Friday, 15 January 2016

...on AA Support


Last Friday, I celebrated my one year soberversary through the AA program.  Some of you know that AA has been a huge part of my journey to sobriety.

It was a great meeting!  The support in that room was phenomenal.  Over 100 people attended the meeting, and the best part was....I knew most of them.  Many of them have had an impact on my life through their stories.

I've always said that something very spiritual and amazing happens to me when I walk into the room.  It's almost like a sense of pure calmness and peacefulness enters my mind, body and soul.   The love and support I get from members, ever so reminding me of the reasons why I don't want to drink anymore, is truly amazing ...and a blessing.

I'm not gonna lie.   "I've done a year sober and I'm in such a better place now" thought keeps creeping into my head.  You know the one?   "I can start drinking in moderation and control myself more"....  that thought.   I still want to drink.  The little guy is on my shoulder and he's very fucking loud sometimes.

I received a beautiful message the other day from a blogger friend.  She finally made it through the doors of AA.  She wrote:

I loved it! I was the only new member getting up in front of 40 people to get my welcoming envelop... and I got a round of applause lucky me! Then 40 people came to congratulate and encourage me during the break... wow this is unreal! Why have I been waiting so long to attend? Because my time hadn't come yet. Finally it has and I'm thrilled to be part of this support group. I'll attend many more meetings, and people talk to me about some intensive weekends as well I wish to attend. But my sponsor like you mentioned that she never feels "cured" and that the desire to drink is never too far away. Stay on your guard she says! Hurrah for me I broke the ice! I see why you like your meetings so much! It's pure LOVE without the EGO Heavy black heart Heavy black heart Heavy black heart


A member came in that has been on relapse for the last few months.  He didn't know it was my celebration.  I asked if he could read The Promises.  He hesitated.  ...out of shame and guilt maybe...  but he did it.  He's been lost, he said.  He thought it was better out there...with the booze.  I was an inspiration for him to come back and get back on track, he said.

It's a great feeling to inspire people in recovery or help them to find their way to freedom.   A few people have been put in my path lately.  I sometimes just hope I can stay strong enough to stay here.

Sober Mommy

Gifts from friends

Gifts from friends


Thursday, 7 January 2016

Lose the Mask


Good morning Bloggers,

For some reason, I can't post any comments on my posts or any other bloggers posts.  It's driving me nuts.  Does anyone have a solution to this?

As I look back on 2015, I think of how far along I've come.

I remember having my last drunk.  I remember having my last few drunks and thinking "I'm done with this shit".   I remember thinking of how shitty I felt all of the time.  I was sick.... physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

When I reflect on my first post, last January, I see how exhausted I was.  All I ever wanted was for this cycle to stop.  And, after trying to quit for 7 years, I'm able to say I'm at a good place in sobriety.  Don't get me wrong, that little guy is still on my shoulders, trying to fuck it up for me.  But, if I would have know how amazing it feels to be this free, I would have worked that much harder the first time I gave it a go.

I remember seeing the following image on Instagram.   My first thought was....hmmmm.... Do I Wear a Mask?   Do I only show people what they want to see in order to feel better about myself.


I think I was drawn to it because the truth was I was hiding.  I only showed people what they wanted to see. I was so oblivious, so lost, and in such a dark place.  I drank to become a different person.  People thought I had it all together, but on the inside I was scared, lost and just forgotten.  I drank to feel good about myself.  I drank to love life and laugh and have fun.  I drank to forget about all of the fucking problems in the world.  I drank to forget who I was.  My mask was huge!!   At times, I didn't even know who I was!

You see, this is what I discovered.  That little woman that drank every single day of her life for the last umpteen years to numb the pain, forget who she was and just live life in the fog wasn't ever true to herself!  She covered MY true identity!  What a friggen discovery!!

How did I discover that?

I had to get sober.   I had to stop drinking and hiding behind the mask.  I had to stop drinking to see that alcohol helped me become that other woman.  A scared, strong, independent, confident, I don't give a fuck woman who thought she had this thing all figured out.   But, in reality, she didn't.  Oh!  Everyone thought she had it all figured out, didn't they?  But, she was a lost soul, living inside a body, a vessel and she was living the motions of life, not really taking anything in....not being present or in the moment.  She didn't know how to live or appreciate the small gifts that came along her way.
 She was oblivious to what life had to offer.

