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Class of August 2013 - Part 14

Old 12-31-2014, 05:15 PM
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Happy New Year to my classmates! It's the morning of January first here in SE Asia. Another night of massive fireworks, lol..

I've been reflecting back on an interesting year. Lots of change and personal growth, although that's a work in progress.. and open to interpretation, lol. Nonetheless, we all have our own journey to take and it starts with removing the addictions that we developed to cope with life. Before I quit drinking my life was slipping by - controlled by my ego, my fear and shame, my emotions, and other people's expectations. I drank not because of a physical addiction but because I was mired in all of that.

Now I'm simply trying to be more mindful, aware, and live in the present moment. Let go of resentments and not listen to the barrage of ego-generated fear and anxiety. It's not easy for me, but awareness and understanding helps with this process. I never dreamed that sobriety would open up this can of worms, lol.. or take me on such an interesting journey.

Well, sounds like My Year in review, lol. Sorry.. mostly I just want to wish all of you a joyful year in 2015, filled with personal discovery and meaning. May your dreams come true!

Cheers,
Adv
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:41 PM
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Hey all --

Hope this second day of the new year finds you're all doing well.

Feeling better on this end. I went to see "Wild" today and give it a strong thumbs-up. Some definite value for people in recovery in this flick. A good chunk of it was filmed in Oregon, btw.

Good post above, Adv. We do learn a lot about ourselves, don't we?

V.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:09 PM
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Yes we do V. Thanks.

How about those DUCKS, Else?
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:01 AM
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Happy New Year, everyone. I read something that resonated the other day: this is the start of a 365 page book. Write a good one.

Love that because in my second year of sobriety I have realized that I cause a lot of my own emotional pain by what I call propeller-mind. Things get stuck in my head and they go round and round and round. Sometimes things happen that necessitate some reflection or processing, but much of it is inconsequential stuff that I over analyze or overthink. The content doesn't matter as much as my tendency towards obsessive thinking. Now that I've let that into my awareness, I want to be more mindful and stop it when it starts. Lots of work still to be done.

I was in the bookstore the other day and browsed through the recovery section. There was a step workbook that I flipped through but didn't buy. I'm most interested in the 4th step...the one about doing an inventory of resentments. Advbike, you've been a huge proponent of this practice and it sounds like you've been able to work through some old stuff. Google brings up lots of worksheets. I haven't sat down and written out an inventory, but I'm starting to recognize when negative feelings are tied to a resentment. I'm getting more curious about what it would be like to actually do it.

Else, I hope you continue to feel better, sweet lady. V, I might see Unbroken today if my schedule permits. I've heard mixed reviews by those who read the book.

Wishing everyone in our August class a peaceful Sunday.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:02 AM
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Woops, double post.
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:07 PM
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I'm sitting around trying to get my mind around what's happened in the last 10 days. I am thinking about what would have happened if I'd have had to have emergency surgery while I was was still on drugs. That would have been so terrible it doesn't even bear thinking about. I would have been judged severely and perhaps been treated in a whole different way. And with a lot less respect. And I would have gone into detox on top of it all. And embarrassed my family. I am so grateful and glad to be having my second Happy New Year OFF drugs, I can't even tell you.

I had to take some post-op pain meds and I did but I don't need them anymore. Tylenol works just fine. They are gone. Out of the house. I'm ok except for being tired and wrung out. I will be fine soon. I am glad it wasn't something worse.

I really thought I was dying or something. It crossed my mind that I was having a heart related or vascular incident. I did the strangest thing. I was in so much pain that I sort of dissociated. I was outside my body. I had been in pain for about 3 hours. It was about 2 AM and I knew something was terribly wrong so I got up and removed all my jewelry and made a list of all my medications and pertinent medical history and then went and took a shower and laid back down. I didn't wake my husband or anything. I didn't want to bother anyone. In the morning when Bob woke up and my brother happened to be here, they took one look at me and said "gall bladder" and I was at the ER. From there things happened so fast I kind of lost track of it all. It was surreal. I'm not used to being the patient.

