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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

120 DAYS.....totally dry!!!

Almost one third of a year!

I am flying along on the wings of sobriety. No cravings, no urges for any alcohol at all and I am enjoying the clarity that this brings.

Unfortunately I have come down with some flu of sorts which has rendered me fatigued with total body aches. It is shitful. I have no energy at all, thinking is an effort let alone doing anything.

It has smashed my mood down to an uncomfortably low level, however, rather than wave the Bipolar flag, I am aware that even 'normal' people feel this way while suffering from this bug. It is not helped by the seemingly relentless communications that are coming my way from certain quarters who will not accept the changes I am choosing to make in my life.

I could write a totally separate blog about emotional connections and disconnects, but instead I can recognise that my drinking and emotional upheavals were firmly entwined. It is actually the source of my alcoholism. I reached for a 'drink' to soothe an emotional landslide at the age of 15, and that is where it began. You see it is one thing to have a drink or a few too many and end up drunk...but it is the 'reason' for having it that makes the difference between being an alcoholic or not. Well that is my opinion in any case.

Some see it as a rite of passage, of 'growing up', of being an adult or to fit in with your peers, to be socially accepted. That is our culture and it has been for hundreds of years. For some it may in fact start that way, but at some point, you pour another one because 'you have had a bad day' or 'you are sad' or 'everything is giving you the shits'. Sometimes you find that 'people start laughing at your jokes more' and you feel special, or that you 'fit in better'. That is when it can change.

My reason was that I felt totally out of control. I experienced a complete break down of trust in my whole world and as a teenager with no self esteem, could not process it at all. So I wanted to block it out...with whiskey. It worked as long as I kept the buzz going. Well so I thought, of course now I can see it just blurred it all into a maze of whirling thoughts that steadily increased speed until it was invisible to me.

Here I am now at the age of 53, looking back and recognising it and I want to reach out to that young girl, who felt lost and alone, abandoned and confused and tell her that I care. Sadly for so long I didn't. I didn't care because it felt like the ones I depended upon didn't either. This manifested into my deep seated belief that I wasn't worth caring about. How sad is that!! But it's true.

Fortunately I care now. I care about me. I want the best for me. I forgive me. I accept me. I like me.

Monday, October 3, 2016

111 Days.....still going okayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Today marks 111 days.

The last weekend was the AFL Grand Final weekend and or the first time in 111 days I allowed alcohol into my home. I do regret it as its presence seeped into the backblocks of my brain-box and by this morning I was having the biggest booze cravings I have ever had. It brought with it flashbacks to dark times, self loathing, not good shit at all...queue the PTSD type reactions that are associated with it all.

Last night I was over emotional, edgy, and so upped the dose of my night med to hopefully let me sleep well, given my state, and even with them (they normally knock me off my arse and drag me into sleep within half an hour, only to leave me with a med hangover for hours the next day after at least 12 hours sleep)....even with them, I still couldn't drift off until after midnight and was awake at 8.

I then was invited to lunch, which normally doesn't worry me, however I said no. I explained why I couldn't go, because I would only sit there listening to the voices in my head argue over the harm or lack of harm only one glass would have, and ultimately this would amp up the jitters within me.

The minute I hung up the phone, after declining the invite....I felt it....the cloud lifted...the weight was gone...and it was replaced by relative calm.

What have I taken from this experience? Firstly, good on me for recognising what was happening to me...Secondly, good on me for protecting my intentions so well and honestly....and Thirdly, good on me for my choice to not add to what was happening within.

There are no more grand finals now...nor are there occasions special enough to warrant my 'dry house' rule to be lifted. My life, my way is my home, my rules is my law.

Maybe one day I will be able to allow this 'dry house' to be dampened by others drinking if they want to....but not yet... I AM NOT READY...and I guess if the people I invite aren't happy with that, then they don't have to come in....its okay by me. Each to their own, and me to mine :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

100 DAYSSSSSSSSSSS..... that's right...ONE HUNDRED DAYS :)

Well here I am.....another milestone reached....yippeeeee!!!

