Progress, not perfection explained by Castle Craig

This is a copy of a post by Castle Craig – the organisation I would go into detox process if I had not at the last moment done an extreme addicty thing and decide to do things on my own. 😦

Well, I copied and pasted because their site is one of those who connect my real name to the comment section. Do not know how that works so I think/assume I can not share without my real name showing up some where. Hence the copy-paste. The original can be found here.

The Emphasis of Progress, Not Perfection in Recovery

“No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles,” the authors of Alcoholics Anonymous explain after listing the 12 steps. “We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.”

“Progress not perfection” is a popular term in the world of recovery where people are striving every day to better themselves from a problem which has created complications in their life. For those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, progress not perfection is an elaboration of another familiar sentiment: one day at a time. Humans cannot be expected to be perfect. Those in recovery who are working the twelve step program are developing awareness regarding their character defects and personal flaws- that is, the parts of their humanity which make them less than perfect. Often, addicts and alcoholics in recovery will fall under the belief that confronting these character “defects” and working to overcome them necessitates perfection. In order to avoid being controlled by the subconscious elements of their character, which could contribute to relapse, they feel they have to be perfect. It’s an unrealistic and damaging belief, which is why the authors, immediately after listing the expectations of the steps, assert that the process isn’t about perfection. The process is about progress.

Mistakes are necessary. Without mistakes, there is no gaining wisdom. It is the mistakes we make and the lessons we learn from them which make us smarter, wiser, and more resilient beings. If we “skip the struggle” as it is sometimes said in recovery, we skip the valuable lessons which were waiting for us in that struggle. Progress not perfection takes a burden off of our backs in recovery and frees us to move at a pace that is comfortable. High expectations can create devastating disappointments, which, for an addict or alcoholic whose brain has been rewired for pleasure, could be triggering.

There is no doing recovery “perfectly” or doing recovery all at once. Like all things in life, recovery is a journey, not a destination. Sobriety, the abstinence from all mind altering substances, is a daily destination and the only thing that has to be done “perfectly”. To not pick up and use a drink every day is perfection. Everything else is progress.

I am happy that I quit. I am happy that I now understand the ‘progress not perfection’ too. I did get that I need to learn that perfection is unobtainable but I did not realise what it does for me. I took it as something to hammer into my system because people who know say it too. AND, I did realise that if I look at the progress I am happy, when I look at perfection I am unhappy. So that part I understood. What I did not understand is that wishing perfection is like emotionally and expectation wise reaching into the future towards the longed for perfection. And it makes me stretch myself thin and lose my centre (or losoe, you know the one). With losing my center I disconnect from the place where I am aware. When I disconnect it is easier to think that drinking is a good solution to anything. While it is not.

Perfection is emotionally living in the future. Pretty useless. The future does not really exist. I have been using it as a place to run away to. I have used my dream of perfection as an ideal to not have to deal with what is.

There is an aspect of wanting to be perfect so they will love me – an approach I upheld (t?) towards my parents. But actually my boss is teaching me that I do not have to be perfect. Funny. Then again, he seems to only accept me when I am honest about what I can and can not do. Where I would prefer…. to not be so honest sometimes. But then again, I’m a bad lier and he sees right through that anyhow.

Tomorrow is the last working day before my holidays. Need to carry over my work to my boss. Wish me luck. There are quite a lot of holes in what I do and he is most likely not pleased. I really need to leave with a good feeling otherwise there is very little use in having a holiday. I would be stressing out the whole 2 weeks. :-(. I am not sure I can learn to let that stress go. Or I need to do the total addict black or white thing where I go like “Ooh, don’t matter, I have another job in no time anyway!” I promised my higher self that I would make myself learn how to stay somewhere for a longer time. That is a difficult thing currently because I want to run! “Run, run, run, run, run, run, run awaaaaay, Oh oooh, oooooh oooooooooh! Ay ay ay ay ay ay aaaa!”

Breathe, Feeling. Breathe. And go to bed. Should have been in bed for 2 hours already but scared for tomorrow. 🙂 Ghegheghe…. sigh. How do other people do this? This work and living thing? Am I the only one who finds it so tricky? Am I complicated? Hmmm, not sure I would like an answer to that, ghegheghe.

