Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sober Day #300- Optimism

The rhythm of my days continues to change.  This morning, as I was walking through the parking lot on my way in to work, I was admiring the pretty clouds, enjoying the warm summer breeze, thinking about some of the patients I'd see today-  and realized.  This is how my mornings are now.  Optimistic.  I may never get to the point of bounding out of bed, but I do get up feeling rested and refreshed.

I've started keeping my laptop by my bedside, so my first action each morning is to write down any dreams from the night before-  and then go on to my congratulations section-  where I list at least 3 things I am proud of from the day before-  Specifically, things I would not have done, felt or accomplished while I was still drinking.  It might be cooking a new dish (rather than relying mostly on prepared foods because they were quicker), or actually going outside for a run.  Or maybe meeting a new person socially and asking her questions about herself rather than just saying hello and turning away.  Or reacting to a mishap by saying- oops, that's bound to happen once in a while, it's now fixed, I'll be on to other matters rather than stopping, obsessing and feeling bad for a full day or two.  Being sure to give myself credit, kudos, helps me keep my hopeful eye on the things I am changing for the better.

Contrast this with a year ago, dragging myself from bed feeling critical and disappointed at my wine intake the night before, once again falling asleep sitting up on the red sofa, awakening at 2 or 3 AM to take myself over to the bed for a few more hours of fitful sleep.  Spending the morning with caffeine, feeling like I am climbing out of a deep hole.  Finally at midday, feeling out of the hole-  and longingly making plans for that evening's alcohol, planning how quickly I can slide back into that same hole again.

And here I was this morning, enjoying my world, looking forward to the day, open to enjoying whatever interesting things might happen, planned and expected, or unplanned and surprising.  This morning optimism is so delightful.

Depending on how much willpower the day demands of me, I may feel out of energy and a bit 'down' by the end of the workday,  but I'm learning to replenish with meditation and exercise.  And if that doesn't work, and I'm tired enough that my fascinating quilting and glass-bead making fail to enthrall me- it can be early to bed, for tomorrow is another day, and another chance for Awesome!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sober Day #294- Pushing my old drinking buttons!

Our trip to India was amazing! I'm sorting through photos, and will post a few here soon.

I'm happy to report that not-drinking gets easier and easier.  Vacations I usually associated with permission to drink whenever?  A mimosa at breakfast?  Sure, this is vacation.  Wine with lunch?  Of course.  On this trip, I very rarely had the urge to drink.  With one exception, when I did think of alcohol, it was in response to an external cue-  an advertisement, a cool hotel bar, an excellent wine list at dinner.  Only once did I have a reflex response to frustration of "OK, now I need a drink"  This was in  response to our guide telling us on our last day that he wanted to be paid his US$1400 in cash rather than credit card, necessitating us visiting several ATMs with various bank/credit cards to amass the needed cash.  And I acknowledge that money (or shortage thereof) can sometimes be a hot button for me- so my response wasn't entirely unexpected.  BUT, it was just a fleeting thought even then-  I noticed the thought going through my head, stopped and said, Hmm there's that silly thought, but I don't need to act on it-  and went on with my activities.  I count that as a real success!

So, yes,  I can have a stressful experience when I am around the globe from home, and even this is not currently enough to drive me to drink.  Yay, Carrie!!