As an exercise, I read my 100 day post from 2011 this am in a totally different place inside this time. You see back then, I was relying on 'other people' to make me feel worthy, or viable. This is a dangerous place to be and yet, quite understandable for one who despite the bravado was totally insecure and had little self esteem.

So much has happened since then, and ironically the person who I had chosen to be the one to seek approval and acceptance from, was in fact the one who lead me back to where I am today...and sadly the journey was not what I hoped it would be.

I was vulnerable but couldn't see how much, my beacon at the time could see it...perfect bait. I took it hook line and sinker. My intentions were so full of hope and trust and love, and I am proud of being able to share that part of myself. I will never lose that, however I will raise the standards of requirement for anyone citing words of encouragement and the like in the future. The first person I must gauge in this manner is myself. I raise my own standards of what I want from myself and in my life. They do say that the change must start with us......well it is true. As Dr Phil says, "you can't change what you don't acknowledge."

During the five years since my last attempt, I have had my trust shattered by several people who I believed to have my best interests at heart. They say a persons true colors are exposed in times of great upheaval or disaster and I have seen this and believe it is true. However, I accept that everyone is different, and when face with immense stress or sadness or fear, we all rely on whatever we have at the time to get through.

So I forgive them all really, and most of all, I forgive myself. I am certainly not perfect, and I certainly doubt anyone who says that they are haha. But I am brave enough to critique myself honestly, with love and compassion, which I so wish I could have done years ago.

Ahh but that would be too easy lol. To repeat a phrase that a dear friend and I often say..."you can't put an old head on young shoulders."

In any case, today is a HUGE celebration for me. 100 days...only another 21.3333 and I will have reached a third of a year :) I am damn proud of what I have done, and nothing and no-one can take it away from me. It is mine, I did it, I chose to do it, and I did it.

Whosagoodgirlllllllllllllllll?.......ME :)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

96 DAYS.......and have not weakened even when faced with adversity!!!

Well...what a testing few weeks since my last post.

I have had someone close to me attempt suicide, then a local person, who although I didn't personally know him, I am close friends with one of his workmates, he sadly did commit suicide. It pained me so much to see how devastated she was, even more when I consider my own history and fortunate failed attempts of my own.

I wasn't ready for the subsequent trigger effect it was to have on me learning of these two events, not that I started having dark thoughts of my own, but it did drag me down into a mild depressive state for about 10 days. Fortunately, over the past 14 years since my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, and learning how to successfully live with it, I managed to ride it out and rise once again to a 'normal' level of functioning.

Now during this time, I wanted a drink. I wanted it bad. But I DID NOT succumb. YAYYYY MEEEEE!!

This win over my addiction has spurred me on to believe in myself in a way I never ever have before. I finally truly believe that I deserve goodness. I accept that I have totally fucked up many many times, but then hey, who hasn't?

Soooo, here I am nearing the 100 day mark....and its looking easy :)

Friday, August 26, 2016

74 days......still going so strong....

Well I am sitting here typing this with some amazement!!

Not to say that I doubted myself, but rather, I have surprised myself because the past week has been full of many many challenging situations. However, at no stage have I wanted a drink.

I have surprised myself because I have somehow managed to separate each event rather than having them all mixing up in my mind in a whirl of overwhelming emotions. I cannot remember a time ever in my life when this has been the case.

It is hard to put into words really. Suffice to say, I am actually aware of the need to care for my self in a way that protects my mind, body and soul, and as it is occurring I am marveling at how it feels.

The next few weeks are again going to be testing, and yet, I am ready to face whatever happens. I choose my battles now, and recognise that which I have no control over.

I need no luck, as I have confidence in myself at last!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

59 dayssssssss.......not a drop to drink yay meeeeeeeeeee

Well here I am.....tomorrow is 60 days sober!!

I feel fantastic. Haven't felt tempted to take a sip, although was at a hotel a week ago at the bar to put a keno ticket on, and when the staff member came up...I almost asked for a chardy out of HABIT...LOLLLLLLL. not because I wanted one, but because it used to be the first words out of my mouth lol.

Adding to the pride I feel, I am now using a totally natural supplement daily which is totally AMAZING.

