All posts by Ainsobriety

Cold days

It’s cold here where I live. I expect it’s cold in most of North America. And living in northern Canada it is to be expected. But -55 is beyond acceptable. I have been hermiting in the house much more than usual. I admit, I like it.

We got a bird. His name is Paul. Yes, the zoo grows. We have Frank the bunny, Norman the fish, Dill the bearded dragon, peter the snake, Larry the mouse and Melvin the hamster. Some days I wonder what is wrong with me…lol but they are all small and, with the exception for frank, live in cages.

Being single is an interesting think. I moved Larry the mouse into my room so I have someone to talk to besides myself. He is a bit stinky…mice are brutal, but he makes me smile. And since my room is now all mine, who cares?!? I have never lived alone before.

Craig is no longer around. He appears remorseful and apologetic. It’s hard to tell what’s true and what’s lies to cover bad behaviour. I see him at work, we do work together, but that’s about it. I had some thought of just sucking it up and letting him come back, but I refuse to accept that cheating on your wife of 20 years with a sleazy young woman is acceptable or tolerated. I have way too much pride and self respect for that. Plus,he continued to lie to me about things…insignificant things (or maybe not…it’s hard to know when someone is a known liar and cheater). I’m not sure where his rigorous honesty is. I guess he still, has some work to do. And now he has lots of time for that.

The kids and I are settling into a nice routine. C Is going to school every day, which is a huge improvement for her. I finally demanded the school to help me find a way to assist her. Her school anxiety is debilitating. It took going to the district office, but they have accommodated her in a way that is working! This is so awesome. She is succeeding, and she is no longer texting me all day telling me how horrible it is. It’s helped us both. My son is playing basketball for his school, so I drop him off every morning for early practice. It’s nice to have a little alone time with him. I know he is somewhat sad and definitely angry. The three of us have already made a few plans. This could be fun.

Most days I am pretty resolved that I will be divorced at some point in the future. It’s hard to let go of 20 years. It’s very hard to believe that a parent could put illicit sex above their self respect, children and stability. But, of course, people do this all the time. It’s so cliche.

In many ways this experience is just like quitting drinking. I cling to my memories of craig as a good friend. As a fun guy. As someone I trusted explicitly. Just like I clung to the idea that life without booze would be dull, lifeless and hard. I rationalized my drinking for a long long time. Refusing to truly recognize the harm it was doing to me and my life.

Fear of change kept me in the pain of addiction. And, I am pretty sure that the same thing is happening here. Fear of change, of being alone, of having to decide everything for myself have me considering if I can accept Craig’s shitty behaviour and reunite. But my past experience shows that the leap of faith forward turns out to be much better than holding on what I know is hurting me.

Some days I’m very very sad. Occasionally I have been excruciatingly frustrated that this has happened without my consent (control freak) and on these days I am very careful with myself. I would love to dull my mind. But I know the only way to get past this is to let it be.

Most of the time I am looking forward to endless possibilities.

Stillness and peace



Codependency revealed

There is nothing like the deep cut of pain to open ones eyes to their own actions.

I am codependent. I have spent many years minimizing my own wants and needs to accommodate my husband’s. He never asked me to, but I have.

This is an old behaviour pattern for me. Read the room, decide how to keep the peace, act that way.

Smile, accommodate, don’t complain. It was still a mask, even if I didn’t realize it. I was still trying to protect myself from anger, criticism, being told I was selfish. I

I believed I was doing this to create contentment. I thought my behaviour was selfless.

But it was actually martyrdom and I was expecting so much less for myself than I deserve. Resentment has hidden inside and it has reared its head.

Why? Because it hasn’t worked. All my accommodating and lack of boundaries and empty threats didn’t keep craig in love with me. He still betrayed me. He did what he wanted. He always did.

I can only control my own behaviour, and my own behaviour has not always been for me. I can not control anyone else. Their decisions are on them.

So here is my opportunity. Now I can look at my life and try to remember what it is I want and value. And I can own those things, I can plan for them and I can find the words to voice my needs.

This has shaken me deeply. I know that is the sign that it’s real.

