Only go as far as you’re comfortable

Image result for camel pose

There are poses in class that come very naturally to me. I can bend like nobody’s business in those poses. There are others that I have spent years trying to be flexible in and have maybe moved an inch. Hey, it’s still progress right? I’ve also pushed myself too far in those poses and repeatedly injured myself. I’m sure that slowed the growing process. The times where I pushed myself too far, the thoughts were all the same:

I should be farther along in this pose.

I’m clearly not trying hard enough.

This hurts but maybe it’s a good hurt.

I bet my instructor things I should be father along.

Struggle, struggle, struggle.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and how it relates outside the hot room. There are behaviors in my life that come very naturally to me. I’m naturally passive. Seeing the silver lining comes easy to me. Showing appreciation is innate. I have a friend who’s very bold. To imagine her passive is comical. I have another friend who is very much a realist. Picturing him being optimistic would make me weary. I have another friend who isn’t thankful for much. If she suddenly started thanking everyone I’d be downright frightened. The difference is in what is genuine. For example, a genuine smile is a warm and welcoming. A forced smile is off-putting and scary.

We are all different. We all bring our strengths to the game of life. I’m learning that I’m not comfortable drinking. When I drink it feels forced and unnatural. No, it wasn’t always that way. It evolved. I imagine one day I might be bold and shed my passive ways. That would be cool! If it happens it’ll happen naturally. It’s important for me to embrace what is and not try and force what isn’t. That’s where happiness lies. That’s where we don’t injure ourselves and slow progress.

Namaste bitches.

 

 

 

 

– Is now in a relationship with Sobriety

When you enter into a relationship with someone there are some common phases you go though. The awkward phase where you get to know each other, the romantic phase where you can’t believe how wonderful this person is, the phase where you wonder if this is forever and the excitement and fear of all that, the phase where you find out what you don’t like about the other person and wonder if it’s all worth it, and the phase where you accept it all. You accept that you have times where your madly in love and times when you want to kill said partner; but you’re in love and committed so it’s worth both ends of the spectrum.

Sobriety for me is like being a in relationship. I’m still trying to feel my way through but I’m guessing I’m right around the fear stage. My fear is infidelity, or cheating. Breaking this bond and going outside this magical place I’ve found because I’m feeling nostalgic about my single (drinking) days. Or fear that my friends won’t like my new partner Sobriety and will stop having me over. Eeert, let’s stop right there. That’s my new big hurdle that I am overcoming at the moment. See, when I first introduced Sobriety to my friends I thrust him upon them all like he was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I gushed about him, I wouldn’t stop going on about him, they should all have a Sobriety in their life, and wanted everyone to know that THIS was the one. Naturally, they gagged, but they were also concerned. This sudden attachment seemed unhealthy. I just met Sobriety and I want to marry him and settle down forever? They eyebrow raising, scoffs, and doubt were too much for me to handle. So I shut down, told Sobriety it was them and not him, and felt ashamed and saddened that my friends weren’t as accepting and excited about Sobriety as I was. I threw myself into Sobriety arms and clung to him for dear life. I ate, drank, and slept Sobriety.

I started to feel isolated and I blamed Sobriety for my loss of friends. Maybe my friends were right to question him. Maybe he wasn’t all I made him out to be. I did the unthinkable. I cheated on Sobriety. It wasn’t even close to as great as I thought it would be. I woke up in an unfamiliar bed, un-brushed teeth, make-up smeared, screaming headache, thirsty and reeking off booze and feeling disgusted. I remembered all of the things I loved about Sobriety and wanted nothing more than to quickly repair that relationship and give it another go. But what would I do about my friends? My family?

Sobriety welcomed me back with open arms and we had a long talk about how to make this relationship work. Sobriety needs space. It can’t be all about Sobriety. Sobriety also needs to slowly let my friends get to know him. I can’t force him on them. I need to bring him along and let them see over time who Sobriety is and get to know him. Not based on what I say/insist he is but based on what they see he is. Sobriety has some asks of me too. Have trust that Sobriety will be there if I loosen my grip. Listen to music that’s not centered around Sobriety, read books that aren’t centered around Sobriety, have conversations that aren’t centered around Sobriety. That I live alongside Sobriety and let Sobriety enhance my life. Basically, not live up Sobriety’s butt. All the makings of a healthy relationship. Yep, I think I’m getting some meaningful perspective here.

