Saturday 12 November 2016

Hand on the Bottle...

Hi Everyone, 

I'm starting day 12 and have had the usual temptations, triggers and second guesses.  I am still not drinking.  But I could be.  Even last night I reached (literally had my hand on the ice cold bottle) of white wine in the fridge and said to hubby "Wanna glass of wine?"  He said "No, I really overdid it on Wednesday (he did) so I feel like my body needs a break.  I let go and drank water.  But that is how f&*ked up my head is.  My mind has told me "only drink when no one is around" and "only in restaurants" and when planning a vacation in Cuba after Christmas "only for the week on vacation ... no photos allowed".  So my chances for success are next to nil.  Someone reading this would and should jump in and say "what tools do you have to combat this monkey mind of yours?"

The only tool I have is experience and I have a wealth of it.  I have started a run of sobriety many times and they always end by small exceptions that lead to daily or almost daily drinking or getting drunk.  I inevitably regret that first drink.  Wearing a charm on my brand new Pandora charm bracelet the kids got me for my birthday that is representative of the reasons I want to stay sober is a great idea I just thought of... see writing things down does help.  

My last two years have brought me so many positive changes and I credit many of them to two things: drinking minimally and finally getting a morning routine to stick.  

Today I am meeting some kids and grandkids at the local Santa Claus Parade and we have a lovely sunny day for it.  Temperature is at the freezing mark but dressing warm will take care of that issue.

After that I will put my flower beds to bed for the winter.  Tonight it's Chinese Food (green tea) with my favourite people.

Going on Pandora's website....

Monday 7 November 2016

Spent a Sober Weekend Partying in Tarranna!!

My sister invited me to visit her for the weekend in Toronto.  She treated me to a 60th birthday dinner at a fancy Italian Restaurant and, being the supportive gal that she is, suggested we share a fancy bottle of Italian sparkling water which was delicious.

The next day she invited two of our childhood friends to join us and she prepared a lovely dinner for the four of us.  Everyone drank and I sipped an Italian soft drink called Brio.

A good time was had by all.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Why I Need Total Sobriety

As I indicated in yesterday's post, my life has dramatically improved coinciding with my drastic reduction in my alcohol consumption.  No more sleepless nights, heart palpitations, better skin and less guilt and remorse.

I felt that the 'monkey' was finally off my back.  My pattern was a glass of wine or a beer on tap about once a week randomly timed... often not on a Friday night but whenever I felt I really wanted one.  Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

Last Saturday we had people from my French hubby's past for dinner.  They did not speak English and were now business associates as well.  A little stress was felt by me as these women are chic, have big jobs and know each other quite well.  My French is rusty to say the least.  Within the first hour of their visit, I drank two hefty martinis made with vodka and vermouth and a splash of olive juice.  I did not feel drunk at this point or any point in the evening (that should have been my first clue).  I proceeded to cook, serve and partake of a delicious roast beef dinner.  I had two glasses of red wine.  A good time was had by all.  No repercussions or so it seemed.

Fast forward to Hallowe'en Monday.  I am invited to my son's place where all the little ones were dressed in their costumes.  All five of my grandkids, my kids and their partners and a couple of my son's friend's young families were in the house along with my alcoholic ex... (TRIGGER!!)

The kids were excitingly getting their costumes on and running around as tykes do.  I was offered a glass of wine and contrary to what my heart and head were urging me to do, accepted.  My ex arrived with a 2 litre bottle of red which he cracked open and proceeded to empty.  Most of the others weren't drinking for various reasons.  My daughter and DIL are both pregnant, my eldest son and SIL don't drink much at all and my youngest son who likes his booze a little too much was painfully abstaining in support of his pregnant wife and because it was appropriate behaviour on Hallowe'en night.

The reason I am quitting (again) is not because I drank that evening.  It's because I actually HID my glass of wine behind a table lamp and only took sips when I thought no one was looking.  For the record, I had two small glasses.  I was so uncomfortable with my choice to drink in front of my family (some of whom were struggling with their own propensity to over-indulge) that, rather than honour my own values, I made the decision somewhere within myself to drink secretly.

