we’re going to be sober for a long time

Well I have this to say:

i used to be really impatient. hated waiting in line, hated traffic. i rushed through a lot of tasks. I still find myself doing it sometimes these days. I was recently working in the kitchen, and realized i was waiting for the mixing to be finished so that i could be ‘done’. “I just want to be finished,” i thought. “i just want to be ‘done with all this’ …”

yeah, because ‘done with all this’ is code for TIME TO DRINK NOW.

I used to be impatient in traffic because i wanted to get home to drink. I used to rush through making dinner, for example, so that it would finally be wine o’clock.

now?

well it’s not all crickets and birds tweeting in my head. It’s more like: “oh this icing cupcake thing will probably take 6 hours – what can i put on the podcasts?” [answer: this american life, fresh air, and Q]

or

“should i go to the post office now at 6:50 pm? why not, there’ll hardly be anybody there.” [versus: opening the wine at 6 pm and settling in for a night of nothingness. did you know that people DRIVE after dinner? they go for groceries and shit? who knew!]

nowadays, when i find myself mentally rushing through something, getting all impatient and shit, i try to remind myself that it’s a leftover thought process from wolfie-days.  And I don’t need it anymore. I’m not holding my breath until wine o’clock. Time can flow more freely now.

I can put on my fuzzy sober socks, and read another in a series of mindless small-town police mysteries.

there’s no hurry. we’re going to be sober for a long time.

~

Happy Day 50 to Isabel!

Happy day 100 to TJ!

Happy day 100 to Rae!

Happy day 100 to Pugpink!

Happy day 100 to Nutmeg!

Happy day 100 to Stonewall!

Happy day 100 to carbell!

Happy day 100 to christyrosie!

Happy day 100 to Sherri!

Happy day 100 to SoberGal!

Happy day 100 to Carole!

Happy day 100 to Lurking with Intent!

Happy day 100 to Who?Jill!

Happy day 100 to MDL!

Happy day 100 to Damian!

Happy day 100 to Layla!

Happy day 100 to Libby!

Happy day 100 to KathrynClare!

“I never thought I could do this”

From my inbox:

Ldederer  (day 95):

When I first emailed you – I never thought I could do this.  I had looked at your blog so many times.  I had seen those names in big red letters, and thought to myself, I will never be listed there. 100 Days, 50 days, no freaking way.

Well, here I am, 5 days away from the end of the challenge.

I haven’t had a drink, I go to AA, I am feeling my feelings, no matter how good or bad they are.  I am no longer numbing them with alcohol.

I have had good days, and a whole bunch of bad ones.

I have cried, a lot.

I have felt raw, lost, sad, confused, and happy.

I have regrets, a lot of them, but I don’t regret not drinking, not for one minute.

In the beginning I thought I would drink again after the 100 days, but I can’t be a quitter.  I can’t change what I have felt over the last 95 days, the changes I have made, I want more.

So, even after the challenge is over, I am going to keep on keeping on, One Day at a Time.

Thank you for opening the door to the sober car and suggesting I take a test drive.”

[and now she’s on day 131]

~

Happy Day 50 to SL!

Happy Day 50 to Maggie!

Happy Day 50 to Orchid!

Happy Day 50 to Lifeasirockit!

Happy Day 50 to Cyndy!

Happy Day 50 to Richard!

Happy Day 100 to Tessa!

Happy Day 100 to Zentient!

Happy Day 100 to Kristen!

Happy Day 200 to Anne T!

Happy Day 200 to Lucy!

Happy Day 200 to Tip Tree!

Happy Day 400 to Sunny Sue!

because I want to see what happens next

When people finish the 100 day challenge, often they sign up for Team 180 — to add 80 days to their total … it’s also a bit of a play on words, doing a 180, turning your life around. yeah. I know.

So when i send out the team 180 pledge, i suggest that people edit it to suit their particular situations. Here are some 180 day pledges:

KateF

G’day! I’ve done 100 days sober, and I know my life is better. It’s not always easy, sometimes it’s really bloody hard work, but I am moving in the right direction. I’d like to continue going in that direction. And I’d like to see what happens next. I will not drink for 180 days. I will not drink for 180 days! Not even when my best friends drink, not even when I’m in pain, not even when I feel sad and lonely, not even when I’m bored at home, not even when it’s sunny outside, not even when it’s cold and wet outside, not even when I go to see my friends in over Easter and not even if there is a zombie apocalypse! No matter what. Because I want to see what happens next. I want to continue being awesome and feeling awesome. I like myself better, I love my new sober mates and I love how well work is going and how my relationship with my family is.

