually is able to walk away.  I am a late bloomer.  Although I am close to sixty years old I have only been abusing alcohol since I was 45 and recognized it as a problem about 8 years ago.  What a slow learner... I think I've done my time.  I've had my million tries.  I've got the badges to prove it: fluctuating self esteem, vast knowledge of alcoholism, sober pen pals, sobriety app on phone, my own personal sad little blog, favourite sober websites, blogs, etc.  I've got friends and family who think I'm crazy for my back and forth decisions, those who try to tell me I am a normie, those who give me the evil eye when they see me with drink in hand and others who support me no matter where I am in my 'journey'.

Eventually those of us who truly want to quit, DO SUCCEED.  We do.  We have to. I will. I am.

I don't drink.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Tripping, Falling but Happy

I've been honoured lately to be invited to some women's circles.  I have gone and sat and listened and talked very little.  I have so much to learn.  I sometimes don't feel worthy of these circles of wisdom but when I do speak I often feel that the women are resonating with what I say.  These gatherings are instrumental in reinforcing my desire to remain conscious, aware and sober.

Today we smoked a native pipe and set intentions as we smudged ourselves with the tobacco smoke.  I felt very emotional as I asked for healing so that I may heal others.  I seem to take two steps forward and three steps back.  My elderly mother's addiction to alcohol and her excuses and tricks to maintain her desired quota are serving as a mirror to my own behaviour.  She is living with me and currently thinks she is fooling me by asking for a beer, then a rum and coke even though she agreed to have only one beer a day when she moved in.  It was the only stipulation to her living with us.  I now have to find the courage to address this issue.  I hate confrontation.  She is one tough cookie and when refused her drink, she gets quite nasty.

I have made so many excuses for myself and moved my line in the sand about quantity more often than I like to admit.  Drinking is something that will I will never be comfortable with and will always be obsessed with.  I see myself in my mother and it is sad.  She can provide me with the opportunity to change the direction of my life if I let her.  She is a shadow of a woman; a dead-eyed old hag who occasionally comes to life usually with her first beer in hand.  I will be her if I don't continue this journey to sobriety.  If I backtrack and give myself permission to drink, I will never reach the place I strive for.

It was pointed out to me today by my meditation partner who lives across the street that I am teaching my grandchildren to enjoy dancing, walking in the woods, picking wild berries, bird watching, visiting the riverbank, baking and playing musical instruments,  I am so blessed to have five under five and they all live within a half hours drive of me. My positive influence on them thrills me as well as them.  For Christmas I got them each a second hand pair of skates and a real miniature guitar.  I am so excited to give them these gifts.

In general, I am happy but always close to faltering if not actually failing.  The difference now is that I don't hate myself quite as much as I used to and forgive myself when I fail.  Surprisingly this helps rather than hurts the achievement of my goals.

Another 100 day sober commitment set in motion today.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Feel the Pain and Accept Our Imperfections

Why do we hate ourselves and what can we do about it?

Our society has created a terrible dis-ease within itself in that many of us have gotten into the habit of self-criticism and suffer from intermittent feelings of not being enough or worthy of happiness.

This sickness sabotages our well being, our success and our awakening to what truly IS.

We are always trying to be someone other than the perfect human beings we are right now.  We fight our weight, our addictions, our unhealthy habits and all that we are.  We constantly are telling ourselves that things will be perfect when we change this or that about ourselves or our situation.

The sad fact of the matter is that even when we do succeed in changing an aspect of our lives, instead of celebrating the achievement, we immediately find another hurdle to jump in order to find fulfillment.  Fulfillment never comes. Ever.

What if we decided today to sit still and feel our unworthiness; feel the pain of not being perfect or enough.  What if we let these painful feelings drift through our consciousness, linger and go.  We could decide to suffer those ego centred pains and allow them to pass through us accepting that the imperfections we grieve are part of our individuality along with our attributes, good practices and positive personality traits.

I believe we would be more successful in improving ourselves if we felt worthy of improvement, worthy of love and enough.

Maybe we would go for a walk because we deserve the vitality exercise brings.  Possibly we would forgo that glass of wine or store bought cookie because we deserve to feel healthy.  We may even develop a nurturing morning ritual just because we want to make each day matter.

Just an idea worth considering.

Monday, 9 November 2015

I Am Enough

I had bowed out of the blogging world for a week or more because I was making myself sick with repetition.  I decided to get out until something fresh came to mind.

Lately, I've been finding myself crossing over from my persona of self-loathing, wishy-washy, insecure little people pleaser to self-accepting, decisive, serene ME.  It's not a huge leap, but, rather a zig-zagging path that is zagging more than it used to.  Ziggy me was very rigid in my expectations for myself.  Zaggy me lets up a bit.  Ziggy me failed constantly; Zaggy me has less rules which, in turn, result in less failure.

I am allowing myself to let go of the ego's constant reminders that I am not enough.  I am pampering myself with bubbles and incense, makeup and perfume and time spent outdoors bird watching.  I am moving my body but not counting each step or rebounder bounce religiously.  I am holding back from activities (;-) that contribute to the deadening of my mind.  I am drawn towards my keyboard piano, my knitting and my cookbooks.  I am immersing myself in the creation of wholesome, delicious food.  I am dragging my elderly mother to Christmas Craft Fairs, small village shopping districts and second-hand book shops.  I am seeing my grandchildren but saying 'no' when I am tired or busy.

My mind still swoops down into that dark place once in a while and I acknowledge the voice that loves to attack me.  I quiet her down with a simple "You are enough" chant.

I was about to type that life is not perfect but it really is.  I know something terrible could and probably will happen in my future as it does in all large families but today, just now, in this moment: life is perfect.

My morning meditation habit that is now almost a year old is partly to credit for this change.  My ongoing sober journey is huge in acting as a launching pad to explore my spirituality and to question everything I previously thought was real.

I really hope that I can live the next third of my life growing in self-love and serenity.  If I do this, there is no limit to the work I can do towards the benefit of those I meet.  We all touch everyone who crosses our path.  If I can regularly create energy that heals outward rather than curls around my sad self, then, perhaps, I can hold a light and lead the way for other seekers of authentic selves to follow.

I have a lot of soul work to do.  I am enough.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

And A Big Thanks Goes to .... Alcoholism!!

Thank you alcoholism!  I mean it from the bottom of my heart.  You have given me so much.  I can't begin to name all that you've done for me but I'll try.

With deepest gratitude I thank you for the following:

... for interrupting my long years of nothingness in that my awareness of your presence was the first of many awakenings I've experienced since

... for teaching me humility in my weakness while forcing me to develop strengths I never knew I had

... for pushing me to the knowledge that my body is the temple of my soul and that both are easily damaged but are capable of full repair with self nurturing

... for making me think, really think about who I am and what my purpose is in this vast universe of energy I am part of

... for creating a pressing need in me to reach a goal so psychologically challenging that, if attained, will, invariably, open the door to limitless possibilities and opportunities

... for showing me that there is a sub-culture of searching souls that exist beyond the facade of living a normal, hectic life

... for bringing me to a place where, by acknowledging you and slowly healing myself of your active symptoms I have began taking baby steps in experiencing the 'art of real living' in that I am now knitting a baby blue sweater for my two year old grandson, playing my keyboard by ear with two hands while taking theory lessons, attending aquafit classes, yoga sessions, Women's Moon Gatherings, Sweat Lodges.  I am walking on wooded trails with my grandkids, cooking vegan meals, juicing, rebounding, taking long, luxurious baths, wearing makeup, shaving my armpits ... and the list goes on.

