Archive | September, 2014

Good days are the only days

21 Sep

12:54 pm

Every day’s a good day when you’re not hung over.

This morning, I was up at 8. I went for a run, walked the dogs, made a pot of coffee, and then, video-chatted with an apartment in the big city–where I’ll be headed for a month to enjoy, earn, and hopefully, plan for a future with *more* enjoyment and *more* earnings than I have now.

NONE of this would be happening if I was still drinking.

I look at drinking as a bad habit now. I don’t have time for it, literally. I would like to have a glass of wine, but…I’m not even sure I won’t be hung over after ONE glass. So, I choose to not go there. That’s where it’s at for me. I don’t yearn for the days when doing everything I did this morning was NOT EVEN ON MY RADAR. I don’t long for feeling like shit, being treated even worse, and wallowing in anxiety and depression caused by alcohol, imbalance, and lack of perspective and priorities. I don’t. At all. I saw a trashed Heineken bottle in the grass as I passed with the dogs and was like, Oh. I have come to see drinking as something that I could do, but don’t. I don’t. I choose not to.

It’s great to be in this place, where it definitely feels as simple as a choice to NOT be drunk, to NOT waste the night, to NOT feel utterly ill the next day, to NOT be enslaved to this idea that altering my mind is going to make me feel better, calmer, happier, or zoned out. Yes, I want to feel calmer, and happier, and sometimes I want to zone and forget about the unresolved issues (my brother is still in that category, and it grates); but, I know that there are solutions to these problems that are not booze, and that actually work to solve them.

It’s clear now: drinking is not a solution. Drinking is the problem. For many more of us, drinking is a manifestation of deeper, unmet needs–problems, or just issues that need to be resolved.

This is why I keep staying sober. I would not be here–and would not be able to plan ahead and make long-term goals happen–if I was still using up the majority of my free head space thinking about drinking.

More later, friends. Just checking in. I’m off to a pool party; I made a lemon meringue pie, but I dropped the store-bought crust so had to improvise with a quickie made from scratch. We’ll see… 🙂

Recovery is not forever

15 Sep

11:35 am

Life keeps happening–who knew?

I just wanted to check in and say, hey, I’m still here, and still sober. I guess I have just been busy–stories to write, interviews (of me, for jobs) to do–it all just leaves me with little time to wax poetic or non-nostalgic about my drinking, or lack thereof.

I’m just glad that my brain is somewhat back in balance–yes, I’m sober, in more ways than one; much more sober than I used to be. However, I can see the negative affect more clearly–we ALL HAVE IT, negative thoughts and feelings–and I can literally choose to embrace it, ignore it, or let it go completely. Last year, when I was around a year sober, it all seemed so confusing–and worse, like valuable “recovery material.” Now, it just gets in my way. (I know there are still many things to blog about–more than ever, actually. I just seem to be having a hard time committing to spending what little free time I do have to thinking about (not) drinking! More to come, I’m sure.)

Make no mistake: Sobriety is worth it. But, recovery does not have to be forever.

Sober and feeling…”life”ly

1 Sep

8:15 pm

I could write a book here, but I won’t. Lately, I haven’t had much patience for media, in general; social media, in particular. That’s mainly because I do it all day long as a journalist–and when I’m not doing it, I’m thinking about how rejuvenating it would be to not have to check email and Facebook and my phone (and the news) ever again. BUT…as a writer, it’s a must, so I’ve learned to do it in moderation and put it away when it starts to make me want to hyperventilate. Too Much Information–time to Turn It Off.

So, I’ve been minimally blogging. Not that stuff hasn’t been going down: job interviews (’nuff said), and my interviews of people for stories that I’ve been working on, and in general, stressing about my income. What else is news? 😉

There has also been lots of dog walks, and runs, and beach swims, and snorkels…and, sort of continuing work on changing my diet (I had help in revising my tastes when I was on my volun-tour vacation, but I digress). I like my new diet, and frankly, I like having lost almost 15 pounds of “sugar” weight. The hard part of keeping it off in the face of mood swings and stress is there, and always will be; but I learned one thing: get out of the sugar-as-treat mentality as soon as you can after getting sober.

I think I’ve managed to get out of my depression after six long weeks of it. Bizarre. I’ve worked and lived as usual, but…it’s been hard. Maybe it wasn’t exactly depression, maybe it was just post-vacation blues. Or, maybe it was realizing that now, I really have to Work. Like, move-and-find-a-real-job work. It may also be related to coming back to a place that simply does not serve some big parts of myself. Or, it could be linked to the chronic pain I still have from the mosquito-borne illness I got while abroad–I read some studies matching this chronic pain to depression. It has been a very weird up-and-down ride since getting home (and I’m used to depression). I’m hoping once I’m working full-time again, and settled into a new “thing”–getting past the hump of just pulling the trigger on one possibility–things will look up.

I’ve wanted to drink a LOT these past few weeks–more than ever, or at least more than I’ve wanted to drink in the past year. I just feel like I have no reward–especially after parsing so much information on a daily basis. I need a break. A real treat, you know? But, I don’t drink. I can’t. I can’t be sure that I won’t immediately again start associating wine with reward, or wine with fixing my state of mind; and I know how simply exhausting this is. So, status quo, just don’t drink, it’s all good.

On that note, apparently my Labor Day weekend is over–I have some reporting and writing to do now!

Hope everyone is plugging away–it is worth it, it so very much is. Sometimes, I can’t believe how far I’ve come. And how much less I think, in general, about things that don’t matter. More on that in another post!

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