I have more energy, sleep better, feel happier, and best of all, due it this products anti inflammatory properties, have now weaned off Panadeine Forte to the point where I only need 2 at night before I go to bed. What an amazing thing considering up until last Xmas I was taking 10-12 (500mg tabs) per day!!!!

All in all life is going well. I am proud of myself, and loving life for the first time in years!!!

Friday, July 29, 2016

FRIDAY.....another week over

I am writing on a Friday instead of Monday this time.....and my language in this post is fairly abrupt and straight to the point!

Haven't even had one thought of drinking. Amazing. My life is too busy with planning, and goal setting and ticking off achievements.

I am realising that this is more than giving up alcohol, it is giving up  a mindset...and replacing it with a new one.

As I sort through events in my days, and the associated thoughts that accompany them, I find myself putting each one in either a 'Toss Out' box, A 'Keep' Box or a 'Sit It On the Shelf For Now' Box. I am de-cluttering my life.

I have no time for excuses...firstly from me and secondly from others. Bullshit does NOT have a place anymore. What other people do, say and think is NONE of my business, I really don't give a shit. Unless they are saying it TO me. And, if it falls into the 'bullshit' category...straight into the 'Toss Out' box it goes.

To put it in a vulgar sense, my arse is totally closed off from receiving ANY smoke which may be blown in that direction. I don't have time for wishy-washy blah blah blah anymore. I am busy. I am busy getting on with working on living.

My job is to make sure, I am healthy, happy, clear headed and focused on getting the MOST out of life. Not settling for 'almost' or 'nearly' any longer.

Monday, July 25, 2016

6 WEEKSSSSSSSSSSS........42 days.....still going strong :)

Well I have had a week full of FLU......YUCK.

I am starting to feel better, but really need to take it easy. The past two days I also noticed a pain in my side. During my last attempt of sobriety I developed Gall Bladder pain......and found out that it can be a common occurrence when stopping alcohol intake. Well it's back, no where near as severe as last time, but still uncomfortable. Fortunately my diet is full of healthy stuff. Fridge is full of veggies and fruit etc and I eat sensibly.

Over the weekend though, due to my feeling like absolute crap with this chest flu, I did consume pizza and a couple of pies which have obviously contributed to the gall bladder situation. I am determined to avoid surgery so my diet awareness is paramount. I am also drinking at least 1.5 litres of water with lemon slices each day, which is fantastic for flushing and hydrating the ole bod.

All in all I am extremely proud of myself for my 6 week achievement!!

And now as the flu symptoms are beginning to subside, my mood is once again bouncing back to a more acceptable level.  No one feels good when they are sick.

So as I begin week 7,  I am looking forward with a smile on my dial :)

Monday, July 18, 2016

35 days today!! Been an exciting week :)

5 weeks still going strong.

Yesterday was my birthday. 53 years old. And yes I did think about having 'just one glass'......BUT I chose not to. YAY MEEEEE :)

I considered which would feel better, being proud that I chose sobriety or feeling ashamed after having a glass and the ensuing justifications that I would throw around my mind and to others. easy choice when you think of it that way isn't it?

So I had a lovely lunch with a good friend, walked home in the freezing cold and then celebrated with a couple of Tim Tam biscuits and coffee. It was great!!

Earlier in the week I drove down to Warrnambool, to see the ocean. It was rough and rugged and absolutely beautiful, although I was amused at the amount of people choosing to chase invisible Pokemons around with their mobile phones rather than observe nature at its best. Oh each their own I suppose. I have always been one to go out of my way to avoid bizarre new trends, which tends to lead to some rather fascinating responses from those who follow the masses. Seriously though, what is the big deal??

Of course I know what my problem is...I am OLDDDD.......LOL.....only in numerical terms however, my mind is stuck in my 40's and I like it there.

Usually I find an inspirational quote image to end with, however today, I am adding one of the photo's I took looking out over the ocean. It is a thing of beauty, the ocean whipped up by the winter winds, crashing against the rugged coastline....constantly moving and changing and affected by the forces of nature surrounding it....much like life.

Monday, July 11, 2016

4 weeks without a drop!

Hi, my name is Lee and I am an alcoholic. I have been sober for 4 weeks, which is 28 days!