Thank you so much Alcoholism for crushing the husk of my hardened soul and allowing the seed of awareness to germinate and grow.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Slowly Things Are Coming Together

It's Day 9; I know I should be on day 999 but here I am exactly where I am meant to be in the story of my life.  I am not tempted to drink alcohol but have to remember to drink WATER.  I am dehydrated lately because I keep forgetting to hydrate myself.

My sugar addiction is in full swing and with my Mom living here, the sweets are everywhere.  I am not gaining weight but not losing it either.  I have a wedding in Mexico (my Son's) in January and would love to feel good in my bathing suit so have to eventually work on those sugar cravings.  I am going pretty easy on myself right now because I am so early in this latest last run of sobriety.  Before this run, I've had many months of abstinence with a hiccup (one or two glasses of wine) every few weeks.  Although this is encouraging, it's not slaying the dragon.  It keeps me in the quicksand.

I have been listening to the Bubble Hour quite a bit especially while I am knitting or jumping on my mini-trampoline.

In general, life has gotten a lot more manageable in the past year of mostly sober time.  I am a better office administrator (coincidentally, the company is doing REALLY well right now).  My house is cleaner and tidier and my personal hygiene has ramped up a notch or two.

My eating habits are slowly improving too although with my 85 year old Mom here, I have to serve meat and more traditional food which I am easing away from in my own personal tastes.  She is really doing well and is not a burden whatsoever as I had feared she would be.

I never realized how lonely my Mom must have been living alone these past thirty five years since the youngest in the family moved out.  She has been a crusty, negative alcoholic for as long as I remember and now that she's here and allowed one beer a day, she is smiling, curling her hair, practicing the piano and walking taller.  She has even laughed a few times.  I am witnessing the rebirth of a woman who was dying of loneliness and it warms my heart.

Yesterday I went for a long walk on the wooded path by the river.  At the end of my walk I stood on the riverbank and was able to lose myself in taking deep breaths from the essence of my being and symbolically sucking all my deep self-loathing up to the surface.  In my out breath I sent long, swooshes of healing love out into the world.  It really felt good.

I am happy to be on this sober journey even with all my pitfalls as it has led me to discover my spiritual side and to other like-minded healing souls like you.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Woman Within

The Woman Within
Deep within the folds of my heart lies the true essence of my being. She is similar to the ME that I project to the world but different. I have partially lived her reality as a maturing woman but never fully honoured her for, although her qualities are many, she possesses attributes that don’t sit well with others. She is not your cookie cutter woman. She is wonderful but not suited to everyone’s expectations. She has been struggling for her full release my entire life. She is here. She tells me:
I am the Hippie, the Gypsy, the Native, The Gardener, The Healer, The Listener, The Artist,. I am an Earth Woman, a River Witch, a Crone. I live close to and often within my Spiritual Self.
Although I love people, I am a loner and prefer to keep to myself. When I am among others, most often they leave feeling connected and wish to maintain close contact. I desire this but a part of me resists. Solitude comforts me. I abandon my independent side when I make love with my husband. We find such euphoria in each other’s bodies and celebrate our compatibility with gratitude and eagerness.
I am a vegetarian at heart. I am beckoned by the appeal of whole foods. The cooking and preparing of animal meat is my compromise to those I love. I waver on the vegan side. I love dark chocolate, black licorice, anything sweet or savoury made with coconut, Asian food, artichokes dipped in mayonnaise, wilted spinach with feta and garlic.
I drink tea. I am drawn to coffee’s darkly roasted allure but at heart, clear, hot tea suits me better. My mouth enjoys the sensations that linger during and after my teatime breaks.
I dance with my hips and ass gyrating while alone listening to my playlist of sexy songs. I bounce on my mini-trampoline while listening to music or positive podcasts preferably outdoors in the woodsy area behind my home or in the solarium in the winter. I walk to get the mail and do my banking when I have time and the inclination. I treat myself to a walk along the river often. These activities along with actively maintaining my home are the source of my robust vitality.
I am uncomfortable with routine and value personal freedom above all states of mind. Office work bores me but I meet all deadlines and realize that staying organized is the key to minimizing my time spent in administration. I have no set office hours but carve out work time based on my personal commitments and sensible business priorities.
I bathe daily and attend to my feminine practices such as shaving my legs, applying natural cream and taking care with my appearance. I go with a simple, flattering style and don’t bother much with makeup or hair products.
I am playful with children and create memories surrounding nature with them. I am a watcher of adults. I don’t feel the need to interact with adults in a casual way except when I am drawn to help others. My words are for the expression of insightful thoughts and my ears are for the listening of others fears. I am easily bored with small talk and rarely share my feelings. When I do communicate my words are generously interspersed with outrageous, wholesome humour. I am happy and untroubled in most areas of my life.
I am a recovering alcoholic who has learned from her many failed attempts at abstinence that, although alcohol is a socially expected, ritualistic drink I must dare to invoke distrust, disappointment and sometimes, even resentment among my closest family and friends by not partaking of it. My alcoholism prevents me from compromising on this unfortunate fact but also has been instrumental in the gradual realization that by freeing myself of it’s chemical and emotional side effects, a miraculous opportunity for personal growth and authenticity is able to emerge.
I have the right to my restful and restorative time and feel deserving and serene when not doing much of anything. I sometimes rest when work is not completed and that is perfectly fine.
I live in the moment and do not brood about the past. When I am without the screen of alcohol, I get flashes of horror that involve my past. I allow those thoughts to come to the forefront of my mind and feel the sensations of body and spirit as the horrors work their way through. They dissipate quickly because I let them go through without judgement.
When the future is uncertain I acknowledge this unknown, open ended energy and let it go as well. There is nothing to be gained by fretting and experience has shown me that as life unfolds, I have the ability to rise up and meet it, whether it is pleasurable or uncomfortable.
What I do now, at this moment is my focus. I consciously pick raspberries with my grandchildren, wholeheartedly prepare a nutritious meal, bathe with candlelight and incense, play my keyboard with eyes closed and face uplifted and, happily match credit card invoices to statements with focus and intent.
I am awake. I am here.
My role in life is to simply be me. The young ones will emulate me if they sense my contentedness and, of course, my love for them. I will be remembered as the one who lived authentically.
Currently, I sit here as the one who has been gifted with the words to express the qualities of the true woman within. She is gracefully emerging and with continued sobriety will continue to do so. The inner knowing I am privy to will continue to guide my soul in the soothing of my ego’s fears. Finally, the woman I’ve longed to be will emerge.
I honour and welcome her. For she is me.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Hello Sunday Morning!!