Stillness and peace,



It’s time for me to pick my word of the year for 2019. For the past few years I have done this and the word inspires me when I need a boost. You can look back at my posts to see the history. I have loved every word and I have them all on a charm bracket (plus santosha tattooed on my wrist). I try to listen to the universe in December to see if I can’t hear that little message prompting me to move forward.

This year I have decided that word will be bloom. I came across this post at It captures my current life reality perfectly. I feel somewhat overwhelmed and heavy. It’s scary to be separated after living with someone for 24 years. I am suddenly responsible for everything from driving myself to work to taking the garbage out, chauffeuring kids and caring for pets. And some mornings I want to hide in my bed and wallow in self pity.

The idea that from this pain something new and unexpected might bloom makes me happy. When you look at a seed you would never know that over time it could become a rose or a sprig of cilantro or a watermelon. But inside that seed is that potential, waiting for the right conditions to grow.

And so in 2019 I will strive to give myself the space and opportunity to bloom.

Is anyone else inspired to pick a word? Please comment and let me know!

Stillness and peace,


Check in

Hi all,

I just wanted to pop in and say I am doing ok. I took control of one aspect my life and bought myself a car for Christmas! A Lincoln MKC. It’s black. Definite retail therapy.

It was way past due. May 13 year old Sienna has given me more than I ever expected.

Cheating husband is still gone. We have a semi amicable relationship now. My heart is broken, which is what happens when the rug is pulled out from under you when you least expect it, but I am seriously enjoying having the bed to myself and only cooking what I want eat…I focus on the things that make me happy. It’s amazing how much there is when you think about it. C has given me a stuffy to sleep with. lol

A friend brought me a bottle of wine the other day. I laughed and made her take it away with her. 5 years and I know that part of my personal self care plan is to have an alcohol free house. I like the security. Protecting myself is always a good choice.

I am moving slowly, but with mine and my kids best interests at heart. This is my time to really ask myself who I want to be…who I really am.

I am contemplating my word for 2019. I am not sure what it should be. But I know it will come!

Stillness and peace




Yesterday was my birthday.

I am 47.

I don’t like birthday much. There is some unwritten expectation that the day will be special, which I don’t really like, and then disappointment when it’s not.

If life hadn’t changed I would have flown to Calgary to meet craig and gone to see Three Days Grace for a whirlwind weekend away.

But, instead, I went to yoga. I felt sorry for myself. I was lonely. My bruised heart hurt.

And then an old friend arrived with ice cream and cake and pizza and love. She brought understanding and prayers.

By the time she left I was back to centre. I am ok. Things are totally screwed up and stressful, but I am ok and my 2 awesome kids are ok.

I am getting used to living alone with the kids. I’m sleeping in the middle of the bed and eating what I like.

I’m am hopefully for another year. Whatever it brings.

Stillness and peace,


Five years Sober

Five years. Five amazing, clear, relieving, hard, excruciatingly painful, deeply joyful and contented years.

So many things have happened during these five years, I have reconnected and grown with my family and, recently, faced a crisis that will change our lives forever. My husband and I are separating after 25 years together. He has been my best friend. I’m not sure what things look like apart.

In these five years I have faced early sobriety, depression, a city wide evacuation due to a forest fire that I drove through, job difficulties, a child with depression and now marital strife.

I have become a yoga teacher, gotten tattoos, found my inner self and truly know what unconditional self acceptance feels like, even if I don’t always have it.

Step one was to put down the bottle and take a good look around. If I hadn’t done that I would have missed so much.

The journey is never easy, but that is why it is so worth it. I thank each and every person who reads or comments or writes a blog sharing their experience. It always reminds me that deep down we are all the same and that the answer is always love.

Stillness and peace


Peter, Frank, Larry and Norman

Fall is ticking by. My child has gone to grade 8 and we are making it work. My son is in grade 10and is getting more handsome every day! He was talking about university thei week. Yikes! Where does time go!

We continue to add to our pet collection. We now have a rabbit, a mouse, who c rescued from being eaten at the pet store, a beta fish and a baby ball python! All these pets encourage c’s caregiving side. It is quite amazing how pets calm a person.

