Heya, Monster.

A SoberBlog by a TallWoman.

Archive for the month “December, 2015”

A Cup of Kindness.

Well.

The New Year is almost here, and without knowing it, I have been mentally preparing myself for another ‘feat’ to undertake along with my biggest accomplishment (in progress) so far – Sobriety.

I feel a bit of a buffoon because I know one of you amazing bloggers wrote about the phenomena of choosing One Word for the Year, rather than writing down a whole list of resolutions. And I was so very inspired by the thought of it, but didn’t put pressure on myself to figure it out. Instead I thought, ‘Well, if a word shows up by March, that should work okay.’ (Apathy alert! Monster….. (I’m shaking my head at myself.))

What I loved about the post (Perhaps 2ish weeks ago? Please post in the comments if it is You I am speaking to, you Brilliant Woman. (Again, Me=Buffoon)) was the way it transformed the entire year in new and unexpected ways for the writer. I loved the way the world was filtered through the word, and how the word actually changed the world around the writer. Truly incredible and inspirational.

Which brings me to today and the world spinning around me that gives me signs. (I’m almost always looking.) So, I was driving along in my little Toyota known as Reba, and I just happened to hear this beautiful song sung by Mary Lambert… Or, here. … I will attempt to embed the video here – (Fingers crossed!)

And only a moment before the Word for the Year question had showed up in my brain again out of nowhere, and I thought, ‘Compassion!’ That’s it. Done. And for about 20 seconds I was completely and whole-heartedly decided.

But. The Song.

And the ‘We’ll drink a cup of kindness‘ sang out just right, and then she sings about putting a kettle on, and I thought, ‘Yeah! It doesn’t have to be beer! Or whiskey! Or any alcoholic drink at all!’ And in a split-second decision, I decided my Word for the Year is Kindness. And it feels Right. And Good. And it feels like a celebration of what has been, while at the same time, it feels like it has the potential to build more change in my life and around me. And I have to tell you, I am already pretty excited about it. I am thinking about continuing to remember to be kind to myself (of course), but I am also looking at my relationships with those I love, along with those I don’t know well. How and where will this word affect my Life? Ooooohhhhhhh….. Anticipation! But trying not to plan or picture anything specific in my head. Curse of a director. I’m always thinking of outcome and what things will look like. Bof.

And on this day in my little bloggy world, I am struck by the sheer number of ‘hits’ happening through Jean’s Blog Roll, and I am wondering how many of you dear readers are looking for kindness right now. As people, it is always something we hope to find, but unfortunately do not always receive. And for me, personally, I don’t know that I was as kind to Myself as I could have been…. For years. And years.

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by kind people, the hubs for example, is the kindest person I have ever met. Seriously. Just Nice. And my parents, my sister, my bestest, my mother-in-law, my coworker, seriouslyseriously. My 4-year old daughter for goodness’ sake! Her depth of empathy and compassionate heart are stunning. Everyone around me amazingly kind. And I always make the joke that I’m not a nice person. Because really? I don’t feel like I am. Kindness feels awkward. And it feels like details. …. It feels like Work. (I’m a horrible person, aren’t I?)

But in the past year (six months to be exact), I have done the kindest thing for myself I could possibly do. I got sober. I let go of the drink, and took hold of myself, and I lifted myself UP. Truly. The experience has been incredible (to use that word again). And for those looking around and checking things out in these strongly-sober, and some shaky-sober, and some wondering-about-sober digital worlds, I just want to say to you, ‘Welcome. I am so sincerely glad you are here. We all are. I know it.’ And wherever you are in your journey, and whatever your ultimate choice is, know that sobriety holds many trials, but in it, there are infinite more rewards. 7 months ago, I would have called, ‘Bullshiiiiiit!!!’ But now, Back! … to the Future! (Christopher Lloyd anyone?), and I’m not so doubtful, or afraid, or defensive about what might happen in Sobriety. Instead? I jumped in head first, and just began. And what I have discovered in this gigantic-never-ending-leap has been (again) incredible. So, thank goodness for Kindness.

So, here I sit. And I’ve already been inspired by the wondrous anonymous blogger (thank you!), by Mary Lambert’s song, by My People who I love most, and then…. I was looking up ‘Cup of Kindness’ on the interwub and came across this beautiful story, as well as this cool initiative, and again, I am inspired. Yep. Kindness is the word.

