Year One is Done

Hello, everyone. I am a few weeks into year two.  The "high" over that accomplishment seems to have passed for now. I am the same person as before: I still get anxious, have trouble sleeping, and recoil from conflict. I simply no longer self-medicate with alcohol. Why? Because every time I think about a drink I also think about the consequences. I think this is all a version of cognitive behavior therapy: training your brain to remember to think along a different, more enlightened pathway. This is intentional living. I choose, I keep choosing, to live this way. Come with has gotten easier. Yes, sometimes I am so tired, so excited, so "this" or "that," that I think about a nice big glass of wine. But I remind myself, that is just the "old" way of thinking. Now I have a new way to think. I still use a trick from my earlier days: I treat myself to a nice glass of fruit juice. Not often, because that sugar is no good. But occasionally. Be

Anthony Bourdain

So many of us have been crushed by Anthony Bourdain's death. Bourdain had a way of asking people simple questions, and getting them to show their souls. He did this with people across cultural lines, around the world. And he brought these people and cultures into our homes. We felt we understood them, whether they were from Bali or Buenos Aires. Bourdain appeared kind, sensitive, open and raw. And he had swagger, let's admit it!  A treasure.  We knew he was vulnerable because he showed his vulnerability in everything he did, including his loving of other people. I want to honor Bourdain for all that he gave the world, I want to honor and remember his unusual gifts, his soul. I don't want him to be remembered just for his last sad days, and the end, which hurts all of us who cared for him, even us who were just fans. Yet, I am pulled into the story of his death. I have searched the internet for clues and details. I have struggled to understand. His death has triggered me

Kate Spade

Glad you are not a public figure? Me too. When I die, I don't believe my secrets will be blasted around the world by spiteful relatives or those looking for monetary gain. But let us take what we can from her death, for today we live on. Beloved Kate Spade. Sisters can be cruel. (I have several). Her sister chose to speak to the press, asserting that Kate suffered with both untreated bipolar disorder and an alcohol abuse problem. No assertion that Kate had been diagnosed as bipolar (a difficult and controversial diagnosis, by the way). And who doesn't have an alcohol abuse problem? At least half of my friends do, if using alcohol to self-medicate anxiety and a hard day at work counts. Thanks for the sistah love... not. Kate's husband now says she battled anxiety and depression but did not have a drug or alcohol abuse problem.  It is good that he spoke out and did not remain silent, but in the end, what difference does it make? The lesson from Kate's death is that

Living Sober

Hello friends! Day 207 here. I want to tell you that you can find me on the member feed of the Living Sober website (run by Mrs. D). There, I am mindfulmere (of course). It is like a Facebook page but it is not Facebook, which is good because I quit Facebook. There are people there who are on day 300 and people who are on day 3. People who are on their tenth day 1. People who have good news, people who have bad news. There are enough people on the member feed from around the world that you can always get and give real time support, day or night. It is working for me right now. That's why I haven't posted a blog in the past few weeks. Best, Mere

Recovery Time:how much do you have?

Today, I am talking about "recovery" from big events, even big good events. Do you need recovery from big events?  Big family events?  I do.  This may be because I have an "introvert" streak in me.  Big events with lots of people leave me drained, exhausted.  I love the events, but I need to take time to recharge afterwards. I have decided that I need to start to purposefully plan "recovery time" into my life.  Last weekend, I had 35 professional women leaders over to my house for an event. So many people to relate to!  So many high energy people to be "on" for!  I loved it.  People are still posting on social media about it, and sending me emails about how happy the event made them.  And we had beautiful weather.  By the way, I served no alcohol.  I made some fabulous home-made drinks (thanks everyone for the recipes!). I couldn't have been happier....except that the next day, I had more commitments. I found myself feeling resent

Anxiety and Alcohol

Day 155 here. I am moving into a new phase of self-examination. I am being mindful about my anxiety. I am thinking about my anxiety, as I go through my day.  Surprise! I think I drank largely to address my anxiety, my "monkey mind."   The alcohol is gone. How's that anxiety coming along?  Still there. Morning, noon and night. I am doing some navel gazing about it. Interesting how my anxiety led me to thinking that my son was judging my new marriage (see prior blog) when after heartfelt conversation, I learned otherwise (see my comment to the blog). Someone I admire once told me: "anxiety is a roadblock between you and mindfulness." Anxiety is a barrier to an ongoing relationship with the divine, with others, with wholeness, with self-love, with peace. Alcohol is a temporary solution to an ongoing situation. I've learned from many bloggers, including Mrs. D, that long term sobriety comes with profound introspection. It may be starting for me... An

Sober Grief

My Easter weekend was a success in many ways. I did not miss the wine. My aged mother is so old, it seems, that she didn't notice me not drinking. That, or she chose to say nothing. Either way, I wasn't hassled. In fact, the only "not nice" thing she said was this (about my new house): "I hope you are grateful that I have exercised enormous restraint and said nothing about your home decorating!" I know, right? I am grateful, actually! My pain came from my son.  Funny how you expect the pain to come from one direction (mom), you think the other direction is completely safe (beloved son), and you get blindsided. Life... On the good side, he and my mom had a lot of quality time together, and that was beautiful to see. On the not-so-good side, my beloved son made it clear that he does not affirm my new marriage. My son has become a very conservative, religious man. My partner and I had already bought a house together and I thought he would be pleased