Life has been very good for quite a while now and I have no reason to want to escape behind the hue of a glass of red. I used to have all kinds of reasons such as a depressed, suicidal daughter, a failed marriage, no money, etc. Through my good decisions and life's recent blessings I have a great relationship, three mature, reasonably happy kids, five healthy sweet grand kids and live in the dream home we just built.
I believe that, even though I want to stop drinking altogether, I self sabotage by having one or two in the midst of a successful sober stretch just to knock myself down a few pegs when I am serene, content and pleased with myself. This realization just might be the ticket to my freedom from my constant relapsing. Knowing that I am accountable here will sure help as well.
Booze has completely lost it's attraction to me just like my ex-husband and for the same reasons: although they may be suited for someone else, they are not suited for me and they both bring out the worst in me. I am lethargic, non-communicative and full of self-loathing when I spend time with either of them. I broke off a twenty year marriage after five years of knowing it was time. I've had at least five years of knowing booze and I were mismatched. It's time to walk away rather than lingering around in the hopes that things will be different. I think this makes sense. You?
I joined Hello Sunday Morning and am on a three month sober challenge.  

Friday, 16 October 2015

My Happy Birth Right

After such a long period of years, I am understanding my compelling urge to drink alcohol.  I, again, have to thank Bubble Hour Podcasts.  They are resonating with me now and explaining actions I am guilty of time after time.  The past has not been pleasant and sometimes it was brutal.  Booze came into my life when my self-love was at an all time low and my fear of the future was at an all time high.  Letting go of that fear now that I am in the secure arms of a loving partner and a steady, relatively predictable life is difficult and what keeps me relapsing.

I also believe that I self-sabotage when I am feeling proud of myself as if I am afraid of appearing too successful or accomplished.  I am afraid, deep down, that my imperfection is what keeps me happily accepted in the midst of my family and friends.  Who wants to be around someone with a life as sweet as mine?  I am in an enviable situation with a partner that is truly my soul mate, a newly built dream home, a successful business where I work from home, three great adult kids and five loving, healthy grandchildren.  But, alas!! I have a drinking problem.  I am suffering.  I am one of them.

This is totally ridiculous thinking and now that I am aware of it, maybe I can stay strong with my latest sobriety stretch reminding myself that it is my right and honour to heal myself of my addiction and to be free of this failure.

Sobriety's path is different for everyone.  Our ego seems to need to keep us unsteady and immersed in inner conflict.  Being sober is the ultimate pinnacle of happiness and of finally closing the circle of a well rounded life for me.  With long term sobriety, I can move forward in fulfilling my life's calling and accomplishing what we all desire: to leave a positive mark on the people we touch in our lifetime.

My skill at moderation, fear of success, need to fit in and lack of self love have all postponed the next phase of my life.  Today, in this final stretch of continued abstinence, I reclaim my joy, my passion and my perfection.  I am perfectly enough as a sober, happy, loving woman.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Dancing with the Devil

I have been swinging from wanting to quit drinking altogether and dabbling in moderation for many years.  I have, in fact, become a very good moderator of my intake.

This is not a good thing.

It does mean that I have a strong inner strength which allows me to keep the beast at bay most of the time.  This, in theory, sounds like a great attribute and, in other areas of my life, it is.  But when it comes to alcohol addiction, it just postpones the inevitable.  I am so good at moderation that I can go along for a few weeks merrily doing the moderating dance:  Two steps forward, One step back, Cha Cha Cha.  One step up, BIG step down, dip and twirl. Swing your partner round and round.  Have a drink and knock her down.

I was `moderating` one night a few weeks ago after a few weeks of abstinence and found myself pouring glass after glass of red wine while watching TV alone.  I had a massive hangover the next day.  But the next night, like a true professional drinker dancer, I curtsied to my partner and round and round I went again.

The fact that I can do some pretty successful moderation sequences means that I never really quit.  I still dance with the same partner week after week.  Taking a break once in a while seems to just reinforce the fact that I am a very good dancer with the Devil.

Moderation is only keeping my Boozy partner either at my side leading me along with suave moves or patiently waiting in the wings for me to be lonely, out of step or bored.  He, then smoothly glides in, grabs my arm and away we go.  Another song, another set, another dance, the occasional fall.  It never ends.

I never fall hard enough to stop the madness.  I just stumble, glance around to see if anyone noticed, pick myself up, dust myself off, take a small break (or not) and carry on.

So the fact that I am able to continue this insane dance-off is hurting my recovery and I am, hereby, acknowledging this here and now.

Moderation is not a healthy practice even if I am really good at it.  I never leave the macabre dance floor.  I never go home.  I never rest.  I am always poised to handle my sleazy, boozy partner and feel smug that he didn`t manage to embarrass me or kill me yet.

I have been abstinent for a short period of time and with this new perspective on moderation (Thanks Bubble Hour) I can decide where I want to go from here.  It`s up to me.

Wallflower Wino!!  The New Me!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Remaining Alert and Awake

Remember those weekends?  The ones when we let ourselves do the inevitable?  Remember having more than we planned?  Off to bed we go leaving the kitchen dishes undone, teeth unbrushed, maybe sleeping in our clothes, forgetting to take off our bra.  Waking in the night, not knowing the time but it's dark outside.  We are incredibly thirsty and a dull ache is beginning in our head.  Our stomach is churning and our mind is reeling.  What have we said and to whom?  Have we agreed to anything we will regret?  Why did we, yet again, drink too much?  We thought we had this under control.  That's why we were attempting moderation in the first place.

The morning comes after a fitful night.  We stagger to gulp water and pain killer and fall back into bed.  Our head is now pounding.  Why did we do this?  We really can't say.

We acknowledge that we cannot control our drinking at this time.  We know we must quit altogether.  We are sure of it.  No doubt in our mind.

Over the next few days we abstain.  We are strong.  We are pleased with our decision.  After a while the memory of the hangover, regret and awfulness fades.  Eventually we drink because we think we can control it.

And the vicious cycle continues.  Stopping the cycle is my greatest challenge.  It's all fine and dandy now.  But what of the future?  Selective memory is going to happen.

Vigilance is so important and that is why meditation and practicing resting in the present moment are so necessary for success.

Stay alert and awake!! Stay alert and awake!!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Fifteen Years of Struggle

Being sober is great but I miss hiding behind the glass of red.  When I felt irritated a few times yesterday afternoon I had to face my unsettled mind sober.  It was not easy.  I was irrationally upset a few times for silly reasons and I had to talk myself out of it and carry on.  This is how it should be but, being a passive person who avoids conflict to a fault (even inner conflict), it is challenging.

Emotion was my enemy; I conquered it with booze.  I have to now experience it with presence, calmness and acceptance.  I have to feel the emotion, watch it as it wafts through my subconscious mind into my consciousness and then out of my awareness as it dissipates. In order to do this I have to be fully awake to my inner self.

Living a life on auto-pilot creates a gateway for addictions to get back into our lives.  We must always try to ask ourselves what we are feeling.  Not why we are feeling these emotions; but simply, what we are feeling.  We should not question or criticize our emotions as they are out of our control.  Our reaction to them is the only thing we can control.