Hi, again. Okay. You thought I was done, but I can’t stop this brain of mine. One more thing and then, I promise!, I’m done. Swearsies.

The song also talks about not forgetting people or times gone by in our lives. I think of people I have lost, as well as people I have found, events and actions and adventures. How beautiful to look at all of them with the soft veil of kindness. And for me right now, looking at my years of losing myself in the drink, I feel the guilt and shame and embarrassment still so close to the surface. If I approach those feelings with kindness and gentleness, perhaps the guilt and shame will lessen. There are a lot of years and memories there to work through. Hm. ‘Kindness’ might need to be my 2017 word, too. *smile* …. We shall see.

Day 204, We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet, my friends.*

To New & Wonderful Things to Come. Happy New Year! Love, HM. pink-heart-outline-clipart-aTexGLAT4.png

Advertisements

A Merry Monstermas!

IMG_2789 2

… A little belated Christmas cheer to you all. *smile* (I got a bit distracted by the memes yesterday and postponed putting this post up. (Oh, Monster…))

But here I am today, at the end of TWO family holiday gatherings, a major road trip, and the general hurlyburlyness of ‘Tis-ing the Season every which way, and I am here to tell you I am still sober. Wa-hoo!

And best of all? I had (mostly) a great time doing it all. Even more wa-hoo and a little woo-hoo for good measure. hee.

And do you know? Throughout the time with family, days leading up to Christmas, children anxious for Santa, the stress of traveling (in Minnesota-blizzard weather for much of it), presents, dinnertimes (especially these times), etc., etc. …. Yes, I craved a drink from time to time. Yes, I thought back to what I used to do at this point of the celebration (i.e. Drink!). Yes, my shoulders were tense and up by my ears a few times.

But? All in all?

I. HAD. SO. MUCH. FUN!!!

Seriously. This sober-stuff is the shit.

laughed so much during so many moments. And I just let it ring out. I found so much joy in everything around me  – even the fucking stress (Alright, so actually I found the humor in these moments, but still!). And throughout the seconds, minutes, hours, days, I just looked around me and was just happy to be where I was, with the people I love, and present. It was probably one of my favorite Christmases on record because 1. I remembered it all, and 2. Like I said, I was There for it! Instead of figuring out how to keep myself buzzed beginning at 9 in the morning, or worrying if we would have enough wine to last through dinner, and then through the evening family movie, I actually did shit. Or I didn’t and played mahjong, but seriously. It was so cool.

Here is a Christmas List of what I enjoyed doing over the holidays:

  • Really had fun at a Perkins of all places with my family on the ride up north. Instead of hankering to get to my parents’ and tie one on, I laughed and played with my kids and the hubs. It was a great little beginning to the whole adventure.
  • Saw people from my life – bestest friend and family; dearest friends; old friends. LOTS of friends. So beautiful.
  • Took the babes swimming. … Wait for it. … In the evening! Say what?!  Yep, you read that right. Gah! Awesome.
  • Had a date with the hubs (Star Waaaars!)
  • Ate a shit-tonne of anything I wanted (Oh, my gosh – Christmas has never tasted so good when Guilt is not even a glimmer in my eye… or stomach…. or brain…. or wherever guilt resides)
  • Had so much fun meeting up with Santa and helping to arrange the gifts. *wink*
  • Christmas morning, I actually volunteered to put together a dollhouse for my daughter. And do you know what? It is so cool! Plus, I had a really fun (2 hours) doing it. Seriously. No sarcasm there. I really liked it.

    IMG_2756

    Tuh-dah! Who wouldn’t love a turn-of-the-century Victorian home as a dollhouse? Complete with crank-style automobile and horse-drawn carriage.

  • The dinners were a bit triggery, but I was okay. I took a little anti-anxiety medicine, which helped a lot. And by the end of the meal(s), I was fine. As I said, I reeeeeally enjoyed the eating, and so just let myself indulge. Best. Decision. Ever! *smile*
  • Christmas Day, after the meal, the girl and I sat down to color in our new Santa-gifted coloring books. And it was so fun and relaxing. I think I sat there for a good hour, maybe hour and a half. I didn’t get a lot done, but it was so nice. And I adored sitting next to her while she worked away. So sweet!

    IMG_2759

    My Masterpiece (so far…)

  • And tons and tons more.

