I was thinking today as I often do about how my life has changed since I became sober this time around. In a months time I will have been sober for 2 years and I really, really wished I’d done it sooner and did it how I have this time around. For over twenty years I drunk myself to sleep / pass out just about every night. I was keeping myself numbed from feeling bad things that had happened to me in my life. Thinking about it now though I was numbing myself but I was also delaying myself from doing any healing. I spent so many years in that haze that I really didn’t need to I could of been free a long, long time ago.
If your out there and you are drinking to numb away something painful I really feel for you. I understand you and I see you and your pain. If it was at all possible I would reach through this screen and take you by the hand, pull you through and give you a big hug. If your reading this and thinking this is me I pray that you to find away out like I did. For me there was no magic, there was no AA, there was no turning religious (but for those that there was I think your awesome, just whatever it takes and what works for you) for me I was just tired. I was sick and tired of being drunk, depressed, suicidal and my life was out of control. I started blogging on here and that alone can be a powerful tool if you use it wisely. By wisely I mean be honest, if your having a shit time say it, if your happy say it, just keep coming on here and making yourself accountable to turning up and typing it out. Try therapy, I would of been the first one to roll my eyeballs at that one! No thanks, no siree, not for me I’ll deal with my own shit thanks. Guess what it ended up being one of the best things I did and it didn’t take that many sessions. I’m not “fixed” but I have a healthier way of thinking about everything. I still have really shit days, I can drop back into depression without any warning, I still have periods of self loath. I also have stronger relationships, happy days some really happy days, days that are full of gratitude and even times when I think shit you know what I’m a pretty awesome person.
Living life sober, raw & real allows you to feel, feel the good and the bad but you feel. And you deal, you stop numbing everything and you bring it out and slowly dissect it. In my mind I think of it as I have suitcases full of all my shit, I unpack each one and deal with what ever is in it. Some I don’t repack and instead I say it’s time to let go, you are part of what created me into the person I am today but I no longer want to carry you in my mind. Some things I want to repack and occasionally I might look in the suitcase and go, nope not quite ready for you and move on to another one. I am glad I stopped numbing and started feeling.
Well the first day of 2020 is almost over and I have to say I have mixed feelings about the year ahead. Although I am pretty sure I am going to have to face my worst nightmare of having my little dog pass to Rainbow Bridge this year which is killing me, have I told you all she is my heart beat. She is my total soul mate, we have both needed and been there for each other and the bond is the strongest I have ever had with a pet. Arrggghh can’t keep writing about that as my eyes are welling up as I just can’t deal with it.
Back to 2020 and my mixed feelings, apart from the above I have a positive feeling about the year ahead. It’s not a fuck yeah I have live sussed sort of feeling by any means because the simple truth is I don’t. It’s not even a I know where I’m heading in my life sort of feeling because I know that it’s not heading in the direction I need to go in career wise. What do they say find something that you love doing and you will never have to work another day in your life? I think that’s how it goes anyway but I honestly thought I had found what I was made for but then the barrier of my debt and the fact that I can’t afford the $6,000 course fees, then text book fees, then the cost 3 weeks in Auckland which you have to attend at the university. Lets add to that the fact that when I graduate I would have to find a position and the starting wage is between $5-7 an hour less than what I currently earn now. It is simply just not possible for me to do it this year. Being single I do not have the back up of someone else bringing in an income to help and my current income is just covering my living expenses and loan repayments along with vet bills. If anyone says well hopefully they will be less I will personally reach through here and slap you, I would rather be living like this and have my heartbeat than be living without her medical expenses. There are other things happening as well that I’m not excited about either but I won’t bore you with them tonight.
BUT the thing is I am still feeling positive in general about the year ahead. I honestly think a lot has to do with the fact I’m not drinking and I do not have that dragging me down into a negative abyss that with everything else going on I simply would not have the energy to drag myself out of at the moment. I know that I am mentally in a far better position than I have been in the last 20 plus years to be able to cope and to be grateful for everything that I have. I have the important things in life, I have love, friends (including some freakin amazing ones), a home, food, a job, an income and am fucken sober! I have everything I need to turn things around and keep moving forward. Bring it 2020 I am ready and amped to meet you.