Waking up this morning at 5:45, hopping getting in the shower, getting dressed, meditating and reading and having my first coffee; these activities were untainted by a hangover or feelings of remorse.  I was eager, happy and ready to immerse myself in life.  Let's face it, I have never actually hopped in the shower but that's beside the point.

I am turning 59 in a week and I realized that I have been drinking more than I should and/or fretting about my drinking habits for close to fifteen years.  It's over, baby!! Better late than never.  

I have started working on a book that's been brewing in my mind for a long time.  More on that later.

Weekend begins and for the first time in years, I have absolutely no plans.  Love it.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Lovely Walk and Feeling Fine

Day by day I am improving my self talk turning from negative chastising to letting myself off the hook.  This, ironically, paves the way for me to accomplish more, procrastinate less and, as a result, feel better about myself which helps continue the cycle of positive self talk.  Does this make sense?

Example:  Yesterday, on a whim I decided to walk along the groomed path along the river that leads deep into the woods at the edge of the village.  I walked and took close to ten thousand steps in the process.  It was invigorating, uplifting, spiritually freeing and all that jazz.  My old ego brain started in on the "You should have done this all summer" quickly followed by the "You should do this every day from now on.."  I corrected this little witch-ego by countering with "the bugs were bad all summer; now they are dead therefore less bothersome" and "You can choose to walk this lovely path again; it's up to you".  I allowed myself to be forgiven for missing the opportunity to enjoy this trail all summer.  Realistically, I get eaten alive when I walk in nature before the first cold night.  It's just not pleasant.  Beaches suit me better in the summer. Fall and Winter are awesome times to enjoy the trail in all it's colourful and eventual white splendour.  If I want to experience these natural treasures bad enough I will make time for them.

My mom is behaving and not trying to sneak more than her allowed one beer a day.  I am pleased about that although it's still early yet.  Right now she is upstairs happily rolling my toonies and loonies (Canadian one and two dollar coins). She has offered to do my filing so I think I will take her up on it and, soon, together we can match three months worth of credit card statements to their invoices.  We'll put some Frank Sinatra on Songza and file away.

Today I took Mom to our first piano lesson.  I play very well by ear but can't read music or play conventionally.  Mom is thrilled to be learning the piano as it has been her life long dream and I am just tickled pink that after our first lesson I am actually progressing nicely.  It is challenging enough not to be boring and easy enough not to be discouraging.

I ramble on here but the bottom line is I am, again, not drinking.  I am racking up the days again until my inevitable small hiccup.  I'll just put my sobriety counter back to Day one and start again.  I know that may sound like dangerous thinking to you all but, to me, it's reality and I accept my mostly sober life.

Talk soon.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Got My Mojo Going Again

Having a productive day.  Office work caught up.  My mom is settled in.  I did not drink last night.  I have still been meditating every morning for about 9 months now... every frickin' morning at 6:00 a.m.  I, actually, love getting up at 5:40 a.m.  Really, I do.  I am showered, meditated, caffinated and rarin' to go by 7:00 and that adds about three hours to my day.  I used to be so slow to awaken in my pre-meditation days.  In case you are wondering what my early morning is like, ... here goes:

5:40 - soft music slowly wakes me up.  It's dark outside so I can't see the bird feeder hubby erected right outside my bedroom window but in the summer, it was lovely.  I brush my teeth (and scrape my tongue which might sound gross but it is a real great addition to my oral hygiene).  I then get in the shower, get dressed and make coffee.  Friend either arrives or I cross the street to meet her.  We sit by candlelight, sip coffee and chat about the previous day, read aloud from two books (one is a daily inspirational and the other a daily recovery book).  We spend at least ten minutes of silence meditating and then give each other a big hug and go our separate ways.

7:00 a.m. - I pour myself another coffee, make my bed, tidy up and eat something either satisfying, nourishing and hopefully both.  I usually take my second coffee out to my little, secret garden and sit under the canopy of wild grape vines that have taken over that end of the property.  I wander over to pick a few late raspberries and go inside.

7:30 - I get some office work out of the way.  I work, on and off all morning either on office work or housework.  Around 11:30 I prepare lunch for me and my Mother.   She is a late riser.

I have plenty of time for myself if I stay organized which is a challenge because of my Squiggly personality.

Mom and I are starting piano lessons tomorrow.  I can play very well by ear but now it's time to learn the basics.  Mom has always wanted to learn.

My days are busy because the five grand babies are constantly making welcome appearances and my house is a revolving door with family, friends and business people coming and going.

My life is perfect each day I choose to stay away from my torturer, red wine.  I am on day two.  Mojo intact and humming nicely.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Finally Able to Log On

I have had trouble logging on lately as my password wasn't working.  Today I finally sorted it out.  I would be 26 days sober today if it weren't for the weekend.  I made the (un)conscious decision to have a glass or two on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Friday was me caving in after a week of my daughter staying with me with her newborn and 14 month old sick babies.  My house was a disaster and my DIL showed up with a bottle of red which I shared with her.  Saturday was a 'what the hell' day as I was in Toronto picking up my 85 year old alcoholic mother to bring her home to live with me and hubby.  Part of me felt like I blew it the night before and I needed to cut loose before my life became stilted and stifled with my role as the caregiver, liquor control board with Mom.  Sunday was finishing what was in the house with full knowledge that Monday was the beginning of another go at it.  So, in total about six glasses of red wine were drank over the course of three days.  I am fine with that since I let it happen.  It was a choice.

Sober again today and on red alert with Mom who will try every trick in the book to get her fill of beer.

Believe it or not, I still feel good about my 26 days and am still counting unless I screw up again today which is virtually impossible.  I put my sobriety counter back to 0 but in my heart I am proud of the last month.

If I can do this sobriety thing 99% of the time then it's a good thing.  If I can do it 100% of the time, then it's a GREAT thing.  So far, I am good. Greatness beckons me.

Presence has been my go to state lately and I revel in it.  Breathing deeply and honouring where I am here and now has helped me avoid many pitfalls of emotion, comments, actions and drinking for the most part.

Today is a wonderful day.  Mom is still in bed and I am catching up on my filing.

Have a good one.


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Two Weeks of Bliss

It really is blissful this time around.  My daily meditations, unexplained healing of my procrastination habits and two weeks of sobriety have created a world for me that is profoundly different from ever before.  This time around I ...

  • have an organized, clean house that hubby and me are maintaining on a minute by minute basis
  • am eating cleaner, healthier and less
  • am caught up with office work and putting in the time needed to stay caught up
  • am feeling no guilt when I take time to play or read or do absolutely nothing; I keep waiting for the feelings of unworthiness to rear their ugly head but it's stopped, it's actually stopped
  • am spending more quality time with the grand kids with no pressure on myself whatsoever
About the healing of my procrastination habits, I do have an explanation but it's a bit unbelievable.  I'll trust you to take it with a grain of salt:  Two weeks ago (a few days into my latest sobriety  attempt) I was alone at night as hubby had left for three nights away.  I went across the yard to turn off the shop lights as they were glaring in my bedroom window.  As I stood outside I noticed that the moon was not only full but low and glowing with what looked like an aura of reddish light.  It was profoundly beautiful and called to me.  I stood very still for a few moments and stared up at it.  It seemed to invite conversation.  With no forethought, the following words came to my lips: "Mother Moon, you have now finally stopped pulling blood out of my womb.  Can you now reach deep inside me and coax my authentic self to the surface.. allow me to capture the discipline I need to fulfill my life's purpose."  I mumbled a few more entreaties and went inside.  From that moment on and for the remainder of my time alone that weekend,  my life was filled with reorganization, cleaning and decluttering.  I, literally, worked my ass off from Thursday night until hubby arrived home on Monday afternoon.  I survived on smoothies, home made juices, nuts and seeds.  

