Yada yada bing bang

Why hello there!

It’s been a while… and I actually can’t believe how fast time is going by and how many things I’ve managed to do since the last time I was here (was it seriously back in September that I wrote on here last??!! HOWWW has time gone by that quickly??!!)

Ok let’s see… STILL SOBER, still smoke free – it has been 924 days according to my app, which is 2 1/2 years. Wild… It is definitely easier now for sure, but there’s still the occasional time that a craving or urge or all-consuming desire to drink will blindside me. I just ride them out. I know that they’ll pass and that when they do I will be so grateful that I did not give in. Sometimes I play out in my mind “Ok what will happen if I have a drink or two tonight to get through this rough time or just because I feel like being social and drinking?” and then I think of the pretty much worst case scenario, because – why glorify or romanticize it?

I have been doing a lot of work on myself working through the feelings and emotions and all that fun stuff. It’s quite interesting when you can’t escape it! I truly feel like such a different person – so much more calm and nurturing and understanding and so so proud of myself. I still have some bad days, but the good FAR outnumber the hard ones.

I have been doing a lot of work on my house too! I  started off by replacing a few light fixtures. And then I spent a LOT of time thinking about what to do with my dark little kitchen and I decided to paint the cupboards and walls and put a backsplash up. That’s a really big job by the way – painting the cupboards… much more time consuming than I had anticipated haha. For the backsplash I went with a cool metallic looking glue-down plastic one by Fasade. OOooo LOVED it! Super easy. Super eye-catching. Seriously my kitchen now makes my heart happy when I walk into it. So thennnn I decided to redo the bathroom. Yikes. New toilet, new vanity, new floor and installed a backsplash behind vanity & toilet wall (went with same fasade brand, different tiles… very much a wow factor). This one pushed me to my limits, but I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of myself for taking it on. It was not easy at all, especially with it being such an old house.

I have been doing a lot of work on my relationships with friends and family. This is a tough one. I have had to recently cut a few friends out of my life. One I haven’t really enjoyed being friends with since I quit drinking. I think that I may have mentioned her off and on in here. I found that I would feel anxious at the thought of getting together with her and then feel angry or unsettled afterwards. The other friend has been a friend since childhood but the past few years have definitely put a strain on our friendship. This has given me extra time and energy to nurture friendships and relationships that I truly cherish.

I have been doing some traveling. I found a ridiculously cheap deal on a trip to China ($598 all inclusive for flights, hotels, tours, most meals, etc for 10 days/8nights). My boyfriend/adventure partner and I took the chance (we honestly thought it might be a scam and had a whole backup plan in case we got to the airport and we weren’t actually on a flight to China). Anyway – REALLY GREAT EXPERIENCE. Really great. If anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me or ask in comments below and I’m happy to answer. I have a national board meeting coming up on the East Coast and my boyfriend/adventure partner is going to go with me and we’re taking an extra 9 days to hike, camp, drive and explore the atlantic provinces. So excited about that.

 

699 bottleless days

Tomorrow will be 700 days of no alcohol and no smoking. 699 wild wild days today.

I have had to do a lot of soul searching over the past almost-700 days. I have had a lot of fun, and have a lot to be grateful for, but I have also had some really really rough days. There has been SO much going on in my life – working two jobs, long distance relationship, empty nest, and a million ideas swirling through my poor brain, great adventures and sometimes crushing, suffocating loneliness. I want to write a book, I want to write a screenplay, I want to start a cookie decorating business, I want to open a business, I want to move, I want to travel I want, want,want to live life to the fullest. My inner nomad or gypsy is fighting to break free and roam lol. I think though, that at the root of it is trying to figure out how to deal with feelings and emotions that I used to drink to drown out and that my “flight” instinct is kicking in in high gear.

My amazing and beautiful adventure partner is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever met in my life and I honestly think that this was one of my greatest gifts of sobriety, something that makes me SO thankful for being able to be present. I find so much joy in reciprocating as well. When I think about how horribly I was treated in my last relationship, it makes me so sad for the people who are still stuck in relationships like that. I have had to work hard to forgive myself for letting myself be treated that way (THAT was fun *insert eye roll here*).

I think that the thing that surprises me the most is how an urge or thought to drink can sneak up on you so quickly and unexpectedly. The other day I was driving through an area of the city that has some funky bars and I thought “Hey, I should stop in to one of these places for a drink!” and then that thought was immediately followed by “what the HECK?! Where did that come from?” I still have a cupboard fully stocked with specialty gingerales, la croix and rootbeers etc, which I actually love flinging open with gusto whenever I get the chance to show it off 🙂

My adventure partner and I booked a trip to China for March. It was spur of the  moment – I saw a really great deal, emailed him about it and we decided to book it. AFTER that I started looking at reviews on the company (Compass Holidays) and have read some pretty bad/scary reviews. yikes. I am sure that we will have fun, even if we are stuck on a 10 day high pressure sales tour hahahaha. eeep. So if anyone out there has been on one of these trips and has good things to say, please say them! 😉

On a side note, I finally downloaded the Spotify App and love it. I will be baking and decorating cookies and think “hmmm… I wonder if there’s a cookie decorating playlist”, do a search for “cookie decorating playlist” and BAM! There is one and it has awesome songs on it! Same thing for housework. I’m guessing that this is how everyone listens to podcasts? Yes, I am about 2 years behind the times lol.

