Sunday Funday

Oooooooh I do have a love/hate relationship with Sundays!

I am feeling pretty relaxed although the looming thought of making lunches and preparing for tomorrow is creeping into the forefront of my mind.

Happy last week before holiday break!  I simply can’t believe that it is already time for holiday break.  Didn’t we JUST go back to school like yesterday??

Reflecting on the past few months makes me very happy.  September was HARD.  My foot problems were scary and I didn’t have any answers.  I was trying to do a strict autoimmune protocol diet and worried that I would have to take a medical leave to deal with my issues.  I am so thankful to have found medicine man who can help me feel my best, all without a strict elimination diet.

(Side Note: Many many people who have autoimmune disease symptoms have success with a strict elimination diet.  MY personal belief from what I’ve been learning is that if you have a virus in your body– such as my Parvo virus which causes Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms– certain foods can trigger the symptoms.  THIS is why the autoimmune diet works– you are avoiding the food that triggers the symptoms.  Getting rid of the virus will yield the same results.)

So here we are, nearing the end of December.  I’m only 7 days sober today but feeling confident that I will continue to gain momentum.  Right around Christmas day will be difficult. This is around the time that I typically experience PAWS.  I am aware and will be prepared.  By the New Year, I will be almost a month in and will continue to learn and grow.  By summertime, sobriety will be normal and I will forget how awful alcohol has treated me.  I will have to dig deep to remember how I relapsed in July 2018 and how it took months and months to get back on track and also how awful my foot was swollen.

Lots of reflecting today, what a great way to start off my day with hope and positivity!

Lots to be grateful for today.  I am thankful that I’m feeling better today.  I am on cup 3 of coffee and going to tackle our bathrooms with a mop and rag after this cup.  After that I’m going to go on a walk/run.  Afterwards, we are going to the inlaws for a bit and then finishing decorating for XMAS (getting there!).   Later will be more relaxing as I prepare for this week.

Leisurely weekend mornings are such a treat!

Yesterday after I wrote I continued to feel crummy.  We picked up our teenage son and his friends from the mall and went to a sushi buffet.  I didn’t even enjoy it, I just felt fluish.  Then we went to Sam’s Club and got the essentials as fast as we could.  Funny thing is that my body must’ve been craving detox from the flu because I grabbed every type of berry I could find.  After Sam’s I took a nap and felt a lot better when I woke up.  I’m so happy it didn’t put me out all weekend- that is a blessing!

That’s all I’ve got.  This coffee is almost gone and I need to get moving.  Happy productive Sunday!!  ❤

 

Progression and Keeping My Sanity

It is Saturday morning and I’m feeling a bit sick and sore, but mentally well.

I think I’m coming down with something.  I’ve had a scratchy throat and hot/cold spells the past couple of days, although I felt good enough yesterday to go on a 3 mile speed walk/jog.  It was a great workout and the weather was perfect (like 45 F in mid December– oh yeah!!).  Although I was bummed because I thought I’d sleep like a baby but had a really hard time falling asleep.  The night before I walked 2 miles after work and fell fast asleep at 9:30pm, it was fabulous!

Let’s recap the past week:

Prior to Monday- drank every night.  Stopped after Sunday night.

Monday– Foot was SO sore.  Had to do a lot of extra walking and driving and it made for an even more miserable day.  On 20 mg of pred per day.  Sat a lot after work, doing the least amount of work needed.  Very low quality day.

Tuesday– Foot was feeling a little better.  I got new bedding delivered and had enough stamina to wash it all and redo my bed.  I also went on a 1 mile walk, but my foot was hurting towards the end and after the walk.  On 20 mg of pred still.

Wednesday– Foot felt worse, I think due to the walk Tuesday night.  I had a class and it was a long/hard walk in.  During break my friends went for coffee, but I opted to stay behind because I didn’t want to walk down the long hallway to the coffee.  On 20 mg pred.

Thursday– MUCH better.  Better day at work overall, not purposely staying off my foot and being able to walk wherever/whenever.  Lowered pred to 10 mg per day.  Took a 2 mile walk after work without much pain.  Progress!

Friday– Woke up and foot still felt pretty good (small amount of pain, but not to where it limits my mobility).  Had a productive day at work.  Speed walked/ran 3 miles after work with little pain.  Still on 10 mg pred.

