I’m back…just not here.
Hey everyone (if anyone is still out there) I wanted to take a minute to do a couple of things…
Update you on my whereabouts – I’m still alive. Still sober. Still happy. Nothing has changed. My two absolute youngest will graduate college next year. One will go on to medical school while the other will go on to build theatre sets. Yes, they are twins and no, they could not be more different. My oldest at home is working full time and paying rent (wow). I’m up to seven grandchildren the oldest of which graduates in June and has been accepted to my alma mater and will also join their cheerleading team (SEC school – hoping to catch her on TV in the fall for football or the spring for basketball). The youngest turned one this past weekend.
We’re getting our house ready to put on the market to try to get out from under a big mortgage and downsize. Longtime readers know that I’ve been underwater since moving to the Charlotte, NC area nine years ago and the market may have finally gotten to a point where we can either sell or, at minimum, refinance for better terms. Downsizing feels weird to me as well as the fact that, for the first time in my adult life, I don’t have to worry about school districts when making the decision about where to live. In fact, the only considerations I do have are crime rates and commutes. I have to admit it’s somewhat refreshing.
I joined Weight Watcher at the beginning of the year and I’m down 15 lbs. on my way to…where ever. I’m not putting a lot of crazy goals ahead of my health. I’m also aware that my body will tell me when I’m at an optimum weight and I’ll have to accept whatever that weight is when I get there. I’ve found a certain peace with diets and food and while I still struggle with self-acceptance, I’ve come a very long way.
The hubs and I just celebrated 33 years together. Dang I love that guy.
Thank you – Even though I’m no longer posting in this blog, I want you all to know how grateful I am that I had this experience and that, make no mistake, I would never have stayed sober AND happy had it not been for this outlet. Blogging and more importantly the support from the blogging community has been the single greatest reason that I stayed sober. Not only have I made lots of real friends out here, there are even a couple that have carried over into real life and I know, no matter what, they will always be there for me and I for them. If anyone is reading this and is thinking about how to get and stay sober, try blogging. Read them, write one, comment on others. Unless you’re an idiot you won’t be sorry. And even if you are, remember that we were all once drunken idiots and the blogging community said, “Welcome! We love you! And we have cookies.”
Anyone wishing to stay in touch can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next Steps – I’m finding that I have nothing to add to the sober world anymore. There’s a new crop of writers who are supporting one another to get and stay sober and I say YAY! Go on wit yo bad self! It’s just that when I try to post, or comment or even just read I find myself getting all preachy and teachy and I hate the sound of my own voice. I feel like one of those old timers in AA meetings who think they know everything there is to know about getting and staying sober. The truth is that they DO know (at least what worked for them) but they are no longer really relevant. What’s relevant are the people around you who are going through exactly what you are going through RIGHT NOW. Those on whom you can call and vent and who will say, “OMG! I know just what you mean! Last week when I …. “ Not those who have to really dig back into their memory banks to recall not only an event that relates to you but also the specific way it tasted and smelled and felt so that you KNOW they get you. I find myself in that second category. My relevance out here has waned.
I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m happy. As my farm-boy husband would say, “It’s the circle of life”. To which I generally reply, “The circle of life sucks”, or “Bite me”.
Not this time though; this time he would be right.
But of course you know how much I LOVE to write and pontificate and curse so I will definitely blog again. I’m thinking maybe an interior design type of blog or a house hunting one or maybe cooking or Weight Watchers or…ALL OF THE ABOVE! I’m not sure where I’ll land but I know I’ll be writing somewhere.
Right now however, it’s time to close this chapter and move on to the next. To all of you who have supported and commented and lurked I say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the last 4 ½ years of love. I couldn’t have done it without you and I’m glad I didn’t have to try.
So, for the last time…
Thanks to everyone who has reached out to check on me lately. I love the friends I’ve made out here in blogging land…we’re an awesome bunch.
There are a couple of reasons for my absence.
First, my company has decided to block all blogs on our internal site which means I can no longer post at lunch or before work in the morning. I also can’t read many of your blogs either. Most come through on my feedreader but I can’t comment. It’s frustrating. By the time I get home in the evening my brain is too muddled to even think about posting or commenting. There’s no telling what I might say!
Second, and even more important is the fact that I’ve not had anything to say. I don’t know if I’m all talked out on the subject of sobriety or if I just have writer’s block but it feels like anything I would write would be pedantic, mundane and just plain boring. The fact is that being sober isn’t much of a thought anymore…it just IS. I seldom have any revelations or subjects that must come out of me onto the page. Mainly I just live my life and don’t drink. It’s just a plain old boring life and I love every second of it.
But I don’t need to write about every second of it.
