Bad Days and Belly Laughs

Bad days are inevitable.  Your alarm clock doesn’t go off, the dog puked all over the living room, the light bulb in the bathroom burned out, you forgot your lunch at home, and sometimes the bad events just keep happening.  You are left shaking your head and thinking, “gosh what horrible thing did I do to deserve a day like today?”

This past Sunday was like that for me.  My biggest priority was getting in a bike ride, and I really wanted to get in at least 15 miles.  I’ve pledged to ride 150 miles for the month of June and by Sunday I needed to ride 13 miles to stay on track with my goal.  I took Friday off of work, but wasn’t able to ride at all on Friday or Saturday.  By Sunday I was super ancy about it and knew that a long ride would make me feel better.

The hubs and I planned on riding about 8 stopping at a park to have a picnic lunch and then riding back.  I packed a delicious lunch and we got ready to go.  Then, it poured.  It had rained a lot on Saturday, but Sunday was supposed to be dry until the evening.  In fact, there was a 0% chance of rain around the time that it was pouring out.

It kept raining, so we did the next best thing.  Set out for pizza at Aubrees, one of our favorite pizzarias– and one that we haven’t been to in ages.  We were looking at the bright side looking forward to pizza and then some shopping afterwards.

We pulled up and the building was empty, the grass was overgrown and there was a For Sale sign in the window.  Aubrees was gone– no gourmet pizza for us.

We drove around and stopped at a Japanese restaurant.  The sushi was good, but they served me some tea that had a fishy taste and the chicken was extremely tough and dry.  They didn’t have silverware— just chopsticks. Hubby goes out with diverse friends from work and has become good at eating with chopsticks.  I felt like a clutz continuously dropping my sushi.  To make matters worse, the servers had sat down for a break directly facing me.  I felt like such a fool on display.  I wanted to throw the chop sticks across the room.

The day continued to test me, with little annoyances here and there.  By the afternoon things were starting to look up.  I went to the grocery while hubby went to Home Depot.  He came out with a very large tree and some nice flowering bushes (all at a great discount price!).  You can’t go wrong with planting new greenery!

The best part of the day was that by the time the afternoon rolled around, the rain was gone.  We ended up getting in a 12.6 mile bike ride after all.  By the end of the day I was only .3 miles from my goal for that day.

Sooooo.. moral of the story is that bad days happen.  When I was telling my little sister about my awful day, she pointed out something really good.  She said, “Even though it was a horrible day and the weather was awful, not once did I hear you mention Betsy– or wanting to drink.”  She was right!  I went to a couple different stores that carried liquor and wine and everytime I passed a bottle, I silently hissed at it (because I hate it, and wish that the stores would get rid of it.  It’s no good and causes nothing but problems).  It’s a blessing to be jonesin for my bike when I’m having a terrible day instead of a bottle of wine  ❤

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Belly Laughs

Have you ever tried flossing?  I’m not talking about the way to clean in between your teeth.  There’s a new dance move that is a hit among kids everywhere.  It’s from one of the popular video games.  It looks simple, but can actually be quite challenging for those of us who are coordinationally compromised.

After days of practice, I finally almost had it!  I went to bed last night but decided to get one more dance session in in front of my mirror.  I should have tried doing it in front of a mirror before, because it was super helpful and I was flossing like a boss in no time!!  Now that I had the moves down, I had to try flossing fast!  I was admiring my form in the mirror when I saw my 9 year old watching me.  He had decided to see what I was doing and caught me flossing like a mad woman.  We both roared with laughter and couldn’t stop.

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It probably isn’t that funny to read about– I think you had to be there.  I wouldn’t have been there if I had been drinking.  This is just one of the many benefits of sobriety.  Being present, having genuine laughs (especially with your kid), being silly all while being organic– all of it is so simple, yet so very important.

