After the first few days of adjustment, you may notice that time becomes more available.
Sure, it is now possible to do more because you are no longer knocking yourself unconscious but even better,
you become more available.
When you start regaining consciousness, life opens up. You will be reminded of anxious thoughts that may have once made you want to knock yourself out. You will also notice more details in your environment. You may experience fatigue but you will also find a drive to do, to take little actions. Do take little actions. Don't try to conquer anything major.
About those anxious thoughts that arise... I encourage you to allow them to be. No, it's not always going to be easy.
Sit with those thoughts. Notice their images, texture, words, placement (if they're in the past or future). Notice how familiar they feel. Feel what is happening in your body. Where are they making you tense? How are they making you want to react?
You are going to be uncomfortable. Be uncomfortable. The discomfort will pass. It'll come back again. Then it will pass again.
In fact, you've gotten into a habit of being uncomfortably sick from alcohol. The discomfort you notice now is the weirdness of not knocking yourself unconscious when habits of thought arise.
Is that too convoluted? Basically, you're trading one way of dealing with discomfort with a different (better) way of being uncomfortable.
So what are you supposed to do about it?
Breathe. Just breathe. Then notice where you are. What's in your room? If you're outside or in the car, notice the trees or buildings. Feel your hands on the steering wheel. Connect to your immediate environment. Get into your body (and out of your mind).
See what that does for you.
Here's what you're doing. You are starting a practice of putting your higher mind (as in your pre-frontal cortex) in charge. Much, much more on that later. But for now, every time you have a thought that makes you want to react by reaching for a drink:
Notice where you are
Get into your physical body
Sit with the thought until it passes
It's a practice. Practice doing this.
Time will open up.
After a binge, it's going to take a few days to set yourself straight.
My last binge involved four nips of Jameson's, three glasses of red wine and a large pizza. By my third day sober, my body was still begging for good digestion.
But did I sip ginger tea, lemon water and eat cucumbers? No (although that would have been a very good idea.) I ate more bad carbs, drank coffee and ! smoked cigarettes. Now, I can only tolerate 3 cigarettes at the most without feeling like I've been hit by a truck in the morning but I am revealing my less than wise choices in the first few days of releasing myself from alcohol because I want to make a point.
AA rooms are often set with coffee and cookies and smokers outside. Common recommendations are often to allow yourself sweets and any sort of substitute of something, anything!, to put in your mouth instead of alcohol. So, okay. If you have to go with it, do whatever it takes to not let alcohol pass your lips. For just a little while.
On my third day sober, I ate a huge chocolate chip cookie. It took me all day to work my way through it because my stomach (which was still digesting pizza) was like, uh-uh. Don't do it. But I did. And I suffered a bit.
If you have to stuff something in your mouth instead of alcohol for the first few days, go for it. But do it with awareness.
Become aware of how easy it is to substitute one habit for another. Do you want to substitute over-eating for over-drinking? Probably not. You do not have to.
If you are newly sober, you may crave sugar and highly processed "foods". Just be aware that drinking alcohol causes your blood sugar levels to drop and when your body is adjusting to being alive without alcohol, it'll probably take a little while for your blood sugar levels to adjust. That's an educated guess. I'm not a doctor.
And there's probably no question about developing an addiction to nicotine just because you've quit drinking. Right?
In your first few days, your first week or so, your body is like, whoa! What is happening? The body is a magnificent instrument. It will learn to readjust and heal itself. With your common sense.
While this is happening, what your mind can do is notice your knee jerk reactions to the process of your body trying to right itself.
Give yourself a break. Do not beat yourself up. If you feel ugghish, sluggish, if your tummy is distressed and you want to stuff your pie hole with anything that fits, well, just become aware of what you are doing and how it makes you feel.
Awareness is half the battle. You became aware that alcohol was a problem for you. Now, you're going to expand that awareness. Get into how your body feels.
And, by the way, give yourself a happy pat on the back for not putting any alcohol into your mouth. And a huge round of applause.
You are righting your mighty ship! That is the ship of your soul.
It's a pledge. When you make a commitment, you obligate yourself. The use or embodiment of the act of commitment is one of the first concepts I learned in my training as a life coach.
If you struggle with sobriety, if you struggle with relapse, if you've ever woken up after a hangover and sworn that you will never touch a drop again, and yet... you did, this post is for you.
Have you sworn a pledge to yourself? Have you obligated yourself to your own best life (because that's what an alcohol-free life will bring you)? Have you untangled your promise to never pick up a drink again from your feelings of regret, self-loathing, hopelessness, powerlessness, lack of self worth?
Whatever you may have been taught to think of power and powerlessness when it comes to the use and abuse of alcohol, one thing is for sure...
You have the power to commit to yourself!
Now I'm going to tell you a bit about W. H. Murray.
