Free online summit ‘Psychology of true happiness’

And another free online summit coming up. This one is about happiness. Looking forward to hearing what they have to say. ๐Ÿ™‚

More info here.

Enjoy!

I am happy that I quit. Hope you are happy that you quit too. ๐Ÿ™‚

xx, Feeling

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How to start a sober blog

That’s a bit of a pretentious title but I actually made it up because it talks with search engines well. That would be a first :-).

So, hi there, possibly first timer blogger? This is my blog ‘Feeling my way back into life’ and this post is about starting a sober blog. I am assuming that you are thinking of quitting drinking or have done so already. Maybe you need an outlet for all that is happening, or maybe you are looking for sober (online) friends, maybe you are looking for tips and support… Blogs can provide that and more, and less.

Here are some tips which I find important. Maybe you don’t. I have written this rather ‘do this, do no do that’ but obviously you can take what you can use and leave the rest.

TIPS:

Start anonymously

Whatever your reason to blog may be, make sure you start off anonymously.

Because

  • you do not now what you will want to write in the future,
  • because right now you might feel on top of the world thinking you can deal but experience shows that the process of getting sober is messy. Today might look like this: pegapuss kitten

And tomorrow can look like this:

depression-153-58660ae39f1bd__700

In early sobriety you will find yourself in an emotional roller coaster. Whatever you have been suppressing by drinking will rear its ugly head at some point. You will be able to deal way better because not drinking. But still. You need to take care of you and that means babysteps in your own tiny circle.

  • because you want the absolute freedom to (think that) you can let out the beast when writing,
  • because you do want to open up in order to keep sober but not be hit over the head with the consequences immediately,
  • because you do not know if your sobriety will be ‘succesful’ and the shame of having to admit that to people around you might force you into hiding again. There are others who would argue that it is good to have people support you. I am not there (yet?). If people were always so absolutely supportive you and I would not have ended up where we are / were. Addiction is a very unattractive spiritual mistake. Asking for help with it is like needing a loan: you only get it when you don’t need it. I am guessing there are people who want to dare me on this. As I said: trust is not my most well-developed muscle. Meaning no disrespect to the people who have helped me but still – trust goes as far as it goes. As does friendship, as does love. Unlike an addict mindset neither of these gifts are without boundaries. And in my not so humble opinion they should not be boundaryless anyway. Actions have consequences. Getting shit faced at a friends party means that I lose the friend. That is logical and in my opinion a healthy process. Actions should have consequences. Same with addiction: not attractive, let’s go do something else. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • because there is a worldwide stigma on addiction and you do not have to deal with that or fight it. You have your own internal battles to take care of.
  • because no matter what sobriety comes first and the consequences of going public immediately can stand in the way of focusing on sobriety.
  • because on the net, what you write is NEVER gone. Do not make the mistake of thinking your blog is gone when you turn it off or delete it. The internet has a cache history which is very stubborn in remembering everything you did.
  • Also… there is a waybackmachine where anybody can look up your former site. It always takes a while before the info there is deleted as well.

waybackmachine

Well, many reasonsย  why I advise you to stay anonymous for at least 5 years. Why? Because above and because right now you might be on top of the world, but experience learns that this can change tomorrow.

Why? Because your first priority is sobriety. That is all. You do not know what upheavals lay in the future, you do not know anything about the future. Maybe you want to run for president? The internet remembers everything.

EDIT 30 august 2017 TO THIS POST:

Shame is one of the emotions which are very present and influential in addiction. A lot of the development of addiction has to do with finding your place in this world and mainly overdoses of shame and quilt prevent that. Guilt is about ‘having done something wrong’, shame is about ‘being wrong, feeling less deserving or non-deserving, feeling one has no right to live or less right than others.

The biological function of shame is to keep us from doing stupid things which are out there, to keep us from being aloof and to not go were we say ‘pride comes before the fall’. That is all ok. Shame has it’s function. Problem is, and this is not ok: in this society, shaming people is used as a (destructive) tool by parents, upbringers, teachers, group leaders, groups, peers, well anybody, to keep others in check. Shame is one of those emotions which get transferred very easily. If shame builds up too high in the one, he/she/group will seek a scapegoat and transfer the shame by shaming the other in order to release themselves of the tension and nasty feelings that shame brings. This is done by shaming, by getting angry, by criticizing, by being perfectionist about stuff, by bullying – there are many ways. More info is to be found online.