Today is day 6 without alcohol and I think if my foot continues on this path, then it’s safe to say that alcohol greatly contributes to the gout occurring in my foot.   This is a blessing.  I. Can’t. Drink.  If I do, I will be in serious pain and unable to get around which really SUCKS!!   On a side note, after the past few months I will never take my mobility for granted again.

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I’m gaining mental and emotional momentum as well as physical.  I’ve been meditating and writing a lot this week.  That and being outside walking or running, feeds my soul with pure joy and happiness.  I wrote on Monday that I want 100 days and I think that I am well on my way.  I want more though, I really want a year and then years– until I die.  BUT, realistically — it’s one day at a time & that’s what I’ll count on 🤗

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Last time I wrote about trouble with the hubs and want to touch on that.  He is continuing to be so cranky over small stuff.  Last night we were going to play Cribbage and he went downstairs to get a can of lemonade.  He had a fit because I had one of my shirts drying on the shelves where we keep our drinks.  I look at it as killing two birds with one stone.  He looks at it as it’s NOT a clothes drying rack and also said he’s tired of my bras hanging on it.  Sorry, but it’s the perfect place to hang my bras and they take up very little room!  I don’t want to buy a clothing rack that just takes up space when I rarely use the shelves to dry sweaters (maybe like once a week for 12 hours).

SO.. we talked last night.  Work is making him stressed and that is contributing to him blowing up over little things.  He got a promotion a couple of months ago and it hasn’t been an easy transition.  He was working under a group of directors and now he is more at their level– although they don’t treat him like that.  He is taking directives from the CIO but the directors are fighting him every step of the way.  He has to talk/persuade grown adults through meetings when they are acting like children.  He thinks that as time goes by things will settle down and he will be less stressed (he does like what he is doing in this new role) OR he thinks that one of the directors might try to get rid of him– which is stressful to think about.   He unloaded on me last night and I was a good listener (I think).  I don’t know how to help him have faith that things will be ok no matter what.  Secretly, I’m terrified that work stress will cause him to have a mental breakdown and kill himself or our entire family (OK, I know that sounds extreme, but it’s happened before.  A few years ago, our PTA president’s husband hung himself– right in the trees in the neighborhood– this shit is real and really happens).  But, do you know what makes everything better?  A good long hard bike ride.  With temps in the 40’s today and tomorrow we will go and hopefully that’ll help him feel happy and at ease– at least in the moment.

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That’s it for my Saturday update.  I’m looking forward to a productive and relaxing weekend.  Peace and love ❤

Healing the Body, Mind and Soul

Yesterday ended up being a really nice day.  I was productive at work and also afterwards.  I had my visit with Dr. Tent (natural doctor) and then got in a 1 mile walk (foot was feeling better from Monday, but 1 mile was about all I could do).  Afterwards, I meditated and wrote in my journal.

My visit with the good Dr. was intriguing.  I was totally honest about my binge drinking.  I didn’t want him to FIX my alcoholism, I just wanted to keep doing the regimen I’m doing whilst not drinking to see if I can finally get rid of this gout.

He always wants to cure my alcohol problem.  First he gave me a food grade lithium that would quiet my mind.  I haven’t noticed a difference, but often wonder if I would if I could stay sober for more than a couple weeks at a time.  He thinks I have problems regulating my blood sugar and that its causing me to have anxiety, mood swings and cravings.  No worries, he has a cure for that, including supplements and twice daily protein shakes to drink between meals.  We will see.  It would be great if I had less cravings (both alcohol and sugar) and better moods, but I will discontinue if I don’t see a difference.  In the meantime, I’m confident that if it doesn’t help- I will still be able to stay sober doing the things I used to do (meetings, working on steps, podcasts, books, connecting with sober friends, exercising, meditating, journaling, self-care, etc).  But HEY, I crave food all day long, so a part of me is hoping this will help!  He is having me discontinue the first supplements he gave me for the parvo virus, which seems to be gone.  I haven’t had any rheumatoid arthritis symptoms lately.  I’m supposed to take Humira every 7-10 days, but haven’t taken it in over 2 weeks and don’t really intend on taking it again.

Today was another decent day, although my foot hurt pretty bad for most of the day (but just when I walked on it– felt ok when I was off it).  I had a math class all day, so luckily it was a lot of sitting!  My foot is feeling better tonight, but I’m not going to go for a walk, I don’t want to make it bad again.  But, I am SO ready to get back to my daily walks!

