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Today marks Day 32 of continuous sobriety for me. And I’m shocked. And grateful. I’ve circled the drain of Day 1 (to paraphrase Belle) and it’s is a vile smelling neighbourhood. This 32 days away from Day 1 is a much sweeter aroma. I’m gulping big lungfuls of the sweet, non-sewer like, scent of sobriety.

It’s been 32 days where I didn’t wake up hating myself.

It’s been 32 days where anything was possible.

It’s been 32 days where I was kinder to myself and cut myself some much needed slack.

It’s been 32 days of sleeping so so much better. I’ve actually logged more than a few 10 hour sleeps. Who knew I was this tired?

It’s been 32 days of going to bed knowing I managed another sober day.

It’s been 32 days of re-aquainting myself with myself. Addled, stressed, fuzzy, foggy me is not me.

I waited to start blogging again because I wanted some mileage from Day 1. So Day 32 seemed like a good day to start.

What I’m learning is that everyday is a good day to start…whatever it is you need to start.

 

 

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Day 15–feels very very good. 

I’m back and enjoying a lovely sober summer morning, not hung-over, rested, and feeling pretty damn proud of myself. It’s remarkable what 2 weeks of not poisoning yourself can do for your ability to see things more clearly. Yes, I’m aware that to many people this truth seems obvious. But it’s been a long while since I felt what sober momentum can do for all aspects of your life. 

I spent the last week enjoying a sister visit with my youngest sibling and we truly played, like we did as little girls. I savoured summer with her and we reveled in an unprecedented “blue skies, sunny , smoking hot temperatures forecast” for the entire week of her visit. We sunk into the sand along the shores of Lake Superior in one location and tread carefully along the break wall in another. We hiked the boreal forests and discovered an amazing river flowing across big expanses of rock. Despite that we might have been spotted by other hikers, we stripped down to our undies and sat on the rocks as the cool waters cascaded over our legs. It was magnificent. And felt naughty. A great combination. One of the things I love about my sister is that she is willing to try most of my zany ideas. 
What I re-membered today:

 Life is precious.

It’s fleeting.

There’s much to see

and do

and feel

And savour. 

And sober is the only way that will be possible for me. 

The day is fully of possibilities. 

Stormy Weather

 

My doorbell rang at 4:30 Sunday morning. Hours earlier my neighbourhood suffered lashing rain, jagged lightening and violent gale-force winds. The storm uprooted an enormous Manitoba Maple that shaded my backyard garden for the 25 years that I’ve been digging in the dirt here. The helmeted hydro worker at my door informed me, “Ma’am, (yes… Ma’am)  we have to shut down your power and your neighbour’s and pull the lines before they snap.” Five minutes later the house went dark except for flickering candles and the glow of my phone as I dialled the numbers of tree services in the city.

At 6:30 the same morning, a tree service employee returned my call and dispatched an orange-vested crew in a tree-truck, wielding chain saws and pole saws. For the next five hours they sawed, buzzed, chipped and hauled my tree away–piece by piece.

The garden looks naked without those limbs waving overhead. Bright sunshine washes the whole back yard in heat and rays. I feel naked too. Exposed. My shield of leaves is gone; I’m exposed to the neighbours on the other side of the fence.

And yesterday was Day 4 (yes if you’re counting–I should have a bigger number) but I don’t. Today though,  I’m on Day 5. Despite that all, and I mean ALL day, the seductive, wolfie voice kept whispering, “You deserve a drink today. After what this day has been like, the chaos, no hydro for 12 hours, losing your tree, the shocking expense of hauling the tree away…you deserve a reward.” If I’d caved, I’d be back to a new Day 1.  I don’t want a new Day 1.

The light flooding into my garden will change everything. The garden will be different. Some plants will thrive–grow fat and lush, others will be sunburned and crispy. I’ll end up plunking them in shadier, more dappled digs out front.

Today, I feel like my garden. Sober me will be different. Sober me is already different. Yesterday, I didn’t anesthetize the stress, chaos or loss. I wanted to. I debated about it–about buying a bottle of wine. About drinking a bottle of wine. I debated for quite a while.  Then I decided I’d take a walk at my favourite place, the tree farm. If I still felt like drinking after that, I’d buy the bottle.

I didn’t feel like it.

Instead, I allowed myself to feel what the day had been. Stressful. Chaotic. But also hopeful.  I’m saddened by the loss of my shady, dappled garden and that knarled old tree. But this morning, I’m excited to try plants that sunbathe. I’m excited to see plants already growing in my garden come out of the shadows and shine.  I’m excited about the potential for me to shine. To thrive. (Not the “grow fat” part but the lush part.) I’m excited about coming out of the shadows. I’m excited about the sunshine of living with honesty and truth. And what life might be like if I stay sober. No more Day 1s.

I think it will be good. Very good.