....and in the midst of fighting off this little guy who wants me to drink on a daily basis, I am finding me.  I am finding out WHO I AM.

Me (Aug 2015)  "Find Yourself"
I am so much more than I ever imagined.  I am love.  I am free.

That was my new beginning.  I knew that mask was on tight.  I knew I wanted to be a healthier woman.  I knew I wanted to be good to myself.  I knew I had to discover who I was.

I'm doing it one day at a time.  One moment at a time.

Are you ready to lose the mask?  Are you ready for truth?

Sober Mommy











Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Message I Read December 27th, 2014...Sober Date

Near the Top
I know you’re tired. I know you feel overwhelmed. You may feel as though this crisis, this problem, this hard time will last forever.
It won’t. You are almost through.
You don’t just think it has been hard; it has been hard. You have been tested, tried, and retested on what you have learned.
Your beliefs and your faith have been tried in fire. You have believed, then doubted, then worked at believing some more. You have had to have faith even when you could not see or imagine what you were asked to believe. Others around you may have tried to convince you not to believe in what you were hoping you could believe.
You have had opposition. You have not gotten to this place with total support and joy. You have had to work hard, in spite of what was happening around you. Sometimes, what motivated you was anger; sometimes fear.
Things went wrong—more problems occurred than you anticipated. There were obstacles, frustrations, and annoyances en route. You did not plan on this being the way it would evolve. Much of this has been a surprise; some of it has not been at all what you desired.
Yet, it has been good. Part of you, the deepest part that knows truth, has sensed this all along, even when your head told you that things were out of whack and crazy, that there was no plan or purpose, that God had forgotten you.
So much has happened, and each incident—the most painful, the most troubling, the most surprising—has a connection. You are beginning to see and sense that.
You never dreamt things would happen this way, did you? But they did. Now you are learning the secret—they were meant to happen this way, and this way is good, better than what you expected.
You didn’t believe it would take this long, either—did you? But it did. You have learned patience.
You never thought you could have it, but now you know you do.
You have been led. Many were the moments when you thought you were forgotten, when you were convinced you had been abandoned. Now you know you have been guided.
Now things are coming into place. You are almost at the end of this phase, this difficult portion of the journey. The lesson is almost complete. You know—the lesson you fought, resisted, and insisted you could not learn. Yes, that one. You have almost mastered it.
You have been changed from the inside out. You have been moved to a different level, a higher level, a better level.
You have been climbing a mountain. It has not been easy, but mountain climbing is never easy. Now, you are near the top. A moment longer, and the victory shall be yours.
Steady your shoulders. Breathe deeply. Move forward in confidence and peace. The time is coming to relish and enjoy all which you have fought for. That time is drawing near, finally.
I know you have thought before that the time was drawing near, only to learn that it wasn’t. But now, the reward is coming. You know that too. You can feel it.
Your struggle has not been in vain. For every struggle on this journey, there is a climax, a resolution.
Peace, joy, abundant blessings, and reward are yours here on earth. Enjoy.
There will be more mountains, but now you know how to climb them. And you have learned the secret of what is at the top.
Today, I will accept where I am and continue pushing forward. If I am in the midst of a learning experience, I will allow myself to continue on with the faith that the day of mastery and reward will come. Help me, God, understand that despite my best efforts to live in peaceful serenity, there are times of mountain climbing. Help me stop creating chaos and crisis, and help me meet the challenges that will move me upward and forward.

Quoted from the book Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie.





That was the first thing I read on the day I quit drinking.  I was tired.  I was climbing an uphill battle trying to get to the top and I couldn't make it there alone.  I've grown so much over the year.  I am amazed that I've made it.  I am amazed at the sense of freedom I have today.  I am grateful for the beautiful things in my life.  I truly believe that a Higher Power, my God has been there holding me up and guiding me along this crazy journey.

Sober Mommy

Monday, 4 January 2016

...In My Path (Part 2....Sober Celebration Date)

The second thing that has helped me stay sober during the holidays is the fact that my one year AA celebration is going to be held on January 8th.

