About Me

I'm a 50+ married woman raising three teenagers and working full time in a demanding profession. I've been sober for a bit more than half of the last five years and want to stay that way for life. I'm here for accountability, inspiration and a few laughs along the way. Come on in, let's talk!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

One month

30 days. Yup, that's all.  Nothing terribly earthshattering to report; just not drinking and enjoying most of the sober time, no hangovers, sleep, presence of mind, productivity, better interactions with kids, all that good stuff.  Only a couple of meaningful crave-y moments, but they were moments, not multiple hours or days, and so far it's been easy enough to just say 'nope, not today.'

It is vastly easier when Mr. SR doesn't drink in the house (he usually drinks in the house, he usually drinks almost every day, albeit not to wretched excess most of the time). He started out as dry Jan, which DID make Day 1 and the first couple of days easier, and it's just nicer overall not to live with a daily drinker (god, my poor kids...).  Within a week or so he bobbed/weaved into 'only drinking when not in house' and by last week, he'd hit the standard 'it's just a couple of beers/glasses of wine.'  I know it's my issue, not his, but urgh.  That's the thing about sobriety - you know when everyone/anyone else is drunk, even when they don't.  And they are NOT as funny as they think they are, plus they repeat themselves and forget the conversations they've had.  Not to mention potentially irrational, irascible, stuff like that.  I guess I should be working on conjuring up some empathy - I've been drunk just a few times (yeah, more than that) and sometimes even when Mr. SR wasn't, and I have been the beneficiary of other people's generosity of spirit (including Mr. SR's, and let's not even think too much right now about all the years my kids had tipsy (or just plain drunk) mommy around and they definitely weren't able to join me to make it easier to ignore me).

So, I dunno.  It's okay for today (in part because I am on a biz trip; dinner was a client guzzlefest but I could leave that after 2 hours, knowing I was coming back to my nice quiet hotel room and my very own special dessert just for me, not shared with the dinner companions).  And I did 2.5 years sober with him drinking so I think (hope) I can keep it up.  But if I am honest with myself, a lot of how I just gave up the last two times is I just got tired of NOT drinking while he IS drinking.  What do we numb/anesthetize with booze - in my case, that's one of the things...if I am drinking too, it's not nearly as irritating that he is (it's not irritating at all, obviously).  But I don't want to drink as a means of avoiding his boozing.  And of course, he is not ONLY a drinker.  He's basically a really good guy with a big heart, a generous spirit, and lots of other great things, and I love him.  But he's a boozer, he's been one for several decades, and he has little interest (none) in eliminating alcohol from our house or from most of his days.    

Any words of wisdom? I'd love to hear them...


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Three Weeks

Well, there you (I) have it.   Nothing earth-shattering, just a few itchy early days and then doing the 'slow walk' of remembering why not to drink.  Not thinking about whether I can moderate (I can't), why it's not fair (life's not fair, but for me it's better sober), when I might drink again (hopefully not anytime soon, preferably never, but at least not in the next decade), what will happen tomorrow/whether some other human or organization will or will not behave the way I want them to (they probably won't but I have no control, so why waste the energy), and other similar questions I already know the answers to.  Trying to think about today, how much better I feel after a night of sober sleep (19 nights of sober sleep, the first 2 were a little rocky :)), how fortunate I am in almost all things in life (not grateful for Donald Trump, but almost everything else is pretty good), and how to stay on an even keel/avoid overwhelm, which I have concluded is a major trigger for me.  May devote an entire post to that one, but for today, suffice to say that's a biggie.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

No more dress rehearsals

Well, I'm back.  Regrettably not to report that 2015 was a stellar and 100% sober year - 2015 was overall pretty stellar, but the 100% sober part not so much.  Go figure - stellar life and still can't dehydrate the wolf.  I 'drifted' about 2.5 months in last year, and then more or less sunk into the lather, rinse, repeat cycle of pretend moderation that is simply not workable.

Day 7.  Trying again - third time hopefully will be the charm.  I want it to be the charm since I'm turning 55 this year and only have so many days left on this planet.  No more dress rehearsals, you know?  Gotta get it right in THIS life, this time around.

Not a lot else to add today that would make a lot of sense, but I'm here and I want to be here and be sober.  Working on making it a great day and a sober weekend.  Hope you are too!