I am happy that I quit. I know for sure that if I had not I would have already drunk to the holiday today and well, no,  I would not even have a job to screw up. 🙂 So, I am happy that I quit.

A woman who loves herself, would love herself. Calm down Feeling, have faith. “You worry too much. It’s gonna be alright….”

Wishing you a nice evening/day!

xx, Feeling

How we fall in love

Or how to choose a partner wisely. Food for thought.

I am happy that I quit.  Still feeling a bit under the weather, went home from work yesterday because still not ‘there’. My throat does not heal. not sure why. Think the argument I had with my boss is still there. Need to work it out.

Wishing you a nice day/evening.

xx, Feeling

Throat infection, alcoholism, alexithymia, truth – possible 5th chakra issues

Home with a nasty throat infection after having been well, yeah ‘told off’ by my boss. He and I mostly see eye to eye but in this one case we did not and well, I overstepped (what’s new?) and he reacted. We got into an argument which was pretty much one-sided and left me confused and hugely frustrated. Some people in the company are not doing what they should be doing and he expects me to ‘make them do it’ but he does not fully and officially inform them of my position AND he, at that moment did not allow me to train them sufficiently. I hate that. I hate it to implement new rules and not inform people of this. I think this dislike to what I call a fascist way of teaching (yup, notice some anger here?) is a remnant of my past where I raced around trying to please a hugely chagrined caretakers hoping they would not (again) get really mad (over nothing – because they were tired, ill, frustrated and/or hung-over). The enormous, continuous tension in the house was unbearable for me. Walking on egg-shells, always.

Well, I am guessing my boss was in a bad mood, some business parts are not bringing what they should be and I guess that pisses him off. And I was not prepared for the conversation. I am happy that I quit because due to that I could realise how our energetic fields got entangled and how irritated and frustrated we were with each other.

So much of my life is repeating itself now. This feeling of me wanting to be the best of the class; only when I am perfect I have a right to live. Of me wanting to be liked by the boss: only when the top guy likes me I can be safe. And then my utter disbelieve and panick when being ‘told off’ – I have no other words for it.

My boss does not like me in panic mode. I feel it as if he needs me to be levelheaded otherwise he can not deal with me. Funny though he does appreciate me naming what is going on inside. When I block because I am confused and say ‘Sorry, I can not hear what you are saying because I am experiencing a block right now.’ he is ok. At which I secretly thank his wife for being as weird as I am. 😉 Guess she made him deal. Also I do not back away, I do not want to make him feel sorry for me or dodge a conversation, just explaining. But this time I did not. And when I do not say that he gets all irritated and, well, I would phrase it as ‘the energy around his body gets all sharp and tangled up’.

Well, this time I was not prepared for the conversation and felt like he was burdening me with other things than what the conversation was about but I could not say what I wanted to say because he was in his ‘I am the boss mode’ so it was a very unpleasant, unrewarding and all in all unsuccessful conversation. Yikes. Nasty. 5 Minutes later I start to develop anger and… a throat infection. I have been frustrated and angry for 2 days. Used that anger to be more decisive with colleagues which was, I guess, the goal of my boss mode but it did not feel good inside. It is just a sort of transfer of anger. No, not a sort, this transfer of anger.

The economy is catching on very quickly in our circles of business and getting and keeping good staff is an issue. I say: let’s take better care of people because in a lot of basic ways we do not. The person at the care-taker position has no family hormones and can actually spread three insults with one word. You think I am direct and blunt? Watch him. He’s my karma – and best friend of the boss. Aha! So my boss has a type in employees, ghegheghe… he likes direct, blunt people. His wife says he’s autistic. I would not know, due to my fathers autism I regard autism as normal in guys. It is my sad definition of ‘man’. 😦 I think he is very sensitive but sometimes lacks the tools to deal with that. Which might be the exact definition of autism. 😉

Whatever: what I wanted to say; I am home, sick, throat infection, sinuses infection, general feeling of blègh. Next week is the last week before my holidays and Wednesday I have an evening shift with 2 external companies so I need to get better quickly in order to leave the place well taken care off.

