Well, what a week or so. 10 days into the New Year and so far it has been full on. Starting off with my cousin’s son’s Celebration of Life- which was beautiful. So many people came; he had a lot of friends and some very interesting ones at that! They spoke so lovingly about him and played music and sang. My cousin gave the most heart-wrenching speak about him- there was a symphony of sniffles about. I got to see some family that I haven’t seen for about 10 years, and it was lovely although it stirred up all sorts of emotions about my Dad and past.
Did I want to drink? For a moment there, hell yes. Did I drink? Fuck no. Because I know in my heart of hearts that alcohol is not the answer to any problem I have. If I am craving alcohol, I need to look inside and figure out what the discomfort is about, then I need to tend to that in a healthy, positive way.
And just before the service there was New Years Eve. I just wasn’t feeling up to a party and to be honest there wasn’t too much going on. I had a bunch of friends out of town and the couple of parties I was invited to I just couldn’t imagine going and being the only sober one and having to stay until after midnight. So my husband and I made a reso at a nice restaurant, had a great meal, and then came home and got cozy on the couch. We watched a movie, had some snacks and drinks (wine for my sweetie and sparkling lemonade for me), and then watched the ball drop on tv. Went to bed at 12.30 and felt fucking amazing the next day. I got to an amazing yoga class on the 1st and then we went for a huge hike in the woods- a perfect day.
I was worried that I would feel bored and lonely and all my insecurities about being a lame person now that I am sober would surface, but it was actually a very nice evening and I felt good about staying home. I felt like I was taking care of myself and honouring myself. And honestly, every time that little negative voice crept up- the one that loves to tell me how awful I am or my life is- I just told that voice to shove it.
I just don’t have time for that negative shit anymore. I am who I am. And my life is beautiful.
What could be more awesome than an authentic human spirit shining through, unencumbered by limitations of thought and free of mind-altering substances?
I’ve heard it said that people don’t have drinking problems, they have thinking problems. I think that comes from AA, but I’m not entirely sure. The saying does resonate with me. Since becoming sober, the heavy fog I was formerly enclosed in- created by addictive thinking patterns, hangovers and self-loathing- is lifting, and the personal growth I have experienced has been sweet.
The exterior of my life is changing, partly in that I do more stuff I like- I go for more hikes, I go to yoga more, I read and write more, I meditate more, and drop in to some buddhist meetings. And partly I do less- I don’t drink, and I socialize less.
But more importantly the interior of my life is changing as well. I recognize the power of thought and the ability I have to change my mind, and consequently, the way I feel. I am evolving.
And life still goes on. It has been a stressful week at work. If something could go wrong, it did. I got my period this week and it has been brutal so with the combo of stress and pain I haven’t slept well all week. But I’ve been seeing a naturopath and we are going to do some work around my PMDD issue.
First off, I’m going to lose some weight. My naturopath said sometimes this can help to balance hormones. I have mostly avoided writing about weight and body image because I’ve learned from my wise sober blogging mentors that it’s not a good idea to focus on weight loss in the beginning of sobriety. Over the years of drinking and eating poorly during hangovers (and aging) I have gained weight steadily. I am overweight- not hugely but enough to matter to me and my health.
I did try to lose some weight when I stopped drinking, by cutting out sugar and junk foods, but it was just too much on top of everything. In the beginning, if I was going out of my mind with cravings, I would let myself have some chips or chocolate. But I have to say that I was snacking on junk too much every day. Since I have quit drinking (almost 5 months ago!) I have actually lost about 3-4 pounds. Most of the time I do eat healthy, but I think I have replaced the calories I used to drink with eating crap.
I now feel that I am ready. I feel pretty secure in my sobriety, and I feel more able to fight cravings. So I am doing a bit of a cleanse with my naturopath’s guidance. Once I’ve dropped some weight, if the PMDD still persists, we are going to explore some other hormone adjustments. I’m excited about this! I feel like I am finally getting to the bottom of some of these issues that have bothered me for years. And none of it would be possible if I were still drinking.
One last thing before I go- my Word of the Year! I have decided that my WOY is PRESENT. As in, I want lots of them this year 😉
JK, I mean present as in “present moment”. As I have written about, I find my biggest issue in life is my thinking- always either ruminating and living in the past, or future tripping. And it has brought me so much pain and suffering. My focus this year will be to live in the present.
In the present moment- everything is usually okay. I have everything I need. There is peace in that.