day 18…the second why?

Why did I keep going back?  Especially in the last 4 to 5 years.  I’ve had many times in recent years when I felt clearer- not this clear, stronger- not this strong. I would usually drink my wine 3-4 days out of the week so by the 3rd or 4th day without, I would be feeling pretty good. And I’d wonder…’maybe I’ll go without tonight. This feels pretty good.’ But Friday night happened. Not out. At work after we closed the shop. And then home…. Alone. With my wine.

And the next morning, not hungover in the classic sense- I don’t get headaches or throwup- I have an iron stomach, and I always made it to work, but this lethargy. This weight- psychic sludge. And again I’d wonder why? Why do I continue to choose this when I know how good it can be.

It would always be a couple, few days to when the heaviness lifted. Any positive habits like exercise and morning prayer were interrupted. Unsustainable. Forget about creating new ones. Didn’t feel like seeing anyone. Thought they would see right through me to the dirt. Shameful dirt. And what about you God! How many times have I asked? pleaded? begged?

Have you forgot me?

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.Proverbs 26:11

 Whenever I drank, this line of scripture would roll around my brain for days after.

I was that dog.

But God has a way of turning garbage into gold. And He doesn’t forget or abandon. He said so. He promised. God doesn’t lie. And I am proof because I am living in a miracle right now.  All this time He was watching. Waiting. Showing me. Preparing me. Until the very moment He knew I was ready to receive and to choose Him.

 Because He created me for more.

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day 17…

Up at the crack of dawn and home from work late. Just showing up tonight. Not saying much.  Going to scrounge around the pantry. Need something easy for dinner. Then goodnight.

Today was good. I am really appreciating being sharp and clear. I feel a good tired. Not that dragged out feeling and my energy is sustained throughout the day for the most part. Did get a little witchy at a couple of points today but didn’t show it. Kept it under cover and as soon as I felt it I worked to correct it.

I’ve been here before. Why did I go back?

So many times.

day 16…”and she began to serve them.”

God is faithful

 I know this to be true because He has answered most of my prayers. At least the prayers that would serve my highest good. At times He has taken the slow road in answering  some of them, but then, I guess He knows best. He knows when I’m ready to receive. As for the other prayers?

There’s this country western song I remember from the ’80’s and I don’t remember anything about the song but the line: ‘Sometimes God’s greatest gifts are the prayers that go unanswered.’  I’m real glad He didn’t answer those prayers.

He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve them.’             Matthew 8:15

I was given a reprieve from the desire to drink.  A gift of healing. Whether it remains so will depend on what I do with it.

One of the basic tenets of A.A. is that the recovering alcoholic get involved and give of himself to help another alcoholic. This is a vital part of the recovery process. For one: it keeps the misery of alcoholism fresh in the mind. I have a fantastic ‘forgetter’. Secondly: Addiction of any sort feeds selfishness and a turning inward. And that in turn breeds more addiction.  Getting over and out of oneself needs to happen for full recovery…

Any Blessings I have received are meant to be passed along. They aren’t bestowed so that I can rise up and continue on my merry self-serving way. They are meant to bring me back into the land of the living. Back or for the first time.

I’ve had an excellent start on learning what it means to serve through my faith and church community. And I’ve found that the willingness to die to myself is a daily process. Most times a struggle. Perseverance.

This is the piece that had always been missing.

His timing is perfect.

day 15…

Radiant. That’s what he said.

So apparently it shows. After just 2 weeks. That was my former boss who commented on how I looked when I ran into him Sunday. wow.

I’m finally feeling a rhythm to all this. Got some great rest over the weekend. Finally.  The weekend was actually the perfect balance of rest, work and pleasure.

Had a great visit with a 94-year-old friend. 94…I can’t even imagine. This woman has been there for me in some of the worst times. But she’s also been there in some of best.  She’s in a nursing home now and I have had the privilege of witnessing her struggle with the inevitable; watched how she kept surrendering parts of herself to the process of aging. Over and over. How at times she’s been stubborn and unyielding and how at other times she’s surrendered  with such grace and dignity.

Acceptance.

Of the things we can not change. Of the things over which we have no control. The Serenity prayer.

