repost: bridging the emotional distance

One of my favorite bloggers writes with painful honesty of the healing her marriage is going through as they both recover, and the image I’m left with is one of turning an aircraft carrier around at sea.

“I can’t pinpoint exactly when and what caused the distance between us. 7 years of infertility? Fulltime jobs? Children? Depression? It was all of the above plus a lack of effort to make time for each other.

But, most of all, I mustn’t forget my drinking.”

What I found most encouraging was her steadfast and clear-headed self-examination in picking through the parts of her broken life that needed to be reassembled, while discarding those pieces that no longer serve any useful, i.e. healthy purpose.

My Healing Recovery

Bridging Emotional Distance

Alcohol has significantly impacted my ability to emotionally connect with people.   The relationship I have with my husband is where the emotional distance feels the most obvious. And, as the fog of alcohol clears from my head, I see just how much our relationship has been breached.

We started out with a deep emotional connection where we shared intimate details about ourselves. My husband recalls these bygone days and longs for the time when I depended on him for just about everything. Of course, I remember those early days too; but I’ve changed so much that I don’t see those days ever returning.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when and what caused the distance between us. 7 years of infertility? Fulltime jobs? Children? Depression? It was all of the above plus a lack of effort to make time for each other.

But, most of all, I mustn’t forget my drinking.

When…

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repost: the advantages and disadvantages of sober power

Slave to fashion that I am, now I have to figure out what sort of costume complements sober power. And is there a decoder ring to go along with the secret handshake? This is all so complicated.

Nevertheless… Read this very thorough post from primrose at taking a new path on the vantages and disadvantages of sober power.

And while you’re reading, I’m off to the costume shop. Good thing Halloween is around the corner. Gives me a leg up on this thing.

taking a new path

if sober power were a new form of renewable energy, like solar power, hydropower or wind turbines, how would it rate, compared to that hoariest of fossil fuels, alcohol?

  • sober power is free. supermarket bills shrink rapidly when cranberry juice takes the place of wine and spirits, and restaurant meals become almost laughably less expensive.
  • sober power does not pollute your body. your skin as the outermost organ shows signs of healing first. I used to think my foundation shade should be named ‘Ash Grey’…now it is more ‘Pink Lady Apple’.
  • sober power is infinitely available. like the world’s oil reserves, the costs to me of using alcohol as a fuel will rise exponentially until I can no longer meet them. but sober power will carry me indefinitely for as long as my feeble frame will permit.
  • unlike solar power, it can be used on cloudy, overcast days, and at…

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repost: abstinence

Clear thinking from Bill at What…Me Sober? on a very serious subject we’ve all flirted with at one time or another.

Maybe still do, eh?

Nah…

What...Me Sober?

by Bill

I was at a 12-step meeting last night where one of the members stated that he wasn’t sure he could remain abstinent from his drug of choice, and intimated that he wanted to believe that he could partake occasionally.  Our first instinct is to protect our addiction at all costs.  

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repost: and now for my next trick

I always like mentioning at times such as this that I smoked from the age of 14 up into my mid-20s. I quit one New Year’s Eve when I got so drunk I couldn’t hold a cigarette. I know you’re wondering, but No, it didn’t occur to me at that point it time I might — just might — have a drinking problem. I did, however, quit smoking that very night. And the challenges for me were the usual ones. After a big meal. After sex. With a cup of coffee. While drinking. None of that has anything to do with much of anything, other than to say it’s pretty obvious that because this is a blog about alcohol and chemical addiction, I have a pretty addictive nature.

This is a great post from Ruffie at Ruffie Goes Sober. And I want to just add my encouragement; Ruffie, it’s time for boot camp. 🙂

Ruffie Goes Sober

Well, I am now 80 days sober! How do I feel about that achievement? Awesome, Fantastic, Jubilant!

How do I feel within myself? Meh! While getting on top of the alcohol trap is wonderful, I feel uninspired and generally lethargic and sloth like. Not committing to much and keeping to myself.

I used to be outgoing and spontaneous, always the first to put my hand up and say “Yep, count me in!”

The shield of protection I have put on to ward off the attacks of giving in has turned me into a boring, safe and comfortable being.

It’s time to shed these shackles and say “Enough!”

I started smoking again about 2 years ago (Yes, I hear you all groaning). Guess what made me start that awful habit again? My good old friend alcohol of course. A weak moment, lots of stress at the time and that was that…

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repost from message in a bottle: who are your eskimo angels?

This is such a timely post for me. It has only taken about 4 1/2 years for me to become irritating, annoying, and more than just a little arrogant in my sobriety. Time for me to re-arrange my thinking, to be sure. But more importantly, I need to let God to re-arrange my heart, for certainly in my heart I want to be an Eskimo Angel. I so appreciate this poignant post from Paul at Message In a Bottle.

