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.