It was supposed to last 30 minutes. 

After a long day at work I thought it would be a good idea to hop on my stationary bike and go for a 30 minute spin. “Just 30 minutes” I told myself. I had a good list of things I needed to get done in the yard and around the house but I definitely wanted to fit this in. So I got on my bike and set the time for 30 min.

I pushed myself harder than normal. It was a super busy day and I wanted to get rid of all that tension energy.  20 minutes in I was drenched in sweat and my legs felt like Jello. I’m usually a leisure rider with bursts of strong energy. It’s fair to say this ride was killing me. My dog enters the room with his favorite squeaky toy and squeaks it. Cute right? My pint sized cheerleader has arrived. I keep spinning. He reaches up the side of the couch and stretches his body out long while staring at me. I make a comment about how we’re working out together, how fun. I give him a little wink. Then all hell broke loose. My dog LOST his mind.  He barked at me quite insistently. At first I thought someone was at the door but then I realized he was barking at me! I asked my little buddy what was wrong? He answered with a sharp, demanding bark. I started asking him questions like he was Lassie and was somehow going to answer me. “Are you out of water? Do you need to go out?”. Each one answered with that sharp, demanding bark. This was getting ridiculous. For a moment I contemplated getting off the bike to see what this was all about. I mean, I only had 5 minutes left. Then it hit me. He was challenging me. He picked up his squeaky toy and got uncomfortably close to the peddles on the bike. It’s as if he was saying “You better get off or you’ll hit me.” Inching closer and closer, squeaking his toy louder and louder, barking more and more. It all hit a fever pitch and I realized I can’t back down. I also can’t get down. I have to stay on this damn bike until this is over. If I get off now he’ll think he owns me and I don’t even want to know what that looks like.

How long could this last right? This is a new behavior for my 10 year old dog. He’s sure to tire out quickly and take a nap, right?  THIRTY MINUTES LATER. I cycled for an entire hour! An additional 30 minutes of this Mexican stand off with my dog.  But I won, dammit, I won! There was a time in my life when I would have stopped pedaling to find out what he needed. I’d go as far as to say I might have even stayed away from cycling because I didn’t want to deal with the barking. Eventually, I would have felt resentful towards my dog for ‘being a jerk’ and making me feel like I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. I would have made myself the victim. It’s moments like that where I realize how far I’ve come. As absurd as the situation was, there was a feeling of pride in not getting off that bike. I wasn’t about to let his neediness at that moment override this time I was taking for myself. I’m not even sure he wanted me to really get off the bike. He just wanted to know where my limit was and I told him. In the end, he curled up in a ball and fell asleep. I hope to see more moments like this in myself. Where I know what I want, I do it, and I don’t let someone knock me off my proverbial bike.

 

 

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Sleeping on it.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night. My mind raced with ideas of what sober me would to today. I was going to get up early and clean the downstairs, organize a closet, start work a little early, be showered and ready for the day (I work from home so that’s a real feat in and of itself) and blog. I’d like to write every day for a while even if it’s meaningless jibber. Before I knew it was past midnight and I was realizing that my morning energy would be nil if I didn’t get to sleep soon. I somehow managed to fall asleep. I tossed and turned a bit throughout the night. My alarm went off excessively early and I hit my snooze. Actually, I turned it off completely and woke up later than I wanted. Not late, but not early enough to tackle my grandiose list. As I sit here with my coffee I wonder why it was important to try and do so much outside of what I normally do. Am I trying to prove sobriety is better? Am I trying to prove that sober me is much more productive, energetic, and organized? Is the side of me that sleeps in, hits the snooze, rolls out of bed haphazardly and shuffles around a snails pace unacceptable? Or only acceptable when I’ve been drinking?

I did this last time I quit. I put an immense amount of pressure on myself to be better. Recreate a different persona. One that was far removed from the me that drank alcohol. I think this time around I’m going to take it easier on myself which isn’t easy for me. I do want to relax into this and see what person emerges. Not who I think should emerge, but who truly emerges. Maybe it’ll be the same ol me that sleeps in and is totally disorganized. Maybe that’s okay.

 

I’m a binge drinker. Day 2.

There, I said it. As tears well up in my eyes I am overwhelmed with feelings of disappointment, grief, resentment, and I’m sure I could explain my feelings better if this brain of mine wasn’t fogged over from a wretched hangover. I don’t know what to say. I feel like I’ve been lying with my writing. Lying to myself. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I want to start this all fresh. No more lies. No more trying to be something I not. I know where I want to be. I know who I want to be. Today, though, I’m starting with being nobody and working myself out from there. That’s what I need to do. I did do 6 months of sobriety.  The space between then and now grows with each passing day. It hurts. I went from being a daily drinker, to a non drinker, to a binge drinker on the weekends. I told myself I could have it both ways. I could be good all week, take care of myself, and then let it all hang out on the weekends. Letting it all hang out means spending time drinking while longing for sobriety, writing notes to myself about how this isn’t working and I don’t enjoy it. Nursing hangovers on Sunday and wishing I was taking full advantage of my weekends and not tossing them away in a bottle. It feels so bipolar. Friday night I was totally sober and had my 7 year old niece over for her very first sleepover. It was so much fun. Saturday I started drinking and didn’t stop. I spent yesterday curled up in ball and still feel like I want to lay around not move. When did I become such a lush? I read in someone’s blog recently that when you go back to drinking you don’t start over. You pick up where you left off. That’s exactly what I’ve done. I went from being someone who drank a “controlled” amount every night for years to someone who is sober all week and gets bombed on the weekends. I used to hate being drunk. Now I spend my weekends in hazy stupor and I’m not enjoying it one bit. I’ve come to realize that drinking daily is simply not an option. Binge drinking like this is totally out of the question. I can’t keep on. It’s fair to say I’m officially tried every way to possible to fit drinking into my life and it’s not working. I can’t go on like this. I just can’t. The mental game alone is exhausting.

