I feel I need a break from the daily posting. No worries, I got permission from my inner tyrant.
Unless there are cravings or urges creeping up or some insight or lesson learned. Another revelation. I know there are more to come.
Don’t want to just take up space here with the daily drivel. And the drivel’s not a bad thing. Means all is well. No highs. No lows. There was a time where that would be a reason to drink. Boredom. I have been anything but bored these sober days.
My commitment to posting will be once or twice a week. I’m going to focus on reading more blogs and commenting- try to get more involved in the sober community here. I get home pretty late and only have so much time on the computer before I shut it down so it doesn’t interfere with good sleep. Very sensitive energetically.
So very, very grateful for my sobriety. Thanks be to God.
So… I first needed to align my heart’s desires with God’s desires for me. His plans are always good. Always perfect. Far better than my own.
I kept coming to the same realization over and over; I would never fully develop into the person He created me to be if I didn’t change. I had wasted so much time with my after drinking inertia and depression. Time is a gift and I felt 3/4 of my life (hopefully not more) was over. What had I accomplished to make this world a better place? Nothing was the answer. I had been concerned only with myself and my wants and perceived needs. Doing just enough to get by. I was doing the same nothing in my spiritual life.
This is when I began to say ‘yes’ to anything and everything that came my way in the form of serving others through Him. Letting myself be used up.
The torment in my heart eventually got to where I cried “Enough!! Lord, take from me all that keeps me from you”. I had also recently spoke with a long time friend (drinking buddy in the old days) who I had been out of touch with and she mentioned that she had quit drinking last January. Hmmm…
At this same time I was revisiting bookmarks on sobriety and began reading different blogs. I signed up for Belle’s Sober Challenge and read through her first couple of months. I could so relate. And it kept me from forgetting.
Those things created a ‘perfect storm’ in me that ended in a miracle. The urge to drink has been lifted as has the double-mindedness.
“You shall be wholehearted with the Lord, your God.” Deut. 18:13
I will continue to pray each day for the renewal of this amazing Grace He has bestowed on me.
I have realized what’s different. I am no longer double minded. In spiritual terms, this is like someone having two souls each wanting different things at once.
In the past, I stopped drinking because I knew I needed to. Not because I wanted to. The internal dialogue wasn’t a struggle of yes and no. Just a flat out “No, I don’t want to”. No ambivalence there.
But for the last 7 or 8 years I’ve wanted desperately to be freed from the bondage of alcohol and at the same time I still wanted to be able to drink. There was a war going on inside of me where I wanted both things at the same time.
All this coincided with my efforts to grow in faith and actively pursue my relationship with the Lord. I wanted to live my life as an example of the faith that I professed. Just one problem- the wine. Rather, the wine and my consumption of it. Lots of it.
There can only be one Master.
“A double-minded believer is someone who is constantly living in a state of compromise. Half of you lives for God, while the other half lives for your bad habit. Hence, you are ‘double-minded’.”
7 Characteristics of a Double Minded Believer
“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways…” James 1:8
“How long will you go limping between two opinions? If the Lord is God, then follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21
So I searched and I worshipped and I prayed. Died a thousand little ‘deaths’. Letting go of what I wanted for my life.
I knew that one of God’s promises is to ‘give you the desires of your hearts.’ Ps 37:4 But I didn’t know the first part of this verse- ‘Take delight in the Lord and He will give…”.
I first needed to align my heart’s desires with God’s.
To be continued….
Another Friday night escape from work without a drink. The last couple of days would have surely had me running next door to the ‘packie’ for a bottle (or 2) of red not too long ago. But the only time I thought about ‘a’ drink (which means at least 3 in my world) was driving home tonight realizing I hadn’t. Thought about it. At all.
I had no craving, no desire or wishful thinking- nothing. Zero appeal factor.
The only thing I crave right now is to be quiet and reflect on how grateful I am for these 40 days without an urge to drink.
Thanks be to God.