Otherwise life goes on. My kids mentioned one day that I don’t seem to have any friends…and I paused. Honestly, I don’t really like being around people that much. I have many many friends who I meet for coffee or lunch or even online. But I don’t want people sitting on my couch.

Craig and I were very social as drinkers. There’s nothing like being the hosts. It means no driving and no restrictions on booze. It worked well for us, but it was always tiring. I guess I had my fill from those years. We rarely invite anyone to our house. It’s our sanctuary. I am comfortable enough to go to most places alone. I am rarely lonely.

Plus, craig is fun. We like sports and enjoy concerts and can have a pretty intense discussion on Aa and addiction. He’s the only friend I need right now.

I also have 2 teens. Although they aren’t exactly my friends, I am perfectly willing to indulge in their interests and enjoy myself. This weekend we met both the 10th and the 11th doctors AND we saw the Book of Mormon. Even the 5 hour drive there and back, and the snowfall in Edmonton, couldn’t take the shine off this weekend!

In the car c told me that sometimes when she was younger and people were over drinking it scared her. She didn’t like the noise or the unpredictability. She is thankful both craig and I no longer drink and are available and attuned to her needs.

It was a good moment. Although it stirred up some guilt from those years, it also reminds me that I was suffering then. Depression, alcohol. I was barely coping as I tried to look like a functioning adult. Open communication is the only way to heal those old wounds.

I realize that these past almost 5 years are a gift. I treasure that every day.

Thank you all for continuing to support me on the journey.

Stillness and peace


Finding my role…

I’m currently sitting in a waiting room, with my child, C, who is seeing their psychiatrist. There is also a therapist and an excellent pediatrician. And a gender counsellor. We are experimenting with using the pronouns they them instead of she her, so I’ll try here.

They are having a hard time. They have some serious depression and anxiety. It has been here for a few years, but grade 7 was hard. They did not like school and although most days were ok, the bad days were very very bad. C feels persecuted and disliked and socially awkward. They often wish they were dead, because the pain of trying feels overwhelming. It’s very hard to hear that from ones child, but I am thankful they are willing to share their darkness with me. I am thankful I am a safe haven.

Many days are good. We adopted s fluffy grey rabbit and named him Frank. He has made us all a bit happier. He is funny. Summer is easy. There’s no school and little routine. I have to work, but it’s easier with no school. And we still have our nanny, so someone is home to make sure the kids are fed and watered. They sleep much of the days.

I continue to practice yoga. It is part of me, and it has changed my entire way of being. I’m less likely to take things personally. I’m calmer. I’m less frazzled and more steady.

The last few weeks of school really shook out calm. C pretty much fell apart and became suicidal.I was scared for them. My anxiety became electric. It was like my skin was on fire and I was so distressed. It took all my effort to continue on…and I mainly did by plodding. I just moved ahead, no huge goals or plans. Just maintaining the basics and giving myself space. And it helped me get back to now, where my mind is able to find some stillness and peace.

I try hard to stay in the now, but I’m beginning to worry about how school will be in September. I’m trying to find the balance between offering my child support and enabling them, trying to protect them so much that they aren’t able to deal with even small obstacles. I wish I knew what was right.

I often think about how life would be if I hadn’t quit drinking. Would I have seen c struggling? Would I have been able to cope? I’m not sure. I was having so much trouble coping myself back then. I just don’t think I could have handled this…well, not very well anyway. Even today, c was being bitchy and stubborn (they are 13 after all) and eventually I broke down and cried. The meanness that can come from a child is unmatched. Of course, c felt guilty…but is how we learn empathy…

Sigh. We are going to all get in the car and go on a short road trip this weekend, and 5hen a longer one in a few weeks. Maybe the change of scenery will spark something.

Thank you all for listening and being here. I suppose kids all have their ages and phases and developmental times that challenge us in different ways. Writing this has helped me remember that this is not easy, but I’m doing it. And, like one of my favourite yoga teachers said last week, if it wasn’t this, it would be something else. Yes.

Stillness and peace,


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,