We are going to get down Christmas decorations and I would like to meditate and journal before going to bed.

I am actually super tired.  I couldn’t sleep last night until like 3 am, my mind was just running.  I think it was from the increased dose of pred.  I am hoping that I sleep better tonight.

Better get moving… bye day 3, hello day 4  ❤

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Choices

I want 100 days.

I had it back in July and never felt better.  Since then I’ve been stuck in this cycle.

When I first started learning about sobriety and recovery and connecting with people I heard a lot of things that made no sense to me at all.  Some people said they had many many many day 1’s and I had no idea how this could happen or what it meant.  Ooooh, I can relate to that statement now.  Same with one day at a time.  It doesn’t matter if I’m on day 1 or day 100– I’m still just as close to picking up a drink than the next guy.  Also, I didn’t understand the thought that while you are working on your recovery your addiction is off doing push-ups– I lived this one.  I had 123 days and life happened.  I was vulnerable and my addiction took full advantage.  It lied to me & made me believe that drinking wouldn’t be so bad and I could quit at any time.  Now we are almost 5 months later and I’m still stuck in the crappy cycle.

To make my situation even more disgusting, my foot has been KILLING me.  I’ve been sticking to the low purine diet for the most part– BUT still drinking alcohol which is a KNOWN trigger.  DUH……..    So not only do I have mental and emotional problems from drinking, but now I have physical pain too.  Yet my addiction still has me pinned under her.

100 days is a great goal for me.  It will help me stay focused.    I will be on day 16 at Christmas and day 22 on New Years Eve.  Last year on new years I sipped sparkling grape juice out of a wine glass at midnight with the hubby and kids.  It was great.  I can totally do that again.

Side note:  I’m at work right now writing this.  One of the paraprofessionals just popped into my room to see if I had any gum or mints.  I found out something heartbreaking about her on Friday.  Apparently, her husband is a heroin addict.  Sounds like he had it under control (was going to the methadone clinic).  But he’s back at it.  She is in her 50’s has two grown kids, one of which has special needs and still lives with her.  At some point, not sure when, her husband gave her Hepatitis C that he got from using dirty needles.  She’s thinking about leaving him– it is just such a sad situation.  As we’re happily chatting, she has no idea that I’m writing about my own addiction.  It seems as though lately I’ve been hearing more and more about the struggles of close family members of friends and acquaintances.

Maybe it’s time to come out.  This is something that I’ve thought about, but #1 I don’t want to be that accountable — no wait– my addiction does not want to be accountable and #2 I’ve felt like I owe it to others to have a good chunk of time under my belt before coming out.  I can’t be sober for 2 weeks and preach about it (although I do it all the time in Facebook groups).  Jan, who almost was my sponsor last summer (from  my local AA meeting) and I talked on the phone once.  She said that coming out to my friends and family members is imperative to my success– maybe she was right, go figure.  Maybe I really need to look at those with long periods of sobriety and do more of what they are doing and listen to the advice they give me.

Paul Churchill from the Recovery Elevator podcast always talks about when he was completely tired of day 1’s and serious about sobriety he sent out a mass text.  People in MY family really DON’T understand that I have this problem.  They only know that sometimes I drink and other times I don’t.  Wow, they must think that I really have things under control– how ironic!

Anyways, I’m glad I took the time to write today.  I think that 100 days and coming out–at least to those close to me– not necessarily coworkers– yet- but that will come soon because there are too many people who are dealing with addiction who I could possibly help– even if its to listen with an empathetic ear– is a good start.  Probably going back to AA would be good too, although it’s hard to find the time (I know that’s a lame excuse– but I don’t have a lot of time during the week and would rather spend an hour on a hike with my dog than at a meeting.  I DO think they’re beneficial though and will try to find one during the week that I can commit to.  And the steps– I’m on step four and need to seriously commit to working on it.

I will be writing more here.  Most of the posts will probably be short but I do want to document each day.

Action plan for today:  Throw out leftover wine.  Make a schedule of workouts, meetings, meditation and step work.  ALL are crucial to my success and I can find time if I’m not wasting it drinking.  DON’T DRINK.  Betsy will start yapping on the way home.  She’ll yap the whole time I’m at the foot doctor.  She’ll TRY to get me to stop at the store and throw in the towel.  IGNORE Betsy today.  Day 1, I am already 1% to 100!

I have a rich life and much to live for.  It’s time I start making everyday choices that will make my heart and soul happy.