Actually, I noticed on the last evening while I was sitting up with my mom visiting, that we didn’t watch one evening movie as a family. A complete and utter anomaly. But I was wondering aloud if maybe we were too busy to think to watch a movie? Not busy-too-busy-we-don’t-have-time-to-think-busy, but just busy being. Relaxing. Doing our things. Enjoying whatever. It was a cool realization to have. A lot of times in the past, I would fall asleep during those family movies, or work my ass off trying to stay awake and involved. This trip? No problem whatsoever. Woot.

And today, the hubs and I enjoyed a similarly awesome Christmas celebration with his family. I, again, allowed myself whatever I wanted to eat. The dinner stress was less because I think the first family dinner with my side let me practice getting through it once already. Presents, visiting, all of it was just really nice tonight. And again, I kept catching myself noticing moments, or people, or really enjoying a joke and laughing for Real. And I left the party sober and content, and not embarrassed or worried someone noticed how many times I filled my glass, or any of that hooey.

Really, both Christmases were much less wine/alcohol-centered. I don’t know if I was such a pusher (entirely possible) that I just kept my family in their cups as best I could so that everyone would be a bit buzzy and not notice how much I was drinking. Or, perhaps my families are awesome and they cut back a bit based on my current status of: Sober. I know my mom and dad made some really cool choices and limited drinks either pre-dinner one-drink only, or perhaps at most, a second drink with dinner. Other than that, they put the booze away and poured other NA drinks. The whole time I was with them. Loved it. We were all so much more present …. Although, they may have been that way anyway because Normies. But? It was still really nice not to always be looking to open the next bottle and the next. Same with the hubs’ side. Individuals were drinking cans or bottles of beer, but nothing crazy. And no wine bottles were opened at all. A first, I think, for a family celebration. I don’t know if it was intentional, but man, was it cool.

I hope this finds all of you merry and bright.*

article-2252586-16A1C783000005DC-488_634x388 Day 201, Meowy Christmas!

MEMEntos from an Earlier Life.

Alright. So I was online prepping for a different post completely, when a wine meme popped into the search results. It caught my attention, and so I looked up ‘wine memes’ and within five minutes, I think I had pulled at least 20 different ones. As I went further and further into the search results, my stomach just turned. Ugh. Yuck. So many of these would have made me laugh aloud in my drinking days (only 6 months ago), and they would also make me feel okay about how much I was drinking on a daily basis (i.e. a LOT), as well as make me feel justified for drinking as much as I was because Hell, everyone was doing it! Jump on the drunken bandwagon, Monster! (So I did. (Over and over and over again.))

Now, here is a heads-up if you would like to cut out of here and go read another blog, I totally understand. The following material may induce flashbacks to ‘The Good Ol’ Days of Regular Public Embarrassment,’ or make you wax nostalgic about those sweet days of yore rife with alcoholic hook-ups and drunken stupors.

Looking at these memes in a collection really unnerved me. Some of them are actually quite offensive, and others of them just make me sad, because even though they’re meant to be funny-ha-ha-jokes, they really ring with a bitter tone of Truth.

Personally, until I got sober, I had never noticed how pervasive the message of ‘You should drink‘ was found in every facet of my life! In my early drinking life (read: 20s), my primary Achilles’ heels were movies or TV shows portraying people ‘just like me’ who always sought out the coolest, trendiest cocktail bars, or dive bars for the ironic factor, or tried the new craft beer or whiskey because they were Just. That. Cool. My imagination and perceived perception of reality (read: idiotic) in my early 20s came partially because I was one of the younger people on staff, and I truly believed my older, more mature, and wise coworkers socialized like those people in the movies who I aspired to be like, so again, I multiplied my efforts and tried to be just like all of them.