Murray was a Scottish mountaineer who was captured and held in several Nazi prisoner-of-war camps for three years. During that time, in poor health and without proper nutrition, Murray wrote the draft of a book called Mountaineering in Scotland on rough toilet paper. The Gestapo found the first draft and destroyed it. Murray then re-wrote the book, again on toilet paper. After the war, he published the book and then wrote another.
I share that bit about Murray with you as an example of determined commitment. But the real reason I bring him up is to share his quote with you. One of my most favorite quotes ever because it's true, because it's helped me in the past, I am using it today to help myself and, I hope, to help you.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
-W. H. Murray
Take the first step now. Even if you've taken first steps before. Do it again.
Commit to yourself. Put one foot in front of the other. Begin.
My only wise words for today are these.
Alcohol abuse thrives in isolation. Especially for women.
Sobriety loves company. I want to be sober and stay sober. I want company.
If you do, too, I'd love your company. My journey to sobriety began a long time ago but this leg of the journey begins now.
The challenge that so many people have is not knowing how to take that first step of reaching out to another person for help.
Just sign up below, read about the Venus Retrograde challenge, or follow along in your own way. Whatever helps you the most.
Venus in retrograde 10.05-11.16.18
Oh, my goddess!
How many more times are you going to allow yourself to say today, I am ending this.
Then... tomorrow. Tomorrow I am ending this.
Who is in charge here?
What is the problem?
You know that you want to stop drinking,
over-eating, going to bed with your iPhone but when?
You know that you have a problem with take your pick of addiction.
When is it all going to stop?
You've probably read a pile of books,
left comments on blog posts and facebook groups and gone to a meeting or two
but what in the F is the problem?
Why are you still drinking?
These are questions I asked myself over too many years.
I was sober for so many years and I totally get the program promises of sobriety.
I know what it's like to be sober for years,
to wake up with no hangover,
to attract miraculous opportunity,
to feel good!
To have years of sobriety...
it's so good, productive, full of little miracles.
I also know what it's like to fucking fall off the wagon.
I know what it's like to pick up a drink after years of sobriety,
to make bad decisions,
to lose almost everything,
to scramble through survival, the mechanical movements of just being alive,
to loathe myself, to be reduced to pocket change (!),
to say to myself and others that I am stopping now and never picking up a drink again
and then to pick up a drink again
I know what it's like to try every method,
to read every book,
to go to meetings and hate everyone,
to feel like I'm a loser because I keep picking up a drink
even though I know
I need a community I can relate to
that, contrary to the prime program tenets,
most people fall off the wagon,
that the relapse percentages contradict the popular program promises
and that it takes more for most people than just pleading powerlessness
to get sober and stay sober.
I know that it's different for women to try to get sober than it is for men.
I know that it's different for women over 50 to get sober than it is for younger people.
I know that we need a full kit of tools to help us heal our
minds, bodies, souls and routines to
get off and stay off the sauce.
I understand because I've been through this myself
and I go through this sobriety business on a daily basis.
I come from long alcoholic bloodlines on both sides of my parents' aisles.
I have traumas and and autism and anxiety and depression in my realm.
I want to help me keep sober and I want to help YOU get and stay sober.
Here's what's happening right now.
Venus is entering retrograde.
October 5 - November 16, 2018.
This is not a good astrological time for many things.
However, I happen to think that it's an idea astrological time to
move into sobriety and
to prepare yourself for the year end holiday season
to launch yourself sober into the new year.
Venus in retrograde is not a good time to fall in love or
start a new business but
boy, is it a good time to quit drinking and to ask yourself
wait, what happened to that right arm?
Where did that left arm go?
What am I really resentful about?
What, within my own self, is really holding me back?
40 days is a sacred, historic phase of time.
40 days is a really good length of time to be clean and sober.
40 days will give you ground to stand on to get you through the
holiday season whether or not you are alone and lonely or
having to mix with family madness or
drinking friends or
...you tell me.
Let's spend the next 40 days together
being clean and sober
in a small group
where we can share whatever
with loads of support
from each other
and a systematic daily and weekly set up
that I'll provide for you
with my well-developed teaching skills.
We need each other.
We can do great things while sober.
Let me share with you every trick in the book that I have learned the hard way
over years of getting sober through the program
on my own
via dozens of books and non-12-step methods.
Let me pull out all the big guns
including tarot and astrology and
prayers and magic and nature and creativity and
wonder on a small and grand scale.
That's what I've got for you today.
We need to band together to help heal ourselves and each other.
Connect here or wherever you find the best resonance.
Wherever, however you find ways to get and stay sober, get there and be there. We need you sober and strong. We need you to help us all heal.
"The more, therefore you relinquish power and trust others, the more powerful you become.” -Alan Watts
We're starting on 10.11 (though you can lose the alcohol now to prepare)
Sign up below to be notified of details soon....
Are you trying to heal yourself?
Are you depleted? Dry. Feel like you're dying but getting up to give more every day or wasted by what you've provided?
Are you angry? Is your anger masquerading or based in fear? Have you exploded recently?
Maybe you're suffering from chronic stress.
