One and done. Farewell…for now

I began WTW because I had a desperate desire to put down the alcohol; not because I wanted to write.  But I began to witness this amazing sober community of strength and support and (mostly) non-judgemental attitudes.  And these people were doing it!  Living sober.  And some had been living it for years.  AND…..they were happy.

So I wrote.

I felt it might be my last shot.

Well here I am with 1 year and 2 weeks today.  Unrecognizable at every turn.  I’m at peace with who I am in sobriety and who I am becoming. I am full of hope and look forward to pursuing my remaining years as a sober woman.  By God’s grace, I will pass from this world to the next sober.  One of my goals is to be a kinder, gentler version of myself.  Emphasize the positive traits, temper down the character flaws and defects and mix well with a lot of love!  I’m down 15 pounds although part of that was leaving the cheese shop! I love my job now and the people I lead.  The gratitude most days is overflowing.

I don’t even blink now when someone asks me why I don’t drink-  so rude to begin with.  I just look deadpan at them eye to eye and say “Oh you go first and tell me why you do.”  Usually there’s an awkward silence and then some mumbling.  Gets ’em every time.

  Should someone ever actually take me up on it and list reasons, they’ll be listing all the reasons I don’t.

I do not need to drink anymore.  Not that I’m cured, oh no way.  But way deep down inside of me I feel like a non-drinker.  If it weren’t for the lifetime of wretched memories, it would feel like it’s never even been a part of my life.

BUT…..

you all know we all have “those” days.

That’s why it’s so important to work hard to develop those emotional/mental/spiritual muscles and strong self-care routines early on.  The healthy habits will help pull you through those times of tests and trials.  Along with lots of support from those who’ve gone before you.

So…..

this will be my last post for the foreseeable future.  I’m leaving the blog in place should I feel inspired.  Right now though the thought of writing is painful.  I want to enjoy it- not feel burdened by it.  It’s just not happening for me now.

I will leave you all with two things:

The first is a link to one of my sober heroes latest blog post.  This year did not come easy for me.  I started to become a chronic relapser.  Her posts are always uplifting and in this latest she writes of why it’s so hard to get/stay sober.

Tipsy No More

The second is something I read during my morning prayers last week.  I immediately thought of this sober community.  It is written from one Christian sojourner to another;  someone he’s never met.

“It is not surprising if, despite being far apart, we are present to each other….because we are members of one body, we have one head, we are steeped in one grace, we live on one loaf, we walk on one road, and we dwell in the same house.”      St. Paulinus of Nola to St. Augustine

Peace and Love to you all and may you be blessed.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

Looking Back @ 1 Year WTW…almost

1 month from today, pray to God, I’ll have 1 solid year of sobriety.  It’s hard to believe but then…it’s not.  It’s been a battle hard-won.  Twenty-two years of head banging, inner conflict and torment.  Knowing the truth.  Trying to deny it. Work around it. Trick it.  Ignore it.

Anything but face it.

The powerlessness.  The unmanageability of my life although most of the time, I put on a pretty good show.

The wreckage.

The withering of my soul.

Oh yeah, there have been times when the blinders came off and moments where the truth sunk in- even a spirit of willingness.  Usually after a humiliation.  But the willingness came more from an attempt to redeem myself; in my own eyes as well as for those around me- a bargaining chip- an action originating in pride to soften the sting of idiocy.

The willingness was for the wrong reasons.

But now…everything has changed.

I have not had even one day of taking this sobriety for granted and I’m still in awe that I truly am a new creation.

Thanks be to God.

I’ve had an aversion to all things electronically social these past 3 or 4 months.  Kind of like I overdosed. So, I’m unsure as to how long I will continue posting here on WTW.   While I do enjoy and derive great satisfaction from the finished product when I post, it’s a long and arduous process.  Perfectionism makes it way too time consuming.

But I don’t want to just disappear. I’ve spent most of my life doing just that and it’s a pattern of old behavior that needs to go.  And it leaves me feeling unsettled when others do the same.

While I suffer deeply for connection, it’s the thing I have always feared the most.

I used to love the A.A. saying “Live and let live”.  Most selfish people do.  We take it to mean “Ask  nothing of me and I’ll ask nothing of you”.  Perfect.

That’s not what it means.

Thank you to all my fellow bloggers (you know who you are) who have seen me through to this amazing point because while I give the glory to the Lord for my sobriety, He sent you, His angels, to me.

 

 

The end of myself

1.25.18:

I’ve been coming to the end of myself lately.  You know when you think you’ve made great strides and then BAM, it hits you.  They hit you.  All those nasties you thought you left behind.  Character defects.  Personality flaws.  With a little (or a lot) of the mental combat thrown in.  And self compassion is nowhere to be found.  No matter how much you dig.

So what’s happening here?

Despair at what I see.  The black hole that always seems to suck every good thing into its swirling oblivion.  The black hole always seems to appear after a time of seeing the positive changes and growth within myself.

It’s the all or nothing mindset.  And pride and ego are usually not too far away.

And what’s missing?