So that’s my week in a nutshell.  It’s the final week of school for me and the boys.  The last week is crazy yet wonderful.  I can’t believe it’s the end of the year already.  The school years fly by.  If you have little ones, don’t blink.  They grow up so fast! Be present and don’t forget to laugh ❤

Day 77

Friday June 8, 2018

These past few weeks have been pretty crazy.  Between work (end of the year tasks to accomplish), end of the year concerts, ceremonies and other commitments/picnics/parties, I feel like I’m on an endless merry-go-round.  I actually took a sick day today #1 for my mental health and #2 so that I could attend my son’s mini society market at school.  It is so nice to be off on this beautiful Friday– especially knowing that next week is the last week of school.  The last week or two is always my favorite.  I almost don’t want it to end because it seems that the moment summer vacation begins it is over and time for the busy fall.  I just want to sit here for a long while, enjoying the early June days 🙂

Today is Day 77.  Betsy has been yipping in my ear lately.  I’ve held her at bay, but thinking of drinking this often is very unsettling.  I really need to get to some meetings after next week and work on finding a sponsor.  I’ve also been thinking about losing people lately.  I can’t say with confidence that if I lost an immediate family member that I can remain sober.  I hate writing that, but it is truly how I feel.  THIS is how I would like to feel:  I can’t control what happens to me or my loved ones all the time.  God has a plan and I don’t know what that entails, but know that he will help me get through the tough times— always.  The next time I lose someone that I love, I can grieve without alcohol– or I can pick up the bottle again.  Drinking will not make it better– in fact, it will just make everything so much harder.   I know that during the toughest times of my life, God will help me make it through without picking up a drink, I trust him. 

I feel like because I don’t fully trust myself in that situation– I need to work on my recovery harder.  To me, that looks like going to meetings, making connections and finding a sponsor.

BUT.. regardless of those random thoughts, I am enjoying life very much right now.  We’ve been able to take 10 + mile bike rides at least a few times per week.  I’ve also been swimming as much as the weather will allow.  I’ve been doing more walking than running and know that I really need to up my running game.

I had a bi yearly visit with my rheumatologist last week, and it went well.  It was a little bit of a wake up call actually.  I felt grateful as I saw a woman in the waiting room who look to be about my age, but used a walker to get around.  In the lab area, I spotted another woman with a cane who also was in my age range, but was super slow to get up and move around.

I also felt grateful as the diligent Dr. Qazi questioned me about previous ailments.  My knees?  No pain.  My shoulders?  No pain.  My feet?  Ehhh… somewhat painful when I first get up or if I’m wearing the wrong shoes.. but I get around fine and can run on them so I feel LUCKY and grateful.. they are my biggest source of discomfort but I’m not complaining— they aren’t holding me back.  My psoriasis?  Oooh I forgot I had the big red blotchy patches all over my midsection for awhile.  No psoriasis for awhile now!  My hands?  They’re fine.  Fingers?  Fine.  It felt good to tell her that it is nothing for me to walk/run 5K before work and then do a 10 mile bike ride afterwards.  And work?  Yep she asked about that too– I can manage my full work duties without my Rheumatoid Arthritis interfering.

I left her office feeling So. Incredibly. Grateful.

I wonder how much the 77 days of no poison is impacting the absence of the symptoms I had experienced in the past?  I’m not going to worry about the answer, but just keep doing what I’m doing!

So there.  That’s that.  I hope you all are doing well and having a wonderful June so far ❤

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Summer Reads 

 

The Epiphany

A natural consequence of losing my mom suddenly was becoming much more spiritual and aware of unearthly phenomenon.

During the summer that she passed, I was in my backyard scrolling through Facebook when I saw a post from my cousin that was a picture of small purple flower with the caption “Does anyone know what this is?”

I don’t know many flowers, hardly the basics, but a fleeting thought passed through my brain “crokus.”  It was so weird and random and I had no idea where it came from.

I looked at the comments and sure enough, it was a crokus.  I determined that my mom was with me, in spirit, and had whispered the name into my ear (she was a flower guru).  What else could it have been?

I’m also pretty sure that my angel mom had something to do with an enormous epiphany that I experienced shortly after the crokus incident.

About a month after she passed it was a Saturday morning in early August and we had plans to pack up and head up north for the week.  Usually when we’re heading up north I would be in a frenzy cleaning the house, getting the pets ready, watering the flowers, etc.  This morning was different.  For some reason I had this odd desire to go for a long bike ride (totally abnormal for me to do the day of a trip– but I went with it).

About a mile in, I had a vivid and random thought cross my mind.  “We need to buy the ranch.”

My in laws had two houses, a farmhouse that they had fixed up and an adjacent ranch that they were now getting ready to put on the market.  They bought the ranch over 20 years ago and had continued living there for the couple of years that it took them to fix up the farmhouse and my hubby had mentioned a couple of times throughout the years that maybe we should buy the ranch.

My answer was always a firm no.  I wanted our forever home to be a more modern and open home and wanted to stay in the city we lived in.  The ranch was small and boxy and the yard was too big to maintain– I liked our neat and immaculate city lot.