Binging on Booze and Netflix.

lilacs

The lilacs are blooming here now. The aroma is floating throughout the city. I’m still here to be able to enjoy them for yet another season. What happened in Orlando this week reminded me of how very precious and how very short our life here is so I’m glad to be able to smell lilacs today.

Last night I went to my second AA meeting in the last week and a half. I’ve been in and out of AA for years so I don’t mean this is only my second meeting; it’s my second meeting I attended after wandering off the path quite some months ago.

I remember former pastor Rob Bell saying in one of his podcasts on The Robcast that he attended these meetings at the recommendation of someone in recovery. That particular someone told Rob to attend AA meetings to become a better pastor. What struck Rob Bell was that this was a place was a no bullshit zone. A true reflection of people who have come to realize that sobriety is not achieved by yourself and that you have to be willing to surrender…and no more bullshit.

At the meeting last night I listened to so many men and women being completely honest about their defects of character, about how Step Four transformed their lives and their sobriety. And I realized that I need to step out of the bullshit zone. The zone of rationalizing, lying to friends and family to cover up my drinking, lying to colleagues, lying to myself, and to begin to address my pride–which has been the biggest stumbling block to my sobriety.

The latest relapse stings because in light of how many people lost their lives in Orlando in the blink of an eye, I feel my pride or arrogance that life will always be there, has also made me take this gift of life for granted…often and a lot. How many days have I burned up drinking, numbing and staring blankly at the TV screen hour after hour? I know I’d want those days back if I was facing my death. So I realized last night and today that it’s a gift. Still being here. Still being able to make a better choice.

And for that I’m grateful.

Sober Sailing hit the rocks…Day 1 (please let it be my last.

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I’m heavy hearted today. I am back to a new Day 1. More than anything, I want to leave Day 1 far, far behind me. Clearly, I need to add more sober tools. I need to become more aware of ‘prelapse’ as Belle calls it from tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com

And I have to be willing to reach out for help. I don’t know why I find this so hard. I don’t. But I find it very hard to ask for help. But this sobriety thing is going to require me to do hard things. But drinking the way I have been, that’s much harder.

I’m tired today and just want to move forward from here.

Sailing on.

Day 4–Treats

No, that cute, little, red pot isn’t Le Creuset–it’s Cuisinart and it was on sale

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It’s Day 4 and what you’re looking at is my treat for not buying (or drinking) wine for three days. No, that cute, little, red pot isn’t Le Creuset–it’s Cuisinart and it was on sale–but it still makes me very happy. And it makes the cravings and weird, wobbly, unhinged feelings of new sobriety more palatable.

I’m going to cook a Greek dish, Fasolakia Giaxni (green beans stewed with onions and tomatoes and oregano) in that cute, little, red pot tonight for supper. I’m going to cook in my cute, little, red pot on a  Friday when I’d ordinarily eat popcorn for supper and buy the big bottle of red wine. So the pot is red and the tomatoes will be red but there will be no red wine.

And that’s scary and hard and I feel like I’m breaking up with a long-time but dysfunctional, slightly malicious friend, but the cute, little, red pot is soothing some of the sting and fear.

Feeling better physically, not dragging myself through my day, not hating myself in the morning, those are big perks too.

 

🙂

Day 3 Again

How can you tell my brain is still fuzzy? Because yesterday, I posted my first blog post about getting sober and got my Sober Day Number wrong. Yesterday wasn’t Day 3–today is.

Meh.

But today’s Day 3 is considerably better than yesterday’s Day 3.

🙂

That small ember of hope is flickering into a tiny (well…actually not so tiny) flame. I’m looking forward to getting sober. That thought has never flitted across my brain pan. I’ve dreaded getting sober, counted days to getting sober, failed at getting sober, repeatedly, attended AA meetings while not getting sober, spoken at length to my addictions counsellor while not getting sober, lied to my mother and sisters about being sober while not being sober, but I’ve never looked forward to being sober. And come to think of it, as it’s actually Day 3 for real, I don’t have to look forward to getting sober. I’m already doing it. I’m already in ‘sober.’

I think I mean I’m looking forward to more … good things and good bye to some really unpleasant bad things.

  1. Being able count my sober days accurately.
  2. Waking up without camel fuzz mouth.
  3. Not having to clean up the detritus of last night’s drinking–empty chip bags on the floor, empty bottles on the coffee table, wine stains on said coffee table, blanket on the floor, remote buried under couch cushions, waking up in last night’s clothes, three hungry (not fed the night before) cats, bolting awake on the couch at 7:30 PM because I think it’s morning and I’m going to be late for work and I’m still drunk so I’ll have to phone in sick…oh wait, it’s night time. Yeah. Whew! I won’t miss that at all.
  4. I won’t wake up hating myself  and I won’t miss that mean, finger wagging voice that talked me into drinking last night and is now berating me for doing so this morning.
  5. My face won’t be puffy. Oh hey, the rest of me will be less puffy too.
  6. It won’t be another Day 1.

I’m sure there’s more to look forward to but right now, this is what is in my sight line.

Yeah for Day 3.