Gratitude. Compassion. Mercy. Grace.

Mercy is not getting what you deserve.  Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.

I’ve received more than an abundance of both in my life.

2.4.18

Doesn’t take much work these days.  Actually, it takes an enormous amount of work in the form of surrender and humility.  But I’m willing.  It turns around what in the past would have been the beginning of one of those “dark nights” my soul knows all too well.

So much has happened in the last 8 months.  Yes, sobriety happened.  But I had 9 years of sobriety at the time I was 40 years old and I am so much more now.  I was happy and joyful then.  Stable to a degree.  But I am so much more than that now.

I am healed.  

Not from alcoholism but from the fractured and broken emotional bones of childhood trauma.  From the self-inflicted pain of young adulthood.  From the desire to self destruct.

I am healed.

Of all the self-hatred I nurtured.  The perceived notions, hidden from consciousness in the well of confusion and abandonment, that I did not deserve to love or be loved.

I have learned well what it means to be “saved”.  I always hated that. Not the thought of salvation but the question:  “Are you saved?”

I never realized what that truly meant.  Never realized I needed a savior.  Never wanted to admit it.  But I did.  Eventually I did.  Realized it and admitted it.

Asked for it.  Begged for it.  With every part of my being.

You see, Heaven and Hell exist here.  They are not some fantastical places up in the sky or in the bowels of the earth.  You have the choice of living in either one right now.  You have the choice only if you surrender your pride and arrogance.  The false belief that you can save yourself.  We all need more than ourselves.  The one who created us knows what we need to live in peace and joy.  You can’t ask yourself; you didn’t create yourself.

Only the inventor knows for what purpose he created his invention.

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.  Deuteronomy 30:15-16

I am healed.

I have chosen life over death.  Heaven over hell.

I am healed.

Thank you Jesus.

 

Image credit: Cielo e Infierno (Heaven and Hell) | by Dibus y Deabus

 

6 months and #metoo

Six months of sobriety.

Thank you very much!  Thank you! (Big bow) Thank you everyone. (Another big bow)  Now… if you’ll just excuse me.  I have somewhere I need to be.  Where?

Actually, anywhere but here.

Sitting here, trying to get myself to write is tortuous.

While I’m truly grateful and glad to be sober, I have been feeling emotionally unsettled and upended.  Heavy.  Lead weight heavy.  And my mind is making up all sorts of excuses for the feelings.  Trying to keep me distracted.  Keep me from going deeper.

Familiar feelings I’ve never been able to name.   And they’re in my way.  They get in my way of fully connecting with another human.  I’m turned inward.  It takes an immense effort to look at the face and eyes of the person I’m in conversation with and I find my eyes and mind flitting about- up, down, left and right.

 I don’t want to be “seen” by the other.

Now that I’m home there are a multitude of tasks and chores needing to get done but I can’t quite gather the direction either in mind or body to accomplish any of them.

So I walk out the door.

I keep walking.  Walking and searching.  Trying to observe without the usual judgement.  Sobriety has given me the ability to be kind with myself.

I realize I’m trying to make friends with me.  The wee one inside of me.

The hashtag me too.

I know I’m far from alone here.  It seems as if every woman has a #metoo story to tell.  Some even have a few.  More than a few.

I’ve done much inner work and healing around these issues but still…. those ghostlines remain.  They are calling to me for attention.  Not to drag me back but to serve in pushing me forward.  To call them out; not drink them away.

Where I thought I had made peace, I’ll make a stronger peace.  Where I thought I had forgiven, I’ll forgive again.

And He will turn this heart of stone to one of flesh.

Sustaining my sobriety depends on it.

 

Holding Strong

I’ve made it through two holidays in 11 weeks.  Building that sober muscle for what’s to come.

Spent some time yesterday morning with a relatively new friend.  A year ago, when we were  initially talking about getting together, she had just moved in to her new home a few blocks from me.  She had mentioned that she made “great” cocktails.

Of course being me,  I gently tucked that bit of info away (with excitement and anticipation) and kept silent as to my struggle with alcohol.  I most certainly didn’t want to go burnin’ any bridges.

In one of my last posts I mentioned my need for honesty if I was to remain sober.  This was exactly the type of situation to which I had referred.

Time to sing a new song.  To respond differently.  Time to decide what I really and truly wanted.

So yesterday I told her.

I didn’t share horrid details but enough so that now she knows.

I feel stronger for it.

Integrity is very important to me.  In myself and in those I choose to spend time with.  My integrity is in the process of rebuilding itself;  within myself and with those around me.  That’s what feels strong.

Healing.

I have been on the fence about my sobriety for many years.  On  again, off again sobriety.  Mostly off.  I was commitment phobic.  Double-minded.

Actually,  I was just another alcoholic not wanting to be an alcoholic.

My grand finale 11 weeks ago hit me where it hurts most of us the hardest; in the arena of pride.  Self image.  What others see.  Really see about us and in us.

I’ve been praying to see myself as I really am… not how I envision myself or would like to be.

It is good to be sober.  Thanks be to God.