Extra long day, what could go wrong did go wrong all on top of a lousy night’s sleep. No problem- I’m a different person. Thanks be to God.
“Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication and with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
My first experience with sobriety occurred 30 years ago. It was much different in the sense there was a most definite bottom. I was forced to face myself- no choice. The shame was immense. I didn’t want to stop but I had too. Court ordered.
I remember going through the “pink cloud” experience but shortly there after I felt so good and things were going so well it was hard to accept. The roots of this odd response were in the ghosts of my childhood. I was “waiting for the other shoe to drop”.
Eventually I settled into my new-found way of being in the world and was happier than I’d ever been. I remember taking out-of-town guests to a museum and mid way through, I realized I was having a wonderful time without any alcohol. I was in the moment, not preoccupied with getting out of there to get a drink. That was a first. I lasted 9 years.
Round 2 of sobriety came 6 years ago during a divorce. No cloud that time. I still didn’t want to stop but felt I had to. Had to keep my sanity through the pain of it all. Mostly white knuckles with a few moments of highs that were masking underlying anxiety and fear. I lasted 1 year. It’s amazing I lasted that long.
Round 3 and 38 days in and I haven’t experienced that cloud high; I’m solid and at peace (although I do have my moments). What I am getting is what it’s like to live once again without that burden on my back.
I need to delve deeper into what is different this time but it’s late and I’m tired. I’ll revisit these thoughts this weekend.
Nothing remarkable about today- well, yes there is one thing- I am still not drinking. Actually two things; I’m still not drinking and I’m happy about it. Can’t see living my life any other way.
But there is really nothing going on in my head to write about. Feeling very content at the moment.
The lunatic must be asleep.
I wasn’t sober today; I was dry. Not even sure I can really say that I’ve been sober for 36 days if I apply the full spectrum of what that means:
1.Not drunk 2.temperate; not extreme or extravagant 3.characterized by reason, sanity, or self-control; showing mental and emotional balance
I may have had sober moments, possibly many this last month. But after drinking the way I have for all these years I think it will take quite some time before I embody all aspects of the definition.
I know the challenges I’ve felt reigning in my emotions and thoughts. Today was a good example. I went to work feeling pretty good. For some reason midway through the day I became real irritable. One of those moods where everything was grating on me. For no good reason ’cause it was all small, unimportant, idiotic crap. Internal lunacy. Like Lon Chaney Jr. turning into wolf man.
Fortunately, I didn’t let the lunatic loose much as she tried to escape. So far, I’ve been able to recognize these moments for what they are before any damage is done. I pray for the self-awareness and control to continue to do so and the Grace to keep going.
Bad news. My dear brother’s esophageal cancer has metastasized to his lungs and liver. Stage 4. He’s having trouble eating and is in pain in other areas of his body.
This is where I can get real angry. Powerfully angry. And the risk of confiding in a bottle of wine will skyrocket if I let my anger get the upper hand.
I do not know His ways but I trust. At least I will try very hard.
If there is anything that can make the wine look good it’s death. I’ve lost 2 out of 5 brothers, my mom, my dad and my stepdad and various close friends. It happens to everyone; it’s called life. Everything that lives eventually dies. But nothing seems to prepare me no matter how real I think I’m being with myself.
Have never gone through the experience of losing family without heavily medicating myself. Watching people I love (and sometimes those I don’t know) suffer through the end of life process feels unbearable; but I know it is-bearable- because I have. I’ve got through it.
As a person of faith, this is where the rubber should meet the road.
Will I abandon my relationship with the Lord by acting out or will I let myself lean into Him. Rely on Him instead. Allow myself to enter the pain- both mine and my brother’s.
To just be there, fully present for him and for my family. And myself.
Too much time spent on this computer today. I need to find balance. Feeling cranky and tired and would love to crawl into a cave to hibernate for just 24 hrs.
I’m going to stop complaining here and try to finish my work. Try to find time to read some sober posts and comment and maybe continue this one on a more positive note later.
I don’t sound it but I’m happy and grateful to be sober for 34 days.