Well, this is a long intro in where I really want to get to: I have this idea that not being able to say the truth, being denied to hear the truth in early life has impacted my throat chakra in such a way that it ‘helped’ me to get addicted. Whenever I have throat infection (often, it used to be 4 times a year in puberty and now ‘only’ once every 2 years) my throat swells up and the stiffness is very difficult to deal with. As if I can’t breathe. I can, but it feels I can’t. Drinking cold drinks helps. Beer makes it all go away. Crying now over this remnant of addiction which is still alive in me. ‘Beer makes it all go away’. 😦 Sad now.

I had this ‘vision’ once; all the emotions / feelings  / energetic happenings run through the body and the nervous system / whatever acupressure lines in the body get condensed in the neck and create the emotional atmosphere around the larynx. Which, I’m thinking, is why we hear emotions in a voice. (Edit: reading the book of Anodea Judith on chakra’s now and it actually mentions that this is so. So it is not my original thought; I had read it before.)

5thchakra

The 5th chakra, the throat chakra is about truth in communication. From this page Chakras.info I copied some info in here. I left out the advertisements but kept the links. Please compare the emotional signs to those of people living with alcohol addiction. In my idea there is a 1 on 1 match. Obviously there is more to addiction than only this but, well, have a read.

A blocked throat chakra can significantly impact your ability to communicate effectively for fear of ridicule and judgement. A throat chakra blockage can also manifest as the inability to express and realize your truth in the world. When the fifth chakra is open and balanced, you are able to express yourself clearly and honestly in any situation with confidence.

Common Signs of Throat Chakra Blockage

You may find yourself unable to speak your truth when you need it the most, or holding back on expressing your needs and desires. Perhaps, you long for realizing your dreams and living with a strong and clear purpose, but seem to not be able to quite get there. These are common signs that your throat chakra  does not function at its optimal level.

Physical Symptoms of Blocked Energy in the Throat Chakra

When the throat chakra is blocked or otherwise imbalanced, energy flow is hindered and can lead to physical symptoms affecting the head, mouth, throat, and neck. It is not uncommon to experience neck pain, headaches, hoarseness, and sore throat when the flow of energy through the throat chakra is disrupted.

Some common physical symptoms of blockage include:

  • chronic sore throat
  • frequent headaches
  • dental issues
  • mouth ulcers
  • hoarseness
  • thyroid problems
  • laryngitis
  • Temporomandibular disorders of the jaw (commonly known as TMJ)
  • neck pain

Consequently, the blockage can also impact your physical health. When you experience such signs of physical discomfort, healing practices focusing on the upper body area, in particular your neck and shoulders, can bring relief and allow energy to move more freely. Of course, for serious and recurring symptoms, please consult a physician whom you trust.

Emotional Signs of Throat Chakra Blockage

When the throat chakra is imbalanced, the blockage can also manifest through non-physical symptoms that may impact you at various levels from psychological and emotional, to psychically and spiritually.

Non-physical signs of blockage can be more prevalent. Among the more commons signs are:

  • fear of speaking
  • inability to express thoughts
  • shyness
  • inconsistency in speech and actions
  • social anxiety
  • inhibited creativity
  • stubbornness
  • detachment

For instance, perpetuated blockages that are fairly significant can cause one to become arrogant, deceptive, domineering, or manipulative. On the contrary, energy that flows freely through the throat chakra promotes effective, truthful communication. You are able to “find you.” You are confident, responsible, and can easily find the right words to express your thoughts.

A blockage of the throat chakra can cause you to become stoic, quiet, and fearful. The imbalance may also create feelings of anxiety, insecurity, and shyness when it comes to self-expression and speaking to others. Public speaking can cause near paralysis when the issue is a blocked fifth chakra.

An imbalance in the throat chakra can adversely affect many aspects of your personal and professional life. You may find you avoid social situations and are more comfortable alone. You may even become distrustful of your inner voice.

What To Do About A Blocked Throat Chakra

Clearing the throat chakra involves learning to let go and trusting your inner voice. Not a small task for a lot of us! Check out the general guidelines for throat chakra healing for practical ideas on how to restore balance in this center.

A few basic steps to clear this chakras include:

  • Working through and releasing all negative emotions, including guilt, hurt, and resentment can work wonders to restore energy balance in the throat chakra. Sometimes a good cry can also help alleviate a blockage of the fifth chakra.
  • Practicing mindful speech, action, and deeds can help you maintain throat chakra balance. For example, talk openly and honestly with others on a regular basis.
  • Meditating on and incorporating the throat chakra’s color, blue, into your life can also calm emotional upheaval. For instance, introduce blue-colored flowers or decor to your home environment.

