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Showing posts from February, 2018

A visit to a Muslim country

Hello - I am back from a two week vacation in a warm Muslim/Arab country. It was fascinating and wonderful...my husband and I visited a 9th century mosque and the imam took my hands into his, and holding me close, he said: "There is one God; Christian, Jewish, Muslim; there is one God, and God is love."

It was beautiful and deeply touching. I felt he wanted me to take his message back to America. So here I have....

Muslims often abstain from alcohol. This was great. They have so many wonderful alcohol free drinks. Fabulous! The lemons were almost like limes and there was a drink made with lemons, fresh mint, sugar and ice that was out of this world! And hibiscus tea is so divine, hot or cold. Cold, it is mixed with sparkling water and lime.

Being "off line" and away from it all, and immersed in a new culture and new people for two weeks was energizing and inspiring.  I do know how very lucky I am to have been able to make this trip.  A trip of a lifetime.

I just re…

Choose your words

Those of us who are parents know all about teaching our children to "choose your words." Words are so powerful. Words really do hurt. Or heal. Send us down, or send us up. How are you talking to yourself?  Do you catch yourself hurting yourself? I do. How do you respond?

I try to respond to myself as a loving parent would (for me, that is a loving God; but a loving parent image works). If I need it, I console myself. And I redirect myself.

Goodness, that is just plain old fashioned good parenting, isn't it? I continue to be amazed at how many skills we already have to help us with our alcohol free life. It is true isn't it?

I am changing the words I use. I am really working on this. I am working at substitution: for example, if I think to myself that I am having a wine craving, I tell myself that in fact it is just a sugar craving.

Here at day 96, I am moving ahead...and I have sugar cravings. I meet the sugar craving -- increasingly in a healthy way and forget about…

Are you a giver?

So many of us are "givers" -- we are moms, we are generous, we go out on a limb for others, we are givers...For me, sometimes when I feel as if I have completely depleted myself, I think: I deserve a drink!

Today I was at an event all afternoon and I found myself working hard to help a younger person in my field to find his way, make the connections that he needs to succeed. Why? Because this is what I do. I love my work: I feel fully alive when I can forget about myself and just throw myself into helping others.

I recently read that extroverts feel energized by interacting with others, while introverts feel drained. By that measure, I am an introvert. It drains me. But I certainly appear as a dynamic, engaged professional.

At the end of this event today, I was drained. Empty. Nothing left to give.

In the past, I would have gotten home at "wine o"clock" and had a glass of wine on an empty stomach.

Just think about that for a minute. I am empty: tired, hungry, …

Coping: Wine O'Clock, Parties and Family

I am very grateful to all the bloggers and writers who wrote articles and blogs about how to get through the party season. Those articles really helped me.

I realized that three-quarters of the reason why I reached for a glass of wine every night when I got home from work was because I was hungry and tired. So when I quit drinking, I substituted white grape juice or other sugary drinks for the wine. I also allowed myself to have cheese and crackers. Just no wine. Bingo: I had my answer.

I no longer am feeding the same compulsion every night (it is day 90!), but I do think about my "state" and I do take care of myself with food and non-alcoholic drinks more mindfully than before.

So for parties: the same mind set applies.  For my family holiday parties, I just made sure I had sugary drinks on hand, that matched calorie for calorie the wine (sparkling cider, etc.). Actually, at one dinner, I had a wine glass of unsweetened pomegranate juice (or cherry juice, I forget) -- it lo…

The Inner Child: Afraid

What is your earliest memory of being afraid? Take yourself back in time.

How old were you? Four? Six?

See if you can remember the scene, what you were doing, who was there. What it felt like; where you were.

What happened?

How did you react?

I would love to hear your story (that's what Comments are for!)

If you could go back in time and be there with that child, what would you do?

Would you take her into your arms and comfort her? Of course you would. Do it now in your own heart and mind. Comfort her now.

It all starts back then, doesn't it? How we manage our fears. Who teaches us to manage our fears? What we taught? What are we teaching our own children now?  We are teaching them something, that's for sure.  Are we teaching them a healthy approach??

Big questions.

For me: I was six years old. I was playing in the woods behind our back yard. I loved to go back there and explore. Three boys came running up to me (from the housing development on the other side of the woods)…

Honesty

I first drank to numb myself from life's realities when I was in high school. No, I didn't just have a couple of episodes this past year, that made me turn to sobriety. My first blog entry sort of reads that way. No, I am not devoting all this head space to sobriety -- and reaching out for support into the blog sphere -- over a few bad nights.

This is a pattern in my life: feeling anxious, and self-medicating with alcohol.

The fact that I am one of many doesn't mean that I don't have something to give to this community through my voice.

Five years ago, I was going through the first slings and arrows of peri-menopause and I was anxious beyond belief. Every hot flash brought me to a state of sheer panic.  I was in a manic state about it.

I met with my minister and he wisely said: "Anxiety stands as a barrier between you and mindfulness."

Now I am thinking this: Anxiety is a barrier between me and mindfulness. When I self-medicate my anxiety with alcohol, I crea…

Faith

I am thinking about my relationship with my faith (Christian) and how I can move into my mindful sobriety in a way that is integrated with my faith. One that will help my sometimes nascent faith to grow.  Have you ever thought about that? About whether calming your mind and eliminating the numbing effects of alcohol will open you up to a higher power?

Before I went alcohol free, I decided to commit to a spiritual practice of yoga every morning. Fifteen minutes, with an online morning prayer service playing on my computer while I stretched. 

I started this daily yoga practice on July 20, 2017. See: I keep track of my start date, just like I keep track of my drinking quit date (November 2, 2017).  I also think about how it has changed me. The changes are subtle, but I am curious about them.  Did the one lead to the other? Maybe so.

What is next? I feel a deep happiness in the anticipation.

Mere