Floundering Inc

Which way is up?
Why are my eyes leaking?
This sigh!

I cannot smile for myself. How can I smile for anyone else?

Doing nothing can be the best way to sit out a funk. Or in this case a sit in. I hope it doesn’t last long. I cannot see an out. I know in my logical part of my brain that it won’t last forever. I know that. But. The loudest part of me cannot see that. It cannot fathom that. It despairs. It doesn’t see why I should bother trying. Why bother? What’s the point? Lie down. Give up. Stay down. You’re not worth it. You’re down right ugly. To the core.

I just want to hug myself and grip tightly and stay like that until the tears stop rolling own my cheek. Saying nothing. There are no words that comfort me. I just need to feel constricted and warm, cocooned. I don’t need unnecessary sounds of ‘there, there’ that’s just condescending. Shut up already.

Scratch that. I want to hug, not be hugged. I want to feel comfort, not be comforted. On my terms.

I cannot see myself clearly. I cannot see myself honestly. I am lying to myself. I am hard on myself. I am downright cruel. I would not treat an enemy as I do myself.

Fear grips me too. Fear to move forward. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of being laughed at, ridiculed. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of being me. Fear to try. Fear. Simple. Fear.

I can’t deal with fear today. That’s too hard.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It will never be as bad as you imagine and it won’t be as good as you imagine. It’s usually somewhere in between.

I can talk myself out of trying. Easily.

Being sober. I am clinging to that. It is my life raft. I don’t have a desire to drink.

I drank to give myself moments of peace from the negative voices in my head. I drank to take a holiday from myself. It was my way of coping with being me.

I am living with fear. This fear I want to shake off. It is crusted and mouldy, there are layers upon layers of fear. Peeling layers replaced with glossy new ones. It is suffocating me.

Trying to open a window for my soul to breathe. But the window frame is painted shut. There are nails that need to be pried out. There are cobwebs. It is filthy.

I want to have a long soak in a bathtub. I cannot do that at the moment. I have a cast on my lower leg. A bath is out of the question. God I miss having a bath.

I have plugged the leaks of my eyes. In its place a headache has surfaced. Rest.

Rest.

I am so sick of resting. The simple act of taking a walk. I would love to do that. I am going stir-crazy from a month of rest. Damn this broken foot. That is the truth of it. This will pass.

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The Joy of being Sober

The Unexpected Joy of being Sober by Catherine Gray

I remember getting it out of the library a couple of years ago. Why do I remember it if I didn’t read it. The cover. A bird flying away from an open cage. I wasn’t ready to be sober then. I requested the book about 4 months ago again. The queue was long. It’s my turn to read it. And I am loving it. It is exactly what I need to read now. I am two weeks shy of being sober 6 months. I know I said I didn’t count the days. I don’t on a daily basis. I’m lucky enough not to need to do it. But 6 months is a milestone. And Catherine Gray’s book is right on schedule to read now. And talk about a popular book. That alone should tell you of the numbers of people wishing to quit drinking and becoming sober. A good thing. Being sober truly is a joy.

Far from finished but I am so enjoying her book. My theme for this year, 2019, for me is care. She mentioned that when we are drunk or thinking about the next drink we are not taking care of ourselves or those around us, our lives or our homes. Admittedly I looked after my cats better than I did myself. Catherine mentions to treat yourself like a toddler. To care for myself, is like relearning all over again. My self care routine was nonexistent. I am learning to be kind to myself. I have quietened the boozy angry bitchy evil voice, the one that treated me worse than an enemy would. I listen to my inner voice now, the kind one, the gentle one, the compassionate one. She is teaching me to be kind to myself again.

Compassion starts at home and is an active daily practice. It is not on a to do list and ticked off, it is something to be repeated and done every day. It doesn’t end. It is a regular action done daily. It is a habit. A good one. Self compassion or self love is a necessary act for one to feel whole. When this practice of self compassion becomes natural and regular then the compassion of/for others flows naturally. Let’s make it contagious.

I love being sober. I do not want to try to be a moderate drinker. I don’t want to drink again. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. Alcohol was a shackle not a crutch said Catherine Gray.

Mrs D is Going Within

Mrs D is Going Within by Lotta Dann

I’ve gone from an alcohol addiction to a reading addiction. I have finished Lotta Dann’s second book Mrs D is Going Within. One book per day. I wonder if I have an addictive personality? I would, wouldn’t you say so? I love reading and when you have a good book it is hard to put it down. Substitute reading/book for wine and it could be the same thing.

A reading obsession is healthy, isn’t it? Healthier than a sugar binge. But I tend to indulge in that occasionally too. That used to be with wine. Now the sweet tooth is going it alone.

Loved both books. Read them round the right way. Such an easy style to read. Great substance and ideas of how to proceed in the journey in sober land. I made the decision not to drink for Christmas after reading these books. It will be my first sober Christmas ever. Two years ago I started off Christmas Day with the roast meat and vegetables in the oven and champagne in the bath for me. Subsequently after a few drinks I fell asleep in the bath and ended up burning the lunch. It was edible just. Will not be repeating that again.

I tidied up the backyard today. I felt good with the results. I had help too. Many hands make light work. Gosh the weeds were high. All gone now. And with them gone I felt a lightness that made me realise that it was bothering me that the garden was a mess. I had sober issues and was concentrating on not drinking or so I told myself. Stepping into the garden was a tonic. Sitting outside for lunch was fantastic. The reed shade blocked out the sun enough to enjoy the warmth but not be burnt to a crisp.

Quitting alcohol is the easy bit. Or it is so far for me. I’m on Day 13. A newbie. Humour me. Living sober is the journey.
One which needs a toolbox for the ride.
The tools inside my bag are:

Regular Exercise (Walking, Pokemon Go, Weights)
Unconditional Love from my Two Cats (Not a tool per-say but imagine an adorable photo)
Mindfulness
Acceptance
Compassion
Sober Treats (None sweet tooth variety)
Morning Pages (3 pages of writing, Gratitude is part of this)
Internet Out of the Bedroom Habit

I am a work in progress. I don’t do everything perfectly. I make an effort most of the time. Sometimes I have time off. This week I’ve taken time off regular exercise because I cannot sleep. Insomnia is still with me. Two hours sleep last night. I hope that I can re-calibrate my sleeping habit tonight. I am hopeful. My sober treat today was a soak in the bath, with a book and bath salts and an iced glass of sparkling water. I’m trying to gather sober treats to pat myself on the back and say well done me. Morning pages were done at 1:30am. I made use of my time. My smart phone is in the hall charging instead of in the bedroom. Tonight will be the first night without my computer in the bedroom. Books will be on my bedside table instead.

Mindfulness. I think I have been doing a version of this without knowing since i was young. I didn’t know what it was. Observing while in the moment. My mind will wander away from the chatter and I will be in the moment, miss the question or the conversation and upset those around me. Perhaps this is just absentmindedness instead?