This has been a difficult week. Those are the times that I need to focus on gratitude more than ever.
Today, I am grateful for my advisory students who are like a family.
I am grateful for this community and the positive feedback you give me.
I am grateful for the phone conversations I had this week with my oldest son who is 500 miles away.
I am grateful for the growth I have experienced during the past year that has enabled me to be truly helpful to my son and my students.
I am grateful that writing this list is making the negative parts of the week fade away.
More at Just Breathe
Very grateful for the sobriety. Wishing the weather was more like that day on the shore. Spring arrived with more snow here. I’m working on my patience today.
Today I am grateful for Spring. Even though it is gray and snowy out, I feel it coming.
I am grateful for last night’s delicious dinner with a wonderful friend.
I am grateful for the fun of March Madness and having so many good games to watch.
More about gratitude and meditation at Just Breathe
I haven’t written anything here in over a year. It’s been quite a journey and I’m beginning to explore all the aspects in one place, my original blog, Just Breathe. I would love to have you visit me there. Thank you for being part of my journey. I have been blessed to find a wonderful community of people here and in real life. May you find your tribe.
I miss having a place to go where I can find a friendly face anytime. Why are there no alcohol-free places like that around here?
I’m on day 49 and last night for the third time since I quit drinking, I stopped at the restaurant closest to home for a bite to eat. Of course it is also the scene of a lot of my drinking. I know it’s a bad idea. I’ve heard the admonition: if you keep going to the barbershop, eventually you’ll get a haircut. The other two times, I went in early, got food and left. I saw a couple of friends, had a cup of tea and felt very relaxed about it all.
Last night was different.
I knew it at the time. I was on my way home from yoga and I was hungry. Since I live alone in cold, snowy, dark New England, going home means walking into a dark 60 degree house needing to light a fire in the wood-stove and take three dogs out. Last night the firewood was beneath a foot of snow, the driveway was beneath a few inches of ice and I couldn’t remember anything in the fridge that I could eat without making it a project. Already feeling defeated, I opted for letting someone else feed me.
Since it was 8:30 when I arrived, the bar was well inhabited. I knew everyone. I sat down ordered tea and dinner, and for the first time, I felt completely out of place. There was nothing right about it. I was feeling good after my class and without the haze of some quickly consumed cocktails, the group looked largely sad and I didn’t want to be part of it.
It was as though I walked into the proverbial barbershop, but I could see the bad haircuts and I knew that I never want what they have again.
The best advice I have received since becoming sober is to find people who have what I want and stay close and pay attention. I did that. I found a group of really positive women. I figured out what meetings they go to. One of them agreed to be my sponsor. I will stick with them and remember that the old places and many of the old people just don’t have the life I want.
49 days sober and feeling very grateful
Confession: I’ve been letting winter kick my butt the past couple of weeks.
It is common to battle feelings of sluggishness during the low light days of winter. I know better than to give into the feeling.
It’s important to get out into the sunshine, especially when there is less of it. My dogs certainly love running around in it.
It’s time for me to refocus.
Step one: Look at what was working…
- Yoga and meditation – I’ve missed classes because of the weather
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Going to 5 or 6 meetings a week
- Less tv and more reading
Step two: What was missing…
- Real exercise – I need to get out and walk more
- I need to reduce the bad carbs
- Sleep schedule – I do better when I am more routine about sleep
- I need to be more social – I need to call people just to talk, I need to make plans and get out
Step three: Make a plan…
- Go to Yoga classes on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. This also fills part of the social need. During vacation next week go to at least 2 daytime classes.
- Meditate everyday – first thing and last thing. Add Yin if I miss a class
- Pack my lunch for work
- Eat fruit and yogurt when I crave something sweet.
- Go to bed and wake the same time everyday.
- Meetings – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Meet my sponsor on Fridays. During vacation next week hit the first light of day on Monday and Friday and the noon meeting on Wednesday.
- Buy snowshoes and use them. The dogs will love it.
- Call at least one person everyday.
- Call my sponsor at least 4 times a week
- Everyday – spend time journaling, reading and knitting
- Find people who like to hike and snowshoe
Step four: Do It!
On a positive note: I am 49 days sober.
The universe has decided that today I need to work on this. It still amazes me the way these things will start to show up everywhere.
This morning I found myself irritated first thing when I walked in the bathroom. There was a mess courtesy of my 24 year old son, who clearly is capable of better. I was then irritated with myself because I have said nothing about similar messes since he moved in. I so want to have a better relationship with him, I fear pushing him away.
When I got to work there were more lessons. I went to a friend to talk about a work issue and get advice, she made it all about her. Then I offered to pick up a friend for a meeting, she said yes enthusiastically then said call me first. I hate not having plans, but I said nothing. I have showed up at her house in the past (she has no licence) and she sent me off alone. She also calls last minute for rides. A little later it was still bugging me so I sent a text explaining that since I didn’t want to pressure her, I wouldn’t pick her up or call. If she wants me to pick her up at 5:30, she needs to let me know by 4:30.
Of course I felt guilty, so I googled articles on boundaries. Took some deep breaths and got to work. A little while later this was in my inbox:
How is that for the universe sending lessons my way. I clearly need to work on this.
It feels so good to reach the one month mark. Beginning this journey, one month ago, able to write a bit about my thoughts and to have you all show me your support has been a gift. I am finding new friends in the halls of AA and for once I don’t feel so much like an outsider. I am realizing you can find strength when you open yourself up to a new way of thinking.
I was reluctant to go to AA. I wasn’t sure I needed it. I didn’t think I would feel comfortable…all the excuses you can imagine. What I found there, I do need. I need to open myself up to other people. I need them and it’s good for me to allow them to lean on me as well. I get so much out of reaching out to others. I hear things in every share that I can relate to. I feel less alone. Communities are important and I am grateful to have found a new one here and in the halls.
It’s not easy feeling stuck…when your head spins around the same thought. It’s easy to spend time wondering, Why me?
Those thoughts are a trap. We need to try to watch them go by and replace them with a more positive version. How about, Why not me?
Think about the difference. Why me? belongs to a victim…someone who feels powerless. Why not me? belongs to someone who is open to a lesson…someone who realizes that we are all tested in this life. No one is too good for a lesson.
Everyone has stuff they deal with… If you think someone doesn’t, you don’t know them as well as you think you do.
I always thought one of my flaws was a lack of willpower. I drank whatever I wanted, I ate whatever I wanted. When confronted with a nice display of chocolate in our lunchroom at work, I heard one co-worker congratulating another on her willpower. My response was, “I will have some, too. I have plenty of willpower; I just need more won’t power.” I’ve never had a shortage of self deprecating humor. (note to self: put that on the list of flaws)
Is willpower really the issue? I’ve been allowing myself to indulge the sugar cravings a bit this month. (I’m on day 30) I do know that this cannot go on endlessly. I am sober, that is good. I also need to watch my sugar intake for my health. On that note, I am not ready to change.
I like the way that sounds. When I consider whether or not I am ready to make a necessary change, it sounds like an opportunity for growth. Lack of willpower sounds like an excuse, like some dreadful personal failing. I am really working on thinking about things in a more positive way. Today I will begin with this.