Next to that, shame can be so ingrown that we shame ourself out of what we want, need, need to do. That looks like feeling you don’t have the right to speak up against a spouse/boss/parent/friend. If you have trouble taking care of yourself (like I) chances are you have not learned this or feel you do not deserve it. That last part translates in not feeling you (i) have the right to take care of you (me). The first part probably means that you had caretakers which did not take care. That is a dangerous, destructive situation which in itself breeds shame.

I am not shame free when it comes to addiction. Also, I know that a lot of people around me, even though they themselves say to be ‘not shaming’ actually do shame me when they feel like it. I have met up with this in conversations several times and it is hugely unpleasant. If I had been recently sober I do not know how I would have dealt with the backstabbing. Which is why I warn you to stay anonymous so if you inform people of your addictive character and substance abuse when you are ready to trust people. Not that you are confronted by somebody having found your blog online. That’s all.

You might be in a state of mind where you wonder what I am talking about. That could be logical because addiction comes with denial and part of the denial is the denial of shame. Trust me, the shame is there. Like all other things it just needs you to be ready for it to show itself. Sobriety is like peeling an onion, we find layer after layer. However: if you were not susceptible to shame you would; A. not have an addictive character, B. be either very enlightened, very autistic or very criminally insane. ;-). C have worked on shame issues for a long time in your recovery already. โค

If anything you should have/take the time to work this out yourself – in your own time. Which is why I advocate anonymity.

Set up an anonymous e-mail account

Set up an anonymous e-mail account at e.g. Gmail.com. That might not be totally legal but sobriety first. Nothing in this anonymous e-mail account should be real – apart from the e-mail account you need to give up as a last resort. So do NOT use an acronym, do not use your cat’s name, do not use your real name anywhere because it will show up, do not enter your telephone number. Nothing. Because you (and I) do not know how things relate back to you.

Also, some search tools allow people to find whatever friends do online all over the web, based on their mail address. So an online nickname is of no use if it is backed by your standard e-mail address or an e-mail account with your regular name.

Or… do NOT work with G-mail and find an e-mail server which does not want to link ALL your online business (e-mail, YouTube, Facebook, WordPress, whatever) to one account. This is specifically unhandy when you already have an G-mail account.

Work from a computer/device which is password protected. Do not read, blog or reply from your work address or anybody elses computer. The search history of the computer will remember the internet addresses you looked for and those adresses will leave behind cookies. Any other person logging in after you will be able to find these and probably connect the dots.

When you live in a tiny village you might even want to drive to another city to work on your blog, read or reply because when you react to somebodies blog the IP address (which is the address of your computer on the internet) is visible. This IP address can be tracked on the net and refers to a certain area in a large city or to a village. Your provider could hand over your real name and address when requested but I believe they only do that on the request of police. Not sure.

Don’t worry: people, governmental organisations, CIA, NSA, Google, Facebook, hackers, whatever is out there, they will always be smarter than you and can find out what you write and who you are.

You will find that if you search for stuff online, your adds start to change towards (non) drinking items. This is true for Google but also for Facebook. Getting Add-block on a Firefox browser will help you not to see stuff like that. So it does not pop up when you are watching a vid together with a friend.

What’s in a name?

How to name your blog? Well…. a lot. People with blogs like ‘shit I need to quit drinking’ never ‘make it’. The name of your blog expresses your intentions. Make sure you get those right before you start. Something like:

Beware of your intentions, they shape your thoughts,
Beware of your thoughts, they shape your actions,
Beware of your actions, they shape your life.

Always log out of WordPress and your anonymous e-mail account after you are done.

Always log out and in and do NOT let your computer / device remember what the password is for these sites. You never know if it gets stolen or somebody finds it.

Also when you work from a Gmail account your Gmail profile will be visible online where ever you go. So when replying to something on YouTube, it will be from your anonymous soberblog mail. That can be quite scary if it happens to be a reply to somebody you know!

Never reply online to sites while having your Facebook opened.