So.. when the thought and certainty of buying it came across my mind, I felt ecstatic.  I rode the rest of the trip with an enormous amount of energy and excitement.  I was so pumped to get home and tell hubby that we should buy it.  It is the best definition and feeling of epiphany that I have ever, and probably will ever, had.  I thought about it all the way home.

Hubby was less than excited when I ran through the door exclaiming my plans to relocate our current life.  He wasn’t sure if we should do it– or if we could actually afford it.  So we spent the next few weeks running the numbers and talking to our bank, adding up all of the expenses, comparing pros and cons, etc.

The trip up north after my epiphany was intriguing and sometimes agonizing.  I thought about the possibility of moving to the ranch constantly– and couldn’t stop wondering if we would actually call it our home or not.  I also wondered a great deal about why I had the epiphany.

Was this a premonition that something bad was going to happen to me?  Was moving close to my inlaws insurance that my hubby and kids would be ok and taken care of?  Or would something happen to my hubby or one of the kids?  I had just suddenly lost my mom a month beforehand, so anxious thoughts of losing my loved ones unexpectedly were a common occurrence– and now I can see how these thoughts were normal given the time frame.

It ended up being a go and we moved the necessities in during Labor Day weekend, 2014.  Moving in right before the start of school was one of the craziest things we’ve ever done.  Our boys would be starting new schools, I would be going back to work and we would need to get the old house ready to sell– and we had a pretty young puppy.

Time sped by, like it tends to do and we had our old house on the market within a month.  By November we had sold our old house and closed on the ranch.

It is 4 years later and I still think about the epiphany occasionally.  I find this house incredibly peaceful.  Everytime I walk through the kitchen and see deer in the backyard– or on the deck watching the small animals and birds in the yard– I am at total peace.  The house isn’t great– it is old and boxy and some of it is outdated.  But it is a sprawling ranch on a good chunk of land and I completely love it here ❤

 

Will
Watching fish in the pond never gets old
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Seeing deer hanging out gives you a feeling of serenity
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Cardinals in the yard always bring peace and comfort

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I Killed Betsy 

The long weekend!

Ahhhhhh!  On one hand it seems like it took forever to get here, on the other hand it came so quickly.  It seems like yesterday it was September & I had just started really enjoying the pool (one unexpected joy of sobriety).  When we closed it, I silently vowed to count down every month till we’d be opening it again & promised myself I would use it.  

Like the morning in early September I took off work.  I had a 504 meeting at my oldest’s school.  It was quick & afterwards I went for a walk in the hot September sun.  Then I jumped in the pool for a refreshing swim.  By the time I got to work at lunchtime, I was in such a great mood.  Still energized from the morning of fun (OH if only every workday could be 1/2 a day 🤗).

Or the night hubby and I took a walk in the muggy heat.  We got home & took a dip in the dark.  Swimming in the dark always creeped me out— but this was great & the sky was beautifully lit with millions of stars. 

As we closed the pool in late September, I promised myself to fully take advantage of the water this year, like the entire summer, unlike years before when I would just float on my giant raft complaining of getting splashed & not going in because it’s “too cold.”

And so I will.

As I wake up this Saturday morning I’m filled with anticipation for all of the things this weekend has in store for me. House chores, gardening, fires & bbq, beach party, bike rides & family.  Lots of stuff to fit into 3 days!

One thing I’m not thinking much about is drinking.  On a holiday where beer is synonymous with the pool & bbq, I take this as a Godsend.  

Anytime the thought of drinking has crossed my mind I am immediately blessed with thoughts of how great it is to NOT be drinking.  For me, the absence of alcohol makes my life far richer than the presence of it.  It adds not one good thing to my life, but takes away many.

Oooooh if I could just bottle up these thoughts & save them for when I am tempted in the future, I would in a heartbeat!  While it appears Betsy (my inner alcoholic) is expired forever,  I know that really she is off on a holiday somewhere doing push-ups, waiting for the perfect time to make a great comeback.

So, as I sit in the May heat, leisurely having coffee on the deck watching the nature around me, I am grateful for so much.  But more than anything, I am grateful for today, Day 64. 

One day at a time.

The Universe and Living the Good Life

I’m listening to a terrific new book called, The Universe has your Back, by Gabrielle Bernstein.  Being a believer in the power of the universe, it is highly interesting and intriguing to me.