So I give. Here I am. Day two. It feels like day zero because I swear I’m still hungover from Saturday. Gross. I need this blog. I need to write. I need to be honest and raw. And I need you. Whoever  you are. My other friends that are on this journey. Sobriety can be such a wonderfully lonely place. I’m hoping I can do it again, only with more truth, more vulnerability, and more balance. I want it more than anything.

 

~ With Humbleness and Humility

 

My eyes were leaking and so were yours.

I’m a facts kind of a gal. I like to dig into the who, what, how, where, when and why about everything from the food I eat to the reason green clashes with my skin tone. For the life of me, I find it nearly impossible to find any articles on sobriety that tote the true health benefits of it and how. *Cough* Big alcohol strikes again.

Ya, sure, okay there are Cosmo and Elle articles that say you shouldn’t drink a bottle of wine a night because your waistline will grow. I’m not talking about those. I mean articles that are easy to read and understand that explain why people are so much happier and prettier sober. Not medical journals from http://www.ifyoupassedchemistryyoumightunderstandthis.com. Just easy to read articles on why. So, my friends, I have taken little pieces here and there that I have found along the way and complied them for you here. Let’s start with the vain stuff since we’re all vain at heart. “You’re so vain. I bet you think this blog is about you, don’t you? Don’t youuuuu?”.

Q: Why are the whites of my eyes so bright? Visine can’t even touch this.

Alcohol dilates the small veins in your eyes causing them to leak. It also inflames the hell out of blood vessels in your eyes so they expand and are easier for everyone to see. I don’t know about you guys, but leaky eye balls should be on the warning label of every alcohol container.

Q: Why is my skin tone so much more even?

Alcohol makes it so that your poor brain loses control over its ability to regulate vascular function. It basically says “I can’t worry about your blood flow right know, I need to get this poison out of your blood”. Next thing you know, you have a rush of blood hit your face and neck and you look like a lovely red tomato. Who doesn’t like that look? *Raises hand* I don’t.

Why was my face so fat when I drank? My head looked ten times bigger than my body.

Your body knows when you’re dehydrated. When you show signs of dehydration your body makes it so you don’t pee. It wants to hold on to all the fluid it can, right? Well, alcohol not only makes it so that your body can’t tell if you’re dehydrated but it also makes you pee…a lot. As a result, the tissues in your face swell as they beg for mercy. Voila! Fat face.

Alright folks, that’s it for this evening. Rest well knowing your eyes are no longer leaking, your blood is flowing at it’s maximum potential, and the tissues in your face are soft and peaceful.

~ Namaste bitches!

 

 

 

 

 

Life is like underwear. Change is good.

Q. Why does a codependent buy two copies of every self-help book?

A: One to read and one to pass on to someone who really needs it.

Q. What does a codependent have in common with God?

A. They both have a plan for your life.

In one of my last posts I wrote:  I feel like I’m just unraveling everywhere. I’m thankful to be sober and at the same time I have this thought “Since you can’t change anything for 7-8 months you can just drink until then.”

Well, I did unravel everywhere. Full out mental breakdown. Then it hit me. I don’t have to wait 7-8 months. I can change now. My husband and I had a heart to heart and both felt we were ready for a wholesale change immediately. So we moved. We’re in a new state, in a new home. It’s very peaceful here. Sobriety feels different here. It’s calming. I mean, it always was a good thing but so often I felt like I was pressing up against something unnatural. I assumed it was being sober that was awkward but it was really the struggle to normalize my extremely dysfunctional circumstances. I know I’m being vague but if I detailed my life here I’d have to write a novel. Long story short: I compromised my own happiness because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do in order to be a good person.  I got the idea in my head that being selfish was bad, and that thinking of myself first was bad. I gave and gave until I didn’t have any more to give. My giving lead to enabling. Enabling lead to resentment. Resentment lead to a horrible attitude about giving anything to anybody. I found myself in corner wanting nothing more than to be left alone. My lesson learned is that giving is good as long as it’s not taking away from me. I still have some loose ends back home that I need to tidy up but I feel that’s best done from a distance. And at this stage in my life, if it feels best for me then that’s what I’m going to do. I trust me enough to know that my wants and desires are not unreasonable, neither are my ‘don’t wants and don’t desires’.

