Still reading and psychological changes

Still reading Tommy Rosen’s ‘Recovery 2.0’. By now I guess you must be thinking that I read rather slowly. I do, I do. I want to know for sure that I did not read past sentences because I know me: resistance is big ๐Ÿ™‚ and because of the denial I never know when it pops up. I have a highly developed capacity for looking away so… keeping me on a leash here and reading slowly and for the first time in my life actually marking sentences in a book! Well, in pencil. The book makes me happy and things fall into place. Up to now he describes his journey and his methode to feel his way back into life. I was already doing a some of the stuff which is why I am so happy I am reading this book: obviously my ‘feeling my way back method’ does somehow make sense. ๐Ÿ™‚ And thankful that somebody went the road before me and puts things into place.

Suddenly I am very much drawn to mandalas. Not sure how this mandala fits in here but to me it does.ย To me it feels as what I am doing and how that relates to the universe.

Funny changes: since I started reading this book I am behind the screen a lot less. I just don’t like it anymore, it feels wrong. Rosen speaks of the ‘frequency of addiction’ –ย  I know exactly what he means and how it feels, I just did not know it had a name. It is what I dislike VERY MUCH and I guess it is my biggest motivation for wanting to be clear. And now I know why my goal is not ‘not drinking’ my goal has always been ‘being clear’, not drinking is part of that.

Well, the other thing that happens spontaneously is that I am (yes, up front very sorry to say this but I promised myself not to edit and I would edit if I would leave this out) not interested anymore in sober blog reading or writing for that matter. My ayahuasca spirit has revisited and repeats back from years ago: ‘All these opinions, don’t go there, it is not important.’ย  Which is what she said to me when doing my first or second ayahuasca sessions years ago. Guessing she is right. I am starting to want to listen to this internal voice more and more and make time for it. Hope is it not a ‘wandering off in seclusion thing’. Let’s see how this develops and how I will continue to develop if I don’t write stuff down. (There’s this voice saying: you might want to start connecting with people in real life….) Odd…. ๐Ÿ˜€

Next: I am starting to really see the clutter in my house and really notice how this system of looking away from it works. I am trying to keep my attention there where it hurts but that does not work yet. Not going to force it (ghegheghe) I am cleaning way more than I have don over the last, say 2 years? And not only ‘because someone is coming’.

Important questions these days: ‘What is your favorite way to spend time?’

Answer at any moment: ‘So why are you in front of the computer now?’

I am not sure anymore if I am happy that I quit because the big negatives are sort of disappearing out of sight. However, last night I dreamed that I forgot I had quit and drank a glass of wine at a party and WHAAAAA I wanted the whole bottle and remembered: O yeah, that’s what it was like…. let’s not do that.

That’s were I am sometimes: either in mandala land happily learning stuff or in purgatory, in the hell that is not hell but deals an eternal suffering because there is time but no movement. So time passes but nothing happens, no consequences but no growth and improvements either. Guessing that is where I weigh my actions, systems, blockages, all that what keeps me away from living. Sometimes it irritates me, sometimes I am ok with my stalling. I’m going fast enough as it is. Purgatory does have a function. The path is the destination even though it sometimes looks like this:

Well, if that is what it is, that is what it is.

Post Scriptum: Looked up the person in the mandala online. Wiki says: She is an Anuttarayoga Tantra iแนฃแนญadevatฤ and her practice includes methods for preventing ordinary death, intermediate state (bardo) and rebirth (by transforming them into paths to enlightenment), and for transforming all mundane daily experiences into higher spiritual paths.

Preventing ordinary death by quitting drinking – check!

In bardo – check! It’s funny that I write about purgatory which well, could be seen as the Christian name for bardo in the one post with the mandala that I know shit about. The Universe is amazing now I quit drinking :-).

Transforming mundane experiences into higher spiritual paths – check! The path is the destination. All what comes is what should be.

