I was discussing this with a Girlfriend the other day and how much time recovery can take up, I never thought about how much time (when I was drinking) it wasted, but all of a sudden I feel as if I need to get everything done IMMEDIATELY. The 24 hours in a day is not enough. I am unsure why I feel this way, but she does too. It seems to be a re-occurring theme with people I meet in early recovery.
Between getting to meetings, the meetings and after meetings, getting life back on track and finding new hobbies I’m busy. It amazes me to watch someone who still actively drinks on weekends and when I say actively I mean a lot (my husband) how he just sits. That used to be me, I would sit on Friday afternoon then sit on Saturday as I was hungover, or drink again, then sit again usually at brunch and Sunday afternoon drinking or being hung over. Chores did not get done, grocery shopping got delayed if I was hungover, I never went to Yoga or Spin Class or the gym, the only friends I saw were for more drinks never just a coffee and a visit. My circle of friends did not grow, really nothing happened other than sitting.
And now I seem to have no time, it’s funny how I never thought that way while drinking. I had so much time and yet really I had no time when I was drinking.
I am sitting here fuming I’m hungry, it’s 7pm and we haven’t eaten dinner (that’s another story) and I thought about the changes that have occurred in the last 6 months since I’ve stopped drinking.
I HAVE NO HANGOVER such an amazing feeling
I eat dinner earlier, I never used to get dinner on the table sometimes until 8pm when I was drinking, and even then we sometimes would have to order in or I’d be serving munchies to tide us over. (So much mom guilt about this, from when my son was younger)
Drinking caused me not to eat, consciously sometimes as I would save my calories for drinking, now I live in a calorie deficit and I occasionally eat dessert and have ZERO guilt about it.
My social media is exactly where I left it the night before, no checking texts or facebook to see what I have said or who I talked to (ugh)
There are no grandiose plans being made. I came across an email today I had about a fitness challenge that I wrote to a lady saying my husband would get on board. Drunken plans
I don’t smoke ugh I’d kill off a pack of cigarettes in a night.
I married a man that we have nothing in common other than we drank together and made grandiose plans.
I get up and workout, I meditate, I take care of my health.
I do what I say I’m going to do and if I break my commitment it’s not because I have a hangover.
I say no thank you. I don’t justify it. I don’t say yes then lie my way out of it later.
I am productive.
Ive made quality friends
I feel a lot of feelings, today I started to cry because of the state of the world. Water running out in S. Africa, a baby raped in India, housing no longer affordable in my city, our insurance corporations fraud both internally and externally. I just cried.
And one of the most significant changes is making myself a priority, my mindset I am grateful, I always try to see the bright side of life, and I am present. I don’t say sobriety is a gift because I work every day for it. Those are the few of my changes that have happened consciously or unconsciously through the months.
So as I said in my previous post I had a fleeting thought if I was going to make it to 6 months. On my sober 1/2 a year eve, I thought meh maybe I’ll drink. Well I know enough to shut that shit down fast. Saturday rolled around it was there but a little sad there was no parade for me not drinking for 6 months nobody really cares, I didn’t cure cancer or reinvent a wheel.
By Monday I was breathing shallow, I was overwhelmed with my work, and my to do list, and my therapist had my water bottle and she was hammering me over coming to pick it up, ok (she text me once to say she left it with reception) but that was my reaction everything was urgent and frantic.
I run out to get it, and groceries on Monday and I ran into my therapist (also I am very grateful she had it, it’s a beautiful water bottle my sons girlfriend gave to me for Christmas) She says how are you. I said my anxiety is at a all time high I can’t breathe, she said and what are you doing for it, like seriously lady. I’m not doing anything I can’t breathe. She reminds me of my tools, write out my day, figure out what I need to get done, put the rest onto Tuesday and go to my Y12SR (Yoga and 12 Step Recovery Meeting) that night. I hug her and left water bottle in hand.
Barely make it to Y12SR but I do and I forget my yoga mat I feel exhausted, overwhelmed, running at a high nervous vibe, I didn’t really want to go, I wanted to isolate. The facilitator says so basically you are self sabotaging, you are walking the path back to what’s comfortable, booze. anxiety, isolating, not feeling good enough, and just wanting to numb it out. My response was slow and thought out, yes I was. She then pointed out that I wasn’t really though. If I had been I wouldn’t be willing, once I had realized I’d forgotten my mat, I didn’t turn around and leave, I was willing to do the yoga without a mat, I was willing to connect, to share my raw feelings and I just now needed to ground down and breathe and move my body.