Peace, Love and Rock and Roll ❤

 

Sober Miracles

Today is the last day of Thanksgiving break and I am bouncing around the house with a gigantic permagrin on my face.  I am just So. Incredibly. Overjoyed.  And yes, I am bouncing!

Today was nothing short of a miracle.  I took Jules for about a mile long walk.  I rode over 4 miles on my bike.  I covered 5 miles of earth.  THIS.

Last weekend I opted for a wheelchair at the canopy walk.  I was staying at my friend’s house and she has an extremely LONG hallway that leads to the backyard where we let the dogs out.  I dreaded walking that hallway when I had to let the dogs in or out and no one else was around.  Complete dread.  Because my feet hurt, SO bad.

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Saturday November 17th at the canopy walk, getting pushed by hubs.  

 

                       A nice 1 mile walk with little pain in my feet on Sunday November 25th.                           I will never take my mobility for granted again!

I’m optimistic that I am getting rid of those things (Parvovirus, Staph, Strep and Gout) that have been causing me pain and suffering, and that the supplements that I am taking daily are working.

The rest of the long weekend…

This has been an amazing weekend full of food, family and relaxing.  Our kids went to their aunt’s house for the night on Friday night and we had a terrific date night at home.  We went to Target because my steam mop is broken and they had some good Black Friday deals.  I got a Shark steamer for $89 normally $189.  We were going to go out to eat, but didn’t want to waste time at a restaurant so we bought frozen food for dinner and stocked up on snacks.

We watched a movie (An Interview with God– it was good I recommend that you watch it right meow) while eating our smorgasboard.  Hubby doesn’t get down on me for drinking, but his biggest complaint is that when I drink he loses me (I get too drunk too fast, get a vacant look in my eyes and numb out).  Well, I had decided before Thursday that I didn’t want to drink this short vacation away, so I was stone sober.  I was so grateful to be present and in his arms receiving his kisses on my head throughout the entire movie.

Afterwards, we sat by the fireplace and played our favorite music (a mix of 70’s classic rock and 90’s grunge) on the new speakers he bought himself for Christmas.  We reminisced and enjoyed the moment.  It was an economical date night, yet one of my favorites yet ❤

Today is day 5 and I don’t intend on going back.  I don’t want to trigger the stupid gout!  I also don’t want to dull my life, have a perpetual hangover, and be functioning at less than 50%.

On a related side note, my son and I left last night to pick up a late dinner.  The air was very unseasonably mild and I immediately had a huge urge to jump on my bike and just ride.  I don’t get those urges when I’m actively drinking, ever.  When in active addiction mode, I don’t care to do the things that matter, the things that make me happy and feed my soul.  So yeah, I don’t want to go back.

That’s all I’ve got.  I am looking forward to getting back to work– this time bright eyed, bushy tailed and a skip to my step ❤

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Summer Reflections

Summer 2018 is coming to a close!  Well, technically, we have about a month left of summer, but summer vacation is almost history.  Today is Friday and I go back to work on Tuesday.  I was at school last week for a meeting and most teachers are already hard at work setting up their classrooms.  Most of the prep work that I need to do I can do from home, such as sending out IEPs at glance and trying to get my schedule set up– so I typically don’t go in until I’m required to.

The summer of ’18 was one of my favorites yet.  Normally over the summer there are many times that I am bored, lonely and get depressed.  Depressed– as in– barely having enough energy for a shower and being in a general funk for days.  I’m happy to say that I didn’t go through that this summer.  The reason, I’m pretty sure, is both external and internal.

I’ve made a ton of growth internally over the past several months and years.  By internally, I guess I mean mentally and spiritually.  I used to think that everyone was mad at me or didn’t like me– and I don’t know why I spent so much energy worrying about all of that.  I’m not sure when or how this changed, probably due to the self help books that I read, but I no longer worry about other people.  I’m sure this has helped me to not feel depressed and has helped me at times when I’m alone not feel so lonely.

Externally, the summer was bustling and busy, with little time to be feeling down.  Cousins and the kids’ friends were over constantly, and a lot of time was spent with family and friends in both July and August.

There was that terrible situation towards the end of July when my mother and father-in-law had to take their 3 grandkids.  Since then, I’ve gotten my dose of little ones! My own kids are older and it is nice to have smaller kids to hang out with.  We’ve taken them to the park, the cider mill, swimming and other fun things.  Also, my niece is going into kindergarten and is academically behind so I’ve been tutoring her for the past few weeks.  After our tutoring session, we make time to do something fun like taking the dog for a walk or baking muffins.  It’s been such a blessing to have that time with her.