Funny I’m not normally one of those people that gets excited about starting a New Year but this time around for some reason I really am. Hmm maybe it comes with putting a Christmas tree up and feeling the festive spirit. But anyway I am trying to focus on what I can do that is positive and doable for me that will make me happier and improve me. I keep having things pop into my mind that I want to add to my remembered thoughts (haha I really do have a crap memory, awesome post idea in the morning come night time arrrgggghhhh what was that idea) but I am excited and ready. Let’s see how much I manage to start working on and actually achieve then ah.
- Improve health and loose weight
- Work on reducing my debt
- Work on getting my foot to heal – (just stopped this list and booked a Podiatrist)
- Spend as much time with my dogs as possible
- Go on more walks in nature
- Explore my city more and mark off all streets, roads etc as I go
- Read more books, I love my books
- Build up to doing my first 1/2 marathon
I’m sure there is so many more and know I have thought of them but bloody forgotten lol maybe it should be work on my memory. But working on my health which combines weight, mental health and physical health has to take priority. It’s not just a case of don’t get on the scales I actually feel fat and useless, my clothes don’t fit properly, my tummy is so round and I hate it, feeling like a slug, an unfit slug. I have the power to improve this and I have the mind power to make sure it happens.
I am going to start on the New Year, now before anyone says why not start now I am also very aware of how easy I end up feeling overwhelmed and at the moment my work hours are incredible and the stress of family Christmas time all need to be behind me so I can start with a clear slate. There will always be something and that is life, like my little dog being sick I can’t stop that but I will do everything in my power to keep her here and healthy for as long as I can but I can’t use that as an excuse for holding myself back as once that is sorted there will be something else.
Living life sober, raw and real kicks arse and is so much better than the shit life I was living as a drunk. I went into the festive season thinking oh it’s that tough time of the year when friends are out drinking and being jolly and that I would miss drinking. Actually I am having a happier and jollier time than them when I look at it. I look at each time they mention feeling unwell or hung over and just laugh and say I don’t miss that a bit. I am enjoying every morning but they are often sleeping off the night before while I am out enjoying myself. I didn’t even attend our work Xmas party (I had a tooth out that afternoon so it wasn’t intentional) and I didn’t miss it and I was actually much happier at home just doing my own thing. Hmmm just thought of, no remembered because I have thought about it before, something else I want to add to my to do list going to add it now. Sorry this one ended up a bit all over the place as my rambling dropped out of my mind and on to here!
Is it sobriety or age that is making me feel all about the peace, love and happiness vibe? I just seriously can’t be bothered with drama being anywhere near me. I also find myself distancing myself from people that really don’t deserve me in their life. I don’t mean that in a horrible way but more I have a friend (I still consider her a friend but I won’t actively seek her out anymore) who seems to run a repeat cycle of apologizing for things. I used to ask her what are you apologizing for just so I can be sure I know if she is saying it about something that has hurt me. Now I just can’t even be bothered with that if you say sorry for certain behavior and then you just keep doing that behavior in my mind it just wipes out the apology so why bother. Reading that sounds real bitchy and it doesn’t mean to sound that way, I mean the people well and hope they go on and have a happy life.
Shit what am I trying to say here??? I guess I value my own peace, love and happiness more than I did previously. I deserve better than what I was letting myself get served in life before. By accepting the behavior and forgiving the person over and over I was also teaching them that it was okay to do that. It’s not okay to do that nor to be treated like that. Maybe at 51 I know that I’ve probably lived over half my life already. Maybe now I’m sober and no longer numbing all feelings anymore I am feeling things deeper. Maybe with learning self care I know that also means be selective and don’t accept being treated in ways that leaves you hurt.
Since I have been sober I have found some amazing friends (including on here) and feel so blessed. I am very honest and open with them and I have found that makes the friendships more real and genuine. It’s odd really but the previous friendships I had before becoming sober this time really don’t even compare. It’s actually another gift of sobriety you start to feel more worthy of being treated with respect. There I knew if I rambled on long enough I would get there!
I love nothing more than peace, love and happiness and not being stressing about shit. Sometimes it really is okay and healthy to walk away and distance yourself from people that no longer fit into the vision (peace, love, happiness) I have for my life.
Living life sober, raw & real makes things like this noticeable and possible.
