44 and not too sore

Today I turn 44 yrs old. I am also 295 days alcohol, drug and smoke free.

I had my tarot cards read the other day by a friend of a friend who truly does have a gift. The last time I had them read was several years ago and I was really struggling. I was in a pretty dark place and already feeling sad and lonely in the relationship and I don’t remember a lot of what she told me but I do remember crying through most of the reading. This time she told me to take notes. So I did.

She laid the cards out in their nice little rows and all I saw was a LOT of cups and swords and what looked like a person being tortured in the first row, and a devil in there in one of the rows, and a death card (I think) and some sort of burning tower near the end and other pictures that looked a little scary.

“Wow” the card reader said. I exhaled nervously. “No, really, this is amazing. I haven’t seen cards this great in a long time. This is fantastic” she tried to assure me. Then she started off with the first row which represented recent past, and she got a little choked up and she told me “You’ve been through so much, it’s been really tough for you, but you’re coming out of that dark dark place and you are doing great. You’re doing so great, and you are on the right path”

Here are some of the notes I took:

  • Take weekend trips (she told me that it’s important that I take time for myself, that I get away, that I “take weekend trips”. I have been trying to do this at least once a month so honestly I think my mouth fell open with surprise when she said this)
  • Tap into things that you’re not familiar with (wow, that has been the theme this past 295 days! lol)
  • Devil card – temptation – trust instincts – go for it
  • Categorize and weigh options and pros and cons
  • Doing a great job of working on myself
  • take inventory of myself
  • Hanged man – decision making – take time
  • In a few months I will need to make a major decision that could result in something lifechanging and amazing (I think this was the burning tower and death card row)

Oh and also that I really need to work on my organization skills and be careful with my money, be thankful of things and some other stuff too. It was interesting and fun!


Stress on top of stress on top of stress

I have been dealing with a LOT of stress lately (mostly at work). I have one staff member who is causing so many problems and doing things that I have never – IN MY CAREER – had to deal with before. It came to a head just over a week ago. It took every single ounce of control I had to not buy a bottle of wine on the way home that night. My mind kept going to all of the alcohol that the person I live with has in the house. I was so stressed out and so worried about what was going on at work that I just wanted to escape and hide and forget about it. I just kept telling myself “That’s no longer an option baby, so you better come up with some other things to do instead. Curl up on the couch and binge on netflix? Go for a bike ride? Call a friend to go for a walk or hike? Go to a movie?”

I have been back to drinking that SanPelligrino Lemonada (tart lemon) and the real gingery gingerales again like I was at the beginning of sobriety and eating boatloads of chocolate and/or sweet stuff. I have been feeling squirrely for lack of a better word. I want to run away and hide. That has always been me – I hate, hate, hate, hate HATE conflict of any type.

I took off for the weekend and did lots of hiking and exploring, sat in small coffee shops and bought ice cream, in towns hours and hours away. I came back with a clearer head but as soon as I got back to work on Tuesday (it was a long weekend here) I could feel the anxiety and panic creeping in. I wanted (and still want to) stick my head in the sand and not deal with any of it, but I have been forcing myself to try to deal with it head on, hands shaking and face flushed with frustration lol.

Still sober! 289 days today, and my sobriety clock had a very apt saying for me today 🙂

Life is very, very stressful at home lately too. I feel like I’m floundering everywhere. Oh well, this too shall pass 🙂 Or as my favourite song goes “I will survive!!” 🙂

I didn’t get sober to sit on the couch.

Today marks 274 days (or 9 months + one day) that I am clean, sober and smoke free.

Lately I have been feeling better – more alive, happier, peaceful, inquisitive, and full of gratitude than I have in a long, long time. It feels so weird that I’m at 274 days already, less than 100 to go until a full year! The first 100 days dragged… and I mean DRAGGED by. Also – I turn 44 in a few weeks, and that also feels weird that I’m already almost 44.

I think that a HUGE part of feeling so good lately is that I have been really active. Like super, chubby butt jiggling active. I try to start every day off with a run on the treadmill, usually only for 20-30 mins but enough to work up a sweat. I have to do this in the morning before work because if I try to do it at night instead I procrastinate and make excuses and more excuses and then I don’t do it. I’m also trying to get out for a bike ride or walk on my lunch break, and another walk in the evening. Weekend hikes and exploring, and really taking the time to ooo and ahhh over my surroundings and LOOK for beauty around me (sounds silly but it has really changed my mindset!)

My weekend hikes and exploring has exploded to new levels lately and I am honestly loving it. I’m going out again this weekend with a friend, to a place that’s about 3 hours away and we may even go canoeing too. I have gone from pushing myself to do some small active thing every day to squirming around in my seat at work just wanting to get outside and play in nature. Or more truthfully, I have gone from counting down the minutes til I can buy a bottle of wine on the way home to drink while sitting on the couch watching tv all night to squirming around in my seat at work thinking about nature and adventure and exploring.

The downside is that the person who I live with, is not happy and adventurous and full of life and positive energy. This is an ongoing internal battle for me because when I’m around him, I feel myself retreating and putting up the walls and looking for escape. The escape that I used to find in a bottle or by getting high. I go on these fantastic little adventures and day trips and hikes and come home to an angry, negative force who is usually sitting on the couch drinking a beer or storming around the house pissed off about something. I ask him how his day was and it’s always something negative. Always. He’s always angry at someone or something and it’s pretty rare actually that he will even ask me how my day was. If he does, he’s already blocking me out and distracted by about one sentence into my answer. The funny part is that he has been like that from the day that we got together and I always made excuses up for him, and then I started accepting it as just who he was, and then it started bothering me to the point that I would drink sooner in the day and more often so that I didn’t have to deal with it, but now I feel guilty that it bothers me. He chooses to be negative and angry. I chose 274 days ago to make changes in my life that have led me on some great adventures and given me an escape from that, even if they are temporary little escapes. Who knows what the next few months will bring ❤

You know what I don’t miss?

