new year round up.

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.



10 thoughts on “new year round up.

  1. Great word and great post.
    All we have is the present, right?
    U’m so glad you are working with a naturopath….if you;re feeling secure certainly go for it; you didn’t get sober to feel crappy, right?
    I love the reminder that our interior lives change. So often we get wrapped up in what it looks like on the outside, to others, when there is a HUGE shift happening inside. I was in my kitchen cleaning up and i had the thought that I was perfectly happy. I meant it in that moment, and it was an awesome feeling. More and more that feelings come, as long as i stay as grounded in the present as i possibly can….your word will be like a beacon to you, calling you back when you stray.

    • Thanks! I am feeling pretty stable, and you’re totally right- I want to feel good in all areas of myself now that I am sober. It’s why I got sober- to love myself more and part of that is taking care of the physical body. Can’t take health for granted.
      Love the moment that you had in the kitchen. The beauty of life is truly about the moments we have, isn’t it? xo

  2. This is so inspiring 🙂 I packed a lot of weight on my already-overweight body during the last few years, as my drinking got worse. Now that I’ve stopped, I’m exercising more(love yoga!) and I’m just generally more active. Alcohol really does a number on our brains and our bodies, doesn’t it. Wishing you good luck with the cleanse and hoping it helps with that dreadful PMDD! Present is a great word! xx

  3. “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.” This is pretty much it. This is the thinking problem you talked about. That discomfort centers in the mind and travels about. Like you said, being able to shift our thoughts in new ways helps to remove the thought of alcohol or other numbing ways. They spoke about things like this today at the Buddhist temple we go to. The uncontrolled mind. About how need to control it in terms of finding the space between our thoughts and the reality. And how we react to them.

    Anyway, wonderful post – full of light and joy. And wonderful word too!! May it continue to anchor you in the now 🙂


    • Thanks Paul. I like the way a lot of buddhist theory can be applied addictive thinking patterns, I am getting a lot from the groups I am going to and the readings I am doing. it’s empowering. Hope you are well 🙂

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