Some sites take your not privatised Facebook account and post your real name with the comment. Sometimes you can undo, sometimes not. But with a Google search on your name the comment might show up. Not sure if closing your FB account actually works.

Write for yourself

Write for yourself, do not write for the other. Trying to impress, help or save other people from whatever faith is a TRAP. Don’t go there. (As I have 100.001 times. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ )

No matter how pink your clouds are, no matter how convinced you are that you have found the Ultimate Truth -which you have! Enjoy!- write FOR yourself. Because ‘own sobriety first’ and you need to find your sober feet, your sober body, heart and mind, your sober life first before you start reaching out. In the 3 years I have read sober blogs I have seen about 20 of them with first post of ‘I really want to help other people find sobriety’ and they were gone within weeks or months. That is not because it is bad to help. No way, it is actually good to help. But FIRST you need to help yourself. And because you are / have been addicted for so long it might not be totally clear to you what that entails. So: ‘own sobriety first’ – no writing for others.

The thing with addiction is that it has turned you into a person who is not living in the here and now and is not living in its own energetic center. If that means anything to you, or to anybody btw. :-D.

I am thinking addiction starts when the core of our being, whatever we feel that is, gets damaged or misplaced. And I am thinking addiction continues that process of damaging and misplacing. If we are lucky we are left with a partial overlap of our core with our body so we still have an inkling of who, where and when we are.

However, when addicted, we tend to lean forward to worry about the future. We are leaning backwards because we carry grief, pain, anger and resentment and whatever other hurt may lay in the past. But no matter what: living in the here and now is exactly what addiction tries to avoid.

Another unhandy thing is leaning sideways left and right to carry all kinds of things on our shoulders which are not our issues – or which we can not change. Writing for other people often comes with leaning forward, out of your core to impress the other. That takes energy which you need to keep to yourself.

There is this AA saying ‘One day at the time’ – I took/take it one moment at the time because this moment is ALL I EVER need to take care off. And when I tried to imagine even that I had to be sober in the evening, my imagination would drag me out of myself and I would fall over.

All in all sobriety will give you a feeling of being more ‘condensed’ – more centered, more in balance. And yes, this can take many months, even years – but while being sober your chances of improving life go up EVERY day.ย  Even if life does not go up, itย  does not goe down as fast as it would when drinking. There is really no problem in the world that does not get worst with drinking.

When drinking you run out of chances immediately. Energy and focus is on the addiction; how to get rid of it, how to hide bottles, how to score, how to not let people know, if your breath might smell, how to hide your hangover, how to not feel. How to not BE. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Not saying being sober is easy. But it is better.

Consider whom you write about

I write about all kinds of stuff. There are some, and actually I agree with them, who say one should not write about those who can not react. You might want to consider this before you write. As I said: the internet remembers everything. A rule of tumb: if you can not say stuff to somebody in person, it is very good not to write it to them or about them.

However, I have ditched that because I (hope to) trust my anonymity and because I need to let things out in order to survive.

Leaving anonymous replies at blogs – they are not 100% anonymous

WordPress and probably other blogs have a possibility to leave anonymous replies to a post. Please be aware that these replies might be anonymous to the average reader but NOT to the owner of the blog. Obviously not because of security / privacy issues of the blog owner who take precedence over those of the replyer. At the back side of the blog there is a list with all comments, the IP address of the writer of the reply and the e-mail address of this person.

If ever you wonder if people who reply to your blog reply under different names you could check if the IP address is the same. If they are different there is no guarantee that this is not the same person, and if they are the same it is neither but… well, you can sort that out. Also: keep in mind that IP address for computers can change over time. They are assigned by the internet company, not by the person using it.

For those who have a WordPress blog and want to find out what I am referring to above:

  • go to ‘My Site’ in the upper left corner.
  • scroll down to ‘WP Admin’ and press.
  • From the left bar select ‘Comments’
  • Here you can find all the comments related to YOUR blog only.
    • In this list you can find e-mail addresses of those who responded
    • IP addresses
    • You can approve, disapprove, delete, edit and mark replies to your post as spam.
  • There seems to be no list of comments one leaves at other blogs.

In theory anybody can set up a sober blog and be catfishing for IP addresses and e-mail adresses.