Nothing has been the same since.  I think it was my version of "Let Go, let God" or surrendering my weakness to a 'higher power'.  Whatever it was, it is still working.  My house is clean, laundry caught up, office work caught up and I am enjoying my down time without the lingering self-loathing that used to accompany any time I was not using my time to work .. which was often since I was the Queen of Procrastination.

I am riding the waves of this 'new me' and loving it.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Back on Track with 11 Days under my Belt

I`ve been sober for only 11 days, 14 hours and a few minutes.  I`ve had lots of sober stretches but haven`t yet attained my goal:  freedom from the resident monkey on my back.  As usual, this sober stretch feels like the real McCoy.  I am finding it easy as I always do.  I am very determined as I always am.  I hope that the outcome will be different this time.  I hope that this is it!!  The past has determined that alcohol is a formidable foe and is very sneaky (as you all know).

When my guard is down in a few days, weeks or even months a little glass of wine or beer will seem like a very good idea.  When this line of attack occurs, I usually am not prepared and quietly go ahead with it ... totally forgetting that one little drink will lead to another and another and ... how exhausting it is to be actively addicted to booze.

With my elderly, alcoholic mother coming to live with me in two weeks I have to be sober as I am going to have to monitor her one drink per day that we`ve agreed on.  At 85 she`s not going to benefit from a strict abstinence rule and I want her morale to be good while she`s here.  If I allow her more, she will take it as she is in active addiction and has never tried to curb her drinking.  Her former place of residence made it impossible for her to drink much but being here she will try to be conniving in her attempts to drink more.  If she succeeds because my guard is down, she will literally die as her health is shaky at the best of times.  So in order to sustain her life I must be sober.

Lately I have finally started benefiting from the morning meditations I`ve been practicing for the past nine months.  My life has, finally, become more orderly, disciplined and tidy.  This consciousness I am enjoying can only help with my abstinence.  My eyes are open and alert more so now than ever. I can hardly believe how clean my house is, how organized my office is and how caught up I am in all areas of my life.  This is a complete turn around.  The change has, funnily enough, coincided with my sobriety.  Go figure!!

I apologize for burying my head in the sand these past few weeks.  It`s what I do when I am unhappy with myself.  I have to remember that if I can be honest anywhere, I can be honest here.  No judgement from you guys that I can remember.

Something I have come to realize as a result of being a very moderate drinker these past few years is that moderate or not, I still have the addiction.  Booze still calls my name and pokes me, prods me, tempts me and humiliates me no matter how much or how little I drink.  Just because I am able to control it for the most part does not mean that I am a `normie`.  I do not have to control my intake of tea, peanut butter, chicken or avocados; just booze and coffee (yes, coffee).  No other substance takes up so much of my precious time and energy.

Off to a Farmer`s Market.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Vacation Sans Alcohol

Hubby and I are leaving for vacation today.  It was a last minute decision based on the fact that our construction company has a lull in work activity.  I suggested that we take this opportunity to go to the lake house rather than planning for a vacation that may or may not interfere with work opportunities.

When I get back I will report in... a few days from now.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Doing Things Differently This Time

I certainly am doing everything I can this time to ensure my sobriety.  What I've done diffently this time compared to other times goes as follows:
  • I am using a sobriety counter (and would love to know how to install one on this blog)
  • I have my face holding my last glass of booze grinning like a banshee at me every time I open my lap top and it is my right arm
  • I had a little ceremony to mark the beginning of my new sober life
  • I have a shrine dedicated to my sobriety 
  • I have asked for help on my favourite cyber sober group
  • I have asked Belle from the 100 day Challenge blog for help and she is coming through big time
  • I actually asked a cyber sober friend if we could talk one on one and we did; she is a successful abstainer and a unwavering supporter of me for some reason
  • I told my meditation partner and she's tough... says it like it is.
  • I put a note on my phone listing all the reasons to stay sober and I am to read this list before taking the first drink
  • I've been juicing every day 
Ok, so that's what I did differently.  Now, let's see ... What I am doing the same as before when I eventually relapsed that I might want to consider changing:

  • I am drinking minimal amounts of liquids besides coffee and my morning juice; I will top that up in order to stay hydrated
  • I still have booze in the house.  The last 2 boxes of wine were leftovers (Duh??) from an evening my daughter hosted and she gave them to me.  I've given one to my DIL and when hubby finishes the red (yikes) I will not be buying any; I hardly ever do and I'll make a point of not doing so.
  • I have not found a replacement drink ever that I really love; any suggestions?
That's all I can think of right now.  Any feedback or reminders?  I feel like you know me better than my flesh and blood friends. LOL... 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

After Many Long Years

Looking back it's hard to believe I actually got 138 days under my belt before crumbling under the tension of that particular day.

What life has taught me since then is that:

  • stress is temporary; the only thing that is consistent is change itself
  • one drink leads to another; my relapse was last September and I have not gone more than two weeks alcohol free since then
  • giving up booze has nothing to do with strength, willpower or perseverance and everything to do with allowing yourself to be vulnerable, authentic and real
  • there is no 'good time' to quit; now is the time
  • the amount I drink does not matter; it's the amount of time spent thinking about booze that matters (and it's all I think about)
Today I made a phone call to a cyber-friend who graciously allowed me to contact her.  She has been very supportive and has kept in touch with me even when I have buried my head in the sand as I tend to do.  I have never reached out to anyone before about my drinking.  Speaking with her gave me a feeling of hope.  She told me I was of value and wise and she was sincere; I could tell.  While I struggle with the idea of being worthy of such compliments, her words softened my self-loathing and soothed my aching psyche.  She started her sober journey at the same time I commenced my 138 day marathon and she has managed to stay sober.  I admire her for her commitment to helping those of us who have not been successful and her unwavering compassion as we stumble along stopping and starting our sober stints.  Thank you Ginger.

Yesterday I toasted myself with my last drink.  I have kept the empty glass and have it displayed as a reminder of the day I stopped trying to change and finally became the change I wished to see in myself.   This is it!  It's over!  Where I go from here is where I truly want to be!  

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A Day To Remember

Today I made a decision that will prove to be the launching pad for my ultimate happiness, serenity, productiveness and fulfillment.

I mark this day in a secretive fashion, not to appear mysterious or important but, simply to quietly and humbly take note of this day so that, in the future when all that is supposed to happen transpires, I may happily go back and see where I was when it all began.

So, with no further ado, I bid you goodnight.

Long Over-Due Update

Lots has been happening; some of it good, some of it bad, all of it creating plenty of food for thought.

