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Living Sober - Page 6
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Thread: Living Sober

  1. #101

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    Argh! Long, long post, I swiped the wrong way on my new computer and quite literally wiped it out. Oh, well I was ending by saying it was a post for me, that I needed to put my own oxygen mask on before I could help others, so maybe I just needed to type it out and let it waft away. . . .

    Laughing and smiling at myself now. I'm re-emerging from a long period of intense activity. ByeByeMickeys post about a tuneup on the main stop drinking thread made me think of doing a sobriety tuneup for myself. So that's what I'm doing even if the details are now lost in cyberspace somewhere. I guess I was also taking myself too seriously. I'm enjoying having time to sit peacefully and think and post.

  2. #102

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    And now I have to really smile. I'm at the top of a new page. So apropos for what I'm feeling. A new page, cool.

  3. #103

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    Hello carol! I was just thinking about you yesterday and wondering how you were.
    I think you sound ok? Hopefully you are.. Sounding positive now anyway.
    Sobriety tune up sounds good, can never get complacent.
    Big hugs
    Xx

  4. #104

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    So, I overcommit and then I overdo. This (plus competence) made me very successful at work, but it took a toll. I used alcohol to help me push thru hard things, numb myself and keep going. (Not the only reason I drank, of course.) Once I retired, I found how wonderful it can be to have time, time to do nothing or something, just time on the horizon instead of massive things to do. Gradually I've added in volunteer activities and fun things to do, as well as lots of time with family who are spread all over the country. With the volunteer stuff, some of which brings me great joy and some of which I know I am making a difference even if it's not as joyful, I recognize and accept that I overdo. It's who I am, I accept that. But twice this year I've found myself in overwhelm. Mid-year, it was lots of things including family which all came together over a few weeks, even though they'd been planned to happen over several months. More recently I took on one too many things, which ended up involving weekly meetings plus a lot of work every week. That plus stuff I was already committed to happening and coming to a head, put me again in overwhelm.

    OK, so big deal, it happens to all of us. One night a couple of weeks ago as I was working hard on the computer to finish something, lost in it, I looked up and thought, wow this is like when I was drinking, I'm totally disconnected from everything, including my husband. Hmm. I had other feelings I remember from when I was drinking.

    I like knowing I can still tackle hard things and accomplish them. I do miss that from time to time from not working. The last big project like this was probably 5 years ago. So maybe every 5 years or so I want to do something like this. But this is voluntary, not required for my livelihood. And the cost of putting everything else aside, ignoring hubby, letting other things go, and starting to have some of those feelings from when I was drinking show up - nope, too high.

    I want to choose having time again. I am bad at setting boundaries. To emphasize my need to do so, I started telling myself last month that when I get to the point I am now where things are wrapping up, my mantra for awhile needs to be "just say no". And already I've found myself torn. It's a fun thing to do, not a volunteer project, but with all I know is coming up in the early part of the new year, it will be an overcommitment again.

    That's where this idea of a sobriety tuneup really appeals to me. (Stop, Carol: Go Advanced - Preview Post, don't lose this one.) I am a non-drinker. I like that. Alcohol doesn't have a hold on me anymore. But people relapse, don't they? Patrick talks about emotional relapse happening before physical relapse. So this go into overdrive, overcommit, overdo cycle is not a good one for me. Yes, I like knowing I can still do that. But the life I want to live has more balance in it, more time to breathe and think and enjoy something I didn't even know I was going to do because I had time to do it.

  5. #105

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    Hmm, I'm starting to think this "type then swipe it away" phenomenon is trying to tell me something. I did it again, after posting a downer post. So maybe I'm hearing "no whining" from the universe!

    Suffice it to say it was a crappy day, I thought earlier about how in the olden days I would have pushed thru knowing that at 5:00 I could start putting myself into oblivion. Not gonna happen, thank goodness. 5:00 bell hasn't rung in a long time. Another reminder that I need this sobriety tuneup - the old patterns are still there just not being exercised at this time.

  6. #106

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    Hey Carol, your post does auto save now too... So if you lose it and start a new one, it gives a 'previously auto saved' option or something like that... Often not all you've just posted but most of it. Works for me sometimes ...
    Sorry you're having a tough time, I'm wondering whether you've just said goodbye to family? It's so good you're in tune with your thoughts, feelings and emotions and triggers. Feelings of sadness were (are? ) a major trigger for me too, just want to numb the pain... You'll enjoy your Christmas. Chill out, read and look forward to your plans in the new year. Have you scaled back your commitments sufficiently now to feel they may no longer threaten your sobriety? I'm sure they won't. It's so good you're in tune with yourself like this though... Maybe it will be good to just stop at Christmas and look yourself in the eyes and decide what the most important next steps are? Some shit things have happened in my life and when they did, I vowed to have a little reflection time sometimes when I should really think about what's important without those shit things happening? It reminds me of the 'gratitude' piece we do on here... There are so many things to be grateful for every day.
    You seem like you've overdone it a bit? You need to focus on you a little, be a little selfish, spoil yourself. Recharge your batteries. Look after you because you're so important to so many people.. (Including us). You deserve it.
    Xxx

  7. #107

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    AF, thank you!

