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Class of August 2013 - Part 14

Old 06-14-2015, 06:33 PM
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V, I'm glad you're sober. We're all still young enough to have a rich life in sobriety, because so much more happens when we're clear headed. And we will undoubtedly have more years to enjoy.

I can't believe how much I've experienced in the past year. Certainly doesn't mean I'm always happy - I struggle with that at times - but it does seem like the clock has slowed down. My gf has a young son so that's part of it I'm sure. As trying as it can be, every single day is an adventure, lol.

Glad to hear you're enjoying the tai chi. I really need to get back into some yoga classes. Stiff and sore after a long day on the motorcycle yesterday, exploring back roads.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:53 PM
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Do any of you remember last year at this time when the big rodeo was in town and I was suffering so much with stress and wanting to take pills or drink a quart of tequila or something? Well, this last weekend was the rodeo and I had a wonderful time! No problems. Felt good the whole time with no urges for any thing other then water.
It was so fun and relaxed and I was able to be social and comfortable. All in all I felt like I've come a really long way in the last two years. And I am truly grateful. I had such a hard time last year.

We partied it up but I was careful not to get overtired. I think that's a key thing for me. I actually had fun putting on all my cowboy regalia and hooting and hollering at the bull riders and barrel racers......All kinds of people were there that I knew and I spoke to them all. Unusual for me.

This summer I've got a lot of social stuff (3 weddings and all the showers and rehearsal dinners, out of town guests)......if I make it through Labor Day, I'm really going to celebrate. Maybe take a little vacation with the horses or something fun and relaxing like that. I'd like to take them to the beach. Or the redwoods.

Anyway, dare I say I'm a little happy with myself? Let's hope I can keep up the good work!
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:03 PM
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Thats really awesome Else

wishing everyone a great week

D
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Elseware View Post
It was so fun and relaxed and I was able to be social and comfortable. All in all I felt like I've come a really long way in the last two years. And I am truly grateful. I had such a hard time last year.

...

Anyway, dare I say I'm a little happy with myself? Let's hope I can keep up the good work!
Yes, dare to say it!

I think about you a lot, Else. I remember the low points from last summer and hoping that the hardest things were behind you. But more challenges surfaced as your son confronted his problems -- with his supportive mom helping so much.

Lately, I have thought about the inherent unfairness of life. Some of us must confront our addictions/alcoholism relatively unencumbered by the circumstances of our upbringing. Others, though, have all the added challenges of a start in life that lacked stability and security.

For all you've had to confront in your efforts to get well, I think you're doing an amazing job, Else. I wish I could give you a massive hug. It's an absolute delight to think of you decked out in your cowgirl gear and cheering on the rodeo riders.

Good job, Else, good job.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:31 PM
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A couple nice days on this end. And thanks, Adv, for your kind comments. Appreciate it!

Yesterday, I went home and took Mom for a drive down the Mississippi. In the last 30 years or so, the area has begun to really capitalize on its natural beauty. There are sweet little shops and restaurants. I took Mom to one of our all-time favorite places to eat, a place we'd not visited in years. It was so good to spend time with her on a sunny day, enjoyed at a leisurely pace.

A couple shots:



This one made me think of Orn.



Today at work, one of my colleagues came to my office to let my know a package arrived for me.

It contained two fantastic photos of the Stones concert. I'm professional friends with a photographer I've hired for a few gigs in my previous work and who is hired by my colleague from time to time in my current workplace. I'd left congrats on his FB page for getting the Stones gig for a magazine and then kudos for the quality of the work he shared ... and I'm guessing he saw me babbling on like crazed teeny bopper on my FB page about the concert.

The photos are 8 x 10 and came with a matte. They're exceptional -- we're talking work from one of the very best photogs in these parts, a pro who is respected nationally. One is a close-up of Mick and the other shows all four of the Stones. The photogs were given eight minutes to capture the concert at the beginning so I'm guessing the pics show the band doing "Jumpin' Jack Flash." I'm going to have them framed and hang them prominently in my home. I began scoping locations (after the thank-you note, of course!) right away.

