Happy Canada Day

It’s a holiday weekend here in Canada. It used to be Caesar’s for breakfast followed by beer and bbqs for us, with the extra day off for good measure! Not anymore. Now it’s delicious, healthy lunch and an afternoon movie. My kids are too old for the parade.

Things have been complicated for me this month. My one kid is having a tough time. And it pulls and drags at me. To the far extremes. Some days I wonder how I am managing…it’s been that hard.

Besides that I have changed jobs at work-within the same company. I don’t like change, especially when I am otherwise stressed. The job is sort of a promotion, with a better title and nicer office, and they requested me for the position, which is nice. But the distress in my family leading up to the move had me overwhelmed.

So. A few weeks of nail biting and severe anxiety and fretting. I debated going to my doctor to ask to be taken off work. I was distracted and forgetful and sad and off. I wasn’t sleeping well. I wanted to hide.

Finally I paused and asked myself…what can I do to support myself through this low? I made some golden milk. I started my warm oil morning massage. I messaged my friends and told them I was struggling. I recited the serenity prayer over and over…small things.

I decided to start the new job and see. And, you know what? It turns out it was a change i NEEDED. A new focus with different people, who wanted me and felt I was an asset to their team. I had been in my old position for 10 years. Somehow I had become stale.

In that one day I felt revived. Work felt purposeful. I could see a way to cope. There was a light in my darkness. It has continued to grow.

Fear is a big part of life. I look back and see that I spent many years living in fear. Fear I wouldn’t measure up, fear people didn’t like me, fear I was drinking too much, fear I would have to quit drinking, fear I was falling apart.

One day in 2013 I decided I couldn’t live with the fear and choose to quit drinking, start therapy and change everything, beginning by cutting myself some slack. I told myself at the time I would try it and see. If it was terrible I could always drink again.

Of course, it was brutal and hard, but I knew immediately that it was the right choice. And 4 1/2 years later it is still the right choice. It will always be.

Now it’s different obstacles. But the path is the same. Try. Evaluate. Ask for and accept support. Relax. Breathe.

Life moves on. My responsibility is to help myself roll with it. That’s what we all have to do.

Stillness and peace,

Anne

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31 thoughts on “Happy Canada Day

  1. Wow! Four and a half years! That’s impressive. Well done on branching out. I am never keen on change either but if we don’t change we will never move forwards and what’s the sense in standing still forever I guess x

  2. Anne I’m sorry to hear you have unsettling times and that part of it is to do with one of your kids. Being a mom is so hard at the best of times let alone when you suffer the anguish of a child that’s struggling somehow. I hope this situation resolves for both of you although it seems like you are doing better now. Sending you wishes for happiness and peace.

  3. What a fantastic post. The compassion and self care brought you through to see that all is well. So happy for your new position- and it’s extra wonderful when you’re sought out! Hugs and congratulations on 4 and 1/2 years! You’ve been a huge inspiration for me. As you celebrate Canada Day, I am going to force a post out of myself for July 4th (I just have a disdain for writing these days) – I celebrated 1 year June 20th!

  4. Thank you for this! I know in my heart things aren’t right or good but I can’t really ever explain it or describe it and when I read this it hit me…my life is guided by fear!!! I’m afraid of everything some days!!! Now, I get to work on me with a some clarity! ❤️

    1. I wish there was a better answer to overcoming fear.
      In the early days I was almost incapacitated by indecision and paranoia and anger.
      I often think maybe I feel so right now BECAUSE it was so hard.
      Hug

  5. Thank you for yet another lovely post, Anne! I can understand how rough things must feel right now, and I’m so happy to hear that you’re showering yourself with self-care and self-compassion. Also, congrats on the promotion! 10 years in the same position would definitely make me feel stale, too. I’m so glad you made the leap, and loved it! So much love to you. xoxo

      1. Oh geez, I know. I’m so glad she is doing better! It was some kind of fresh hell for Morgan too (my stepdaughter-ish). She HATED middle school, many kids were mean and flaky and her sense of self was constantly changing. She is so happy to move on to high school. I remember it being a pretty tough time as well! *shudder!* Here’s to summer break!! 💜

  6. Teenage years are extremely difficult. Both of ours got outside help while I stayed sober and was there for them. It’s so great you are sober for them, imagine if We were drinking during this time. It all passes, big hugs S xX

    1. I often think about that.
      Sometimes I start to blame myself for not getting sober sooner…but that doesn’t help at all.
      We have a bigger support group now. And she’s willing to participate, so I am hopeful.
      It’s a scary time. Hormones, impulsive actions, depression.

  7. Sorry to hear that you’re having a tough time Anne. It’s never easy to face and overcome fear, but you have the wisdom and experience from sobriety to support you. Those same tools can help your child navigate the shitshow that is junior high. Hug her, guide her and continue to model those strategies just as you have done for all of us.

    🌻 P.S. Just celebrated two years of sobriety on Canada Day !

    1. That’s so awesome! Congratulations.
      And yes. It is only through my own work that I am really able to show compassion.
      I’m always happy to hear from you!!

  8. I love the oil idea, Anne!
    I am really glad your new job went well!
    I am looking into another volunteering opportunity, and I have to breathe through the fear, too!
    xo
    Wendy

  9. Wonderful post, Anne! Thank you so much for sharing and happy belated Canada Day! Congratulations on 4 1/2 years. That’s so fantastic! You inspire me to keep going. 🙂 xx

  10. What a beautiful post Anne, probably exactly what I needed to read this morning. You have my deepest empathy and compassion for your struggles and concern for you teenage child. It’s really hard to watch them struggle, and want to ‘fix it’ or help, or DO something, but be powerless to do so. I love your list of self compassionate actions, and would just add “you are enough” just as you are. Xxx
    Lily 🌷

  11. Great perspective on yourself. You express your feelings so well. Glad things are settling down and working out. And congrats on the 4 1/2 years of sobriety!

  12. Happy Canadá day to you!

    Great post Anne. As usual, your writing gives me great ease. I could especially relate to this: “Now it’s different obstacles. But the path is the same.” That is spot on in my experience.

  13. I’m also finding my kid stuff overwhelming. After reading your post I realize that I am not giving them space (or ideas on how-to) do self-care for themselves during hard transitional times. Today is another tough one and I’m going to keep this in mind.

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