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Fun at the cider mill– my niece and my oldest 
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Spending time with little ones is good for the heart and soul

It sounds like my sister in law might get custody back in a couple of months.  I can’t say that I feel good about it or support it.  I’m really anxious and scared about it, but that’s a story for another day.  For now they are happy and safe and I have enjoyed building a relationship with them.

Here are some summer highlights:

  • I learned how to use the weedwacker
  • I got all my teeth problems fixed and have an appointment set up for an orthodontist consultation (I’ve been putting this all off for YEARS)
  • I rode 154 miles on my bike during the month of June (my goal was 150)
  • Paid off my smaller private student loan and faced my large federal loan after a decade of avoiding it
  • Learned how to make falafel
  • Read, read, read!  Read some great books for fun and also some spiritual books– my favorite being The Four Agreements.
  • Started meditating daily
  • Started the summer with a strong streak of sobriety– recent relapse has taught me some good life lessons (story for another day)
  • Started seriously working the steps
  • Had some spiritual realizations which have provided me with internal calmness and clarity– I am ecstatic to be able to pick up on signs and messages
  • Got iron infusions and am no longer anemic
  • Planted a garden which has provided me with some delicious fresh peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and squash

Yes, this summer has been a great one!  Today is going to be another fantastic day.  I have a lunch date with a good friend from work and then I’m getting my hair done.  I still need to get some new work clothes, get my nails done, go school clothes shopping with my youngest and schedule an appointment to get new contact lens– all in good time.

 

Two Me’s

I’m really excited warriors! I’m back on board– hopefully for the last time! I’m not sure why some people seem to have a big AHA…… moment and they enter recovery to never look back. I want that! I’m so tired of relapses and not sure why I keep putting myself through it.

I had an interesting experience today. My school is hiring a 2nd special ed teacher and I was asked to be on the interview team. So… I had to get up early today and was not planning on drinking last night. BUT.. there’s alcohol in the house and I have zero control. So I felt and probably looked like SH&% this morning. We only had 2 candidates to interview (both named Elizabeth, which was kind of funny).

I liked the first one (she actually reminded me of myself– very low key) but my special ed director and principal didn’t really like her. They said she seemed low energy and almost like she took an anxiety pill. She had mentioned that she has kids at home with ADHD and they actually suggested she was nervous and took her kids’ medicine before the interview! Talk about a WOW moment. I don’t know why that was such a surprise to me, but I didn’t pick up on it at all and was kind of annoyed that they were being so mean. The second girl came in with a big smile and clear eyes. She was really good and the one who we unanimously agreed on.

I could l see myself in both women and on the way home I reflected–WHO do I want to be? The tired Me with a constant hangover? Puffy eyes and face, hands shaking, nothing gets done because I spend my evening getting knockered and my days feeling like shit and hating myself? Or the Me that doesn’t drink anymore? The one who can ride my bike 150 miles in a month, who gets up early to walk the dog and spends the weekend doing things that makes me happy because I AM happy and I HAVE the energy to do these things.

So.. I think I’m ready for another serious go at this. Goals help me. Last time, on March 23rd, I visualized 100 days at the beginning of July. I MADE it to 100 days- but then relapsed like 20 days later. I want a year and I want to write a book about this entire journey– my super long journey that has had many pitfalls. I know my mind is pretty serious because I have a full box of wine in the garage. I can’t bring myself to dump it– it just seems like such a waste! So I listed it in my local free group. Other times, I would be like “I’ll finish that box and THEN quit..”  I’m ready– so ready.

Journey

 

Two Very Different Meetings

Today is Tuesday and it has been a successful week so far.  I want to also celebrate the fact, that besides that funk I found myself in early on, this summer has pretty much been free of depression.  This tells me that I am nurturing my soul and living in a way that makes my heart happy.  Summer is typically a time that it is easy for me to fall prey to a slump.

I made it to two meetings yesterday!

The first was the noon AA meeting that I attended occasionally last summer and really liked.  I was on a mission to find a sponsor and when an older lady sat at my table and we started to make small talk, I asked her if she sponsored and if she would sponsor me.  She said yes!

