Not so much

So much for writing more often. Oh well. Still here, still sober.

I've been busily trying to get a handle on our holiday season. So far I scheduled my little one's fourth birthday party, our annual adult-only Christmas party (invite list currently at about 70. I think I might be crazy.), the cookie exchange which I'm hosting this year, our sleigh ride with close friends, babysitting for our out-of-town corporate Christmas party, the extended family plan for Christmas Eve/Morning/Boxing Day and our trip out of province immediately following the 25th.

As I did all this, it was not lost on me that I was booking stuff the day after other stuff. In other words, I was not scheduling around hangovers. What a crazy concept. I can actually plan to enjoy a sleigh ride after our Christmas party? Well, of course – I'll be a little tired but none the worse for the wear. And when that little voice creeps in and says “Maybe you can drink over the holidays…”, the logical me realizes there is no time for that. Not only is there not time, but I would prefer to ENJOY these things. What another far out idea.

I want to be present. To feel I am engaged in each occasion and event. I don't want to be longing for the couch, or for bedtime. I want to eat well, enjoy activity and fresh air, experience the 'holiday spirit' that doesn't come in a glass, and be able to look back on it with pride in myself and full confidence that I made the most of it.

Off to play in the snow with the kids….

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It’s the little things

Benefit of staying sober #2 –


Case and point. Sunday I enjoyed a hangover day, without the hangover. You know the ones – sleep late, skip the vitamins and lemon water, choose tasty over nutritious for breakfast (in this case, waffles and syrup), drink more coffee than you should, stay in pjs until embarrassingly late (like, um…4pm), shirk commitments (neighborhood Halloween party – sent kids and hubby) and watch some type of TV marathon (Weeds – I'm addicted).

We were out late on Saturday night at our good friends' annual Halloween shaker. Not getting to bed until 1:30am is pretty much unheard of in my life these days, and I certainly felt like I should've felt like hell on Sunday morning. But I didn't. No anxiety. No shakiness. No guilt over leaving my kids to their own devices while I was laid up in bed. (That's not to say I didn't do that – I just didn't feel guilty about it. 🙂 ) No fighting to compensate for the fact that deep down, when I drink, I feel like a terrible mom.

I was kinda tired, pretty lazy and felt the need to have a seriously-over-the-top-verging-on-slovenly low key day. So I did and I loved it. I felt recharged and happy and entitled to it.

So, getting back to my intro, how does this apply? Because even in my laziness, I managed to get a lot of stuff done. Not having to struggle through both physical and emotional turmoil meant that I could happily putter around between couch sessions. I got all the laundry done. I wiped all my cupboards and mopped the kitchen floor. I switched over the kids' winter clothes and helped pack up a ton of stuff for goodwill. I baked pear pumpkin muffins with the kids – successfully using up both my over-ripe pears and the leftover pumpkin from the fridge.

None of this stuff would have happened if I'd gotten drunk at the party. I would have started the week feeling guilty, unproductive, buried in laundry and chores, overwhelmed and unmotivated. Instead, I've got a great outlook going right now – my life feels under control and that opens up some space (both mentally and time-wise) to consider other things. I could pick up a long paused project. I could do a little research in an area of interest that might open up a new path. I feel a little more like paying my husband some overdue attention. I can read my kids an extra book tonight.

All these things, made possible because of the little unhungover stuff like laundry, mopping and baking, could have a significant positive impact on my life. And if I keep doing those little things, which make room for the bigger impact things, my life will continue to grow.

Bit by bit, little by little.

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Wild and crazy

Friday night. Kids in bed. Blizzard eaten. Now I plan to search for something salty, finish my Netflixed episode of Weeds, and put my unproductive/exercise-deficient/'thanking god it's Friday' ass to bed.

These are exciting times, people.


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So then…

I said I'll come around more regularly, so here I am, but I'm not quite sure what I've got to write about. I write for a living (more or less) but I always have a clear purpose and intended message. Rambling on feels awkward.

Anyhoo. Monday morning. Home from work with a stuffed up, coughy little three year old. Six year old spending the PD day (no school) at his best friend's – cookie decorating and going to a theatre. So fun for him.

Had a nice weekend – I've finally gotten to that point where drinks don't even occur to me on Friday night anymore. I look forward to weekends for family time, getting organized and not having to rush out the door in the mornings. Not exciting but much more uplifting than a bottle of wine (or more) on Friday night, greasy food on Saturday, simply hanging on until the kids' bedtime so I can hit the couch, and spending Sunday trying to make up for the last two days. That, my friends, is not what a weekend should be.

I've been meaning to write a 100 days sober recap post but not sure I'll ever get around to it. That being the case, maybe I'll just pick one spin-off benefit to speak to in each post and slowly I'll cover them all. This will also help me keep the positive aspects of sobriety top of mind.