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Substituting Gratitude For Grief

Sounds profound, right?  First, I must give attribution - Sherry said it to me, I didn't come up with it on my own, thanks Sherry!  When I stopped drinking the first time around, grief was a big part of it - grieving the 'losses': the romanticized notions of chilled sauvignon in crystal stem on a warm day or a big fishbowl of robust cabernet on a chilly night, the idea that I could no longer 'party' or have 'fun', the acceptance that I have a 'disease' that requires constant vigilance and perpetual ego management to keep it from killing me, and a long series of 'sacrifices' associated with giving up alcohol. 

While AA helped a lot in certain respects, some of the more rigid doctrine/dogma did NOT help: the part about the more days we are away from a drink the closer we get to a drink; the idea that character defects are the core of an alcoholic's existence and they will always be there, festering, never diminishing but just being squelched one day at a time; that if I did not make X number of meetings in a given week and do X number of phone calls and perform X amount of stepwork or do an inventory or whatever, I was really just a dry drunk and in imminent danger of falling into the nearest vat of wine.  Those concepts kind of reinforced the grieving,  like I had to define my whole existence in terms of my status as a recovering alcoholic/active member of AA, and I could only be as 'good' as I was relative to those checklists. I am not AA bashing, it has many redeeming characteristics and it helped me get sober the first time and learn a lot about how to stay that way and live life sober.  But as a long term proposition, it began to feel more negative than positive for me.  

I DID learn a lot about the power of gratitude, though...and I didn't lose that info during my year long relapse.  For which I am grateful!  And I am grateful that I have been continuously sober since January 3 of this year.  I am also happily sober, not grieving any losses this time around.  And...I don't feel guilty for not calling my sponsor, not being at the homegroup and three other meetings, and not doing whatever other stepwork/homework that was 'suggested.'  IF I were trying to scale that slope right now, I would have failed miserably. 

The last three weeks have been unbelievably busy and hella stressful...I 'auditioned' for a promotion of sorts, and although I passed the audition previously (but didn't make the final cut), this time around I didn't even get the callback - and the audition 'process' is hugely challenging, monumental preparation and a high stakes interview with a whole bunch of people grilling me - did that Monday; Tuesday had a big professional appearance that also required a lot of preparation and was watched closely by clients, etc; Weds had to turn in a giant written project; the preceding weekend was an out of town professional conference (with plenty of boozing disguised as networking, not by me, thanks...did indulge in a massage, though, lovely :)).  And now I am studying intensely to take a professional certification exam (all day test) next Friday.  Did I mention my three kids who have all manner of stuff going on?  One of them asked me if they should call an Uber to take them to the dr's office...It's been a wild few weeks.  I have been running hard, and stressed, and tired, and frustrated occasionally - all the things that wine smooths out (or I used to think it did).  But I really haven't wanted to drink - a couple of fleeting thoughts, but not a serious desire.  On the contrary, actually - it's been pretty easy to recognize the wolf and just ignore him.

This probably sounds circular and self-serving but it's my blog so I can say it anyway: I am grateful that I get to be and stay sober WITHOUT having to be daily accountable like AA really encourages.  I haven't been emailing Belle like she asks people to do on the 100 day challenge; I haven't blogged or commented (although I've done a bit of late night surfing); and I've had only a tiny bit of contact with my sober blogging buddies in the last few weeks.  Not because I don't want to or think I can go forever without the support I get in the sobersphere, but because I just have not had the time or energy to do it, not even a little bit.  

And that's okay.  I'm okay.  I'm just doing life, sober.  I won't always be this busy, but I am grateful to have the opportunities that make me this busy right now - it beats the shit out of the alternative, which is not having a good job and good opportunities to advance professionally.  And I am grateful that I have three beautiful, sassy, funny, smart, independent teenagers who put up with Mom running in six different directions and even kind of understand that part of why I do it is to provide for them. So I've wanted to spend the little bit of down time that I've had in these crazy weeks talking to whichever kid had something to say, or doing a little OT baking or whatever.  Not running to an AA meeting because I 'had' to be there or even putting up a blog post so I could 'stay in touch.'  I am grateful for the perspective on that, and grateful that however and whyever it works, it's working and I am free and grateful to be free of the desire to drink - not making any sacrifices or grieving any losses, but embracing the gains and the benefits of life sober.  And the rough edges...which don't get smoothed out, but only get sharper, by the addition of booze. 