  8. #108

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    Good day today. I've talked to my daughters gotten my nails done, and gotten the Christmas goody plates ready for the neighbors. We go around and exchange plates of goodies each year on Christmas Eve. Not what you expect in LA, probably.

    This is my 4th sober Christmas, woo hoo!

    Enjoy the holiday everyone. Thanks for being here for me.

  9. #109
    Thanks Ken - bit late with this, but just joined !
    Got sober 1986 - my focus from day one, although it took me a long time to realize it, was how did i live with me sober. made me realize i had to own my innerworld and what was there. My drinking was always instinctive, always a coping mechanism essentially for dealing with that stuff.
    Once that went, I had to deal with the emotional drives that had fuelled my alcoholism. This was mainly childhood stuff around growing up in an alcoholic home, sexual abuse etc.
    Once i really began to heal the legacy of that stuff, I began to experience a level of internal freedom I have never known before. I had to find out my own internal triggers and how they affected me, from a sobriety point of view, in order to feel ok with me.
    Happy New Year

  10. #110
    JNolds's Avatar
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    i envy all of you guys how i hope i can stay sober for even 1 month only.

  11. #111

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    Hi there everyone. I ran across this great post while looking up a recipe that I felt was worth sharing and didn't think it belonged in the main thread (too long), so here you go. It made me think of everyone here and I hope you like it as much as I did. It is from a cooking site named Southern Plate and here is the original link: http://www.southernplate.com/2012/10...-to-bloom.html

    Here is the non-recipe portion I wanted to pass along....(with love and all my best)...

    Titled "How I Learned To Bloom"

    Im excited today, not so much because its Halloween and everyone is dressing up tonight. I mean, thatll be fun and all that. Im not even so much excited because Im about to bake my favorite*apple pie to take to friends house later although Ill enjoy that, too.

    Come to think of it, there are several reasons to be excited on any given day and that is probably the same for you, too. I actually get excited every time I cook supper because I really do think of how blessed we are to be able to have food to feed our families. I truly do think that way every time I cook. I get excited when my kids go to school in the morning, not that I like seeing them go but because I know theyre going to a school where people really do love them and they have an opportunity to learn.

    I get excited whenever I get into my car. Its not some kind of fancy overpriced vehicle, its a GMC that I saved up for a year to pay the down payment on. Even though Ive had it over two years now, every time I get behind the wheel I think This is my car. I love this car! I get excited every time I drive anywhere because I have a car and Im able to drive and I just love the freedom of being able to go where I want when I want for the most part.*I get excited when I take a shower in the morning: hot water and shampoo are such luxuries and Ive seldom had to go without either! I get excited when I go to sleep at night because I look forward to my soft bed with lots of warm covers.

    Today, Im even more excited because my kids have a fall festival this weekend and with fall festivals come cake walks and bake sales, so I get to cook for other people. That gets me really excited! Cooking is my thing, it is how I take care of folks. It is how I love on folks : I cook for them. It doesnt matter if I have no idea who will be getting it in the end, my satisfaction is still the same: Im cooking something other people are going to enjoy. I love that.
    Im excited each day when I wake up because Ive found my passion and I am able to live it no matter where I am or what my circumstances are. Thats the great thing about finding what you are good at, what your purpose is, our gifts fulfill us and in turn make others happy * and they can be used wherever we are, regardless of circumstance.

    Some might say But Im stuck in an office, I cant follow my passion because of my job. Nonsense. Your job is just the fertile ground youve been planted in. You have everything you need to bloom. But I work in such a stern place, no one there is happy CONGRATULATIONS! Within those circumstances, think of how easy it will be to shine! (Trust me, Ill circle back to this after the next paragraph)

    Youre good at something. Whether it is teaching, encouraging others, being a positive spark amidst dark clouds, cooking for people, listening to others, leading, inspiring, solving problems, *being innovative: Youre good at something and rather than wait for the ideal opportunity to show folks you are, look for the opportunities right where you are because I truly believe were where we are for a reason and a purpose.

    I used to work in this place where everyone was miserable. It was almost as if it was company policy to come to work grumpy and miserable. I felt as if they piped misery in through the air conditioning vents. Goodness forbid you should show up happy and act nice towards any of your coworkers because that got them even grumpier. It was almost too much to bear.* I used to pray and pray that I would get out of that place, that Id get another job somewhere else.

    Then, one day it occured to me that I hadnt made the best of my situation yet * and that was an effort that I owed to myself and my workplace.