I have to say, they sure did grill me about my alcohol use. I had to assure them over and over that I do not drink. And still I don't think they believed me. Because gall bladder disorders are more common among drinkers.

I will be very interested in what my various mental health practitioners have to say about me dissociating like that. That wasn't taking very good care of myself. It was like "Oh, look at this! I'm dying. Well, what do you know?" So strange.
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:49 PM
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Happy New Year Kadi, I think you will really find a benefit from quieting the mind, ie. learning to recognize when it is your ego talking (which it usually is). So much of our behavior and thinking is driven by fear and anxiety. I highly recommend Awareness, by Anthony DeMello, an easy and powerful read. It really opened my eyes.

Working a 4th step does help with resentments. I worked through some of it with my therapist, but only for a few people. His process over-complicated it too much, which completely overwhelmed me, especially since it triggered so many emotions. Nonetheless, I could see a lot value, by identifying patterns surrounding social interactions, and relationships.

Elsewhere, your gall bladder story is amazing. I understand the clarity that comes when we are in severe pain and /or trouble, having had a few biking and motorcycle accidents where I was hurt (concussion, broken bones) and out alone. Realizing I was in trouble brought calm and clear thinking, not panic. So the first part of your story makes sense.

It's the part where you didn't want to wake your husband, and were accepting a possible worst case outcome that is so interesting, perhaps even telling. I really have to wonder what is behind that incredibly stoic behavior. I would dig into it a bit, and talk to your therapist about it.. there's some insights there. In any case, you are one tough woman, and I'm really glad they got you to the hospital in time! And that it went well.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:10 PM
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Hello all!
Glad to hear your feeling better Else. Great advice ADV..I too am working on handling a very active mind ! Thinking lately of the strength we have acquired this year to deal with issues in a calmer mindful way instead of reaching for a drink!
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kadidee View Post
Things get stuck in my head and they go round and round and round. Sometimes things happen that necessitate some reflection or processing, but much of it is inconsequential stuff that I over analyze or overthink. The content doesn't matter as much as my tendency towards obsessive thinking. Now that I've let that into my awareness, I want to be more mindful and stop it when it starts.
Thanks for writing this. I'm also working on this one and your description of this behavior was helpful to me.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:39 PM
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Hi, all --

And greetings from Frigid World.

Some good posts over the last few days. It seems like we're often on the same wavelengths. In recent days, I've been feeling something rather transitional. As a pragmatic person (in many ways, anyway), I'm not necessarily one to put much stock in faddish sayings or psycho-trendy thinking. Still, I had an interesting experience recently.

I went to the movie "Wild" at the end of last week. Toward the end of the movie -- and I don't think I'm giving away much here -- there was a line that really resonated with me. The central character, at the very end, said something (I'm close, though not verbatim) like "I became who I was meant to be." Something about that line of thinking hit me where I live. I thought about it a lot. And I've been feeling more peaceful than I have in some time.

Hope this note finds you're all doing well. Enjoyed your post, Kadi. It, too, resonated with me.

Stay warm, all. (OK, Adv, probably not a problem where you are!) Else, I hope your recovery remains steady and full.

V.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:48 PM
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Hey all! Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Else, what an amazing story you told about the night you got sick. I am so thankful that there were people there to help you and that you are now recovering. Sending tons thoughts of healing your way!

Advbike, I work with so many Filipinos. One good friend of mine told me a very funny story. The first new years eve they spent here they all got together and had a big party. At the stroke of midnight they all piled out of the house for the "street party" and fire works only to find that they were the only people outside. I laughed so hard at the thought of them standing around, frozen, looking at each other! That same friend is spending the holidays back home and has been posting many pictures and videos of the festivities. It truly is remarkable!

The weather here has been truly frightful. I'm thankful for all the weekday activities offered in my city for young kids because we wouldn't be leaving the house otherwise!
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:28 PM
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-7 here this AM! Had to work with tree decorating group moving trees to winter storage! Very cold, but good exercise...I have slipped off my walking and need to get back...