So that, my friends, is why substituting gratitude for grief is what it's all about for me today.  A relatively small shift in perspective - really just a thought - with huge benefits. If you are feeling down and despairing over not drinking, try turning on a bit of gratitude and see what happens.  Maybe it will help.  What's the worst that can happen?  



Sunday, February 22, 2015

And the award goes to...

Me, haha!  Not the Oscar though, no drama here! Belle reminded me a couple of days ago that today is Day 50, woo hoo :).  Time flies. 

I can't believe it has been two weeks since I last posted!  I have been just crazy busy, with work, kids (sick, sports, school stuff - you name it) and just LIFE.  Work is showing no signs of letting up - in fact, it is one big stressfest/slog for the next two weeks.  I'm hoping for no unanticipated crises...

Anyway, I feel like I've been absent because I haven't been posting, or commenting much or emailing/texting with the handful of ladies I talk off-line with.  The last few weeks, I really haven't 'stopped' until after 8 pm, at which point I've collapsed on the couch with TV and my i-pad; I have skimmed over most of the blogs, but the i-pad is awful for commenting (pretty much limits me to Blogger, and even then it's cumbersome).  

But I haven't really been absent, I've just been present in life.  VERY present.  In a way that is not possible without sobriety.  I'm grateful for that.  Things are just So.More.Manageable.  And way less bumpy/dramatic.  Not to mention physical well-being: good sleep, better skin, clear eyes & all that good stuff. It's so simple and so hard to grasp when you are looking at it through the bottom of a wineglass.

Anyway, life is good.  I am very excited to start my personal, in-house Oscars coverage in about an hour.  It's the one night of the year that I get total and exclusive control over the TV remote, and I love it.  The movie themed menu includes grilled cheeese and tomato soup (Boyhood) and chess pie (Selma).  Can't wait!  

And we all deserve an award, right?  I think so!  Be good to you.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Report

Well, the wedding was fine.  A bit boring, but they had plenty of tonic and I did gorge on the appies - which was good, because the buffet dinner was a bit lackluster.  Mr. SR got a new perspective since HE had to go AF owing to his meds, that was interesting, plus it made the early exit a breeze. Small gifts.  Further to my wardrobe shortcomings, and also a reminder of the previous drunk wedding attendance, I took my 'party shoes' out to leave last night and realized that both heels had been irreparably damaged at the last wear - obviously came home so sloppy that I didn't even know.  Gah!  Luckily I had a spare pair which weren't even that uncomfortable...another small gift.  The BIG gift was coming home sober and waking up unhungover :). 

Looking forward to a nice sober Sunday - taking one of my daughters to a women's college softball game this afternoon.  She loves it and I love the girlpower, plus it's a beautiful day here.  Nothing not to like.  We have plans to make a cake before we go - sort of a new hobby for me.  I like to cook but baking is my short suit (something about the precision/patience just doesn't match up with my skill set).  Not sure I really *need* to be doing a lot of baking (or, more accurately, consuming the outcomes) but it's fun and everyone likes the product.  Today is a lemon pound cake, trying to perfect the recipe from an effort a few weeks ago.  

I like and am grateful for ordinary Sundays with ordinary plans.  It is such a refreshing counterpoint to the doomy Sunday that invariably followed the cut-loose Saturday night (as if the preceding six nights were somehow hold backs...not so much!).  On those ugly Sundays, just trudging through the little chores was so exhausting...needing another weekend to recover from the weekend.  Now I get to enjoy the actual weekend as a time to slow down a bit and rejuvenate.  Sober life is good!  



Saturday, February 7, 2015

There is NO Shame or Stigma in Getting, Being and Staying Sober!

None whatsoever.  But there is plenty of shame and stigma in being drunk, hungover, irresponsible to our children, spouses and friends, and uncaring for ourselves.

That is all!  (channeling Miranda Priestly voice and demeanor :)).  Now off to the wedding, in ill-fitting out of date gown, tight shoes and carrying clutch bag borrowed from teenage daughter (decidedly NOT a Miranda Priestly look haha). With large go-cup of tonic water and my trusty i-phone (so I can read sober blogs, comments and email (sobrietyrising (at) gmail if you want to write, i'd love to hear from you!), and 110% determination to arrive home sober tonight.  

Have a great sober Saturday night!  And don't let anyone or anything make you feel shamed or stigmatized for choosing not to pour addictive, damaging poison into your body.