Sunday, July 21, 2013

I get to write this blog.

Life on life terms.  This is something I constantly struggle with and wish I could get a grasp on.  I went to a meeting last night that focused on gratitude which I think ties directly into accepting life on life terms and it was a struggle for me.  I always feel out of place at gratitude meetings because there are a lot of times were I don’t feel gracious for the multitude of chances I have received to start over.  Many of the times, I am concerned about some other aspect of my life that is cause strife.

At the meeting, they read Acceptance from the AA big book (p.417): “Acceptance is the answer to ALL of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake.”

This is something that was read to us in rehab all the time and it never meant much to me but last night it spoke to me.  I have to accept that I am struggling right now because it is what I am supposed to be experiencing at this point in my life.  I am hoping it is because the world and God are trying to teach me that I am a stronger person than I think I am and I don’t need to kill the pain in order to get through it.

Another thing that really caused me to look at acceptance is the fact that I attended church for the first time in a long time and their message was finishing strong.  This really spoke to me today as they talked about finding a balance in life and not letting temptation of evils get into your mind. The example they used was cheating on a spouse.  You could be tempted by another and have that other for a time being but, in the meantime, you have just destroyed your entire home life for that little piece of pleasure.  Instead, you could have taken that time to work on your relationship with your significant other or work on yourself.

So what I really learned this weekend is that I need to stop focusing so much on the bad that has happened as a result of my using but focus on the good that has happened since I quit.  So much good has happened that should over shadow it but it won’t be easy to change my frame of mind.  It is what I am going to work on this week.  For every bad thought I have, I am going to try to think of at least 2 things I am grateful for.  I am also going to try to think in the terms of “I get to…” instead of “I have to…” statements to teach me gratitude.  Hopefully this will help me be more positive for my sake and the others in my life. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Riding the Wave

One of the things I struggle with is dealing with how others speak openly and poorly about addicts and alcoholics especially at my work where I cannot defend myself without either lying or outing myself as a recover.   I mostly try to ignore it when the conversation turns to drugs and alcohol but it comes to a point where I need to walk away because it actually starts to offend me.  Being new to this area and really new to my current job, I am not comfortable just letting people know my personal health history especially since I already know their true feeling on addicts and alcoholics.
The most recent rants of my coworkers have been surrounding the recent death of Cory Monteith and his many trips to rehab.  If you have never been to rehab, it is not a particularly great time.  There is a lot of looking at yourself, your defects and facing realities you have been trying to hide.  When you are in rehab, you are isolated from many triggers that cause you to want to use and you start to feel hope again.  The hope is short lived and replaced by fear once you live those doors and are out in the real world again.

It is hard to stay sober and those who have never fought such a battle do not understand the fight so they put those down who fail.  CNN had a really good article explaining why we relapse and how hard it is to be forever sober.
I know that I struggle with daily life every now and again and those thoughts of quickly killing the pain are my brains first solution.  One of the things I have worked on is recognizing and acknowledging the thought, reminding myself that using will not solve the problem and then determining other healthy solutions to the problem at hand.  It takes some practice to be able to ride the urge wave but helps to be a constant reminder of how bad alcohol and drugs had caused my life to get.  

There are great some great techniques out there for fighting urges and cravings so before you are tempted to use, make a plan, find a technique and follow through so you do not end up starting over or worse. 

If you are interested in the “riding the wave” technique, read more here

Monday, July 15, 2013

Simplify Your Way

Hello Monday. Well the downs I had yesterday are basically gone and it is things like that remind me that worrying and being concerned for things I cannot fix right then will only cause me unneeded stress.  So now onto the next worry I do have a little control over….meals and food budget.  I have debt.  A LOT of debt.  So it is really important to keep our spending down to minimum (which we are really bad at) but working on.

One of things that I have started doing is couponing.  I am by no means an extreme couponer but I do try to use coupons whenever possible.  I have my mother send me coupons, I get them from the paper and I print them from couponing sites like  I also try to only purchase things that are on sale that is automatically discounted with my store’s member card.  I can generally save at least $40 per week with this method and only about 1 to 1.5 hours a week to look at deals and match up my coupons. 

With couponing, I also try to do a little meal planning since I am finding my nights more filled with AA meetings, laundromat visits and, hopefully getting back on the workout train.  So having things semi prepared for dinner or at least having an idea of what needs to be takes away some of the unneeded stress of evenings.   I like to keep it simple.  Like this week, we are having simple shrimp scampi with noodles, hamburger and rice skillet, chicken stir-fry and a simple hot dog night in case we (mostly I) don’t feel like rushing and cooking.

Simplify is my current theme to my sobriety trail.  When things get overwhelming, I find myself wishing there was something to take the edge off.  Anything at all and that is when I find myself in danger.  So simple steps to keep me in check like simple money saving, easy nights at home and the freedom to not have to stress really helps me stay sober.  Is there something you do that keeps you sober?  I would love to know your go to stress free tips!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's Not Easy

You never know when life will feel overwhelming again and there is nothing that you can do about.  You have to settle on what life has flung at you.  That happened today to me.  I recently moved into a new dwelling with my fiancĂ© (also in recover) and our yellow Labrador and things have been less than happily ever after.
Our dog is perfect in our eyes but she does have a problem when we leave of barking and freaking out for about 10 or 15 minutes which tends to wake up our upstairs neighbors and their young baby.  We have only been here a week and now we may have to move again.  It caused a full out mental breakdown today and I wish I could have just hid all day, but alas, I cannot do that anymore.  It really is hard to deal with unexpected life changes in a healthy way.

So, I handled it the only way I know how now since we couldn’t leave the house again, I cried.  It doesn’t make anything better but it also doesn’t hurt anyone.  A year and a half ago, I would have drank over something like this to make the worry go away but that is no longer an option for me.  How do you cope with these little hiccups in life in a healthy way?

A little history on me, I am an alcoholic.  I hate saying it.  I am not proud to admit it but it is who I am and I am working on owning it and making a positive instead of a negative, hence, this new blog.   I have lots of debt and post disaster cleanup to do but one step at a time.  I am hoping to focus on helping those with the same financial burdens, personal and spiritual inconsistencies and just life’s little fears and joys so I hope someone one day may read this and get some hope, help and, most important, laughter.