My plan worked.  No one noticed I was drinking except the DIL who had offered the wine and was, herself secretly drinking in the kitchen.

What kind of an example was I to her and everyone else in that room; my grandkids included.  They may not have noticed it then but, eventually, if I continue with this line of behaviour, they will.

That, my friends, hammers home the truth that moderation does not work.

Day 2

Wednesday 2 November 2016

What I've Accomplished

I turned 60 and had wanted to begin this new decade with so much accomplished.  I was disappointed in myself that many of my goals had not been met.  I was still carrying the extra ten pounds that I had vowed to drop.  I was still gorging on sweets and drinking too much coffee.  I was an almost non-drinker but had not accomplished my singularly most important goal of total sobriety.

Lately, as part of my pursuit of self-acceptance, I recognize what I have accomplished in the past few years or so.  The change is dramatic.

The Woman I Was

I lived a Hedonistic life in a little cottage on the banks of a fast flowing river in the free-spirited Province of Quebec.  I was often perched on the back end of a Harley Davidson helmetless in some mountainous region of North America or at a biker rally smoking doobies by the bonfire.

The construction company was small and the work was simple and quick to complete daily.

I shared at least one bottle of wine each night with my French lover and eventual husband.  We saw our family once a month or so for birthdays or Holidays.  We worked hard but played harder.  The only exercise I got was sex.

My friendships were fraught with communication problems because of my limited French vocabulary and their limited grasp of English. I was just starting to read Eckhart Tolle but had not awakened in the true sense of the word.  I was lonely and filled with self-loathing.

The Woman I Am

I've moved to WASPish small town Ontario.  We've built an expansive home in the village.  I have access to a lovely river close by (Thank Gawd).  Hubby just bought another Harley to replace the one he sold when we moved but the riding we plan to do around here is all about scenery, meandering roads and waterfront cafes rather than rock n' roll, parties and bonfires.

I have drastically reduced my drinking and my toking has become a treat rather than a habit. I walk and meditate daily due to a commitment I've kept with my neighbor for the past two years that we meet to walk and meditate every weekday.

Our company has expanded and office work takes up much of my day.

I am thrilled to say that I have become a Grandmother five times with two more expected this Spring. They all live within a short drive and I see them almost daily.

My elderly, seemingly emotionless mother has moved in and I have become her full time caregiver.  She has broken her hip recently but is recovering nicely.  She is an active alcoholic with me being her enabler/controller (a dangerous combination).  I limit her to one beer a day with the odd exception.

Despite the stress that all these changes have brought on, I am happier, soberer, straighter and more in touch with myself than I ever was.  I still have work to do.

I had my ancestry researched and, to my delight, have learned that I do, indeed carry Native American DNA.  For a long time, I've been attending Native Circles and had felt strongly connected to the family folk lore claiming that our bloodline traced back to the 1600's when the French, Courier du Bois intermarried with the Native women along the St. Lawrence River.

Life is good.  I have moved in the direction I was hoping to go.  I have not accomplished all my goals but I am, for the most part, happy.  Despite this real contentment, today is Day Two of a Sobriety Run for me.  I will tell you why tomorrow.  It's a long story and I've gone on long enough as it is.


Friday 7 October 2016

Licorice for Dinner!

Last night I ate a bag of black soft licorice for supper!  It went well with my martini herbal tea.

I feel like there is a large black sugary glob of jellied goo sitting in the pit of my stomach waiting to ooze out of me.  Yuk!!

This morning I made a piece of thick rye toast and topped it with a squished half avocado and a free range egg softly fried in a little butter.

I am increasingly attracted to sugar these days.  My stress levels are through the roof so candy is my glass of wine.  I am not happy with this turn of events but I guess it beats drinking booze.

I am hosting Thanksgiving and am feeding 12 tomorrow.  We had planned a soccer game outside as the little ones are all learning soccer skills.  The weather is not cooperating unfortunately.  So all five kiddies and their bickering parents will be inside. :-(

My turkey is in my oven and I will prepare the stuffing (dressing) and cranberry relish today also so as to minimize my workload tomorrow.