I took a chance and I’m glad I did.  We will start working in about 10 days when she is done with her probation.  I also had a chance to make small talk with a woman about my age who just accomplished her first 30 days.  I had shared about my recent relapse and she asked for details after the meeting.  I was very open with her about my experience.  She also works for the schools and is nervous about going back to work and not having time for so many meetings (she is currently in an outpatient program).  I can totally relate but told her that in my experience, summer is the toughest time to stay sober because of all of the unstructured time, freedom and generally people doing a lot of partying.  It is so nice to connect with local people who are in recovery.

The 2nd meeting was a little bit of a shit show.  It was a Refuge Recovery meeting and the location yesterday was at a Cat cafe.  If you don’t know what this is, it is a cafe where rescue cats are free to roam around.  It helps to socialize them and also to help find potential adoptable families.  If you are not familiar with Refuge Recovery, it is Buddhist based and mediation is a big part of it.

Since two of my favorite things are cats and meditation, I thought this was absolutely PURRRRRFECT!  And even better was the fact that it was an open meeting, so I asked my hubby to go with me.  My hubby is a very reserved and quiet man.  I’m pretty sure that accompanying me to this meeting nearly killed him, but he is sweet so he did it anyway.

The meeting started off well.  Cats were everywhere and the 10 people attending the meeting included a diverse crowd of about ages 20-50.

We started with a guided meditation, which I have to say that I really enjoyed.  Near the end, I heard a woman crying (or laughing?) and some commotion.  I learned after the meditation was over that one of the cats urinated in the donation money basket and also on the facilitator’s shoes!  It was really pretty funny.

Next, we read a section from the Refuge Recovery book.  I enjoyed the reading and could relate to the topic.

Lastly,  each person had a chance to share.  This is where things got strange.  It was very different from AA– where you have a mix of people who have just begun the program and are struggling and people who are years sober and who still work and believe in the program and promote it–but for the most part is positive and optimistic.

This was entirely different.  Everyone who shared seemed to be in a really dark place.  Sharers included a couple of young men who often had to fight the urge to kill themselves, a doctor of philosophy who expressed her “rage” from all of the negativity she felt at the meeting and the bad cats while we were meditating and that she was so tired of the families she worked with who didn’t understand that their loved one isn’t the only one in pain and the fact that they made her “rage” (she was a scary one, I noted the quickest way out while she was sharing because it appeared that she may start to “rage” at any moment), and a young woman who recently relapsed and was high on drugs.  She was at the meeting because she was a few days free from alcohol and once she was 8 days free from alcohol she was going across the country to rehab.  She was hitting all the meetings she could to hit that 8 days, but it was so strange to be at a meeting with someone who openly admitted to being high.

An older gentleman approached me after the meeting.  I had shared that it was my first RR meeting and he reassured me that last night was an anomaly.  He told me that I should try going to the temple and that it would be a much different experience, and that meditation had done wonders for him and his chronic pain (which was strange because RA causes me chronic pain, but he didn’t know that).  He also defended the meeting and said that people felt like they could be 100% authentic and real.  I appreciated his insight.

I left feeling so drained afterwards and sad that my hubby’s first and probably only meeting was so negative.  We talked about the sadness we felt on the way home and that each person that shared at the meeting could easily be a friend or colleague.  I left feeling like if I ever wanted to go to another RR meeting, I would try a different one and would never go back to the cat cafe.

After a full night’s sleep, I had a different opinion.  Maybe hearing people share from the pit of addiction is beneficial for me in some ways.  I had regretted taking hubby with me, but maybe it was good for him to see this– to help him understand some of the demons that I’m facing.  I might actually go back to that cat cafe!  At the very least, I definitely want to check out a large group meditation at the temple.

Well, that’s my update!  I’m happy to write a positive post and excited about my progress ❤

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26 Reasons Why Sobriety Rocks

