18 months sober and I haven’t looked back – Much!

The reason for the odd glance in the rear view mirror is due to the fact that I am surrounded by alcohol EVERY SINGLE DAY! Most days are never an issue but there have been a couple of days in my journey that I got a little freaked out and wondered “will this be the day it all comes crashing down?” Thankfully, it has never crashed down around me and I trust it never will because I own my sobriety and take full responsibility for my thoughts and my actions on a daily basis.

Although the waters have been relatively calm over these past 18 months, I have found that self-care is even more important than it was before sobriety; and more importantly it is not selfish, it is paramount. I believe that it is the difference between success and failure. Failure in that you can’t realize your goals or reach your full potential on whatever path you’ve set out for yourself, instead you accept what is and there is the potential to fall back into old traps.

I love to cook, create and craft and I have both a well stocked pantry and craft room so there is never an excuse when the mood strikes, and it strikes often. But, equally important are my daily workouts (albeit I don’t work up near the sweat I used to) and reading. I am a voracious reader, always have been and I trust I always will be. I currently have over 900 books on my Kobo reader, of which, almost all (98%) were free. I am perfectly happy to sit and sip a lovely homemade Earl Grey Latte and read, even if it is only a few minutes. I read every day, it allows me to let go of whatever is occupying space in my mind and just be. In case you’re curious, my reading list is as eclectic as I am and I read or at least peruse just about anything from murder mysteries to a good romance novel with just enough sex and drama to keep it interesting. Usually it’s books on spirituality and world religion that occupy the most of my reading time. Both subjects fascinate me and there are no end to either subject or accompanying opinions.

Self care has always been important and for me it is now an integral part of my sober journey and maintaining my overall well being. Please, make some time for you, even if it’s only a few minutes carved out of your day or an hour long soak in the tub, you’re worth it!

“You have permission to rest. You are not responsible for fixing everything that is broken. You do not have to try to make everyone happy. For now, take time for you. It’s time to replenish.” – Unknown

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2018 A new beginning or is it?

2018 MMXVIII, the Year of the Dog, a common year (exactly 365 days), and the 18th year of the 3rd millennium is shaping up to be a great year.

1 January 2018 I will have 30 smoke free years under my belt and more importantly (at least to me) 17 months of sobriety. The first of each month – as does each day, offers a reminder of just how strong I am, and how far I’ve come. By the same token, I am mindful that through my own thoughts and actions or lack thereof, my sobriety can be given away by me in an instant.

A new year can offer a fresh start, a new perspective or sadly, thoughts of self doubt and failure. So if your 2018 involves some lifestyle changes, I would suggest setting yourself up for success and find yourself a community of likeminded supportive people that you can connect with either online or in person. The resources and places to find these communities are endless, one only has to type that which you seek into a search engine and voila! The point being there is no need, nor should you do it alone. It can be comforting to know that you can reach out at anytime and there will be someone on the other end to offer a smile, a wink, or a word or two of understanding and encouragement, or in some cases a well deserved kick in the butt. And more importantly, you are not alone in your journey. In my opinion it’s always best to have several tools in the tool box and a couple of options to offer you a different perspective. I think people feel more grounded when they have choices relating to their needs. A few of communities I visit or subscribe to on a regular basis and in no particular order are; thesoberschool.com; Sherecovers.co; Fmumble; and okayishness.wordpress.com. I enjoy what’s offered by these women and what they have to say. At times, I feel like I’ve been able to relate or offer my own opinion to a topic of discussion.

My plan for 2018 is to maintain my commitment to my sobriety, to continue to live my life with dignity and to my best on any given day, and to share a bit of my story on a much more consistent basis via this blog.

All the best for a great year no matter the path you choose, whether you set intentions or make resolutions I hope you all enjoy the freedom to make those choices. All the best for 2018.

In the words of Teddy Roosevelt “Believe you can and you’re half way there”.

