As part of an Add 2, Subtract 2 Summer Challenge with my INSIDER Membership I completed one of my subtraction tasks. Subtracting everything for one day a month. What I mean by that is having no expectations, to do lists, plans, or chores for one day each month of the summer. A “Do Nothing Day”.
I understand many people would not need a “challenge” to take a day off, but I do. I am a high achieving, over functioning, extroverted, people pleaser and it is not in my nature to give myself a break. Ironically, I have to be challenged to do it. I have to give myself some sort of competition to sit still.
It started on Saturday night when I went to the gym. This used to be a sad thing for me, in early sobriety. The gym is very empty on Saturday nights. I assume because people have friends, plans and better things to do. In my early sobriety, I had few friends, no plans, and nothing better to do. I sometimes felt sorry for myself for...
Some of my best memories are from some of my biggest drinking moments.
It’s been helpful to think that my drinking was bad, unhealthy and alcohol took me away from myself. And now that I’ve removed alcohol, I am happy, healthy, free, and all is well.
Although this is 100% true, it is not the whole truth.
It is a story that I have been telling myself for years. I had to tell myself this story to get to the place I am at now, which is 5 years sober, happy, and free.
I could only see it in the solid black and white until now. Any kind of nostalgic thinking or romantic longing about alcohol in my past was too risky. If I idealized the past for too long, I might spiral and land upside down with a bottle in my hand and wine on my lips, once again.
I quit drinking so many times before I quit drinking.
With alcohol, decidedly no longer an option for me, I had to march to the drum with a single beat. The rhythm...
I just turned 5 years sober. For most of my life this accomplishment seemed so out of reach for me. What would I tell myself back before my last Day !?
Put all of your energy towards that. Stop looking behind you. Keep moving forward. Just because you are not doing it perfectly, doesn’t mean you are not doing it at all. Keep doing it. It’s a process and not a single event. Stay curious and keep learning. Believe you can and you will. It has to start here. You must believe in yourself bigger than you ever have before. You must believe in yourself BEFORE you have proved anything. BEFORE you have reached your goals. This is how to start. Start believing and stop giving up on yourself before the miracle happens. Keep the faith and it will happen.
You will not be able to make this change and keep...
Today I woke up 5 years sober.
It is a glorious achievement.
It means I have reached “stable remission” from alcohol use disorder.
Milestones are a tricky thing.
Just as a huge achievement was rounding the corner for me, a crippling wave of shame crept in even faster.
I spent most of the weekend in tears.
My loud inner critic was shouting at me. Screaming that I could not celebrate, because my drinking hurt people. I could never take back my alcohol problem. It will never be over. I need to live in my darkest shadow forever. I should feel no sunshine. The only appropriate way to be is on my hands and knees in repentance. Forever. Joyless.
That voice said, I am not allowed to be happy and free.
How dare I celebrate?
My drinking hurt the people I love most. I should nail myself to the cross and live under my dark cloak of shame forever. The dark forever sorry-ness closing in on me. Suffocating me. The only response is to...
I’ve been embarking on some lofty home projects.
I wallpapered a statement wall in my primary bedroom.
I chose a bright and bold floral pattern. It was a risk. It turned out awesome.
I am cleaning out and getting rid of old furniture.
I put a pile out on the curb and notified Facebook. It was all gone in a matter of moments.
I decorated for fall. My favorite season.
I added a piece of furniture that was passed down from my Aunt Joan. It adds depth, history, and character. It warms my heart to see her stuff amongst my things. They go together as beautifully as we did.
And finally…drum roll please…
I am replacing all the blinds/window treatments in my house with new ones.
This is a big undertaking in DIY.
I have been staring at these old, outdated blinds for years and years. I have hated them since I moved in over a decade ago. I thought about getting rid of them often. I spent...
This weekend we will be on a lake.
I heard an interview by the band Old Dominion about their new song titled,
“I Was On A Boat That Day”.
It’s a super fun song and I love Old Dominion’s music.
They said they were drinking when they recorded it because they wanted it to sound free and loose, like the meaning of the song.
I totally get that.
I love that too.
It gives me a jolt.
I want that kind of two beer buzz they talk about in the country songs.
This could give me a strong craving because...
I want that all summer long, but let me tell you…
...alcohol didn’t do this for me.
Maybe for one second I felt the loose, free feeling...
...but it was always followed by heart palpitations, worry, and insecurity.
I wasn’t really loose.
I was acting loose and inhibited because I had something to blame it on = alcohol.
Sitting here on a Sunday morning, giving myself time and space to be.
To just sit, to rest, to check in, to create.
This weekend has been a lot of nothing, in the best way.
Reading, resting, carpooling my kids, and cheering them on at their games.
After being gone nearly a month, it feels right to just sit for a bit.
I am gaining energy to meal plan and prep for the first time in weeks.
Laundry is going.
My candles are lit.
I tidied the kitchen.
A frozen mango pineapple smoothie is thawing on the counter,
for me to enjoy when I finish my coffee.
I had a conversation with my husband this morning about our outdoor space.
We see things differently.
We have different ideas, goals, and priorities.
Landscaping or patio furniture?
I say both.
He does not.
I was able to speak my mind and not demand a decision.
We came to some conclusions and some things are still left unknown.
I can let it simmer.
The answers will...
What do you do on the weekends when you are sober?
Isn’t it boring?
It’s relaxing, productive, and fulfilling.
I had no idea how to spend my time when I first quit drinking.
I was antsy, irritated, and annoyed.
Alcohol had removed my ability to find pleasure in anything but alcohol.
For the first time in a long time, this weekend I had few plans and obligations.
I thought this would be a perfect example of what a “normal” weekend looks like.
Saturday I woke up early and had coffee with my husband,
in our quiet living room, while the kids sleep in.
I welcome the spring sun and the bird song, in the morning these days.
I had gotten in a habit of sleeping in during the dark, winter season.
I prefer an earlier rising, so I am happy to wake up early without an alarm, even on a weekend.
It starts my day off right.
I welcome the day, instead of curse the day, because (Hallelujah!) I am not hungover.