Friday, June 20, 2014

Sober Day #234- Visas Arrived!!

I'm not sure why I keep counting days- except that it gives me a sense of pleasure and accomplishment to see that number climb steadily higher.  So I will continue it for a while longer.

Our visas for India arrived yesterday- Hurray!!  Next week we'll set off for New Delhi- and I am sooo excited!!

I realized that if we were making this trip a year ago, I would have some reluctance, because I would be unsure of having a ready supply of alcohol in a country I was unfamiliar with.  This would have colored, contaminated all my thinking about the trip.  How very wonderful it is to realize the absence of this preoccupation!

I am reading a very meaningful book right now.  It is Taking the Leap, Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears by the American Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron.   Interestingly, I was climbing out of my car at Starbucks the other day, and glanced at a cute sports car parked near me.  I noticed the vanity license plate:  Leap Now.  So when I came across this book on Amazon later that day, I decided:  Why not??

 This book is not addressed at alcohol or other addictions, except it is.   It talks about the hard-wired tendency of all humans to avoid discomfort and pain.  And about all the things we use to avoid discomfort, from super-busy-ness to cell phone obsession to food, gambling, drugs, alcohol.

Here's a direct quote:  "The sad part is that all we're trying to do is not feel that underlying uneasiness.  The sadder part is that we proceed in such a way that the uneasiness only gets worse.  The message here is that the only way to ease our pain is to experience it fully" (p 28)

And isn't that what we all discover when newly sober?  A world of emotions we've been avoiding, ready to pounce and disturb our new and fragile equilibrium?  And yet, sitting with these emotions, feeling them rather than avoiding them - through them rather than around them- is the way to quiet their incessant voices and begin to feel comfortable with ourselves!

A good and highly recommended read!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sober Day #223

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted.  But, as you see from this post's title, my absence doesn't mean I've deviated from my chosen path!

I guess I've been busy digesting how to live differently, how to live sober.  And it is very different.

Yesterday morning as I was doing my early morning stretching, I thought-  Wow, this is really the essence of the difference between living sober and not.  I was enjoying the sleek feel of my body enjoying the stretches, the pitter-patter of rapid thought through my head as I planned out my day, both tasks and treats. And I was fully present to my surroundings and myself.

Contrast that with a typical morning in June 2013:  Sleep in til the last imaginable moment.  Bolt out of bed, shower and throw on some clothes, grab my daughter and, if I am super-organized, something for my lunch.  Feeling, yup, hung-over.  Funny that, I never thought I got hang-overs, I thought that was part of why it was so easy to fall into drinking.  BUT-  in truth, I have discovered that I was almost never NOT hungover.  I just accepted the semi-fuzzy thinking, the bone-tiredness, the vague nausea, the constant feeling of being in combat with an unfriendly world that was out to get me-  I thought that was my inescapable normal.

I have discovered, to my delight, that that was not my normal.  Getting up feeling rested, stretching, making my bed, enjoying coordinating clothes for that day, having a delicious icy-cold diet coke, whilst perusing the Wall Street Journal-  (daughter is now on summer break from school).  This is a world away from this time last year.  And how happy that makes me!!

Think good thoughts for me, please, that our Visas for India will come through on time!  We are due to leave on the 25th, and have so far notarized and fed-exed 4 versions of our application-  once we had glasses on in our photos and looked to friendly ("neutral expression please")-  and there was our signatures extending several millimeters outside the designated printed box, etc, etc.   I so hope we get them in time to go-  but I guess I should say, they will come through if we are meant to go, otherwise another time.  Sigh.  So close and yet so far from one of my major bucket list items!!