DaM

It’s been a good year – to be sober

I haven’t counted the number of days in quite some time but today is a special one. Today, August 1, 2017 is a celebration of my dedication and determination in achieving and maintaining 365 days of sobriety. There were more than a few days when my sober self salivated at the thought of enjoying a cool refreshing beverage, but the thought and cost of letting myself down far outweighed the nonexistent gratification I would get from a drink.

I did not hit rock bottom, or at least what one would imagine. I was however, sick and tired of being sick and tired and I wanted something better for my self. I drank everyday, and it was only the rarest of occasions when I didn’t have a glass of something – usually red wine in my hand. I come by my love affair with alcohol honestly; grandmother, father (54 years sober), mother and an aunt (25 years sober), so the only way I knew to get here from there was through sobriety. 

My body has continued to change throughout this past year. I have lost 35 pounds, my skin is clear, as is my ability to focus and be present in the moment. No longer having to give thought as to where and when will my next drink come from is truly liberating. As is waking each morning with clarity and gratitude that was never present in the past. Thankfully with each passing day I think about alcohol less and less, and though I own my sobriety, it is not something I take for granted as it can be taken from me at any time should I choose to give it up. 

As I move forward I know for certain that three drinks will always be too many and ten will never be enough. So for today my choice is none and I live knowing that today is better than yesterday and should I be blessed with a tomorrow, I will attempt to live the day with grace and dignity while remaining true to my sober self.

100 Days in the Making

                                                                           

November 8, 2016 will be a history-making day, at least that’s my prediction. The first female president of the United States of America will be elected, and I will have been sober for 100 days.

I’ve done a lot of reading over the past 100 days. Pouring over blogs that piqued my interest; Thesoberschool.com; and Hipsobriety.com are two blogs that have resonated with me in one fashion or another. And they inspired me in shaping my resolve to become and remain sober.

My journey of sobriety has been a long time in the making, however, it’s only been since my retirement in June 2015 from the Canadian Armed Forces and specifically the Royal Canadian Air Force, that I’ve stopped long enough to truly look at myself and realize that I wanted better for myself. This journey of 100 days has taught me that I am not powerless over alcohol. I am in fact in complete control over my decision to drink or not to. I do know and believe that for me it is easier to remain sober than to get sober.

Waking each day with gratitude vice a hangover and yet more self-loathing has been one of the biggest changes and the most welcome. In the past hating myself and vowing to do better would have clouded my thoughts all day long – at least until I got home and popped the cork on a bottle of wine; red in case you’re curious. The bottle of course would be empty by evening’s end, enjoyed by a party of one.

My body has gone through some significant changes as well in these last 100 days. Better sleep, better eating, coupled with a 25 lb weight loss, more energy, and more clarity. Not to mention better liver function (at least I hope so), and ridding my body of a boatload of toxins. Equally important, I’m back doing things that give me great pleasure and I’ve not done in earnest for a number of years; crafting, cooking from scratch, writing poetry, and photography.

Of all the things that I am beginning to discover on my journey, is that perhaps it’s not about counting days and milestones, maybe it’s just about being; being sober. Here’s to 100 more!

I whispered “I Love You”

I could not look in the mirror to see or open my ears to hear

Now 100 days sober I am longer in fear

No more haze or hangovers

My soul whole and my path clear

I shouted “I Love You”

This time I shout back to my reflection in the mirror

“I Love You too”

 

 

Capricious – adjective

According to the Oxford Dictionary, capricious is an adjective with origins from the 17th century and is defined by the following:

1.Given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behaviour: a capricious and often brutal administration; and

1.1 Changing according to no discernible rules; unpredictable: a capricious climate.
Having retired in June of 2015, I am partial to version 1.1. Spending 31 1/3 years serving my country as a member of Canada’s military, specifically, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) this blog allows for me to put my random thoughts and musings to paper without too many rules as I explore the uncharted waters of retirement.
So I thought it fitting for the 92nd day of the year and the 92nd anniversary of the RCAF (1 April 1924) that I start my blog. If you happen to drop by and like what you read, I hope you’ll come back and visit my page.
Kind thoughts, and thank you for your time
Deborah Ann