So don’t worry about me – I’m fine. I may come back from time to time and drop a post or two but for now I’m living happily ever after in the land of sober.
And for me, it’s perfect.
Before I start talking about this amazing podcast I need to tell you about my blog situation. Apparently my employer has decided to block all blogs on our network. THAT means that I can no longer post or comment on any blogs on my lunch hour (cough). I can read via Feedreader but I can’t get to the actual blog.
This blows more than you know.
So I’m posting when I can either after I get home at night or on my phone…which suck…and blows…and bites. Stick with me though, I’m hoping this isn’t permanent.
Now back to our regularly scheduled post.
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. It’s great to listen to them on the bus on the way home. I’ve listened to everything from Downton Abbey recaps to Serial (love) to weight loss podcasts. Then our very own Paul, formerly of Message In A Bottle put a podcast out there that sprung from his relationships on Twitter where he tweets as @buzzkillpod.
By the way, I just can’t figure the Twittersphere out. I’ll keep trying but be patient. I’m old. What can I say?
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before Paul has a fabulous podcast called Buzzkill that I listen to faithfully. From that, I’ve found another amazing podcast done by another Twitter group Recovery Revolution (@KLENandSOBR) called Since Right Now. I have fallen in love with these three guys.
It’s basically three guys, Chris, Jeff and Matt who just…talk. It’s like an AA meeting with cross-talk (which is awesome). They talk about anything and everything in the moment and it’s fucking amazing. It’s fresh and honest and raw and much needed in our sober community in my opinion (which doesn’t mean shit but I had to put it out there). They have awesome guests (Sacha Scoblic anyone?) that they interview in an informal ‘let’s talk’ kind of way rather than a scripted kind of way.
So now I’m hooked and I’m listening off the bus as well. I’m downloading episode after episode. Eventually I’ll get my fill but for now I’m on my honeymoon with these three guys so don’t judge. Let me live my life.
Seriously though, if you’re new to sobriety and want to hear some real and honest conversation about getting sober and staying that way give it a listen. And if you’ve been sober for a while and you just want to check in and get a “me too” then you should give them a listen as well.
One of their recent guests said she felt like she’d been chatting with rock stars. I couldn’t agree more. Rock on gentlemen, you do good work. And thanks for the gift Paul.
I have always had a pretty decent relationship with The Big Guy. It started out as a Catholic thing but quickly evolved into a personal relationship that I value deeply. I’ve always spoken to Him irreverently, even cursing (I know you’re shocked) from time to time. We’ve argued…well…I have and I’ve cried. No matter what, I know He’s got my back.
When I got sober and began my online research about the best way to do it, I found a lot of information about how I needed to get in touch with my Higher Power and surrender – turn it all over to Him and let Him take the lead. I tried…I really, really did and I suppose I succeeded because here I sit, sober as can be with not one relapse since 1/7/10. Obviously He did something.
When I say my formal prayers in the morning (because we often chat during the course of the day) I always thank Him for my abundant blessings and ask Him to keep those blessings safe and happy. I thank Him for rain or sunshine or for bringing snow instead of ice. Sometimes I thank Him for jobs and friends and blogging and maybe a good hair day.
Sometimes I ask Him for things. Please help me be more kind. Please help the addicted children of my friends to get well and find peace. Please stop the insanity that is the Middle East right now. Please help me be closer to Him (but I’m always sure to caution that I do not mean that literally). I try to not be greedy but I’m not opposed to asking Him to show me the way or give me a sign or just plain fix something like that incessant bathroom sink that refuses to stop dripping.
I’ve tried to thank Him for my sobriety but it never works. See, I believe with every fiber of my being that God did not get me sober; I got me sober. I’m the one that did the work. I’m the one that cried and wailed and craved. I’m the one that went to bed at 5:00 pm because I couldn’t stand one more minute looking at the clock. I’m the one that researched and dug and explored and figured out how and what my recovery was going to look like and I’m the one who made it happen.
But before you lose your shit and start commenting about how I’m an ungrateful heathen let me explain.
I don’t thank Him for getting me sober (or keeping me sober) but I do thank Him for lots of other stuff.
I never expected God to wave a wand and make me sober. This isn’t magic. It’s hard fucking work and I knew it was up to me to make it happen. I knew that if I didn’t put in the work then I was doomed. I believe in miracles but I also believe that (as the nuns used to tell us) God helps those who help themselves. So rather than sit back and wait for Him to do all the work, I got busy making it happen.
And it did. And that’s the miracle.
So maybe it’s all semantics but if you’re struggling with the concept of a Higher Power or turning things over or surrendering, try reframing it into something that works for you. It may be just a matter of praying differently. It’s worth a shot.