Sunday, August 27, 2017

Hope

Dear Readers,
Addiction is tough. It kept me lost, and in denial for many years.
I refused to believe I had a problem. I refused to believe that I couldn't moderate.
I refused to believe my husband who told me I had to stop drinking.
Even after having to go to the hospital after drinking all day, and passing out, I refused to believe I had a problem.
Even after coming home drunk, falling down that stairs, I refused to believe I had a problem.
Even after falling down at a broadway play, I refused to believe I had a problem.

I am not sure why one day I was able to stop, why one day I was sober for another day, or why one day I had hope.
I had hope I could keep going.
I had hope that things would get better, that cravings would stop, that I wouldn't feel so strange at parties, that life would seem less difficult.

I had hope that I could find the pieces I had missing inside of me, that I would find my way back to Wendy, or discover a new part of me. 

And these things are happening. 
I am finding my way back home. 
I am no longer in denial, and I have hope that each day something good will happen. 

I have met so many people who are in recovery from both drugs and alcohol, and each one of them teach me something, each one shows me what hope looks like. Their lives all have hope, an expectation that things will be okay. They show me what hope looks like, even when things are overwhelmingly hard.

They take life as they do recovery, one day, one moment at a time.
They teach me that hope and gratitude go hand in hand. They are so grateful for all they have even if they have little, grateful for all the good things that happen in a day.

I have hope now. I had lost that when I was drinking. 
There is hope for everyone who is struggling. 
I often hear people say, "We can and do recover."
I see that every day. I read blogs that show me this every day.

I close with this quote, from a poet who writes children's poems, one I often read to my students when I was teaching.

Listen to the mustn't, child. 
Listen to the don'ts. 
Listen to the shouldn't, the impossibles, the won'ts. 
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... 
Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

With Hope, Love and Gratitude,
On Day 1,087,
Wendy

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sobriety and Marriage


11th Grade 
Dear Readers,
On Monday, it will be Mr. UT's and my 41st wedding anniversary!
That is a LONG time! In fact, we met in 11th grade, and dated steady for 7 years until we got married!
(Well, except for 2 weeks in college when I broke up with him to date Peter, then decided life really wasn't greener on the other side!!)

I told hubs I don't even remember when or where he proposed to me! (He just shakes his head, knowing I have a very short memory except when it comes to food memories!)

When we were young we did not have much money, and yet we had a lot of fun. Camping trips, driving trips, little things that created a lovely life. We rented a little house and painted all the rooms in these brilliant colors. We loved that little house. (Except for the mice.)
When we had a fight, I'd run over to my grandma's house, a block away and my grandma and I would discuss the problem with men!
Our Wedding Day, A Long Time Ago!

We certainly had some very hard times during our marriage.There was a move to another state, where hubs found a job, and I fell into a deep depression due to losing my social support. I couldn't find a teaching job right away. I thought I wanted to leave my darling husband. I wasn't able to have a child. My depression was bad at times, and that often clouded my thinking. (Even writing about these times makes me feel the sadness.)

There were also so many wonderful sweet times. Times of love and joy. Times of travel, house fixing, bike riding, skiing, just plain fun. Mr. UT helped me in my classrooms, building shelves and helping me organize! There was much laughter in our house, as Mr. UT is very funny!

When I look back and see how we made it this far? Sometimes I am in awe!
We just never gave up. No matter what happened, we fought for our marriage. We had basically grown up together, being high school sweethearts. We had to learn, to compromise, to adapt, to change. We had to love unconditionally, even when this seemed so hard to do.
We also fought for each other. I wanted to protect my husband from all the bad things that could happen, and he supported me during all of my ups and down times and health problems. 

When my drinking became the biggest elephant in the room, we still never gave up.
It was a "we" effort, because truth be told, I am not sure I could have quit without his support. He stopped drinking when I did this last time, because he saw that I could not have alcohol in the house. It was too tempting.

Now, on the eve of our 41st wedding anniversary, and on the eve of coming up to my 3 years sober, we truly have found peace. Our love now is so strong, I know there is nothing that can break it. 

Perseverance, some stubbornness, willingness, surrender, forgiveness, honesty, and love and laughter. 
And Now!
These words are the words that hold our marriage together. 
I love you, dear husband.
Thank you for watching out for me, caring for me, providing for me, and loving me.

On Day 1,078, 
Wendy

Monday, August 7, 2017

Just For Today

Dear Readers,
Lately I have found myself feeling left out, about not being part of an "in-group".
I often feel very insecure when it comes to people. I will say something and then worry I said the wrong thing, or I talk too loud, and someone tells me to be quieter.
I often don't hear things people say in a group situation and so I either have to ask people to repeat, which gets old after a while for them, or I pretend I know what's going on, which leads to strange conversations. Sometimes I give up and leave.

I often want to be part of the "in-group" so much, that I forget to be happy with what gifts I already have!

Slowly but surely, I am learning that the secret to life for me, is being grateful. 
A woman I know, commented on the fact that Mr. UT is a wonderful guy.
I told her, I did not really appreciate him and all that he does for me, until I got sober.

Sobriety, (as Anne of Ainsobriety often says), is a gift.
It keeps bringing me new 'aha" moments. 
It gives me the chance to step back when I am upset or sad, and ask myself some questions, and then to be open to the answers.

And because I have lately had the feelings of being left out, I asked myself, "Why is it important to me to be included with these people?"
"What do I need or want that I am not getting?"

The answers that came to me were that I need and want connections, love and approval.
When I look at what I already have, and I discover that I have connections, love and approval right now.
I do not need to seek these things.
Instead, I want to appreciate the people that love me unconditionally.
This is a gift sobriety brings.

So, just for today, I will be sober, grateful, and probably a little loud!

With Love,
On 35 Months and 3 Days,
Wendy

PS - It was my birthday last Tuesday, and Mr. UT bought me a beautiful dress, and even got the right size!!
My Birthday Present from Mr. UT!!