Imagination and projection are problems for me (They are also my bread&butter for the record, but in this reminiscence, they’re a problem.). In my early 30s, motherhood found me, or I found it rather. The above memes were probably first seen on my Facebook feed about that same time, a thing I would check obsessively multiple times a day. And every damned time, I would believe everything I saw. I believed the memes because they were tongue-in-cheek funny. I believe the people posting them were laughing at themselves and how much they drank, but they were so cool and hip and awesome (I am sensing a recurring theme here), they could be self-deprecating and drunk at the same time – and be totally okay with it! For the most part, these memes appeared on girlfriends’ walls and status updates. Women, who I already thought were pretty cool and awesome in and of themselves, would post these types of memes pretty regularly.  Combine the trendy memes along with the everyday posts of these young mothers kicking ass and being awesome (because who takes pictures and posts them when things are normal, boring, or fucking awful?), and I was buying it all hook, line, and sinker. Oftentimes these super-hero-perfect-hair-moms (or so I believed) would post cute, trendy photos of themselves out and about, or in with cozy yoga pants on, with girlfriends clinking glasses, or sharing a bottle of wine, and seriously. I thought every mother in the United States was coping with the suckage of motherhood by drinking herself into a buzz, if not further down the drunken spectrum Every Night.

Now that I am somewhat removed from the constant circles of drinking (social, as well as my own much more regular lonely circle of 1), I have felt a true release and relief from the pressure to ‘Drink! Drink! Drink!’ And all of those outside images and perceived lives I hoped to achieve and emulate? With the filter of drinking lifted, I see a lot more Reality. Even in my 20s (and 30s, if I’m honest), I think my addiction was trying to hide itself inside the whisper of ‘Be like everyone else.’ Without the constant need to drink, and/or the constant obsession to hide how much I was drinking by looking more like the Perfect version of Life, I am now more okay with being myself. And my FB friends, they are still my friends, but I (finally) get that what I am seeing are filtered realities. Of course they are. It just took me 10 years to consciously make myself aware of this fact any time I check in on the ol’ FB. (Sidenote: I’ve been away from FB for 5 weeks just because, and so far? So good.) Without my addiction making me feel like I have to look around at the world and feel like I don’t measure up, or that I have a dirty secret (which I did), I am now able to see more of the reality all around me. And all because I get to look around now. Before I was too taken up with worry because someone was going to find me out. But now? Now I have nothing to hide. I get to sit back and really see what’s going on.
goldfish-one-different-900x600Day 200, Whoa! Fun surprise! (I just looked it up on a sober counter and really had no idea.) ….. I was going to write: Not drinking the kool-aid anymore… Phew! ….. Edit: I already wrote that on an earlier post. I am so passe…

p.s. And compleeeeetely off-topic…. I loved the new Star Wars movie! Finally saw it over Christmas and laughed with pure delight soso many times.

 

 

Wine, Wine, Everywhere the Wine.

Blocking out the scenery, breakin’ my mind.
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you reeeeead the Wine?!

(Thanks to the Five Man Electrical Band’s original ‘Signs.’)

Everyone is posting about It, because It is everywhere right now. The holidays (Champagne!). Parties (Liquor!). Family traditions (Wine with dinner!). Commercials about the loveliness of bonding over alcohol (Beer! And Liquor! And Wine! And Spirits!).

fireworkstoast

The other day, we had a staff/faculty holiday breakfast, and our administrator got up to thank us for our work, etc. Then, he shared a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’-type story that had a ‘cute’ little moral that was: There’s always time for two beers with a friend.

And honestly? It didn’t really bug me. However, I noticed it. I am noticing it/alcohol/its prevalence more and more – especially these days, as I know so many of you are as well.

This past week, I’ve heard story after story about staying out or up too late with friends and drinking too much. And part of me misses that chance to be a little naughty, to break the rules, and to let loose as an adult. I miss the chance to say, ‘Oh, but I deserve this treat.’

But, really? I know the truth.

As soon as I let loose one night, then all the nights to come are open for drinking. And drink I would! So much so that Christmas would be a blur. I would miss this love-ily break with my kids because I would probably be nursing hangovers 9 out of 10 days, and my life would start to revolve around getting a glass a bottle several bottles in me, but obviously in a way that was justifiable and perhaps done in the company of friends so that I didn’t look like a drunk. That, or, I would hole up in my chair and drink my wine and ignore my family, while covertly refilling my glass as many times as I could get away with from the box of wine (because you can’t tell how full or empty a box is!). My speech would slur, and I would obviously say, ‘Oh, I am just so tired. It’s been a long week.’ And then crash into bed, only to wake-up around 1 or 2 or 3 am and spin with anxiety, self-loathing, and sincere confusion why I drank like that Again?!

Being sober is muchmuch better. Even if I don’t get the get-away-with-shit-Free-Pass that so many adults use (and I used to use Every Day).

This week hasn’t been as rainbows-and-lollipops as last week’s, but it’s still been a good week.