In addition to all this I was wondering whether alexithymia – which, in a few words is the ‘inability to put feelings into words’ is related to a 5th chakra disturbance. And no, I do not want to place myself at the seat of your doctor in any way, I just came across this word for the so maniest time today in the sober blogosphere that I thought ‘how come’? Next: would there be a relation here which might be / feel true for some people. I know ‘as a fact’ or ‘as a fact which counts for me’ or ‘as something which feels true’ that my throat infections always have been caused by being lied to, not being able to speak the truth, being frustrated about not being able to voice my opinion. Blockages in the 5th chakra make people; arrogant, deceptive, domineering, or manipulative. I think I can say ‘check’ on all of these. On the other hand those who have followed my blog also know (I hope) that I am a truth seeker. Not always on the right track, not always balanced – but seeking.

Looking at my Anodea Judith book now and she mentions ‘Alcoholism’ as one of the trauma’s in a child’s life which cause disturbances in the 5th chakra. She also mentions that a deficiency in energy in this chakra results in having problems with putting feelings into words, speaking out. Excess leads to talking too much (guess writing too much is included here ;-))

Anodea continues with: “Sometimes our safety and survival are dependent on suppressing our truth.” And ‘because of this we do not resonate with the truth and with others, we become disconnected’ (edited by me). Don’t we all recognise that? I find this process of starting to speak/write/live my truth has helped me to resonate with people and has improved my relations.

And yes: truth is ‘debatable’ if you will. People may say ‘there is no one truth’ and that is probably true. But that moment, I think it was right about now, 3 years ago that I realised that I had become dependent on the people of the detox clinic – and that I wanted to kill myself because they had not returned my phone call. Yes, yes, drama all around. Addiction does funny things when under stress. Well, at that moment, I decided to choose FOR me. To live MY truth. Not theirs. Not their way of putting me in a process, taking tests, assigning doctors etc. I find this world so confusing that I decided to start living along the rules of my truth. They say ‘people can not get sober on their own’ and ‘you need help’. Yes, I did and do need help, but not according to other people’s rules but according to mine. And yes I do screw up often in life and I would say that I have not gotten to the roots of my addiction when a day is spent Netflixing and eating cheese, chocolate and chips but I did do it the way I could and at that moment AND in hindsight I think for me that was the only way. With the addition: do not try this at home. I happened to ‘get away’ clean.

1% Of the people seems to make it to 1 years sober at the first try, with or without help. That is how strong addiction is. That is how strong the coping mechanism of alcohol and drugs are engrained in this society and in us people with addictive personalities. This 1% also motivated me highly to make sure I was part of that group. Also, I knew I would kill myself if I did not quit and I somehow figured out that would not be the solution I would have chosen if were not in active addiction. So, at that point it was quite a motivation. And not drinking seems to be somehow easy-ish-er for me than for others. I live alone, had no job then, all the time to myself. No relation to frustrate me 😉 or sink my sober boat with their aggression or own booze issues so I guess all of that makes it way easier. I am happy that I quit. And I still think I need to do more to be alive and sober. I also think to know that obviously, there are coping mechanisms in place within me because I somehow think that Netflixing with cheese, chips and chocolate (preferred over consciousness, compassion and choice 😉 ) is better for me. Until it gets boring. Like now. 🙂 Baby steps.

Back to the 5th chakra: Anodea Judith mentions ‘poisoning’ as physical issues too. Funny to realise that the last at least 10 visits I did to the GP were about poisoning, either by alcohol or something I ate. Hey! Next page of the book says: free writing, unedited writing = good. 😀 Ha! Guess I had made my own detox centre here.

Well, to be fair she also mentions ‘practicing shutting up;  in case of excess energy. :-D. That’s still work in progress. Who am I kidding. That is a goal for at least 5 life’s from this one. Anybody remember my last job where my boss said: “The only issue I have with your work is you talking too much.”  So yeah, I see some 5th chakra issues in me. Ghegheghe, funny in a not funny way. 😉 Also because that was not her only issue with me. But it was workwise.