When we were planning the date for my party, I was quite disappointed that it was to be so far from my "real" sober date of December 27th.  The reasons were as follows.  I belong to the Friday Night Beginner's Group.  December 25th and January 1st were the days our meetings fall on, and unfortunately, the church needs the hall for their own events.   This meant that my celebration had to be pushed ahead to January 8th...which is this Friday.

A blessing in disguise?

I think so.  

You see, the thing is ....my kids are really really looking forward to my one year celebration.  They have attended a couple of AA events and have met many of my new friends, also known as my new family members.   They remind me often that my one year party is coming up.  Now, if I would have had my party sooner, I may have dranken during the holidays, if that's even a word.   My mind was a little fucked up here and there.  Being around drinkers and craving something to numb the pain found me weak several times.  I wanted to fit in.  I wanted to drink.  Part of me felt that hitting my one year sober date of Dec 27th, had given me enough strength to think that I wasn't an alcoholic anymore.  My friend even tried to convince me that I should be good now, since I made it past a year and she told me that I should be able to control it.  I believed her.   And, as much as my mind wandered into thinking that I had this whole addiction thing down pat, I still didn't pick up a drink.

Now, imagine, if I'd have taken even a little sip of wine during my struggles over the last couple of weeks!   There's no way in hell I could have lived with myself if I'd have slipped, not tell anyone and attended my one year celebration.  And, even though I thought about doing it quite often, I didn't.

I stayed sober.   One year and one week....almost 2.  My kids eyes will shine when they see me get that medallion I worked so hard for.  I can't wait to see that!

It was worth fighting for.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

....In My Path (Part 1...Closed Liquor Stores? Really?)

I didn't drink.

I wanted to drink several times during the holidays.   And, every single time that alcohol was on my mind, God put someone or something in my path to detour me from my cravings....from my need....from my wanting to fit in....from my needing to numb the pain.

I have learned so much about myself over the last two weeks.  I have grown more than I have ever grown.

December 27th was my 1 year soberversary!  Yay me!  It was on this day a year ago that I decided that I didn't want to feel like shit any longer.  It was on this day that I read a meditation from the book "The Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie.  I will post this meditation later.  I quietly celebrated with my best friend.  We went for dinner and had desert and I celebrated.  It was quiet.  It was nice.

It may be hard for you to believe this, but the night before, I drove to two liquor stores.  What were the odds that they were both closed?  It was 4 o'clock for God sakes.  This was my path....

What lead me there? What lead me to sit in my car in front of a liquor store, wondering what the hell life was all about...wondering if I was willing to give up a whole year of hard work for one night of pure oblivion?  What lead me to a desperate state of wanting to numb my body and mind with a great big fuckin box of red wine?

Pain!  

Pain from my past that I thought I fucking dealt with.   I thought I had all the valves shut, but little did I know, I didn't.

A good friend and I have been spending a lot of time together.  She asked me a couple of tough questions about my past that were hard for me to answer, and all hell broke lose in mind and body and soul.

I suddenly found myself at 14 years old, laying in bed with a guy that my uncle brought to camp.  I was that young, innocent girl again feeling the pain and shame from the moment that he touched me....wondering where my uncle was?  Was he watching me?  Was he allowing this to happen?  Wasn't he supposed to protect me?  I felt my body shut down like it has never shut down before and I remembered.  

I remembered why I started drinking at such a young age.  I remember just wanting to numb all that part of me.  I don't really know if I was raped because I put up a wall in my head.  A wall that won't let me remember.  At 44 years old, my mind and body went back to being that little girl, in one instant...just like that!  I could literally feel my skin crawl!

And, all I could do was drive.... drive to find some way of numbing the pain again.  I didn't want to feel.  I didn't want my body to feel the way it felt....the anxiety, the shame, the guilt.  But, it was there.  And, I was mad.  I was mad because I honestly thought that all of those valves of the past had been shut!

Fuck

After I sat in my car, in front of the liquor store, wondering why the fuck two of them were closed in my small town, telling myself to drive to the city to get me a box of wine, and feeling the pain, I drove home.  I entered my garage, shut the car down and closed my eyes.  I fell asleep in an instant.

