Emergence

Coming into sobriety isn’t about emerging from a maze – it’s about coming through a haze.  A thick haze.

A haze of murk.

When I look back on the madness that is alcoholism, I see an internal life tossed about like debris in a hurricane.  The clarity required to navigate a maze back then didn’t exist.  Think Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

No Bueno.

There aren’t too many good reasons to take trips down memory lane anymore.  The future is too bright.

bright future

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Maze

I’m Not Bitter About It, But…

I had this great idea about ten minutes ago to find a ‘Daily Inspirations’ site so that I could set up an account to have a new amazing inspiration emailed to me every morning.  Something deep and reflection worthy to help me kickstart the day.

I couldn’t find one.  Not one!

It’s not out there.  If it is – I must still be cascading out of early morning theta waves because I couldn’t find one worthy site.  I searched for daily meditations, inspirations, spiritual inspirations, Buddhist meditations – and everything looked so – – cheesy.  I’m just not in the mood for cheese right now.

cheese

I’m in research mode these days, devouring information.  I took the Myers-Briggs 16 Personalities test this weekend and discovered that  I’m an INTJ.  We make up only 3% of the population.  Sweet!  I also discovered a really cool Mayan Astrology site.  Who knew the Mayans were into astrology?  According to it, I’m a White Spectral Dog, doubled.

Yeowza!

So – in the spirit of attempting to consciously contribute something meaningful and practical to the planet on a daily basis – because discovering what I’m interpreting as valuable information from websites about myself has put me in a peppy mood – I will begin leaving daily quotes or affirmations here – starting with this one by me:

I don’t know what it looks like – yet – but today, I’m going to do one nice thing – for another person.

(I feel I ought to cough up a truth here.  Before I wrote “another person” above, I wrote the word ‘myself’.)

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Deja-Vu & the Skirt

It’s difficult to reconcile familiarity with a skirt from a second-hand store with the fact that I’ve never owned it before.  Nevertheless – I am most certain that this is a long lost skirt of mine – even though I’ve owned it for less than 48 hours.

Does everyone in early sobriety – or anyone anywhere – experience strange bouts of deja-vu, synchronicities, and internal ‘pushes’?  By push, I mean just that – it feels like I’m being gently pushed toward some ideas and – or – to do some things.  For example – I felt the push to stop at a second-hand store to look at clothes – something I never do.  And the idea to take my dog to work has been ebbing to the forefront of my mind all week. I’ve been very aware of pushing it back – out of the way, but  I finally relented this morning and took him.  And for some weird reason – I could feel that it was the right thing to do.

What IS that?

My new sober lifestyle is bringing fun and mysterious perks I couldn’t have anticipated.

I wonder what’s going to happen next?

via Daily Prompt: Lifestyle

‘Unpleasant’ Doesn’t Do the Word Justice

via Daily Prompt: Panicked

“Have you been on vacation recently?”  The cashier asked as she rang up my orange juice and wine.  “No.  Why do you ask?”  I had to avoid eye contact with her, so I tried to look interested in the disposable cameras just below me at the counter.  We were waiting for the credit card machine to kick into gear and to my horror, she was making small talk.

“Your face is so red.”  She blurted just as the little machine hummed to life and spit out my receipt.  I smiled and shrugged as she pushed the tiny piece of paper forward with a pen for my signature.  My hands were so shaky that I didn’t even bother trying to sign my name.  I scribbled a few lines, offered her a half smile, grabbed my bag of goodies, and walked out.  I hadn’t needed the OJ, but it was 9:15 in the morning.  Walking out with only a double bottle of wine that early would have looked bad.

Because it was so early – the store had just opened – the best spots closest to the front door were available.  The only closer spot was the handicapped spot. I’d parked right next to the handicapped spot.  And when I walked out, a police car was parked in it.  It was between me and my car – and the cop was still sitting there.  Now, had I been sober instead of in withdrawal, it wouldn’t have mattered that a cop was there.  But had I been sober, I wouldn’t have been at the store in the first place.  The police car was a huge problem for two reasons and as soon as I saw it, I panicked.  I was already going into severe withdrawal – I needed alcohol – immediately, but I was also on probation.  I wasn’t supposed to be in withdrawal because I wasn’t supposed to be drinking – and I was carrying wine.

I had to walk behind the cop car to get to my car – where my dog waited attentively.  About five feet outside the front entrance, my legs began to give out.  I’d never experienced anything like it.  My thighs felt weak.  I only had about 30 feet to go, but I honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it.  And if I collapsed, the cop was right there and I’d be in a shitstorm of trouble. So, I told myself to take tiny steps and focus on my dog.  “One step, one step, one step, one step, look at Rumi, look at Rumi, get to the car, one step, one step, almost there, almost there.”  That’s how I coached myself to the car.  Each step was absolutely terrifying.