I am happy that I quit.

I am grateful for: internet, for Schuessler salts because they help me deal with my throat infection, for the sober blogosphere because it has helped me to a lot to understand what is going on in addiction and I think I would not have been sober without it. I hope to somehow return to you what you have given but I still feel I am not ready to take ‘giving’ as a starting point in my life.

I am grateful for my beautiful friend whom I had a beautiful conversation with this morning. I am actually grateful for my job, my boss and my wonderful colleagues. I am grateful for my house and the cat who massages my back at night. 🙂 I am grateful to have been born in the Netherlands since we do not get to choose that. I am grateful for my parents who have taught me the alternative side of living, food and healing where I am much happier than in the ‘normal’ side. I am grateful for the wonderful books on sobriety and what have you written by people who ‘know their shit’. That is cool. I am grateful for all those who walk before me, either in time, skills or virtues and reach back.

Thank you all for making this world a beautiful place.

Well, another free written post to help balance the combined excess and deficiency of my 5th chakra. ;-). I hope there are some connections in this for people who read it. 🙂

Wishing you a nice day / weekend.

xx, Feeling

Earning the money

Work has been tough lately. I’m in this position where I need to check other people’s work and set guidelines for them to work by. But the overseer left and now my boss wants me to sort of ‘fill in parts of the gap’. That is tough, because I do know my part of the job, but not know enough of the work and the processes of the shifts to really oversee it all. However, with all my limitations and lack of knowledge, I am the best choice for the job. So I am/was dangling between being hesitant to step up to the job, being excited with the trust, and a little wary for the trap that lies within it. Doing stuff without really knowing the job = big risk to everybody.

All this dangling and not getting to the point irritated my boss to the point where it stressed him out. Which stresses me out, which stresses out my boss and down the spiral we went, quickly. So we spoke. And he asked me to not worry and just be truthful. However nice that may sound I am paranoid enough to think that it is hardly ever a good sign….. :-/ – or at least an indication that he thinks I was/am hiding stuff. Whatever.

If I have learned something in the last 35 months it is that not speaking what is really going on is not good. I have NOT yet learned to shut-up when there is no need to speak unfortunately 😦 but I did learn to say what is on my mind. So I spoke, and I told him that I was having difficulty, that I felt he expects more of me and I do to but that I could not find the ‘entry’ or the ‘right button’ to actually stand up and set things straight within me, and within production. He listened and backed me up totally. That was a surprise.

At some point I found the place within myself from which I could speak with all the people and that was good. Yesterday I parts of the team and I had a meeting. I think the message of ‘do you job safe and correct’ came across.

Afterwards I spoke with one of my favorite colleagues about the meeting. He said “people have been asking me how much power you have”. That was an eye-opener to me. I dropped that line in the recap with my boss and without a moments pause he said; “They need to realise by now that if YOU don’t like them, it will cost them their jobs.” At which I practiced my blank face. DaF! Guess I got promoted?!

Ok, so much for communication. I did realise that my opinion of people’s attitude, work and personality did matter to him but I had not realised I had so much influence. Secondly: I realised that my heart sang with this possibility. To actually be able to execute the HR decisions means I that I can actually execute improvements. And shit, in walk the traps: I have been in an unhealthy cloud of pride for a full evening, only to wake up and realise that karma is a bitch and that I had EXACTLY forgotten to do something tiny but important. EXACTLY something I had flogged the team about. 😦 and since they start early in the morning I was too late to catch it on my day off.

You know where they say that ‘humming or beeping in the ear means that somebody is talking about you’. Well, by now I feel almost deaf in one ear. So I called the office and with somebody else fixed it for me. Thank you colleague. 🙂

The trap, pride, vanity, this local megalomania which rose in me. Very attractive to get lost in but very dark, destructive and dangerous to others and myself if I do. The grabbing, the holding on, the fear of losing.

nearlyallmencanstandadveristy

I am 47, turning 48 this year. I need to settle in a job, in a profession before I am 50 because chances are the work world does not look kindly on ‘older’ people. I feel a lot of stress there. Also, this stress relates back to my addictive tendencies: wanting to fit in, wanting to be seen, wanting to be secure, wanting to control my environment…. All very basic needs but combined with what I call this raw power within that I have I am not sure how to deal. I’m guessing where things go wrong is where I want to control things. Never a nice trait. Stemming from insecurity but mostly from being overwhelmed easily and at the mercy of others in a negative, unhealthy way.