Message in a Bottle

Not to scale Not to scale

He reeked of booze.  And BO.  I stood beside a man on the bus the other day.  His swollen and busted up face caught my attention.  He had a hospital band on his wrist.  His dead eyes said it all.  In his hand was a bag full of rattling Olde English malt liquor bottles.  He stared into the middle distance while I sized him up and took him in.  It was a reminder of where I came from and where I could be if I picked up again.  I wanted to hug him, to let him know that it didn’t have to be like that any more.  But I knew that look he had – long lost in his mind, his alcoholism, his perceived fate.  He was, at that moment, a shell of what he could be, what he was meant to be.  Was he one of…

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repost from sobernoodles: is choice better than no choice?

For me, simply walking through the day alcohol-free was a major task. The idea of doing anything else so profoundly different apart from remaining sober took time, effort, and a very deliberate and determined sense of purpose. Binki at sobernoodles nails it when she writes about the simple fear of the unknown (i.e. uncontrollable) outcome that arises when we step into that indeterminable gray void called “free will.”

“i’m not giving up twenty years.”

This is such a great post from primrose at taking a new path. What a splendid piece of encouragement that I so much needed today:

“If Rob Lowe can go from the Brat Pack to writing an essay about sending his son off to college – I can not drink. ever again.”

Oh, and Charlie Sheen is a freaking idiot. Just nothing less than an idiot. I don’t give a rip how much money that stupid sod makes. I’d love to drag him out by the dumpster and lay hands on him… in the name of Jesus, of course.

taking a new path

I never had a thing for Rob Lowe. he was only a little bit older than me and his evident beauty was overshadowed by his self-satisfied grin. a bit obvious, I always thought. not my type at all.

but enjoyed him in his reincarnation in The West Wing. and recently I remembered an article I clipped from a paper a while back about his autobiography. he has been sober now for twenty plus years. found the article online, and this is the bit that struck me when I first read it: Lowe on Charlie Sheen:

Charlie Sheen, meanwhile, is still out there, on his Violent Torpedo of Truth tour. Is he still in touch with him?

‘Oh yeah. We agree to disagree on the merits of traditional recovery. He knows I’m saving a seat for him and he wants no part of it. I’m always happy to see the…

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a defiant desire to change

I don’t know that many of us realize we need to fight to change. Yes, yes… we all know it’s a struggle. But we don’t accidentally change, anymore than we can post a date next year on the calendar and say, “Thank God I’ll be done by then.” Most of us — hopefully — know it takes more. Love this post by Maggie at Sober Courage.

Sober Courage

I found this quote while searching for inspirations on the web. I think I have read it like a hundred times by now. It has really touched me, deep down inside, on so many levels, especially when it comes to getting sober.

“Discontent and disorder are signs of energy and hope, not of despair,” the English historian Dame Cicely Wedgwood has pointed out. “That’s the nature of hope…it’s not optimism, where everything feels right with your world, but a defiant desire to change. And change tends to feel uncomfortable.”

I strongly believe that if you want to get sober, resolve may not be enough – it was not enough for me. Willpower was not enough for me either. Actually I believe that willpower has nothing to do with it; my willpower seemed to come and go – one day I will, I one day I won’t. Wanting it really, really…

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repost from recovery daily: rise above the past

Too often we are still addicted to the pain, even if we are no longer addicted to the drink or the drug.

Recovery Daily

Many of us have felt so insecure, so poor, or so much the underdog that we made a fervent promise to ourselves that we’d come out on top later. We know how weak we felt, and that image continues to be our guiding force long after the weakness was overcome. We may have spiritual problems because we are blind to the reality of our present life. While grasping for more security, more love, more money, or trying to lose more weight or attract more friends, we fail to stop and realize the real rewards we already have today. We are driven by the memory of pain and insecurity, rather than rising above it and relating to the higher principles and people around us. Getting more control or more achievements does not solve our spiritual problems, but by making peace with the fact that life is insecure

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repost from insobriety: kindness

Sometimes I think we forget to breathe in and breathe out in recovery. I love this passage from ainsobriety: I fell into a deep depression in early sobriety. To get through those days I wrote myself a note. It said – You are enough. Just as you are.