On Wednesday, I was eating dinner outside by myself.  I started talking to the Universe pondering what would make me happy.  I told her that I wanted to feel more love in my heart and be closer to my family members.  I wanted to have a full life filled with people and love.

A little while later while I was cleaning up inside, I heard my niece Jessica outside. She is staying with my in laws who live behind us and my mother-in-law brings her over occasionally to play on our trampoline and slide.  I was going to keep going on with my business, but Jessica saw me through the window and wanted to come and say hi.  They ended up coming in and staying awhile.  My MIL talked my ear off about what is going on with my SIL (who is going through an ugly divorce complete with a PPO).

She talked my ear off, but in the end thanked me for listening and told me she loved me and I gave my love back.  We have a decent relationship but aren’t super close– there’s a distance between us.  Maybe it’s all on my account, I’m not sure.  I’ve always kind of felt like according to her I’m not good enough for her golden son.  This could be 100% in my head, and I acknowledge that and that I have some walls up.  But it was a nice evening where we talked while the kids played.

Later that night, I thought about my conversation with the Universe at dinner and it dawned on me.  The Universe Listened.  I was pumped!  If conversing with and believing in the Universe had this much power, then anything is possible.

A New Name

The Devil Drinks Vodka has been my handle since this blog was born two years ago.  For awhile now, I’ve wanted a different name. As this journey progresses, my life has become less about darkness and alcohol and more about living and wellness.  I need to get rid of the words Devil and Vodka.

I am patiently waiting for the perfect name!  I have a couple ideas and am waiting for a sign from the Universe to tell me which one is IT.   IT has yet to come to me, so I wait.

Wellness and Feeling Alive

For the first time in my life, last week I bought a new car.   Brand new, 2019.  I picked out the model, the color, the interior and the specks.  I couldn’t be more excited!

We picked it up on Monday night and after we got home, I had a TON of excited energy.  It was kind of late (after 9pm), but I wanted to go on a bike ride.  I was leery about riding so late (knowing I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep for a while afterwards) but went anyways.  Hubby went with me and we didn’t get home till after 10:30pm.

I love love love nighttime riding.  Especially this time of year, the spring smells are heavenly and the cool air whipping through my hair make me feel so alive.

As I was riding and feeling so vibrant, I thought about alcohol for a millisecond.  I thought about how I used to drink it to celebrate when I was super happy and how I used to drink it to drown my sorrows when I was sad.  Getting a new car would certainly be a reason to toast and chug down glass after glass of wine.  I felt so incredibly grateful for being where I am at– picking up my bike at 9pm NOT a glass of poison.  THIS is living, living the good life.

That is my week in a nutshell.  Today is Day 58 and I am grateful for every sober day.

Peace and Love ❤

Mother’s Day and the Gift of Time

Sunday May 13, 2018 — Mother’s Day

Today is one of those bittersweet days.  It’s a day that I wake up remembering that I am missing my mom, but also feel grateful for my kids and family that is still here.

Life made a huge shift after my mom died.  I call it BD (before death) and AD (after death). It’s morbid, but it marks a change in every aspect of my life.

I underappreciated time with my kids BD.  In fact, I remember a handful of Mother’s Days when my kids were young that I went to visit my mom sans kids.   She would ask where the grandbabies were and I would tell her, “It’s Mother’s Day!  I’m taking the day off.”  I didn’t notice her disappointment, but was just happy to be able to hang out without them bugging me– or having to look after them.

This makes me so sad to think about AD.  If I could do it again, I would have brought them with me to see their grandma and spend time with her.  These are things that you can’t tell young people– sometimes it takes a loss to make you realize what you had and should have done.

I sometimes secretly wished I had another baby daddy BD.  I had some friends and family who were free of their kids every other weekend.  They were no longer with the baby daddy and the kids went to visit him every couple of weeks.  When my kids were little, there were times when I was so incredibly envious of them– all for getting a regular weekend break from their kids.  Date nights with hubby were scarce back then and having every other weekend free sounded freakin’ awesome!

My thoughts and feelings have done a 180 degree turnaround AD.  I am probably unhealthily attached to my kids.  Once in awhile a relative will ask to take them both for the weekend and I HATE IT.  I hate it when they’re gone for days at a time, especially both of them.  It’s not so bad when they’re gone to a friend’s house one at a time, but I despise an empty house and sometimes hate that we never had a 3rd.