I woke up 20 minutes later and went to sleep in my bed.  I was exhausted.  I made plans to attend the morning meeting and the evening meeting the next day and I then I went to bed.

I can sit here today and tell you that the whole experience that went on that day, on December 26th, the day before my one year sober date, happened to me for a very important reason.  I didn't know that at the time, but I sure as hell know it today.  I know why the two liquor stores were closed too.  They were meant to be closed.....

....for me.

The next few days brought me the greatest spiritual awakening I've ever had.  I can't wait to tell you about all of the things that came into my path!

Hugs.
SoberMommy










Thursday, 24 December 2015

My Sober Christmas!

I survived Christmas at mom and dad's.  God (myHP) was there with me, I just know it.

Did I want to drink and join in on the fun and laughs and pure oblivion?  Fuck yeah. I did!  Resistance to the temptation of wanting to drink was hard as shit!

I had to step out of myself for a few minutes here and there to remind myself that having a drink or more, definitely more, wouldn't have brought me that happiness I so crave and want from alcohol for long.  I would have hated myself I think.  I've come such a long way and I like being sober.  I really like it.

I like who I've become.  I like the me that I am.  I am fun and loving.  I can run around and chase kids without drinking.  I can sing and dance and make people laugh.  I can also be quiet.  I can read.  I can rest.  I can enjoy the moment.  I can just be me.  I do the best I can with what I have and what I know.

During the night, as the wine and beer were being poured, I watched.  I had little mini urges to drink but nothing worth writing about.   OK.  Some of them were huge!  It sucked to have a craving for something and not pick it up.  Also, a big part of me sat there for a few minutes and thought, <<holy crap, I just don't fit in anymore>>.  I was also so worried that they'd of thought I was a boring sober old lady.... but I wasn't.   I did all the things I did when I was drinking.   At one point, my Kelly came in for a very close hug, and I knew that she was checking for an alcohol smell on my breath.  And I got some good sleep.  Fucking great sleep actually.   I also got to wake up early, enjoy my coffee and watch the birds out my parents backyard, facing the lake.  Really watch the birds.   I got to see my kids laugh and hug me and say "I'm really proud of you mom". "I love you so much".









It's Christmas Eve.  We had a quiet night, just me and 2 of my children.  My older son is 2500 miles away, in a different province.  I miss him dearly.  We had a turkey dinner tonight, played games and snuggled to a great movie.  It was quiet.  It was perfect.  I get to sleep like a baby and wake up feeling like a champ!  This is my first sober Christmas Eve and tomorrow will be the first time in years that I could wake up without feeling shitty on Christmas morning.  I look forward to coffee, children's smiles, and a lot of love, health and happiness.

Merry Christmas.

Sober Mommy

Saturday, 19 December 2015

....Alcohol Will Surround Me

I'm headed out to mom and dad's tonight.  I expressed my concerns about the situation I'll be in over the next few days at my meeting last night.

I will be surrounded by alcohol.

And, in my moment of weakness, as I chaired the meeting that I wasn't planning on attending, a member reminded me of this very important fact.  

I am a fighter!

These were his words:

"Jen.  In the short time I've known you and seen you in this program, there's one thing I notice about you.  You're a fighter. You put on those boxing gloves and you fight.  Fight off that little voice in your head or punch off the little guy on your shoulders.  Just don't stop fighting.  I'd admire you for being a fighter.  It makes me wanna fight too"

A message from up above?   I think so.  Nothing happens by mistake.

So, I will fight this week.  I will remember why I gave up alcohol in the first place.  It is shit and it will make my life shitty.  I know that.  I just have to remember that, in my times of weakness.

It's been my mom's dream to have all the family together at Christmas in her beautiful home on the lake.  I want to make her dreams come true.  I may not stay long.  Hell, I may even come back home to my safe place tomorrow (4 hour drive), but I will not drink.  I want mom to be happy.  I love mom.  She needs her family.  I will be a strong, loving, sober, fun, happy, daughter.  And when dad becomes a drunken ass, I will go to bed and read and pray.