Tuomas

I´ve done 100 days sober and I know my life is better than before. It´s not always easy but I´m moving in the right direction. I´m going to continue in that direction. I know I have a long way. I´d like my nerves to be so much better and I know I can do it if I don´t drink. I´d like to see what happens next. I will not drink for 180 days. Not even if my buddies drink around me or if I need surgery, nor if there´s a zombie apocalypse. No matter what. Because I want to see what happens next. I know it´s not going to be easy but I will keep on giving rewards to myself and think things over before I react without thinking. In the previous life when drinking or in hangover I have given my emotions too much power and gotten into trouble at work and home. I want to change that for good.

annie2

Sign me up!  I’ve done 100 days sober and I know my life is 100% better.  It’s been relatively painless and it’s the right direction for me to continue to live my life sober.  I will not drink for 180 days, no matter what.  I want to see what happens next.  I feel so privileged and proud to be part of this team.

Janet

… I will not drink for 180 days not even if I’m frustrated, lonely, angry, happy, celebrating, excited, scared, or can’t sleep. Because I like being clear headed, guilt-free, shame-free, lighter, full of hope, honest with myself, rational, aware of what’s going on, and a more authentic version of myself.

Carrie Kaffer

I’m rocking 100 days sober, and life is better.  Not easy, but heading in the right direction.  And so I’m going to keep heading this way.  What will happen next?  I don’t know, but I will be finding out!  I will not drink for a total of 180 days.  No matter what.  Even if there IS a Zombie Apocalypse! Because I want to see what happens next.

Dederer

… I will not drink for 180 days not even if my husband/partner/daughter drinks, (which my husband does, he has a drink every night) not if I need surgery, nor if there is a zombie apocalypse. No matter what. Because I want to see what happens next.  Because sobriety has far more benefits than being drunk on wine every night of my life.

BeachGurl

I’ve almost reached 100!! I will come hell or high water! I pledge to not drink for 180 days! I will not drink to celebrate, reduce stress, be part of the drinking party, to numb missing my mom, or for any “fuck it moment”!!!!! I like life like this and want to see how much better it will be 180 days!!!!

Primrose

I will celebrate being 6 months sober on 4 May 2014. I will create mini-milestones between now and then and celebrate those, too, with gusto. I promise that I will pay attention to my emotional needs and meet them in ways that do not involve alcohol. I will run; take time alone and long hot baths; talk to my husband, family and friends; hug often; and keep accountable to my sober community. I will practice gratitude – and having fun! I promise that I will treat my physical body with the same respect and affection as I would that of one of my beloved children. I will give it sleep, rest, exercise, healthy food – and unhealthy food too if I feel like it. I will make medical appointments, time to relax, and banana bread. I promise that I will make being sober my first priority, in whatever situation I find myself. I will continue to regard sobriety as a long-term self-care project. I will enjoy feeling better every day and focus on the positive aspects of my amazing new sober life. No matter what. Because I want to see what happens next.

~

Happy Day 50 to Willow!

Happy Day 50 to Allison!

Happy Day 50 to CH!

Happy Day 50 to Short!

Happy Day 50 to Karmac!

Happy Day 50 to LolaB!

Happy Day 100 to J!

Happy Day 100 to Workerbeesc!

Happy Day 100 to Jano!

Happy Day 100 to Jonni!

Happy Day 100 to John!

 

 

 

(audio) the word ‘alcoholic’

i recorded a new podcast this morning. it’s about collecting seashells … but really, it’s about the use of the word ‘alcoholic’ … whether that word is necessary in order to quit drinking. And it’s about people who have low bottoms, or high bottoms (see my nice bottom?).

Or we can make it really simple. No quizzes online “are you an alcoholic? do you have more than x units a day/week/month/year?”

How about instead I answer one question. Do I drink more than I want to?