I spend 70% of my time either working or volunteering or doing things for others and last weekend I took time out to have some time for ME. To go to my special place which is a tropical garden you are suppose to make a gold coin donation when you enter and I didn’t have any gold coins left so went for a bit of a drive around instead. It got me thinking about how much do we actually explore our own back yards? I went to one part of our city that I hadn’t been to before and it was an industrial area, thankfully it was the weekend so I wasn’t annoying anyone with my Nana driving and taking everything in. It was good just taking in the sights and noticing some things that I wouldn’t of if I hadn’t of taken the time. We have some massive boats, ferries, yachts in our city that are having work done on them and I had no idea that we could cater such huge launches they would have to be worth a couple of million alone.
I am trying to come up with things to get me out and all part of a self care plan to ensure that I get down time from work and volunteering. I have just added this to my list along with the tropical gardens – I have a map of the city and I am going to work my way through it by either driving, walking and eventually maybe cycling (if I can find a bike) my way around the city. While I do this I am hoping to find things that are interesting, magical or just plan beautiful to practice my photography skills on.
Living life sober, raw and real is the best gift I gave myself and I know I wouldn’t be living the life I am now and planning things like the above if I wasn’t.
Well I have done it, this year, today I put up a Christmas Tree in my home and it looks so lovely even if I do say so myself. For years I have had a bah humbug attitude towards Christmas but this year I am determined to have some festivity in my life and home. It actually feels really nice sitting here looking at the tree with the beautiful light flashing, I thought my dogs might be scared by them but they haven’t worried about them at all.
I did want to share with you all though that by my own experience the festive season is not always a happy time of the year for everyone. I enjoy getting together with my family in one way but in another way it is really, really hard. To sit at the table eating your Christmas dinner with someone who raped you way back when I was still a child but bordering on being a teenager is really difficult. For reasons discussed previously I have not ever told my family about my rapes by the family member and then by my ex but it is something that you can forgive but you can never forget. I find myself going through the motions and putting on a happy face, previously I would drink a bit and then get home and get totally pissed just to forget it all. Now I don’t have that so called luxury, instead I have to face it head on and the raw emotions and feelings that come with it. It occurred to me last year that why should this time of year be so miserable for me for the whole month?? I am the one with the power to make it not be miserable and I also hold the power to look after myself and ensure that I do give myself some self care and be kind to myself. Unfortunately I will still have to face the family Christmas dinner because to not show for that would break my parents hearts and I can never explain to them why I would rather not so I will have to attend that. But I can make sure I have a lovely morning first with a nice walk with my dogs. Go for family lunch and come home in the afternoon to hang out with my dogs again. Maybe have something yummy and special for dinner, I don’t know just find away to make sure I do enjoy it.
My whole point is look after each other, if someone isn’t in the whole festive mood maybe there is a bloody good reason for it. Living life sober, raw and real is letting me have thoughts like this and to start to take action to change the parts of my life that make me sad.
I love animals, I love them so much that I think in a fire if I had to pick between saving my favorite person and my dogs I would save my dogs!!! At the moment we have Guy Fawkes happening and we have had bloody fire works every night for over a week now. One of my dogs is terrified of the things and it only seems to be getting worse the older he gets. It is really distressing to see as he totally losses his mind. He runs in a blind panic and he starts to hyperventilate, there is no comforting him as he is in total flight mode etc there is no where for him to run to so he can get away from the big bangs. I have been a bit luckier this week in that I have avoided the distress most nights by giving him calming herbal pills, rescue remedy and watching a concert on TV with the home theater up loud. But sadly some of the fireworks start without any warning very late at night and I can’t help him avoid them. Now I’m not wanting to sound like a party pooper but I really, really want them banned. There have been many pets lost & found as they bolt in fear trying to get away from them. There have been many with injuries after getting struck by vehicles as they bolt across roads. Farm animals have panicked and injured themselves by running into fences and gates. Rabbits have had heart attacks and died and even a zoo animal, a Nyala – a type of antelope, suffered a heart attack after being spooked by them. This is breeding season for the horses and there have been horses aborting their foals as they are too spooked. Seriously how can we allow all of these animals to suffer just for a brief period of what some call fun and pleasure?
