76 days “the world compares me…

to my neighbor but God compares me to my former self.”   Matthew Kelly

Watching  ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin’ (so corny!) and drinking Kombucha tea, my favorite sober drink.  Yes it’s Saturday night.  And yes, I’m absolutely content.

Great ending to an outstanding week.  My prayers have been answered with regard to my boss.  Rather they’ve been answered regarding my ability to respond in a new way to my boss.  As opposed to last week, this week he was appreciative, considerate and respectful.

Instead of my knee jerk reactions of “right back atcha'” in response to his belittling behavior toward me, I had tried extremely hard (and succeeded) in just letting things slide and keeping my mouth shut.  Two wrongs never make a right.  They only make a bigger, uglier wrong that’s hard to mend.

So now I would like to respond with love and compassion;   I’d like my heart to get in on it.  Have it turn from stone to flesh.  “Letting things slide” and “keeping my mouth shut” are all well and good but come on, really?  Sounds more like survivor mode.  Still trying to save myself.

The Lord deserves much more of me than that.  My boss does too.

The thing of it is, if I were still drinking I would not be here trying to work this out.  Nope.  I would have opened another bottle of red whine and nothing would ever change.

Not me.  Not him.

Grateful to be sober another day.  Thanks be to God.

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68 days…beating down the storm

I left work at 4pm.  Storms inside and out.

It’s Friday night.  It’s dreary and raining.  My boss was an absolute bear all week.  And the liquor store next-door to us just happened to be hosting a wine tasting.

 I walked on by.  No, not tonight.

All week I prayed for much-needed understanding and compassion toward my boss.  The gains were fleeting and I continued to fall.  I kept grumbling and cursing him out in my head for being so nasty to me, wanting nothing more than to grab him by his ears and scream “Do you know how much I do for you?  Do you really know how freakin’ hard I work???”

That old, good for nothing self-righteous crap.

Now of course we all like appreciation for hard work but it ain’t a perfect world and I know the reason he’s like he is.  He has the same problem I have.  But he doesn’t know it.  Actually I think he does know but he doesn’t want to.  Been there myself.

It’s a small mom and pop business and I’ve been with them since the beginning.  I’m considered “family” and with that status comes all the gritty, day-to-day bicker and wrangling.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Can’t just take the good, you’ve got to take it all.  Peace of mind requires acceptance of this.

And I know why he treats me so poorly.  A lot of the time anyway.  The very fact that I have this knowledge leaves me no excuse for my judgements against him.  This is at the very heart of my work in sobriety.

Learning to show others the same love and compassion the Lord has shown me.  Even in my wretchedness.  Especially then.

I know this is cliché but it’s all about loving others.  That’s what He’s teaching me.  I am so much stronger for not drinking.  I can see the crap for what it is and it’s not personal.   I have a thicker skin because it’s been a couple of months since the alcohol has scraped me raw.  Thanks be to God.

 Jesus.  Staggering under the weight of His cross.  I  only need to envision this when I think I’m suffering.  Because when I do, I realize I know very little about it.

If anything at all.

62 days… post birthday, all’s well

Saturday afternoon and all is well in soberland.  The quiet in my head returned after the initial bout of wine chatter over anticipated bottles of wine that I might receive for my birthday last weekend.   Gifts of wine never materialized.  Thank you Lord.

Pretty much a quiet week as well.

Grateful for all that I have gained by not drinking.  Sounder and uninterrupted sleep is at the top of the list.  Other areas of significant improvement are: clarity of thought, psychological/emotional strength,  calmness of spirit and the increased ability to be present with myself and others.

Have to say I am disappointed I have not lost weight but I know that will come. My skin looks better and my energy is sustained throughout the day.

My goal now is to get on a consistent schedule of exercise.  It’s getting cold here and in these last few years I’ve turned into quite the winter sloth.  I began this morning with a good walk/run.

It’s a gorgeous fall day and I’ll spend the rest of the weekend winterizing.

Good to be sober.  Grateful to be sober.

Thanks be to God.

54 days…rebel or submit, strong or weak

Tomorrow is my birthday and my sweet sister sent me a huge, absolutely gorgeous bouquet.

I also received a most unwelcome visitor.

You see my boss usually gives me a bottle or two of fabulous, expensive red and the wine baby showed up front and center in full anticipation of this.  Taunting me.  Going back and forth between sweet talking and challenging me.

It felt strange because even though the desire to drink was there, it was very mild compared to other times.  Times where I’ve salivated at the thought.  This was not at all unmanageable but I am hoping and praying that it’s not a foreshadowing of greater temptation ahead.  I’ve had it real easy so far.

What was more noticeable and pulling me more, were the high adrenaline moments associated with “getting away with something”.  I seemed to be more taken with the thought of doing something I know I shouldn’t.  Rebellious.  It’s always been there deep down inside of me.

 I am not that person now, however the tendency is fully ingrained.  I have always defied authority and though I may not act upon it as I have in the past, that’s just me managing it.  Rebelliousness is alive and well in this woman.

Submission.

I don’t even like looking at this word.  The the roots of my dislike live in another time and I’m ready for a more affirming association.

In Judaism, the yetzer hara is the congenital inclination to do evil (rebel) while the yetzer hatov is the inclination to do good.  Which one I submit to determines whether my submission can be viewed as coming from a place of strength or weakness.

I’m glad I didn’t get the chance tonight to see which I would have chosen.                           Thanks be to God.

48 days…’probably'(or not) ain’t good enough

It went something like this:  ‘Well, you know, since you have no desire to drink you could probably have a glass of wine with dinner at the Christmas party.  No really, I mean one- ok, maybe two.  Definitely not more than two or three.  You probably could. Don’t ‘ya think?’

Maybe next year- see ‘ya. So long.  Bye-bye. 

This was the rambling that started rolling around my brain.   There was no charge associated with the thoughts but I needed to cut it off.  Reassuring the wine baby we’d revisit it next year did just that.  For a time.

Temptation begins with thoughts.  And thoughts lead to actions.  Bad actions and poor choices.

“We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.”….  2 Corinthians 10:5

There are many different translations according to which bible you have open. Some say:  We tear down, We overthrow or We demolish arguments. Others say: We pull down reasonings, We destroy speculations or We cast down imaginations (my favorite).

With regard to ‘every proud obstacle’: every lofty thing, every high thing or high-minded thing, every pretension or every presumption.

I can not afford the luxury of entertaining any thoughts regarding alcohol.  Not too hard to imagine the hold they could take.  After receiving this miracle which has removed all desire to drink,  it would be proud, arrogant and just plain stupid of me to think otherwise.    I’ve been real slow to learn and He’s worked long and hard with me. Feels like it would be spitting in the face of God.

I don’t want to continue to be like that dog returning to his vomit.  Been there way too many times.  I’m done.