Alcohol-Free May!

May-Day138

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.

 

Homegrown Sobriety

images

“Sobriety is so much more than not drinking. It is the complete transformation of quality of life.”

Jacqui at The OAM

I LOVE this woman’s blog. She travels all over the world and writes beautifully! If you really want to be impressed, check out her Instagram photos at the bottom of her page. (Those photos are actually her.)

Here is her post Homegrown Sobriety at the The OAM.

No More Tunnel Vision

girl_woman_beauty_female_young_portrait_face_fashion-544718.jpg!d

Today is Saturday, and I’m free as a bird.

I can do anything I want, or nothing at all. Yoga? Maybe. Or I might drag out my camera and try to take some really artsy photos. Or I might take the dog to that park with the sign that says, “No dogs” and sneak him in under the fence. That’s always fun. And I MOST DEFINITELY am going to the Starbucks drive-through and get a giant chocolate chip cookie and some iced green tea.

I ramble on here for a reason. What I have today is possibilities. I have no goal for the day except to enjoy it and do whatever my heart desires.

No more tunnel vision.

I remember a well-meaning friend asking me if I wanted to join a hiking group a few years back. But how does the involve drinking? I thought. As if reading my mind, she said, “It’s a short walk through the woods, and then we end up at restaurant and have some drinks.” Now we’re talking.

And because drinking made me a slug, I told her that my ankle was acting up, but that I’d meet them at the restaurant. Perfect plans!

I got there early and had a nice pre-drink so as not to drink others under the table, which is seen as unladylike in some cultures. Plus, these weren’t my regular friends, so they might be the type to order a glass of wine and then sip it slowly, making it awkward for other people to order another and another. So rude.

And that’s exactly what happened. They showed up with those hiking stick things, all glowy with health, and ordered tea. (Sweet tea, how decadent!) The waiter ruined by pre-drink plan by saying, “Do you want another glass of wine, miss?” I hesitated just a second, and said, “Sure,” as if he’d pressured me into it. Then I remembered to rub my ankle as if it hurt.

The whole thing was a fraudulent act to hide my only goal: to drink. It was Saturday, and no one was going to stop me from drinking. Not that I didn’t drink the rest of the week as well, but Saturday gave me an extra license to drink. Besides, what if I quit Monday? Better enjoy it while you can.

I could never have relaxed at this outing without the wine. My tunnel vision would make it so I couldn’t think about anything but leaving. I might have gone to the ladies room (alone) and popped open a mini-bottle with my name on it, hidden in my big purse for just these types of emergencies. (My purse could hold up to four mini-bottles for dry weddings, etc. It was big and ugly, as my daugher liked to point out, but it served its secret purpose.)

It’s so nice to be free of that tunnel vision. My mind is free to wander and enjoy the possibilities of just going with the flow. I don’t have to arrange for a drinking lunch, an afternoon nap to sleep it off, and then an evening of more wine.

And a Sunday from freaking hell. Liquor stores don’t open until 12:00.

Free at last.

💕

Two Years Tomorrow, Ya’ll!

7395076284feca262ba087f9b2c4cde9

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?

A Drinking Story

saltrivertubing05_1500-58f562d15f9b581d59f61d38

What’s Your Story?

Mine runs something like this: I had a great childhood, though I grew into an anxious adolescent. By high school, I was pretty much OK. Going to college, however — that place of higher learning — changed that.

I hadn’t experienced much of the drinking culture in my small hometown. Instead, I jogged and played tennis and painted and went to movies. I was shocked at first, and then gradually drawn in to the almost nightly ritual of going out. The habit of drinking instead of doing other things was formed here, as was the feeling of being truly lost. The two went together, although I couldn’t see it at the time.

If life can be described as navigating a river, then I started to hit the occasional rapid. Sometimes it was exhilarating — flailing about in the raft, trying to get myself back into the flow of the river, and sometimes it was scary, not knowing what might happen next. Sometimes, without warning, I was thrown from the raft completely. Then life became more like survival.

Still, for most of the journey, I traveled with everyone else on the river, especially with other fun people with floating coolers. You can go a lot of places with these people. You can tie your raft to theirs. You can ride the rapids together. You can befriend them, marry them, and have children together. Then you won’t feel so alone — so afraid when the next rapid hits.

So the end of the story goes like this: I went in way over my head eventually, and began to experience some near-drownings. But as is the nature of addiction, I was less afraid of the dark swirling water when I had alcohol flowing through my veins. Soon, I had to drink during the calm parts of the river, just to anesthetize myself from the stress of being out of control. I was no longer sure where I was headed. Part of me didn’t care.

But as luck would have it, I began to link the rough waters and terror and loss of control with the alcohol itself, and not the river. I began to see what a mind-game the whole thing was — drinking to prevent or survive the effects of drinking. I recognized this, and could talk a good game about why I needed to quit. But I didn’t quit for long.

After decades of living like this, slowly making my way downstream, I could see the foreshadowing of how one might die while drinking on the river. It would happen sooner or later, either by declining health or by being flung one last time into the cold, rushing water. And on some deep level — one that barely registered in my wine-addled brain — I knew the choice of how the story ended was mine.