Settings

Blogs can be made public, be visible to people you have invited to read or hidden. You could actually make a blog your personal online dairy without posting anything. If that works, it works. Settings can be found in the system.

Do not tell people – the will look for it

Do not tell people you are writing a blog, no matter what they will try to find it and they probably can if they add enough you-specific words. When I Google on ‘alcohol addiction nurse uk blog’ I find ahangoverfreelife on page 3 of the results. Same might be happening to you once you out yourself.

Do not share photos or text you share at other sites as well

Just for ‘the fun of it’ (it worked out to be awful and it upset me pretty much) I once tracked down the husband of a sober blogger who was (she is not anymore and no it is not you!) complaining about a lack of intimacy. She had once posted a photo of her dog and with simple tools like Google ‘photo search’ I could track that same photo to her YouTube account and from there to her Facebook account and from there to the scorned husband. :-(.

What blogsite to choose? WordPress, blogspot?

I actually have no clues what the differences are but I chose WordPress because I was looking for an English-speaking audience. And also because blogspot used to be Dutch. But now I find I am the only Dutchy in the sober blogosphere here and anybody can see in their statistics wether or not somebody from the Netherlands visited their website. That is a bit of a bummer.

Deep in the WordPress settings are some buttons where you can link WordPress with Blogspot and other sites. The goal would be to exchange posts and comments.

What layout to choose?

I took one I liked and in which you can just scroll down to the former post. Also the comments are ‘easy’ to find in comparison to other layouts.

Should I pay for my blog to own it?

I have not found a reason for myself. Well, maybe if I were to found out WordPress was showing advertising on it I do not agree with but I have Add-block so I never see that. You could pay if you want to. Specifically if you want to go professional with what you write that would be a good idea.

Can anybody write and reply what they want?

You are allowed to write what you want, within legal boundaries and the contract you need to adhere to when building the blog. When you have an open blog like mine anybody can see your posts and reply. However, the first time somebody replies you will always have to approve the comment of this person. Also, you can decide not to. You can do so at that moment or later, even after you have approved it. You can also edit comments and delete them. Not sure if you can ban people from your blog. You can list somebody as spam which means they will be filtered out. But that would not be a nice way of dealing with people I guess.

How do people find my blog?

When this is your question, you might want to investigate a little more. As I said: it is important to write for yourself. The time where you can afford to write for others without getting all aloof will come. Own sobriety first.

And in answer to the question: there are courses for that but the simplest way to do so is add tags in the right column of the writing page. Use tags like ‘alcohol’, ‘drugs’, ‘addiction’, ‘AA’ and so forth. People search for that and this is how they find you. Also you can start following people by reading comments to other people’s blogs. Replying to other blogs is obviously also a nice way to try to make friends.

What do I write about?

Obviously there are 100.001 subjects to write about. What you might want to figure out is how far you want to go with opening up. I go all the way because I had to hide so much of me all my life this has created a pressure cooker which only found relieve in drinking. In order to not drink I let it all out. Not very attractive sometimes, but effective for me.

You might at some point feel uncomfortable in sharing stuff. Remember there is hardly any pressing reason to share everything always. You can always sleep it over and post later. You can always delete afterwards. The idea behind sobriety is that you learn to live healthily with your feelings and body. Taking feelings of discomfort seriously and finding other ways to comfort yourself than drinking or drugging is a good idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

Your blog, your sobriety, your rules in anything. You make it up. That is good. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy.

I do not edit posts. Having said that, I edited this one because is it more instruction wiselikeish. In other posts I just ‘let the beast speak’ so to say. Whatever comes up is what comes up. Suppressing things and feelings and wanting things to be different and more beautiful, fantastic and succesful is what helped me get addicted so for me it is really important NOT to limit myself to wanting to write nice and ‘succesful’. Sobriety is not a competition.

It is not that I do not care about people reading my blog . Note that I am not saying ‘my readers’, I find that pretentious, I do not own people and I do not want to speak about people (not ‘them’) like I do. But I care about my need to unburden, as I said, to let out the beast or to write without limits more. That also included that I do not assume that I am everybodies friend, I guess my blog is acquired taste :-). But if that is what it takes, that is what it takes. I take an effort NOT to track if or if not people reply to my blog when I did to theirs. That might sound like it is, and work out to be a little autistic but sobriety is not high school. It is not about likes. It is about transforming. And by the time I can actually deal with ‘counting’ friends and comparing, maybe I will. I do not now.