On a side note, I read a great book called “Co-Dependent No More” by Melody Beattie. This has helped me in my own personal relationships. More recently it’s made me see that I have a co-dependent relationship with Sobriety as well. A bit abstract, yes, but it’s true.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to hash this out in a safe setting for my sometimes fragile feelings. Best wishes for a wonderful day, friends. xo

 

 

 

 

 

Revelations and shit

I have entered a realm of total peace with my sobriety. My first 6 months of sobriety taught me a lot about myself and gave me a lot of confidence. However, I lacked a comfort with it all. I was glad I did it. I found peace in moments and certainly when I went down my list of before and after I was very happy and proud. The lump that sat in my stomach was this notion that I had to justify my sobriety; to my friends, my family and to myself. My stomach knotted in social situations. In my own mind I wasn’t convinced that I really NEEDED to be sober. I definitely wanted to be and I was gung ho about it. But need? Meh, that seemed like a stretch. I knew anyone in my life would agree with me on that. Sadly,  I let go of all the reasons I quit and went back to it. Thankfully it wasn’t a long stay in booze town but man it was a meaningful one.  I can’t tell you how much I missed my sobriety.  I longed for it physically, emotionally and spiritually. So yes, I do need to be sober. The millions reasons why I need it are really nobody’s business. I know I need, yes NEED, to be sober. My life is infinitely better without alcohol.  End of story. And now I have peace to back that shit up. That’s powerful! Let’s rewind a bit, shall we?

We were out to dinner one night with friends having some wine and one of them said, “I’m so glad you’re back to drinking. I was afraid we’d have to lose you as a friend.” What a shitty thing to say. It really fucking hurt to hear that. Then it was followed up with, “You’re okay to be around sober but you’re like our friend Tammy. You need a few drinks to loosen up and really be fun around.” Um, ouch!  I met Tammie before and she’s a total douche. But if I’m going to be honest I do need a few drinks to loosen up around them.  Alcohol is the only thing we have in common. There is literally nothing else we have in common. I just realized that maybe Tammie feels the same way!  Anyway, I don’t know guys. That changed something in me. As heartbreaking as it was at the moment it was also gave me a much needed revelation. The old saying is true. If you want to find out who your friend are, get sober!

Coincidentally, I went paddle boarding with a  new friend recently and she told me she loves hanging out with me because she always has a great time. The feeling is mutual. We laugh a lot and never run out of things to talk about. AND she had a drink before we headed out on the boards – little hair of the dog. And she knows I’m sober. So it’s not that I’m not fun if I don’t drink or that I can’t have fun around people that drink. It’s that it’s not fun to hang around people you have nothing in common with. DUH! So simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Normal to feel nauseous, normal to feel dizzy. Not normal to feel normal.

This is specific to how one feels coming out of camel pose in yoga. However, it’s also how one feels in the early days , and maybe not so early days,  of sobriety. “Take it easy, breathe, and let it go.Whatever you’re feeling you don’t have to hold on to it.” I can hear my instructor saying it now and it feels like she’s speaking to my soul. “You don’t have to hold on it.” She’s right. I don’t. And I think I’ll listen. I won’t.

I have lots planned for this beautiful day. Some family time and then off to a Cirque show in Boston. I get to be the DD.  🙂 I missed that part of sobriety too. There’s something very rewarding about gathering your stumbling loved ones into a car and making sure they safely get home. They’re like little baby ducklings.

Have a wonderful day all!

End your practice with the same enthusiasm you started with

Okay, I fell down the same rat hole. I had a drink on a weekend and changed up my rule to weekends only. Then it changed to one glass of wine a night. Then that one poured glass turned into “That wasn’t a full glass. You shorted yourself. Pour some more.” Which turned into, “You did it again. You shorted yourself. Pour some more.” And you all know how THAT story ended. I’m not going to beat myself up. I’m not going to feel sorry for myself. That’s not my style. If I learned anything from nearly 6 months of sobriety, it’s that beating ones self up is a total waste of precious energy.

My pitfall. What was it? Well, it’s no surprise to me that it was perceived social pressure. Pressure only on my part really. It’s funny how many people said to me, “I really admired what you were doing” when they saw me with a drink in hand. That really hit me. I spent months feeling shunned, left out, turned away and all along I was being admired? Admired. I can dig that.

So, I’m going to attempt to write daily as I hear that helps. Even if I don’t have something fancy or inspiring to say. I practice Bikram yoga which is known for being hot. What it’s not known for is the dialogue which doesn’t change. So many of the quotes they toss out in class are translatable to sobriety. So my goal is to take quotes said in class and share them here and give my take on how they translate. Today’s quote is “End your practice with the same enthusiasm you started with.” This really doesn’t need much further analysis. You don’t need to dig deep to get it. But it resonates. Especially on Day One, right? So easy to feel pumped on a fresh morning without a hangover and the nothing but clear skies ahead. That rush of feeling that nothing can stop me now! Oh, as we know, there are days where the luster is wiped right off and we forget why we even started this journey at all. I mean, was drinking THAT bad? Right? Clearly it was or we wouldn’t have veered off the Boozetown Freeway and decided to take the scenic route of life.

Well, time for me to get to work. Best to you all. Thank you for reading, listening, and being the amazing people you are. I missed sobriety. Truly. Sure there are downsides to sobriety (if we must be honest) but the upsides far outweigh them.