Taking a Break

I’m taking a break from the blog for a couple of weeks. I’m taking a long-awaited vacation to Italy with my husband and good friends. My husband mentioned that I picked a bad time to quit drinking. Not because the wine would be so great to try over there, but because water is so much more expensive than wine in Italy! Ha! I’m really excited about traveling totally sober. I’ve never done that before and I will be able to experience (and remember) every minute of our trip. I’m anxious to wake up early and enjoy the beauty and go to bed late with a smile and clear head. Of the eight of us traveling together, four of us are non-drinkers, so I’m really not worried about triggers. I’m not sure what their stories are, perhaps they just don’t like alcohol. Perhaps they have a story just like mine. Doesn’t matter. I’ll continue to check all of your blogs and I’m anxious to read the newly published book by Sarah Turner and Lucy Rocca “The Sober Revolution” that I’ve downloaded. I’ll count on your words of encouragement …just in case I have a visit from Wolfie.

Hugs!

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Peace

This was the theme of tonight’s AA meeting.  It was decided that the definition we liked best was “the absence of conflict.”  That can be the conflict of war, or the conflict in your head as you argue with Wolfie.  We all want peace.  Some of the group spoke about how they never have it.   Their life is chaotic, they are constantly conflicted about drinking or using.  These are AA members who have been sober for years!  I feel so fortunate that I truly feel peace.  Why am I so lucky to have avoided the madness after giving up this poison.  Don’t let me speak the words “well maybe I never really had a problem.”  No!  Don’t let me hear myself saying that!!

I avoided the madness because I was really ready for this life-changing event.  Because I know I didn’t take anything away from myself.  I GAVE myself a huge gift.  I don’t deny myself anything.  I GIVE myself everything I want.  I am finally whole.  I didn’t go into this journey with a blindfold on.  I prepped myself.  I filled my toolbox with books and blogs and podcasts and little apps on my phone.  Perhaps I over-prepared.  Perhaps I’ll crash someday.  But until then – I do feel Peace.

My Saturday

I had a great day on Saturday. I normally start my Saturday with a work-out, but needed to re-arrange my day a bit. I was in need of a pedicure, in preparation for my two-week vacation in Italy. I love my monthly pedicures, but this one was different. Part of the reason I love my pedicures is because they give me all the free wine I want. I always scheduled it on a Sunday afternoon around 3:30pm. Thought it was a nice way to end the weekend. Someone rubbing my feet and sipping on a few glasses of Chardonnay. I always tipped well, thinking that it was worth it for the extra buzz I walked out with.

Well, this was my first pedi on a Saturday morning. Sipping orange juice and having someone rubbing my feet was really special. I watched this young girl methodically clip and shape and massage and wrap and polish….I watched the whole thing with a smile on my face. I was never concerned about my glass of Chardonnay getting emptier, watching for the girl with the towels that should be stopping to ask if I’d like a refill. No…I was enjoying every bit of my pedi and appreciating the skill of my pedicurist. I tipped her well.

I continued my Saturday with a visit to Mom. I took her grocery shopping and we enjoyed lunch together. Mom is 90 and she doesn’t know anything about my new sober life. I don’t need to bother her with details that will keep her up nights wondering how I could have gotten myself into such a situation. I seldom drank in front of her, so she needn’t know.

I then met my AA sponsor for coffee and a wonderful 2-hour conversation under an umbrella at Starbucks. She is 23 years sober and she was the first person I met at my first AA meeting. She has sponsored a few others. Some made it – others didn’t. I told her I hope I am low-maintenance for her. I planned to tell her that I wasn’t sure I was really getting much from the meetings. I am still on a pink cloud and feeling like everything is pretty easy right now. Instead, she encouraged me to attend more meetings. Find lunch meetings, Sunday morning meetings. Attend as many as I can. I was surprised by that but thought I’d try. She explained that the AA meetings are more than just sitting and listening. There is a huge learning experience there and commitment to the meetings is key. She certainly knows better than I – so I will follow her advise.

I ended my Saturday with a nice steak dinner at home with my husband. We leave for our dream vacation to Italy just two days from now. My gratitude journal is filling quickly.

Running…Me?

Hmmm.  I’ve always hated to run.  It hurts my chest.  I exercise regularly.  I can swim the length of a pool (slowly), and can lift a good amount of weight.  I walk every day and love to bike.  But I hate to run.  I find now that I’m sober, I’ve been reborn and just want to try everything again.  I pass all of the runners on my way to work.  I read about many of the “running sober” blogs out there.  So, yesterday I downloaded one of the “couch to 5K” apps and decided to try running.  6:15 am this morning I said goodbye to my confused husband and sleepy dog and did day one.  It hurt – just like I thought it would.  But it also felt good to complete something I set my mind to try.  I’m going to do it again in the morning and I’ll let you know if it still hurts.

Hugs!

Hearing Only Negatives

Last night I attended my weekly AA meeting.  I sat listening to one after another speak about their difficult life, their emotional week, their challenges, blah, blah, blah.  I know it’s a place to be able to share (even encouraged), but doesn’t anyone have anything positive to say?  I was handed the “Promises” card to read at the end of the meeting.  I’m still fairly new there (only 6 weeks sober) and it was my first time to read something.  The Promises is a list of all the great things that will happen to you once you quit drinking.  I looked over the list during the meeting since I didn’t have to read until the end of the hour.  I was amazed to see that each of those promises (about 20) have come true for me.  So I thought I’d share that with the group.  I began, “I am Trish and I am an alcoholic.  I’m so happy to be able to read these promises to you because in the last 6 weeks, every one of these promises have come true for me.”   I looked up to see a room of women smiling right at me.  So there you go….something positive.