We spoke after, I never thought (there than being pregnant) I could be 6 months sober and it really is a turning point, she said it really is just like every day that you choose not to drink. It’s only overwhelming if you let it be, don’t look forward don’t look back stay in today..
The connections I have made in this last 6 months have been incredibly powerful, the wisdom of the women I have connected with is beyond measurable. Showing up & Sharing & Connecting is one of the reasons I am sober today.
I sat last night a little worried I wouldn’t make it to 6months it was that Friday feeling, I haven’t had that thought in a while, but it popped into my head, I removed it said don’t be silly. You aren’t drinking because it’s Friday, Hell NO, and then it happened I went to bed and woke up hangover free and today I honour 6 months sober. As I write this my skin tingles.
It’s a little weird but I haven’t shared that I am six months sober with anyone, in fact most of my recovery has not been shared with many, just a few close women I met at an outpatient program, and my Y12SR meetings. I don’t really recover out loud, I’m starting to put in some hashtags on my instagram, and make some comments, but slowly. I don’t share with my family, they aren’t supportive. I have taken Hip Sobriety Course (which I love and highly recommend) and want to share it on the group, but I haven’t. I have a group of She Recovers Women but I also haven’t shared it there either. I’m not a big fan of tooting my own horn, I still slightly feel like a fish out of water. I am going to text my girlfriend though and tell her. My journey back to me has really been my own. Today I’m almost a little sad I don’t have an applause orchestra playing though, or a parade in my name. I’d really like a parade today though I did have a piece of decadent apple pie.
The past year has been about my sobriety and working me. Some days I think maybe I didn’t have a problem, I wasn’t a daily drinker, I wasn’t an alcoholic by my definition (losing jobs, drivers licenses, children, living or living on skid row or incarcerated) but I was a hot mess ( yet again), I felt like a failure, I felt like a bad mom, bad wife, in general a bad human and so useless. I videotaped several hangovers, I have re read journals (so many day ones) , I look at the empty dates on my instagram page, especially when I get that thought of maybe I didn’t have a problem. Yet I had a huge emotional problem of what was happening while I was drinking. What happened to me was I felt useless as a human and I had no life. That has all changed today. I am motivated, I am grateful, so incredibly grateful, I love life, I realize life is a gift, I’m taking courses, I am present with my family. I like waking up with no hangover. I don’t feel useless.
I was always so exhausted and unmotivated from my hangovers the simplest tasks seemed like my legs weighed a thousand pounds and the dread of doing the not imminent chores or tasks got thrown to the wayside. Which of course just added up to the longest “didn’t do” list ever. Which made me anxious and irritable, nothing is worse than the simplest things piling up.
Now I can be a procrastinator, I get this and accept it about myself. Though tonight I noticed something, at 630PM when I was running out the door to buy stamps for a card that needed to go in the mail tonight…. what I noticed was, I did it and joyfully. The Side Effect of my Sobriety is Getting Shit Done. It’s a Sunday night usually I was so hungover and feeling down about myself and my wasted weekend I would not have just popped out, the door or I worse I was drinking again.
Months back I was exhausted and scared, I went to bed early, I had rocky sleeps, I was looking for stuff to do that didn’t involve drinking, anything to do, but I wasn’t getting shit done. I was hiding a bit. I would venture to things like yoga or coffee, or shopping. Fridays were scary, Sundays were scary and every day in between was scary. Looking back I’m ok with being scared, hiding from the world, and exploring the world in safe places.
It seems like I have woken up and I’m Getting Shit Done. Those little tasks don’t seem as tiring, I still have a didn’t do list but my to do list also has a lot crossed off. I’m sleeping really well and not going to sleep as early, and waking up refreshed. It’s like there’s been a reset button pushed and I’m GSD’ing.
Now off to write my gym workout and layout my gym clothes! Who is this woman!!!
Today my husband and I had a huge argument and true to all arguments we have, it derailed from the actual issue. I told him he is doesn’t do anything (as in go out and enjoy life, not as in work, he is a very hard worker) he told me “how can he go do anything with me when I’m no fun anymore”.
