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?

Sunday 10 May 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day, 2015

Lovely visit with all of my four grandchildren and their parents.  They descended on hubby and I and while the woman sat and relaxed (and looked after the little ones) the men cooked us a big brunch.  Bacon, sausage, eggs, old cheddar, sliced tomatoes, home fries, canteloupe and coffee.  I got to spend time with the ones who I've missed out on seeing lately.  Both boys gave me heartfelt cards that expressed their appreciation of who i am as a person and a mother.  My daughter compiled a photo album of precious photos of her 11 month old rascallion.  Two bouquets of mauve tulips were vased.

What a lovely Mother's Day.

I feel so blessed.

... and sober.

Friday 8 May 2015

Two Biggies Folks!

Hubby and I are on speaking terms but keeping our distance.  Booze triggered his outburst and there is no doubt in my mind that booze triggered the unfortunate comment I made that got him going.  I am disappointed, though, that he did not respond to my apologetic text or start the verbal interaction at the end of the day.  I am so quick to accept apologies and to forgive.  He is not... and if I gave the sordid details of the one sided argument, you would agree that he was in the wrong.  But my spiritual teachings have taught me that he is dealing with his fears and uncertainties and I am just the convenient focus of his fear-based attack.  So, I forgive him...

I hope that my present feelings of determination and commitment are as strong in the future as they are tonight.  I feel like I did at the beginning of some of my most substantial blocks of sober time.

Today, a light was turned on.  News Flash !!!  My mother loved my older sister and younger brother more than she loved us other three.  She actually loved the two favourites passionately, despised the other two and was ambivalent towards me. This same mother is experiencing karma right now as her favourite daughter is very tough on her and her favourite son can be downright mean to her.  She is now quite at their mercy as she is in her mid-80s. I am good to her and she knows when she comes to visit me, she gets spoiled.  She looks forward to the visits as my kids are the only ones that have produced her great-grand kids and we make a point of making all her favourite dishes and bringing her to restaurants when she visits.  She is a dry alcoholic for the most part.  She drinks at my place or whenever she visits anyone who will serve her booze.

All this to say, I believe my drinking problem has partially stemmed from the feeling of not being loved or worth loving as a kid.  I never have admitted this to myself before. Today, at age 58, I shed a tear or two over it.  I must have been dense or in denial not to have acknowledged this before.

I don't believe in confronting the perpetrator or even dwelling too much on the 'why's' of my drinking or other emotional problems.  Just knowing is enough.

Mom, I am lovable, I am enough, I am worthy of love... just as I am.

Another thing happened last night that was a bit of an awakening.  In the past when hubby gets angry and even goes so far as to spend the night on the couch as he did last night I go to bed terrified he will leave me.  My guts are contorted in fear.  Not last night.  I honestly was open to whatever he decided. I just don't need him.  I love him fiercely but if he doesn't want to be with me for whatever reason, especially the ridiculous reasons of last night, then, I accept that.  I would turn the corner and pursue other interests.  I would be sad but not desperate.  What an eye opener!

Two biggies, folks!  What's with that??

Day one done.

My Life's Work: Quitting DrinkingI f

In order for my true self to feel at home on this planet, in this universe and in my body, I need to allow all of life's emotions to run their course through my body, mind, heart and soul.  In order to do this I need to stop self medicating with alcohol and other veils and distractions.

I am addicted to hiding behind the filter of chemically induced passivity.  It's the coward's way out of the reality of life.  Life is full of difficulties.  Right now there are mini-crises going on all around me as I am sure they are for you too.  I had decided to accept myself as a failure at abstinence and just be aware of my tendency to slowly increase my intake and to avoid going that route.

Surprise !!! Drinking has become a daily obsession again.  I am now into the vodka.  I had always been a wine drinker but hubby and I have switched to vodka recently.  It started with a drink after work but I am aware that lately it's more than one ad nauseum... blah blah blah.

Quitting drinking is becoming my life's work.  How sad is that.  I feel like such a fraud.

I have reset my sobriety tracker to day one and therefore have begun another run at it.

What honestly triggered this kick at the can was an incident that happened last night.  Details ... you want details..

After work, I made myself a vodka and something or other and hubby declined as we had drank cognac the night before and he was still feeling it....Afterwards, we went to a great vegan restaurant to celebrate hubby's son's birthday.  As we had no reservations we waited an hour for a table across the street at a bar.  I had a large draft beer there.  Hubby also had one.  When our table was ready, we crossed over and the three of us enjoyed great conversation and a bottle of red with the delicious, nutritious food that accompanied the wine.  On the drive home all was well.  Just as we were pulling into the lane way at home, I brought up a touchy subject and hubby lost it.  By 'lost it' I mean, got angry and accused me of having ill intentions and being conniving.  Whether he was right or wrong doesn't matter because in my mind, I was being attacked unfairly and in his mind, I was deserving of his wrath.  It was not abusive but because we never fight, it was unsettling.  He continued berating me in the house and woke up the little one that lives here who started balling.  I escaped to my bathroom and ran a bath.  I heard hubby stomping around the house and when I came out of the bathroom he had camped out on the couch for the night.  I went to bed.

This crazy, useless exchange between us was definitely fueled by alcohol.  I sent him a text this morning trying to smooth things over and have had no response as of yet.

Why?  Why? Why?

So I begin a new chapter in the battle of the booze.  I feel like the West in it's battle with terrorism;  it never ends. A new battle is always raging and a victory is only a hiccup in the long war.  How discouraging.

Last weekend I tried not to drink while entertaining company at the lake house and hubby was disappointed that I was so quiet.  Screw that!!  Take me or leave me.  I can't continue to drink so he remains pleasantly entertained.  What kind of life am I actively deciding to live?

I could go on but I'll end by saying, thanks for all your support and encouragement.  Can't promise anything except another go at it.