Hope you’re all doing so well, and finding the beauty in life ❤

600+

608 or so crazy days, but I’m still here! (Update- I just noticed that it was exactly 20 months when I wrote this! Holy crow that went by quickly!! 😮)

I’ve been struggling off and on though with moods and how to deal with feelings (gross – feelings?! What do I do now that I’m not numbing or hiding from those things?!). Other days I’m awesomely happy and blissful. It’s a roller coaster for sure, but I have really been working through the rough days. I’m a worrier and I take everything personally, and I know that I need to work on both of those.

My adventure partner and I managed to get away for a week of road tripping, camping, exploring and fun. It was jam packed and very long days and lots of time in the vehicle but I think that it really really solidified the fact that we are really great at traveling together. It didn’t start off great though as we left on a Monday after a weekend that my mom had come out for a visit. I have struggled with a relationship with my mom for a very long time and this is the first time that I have spent time with her in person since I quit drinking. Just talking to her on the phone during early sobriety was enough to send me into a tailspin, fighting insane cravings to get blackout drunk. So needless to say, I was in a bit of a funk from when I dropped her off at the airport on the Sunday to shortly after when we left for our roadtrip on the Monday. He is such a gentle and kind soul though, and funny too, so I was able to kick the mood relatively quickly (although for a while there I’m sure he was pretty happy that he lives 6+ hours away from me and rarely has to see me in that kind of mood! haha.)

I have been dealing with (and trying to work through) a lot of anger lately too. I honestly think that part of it is because I’m eating pretty crappily and I’m not getting as much exercise and outdoor time as I need. I have been swamped working two jobs and falling behind on pretty much everything. Feeling overwhelmed for me = stress eating and very poor time management. I started having problems with my sciatic nerve too, which has made it painful to walk/run/hike.

Anyway… speaking of poor time management, I have a huge stack of work on my desk that I need to get to. 😉

Flies the time

Oh my gosh, I honestly can’t believe how quickly time is going by lately! I am so busy too with two jobs. The weather is finally starting to feel a bit nicer here, so I have been trying to get outside for longer walks, but haven’t done a good hike yet 😦

SO! I HAVE OFFICIALLY MADE IT TO 1 1/2 YRS! As of yesterday – 548 days which was 1 yr, six months exactly since I quit smoking and drinking. Holy crow…

Things are going really well! As I said, really busy (but that’s good), feeling much more calm and in control than I think that I ever have. I have been having some issues with some people in my life and I have been able to step back, think about it calmly and figure out how to proceed without losing my sh*t or bottle my emotions up then get drunk and send angry texts (haha, oyyy… weren’t those the days?!! Ugh *insert eye roll here*). I’m feeling incredibly productive at work too. What I AM noticing is a bitchy type of intolerance within myself towards the ridiculous need for other people to push/promote/celebrate alcohol. (See? There was no need for me to insert the word ridiculous there, but I did, and I rolled my eyes and grimaced when I did it too. That’s what I’m talking about.)

I have one of my twice yearly in-person national board meetings in a few weeks and our “socializing events” that have been organized include a dinner at a pub, and then a wine and distillery tour (via a bus, with dinner somewhere along the route). Actually, those are the only two socializing events that have been organized, and I feel really… frustrated. My initial reaction was “Seriously?!” I want to go to them because I love socializing with this group, but I am actually already feeling really anxious about it. What do I do – take a bottle of Carbonated water with me on the tour? I know I would be the only one declining it if I choose to go that route.

Hope you are all doing great, I’m really need to find the time to get in here more often even if it’s just to keep caught up on how everyone is doing. Do any of you have any great time management tips or websites or books to recommend?

 

Something like 17 months

513 days sober and smoke free today! HOLY CROW… My main big question is: “Where is all of my extra money?!!” Lol, only joking a little bit on that one. I honestly can’t imagine where I would be financially right now if I was still smoking and drinking (my nomo app says that I have saved in the vicinity of $10k over the past 17 months). I did go a little wild with spending money the past year, pampering myself, going on some great trips and weekend getaways, buying out all stores in my general vicinity of their chocolate supplies…  things that I never would have been able to add to my life without going into financial crisis if I was still spending the $ on wine and cigs like I was before I quit.