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Reading, reading, reading

Yeah, not doing anything but reading, reading, reading. Recovery 2.0 by Tommy Rosen, yeah! Revelation! Happy to have found a book that speaks things that I align with easily and can understand like the importance of being honest to myself and others, about going on a road to meet myself and processing, letting go of, or chucking out all that is not necessary. It is about intuition and ‘feeling my way back into life’ so maybe I should not be surprised that I am so excited. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have this idea about my life that unprocessed events, errors in thinking, false hope, dreams, lies, hateful thoughts and all kinds of concepts that I have, have caused me to move away from my true self and from my path. Reading this book overwhelms me with truth. Only reading and understanding the truth and value of this is a spiritual experience.

Not all of it is easy, here I was, thinking things would get easier after 3 months. Well, I guess starting to live the Truth is, well, was going to say; easier but hahaa, NOOOO today it is rather uncomfortable :-D. Overwhelming now these layers, these walls of fear that protected me from me, from the Truth are starting to shake and tumble. Wow. The power that is locked in keeping up these walls is amazing. I guess I want it back to put to good use.

And I now know why there is the word(s): the naked truth. That’s how it feels, holy fuck what a high level of internal discomfort. Brrrrr, no wonder I drank.ย  I wish I had learned earlier in my life to deal with this. I am happy (in a very terrified way) that I have the ability to learn these things now.

Coming to a painful realisation that I could have prevented a lot of shit in my life if I had only listened to my intuition. That is painful because up to now I have lived on blaming the other while I should have taken care of myself. And smashed their heads in… well, sort of… You get the picture.

Did I tell you that Tommy Rosen makes the 12 steps understandable to me (yeah, me). That is NEW in itself. ;-). It works out that feeling your way back into life is EXACTLY what the 12 steps are about. How cool is that? That is like way cool!

I am happy that I quit. I’m running from ‘happy in a normal way because it has been 3 months now’ to ‘happy in a frightened way because of what I am reading, are facing and have to face’ to ‘happy that I finally get to sort stuf out’ to ‘happy that somebody went before me and can tell me’ and finally; happy that I quit and am doing this. The internal possibility of repair of a person is AMAZING. It is all inside, we have to uncover it. And that is without the word ‘just’ because that does not fit there today.

Well, going to read a little more. Have a nice weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t feel like writing

Funny, I guess I must have had an overdose of computer time. I suddenly can’t stand it anymore and can’t imagine why I spend so much time in front of the screen. Got 2 new books, reading Recovery 2.0. Excited to learn where he goes with this sentence he keeps repeating about processing emotions. I feel that for me there’s a thing that I don’t do. I stock memories and have difficulty processing them. This circle of life in the small way is never finished in my life. We’ll see. ๐Ÿ™‚

I guess I am happy that I quit. It is sort of getting normal now.

3 Months and 159 posts further

3 Months sober today. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I’ve done well. By now I’m experimenting a little with the level of self-care that I need. I was getting tired of always taking care and continuously thinking of NOT drinking – but I’m guessing that is a dangerous road that needs to be treaded carefully. Washing my face because I have been kissed on the cheek by somebody that oozed alcohol is still a good idea, taking 4 meals a day in order to prevent low blood sugar levels is not necessary anymore because I have stabilized a more.

I don’t worry anymore of going to places where there are people drinking, it has become like not smoking now; I don’t because it is awful.ย  Having said that…. I do have tiny, tiny little thoughts on drinking or impulses so now and then. Specifically at changing scenes that surround leaving a place or event. Most likely this relates to my former drinking behaviour where I would drink 2-3 glasses around people, go home and ‘fill up’. Ieeehks. I am now paying extra attention to entrances and exits.

There is this HALT abbreviation and it says to prevent hunger, anger, loneliness and being tired. For me hunger (low blood sugar levels) and being tired are most dangerous. I don’t get angry easily and loneliness is something that might, I don’t know, have not paid a lot of attention to.