Life is humdrum and anti-climatic right now.  My Dad is in a bad way, my mother is miserable, my kids are fighting with each other and my daughter is separating with three babies and no money.

Stop the world .. I wanna get off.

Monday 3 October 2016

I Want a Happy Ending

At this stage of my decade long attempt to quit boozing, anything I might say, means nothing to anyone; even me.  I've said it all before but it must be said to document this journey.  I quit, got the T-shirt and screwed up many times.  At only day seven and feeling good about abstaining tonight at the Indian restaurant, I can only say a quiet "good going" to myself and keep on trucking.  When I was contemplating the decision I asked myself how I would feel if I drank.  I, very easily, drew on my many past experiences of regret.  The shit doesn't even taste good. LOL.

I have to admit I thought of Belle and the 10 bucks I've committed for every ten days of sobriety up to day 100 and that did help in my resolve.  I feel good about doing it so I think it taps into and releases my serotonin.  Who'd of thought.

Anyways, I am finally feeling a little crappy and more like a recovering addict should feel.  I've always been a flippant, happy abstainer but as I approach sixty I am realizing I am a person who is dealing with deep-seated feelings of unworthiness.  Otherwise I would not self-sabotage all the time.

I am not denying my depression these days.  It has finally rose to the surface.  I believe that it's been buried deep inside me for years and with my new lifestyle of living life sober (ongoing for a year or so with a hiccup every couple of weeks) I've awakened the sleeping giant.  It helps that my live-in Mom broke her hip this summer;I was nursing for months afterward, my daughter, mother of two aged two and one is expecting her third and has broken up with the father of the children. She is almost penniless, depressed and desperate.  Our business which we run from home has never been busier and, as we work primarily for the Canadian Government, the red tape we have to go through is mind boggling.  And to top it off, my father had a heart attack yesterday.  His bowel ruptured and as they were prepping him for emergency surgery, his heart stopped.  He's alive at this time.  

I don't know but for some reason I am feeling anxious lately.  Being sober really helps.  I, honestly feel that if I was drinking the way I drank previously, I would have gone off the deep end by now.

So, day 7 is done.  I want to stay sober with no hiccups.  I want to be permanent.  I have reaped all the rewards of sobriety for the past few years: my heart palpitations have stopped completely, no more 3:00 a.m. wake-up calls, whites of the eyes are white, I have gotten up at 5:45 a.m. to walk religiously each morning for months, I am responsible, able to drive, etc.

But the one problem with the 'almost sober' lifestyle is that it never ends.  It's still counting days.  It's still always day one.  It's still a daily decision.  Being totally sober slowly moves one away from the anxiety of wanting, of counting, of compromising.  Being totally sober frees one from the grips of alcohol.

I could write a book about sober stops and starts (and I probably will) but I want my book to have a happy ending.  It's my story.  My choice.

Thursday 29 September 2016

Choose Joy!

Our lives are made up of our many stories all intertwined, twisted and frayed.  Some are clean; some soiled.  Some are sweet and some are bitter.  Rather than letting all the frayed ends of the tales that define us lay splayed and splintered, let's try to carefully weave these stories into one solid, braided rope of hope and strength.

We can pick up the tattered pieces of our neglected, abused, tormented selves and meld them together with the joyful experiences, peaceful moments and warm memories to create a solid, rough hewn rope of hope and promise for tomorrow's successes.

We cannot deny our past sadness and despair but we can embrace it as part of the fabric of our being and knowingly move forward continuing to weave a solid, secure life for ourselves composed of forgiveness and compassion for ourselves and those who have hurt us.

One day as we look back upon this journey called life, it would be heartwarming and gratifying to see a life well lived despite the harshness that defined some days.

We owe it to ourselves to carry on striving to remain in the present moment and to allow the grief of our past mistakes and struggles to gently move through us without definition or analysis.  They just are.

Let's not concentrate too much on what the future holds.  Each decision we make in the moment defines our future happiness so choose joy and acceptance of what is.

Let's make beautiful memories not based on what happens but on our reaction to what happens.

Let's choose joy.