The full audio for the podcast is about 11 minutes long.  Here’s a 2 minute extract from the middle. Just before this clip starts, I was saying that as boozers, we have a lot more in common than we have differences.

listen-here

click here to try a podcast subscription (1 month trial) – and of course, when you get bored of me, you can cancel whenever you want

today i’m refusing to deal

so. here’s this. Helena (day 14) says: “My thought for today: Ignoring reality doesn’t change it (which sucks). Just kidding. My reality isn’t so bad. I just need to settle into it. Hard to do when I am drunk. Gonna need a new plan.”

i’ve been avoiding a bit of reality myself. sleep is good, but my desk is a disaster. running is good but not as consistent as it should be. am i really so addicted to coffee that if my husband makes the coffee before i leave for my run, then i decide to skip my 20 minute run so i can have coffee right now? really? and it’s 100% decaf coffee. what’s up with that?

going through my inbox, there are some hilarious responses to yesterday’s micro email. y’all make me smile. a lot.

and yes. today i’m refusing to deal. with most of it. i’m enjoying a day off and i’m doing it sans regrets (ha! mostly). i’m ignoring the reality of my desk, my flabby middle, and i’m instead looking at making cake (again! for fun!). really. it’s like i have an illness. it’s called sobriety = lots of things i want to do in my life = let’s make cake.

~

Happy Day 50 to Keep Calm!

Happy Day 50 to Pbwy!

Happy Day 50 to Maggie Mae!

Happy Day 50 to Kim!

Happy Day 50 to Barbie!

Happy Day 50 to Kate!

Happy Day 50 to Poppy!

Happy Day 50 to Weezer T!

Happy Day 100 to Winkle!

Happy Day 100 to SeekingGraceAgain!

Happy Day 100 to LG!

Happy Day 100 to Traci!

Happy Day 100 to Pinky!

Happy Day 100 to TS!

Happy Day 100 to Joy!

Happy Day 100 to MissMeliss!

Happy Day 100 to JackieBee!

Happy Day 100 to SJP!

Happy Day 180 to InNeedOfGrace!

Happy Day 200 to Debbie!

Happy Day 200 to NoWine4Me!

Happy Day 300 to Trish!

Happy Day 300 to Patricia!

Happy Day 365 to Diane!

Happy Day 365 to Sober Journalist!

 

Overwhelm comes from looking ahead

cup-cake-o-rama is finished. just have to ice the big cake tomorrow morning. nearly nearly done. le phew. icing is made and coloured, first 2 layers of white icing are on the cake. just gotta do the roses with the pink and yellow icing tomorrow after it’s set a bit. i know. pink and yellow roses? but really. it’s a spring-time theme. le whatever.

i have learned some shit about sobriety this week while doing this catering job. i’ll try to put it into a podcast tomorrow (provided all goes well with the roses!). i’ve learned about having the right tools (!), about preparation (!), and about overwhelm. Yeah. Really. And the benefits of having routines that support you. If you have something that’s working, keep doing it. Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

and once you do something hard, you realize (if you’re me) that you thought it would take 6 hrs and it took 2 hrs. You think in advance that it’s going to be impossible and stressful and hateful, and instead it’s sunny and cloudy and bright and weird and then it’s sunny again, and then it’s done.

You think you’re never going to do anything as hard as this again, and then when you’re through the worst of it, you can look back and say “i imagine it will be terrible because i am always looking too far ahead. If i keep my focus on what I need to do next, and only that, then it’s all possible. enjoyable even. manageable.”

Overwhelm comes from looking ahead. Stay Here. Just do today. The next right thing. What can you do next to support you?

Me? i’m getting into the tub (8 pm) with some frozen eclairs. with my cedar bubble bath.

~

Happy Day 50 to MoMaH!

Happy Day 50 to Regina!

Happy Day 100 to Maureen!

Happy Day 100 to Challenges!

Happy Day 100 to Rabbit!

judging

i recorded a new podcast this morning. it’s about judging. we’re bad at judging. We judge ourselves too harshly. We suck at self-esteem. We often have some amount of shame.

It all gets better when we’re sober. And the longer you’re sober, the better it gets, the more realizations.

The full audio for the podcast is about 14.5 minutes long.  Here’s a 2 minute extract from the beginning.

listen-here

click here to try a podcast subscription (1 month trial) – and of course, when you get bored of me, you can cancel whenever you want

Sure, I can quit any time

I am an unlikely candidate to have started a sober blog. Call it desperation if you like, I just had NO IDEA how to stay sober on my own.