I pray for this.

day 14…not so fast

I was thinking of Christmas today. A little earlier than is usual for me. Not the gathering of family and friends, not visions of fabulous gifts, not beautiful Christmas trees or the comfort of a fire in the hearth or cookies. None of these things truly represent Christmas for me as I don’t have many friends in the area in which I live and most of my family lives scattered about the country. Gifting, either buying or receiving, hasn’t been especially important to me in the material sense. I don’t put up a tree and I don’t have a fireplace. And I certainly don’t bake. Or haven’t in a very long time.

I wasn’t even thinking about the true meaning of Christmas for those of us who believe.

No. I was thinking of wine. And all the fancy, delicious and expensive wine I was going to miss out on at our employee Christmas dinner. ‘But your Sober Challenge will be over! You could probably have a glass. HA!  Never happen. Never has. Anxiety sets in.  Good!  you should be anxious with those thoughts floatin’ around your head.’

Let’s see what else I’ll miss.

I get to miss acting like a jackass…I get to miss the dullness of spirit and the lethargy of having too much….I get to miss spending lots of money because those of us who like to drink spend record amounts for alcohol around the holidays….I won’t miss the extra tons of calories….give me a minute and I assure you I’ll come up with more.

The conjuring up of these thoughts which came faster than I knew what to do with didn’t give me an urge or desire. Blessed. Thank you Lord.

But I know the time will come. And I’ll need to be ready.

day 13…p.a.w.s. & pause is desperately needed here

Thought I’d get a good night’s sleep last night. Awake every couple or so hours and finally gave up and got up at 4:30 am.  As it has been the past weeks. I know that a part of it is my excitement at finally doing what I’ve known I need to for a very long time. The difference is I’ve known but now the spirit is willing. It appears the flesh is as well.

For the past few years my prayers have been to grow in my love for Him. To choose Him over the wine. And all the other the things that get between us.

Today was real lousy in terms of how I felt. I felt great during the week although tired. But today felt like last Saturday only even more intensified. And I wrote how it felt like a withdrawal. So I looked up a blog I bookmarked years ago and read through.

P.A.W.S.   Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms

Very sobering read. If indeed this is what I am experiencing, I definitely need to cut my full speed ahead approach. It’s exhausting me. Tech devices do not agree with my energy field-seems to suck the life force from me. Still no cravings or desire to drink. If anything, after reading through this article my resolve has been strengthened more than ever.

The prescription I wrote myself  today was permission to accomplish only the absolute necessities and to rest.

Taking a long epsom/sea salt and lavender soak was just what I needed.

day 12…permission & sleep: hi priority

4:50 am. 88 posts to go? Are ya’ kiddin’ me?  No. you’re doing it. Hell or high-water as mom used to say.  Every day. No excuses.   OK.

Sleep is really important. For everyone:

Twenty-four hours of sleep deprivation can lead to conditions in healthy persons similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia.” University Bonn- Science Daily 7/7/14

Been hospitalized 3 times. All locked ward kind of hospital. Once at 26 after taking a few inhales of a joint laced with angel dust (didn’t know about the angel dust) which messed with my internal clock.  And then again both Decembers 2009 & 2010- the aftermath of a manic episode triggered by the anti anxiety drug Lexapro (prescribed) that began in 2007. Funny. In ’07 I was able to get my sleep pattern back (with the help of my most excellent Dr.) and got to skip the fun on the ward that year.

Each hospitalization was preceded by an extended lack of sleep. In ’07 I was diagnosed with an underlying bipolar disorder. Told it was made more severe by the prescribed crap and that “it”would require a cocktail of psychotropic drugs to manage. For the rest of my life.  Thanks.

But no thanks

Alcoholics can display a wide range of psychiatric disorders. A lot of the time if you take away the alcohol the disorder goes away as well.

I began this post to give myself permission to just show up -“Hi, I’m here, but I’m not posting tonight”- not to post anymore than that when I’m really tired. Bone tired. Being on the computer at night affects my sleep. The mornings are my time for prayer, exercise and daily mass. Then I go to work.

I’m sure I’ll find a rhythm. God? help. please. soon.

So for now, during the work week, I give myself permission.

Just show up.