One of my friends has 3 boys all between the ages of 8 and 12.  When I go to her busy house, it is SO chaotic.  She’s calm and collective, but can tell that she’s overwhelmed at times and I always just look at her green with envy.  I always say things like, “You’re so lucky and I wish my house was this busy.”  She must think I’m nuts.  But a 3rd just wasn’t in our cards, and I am grateful everyday for the 2 healthy ones that I do have.

I’m sure a part of the change of thinking has to do not so much with AD, but with my boys growing up and becoming independent.  These days they are self-sufficient and hubby and I can have a date night (or day) anytime we want.

So what does the perfect Mother’s Day entail today?  Time with the kids for sure.  I don’t care about presents or cards, but I’m going to ask them to go for a walk with me.  Hubby and I already have plans for a long bike ride (there’s been a cold/rainy spell here– so we haven’t rode in days).  Walk, bike ride, catch up on laundry– PERFECT day!

We’ll probably stop by my mother-in-laws later to visit.  BD I would send hubby and the kids and stay home to drink wine in the bathtub and make the excuse that I have paperwork for work to catch up on.  Now I will go, at least for a little while to be present and if I come home early it’ll be to get something productive done– or at least a walk with the dog to clear my head.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!  May your day be happy and blessed ❤

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Grateful for every Sober Day

It is so incredibly easy to feel grateful on a day like today.  It is Sunday morning, warm enough to have coffee on deck (1st time of the season) and the sounds of birds chirping and singing are everywhere.

It’s nice to be able to relax after a day like yesterday.   I had to wake up early to make it to NCI (nonviolent crisis intervention) training by 8:00.  I wasn’t excited to go in on a Saturday– but the alternative was August so I’m very happy to have it out of the way.  The company was good and it was a small group, so we finished a few hours early– and had lots of good snacks/junk food to much on 😉   Since we finished so early and my boys were at a movie, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home for food for the week.  I was SO glad to have that out of the way!  I caught up on some cleaning and laundry when I got home–so it ended up being a totally productive Saturday.

I was exhausted Saturday night and in bed by 10:30.  I slept like a baby and was ready to get up before 8:00.  It was so nice to wake up with sounds of all the birds through the open window.  I am SO happy that the weather is finally warm!!!

Today is going to be a great day.  I’m planning on spending as much time as possible outside (it might storm later) and hoping for both a walk and a bike ride.


Recovery–

Today is day 44!  I like to celebrate every sober day.  I feel like it is a little bit of a tough time in the recovery world lately.  On my Facebook groups it seems like many people relapsed this weekend (Cinco de Mayo?)– or were struggling and trying hard to NOT relapse.

Sadly, there was a couple RIP posts– these are always so sad and scary to read about.  One was a fellow named Harry Cutter.  After reading about his death (related to a recent relapse) I listened to his Podcast on Shair.  Listening to him, it became obvious that this guy had his SH&% together!  In his recovery he became vegan and a marathon runner (2 things I am passionate about– well not exactly the marathon part– but I do love running) and also wrote a recovery book.  By all accounts, this guy was a success story.  I ordered his book from Amazon and am looking forward to reading it.  It is tragic yet real to read and listen to someone in recovery who was doing so well but ultimately died from this disease.  It’s a stark reminder of how serious addiction is and how I need to be grateful for every single day of sobriety.

As far as my recovery goes, I haven’t been to a meeting since January.  I listen to podcasts, connect with sober friends (online), read recovery books, work on my step work workbook and write.   While I don’t do ALL of these things daily, I do at least one of them (sometimes several) once or twice a day.  This is a very busy time at home and at work and some days I go to bed not knowing or thinking about what day I’m on and not having thought about drinking all day.

I am still putting steps 2 & 3 into practice when I notice myself struggling.  I intend to start working on step 4 next.  I know that this is a big step and is going to take time to work through.   I don’t have a sponsor– but do have a number of tools to help me (downloaded worksheets, a 12 step women’s book and workbook, Russell Brand’s step book) work though it.  I DO plan on finding a regular meeting to attend over the summer, getting to know people and finding a sponsor to help me go over these steps.  This is just work I’m doing in the meantime to help me stay sober during these last busy months of work.

I am looking forward to a fabulous sober Sunday– God willing.  It’s going to be a great week and the countdown ’till summer has officially begun!