Hugs!

A Brand New Me

Well, I messed up this post – so I’m posting twice this morning.  I wanted to share this video of Alicia Keyes that was originally posted by “Thoughts on Sobriety, Life, Yoga & Food.”  After watching and listening about a hundred times, I downloaded it to my iphone and now listen to it each morning.  It speaks to me.  I sing it to Wolfie.  He is the one it is directed to.  It is everything I am doing.  I love this song.  

Finding My Passion

Before I quit drinking, I would visualize my perfect life.  I would be an accomplished pianist, a talented painter, a master gardener, a zealous reader, and a wiz in the kitchen.  In order to fulfill all of these talents, I collected the tools necessary for each.  I would download sheet music of pieces I was sure I could master on the piano.  I purchased canvas, brushes, even an easel.  I tilled a small plot of dirt and filled it with herbs and flowers.  I drove to the library weekly to check out books, and I subscribed to Allrecipes.com – collecting hundreds of scrumptious dishes that I never cooked.  I have a beautiful Pinterest page with 20 boards of creative, beautiful ideas.  Haven’t tried a single one of them.  Instead, I sat with my glass of wine and visualized my perfect life in front of stupid repeats of Law and Order.

Now, 38 days sober, I have all of this time on my hands and all of these tools in my closet.  What to do? 

I wandered into an art gallery yesterday, thinking it was simply a store to buy art.  Instead I was surrounded by lovely artwork of local artists and a small studio in the back with easels and brushes and canvas and a darling women who talked with me about how she started painting 3 years ago and is now selling her work.

I saw an amazing self-portrait of a striking woman hugging the face of a glossy black horse.  There was an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper taped to the wall close by.  The paper began, “Art should be not just what we see before us but what we see within ourselves.  Face your fears, have a passion, love deeply, try to have fun with your life, and make each day count.”  She told of how she and her husband rescued this horse that was abused, neglected, and left alone in a pasture.  She knew nothing about horses, but the animal lover in her could not leave it.  They acquired the horse, learned how to care for it through google, and helped it to regain its health.  The last paragraph on this paper read, “The message I am trying to express is make the best your life has to offer, have a passion for something you love, fulfill your dreams.  Don’t let life pass by you…whether it is in the arts, writing, playing with children, running a gallery, opening a business, or facing your fears. Don’t make excuses and live with regrets.  Have a purpose, have a passion, and make a difference.”

Needless to say, I have brought out my tools and will begin working on my “perfect” life this weekend.  Now I have the time.

Hugs!

 

 

 

Physical Changes

I’m so psyched about being a non-drinker.  It is so new for me and my pink cloud is still holding me up on day 35.  Already, I have lost 9 pounds, my skin is brighter and fresher, I am growing out my hair after keeping very short for so many years.  And I bought myself a bikini.   Yes, I’ll be 60 years old in 3 weeks and I bought my first bikini since I was 17.  I’m not saying I look like I should wear a bikini – I probably shouldn’t.  But I think I look pretty damn good and that’s what matters.  I probably won’t wear it in public though.  I love waking up each morning guilt-free.  Sometimes I need to remind myself when I wake that I have nothing to feel guilty about. Such an odd feeling.  So much to feel grateful for.  Thanks to all of you, my sober cyber friends for helping me get to this  wonderful place in my life!

Hugs!

How Transparent Should I Be?

I’ve told my husband that I am an alcoholic.  He was quiet.  He didn’t know what to say.  He just gave me a hug (he’s an engineer).  I told my neighbor I am an alcoholic, who is a non-drinker.  She was surprised but so supportive.  She also gave me a hug.  I announced “My name is Trish and I am an alcoholic” at my AA meeting.  They all said “Hi Trish.”  I go a few hugs afterward.  I emailed my friend in Florida who is also an alcoholic but has not said the word yet.  She wants to be like me.  She wants to quit drinking, but her husband says she doesn’t have a problem (she’s his drinking buddy).  Anyway, she is very supportive of me.

I’m not going to tell my 90 year old mom who lives independently, but counts on me for most everything.  She was also an alcoholic but never admitted it.  She doesn’t drink anymore because she was hospitalized for pancreatitis caused by drinking (she won’t admit that).  If I told her this she would be up nights thinking about me and wondering how she didn’t know.  Not worth worrying her.

I need to tell me two grown daughters.  They have a right to know that their mom has this disease.  We all seem to know that our parents are alcoholics don’t we?  My girls know I love(d) my wine.  They give me gifts related to wine (pretty wine glasses, cut little wine glass charms, wine bottle openers.  They are grown women with families of their own and life in different states, so I don’t get to see them often enough.  I don’t want to send an email, and I don’t really want to tell them over the phone.  What to do.  One daughter knows I quit drinking, but the word “alcoholic” has never been mentioned.  Perhaps I hesitate because deep down I feel they have the same disease and I’m not sure where the conversation will go.  Hmmm – any words of wisdom are appreciated.

Hugs!