I’m at 260 days, and that seems insane to me. I never thought I’d make it past day 3, and then couldn’t believe that I made it to 20 days, and wow, 100 days came and went and I kept on going and I was so, so, sooo proud of myself. It hasn’t been easy, but it has gotten easier, especially now that I am staying active and getting nature therapy as often as I can and pretty much avoiding the man who’s house I live in. The more I’m enjoying life and having fun and doing my own thing, the more angry he gets towards me (and why wouldn’t he?). Lately I’ve been reminiscing about how easy it was to escape the feelings of hurt and frustration and sadness by drinking myself into blackouts. I don’t feel like I’m romanticizing what it was like when I was drinking, but I do have to keep reminding myself about the things that I DON’T miss about it. I do not ever want to jump down that rabbit hole again. I can’t.

  • Damage control the morning after. That sinking feeling when I woke up “oh god, who did I text? or call? Did I go on facebook? How do I check for comments I made on instagram?”
  • Hiding it. Hiding it all the time – wine bottles stashed around the house. Empty wine bottles in the trunk of my car so that I could drop them off in recycling bins in other places. Wine in to-go cups. Wine in travel mugs. Wine in my water bottle while I was running on the treadmill (seriously!!)!
  • how embarrassed I was on recycling day, and trying to hide the bottles under the other recycling, or just buy boxes of wine but then I’d also have bottles too because…
  • The PLANNING involved, especially if there was an activity or event. How much can I drink before we leave to get a buzz going and feel comfortable? Got to make sure that there is a bottle of wine or two for when I get home!
  • The hangovers and wasted weekends
  • The being late and feeling like shit at work Fridays (and other days of the week  most of the time too)
  • Lying to my kids “I’m just tired. I’m just tired and I didn’t eat much today, so that ONE GLASS of wine hit me really hard”
  • Ordering a glass of wine AS SOON as I got to a meeting place/ restaurant etc with my friends because I didn’t want them to smell it on my breath that I had already been drinking
  • Blackouts. The embarrassing stories I heard and the ones that I worried about that I didn’t hear. Not even wanting to ask, because I dreaded the answer so much about what I had done the night before
  • The things and events and moments that I missed. The ones that I don’t remember.
  • Not BEING THERE for friends, family if/when they needed me.
  • Being so wrapped up in myself and making it all about me. *I* had a tough day. *I* just needed to relax. *I* deserved to let loose…
  • All of the excuses! All of the excuses…. 😦

Yikes, when I read that list over I just cringe. It almost feels like I’m writing about a completely different person 😦

Oh Canada! Happy day!

I live on the Canadian prairies and yesterday was Canada day! As it is also Canada 150, there were lots of extra little things going on too. 

One of those extra special little things is that I’m now a grandma to a beautiful little boy! He was 2 weeks late and almost 10lbs! 

The labor was very long and ended in emergency c-section, and I stayed for all of it. The other side grandfather who I was sitting with most of the time slipped home a few times to “calm his nerves”. When the choice was made to go with a c-section, both of the other grandparents took off for home to “relax”. It was another moment where I was so happy that I’m not drinking any more. I stayed at the hospital. I was there when he entered the world and I was there when my son came out to share the news and I got to see, unfiltered, the look of pure pride and joy on his face. I got to share so many moments of it with my sisters and mom and happy new friend via phone & text. Thank goodness for modern technology, it sure can make times like that feel less lonely. 

The thought of drinking has been on my mind a lot lately. Thankfully it hasn’t been strong urges, but it feels like it’s just there lurking. I’m battling intense feelings of loneliness lately and I just want to curl up and withdraw from the world. I know that this is due to the situation at home and what I’m dealing with there, so I’m fighting this by getting out and hiking, walking and being honest with a few friends about what is going on and the behaviour I’m dealing with. 

Happy Canada day to my fellow Canadians! Hope you all had a safe, fun and wonderful day yesterday.🇨🇦❤️🇨🇦

I’m sober, not boring

I have struggled a lot since I quit drinking 241 days ago. Struggled to deal with my wild emotions, struggled to try to fit in and not feel left out, struggled with cravings and sadness and loneliness and just so many things, even rashes and skin irritations and extra body weight that absolutely refuses to give up camp no matter what I do.

I made a new friend recently, someone who “gets me” – who has the same quirky sense of humour and love of adventure. Someone who is super easy to talk to and laugh with and has just been a breath of fresh air or ray of sunshine in my little life the past few weeks. I’ve always had a very close circle of friends (ie only a few), and part of my struggle since quitting drinking is that they all just don’t get it. They’re nice, they try to be supportive, but they make a big deal about it. It always gets brought up or worked into the conversation like I’m something that they need to poke a stick at and discuss what to do with. Life at home has been pretty much hell on earth for me and has added immensely to the feelings of loneliness these past 8 months. My new friend doesn’t need alcohol to be friendly and outgoing and super duper funny, they may only drink one drink the entire night once a week, if that. I feel SO relaxed and more myself around them than I have in a long, long time, and I am absolutely terrified I’m going to ruin it. I ruined a lot of friendships (and relationships) when I was drinking. Not even fights, just people getting tired of putting up with my sh*t and slowly drifting away. I have that feeling now like “oh godddd what if I do something? What if I scare them away? Be myself? I’m still learning what that is!” I am just enjoying it day by day. That’s all we have I guess.