I need to realise this is NOT the case anymore in my life. I am 47, not 3, not 8, not 18 years old or any year in between and not in the hands of a physically abusive man. I have sort of learned to hold my own and I have learned to read the signs and flee on time. In theory I could start to relax at some time now in my life. Not? I think I need to but I also think/feel that I do not want to take the effort to change this, to do the things needed to make that paradigm shift. To look my fears in the eyes. A thought pops up. It says: “All what has happened, has happened. It was not about you, it was done to you. You do not need to change because of it.” Which I understand as a version of: “They can not take what you do not give.” I do not need to feel less, damaged goods, stupid, ugly, unloveable, less because other people tried to devalue me with their dirty hands, body, words and energy. It happened to me. It is not me.

That last bit is true as a theory but not as a practise since I have taken the abuse as something that I am. I believed them time and time again and have taken their despise and made it mine. Trying to energetically work the despise out of my ‘body’ currently. Difficulty to let go. Who am I if I do not carry that? It is such a big part. And it has blocked the front of my body totally. Rigidity. Impaired communications skills. My mind’s eye sees a big block of transparent ochre in front of my chest and down, blocking all the ‘chakras’ or energy if you want. Rigidity. Totally interwoven with my system. Visualising getting rid of it. I am so used to it that I overlook it. Guessing I have only a tiny window in time and space now to have a look at this and try to work on this.

And gone it is. Did get some insights in the last 15 minutes. Due to bad experiences of being controlled I tend to want to control my emotions and other people’s behaviour. Not good. I need to step back in order not to become EXACTLY what I do not want to be.

Also: I am not what happened to me. It IS not me. My body is not me either. My body is part of me.

Ok, enough to ponder on. Hope to find you well.

I am happy that I quit. Not so much in a grateful way. Did I tell you that as a present for my 35 month I ordered a compost set for on the balcony? Non smelly. The internal addict laughing his head off; it is a system which uses non-aerobic thingies to ferment = it’s sort of making alcohol from what I put in there. Signs. To me it says that I need to pay more attention to being sober. Not only not drinking but not addicting out in other ways. I still feel I am not living in awareness, letting things happen to me, not ‘in control’, often being reactive instead of pro-active. Most of the time this is ok, sometimes not.

Well, happy that I quit. No matter what let my story of being financially broke (not bankrupt but broke) and without a job to this situation in 1,5 year be an example of what can happen in sobriety. I did baby steps. I think. Not sure.

A woman who loves herself would take better care of herself than I do momentarily. I think I found out why self-care is so difficult: self-care stems from a place where I love and appreciate who I am. I’m thinking that for people with an addictive personality / using the spiritual mistake to quick fix everything in my life, this place from where one takes care is damaged by shame. Shame says: I do not deserve it, I am not good enough. And in order to remove shame I need to feel I deserve it. Which I don’t because I … don’t.

Not sure how to get out of that trap. I did find that if I try to take care of me, I start to feel that I deserve it. I am going to cook, eat and go to bed.

Wishing you a nice (sober) day/evening/week. Take care.

xx, FeelingBewaren

Bewaren

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. 😉
  • 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 reasons  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. ❤

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. 😦 )

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.  Even if life does not go up, it  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. 😦 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. 🙂

Your blog, your sobriety, your rules in anything. You make it up. That is good. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

I am happy that I quit. I hope you are happy that you quit too. ❤

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! 🙂 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… 🙂

So, booze. The friend I went with is the guy who’s house I cleaned 2 years ago.  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 😦 ) 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. 🙂 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. 😦 I can see by the way they handle their beer what the state of their addiction is. 😦 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. 🙂 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,  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. 🙂 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 😦 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. 😦

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.  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. 😀 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. 😦 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!)  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 think  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? 🙂 ), 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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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.  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. 😀

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. 😀

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.  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. 🙂 Apart from the 100% cheese snack I do before 😉

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. 🙂 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! 🙂 The free online summit Recovery 2.0 has started!

xx, Feeling