    Figuring out what to do next was the easy part. You know the neat thing about figuring out what others need around you? What they need to hear, or to see, or to be shown? Its really easy. *Just think about what you need. What youd like to hear, what youd like to be shown. Do you want to hear that someone is proud of you? I can guarantee others want to hear that, too. Do you want to be shown kindness? Youre surrounded by others who want to be shown that as well. Do you need to see someone who has joy in their life? So many others are desperately searching for this, just to prove to themselves that it is possible.

    So I needed to be shown kindness, I needed a smile, and I needed encouragement in this misery laden workplace. Please note: this was not a bad job at all. In fact, it was a very good job. There was no real reason for everyone to be miserable other than it was just the corporate culture of the company. I know a lot of yall are probably in places like that, too. Makes no sense, but it is what it is.

    So kindness, a smile, and encouragement. Got it. One evening at home (I still lived with my parents at this time) I typed up an entire sheet of inspirational and encouraging quotes. Then I cut them into tiny little slips of paper (I made a sheet like that for you if youd like one, just click here to print it). I went out and bought a smiley face stamp and a red ink pad. The next day, I was loaded for bear. Grumpy bears, that is

    I went in happy but kept it low key. Goodness forbid I smile at my supervisor or appear happy to be there, you know. But my interaction with the customers was different. I stopped imitating those around me and smiled my biggest smile as I helped each one in turn. Before they left, I handed them a little slip of paper and stamped their receipt with a smiley face.

    After day one, I certainly felt better. The next day, I repeated this. I went on this way for several weeks and then one day I became disheartened as were all prone to do. I woke up and decided it was useless, my coworkers were still grumpy and the workplace was still miserable and my efforts hadnt even made a dent. I didnt print off my slips of paper that day.

    Early in the workday that very same day, I noticed the line was being held up even though there were people available to wait on customers. It was a humbling experience to realize that people were waiting in line so that they could have me wait on them. I waited on the first man who came to my counter. As I handed him his receipt, he started to walk off but then stopped and came back, placing the receipt down in front of me. Hey, wheres my smiley face? He then added *..and wheres my verse?

    I was stunned for a moment. I wanted to shout You noticed that!? You actually noticed that I did that!? I quickly scrambled in my desk drawers to try to find slips of paper leftover from previous days. I pulled out my stamp and handed him a slip and he smiled and thanked me and left. This same scene repeated itself whenever Id neglect to add in a slip or a smiley stamp that day so I quickly got back into my habit, but this time with a smile that reached a little deeper into my soul than it had before.

    I had managed to bloom where I was planted.

    The next few weeks were spent with a sense of fulfillment which I never thought Id be able to find at that place where misery was breathed in and out as company policy. I resigned myself to truly be happy working there, not because the environment was any better, but because I had defined a purpose for myself in being there.
    Months later, I ran into the vice president of another company in the same line of work. Id interviewed with him a few years earlier but theyd only had a part time position and Id needed full time. He greeted me with a smile and told me that he was still hoping Id change my mind and come to work for him. I was confused as all get out and asked him what he meant. Turns out, hed been telling my dad that he wanted me to come work for him for months, but my dad had never passed on the message because he thought I was happy where I was.

    I called the vice president the next day and he offered me a job making almost 50% more than what I was currently being paid. It was closer to home, a happy environment with really kind coworkers, and my desk was located right in front of a window, where sunshine streamed in on my smiley face stamp and little basket of snips of paper with quotes and verses. The first day I was there my dad came in and gave me a peace lily to sit on my desk. It was the perfect addition.
    Id found peace long before this though. Were not always planted where we want to be, but that is no excuse for not blooming.

    Ive found my passion, something that makes me feel as if Im contributing, doing something worthwhile for others, and it has made all the difference in the world in my life. You have a passion too, whether you know it or not. You have at least one gift, most likely many more. So make sure youre not waiting for the perfect situation or timing to start living and thriving. Youre planted in fertile ground right now. All you have to do is bloom.

    Here is the link to the verses she wrote about, I couldn't figure out how to format the PDF into here properly: http://www.southernplate.com/files/Q...m=auto,-39,798
    Here's a sample:

    Dont let life discourage you; everyone
    who got where he is had to begin where
    he was. - Richard L. Evans

    The happiest people don't worry too
    much about whether life is fair or not,
    they just get on with it. ~A. Matthews
    Troubles are temporary. So is life. You get to decide which one you want to focus on

  12. #112

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    Thank you Ken! I love this. Am I imagining things, or did you also have something worth posted about yoga and some words of wisdom?

    "We’re not always planted where we want to be, but that is no excuse for not blooming." - This will keep playing in my head for years to come.

  13. #113

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    Thanks Ken. Wish Kip were around...betcha he's missin some down home cooking being stuck in Japan & all....plus the wisdom too. Hope to hear more from you Ken.

  14. #114

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    Hi Ken, thanks for bringing me joy this evening. It's nice to hear from you. And thank you for waking up this thread. Living sober feels good and it's nice to remember to embrace that.

  15. #115

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    Ken, I love seeing you on here!!! You always have great posts. I needed this reminder today. Thanks so much!

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