It's an amazing thing to have someone do something so remarkably kind for no real reason other than that it is a nice thing to do. I'm still happily stunned and grateful.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:51 PM
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Oh Else, that news about the rodeo is so wonderful to hear! You really have come so far, and conquered so much adversity. You are an amazing woman!

V, your life is also blessed now, and you're getting back what you so richly deserve. The photos sound awesome!

Love and hugs to you both,
--Adv
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:16 PM
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I'm in Ireland for a couple of days and found myself wishing for a beer last night when I saw guests drinking on the hotel patio after dinner. I haven't had those feelings of nostalgia for beer in quite a while. Read lots of newcomer threads on SR last night and this morning and feel fully recalibrated. I'm only here for two days so I didn't pack my running gear. I won't make that mistake again.
Fly home tomorrow and I'm looking forward to a long motorcycle ride, a run, and spending time with my wife and daughter.
I hope the rest of the class is doing well.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:47 PM
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Like the term recalibrate!

I also have had those moments even the stupid thoughts that I now can handle it . I like where I'm at and am not going back. Interestingly, I'm not that the same person. I'm content hanging out with ocean fella and not doing much entertaining anymore. Parties just don't do anything for me anymore or I don't need to round up folks to drink with!
Originally Posted by Ornithology View Post
I'm in Ireland for a couple of days and found myself wishing for a beer last night when I saw guests drinking on the hotel patio after dinner. I haven't had those feelings of nostalgia for beer in quite a while. Read lots of newcomer threads on SR last night and this morning and feel fully recalibrated. I'm only here for two days so I didn't pack my running gear. I won't make that mistake again.
Fly home tomorrow and I'm looking forward to a long motorcycle ride, a run, and spending time with my wife and daughter.
I hope the rest of the class is doing well.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:29 PM
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Hi, all,

Orn, I can relate. Sometimes, I'm caught by surprise at the thought of a beer. But then memories of the years preceding August, 2013 kick in and the thought evaporates quickly. I never used to read the other forums but do now, in part because I like so many here on SR, in part to help and in part to remember why I chose sobriety and recovery. Like Oceanlady, I'm not the same person anymore.

Today at work, I was going through a tunnel and ran into a colleague. With his wallaby. Long story. Although I'd be perfectly comfortable sharing the photo with you, my lovely classmates (and, of course, I have had the joy of meeting Kadi and Adv in person) and Dee (and Wolfie!), this is still the internet. So my admittedly amateurish "de-identified" version will have to suffice.

What an unexpected little joy! I hope to visit Oz someday. In the meantime, I'll just have to envy you, Dee!



May the rest of our week be peaceful, healthy and sober.

V.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:34 PM
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Just so you know, we don't usually carry around wallabies...

D
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:35 PM
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Another illusion shattered ...



Thanks, Dee!
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:07 PM
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Hi all! I've been cleaning out and rearranging my house and office--feels good. Have also started back with yoga and going to the gym--this will be my fourth week run/walking 2-3 times a week. I'm remembering just over a year ago, when summer was approaching, and I was getting nervous about what I would do with all that time not drinking. What a difference a year makes--summer already seems to be passing by at a rapid pace and so much more to do!

V, I've also wondered what certain periods might have looked like had I gotten sober sooner. But maybe we had to get to where we did for it to stick and to be grateful for what can exist in sobriety. Have you ever heard that saying, "Maybe everything is just as it should be?" I try to hold onto that thought when I start my train of regret thinking (the big one I get sucked into is, what if I hadn't married an abusive sociopath and oh, how didn't I see it, etc). Anyway, I was thinking about that recently when I found my mind wandering that path--what if I had to go through that to get where I am now or where I am going..maybe I still would have chosen to get embroiled in that if I knew it was necessary for a larger life lesson. We could say the same think about alcohol--everything is brighter now only because we know how bad it can be.

