The Party Girl Challenge, One Year Sober

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Hi!!!

Still here…still sober…happily.

I am planning a new blog but I haven’t made any decisions about how I want to go about it, what it will be called, what I will focus on…that sort of thing. I am leaning toward having this new blog be anonymous…as much as that is possible…in other words, my name won’t be tied to it at all. If I do that, I won’t post a link to the new blog on this blog because my face and name are all over this blog!

In exactly six days…I will be finished with grad school. Hooray!

I will probably spend a couple of weeks just basking in the glory or less crap to do…

Then figure the blog out.

Hope all is well for my online friends. I just wanted to check in and say hi!

Peace,
Renee

 

Reality

You’ve heard the saying…reality sucks.

I disagree.

On January 21, 2012 I quit drinking.

On March 21, 2013 I quit everything else…which for me included smoking pot and cigarettes. (If you read my blog regularly you will know I went back to the cigarettes about two months later) When I think about my one year soberversary…real sobriety…today is that day. Cause I have been a regular pot smoker for most of my adult life. I use the term “adult” loosely because I started smoking pot fairly regularly at about age 15. Pot was my drug of choice.  I am somewhat of an anxious person, I think too much…I worry too much. Pot allowed me to have one thought at a time. This was a relief for me. I would say I craved pot in a way that I never craved alcohol. Ok wait, I started to crave alcohol about six months before I finally quit. But up to that point, I was a pot smoker first and a drinker second. I was known for my ability to out smoke most everybody. Pot didn’t make me paranoid, it didn’t give me crazy munchies, it just slowed me way down and it numbed me. I didn’t feel everything so deeply. The world was little fuzzier around the edges. I liked that.

So I smoked whenever I could. I found that my productivity suffered if I smoked pot during the day so I mostly smoked it late at night. Smoke a little pot, drink a little wine=relaxation.

My version of hitting bottom revolved around drinking and it was the drinking that was scaring the shit out of me. Coming from a family of alcoholics, I was always a little weary of drinking. So when I quit drinking, I didn’t quit smoking pot. It made it a little easier. But after two months of alcohol free living, I decided to go all reality all the time.

No fuzzy edges, no reduction of pain, no numbness.

Wow, that was a shock. I couldn’t get my bearings for a while. I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing. I was overwhelmed with emotions I hadn’t been feeling. I started to ask myself some really big questions. I didn’t like all of the answers. Some of them intrigued me and others scared the shit out of me.

Getting used to simply living life was absolutely overwhelming. Learning to simply “be” is truly the hardest thing I have had to learn. Sounds kind of silly, right? Learning to just be…to be present in conversations, to hear what others are really saying instead thinking so much that the world is shut out entirely, being honest about what I was feeling and not feeling…wow, that was hard.

But I did it. And I’m doing it. And it’s actually not that bad. Reality doesn’t suck as badly as I thought it might. Life is not nearly as scary as I thought it might be. Feelings pass, even the really tough ones…they pass when you feel them. Numbing them just puts them in a feelings holding pattern, stored up for the next minor infraction like being cut off on the freeway and screaming at the offender like a crazy person. Yep, you can avoid feelings for a while but you can’t avoid them forever. They come out.

SO those first few months of true reality were sort of like squinting at the sun, I kept my eyes partially shut, unsure what was going to happen with all this reality surrounding me. Eventually, I got a little braver. I got a little more used to being the soberest person in the room….instead of my old life as the most wasted person in the room. And today, after one year of real sobriety, I have days where I approach the world with a completely open heart. I spend entire stretches simply “being” instead of trying so hard to be.  I can walk out into the world and know I will be ok. Certainly there are bad days, but they are getting a lot further apart.

I am doing good. I’m even happy sometimes.

Yeah, that sounds silly too. But I only knew one path to happiness before this year and that was alcohol and pot fake happy. Now I feel genuine happiness. It’s a beautiful thing. I want more of that.

