Friday, April 11, 2014

Sober Day #164: Sober and a Cold

I've had a cold for the past few days.  Not a really bad one.  Just some runny nose, a bit of a headache and a touch of bronchitis.

It's surprising me, how this feels.  My darling mother-in-law used to say, when she was feeling tired, "My get-up-and-go done got up and went".  Horrible grammar, I know, but that's how this cold feels to me.  It puts kind of a thick grey blanket over my usual energetic enthusiasm for life.

I was thinking about this yesterday. I notice that use of words in talking to myself:  energetic, enthusiasm.  Whoa, I thought, I'm using those words to describe my usual life.  When did that happen?  I thought my normal was when most of regular life seemed grey, and the only brightly-colored moments came when drinking wine.  When I didn't feel really normal until I had the first glass or two of wine in me.

But, yes, this has changed.  No wine is becoming my new normal, and has brought with it all sorts of energy for standard everyday life.  I'm beginning to see the glory in a pink sunrise, to appreciate the dazzling beauty of the daffodils.  I'm beginning to think creatively about the next phase of my life, as sweet husband and I approach the age of starting to think about retirement.

Even with a cold, without alcohol, I can stay in the moment now.  I can acknowledge that this cold has sapped some of my usual energy.  But instead of using alcohol to avoid even feeling this grey-ness,  I can feel it.  Feel the greyness.  I can treat myself kindly:  have a nice bath, dear.  Let's get into bed early this evening, sweetie.  These house projects you were planning to tackle?  Let them wait til next week, when your energy levels will be back to normal.

Who knew that even having a cold could be a teacher about embracing my feelings and treating myself kindly?  That it could be a teacher about appreciating my usual enthusiasm and energy?  That it could teach me that even the not-so-fabulous times are do-able without wine- without falling into deep terror or sadness or other emotion I imagine I couldn't 'handle'.

It's all a grand adventure!


  1. A grand adventure indeed! I totally related to this post as I've also had a cold this week. You must have caught it here and taken it back with you ;) xx

  2. I hope you get better soon. And I love your attitude to being sick as a "teacher". So true. That concept keeps popping up in everything I read these days.

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  4. Everything ok? I'm a (typically) silent follower of a few blogs to which I can relate.

  5. So glad to see you're still at it! I am too, but have been off fighting my illness:/ I can sure relate to "It puts kind of a thick grey blanket over my usual energetic enthusiasm for life".

    Did you hit 180 yet? I haven't even been paying attention, but mine is next week!!!!! We are kinda awesome.

  6. Hello Carrie,

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  7. How's it going these days??? Hope you are well

  8. Struggles help us learn new and important lessons in life, right? In a way, they allow us to be introspective, to look into our lives and ponder upon the actions we have taken, the decisions we've made. It's great to know that you see colors in your life, even without the influence of alcohol. Just cling to your optimism, and I'm sure you'll be able to see more good things in this world. Enjoy your grand adventure, Carrie! Get well soon, by the way. :D

    Donnie Benson @ Midwest Institute for Addiction


I'd love to hear about your journey, and hear your take on my journey. Comments are very welcome!!