Maybe you're giving a little too much. Maybe you're not supporting yourself enough.
If you expect yourself to give, you absolutely must support yourself first. It's a universal law. It's a law of cosmic architecture.
If you do not provide yourself a good foundation, how can you build a structure that supports and shelters others?
If you are not healthy and strong within yourself, how can you support your family or your clients? That's a sincere question that I want you to ask yourself. Now.
More importantly, if you are chronically stressed, how can you support yourself?
What are you first doing to support yourself so that you can support yourself and support others? Again, tell us what you're doing in a comment below. Help everyone with your own experience.
Here's what you need to pay attention to if you are not serving from a strong and healthy foundation.
Are you experiencing
Are you addicted to anything?
Are you sabotaging yourself?
These are major signs that you are not fully supporting yourself or, better yet, that you are not allowing yourself to be fully supported by the universe at large, the great creator, the word, the light of creation, god, or however the all of eternity expresses itself to you.
• Sit still.
• Allow your heart to open.
• Consider the option of trust.
• Ask yourself, "What would it feel like to trust that the great creator has great creator has my back? What would it feel like to know that I am here to serve for the greatest good?
• What would it feel like to know that I am present, here, in this moment. Always?
• How fertile can I make the ground I am standing on?
Consider these tips. Seriously. What do you think? Leave comments below to help yourself and to help others help others.
I have a long "to-do" list to help you with chronic stress (coming soon) but that won't do you any good whatsoever if you don't first sit still, breathe, and ask yourself to do and answer the above.
Remain in light.
Loads of love to you...
Gosh. I remember the first time someone said that to me.
It's not just about you!
I'd never heard that phrase before and I reeled in reaction to someone saying that to me. It was meant as a snarky tease but it felt like a blow. Freaked me right out. (Do I really think that it's all about me? Yikes!)
It's true, though.
Especially if you are an entrepreneur, healer or teacher or in any service profession. The fact is that you are serving others. What you do is critical. Especially for your fellow humans at this moment in time.
You are serving humanity. You are serving the earth. You are serving our collective evolution.
In case you haven't noticed, we are in desperate need of your help.
This is the time. You are making a difference. You are moving people forward.
I challenge you to double down on the positive work you’re doing. You are in a position to help people. Get out there and do even more good.
Heal yourself to help heal others.
The best thing to do is nothing.
You're natural tendency is to act. Distract. Do something! Say something.
But honestly, when you don't know what to do next...
Sit tight. Stay in bed if you have to. Stop. Sit. Breathe.
Whatever it takes when you don't know what to do next, don't do anything.
That's the ruling, experienced wisdom. Take heed. Follow it.
Tomorrow is another day.
If you've ever been in therapy or to a doctor for addiction or read certain sorts of books on addiction you have inevitably run into the question, so, "What are your triggers?"
What are not my triggers might be the better question. I'm not going to list any possible triggers here because I know that just by listing them, I may trigger you.
So, recently, I realized that anger is a big trigger for me. I mean out of the blue, totally unexpected, Irish me all up anger that rose up without me ever having a chance to consider how I might contend with it.
Anger as trigger is no surprise. In the program, it's one of a standard formula of four. H.A.L.T. Hungry/Angry/Lonely/Tired.
But what do you do about it when it comes on you like gangbusters without warning or a chance to catch your breath?
Whatever suggestions you have, please list them in the comments below.
All I have for my part is to get through 40 days of sobriety. Then three months. Then six clean and so forth.
The longer you are sober, the easier it will become to overcome those sudden flashes of anger, rage. It's a practice.
In the meanwhile, check in here. Check in anywhere you can find support before you reach for a drink.
BREATHE. That's a good practice. Lay down. Whatever you can do short of picking up a drink. Do that.
Dealing with triggers and anger on your own terms rather than going unconscious is a practice and a process.
We all have to contend with this. All of us. It's easier to be with friends who understand. Find them here or find them somewhere.
We need each other.
The time is always right to do what's right.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There's a funny thing about doing the right thing.
Doing implies action.
Sometimes, oftentimes really, doing the right thing requires that we refrain from doing.
Especially when it comes to recovering from addiction.
Whether we are addicted to alcohol, food, anger, negative thoughts, and so on and so forth... the right action is refraining from action.
There's still the same impulse for action happening up front. Act! Speak! Do!
But before action or refraining comes envisioning, clarity, intention, decision, commitment.
Refraining from action is more difficult, more challenging than action. You need space. You need space and time for all the aforesaid considerations. Just a second but definitely at least a second.
That's where some sort of meditation or mindfulness or breathing practice comes in. That's where ongoing sobriety really helps. A lot.
It's a matter of time. And if you can't get into anything else. Get into the present moment. Whatever you may be feeling or wanting to do. If you can snap yourself into the present moment long enough to check in with another person about what (destructive) action you may have the impulse to take, you may buy yourself enough time to snap yourself out of taking action you would be better off refraining from.
Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.
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