I also think I am meeting who I was meant to be! Love that! So true...just wish I could have found this person earlier in my life...
Yesterday I made a l list of the positive and negative of stopping drinking. Top of my list was the safety of others as well as myself..think of the many times I took grandchildren for an ice cream and I should not have been driving! Thank God nothing bad happened! Only neg. For me was having know idea how difficult the mental challengers would be..
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:53 PM
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He he, yes, keeping warm isn't really a problem here V, although this is the coolest season. The days do shorten by an hour or two this time of year, even here at 10 deg latitude.

Only 79 deg F today and feels positively chilly.. but my thoughts do go out to those of you having to deal with a real winter. Keep safe and warm.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:17 PM
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Hi all! I've been out of commission this week...had nasal surgery, wouldnt think correcting a diaviated septum would be so uncomfortable, but I guess it is a broken nose!
Glad it's behind me!
Hope all are doing well!
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:26 PM
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Wow Oceanlady, sorry to hear that you needed a surgery. Ouch. Hope it heals up fast.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:30 PM
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Sheknits, that was a really funny story about the Filipinos celebrating New Year.. haha!.. I meant to comment when you first posted it but must have got sidetracked. Yes, they certainly do love parties and celebrations. Always some festival or another, lol. It's Sinulog here in Cebu this week, a religious celebration, ie. huge street party with lots of dancing...

I hope you're surviving all the cold up there in the north country. Cheers!
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:01 PM
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Get well soon OL

just back on deck myself - hope everyone's ok

D
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:05 PM
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Ocean lady, I hope your nose heals fast and is not too uncomfortable. After all they did in fact have to essentially break your nose. Ugh! The thought of it brings tears to my eyes.

I am healing well. No pain. Just a little discomfort if I twist the wrong way. I'm still walking a little slow but I saw the surgeon yesterday and it's all good. I've been out looking at horses. Can't ride yet but I found a nice boy I'm going to try if he's still available when I'm up and running again. I feel so out of shape but it have to give myself time to heal

As you all know I fell into a profound depression last year about Christmas time. And it's lasted for this whole last year. I want to tell you that it seems to be lifting. Finally. This feels like it has been one of the worst years of my life. But now I feel like I'm walking back into the sun. I feel so much better. I can't really say what has helped. Maybe it just ran it's course although I have been working hard with psychiatrist and psychologist. I feel excited about making a trip to San Francisco to see my family and getting another horse. This is a great improvement. For months all I did was stare out the window and do as little as possible as far as the activities of daily living. I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches. Tomorrow I'm going to have my hair styled and go to the dentist. I bought some new jeans.......I've put on some weight from no exercise and eating instead of taking drugs, but I'm ready to start working my body again. I may have put on some weight but I don't have to be flabby.

Hope you are all well and strong. It's our 17th month. This is quite an accomplishment. Sometimes it's hard to believe to think I've crawled so far out of that awful hole I was in. And that depression. I think it was part of it. I finally had to face some things I've been running from for a long time. We all have lives now that don't revolve around alcohol or drugs. Hurray. God bless us everyone!
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:38 PM
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Hi, all --

Lots of recuperation going on in our little group. Oceanlady, I hope that you're feeling better after the surgery on your schnozz. Else, you sound good! That is a day brightener; I am glad to know your recovery is well underway, too.

Little to report on this end. A long cold spell has finally lifted. Amazing that we are in our 17th month together. This place in 2015 is much different for me than a year ago. Mostly better.

For the most part, I find myself feeling that I continue to come into my own. I'm a stronger person than I was before, for sure. And, in general, more peaceful. I still have my moments where I wonder what my life is meant to be, what the next chapter will look like. Knowing that they'll play out against a backdrop of sobriety is comforting.

More later.

I'm about to post a couple pics I hope the gang enjoys!

V.
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:42 PM
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Seen last summer in Minneapolis:



And now this week nearby in St. Paul:



Who shall be next?
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