I don’t drink that much, I say to myself. Yet I drink mostly every day. Some weeks I manage a few off-days but I hate them. Why can everyone else drink except for me? And then I cave as soon as someone offers me a drink. I read my morning pages, and I have written “drink less” and “you drink differently from other people” and “from now on I will only drink wine only on special occasions or when we have company or when on vacation or if it’s a really good reason.”

Yeah, that never worked. Ever. Not once. Never. Not one time.

Alcoholic? Well of COURSE I’m not an alcoholic. I mean, for christ’s sake, just look at at that guy panhandling in front of the liquor store. I’m not him. I don’t drink from a brown paper bag. I never miss work.

I’ve got alcoholism in my family and I’ve seen what it looks like. It’s grim. That’s not me. I just drink a bit more than I should. Sometimes. And not all the time. Sometimes I drink a regular amount. Mostly. I would never quit drinking forever. That would be like cutting off my right arm to deal with a hangnail. I just need to learn how to ‘manage’ my drinking.

Whatever.

I see something called Dry July and I think, hey that won’t be so hard. I’ll do that. It’ll be good for me. I could really do with a drying out period.

I don’t feel desperate when I decide to quit. I just feel tired of all the wine. And I really think I’ll like the challenge of it, like marathon training had been, like learning a new language, getting married, moving to Europe. All challenges. Giving up wine for a month? Should be pretty straight forward.

Sure, I can quit any time. Until it’s actually TIME to quit, and then man it kinda sucks. In a big way. It sucks ass.

I’d done a bunch of self-discipline things before. I’d quit for a couple days here and there. It’s not that I couldn’t manage my drinking (I told myself very smugly). I could manage it all right, I just hated managing it. Who wants to skip a day? Who wants to have one glass and then stop? I resented managing my wine consumption and I resented every person on the planet who happened to be drinking at that second. And every person past or future who might drink. Because I wasn’t.

Sure, I can quit any time. Until I’m sitting in the bathtub on day 7, really pissed off and irritated. It’s 7:30 pm or so. I decide: fuck it, sobriety is just too hard. I’m going to get out of the tub and go buy wine. You deserve it. This is too hard. You hardly had a problem anyway. You can quit again later. I decide to stay sober. I change my mind to drink. I change my mind to stay sober.

I’m about as irritated as I’ve ever felt. Maybe in my whole life. I feel like my skin is going to fall off from irritation. That I’m itchy on the inside.

I dry off, put on pyjamas, come in the office, right here, in front of this Apple cinema display screen, with this Dell wireless keyboard, and I read a sober blog.

Yes, apparently there are other people in the world who have quit drinking and have lived to tell about it. Fuck, they even seem to LIKE being sober. What’s the matter with these people?

I keep reading. I believe the words on my screen, and don’t believe them at the same time. It worked for her, it won’t work for me. I’m different, special, different, this is me, I’m not like that.

The next morning I write my first sober blog post.

not sure what i do for a living

PDS: “What’s this talk of your writing a book I hear? For what it’s worth, I think this is a great idea, and for some reason actually had the same thought for you in the last week or two.”

me: “yeah I’m mostly stuck between doing something like publishing the blog (with edits), or writing something new. And the stuck part has to do with time, and do I have anything new to say, and do I want this to be my real career 🙂 I’m doing the catering for a post-wedding brunch on Sunday for a new client and her family totalling 16 guests … and some days I can’t figure out what it is I do for a living. Job #1, catering, sober stuff :)”

~

and most of the time i’m fine with the diversity that is my life. but the idea of a book in here doesn’t seem feasible, at least not today. i’m not someone who can ‘get up an hour earlier’ cuz my sleep is the glue that holds me together most days. sleep. le sleep. and lots of it.

on a GOOD note, for those of you stalking my medical state, my drugs have stabilized and i’m finally on day 2 of being completely symptom-free. this is the first time i’ve felt 100% regularly normal for awhile. i’m back to running short distances daily (10-11 minutes). sleeping well. doing lots of food stuff. the grocery store that was closed for renovations is open again. and there are leaves on the trees. cannot complain. not one bit.

OH and i’m sober! rock on.

~

Happy Day 50 to Aschae!

Happy Day 50 to Penguin!

Happy Day 50 to Jes!

Happy Day 50 to Tree!

Happy Day 50 to melissawynne!

Happy Day 50 to Beek!

Happy Day 50 to Howard!

Happy Day 100 to OneDayAtATime!

Happy Day 200 to Jan!