Wow that broke me and made me more furious LOL yes I am allowed to be angry, I give myself permission to feel all feelings. Back story, he was my drinking partner, as almost all my exes had been. We met through a mutual friend and we re-met in a liquor store. We went to pubs on every date we did, we took beer and wine on bike trips, we went to concerts in the park and drank wine, art openings we drank before during and after. We were at the local beach pub in the summer always. On holidays it was a party. We’d have great drunk sex. As so many stories go the party always gets old, and then we started not having fun while drinking, arguing more and more. We would go to bed angry, not having sex, we didn’t have friends around, who wants to listen to people fight when drinking, we were isolating and drinking and just really being an unmotivated, overpromising drunk couple. The fun at the end was limited, 95% of most nights did not end up as fun.
For the past few years the first year in damage control mode (IE trying to moderate) and then the past year in trying sobriety one of the reasons I would end up drinking is because we weren’t getting along and we didn’t communicate so I would drink to try and have fun with him and some nights it was ok, but read the last sentence up above again, the nights did not end up as fun. Definition of insanity: doing the same things over and over again, hoping for a different result. Was my life.
He’s right I don’t participate in his fun. My fun and his fun are now completely different. My fun is yoga, scrapbooking, playing tourist, going for coffees, having meaningful conversations, volunteering, doing random acts of kindness, dancing in the kitchen, taking goofy selfies, working out, going for coffee, visiting friends, biking, hiking, travelling, doing puzzles, cooking, my cats, going to the beach, doing events that are on in my City. He’s still is doing what we did when we met, basing everything around a cocktail.
Now in the old days pre 6 months ago, I would drink to get us back to “normal” Today I yelled “your right I’m not doing your fun things”. It felt good to say that I want him to know I’m serious about my new life. I love my fun life love it.
The argument I am lonely in this journey, but it’s my journey and I’m not willing to give up on my marriage, yet. His drinking has cut down, but his mindset has not changed and like all change it’s scary. I was ready he is not. I have to remember daily we can only change ourselves not someone else.
We have since talked and I literally told him what I have written here, and he agrees we need to find things to do together, that don’t involve drinking or scrapbooking.
So I have always been a no nonsense type of person. If I wanted to do something I did it, but if I didn’t want to do it, I dug my high heels in all the way to the core of the earth to not do it.
I hear today so many excuses though. When I decided to lose weight I was so uncomfortable in the pic that I saw of myself and felt so gross that was it. I did it slowly, I did it without fanfare, I did not declare a diet or a lifestyle change I just did it. I did it consistently, I did it through lots of research and change. Today my fitness is a healthy habit.
Getting sober consistently was a harder road for me, but I tried. I decided a year ago to really try and even though 2017 was filled with day one agains I still tried. Finally when I was so tired of wanting it I finally was willing to actually do something else. I let go of my judgements, I had to change my thinking my way was not working. I entered into an outpatient program I kept showing up, and slowly but surely there’s another 24 hours put together.
What I notice is the similarity between the two as they are both life changing & healthy
I have a friend that has bought every gadget (including a $500.00 smart watch even though she had a fit bit) that was going to make her exercise more, she was waiting to relocate, waiting to finish vacation, waiting for company to leave.. before starting to workout. Yesterday I sat in a support group listening to a woman that was in so much pain and we offered suggestions but she couldn’t do this or had a judgment around that type of program, she wanted sobriety. She isn’t willing to take any suggestions from group or advisors on change yet, and she’s been on the Recovery Road for 4 years. It was painful for me to listen to her (I cried for her).
What I noticed in both of these for me was that changing my life wasn’t easy, it’ s not perfect but I was so willing. It’s amazing when you open your heart and let go of your own ideas and don’t try and reinvent the wheel what can happen. I ask women who have spectacular hamstrings and great butts what their key exercises are, I also make sure I compliment them. For sobriety, I ask people what they did or do for fun, how they got through cravings, what if I found AA too religious or if I hated the word Alcoholic (which I do but honestly I like the group of people I found through it, so I don’t think too hard about the actual word GOD, and as for alcoholic I say I am Christina and I’m a problem drinker ) what really I do though is just let shit go, I don’t get too caught up in the wording. I go to a yoga 12 step meeting, which I love Y12SR, I have a support group, I had to take action though, not procrastinate, go to meetings and classes on days I didn’t feel like it and not make excuses or do it my own way. It’s what worked for me.