I’m still scared about my theatre production that addresses race and violence and all the different perspectives, but? The cast and crew is amazing. Probably the most diverse cast I’ve worked with in a long time. (Awesome.) I’m most nervous about being a white woman leading the brigade, but the kids are passionate and excited about the work, and I know we will figure it out together.

I have also been spending money a little crazily, but it has also been thoughtful and planned, so I can’t worry too much. Yes, the Christmas spirit is running through my veins – I love giving presents more than most things, I think. But, I keep buying things, and I need to just stop. Add to it the fact that I got my hair done yesterday at my fancy salon (Oh, my gosh is my hair gorgeous right now!), and bought a gift certificate for myself for next time because I got a $50 coupon…. It was smart, but it doubled my expense at a time when doubling expenses is maybe not the best of choices.

As for my sober-networking, I have been like a hungry monster following all of the blogs I follow, while also looking up tags like ‘Alcoholic’ and ‘Recovery’ and ‘Sobriety’ to read more and more. I haven’t been to an AA meeting in 3 or 4 weeks, which I know isn’t great, but I feel like I’ve been balancing okay by reaching out here. Am I making excuses? Maybe. I will keep monitoring and checking in with myself to see if I am avoiding the meetings. I don’t think I am, but there is always the very good chance that I am bullshitting myself and just don’t know it yet. I will keep you posted.

One more complainy thing… I haven’t been able to exercise for the past 2 weeks, because of my show, and because I was guesting in a classroom for 2 weeks during the time I would have run. The 15 miles I clocked a few weeks ago feel like a long-ago, distant memory. Boo-hoo. Plus, with the eating that has been going on, I’m feeling a little more self-conscious and frumpy. While at the same time, I keep reminding myself I’m sober!!! And that’s good. Trying not to shift my addictive focus onto food/sugar though. It’s not so easy…. Bom-bah.

I’ve also just been tired. It’s a lot coming off of a show, but then jumping into the next one straight away has just caught me off-guard. I’m feeling a little resentful, tired (like I said), and wanting some veg-out time, but not wanting to miss the kids or the hubs. Classic over-committedity.

This break will be good. It officially started yesterday, so I am going to reap the benefits of just having some Time. *lesigh*

Happy Sober Updates: 6-month-aversary completed on December 9th. Solstice Challenge on the horizon this Tuesday, December 22nd.

Drinks Since June 9th: 0 (More Happy!)

Day 194, Happy to be Here, but today it feels like Work. (And that’s okay.)

Eleanor_DoTheWork_300_250_c1

 

Creativity Begets Creativity.

And for me, right now, that is soso true.

I would also add that Creativity comes when you jump …. And it’s not clear where you will land.


Only a week ago, I was frantically revisiting the new show, trying to read it and remember what it was I loved about it when I chose it back in July. I was so far removed from this next project, I was thinking, ‘I will never be ready! I’m going to ruin this production. It’s going to be a wasted opportunity to address race and diversity and the current headlines of violence and oppresssion surrounding race and race relations.’ Mostly, I was worried about fucking up. Big time. I was scared by the complicated structure of the show, and by all of the characters, and the flow of the show. Basically, Everything was overwhelming me.

Oh, and I was in the midst of opening the current show.

Not an easy knot for me to untie. (Dorky Viola/Shakespeare reference.)

Except? It was!

Well, I mean, sort of. The other day the hubs was worrying about this Huge role he was recently cast in (Yay!), and I told him, ‘Just start the work. Stop thinking about doing it, and start somewhere. It will help you feel better.’

And that, dear friends, is the same advice I took for myself and my life. I just started. I got down to work. And the Doing has made all the difference!


The above image is an actual recreation of what has been happening in my brain these past few days.

While my current show is finishing up (today is our last performance), I have been spending half of our performances (and most of my free time) getting ready for the next show’s auditions – happening this Tuesday and Wednesday. Now I find myself eager to jump into the new show, which is a wonderful relief compared to the dread I was feeling only five or six days ago. The pressure feels more manageable, and the opportunities to reach kids about race are still there. I am figuring it all out. (And for the record, so is the hubs. We’re such a with-it couple, I tell ya. *smile*)

I feel like there is a sobriety metaphor in here, too, somewhere. But I will let you find it and what it means to You – just like all Art everywhere. Hee.