I started a second job just before Christmas, and I love it. I feel like my plate is very very full right now though. Sometimes it feels a little overwhelming and thanks to my complete lack of time management skills I do feel anxious quite often. 2 jobs (1 full, one part), 2 board of directors commitments, 2 kids getting married in the next year, 3 dogs, a car that isn’t too old but has 370,000km on it (just praying it hangs in there until at least 600k!), a long distance boyfriend, a grandson that I wish I could see more often (that’s a whole other story, and one I am finding common among other moms of the dads) and a 17 yr old that I really need to connect with more. I have had the occasional “Oh gosh it would be so nice to go home to a glass of wine” or “it would be so nice and relaxing to just sit around the bonfire with a spiked hot chocolate” but I have been able to pull myself back to reality pretty quickly by thinking about how good things are WITHOUT the booze. Without the hangovers and without the missed evenings, without the embarrassment of waking up and having to do damage control, etc etc… etc. I find my peace and my energy in nature. To quote the words of another blogger on here that I just read “I am learning about the therapeutic power of nature and being outdoors – this cannot be underestimated.” It really truly can’t.

I hope that you’re all doing well, I feel bad that I haven’t been on here much at all lately to keep up with how everyone is doing. ❤

457

Heya! It’s been far too long! Here I am, still sober and ridiculously busy! I am at 457 days, which is pretty close to 1 yr and 3 months. I made it though my second sober holiday season and am feeling content even in the middle of our horrible Canadian Prairies Winter!

What have I been up to since I posted here last (at the beginning of December? Seriously it has been that long??!). Let’s see… I started running again, I started keeping track of what I’m eating on the My Fitness Pal app, including any junky food, I picked up a second job that I LOVE, I have been getting outside and active as much as possible, including a hike in -34’c weather! I have been tapping in to my creative side during my “free time”, I have been spending time with my grandson, I have been laughing and out for coffees & dinners with friends, I have been trying as hard as I can to follow the rule “put down what it did to you. Pick up what you got from it.” when I feel myself getting angry at the way that I let the ex treat me. I have made it through some thoughts about “maybe just one drink”, “maybe just one bender”, “It would be so nice to go home to a glass of wine”, and I tell myself WHAT ARE YOU POSSIBLY THINKING? GO FOR A WALK AND LOOK FOR SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL! I have done trip planning and bugged my adventure partner about planning some future trips. I have had sparkling apple juice in a chocolate flute, and “unicorn hot chocolate” and lots and lots of water. I have cuddled puppies and made spontaneous evening or Sunday afternoon plans where I had to go and drive somewhere. I have had more energy and positivity at work and been able to come up with, focus on,  and execute some really awesome plans. I have been more involved and interactive on the boards that I sit on (uhhh… that doesn’t sound right hahah! Board of directors boards, not wooden ones!). I have taken time off to nurture my soul and do nice things for myself and just be lazy. I have had no problem saying no to going to places or being in situations that I’m not comfortable with, and feel like I’m starting to finally get into the groove of this! Even on the bad days I make a point of listing things that I am grateful for and making a point of looking for beauty in nature, or things that tickle my funny bone, and I try as much as I possible can to be active and get outside. Wheww!

Thinking of you all and wishing you all a very happy new year! I’m sorry I haven’t been around that often these days ❤

Jingly balls

Heading in to my second Christmas /holiday season sober and I’m feeling really really good about it. I’m at 406 days today, sober and smoke free yippee!

The difference between this year and last year at this time is enormous. Just the feeling of calm and inner peace of no longer being in a terrible relationship. Not being screamed at in private by someone who acts like Mr Wonderful around other people. Not being guilted into going to his friends holiday parties where someone is constantly shoving a drink in your hand. Not having to deal with all of the mental games and the bs and everything else that went along with being in a relationship with a narcissistic bully. I am so glad to be out of that. I am so grateful for my sobriety and my amazing kids, and my adventure partner. A year ago I was struggling so badly trying to make it through each day. I was SO sad and lonely and scared and felt so, sooo trapped. Today I can’t stop smiling and thinking about upcoming hikes and snowshoeing and wintertime activities and adventures, and relaxing, calm and fun holiday festivities with my people. I’m excited to find special little meaningful ways to spoil and treat the ones in my life that I love, and know that they will appreciate it.

What I can’t get over though – is how absolutely alcohol saturated everything is right now. It really really boggles my mind. I’m afraid to even try anyone’s Christmas baking or eat unpackaged chocolates (damn it, cause I love chocolates!) hahaha. It really does surprise me how much marketing has alcohol in it that doesn’t even NEED alcohol in it – ie printed ads for a company that makes holiday dips, but the ads all have glasses of wine in  them next to the bowls of dips. WHY???