It’s not just the animals that suffer either I have a friend who has served in a war zone and they find hearing their town sounding like a war zone terribly distressing bringing them flash backs of their terrible experiences. What about the people with PTSD that are vulnerable to suffering anxiety from the loud explosions and blasting flashes of bright lights?
And yet I have not seen anything for a long time that has caused so much arguing on social media. There is a ban them side, the ban them except public displays and the screw you fun police don’t take them off us sides. Someone asked me the other day but didn’t you enjoy them when you were younger. I think I did (remember I can’t remember my childhood lol) but rather than go into that I say yes I did BUT had someone told me about the suffering they would cause for other people and animals I would of happily gone without. I was ignorant but now I’m not so I personally would like a total ban and maybe for public displays etc they could do laser light displays. They are really pretty, safe, silent, no rubbish and no risk of fires or burning people through accidents.
Living life sober, raw and real is the best gift I gave myself this is another thing that from experience, learning and observing that I have definitely changed my way of thinking about and it is another thing I happily leave behind in my past.
Dear social media, you know how you keep asking if me if I know this person and if I want to add her as my friend or contact? Well yes, yes I do know that person as she is me but she is a much different version of me than the one you have before you today. You see she opened those accounts when she was drunk and the sober me doesn’t know what passwords she thought she was so smart making up. Some of the profiles were so she could explore the lesbian side of her. Some was trying to set up a profile for employment and some were just trying to break away from her past. Every time you keep asking me if I want to add that person to my list of friends or contacts I feel sad. You see neither she nor me can remember the passwords nor oddly enough the email addresses we used in setting up those accounts so neither of us can shut them down again either. It’s a little bit sad how you keep sending emails to my work email address as well because I can’t seem to login to shut down her account there either. Hmmmm don’t know whether to laugh or cry about it. At least when she use to do internet shopping while drunk it was a surprise when the parcels arrived, you know a bit like having an unexpected birthday or christmas present. At least most of the things that arrived were awesome. Hey social media you know how there is times you ask for a person to present ID to prove that your real?? Could you send her one of those please verify yourself messages? She is gone and no forwarding address, shut her down.
Living life sober, raw & real means that I don’t do stupid things like this anymore. Oh don’t get me wrong I can do dumb arse stuff like take the dogs medication and then find my own still sitting on the bench (didn’t itch for a month) sort of stuff haha but at least I do it now while not being under the influence. Nor do I do things like the above all while thinking I don’t have a drinking problem and I’m not an alcoholic.
It’s the little things that I can relax and enjoy now that I am sober and I have found another one, scented candles. They make my home smell so beautiful and I actually love the flickering of the flame and find sinking into a patch of calming, peaceful moments just while watching them. I would never light them while I was drinking because it would of been just as likely that I have a bloody fire from it.
So now I add candles to reading books which was something I couldn’t do while drinking either. I was to busy at night drinking to be reading and by the time I got to bed I was far to drunk. I would try to read and fall asleep after a page and then only to wake up the next morning and not remember it anyway. I would read the whole page again the next day and couldn’t even remember having read it once already. It was pointless so I just gave up even trying. Now I can focus and read a book while losing myself in a great story or while getting inspired or having an ahh ha moment when I read someone else’s story and suddenly feel not so alone in my own weirdness.
Living life sober, raw and real is the best gift I gave myself and now, heck I even stop while walking the dogs and I take time to admire the flowers and even to stop and smell some. It’s the little things that make up to an amazing life SOBER.
Well tomorrow is my birthday and I’ll be turning 51 and I’m happy about that as it wasn’t that long ago I didn’t want to be here and now I treasure every single day I’m given. I can’t afford to do anything but that’s okay because it doesn’t take money to do what I am going to gift myself this time around. I have decided what do I want to gift myself this year and the answer is a little bit of time and at this stage I am thinking a month. I am giving myself a month to just be me, just relax and accept myself for who I am, what I am and how I am at this very point and time in my life. No worrying about being fat, unfit, broke, not good enough, not smart enough, just not enough really. For this month I am going to just be content with right now! It is a freakin long way from where I was and I just want to take a moment to stop beating myself up wanting to improve everything. If I feel like doing anything this month it will be because I want to do it not because I have something stressing me mentally pushing me into doing it. This month is a gift to my body and my mind and away of telling myself you are good enough right as you are here and now.