The family business has been struggling to meet it's financial commitments and this is worrisome and time consuming.  We are taking from Peter to pay Paul and doing a lot of shifting of electronic funds. It makes you wonder whether money actually matters or in this cyber world we live in, has it become an intangible figment of our imaginations.  We do need proof of money owned to move forward in the business world but besides that it just seems to be a puff of smoke or a waft of air moving through my life with my hand directing it here and there with the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger.

I had an anyphalactic reaction to something; probably cat dander or black fly bites and almost met my maker prematurely.  I was aware as I came close to becoming incapable of breathing that, should I die, my only regret was that my adult life was spent trying to change myself.  I haven't come to any life changing decisions on this revelation except that I know I either have to accept all my faults or stop f&%king around and make permanent change where it's needed.  I am not sure where I am going with this.

My daughter who has a one year old and is expecting her second any time soon has been on and off bed rest and has required a great deal of my time.  I am happy to give it to her and her family but my planned days are mostly interrupted and change has become the constant.  I crave a more settled life and, although, I have the power to create this life for myself, my love for my family trumps anything and everything else.  It's just who I am.

My meditation friend has disappointed me in her attempts to do some investigation to prove that my daughter is lying to me about her need for bed rest.  Without explaining the circumstances, my daughter is telling me the truth.  Even if she was telling me bold faced lies about her condition, my friend has no business even going there.  I've told her to drop it and that we should move on but I am hanging on to my resentment of her unwanted intrusion.  I want to get over this because our meditations and discussions have done wonders for my psyche.  The key, I guess, is to forgive but not forget and to keep my family's day to day goings on to myself but that defeats the purpose of having a friend to vent to.  So I am at a cross roads with this situation.  She is keen to re-establish our former closeness but I need some time.  I will meditate on this today.

My drinking was at a respectable level.  I am feeling it creeping up on me due to recent stresses and having had the proverbial carpet pulled out from under me.  Diligence is my ever present side kick as I traverse the dangerous road ahead.  I pray that my combination of self-acceptance and moderation can somehow unite to soothe my soul into re-emerging authentically and happily.  All I want is peace of mind and to live each day fully and without shame or guilt.

What am I doing that is positive:  I am juicing every morning.  I take 10,000 steps daily or close to it.  I get outside daily.  I am enjoying my grandchildren.  I am swimming at the lake house when I am there.  I am still arising early and meditating with my friend.  My office work is caught up.  I am dropping a few pounds.  I am playing the keyboard.  The house is mostly tidy.  Hubby and I are having lots of nookie.  I love my white hair; it's brilliant.  Now I'm pulling at straws so I'll stop.

Have a great day.

Friday, 12 June 2015

A Revelation!

Second post in one day .. read about my almost relapse in the blog roll.

Today, I realized something.

To back track, for the past few months, during our snowy, cold winter months, I completely stopped exercising.  I have always found some way of moving even in the winter but this year, I just stopped.  Maybe it was a reaction to finally moving into our new home after a year in limbo or what, but I just crashed, happily crashed, but crashed non-the-less.

I noticed that, by the end of the winter, my joints and bones were aching and I was losing flexibility.  I was tired quicker when I was moving and when I was crouching down and attempted to get up, I was awkward and sore.  I remember acknowledging that this, indeed, is what it feels like to get older; I am 58.

Fast forward to mid-May.  I finally got around to getting my fit-bit steps tracker set up, charged and on my person.  I've been wearing it for a month and, coincidentally or not, my movement has picked up.  Spring has sprung.  We are gardening, I am walking to the post office or to the river, the grandkids are around and needing chasing and I am energetic again.  I put in my goal of 10,000 steps more often than not.  Of course, like all long awaited changes, it's not something I've done on purpose, just something that's happened on it's own.  The two times I've lost fifteen pounds, were through either sickness or a change in circumstances; never as a result of the numerous diets I've started but not followed up on.

Well, what came to mind today is that I am not stiff, sore or achy any more.  I don't feel my age.  I have proven the scientific premise that you either move it or you lose it.

I am happy with my progress and hope to see it continue.  Awareness is an important tool to continue this trend.

Don't forget to read my last post... I came very close last night.


Sober Fragility

Ahhhh !! Resisted huge temptation last night.  It was the last day of my Mom's visit.  I am driving her home to Toronto today.  We decided to bring her out to A&W for dinner as she has been eating like a bird, enjoys their burgers and it was not expensive.  We then took her to the War Museum as she has been asking to be brought there for ages.  After that hubby suggested a farewell drink on a patio.  My alkie brain kicked in.

I debated in the car driving over.  Club soda and lemon?  As we sat down hubby suggested we share a pitcher of beer.  He is not aware that I am abstaining or at least is not taking me serious (as most of you aren't).  I was actually considering it thinking that it was just the once and I would get right back on track (ya right!!).  I then spotted the Becks Non-Alcohol Beer on the menu.  Phew!! I could look like I was drinking booze, feel like I am drinking booze and still stay abstinent.  So I ordered it.

But, just like that I was almost willing to break my sobriety streak.  That is scary as I know with a clear mind this morning that I would, not only, regret it but have one tonight in Toronto, another with dinner tomorrow night and away we go.

I am not saying that I will abstain forever but for now, I need to continue this streak for my peace of mind.

Fragile is the way I would describe my sobriety.  Very fragile.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Morning Meditation Works

So much going on and I am so busy.  I have not had a drink since that reset a few posts ago.  So far no urge but we all know that means nothing.

I won't go into detail about all the drama I am allowing into my life but I will say that I am practicing not taking anything to heart and just rolling along in the present and being there for everyone when I can.  When I can't I try to say no with confidence and absurdness.

We have family issues, money issues and exhaustion issues to deal with and the old me would be pouring glass after glass of red ethanol down my throat to cope.  Let's hope the future me doesn't ever go there again.  Hope but not fear.

My morning meditations which are now in their sixth month have opened up a whole new world of acceptance and gratitude.  For those of you who can't get their mind to stop reeling long enough to meditate, rest assured that it is the sitting and not the quality of meditation that has made the difference.  My meditations, themselves, are a shadow of what they could be.  My mind wanders, my attention wavers and I am all over the place but it still works.  It's the taking the time to sit quietly that allows me to regroup and remind myself of the silliness of regret and fear (past and future).

Spring is here and nature is lush with the rain we've had.  What a joy it is to walk to the river or just to sit on the verandah and watch the sun ease it's way out of view leaving it's pink and violet wisps to gradually fade to darkness.

My 85 yo mother has been with me for three weeks and tomorrow I am driving her home to Toronto.  She has not been a problem despite her addiction to beer.  She has resigned herself to just having three or so each evening and sits quietly reading as our crazy household whirls about her.  Still, the end of the visit will allow me one less person to take care of, monitor meds and to force feed as she is 'off' food.

So, just checking in as you can see by the rambling.  I am not on any other sober websites lately (Sorry Ginger and Paulie) but do appreciate all they give.  Time constraints are keeping me too busy to participate in much except office and family.