I’ve become more social lately with 2-3 social meetings in a week, sometimes 4. That is a little too much for me. I used to have a friend who had been addicted to soft- and harddrugs. We used to meet for diner in the city and after dinner she would go home immediately because she (said she) was tired. I never understood. Now I do. It takes a hell of a lot more energy to neatly present myself according to my new socially polite standards than it does to drink, let my aura hang loose and say and do whatever I thought was funny. Specifically staying centered, really listening and not pushing my story is something I consciously practice. And yes, that is still in practise phase. (Last night at singing lessons we ran late because I was last on stage ๐Ÿ˜€ )

Still not getting on with my life. That worries me. But with what I learn every day I guess, well, that is how it is for now. Small changes are happening, like cleaning the house more often because I see that it is dirty and do not shrink into myself anymore in order to avoid seeing it. There was denial in my housekeeping too. AND do not moan about it to myself anymore because I am (starting to) accept(ed) that I will do what I can do. Also, I am starting to like to sit still and just listen. My cat fell asleep on my lap last week, in all the 4 years that she has lived here she only started to sit on my lap since I quit.

Happy that I quit, a little tired of the work, but I guess I need to up the fun more with social activities and learning on a personal level like singing or theatre and… work (?).

Being sober so far is about The Decision and maintaining it constantly. It is about listening to myself, taking care of EVERY tiny issue before it becomes a big one. It is about shaping the circumstances in which that is doable like eating healthy, getting the right nutrients in, sleeping enough, being with the right people.

And sobriety to me is very much about knowledge too: reading the books and blogs of those who went before us on the sober path and learning from that.

And it is about self-exploration, about being honest to myself in real life; The Middle. The Middle is not very clear yet but it is coming. This is where it was/is difficult to deal because it is about really being and not about the made-up, glorified self I liked to be. Or, on the other extreme; the made-up stupid self I hated to be – or possibly liked because it also prevented me from dealing with what really IS.

Of course being sober is about blogging too :-). The blogging forces me to think about what I am doing and feeling. Now I’ve come to 3 months it is starting to be like a little history too which is somehow cool. It is also about getting to know you, reading about your struggles and triumphs and normal days, knowing that you are out there and that I am not the only one walking this road. That is good. And… of course I am very happy with you reading my blogs, liking posts (yes I like that ๐Ÿ™‚ ), commenting, adding, informing me.

Last but not least: sobriety is about becoming my true self while throwing away the rubbish and dealing with the issues that are keeping me away from being aligned with my spirit.

Additional physical and psychological changes

Earlier I did some posts on physical and psychological changes that I notice on my mission to become clear. The current physical changes are small but important, well, to me. Very exciting. Well, again, to me. I am happy about them :-).

PHYSICAL CHANGES

– One that I am very happy about: the fluffy down like hairs that start at my ears and run to the middle of my cheeks are disappearing. Not sure if it is because of not drinking or because of taking kelp pills and therefore improving the workings of an important gland, forgot the name, and thus reducing the hairs.

– My sleeping improved big time when I quit drinking and then got a little worst and now with help of some herbal tea has greatly improved again. One night I actually slept without waking up once. It is AMAZING how much energy I had when waking up. Expressed in figures that is 3 times as much. No wonder I don’t get to do so much. By now I think that ‘Do you sleep well?’ should be the number 1 question of every doctor in this world.

– Since a day or two I can feel the area behind my shoulder blades starting to relax. Friends noticed that my posture has changed: ‘Huh? Have you grown taller since last week?’ ๐Ÿ™‚ Guessing it is good. And… and… they mentioned: ‘You are opening up.’ ๐Ÿ™‚ NEW!!!

PSYCHOLOGICAL CHANGES

– I have a extensive library with movies on DVD – yeah, showing my age… – but I don’t like them anymore. NEW!!! All these movies have this ‘quick fix’ quality to it. Guess it is time for a library and museum card.

– Long intro: A few days ago I went to a store opening from a friend of mine. I had expected that it was sort of private event because I got this one line mail ‘dropping by for a drink at 18:00 hours?’ invitation – which amongst the two of us is not unfriendly or impolite though it did work out to be a tiny bit impractical. I replied that I was going to drop by but that I did not drink anymore. I like doing that upfront so I don’t have to deal with their first reaction in real life.