I am at the point where I am ready to shut this blog down and start a new one. This blog was really about going one year sober…a challenge to myself that I put out into the world. I don’t know that I could have done it without this blog to keep me honest, to allow me to express my thoughts and feelings, to bounce ideas off other people through comments and other sober bloggers. This blog saved me. I am so grateful for that. I am also grateful for the online friends I have made over the past year. It has been the most difficult and most beautiful year of my life. In the past year I have quit drinking, quit smoking pot, and divorced my husband of fifteen years, moved out on my own for the first time in my life and admitted to myself and everyone else that I am GAY.

Boom.

How’s that for a big finish?

Peace,
Renee

One of those…

A friend asked me a few months ago if I was gonna become “one of those” non-drinkers.

One of those?

She explained that sometimes when people quit drinking they turn into one of those non-drinking freaks…they won’t go to bars or be around people who are drinking. 

At the time I thought…well…maybe I will…I don’t know.

A year ago, I didn’t want to go near bars or drinking or parties. It was just too difficult. As time has passed and I have gained confidence as a sober person I don’t mind being in bars or around other people who have been drinking. But I have tried really hard not to become “one of those” kind of people.

Um…last weekend I figured out I am kind of becoming one of those people.

Let me begin by making a factual statement about drunk people.

Drunks…you are sloppy, your words do not connect into actual sentences, you step significantly past the acceptable amount of personal space into the space of others. Your breath is a bit stinky, sometimes you are sweaty, you often spill things, and your voice is much, much louder than it needs to be. (I am right here next to you…take it down a notch.) Oh…and you often blurt things you shouldn’t share in a group setting. It’s ok…no one will remember it anyway.

Wrong.

I’ll remember.

Cause I am sober. 

And I cannot stand to be around you at all.

Yep. 

It’s true.

I have turned into “one of those” kind of people.

Let’s be honest…people who have had a few drinks are funny…sweet…loving often…

But then you have just one too many and you turn ugly drunk.

The next day you will say, “Man I got so drunk last night.”

Yep. Yes you did.

And I don’t care to see it. I’d rather go home, put my jammies on…have a cup of tea and chill out. 

I might respond to your Facebook status in the morning when you mention how hungover you are. I will still love you. I don’t think I am judging you. I really don’t.

I just don’t want to share space with you when you get all drunky drunk like that. 

It’s really not about drunks pushing me to drink. It’s not about judgement.

It is, however, me not wanting to be around drunk people…I would rather go home and go to bed. If that’s makes me “one of those” people, then yes, I guess I am.

Is that so wrong?

 

Vulnerability, Shame, and Numbing

Today, my therapy session was all about fear and shame. She suggested this TED talk for me. I have been exploring the my self control issues and what that is, where it comes from, etc. I deal with a lot of issues of feeling too vulnerable and I am fearful of being hurt. This talk has some really amazing points that rang true for me and I cried a little while watching it.

Turns out that the research shows that the happiest people are the ones who allow themselves to be vulnerable.

Wow.

Comments?

Cookie Monster

I always loved cookie monster. He was my favorite Sesame Street character.

Cookie Monster!

Cookie monster and I have a lot in common. We both love cookies. (I also LOVE cake but that’s another thing entirely.)

So I love cookies. A lot. 

I got these cookies last week from Trader Joe’s. 

The cookie I can’t stop eating.

I literally cannot stop eating them. Every single time I walk past them, whether I am hungry or not, I grab a few. Seriously, I cannot stop eating these tiny little mediocre cookies. It’s bad. 

I don’t know if I am an “alcoholic” but I know one thing for sure…I have a problem with self control. If there was alcohol in the house, I drank it. If there was pot in my possession, I smoked it. And if there are cookies in the house, I eat them. So that tendency, toward excess…that inability to control my instincts…I would like to figure that out. Because I think it’s at the root of a lot of issues in my life. 

The fact that I can’t walk by those cookies without grabbing a handful is all the proof I need for not drinking or smoking pot anymore. It’s just proof that I haven’t gotten a handle on my self control problem. Perhaps the answer is…stop buying cookies.

Or perhaps it’s the realization that cookies, while fattening and unhealthy…aren’t likely to hurt me the way drinking too much was hurting me…and hurting the people I love most. So I can’t stop eating cookies. So what? If I wake up one day and I am 300 pounds then we have a problem, but I’m not, so who cares?

Peace,
Renee

PS: Cookie’s for breakfast is fine, right?

 

A couple of A’s

If one more person tells me I need to go to AA, I am gonna punch them in the face.

I’m kidding. Completely kidding.

It actually doesn’t bother me when people tell me I need AA. Seriously. Tell me. Suggest it all you like. If it worked for you then I say, HOORAY!!!

I am not opposed to AA. It helped my dad quit drinking. It’s helped millions of people quit drinking. I haven’t gone because I just haven’t. I thought I would in the beginning and then I didn’t. A couple of times I looked up meeting times but didn’t attend the meeting because I just felt uptight about walking into a room full of strangers. There is a lot of research that shows AA is not the best way to quit drinking. The research shows that the success rate for AA is quite low. So, at the risk of upsetting some folks out there I am gonna just say it…I am not going to AA because I don’t wanna. It doesn’t interest me. I think the the biggest reason is that I just don’t want to go into that room full of strangers. It makes me nervous to think of it. So I haven’t. I don’t think I will. If I get really bad…like I am pretty sure I am about to down a bottle of vodka…I promise you I will go to an AA meeting. I promise. But right now, I am not going to go to AA. Because I don’t want to. And because I don’t think I need to. I’m sorry AA advocates, I am not knocking your program, I just don’t think it’s for me. I am not the only one who feels this way. Google the words “Does AA work?” and you will find thousands of websites devoted to why AA doesn’t work for everyone. You will find huge research studies on why it is not as effective overall as proponents want you to believe.

Let me repeat that I have nothing against AA. I am completely convinced it is a great system for some people. Not me. But some people.

I can’t get past the idea that I am powerless. I don’t believe that. I think God gave me the ability to choose my own path in life. I think what I decide and how I live my life is 100% mine. I am not powerless to my addiction. I am not. I am completely responsible for my choices.

The fellowship of AA is one of the major reasons it is successful. But frankly, this blog has been it’s own form of fellowship for me. I also have some fantastic friends who have supported and loved me every step of the past 13 months. I am actually doing fantastic with not drinking. I am doing the hard work of making changes in my head and in my heart to become a better, more thoughtful, healthier and happier person. I am not white knuckling anything. I am in therapy, I am writing about the experience, I am doing the work….very similar to the work in AA. Perhaps not in the steps presented in the AA program, but a similar process. One that works for me. And it is working for me. I am sober 13 months. I am healthier and happier and more centered and more present than I have ever been in my entire life.  I am proud of my accomplishments.

Let me repeat that I have nothing against AA.

I had a weak few days and I blogged about it. Generally I blog when I am happy. I have blogged about how I only blog when I am happy. I made myself write about how I felt weak the past few days and I had two comments and some private messages about why I need to go to AA. People in AA have weak days. Maybe they go to more meetings in those days. I don’t know.

So for those folks who have genuine concern for me and really believe I won’t make it long term as a sober person unless I go to AA…next week…I commit to attend a meeting. I have my kids this week and it’s early dismissal all week so it’s very difficult this week. But next week, I promise you all that I will attend at least one AA meeting.

OK? Will you shut up about it?

Actually don’t shut up. I appreciate your concern and your determination to help me. Seriously.

Please feel free to comment on why you believe AA is fantastic and the only way to quit drinking. Or comment on why you dislike AA. Or comment about why you are indifferent. (I would include myself in that category.)

For the record, I feel wonderful today. Clear headed and peaceful and ready to face another day sober. I just watched the sunrise while writing this. It’s crisp and beautiful outside and I am happy.

Peace,

Renee

Ugh

I am going through a weird few days. The cravings are really strong. I had a gathering last night of friends to watch the Oscars and I asked that the alcohol go home with my guests. I just didn’t feel strong. I don’t know that I would have drank anything but I didn’t feel strong…I didn’t trust myself. I did therapy today and it was full of digging deep to make discoveries…why do I fear anyone being mad or disappointed in me so strongly? Why do I feel unworthy of love? That’s uncomfortable to talk about and it’s certainly not fun to delve into the past to find the reasons behind these negative thoughts. So…I am ok. I’m not great. Reality sucks sometimes. It just does. And I don’t feel like i have the tools to deal with reality’s suckiness.

But I’m learning. And I want to.

My God, I do not want to go back and be the person I was becoming. And I can’t stay stuck. So the only answer is just moving through it.

SO I am. 

Not full of gems of enlightenment today. Just stating the real drudgery of trying to change my life.

It’s full of beautiful moments. Today had a few.

Love.

Friendship.

The Moon.

My amazing children were sweet and full of light.

Focusing on those beautiful moments is the only way.

I hope you all had a beautiful moment or two today.

Peace.
Renee

 

Sober 13 months…blah, blah, blah…

No one mentioned my soberversary yesterday. I didn’t bring it up until I was out to dinner with several girlfriends who were enjoying some wine. It didn’t bother me that no one mentioned it. Seriously. I barely noticed it myself. Not to downplay the significance of the milestone…it simply becomes less of a momentous occasion with the passage of time. 13 Months is cool. I did that. I am proud but I certainly don’t expect a parade every month for the rest of my life. I will, however, take a parade every January 21 for my year soberversary. Do you hear this, friends…start planning my parade, dammit.

I’m kidding. Really.

So how am I? Soberwise…I am fine. I find myself fantasizing about drinking again sometimes. I go down the mental path of could I handle it? I am a different, stronger, more grounded and enlightened person now. SO I play with the idea and I always come back to…why would I drink? I know I can not drink. I know I can do it. I don’t know if I can drink responsible, so I am not gonna. Why would I? That would be stupid…and I am anything but stupid. So my immediate plans for not drinking are not to. I don’t miss it. Maybe a little. But not enough to risk it. So I’m good.

But learning to live in reality is a different story. I am getting used to living in reality but it is difficult. It’s not impossible. I said in a comment that my year two goal is about simply becoming comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s really hard for me. I don’t know why. I have noticed that I cannot stand to sit in uncomfortable situations. I work hard to keep anyone from being mad at me, I cannot stand it if I have disappointed someone…made them angry. My therapist and I are talking a lot about that issue right now. If someone is mad at me, I will either do or say anything to get them to stop being mad or I will run from the situation…blame them…make it their fault or just run away and hide. Working through problems head on is very difficult for me. I need to figure that if I am gonna make it through year two.

I have a huge amount of anxiety about quitting smoking. I want to. Half of me is completely ready. The other half just doesn’t want to do the work. The anxiety comes from fear of health problems. I am scared of what the future holds if I can’t quit smoking. I am 42. I feel like time is running out for my lungs. Every pack is my last pack. It’s a vicious cycle and I really haven’t been able to find the strength to just do the hard part. I am a pro at quitting. I know what it feels like and I also know I can do it. I just haven’t. And it’s frustrating.

Last night, one of my best friends was sitting next to me at the table. Her wine glass, sat right in front of me on the crowded table. I found myself reaching for it several times. Not because I was lusting after it, I just inadvertently reached for it and almost drank it. Then it became a thing in my mind…I started fixating on it. I found myself unable to concentrate on conversations, my brain obsessing over not reaching for her wine glass by accident. Then I laughed at myself and thought, “what the hell am I doing?”. Just ask her to move it. So I did. She apologized. It was no big deal. The solution was so simple. There is nothing wrong with simply saying, “umm…your wine glass is right next to me and I keep almost reaching for it, can we put it over here?” Of course she did. Everyone wants to help. Everyone (who matters) loves me and wants me to be ok. There is something inherently complicated in making that statement and internalizing it. I don’t know what that is but it’s fascinating to explore.

That’s all I have on this 13 months plus one day sober. I hope my sober online friends are having a beautiful amazing day. And if not, if you are uncomfortable today, just allow yourselves to be uncomfortable. Sounds so easy…but it’s not. 

Peace,
Renee

 

Let me introduce myself

My name is Renee. I have three amazing, incredible, wonderful and sometimes annoying children. I am almost divorced. It’s possible I am an alcoholic…I don’t label myself. If I were to label myself I might say I have a problem with limits which goes beyond drinking. I don’t drink. I smoke which I am completely embarrassed about but not enough to actually stop.

I work for a theatre company and run Education programs. I get really passionate about education and theatre. I can be really passionate about politics and volunteerism (aka giving a shit about the world…I think we all should) and human rights and nature and exercise and animals. I write a blog about sobriety. I do it because it’s allowed me to focus on the journey of sobriety. And it’s kept me honest.

That’s me.

Last night I ran an event and near the end we brought everyone on stage and asked them to introduce themselves. Then the students asked questions. I was the moderator. After it was over I had dinner with two friends and they mentioned that they wished I had introduced myself.

I said, “No one cares who I am.”

They disagreed. And I wondered why I do that? Why do I discount myself or make myself less important than I am. I do that. I’d like to stop doing it.

That’s thought one for this lovely Friday evening.

I haven’t been blogging. It’s been since my soberversary on January 21. The reason I haven’t blogged is, well…

I’ve been kind of a mess.

Signs I am a mess:

1) I cry all the time. I have become a crier with sobriety…but the last two weeks I can cry without even meaning too. I just cry. I am like a leaky faucet. It’s stupid. I hate it. I found out last week that my propane tank was empty and it was nearly $600 bucks to fill it. I started crying on the phone with the gas lady. Who the hell does that? Messy people.

2) I cannot keep track of my keys. It’s like they hate me…the keys. I suspect they jump out my purse and dive underneath things just to mess with my mind. It’s working.

3) In the past two weeks, while driving, I have missed my exit or gone in the wrong direction more times than I care to admit. I’m not thinking. I am distracted. It’s real bad.

4) If I don’t write it down, I will forget. Nothing sticks. It’s possible I didn’t introduce myself last night because I don’t actually know my own name. What’s my name again?

5) I left one of my kids at Target last week.

HAHA. Just kidding. I was just seeing if you were paying attention. I haven’t done that…yet.

6) If I spill coffee on myself I might freak out and go coo coo for co co puffs. It might have actually already happened this week. But spilled coffee is really upsetting. When this happens to you, I recommend doing what I did….yell at no one in particular and then cry. Repeat this for other minor things like breaking a nail or getting a paper cut.

7) There have been moments in the past two weeks, when I have desired the feeling of being wasted more intensely than I have in a year. There was one day last week where I actually plotted the destruction of a year of sobriety. It was that bad…the longing to escape from myself.

But I didn’t do it. I am better now. Things have calmed down. But that desire is scary and it made me realize just how careful I have to be. I have to be really careful not to let depression or anxiety take over. I have to stay as centered as I can be in these turbulent times. I could totally become the crazy wasted divorced lady. Like something out of a Lifetime, made for television movie, that could be me.

Ok, I don’t actually believe that. Not really. Cause I am such a different person than I was a year ago. But I have been climbing a very steep hill and I have almost reached the top. I am weary from the stress. My divorce is almost final. The decisions I am making right now affect me for the rest of my life. I am scared of being on my own. I am scared I won’t find a job that pays enough to support me. I am scared I will be irresponsible with my savings and piss it all away. I am scared I will never be able to make another relationship work. I am scared my kids will never recover from the trauma of this divorce. I am scared of so many things I can’t count them all.

And I am sad. Divorce is hell. There is this promise, this commitment, this intention that you had…the hope and dreams and visions of the future. You have to let go of all of it. It’s sad to say goodbye to it. Even when you are certain it’s the right choice for both people…it’s still really sad.

So that’s overwhelming. Sadness, worry. Then my youngest had a minor surgery. Then he got some random horrific illness. He’s been out of school for two weeks. It’s my first post divorce crisis. So that’s stressful on top of stressful.

Stressful + Stressful = wasted Renee

Nope. That didn’t happen. But it could have. I may be sober for a year but that doesn’t mean shit when it comes to the heaviness of life kicking your ass.

And figuring out how to navigate through super crappy times without some substance via margaritas or wine or a few bong hits is difficult. Ugh…the last few weeks have sucked. But they sucked sober. And I think it’s clear to me they would have been much suckier if I had thrown it all away and gotten drunk or stoned. Yeah, I am sure. There were a couple of moments last week where I might have said something else. But today I am sure.

So that’s my second thought for today.

Finally,

I got a text from a good friend yesterday. She was having a bad case of drinking remorse. She had gotten wasted and acted the fool. I suggested she commit to never drinking more than two drinks in one day again. I considered that when I was trying to decide what to do about my drinking. That’s the reason I ended up quitting entirely. I knew I couldn’t do it. I knew I could SAY I wouldn’t have more than two drinks but after two drinks I would likely have another one because after two drinks I wouldn’t care so much anymore. I knew I would never be able to guarantee that I wouldn’t behave badly again if I kept drinking, and that propelled me to just quit entirely. I am not doing AA but I think that falls in line with the idea of being powerless. I felt powerless to control the drinking. I chose what I knew was a guarantee.

My friend went on to lament why this happens to her sometimes. Why she can have a few drinks sometimes and be fine and other times she has a few drinks and ends up completely wasted.  I don’t know the answer. I asked myself that same question many times. I played games and asked questions about my drinking for years and years and years. I made deals with myself and explored options on more occasions than I want to admit. So I simply loved my friend through the moment. She’s young. She isn’t ready to quit yet. She will probably quit someday. When she is sick of it like I was.

But the point of relating this story is this: When you have to have conversations with yourself about your drinking…more than say…once or twice in your lifetime…it’s a sign you have a problem. The inner dialogue is a clue. You can make deals with yourself, plan to limit your drinking, promise to only drink beer or never drink Vodka again or Tequila or whatever…if you are making promises to yourself and suffering from repeated incidents of drinking remorse…you HAVE a problem.

Accept it now. Accept it later.

Or drink your life away.

But that nagging voice won’t go away. It will get louder and louder and louder. It was screaming at me when I finally quit. I couldn’t shut it up. There wasn’t a substance strong enough to quiet it.

That’s it…that’s all I’ve got. It’s late and I am super tired. Sorry for the long rant…it’s five blogs rolled into one.

Peace,
Renee

PS: Here is something funny. Cause sober people need laughs.

One year today!

I did it. I said I wouldn’t drink for one year and I did it. 

Who knew I could do that? 

I didn’t. When I made the challenge and set it in motion, I honestly didn’t know I could do it. Somewhere along the way, something shifted in me and I suddenly started to believe that I could. 

And here I am, at the one year anniversary. I’m kind of proud of myself. 

I am so much stronger than I ever imagined. 

One year sober, Renee.
Yeah, she’s real strong. Uh Huh.

That photo was taken over the weekend when we visited the Olympic Training Center.  (For the record, the weights are made of plastic and are actually about 6 pounds but it makes for a cool photo.) I had a nice weekend with my daughter. It wasn’t quite the beautiful weekend of togetherness I had pictured. We ended up bringing another gymnast with us so we were never alone all weekend. We never had that moment of healing that I had imagined. And I ended up coming down with the sickness my kids had last week. On Saturday night I spent the evening in bed. I wrote my daughter a letter of apology. It was heartfelt. I know she read it but she never mentioned it. She hasn’t said she forgives me. And I am not going to lie and say I had this beautiful moment where I sat quietly AND forgave myself. I didn’t. I am still angry at myself for what happened in Vegas a year ago. But I am less angry. And I realize that forgiving myself is a process that takes as long as it takes. While today is an official anniversary and I can look back on that day and remember it without wanting to have an anxiety attack, I still have a way to go in the forgiveness department. But I am pretty sure I have said “I’m sorry” to her for the last time. I don’t think I need to apologize for it anymore. The proof of my sorrow is in the past year and the year’s to come of me being a more engaged, more present, and more loving mom.

Speaking of anxiety, I have realized something about it in the past week. Anxiety is really causing me problems in my life right now. I have always been this way, anxious. But since the therapy appointment where I was “diagnosed”, it occurs to me the specific problems my anxiety is causing me. Basically, anxiety is affecting my ability to focus. And since separating from my husband and going through the incredibly difficult process of getting divorced, it has become unbearable. I need to take steps to resolve it. So that’s my next challenge. I am going to try to meditate. For me that means I am committing to taking two, ten minute breaks to sit quietly, breathe deeply and try to empty my mind. I am also going to make lists of tasks that need to be accomplished and work on one task at a time until each one is completed. Right now I sit down with a list (or just a mental list) and try to do too many things at a time and I don’t complete anything. The fear of not logging enough hours at work and not being able to make ends meet without getting enough hours is overwhelming me to the point where I am actually less efficient and logging less hours. I am an hourly employee so getting my hours is essential to getting my paycheck. So, taking steps to lessen my anxiety is my next challenge on the sober journey.

I said I wouldn’t decide about my longterm plans for sobriety until I had made it one year. I decided last night. 

I don’t miss drinking. I really don’t. Certainly there are moments when I miss it. I miss the freedom it gave me to relax in social situations. I miss the taste of a really good glass of red wine with a good meal. I miss the taste of a cold beer after a long hot day. 

But I don’t miss drinking remorse.

I don’t miss acting like a slut. 

I don’t miss setting a bad example for my kids. 

I don’t mss wondering what I did last night.

I don’t miss the desire to not feel, to drown out my emotions and reality.

I don’t miss drinking and driving and thanking God that I didn’t hurt anyone when I drove that last time when I shouldn’t have. 

I don’t miss that nagging feeling that I might have a problem with alcohol and the feeling that the only way to quiet that voice in my head was to drink some more.

So why take the chance? Why risk it?

I have decided to extend my sobriety indefinitely. 

And I am 100% ok with that decision. It makes me smile and cry a little to say it out loud. 

I responded to a comment on the blog today from someone who had just made their one year soberversary. I said “it’s all downhill from here?” And I realized as I typed it that it’s not. It’s not all downhill from here. There are peaks and valleys to come. But the thing is, I am going to face them sober. When the peaks come, I won’t celebrate with a bottle of champagne. And when the valleys come (and some of them are so hard and scary) I will not avoid them by hitting the bottle hard. I will just walk through them. Some of them I may have to crawl through. But I will do it sober. 

Because PAIN MUST BE FELT. You can put it off, you can avoid it, but eventually, it must be felt.

I think books come along at just the right moment. I read one over the weekend by John Green called The Fault in our Stars. It’s actually young adult fiction and I bought two copies and wanted to read it with my daughter. She wasn’t interested in reading it and that’s ok. I read it in two days. It’s the story of young girl who is dying of cancer. Pretty cheerful, huh? But the basic theme of the book was “Pain must be felt”. 

So that’s my message for today. There are peaks and valleys in life. You just have to live through them and pain must be felt.

Recommended reading on this site

Peace,

Renee

 

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