Thursday, September 28, 2017

Broken Body

Dear Readers,
My body just doesn't want to give me a break.
I have been struggling with breathing issues, which over the last 6 months have gotten worse.
I can't catch my breath if I do anything physical, even sometimes just doing the laundry is really hard.
The last time I played golf with a friend, I was gasping for air.
My primary doctor said I had asthma, then she said it's not asthma. She had my heart checked, and that was okay.

I haven't been able to do yoga, and kept having to leave because of not being able to breathe.
Last Monday night, I had to go to the ER after I left yoga because I couldn't catch my breath.
What they found on my chest x ray is that I have emphysema and fibrotic changes in the lungs.
So on Monday I will be going into see a lung doctor.

I have never smoked.
Of course, when I read about these lung problems on Google, I get even more upset.

It's been heavy week. My emotions are all over the place. I know I have no choice but to accept this, but it is scary none the less. 

I have made it through many health problems.  I know I will live with this one. But in the meantime, all I want to do is cry.


With Much Love,
On Day 1,119,
Wendy

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Color of Sobriety

Dear Readers,
Sunset on Garden Lake, Ely MN

Fall is here, and although the temperatures are still rather warm, you can feel it in the air, feel the light changes, see the changes in the leaves, and even smell it.

Fall brings both beauty and anxiety for me.
For with the beauty of the fall leaves, and cool crisp air, also comes anxiety of the dark days, and low light that bring on low energy and depression.

Perhaps it's my mood today, although I feel good, maybe I'm just in a reflective mood.

Life is colors for me. I color things in my mind, see emotions in color, and breathe colors in and out.
Blue is the color that beings me the most peace. It's my protective color, and when I wear blue, or see blue, it's calming. 
Grey is my depression color.

Yesterday, I met a woman who looked sad. She was smiling, but I could see pain in her body and face.
Later I found out her son was in treatment for the 15th time. 
I felt so sad for her. I wished hope for her and her son.
I think that colored my world a little grey. 

My past drinking did not just affect me, but everyone around me. Even people I did not know, such as the clerks in quick shop stores, where I'd go and buy a bunch of junk food after drinking. They must have known I was drunk, and who knows how that affected their day, perhaps they went home feeling a little grey.

Addiction was stealing everything that was good in me. It was stealing my vibrancy, my joy, my love. It was stealing my happiness, my creativity, my empathy. 
Golfing! 

And in place of the goodness, my drinking was giving me pain, anger, resentments, judgments, and selfishness. 

My addiction to alcohol was bringing my marriage a great deal of grey. It was eroding all the good things between hubs and I. My recovery has meant the return of the calmness of blue.
We are happier now, and I like happy. 

With Much Love,
Wendy

Monday, September 4, 2017

3 Years!

Dear Readers, 
On September 4, I will be sober for three years.

For over 15 years we have gone up north to a cabin with several sets of friends, where we canoe, hike, and swim. It's beautiful up here with the lake, the woods, and huge rocks. 

But this is also a hard weekend for me.

I have a difficult time with my social anxiety, because there are many people, and I struggle to hear. 

It is also a big drinking weekend. 
In the last few years, before I stopped drinking, I would get very drunk. I would sneak wine, I would get very moody, trip over things, and isolate a lot. I tried to use drinking to deal with my social anxiety.

The first two times I came up here sober, seeing all the wine bottles, and other drinks, made me very anxious.
This year, at 3 years, was much better, and I had few worries around other people drinking. 

I wish I had wisdom for everyone about how to stop drinking and be happy.
I was reminded in a post by Primwho has been sober for about 4 years, about the decisions we need to make to get and stay sober.

I thought about that, and looked at the choices I had to make each day to be sober today.
After my last slip, I had to make that hard choice...do I continue this unhappiness, or do I stop.
Day after day, I had to make choices, or decisions about drinking or not drinking, about reaching out for support or keeping a secret. 
Day after day, I had to make a choice about facing life with a poor me attitude, or one of gratitude. 
I had to make the choice of staying sober, or driving drunk. 
So many choices, so many decisions, but I kept choosing the one that brought me peace of mind.

Slowly and surely, time passed, and here I am.
I never want to go back to the pain I experienced when I was drinking.
I do not want to bring that pain back to my husband.

I do want to continue being happy that I stopped. I have more joy and life now.
Do I have problems? Of course, and I shutter to think about how I would handle them if I were still drinking.

This is a process, and it is on-going. The life-giving choices of not drinking are much easier today. But the thoughts of drinking are still with me. Recently I was driving by myself about an hour from my home, and I was going to be gone all day. I felt free driving by myself.
I passed several places that whispered to me to come and stop and have a drink. No one would know.
I made the choice to keep driving past, reminding myself that the addiction voice is strong.
It's why I choose to continue to write, to read, to go to meetings, to help other people in recovery.

Life is better sober. 
It's really as simple as that.

Thank you to all of those who are on this path with me, because I truly can not do this alone.

With Love,  On 3 Years, or 1,095 Days.
Wendy