Sobriety is about finding your authentic self back in this world. It is unraveling the spiritual mistake that choosing the ‘quick fix’ actually is. It is about learning to be here with yourself, to accept and to take life as it comes and deal with it as it is.

I hope to learn that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Today is my 35th month of sobriety. I am happy that I quit. I am grateful that I have my life returned to me. I still have not unraveled the spiritual mistake but I guess I will get there in time.

Hope this post helps you on your way. Please take my dark impression of help and trust for what it is; my dark impression. Not sure how this is for other people but obviously you have your own life experience to sail by. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wishing you a wonderful time on the web. Wishing you a blog which helps you be sober. Remember: whatever it takes to be sober is what it takes. Sobriety does not know shortcuts. That is why baby steps are good. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am happy that I quit. I hope you are happy that you quit too. โค

xx, Feeling

Free online summit on sleep and stress

Hello,

Another free online summit you might be interested in. This is on anxiety, overwhelm, stress and sleep. How cool is that? Dunno, have not seen it yet, but…. worth checking out, not?

Years ago I read somewhere that sleeping during sobriety doubles the changes on sustained sobriety. It took me several years to learn to sleep well again. Sleeping well does wonders for ones wellbeing and health anyhow.

Hope you enjoy!

Join here.

I am happy that I quit. Quitting made it possible for me to sleep well and making sure I take the right measures to actually work towards that. Sleep = good.

xx, Feeling

While I am getting cocky, the addict within is doing push-ups in the brain.

The weekend before last I went on a short holiday to a music festival organised by a friend of mine. He had invited me as plus one. We stayed on a campsite, had a lovely time and… there was lots of drinking. Normally I prevent going to happenings like this because I do not appreciate the atmosphere but this included staying in lovely surroundings and the friend is one who will not claim my time or sulk when I go home early.

So I went. First mini holiday for how many years? Don’t even know! ๐Ÿ™‚ Being me I waited till the last minute to do my shopping and packing but I lost some precious time at a mall and ended up only having 20 minutes to pack. Well, I have 3 outfits so that is not an issue but I ended up taking 5 bags, equalling 2 suitcase. What?!!! Yes!!! Holiday panick kidnapped my brain and I actually took a kilo of potatoes ‘because they would not be good anymore when coming back’. It was a strange experience. I realised that if I were to stop and think about what I was doing I might get derailed totally and not pack at all. So I let it go. At the expense of my ego; I got laughed at by about 20 people the whole weekend. Aaahrg…. ghegheghe… ๐Ÿ™‚

So, booze. The friend I went with is the guy who’s house I cleaned 2 years ago.ย  At that moment in time I spent several hours gathering 19 bags of empty bottles and 7 crates. He did not stop drinking in between but he suffered a decline in income so I was assuming/hoping…. he drinks less. Not so, heavy drinking going on almost every day.

The whole weekend I sort of cherry picked the activities in the group, arriving late and going back early. I actually managed to fall in love with a guy at first sight and then tone that down to just liking him in 2 days. YAY!!!! Yay to the practise I had in that in the last years!!!!!! I did not write a lot about falling in and out of love because shameful (ha, yes, I do seem to edit I guess ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) but somewhere a few months ago I started treating it like an addiction and pulling out the root of the thought/intention/feeling at the moment it happens. That works. And wow! does that give me more energy! I never knew how tiring it is to emotionally/feelingwise hang in the air between me and another. Pfew.

And I danced. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yay! I used to love dancing. Untill booze took over and going out, drinking and dancing typically ended up in being harassed. Ooh, there are things I don’t want to realise there. Being drunk does not cause harassment, but not drinking makes it easier to take care of me and (try to) make sure it does not happen. Well, I danced. And, bwahaha, I’m not into music and hardly listen anything so I don’t know a lot of songs but he first number where my feet FINALLY came off the floor was ‘Hit the road Jack’. I had a private laugh at hearing the text to that song. Gheghegheghe…. so many sides to those lyrics as a co-dependent addict (Jack -> Jack Daniels). Ghegheghe….

