Alcohol-Free May!

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May is a great month for change and renewal. It’s named after the ancient goddess Maia, who is associated with flourishing spring, fertility, and playfulness. In that creative spirit, throw off the habits of winter and wake up to spring!

If you’ve been struggling to go alcohol-free for some period of time, why not choose May? I’ve been AF for a couple of years, but I have some major habits I need to vacate in May, and I will use this time for my own mental spring-cleaning.

So … for every day in the month of May, I’m going to post one motivating blog that deals with self-love, self-empowerment, and the creative mind. The posts will also deal with how we perceive ourselves and our place in the world.

This will be a spiritual blog, but not in the religious sense. I follow A Course in Miracles, which is exactly what it says … it’s a course and not a religion, although it deals with spiritual themes and the nature of perception. And though I use the words God or Spirit, you can just as easily substitute Higher Power, Buddha, Yahweh, Allah, All That Is, The Universe, or any other term you’d like.

What I’ve found in my long search for sobriety is that the power to choose begins in the mind, and that it’s possible to use your thoughts to change not only your behavior, but your entire outlook on life. This power is available to every one of us, and in it lies the power to change the world.

Stay tuned!

Next Blog: Where I get my inspiration.

 

Two Years Tomorrow, Ya’ll!

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And they said I’d never make it!

This song is for every one that wondered if I had it in me. For everyone who looked at me and thought, “Wow, what a waste.”

It’s for every heart I broke along the way. Please forgive me. I know you do. 💕

Because today, I swear I can feel the sparks shooting off me! This girl is on fire! And I KNOW that any of us who made it out alive are here to hand that key to someone else. I’ve been given a whole lot of keys, and I’m so happy that I get to return the favor.

I’m on a soul vacation today. Come on in! The water’s fine.

Drops of Jupiter

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there’s time to change, hey, hey
Since the return of her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey
Hey, hey
But tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?
Tell me, did you fall from a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?
Now that she’s back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation, hey, hey
She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo
Reminds me that there’s room to grow, hey, hey, yeah
Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
I’m afraid that she might think of me as
Plain ol’ Jane, told a story about a man who is too afraid to fly so he never did land
But tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the milky way
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind
Was it everything you wanted to find
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there
Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you
Even when I know you’re wrong
Can you imagine no first dance, freeze-dried romance
Five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had, and me
But tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way?
And tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?
And tell me, did you fall from a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself
Na-na, na-na, na-na
Na-na, na-na, na-na
And did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day?
And did you fall from a shooting star, fall from a shooting star?
And are you lonely looking for yourself out there?

Squeezing Out a Little Gratitude

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Last weekend, I made plans to celebrate eight full days of pure gratitude. I would blog a quick note about what I was grateful for that day, leading right up to March 31st, my two-year sober anniversary. My husband was out of town, so I had plenty of time to revel in all that gratitude.

Ah … the best laid plans.

Instead of feeling grateful, I wound up whiny, lethargic, irritated, and martyred. The reason? My plans were changed without my permission. So instead of walking in nature, singing around the house, and journaling about gratitude, I’ve spent the week playing nursemaid to a dog.

To make a long story short, my dog Quigley was bitten by another dog. The bite just grazed the surface, but the healing has gone awry, and after three visits to the vet and finally surgery, he’s wearing a t-shirt tied on with duct tape, a cone around his head, and he’s drugged out of his mind. He refused to walk with the cone on his head, so he had to be carried outside to go to the bathroom. (He weighs over 50 pounds, and the vet called him fat on top of everything else.)

At no point was the dog’s life in danger, and he didn’t appear to be in pain. If anything, he seemed to enjoy all the extra attention and even the drugs. Yet anytime I told someone how I was cleaning and dressing wounds daily (I’m SUPER squeamish), and needed to hose down the house from the inside out, they always said, “Oh, poor Quigley.”

Poor Quigley? What about poor me?

Soon, a voice I call the little gremlin had set up shop inside my brain and began shooting out arrows of self-pity: Why should you have to deal with this? This is sooo inconvenient. Your husband’s probably in a hot tub in Colorado. This isn’t fair!

After a day or so of mopping and re-mopping floors, and whining to anyone unlucky enough to answer my call, the gremlin talked me into a large fry and frosty. You deserve this, he cooed.

As I fortified myself with hundreds of grams of fat and sugar, I knew it was time to retake my rightful place as leader of the pack. I am in charge, I told myself firmly. Not the dog. Not the gremlin.

I began to observe the little gremlin, as my mindful reading has taught me to do. That’s not me, I told myself. That’s the ego run amok. I don’t have to listen to him.

Through the rain and hail of the next few days, I began to practice acceptance. I tried to tell myself, This is what’s happening. It’s inconvenient, and no one is going to come to my rescue. I can rail against this mentally, or I can accept it and rise to the occasion. I can choose to complain, or I can choose to find what this situation is trying to teach me. 

My mood lifted slightly, even though I felt like I was just going through the motions. Still, from acceptance, I could move on to a begrudging gratitude: I’m glad I’m here to comfort Quigley. I’m glad to take the dog out at 5:00 am because now I can watch the sunrise. I’m thrilled not to be doing this hungover.

Then, with this slight gratitude, I was gradually able to sustain some real gratitude. This situation is forcing me to slow down and be present. I feel more in tune with Quigley. I’m able to do things that I thought I couldn’t. 

After a few days, the dog and I had a routine. We spent lots of time together because I had to make sure he didn’t scratch his wounds. It was actually kind of cozy here at the doggy rehab. I felt a little like Florence Nightingale.

So today, Mr. Sober Miracle is home. I have help! Not that I need it, really.

As it turns out, Quigley has to be monitored for another week, so my husband won’t be going on the weekend getaway we had planned. Instead, I’ll be taking my parents to the fancy hotel for Easter weekend. Come to think of it, they haven’t gone anywhere in almost a year due to my dad’s health.

And it’s going to be really inconvenient, I know. I’ll have to schlep both of my dad’s walkers, his wheelchair, his shower chair, and his bags of medication up to the third floor of the hotel.

Oddly enough, I feel up to the challenge. I’m looking forward to it even.

Another miracle.

💕

I’m Out There

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For those of you who think I might be a little “out there,” I’m about to prove it:

Tomorrow, I’m flying to Chicago to attend a Sonia Choquette workshop. I can’t wait!

I’ll have three days to delve into intuition, chakras, spiritual healing, and dancing sober. And not even my mother’s deep deep disapproval of anything “psychic” can stop me. (She always points to a 60 Minutes show that she watched 30 years ago in which an elderly woman gave all her money to a gypsy.)

Sorry, Mom.

Then again, my mom has no idea I have a sober blog, or that I’m writing a book about my journey to sobriety.

There is much much disapproval and chagrin in my mother’s future. I can hear her now, embarrassed to go to the grocery store in case someone who knows her also knows me and also knows about that whole drinking thing, which was much better swept under the rug, like women did in her generation.

Best epitaph ever: She Never bothered her neighbors. 

(Someone out there remind to take down this post around publication time.)

No matter. I’m on a roll.