  1. Being able to remember last night
  2. Not having to worry about what you said or did
  3. Waking up with a clear head
  4. Waking up without a pounding headache, physical aches and general feelings of physical and mental angst
  5. Enjoying the taste of an AF drink
  6. Having enough energy to exercise
  7. The physical, mental and spiritual growth from working on recovery
  8. General feeling of happiness
  9. Feeling like you are truly living your best life
  10. Daily connections with other sober individuals
  11. Spending quality time with friends and family
  12. Being able to hop in the car 24/7 if needed
  13. Saving money by not buying poison
  14. NOT thinking about alcohol 24/7
  15. Feeling like a rebel when you drink caffeine past 9pm on a Friday night
  16. Being able to be more productive
  17. Lack of horrible hangovers that snatch the entire day
  18. Lack of guilt and shame feelings
  19. Increase in self confidence
  20. Brighter skin
  21. Lack of impulse buys
  22. Not feeling like alcohol has you in shackles
  23. Not worrying about if “they’ll” find out your secret
  24. Not having to go to multiple stores to buy alcohol so “they” don’t find you out
  25. Not worrying about when or if you will hit rock bottom, and what that will be
  26. Feeling like your spouse (or mom or dad or best friend or brother) is proud, not ashamed of you

Control

Epiphany Part II

Back in early June I wrote about an epiphany I had while on a bike ride.  In short, a strong thought entered my head to buy the house my inlaws were about to put on the market.  It was shortly after my mom’s death and it was a pretty strong and clear message.  It scared me a little because I wasn’t sure what the purpose was and thought that maybe one of us (me, hubby or one of the kids) was going to die and we would need the support of family members nearby.

https://thedevildrinksvodka.com/2018/06/01/the-epiphany/

We’ve had a difficult situation brewing in my husband’s family.  In May, my mother and father in law were called up from Florida because CPS had taken their grandkids (My hubby’s sister’s kids).  His sister had left her husband and moved out of the house.  At some point, CPS was called and intervened and he was deemed an unfit parent.  My inlaws rushed back to Michigan from Florida to get the kids.  They helped the sister and her kids get into a shelter for abused and battered women.  The kids were not in good shape, they were neglected and dirty.

So up until now, they’ve been trying to help the sister get her life under control, get a job and get out of the shelter.

Last week CPS deemed her unfit and took the kids from her.  She has lost them for at least 12 months and if it drags to 18 she will lose them permanently.

My MIL and FIL have temporary custody and plan to keep them for the 12 months.  They are in their 60’s and are completely exhausted whenever they have taken these kids for short periods of time.  I have no idea how they will manage 12 months!  Before the sister lost them and this became reality, we have talked about taking them.  We shy away for numerous reasons (we don’t have enough bedrooms/space, they are very needy and can be difficult due to the trauma they’ve endured, the needs of our own kids, having to deal  and basically because we’re not sure that we are fit to do it, physically, emotionally, mentally…).

I was driving home from the cottage yesterday when my mind started wandering.  It became clear as day to me that we NEED to step up for these kids.  We have a basic 3 bedroom ranch, but can ADD space.  We have a strong marriage and decent parenting skills (not to brag, I know there are areas that we can improve on– but our boys are healthy, happy  and well adjusted kids).  My job as a special ed teacher will help me advocate for them in school– as I’m sure that they will have certain struggles related to their past.  NOT doing it because we are scared or worried about failing is not an option.

So.. that’s that.

Is it going to happen?  I have no idea.  In a perfect world things would move quickly, but my inlaws have spent the past week going through very rigorous demands by CPS in order to be granted custody.

I need to have an in depth conversation with hubby about it (I mentioned it quickly yesterday but our friends were visiting for the night, and we didn’t really get a chance to talk about it).  We need to talk to his parents, who might not agree with it and that is ok too.  We need to make plans to add a 2nd story.  There are a lot of factors, but I know that the Universe and God will guide me and all I need to do is to be aware and pay attention.  Whatever is supposed to happen WILL happen, and I can live peacefully knowing that.

The kids are 14, 5 and 4 by the way.

Another Relapse 

One week ago I started drinking again.  I hate writing that, saying that, thinking about that.

I think it had to do with control.  There was a lot going on that I had no control over.  I spent the past few weeks white knuckling it and had not kept up on my recovery tools and activities.  I was so tired of not having control over things– including my own thoughts that were telling me to drink.  Deciding to drink felt like it was the one thing that I could control.  I realize that this paragraph makes very little sense.  In recovery they say that you are either working on recovery or a relapse and I can see where my focus shifted.

The good news is that after drinking several days this past week, I am so incredibly excited to get back on track.  There is so much misery to active addiction– physically, mentally, spiritually.  I miss the AF me!  I cannot wait to get back to being physically active, strengthening my spiritual practices and living with that feeling of peace that comes from being substance free.  I’ve proven that I can do it and be happy and free ❤

creating-your-own-loving-life-formula