Ok. So I danced, drank water, got laughed at for drinking water and eating potatoes. Held a tiny but well received speech to about 10 drinking guys. Told them why I don’t drink alcohol (It gets me depressed and suicidal, I drank more that I should, realised what it did to me, quit and never looked back). And then in a group like that, al drinking like there is no tomorrow there are always a few saying: “I never drink alone.”, “I don’t drink during the week.” and all. And then there were those who did not speak. In this group there where actually quite a few. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I can see by the way they handle their beer what the state of their addiction is. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ What to say? Nothing. I told my story without shame. I never said I was addicted, but I never denied it either. I said that I was fearful of quitting and that this fear was a message to me. But also that I quit and never looked back. They asked me if I missed it al all. I said no, because I know I will jump of the next building if I drink again so… well… “I don’t miss that.”

“Not at all, really?”

“Well, at some moments, like when I have done something awesome like attaining the certification I worked for so hard, I find that it is difficult to switch back to ‘normal’. At this moment most people would party badly, wash out the stress, wake up the next morning and continue with their lives. I can’t do that anymore because, as I said, it would get me killed.”

“You make it sound like we all drink heavily or ‘drink to forget’?!”

“Yes. Well. In my not so humble opinion; you do. This is how society uses alcohol; to ‘change moods’. Obviously there are variations but once you flip to the other side, the not drinking side, the use of alcohol actually becomes very clear and pretty absurd.”

And then there was silence not uncomfortable because I was not uncomfortable but more because it was a novel idea to them to realise this consciously. And they all sort of know they do. I did not attack but I did not waver either. I let that silence be for what it is and then continued:

“And I can’t do that because to me it is poison, and I would be running for the nearest tall building anyway to jump down. So, no, comfy with my water.”

Somebody joked “Hear! Hear! It is poison!!” but nobody really laughed, they all sort of looked inwardly. I am happy that after 2 1/2 plus years of not drinking I did not get uncomfortable even now but I did cut in to get my last message out:

“After I quit I started reading up on mental issues and alcohol and it works out that alcohol and other drugs are a BIG thing in all kinds of mental states. And almost all who quit see a big improvement in mental health. It is common knowledge in the non-drinking community but nobody in the drinking community knows! Only those who, like me, had to quit find out. It is amazing. It is poison. I find it really important that people know this because I have been more or less depressed all my life and most of it was related to alcohol and NOBODY knows this, only the people who quit.”

“Really???” (No disbelieve of me, just trying to get used to a novel idea)

“Yeah…. Really…. So please, if you know people who have issues with life, or get derailed otherwise: spread the word.”

And then the waiter came and many ordered another beer. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ghegheghe… I do think I planted some seeds though.

Obviously my ‘depression’ was not only beer-based. And I must watch out that I do not override the realisation that I was (am? I still don’t know what word to use) addicted to alcohol with this depression tale. Things happened in life which I did not process. But also I did not process them because I drank them away. So yeah, I guess a lot of my shit came through beer. Then again: somewhere in my life I ‘chose’ to wash away and to not deal. Even though this was induced (?) by overwhelm and fear, I still did that and for me that is something I need to change. Preferably before I die because I don’t want to do this again in a possible next life ;-).

Friend and I slept in a tent. I would wake up during the night and open the doors to let the alcohol stench out. Ew. But yeah,ย  no trouble with booze during the holiday. And then I went home, let my guard down again and moved right into old behaviour thinking: “I’ll get a beer when I get home.” Wot?!!!!! That is a LONG LONG time ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ 2 Years 10 months something. It was a good reminder how sobriety needs maintenance and how, even if we think to be on track and in control, the addict is doing push-ups in the mind.

Having learned that I went to the home of the same friend this Friday to clean his house. He has been in financial difficulty with setting up a new business and this is not catching on yet. He works 6 days a week 10-12 hours a day and when he gets home he is too tired to clean. And there is more to it because he obviously drinks his stress away. 2 Years ago he already said he thought he was addicted but he does not take action on that. It was visible in the house. His house is way larger than mine and there was hardly any place to walk. Boxes, litter, laundry, bottles everywhere. I steeled myself against the ‘vibe of addiction’ in the house, worked my way through all the wine and beer bottles. Bagged them and even took them to the glass point in order to get them out of the house. I thought I would help him with that which he finds most difficult.