And the cop watched the whole time.  I was walking funny and we both knew it.  But I made it and practically collapsed into the driver’s seat.  Why had he parked in the handicapped spot when the lot was nearly empty.?  And why was he just sitting there?  I forced myself to reach into the back seat to pet my dog and as I did, I looked at the cop.   We made eye contact for an instant before he looked down and went to work on something in his lap.  I opened the OJ and took a long gulp before starting the car.  I knew I couldn’t give the officer a reason to pull me over and I only had a mile and a half to go.  I remembered that I still had Colorado tags on my car so I backed out instead of pulling forward so that he couldn’t pull me over for those.  I made it home.

I was so shaky and my legs were so trembly that I had to scootch down the steps – all 20 – to the front door on my butt.

Replacing NONE With IT

When an alcoholic decides to start traveling the sober path, it isn’t as easy as just putting one foot in front of the other.  It’s not the same thing as just – not eating chocolate anymore. If only.  Our journey is one of nearly constant activity – especially in the beginning – coming at us from the bushes.  As we venture forth on the path, we are bombarded by countless thoughts, sensations, and emotions.  Sometimes it can be hard to remain upright.

I’ve fallen down hundreds of times and just stayed there; crawling in an attempt to gain some kind of headway.  It didn’t work.  It’s never worked – until now.  And I haven’t had to crawl this time. My intentions were always good.  I went to AA, got a sponsor and worked the 12 steps, but it never felt authentic – any of it.  It never resonated.  And now I know why.  Those 12 steps weren’t mine.  I was following someone else’s path – literally – their 12 steps.  I didn’t know then that I ought to learn to speak the language of my heart and develop a relationship with it.

That looks really cheesy, doesn’t it … DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP WITH MY HEART.  Why is it so corny to talk that way in our society? 

We don’t talk about stuff like that.

I wonder why …

heartpath

My heart has the map to my success in sobriety.  It’s been keeping my path for me all along.  Waiting.

This relationship I’m forming with my heart is replacing NONE – as in alcohol AND drinking (because the act of drinking was part of the problem).

It’s a quiet, strange, a little bittersweet – unfamiliar correspondence I have with my heart. But I trust it.

It’s safe.

gold heart

via Daily Prompt: None

Happy = Strawberries

If I had to guess, I’d go with maybe 98%.  That’s how much of my body I don’t control.  It has a mind of its own and does what it wants – when it wants.   It grows my hair and nails at a pace that’s convenient for it.  It tells me when to go to the bathroom, when to go to sleep, when to eat, and when I’m happy or angry.  It tells me when I’m sick and when I’m horny.  I don’t have a say in any of this stuff and the list goes on.

I have a hard time controlling my appetite and the amount of lip I give. I find it challenging to control my speed behind the wheel, my shopping online, and I used to have a huge issue with controlling the amount of alcohol I drank.  Couldn’t even remotely pull that one off.

Today, I’m focusing on controlling myself from tossing a bag of M&Ms into my cart at the grocery store.  And when the craving for them comes on – as it is right now – I’m controlling myself from running to the mini-market by keeping my fingers and mind busy on something important.  Like blogging.   And today is the 356th day in a row that I’ve controlled my drinking.  I haven’t had a drink today.  Controlling my intake of alcohol has reduced the number of times I go through withdrawal each morning to ZERO.  Things are looking good these days.

It turns out that the stuff I can control – some of it is stuff I wasn’t even aware of.  For example – I can control how to live my life in a way that addresses – on a daily basis – the things I need and value; like quiet, space around me, nature, and time to be creative.  Doing this makes me happy.  Go figure.  Happy is a big deal.  Most everyone has this freedom, but plenty of people would argue with me.  They would argue for their limitations and then get angry with the driver in front of them on the highway – the guy going the speed limit.

?

Go figure.

But I get it because I used to do it.

It’s insane.

And the stuff that I can’t control in my body – thank God I don’t have to.  My body is just so smart.  It’s never late for work and it never asks for a day of and it never complains (unless I treat it badly).  I’m happy to let it run the show (usually) so that I can focus on living in alignment with my heart.  Listening to it and learning to speak its language is how I’ve become aware of my needs and values.  That’s what is bringing me bushels of happy these days and I’m discovering – and this is super cool – that happy is related to CONFIDENCE!

WHO KNEW?

  It’s like opening the refrigerator door every morning and finding a fresh bowl of strawberries each time!

Happy!

strawberries

via Daily Prompt: Control