“Change often occurs when the pain of the current situation becomes so great you become willing to change without fully understanding what the future holds”
I feel like I have so much to say. It has been just a week since my last post and I can honestly say – I went through some potentially tempting and risky social situations! With my willpower going strong and my support growing huge, I made it to another week. I am 3 days away from being two weeks without a sip of alcohol. I have really gotten into the Recovery Elevator podcast, and I think Paul the host would say – just take it one day at a time. Anything can happen in three days, the thought of what the future holds is daunting, and can cause anxiety. So I will follow that advice, and just not drink today. Today is all we can promise.
Lets break it down with the situations I found myself in this past week!
1.) Going to a lake house with family.
This was an amazing trip! We got there the day before my sisters so we got a little 2:2 time with dad and Wendy. We chatted about the blog, my dad turning 60, going on the boat, etc. Nobody drank at dinner. I assured everyone they could if they wanted! They were all respectful, and like I had heard before in the last almost two weeks, people are being mindful of their own habits. By me not drinking, I believe it could inspire others to look into their own lives. Do they really need that drink with their dinner?
My sisters and their kids arrived, as well as their husbands. My brother in law made a joke about “why I couldn’t just push it back a week” – so I could drink with them at the lake house. This bugged me, but I didn’t really expect much else from him. Refer to the top of this post for an amazing quote by Annie Grace. That is exactly why I couldn’t wait. I was just ready. Jen was a key factor in me keeping my – I guess you would say “resentment” feelings at bay. I get in my head. I’d randomly through the weekend emotionally kick myself and say “why couldn’t you just have a few beers and be good with that?” or “whats wrong with you – that you had no self control several times while drinking..that has led you to this?”. Well…fuck it. It was my journey, it was how it happened. I am deciding to not drink because of this. I am now in control. Annie Graces’ book “This Naked Mind” is now right next to me after hearing amazing things about it through the Recovery Elevator podcast, and I even heard her interview on there! She associates our inability to really deal with our addictions fully until we uncover what we in our UNCONSCIOUS mind believes to be true. I love it, and I cannot wait to dig deep and rewire my unconscious, so that in the near future – alcohol will be just a mere afterthought. Anyway – Jen recommended we stay active, and that part of the reason we would even think to drink during the trip was because we were bored – and that that is just something you do…we sit around and watch the babies, and usually just drink. We thought that was fun. What was more fun was going for daily runs, playing games, rope swing into the water, swimming, and just being present with my family.
2.) A wedding!
My first ever sober wedding. Imagine this….it was still a blast! Add in the insecurity of a couple of my exes being there, and you are almost grateful to now be sober. I have mentioned before, and I will again; that when I drank, it just made my insecurities worse (not better, contrary to popular belief) and in turn made me feel very defensive of things not necessarily needing a defense. So that being said, I have to give so much appreciation to Jen again, because she was right there next to me. Even though I said she should enjoy a drink or two – she claimed she wanted to experience her first sober wedding right along with me! She has also gotten into the RE podcast, and considers herself “sober curious”. I love her. We were happy to enjoy each others company while catching up with friends I had not seen in a while, eating good food, and also dancing! It is possible to dance at a wedding without being hammered. Cue the shock. And yesterday when we recapped the weekend, we were almost certain that if drinking played a part in our time at the lake or wedding – we probably would have gotten into some silly argument about nothing. All in all; a sober wedding = a fun, full of legit memory making, free of hangover good time!
Ultimately, the past 1.5 weeks of sobriety has been full of willpower, encouragement, research, and connecting with those on this journey as well. This has made me feel even more proactive with being mindful of my surroundings and keeping internal tabs on how I feel about each situation I find myself a part of. I am glad to be documenting this process here, as it will keep me accountable and able to look back during times where I may feel uncertain of why I made this choice. It is for the best. There is an amazing sober community awaiting people like me who are deciding that an alcohol-free life is a better life. I found an online community already that I feel I am only just getting acquainted with – that has potential to be vital in my future of remaining sober. The other members are real, honest, and inspiring. I am not sacrificing a thing by choosing not to drink, I am only enhancing my experiences by being fully a part of them.
….Now let me tell you what I am doing tonight. I am going to attend an AA meeting. I went to one during nursing school, as it was a requirement for one of my classes. I have unconsciously steered away from AA before I even thought I’d quit drinking. I am intimidated with what I think is a “religious” organization. However, after a lot of feedback – I am considering it more of a spiritual conquest, and I think that a lot of the people who are part of AA are also more in that realm. It will be a tool towards remaining alcohol free in addition to the several other ways I will venture through this journey. I am curious if it will also help me curtail these unsure feelings of the “higher power” because it is in a Unitarian Universalist Church and an all women’s group. I consider myself very open minded and I know there is something to learn no matter where you are getting your support. I look forward to sharing my experience of tonight afterward here on my blog.
These connections I am striving to make that are nearer to home I know will be super important. There is nothing like having another person nearby to relate to. There is a recovery fitness group (ROCcovery Fitness) that I have been eyeing on Instagram. They go for hikes together, have their own gym, and seem to be an awesome group of people!! As any social media goes, I can see that a few of my friends follow that group as well. I may connect with them and see if they’ve ever participated, or if they want to with me! This type of support group seems to be right up my alley being that I love to stay active and healthy. It seems like something that is sustainable in creating new friendships and creating my best self.
So, it is clear we do not know what the future holds. No one does. But you know what sounds good? Clarity, increased health and wellness, good memories – real memories – are just a few ideas amongst several more things.
So much love and happiness.
(Just some images from this past weekend. My dad and me, good friends at the wedding photobooth, my love and me on our road trip, and the whole family after playing an intense/fun game of guesstures!)