Speechless?

That’s how I’ve felt the past few days.  I want to write, but I feel a sense of exhaustion about trying to record the events of the past few days.  I’ve been keeping my head down, trudging forward and keeping my eye on my first big goal, which will be accomplished tomorrow:  30 days!!  I haven’t seen that number since sometime last year when I made it to 32.  32 is my all-time record, from age 17 to now, at 37.  20 years of never stringing together more than one month… it seems impossible that this is true, and yet I can’t remember a time when I would have.  I never thought there was a real problem until age 27.  Actually now that I think of it, though, I may have compiled a month or two or three at that age.  I did have a phase of really trying to cut way back/clean up.  But I don’t remember counting days or taking note of how long it had been… it simply wasn’t a part of my life for a little while, as I had been making an effort to live a bit healthier and I was dating someone who was into fitness and didn’t drink.

Because, I was always a master chameleon.  Not really knowing who I was, I was pretty good at adopting whatever characteristics whoever I was dating found attractive.  I lived for that approval.  Most relationships, drinking made this morphing process feel totally natural.  One thing that makes this sobriety thing easier for me now, is that I finally AM in a relationship where I feel authentic, loved, and whole.  It makes a huge difference to my ability to not feel so exposed and raw… I’m quite sure I couldn’t have done this in previous relationships where I was so desperately trying to make things work that were never meant to be.

The past few days have been rough but also have shown a big, bright spotlight on my emotional stability.  I am shocked at how healthily I’ve been able to process things that normally would have me hysterical.  Now, being sober, it’s so much easier to take a few breaths, assess the situation, go for a walk, think rationally about how to handle it.  Who knew?  For example, I had an incident the other day, after driving home through stressful traffic, where my dog (she’s a Great Dane) jumped out of my car without her leash when we got home — normally okay, but she for some reason has a thing about my neighbor and she charged right toward her, running and barking and then jumping around her and growling… it was awful!!  Our neighbor is like the cutest, classiest, nicest elderly woman who has been quite patient with our dog in the past, trying to befriend her on several occasions.  And our dog is such a big baby, not aggressive at all except with this woman she gets weird!  I don’t think she would actually hurt her, but at the same time I know she’s still a dog and anything can happen.  So I’m watching in horror and holding our other dog back, yelling for the dog to come back and she’s not, and it seemed to go on forever but it was probably in reality just a few seconds.

I got the dogs in the house and yelled out how sorry I was.  I reprimanded the dog and then had to steady myself for a few minutes; I was totally shook up, my heart was racing, and I felt like such a jerk for having let her off the leash even though she is normally trustworthy.  I debated for a few minutes what to do; this neighbor is overly gracious about the situation but she certainly could have called and reported it or just generally made some sort of a scene.  Me being normally terrified of confrontation, I was sure that in my drinking life, I would have just let it lie and not done anything else.  But I calmed myself down and did the right thing by going next door and checking on her to make sure she was alright.  She was shook up and I assured her I would be more careful.  We ended up having a nice chat and I felt so much better having apologized and being able to assure her that I would take it seriously and prevent further incidents.

I don’t know why this felt so significant except that I noticed this:  Although I feel I’m hiding a bit in sobriety, I’m not actually hiding from the things that matter.  This mattered.  And this, I would have hid from had I been nursing a hangover and feeling all paranoid and shaky.  Instead, I did the right thing.  I’m not hiding from real life.  I’m only hiding from my previous drinking life and that’s okay.  That life isn’t serving me.  This is, because I left a bad situation feeling good about my ability to rectify it.

30 days tomorrow!!!

I’m gaining sober momentum

I think I know what sober momentum feels like now.  Each day, I feel better and better.  All my stops and starts of 2014 seem like such a HUGE waste of time and energy.  I never want to feel like that again.  Instead, I want to feel how I feel right now… naturally exhausted from a crazy productive day working my business and doing what I love.  I can feel my creativity and confidence coming back.  I will not mess this up.

Day 22 today.

15 Days and I feel like a new person already

It’s seriously amazing how much better I feel.  In all my stints this past year, I don’t remember ever feeling this good about being sober.  I am more motivated, more excited about life, and happier.  For the first time, I’m embracing this as a positive, FUN change rather than a struggle, a negative.  I attribute a lot of this to the fact that my health and fitness business is growing, and I am continuing to surround myself with more and more new friends who are focused on their health.  I have found a positive, uplifting community where the focus is on healthy cooking and exercise, rather than drinking.  So much better!

I am sleeping through the night, waking up feeling good, and my anxiety is lessened.  Isn’t it ironic how we drink to lessen our anxiety?  We think that’s what we’re doing when in reality we are creating loads of unnecessary anxiety.  Or at least, that’s how it was for me.  The anxiety I suffered after a night of drinking was positively crippling and would last for a week at least.  Well, I aint got time for that shit no more!!  On to a life full of possibility, realized potential, and living fully present.

Sober has never felt so good.

Happy New Year and Happy Day 11 to me!

Yesterday I got a text from my husband extending a last minute dinner invite to us from some colleague friends of ours.  I texted back that it sounded fine, we had neglected to really make plans yet and I figured that sounded like a good one.  But the more I thought it over, the more anxious I was feeling about going.  For no particular reason really, other than I just felt like staying in with our dogs and relaxing, and painting my toenails, and generally avoiding the drinking scene.  Just for a little while longer.  Even though it was New Years.  Normally, I would have shrugged this feeling off and forced myself to get ready and go anyway, because I wouldn’t want to seem like a party pooper and especially not on New Year’s Eve!

But normally, this sobriety thing just hasn’t worked for me for very long.  And this time, I really, really want it to, so I’m going to have to do some things differently.  So I asked my husband if I could just sit this one out.  And he was (as he always is) totally gracious about it and it was just fine.  I stayed in my safe little bubble for the night, got some quiet time in to read, paint my toenails, watch TV, and relax.  At 37 years old, this is the first time I’ve ever stayed home all alone on New Year’s Eve.  And it was GREAT.  Seriously.  I felt like I was doing something healthy for myself by resting.  I enjoyed the quiet time and knowing that people were out having fun.  I felt the calm satisfaction of knowing that I was making a new decision, a decision that I wouldn’t regret, and that I would wake up today feeling good.

This year, I’m going to live for the mornings.  Really.  It’s such a different idea for me, I’ve always been a night owl of course, since that’s when I’d relax with wine.  But sober, I LOVE waking up in the morning, full of enthusiasm for the day and knowing that I have the capacity to take on whatever I want to take on.

My new year’s day is rung in quietly, and I can’t help but gloat just a tiny bit that the husband is hung over and I feel great.  🙂  Hope all of you feel great too!  And that if you don’t feel great, if you are hung over but contemplating your drinking, that you read my blog… you’ll see a whole year of starts and stops, and here I am only on day 11 when I could be at over a year by now if I had only stuck with it.  I’m not going to beat myself up over it, but I DO want to make 2015 the year that I don’t leave wondering how much more I could have accomplished had I just honored my commitment to remain alcohol-free.  I didn’t gain anything by drinking in 2014 except more anguish, more anxiety, and less self-confidence.

This is the year I honor my commitments.   You can too!  Happy 2015!