Actually, he said ‘the bags from the last time you where here, are still in the side room.’ That was partially true. Most of them were new bags, new bottles. Sad to hear somebody try to work his way out of this ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I did not comment on it however, no need, he is still in denial but I’m thinking his eyes can only be opened by relieve, not by pressure. I took several fully stuffed Ikea bags, a backpack and mounted them on the bike and travelled to the glass collection point. I really took care not to get ‘involved’ in the drinking vibes, I sealed myself shut – or so I thought.

Aah, this is what went wrong: I was proud of myself, getting cocky actually that I could deal with this ‘so easily’ and becoming arrogant because I thought I was ‘such a good friend’. Ghegheghe… well, pride comes before the fall. That evening we went out to an open air concert and the first thing I thought at arrival was “Yay! Beer!!!!”

No, did not drink. And no, that was not difficult but wow, that thought and also the thought in the back of my mind which I was never aware of in early days: “Let’s get sloshed!” And it ruled out all the wishes for contact. People have ‘always’ been an excuse to drink. I never drank socially, I drank to wash away my feelings, my life, my existence on this planet. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

By the way: this same friend made a beautiful website for me for free some years ago. So if we were to work things out I guess I still ow him 2-3 days of cleaning. I’m thinking I will take this up shortly. To really get things done at his place so he can start over.

So, what did I learn? I learned that constant vigilance is important. I learned that I am happy that I am sober for over 2 years because I think, I can only imagine that these drunken intentions can take somebody by surprise.ย  I also learned that being cocky about sobriety IMMEDIATELY backfires at me. I learned that I want to tell my story to people but do not dare to say ‘I was addicted and that got me depressed’. I realise that with my ‘I was depressed so I had to stop drinking.’ I do not speak untruth, but it is not enough truth to keep me sober. Lying, drink think and drinking go hand in hand in my life. Which is why this blog is good so I can let it all out. Which, again, is why I do not edit because editing leads to wanting things to look better than they are.

I also met another addict, a young succesful artist who told me to ‘live a little and ‘let go’, not be so ‘uptight’. It hurt, because I know he’s right. I have not been living, I have been surviving and locking myself in. I needed that in order to stay on the right track but now I need to learn to relax again too. And I also knows, this time around I need to do that the right way because I also know: this is where it starts, the shaming myself because I am not hip enough, I am fat, I am a tight ass, I am old, I am no fun. That is where the need to be ‘part of the group’, the peer pressure comes in. I have difficulty there.

Let’s see how that works out. I don’t want to be 47 something and feel peer pressured into drinking. ๐Ÿ˜€ It is funny to feel how peer pressure works though: this selective, conditional inclusion ‘do as we say or you will not be part of us.’ I was happy that I could be honest with me, realising that he is right but also realising that I need to care and can not afford to be so careless(ly addicted) as he is. Something here is not quite right yet. I still feel stupid, fat, grey and dull. Hmmm. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Maybe that is because I am, at least fat and grey, and if I want things to change I will have to. ‘Funny’ thing is that I ate myself a belly ache ever since so I guess it hit me more than I realised. Arrogance and despise of self go hand in hand in the life of people with an addictive personality.

I have this theory about life; all issues we have return, possibly in disguise, until we (i!)ย  deal. Unless we balance things healthily they start off big, we learn, they come back in a tinier version, we learn, they come back in another, event tinier version, we learn and this continues till we are done and have cleared up our intentions and/or moved our inner alignment to a place where addicting is not the solution anymore. I started off with quitting alcohol, only to find out that I moved onto food, sugar and Netflixing. To realise that me falling in love over and over again with the wrong guy is another addiction. I thinkย  me and work ‘never being able to stay’, ‘always starting, never finishing’ is another one and it will return until I deal. I am thinking this is what is happening to me at this moment: things are coming full circle but in smaller issues.

It is important to quit alcohol or other drugs because specifically these drugs have extra mind altering qualities which make it impossible to learn. Spiritually unsound.