Day 187, Just Do It (Thanks, Nike.).

Another Opening

Another show!

And that is indeed what has happened. Opened a show with my students today. It feels really good (as always) to get to this point. *hugesighofrelief*

I am still an insane amount of hit-me-in-the-face-with-a-big-giant-fist-of-bone-aching-tired, but? I am making smarter choices in managing it …. Most days. Whereas in the past, I would reach for coffee from morning ’til night, at which time I would switch to wine and cram in 2, and more often 3 glasses before bed, I am now still hitting the coffee, but not as hard, and also balancing it more with water. Gah. How simple is that? Water. Man. What a huge help it has been. Seriously. So refreshing, and helps so much with the Tired. Combine that with healthier food (again – for the most part), some daily choco treats, and I’m doing pretty okay.

The show itself is inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. I wrote it 15 years ago when I first started teaching, and I have to say, it is so much fun revisiting it! The characters and the sweetness and the push on imagination games and friendship… Gah. So sweet. It still makes me tear up, like today when I watched it with a whole audience full of Kindergartners, 1st, and 2nd graders. All-around good fun.

And it’s fun, too, seeing this show from a mom’s point of view. When I wrote it, my experience was as a 1st grade teacher (Fun Fact: My first job out of college was as a 1st grade teacher to 41 little munchkins. Trial. By. Fire.), and a lot of the show’s language and rhythms come from my interactions with my first students. From a mom’s perspective, I have to say the voices still hold true. In fact, it’s a little crazy how much one of my characters is like my daughter. Even something she says in the show, “Do you think it’s okay to cry? My mom says it’s okay to cry, but sometimes it’s not necessary.” Seriously. That is something I have actually said to my daughter. Crazy fortune-telling on my part, I would say.

Another thing about the show is that it’s making me feel a little nostalgic for that childhood innocence. It’s making me look more and more forward to going home for Christmas and being with my parents for the holiday. My babes are so excited for the trip, we talk about it almost every day. And I am so excited for them to really see northern Minnesota in the winter. Wah. So many beautiful visions, one of my favorite being….

ows_138809003453231

The Night Sky!

(Isn’t the person cute?)

I don’t know that we’ll actually have snow because it’s disappeared in the past week, but I’m hoping for a white Christmas. (‘Dreaming of,’ Bing might say.)

I’m still feeling just Good about sober life and where I am at the moment. Sobriety has given me more time (like staying up past a rehearsal one night to get my shit together and get my sister’s Christmas package ready to send (finally!!!)), as well as more time with my fam. I feel like I am making more of my minutes Count. Instead of wondering, ‘Is this all there is?,’ I am enjoying what I have. Savoring it. And on the days I’m too tired to make an effort, I’m telling myself that that’s okay, too! The pressure I was putting on myself in the DBS (Days Before Sober) was HUGE. And now? I’m seeing a lot of my days as what they are, and being okay with that. Not so much resentment. Not so much stress. Not so much panic, or doubt, or wishing I was somewhere or someone else. And with my Time at an all time limited amount, sobriety has given me many gifts I otherwise would have thrown away and/or missed.

(This post is all over the place, but I have one more thing to share…)

The other day, I shared my sobriety with a student. It is a student I care so much about, and who I know has struggled with substance abuse in the past. I so hope they’re able to find their way to a sober way of being. I know they are trying. I didn’t ask details because I didn’t want to be intrusive, but. I did share that I understood how difficult it can be to socialize, especially with friends who might be using. And, I also said if they’re feeling stressed, or just having a shit day and want to complain to someone who ‘gets it,’ that I would happily be their sounding board. I don’t know that they will ever take me up on it, but it’s out there. It was scary, and while I was talking, I felt like I was headed down the hill of a roller coaster, but here I am on the other side, a little jelly-legged and okay. I hope my student is doing okay as well. I worry. I’m a worrier.

Day 183,  moving along….

Achievement Unlocked!

That’s right, folks. You read it correctly. Days of living, and loving, and doing, and laaaaaaaaaughing, and self-confidencing, and playing, and creating, and exercising, and Being Myself. 180 days to be exact. *smile*

(1) Mission accomplished.