Like most of my spin-off benefits, I don't totally understand how or why this is related to my not drinking, but I know it is. I wasn't a daily drinker – more like drinking twice a week, getting drunk once a week, and taking some spectacular nosedives into a bottle(s) every few months – so I had plenty of sober time. I've noticed though that sobriety opens up a mental space for a much more thoughtful and deliberate accounting of my life and its direction. When I'm drinking, at all, that door just shuts. So strange.

But now, with plenty of time to think/plan/commit myself to something, I've accomplished the following:

  • Followed through on a skin care routine that includes cleansing every night, and doing a peel and mask once a week.
  • Had my initial appointment with a naturopath, gave an honest assessment of my health and level of self-care, and so far maintained the new habits she suggested including supplements, lemon water in the morning, no coffee without food, less caffeine in general and having protein with breakfast. Absolutely feel a significant difference in having stuck with this.
  • Started doing back exercises, which are the only way I'll be able to get back to running. I'm not making anymore excuses – it is up to me to bring my body up to the standard I want. A standard that includes it being healthy and strong.
  • I have organized the craziness that is my family's life with the Cozi app (do you have it? I love it.) and have started planning meals and working to keep my husband in the loop. He can't help me if I keep everything on mental lists that he can't see.

There might be other things but those are the biggies. I feel more in control, more hopeful and more able to navigate my days because I'm taking pride in myself and my family. To the world, I'm quite sure my life and my ability to deal has always seemed just fine, but it didn't feel okay. I didn't feel okay.

And now, I do. 🙂

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Circle Back

Lord knows if this is actually going to work but I've decided that it's time to circle back to this blog and I'm hoping Blogsy might help with this. Only being able to post from the family laptop, when I'm alone, makes it virtually impossible. Mostly because I'm never alone at home….except when I crawl into bed with the iPad. Like now.

Quick update – 110ish days sober. Starting to hear whispers, deep inside, telling me enough is enough. It's like in a horror movie if, say, a dark scary tree was coming alive, and you see the gnarled roots start to grow and creep along the ground – looking for anything to latch onto and take down. The roots of a return to drinking have started creeping and I need to lop them off. Need to keep sober living top of mind. These are still early days and it can very easily, so scarily easily, all go to shit.

And on that cheerful note, off to sleep! You'll be seeing much more of me, dear blog… Time to fortify the trenches.

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Spill It

I’m alone, I’m bored and I feel the need to spill.

I don’t talk…to anyone. I’m a thinker – I’m constantly turning things over in my mind and I’m usually grappling with a dozen things that no one has any idea about. Not my friends, not my husband, not my sisters. And I know, of course, that this is not unusual. I know that we all have more going on under the surface than we let the world see. But I feel like some lucky people have confidants and outlets that they rely on to help them figure things out. People that push them to see things in a different light, and offer up new perspectives and ideas that help them grow.

God, how I feel the need to grow. I’m stagnant. I’m antsy. I’m searching.

I feel like I can actually quit drinking. I do. I mean, I’m doing it and have been for the last three months. And in doing so, I’ve got this space in my life that I need to fill with something else. I have the energy and the desire to become better. More fully realized. Just more.

And I can’t fucking figure out HOW.

I get on kicks. Diets, exercise regimens, attempts to deepen my spirituality, new books, vitamin/supplement combinations, strategies to meet new people, putting renewed energy into my marriage, and on, and on, and on. And they go fine for awhile, and I see some benefits, but eventually they fall to the wayside. Nothing sticks. Nothing becomes real or meaningful.

And I’m left right where I am tonight. Unfulfilled and looking for more.

There’s some hope. By not drinking I have a much better chance of not just giving up. I gain confidence that I can effect change within my own life. That I’m in control. It’s complex though because I worry that if I can’t find my thing, I’ll eventually decide that it’s better to fill this hole with something (i.e. wine) than to keep wrestling with the emptiness.

So, I’ll keep trying. Tomorrow before I get up, I’ll think about my intention for the day. I’ll try to come up with at least one thing that, by actively seeking it out, will help me climb back into bed at night feeling a bit more whole. Right now, I just don’t know what it will be.

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Lazy Saturday

This will not be the most scintillating post ever…’cause it’s just not a very scintillating time over here in Well Lived land. The kids are happily crafting away at the table in front of me, I’ve finished my second cup of coffee and contemplating a third, no one is dressed, there are no plans for the day and none for tomorrow either. Husband is away for the weekend, and bad as it sounds, it’s kind of nice to be on my own. Today will be filled with shopping, cuddling, hopefully some kind of outdoor time, probably too much TV, maybe a movie at the theatre tonight and more treats than is probably good for us.

I’ve slipped the last few days – not with drinking, rest assured – but on my setting of positive intentions for the day and making sure to spend at least a few minutes meditating or doing some yoga. It’s been a busy time, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself about it, but I hope to re-focus after recharging this weekend.

Yesterday there was some craving, but I’ve realized that as much as I’d almost like there to be, I cannot find a good reason to drink. It just doesn’t make sense for me anymore. I was helped along by a funny WQD poster who described drinking in my journal as, “a fuckwitted way to spend the one-time experience that is life.”


Happy Saturday, all.

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