The former post I wrote I am done with sugar and addiction. Being done takes more than just a mindset. It takes knowledge, maintenance and planned changed behaviour. I did neither of these so during my short vacation I rolled back into this ‘aaah, one ice cream does not do any harm’ and from there on I went down hill to worst than where I have ever been; several days with 2 bars of chocolate and an ice cream. They say: change whatever kills you first. (Lydia? ๐Ÿ™‚ ), this will eventually. Possibly not of the sugar but because I am sedating myself with it. I feel I ‘have done enough’ but I’m not there yet. I still live in addiction land even though I am way more aware of it. It gets SO IRRITATING! BLEGH! And I am so caught up in myself that I do not see a way out. Well, future will tell. We have this saying: the sideshore will turn the ship – meaning as much as ‘there comes a moment that one has to change direction otherwise the boat will crash’. This is one of the rules of nature.

I am happy that I quit though, in the way that I know I would not be aware(ish) of what I do now and how this affects me. Hey! I broke the ‘fall in love’ circle in 2 days now! How cool is that, and so peaceful. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now see if I can shorten this time to realising what happens at the moment that it happens when I meet the next ‘victim’ of my ‘affection’. That would be nice so I don’t have to work so hard after the fact. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am happy I quit alcohol because I don’t feel nasty in the mornings like my friend does / did. And I can plan my day according to what I want, not to what my hangover or depression dictate. And if not for anything else: I don’t want to have to do it all over again. I am aware that with sobriety it is not (always) the time that you put in it, it is also ‘what you put in the time’ but it helps the body to un-addict if it is longer and that is restful. Even though I know that spiritually I have not un-addicted. Yet – or maybe I never will. Dunno. I think because I had it relatively easy with not drinking (please be sure that I mean; not drinking was relatively easy for me, finding my way back into life is way more difficult), but maybe, maybe, because it was relatively easy I underestimate the rest of the work.ย  Or maybe I am not confronted with it so much because apart from blogging and reading I don’t do AA or other sober group things which are sobriety related. Not sure.

The only thing I have to do is to not drink now and be happy about that. Happy is something I cannot call up now. Relieve I can. I am looking forward to celebrating my next month sober. This is strange. I hardly ever do, there is something dangerous in looking forward; I stretch myself thin towards a date and that makes it difficult to support myself during that time. It feels like I am looking for an excuse to splurge. Hmmm. Not good. Let’s see how this is going to work out. ๐Ÿ˜€

A woman who loves herself would… have a nap. Again: put on socks.

I wrote the above a few days ago. Again I went without added sugar for 3 days. Feeling great only to go back to the “Ooh, if this is so easy I might as well start tomorrow again. I am sure I can stop at half a bar of chocolate.” Nope. ๐Ÿ˜€

Work is boring currently, said the stress junk. The audit has been 2 months now and I need to settle into the normal maintenance of the system. Boooooooring said the addict within.ย  I am really having difficulty there. But my bond with the people on the floor is getting better, I’m thinking this company needs a group feel and a team spirit in order to improve so I’m trying to bring some laughter and ‘see’ people – so they do not feel like a number. Boss is on holiday. That is boring. One of my favorite colleagues is having doubts about her job and I felt she is thinking of leaving. We spoke, she is, I would like her to stay, she is funny. I would also like her to find herself in the job. I notice that I am continuously worried about the flock. Trying to keep it together.

I need to eat. I have a ‘100% vegetable food’ for dinner diet. It is good. ๐Ÿ™‚ Apart from the 100% cheese snack I do before ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am EFFING HAPPY THAT I QUIT! Today is the first day of the rest of my life and I am happy that I am not drinking. I am happy that I am discovering something that has to do with choice. I am happy that I am discovering something about self-care. Last weekend I cleaned for 2 days at the friend’s house. Came home and found that I was pretty sad about it and it needed to settle, did not want to go to work like that so I took the Monday off. GOOD. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not drinking is about creating possibilities instead of destroying them. I’m not ‘there’ yet, the addict within is still very present, but I learn about him every day and that is good.

Wishing you a nice evening/day! ๐Ÿ™‚ The free online summit Recovery 2.0 has started!

xx, Feeling