DME-38

And it really does feel like a mission. All last spring I was just tired and sad and more tired and not sure why I was so sad and so tired. I was doing things! I was prepping for two summer shows, I was spending time with friends pretty regularly (for me), and I was running around like a mad woman keeping the overall look of me from cracking. And every night I was REWARDING myself with wine for making it to another 5 or 6 o’clock. On the days it was 6 o’clock, I was itchy and antsy for that first glass – and it was only an hour ‘late.’ During the evenings I would ‘relax’ and ‘veg out’ and ‘recover’ from my busy days so that I would be ‘rested’ and ‘ready’ for my next busy day.

The Me-who-is-Now calls Bullllllllshiiiiiiiit on that Mess!

I honestly had no idea how much the alcohol was negatively affecting my life. Not one iota of an idea. …. Okay, well, maybe one. I thought I was a little tired in the mornings (due to massive amounts of wine the nights before (but at the time, I thought they were ‘normal amounts’ and that everyone was doing it, they just weren’t talking about it)), but I thought I ‘deserved’ the Reward of letting go of the daytime world and getting some ‘Me-Time.’

(I am using quotes like a crazy woman. …. (Sorry-not-sorry. (Because there’s probably going to be more.))

And then June 9 came along, and I just decided ‘Enough.’ (Appropriate use of a quote, for the record. (And yep. More.))

For those I’ve read struggling to begin their Day 1’s, or having trouble committing and sticking to the no-drinking plan, I want to say that June 9 was not the first time I thought I should give up drinking, nor is it the first time I tried to quit the drink. However, it was the first time I was too tired to fight anymore. That whole ‘admitting powerlessness’ is really what happened to me, I just didn’t know it at the time. All the other times I had decided, ‘Okay, no more. I swear, double-dog-pinky-dinky-swear I won’t stop and buy wine to drink tonight’ …. Well, by the afternoons (on every occasion),  I would talk myself into buying the wine and just letting myself have one, maaaaaaaaybe two glasses at Most. I would decide that everyone else in the world was unwinding at the end of their days with alcohol, so it was only fair that I would get to, too. Plus, I would convince myself that I could drink a regular amount today, and again – the one or two glasses of wine would be my bargaining chips in my head. (And then fast forward to later that evening, and the one or two glasses would multiply into one or two bottles.)

Every. Damn. Day.

June 9 showed up and I knew I could not win. I could not bargain. I could not deal. I could not balance, or make sense of, or distinguish, or feel, or regulate, or be, or find, or explore, or lead, or jump… Not in the midst of all the wine. Not in the midst of being shackled to the daily buzz/stupor. Not in the midst of choosing Wine over Me.

So I gave up. I let go of trying to hold on so tightly. So desperately. I let go of planning every day how I would ‘get to’ drink. I had urges to drink. I wanted to drink. Some days I convinced myself that I would drink, but then I reminded myself of letting go, and I would let go over and over and over on those days.

And do you know? It was the most liberating action of my adult life. Minutes, hours, and days have opened up with opportunities, relationships, and fun because I have been there to Live inside of them. Choosing to move alcohol from the center or focus of my world to the banished cold and icy mountains of doom has allowed me so much more freedom! Now my life moves around My Life. As dorky as that sounds. But it’s true! It’s my Life again. Not (wicked) Wine’s. And even though it took years of frustration and circling and considering and bargaining to get there, on the day I finally let go, it/Life became so easy.

There are still days when I start to consider ‘just one,’ or wonder if I could be like ‘other people,’ but then I play the scenario out, and boom. Drunk. Sad. Alcoholic. Horrible. Miserable. Crushed. All over again. So, I let go of the idea again, and move on… Sometimes for a minute, and the thought creeps back, and so I bang it away again, and sometimes playing the scenario out just once is enough. Depends on the day. But? Even on the days the creeping thoughts return again and again, I still go to bed sober, because I know – over and over – that wine is not my way. Not anymore.

Oh, Hello, New Way of Life.

180-angle

I am now looking forward to a couple of mini-sober-challenges, which are:

  1. My true 6-month-aversary on December 9th.
  2. A few more days to reach the Winter Solstice on December 22nd.
  3. Set my sights on my Year goal, and subsequent first tattoo. (Woot!)
  4. While simultaneously resetting the clock for another Solstice-to-Solstice challenge to get me into the Summer.

So here I am. 9 am, contemplating a wonderful sober life, and cake. Lots and lots of cake! *smile*

Day 180, You can do it, too! (And many of you have – my Heroes!)

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: