reflecting and expanding.

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Tomorrow I will be 5 weeks sober. I’ve been thinking a lot about what has gotten me to this point. Those of you who read my blog will know that I have been trying for months to get sober. I had 20 days last March or April, and almost a month this summer (but I had stopped posting), and COUNTLESS day 1’s, 2’s and 3’s in between.

A sense of belonging to this sober blogging community has helped me a lot. These blogs have been here for me and not a day has gone by that I haven’t checked in online. I am not a big poster. I have no intention of becoming a writer. I enjoy writing, and I used to aspire to write, but it’s not the most important thing to me. Really, reading these blogs every day, commenting, connecting, and learning about everyone’s tools and strategies has been so important on my path to sobriety. I have a couple of sober penpals that I email with, which is amazing.

This is a concept from AA, and I don’t totally understand it yet, but surrendering has been something that has been working for me. Surrender to what, I am not completely sure. The universe, maybe? Life energy? It is more the fact that I surrender the fight. I give up trying to control my desire to drink. I give up on the internal dialogue telling me that somehow it will be okay to drink again, or that I can magically moderate now. The urge comes to drink, the thoughts come trying to convince me it’s okay, I start the back and forth, and I just say to myself, “Self… Surrender. Give it up. Let it go. Move on.”

I was emailing with an addiction counsellor, someone that I had met a bunch of years back under different circumstances, and he said to me that the trick of addiction is the thinking of “just one more”. He said if I can break that pattern of thought then my life will open up. My drinking has been a series of Just One More Night and Then I’ll Stop. The problem is, there is always another night! There is always tomorrow. It is never ending. So as soon as I hear myself think something along these lines, I remember that this thinking is the problem. It is a big giant lie. And so I try to live in the moment and I don’t drink.

Just as much as a lie is the illusion of how good it feels to drink. I had some good times, this is for certain! It was all sex drugs and rock n’ roll for a lot of years, and I wouldn’t give a lot of that up. But it had pretty much stopped being fun. I was miserable and trapped in a self-imposed prison. This is becoming clearer and clearer to me. The beginning of a drinking evening, that might feel good for a bit, is always going to lead me to a place that I hate. That is just the truth.

Things were pretty dark. My turning point to get me where I am right now was actually the suicide of Robin Williams and the suicide of my husband’s friend this summer. I don’t want to die and I realized that it could be possible for me to feel so low and in a moment of despair, end it. I don’t mean to sound morbid, I am just being honest. I had been connecting the dots for a while now and seeing how awful my mental health became when I drank heavily (which was usually how I drank). I decided that I wanted to do whatever it took to not feel that way anymore. I decided to go through whatever I had to go through to get sober. To feel all the feelings. I am only starting my healing, obviously, but I have to say that I already feel so much better. I feel joy and peace and confidence and excitement.

I think I am being brave, and slowly, the veil is lifting. My vision and my life is starting to expand.

I have started to think about other things that make me feel alive, and have started to do those things more. Yoga, hiking, spending time with friends, being outside, reading, learning, seeing independent films, cooking while listening to music. I have started to dream about what I want to do with my life again. For me, this has been crucial. Doing all of these things sober, so far, has been hard at first, but excellent. I feel moved a lot of the time, like my senses are coming alive. I feel inspired again. I am having beautiful moments of serenity and connection. And this is only the beginning!

Anais Nin was right. Have courage.

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29 thoughts on “reflecting and expanding.

  1. Wow! 5 weeks is awesome! It really is!! Tomorrow will be 23 days for me. I say 23 because it is close to midnight now. I love how you wrote that the veil is slowly lifting and your vision and life is starting to expand. The words are so hopeful and I can feel the excitement in them.
    All the things you are l planning to do…it’s inspiring to read.

    In the not so distant past, the thing I use to look forward to was a good bottle of wine…the whole bottle. Honestly, it didn’t even have to be a good one. It just had to be one! Then, I would promptly fall asleep on the sofa! No reading, no learning, nothing very productive at all.

    What you are doing sounds so much better. I can’t wait to say it’s been 5 weeks for me!!! Hey, at least I can say it’s close to midnight and I’m still awake!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. They help so much.

    • Hi Analie, thank you for commenting! 23 days is great! Congratulations. I hope you keep going! I can totally relate to what you say- a bottle of wine was all I really looked forward to as well. Wine and the couch. Not a very fulfilling life. There’s so much to look forward to if we stay sober 🙂

  2. Alcoholism wants to get us alone and kill us, I’ve seen it too much, been there myself. One drink is too many, and a thousand is not enough!

    I drank the value out of drinking, it no longer worked like it use to. That is what I remember now, each day, as a sober person in recovery.

    And, what are we striving to recover? I have found it to be myself. What I was after in the bottom of every bottle, I found that and more, on my sober journey. A new found freedom and happiness. It comes from within. It’s a return to innocence.

    “Don’t be afraid to be weak. Don’t be too proud to be strong. Just take a look into your heart my friend. It will be the return to yourself. The return to innocence”.
    – Enigma

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  4. 5 weeks, that is so great. Your “just one more” was my refrain every night. It was the battle in my head, I should go to bed, nah, just one more glass of wine. I find myself saying it with the juice I add to my seltzer. Just one more with juice then plain. Same pattern just a sober one instead.
    You are doing great. Now you can say I have been sober 35 days, I want just one more. Do it every day, and soon you are not thinking about it you are just doing it.
    Stay strong!

    • Totally- why not channel my addictive tendencies to getting hooked on acquiring more sober time 🙂 It does tend to happen tho, doesn’t it? Now I feel like there’s no way I want to wreck this time. Thanks for stopping by! xo

  5. Inspiring post! It’s great to read your growth pushing through your words. Life will sometimes suck but it will always be a much better suck if your sober. Keep it up! You are obviously loved and your posts are read by many. We need you as much as you need us. 🙂

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