Peace & Love ❤

* If you want to listen to Harry Cutter (AKA BD Nino) or read his book, check out the web addresses below (sorry, you may need to copy and paste):

http://theshairpodcast.com/49-7-habits-for-peaceful-sobriety-with-bd-nino/

https://www.amazon.com/Habits-Peaceful-Sobriety-addictions-reclaim/dp/1518712630/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1525612093&sr=8-3&keywords=7+habits+of+addiction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Stress and Not Drinking: Gratitude

May 1, 2018: Day 40

There was a time not too long ago when the smallest bit of unexpected and/or undesirable events caused me to double check my wine supply, making sure I had plenty for the night– because I intended on drinking until I passed out right into bed.

It didn’t stop there though– that’s pretty much how I spent every night– whether I was celebrating, relaxing, socializing– or stressing out.  I. Drank. Every. Night.  Until I passed out and most mornings I didn’t remember going to bed.

I have no idea how my body even kept up.  Some days I got through the day just by doing the minimum tasks possible.  Often times I was crabby with my kids and any additional life “things” caused extreme anxiety and stress.  My instinct, my quick fix was to get my chores done, and then DRINK.  It gave me energy and helped me forget about the things I was so anxious about.

I would wake up the next day vowing to stop, that day was going to be the day.  BUT, by 4-5 o’clock the craving was too strong to avoid.  If I was out of booze I would run to the store and stock up.  I would then do my chores before getting smashed.

I’m reflecting on these times because I’ve really realized these past two days is that I have come really far.

The past two weeks have brought on a lot of stress!  An injured dog.  A broken fridge (which happened to be newly stocked with food).  A teenager with more than one E.  Family issues that are severe but outside of my control. Four new students at work– one of which has been homeschooled for the past three years (since Pre-school– now in 2nd grade)– not ideal to throw her into a second grade classroom at the very end of a school year.  Numerous meetings and obligations outside of school that make for long days.

I felt so grateful this morning.  Grateful for getting through these long days without even thinking about drinking (no time, really..).  Well, honestly it’s Tuesday and I DID think about drinking over the weekend.  I’m not sure if it was the nice weather or accumulation of stressful situations during the week– or a combination of both. BUT– I didn’t drink and the urges have since subsided.  AND, I thoroughly enjoyed waking up late on Saturday morning after a good 10 hours of good sleep 🙂

I am much happier dealing with the stress of everyday life without the need to get numb, pass out every night and attempt to navigate each day with a major hangover– reeking of toxins.

I am so grateful for where I’m at today and hopeful that I have a bright future ahead of me ❤

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Step 3 Work: Made a Decision to Turn our Will and our Lives Over to the Care of God, as we Understood God

Practicing step 3 is like the opening of a door which to all appearances is still closed and locked.  All we need is a key and the decision to swing the door open.  There is only one key and it is called willingness. Once unlocked by willingness, the door opens almost of itself and looking through it, we shall see a pathway beside which is an inscription. It reads: This is the way to a faith that works”  — The Big Book

I agree with the following statements:

  • My understanding of my Higher Power is my own, and will be different than others.
  •  I understand that “God” represents my HP and may, or may not, be a religious icon.
  • I can agree to call my HP “God”, understanding that this makes it easier to communicate with others about my spirituality.

 

In what ways is God (HP) better able to handle the effects that alcohol has on my life?

God provides the spiritual guidance that helps me navigate life in a healthy, happy and pure way.  Alcohol is the devil that masks my life surrounding everything with a black shroud and causes anxiety, depression and isolation.

In order to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, this is what I do on a daily basis:

  • Talk to God
  • Ask God for guidance
  • Ask God for clarity

I can do the following on a daily basis to turn my will and my life over to the care of God:

  • Pray
  • Continue to ask for guidance and clarity
  • Ask God for strength during tough times
  • Have faith that my God will be there to give me strength when I’m feeling weak (have urges, cravings, self-pity, etc)

How turning my will and life over to the care of God has benefited me:

I have received signs which have helped me understand life and my journey.  By understanding my life course better, I am stronger and better able to live happily and fulfilled in sobriety, all without the stress and anxiety that living with an addiction causes.  These signs have helped me rely on God during times of need.  I look forward to continuing to strengthen my relationship with God.

My prayer turning over my will and my life to the care of God:

Dear God,

Lead me to the path of continued sobriety, Show me simple pure joy, Take my will and my life and Guide me in my recovery,

Amen.