Have a groovy day.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Cleaning Lady For this Sober Granny

To not drink alcohol is easy.  It's easy most of the time.  It is so easy that when an urge hits out of no where, a drink is taken without thought, planning, discussion or actual decision making.  This fact has been the death of many a sober stretch for me.

How to combat this sneaky little bastard, Mr. E (for Ethanol).  He uses many subtle tactics to rope me back in.

Billboards, TV and magazine advertisements, insecure drinking friends, restaurant suggestions, patio ambiance, family celebrations, I could have have gone on and have done so in the past.  All this to say that my naming the tricks up Mr. E's sleeve doesn't seem to diffuse their effect.

What am I to do to ensure I am prepared when he makes his inevitable secret attack?  Should I have wear a shock collar? Should I put an electric fence around the wine bottles? Should I pay someone to clout me upside the head if I so much as look at a glass of wine or draft beer?

I am not sure but maybe a reward is in order after the first thirty days of sobriety and every one hereafter.

At the beginning of July when I've reached my first thirty days, I will treat myself and hire a cleaning service every second week and will continue the service unless I slip up.

What an incentive to keep going!! I am so glad I thought of it.  Let's hope we can afford it.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

The Day I Cleared the Way

In  order for me to truly write, complete, finish and publish a book on becoming the authentic version of ourselves at middle age, I had to rid myself of the one habit that would surely negate all my work, all my success and most importantly, all my self respect.  I had to quit drinking.

I had been talking about it for years and starting in 2009, had made numerous attempts to curb and ultimately, stop my drinking.  I had achieved a few sober days in a row, one or two thirty day stints and a 134 day marathon that had ended with a shrug and a ‘What the Hell!’. 

My drinking was more of an emotional problem than a physical one.  I definitely was addicted but, for the most part I was not a text book alcoholic. Whenever I had failed in one of my frequent sobriety runs, I tended to ease into daily drinking.  I drank a total of 4 units on average per day; sometimes more and sometimes less.  I would often skip a few nights or try another boozeless blitz but inevitably, I would fall right back into the pattern.  

Physically when I drank, I would feel heart palpitations, my sleep would suffer with the three a.m. wakefulness and insomnia, I would feel dull and listless in the mornings.

Emotionally, when I was in a daily drinking run, I hated myself, plain and simple.  I let myself go and left important tasks uncompleted.  My busy life would begin to spin out of control and I would begin double booking, forgetting things and letting the office work fall behind sometimes, inadvertently, costing the family run business money.

Spiritually, I had plateaued in that I had enough sober time to explore my consciousness and had met a lovely friend whose daily guidance was aiding me in seeking my higher self, but I could not go any further.  My drinking obsession was keeping me from moving forward in any meaningful way. 

I had already started my first book and was intending on gifting each of the ladies at our Inaugural Wise Woman’s Retreat with a copy of it.  My meditation partner and friend, Justyna and I had decided to begin holding retreats for us Menopausal Women and we were on the cusp of a beautiful time in our lives.  I was still drinking.
It was June 2nd and had been drinking on and off for the past few weeks despite my many promises, challenges, commitments and bets.  When I really think about it, I had been drinking on and off since my 134 day screw-up in July of the year before. 

Those close to me knew I was drinking but nobody was counting my drinks or commenting about my intake.  My drinking problem was so quiet that, only I noticed it or so I thought.  At home,  I was applauded when I broke an abstinence run and patted on the back for not being so ‘boring’.  So, you can imagine how difficult it was for me to remain convinced myself that I truly needed to stop.

On days when I wished to justify my drinking I could truthfully point out that I was drinking a lot less than I was a few years ago.  With all my stops and starts and frequent low dosage nights, I had cut my intake to about half of what it was at the time I had admitted to myself that I had a problem.  But it was difficult; a constant struggle and had, indeed, become an obsession that had dragged on for the same amount of time I had been problem drinking: six years. 

To recap, and I must recap here; I had been drinking in an alcoholic way for six years, then had a Eureka moment and realized I was addicted and, then, had been unsuccessfully trying to give up alcohol for the following six years.  In reality, I had thought of alcohol on a daily, if not hourly basis for the past twelve years.  Well, well, well.

I decided that night, I had had enough.  I was done.  I wanted off this Ship of Destruction.  I wanted ME back.  I did not want to waste another moment of my life thinking about alcohol; the chemical called Ethanol.  That chemical was not entering my body again.  Ever.

I decided then and there that I will do whatever it takes to stop putting alcohol into my body.  I made a list of what I wanted to achieve that would not happen if I allowed alcohol to take precedence in my life any more.

I wrote:
  • ·         I want to feel complete, whole and alive every day for the rest of my life.  I will not let my addiction win over my life.  I will own it.
  • ·         I want to write my book, share it with women like me; women who can do what they need to do in order to achieve bliss.  I will write my book.
  • ·         I want to put these past, dozen, alcohol centred years behind me and finally become the person I was meant to be
  • ·         I want to live the life I want to be remembered by.

I cannot say that the past twelve years had been a waste.  I met and married my wonderful husband who is a very evolved, salt of the earth, man.  I had enjoyed so many incredible moments with my husband and our friends and families during my drinking days.  Lots of laughs were had. 

But my relationship with alcohol had run its course.  I could no longer live with the hypocrisy of my life.  I was a student of consciousness by day and a drinker or rehab patient by night.  My soul, in the form of my authentic self, woke up in the morning and brought me to wonderful places and many spiritual realizations.  I was rising at dawn, meditating, walking in the forest, reading spiritual literature.  By mid-afternoon my ego, my dissatisfied self, began tugging at me to procrastinate, put things off and have a little drink while preparing dinner.  By evening I was either half pissed or desperately seeking literature and sober websites to keep me company in my misery. 

This is what my life had become.

It was over and I officially, and for the last time, quit that night of June 2nd, 2015.

Wrote on June 2, 2015

Friday, 29 May 2015

Ain't I Lucky!

I've been busy with Mom visiting and tempting me to join her in a few.. In a way that's not true because as I watch  her get catatonic with each beer, I realize that I become introverted when I drink and that's not good.  Like Mother Like Daughter... instead of thinking about her visit as stressful because of her boozing, maybe I should look as it as an insightful gift to see where I am headed if I do not change directions permanently.  Hmmm...  how 'insightful' of me!

Little two year old grandson off to the hospital for the removal of a hernia.  His parents are beside themselves with worry.  I am not so much as he is the fourth grandchild of four to get anesthetized in the past two years.  He will be fine.  

Today I drop Mom off at her baby brother's (83 to her 85) for the weekend.  Then hubby and I will head to the lake hopefully to escape the crazy household we call home.  I love the chaos and the little ones but hubby really appreciates the relaxation he gets away from it all.  I do too come to think of it. We have the best of both worlds.