So with that friends, here I am. I have sobriety and peace in my heart. I can’t think of anything much better than that. For anyone struggling with co-dependency I highly recommend the book Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. If you don’t know what codependency is just Google it. I firmly believe this book changed my way of thinking and possibly saved my life.

I will be trying out the local yoga studio here in hopes to make some new friends. Oh, and my twin brother and niece, who was also born on our birthday, live in this area. It’s been a joy to see them. I’ll be dressing up as Slimer for Halloween since my niece wants to be a Ghostbuster. My brother will be the State Marshmallow Puff. I’ll be sure to post a pic for you guys!

~ Namaste Bitches 🙂

 

 

 

 

Nerves, weird stuff, and AA

It’s time. I’m going to an AA meeting tonight. A few things happened to bring me to this point. To start it’s just been on my mind for a while. But, my total mental breakdown and the realization that I have detachment/escape issues helped me understand that I really need support in staying sober and re-learning how to cope. I dropped my coping mechanism. And while I’ve found great benefit in yoga it’s not helping me cope. It’s helping me escape in a way because I can totally disappear from my life for 90 minutes a day. That’s fine as long as I’m dealing with stuff outside the yoga room and I’m just not. The other day I was in yoga, laying on my mat (like you do) and I thought to my higher power that I feel really alone in my sobriety. I have support thankfully from friends and family but nobody I know is sober. Right after that, I mean RIGHT after, the instructor said “I’m an alcoholic and this yoga has helped me learn the importance of self love and taking care of myself.” Woah. After class we were talking about it and she said, “I’ve never said that out loud before. I don’t know what made me say it. I guess maybe just the intimacy of the room at that moment.” Double woah.

Yesterday, before class I was talking to a different instructor and she started talking about how she’s been dating this guy for a while who’s on the same plane with her on how to cope with life and look inward, etc. I hadn’t said a word about my sobriety journey or that I was in the throws of a breakdown. And she said “He’s an alcoholic. He’s been sober for 13 years and still attends AA meetings.” She went on to say that she was never much of a drinker but he’s had an influence on her, and that she’s been surprised to find that a lot of yogis in the community are sober. So random.

So, here I am all bundled up with nerves and definitely going to take that step to the 12 step tonight. I am very nervous. What if I’m not alcoholic enough, do you know what I mean? I have no idea what to expect. People are people at the end of the day. Will I be accepted? What if they ask me questions? I’m not good on the spot at all. It takes me 12 light years to process a question and answer it. I’m sweating. Or lord, I’m sweating. Okay. Whew, breathe. I’m going to go for a walk and get some air. Wish me luck guys!!

 

 

 

 

Scared. Fear. Scary fear.

Okay, so the thing about sobriety is you see clearly how many years you spend with your head in the sand and the consequence of that action. I’m currently in a situation that I can’t change for another 7-8 months. At that time we’ll be selling our home and moving (thank god) but until then, this is it. I am really struggling with this and that is super hard for me to admit because I’m used to being the one that encourages everyone to keep one foot in front of the other. Lately though, I feel like I’m just unraveling everywhere. I’m thankful to be sober and at the same time I have this thought “Since you can’t change anything for 7-8 months you can just drink until then.” But that’s not what I want. Yoga has become my haven and I’m thankful for that too. I am scared though. Scared of these feelings. Scared I’ll just pick up and run. Scared I’ll give up and just start drinking and taking pills. Scared I’ll run and leave everyone behind and end up alone with nothing. I’ve done that in the past. I’ve ran so much and ended up so alone. I’m loaded with fear.  Fear. Fear. Fear. I don’t even know who I am in this new skin but I know I don’t like where I am. Ironically, the only thing I have going for me right now is my sobriety. Or at least that’s what this all feels like. Then I worry that I’m being militant about this. I’m trying too hard to push through, be positive, and hang on. This kind of tension leads to breaks. And I feel like I’m having a total breakdown. My fear typically manifests into rage and self destruction. I’m want so much to try loving through this hard time. Self love. Love for others. Or at least just be comfortable being. And yet I feel so detached from myself and everyone around me that it’s scary. It’s like my default reaction is kicking in and I’m trying to fight against my own nature to escape. I know I’m blaming everyone around me for this mess. Everyone should be pulling their weight and doing their part. If they had we wouldn’t be in this mess. It can’t just be me. I feel it. That self righteous feeling. That “it’s not fair” point of view that oddly enough angers me when I see it in others.

This stuff is hard and real. I much prefer to keep things light and funny. But it’s not possible to be that way all the time. Maybe I just need to accept that. Yin and Yang. Life. Ugh. I’ll be okay. I needed to get that off my chest and see it, read it. It helps.

 

 

 

 

Yep …

 

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I came across this cartoon and seriously can’t stop laughing at it. It’s so relatable I can’t even  handle it. The little dog is even smile while drinking coffee. I mean, c’mon! That’s me. In the middle of my own fire-ey hell that I’ve created but it’s fine because I’m sober. I have a cool hat, a smile and a cup of coffee. It’s fine. It’s fine. It REALLY IS totally fine.

I’m sure I’ll figure out what to do with this fire eventually. *sips coffee*

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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!