As trite as it sounds, I firmly believe we are all on a journey, but we get tripped up in thinking that today (every day) we are supposed to have arrived 'someplace' and therefore be fixed or better (insert adjective here) than we were yesterday or the day before. But what if we knew that we had all the time in the world to get there? What if we just accepted that every day we are still a work in progress? I'm not there yet, but it's very freeing to think about it as a possibility.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:06 PM
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I think that attitude is very freeing Kadi

D
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:02 PM
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I agree also Kaddi...
I think back in wonder of that morning I was driving the three hour drive home from camp , kind of headachey and dry mouthed. I just decided that was it. No more...guess it just had to reach that point!
Thinking of what to buy myself to celebrate this August anniversary ! Would be nice if we all got the same token..any ideas?
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:38 PM
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Kadidee, thanks for you post.
I'm glad to hear you are running, walking, and doing yoga. I have found running and walking to be so important to my recovery, my self-esteem, and my physical and mental health.
I haven't spent much time thinking about it, but I have wondered occasionally how different my life would be if I hadn't drank for so long. What if I had only drank for 3 years, rather than 34 years? I can't change the past, so I try to spend as much of my time living in the moment.
I have to say, I expected the benefit of not drinking to reach some maximum after one year. I'm pleasantly surprised to find my life continues to steadily improve in so many ways, even as we approach the two-year mark. I am healthier and happier than I was six months ago, and I am left to wonder how much better will it get?
I still have the occasional dark day, but it doesn't create the anger and isolation in me it once did.
I'm in Puerto Rico this week for business. My meetings finish on Thursday and my wife and daughter fly down here Thursday night to spend four days on the beach. I'm running on the sand early in the morning and feeling good about things. That's all I need from myself today.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:24 AM
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Orn, have a great weekend with your family on the beach--that sounds blissful. Headed home this weekend for my parents' 45th anniversary. My dad is excited about getting fitted for his prosthetic and sounds about 20 years younger--seriously, he sounds like he did when I was in college and he was excited about life. So happy for him. Wishing everyone a peaceful, sober weekend!
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:58 PM
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Kadidee, great news about your Dad.
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:20 AM
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Great news Kadi. Really wonderful. Also great that you're back at the yoga and running. I'm back in the States for a month or two and have plans to do some yoga also, and lots of cycling. Might see if I can do some light trail running again myself.

I'm currently in Idaho, where it's scorching hot. Heading for the hills, lol.
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:17 AM
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Good morning, classmates.

So good to hear these updates and reflections.

Orn, I hope that you and your family enjoyed a lovely time in Puerto Rico. You certainly do travel a lot for work and I admire your candor in sharing about the feeling in Ireland -- both the nostalgia for a beer and your recalibration. That happens to me a lot. I know that none of us takes joy any the pains of others, but what we see described here certainly has a powerful reinforcement. I don't have to spend too much time anywhere on SR where the struggle is detailed without feeling an enormous relief that I no longer have to confront that -- and a sense of exactly what my life could be like if I didn't make a commitment to sobriety. Thank you!

Oceanlady, I know what you mean about wanting something symbolic of our two years. It would be nice to have something -- I'm not sure what -- that served as a private gift to ourselves. Something lasting. Let's keep that thought alive.

Kadi, boy was I relieved to get the update on your father. My fear for you was that he might go the way of some patients -- embittered, uninvolved in his own recovery. It says a lot about him that he has taken this on with such verve. And honestly, it makes things so much better for you and the rest of your family. I hope that this note finds you're enjoying this anniversary weekend.

Adv, have a great time in the mountains. I'm a little envious of anyone doing some road-tripping. About this time last year, I returned from the conference in Portland, where I had such a nice time visiting with you (as I had just a couple weeks earlier with Kadi during her jaunt to my parts), and was getting ready for the trip to the Black Hills with my niece. We had so much fun in SD/Wyoming and I am a little wistful that something similar isn't in the works for me this year. When it comes to domestic travel, I'm always happiest when the compass is pointed west.

Finally, and importantly, I'm grateful for the thoughtful support received to my comments about some of the struggles in sobriety. There was a lot of wisdom in your words. I'm also grateful for the realization that the changes didn't stop at the one-year mark. They're continuing and the evolution is a gift.

May the week ahead be peaceful, healthy and sober for all of us.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:25 PM
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Amen Ven

D
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