Appreciation:  I must say I am feeling grateful for so many things right now:

  • my husband who works so  hard to keep the family business up and running and remains happy, sexy and fun all the while
  • my children who I've seen so much more of since I moved back to Ontario from Quebec; they are all doing well and riding the waves of new parenthood with common sense and patience
  • my grandchildren; need I say more (and you must be glad I didn't)
  • my health - I went in to get my blood pressure checked as I am the only one of five siblings who is not on BP meds (I'm one of the oldest) and it has gone DOWN!! due to meditation, near abstinence and not as much deep fried food since we've stopped eating out as much
  • my home - our newly built home is breezy due to all the windows and we have lots of plants and flowers planted now due to all the neighbors donations.  Last night I looked outside and my neighbors were in my backyard planting raspberries they'd rescued for me as they knew I wanted some... talk about wonderful people
  • my sober cyber community - I feel so blessed to have people who I've never met who are generally interested in my well being and I find myself concerned for theirs as well; who knew these kinds of connections could be had online
  • my meditation buddy - she is consistently present and a genuine seeking soul who keeps me interested in continuing my spiritual journey
  • nature - I've only a 1 minute walk to the riverbank and it's brimming with nature, trees, birds, beavers, ducks, herons, geese, deer and now, unfortunately a big male black bear... 
I will stop because I am hungry for breakfast.  Have a great weekend peeps!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015


It's finally happening.  My life has taken on an orderly dimension that has everything to do with taking it into my own hands and controlling the actions I choose to take.  Meditation has helped enormously.

By choosing to go to bed sober each night, I have the pleasure of waking with excitement and enthusiasm.

By choosing to remain 'awake' during the day, I accomplish tasks that are on my list of things to do.

By choosing to 'eat the frog' I have a clean desk and no pile of filing awaiting me in the office.

By choosing to not take things personally, I am living a life of acceptance and understanding.

By choosing to not worry about what will be, I am better able to stay focused on the present, glorious moment.

By choosing to engage with my grandchildren, I am developing a life long relationship that will benefit all of us.

By choosing to watch my words, I am finding myself suppressing negative chatter that once used to spew forth in a black cloud of gossip.

By choosing to spend time on personal grooming, I am attracting smiles and positive comments rather than living the invisible life of the middle aged woman.

By choosing to keep a tidy home I am able to enjoy resting with no feelings of guilt or anxiety about what needs to be done next.

By choosing to exercise, I am feeling energized and self-satisfied.

By choosing happiness, I am happy.

Life is about choices and right now, with sobriety, meditation and cultivating a nurturing friendship I am able to make choices that positively effect my life.

I could not have said this six months ago.

Thank you Thank you Thank you!! You know who you are!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Own It

A wise friend of mine gave me some advice about my abstinence hiccups.  In the past whenever I lost my sober rhythm by having a few drinks, I would bow my head in shame and, as she put it, go dark for a while... avoiding my own blog, my favourite sobriety chat room.  She suggested that instead of looking at my blips as failures I should 'own' my style of recovery.

My pattern is lots of sober days strung together with a drinking evening thrown in every once in a while.  The last one was a drunk but normally they are a glass or two.  After about five years of 'trying' to abstain, this is where I have landed.  If it wasn't for the feelings of failure, I would be quite OK with this pattern as long as I don't allow the daily drinking to creep back in.

Because I have a tendency to allow the daily drinking to reinsert itself in my life, I can't say I am a moderator or that I am capable of moderating.  I have to be always working towards abstinence even if I've decided to own my pattern of self sabotage.

It's time to stop the self-loathing and get on with life.

My life has improved so much in the past few months on a self-awareness level.  My meditations are all about breathing in Order and expelling Chaos.  If my life has order, I tend to make healthier decisions on a moment by moment basis.  By order I mean, getting my 'have to' stuff done early in the day to allow for the guilt free pleasures of the remainder of the day.

If I am walking on the trail by the river and an important work related task is sitting, uncompleted on my desk, it takes away from the serenity and happiness I could be feeling.  So, my job is to 'Eat the Frog' and get stuff done, then enjoy my day.

Owning my pattern of abstinence vs drinking is a healthy choice given the fact that I am so very much against daily drinking and will do my utmost to always struggle back to that sober place.

Does this make sense?

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

From Chaos to Order

This morning`s meditation was a success in that I finally was able to stay present for the entire duration.  Usually I end up making grocery lists, solving family issues or generally allowing my thoughts to overtake my self-awareness.

At the root of my problem of not following through on my plans to become who I was born to be is one simple word: CHAOS !!

I am a `squiggly`in the psychological definition of personality type.  There`s squares, rectangles, circles and us, disorganized, all-over-the-place squigglies.  I start projects, let them drop.  I have fantastic ideas but never follow through on them.  I start cleaning the house and end up reading that book I found.  I begin to make spaghetti sauce and end up with chili.  This might seem like a cute trait, but, believe me, living in this head can sometimes be chaotic and frustrating.

Since I began my morning meetings with my neighbor and friend I`ve done some major work on myself and come to terms with some issues that were blocking me.  Sobriety is an ongoing process, mother issues are on the table and I feel ready to move forward with beginning to work on some of my deepest goals.

For the first time this morning I put my nose to the grindstone and, for ten minutes, I breathed in Order and breathed out Chaos.  I want to get the business so organized that a mere, solid hour of work every morning is all it takes to keep the paperwork up to date.  I wish to have the house in a place where another precious hour a day keeps it tidy and cheery.  That is 2 hours out of the precious 24 the universe re-gifts to me each morning.  Twenty two hours to spend as I please.

I can write my novel.
I can enjoy nature.
I can make new friends.
I can pamper myself.
I can enjoy my grandchildren.
I can do whatever I please.

This gift of personal freedom has been there for the past few years ever since I left the rat race to join my husband in running the family business. I`ve wasted it through my drinking, procrastination, disorganization and self-loathing actions.

With my daily meditation practice now focused on bringing order into my life and releasing the chaos that has crippled me emotionally, I stand poised to move on to the next phase of my life: Daily Conscious Living!

It`s there for the taking.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Zen Habits Gem

Don’t Waste Your Opportunity

By Leo Babauta
For most of us, our biggest sin is taking things for granted.
I’m as guilty as anyone else: I wake up and rush into online work or reading, forgetting to appreciate what a miracle this new day is. I’m alive! I’ve been given another amazing day, full of opportunities, and that is truly breath-taking.
I’m human, with a body and a conscious mind … and what an opportunity that is! We take this for granted, but if someone came up to you and said, “Hey, I can give you the power to make 10 people’s lives better every day of your life” and they could prove beyond a doubt they’re telling the truth … would we just pass this opportunity up without thought, and go to our favorite online social network to see what updates we’ve missed? That would be a huge missed opportunity, and that’s exactly what we’re doing each day we pass up the opportunity of being human without thought.
What kind of opportunities does being human bring us?
How about the opportunity to experience the wonders of the world, each moment bringing with it an overwhelming amount of experience that we can soak up?
How about the opportunity to investigate, explore, learn, discover, invent, create, inform, play, imagine, and build?
How about the opportunity to connect deeply with another human?
How about the opportunity to care, to lessen the suffering of others, to not participate in the suffering of animals, to make lives better?
How about the opportunity to practice mindfulness and appreciate all that’s in front of us?
How about the opportunity to create your own opportunities, ones that I can’t imagine?
What does this moment offer you that you are passing by without thought?
Are you willing to make the most of the opportunities of this moment, of being human?