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