We go way back so I went and thought: It is going to be as usual; crate of beer, bag of chips, have a drink and chat, see what the store is going to be like when it is finished. This time I don’t drink and I did not feel like bringing flowers or booze (obviously) so I fried up some eco chicken wings. I did think of dressing up nicely because I am hoping to find a job in this field so whatever the occasion, showing up in my old jeans was not going to do it. Thus I arrived with my greying hair al nice, fresh and curly, me polished, a little make-up (NEW!!!), a tiny bit of parfume (NEW!!), dress, boots… and yes, a box with fried chicken wings. ๐Ÿ˜€

The event worked out to be a party….. with loads of succesful people from the industry, a Italian buffet and I and my hidden box with chicken wings. I was a little flustered but all I had to do was breathe and remind myself of my newly discovered skills of centering, keeping the bad stuff out and wanting to really connect with people.

I did. I reminded myself that ‘they can drink but I don’t have to’, ‘I can leave whenever I want to’, straightened my back and smiled to make it appear that belonged and walked in.ย  And yes, sorry for the posing, but this is business too.ย  Went to say hi to the host and all of a sudden, I was in a conversation with a nice guy who was explaining about his therapy and personal growth path. Yes, you read that correctly: guy + personal growth path + speaking about it publicly. No, not gay. (Yes, prejudice.) The evening continued and I found out that the host was not drinking either because ‘there needs to be someone who is sober’. NEW!!!

This is a long long intro to the point in psychological change I am getting to. I met 3 guys that separately from each other told me that they had stepped down in ambition and started working for themselves so they can manage their own hours because they have an ambitious wife. They decided to not do the race to the top but just open their own toko to create some rest in their life, take care of the kids and allow their partner to do their racing.

What is new? NEW!! Is that I normally only meet man who are very demeaning towards women and say things like ‘Pffff, my wife thinks that she has something to say about her yoga classes. Well, not on my evening out.’ Or ‘I wanted to go to Asia but my wife was moaning about the long trip and the children but hey, I am paying so we went.’

And during one of the fun and serious conversation we had, one of the above men actually teared up over something I said that he thought was very beautiful. NEW!! New that I meet men that can listen and be touched by what is going on. Yes I make this about me, not about him. ๐Ÿ˜€

Thirdly new: we spoke about the an experience where I discovered that I put grieve between me and all things happening in my world. So no matter what is going on I only tend to see the bad stuff happening. The conversation continued and half an hour later one of the guys replies to a sentence of mine: ‘This is where you are putting grieve between you and a good experience.’ He was right. I was. And this is so NEW!!! No, not that he was right…. (well, a little..) but that I (yes I make this is about me again…) meet people (MEN! Yes, sorry…. Well, sorry-ish) who really listen and without wanting to outsmart me, relate back to what I exposed of myself. NEW!!!

By now you might be wondering: Were there women too? Yes, there were a few but they were all 15-20 years younger, drinking and looking ready to adore the handsome men that were there. Of whom a few were drinking and longing to be adored. So no, I did not speak with the girls. That would be really, really new. ๐Ÿ™‚ They were all drinking like crazy, is that a good excuse?

What else was new? I could handle myself without drinking no problem. I have never really experienced that as a problem but I notice now events like these are way better without the booze.ย  NEW!!! But also thanks to Debra Fine, the author of one of my favorite books: ‘The fine art of small talk’ who/that has tought me a lot in this. Read it online in a pdf form or better: buy it. The title is a bit off; it is not about gossipy small talk, it is about conversations, how to start and maintain them and all the social insecurities that may go with it and how to counter these. Really a good book for the sober tool box.

I left the party when an old friend (one of those that I slowly let go) turned to the serious drinking and I did not want to be in his line of sight when he would look up from his glass.

I did eat chicken wings for breakfast, lunch and diner the next day. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am happy that I quit but back to the ‘why does it take so much energy’ because it does take a lot of energy and I need to re-adjust now I can’t zoom out with a movie anymore because my taste in movies has changed. But! New books comming on Monday. And maybe it is time to start visiting AA. (Did I really say that?)