what we put off

from me:

a very low energy day. i do well with vacation days when my husband is also off work. when it’s just me, i basically ‘wait’ for him to come home.
i also have a dentist appt tomorrow that i’m not thrilled about.
we’re not fans of the dentist, are we.
and here’s what i know about the dentist that i also know about sobriety (because everything is like everything):
it’s never as bad as we think it is (stay here)
our mind only makes up bad options, never good ones (catastrophizing)
i need a reward for when it’s over (non-food, for obvious reasons)
this is dental work that i avoided for a long time because of drinking and scarcity thinking
i’m a grown up for dealing with the things on my plate, whether i like them (today) or not
it’s always better when it’s done
it’s never what we think it will be
being sober is just plain better than fretting about alcohol
(going to the dentist is just plain better than eating on the other side of your month for weeks)
and so
to feel the love today
you can leave a comment here
and answer this question:
what is ONE thing you’ve dealt with as a sober human, that you pretty much ignored when drinking …
love and hugs
(oh and the weather is just a fucking shit show, perfect for a stay-cation. not.)
love and hugs again
me

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

48 thoughts to “what we put off”

  1. So many little things were put off. I usually did the major things I had to do, like show up for work; but I would avoid committing to things in general because I never knew if I’d be feeling like shit, or if my husband would be furious with me which meant I’d be an emotional wreck, or if I’d be kicked out of the house after a real bad episode. Now I know I’ll be in good shape for anything, I can be counted on, and I’m not ashamed of how I’m living my life…WAY better.

      1. One thing I’m doing is remembering why I did last night! Also, I cleaned out my linen closet. I’ve been vowing to do it for over a year. Closer to two years!

    1. For the first few weeks I just puttered and didn’t push myself to do anything. I explored some stuff I’d not touched in years just for fun, by put no expectations on myself. Then about 3 weeks in, it got real hard and I didn’t do anything but NOT DRINK. Sometimes that meant facebooking for 5 hours and going to bed early–as long as I wasn’t drinking, it was time well spent. Now it’s back to an easy phase and I’m doing things because I’m finally excited and enjoying them for their own sake, not just as “something-to-do-to-keep-my-mind-off-drinking”.

      So, give it time–what you are doing now is spectacular in and of itself. 🙂

  2. My dreams. I could never commit to things that might require me to be present and sober after 5pm. Only because of sobriety have I been able to take in a rescue dog (he showed up literally starving on our porch). Sobriety have me room for an idea and to pursue it. The dog gave me a goal and love. I devoted my previous “drinking” hours to get him through Kennel Club training and CGC award, then through training to be a therapy dog. Such joy to be able take him to visit people who are sick and emotionally or psychologically challenged and watch him bring joy just by being a dog.
    He is a therapy dog in the institutions he visits , but I didn’t realize until months later that he gives me the most therapy 😉

  3. from A: “Drinking lets me ignore myself. We’ve been trying for a second kid. It took two years for the first. We had two more miscarriages last year, the last one had me in the ER Christmas Day. I’m 5 days sober today and have spent nearly the whole time crying and apparently trying to process everything. But it feels good to get it out.”

  4. I’m on day 37. I’ve dealt with just being me between 8pm and 11pm every evening. I feel a bit restless but it’s getting LOTS better. In the daytime, I have been more on top of household stuff. I also finally sewed a button onto one of my daughter’s school pinafores (a task that filled me with dread (silly I know)) and had been putting off since September! X DB

  5. I finally wrapped up the paperwork to finish my 500hr registered yoga teacher certificate. I was 99% done it and procrastinated finishing the final feedback project for THREE years.

    I’m also 6 weeks deep into an 18 week marathon training program. I have attempted this before twice and failed because I was always hungover, drunk, or skipping runs to go meet people for drinks. I have completed all 26 runs so far since December 28th when I started

    WOOOOO!!! day 46

    1. Wow, what an inspiration! I’m on day 1 – again – but I shall re-read this when I’m struggling. I AM going to be posting something like this when I’m sober too. Thanks. x

  6. Oh let’s see…my marriage, my career, myself…little things like that.

    It’s hard to make progress on anything or feel much in the way of self-worth when you’re constantly cycling through tipsy, drunk, or hung over. And when you’re constantly spinning your wheels, starting over or not starting at all, looking back at the years of wishful thinking and watching the days tick by one after another, and beating yourself up for all of the above, it becomes increasingly hard to think of oneself as worth much of anything, or have any faith that you will ever improve.

    The truth I have realized in retrospect was that as long as I was drinking, I COULDN’T IMPROVE–in ANYTHING. The longer I stay sober, the more I can see that the drinking was *the single common denominator* that was holding me back from *everything* I wanted to do and be. It’s not why I quit drinking, because I’d pretty much given up on myself, but now that I see what is possible when I’m not pulling the rug out from under my feet *every single night*, that is what will keep me on track.

    Now that I’ve been sober over a month, I’m able to make promises and follow through. I’m able to do things when I don’t want to, like exercise, and reap the physical and mental rewards. I’m able to do the things I love and that make me proud of myself–art, music, learning–that I could never make headway on while drinking. I’m more present, focused, engaged, and productive at work. I’m not ruminating nearly as much on things that stress me out. I’m practicing healthy coping mechanisms for the first time since I started drinking almost 20 years ago. I’m rediscovering a pretty interesting, talented, awesome individual under the drunk, one I hadn’t seen consistently in so long that I’d begun to believe she was gone for good. But I’m back, and I like me–it’s kind of astounding! Which leads me to the most important discovery of what I was putting off without even realizing it:

    I’m finally making progress on becoming the partner I want to be. More often than not I’m practicing compassion and patience and vulnerability, instead of reacting with impatience, defensiveness, and criticism. Even more importantly, I’m able to hear my partners’ and metamours’ vulnerabilities, and stretching myself to respond from a place of security and abundance rather than scarcity and fear. I’m better able to tolerate differences, distance, time alone, and conflict. For the first time in my life I’m working on my relationship *with myself* as much as with anyone else, and as a result I’m feeling worthy as a human being, because I’m treating myself with love, as someone who deserves love. I’m feeling more secure and confident in myself, feeling for the first time in forever like I’m a good partner to my husband. I’m finally recognizing just how deep and strong and resilient our relationship is, in part through learning to stand on my own and explore my own life in the space that is mine, and find happiness on my own as well as with him. I think it would not be an exaggeration to say that quitting drinking when I did may have saved my marriage, because it enabled me to find myself again.