 

I believe that this step will need continuous practice to fully utilize.  After writing out these initial thoughts, I feel relief.  Last week was a long and tough week with several things out of my control happening that added stress and made me sleep deprived– not a good combination!

By the time the weekend came, I was thinking about drinking way more than I’m comfortable with. For the first time in a while, I felt like I was white knuckling it.  After writing this morning (which happens to be a gorgeously sunny and peaceful Sunday morning!) I feel strong, grateful and highly motivated to continue this path.

Peace and Love ❤ ❤ ❤

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Sorry Betsy, Not Today!

This has been a really gross series of days– all since Friday.  By the end of the work day today, Betsy was whispering sweet nothings into my ear and filling me with empty promises.

After work on Friday, I picked up my dog from daycare.  As I was walking out, my dad called (which is kind of rare).   After asking what I’m doing, my dad starts talking about how his heart is back into arrhythmia and that he has to leave next week to see my uncle who is at a rehabilitation hospital in Colorado– but he got the ok to travel.

I HATE that his heart is back into arrhythmia.  We’ve been through this several times over the past year and a half.  He’s had to have his heart shocked back into rhythm a handful of times and has to be on blood thinners (awful meds that make you weak)so that he doesn’t get a blood clot.

And, I HATE that he has to go to Colorado.  He has asthma and has a hard time breathing because of the high altitude there.  As his older brother, he needs to go for my uncle–who is having a hard time dealing with life right now and needs him there (recovering from a traumatic brain injury after getting hit by a car in January).  I get it– but it doesn’t make me very happy– it gives me an overall uneasy feeling.

While he’s telling me all of this, I’m trying to get my dog into the car but he won’t jump in.  I try to pick him up and he cries and his legs are shaking.  “Crap!!” I’m thinking, “WTF happened???”  Nothing out of the ordinary, according to the daycare, so they help me get him into the car and I’m off wondering what is wrong with him.

The weekend is pretty much a big crapshoot.  The weather is nice and I got in a couple nice long bike rides, but that’s pretty much the best part.  The pup was not doing much better on Saturday with intermittent pain so I took him to the vet who gave him a pain injection.

Sunday was still iffy.  He wouldn’t walk up the stairs, but wanted to run around the backyard.  Meanwhile I had been reading about a horrible back disease that’s prevalent in beagles and can cause paralysis and/or even death.   So of course now I’m super anxious about him having this back disease.  I picked up some oral pain meds today (Monday) because he only seems slightly better.  I am praying that they do the trick and he recovers from this injury.

Hubby was sick Saturday night and most of the day on Sunday.  He was up several times Saturday night getting sick in the bathroom (attached to our bedroom), therefore I was woken up throughout the night.  Sunday was a gorgeous day and it’s a shame because he spent a majority of the day in the bathroom and couldn’t enjoy it.  I am still praying that the rest of us don’t get the bug!  I was worried about hubby’s health on Sunday as well as the dog.  I couldn’t wait to escape this crazy house– by Sunday night I was ready for the weekend to end!

Today (Monday) work was tedious.  I finally got help with my enormous caseload in the form of a substitute teacher who will be helping me Monday-Thursday.  This is GREAT, although it creates an extra amount of pressure and work.  I have to now plan my day, as well as hers.  She is a former special education and 4th grade general education teacher.  She knows many useful programs and is calm and sweet, yet firm.  Today, I was having her watch me with lessons and she interrupted quite a few times to tell me how she did certain things (like short vowel sound signs).

I love that she is experienced and passionate about teaching, but by this afternoon I was feeling snippy with all of her advice.  It wasn’t just about the lessons, she had advice about EVERYTHING.. including my dog’s painful episode.  Again, I am completely grateful for her help and have great respect for her personally and professionally.  My snippiness had more to do with the frustration from my personal life than with her.

My breaking point came at lunchtime.  My own kids’ report cards were posted online last week.  I hadn’t looked yet.  I always take report cards with a grain of salt.  My oldest gets A’s and B’s (mostly) and my youngest sometimes gets bad marks in the area of organization, works independently, things like that.  I was shocked when I saw 2 E’s on my oldest’s card and sick to my stomach.  Too much trust and freedom, and I was kicking myself for not checking his grades online periodically.

On the way home from work, Betsy was yapping her big mouth.  NOT today Besty, NOT today.  Your empty promises mean nothing to me, and I need to sort out all of this messiness with a clear mind and able body, knowing that my HP has my back.

Perhaps this is what step 2 is all about?

tenor