 

ainsobriety

I can’t remember when I started being hard on myself, but it is safe to say it was long ago. I had high expectations. I was often successful, but never seemed to quite measure up to my insane personal ideals.
And so I was always disappointed in myself.
This negative internal dialogue was difficult. It caused me extreme anxiety. Along the way I found that a few drinks would shut that damn voice up. And it did, for a while.
Eventually it just got louder. And some time in the last few years I knew that the drinking was causing the voice, but I just didn’t know how to stop it. And I could not handle listening to the voice. So I drank more, spiraling deeper and deeper into self-loathing and depression.
So I kept trying to fix myself. To prove things were ok. Maybe a thinner me would be…

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repost from message in a bottle: fallen

Not too long ago we lost one of our own. He reached a point where there was less pain in putting a gun to his head than putting a bottle to his mouth… again. And he lived just a few block away from me. So part of the responsibility is mine. I’ll own that. And certainly one of the things that struck me in the days following that numbing event was how many of the oldtimers sat hunched over their coffee in the cafe thumbing through the names who over the years had done the very same thing. I’m still challenged in the imagery of these conversations because the truth is we all have a responsibility to let the struggler know he/she is not alone in this battle. Now to be fair, the man at the top of this ‘graph had people around him. But I think there’s a serious difference between simply having people around us and having someone in our life with whom we can truly be naked and unashamed. Great post from message in a bottle on getting back what you put in.

Message in a Bottle

20140908_125451_resized

I was running yesterday in a nearby park area and stumbled across a makeshift memorial site.  A young man, who lost his life several years ago, still being kept in memory by still-fresh flowers and keepsakes.  I had to stop and take it in.  I also had to keep in mind that this memorial was located at the bottom of a bridge.  A very high bridge.  What made this young soul decide to jump at that time is unknown to me.  But the pain had to be scorching enough to end it in a gruesome fashion.

Post-run shower had me in tears.  Unexpected tears. Sure I was heartbroken at this lad, but I was more overtaken by the emotions of both gratitude and grief regarding the deadly nature of alcoholism.  At the meeting the other night I saw people who I thought “had it” standing up and getting chips for…

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repost from functioningguzzler: missing the pleasant numb feeling

Been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt. Still wonder who I see when I look in the mirror every morning. But I’ve lost enough friends intentionally through drugs & alcohol that I’m sure beyond a doubt that’s not the way to go. Besides, it would be a huge imposition on those who would wonder why I simply didn’t have the courage to live or common sense to send up a flare. But this excellent post from functioningguzzler also tells me it doesn’t take much to regain our equilibrium if we are humble enough.

Functioningguzzler

I’ve gotta be honest I do miss the numb buzz I used to get while I was drinking. I miss the way it could make me chill and forget about all the crazy shit my mind comes up with. So you understand I will explain a bit further some of the crazy thoughts I put myself through.

I have thought about it long and hard, since I have time now that I am not drinking, I have the lowest of low self esteem. I really care about other people and their feelings and always take time to listen to people and hear what they really are saying. But when it comes to myself I have this feeling of I couldn’t give a shit. While I was in a major low of my depression I understand how people could end it all when they get that low. Now in my mind…

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repost from themiracleisaroundthecorner: seasons of change

Great post by Josie at themiracleisaroundthecorner. Peeling back the layers, really:

So this day one of school season felt really, really different, and I really can’t give it a label like “good” different or “bad” different. I guess the word I can best come up with: uncomfortable. On the one hand, I consciously recognize that there are a bunch of unhealthy coping mechanisms that I have risen above, evolved past, what have you, and that is obviously to the good. On the other hand, there’s this vaguely empty, “now what?” feeling going on.

Read the whole thing.

themiracleisaroundthecorner

This may be funny to no one but me, I am about to write a post on change, and I am typing this on some “new, easier way to create” on WordPress.com (please read the part in quotes with the sarcasm I am intending).  I already hate it, which probably is an indication of where this post is going.

I think about the changes going on in my life right now, and the word that comes to mind is “layers.”  When I first started thinking about the content of this post, my initial thought was not to write it at all; after all, isn’t anyone with kids going through change right now?  Mine is a bit more complex than years past in that both kids are attending new schools, and the schedule change is dramatic for everyone in the house, but other than that, who doesn’t experience change this time…

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to be or not

Ruffie throws down the gauntlet. Good stuff, to be sure.

Ruffie Goes Sober

I’ve never ever liked the term ‘Alcoholic’. It conjures up dark and negative images and quite frankly doesn’t gel with me.

A friend of mine who is a counsellor has a very apt saying:

“Nothing has a meaning until you give it a meaning”.

I have applied this saying for my own sanity on a number of occasions and this works for me.

Am I an alcoholic? No, I am a non drinker. Was I an alcoholic? No, I had a love affair with alcohol but the relationship went tits up and we’ve gone our separate ways! Will I be an alcoholic in the future? No, because I wasn’t one in the first place!

Who decided to give the label to the love affair? Who gave it a meaning? Who called it a disease?

Don’t get me wrong, if the term works for you then by all means use it…

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