    That’s what I was putting off.

    1. I can really relate to what you say here. I felt like I lost myself. I know I wasn’t the person I used to be, or could be. It takes some time to dig us up from under all the garbage we piled on ourselves for so long – but it does happen.

  7. I feel like I’m able to move forward with my life, start a new story, and not be stuck in the same self-defeating narrative. I’ve been rereading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and this time around, I’m following her directions to write 3 pages in the morning in order to creatively unblock. She calls it Active Meditation, and it makes my day so much better, to unload all of the fears and frustrations of my life and also come upon new insights by 1 1/2 pages of writing.
    In the past, I would be reliably hungover a few days a week (my hangovers lasted 5 days from drinking a bottle of wine), so I didn’t commit to anything creative. I’m become more and more of a big fan of the Sober Life.
    Best to all out there. : )

  8. Going out more in the evenings for errands which has freed up my weekends for fun stuff or projects I’ve been putting off.

  9. Dust. I’m still working on it. How could I not do something about all the dust and clutter everywhere?

    I wish I had something more profound to share, but really that was what immediately popped in my head as soon as I read the question. Dust and clutter.

    I’m only on day #40, so maybe I’ll tackle something more profound later on(:

  10. I think I have been able to do things in the evening like read a book, or stay up until midnight watching a movie that I otherwise would have fallen asleep in the middle. On the other end I am able to wake up and plan out each day knowing I will feel good and can manage just about anything. I have set out to make new friends and accept all invitations and even seek them out rather than staying at home drinking.. It feels good to feel so alive.

  11. Being a good role model for my children. Demonstrating through my actions that I love myself and that I take care of myself – whether it is eating a wholesome meal or making the time to exercise or going to bed when I’m tired. I’m also finding that the patience I knew was expected of me as a parent, actually exists. Not to say that I don’t sometimes reach my boiling point when my little ones are intentionally pushing my buttons, but it is taking me longer to get there because I’m not tired / cranky / resentful / ashamed / hungover.

  12. Me! I never took care of me while I was drinking. No matter how crappy I felt I took care of everything & everyone who needed it. I probably needed my care more than all of them put together but I never gave it to myself. Your treat mandate was the hardest thing to do for myself. Now…no problem. I count just as much as everyone else

  13. I ignored the silence between my husband and I. I thought it was us, but of course it was me staying in my own drunk head. At first it was glaring but now I can feel comfortable because it’s an easy quietness that I’m ok with. I found out that we have always said a lot without words and now it doesn’t feel so bad, but I had to work through it myself and still am working on it. I have to do it alone but I’m ok with that, too.

  14. Liking myself. I was so deep into self loathing because I kept having a gazillion day 1s. it’s only a month, but I actually have stop playing the negative tape about myself in my head.

  15. Taking care of my feet!
    Sounds strange, but I’ve been putting good lotion on my feet at night now!!
    Took me over 17 MONTHS to finally get to nice soft feet for my hubs!
    xo
    Paris (Wendy)

  16. I ended a mediocre relationship that was frustrating me. Being sober has made me less emotional and more aware of what is good for me and what is not.

  17. The thing that has changed for me is the ability to act on things. When I was drinking I would sit my ass on the couch around 5 p.m. with a bottle of wine and a block of cheese and just think about all the things that I was going to do… like write a book, go swimming, see a lawyer about my crappy job, actively find another job etc.
    Now with all this free time on my hands it’s like O.k. well lets pick up the phone and make that appointment with a lawyer, lets research on line how to start to write a book, lets consciously put on my sneakers and walk out the door. It’s amazing how good it feels to act instead of dream. It’s quite tragic how alcohol just keeps you in that dreaming loop and nothing ever changes.It’s like some weird anesthesia and you do it over and over again the next day. And it’s amazing how much I have started actively changing my situations due to being sober and a bit antsy.
    So yeah, my mantra is “get off of that couch and do that thing”. Start Now.

  18. Having a good breakfast every morning (and before 8:30 am). Teeth brushing at least twice and usually 3 or 4 times a day. Doing personal paperwork, finances, and filing on time as they come in. There’s more, but those are the first three that popped in to mind here on Day 72 🙂

  19. I’m on day 1 as well and hope and pray that is the last day 1. I n one day I helped at a church event and helped my son solve a cell phone issue…got my dogs out for a walk. This is on day 1 when im not really feeling all that great! Hooray for everyone who is on day 1 and ready to move forward! !!!

  20. Taking care of myself-being hydrated when I go to bed and wake up. Going to sleep instead of passing out-waking up instead of coming too.

  21. I haven’t totally ignored this…but I have avoided going to the dentist. Red wine turns my tongue black (probably because I wear a mouth night guard because I clench my teeth). I don’t want the dentist to see a black tongue. It’s scary!

  22. The “one” thing? The Probate lawsuit I have been embroiled in since 2009.

    I just read a book in which the author writes about catastrophizing: “Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now” by Gordon Livingston, published in 2004. One cent on Amazon.

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