Wow, it’s been 3 years since my last posting. Dang! And, its been nearly three years since I last logged on. Things have changed here, there are many cool looking sites now. I like it!
I am grateful to be sober! I am connected and enjoying life in the present. I use to be the biggest skeptic about that possibility. I want to write a post and share the progression of my journey. Hope to soon. In the meantime, thought I’d cut and paste a couple of responses that I shared with other alcoholics that have just begun their sober journey:
[Less than 30 days, can it be so hard]
It’s damn hard…so be kind to yourself! What you’re doing is courageous. Look up the word Courage and stare at the descriptions for a while. Too many of us treat alcoholism as nothing more than the common cold. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Alcoholism is a fatal illness. I heard that before I got sober and I have watched the reality of that, over and over, for some time now.
Recovery does not happen alone, it can’t! “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. – Albert Einstein
Find a strategy that works for you to be in “face to face” contact with another alcoholic. Why go through something alone when someone else has already traveled that path. We need each other. It gets easier. Connection/love is everything!
[I’m a newly sober mom, looking for inspiration]
You’ll do great. Remember this…”every child deserves a sober parent!” The time your child is with you in life is fleeting. They grow up in a flash and leave your home. Get all of them that you can, when you can!
Alcohol was my solution. It worked for a long time, until it didn’t! Most people drink alcohol with impunity. But they drink for the enjoyment. We drank to numb out emotional pain.
[It’s been four days and nothing is happening]
We want it “RIGHT NOW”! We stop after years of drinking, drugging, or both, and we want everything fixed NOW! I get it. I certainly did too. Arresting your addiction is a monumental accomplishment. Less than 1 in 20 can achieve physical sobriety. If you have stopped, you have accomplished much. You have earned a ticket to the starting line, a new beginning! That ticket came at a great cost to you and your loved ones.
You are on a new journey now. A journey of discovery, recovery and connection. It was never about the addiction, that was your solution. It was always about the pain! The emotional pain that caused you to seek relief through forms of self-medication.
Hey, it’s going to take some time. And, recovery is not something that happens alone. Find your posse, your peeps and your recovery plan. We need the help of others, that’s fundamental. It may (will) get worse, before it gets better. You’re now moving forward in life without altering your state of consciousness. If you’re like most of us who have taken this step, there are things in your past that you would just as well avoid. Now its time to face them. It all gets better “EVENTUALLY”. I’ve not met one person in long-term recovery who regrets moving forward in life from that initial starting line. Heed the definition of courage. Involve yourself with others who have traveled the path before you. A better life awaits!
[How do I say no to a drink offer]
Say “No”. If you want to sound more polite, say “No, thank you”. Both responses are complete sentences. That’s it! There is no need to explain any further. If they persist (most don’t) and say “why not”, you can repeat “No, thank you” or you can say “I feel better when I don’t”. Then they’ll say, “uh, me too”, and go on talking about how they need to take more healthy steps.
[A writer with Bipolar]
You’re going to be just fine in life. You are reaching out and connecting through your talents.
Isolation isn’t healthy for anyone. Being aware of the problem puts us into the solution. One of my favorite people, Clinical Researcher and author Brene Brown, says “We are neurobiologically wired for connection”. Check out her TED Talk – The Power of Vulnerability. An all time TED Talk favorite with 33 million views.
I “have” Bipolar 1. I didn’t say that “I am” Bipolar 1 or “I’m Bipolar”. Big distinction between the two. Just like someone who’s living with a lifelong condition like diabetes doesn’t say “I’m diabetes”. Those that have diabetes go through the process of educating themselves, putting together a manage plan, and then following that plan daily so that they can lead a normal and productive life.
The disorder dimension of Bipolar is preventable. Deviate from my manage plan and I put myself at risk. Stick to my manage plan and I get to enjoy the gifts of having Bipolar – intelligence, creativity, empathy, resilience…and more!
Share your gifts with the world and do good things. Just as others do with the talents they’ve been given.